Hoosiers Play Host to Wildcats on Tuesday

    Go Hoosiers! Walker Stadler gets the call on the bump for the Hoosiers against Kentucky on Tuesday.
    Go Hoosiers!
    Walker Stadler gets the call on the bump for the Hoosiers against Kentucky on Tuesday.
    Go Hoosiers!

    May 11, 2010

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    Kentucky (26-21) at Indiana (23-22)
    Sembower Field • Bloomington, Ind.

    Tuesday, May 11 | 4 p.m. ET
    IU - RHP Walker Stadler (3-4, 5.98) | UK - RHP Joe Devine (0-1, 11.25)
    GameTracker | Live Audio

    All-time series: Kentucky leads 17-14
    Last meeting: Kentucky 8, Indiana 7, 3/11/09
    Last IU win: Indiana 7, Kentucky 2, 3/7/99

    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 Hoosiers traveled to Lexington last year for a baseball matchup between two of the best programs in the history of college basketball, and the border state rivals battled to an 8-7 contest, with UK emerging victorious. IU outhit the Wildcats 14-7 in the contest, but three Hoosier errors proved their undoing, and a late rally fell short at Cliff Hagan Stadium. Jerrud Sabourin, Josh Phegley and Tyler Rogers each had three hits for the Hoosiers, while Matt Carr tossed 2 2/3 strong innings of relief. IU had the tying run at third in the eighth, but Nick Kennedy got Alex Dickerson to groundout to end the threat.

    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.

    All-America candidate Alex Dickerson is currently posting one of the most remarkable seasons in Indiana history. The left fielder currently leads the Big Ten in several categories, including all three triple crown categories (.424 average, 20 home runs, 63 RBI). He also sits atop the conference in slugging percentage (.827), hits (81) and total bases (158) and is second in on-base percentage (.472), fourth in runs scored (48) and fifth in doubles (17).

    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.

    Indiana hasn't exactly been a pitching-and-defense team this year, generally outslugging its opposition to gain wins. But on Sunday, the Hoosiers tallied their first 1-0 win since April 13, 2002, a 1-0 victory over Michigan State behind Zach Otte in seven innings. The last time IU won 1-0 in a nine-inning game was on May 4, 1983, against Indiana Central, when Tracy Smith was a junior in high school.

    Q HIM UP
    After a midweek start at Xavier in March 2009, senior Chris "Q" Squires moved into the bullpen full-time for the Hoosiers, and since that time he has emerged as one of the top closers in the Big Ten. On April 10 against OSU, he came on for a scoreless bottom of the 10th to post his 16th career save, setting a new IU record. He has since upped his career total to 19 saves.

    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.

    Redshirt junior Matt Carr was a big part of the IU bullpen's success in the 2008 and 2009 seasons, but the walk-on suffered an elbow injury in the NCAA Tournament and spent the summer recovering from surgery. After months of rehab, the Indianapolis native has started on Sunday of the last three weekends.

    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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