Bradenton, Fla. - The season-opener for the Indiana University baseball team came down to the wire against the University of Findlay Oilers at Manatee Community College Friday night in Bradenton, Fla. While not originally scheduled to travel to the Sunshine State for another two weeks, frigid temperatures and record snowfalls forced the Hoosiers to Florida a bit early.
The Oilers got on the board early when Chad Feasel hit one out of the park to put Findlay up 1-0. The score would hold there until the bottom of the third when Findlay’s Jeff Opfer scored on an IU error to give the Oilers a 2-0 advantage.
Fifth-year senior pitcher Ryan Smith got the win on the mound for IU, as he pitched the last four innings, striking out six Oilers while allowing only one hit.
IU got its offensive spark from senior Vasili Spanos who had two RBI, including the game winner in the top of the 11th inning to break the 5-5 tie and give the Hoosiers the go-ahead, 6-5 winning run.
In addition to Spanos, junior Seth Bynum hit one long over the left field fence for a Hoosier home run, carding two RBI with that swing in the top of the seventh to pull the Hoosiers to a 5-5 tie. David Hughes got the winning run for IU.
Indiana takes on Valparaiso Saturday, Mar. 1 at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. Game time is set for 10:30 a.m.