Hoosiers Suffer Heartbreaking Loss to No. 8 Louisville
March 30, 2010
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Andrew Clark hit a two-run homer with two outs in the ninth as No. 8 Louisville delivered the Indiana baseball team a heartbreaking 5-4 loss on Tuesday at Sembower Field. Alex Dickerson and Jerrud Sabourin each had two hits in the contest for the Hoosiers (12-11). Louisville improved to 21-3 with the victory.
Clark hit a 1-1 pitch just over the outstretched glove of Michael Earley in right field and over the fence for his third home run of the season. The longball came off Drew Leininger, who saw his scoreless innings streak snapped at 28 2/3 with the homer. Leininger allowed just two hits - the homer and a preceding infield single - in his first three innings since suffering a leg injury on March 20. The sophomore lefty still sits atop the Big Ten with his 1.22 ERA.
Sabourin drove in a pair of runs for the Hoosiers, as Brian Lambert twice came home thanks to the first baseman's bat. Dickerson extended his hitting streak to 17 games and delivered his 10th straight game with more than one base hit.
The Hoosier bullpen had a strong day, as the trio of Jerry Kleman, Casey Smith and Leininger combined to allow just five hits over 5 2/3 innings. Kleman tossed two innings of shutout ball, while Smith threw 2/3 of an inning without allowing a baserunner. Neil Holland picked up the win for Louisville to improve to 4-0. The sidearming righty struck out two in 1 2/3 innings of work.
With the score tied 3-3 entering the bottom of the eighth, Sabourin and Dickerson each got base hits off lefty Bob Revesz with one down. Holland then came on and got an infield fly off the bat of pinch hitter Sterling Mack to bring Josh Lyon to the plate with two away. Lyon bounced a ball to first, but Clark mishandled it and Sabourin raced all the way around from second to put IU up 4-3 heading into the ninth.
Early on, the game hardly looked like a pitcher's duel, as Louisville got two runs in the top of the first and Indiana responded with a pair in the bottom. The Hoosiers struck quickly to erase the 2-0 deficit, as Micah Johnson led off the game with a single and Lambert blasted a line-drive double off the left-field wall to make it 2-1. Lambert advanced to third on an errant throw and then came home on a Sabourin sac fly to tie the score.
Louisville got a run back on a solo home run by Ryan Wright in the third, but Indiana again countered in the bottom half. Lambert reached on a leadoff walk and then went to third on a pickoff move that sailed over the fence. He trotted home on Sabourin's single through the right side that knotted the score 3-3.
From there on, the Hoosier bullpen took the reins. Starter Matt Igel left after surrendering a pair of singles with one out in the fourth, and then Kleman gave up a single of his own to load the bases. But the shortstop-turned-pitcher recovered, getting an infield fly and a groundout to first to end the inning.
In the sixth, Kleman gave up consecutive singles with one away, and this time it was Smith doing yeoman's work, getting a popout and a strikeout to end the frame. Leininger then came on and set down the first seven men he faced before an infield single to Kyle Grieshaber with one out in the ninth.
The Hoosiers will open Big Ten play this weekend, as Michigan comes to town for a three-game set at Sembower Field. IU will take on the Wolverines at 3:05 p.m. on Friday and will host 1 p.m. games on Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free to all Hoosier baseball home games, and live audio and statistics are available at IUHoosiers.com.
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