April 6, 2010
Complete Release in PDF Format
Ball State at Indiana
Sembower Field Bloomington, Ind.
Tuesday, April 6 | 3:05 p.m.
IU - TBA | BSU - RHP Cody Elliott (0-1, 2.35)
GameTracker | Live Audio
All-time series: Ball State leads 25-22
Last meeting: Ball State 5, Indiana 4, 2/27/09 (Clarksville, Tenn.)
Last IU win: Indiana 3, Ball State 2, 2/28/98
The Indiana baseball team will host a midweek game against Ball State after taking one of three from Michigan in the conference-opening weekend. Ball State enters the game at 11-15 overall after taking on some tough competition this season. The Cardinals have taken games at Arkansas, UAB and Louisville in addition to losing a pair of close contests at Coastal Carolina. BSU is 5-1 in the Mid-American Conference after a sweep of Miami. The Hoosiers lost a heartbreaker in 10 innings on Friday before the Wolverines took a 6-4 decision in the middle game. Indiana had the last laugh, though, as the Hoosiers pounded Michigan 26-6 in the highest scoring output ever for IU in a Big Ten game. Indiana is 13-13 on the year.
THE LAST TIME...
Indiana and Ball State last faced off at the Austin Peay Invitational last year, with BSU rallying for a 5-4 victory in the waning innings. Matt Bashore pitched a solid contest in a no-decision, but the Cardinals were able to get to the IU bullpen with the tying home run in the bottom of the eighth and the winning homer in the bottom of the ninth. Ball State has won five games in a row vs. the Hoosiers.
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 117-139. In 13 years as a head coach, Smith has a career record of 434-359-1 (.547). Greg Beals is in his eighth season at the helm of the Cardinals, where he has won three MAC West Division Championships.
When Indiana University signed the top pitcher and hitter for one of the best 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 couple weeks, 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 last Monday. Leininger is one of three conference pitchers on the Watch List, joining Ohio State's Alex Wimmers and Northwestern's Francis Brooke.
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 has continued his torrid pace since returning from the Sunshine State. Over the last eight games he has hit .583 with three homers, 12 RBI and 11 runs for a .917 slugging percentage. Over his 39 plate appearances since the break, he has struck out just three times.
He also has put together a 20-game hitting streak, and has reached base in all 26 of Indiana's games this year. Dickerson is in the running for the conference's triple crown, as he leads the Big Ten with 11 home runs and 37 RBI and is second in the conference (behind teammate Jerrud Sabourin) with a .446 batting average.
But perhaps the most impressive part of Dickerson's game this season is what he has done while out of the batter's box. The Poway native played mostly at designated hitter last year, but worked hard while playing for the Wareham Gatemen of the Cape Cod League on improving his defense in the outfield over the summer, and has 43 putouts and an outfield assist without an error this year.
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. He is currently 15th in school history with his 23 career longballs.
LOOKING BACK AT THE MICHIGAN SERIES FINALE...
In the Hoosiers' 26-6 victory in the series finale against Michigan, Indiana put up some eye-popping numbers. Here are just a few...
Indiana's 26 runs were the most ever scored by the Hoosiers in a conference game. It also marked the most since a 29-5 win over Chicago State in 2004.
With a margin of victory of 20 runs, IU posted its most lopsided victory in the 163-game history of its all-time series with Michigan.
The Hoosiers bashed 27 hits - the most on record since 1993. Game-by-game statistics prior to the 1993 season are unavailable.
Four different players had four-hit games. Jerrud Sabourin, Alex Dickerson, Michael Basil and Tyler Rogers each had four knocks. It is the only time that has happened on record.
IU plated 11 runs in the fourth inning, the most since plating 11 in the eighth against Cleveland State on March 6, 2004. The Hoosiers had 12 hits in the frame, and four different players had two hits in the inning.