COLLEGE BASEBALL

Indiana's Sujka adjusts to platoon role

2013-06-07T18:00:00Z 2014-08-13T20:36:13Z Indiana's Sujka adjusts to platoon roleMike Nieto mike.nieto@nwi.com, (219) 933-3232 nwitimes.com
June 07, 2013 6:00 pm  • 

It has been a great year for Chris Sujka and the Indiana baseball team.

The Hoosiers won the Big Ten regular-season title and won the Big Ten conference tournament. Then the Hoosiers won their own regional to advance to the super regionals for the first time in program history.

Indiana (46-14) will face host Florida State (47-15) at 11 a.m. today in the best-of-three Tallahassee Regional at Dick Howser Stadium.

"We knew the Big Ten wouldn't be easy," Sujka said last week. "We just really played together and never gave up. One of our goals was to win the Big Ten regular season and the tourney, and get to the NCAAs."

The Mount Carmel grad and the 2011 Times Illinois Male Athlete of the Year and 2010 football  Offensive Player of the Year has been platooned in left field, batting against left-handed pitchers. He said the role was not hard to adjust to.

"Your job is to be ready whenever Coach (Tracy Smith) tells you to," Sujka said. "This is the way that helps our club. When you can platoon, that just makes things better for the team."

Sujka is batting .296 with eight stolen bases in 10 attempts. He has not committed an error. Smith said Sujka has been a plus.

"Chris has really worked out well in the lead-off spot," Smith said. "We look at him as a starter and Chris has adjusted well to his role."

Sujka said being a platoon player has kept him more alert in games.

"You never know when you are going in, a pitching change and you may have to hit," Sujka said. "I watch the game because you try to see what is going on and pick up trends. Even if I don't get in, I might see something that can help my teammates."

 

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