Baseball

    Baseball Embarks on Spring Trip

    Go Hoosiers! Josh Lyon and the Hoosiers will play seven games in eight days on their annual Spring Trip.
    Go Hoosiers!
    Josh Lyon and the Hoosiers will play seven games in eight days on their annual Spring Trip.
    Go Hoosiers!

    March 12, 2010

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    IU AT RUSSMATT CENTRAL FLORIDA INVITATIONAL

    Saturday, March 13 - Indiana vs. Bowling Green
    Lake Myrtle Stadium - Auburndale, Fla. - 9:30 a.m.
    GameTracker | Live Audio

    Sunday, March 14 - Indiana vs. Central Michigan
    Chain O'Lakes Stadium - Winter Haven, Fla. - 10 a.m.
    GameTracker | Live Audio

    Monday, March 15 - Indiana vs. Yale
    Chain O'Lakes Stadium - Winter Haven, Fla. - 3 p.m.
    GameTracker | Live Audio

    Tuesday, March 16 - Indiana vs. Bradley
    Chain O'Lakes Stadium - Winter Haven, Fla. - 3 p.m.
    GameTracker | Live Audio

    Thursday, March 18 - Indiana vs. Eastern Illinois
    Lake Myrtle Stadium - Auburndale, Fla. - 3 p.m.
    GameTracker | Live Audio

    Friday, March 19 - Indiana vs. UMBC
    Lake Myrtle Stadium - Auburndale, Fla. - 3 p.m.
    GameTracker | Live Audio

    Saturday, March 20 - Indiana vs. Akron
    Warner Southern University - Lake Wales, Fla. - 11 a.m.
    GameTracker | Live Audio


    FIRST PITCH
    Indiana will take part in the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational for the 2010 Spring Trip. The Hoosiers will play seven games in eight days on the annual Spring Trip, which sees the Hoosiers play games at Lake Myrtle Stadium, Chain O'Lakes Stadium and Warner Southern University. IU will take on three teams from the Mid-American Conference (Akron, Bowling Green and Central Michigan) in addition to two Missouri Valley Conference schools (Bradley and Eastern Illinois) and two schools from the East Coast (UMBC and Yale). The Hoosiers are 4-7 after suffering back-to-back tough losses to top-25 opponents Vanderbilt and Louisville.

    THE LAST TIME...
    The Hoosiers return to the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational for the second straight year. In 2009, IU finished its mid-March swing in Florida with a disappointing 2-6 record, with Eric Arnett posting the only two wins for IU. Other highlights included a pitcher's duel between Blake Monar and Ohio State's Alex Wimmers that resulted in a 2-0 Buckeye win. The Hoosiers will kick off this year's trip against Bowling Green just as they did in 2009. The Falcons haven't defeated IU in five chances, including a 12-5 Indiana victory on last year's trip.

    THE COACH
    Tracy Smith is in his fifth season as Indiana baseball's head coach. In 2009, he led the Hoosiers to their first Big Ten Tournament title since 1996 and the second NCAA Tournament appearance in school history. In his four years at the helm of the Hoosiers, IU is 108-133. In 13 years as a head coach, Smith has a career record of 425-353-1 (.546).

    QUIETLY EXCELLENT
    He may be one of the most mild-mannered athletes you will ever meet, but first baseman Jerrud Sabourin is one of the most consistent players in IU Baseball history. He has posted back-to-back impressive weekends, earning All-Big Ten/BIG EAST Challenge honors and All-Music City Classic laurels in consecutive weeks.

    Sabourin posted multi-hit games in all three contests of the Music City Classic over the weekend. He was named to the All-Classic Team for his efforts. The junior first baseman went 8-for-14 (.571) at the event with three runs and three RBI. He also came on and pitched in the finale against No. 25 Vandy, throwing three shutout innings to help the Hoosiers take the Commodores to extra innings.

    Sabourin has upped his team-leading batting average to .449 with his hot hitting. The San Diego native has eight multi-hit games this year and has hit safely in 10 of IU's 11 games on the year. He has now started 129 consecutive games at first base.

    Sabourin finished the Big Ten/BIG EAST Challenge 6-for-13 and also made several brilliant defensive plays at first - where he was identified by Baseball America as the Big Ten's top defensive player heading into the 2010 season. Sabourin's performance against West Virginia was a microcosm of his importance to the team in his career, going 4-for-5 with three RBI. In the first, he started things with an RBI double to plate IU's first run; in the third, he singled and scored the third of four runs in the frame; in the sixth, his two-run double broke a 6-6 tie; and in the eighth, he singled and scored what turned out to be the winning run over the Mountaineers.

    Sabourin had a stellar freshman year in 2008, picking up Freshman All-America honors after hitting .383 and leading all conference frosh with 53 RBI. His five home runs trailed only teammate Kipp Schutz among conference newbies. He followed up on that in 2009, as he earned second team All-Big Ten honors for his performance. He finished among the league leaders with a .343 average and 85 hits.

