Feb. 26, 2010
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Trailing 6-1 in the second inning, the Indiana baseball team rallied for nine straight runs and stranded the bases loaded in the ninth inning to post a 10-8 win over West Virginia (0-4). Jerrud Sabourin had four hits for the Hoosiers (2-3) and Brian Lambert scored three runs and had a pair of brilliant defensive plays in center field to lead IU to the victory.
Lambert, Sterling Mack and Tyler Rogers each posted two hits for Indiana, while Alex Dickerson had a pair of RBI. Mike McKinley pitched 2 1/3 innings of perfect relief to collect the win and improve to 1-0 for IU. Closer Chris Squires pitched the ninth to finish off the victory for the Hoosiers.
After West Virginia scored four runs before the Hoosiers had an out in the first inning, starter Drew Leininger settled in on the mound and quieted the Mountaineer bats for the rest of the game. WVU scored a pair of unearned runs on one hit in the second, but Leininger did not allow another hit until the sixth.
Meanwhile, the Hoosier bats and gloves awakened in the third inning. Lambert set the tone with his first diving catch of the game to finish off the top of the third, and in the bottom half IU plated four runs on four hits to trim the deficit to 6-5. Lambert led off with a triple to right center and Micah Johnson followed with an RBI infield single to make it 6-2. Sabourin followed with a single that sent Johnson to third to bring up Dickerson.
The big lefty bounced a ball to second base to score Johnson, and Brady Wilson swiped at Sabourin and threw to first for what was initially called a double play. After the first signal, however, the umpires conferenced and determined that Wilson's tag never touched Sabourin, and he was reinstated to second base with one down. After a wild pitch and a walk left runners at the corners, Mack delivered a slicing single down the left-field line to plate Sabourin and make it 6-4. A second wild pitch from starter Jarryd Summers brought Lyon home and the Hoosiers found themselves just a run behind.
The score stayed that way until the sixth. In the top of the frame, WVU got two on and two out for leading hitter Jedd Gyorko. The righty sliced a liner to left center, but Lambert came through with a brilliant diving stab to keep it a one-run ballgame.
Then in the bottom of the frame, IU took the lead for good by plating three runs off of reliever Andy Altemus. Mack drew a leadoff walk and stole second, then back-to-back infield singles by Jerry Kleman and Lambert scored Mack and made it 6-6. A Johnson groundout put both runners in scoring position, and Sabourin came through with a single to center field to plate two runs and give Indiana an 8-6 edge.
McKinley mowed down the side in order in both the seventh and the eighth, and the Hoosiers scored two insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth. With two down, Sabourin started the rally with a single through the left side and then came home when Dickerson smashed a liner off the wall to plate the junior and make it 9-6. Josh Lyon added a second run by slipping a single through the right side that gave Indiana a four-run edge.
Squires made it interesting in the ninth, allowing two runs and having the bases loaded with nobody out and IU holding on to a 10-8 lead. But the Fort Wayne native struck out the next two hitters and induced a groundout to end the game and strand the bases loaded in the ninth. IU improved to 3-1 all-time in the Big Ten/BIG EAST Challenge with the victory.
The Hoosiers return to action on Saturday at 10 a.m. for a matchup with Villanova. Walker Stadler (1-0, 4.50) is slated for Indiana for the game which will be played at Bright House Field. Live audio and statistics will be available on IUHoosiers.com, and a live video webcast can be found at CollegeBaseball360.com