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2018 Indiana Baseball Preview: The schedule

The fate of the Hoosiers’ season could come down to their performance in the month of May.

Indiana will have a tough test down the stretch, as they play their best competition in May.
Auston Matricardi

We’re now just three days away from Indiana Baseball’s opening game in Myrtle Beach against the Oklahoma Sooners. In Part III of our 2018 season preview, we talk about Indiana’s schedule for the season. In the next few days, we’ll cover the Big Ten and make our staff predictions.

In college baseball, like many other sports, a primary way of judging a team is by their strength of schedule. Looking at this upcoming season for Indiana, there should be a good amount of competition in the Big Ten (we’ll get to that later this week) and there are some quality non-conference opponents on the docket too. Here, we take a month-by-month look at the schedule.


Date Opponent Location 2017 RPI Ranking
Date Opponent Location 2017 RPI Ranking
2/16/18 Oklahoma Myrtle Beach, SC 29
2/17/18 Kansas State Myrtle Beach, SC 98
2/18/18 South Alabama Myrtle Beach, SC 32
2/19/18 Coastal Carolina Conway, SC 60
2/23/18 rutger Port Charlotte, FL 139
2/24/18 Boston College Port Charlotte, FL 84
2/25/18 Chicago State Port Charlotte, FL 284

This Hoosier team will be thrown right into the fire, as they take on five top-100 RPI opponents in the first month of the season. On opening weekend, they take on a pair of teams that are coming off NCAA Tournament berths, Oklahoma and South Alabama. The average 2017 RPI ranking of IU’s February opponents is 103.7, but if you remove Chicago State, who was ranked 284th, as an outlier that average drops down to 73.7, a strong opening slate. This slate also covers most of Indiana’s long road trips to start the season.


Date Opponent Location 2017 RPI Ranking
Date Opponent Location 2017 RPI Ranking
3/2/18 San Diego San Diego, CA 53
3/3/18 San Diego San Diego, CA 53
3/3/18 San Diego San Diego, CA 53
3/4/18 San Diego San Diego, CA 53
3/7/18 Cincinnati Bloomington, IN 95
3/9/18 Pacific Bloomington, IN 244
3/10/18 Pacific Bloomington, IN 244
3/11/18 Pacific Bloomington, IN 244
3/13/18 Western Illinois Bloomington, IN 269 (nice)
3/14/18 Western Illinois Bloomington, IN 269 (nice)
3/16/18 Northern Illinois Bloomington, IN 263
3/17/18 Northern Illinois Bloomington, IN 263
3/18/18 Northern Illinois Bloomington, IN 263
3/20/18 Wright State Bloomington, IN 100
3/23/18 Iowa Iowa City, IA 80
3/24/18 Iowa Iowa City, IA 80
3/25/18 Iowa Iowa City, IA 80
3/27/18 Indiana State Terre Haute, IN 166
3/29/18 Butler Bloomington, IN 151
3/30/18 Butler Bloomington, IN 151
3/31/18 Butler Bloomington, IN 151

The Hoosiers will start the month of March in San Diego, where they’ll square off with a solid Toreros team that finished 5th in the West Coast Conference last season. After that they’ll mostly be in Bloomington against lesser competition, hosting a few sub-200 RPI teams before getting back to business against in-state rivals and one Big Ten weekend versus Iowa. The average 2017 RPI ranking of Indiana’s March schedule is 158.3, the highest of any month for the Hoosiers by a sizable amount.


Date Opponent Location 2017 RPI Ranking
Date Opponent Location 2017 RPI Ranking
4/3/18 Ball State Muncie, IN 163
4/6/18 Purdue Bloomington, IN 123
4/7/18 Purdue Bloomington, IN 123
4/8/18 Purdue Bloomington, IN 123
4/10/18 Indiana State Bloomington, IN 166
4/13/18 Northwestern Bloomington, IN 181
4/14/18 Northwestern Bloomington, IN 181
4/15/18 Northwestern Bloomington, IN 181
4/17/18 Notre Dame Indianapolis, IN 121
4/20/18 Ohio State Columbus, OH 154
4/21/18 Ohio State Columbus, OH 154
4/22/18 Ohio State Columbus, OH 154
4/25/18 Purdue West Lafayette, IN 123
4/27/18 Illinois Bloomington, IN 142
4/28/18 Illinois Bloomington, IN 142
4/29/18 Illinois Bloomington, IN 142

The conference play grind. The dog days of the Spring if there could possibly be any. April sees the Hoosiers taking on Ball State, Indiana State, and Purdue in midweek games. They’ll also travel to Victory Field in Indianapolis to play against Notre Dame. The average 2017 RPI ranking of IU’s April opponents is 148.3, but Northwestern and Purdue should be improved in 2018. Indiana will need to pick up as many wins as possible during this stretch because once they get to May nothing is guaranteed.


Date Opponent Location 2017 RPI Ranking
Date Opponent Location 2017 RPI Ranking
5/4/18 Minnesota Minneapolis, MN 72
5/5/18 Minnesota Minneapolis, MN 72
5/6/18 Minnesota Minneapolis, MN 72
5/8/18 Kentucky Bloomington, IN 9
5/11/18 Nebraska Lincoln, NE 54
5/12/18 Nebraska Lincoln, NE 54
5/13/18 Nebraska Lincoln, NE 54
5/15/18 Louisville Louisville, KY 6
5/17/18 Maryland Bloomington, IN 44
5/18/18 Maryland Bloomington, IN 44
5/19/18 Maryland Bloomington, IN 44

This is it. The home stretch. The gauntlet. This is where Indiana’s season could change completely. In this stretch of 11 games in 16 days, Indiana will face their best competition of the entire season when they host Kentucky, who knocked them out of the NCAA Tournament last season, and they travel to Louisville to take on the Cardinals. Those are two of the top 15 teams in the country according to multiple preseason rankings and they were both regional hosts in 2017. Outside of those midweek matchups, the Hoosiers will travel to Minneapolis and Lincoln and they’ll host the Maryland Terrapins to close out the season. That trio (Minnesota, Nebraska, and Maryland) contains some of the best teams in the Big Ten. They all finished ahead of Indiana in the conference in 2017 and the Gophers were the team that finally put the Hoosiers out of the Big Ten Tournament in Bloomington. The average 2017 RPI ranking for the teams on Indiana’s May schedule is 47.7, the best of any month by far.

This season could be a great one for Indiana baseball. This team could win 40 games. This team could win the Big Ten. This team could bring an NCAA Regional to Bart Kaufman Field. In order to do that, they’ll have to get out of the gates quickly and secure some key victories down the stretch.