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National rankings continue to raise expectations for IU



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IU head coach Chris Lemonis monitors practice at Bart Kaufman Field. It was announced Monday that Lemonis will be the next head coach at Mississippi State.  Buy Photos

With a 6-1 record, IU baseball is off to its best start since 2003, and the national rankings are reflecting that.

Of the NCAA’s top four rankings — D1Baseball.com, National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA),  Baseball America and the USA Today Coaches Poll — IU has made the top 20 in three of them.

The biggest jump for the Hoosiers came in the NCBWA poll where the team went from No. 23 to No. 16. In the D1 ranking, the Hoosiers moved from No. 20 to No. 17 while Baseball America has IU ranked No. 20 just like their previous poll.

After losing their first game to Oklahoma, IU has strung together six consecutive wins. The Hoosiers, who are currently No. 34 in the RPI rankings, have had four of those six victories come against teams ranked in the top 100 of the RPI.

A large part of IU's early season success is thanks to their offense, which is averaging over 5.7 runs per game. While having seven players with batting averages over .250, the Hoosiers have also shown power in the lineup by hitting 10 home runs.

The starting pitching for IU has struggled in the early part of the season. Junior Pauly Milto has been a bright spot for the team. 

In two starts Milto is 2-0 while pitching 15 shutout innings, highlighted by his complete game shutout on Saturday against Boston College.

Milto’s dominance was recognized Monday when he was named the Big Ten Pitcher of the Week.

IU will look to continue its impressive start during a four game stand at San Diego. 

The Toreros are ranked No. 53 in the RPI ranking. Their biggest victory of the season came against Arkansas who is ranked in the top 10 of each of the four rankings. 

First pitch for the series between IU and San Diego will be Friday night, followed by a double-header on Saturday and the finale of the series Sunday.

Stefan Krajisnik 

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