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Tuesday, June 18
The Indiana Daily Student

sports baseball

Hoosiers bring offensive pop to home diamond


IU baseball coach Tracy Smith said baseball is a game of consistency — both in play and preparation.

That’s why he’s trying to keep his team away from “superhuman, extra-special stuff” against Xavier in its home opening game at Sembower Field today.

“I just think it gives the guys a high energy level,” Smith said. “It’s a different feel ... You come out and play the game like it’s supposed to be played, but I know we have a lot of young guys on this team.”

With a 9-10 record this year in matchups across the U.S., the Hoosiers should be looking forward to playing on their home turf. IU went 12-7 at home last season, and so far this year it is 1-6 in true away games. Seeing the stands filled with fans donning cream and crimson will be a refreshing sight for this road-weary squad.

“We had some home games last year that really felt like home games,” sophomore pitcher Blake Monar said.

Monar and senior outfielder Mike Earley said they are not sure what to expect from their first home contest in terms of the crowd but that they wouldn’t be far off if they said it would be a high-energy atmosphere.

Hoosier fans have a lot to look forward to. IU won the Big Ten Championship last year, and this year’s offense is just as potent as last year’s with sophomore Alex Dickerson and freshman Micah Johnson leading the way with 8 and 6 home runs, respectively.

And don’t forget about Jerrud Sabourin, the potent junior first-baseman-turned-pitcher who leads the team with a batting average better than .400.

And while Xavier is not looking nearly as good as the Hoosiers have this season (the Musketeers have a team batting average worse than .250), that’s no reason to believe the former Atlantic 10 champions won’t put up a fight.

“They’re always a pretty solid team,” Monar said. “They’re going to give us a game. It’s going to be a battle there.”

Though there’s a slight chance of rain today, there should be nothing stopping the Hoosier faithful from being out in force. Bring a poncho, bring some popcorn and get ready for the show.

“We’ve got a really exciting team this year,” Earley said. “You never know what can happen.”

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