IU's bats were working in high gear Wednesday afternoon at Sembower Field as the Hoosiers beat the Musketeers of Xavier 17-8 (click here for the box score and recap from IUHoosiers.com) in their 2010 home opener. IU set season highs with 17 runs, 22 hits and 6 home runs as 8 different Hoosiers recorded multiple hits. Leading the way was Jerrud Sabourin, who tied the school record with 5 hits, including a double and his 3rd and 4th home runs of the season, and also drove in 4 runs and scored 5 runs himself. Michael Earley and Alex Dickerson also had big days at the plate. Earley also blasted 2 home runs and had 2 doubles to go along with his 4 runs batted in, while Dickerson drove in 3 and connected on his 9th home run of the year.
Also worth noting is the performance at the plate of sophomore Blake Monar, who was expected to be IU's ace on the mound heading into the season. Still working his way back from a minor shoulder injury incurred during IU's first game of the season, Monar saw his first at-bats of the season (and his IU career) during the team's spring break trip to Florida, and he came off the bench against Xavier to go 2-2 with 3 runs batted in and now has 3 his in 9 at-bats for the year. I did some digging (which essentially consisted of a simple Google search) to try and find some high school hitting stats on Monar since all he did as a freshman was pitch, and I learned that he hit over .600 as a high school senior. While I don't know what the plan is for the left-hander once he returns to the mound as far as at-bats go, I would think we will continue to see more and more of Monar at the plate (as either the DH, at 1B or as a pinch-hitter) as the season progresses.
Back to the game, Jonny Hoffman picked up his first career victory as a Hoosier with 4.2 innings of 4-run baseball in relief of starter Ethan Wilson. Wilson, Hoffman and Casey Smith combined to give up 8 runs on 12 hits while walking 6 and hitting 3 Musketeer hitters, and while those are by no means impressive statistics, their combined efforts were more than enough in this one. The Hoosiers did have 2 more errors to bring their season total to 24, but fortunately those errors did not impact the outcome.
The Hoosiers are now an even .500 (10-10) on the year, and they return to action today with a 3:05pm ET tilt against St. Francis. Freshman Walker Stadler will be on the mound looking to pick up his third win of the season for IU. As always, you can listen live via IUHoosiers.com by clicking here and follow the game on GameTracker by clicking here.