CWS Primer: Indiana
Omaha History: First CWS appearance
Overview: Indiana is the only newbie to the CWS this season, but don’t expect the Hoosiers to be intimidated. They just walked into perennial power Florida State’s house and smacked them all over the diamond. They smacked them in the very literal sense. Indiana uses their bats to succeed. They smacked 53 home runs this season while batting .306 as a team. The Hoosiers also ranked ninth in the nation in doubles, and their 428 runs on the year was good enough for 15th. However, it’s not all offense for Indiana. They also feature a deep pitching staff that produced a team ERA of just 2.67. The Hoosiers can hit and pitch with anyone which makes them as dangerous as any team in this field.
Road To Omaha: Indiana sure didn’t look like a team that’s never been to the CWS as they steamrolled through the postseason without losing a game. Only two of the five games they played were still close in the late innings.
Players To Watch:
Kyle Schwarber: The first half of the bash brothers ranked third in the country in home runs. He cracked 18 long balls this year while racking up .376 average and 54 RBIs. Few hitters in the country feature Scwarber’s raw power tool. And even fewer hitters combine that power with an ability to hit almost anything in the strike zone.
Sam Travis: The other half of the bash brothers smashed 10 home runs this season. He also hit .313 and drove in 56 runs. Travis hit for a solid average, but he’s more of a pure power threat than Schwarber. When Travis connects is going somewhere fast. Even if it’s not a home run its likely still hit extremely hard.
Take The Title If…: If Indiana wants to be the rare team that wins the CWS in their first appearance they will need to be clicking on all cylinders on offense. If some of their home run power translates to the bigger TD Ameritrade Park and they can limit their errors then there’s no reason the Hoosiers can’t win it all.
A Quick Trip If…: If the Hoosiers’ defensive deficiencies rear their ugly head and TD Ameritrade saps their power then they could easily be two and done. Indiana is the worst defensive team in the tournament. They rank 159th in the nation in fielding percentage, and they committed 88 errors.
Why Should Omaha Cheer For Them?: Because it would be rude not to cheer for them. Omaha always pulls for the underdog and the Hoosiers fill that role this year. This is their first ever appearance in the CWS. They are the first Big Ten team to reach here since 1984. And they’re trying to become the first northern climate team to win it all since Ohio State in 1966. Plus, they are conference mates of Nebraska.