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"We will keep getting good recruits and we have some young promising players in the program like Ashley, Barr, Sommer Etc but at some point these type of players have to develop."

I wanted to start with this quote I wrote just after Regional's last year and was frustrated with Lemonis' player development. It is important because these guys have clearly taken a huge step forward this year along with Lloyd taking another step and even Saalfrank vastly improving. This is the kind of player development we NEVER saw under Lemonis for any guy not named "Gorski". If these guys keep taking steps forward each year the program is in a much better place with Mercer than with Lemonis. The fielding is an issue and gotten worse but I'll trade the superior player development and clutch hitting we have seen under Mercer that never occurred under Lemonis as these 2 things set us up for much better long term success. Seeing this development of the current players and bringing in a Grant Richardson has me much more optimistic for future when we lose Lloyd, Fineman, Milto and most likely Gorski and have the next crew of good players moving forward since we have actually developed our young players this year like Lemonis never did.

As for Ball State themselves we have dominated them last few years but every game has gone to wire. Having Sommer back now to start on weekdays is a game changer and gives us 4 starters who are excellent. This will also help in Regional's. Cardinals have a good record but a horrid RPI so hopefully having Sommer will be difference. In terms of hosting Regional's it is in play but computer models need us to go about 15-4 or 16-3 down stretch and win Big Ten. Not impossible but a tall task. The prospects for making tourney at all are really strong though and just need a 9-10 finish which I would hope is a given.

Looks like really nice weather and I will write updates throughout like usual while watching on BTN2go.      

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Also another huge difference is back to the normal announcers tonight and that is also a game changer for my ears as they know what they are talking about and not making constant mistakes;)

In first Bradley 2 run RBI triple into right field gap and scores on wild pitch, Barr HR into RF bullpen chasing BSU starter after 1/3 of inning.  

IU leads 4-0 after 1!

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Justin Walker dumps an 0-2 pitch into right field for single and everyone goes station to station after ground out forcing out run at home when Dunham batted. Its now 6-2 1 out bases still loaded and BSU makes another pitching change. 

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Sommer done after 6 really strong innings. Litwicki comes in and easily works through 7th and we stretch.

As I said this is a game changer with Sommer and for the first time since the college world series team we have 4 legit pitchers who can start which is huge. Its obviously not quite the 2013 staff that featured 3 Friday night aces in Hart, Denato and Sledgers and a solid Will Coursen Carr for weekdays before his career went up in smoke after at IU. With that said we have 4 really good starters who fit their roles perfectly now. 

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One note: I wondered if something was wrong with Houston but he comes in to replace Walker so it appears Walker has just past Houston on depth chart. To me it doesn't matter as both show flashes on defense but make occasional errors and hit around .200. Either way we need an upgrade at that position eventually as I don't love either.

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Richardson just made a sick diving catch on the foul line in deep right field laying out. BSU guy tags up all the way from 2nd to make it 13-3 but in a blowout that was worth it. One of the better catches I have seen and we move to Bottom 8. That belongs at no.1 on SportCenter's top 10. 

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