Familiar faces watch Colby Stratten debut as a Hoosier #iubase

As her son made his first career start during last Friday’s game against Rutgers, Kris Stratten felt too nervous to sit still.

So she walked down the first base concourse at Bart Kaufman Field and stood near the foul pole to watch her son, Colby, take his place at second base as a member of Indiana’s starting lineup.

That left her husband, Gary, and her daughter, Kaity, in the stands with each other. Kaity made the trip home from Wisconsin to watch Indiana’s weekend series with the Scarlet Knights and was surprised to see her brother in the lineup, while Gary just sat there in silence, twitching as he watched his son in the field.

“I’m glad I (gave him something to twitch about),” Colby said.

The former Bloomington North star came through in his first weekend as a starter at Indiana, collecting four hits in 10 at-bats and driving in two runs in Saturday’s win. To play at home for the local crowd was a point of pride for Stratten, who committed to IU two years ago as The Herald-Times All-Area Player of the Year.

To be able to deliver at the plate in an Indiana uniform was even better.

“It’s pretty amazing,” Stratten said. “I definitely thought about it back then, but just doing it now is a whole other thing.”

Stratten redshirted last season, and has appeared in seven games this spring, recording six hits, including a double and a triple in 14 at-bats.

At second base, he’s familiar with the Bart Kaufman Field turf from playing at the stadium during the 2013 North-South game. Now he gets to share the facility with former crosstown rival Jake Kelzer, a right-hander who has emerged as Indiana’s Saturday starter this season.

“It’s been awesome,” Kelzer said. “Colby is a great teammate, a great player, and just to see him get these ABs and make plays in the infield is just awesome, considering we grew up together. We’re out there making plays and it’s fun.”

One comment

  1. Seems as if Thon Maker has it down to Indiana and UK. Can you fill us in? This could be the difference in a final 4 run or not next year.

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