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Sunday, May 26
The Indiana Daily Student

sports baseball

Leininger throws 7 scoreless in win

Baseball vs. Michigan

When the IU baseball team’s bus pulled into the Ball State’s Ball Diamond parking lot 25 minutes prior to the first pitch Wednesday afternoon, IU coach Tracy Smith made sure any excuse for a lack of preparation would be left on the bus.

Unfortunately for Ball State (2-17), junior pitcher Drew Leininger did not stay on that bus.

The California native pitched seven innings of three-hit, shutout baseball in leading IU (13-7) to a 10-2 victory against Ball State in Muncie.

“We told the guys, ‘Jump off the bus, get mentally ready and get into it,’” Smith said. “They did a very good job of that.”

IU’s Friday night starter last season, Leininger showed the form he had in 2010, recording 11 of his 21 outs on groundballs.

“That is where I have my success in getting people out,” said Leininger on his ability to get groundball outs. “I don’t really overpower people so I just try to pound the bottom of the zone.”

Keeping zeroes on the scoreboard was key for Leininger, as the IU offense didn’t open the floodgates until the final two innings.

Freshman Dustin DeMuth led the game off with a single and was brought home when junior Alex Dickerson singled on a full count in the first inning.

The Hoosiers were then kept scoreless until the fifth inning, when DeMuth followed sophomore Justin Cureton’s single with a double, placing two runners in scoring position.

Ball State pitcher Nestor Bautista handed two runs to the Hoosiers, as his balk brought Cureton in to score and moved DeMuth to third.

With Dickerson up to bat, Bautista threw a wild pitch, which brought DeMuth home and gave IU its third run of the afternoon.

The Hoosiers batted around in the eighth and scored five runs on five hits. The inning was highlighted by a two-run double from Dickerson, his team-leading 18th RBI on the season.  

Six Hoosiers recorded multi-hit games and paced the 10-run and 16-hit offensive blitz. DeMuth led the Hoosiers with four hits.

The LaPorte, Ind., native came into Wednesday’s afternoon third on the team with a .349 batting average and took the leadoff spot during spring break.

“We kind of settled into that (DeMuth at leadoff) at the tail end of the break, and he does a really good job with that because he gives us a quality at-bat and that is what you need at that position,” Smith said.

Thanks to a stable of talented pitching arms, IU has started the season 3-0 in midweek games.

“The guy we are pitching midweek right now (Leininger) was pitching Friday night last year in the Big Ten,” Smith said. “I was driving home with my wife after the game and she said, ‘You know your program is finally rolling when you win your midweek games and your pitching is good.’ It’s a tribute to our pitching depth.”

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