Indiana Daily Student

IU bats come alive in Texas weekend series

After an opening weekend where IU left 26 runners on base and scored a total of five runs in 34 innings, the IU baseball team wasted no time in using its bats against Texas A&M Corpus Christi.  

Helped out by three first inning errors by the Islanders (6-1), IU (3-3) scored four runs in the opening frame and never looked back in a 14-3 victory.

Six starters recorded multi-hit games, and IU got production from two spots in the lineup that were question marks heading into the season.

Sophomore center fielder Justin Cureton was 3-for-7 in the leadoff spot and scored a pair of runs.

Cureton started all three games in the weekend series and had seven hits along with four stolen bases.

Behind the plate, freshman Ty Downing hit the first Hoosier home run of the 2011 season with a two-run shot in the eighth inning to make the score 12-3.

“Those two had pretty good nights individually, and that is something that we have kind of been waiting on,” IU coach Tracy Smith said. “It was good for those young, inexperienced guys to get off to a decent start.”

Junior pitcher Drew Leininger only lasted two innings for IU, but four Hoosier arms combined to close the game out going seven scoreless innings while only allowing two hits.

Dickerson hits first Home run of season

During the past summer, junior outfielder Alex Dickerson was invited to play for Team USA along with some of college baseball’s best players.

One of his teammates was Connecticut pitcher Matt Barnes, who is one of the most highly touted pitching prospects in all of college baseball. Barnes was on the mound Saturday afternoon when IU faced the No. 14 Huskies (1-4).

Down 1-0 in the bottom of the third inning, Dickerson came to the plate with two Hoosiers in scoring position.

The junior from Poway, Calif., would get the last laugh against his former teammate as he hit his first home run of the 2011 season, giving IU the only three runs it would score in the 3-1 victory.

“It was really surprising, not that Dickerson hit the home run but where he it,” Smith said. “The wind was howling in from right field, and he fouled off several pitches off Barnes. It seemed like he just got more comfortable and finally got an off-speed pitch that he put a charge in.”

Not to be out done on the mound, junior Blake Monar recorded his second straight start, allowing only one run while striking out six batters in 5.1 innings.

Fellow junior Chad Martin recorded the first Hoosier save of the 2011 season, pitching the final 3.2 innings of one hit baseball.

Beavers rally late to beat Hoosiers

After 23 straight innings of scoreless baseball, the IU bullpen surrendered a one-run eighth inning lead as the Hoosiers lost to Oregon St. (4-3) on Sunday 7-5.

Freshman pitcher Joey DeNato did not get through the fourth inning for the second
consecutive start.

However, the IU offense continued its successful weekend as sophomore shortstop Michael Basil hit his second career home run, giving the Hoosiers a 5-4 lead heading to the eighth inning.

Five pitchers later and IU was finally out of the inning, giving up three runs on two hits.
“To think you’re going to go the whole season without giving up a run out of the bullpen is tough,” Smith said. “We started off that eighth inning with a walk which is our own worst enemy. We used a number of guys based on match-ups because we have a lot of quality guys in the bullpen.”

The Hoosiers were unable to mount a ninth inning rally and ended with a 2-1 record from the games in Corpus Christi.

The two top hitters in the Big Ten last season, Dickerson and senior Jerrud Sabourin both went hitless Sunday, thus ending Dickerson’s 22-game hitting streak.

IU will hit the road again this Wednesday as it travels to Cincinnati to take on Xavier in the first mid-week game of the season.

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