Lights Out Leininger Leads IU to 5-1 Win Over Morehead State
April 20, 2011
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Drew Leininger is the latest pitcher to dazzle on the mound for Indiana, a staff which has allowed just six runs in the last five games. Leininger (4-2) retired 18 straight batters and struck out 10 of them in a 5-1 victory over Morehead State (5-29) on Wednesday at Sembower Field.
Indiana (25-12) sent four pitchers to the mound against the Eagles, combining for just four hits, a walk and the lone run. Leininger worked the first six innings, blanking Morehead State. After giving up a lead-off single followed by a walk, the Poway, Calif., native sat down the next 18 batters he faced. At one point, he fanned six consecutive Eagles.
Dustin DeMuth dropped a looper into left field to open the bottom of the first. As he rounded first, he shifted into another gear to aggressively stretch the hit into a double. A passed ball moved him to third before Alex Dickerson brought him home with an RBI-groundout.
Dickerson scored his own run in the fourth frame. He stole second base after a single into right field. Jerrud Sabourin took care of the rest, lacing a double down the left line and putting IU ahead 2-0.
As Leininger continued to cruise, Brian Ritz got the party started in the fifth. He took the first pitch he saw and doubled past the first baseman. Back-to-back fly balls, including a sacrifice fly by DeMuth, pushed Ritz across home for the 3-0 Hoosier edge.
With Leininger pulled after the sixth in order to preserve his arm for the conference weekend, Morehead State attempted a rally in the seventh. Two hits and a bean ball carded a run for the Eagles to make it a 3-1 ballgame.
Senior catcher Dylan Swift essentially ended the game in the next half inning though. With two runners in scoring position and facing a full count, he drove a ball deep into the left field power alley for a two-run double.
Casey Smith then came on for ninth, closing out Indiana's 5-1 triumph. The second out recorded was a strikeout by Smith and the team's 12th of the day; earning free Mother Bears Pizza Snack Packs for all fans in attendance.
The Cream and Crimson stay in Bloomington this weekend, playing host to the Big Ten's preseason favorite Minnesota Golden Gophers for a three-game set. Sunday's noon contest will be broadcast live on the Big Ten Network.
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