Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Hoosiers Drop 5-4 Heartbreaker to Louisville

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.


  1. So many close losses to Louisville!

  2. Look tracy is a good recruiter but as an in game manager his decision making is questionable at best. Keeping in your friday night starter for 3 innings in a midweek game while your closer, who has been great as of late, is wasted in the bullpen is borderline insane. Great you got the always overrated left on left matchup but with squires' changeup he is probably a better choice to face the lefty there anyway. Bullpen management has always been a problem during the tracy smith era.
    -prickly pete

  3. yes, it's stupid to use your best pitcher to try and win a game. who does that? dang.

  4. I agree, who wouldn't want Leininger to finish the game with the lefties they had coming up? Squires is good, but LH destroy him. Plus it looks like he walks a ton of guys. I would bet on Leininger again in that situation. What bullpen are you referring to. I have seen a few games and look at stats, if he (coach) is as good a recruiter as you say, then he better recruit better pitchers so IU can have a bullpen.

  5. The "Smith Era" is 5 years old...put 7 guys in the mlb draft(and another free agent more than any other NCAA team) Won the Big 10 tourney and reached the NCAA tournament...how long has it been since IU has accomplished that? Uh...it was 1996...the last time Coach Smith was on staff...

    I agree he is not an overly intelligent man -but his mother and I will have to take the genetic blame there - but this is baseball not orthopedic surgery (I'd call Dr. Porter for that & he is overly intelligent)

    So the “Smith Era” is producing quality individual and team results…I see your point…time to scrap it…

  6. I think Coach Smith tried to do what he could to put his team in the best chance to win using Leienger. He had been lights out and I think IU fans felt pretty good with him on the mound. It just didn't work this time.

  7. im with prickly pete, all you little league dads can come to the rescue for skip, but you have the all time saves leader in IU history sitting in the bullpen foaming at the mouth ready to come in and shut it down, and you shut him down.


  8. Bottom line Smith is a good recruiter and has a lot of good players but is a very poor game manager. The very talented players last year underachieved until the Big Ten Tourney and they finally said the hell with it and won on talent alone. As Smith said he just got out of the way. Not figuring out line ups, poor bull pen management, no communication [the players don't know what's going on] are all problems with his game management!

  9. if he would just play my son, i'd say he was a great game manager. come on skipper.

  10. As far as little league dads go...aren't they the ones always complaining that the coach isn't doing what they think he should be doing...

    You "anonymous" dudes or dudettes sound like disgruntled "my poor baby isn't playing enough mommies and daddies" or worse yet "I'm not getting enough playing time players"

    You gals would be the same ones who would also be the first to complain if he had brought Squires in and it didn't work out...I can read it now: "Took out a pitcher that hadn't been scored on in 28+ inning...had a great lefty lefty matchup...what's Smith thinking? Etc...

    The players don't know what's going on? Bad communication? Do players not know when and where practice is? Do players not know if it's a home or away game? Batting practice time? Bus departure time? Does he not post the starting line-up prior to the game? How much communication do the players need?

    Maybe some of the players need to pop their momma's teet outta their mouth and if they are confused about such issues they should axe Skip directly.

    "I dont't think Skip made the right decision...I don't like this line-up...I think so and so should be playing over so and so, I don't think he communicates with the players etc., etc..."

    Now, who is it again that sounds like little league dads?

  11. And another thing...Q is one of my favorite Baseball Hoosiers ever.

    His passion and enthusiasm on the mound are inspiring. But sometimes even players as good as Q face bad match-ups.

    Q gave up a top of the 9th HR last year to, guess who, Louisville! And it was after a BB to previous batter.

    Squires has been pretty much lights out to most teams. Except Louisville. His ERA is above 20.00 vs the Cardinals

    I wonder if any of this went into Coach Smiff's decision making process.

    That and the fact he had a lefty on lefty match-up with a guy that hadn't been scored on in 28+ innings with a lower proclivity for allowing a BB (which can be important in late inning 1 run games)

    Maybe Skip should have called time and explained the match-up, reasoning and statistical analysis to all his players and to the PA announcer so that he could relay the info to the crowd so everyone could stay in the loop.

    Naw, if he did that, what the heck would we have to yap about?

  12. I still stand by my statement about Smith even though you got your feathers ruffled Scott.Are you releated to him?He can recruit but with 8 players signing last year and only a 32-27 record and two and barbecue at the NCAA regional is underachieving in my book! Ask the players about communication?

  13. Time for the diametrically opposed Allies to link up for the next two months and kick the Axis Big Ten's butt! Whadda ya'll say! GO HOOSIERS!

  14. Anonymus, (In my best Forrest Gump impersonation I am saying) "No, Sir, we are not relations."

    I'm merely an IU baseball fan - have been since I met former Coach Bob Morgan some 15 plus years ago. And now I support the current coach.

    Hoosier Fan, OK...I'm in! Go Hoosiers!

  15. Everyone has an opinion, but I still think Smith did what stats said was best in this situation and I would have done the same.

  16. Scott glad you are an IU baseball fan and have been for a long time. I followed the team when Coach Morgan was there also. I believe in 1996 they won the Big Ten when Smith and Morgan coached together.Too bad they can't be together again!
    As Skip game day coaching is in question at times I only need to refer to yesterdays game. Bring your closer in for the 8th[maybe] and 9th inning not the 6th.We lost momentum and it backfired. I guess that's why its such a great game. Let's WIN today!

  17. "Too bad they can't be together again!" if you honestly believe this, you should immediately switch to following division II or III baseball. b.m. is a master of collecting wins against that level of ball. he has seasons on record where half the games are against lower division opponents and years where records were set based on playing lesser talent. today's players should resent that and so should a fan of big ten baseball. with comments like yours, i'm guessing you are NOT a true fan.
    rather, a b.m. fan.

  18. Yes, I do like Coach Morgan but this isn't about him! Don't get things miscontrued. It's about game day coaching was the subject.
    We need to put Friday and Saturday behind us and beat Michigan today.Go Hoosiers and with Leininger on the hill I like our chances.