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Friday, Feb. 23
The Indiana Daily Student

sports baseball

IU rides new all-time hits leader into Louisville

The IU baseball team enters a busy week on a roll.

Fresh off their third straight conference series win last weekend after taking two of three games from Iowa in Iowa City, the Hoosiers (23-12, 6-3) carry a new all-time hits leader and a Co-Big Ten Freshman of the Week today to Louisville.

While the weekend victory against the Hawkeyes vaulted IU into a tie with Michigan State for first in the Big Ten, the Hoosiers’ 6-0 shutout win Sunday drew accolades and rewrote school history.

With a 3-for-5 effort at the plate Sunday, senior first baseman Jerrud Sabourin surpassed former Hoosier Alex Smith as IU’s career hits king. Sabourin now has 306 career hits, which shatters a record that stood for 25 years.

The San Diego native helped pad the Hoosiers’ lead while repositioning his name in the record books. His 306th hit batted in a run, and the first baseman also scored two runs.

Sabourin was one of three IU batters Sunday to contribute three hits to the Hoosiers’ collective .375 average. However, the accolades came from the mound as well as the batter’s box.

Freshman pitcher Joey DeNato earned Co-Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors after tossing eight shutout innings with 11 strikeouts.

DeNato joined teammates Ty Downing and Dustin DeMuth as recipients of the conference’s weekly freshman honor this season; he shared the award with Ohio State first baseman Josh Dezse.

IU will now attempt to maintain its standing — and perhaps build on the recent successes of its players — this week with two midweek games and another three-game weekend bout against a struggling Minnesota team.

The first of those contests comes today with a two-hour trip south to face Louisville, who has the Big East’s top pitching staff and second-best home run hitter Stewart Ijames.

IU freshman pitcher Brian Korte will get his third straight midweek start today, and junior Drew Leininger will take the mound Wednesday when the Hoosiers return to Bloomington to face Morehead State.

One thing IU coach Tracy Smith made clear regarding these midweek games is that staff days are no longer in play. The Hoosiers attempted a staff day April 5 against Miami (Ohio) and allowed six runs — four of them earned — and walked four RedHawk batters while going through seven pitchers. 

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