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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.

Wimmers K’s 14 as Ohio State beats Indiana, 7-1 (Friday)

Courtesy of Ohio State Athletics

Alex Wimmers (osu)

Ohio State defeated Indiana, 7-1 in a Big Ten Conference game on Friday night in Columbus. Ace All-American Alex Wimmers went the distance and struck out 14 Hoosiers to improve to 7-0 on the season. Ohio State is 18-8 overall and remained tied for first in the Big Ten with a 3-1 record. Indiana’s record is 14-14 overall and the Hoosiers are 1-3 in conference play.

.094 represented the batting average of left-handed hitters this season vs. Wimmers coming in the game. That average was going to get tested vs. Indiana which had four lefty hitters in their lineup, including two of the best hitters in the Big Ten in Alex Dickerson and Jerrud Sabourin. Dickerson came into the game riding a 21-game hitting streak-second longest in the nation- and with 12 home runs and 39 RBI’s to go along with a sky-high .444 batting average. Sabourin was right there in Dickerson’s rare air with a .480 average with 6 homers and 31 RBI’s.

As usual, Wimmers passed the test again. He checked the Hoosier left-handed bats to a 1-15 day at the plate with Sabourin’s ninth-inning single the lone hit allowed.

GAME NOTES

* The Buckeyes Michael Stephens hit his seventh home run of the season.

* Wimmers has made 23 starts and in nine of them, he has struck out 10 or more batters.

* Wimmers lowered his ERA to 1.80.

* Ohio State and Indiana have played every year since 1944.

Clippers fall narrowly to Indy, 4-3

A night removed from playing a 14-12 slugfest, it was the pitching that took over Saturday night inside Huntington Park when the Columbus Clippers and Indianapolis Indians met for the third game of a four-game series.

The teams split the two previous match-ups and Saturday night marked the rubber game of the three-game set.

Unfortunately for Columbus, though, they would fall in the final game of the series, 4-3.

The Clippers fell behind early after Indians first baseman Steve Pearce knocked a groundball between shortstop and third for a two-run first-inning single after Clippers starting pitcher Jeanmar Gomez walked the bases loaded.

Gomez was able to retire the Indians in order in the second, but was roughed up again in the third.

After Indians right fielder Brandon Jones doubled to start the inning, Gomez appeared primed to wiggle out of trouble after striking out DH Brandon Myrow looking and coaxing a pop-out from third baseman Pedro Alvarez. But a line-drive single off the bat of left fielder Brandon Moss chased home the third Indians run of the night.

All told, Gomez pitched five innings, allowing four hits and three runs. He struck out five and walked four. Clearly Gomez did not have his best stuff Saturday night, but he battled nicely and kept the Clippers in the game.

The problem on this night for the Clippers was their inability to get a timely hit. Columbus left runners on base in the second, third and fourth innings.

Failing to score in the fourth was particularly frustrating.

After Clippers left fielder Shelley Duncan walked to begin the bottom of the fourth inning, catcher Carlos Santana sent a high fly ball to moderately deep left field where Duncan’s counterpart, Brandon Moss, dropped the baseball, opening the door for a potential Clippers rally.

Unfortunately for the home team, however, following the Moss error, DH Wes Hodges flew out to center and third baseman Brian Bixler struck out looking. That brought Brian Horwitz to the plate with two outs.

Horwitz found himself in a similar situation in the second inning when, with two on and two out, he grounded out to end the inning.

This time around, Horwitz lined out softly to Indians second baseman Brian Friday to end the threat.

The Clippers were finally able to break through and plate a pair of runs in the fifth inning. Shortstop Anderson Hernandez led off with a walk and advanced to third after left fielder promptly followed with a double to right-center.

Hernandez scored on an infield single from second baseman Jason Donald.

Columbus could have easily plated a couple more runs in that inning, but Russell Branyan’s 4-6-3 double-play, though scoring Crowe, erased the threat.
After scoreless innings each from Hector Ambriz and Steven Wright, Columbus was able to again strike in the seventh inning, this time scoring off Indians reliever Anthony Claggett in his second inning of work.

Horwitz doubled off Claggett to begin the inning and Hernandez followed with a line-drive single to center, tying the game at three.

No sooner had the scoreboard operator changed the score, did he have to change it again in the top of the eighth after Moss bashed a homerun off the scoreboard in left field off Wright, pitching his second inning of relief. Wright would rebound nicely to retire the next three batters in succession, but the damage had been done.

Jean Machi came in and nailed down the game, earning a two-inning save to preserve the victory.

Columbus drops to 1-2 on the season and is in action again Sunday afternoon when it wraps up this four-game series with Indianapolis. First pitch is slated for 1:05.

The Awards keep piling up for Evan Turner; wins Wooden Award

compiled from staff and wire reports

Evan Turner said he was hoping for at least on award when the postseason came around. But he’s winning everyone imaginable!

Friday at the Los Angeles Athletic Club, Evan Turner was awarded the John R. Wooden Award.

He was chosen over John Wall of Kentucky, Wesley Johnson of Syracuse, Da’Sean Butler of West Virginia and Kansas guard Sherron Collins for the 34th Wooden Award.

Evan Turner (osu)

Evan Turner is by far the consensus player of the year. He has won The Associated Press player of the year award and the Naismith Award, basically making a clean sweep of the sport’s top prizes after his standout season with the Buckeyes.

The Big Ten’s player of the year averaged 20.4 points, 9.2 rebounds and 6.0 assists while making more than 52 percent of his shots and leading Ohio State (29-8) to the NCAA tournament’s regional semifinals.

Cubs bullpen blows another game; Stubbs hits game-winning slam

compiled by megasportsnews.com staff

The baseball season is just 5 days old, but the Chicago Cubs bullpen has blown two games already. On Wednesday, Chipper Jones hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning off John Grabow for a 3-2 Atlanta win.

Friday night in Cincinnati, the Cubs were nursing a 3-1 lead and looked like they would win their second game of the year. Then deja vu struck again.

Drew Stubbs (mlb)

Drew Stubbs hit his first career grand slam off Esmailin Caridad in the eighth inning, rallying the Cincinnati Reds to a 5-4 win that left Cubs manager Lou Piniella wondering if he can trust his bullpen.

The Reds had managed only three hits in the first seven innings, then took advantage of Caridad (0-1), who walked only one hitter during 14 spring training games. But these are real major-league baseball games and a pitcher won’t be able to get away with his walks like he did in the spring.

Caridad walked the first two batters, and Chris Dickerson bunted for a single that loaded the bases bringing up Stubbs.

Stubbs knew when he hit the ball that the ball was going over the fence and into the Reds bullpen area for a 5-3 lead.

The Cubs are now 1-3 because of inconsistent hitting and a bullpen that has blown two games.

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