Indiana hopes to find its stride at the right time and return to the postseason in 2017 (Eric Sorenson)

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Fall Report: Indiana

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Every now and then, a program unexpectedly makes a huge splash on the national scene, riding a special group of veteran players to a super regional or Omaha, then fading back into the pack just as quickly. It’s one thing to catch lightning in a bottle; it’s another thing to sustain consistent success. In the case of Indiana, which made just its third regional in program history in 2013 on the way to the College World Series and then followed it up with a national seed the following year, the question was this: What would the Hoosiers do without Kyle Schwarber and Sam Travis and Joey DeNato and Dustin DeMuth — and coach Tracy Smith, who left for Arizona State after that 2014 season?

So far, coach Chris Lemonis has shown that Indiana can keep on winning without that special core. The Hoosiers made it back to regionals for a third straight year in 2015, and they nearly made it four in a row last year before getting cold in the final two weeks, losing six of their last seven games. Even so, they finished 15-9 in the Big Ten, tied for third place, just outside NCAA tournament position.

It looks like the Hoosiers are built to get back to regionals in 2017 thanks to a veteran, talented core of position players — but much depends on how well the overhauled pitching staff performs.


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