NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Despite IU junior Jerrud Sabourin making the biggest impact in the 2010 season for the Hoosiers with his bat, the innings he pitched Sunday against Vanderbilt were a big reason the Hoosiers took the ranked Commodores to extra innings.
Sabourin — the current team leader with a .455 batting average — came in as a reliever in the seventh inning as the sixth pitcher to take the mound for IU and was arguably the most effective. Over the course of three innings, Sabourin faced a team-high 15 batters.
“I’ve been throwing a few bullpens in practice, and I had an idea that I’d probably be pitching eventually,” Sabourin said. “I didn’t think it’d be coming against Vanderbilt.”
Vanderbilt, an explosive offensive team that has been averaging 9.3 runs a game, couldn’t get a read on Sabourin’s mostly offspeed pitches and managed just four hits and two walks. More importantly, Sabourin never allowed a run.
All of that, of course, came after Sabourin started the final game of the Music City Classic at first base.
“I don’t throw hard, but I can control my fastball,” Sabourin said. “I think if you can do that, hit your sports, then you have a chance against anyone.”
It wasn’t Sabourin’s first time pitching for the Hoosiers, and he’s certainly no experienced ace. Since he arrived in Bloomington after being cut by Arizona on the first day of practice his freshman year, Sabourin had toed the rubber for a grand total of 1.1 innings.
The junior pitched in the third game of 2010 for IU in his hometown of San Diego but faced just one batter, earning a flyout. In high school, though, Sabourin went 6-2 during his senior season with a 2.73 ERA.