The middle of the lineup came through today, the three through six hitters went 13-17.
"A lot of guys in baseball say hitting is contagious," sophomore infielder Sam Travis said, who bats third in the lineup. "And today it seemed like it was."
IU (26-8) broke its four game losing streak tonight when they beat Butler 12-2 in wintery conditions at Bart Kaufman Field.
During the first inning, the wind chill was 34 degrees and wind gusts reached upwards of 20 miles per hour. Towards the end of the game, heavy rain started falling.
Despite the conditions, the Hoosiers had zero errors, something IU Coach Tracy Smith was proud of.
"The thing that sticks out to me more than the hits and what the guys did offensively was the zero errors," Smith said. "That was our focus coming into this game -- not making any mistakes defensively."
Junior pitcher Joey DeNato had a strong performance and had a no hitter go into the sixth inning.
DeNato finished with seven innings pitched and gave up three hits, two earned runs, three walks and recorded six strikeouts for the win, improving to 5-1 on the season.
Even though DeNato flirted with a no-hitter, Smith thought the pitcher wasn't as effective as he could be.
"It's funny, I don't think he was particularly sharp," Smith said. "He certainly threw a quality, quality start. But I told our pitching coach, Ty Neal, I still don't think he was really sharp ... He was certainly good enough to win, but I still think he could be better."
Because of the harsh weather conditions, DeNato said it was tough to get a feel for things in the first inning before settling in for the game.
"In the beginning it was hard to get a feel for the ball because it was so cold," DeNato said. "But throughout the game I think I got more of a feel for it, getting more pitches over for strikes. And not focusing on throwing it past them, just throwing the ball in there for a strike."
DeNato had a stellar offensive effort back him up, as the Hoosiers 12 runs was the most they have scored in the month of April.
Sophomore infielder Scott Donley went 4-4 on the day with two RBI's and said that Travis's hitting was contagious for the rest of the team.
"We said last night, offensively you're going to have spots where your up and down," Smith said. "But it was a tremendous offensive performance."
Play-by-Play Account of Scoring
IU struck first in the bottom of the third. Back-to-back doubles gave the Hoosiers the first run of the game when Donley drove home Scott Travis.
Junior infielder Dustin DeMuth then brought home Donley with an RBI single to give IU the quick 2-0 lead.
Then for the second time of the day, Donley drove in Travis. This time in the bottom of the fifth to extend the Hoosier lead to 3-0.
With two outs in the top of the sixth, Butler got an RBI triple and then sophomore catcher Chad Clark was unable to corral a ball in the dirt and the runner from third reached home safely to cut the IU lead to 3-2.
The game broke open in the bottom of the sixth when the Hoosiers recorded five in the frame. Eight straight batters reached base in the inning.
Sophomore outfielder Will Nolden started the scoring barrage when he scored two with an RBI triple.
Travis recorded his sixth home run of the season when he smacked the first pitch over the center field fence, scoring two.
The damage could have been greater, as IU had the bases loaded with zero outs. Clark then struck out and freshmen infielder Brian Wilhite hit into a double play.
IU added a few more in the eighth when sophomore outfielder Tim O'Conner came through with a triple when the bases were loaded to score three.
Freshmen Nick Ramos then brought home O'Conner on a sacrafice fly, recording the last run of the day for the Hoosiers, to record the 12-2 win.
These two teams will face off tomorrow in game two of the series at Bart Kaufman Field. First pitch is scheduled for 4:05 p.m.
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