Runs, Stress, Excitment, Drama Aplenty in 11-10 Victory
March 16, 2011
LAKEDLAND, Fla. -- For the second day in a row and the fourth time this season, the Indiana University baseball team (11-5) put in a little overtime to win a ball game in extra innings. On Wednesday, the Hoosiers erased numerous UMass leads to take the 10-inning contest, 11-10.
Indiana improves to 4-0 in extra-inning games and has now won seven games when trailing or tied in the eighth inning. The two teams combined for 21 runs on 30 hits in the slugfest. Six different Hoosiers recorded multi-hit games, paced by Micah Johnson and Alex Dickerson with three hits apiece. Dickerson knocked in four runs, including a two-run homer in the top of 10th to win the game.
A pair of walks and defensive errors doomed the Hoosiers right away in the first frame when Massachusetts put up a five-spot.
The Hoosier bats slowly started to chip away at the five-run hole, scoring two runs in the second and third innings each. In the second, Wes Wilson got things started with a double, his third consecutive game with a two-bagger. Johnson drove him in before coming around to score himself on an RBI by Jerrud Sabourin. A double by Dickerson in the third notched his first two RBIs of the day, closing the gap to 5-4.
After the Minutemen tacked on another in the bottom of the third, Indiana plated two runs in the top of the fourth (IU's third straight inning with two scores). Dustin DeMuth and T.C. Knipp were responsible for the driven in runs and evening the score at 6-6.
Knipp did it again in the sixth, ripping an RBI-single to give IU its first lead of the ball game. It was all set up by Ty Downing laying down his team-leading fifth sacrifice bunt of the season to move Casey Smith into scoring position.
Having battled their way out of the early 5-0 deficit to take a 7-6 lead, the Hoosiers looked to be in good shape. However, UMass regrouped to push across the next three runs and surge back ahead 9-7 heading to the ninth inning.
With three outs to play, Dickerson began the ninth-inning rally by powering a single through the right side of the infield. Johnson and Sabourin stroked singles as well to make it a 9-8 score with two runners on. Josh Lyon was then called on to pinch hit, drawing a walk and filling the bases full of Hoosiers. Matt Serfling dug in next and sent his third sac fly in the last two games, knotting the score at 9-9.
Hoosier relief pitcher Matt Dearden, who entered midway through the sixth inning, remained in for the bottom of the ninth. The Gainesville, Fla., native sat down the Minutemen in succession for the 1-2-3 inning.
Knipp opened the top of the 10th with a free pass. He was followed by a no-doubt long ball to the deepest part of the field by Dickerson, plowing the Hoosiers to an 11-9 advantage.
Dearden returned to the bump for 10th, and got himself into a pickle. With the bases loaded and run already scored for UMass, Dearden dug deep and induced a ground ball to third base to secure the Hoosier triumph, 11-10.
Head Coach Tracy Smith's squad is slated for three more games down in the Sunshine State before returning to Bloomington. Thursday's contest is an early one, scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m. versus Bucknell at Henley Field in Lakeland, Fla. IUHoosiers.com will be providing a live audio broadcast once again. Unfortunately, the blistering central Florida sun toasted the baseball stat computer and GameTracker is not available for the final three games.