BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The Indiana baseball team was victorious in its home opener on Wednesday afternoon, defeating Butler University, 4-1, at Sembower Field in Bloomington. By winning their third straight, the Hoosiers improved to 7-1 on the young season. Butler dropped to 3-5 on the year.
Freshman Derek Hibbs received the starting nod on the mound for IU. Hibbs got off to a bit of a rocky beginning in his first career start, surrendering two hits and a walk to load the bases. But the rookie recovered quickly, striking out Butler leftfielder Rex Eaton and getting catcher Tim Marks to fly out to left. Hibbs settled in from there.
Indiana finally got its bats going in the bottom of the third, rallying with two outs to score a pair of runs. Junior shortstop Seth Bynum knocked a single through the left side and then advanced on a Chad Coder one-bagger to center field. Sophomore second baseman Corby Heckman hit a well-placed ball to center and Bynum and Coder came around to score.
The Bulldogs responded with a run of their own in the top half of the next inning. Marks blasted a home run to left-center to draw Butler within, 2-1.
In the sixth, it was the Hoosiers who collected a home of their own. With two outs, senior third baseman Vasili Spanos hit it deep to right for his second long ball of the season.
Junior catcher Cody Wargo capped the victory with a home run of his own in the seventh, his first roundtripper of the season. Wargo blasted the ball off the scoreboard in right center field.
Hibbs worked the first four innings and allowed just three hits, one run and one walk while striking out two. Junior Adam Pegg pitched two innings for IU and gave up just one hit on his way to the win. Pegg is 2-1 on the season and freshman Chris Hynes came on to finish the game. Hynes kept the Bulldogs off balance as he picked his first career save. The Mundelein, Ill., product gave up just one hit and one walk while fanning three Butler batters.
Senior designated hitter Nick Evans went 2-for-4 with a double for the Hoosiers. Spanos and junior first baseman Kevin Mahar both extended their hitting streaks to six consecutive games.
Despite not giving up a walk and logging three strikeouts, Aaron Phillips took the loss for BU. Phillips went the distance and fell to 0-2 on the year.
The Hoosiers return to action on Thursday afternoon at Sembower Field when they play host to DePauw at 3 p. m.