Baseball

    Hoosiers Set to Host No. 8 Louisville at Sembower

    Go Hoosiers! Matt Igel is slated to take the hill against Louisville on Tuesday.
    Go Hoosiers!
    Matt Igel is slated to take the hill against Louisville on Tuesday.
    Go Hoosiers!

    March 30, 2010

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    Tuesday, March 30, 2010 | 3:05 p.m. ET
    Sembower Field • Bloomington, Ind.

    No. 8 Louisville at Indiana
    IU - LHP Matt Igel (0-2, 12.66) | UL - RHP Justin Amlung (0-0, 4.22)
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    All-time series: IU leads 18-16
    Last game: Louisville 9, Indiana 7 - 3/9/10
    Last IU win: Indiana 6, Louisville 5 - 5/9/07


    FIRST PITCH
    The Indiana baseball team has won seven of its last eight games and eight of its last 10 after wins over St. Francis (7-3) and Taylor (5-4) over the weekend. The Hoosiers (12-10) led from start to finish against the Cougars, but needed to rally for a victory over the Trojans with a three-run bottom of the seventh. Alex Dickerson continued his blistering-hot hitting over the weekend, going 5-for-8 with two doubles and a solo home run. He has now hit in 16 straight games and leads the Big Ten with 10 home runs and 33 RBI.

    Louisville enters the week ranked eighth in the country after taking two of three from Big East title contender Connecticut at Patterson Stadium over the weekend. The Cardinals are 20-3 on the season, with losses to Ole Miss, Ball State and UConn on their schedule. U of L has been incredibly impressive on the mound, where it has a team ERA of 3.20 and a .230 batting average against. The Cardinals have hit .321 as a team with 29 home runs, led by Phil Wunderlich's 10.

    THE LAST TIME...
    Indiana still owns the all-time series against Louisville, though the Cardinals have won six in a row from the Hoosiers. The two teams squared off on March 9 in Louisville, with IU poised to hand U of L its first loss, but the Cardinals rallied with four runs in the bottom of the eighth to garner a 9-7 victory. Wunderlich hit two home runs in the game for the Cardinals, while Micah Johnson had a huge day offensively for the Hoosiers. He hit two home runs (25 percent of the season output against the Cards) and drove in five runs in a 2-for-5 game at the plate. Casey Smith had a strong start on the mound for Indiana, surrendering just two hits and two runs over five innings of work. Mike McKinley was carded with the loss in relief.

    THE COACHES
    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 116-136. In 13 years as a head coach, Smith has a career record of 433-356-1 (.549). Dan McDonnell is in year four at Louisville, where he has led them to three NCAA Tournaments and a College World Series with a collective 155-66 mark for the Cardinals.

    POWAY TWO-STEP
    When Indiana University signed the top pitcher and hitter for one of the top high school teams in the nation in 2008, the Hoosiers knew that they were getting a pair of quality players who could help them toward the top of the Big Ten.

    But the return that IU has gotten out of Poway (Calif.) High School's Drew Leininger and Alex Dickerson this season has been extreme, as the two are among the top pitchers and hitters in the conference this year. Both also picked up honors over the last few days, as Leininger earned a spot on the College Baseball Foundation's National Pitcher of the Year Watch List and Dickerson was named Big Ten co-Player of the Week on Monday. Leininger is one of three conference pitchers on the Watch List, joining Ohio State's Alex Wimmers and Northwestern's Francis Brooke. Dickerson is the second Hoosier to win weekly honors this year, joining Micah Johnson (March 15).

    DICKERSON HEATING UP
    No Hoosier enjoyed the Florida sun more than left fielder Alex Dickerson. The Preseason Third Team All-American went 14-for-30 (.467) with three doubles, five home runs and 15 RBI in IU's seven games at the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational.

    He followed that up with a career-best four hits against Morehead State and had a three-run homer against Xavier. Against Saint Francis, he went 2-for-4 with a double, and had a 3-for-4 day against Taylor, mashing a pivotal solo homer. He has now hit safely in 16 straight contests with nine consecutive multi-hit games. He is in the running for the conference triple crown, as he leads the conference with nine homers and 30 RBI and is third with a .426 average.

    The lefty set an IU freshman record last year with 14 home runs to go along with a .370 batting average and 57 RBI. He was the first Hoosier in school history to take home Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors, and he was named a Freshman All-American. He is currently 15th in school history with his 22 career longballs.

    OVER THE LAST EIGHT...
    In the Hoosiers' recent hot streak of winning seven of eight games, IU has put up some impressive numbers. Here are some quick hits...

    Alex Dickerson has hit .556 and Jerrud Sabourin has hit .526. The two have combined for 40 hits, an average of five per contest.
    • IU has scored 80 runs, an average of 10 per game, and has hit 17 home runs, just over two per contest.
    Chris Squires has appeared in five of the eight games, picking up two wins and a save. He has 10 strikeouts and has not allowed an earned run.
    • Seven different players have mashed home runs in the streak. All of them are hitting .333 or better as well.
    • IU has stolen 11 bases in the last eight games, while its catchers have caught six of the 11 runners trying to steal against them.
    • The top four players in Indiana's lineup - Micah Johnson, Brian Lambert, Sabourin and Dickerson - have scored 45 runs, an average of nearly six per game.

     

     

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