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Hoosiers picked to finish 2nd in Big Ten race

Grant Richardson, Cole Barr and McCade Brown pick up conference watch list recognition

Auston Matricardi

Indiana came in at No. 2 in the annual Big Ten baseball coaches top-six poll, the conference announced Thursday.

The coaches picked Michigan to win the league this year, with Ohio State coming in third, Iowa finishing fourth, Maryland slotting into fifth and Illinois ending up sixth. The Wolverines, who climbed as high as No. 1 in last season’s abbreviated campaign, were also the only Big Ten school represented in Baseball America’s preseason top 25 last month, landing at No. 20 in the first set of rankings.

Conference officials on Thursday also released the Big Ten Preseason Players to Watch list, which includes three players from each member program. Representing IU are outfielder Grant Richardson, infielder Cole Barr and pitcher McCade Brown.

Richardson started all 14 games in which he appeared last spring, leading the Hoosiers with a .424 batting average, five home runs, 17 RBI, 21 runs scored and a .797 slugging percentage.

Barr played in all of IU’s 15 games in 2020, batting .246 with three doubles, a triple, two home runs, nine RBI and 12 runs scored. He ended the season on a 15-game reached-base streak.

Brown made four appearances for the Hoosiers with one start and one save, striking out nine batters in just four innings of work.