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Home runs doom IU in opening game

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Then-freshman infielder Jeremy Houston, now a sophomore, is congratulated after returning to the Hoosier dugout after his first career home run on April 29. IU defeated No. 20 South Alabama 8-4 Sunday afternoon. Michael Williams Buy Photos

It took only three at-bats for Oklahoma to dash IU's chances of a season-opening win Friday afternoon at the Brittain Resorts Baseball at the Beach tournament in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

The Sooners blasted three home runs off IU junior starting pitcher Jonathan Stiever in the game's first three innings. This allowed Oklahoma to overcome an early 2-0 deficit and defeat IU 6-3.

IU got off to a fast start by putting two runs on the board in the top of the first inning. The first three Hoosier batters all reached base safely before junior infielder Luke Miller recorded an RBI groundout and junior catcher Ryan Fineman recorded an RBI single.

However, the 2-0 advantage was erased in the second inning when Oklahoma hit its first home run of the game, a two-run shot to left field by freshman infielder Cade Cavalli. 

The Sooners' final two home runs off Stiever both came in the third inning. Senior infielder Kyle Mendenhall also sent a two-run home run to left field to give Oklahoma a 4-2 advantage before junior outfielder Steele Walker added a solo shot to the same area of the ballpark.

Senior outfielder Logan Sowers responded immediately for IU with a solo home run of his own in the fourth to cut the deficit to 5-3, but the Hoosiers were unable to take advantage of run-scoring opportunities the rest of the game.

IU left seven runners on base in the loss. This included two in the fifth and three in the sixth, when sophomore infielder Jeremy Houston struck out with two outs and the bases loaded.

Stiever pitched five innings and allowed all six Oklahoma runs before being replaced by freshman pitcher Nick Eaton. The McCordsville, Indiana, native lasted two innings in his IU debut before another freshman, Austin Long of Bedford, Indiana, made his debut by pitching the eighth. 

Freshman outfielder Elijah Dunham also made his IU debut by pinch hitting for sophomore infielder Scotty Bradley and replacing him in the field.

IU will look to pick up its first win at noon tomorrow against Kansas State at the same location.

Cameron Drummond

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