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Thursday, April 18
The Indiana Daily Student

sports baseball

Hoosiers cruise in 1st game at Sembower

Behind sophomore third baseman Dustin DeMuth’s four hits, three RBI and three runs, the IU baseball team exploded for 11 runs in the first six innings to win its home opener against Eastern Kentucky, 11-5.

“It’s always good to get on top to make a team chase,” IU Coach Tracy Smith said. “It’s good for us to start seeing ourselves swing the bat a little bit better.”

The Hoosiers squandered an opportunity in the first inning, as junior center fielder Justin Cureton and freshman catcher Kyle Schwarber led off with a single and hit by pitch, respectively. Freshman first baseman Sam Travis ground into a 5-4-3 double play on a curve ball, and the Hoosiers’ clean-up hitter, sophomore infielder Dillon
Dooney, followed with a strike-out to waste the frame.

It was one of the only opportunities the Hoosiers wasted, as the team scored at least one run in each of the next five innings.

In the second inning, IU’s junior short stop, Michael Basil, who finished 2-for-4 with three runs and an RBI, would put the Hoosiersup with his first home run of the season.

The following inning, the Hoosiers would again have men on first and second. After it looked as if Schwarber had flied out to the right fielder, the umpire waived the play off to signify a balk. The balk gave Schwarber another shot at the plate, and he capitalized with an RBI ground out to second.

Next up, Travis roped a two-run home run to left field to give the Hoosiers a 4-0 lead.

After EKU attacked Travis with all curve balls in his first at-bat, Travis said he was ready for the off-speed pitches in his second at-bat.

“Skip (Smith) told me that if I was up with runners in scoring position that they were probably going to come back with the off speed,” Travis said. “I saw the first pitch was a fast ball, and the next were off-speed. I got ahold of it, and it went over the fence. I knew right when I hit it.”

DeMuth got his second extra-base hit of the game  with a two-out line drive to right field that EKU’s Austin Grisham dove for and missed, allowing DeMuth to go to third. DeMuth’s triple drove in Basil.

DeMuth scored from third when Cureton struck out with two outs, but the ball got away, allowing both runners to advance safely and the Hoosiers to take a 6-0 lead after four innings.

In the fifth inning, the Hoosiers would put up four runs after three straight two-out walks loaded the bases for DeMuth. After a wild pitch scored freshman left fielder Chris Sujka from third, DeMuth socked his third hit of the game through the right side of the in-field for his second and third RBI of the day.

DeMuth, who would finish the game a home run away from the cycle with two singles, a double and a triple, said he couldn’t help but think about going for the cycle after the fifth inning.

“How many times as a baseball player do you get to say you hit for the cycle?” DeMuth said. “Lately, I’ve been falling behind in the count, and they have been busting me in, but today I worked on expecting inside pitches and going with them to right field.”

IU tacked on its 11th and final run in the bottom of the sixth when freshman second baseman Chad Clark doubled down the right field line and drove in pitch hitter, junior Trace Knoblauch.

On the mound for IU, freshman Colin McEnery set the tone for the game by allowing only two singles and one walk in his four innings of work. McEnery earned the win, his first of the season.

“McEnery is not a guy that will blow you away with velocity, but he does a good job of changing speeds in the zone, and he’s a competitive kid,” Smith said. “Whether it’s offensively or defensively, McEnery keeps showing up. He’s going to help us win some more games.”

Junior Walker Stadler came in to relieve McEnery to begin the fifth inning and shut down the Colonels by not allowing a run in his inning and two-thirds of work.

Senior Chad Martin worked the next two and a third innings after Stadler’s day was done. He allowed only two hits and one walk, but gave up a two-out, three-run, pitch-hit home run to EKU’s Alex Arovits — Arovits’s first hit of the season.

Lefty freshman Spencer Sapp came in to close the door for the Hoosiers in the ninth, but allowed a two-run home run to EKU’s Richie Rodriquez with two outs to bring the game to 11-5.

In a day in which four Hoosiers had multiple hits and five had at least one RBI, DeMuth said he hopes this sweep of EKU will help the Hoosiers’ momentum going into a series with Penn State.

“Hopefully, we catch our stride and start playing well,” DeMuth said. “The defense has come around, and the hitting came around today, so hopefully we can carry this into Penn State this weekend."

Micah McVicker also contributed to this story.

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