April 24, 2010
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - Alex Dickerson hit an upper-deck home run and drove in three runs and the Indiana baseball team got brilliant pitching from the freshman duo of Jonny Hoffman and Walker Stadler to post a 7-2 win over Minnesota (15-24, 5-6 Big Ten) on Saturday at the Metrodome. Brian Ritz also homered, while Josh Lyon had a pair of doubles for the Hoosiers (20-17, 6-5).
Hoffman went 5 2/3 innings, striking out a career-high six, while Stadler tossed 3 1/3 innings of hitless relief for his first career save. The twosome did not allow a hit over the last 7 2/3 innings of action. Micah Johnson and Dylan Swift each added two hits as well for Indiana.
Indiana got out to a 1-0 lead on Dickerson's conference-leading 17th home run of the year. The Poway, Calif., native worked the count to 3-2 and then obliterated a T.J. Oakes offering well into the upper deck of right field. The ball landed eight rows up in the highest tier of the Metrodome and was estimated to have traveled nearly 500 feet.
Minnesota countered with a Kyle Knudson solo shot to lead off the second, and then took a 2-1 lead on a single by Matt Puhl and a double by Kyle Geason. Geason's two-bagger would be the final hit of the game for the Golden Gophers. Indiana bounced back with a two-spot of its own in the third. The Hoosiers tied the game on Ritz' solo shot to right - his second homer of the year - to lead off the inning. Dickerson then added his second RBI of the game with two outs in the frame, lacing a single up the middle to score Johnson and make it 3-2.
IU added a run with Lyon's RBI double to right center in the sixth to push the advantage to 4-2. Meanwhile, Hoffman was in cruise mode, setting down 13 Gophers in a row into the sixth, but he surrendered back-to-back walks with two down in the frame, and Stadler was summoned from the bullpen. The freshman retired Nick O'Shea on a lineout to keep it a two-run Hoosier edge.
The Hoosiers added a run on a Dickerson RBI groundout in the seventh, then added two more runs in the top of the eighth. Lyon and Swift each had doubles, with Swift driving in IU's sixth run of the ballgame. Brian Lambert
then added an RBI single up the middle on a 3-2 count to push the score to 7-2 in favor of the visitors.
Stadler surrendered his only blemish with two outs in the eighth, as he allowed back-to-back walks to A.J. Pettersen and Michael Kvasnicka. But the righty bounced back to get Knudson to swing and miss at a 2-2 pitch to end the frame. He then set down the Gophers in order - IU's fifth 1-2-3 inning of the night - to send Indiana away victorious.
The Hoosiers and Gophers will finish off the series on Sunday, with the rubber match slated for a 2 p.m. ET/1 p.m. CT start. The game will be televised live on the Big Ten Network, and live audio and statistics will be available at IUHoosiers.com.