The IU baseball team will take a Big Ten-leading 2.75 ERA into today’s matchup with Xavier (2-4) in Mason, Ohio. The Hoosiers (3-3) have leaned on their pitching staff during the early part of the 2011 season and have already reaped the benefits of two ranked victories.
IU coach Tracy Smith and his hitters said a second round of games at the Kleberg Bank College Classic in Corpus Christi, Texas, should see an improved effort at the plate.
With a starter returning from an injury-shortened 2010 campaign and an influx of young, versatile talent, the squad is hoping the 2011 season can see significant improvement from a pitching staff that allowed the most earned runs in the Big Ten a year ago.
The reason IU baseball coach Tracy Smith still sits in his office might be from a framed image, one of the most important items in the room.The crimson letters read “The Spirit of Indiana: 24 Sports, One Team.” And unlike most mantras he comes across, Smith knows this one works.
The IU baseball team enjoys the benefit of depth in the pitching staff and also faces the challenge of new bats as it opens its fall practice schedule.
The Chicago White Sox picked sophomore infielder Ethan Wilson in the 25th round and senior outfielder Michael Earley in the 29th round on Tuesday, and the Florida Marlins drafted senior pitcher Chris Squires in the 37th round on Wednesday.
Dickerson was the first player in IU history to win Big Ten Freshman of the Year and Big Ten Player of the Year in consecutive seasons. He was also part of the Second Team All-Big Ten, a third team All-Mideast Region selection, and a recipient of Freshman All-America honors from Collegiate Baseball and the National Collegiate Baseball Writer’s Association.
The best way to keep up the momentum backing the baseball program would be a new stadium. I like the 59-year-old Sembower Field; don’t get me wrong. But I think we can do better than the 2,250 seating capacity, which fills up more often than one might think.
The sixth-seeded Hoosiers recorded a first-round tournament win over the third-seeded Northwestern Wildcats 5-0 . IU will now face top-seed Minnesota on Thursday at 7:05 p.m.
The Hoosiers’ strong pitching from junior Matt Carr and senior Chris Squires held the Illini to only 10 hits, and Squires, who entered in relief, needed just 22 pitches to close out the Illini.