Hoosiers Head to Ohio State for Three Tilts
March 28, 2014HOOSIER SPORTS 365
INDIANA BASEBALL RELEASE
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The second week of Big Ten play sends Indiana (12-10, 2-1) on the road to face Ohio State (16-7, 2-1) for three games at Bill Davis Stadium. Friday night's 6:35 pm first pitch gets the weekend series started, followed by 3:05 pm and 1:05 pm contests on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.
Elite pitching match-ups are expected in Columbus as Indiana's rotation includes three pitchers with ERAs under 2.60 while the Buckeyes scheduled rotation owns a combined record of 9-1.
EXPECTED PITCHING MATCH-UPS
Friday, March 28 - 6:35 pm ET
Sr., LHP Joey DeNato(4-1, 2.39) vs. Jr., LHP Ryan Riga (3-0, 3.03)
Saturday, March 29 - 3:05 pm ET
So., LHP Kyle Hart(3-1, 2.03) vs. Sr., RHP Greg Greve (3-1, 4.50)
Sunday, March 30 - 1:05 pm ET
So., RHP Christian Morris(0-2, 2.55) vs. Fr., LHP Tanner Tully (3-0, 0.96)
Though early in the conference slate, the series pits two teams tied atop the Big Ten standings at 2-1. Indiana was voted as league favorites in the preseason coaches poll while the Buckeyes were predicted third.
RETURNING TO A HISTORICAL SITE FOR IU BASEBALL
Less than a year after capturing its fifth Big Ten regular season championship and first since 1949, Indiana Baseball returns to the site of its first outright conference crown in 81 years (1932); Bill Davis Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. The Hoosiers took 2-of-3 at Ohio State last season to clinch the Big Ten title in the final weekend.
Kyle Hart ON A ROLL
The month of March has been very kind to LHP Kyle Hart. He has surrendered a lone earned run (two total) in six appearances spanning 24.1 innings this month. The Cincinnati native is 3-0 with a 0.37 ERA, .139 batting average against and a save in three starts and three relief showings. Hart's herculean efforts have not gone unnoticed, earning back-to-back Big Ten Pitcher of the Week awards on March 17 and 24. The Sycamore High School southpaw has struck out 22 batters during the stretch while issuing just seven walks.
Indiana's staff earned run average of 2.81 is not only best in the Big Ten, but leads by a large margin. The next clostest team ERA is over a third of a run back, Illinois' 3.13 clip. IU has three of the top-10 individual ERAs in the conference; represented by Scott Effross (3rd, 1.46), Kyle Hart (6th, 2.01) and Joey DeNato(10th, 2.39).
BULLPEN CLOSING DOOR
Hoosier relievers have locked down leads in the late innings this season, evidenced by Indiana's 10-0 record when leading after six innings and 11-0 mark when on top with seven frames in the books (OSU is 11-0 as well).
HOT CORNER ON A HOT STREAK
IU third baseman Dustin DeMuth is swinging a hot stick lately, carrying an 11-game hitting streak into the weekend. The stretch covering half of the season (22 games played) is witness to a .395 average with six RBI and a slugging percentage of .581 powered by five extra-base hits. In addition, DeMuth has reached base successfully in 19 consecutive contests.