Let's just take a look at these glorious standings REAL QUICK:
||13 - 2 (28 - 12)|
|Nebraska||10 - 5 (28 - 17)|
|Illinois||10 - 5 (23 - 17)|
||8 - 7 (24 - 17)|
|Minnesota||9 - 9 (22 - 16)
|Michigan||9 - 9 (19 - 24)
|Iowa||7 - 8 (25 - 15)|
|Ohio State||6 - 9 (25 - 19)|
||5 - 9 (23 - 17)|
|Purdue||5 - 10 (11 - 29)|
|Northwestern||4 - 13 (12 - 28)|
Thanks to a loss by Nebraska today, the Hoosiers are now at least 3 games up on everyone in the conference with nine games to play. Better yet, six of those remaining games are against Penn State and Purdue while the other three are at the end of the season against Minnesota.They also only play one of those series away from the Bart, and that is at Penn State. Indiana does not play Nebraska in the regular season this year, and with them projected to be the Hoosiers' biggest competitor for the Big Ten crown, it helped that they dropped two out of three to last-place Northwestern during the same weekend Indiana dispatched of then-second place Illinois.
The pitching was incredible this past weekend, holding Illinois to three or less runs in every game, and strangely losing the game in which the pitching was at their best: dropping the second game of the 3-game set 2-1. I previously talked about the importance of pitching and run prevention if Indiana wants to get to Omaha and stay there and the staff did an excellent job keeping the Illini off the scoreboard. The TorNato and Christian Morris pitched 8 and 7.2 innings in their outings, while Brian Korte (typically a relief pitcher) pitched five innings in only his fourth start of the season. The bullpen only needed to pitch 4.1 innings for the entire weekend and that's a great indicator of how well the staff performed.
As stated previously, the Hoosiers have nine conference games left along with two midweek road dates with Miami (OH) and Louisville to finish up their regular season ahead of the B1G Tournament in Omaha. The Hoosiers are also currently #2 in the RPI rankings so ...
WE ARE OFFICIALLY A BASEBALL SCHOOL, NOW. DEAL WITH IT.
Our orangeball brothers are currently busy winning recruiting battles with the University of the Incarnate Word and our handegg team is past spring ball and into the dead zone before they report back in the summer, now is the time to give our UNDIVIDED ATTENTION AND SUPPORT to Tracy Smith's squad who is, by all available metrics, BETTER than last year's squad. We didn't just happen to catch lightning in a bottle last season, or if we did, Coach Smith somehow managed to catch even more lightning in a bottle this time around ... or something, I don't know the analogy really fell apart on me there.
The point remains: the postseason is right around the corner and the Hoosiers are barreling into it like some sort of hell-train made out of fire and powered by the dashed hopes of the vanquished, so you best get on board.