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Monday, June 17
The Indiana Daily Student

sports

One last swing

Hoosiers take on conference-leading Buckeyes in their last chance to win a weekend series at home

The IU baseball team is looking to knock the conference leaders from the top of the Big Ten standings for the second weekend in a row as it takes on the Ohio State Buckeyes for the final homestand of the season. \nThe Buckeyes come into this weekend's matchup ranked 24th in the country and are coming off a four-game sweep of Minnesota that coupled with Purdue's two losses to the Hoosiers last weekend, vaulted them from third to first in the Big Ten standings.\nOSU is led by seniors Mike Harris and John Mayor, both batting better than .360, and switch-hitting sophomore Nick Swisher, who leads the Big Ten with 12 home runs. Right-handed red-shirt sophomore Greg Prenger leads the Buckeye pitching staff with four wins, no losses, an ERA of 2.98, striking out 32 with seven walks in 51.1 innings pitched. Senior right-hander Cory Cox anchors the bullpen with a Big Ten leading nine saves.\nThe Hoosiers are coming off a four-game split with in-state rival Purdue last weekend. This weekend's games have been moved from the usual weekend lineup of Friday, Saturday and Sunday to Saturday, Sunday and Monday because of finals. The games will be at the usual times of 3 p.m. Saturday, 1 p.m. Sunday and Monday. \nIU coach Bob Morgan said last weekend's series against Purdue was a good indicator that his team can compete with the Big Ten elite.\n"We're looking forward to the challenge," Morgan said. "We're very capable (of winning) when we do well."\nMorgan, though, did say he was worried about his players, after staying up late and worrying about finals all this week. \n"Hopefully everyone involved will stay focused," Morgan said.\nTaking the hill for the Hoosiers this weekend is junior left-hander Brad Edwards. Saturday, senior right-hander Nick Otte and sophomore right-hander Jacob Cary Sunday and junior left-hander Matt Rice will close out the series Monday. \nCary said he finds the opportunity to throw against the conference's top team intriguing.\n"I like pitching against the best," Cary said. "I don't know much about them, because I didn't play against them last year. We just can't make the stupid errors."\nPitching coach Jeff Calcaterra said the pitching staff needs to cut down on the early inning runs and not worry about what is going on around them, but just focus on the batter at the plate. \n"Whether it's in the bullpen, if there's a hitter, right-hander or left-hander, it doesn't matter what the situation is, (the pitcher's) job is to execute, hit their spots, do their job and throw their pitches when we need to have them thrown," Calcaterra said. "What happens behind them should not have an effect on our guys. Unfortunately that's in the perfect world." \nThis weekend is senior weekend for IU as they are closing out their home season. The Hoosiers will be graduating six seniors, including Blake St. Clair and Dan Haegele, who are second and third on the team in batting average, with St. Clair leading the team in RBIs and second with six home runs.\nSt. Clair said last weekend's performance against then-conference leader Purdue showed that anyone in the league can compete against the best.\n"There's not much difference between first and last in the conference," St. Clair said. \nSt. Clair, along with Haegele, are Ohio natives, and St. Clair said this would be the perfect way to end his home career as a Hoosier -- beat conference leading Ohio State.\n"We're going to have to pull something huge off this weekend," St. Clair said. "We have a chance to go out on a good note at home"

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