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Sunday, June 16
The Indiana Daily Student

sports baseball

Dickerson powers IU to perfect weekend

Baseball

Not a game goes by where sophomore outfielder Alex Dickerson doesn’t silence those questioning his impressive freshman campaign and puts to rest the talk of a possible “sophomore slump” in 2010.

The powerful Hoosier clean-up hitter hit his Big Ten-leading 10th home run of the season and extended his hitting streak to a career-high 16 games on Saturday in a 5-4 victory against Taylor University (18-4). For IU (12-10), it marked the team’s seventh win in the past eight games.

“Dickerson’s home run was huge for us, because we needed to get a run that inning,” IU coach Tracy Smith said. “I almost felt like if we didn’t, that would build their confidence and our guys would start pressing.”

Freshman pitcher Walker Stadler improved to 3-2 on the season with seven solid innings in a 7-3 win Friday against St. Francis University (3-21-1). He provided a much-needed rest for the thin Hoosier bullpen.

Dickerson was not the only hitter carrying a lengthy hit streak coming into the weekend. Junior first baseman Jerrud Sabourin continued his 14-game hitting streak Friday, only to have it broken up the following day.

With a 3-for-4 and 3 RBI afternoon, Sabourin moved into the Hoosier’s top 10 with 218 career hits. He is 11 hits shy of moving into the top five all time.

Senior closer Chris Squires lowered his ERA to a 2.65 this weekend with four scoreless innings out of the bullpen in the two Hoosier wins.

“When you get into Big Ten play, you have to have quality out of the bullpen,” Smith said. “Our formula is going to be to get something out of our starters, then get a McKinley or Igel to throw strikes in the middle of the game, and then go with Squires. That is going to be our formula to win.”

The Hoosiers will be host to No. 10 ranked Louisville (20-3) on Tuesday. The Cardinals came back from a two-run deficit in the eighth inning to beat the Hoosiers, 9-7 on March 9. Sophomore pitcher Matt Igel (0-2) will get the start for IU.

“You’ll have your bad blood and heat-of-the-moment type of games,” Dickerson said. “But the best way to retaliate is to beat them.”

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