Leininger pitches shutout; IU advances

Drew Leininger pitched an eight-hit shutout in Indiana’s 5-0 win over Northwestern in the first round of the Big Ten baseball tournament. The release from IU:

LEININGER HURLS HOOSIERS TO VICTORY IN BIG TEN TOURNEY OPENER

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Drew Leininger tossed an eight-hit shutout to lift the
Indiana baseball team to a 5-0 victory over Northwestern in the opening
round of the Big Ten Tournament on Wednesday at Bill Davis Stadium. Michael
Earley went 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI singles in the victory, while Alex
Dickerson reached base four times for the Hoosiers. IU will take on
top-seeded Minnesota at 7:05 p.m. in the second round on Thursday.

Leininger scattered eight singles and allowed just two walks, striking out
six in his second complete-game victory of the season. He also improved to
9-3 on the season, moving into a tie for fourth on the Hoosiers’
single-season list in victories. Eric Jokisch was carded with the loss,
surrendering 14 hits and five runs in eight gritty innings of work for the
Wildcats.

Every player in the lineup had at least one hit, while Dickerson, Jerrud
Sabourin, Tyler Rogers and Ethan Wilson each had a pair of hits for IU.
Wilson had a two-run single as well for the Hoosiers. Chris Lashmet had a
pair of hits for NU (24-31). The Wildcats will play Purdue in an elimination
game on Thursday at noon.

Indiana struck quickly for four runs in the top of the first inning against
Jokisch. Micah Johnson drew a leadoff walk and Dickerson was hit by a pitch
with one out to put a pair on for Earley. Jokisch fell behind the senior
2-0, and Earley pulled the next pitch through the left side to score
Dickerson and make it 1-0. After a Josh Lyon groundout moved Earley and
Dickerson into scoring position, Rogers delivered an infield single to third
to plate Dickerson for a 2-0 lead. Rogers then moved into scoring position
on his 10th stolen base of the year, and Wilson looped a single into center
to push the lead to 4-0 in what was a 45-pitch first inning for Jokisch.

Leininger got into early trouble in the first with the Wildcats getting a
pair of singles, but he bounced back to get a strike-em-out, throw-em-out
double play to end the inning. He and Jokisch went back-and-forth from then
on, both allowing hits but managing to emerge without any damage until the
seventh inning. Sabourin and Dickerson got things going with back-to-back
singles with two down in the seventh, and Earley ripped the next pitch
through the right side to bring Sabourin home as an insurance run in a 5-0
lead.

In the bottom of the seventh, Rogers delivered what might have been the best
defensive play of the season. With one away, Chris Kontos crushed a line
drive to deep center, and Rogers, who is in just his third week in center
for the Hoosiers, sprinted back and made a diving, over-the-shoulder catch
to preserve the shutout. Leininger got a groundout to end the frame, and
after a leadoff walk to start the eighth, retired the final six men in order
to put the game in the books.

The Hoosiers will take on regular-season champion Minnesota at 7 p.m. on
Thursday in a game that will be televised live on the Big Ten Network. Live
audio and statistics will also be available on IUHoosiers.com.

3 comments

  1. Hoosiers v. Gophers tonight on B10 network. Love it.

    Does anybody else think the college game would be better with wood bats? I think there would be far fewer 15-10 type ball games.

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