Leininger's Mastery Continues in 10-3 Win
March 20, 2010
LAKE WALES, Fla. - Drew Leininger upped his scoreless innings streak to 26 with six brilliant frames in a 10-3 victory over Akron (10-8) on Saturday. The win was Indiana's fourth in a row as the Hoosiers moved to .500 (9-9) with the win. Six different players had multi-hit games, and Michael Basil knocked in three runs in the victory.
Leininger surrendered just three hits and one walk over six innings, striking out four. The Poway, Calif., native threw just 70 pitches, but came out of the game early for precautionary measures after tweaking his leg in the fourth. The injury is not expected to affect the sophomore's next start. He lowered his league-leading ERA to 0.79 in improving to 3-0 this season. He has not surrendered a run since the second inning of the West Virginia game on Feb. 26.
Basil had two hits in the game, as did Sterling Mack, Jerrud Sabourin, Alex Dickerson, Dylan Swift and Tyler Rogers. Dickerson and Rogers scored two runs apiece in the win. Matt Igel struggled in 2/3 of an inning out of the pen, but he was picked up by Mike McKinley, who did not allow a hit or a walk and struck out three in his 2 1/3 innings of work. Andrew Brown fell to 3-2 for the Zips after allowing six hits in five innings.
The game was scoreless until the third, when the Hoosiers plated a run on a hit and an error. After Rogers led off the frame with a single, Justin Cureton reached on a fielder's choice when his sac bunt attempt went to pitcher. Two batters later, Mack ripped a single to left center, and it was mishandled by the center fielder to allow Cureton to score and make it 1-0.
IU upped its lead to 4-0 in the fourth, knocking around Brown to the tune of four hits. Dickerson led off with an opposite-field double, and two batters later Basil singled to move him to third. Swift drove Dickerson home with a single to right center, but was erased when Rogers bounced into a fielder's choice to third. With runners at the corners, Cureton knocked a single through the left side to plate one run and a second run came home on an error by the second baseman to push the advantage to four.
In the sixth Indiana was able to extend its lead to 6-0 on a two-run error off the bat of Cureton. His grounder to first was mishandled by the first baseman, and his throw then glanced off the pitcher's glove to score both Rogers and Swift. IU made it 7-0 in the seventh on singles by Mack and Sabourin and a sac fly from Dickerson. Sabourin (11) and Dickerson (12) each extended their hitting streaks in the win.
With Leininger out of the game, the Zips scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh off Igel, all of them coming around with two out. Two of the runs were unearned after a Johnson error. But McKinley pitched out of the jam with a groundout to end the inning, and followed by allowing just a single base runner in the eighth and ninth to preserve the victory. IU plated three insurance runs in the top of the ninth, all coming on a bases-loaded single to right center by Basil, as Brian Lambert wheeled all the way around from first to score.
IU concluded its Spring Trip with a 5-2 record by winning its final four games in Florida. The Hoosiers will return to the Midwest for a Tuesday afternoon game at Morehead State in Morehead, Ky., at 3 p.m. IU will then return to Sembower Field on Wednesday for the 2010 home opener against Xavier at 3:05. Live audio and statistics for all games will be available on IUHoosiers.com.
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