Matt Carr got the start for the Hoosiers going 4.1 innings. Although his stat line doesn't look great with 6 earned runs accredited to him, he actually pitched well through the first 4 innings (including a 7 pitch 2nd, a 6 pitch 3rd, and a 13 pitch 4th). These quick innings were great to see as Carr has been the second reliever in conference play and will need to prove valuable as the conference regular season winds down and the Big Ten tournament approaches.
The real RedHawk damage was done in the 5th. After loading the bases on 3 straight singles, to lead off the inning, Matt Carr walked the next two batters to plate two giving Miami (OH) a 4-2 lead. Having confidence in Carr and knowing that he will need to prove reliable in clutch situations in the future, Coach Tracy Smith stayed with Carr to face one more right handed batter. Carr got the out he needed on a sac fly to center. With the #5 hitter and left handed bat coming to the plate, Leininger came to the mound to get the Hoosiers out of the inning. After getting down 3-0 early in the count, he fought back only to give up the eventual free pass to load the bases once again. Leininger then induced a sac fly and foul out to finally stop the RedHawks bats as Miami (OH) led 6-2 going into the bottom of the 5th.
Leininger pitched through the 6th as well allowing 1 run on 2 hits. In the 7th, Coach Tracy Smith went to freshman lefthander Matt Igel who had an ERA upwards of 14 going into the game. Igel did not pitch like someone with an high ERA as he pitched two innings of scoreless ball allowing 3 hits and striking out 3. It is great to see other freshman playing valuable roles even if it is limited to midweek relief.
The Hoosiers went into the 9th down 6-7, and failed to stop the Miami offense allowing 2 runs on 2 hits (both doubles) in the 9th. The top of the 9th ended interestingly. With runners at the corners, Dunning threw to first to trap the RedHawk runner between first and second. With the pickle occurring, the runner on 3rd darted home. Sabourin alertly threw to home to get the runner, and Phegley threw down to second to get the double play. It was a great play that brought the Miami coach out to do his best Lou Piniella impression (he thought the runner coming home was safe). I guess it could have been worse!. The Hoosiers unfortunately could not produce in the bottom of the 9th leaving two runners stranded and ending the game 9-6.
At the plate, Alex Dickerson led the Hoosiers with 3 hits (including his 13th double and 12th homerun of the season), 2 RBI, and 2 runs scored. Not to be outdone by the freshman, Josh Phegley hit his 13th homerun of the year while going 2 for 5 with 3 RBI and 1 run scored. Rounding out the big 3 in the Hoosier lineup, Sabourin also had two hits. Batting in the DH spot (Dickerson played LF), Freshman Josh Lyon had a good day at the plate recording 2 hits as well.
Although this game probably doesn't matter much overall, it's a tough one to lose nevertheless. Let's hope we can get the midweek split tomorrow vs. Western Illinois to go into the weekend strong.