Hoosiers Mount Wild Comeback to Knock off Wildcats in 10
May 11, 2010
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - In a season filled with exciting offensive baseball games, the Indiana baseball team offered the crowning achievement in an 18-17 win over Kentucky in 10 innings on Tuesday at Sembower Field. Trailing 16-8 with two outs in the bottom of the eighth, the Hoosiers (24-22) rallied for five runs in the eighth, three in the ninth and, after allowing a run in the top of the 10th, two in the bottom of the 10th to walk off against the Wildcats (26-22).
With two on and two out in the 10th, senior Michael Earley made UK pay for intentionally walking Alex Dickerson. Earley, who was 0-for-6 entering the at-bat, jumped on the first pitch he saw and crushed it off the wall in left. Dylan Swift came around from second to tie the game with Dickerson close in tow. Kentucky's relay throw to the plate arrived at nearly the same time as Dickerson, but as catcher Luke Maile tried the swipe tag, the ball deflected off of his glove to send the IU dugout onto the field for a celebration at the plate as Indiana knocked off its longtime basketball rival.
The drama all started in the eighth, with Earley aboard and one down. Josh Lyon followed with a walk and then Tyler Rogers tripled to bring home both runners and make it a 16-10 game. Brian Ritz followed with an RBI single - one of his school-record-tying five hits in the contest - to make it 16-11, and then Ethan Wilson crushed a 1-0 pitch over the wall in left for his fifth home run of the season to bring the deficit to 16-13.
In the ninth, the Wildcats called on closer Matt Little. Micah Johnson drew a walk to lead off the frame, and after a Sabourin strikeout, Dickerson crushed a 3-1 pitch over the wall in right center for his 21st home run of the season to make it 16-15. After Earley bounced out to shortstop for the second out, Lyon obliterated an 0-1 pitch over the wall in center field for his 10th home run of the season, one of four hits on the day for the designated hitter, to send the game into extras.
The comeback overruled a strong Kentucky performance in the middle innings, as the Wildcats scored three in the fifth, three in the sixth and four in the seventh while keeping IU off the board in all those innings to turn an 8-6 deficit into a 16-8 lead. Lance Ray went 4-for-5 for Kentucky with two home runs and five RBI.
Chris Squires picked up the win for the Hoosiers after striking out the side in the 10th, albeit around two hits and a walk that gave UK the lead. Kyle Jackson picked up the loss to fall to 1-1, after surrendering the two runs in the 10th that gave Indiana the win. Swift, who originally had the day off from catching, came in on the mound and shut down the red-hot Kentucky offense by allowing just one hit and one walk in 2 1/3 scoreless innings of work.
Ritz joined Sabourin as the only Hoosiers to tally five hits in a game this season, tying the school record. Wilson had two doubles to go along with his home run, going a career-best 3-for-6 with four RBI and three runs. Lyon's four hits also matched a career best.
Dickerson moved into sole possession of third place on the school's single-season list with his 21st bomb, and with 35 career homers he moved past former Florida Marlin and Chicago Cub Kevin Orie for seventh place on the school's list. He currently leads the Big Ten in average (.423), home runs (21), RBI (66), hits (83), total bases (163) and slugging percentage (.832) and is second in runs (51) and on-base percentage (.471).
Earlier on Tuesday, Dickerson earned his second weekly honor from the Big Ten in the 2010 season, as he shared conference Player of the Week honors with Iowa's Kurtis Muller. Dickerson went 7-for-12 in the Northwestern series with two home runs and six RBI, tallying multiple hits in every game. Dickerson also earned the award on March 29, and has been joined in Big Ten Player of the Week honors this season by teammates Micah Johnson (March 15) and Josh Lyon (April 19).
The Hoosiers return to conference action this weekend with a three-game set in East Lansing against Michigan State. IU is tied for fifth place in the conference at 9-9, but is just one game behind a four-team logjam at 10-8. Michigan State is one of four teams at 8-10, as all 10 conference squads are within two games with just six Big Ten contests remaining.
All three games between the Hoosiers and Spartans will be televised live on the Big Ten Network. Friday the two teams will do battle at 2 p.m. ET with a noon contest on Saturday and a 1 p.m. affair on Sunday. Live audio and statistics will also be available on IUHoosiers.com.
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