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Hoosiers Top Buckeyes 6-4 in 10 innings (Saturday)

Columbus, Ohio–Michael Earley hit Eric Best’s first pitch in the 10th inning for a home run over the left field fence, and the Indiana Hoosiers added another run to top the baseball Buckeyes 6-4 in the second of three games in the weekend series.

Michael Earley (IU)

The teams combined for seven errors, four by Indiana.

Indiana’s sophomore ace Drew Leininger pitched nine innings to raise his record to 5-1, and could have easily had a shutout, with a little help from his friends. He made only one mistake, and Brian DeLucia crushed it for a grand slam to dead center field in the 4th inning, giving the Buckeyes a 4-3 lead that lasted until the 8th inning. All four runs were unearned, following errors by first baseman Jerrud Sabourin and second baseman Tyler Rogers, and a single by Cory Rupert that popped out of Earley’s glove in right field. Chris Squires survived the Hoosiers’ fourth error in the bottom of the 10th, and set an IU record with his 16th career save.

The sophomore left-hander Leininger leads the Hoosiers in wins, ERA, innings pitched, strikeouts, and opponent’s batting average, and earlier this year had a Hoosier record of 28 2/3 straight scoreless innings.

The Hoosiers scored a small-ball run in the first on a Micah Johnson leadoff walk, a Brian Lambert sacrifice bunt, a Sabourin groundout, and an RBI single by Preseason Third Team All-American Alex Dickerson; and again in the third in similar fashion-a leadoff double by Johnson, another Lambert sacrifice bunt, and a sacrifice fly by Sabourin. They added another run in the third on an RBI single by Earley.

Drew Leininger (IU)

OSU’s Drew Rucinski gave up  three runs, but settled down after that and retired eight of  the nine. He worked out of a two-on jam in the 6th by striking out Cincinnati St. Xavier’s Michael Basil, and again in the 7th on a long foul fly snagged by left fielder Zach Hurley.

The Hoosiers tied it in the 8th without a hit and with the help of two Buckeye errors. The inning appeared to be over when Dylan Swift tapped back to Rucinski, but his throwing error let Tyler Rogers score from second.

Ohio State fell to 18-9 and 3-2 in the Big Ten, losing for the first time at home in their fourth game this year at Bill Davis Stadium. Indiana entered the game having scored  double digit runs in seven of their last 12 games, but having won only one of eight games on an opponent’s field. With the win, they raised their record to 14-15 and 2-3 in the Big Ten.

GAME NOTES

* Cory Kovanda extended his hitting streak to 11 with a single in the first inning.

* The grand slam by Brian DeLucia was his fourth home run of the season. It was the first grand slam by a Buckeye since Justin Miller hit one April 25, 2009 in an 11-7 win over Northwestern.

* Saturday marked the longest outing of Drew Rucinski’s career. His previous long outing was 6.0 innings against Dartmouth earlier this season.

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