The 121st season of Indiana University baseball begins tonight in Palo Alto, California, against the No. 18 Stanford Cardinal, the program responsible for the heartbreaking ending to the Hoosiers’ 2014 campaign. Stanford, facing elimination in both, won back-to-back games at the IU regional to eliminate the Hoosiers who entered the tournament as the 4th overall seed in the NCAA tournament.
As discussed in our part two of our season preview, Scott Effross, Christian Morris, and Jake Kelzer are Indiana’s projected starters for the weekend. They’ll go oup against Cal Quantrill, John Hochstatter, and Logan James, respectively. Quantrill and James combined to go 4.1 IP in the deciding game of last year’s regional, with Quantrill recording the win. Hochstatter started and picked up the loss in the first game between the clubs last year, throwing 7.1 IP and giving up 4 earned runs.
Of the ten Cardinal players who registered an at-bat in the regional championship game, only four return this season. But a handful of other players who saw action that weekend against the Hoosiers are still in the mix.
With all six projected starters in this series having played big roles in the regional last season, and several returning positional players on each side, this series should have the kind of familiarity that we typically see in conference matchups.
I think I speak for everyone when I say that Indiana baseball fans want it bad this weekend. Personally, I wish this series was in Bloomington, so I could root for three walk-off home runs that cap off big comebacks that demoralize the Cardinal so much that they can’t overcome the pain for years and years.
NO, I'M NOT OVER LAST YEAR. THANKS FOR ASKING.
Beyond revenge, all that’s at stake this weekend for the Hoosiers is a much-needed fast start. Taking two out of three (or even just one out of three, but competing in the other two) could go along way to proving to everyone—players, fans, and the rest of the teams on the schedule—that Indiana still has enough to play with the big boys.
WHAT: Indiana Hoosiers Baseball @ No. 18 Stanford Cardinal
WHERE: Klein Field at Sunken Diamond; Palo Alto, California
WHEN: Friday, 6PM EST (Pac-12 Network); Saturday, 9PM EST (Pac-12 Network); Sunday 3PM EST (Stanford University Live Streaming). All games will be available on radio. Radio stream can be found here. Note: Sunday's start time, originally scheduled for 4PM EST, has been moved up one hour to 3PM EST.