Fresh off a weekend sweep of conference foe Northwestern, Indiana baseball heads to Cincinnati to take on Xavier University Wednesday afternoon in a non-conference game.
Indiana enters its midweek game with a 34-14 record and its 12-6 conference record is bested only by first-place Maryland, whose record is 13-5. The Terrapins claimed the top spot in the Big Ten after they swept the Hoosiers two weekends ago, April 28-30.
The first of Xavier’s two midweek games will be played on Tuesday night, as the Musketeers travel to play in-state rival University of Cincinnati. They then return home to face Indiana the next day. The Musketeers are currently 30-17 on the season with an 11-4 conference record. Like Indiana in the Big Ten, Xavier is second in the Big East conference.
The Musketeers are 6-21 all-time against the Hoosiers — with half of their wins coming last season. Indiana hosted Xavier in a four-game series in 2022, dropping three out of four to the visitors at Bart Kaufman Field. The teams were not originally scheduled to face off this season. The Hoosiers were supposed to host the University of Southern Indiana on Tuesday, but that game was nixed from the schedule and replaced with a road trip to Xavier.
Southern Indiana and Xavier have had varying degrees of success this season. Southern Indiana currently sits outside the top-250 in the D1Baseball RPI, while Xavier is 44th. Indiana is currently 35th in RPI and as the postseason looms, strength of schedule is important.
“It put us in the best position from a postseason standpoint,” Indiana head coach Jeff Mercer said of the schedule change Wednesday, May 3. “This gives (our) guys the best chance they can to continue to play (into the postseason), and that’s (the coaching staff’s) responsibility.”
Indiana freshman outfielder Devin Taylor is from Cincinnati and hit a crucial home run in his hometown when the Hoosiers beat the Bearcats 11-9 April 19th in a high-scoring affair.
“Devin smiled,” Mercer said. “He gets to go back home.”
Wednesday’s game is slated for a 3 p.m. first pitch at Hayden Field. The game will not be televised but will be available to listen to on 105.1 FM in Bloomington and IUHoosiers.com.