Head Coach: Tracy Smith
2006 Record: 22-34 (11-21 in Big Ten)
2006 RPI: 218
Projected 2007 Big Ten Finish:
Baseball America: 10th
Collegiate Baseball: 10th
At The Plate: A year ago, I dubbed Indiana the Go-Go Hoosiers. Coach Smith’s nine was running at every opportunity and finished 2006 with three of the top eight leaders in stolen bases in the conference. The leading returnee is second team All-Big Ten 2B Keith Haas. Haas swiped twenty-four bases in 2006 while hitting .353.
Another part of IU’s track meet will be OF Andrew Means. Means, a sophomore, hit .301 and stole 16 bases in his freshman campaign. I would expect veteran players like Josh Richardson, Jon Fixler and Ben Greenspan to be part of IU’s lineup throughout 2007. However, experience is in short order in Bloomington this spring. IU features an underclassman dominated roster, including 18 freshmen. One first year player that might see plenty of time is last year’s Mr. Baseball in Indiana, catcher Josh Phegley.
On The Mound: At least Indiana does have some experience on the mound. Junior Doug Fleenor was 4-3 with a 2.57 ERA last year. Sophomores Tyler Tufts (2-1, 3.73 in Big Ten action) and Joe Vicini also return to battle for spots in the rotation. Vicini lead IU with five wins and tied for the team lead with three saves. Chris McCombs and freshman Matt Bashore are in the mix for a regular turn on the mound, as well.
The Schedule: A three game visit to Florida State dominates the IU non-conference schedule. In the Big Ten, the Hoosiers don’t play Michigan, but do have to travel to Ohio State, Purdue and Illinois. Minnesota comes to Bloomington.
Bottom Line: Indiana is so very young this year, it’s difficult to imagine them in the conference tournament field. However, they will be fun to watch. And you had best watch closely, because they will not be standing around. Overall, things are on the upswing in Bloomington. In addition to having some intriguing young players, the administration has made a financial commitment to Coach Smith’s program. The baseball facilities are going to be upgraded which will only help in the recruiting process. Indiana baseball looks to be on the rise even if this year ‘s won-loss record doesn’t reflect that.