Hoosiers Survive Northwestern Comeback in 11-9 Win
May 7, 2010
EVANSTON, Ill. - The Indiana baseball team jumped out to a quick 9-0 lead and then held on in the closing innings for an 11-9 win over first-place Northwestern on Friday at Rocky Miller Park. Michael Earley had three hits, including two home runs, to lift the Hoosiers (22-21, 8-8 Big Ten) to the road victory over the Wildcats (20-26, 9-7).
Alex Dickerson went 3-for-4 with his 19th home run of the season, and Ethan Wilson added a solo shot, his fourth longball of the year, in the victory. Drew Leininger improved to 7-3 with his 7 1/3 innings of work, as he surrendered two big innings but otherwise shined in the victory. Chris Squires picked up his seventh save of the year with 1 2/3 shutout frames. Jack Havey fell to 2-1 in his first career start.
IU scored three runs in the top of the first to start out with a quick 3-0 lead. Jerrud Sabourin drew a two-out walk and Dickerson followed by crushing a ball over the wall in right center for his league-leading home run to make it 2-0. Earley followed by blistering a 2-0 pitch over the wall in left center to make it 3-0 heading to the second.
After Leininger made quick work of the Wildcats in a 1-2-3 first, the Hoosiers plated six more runs in the second to up the lead to 9-0. Wilson chased Havey by ripping a line drive down the line and over the wall to make it 4-0. David Jensen followed out of the bullpen and IU stayed hot, as Dickerson delivered an RBI single and Earley crushed a three-run shot to left, as he became the second Hoosier to hit double digits with his 10th bomb of the year. Indiana added a run on a Tyler Rogers RBI single to make it 9-0.
Leininger allowed only an infield single in the bottom of the second, but in the third Northwestern exploded for six runs to make it a three-run affair. Chris Kontos and Trevor Stevens each went deep in the frame, as the Wildcats were able to score six runs on four hits and an error.
The Hoosiers added a solo tally in the sixth and an insurance run in the eighth. IU plated run number 10 when Earley got a swinging bunt single and Jensen's throwing error sailed wide to allow Sabourin to come around with two down in the sixth. In the eighth, Dylan Swift got a leadoff single and came home two batters later when Sterling Mack ripped a pinch-hit single that made it 11-6 in favor of the visitors.
On the other side, Leininger settled in, putting zeroes on the board in the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh. In that time, the southpaw got three 1-2-3 innings and faced just one over the minimum. But in the eighth, he ran into trouble, surrendering a leadoff single and a walk. After retiring the next hitter on a flyout, Leininger allowed Stevens to single through the left side to load the bases with one away. Squires came on in his stead, and allowed all three inherited runners to score on a hit batsman, a wild pitch and a fielder's choice, but he got out of the inning on a groundout to keep it an 11-9 ballgame.
In the ninth, Northwestern rallied, getting a leadoff single from Chad Noble. Paul Snieder followed and hammered a ball to center field, but he was enough under it that Mack tracked it down for out number one. Chris Lashmet followed with a walk, but Squires rallied to get a groundout and a popout to third to end the game with his 18th career save.
Dickerson moved into a tie with Doug DeVore (1999) for fourth on the single-season home run list and took sole possession of eighth place on IU's career list in longballs. He now leads the Big Ten in home runs (19), RBI (60) and batting average (.421).
The Hoosiers and Wildcats will continue their series at 1 p.m. CT/2 p.m. ET on both Saturday and Sunday in Evanston. Live audio and statistics will be available at IUHoosiers.com.
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