It was a tale of two games for IU baseball in Friday’s doubleheader against Butler.
The two things both games shared were IU victories and dominant performances from junior catcher Ryan Fineman.
Fineman combined to go six for eight Friday with six RBIs as IU won the first game 6-5 and the second game 13-0.
“Just focusing on little things in my swing,” Fineman said. “My main worry is always just catching, making sure the pitchers are doing well.”
In many situations a coach will decide to have a backup catcher start the second game of a doubleheader, but that was not the case Friday as Fineman once again proved his durability for the Hoosiers.
He has now started 20 of IU’s 23 games.
“Last year, he had a tough year offensively," IU Coach Chris Lemonis said. "But he’s been solid for us all year long. His defense is always a plus.”
IU improved its overall record to 19-5 this season with the two wins. Friday's doubleheader came as a result of Thursday night's game being cancelled due to rain.
As the final scores indicated, the first game was more of a back-and-forth affair than the second game.
The Hoosiers were able to prevail in the first game when freshman infielder Justin Walker scored on a pass ball in the bottom of the ninth inning to give IU the walk-off win.
Walker came into the game during the seventh to play shortstop in place of sophomore infielder Jeremy Houston.
Houston had started 71 consecutive games for IU. However, after going 0-2 and making two errors, Houston was replaced by Walker in game one and Walker was given the start in the second game.
Walker took advantage of his opportunity by going two for five with a two-RBI single in the first inning.
“He’s a really good defensive player, but his offensive at-bats were good,” Lemonis said. “He gave us a shot out there and made a couple nice plays.”
Junior starting pitcher Pauly Milto started the second game for IU after junior pitcher Jonathan Stiever delivered a six-inning showing during his game one start.
After watching Stiever allow two earned runs and four total runs in game one, Milto threw six scoreless innings against the Bulldogs.
Milto's solid outing came after he lasted only 1.2 innings and allowed three runs at Iowa last weekend.
“It was tough conditions last time he was out there,” Lemonis said. “It was good to see him throw well. He got his slider and his splitty going, so that was nice.”