    Sabourin's path to the Hoosiers was a bit unconventional, as the San Diego native originally committed to Arizona as a pitcher, but was cut on the first day of fall practice. Smith saw the lefty in a workout and offered him a roster spot as a walk-on at the winter break before the 2008 season. He did not start in his first game as a Hoosier, but came off the bench to go 2-for-2 against LSU and has started every game since then at first base.

    SHOWING HIS DREW COLORS
    With the Hoosiers looking for someone to step up on the pitching staff, sophomore Drew Leininger has certainly answered the call. In three appearances, Leininger has gone 19.0 innings and has allowed just 14 hits with a 1.42 ERA.

    Leininger shined in his second start of 2010, stymieing Kent State to the tune of five hits and three walks over a career-high 7 2/3 innings of work. He also punched out a career-best eight in leading Indiana to its first shutout since the 2008 season against Portland. Leininger also picked off a pair of runners and did not allow a base runner past second in the game.

    In his first appearance of the year, Leininger came on out of the bullpen with one out in the bottom of the second at San Diego and went on to put zeroes on the board for the Toreros in the third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh innings. By the time he was finished, he had tossed 5 2/3 innings of scoreless relief, surrendering just five hits and striking out four without allowing a walk.

    Leininger struggled in his debut season, going 0-2 with a 9.91 ERA in 15 appearances, but he has impressed in the early season, as his fastball has been about 4-5 MPH faster than it was last year. Leininger was Poway High School's Pitcher of the Year as a senior.

    GRINDING IT OUT
    With Blake Monar out due to injury and the Hoosiers already missing injured hurlers Matt Carr and Alex Herz, the Hoosiers handed the ball to infielder Ethan Wilson on Sunday against No. 25 Vanderbilt.

    In fact, IU's first three pitchers against the Commodores were Wilson (who, before this season, hadn't pitched competitively since he was 12), Matt Ernest (who hadn't pitched since high school) and Casey Smith (who graduated high school early to enroll at IU for the spring semester). First baseman Jerrud Sabourin also came on to throw three frames of scoreless relief, making IU's 6-5 loss to Vandy in 11 innings among the grittiest mound performances in school history.

    Q HIM UP
    After a midweek start at Xavier in March 2009, senior Chris "Q" Squires moved into the bullpen for the Hoosiers, and since that time he has emerged as one of the top closers in the Big Ten, if not in the Midwest. He is just one save away from tying Chris Wilson (1997-00) for the top career mark in Hoosier history.

    Squires appeared in all three games at the Music City Classic, tallying saves in the first two contests and collecting a tough loss in extras against No. 25 Vandy. In the opener against Illinois State, he came on with the tying run at the plate in the eighth and made quick work of the Redbirds followed by a 1-2-3 ninth. Against KSU, he relieved Drew Leininger in the eighth and got a bases-loaded strikeout to end the frame before punching out the side in the ninth. Against the Commodores, with the Hoosiers running out of healthy pitchers, Squires asked to get the ball and pitched out of a bases loaded, one out situation in the 10th, then surrendered a bunt single and two groundouts before Anthony Gomez poked a single through the right side to end the game.

    Squires made two appearances against San Diego, throwing a total of 2 2/3 innings while tallying three strikeouts. In Sunday's series finale with the Toreros, Squires came in with a 6-4 lead in the eighth inning and went on to record his 12th career save and his first of the 2010 season.

    In save situations last year, Squires flourished even more, posting a 1.38 ERA and a .191 batting average against when IU is up by three or fewer in the waning innings. He has finished off all three of his save opportunities with a swinging strikeout so far in 2010.

    WALK-ON WALKER
    When looking at the team's surprises from fall ball, the coaching staff pointed to one name above all others - RHP Walker Stadler. The freshman walk-on has showed why the staff has shown such faith in him so far in 2010, as he has posted three strong starts in a row.

    Stadler went 5 1/3 innings against Illinois State, surrendering just five hits and two runs to go along with three strikeouts. He lowered his ERA to 4.24 in collecting a no-decision to remain at 1-1 on the year.

    He opened the season by going six innings in a victory over San Diego, surrendering seven hits over his seven innings of work, leading IU to a 7-5 win. In his second outing he collected the loss, but still threw well, scattering six hits over 5 2/3 innings of work against Villanova and allowing three runs to the Wildcats.

    The Glenview, Ill., native posted a 1.90 ERA in his senior year at Glenbrook South and struck out 80 hitters in 50 innings of work, earning team MVP honors. The 6-foot-4, 200-pounder also played football for Glenbrook South, helping the team to an 8-1 record.

    Stadler is a second-generation Hoosier, as his father, Matt, was a swimmer under legendary coach Doc Counsilman in the early 1980s. The elder Stadler helped the Hoosiers to Big Ten Championships in the 1983, `84 and `85 seasons.

     

     


       

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