The Indiana University baseball Hoosiers will open their season next weekend with a 4-game tilt at the University of San Diego. The Toreros are in the West Coast Conference (WCC) and are coached by Rich Hill, who is in his 12th season at the school and has led the Toreros to four conference championships in the last eight seasons and to four NCAA Regionals in the last five years. Heading into the 2010 campaign, San Diego was tabbed as the preseason favorite to win the WCC championship, and they are ranked #14 in the Ping Baseball top-30 preseason poll and #24 in the Collegiate Baseball top-40 preseason poll.
The Toreros return eight starting position players and four pitchers who saw regular time on the mound a season ago for a team that finished fifth in the WCC. Among those they welcome back are 2009 WCC Player of the Year James Meador (SR, OF) and 2009 All-WCC first team members Zach Walters (JR, 3B) and AJ Griffin (SR, RHP). In addition, the Toreros also welcome back junior RHP Kyle Blair, who last week was named to Baseball America's third-team preseason All-America team.
Needless to say, the Hoosiers will have their hands full with the Toreros next weekend. They are a talented, experienced team, and when you couple that with the question marks the Hoosiers have on the mound heading into the season, it could be a tough opening weekend for the IU baseball squad. Hopefully I am wrong about that, though.
I hope to provide a more in-depth preview and analysis next week prior to the opener. Stay tuned and check back often. Go Hoosiers!