VIDEO: Off the court with IU Volleyball

Middle Blocker Jazzmine McDonald talks about volunteering at the Meadowood Retirement Community.


Bell’s big Senior Day propels IU to series win over Illinois #iubase

While eight of Indiana’s nine seniors and their families gathered in a semicircle behind home plate for Sunday’s pregame Senior Day ceremony, the ninth toed the rubber in the bullpen, tuning out the plaudits and the cheers.

The catcher’s mitt and the opportunity before him were Evan Bell’s only concerns before the game, which stood as another precious opportunity for the tall right-hander to shut the door on another successful weekend for Indiana.

Bell’s parents, Marvin and Susan, represented him near home plate during the festivities, holding his framed No. 8 Indiana jersey while an announced crowd of 2,519 applauded his four-year college career. Out in the left field the bullpen, Bell kept throwing, laying the foundation for his most important start of the season.

Bell went the distance in IU’s 4-1 win over Illinois at Bart Kaufman Field, allowing only three hits and authoring an impressive complete-game performance that keeps the Hoosiers within striking distance of the Big Ten regular season title.

Minnesota also claimed a victory over Purdue on Sunday, allowing the Gophers to hold a half-game lead over the Hoosiers for first place atop the conference table. But Indiana (31-18, 15-6) is comfortable with its standing entering the final week of the regular season. The Hoosiers have now posted six consecutive series victories and position themselves nicely for next weekend’s final trip to Nebraska.

Perhaps for the first time this season, IU can boast of a more complete three-man weekend rotation. Kyle Hart remains the Friday night pillar and Caleb Baragar presents a steady Saturday presence. But it’s Bell’s recent emergence as a consistent series-ending option that makes the Hoosiers a threat to go down to the wire with — at the very least — a puncher’s chance. (more…)


Baragar deals IU a 3-1 win over Illinois #iubase

Caleb Baragar needed this.

It had been a month since the left-hander last looked the part as one of the Big Ten’s better arms. Betrayed by his off-speed pitches, his feel and command, the last four weeks have functioned as an exercise in baseball problem solving.

But the Baragar of old returned on a windy and chilly Saturday afternoon at Bart Kaufman Field, where an announced crowd of 2,398 watched the senior deal the Hoosiers an important 3-1 win over Illinois and even the weekend series at a game apiece.

The victory keeps Indiana (30-18, 14-6) a half-game out of first place in the Big Ten standings after Minnesota charged from behind to beat Purdue in West Lafayette. From a big-picture perspective, this was certainly a response IU needed after it settled for an extra-inning loss despite Kyle Hart’s outstanding start in the series opener. Less than a day later, Baragar matched Hart’s will, while rediscovering his own set of complementary pitches to earn his first win since April 16.

“I just had some rough outings and I hadn’t been able to really find my off-speed stuff,” Baragar said. “I just wasn’t really trusting it as much. I worked on it a lot in the bullpen — like, a lot. I think I threw it more than I threw my fastball. It was just kind of getting comfortable with it and knowing that I have another pitch to throw for a strike. I threw a few good changeups today, too, which really helped me in some big situations.” (more…)


VIDEO: Sights and Sounds: Indiana vs. Illinois

IU Pitcher Kyle Hart’s night against Illinois in two minutes


Illinois wins extra-inning pitching duel, 2-1 #iubase

It was a good swing, one that may have plated the two runs Indiana needed had it been directed almost anywhere else.

Instead, the ball left Brian Wilhite’s bat on a line to Illinois centerfielder Doran Turchin, who took a dozen steps toward the warning track and made the routine catch that sealed the 2-1 win for the Illini in the bottom of the 11th Friday.

Although the Hoosiers have made a habit of punching back and winning one-run games during their late-season surge, that streak of opportunism was not found on Friday. In a brilliant pitching duel between IU senior left-hander Kyle Hart and Illinois’ hard-throwing top prospect Cody Sedlock, it was the Hoosiers (29-18, 13-6) who walked off the field wondering what could have been.

