Les Murakami Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii
Thursday, March 16, 12:35 a.m. ET
Friday, March 17, 12:35 a.m. ET
Saturday, March 18, 12:35 a.m. ET
Saturday, March 18, 7:05 p.m. ET
Thursday: LHP Cameron Beauchamp (0-0, 0.96) at LHP Dominic DeMiero (3-0, 2.20)
Friday: LHP Tim Herrin (1-2, 5.29 ERA) at RHP Brendan Hournung (1-2, 2.10)
Saturday: RHP Brian Hobbie (1-1, 4.29 ERA) at RHP Neil Uskali (3-1, 1.67)
Sunday: LHP Andrew Saalfrank (0-1, 6.08 ERA) at RHP Jackson Rees (2-0, 3.13)
Get some caffeine. Indiana baseball will play three of their four games in Hawaii at 12:35 am ET. The series finale will be played at 7:05 p.m. ET on Saturday.
The Hoosiers are coming off their first series win of the season after taking two of three against Middle Tennessee last weekend. But in Honolulu, they will face a Hawaii team that is one of the hottest in the nation. The Rainbow Warriors, after starting the season 1-4, have won six straight games, and nine of their last 10.
Hawaii has done it behind strong pitching. This week, they’ll trot out three starters with ERA’s at 2.20 or better, and the fourth starter has a respectable ERA at 3.13. Brendan Hournung, Hawaii’s Friday starter this week, was named Big West Pitcher of the Week after giving up just three hits and one run, all coming in the second inning, before retiring 22 straight hitters with the help of 14 strikeouts.
During their six-game winning streak, the Rainbow Warriors are allowing just 2.5 runs per game to be scored against them.
For Indiana to be successful, the offense will need to continue to surge as it did on Saturday and Sunday against Middle Tennessee State. They’ll also need to fill the void left by Jonathan Stiever’s absence on the mound.
Stiever, who won the Friday starter job in the offseason, has not pitched since the second weekend of the season when he shut down the Florida Atlantic Owls for his first win. After missing the last two series, and now being left off the probable list for a four-game series, you have to wonder if Stiever has an injury. And if so, how far can this Hoosier baseball team really go?
What to expect
Indiana needs tighten up on its pitching on all fronts if they want to win as the Hoosier offense, though good, has proven to be inconsistent and will face a tough Hawaii staff this week. If they can’t shut down the Hawaii offense, this could be a long week and a missed opportunity to score some big wins against a good team who will hover around the Top-50 in the RPI all season and may qualify for the NCAA Tournament.