Thursday, May 13, 2010

A Look at Michigan State

Overall Record - 30-16
Conference Record - 8-10
Team BA - .325 (IU - .321)
Team ERA - 5.21 (IU - 6.57)

Hitter to watch for: Eli Boike. While the Spartans have many solid hitters (7 starters hit .330 or better), I chose Boike as the player to watch for. Boike leads the Spartans in average (.373), slugging percentage (.599), triples (4), homeruns (7), and OB% (.442).

Probable Starters:
Friday - AJ Achter - 4.01 ERA, 83 IP, 85 hits, 68 Ks, 32 BBs
Saturday - Kurt Wunderlich - 4.58 ERA, 74.2 IP, 90 hits, 42 Ks, 25 BBs
Sunday - Tony Bucciferro - 4.66 ERA, 77.1 IP, 89 hits, 45 Ks, 15 BBs

Michigan State has stolen 81 bases this years much in part to the speedy duo of Jeff Holm (22 SBs) and Brandon Eckerle (21 SBs). The IU pitchers and Dylan Swift must be very aware of these two, as well as Derek Roof (13 SBs) and Ryan Jones (9 SBs) when they are on the basepaths.

High Scoring Games:
With two of the best offensive teams in the Big Ten, look for this weekend to potentially turn into high scoring affairs. IU should be able to put up runs against a Michigan State starting rotation that will give up hits. While I shouldn't have any problems scoring this weekend, IU must get solid starting performances from its own weekend starters against a Spartan team that comes into the weekend with the best batting average in the Big Ten.

Carr has been great on Sundays, and we will need the same out of him this weekend. Leienger needs to get back to what he was doing early in the season and a Saturday guy (whether it be Hoffman, Stadler, Igel, or an other) needs to give IU 5+ good innings. If the Hoosier pitching cannot keep the Michigan State offense at bay, look for these game to get into double digits very quickly.

Go Hoosiers!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Strong Pitching Gives IU Series Victory in Game 3

Strong Pitching behind Matt Carr (who has been phenominal since recovery from injury) and Chris Squires led IU to a much needed series victory against a good Northwestern squad. The series was very important in the conference standings as IU now holds a spot in the top 6 teams in the conference.

Recap ~~~ Box Score

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Hoosiers Split Games 1 and 2 with Northwestern

Game 1
After finally getting off to a strong start by jumping out to to 9-0 lead much in part to 4 homers in 2 innings (2 from Earley and 1 each from Dickerson and E. Wilson), IU was able to hold off Northwestern in Game 1 in route to a 11-9 victory. While still giving up 9 earned runs, Leininger held the Northwestern offense to 9 hits and struck out 6 while giving IU a much needed 7.1 innings pitched before handing the game over to Squires who finished the game to notch his 7th save of the season. Offensively, the Hoosiers were led by their 4 (Dickerson) and 5 (Earley) hitters who combined for 6 hits, 4 runs scored, 3 homeruns, and 7 RBI. Additionally, Lambert, Rogers, and Swift all finshed with 2 hits a piece.
Box Score ~~ Recap

Game 2
Much in part to a weak starting performance by Freshman Jonny Hoffman, 5 errors (3 by Tyler Rogers) committed by the Hoosier defense, and only 8 hits, IU fell to Northwestern 11-4 in Game 2. After obtaining an early 9-0 lead in Game 1, the Hoosiers started slow against Northwestern in Game 2 falling behind 9-0 through 4 innings. Relief pitching was solid, however, as Zerman, Igel, and Smith combined for 4 innings pitched while only allowing 3 hits, 1 earned run, while striking out 4. At the plate, Dickerson (HR, 2B), Rogers, and Wilson all chipped in 2 hits a piece.
Box Score ~~ Recap

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: Purdue

The Indiana baseball Hoosiers hosted the Boilermakers of Purdue this past weekend for a three game set and came away with a win (12-11 in Game 2) and two losses (12-10 in Game 1, 10-7 in Game 3) for the series. This series was one that IU needed badly, but unfortunately things didn't work in the Hoosiers' favor. While Indiana easily could have won all three games, they were only able to get it done in Game 2 on Saturday, and as a result, they now sit in a three-way tie for 6th in the Big Ten with Michigan State and Penn State at 7-8 in conference play and 21-21 overall. Here's a breakdown on what was good, what was bad and what was ugly this weekend:

The Good
- 29 Runs in 3 Games - After being shut-out twice a weekend ago at Minnesota, the Hoosier offense roared back this past weekend against Purdue. IU's hitters knocked around Purdue's pitching all weekend long, but unfortunately the Hoosier hurlers couldn't tame the Boilermakers at the plate, thus the reason for IU's 1-2 mark for the series.