“It was a great college baseball game on both sides,” IU coach Chris Lemonis said. “… It was just two great college pitchers in a great environment. It was a great game.”

It was also a game the Hoosiers hope they won’t regret come Sunday evening. The loss knocks IU a half-game out of first place with five games remaining in the conference.

An announced crowd of 2,918 watched Hart and Sedlock go pitch-for-pitch, blow-for-blow in a showdown between two of the Big Ten’s top pitchers. Hart struck out nine batters — finishing one shy of his season high — over eight innings, while walking only one. He scattered four hits, while throwing 75 of his 112 pitches for strikes. (more…)


Barry King resigns as IU water polo coach

Indiana University announced Friday the resignation of water polo coach Barry King, who led the school’s program since it became a varsity sport in 1998.

During 17 of King’s 19 seasons at Indiana, the Hoosiers won 20 games or more. He leaves the school with a career record of 426-225-2.

In a resignation letter dated Thursday, King says his last day of employment at IU will be June 30. King did not immediately return a phone message left by The Herald-Times.

“What started as a three-year experiment became a 19-year odyssey,” King wrote in the letter, released by Indiana. “We are proud of the level of competitiveness the program has sustained through the years. We wish the student-athletes and new staff continued success. My family and I are looking forward to our new opportunities.”

King coached Indiana’s club water polo team for three years before it bumped up to varsity status in 1998 as part of a Title IX push for gender equity. During his run as coach, King led the Hoosiers to six appearances in the national championships, including a trip to the Final Four in 2003. IU also achieved a seventh place finish in 2014, one of the most successful years in the program’s relatively brief history.

IU won a school-record 12 consecutive games entering the first round of the 2014 NCAA Tournament before dropping its opener to top-seeded Stanford.

Indiana went 23-12 in 2015, falling a single goal shy of securing a back-to-back Collegiate Water Polo Association championship and a second straight berth in the NCAA Tournament.

The 2016 season ended on May 1 when IU lost to Michigan in the CWPA championship game, leaving the Hoosiers with a 23-7 record.

Assistant coach Meaghan Poland will assume coaching duties until a replacement for King is found. Associate athletic director Eric Neuburger will help oversee the transition.


Hoosier Morning: Weekly Roundup

Junior college transfers Tony Butler and Alex Krupa have helped spark the lineup for IU baseball, Mike writes.

Taylor Uden and CaraMia Tsirigos each homered and drove in two runs to lead IU softball to victory in the Big Ten Tournament opener, we reported.

The softball Hoosiers entered the tourney with some momentum from a late-season surge, Mike wrote.

IU baseball entered this week with work to do to make the NCAA Tournament despite leading the Big Ten, Mike wrote.

Indiana’s Troy Williams measured up at the start of the NBA Combine, Pete DiPrimio of the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel writes.

Troy Williams hope NBA teams see him living up to his potential and calls his decision 50-50 at the combine, Nathan Baird of the Lafayette Journal & Courier writes.

Williams is undecided but said he’s not above working his way up from the D-League, Alex Bozich of Inside the Hall writes.

ESPN analyst Fran Fraschilla says Williams may be more successful in the open court of the NBA game, Rick Bozich of writes.

A Q-ad-A with Christian Watford on his brother, his pro career and health, Alex Bozich of Inside the Hall writes.

Tom Crean talked about what the 2016-17 Hoosiers might look like, including Tim Priller, last weekend in Warsaw, Anthony Anderson of the Elkhart Truth writes.

The return of Thomas Bryant is the fuel for future IU basketball success, Eamonn Brennan of writes.

A Q-and-A with IU running backs coach Deland McCullough on what the Bears are getting in Jordan Howard, Rich Campbell writes for the Chicago Tribune.

IU football coach Kevin Wilson was inducted into the Catawba County Sports Hall of Fame earlier this week, reports.

A song for the NBA Draft Combine and Troy Williams — “Some Might Say” by Oasis.



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