With less than six weeks until the college baseball season begins, Indiana University released news that may set back the Hoosiers chances of winning the Big Ten.
Collegiate Baseball Newspaper’s preseason Big Ten favorite, Indiana announced Sunday evening senior right-handed pitcher Jonny Hoffman was removed from its roster due to an unspecified violations of team rules. Hoffman was named CBN’s preseason Big Ten Pitcher of the Year following a 2012 season in which he garnered First-team All-Big Ten honors.
Selected as the Big Ten’s top relief pitcher, the Oceanside, Calif., submariner went 8-2 with five saves, both the win and save total are tied for the ninth-most in a single season in program history, and a team-best 2.27 ERA. Working solely in relief, in 63.1 innings over 29 outings, Hoffman yielded 57 hits, walked 17 batters, struck out 35 and posted a .243 opponents average.
After not being selected to finish among the top six teams in the Big Ten coaches preseason poll, Hoffman’s performance in Big Ten competition played a significant role in the Hoosier finishing an unexpected second. In Big Ten play, Hoffman went 6-0 with a 1.08 ERA, three saves and .208 opponent’s average. Hoffman was a workhorse out of the bullpen for coach Tracy Smith as he earned two same-day four-inning saves in a doubleheader against Nebraska, pitched in all three games against Penn State, pitched a combined nine innings over four games, to back-to-back outings in season-ending series against Northwestern and Ohio State.
Hoffman capped his 2012 season with 10.1 innings of work, appearing in all four Big Ten Tournament games for Indiana, allowing two earned runs as he was named to the All-Tournament team. In three seasons Hoffman pitched 130 innings with a 5.19 ERA.
Indiana opens the 2013 season on Feb. 15 against Louisville in Dunedin, Fla.