- Micah Johnson - In his first match-up with arch-rival Purdue, the freshman went 9-17 with 2 doubles, a triple, a pair of home runs, 7 runs scored, and 5 runs batted in. Not a bad weekend to say the least.

The Bad
- 24 Strikeouts in 3 Games - I've harped on this before, but IU's hitters continue to give up at-bats at the plate. While the Hoosiers did put up plenty of runs on the board against Purdue, with the way things have been going on the mound for Indiana, the pitchers need all the help they can get. That means cutting down on strikeouts offensively.

- 4 Errors in Games 1 and 2 - While the 2 errors committed by the Hoosier defense didn't cost IU in Game 2, the pair of errors made by Micah Johnson and Matt Ernest in Game 1 led to 2 unearned runs, which ultimately proved to be the difference in the final outcome (a 12-10 loss)

The Ugly
- 33 Runs in 3 Games - At the end of the day, Indiana's pitching staff simply doesn't have the depth and talent necessary to compete with the Big Ten's elite teams this season. Yes, there are bright spots and solid performances for the most part each and every weekend, but overall IU's pitching continues to be a big weakness for this team.

- Drew Leininger - After dominating throughout the first half of the season, the sophomore left-hander has now been roughed up in 2 consecutive starts. Leininger gave up 11 runs on 10 hits, 2 walks, a HBP, 4 wild pitches and a balk. Obviously, he struggled mightily. I certainly hope he gets things back on track next weekend at Northwestern, but I will admit I am concerned that Leininger is either injured or hit some sort of "wall" and that his recent performances might negatively impact his confidence moving forward. Hopefully I am wrong, though.

Next Up - Northwestern
It's finals week at IU, so that means no mid-week games for the Hoosiers. Next up on the Big Ten docket is Northwestern, the surprise of the Big Ten in 2010. The Wildcats entered conference action at the bottom of the standings and little was expected of them in Big Ten play. However, Northwestern has jumped out to a 9-6 conference record entering next weekend's showdown with the Hoosiers and is currently tied with Ohio State for first place in the Big Ten. Needless to say, next weekend's tilt will be a crucial series for the Hoosiers as they look to make a move up in the standings and solidify their place as one of the top six teams in the conference.

Go Hoosiers!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Hoosiers Crushed 17-4 by Sycamores

Once again, the Indiana baseball Hoosiers fell behind early (4-0 in the 1st) and were never able to recover as they dropped Wednesday's contest at home against in-state foe Indiana State (27-12) by a score of 17-4. The Hoosiers were outhit 15-8, committed 3 errors and were essentially outplayed by the Sycamores in virtually all aspects of the game. Jerry Kleman got the start on the mound and ultimately took the loss as he yielded 4 runs on 4 hits and 3 walks in 3 innings of work.

Player of the Game - Tyler Rogers

Rogers went 2-4 with a pair of doubles and a run batted in. The offense didn't do much against ISU, but Rogers was one of the few bright spots.

Stat of the Game - 12 Walks

Indiana's pitchers allowed 12 bases on balls on Wednesday. Clearly, that is far too many free passes. At the very least, the Hoosiers hurlers need to give themselves a chance by throwing strikes and letting the defense (which I know has been porous at times) make plays behind them.

Breakdown - Pitching?
While I understand that IU's pitching is very thin when it comes to mid-week games, I was nevertheless disappointed by yesterday's lopsided defeat. Yes, ISU has a good record and is a very solid team by all accounts, but I still thought the Hoosiers should have given them more of a game at the very least. This makes 3 lopsided losses in the last 4 games. Let's hope this is not a trend that continues and that the Hoosiers get things turned around this weekend against Purdue.

Next Up - Purdue (24-16)
Conference arch-rival Purdue comes to town for a crucial 3-game set. Both the Hoosiers and Boilermakers sit in a three-way tie for 5th in the Big Ten Standings at 6-6, 1 game back of four teams tied for first heading into this weekend. Obviously, this series will be huge for both squads.

Go Hoosiers!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Hoosiers Take Game 2, Drop Game 3 at Gophers

Game 2 - Indiana 7, Minnesota 2
The Hoosiers picked up their lone victory of the series behind 5.2 strong innings of work from starter Jonny Hoffman and a pair of hits (including what was likely one of the longest home runs in IU history) and 3 runs batted in from Alex Dickerson. Micah Johnson, Josh Lyon and Dylan Swift each recorded 2 hits a piece as well, and Walker Stadler pitched 3.1 innings of scoreless relief to notch his first career save as a Hoosier.

