Hoosiers Play Host to Wildcats on Tuesday
May 11, 2010
Kentucky (26-21) at Indiana (23-22)
All-time series: Kentucky leads 17-14
The Indiana baseball team (23-22) will play host to a non-conference affair against the University of Kentucky (26-21) on Tuesday at 4 p.m. at Sembower Field. The Hoosiers are coming off a road series win at Northwestern over the weekend, while the Wildcats are riding high after nabbing two of three from No. 4 South Carolina over the weekend. This is the second-to-last non-conference game of the season for Indiana, with a contest scheduled at Evansville next Tuesday night. Kentucky still has midweek contests scheduled against Lipscomb and at Murray State.
THE LAST TIME...
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 127-148. In 13 years as a head coach, Smith has a career record of 444-368-1 (.547). Gary Henderson is in his sixth year at Kentucky.
DICKERSON HEATING UP
Dickerson's 20 longballs entered this week fourth nationally, and with his 20th homer of the year against Northwestern on Saturday, he became just the fourth player in school history to reach the 20-homer plateau. He is currently tied for third on the school's single-season list.
Dickerson's 34 career homers are tied with former Chicago Cub and Florida Marlin Kevin Orie for seventh in in school history. He is also just three longballs shy of entering the school's top five in career homers (37) in just his second season.
Though Dickerson struggled in the Minnesota series, he left fans and players with a memory they will not soon forget. In Saturday's contest, he hit a 3-2 offering from T.J. Oakes seven rows deep into section 211 of the upper deck for what head coach Tracy Smith called the longest homer he had ever seen. He had one home run in the Purdue series and then went 7-for-12 with two bombs and six RBI at Northwestern. His eight home runs in conference play are tied for fifth on the school's all-time list. He could join Josh Phegley and Mike Smith as the only Hoosiers to mash double-digit homers in Big Ten action, though Phegley and Smith turned the trick when the Big Ten still played four-game series.
But perhaps the most impressive part is what Dickerson has done while out of the batter's box. The Poway native played mostly at designated hitter last year, but worked hard to improve his defense in the outfield over the summer, and, though he struggled to pick the ball up off the roof in his Metrodome debut, has 73 putouts without an error this year.
Q HIM UP
The Ft. Wayne native had one of his gutsiest performances in the Saturday doubleheader against Iowa. After getting a save with three Ks in game one, he picked up the win in game two with a career-high six Ks on 93 pitches in 4 1/3 innings of work.
As if he hadn't done enough to earn recognition, he ratcheted things up a notch on Saturday against Purdue, pitching two scoreless innings for the win and helping his own cause. With the Hoosiers out of position players and having forfeited the DH earlier in the game, Squires came to the plate with the winning run on third and one out in the 11th. In his first collegiate at-bat, he ripped a liner through the drawn-in infield to send IU to a 12-11 victory.
Squires added saves in both the Friday and Sunday games at Northwestern to give him eight on the season, matching his career high and putting him just one away from the single-season Hoosier save record. He has now made 24 appearances on the year, a new career-best and fifth all-time, and is IU's all-time appearances leader with 82.
BACK IN BUSINESS
In the Northwestern finale, he piloted the Hoosiers to a brilliant 1-0 win, tossing 6 2/3 innings and allowing just three hits and three walks, taking a one-hitter into the seventh. Against Purdue, he tossed five innings despite being on a short pitch count (he needed just 53 pitches), allowing six hits and two runs. He has a 2.51 ERA in his three starts.
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