In a baseball season that had previously seen zero home runs hit at Penn State's Medlar Field, the Hoosiers clubbed four in three games, amassing 27 runs over the weekend and sweeping the Nittany Lions and clinching a share of their second B1G Title in two years FOR NOW.
Any Illini loss or Hoosier victory in the last series of the year will make the Hoosiers the outright champions and they should have already secured the #1 overall seed in the postseason B1G Tournament via a 2-1 series victory over the Illini earlier in the year. Our friends in Champaign should pat themselves on the back, as only two teams have managed to defeat the Hoosiers this year, with them and Michigan each taking one loss. After winning the B1G Title last season with a 17-7 conference record, the Hoosiers will finish this season with no more than 5 losses, as they stand at 19-2 with three games to play.
Sam Travis was the player of the series, clobbering three home runs in a pitcher-friendly park. The first baseman now has an OPS of 1.036 on the season and has done an incredible job all year long of making pitchers pay if they choose to pitch around Kyle Schwarber.
The Hardball Hoosiers remain in excellent shape for a national seed. If you'll recall: Baseball America opined that IU needed to win 8 of their remaining 11 contests to secure a national seed and in the seven games since they've collected seven victories. ChasingOmaha has the Hoosiers projected as the fourth national seed, hosting a regional of Indiana State, Tennessee, and Ball State. PerfectGame has the Hoosiers projected as the fifth national seed, hosting a regional of Oregon, Indiana State, and Canisius. ESPN has them as the seventh national seed, hosting a regional of Kentucky, Indiana State, and Ball State.
If IU can manage to keep hitting home runs in parks where they aren't usually hit, then IU will be in really great shape if they get to Omaha for the College World Series. It'll be interesting to see how the bats perform in the B1G Tourney, since it's played in the exact same ballpark as the CWS. I'll leave you with a great tweet from the skipper himself:
Best part is the guys didn't do a dog pile; nor did they want a team photo after the game. They said, "we have more to accomplish." #cool— Tracy Smith (@HoosierBaseball) May 11, 2014
Indiana takes on Louisville down in the Bluegrass State for a midweek game, before finishing the regular season back home at the Bart, with a three game set against the Minnesota Golden Gophers.