Hoosier Bats Explode in 17-8 Triumph
March 24, 2010
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The Indiana baseball team set season highs in runs (17), hits (22) and home runs (six) in a 17-8 victory over Xavier on Wednesday in IU's home opener. Jerrud Sabourin hit two longballs and tied the school record with five hits, while Michael Earley had a pair of homers and four hits on the day for the Hoosiers (10-10).
Alex Dickerson (9) and Micah Johnson (7) each went deep as well for IU to maintain their hold on the top two spots in the conference in homers. Sabourin also set career highs with four RBI and five runs scored. He is the first Hoosier to post five hits since Brian Lambert had five against Western Illinois last year. Earley also set career highs with his four hits, two homers and four RBI, and both Earley and Sabourin notched a double in addition to their two big flies to finish with three extra-base hits.
Johnson, Lambert, Dickerson, Michael Basil, Blake Monar and Dylan Swift each had two hits as well in the victory, with Monar driving in a career-high three runs and Lambert scoring three for the second time this year. Jonny Hoffman collected the win in relief, going 4 2/3 innings and surrendering just six hits in the victory. It marked his first victory in an IU uniform. Markus Kuykendoll picked up the loss for Xavier to fall to 0-3.
IU wasted no time showing its offensive muscle, as the Hoosiers ripped a pair of solo shots in the first. Johnson drove one over the left-field wall in his first career at-bat at Sembower Field, and Sabourin followed with an opposite-field shot two batters later to make it 2-0. After Xavier scored twice in the top of the third, Sabourin delivered his second bomb, this one a towering shot over the scoreboard in right to make it 3-2.
IU broke the game open with two more longballs in the fourth, a solo shot by Earley to start the inning and a three-run bomb by Dickerson to give the Hoosiers a 7-2 lead. In the fifth, Earley again led off with a solo shot, this one a rocket that easily cleared the wall in left center for a 400-plus foot homer. The Hoosiers then rallied with two down, as Lambert singled to short to get things going. Then, on a 1-2 pitch, Lambert was sent in motion and Sabourin singled through the right side. The speedy Lambert motored all the way around from first to score IU's ninth run of the day. It is the second time this year that Lambert has scored from first on a single.
The Musketeers rallied for two runs in both the sixth and the seventh, but IU put the game out of reach with a five-run bottom of the seventh and then added three more in the eighth to blow the game open. Xavier scored a pair of runs in the eighth, but it was not enough in the 17-8 IU victory. Monar was the highlight of the final two innings, as he pinch-hit with two down in the seventh and roped a 1-2 pitch into right center for a two-run single and then added an RBI base hit up the middle in the eighth. The lefty, who came to Indiana as a pitcher, is now 3-for-9 at the plate on the season.
Sabourin upped his league-leading total to 42 hits, and he is just one hit shy of entering Indiana's top 10 in career hits (215). He is now hitting .452 on the season to place him among the league leaders as well. Dickerson pushed his league-leading RBI total to 30 on the year, while Johnson (22) and Sabourin (21) are also among the Big Ten's best in the category. Dickerson is also tops in the league with his .814 slugging percentage.
Indiana will return to Sembower Field this weekend to take on St. Francis (Friday, 3:05 p.m.) and Taylor (Saturday, 1 p.m.). Admission is free for all IU baseball home games. Live audio and statistics for all games are also available on IUHoosiers.com.
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