The Indiana Hoosiers baseball team will begin their 2014 season on the road in Lubbock, Texas for a four-game set against Texas Tech from February 14-16, to be followed by a three-game set in Surprise, Arizona where the Hoosiers will face Washington, Utah, and Oregon State.
The Hoosiers’ opening road schedule will next stop in Louisville, Kentucky where they will face both Toledo and Louisville on March 1 before heading home to Bart Kaufman Field for their home opener against Xavier on March 5.
For the Hoosiers, the two foremost matchups of the regular season will come against teams that made appearances (alongside Indiana) in last year’s College World Series, that of Louisville and Oregon State. The Hoosiers will meet the Beavers for a single game matchup in Arizona in late-February and the Cardinals for three single game matchups throughout the season.
Indiana has every reason to be optimistic heading into the 2014 season after coming off perhaps one of their best seasons in school history. Junior catcher Kyle Schwarber, one of the premier bats in the country and a potential first rounder in next year’s draft, and senior third baseman Dustin DeMuth, a hard-hitting talent who was selected in the eighth round of this year’s draft by the Twins, will help solidify and lead a talented offense that surprised many throughout the 2013 postseason.
While both Schwarber and DeMuth bring key leadership to the table, perhaps the primary cog of significant direction will be placed in the left arm of Joey DeNato, who will inherit the role of Friday night starter and staff leader of a rotation that is boosted by the left-handed duo of Kyle Hart and Will Coursen-Carr.
DeNato was superb for the Hoosiers in 2013, especially when it mattered most as the then-junior southpaw was dominant in postseason play for an Indiana team that was able to break through for their first CWS appearance in school history.
Expect the Hoosiers to carry over much of the momentum that helped them steamroll over Florida State and into Omaha going forward, as they are determined to advance to their second straight CWS appearance and bring home the national title for the first time in school history.