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Hoosiers set to battle with Fighting Trees

Fresh off an easy sweep of BUTTGERS, the Hoosiers head to beautiful (cough cough) Terre Haute to pay homage to Larry Bird and battle the Sycamores. Expectations should be high for reasons explained herewithin.

Why have high expectations?

1. Indiana State is not good. They're in last place in the Missouri Valley, a conference that's only saving grace is that Dallas Baptist (RPI: 1) joins the party for baseball season. They're 2-8 against teams from real conferences, but one of those doesn't count because it was a 14-4 win over Rutgers. Seehere. They even lost to Purdue.

2. Will Coursen-Carr is starting. My personal favorite, Coursen-Carr has looked better in his few appearances this season than he did at all last year. Lemonis has seemed pleased with his efforts thus far, except for a balk against Michigan. To me, the next step in Coursen-Carr returning to his 2013 form, when he was the pitcher of record in the clinching games of the Big Ten Tournament, the NCAA Regional, and the NCAA Super Regional (suck it, Jameis), is a midweek start against a boo boo opponent. Enter Indiana State.

Will he look like a future Cy Young candidate today? No. But he doesn't have to. And, he doesn't have to ever. He just needs to be serviceable in middle innings and in spot starts. Hopefully today is the end of the long road back for big three-five.

3. The leadoff position isn't a black hole where batters go to die anymore. A few weeks ago, Indiana was in the midst of a 1-for-a bazillion strech where no leadoff hitter could get on base. Dedelow produced a little in last week's letdown against Michigan, but this past weekend, Casey Rodrigue returned to the leadoff spot and went 4-for-12, which included a home run to start the bottom of the 1st on Sunday. Against a bad team like Indiana State, putting pressure on them is key. And if Rodrigue continues to get on base, ISU pitchers will pucker.