May 23, 2012
COLUMBUS, Ohio -
Indiana Baseball (30-26, 16-8) begins its fourth Big Ten Tournament appearance in the last five years on Thursday at approximately 3:35 pm. The Hoosiers will be the second game of the day and start after the conclusion of a 12:05 pm contest.
Big Ten Tournament Bracket
IU earned the No. 2 seed and received a first-round bye for the postseason competition. The winner of the tournament automatically qualifies for the NCAA Championships and will head to a Regionals site next weekend. Indiana's second round opponent will be determined on Wednesday, the higher seed of the two teams winning in the opening round. Purdue, the top seed, will face the lower seeded advancing team.
The Big Ten Tournament is a double-elimination event and can potentially run through Sunday. Each and every game will be broadcast nationally on the Big Ten Network. In addition, GameTracker live stats will be provided by IUHoosiers.com for all Indiana games. Fans can also get in-game updates via Twitter, simply follow: @KKatIU.
LHP Joey DeNato is expected to take the bump on Thursday, looking to pick up win number eight on the season. It will mark the sophomore's first postseason start.
HOOSIER QUICK HITS
Indiana has won 12 of its last 15 games overall; and 10 of the last 12 conference contests
Indiana won six of eight Big Ten series
Indiana has posted its fourth 30-win season in the last five years
Jonny Hoffman was directly accounted for 60% of IU's 16 Big Ten victories with six wins and three saves during conference play
Ground was officially broke on May 7 for Kaufman Field
Complete Tournament Notes
ALL-BIG TEN HOOSIERS
A conference-high eight Hoosiers (Purdue also had eight) were named to the All-Big Ten teams on Monday, including Big Ten Freshman of the Year - Sam Travis. Below is a list of Hooisers recognized by the league head coaches:
First Team: Jonny Hoffman (RP)
Second Team: Kyle Schwarber (C), Sam Travis (1B), Dillon Dooney (DH)
Third Team: Joey DeNato (SP)
All-Freshman: Schwarber, Travis, Kyle Hart (SP), Chad Clark (3B), Chris Sujka (OF)
With the addition of Hoffman, Head Coach Tracy Smith has now mentored nine different First Team All-Big Ten-ers in the last five years.
THAT'S WHY THEY PLAY THE GAMES
Just one of five preseason polls (Coaches, Baseball America, Sorenson, Rogers, Webb) picked the Hoosiers to qualify for the six-team Big Ten Tournament field. Indiana was prognosticated to finish as low as ninth in the conference standings by the national media. Second-seeded IU enters the postseason as the hottest team in the league and beneficiary of a first-round bye.
CLOSING SEMBOWER IN THRILLING FASHION
Trace Knoblauch's walk-off single on May 15 vs. Evansville marked the fourth IU walk-off victory in Sembower Field this season. The Hoosiers rattled off three consecutive walk-off winners at home from April 4-13, topping Michigan State, Indiana State and Ball State in their final at-bat. Indiana then closed down the doors officially on Sembower last weekend by sweeping the Ohio State Buckeyes and clinching the No. 2 seed.
DENATO'S RECORD BOOK ASSAULT
Joey DeNato put on a record-breaking show on April 27, striking out 12 Wolverines; the most in school history during a conference contest. DeNato is also creeping up on the all-time top-10 for several single-season statistical rankings. In order to crack IU's top-10, the southpaw needs one more win, 11 strikeouts and/or 1.2 innings pitched.
HOFFMAN AND DEARDEN PROVIDE INSTANT RELIEF
Jonny Hoffman and Matt Dearden have been option 1 and option 2 out of the Hoosier bullpen this season, combining to make 49 appearances. Hoffman's 25 trips to the hill are tied for the 5th-most in school history while Dearden's 24 outings are not close behind and are also slotted in the top-10 all-time at Indiana. The top record is held by Chris Squires, who mannaed the mound for 31 appearances in 2010.
FRESHMAN: HERE, THERE, EVERYWHERE
Fifty-one percent of Indiana's starters through 56 games have been freshmen (286 of 560; counting pitchers). The Hoosier youth increases even more when including only position players in the batting order (no pitcher/DH), with 57% of starts coming from freshmen. In fact, there are no senior position players on the IU roster and just two senior pitchers. Indiana's offensive production has been fueled by rookie Hoosiers:
PERCENTAGE OF OVERALL TEAM PRODUCTION COMING FROM FRESHMEN
Homeruns: 68% (25 of 37)
Runs Batted In: 60% (169 of 281)
Runs Scored: 58% (179 of 311)
Doubles: 58% (56 of 97)
Hits: 53% (281 of 528)
HOOSIERS ALL OVER WEEKLY CONFERENCE HONORS
The Big Ten Conference awards a Player, Pitcher and Freshman of the Week each Monday throughout the season. During the 14-week campaign, a conference-best 12 Hoosiers were recognized by the league office. Sam Travis led the way with five such laurels, winning back-to-back Player of the Week and Freshman of the Week accolades (March 26 & April 2) before his third Frosh of the Week selection on May. A complete list of Hoosier winners is below:
Chris Sujka: Freshman (February 27)
Kyle Schwarber: Freshman (March 5/April 30/May 21)
Joey DeNato: Pitcher (March 19)
Sam Travis: Player (March 26/April 2); Freshman (March 26/April 2/May 7)
Kyle Hart: Freshman (April 23)
Justin Cureton: Player (April 30)
Indiana's 12 honorees are followed by: Purdue (11), Illinois (5), Michigan State (5), Nebraska (4), Iowa (4), Northwestern (3), Michigan (3), Penn State (3), Ohio State (2) and Minnesota (1).