Stadler will start for IU vs. Nebraska

Sullivan Stadler will get the start for Indiana Sunday in the Big Ten title game against Nebraska in what is expected to be a partisan Cornhuskers crowd. Hear what IU skipper Tracy Smith had to say about playing in that environment.

With three wins in the books, top-seed Indiana will play for its second consecutive Big Ten baseball title today at Td Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb.

Indiana (41-13) squares off with No. 2 seed Nebraska (40-18) today at 2 p.m. ET for the automatic qualification spot in the NCAA Tournament which begins at the Regional round later this week.

From that standpoint, there is little suspense. Both teams are expected to advance to the NCAA Tournament as both are ranked in the top 25. Indiana is still chasing a top eight national seed though, an honor that would position the Hoosiers to host not only a Regional but a Super Regional if IU could win in the first round.

And the Hoosiers will play what will amount to a road game today as Nebraska is expected to have more than 10,000 fans in attendance. Indiana was 11-1 on the road in Big Ten play this season.

IU coach Tracy Smith said his team is looking forward to it. And he thinks the experience will be good for his team moving forward, too.

"I'll say this, I want to thank the Nebraska fans for their enthusiasm for this tournament because it has made the experience for our kids,'' Smith said. "Our guys have been saying they hope we make it to the championship game because they want to play in front of that crowd. Our guys are looking forward to it. I'll leave it at that.

"We've played in more hostile situations than this. But these are very educated fans. They're great baseball fans. They're the model for a lot of baseball programs.''

In a bit of a surprise move, Smith said that mid-week starter Sullivan Stadler will be on the hill for the Hoosiers against the Huskers. Third starter Brian Korte is still available but Smith is trying to let him get additional rest and hopes to not have him pitch in this tournament.

Stadler is 2-1 with a 3.29 ERA this season.

This is the first meeting this season between Indiana and Nebraska.

Indiana starting pitchers have made 50 consecutive starts without allow more than three runs.


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