Hoosiers Clinch Big Ten Tourney Berth With 16-6 Win
May 22, 2010
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The Indiana baseball team finished off its regular season in winning style with a 16-6 victory over Illinois on Saturday at Sembower Field. Three different players had three-hit days for the Hoosiers (27-25, 12-12 Big Ten), who clinched the sixth seed in the Big Ten Tournament with the win. IU will take on third-seeded Northwestern on Wednesday, May 26, at 3:35 p.m. at Bill Davis Stadium in Columbus, Ohio.
Michael Earley, Alex Dickerson and Josh Lyon each mashed three hits on the day, with Earley scoring a career-high four runs. Dickerson finishes the season as the Big Ten's leader in all three triple crown categories, posting a .415 average, 23 home runs and 73 RBI on the season. He narrowly edged out teammate Jerrud Sabourin for the batting title, as Sabourin went 2-for-5 with a home run on Saturday to finish the season at .410.
Matt Carr picked up the victory for Indiana, going a season-high 7 1/3 innings to improve to 3-1. Carr leads the Hoosiers with a 3.95 ERA. Chris Squires finished off the game for the Hoosiers in a non-save situation, tossing the final 1 2/3, and finishing the game with a swinging strikeout. Kevin Manson fell to 3-3 with the loss for Illinois.
The Hoosiers struck first in the game with two runs in the bottom of the first, both coming home on an Earley grounder that was mishandled at short by U of I's Josh Parr. Illinois countered in the top of the third, plating runs on an Argo RBI single and a wild pitch by Carr to tie the score.
But Indiana left no doubt in their next two times at bat. In the bottom of the third, IU plated four runs on six hits to take a 6-2 edge. Sabourin started with a double off the wall in right, and Dickerson brought him home with a single up the middle to give Indiana a 3-2 edge. Earley followed with an infield single, and then Lyon mashed a double to right center to plate Dickerson and make it 4-2 Hoosiers. Tyler Rogers followed, lacing a single into left field to score both runners and give IU a four-run cushion headed to the fourth.
In the fourth, IU scored four runs, starting with Sabourin's seventh home run of the year, a solo shot to make it 3-2. Dickerson and Earley each followed with a single, and then Lyon hit a ball to the same spot as his prior at-bat, this time resulting in the second triple of the year for the sophomore. Rogers followed with an RBI double to left, plating Lyon, to make it a 10-2 IU advantage.
Illinois pulled within five with a pair of homers in the sixth, but again the Hoosiers responded. Earley drew a leadoff walk and then stole second, and Lyon sent him to third with a deep flyball to right center, just a few feet short of his 12th homer of the year. The Illini brought the infield in with Rogers at the plate, and got a grounder that Christian Cummins knocked down at second, but Earley came charging home and Cummins' throw to first sailed high to make it 11-5. Ethan Wilson followed with an RBI double of his own to push it to 12-5 Hoosiers.
Illinois scored its final run of the game on a solo homer by Craig Lutes in the seventh, and Squires came on to shut them out over the final two innings. In the bottom of the eighth, Lyon delivered an RBI double, his conference-leading 21st of the season. He is tied for third on Indiana's all-time single-season list with that total. Dylan Swift added a sacrifice fly and Micah Johnson posted a two-run single to cap off the scoring.
IU returns to the Big Ten Tournament for the third straight year as the conference's sixth seed. The Hoosiers and Purdue finished tied for fifth in league play, with Purdue winning the tiebreaker because of their head-to-head series win. For tickets and all the information surrounding the 2010 Big Ten Tournament, go to Tournament Central on the Big Ten website.
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