Leininger Stymies Golden Flashes in 3-0 Victory
March 6, 2010
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Drew Leininger pitched 7 2/3 brilliant innings and Chris Squires struck out all four hitters he faced as the Indiana baseball team tallied a 3-0 victory over Kent State (4-5) on Saturday at the Music City Classic. Jerrud Sabourin had three hits, including a decisive two-run double, to lead the Hoosiers (4-5) offensively.
Leininger surrendered just five hits - only one for extra bases - and three walks, striking out a career-high eight men en route to his first victory of the season. He did not allow a runner past second base all game, and helped himself with a pair of pickoffs. The Poway, Calif., native lowered his team-leading ERA to 1.42 on the season. It is Indiana's first shutout as a team since March 14, 2008, a 7-0 victory over Portland.
Squires came on with two on and two out in the eighth, and surrendered a walk to the first man he faced. But the senior rebounded to strike out Jordan Lucas with the bases loaded and proceeded to strike out the side in the ninth for his second save in as many days. He now has 14 saves in his career, one shy of the IU record, set by Chris Wilson (1997-00). In addition to Sabourin's three hits, Michael Earley went 3-for-4 with an RBI double and Micah Johnson had a 2-for-5 day.
The southpaw held KSU without a hit through the first two innings, and in the top of the third, the Hoosiers strung three hits together to take a 3-0 lead they would not relinquish. Johnson started things with a one-out single and Brian Lambert walked on four pitches to put two on with one down. Sabourin then crushed a ball off the base of the wall for a two-run double to make it 2-0. After an Alex Dickerson popout, Earley ripped a double to left center to plate Sabourin and give Leininger all the help he would need.
In the third, the Golden Flashes got their first hit off Leininger with two down, but the lefty rebounded to strike out leadoff hitter Jared Humphries to end the frame. KSU got two men on in the fourth with one down, but the southpaw rose to the occasion again, striking out Jason Bagoly and Ben Klafczynski in succession to end the fourth. In the fifth, Kent State once again got the leadoff man on base, but two groundouts and a flyout ended the frame.
Leininger faced the minimum in the sixth, and then in the seventh KSU got its lone extra-base hit in the contest, lacing a double down the left-field line with two down. This time, Leininger punched out Brett Weibley to end the inning. In the eighth KSU got a walk and a hit off Leininger, who struck out the last man he faced, Travis Shaw, before giving way to Squires. His 7 2/3 innings of work was also a career best.
Indiana will finish off the Music City Classic on Sunday with a game against host Vanderbilt. The 25th-ranked Commodores faced Illinois State on Saturday evening. Game time on Sunday is slated for 4 p.m. CT/5 p.m. ET at Vandy's Hawkins Field. Live stats and audio will be available at IUHoosiers.com.
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