As I said in Quick Hits prior to this game, the Western Illinois pitching staff has not been good this year, and the Hoosier bats made them pay today as they banged out 17 hits in route to the 17-2 victory. Obviously, several Hoosiers put up good stats offensively. IU was led by leadoff hitter Brian Lambert who went 5-5 with 3 runs scored. Freshman Josh Lyon, starting for the second time this week, also produced going 3-4 with 4 RBI and 3 runs scored. Although Alex Dickerson only had one hit on the day, he recorded 5 RBIs including 3 on a 3-run shot over the left field fence and 2 on sacrifice flies. Jake Dunning had 2 hits, and 6 other Hoosiers had one hit a piece.
Although the hitting of a subpar pitching staff is not surprising as we have been able to do this all year, the real story was the pitching performance of Joey O'Gara. O'Gara threw 5 innings of no hit ball striking out 6 and walking 0 (he hit one batter and one reached on an error). I know many of us probably wanted to see him go deeper in the game given the no hitter, but it is important to look at the bigger picture which is the conference season. O'Gara proved himself today, and let's hope he can be a valuable asset out of the pen later this weekend.
Freshman Wyatt Hoff relieved O'Gara and pitched 3 innings allowing 2 runs while striking out 4. Left handed freshman Marshall Gorham came in the 9th and allowed 2 hits, but no runs as he struck out 3.
For those counting strikeouts, yes we had 13! For those that don't know, 8 strikeouts for the Hoosier pitching staff gives everyone in attendance free breadsticks from Mother Bear's and 12 gives everyone a free snack pack!
Let's use this momentum as we go into the weekend series against Purdue. Go Hoosiers!