The first Big Ten conference series sweep is in the books for the Hoosiers baseball team, as they took all three games from Iowa this weekend to improve to 19-15 and 5-4 in the Big Ten.
After Friday’s game was postponed due to rain, the Hoosiers got two very well pitched games in a double-header on Saturday. Sophomore pitcher Drew Leininger went 7 and 2/3 innings pitched, surrendering just seven hits and an unearned run to improve his conference-leading ERA to 1.20 in a 4-1 win in game one. This marked the fifth time out of seven outings this year for Leininger that he has not giving up an earned run.
Freshman pitcher Johnny Hoffman went five innings in game two, surrendering just five hits and one run while striking out three. Senior closer Chris Squires combined for 5 and 2/3 innings on the day, striking out nine and not allowing an earned run while picking up the save in game one.
Sophomore outfielder Alex Dickerson added two home runs on the weekend to increase his total to a conference-leading 16 on the year.
As pitching and defense-oriented the first two games were on Saturday, the opposite was the case on Sunday’s matinee. Combined between the two teams were 33 runs on 33 hits, 8 errors, 12 pitchers used, and 14 walks.
“It was the craziest weekend I’ve ever been a part of,” Dickerson said. “Lead changes, lead losses, coming back and winning on a botched double play. It just shows you have to play hard all the time because you never know what’s going to happen.”
Junior first baseman Jerrud Sabourin and sophomore designated-hitter Josh Lyon each had four hits and scored three runs in a 21-12 victory. Junior catcher Dylan Swift led the Hoosiers with a career-high five RBI on the day, three of which came on a clutch double in the ninth inning that pushed the lead out of Iowa’s reach.
“He had a monster weekend,” Smith said. “Along with his huge double today, I don’t remember a catcher, defensively, that did what he did behind the plate. He didn’t allow a passed ball all weekend.”
The Hoosiers return to action on Tuesday, where they will travel to Oxford, Ohio to face Miami (OH) at 6 p.m.
“It’s tough to sweep anybody at any level,” Smith said. “You don’t want to draw to much negative out of the pitching and defense. “We won three games, so let’s take some of that momentum into Tuesday and the upcoming weekend.”