Hoosiers Conclude Fall Practice
Oct. 24, 2006
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The Indiana baseball team finished its fall practice with the Crimson and Cream series (Oct. 10-11, 13-15). Team Crimson captured four of the five games, taking the opener, 9-2, and winning the final three contests. The Cream squad netted a 10-5 victory in game two for its lone win.
"The series made me realize we still have some learning to do as far as what it takes to compete at this level," Indiana head coach Tracy Smith said. "We need to be consistent in our level of effort from start to finish, regardless of the score. I wanted to find out how we would compete, how we would respond to things. Some guys really stepped up their play and some just blended in. We need all 35 guys battling every pitch of every game. That's how you win."
Eight Hoosiers posted averages over .300, led by senior infielder Michael Nilles. The Mundelein, Ill., native hit .375 in the series (6-for-16) with a home run. Right behind Nilles sophomore outfielder Chris Hervey delivered eight hits in 23 at-bats (.348) with a double and a triple.
Additionally, a trio of freshmen finished the series above .300. Outfielder Kipp Schutz (.318), infielder Jake Lowe (.304) and catcher Josh Phegely (.304) turned in impressive performances. Overall, the Hoosiers recorded 15 doubles and seven triples in the five contests.
The team will now focus its winter on group workouts, conditioning and strength training until official practices commence in February. With fall practice finished, Smith is looking forward to beginning his second season with the Indiana baseball program.
"Now that fall is over, we can concentrate on getting better," Smith said. "With our roster set, it's time to pull together and make the necessary improvements to go out and compete for the Big Ten title. We have 35 guys that have shown they are ready for that challenge. I wish it was spring time right now."
Indiana opens the 2007 season on the road against in Dothan, Ala., against Troy on Feb. 23. The Hoosiers then take on Southern Mississippi on Feb. 24 before concluding their three-game trip against Georgia Southern on Feb. 25.
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