Joining Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball, College Baseball Insider and Perfect Game, the Indiana Hoosiers have been selected the Big Ten’s preseason favorite by the conference’s coaches, the Big Ten announced.
Looking to claim its first conference championship since 1949, Indiana went 32-28 in 2012, 16-8 in Big Ten play to finish one game behind champion Purdue. Coach Tracy Smith welcomes back 2012 Big Ten Freshman of the Year, first baseman Sam Travis to anchor the lineup, as well as two-time all-conference selection junior left-handed pitcher Joey DeNato as the team’s ace. In total, IU returns seven position starters and two weekend starters.
Following the Hoosiers in the top-six preseason poll are: Nebraska (35-23, 14-10), Michigan State (37-23, 13-11), Ohio State (33-27, 11-13), Minnesota (29-27, 11-13) and Illinois (28-25, 11-13).
The top six placers in the Big Ten will compete for the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, May 23-27 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Along with the six teams, the Big Ten provides three players per team deemed “Players to watch” for the 2013 season.
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