Click here for the box score and here for the recap from

Game 3 - Minnesota 10, Indiana 0
For the second time in three days, the Hoosier offense was silenced as the Golden Gophers drubbed the Hoosiers in the weekend finale to pick up a much-needed series victory. Unfortunately for IU, Michael Earley's triple was all the Hoosiers could muster at the plate on the day as the team finished with just that 1 hit, a season low, and 10 strikeouts. Even worse, the pitching was just as bad on Sunday. Although it was nice to see Matt Carr back on the mound for the first time all season, outside of his first 2 innings of work and Jerrud Sabourin's scoreless inning of relief in the 8th, the Hoosier hurlers struggled mightily on the mound. Carr took the loss, but it was Chris Squires' performance that really opened the flood gates and put this one out of reach. The normally reliable right-hander allowed 6 runs on 7 hits in 2.2 innings of work.

Click here for the box score and here for the recap from

Let's hope for a bounce back performance out of the team next weekend as the Hoosiers play host to rival Purdue. The conference race is still very much up in the air, and a series victory would obviously be huge for IU.

Go Hoosiers!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Hoosier Fall in Game 1 to Minnesota

In Game 1 at the Metrodome in Minnesota, the Hoosiers struggled from both the mound and the plate. With only 3 hits (2 from Mack, 1 from Earley) and 0 runs in the entire game from one of the best offensive teams in the Big Ten, the Hoosiers could not get anything going at the plate. On the other hand, the Gophers were seeing the ball very well as they banged out 12 hits and 7 earned runs in 3.1 innings off IU ace Drew Leininger who entered the game with a 1.20 ERA. After chasing Leininger out of the game, the damage continue as the Minnesota bats put up 12 more hits and 7 more earned runs off Hoosier relievers Alex Zerman an Derek Roof.

Click here for the recap and here for the box score from

Let's hope the Hoosiers can put together a better showing today and tomorrow leave Minnesota with the series victory.

Go Hoosiers!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Meet the Minnesota Gophers

Record: 14-23 (4-5 in Big Ten)

Projected Starters:
Friday-Seth Rosin. According to Rosin's bio, he is a "power pitcher who throws strikes and mixes in a curve ball." After being named Third-Team All-Big Ten last year going 7-1 with a 4.21 ERA while striking out 65 batters in 77 innings of work, Rosin (pictured on right) was invited to the prestigious Cape Code league where he flourished finishing with an 1.87 ERA with 38 strikeouts in 33.1 innings for the Hyannis Mets. So far this year, Rosin is 3-3 with a 4.15 ERA. While those numbers are not overly impressive, he has struck out 49 batters compared to only 2 (yes, only 2) walks on the year. He propensity to throw strikes, however, has gotten him into a little trouble with the longball as he has given up 6 on the season. IU's sluggers will need to capitalize on this.

Saturday-TJ Oakes. As a 6'5", 215 freshman, Oakes (3.94 ERA) has stepped in as the regular Saturday guy and has performed very well. He has a solid K/BB ratio with 31 to 13 and is holding hitters to a .277 batter average.

Sunday-Phil Isaksson. Although Isaksson is the Sunday guy, this may be the one IU hitters should fear the most. I say this for two reasons: 1) He is lefthanded and 2) He has a good curveball. With our #1, #3, #4, and #6 hitters all batting from the left side, look for Isaksson to utilize the curve early and often to keep the IU sluggers off balance. For the season, he has a 3.95 ERA with 35 Ks in 43.1 innings pitched.

Best Hitter: Michael Kvasnicka
The switch hitting Kvasnicka (.352 BA) leads the Gophers in nearly all major offensive categories including batting average, hits, doubles, homeruns, RBIs, and slugging percentage. To make matter worse, he sports a 28-10 walk to strikeout ratio.

Key Matchup:
Scott Matyas (Minn) vs. Chris Squires (Ind)
With arguably the two best closers in the Big Ten facing off this weekend, the Hoosiers must get the lead early so we see Squires rather than Matyas on the mound in the ninth. Matyas is a very good strikeout pitcher striking out 25 in 18.1 innings pitched for the season. He is not unhittable, however, allowing more than 1 hit per inning and 3 homeruns in only 18.1 innings.

Interesting Stat:
Alex Dickerson is tied at 16 homers with Minnesota's entire roster.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Hoosiers Fall to Red Hawks 8-6

The loss ended IU's 4-game win streak. The Hoosiers are now 19-16 overall and 5-4 in Big Ten play heading into this weekend's trip to Minnesota to take on a Golden Gophers squad that is 4-5 in conference action and 14-22 overall.

Click here for the recap and here for the box score from

Go Hoosiers!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Josh Lyon Named Big Ten Co-Player of the Week

- Click here for the release from

- Click here for an article on Josh from the Indiana Daily Student.

Congrats Josh.