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Tuesday, Feb. 27
The Indiana Daily Student

sports baseball

Hoosiers ‘make statement’ in Louisville win

IU Baseball Against Ohio State - Game 1

Through the first five innings in Tuesday’s baseball game between IU and Louisville, things were relatively quiet in the Bluegrass State.

Freshman pitcher Brian Korte had retired nine of his last 10 for the visiting Hoosiers and both teams had three hits apiece with no runs to show for it.

All that changed when junior All-America Alex Dickerson stepped into the batter’s box with two Hoosiers on base.

Like he has done throughout his career in an IU uniform, Dickerson came up with the timely hit.

The 2010 Big Ten Triple Crown winner cranked a 2-2 pitch over the 410’ center field fence for a three-run home run in helping IU (24-12) to the eventual 5-3 victory against No. 28 Louisville (20-16).

“It was big because both teams were kind of struggling offensively,” IU coach Tracy Smith said. “Big time players make big time plays, and he really brought us some life with one swing of a bat.”

The win against Louisville was even sweeter considering IU lost twice to the four-time defending Big East Champion Cardinals last season, both times after having leads in the eighth inning.

“We have never had great success against (Louisville) and to get a win over a team that has kind of been our arch-nemesis feels great,” Dickerson said.

Starting for the third consecutive midweek game, Korte was effective in getting his third victory of the season pitching 6.1 innings while allowing five hits and one earned run.

Sophomore Michael Basil padded the IU lead in the top of the seventh with a two-run homer, which proved to be the eventual game-winning run.

With the score 5-3 IU in the bottom of the eighth inning and two Cardinal runners on base, Smith turned to freshman closer Ryan Halstead for some extra duty.

The freshman got the final five outs for his eighth save on the 2011 season, one shy of Chris Squires’ school record.

Smith said the unconventional decision for a five-out save paid off because of Halstead’s cool demeanor on the mound.

“(Louisville) was getting something going there in the eighth and we didn’t really want to have to go to (Halstead) in the eighth but it just kind of worked out that way,” Smith said. “He comes in and has nerves of steel, and that is what makes him such a good closer.”

A road victory against the Cardinals gives IU another quality non-conference road win and now pushes IU’s record to 12-3 in road games.

“It is just a statement to everybody else that we are team to be reckoned with,” Dickerson said. “Going on the road, facing some teams from big conferences and knowing that we can beat these guys is good to keep in the back of your mind for that (NCAA) regional.”

The Hoosiers will face a quick turnaround as Morehead State (5-28) comes to Sembower Field today for a 3:05 p.m. first pitch.

IU defeated the Eagles 6-5 in 13 innings earlier this season, and junior Drew Leininger is the scheduled starter for the Hoosiers.

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