After taking a 4-3 (to break a 3-3 tie) lead with 2 outs in the bottom of the 8th thanks to a Louisville error on a bouncer to first off the bat of DH Josh Lyon that scored Jerrud Sabourin from second, Drew Leininger surrendered a two-run home run to Andrew Clark with 2 outs in the 9th to propel #8 Louisville to a 5-4 victory on Tuesday afternoon in Bloomington. The loss drops the Hoosiers to 12-11 on the year, while the win moved Louisville to an impressive 21-3 in 2010.
Click here for the box score and recap from IUHoosiers.com.
Player of the Game: The game ball goes to Sabourin. The junior went 2-3 with a pair of runs batted in and a run scored.
Stat of the Game: This was IU's first loss of the season when leading after 8 innings. They were 11-0 when leading after 8 prior to dropping today's contest.
Play of the Game: I thought it was going to be the Louisville error that allowed Sabourin to scamper home, but ultimately it has to be Leininger surrendering the homer to Clark in the 9th, which proved to be the difference in this one as the Hoosiers failed to put any runs on the board in the bottom half of the final frame.
Breakdown: Tough loss any way you look at it for IU. The Hoosiers were one out away from defeating a top-ten ranked opponent, and this would have undoubtedly been huge for this team heading into conference play. I know Leininger has pitched brilliantly all season and Chris Squires pitched 3 innings on Saturday, but I was somewhat surprised Coach Smith opted not to go with the senior right-hander in the 9th. Defeating Louisville would have been a signature win for this squad, and while "moral" victories can sometimes be hard to stomach, hopefully the Hoosiers will use this as a confidence-builder and know that they are more than capable of competing with a top-ten team (which by the way there are none of in the Big Ten right now).
Next Up: The Hoosiers open conference play at home on Friday afternoon as they play host to Michigan. First pitch is slated for 3:05pm ET.