Leininger, Hoosiers Blow By Ball State, 10-2
March 23, 2011
MUNCIE, Ind. - Behind the strength of seven scoreless innings for Drew Leininger and 16 hits by the Hoosier line-up, the Indiana baseball team (13-7) improved to 6-0 in road competition with a 10-2 triumph at Ball State (2-17). Leininger allowed just three hits, three walks while striking out three in his seven frames of shutout baseball.
Everyone was getting into the action offensively as six different Hoosiers posted multi-hit days, including a four-knock performance by Dustin DeMuth. The Hoosier lead-off hitter was responsible for five runs, driving in two and crossing home himself three times. Alex Dickerson, the reigning Big Ten Player of the Week, kept his red-hot pace by driving in three runs and reaching base four times (two hits, two walks).
Leininger picked off a runner in the sixth inning, the team's Big Ten-leading 16th pick off of the season. The next closest conference pitching staff has picked off five runners while Indiana's Joey DeNato has nabbed five runners himself alone.
Picture perfect `small ball' netted Indiana's first run in the opening inning. IU converted two singles into a run. DeMuth got it started with a hot shot up the middle for the single. T.C. Knipp then moved him to second with a sacrifice bunt before Dickerson stroked another pitch back up the middle to bring DeMuth around from second.
Ball State assisted the Hoosiers garnering the next two runs in the second stanza. Justin Cureton singled through the left side of the infield, followed by a double for DeMuth. With a pair of Hoosiers in scoring position, BSU recorded a balk and wild pitch to escort Cureton and DeMuth across the dish for the 3-0 IU advantage. It nearly got worse for the Cardinals when Josh Lyon blitzed a ball deep into center field with two runners on. Ball State's Cody Elliott made a spectacular over-the-shoulder, falling-down catch at the base of the wall, however, to limit the damage and earn the final out of the inning.
Indiana blew the door wide open in the eighth, scoring five runs on five hits to go ahead, 8-0. The Cardinals lit the scoreboard in the bottom half of the inning, squeezing a run past the dish. Reliver Eric Kartman quickly closed the door though, inducing a ground ball with the bases jammed full of Cardinals for the third out of the frame.
The Hoosiers tacked on two more tallies in the ninth, increasing their lead to 10-1. Ball State mirrored their eighth, scoring a run and loading the bases before recording the final out.
A three-game set with the University of Evansville awaits IU this weekend. First is a Saturday doubleheader in Evansville before returning to Bloomington for the 2011 home opener, also against the Purple Aces.
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