September 8, 1979
On this day, the IUPUI Metros baseball team played their first game as a varsity team, defeating Purdue University-Northwest at Michigan City by the score of 23 to 11. The team also won the second game of the double-header, which was called after five innings due to the length of the games owing to the plethora of runs scored.
IUPUI intercollegiate athletics began in 1971 when the winning men's team of the campus intramural basketball tournament played another college team. In 1978 IUPUI joined the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) and initially competed in six sports: women's basketball, softball, and volleyball, and men's basketball, golf, and tennis.
In 1978 IUPUI fielded a baseball club team and the following year bumped up to varsity status. Having scrimmaged unofficially against the Marian College team that fall, 1979 semester, during that fall season the Metros baseball team played another home doubleheader against Purdue-Northwest (on a Ben Davis High School field) and an away brace of games at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne. Bob Bunnell served as the team's coach, as well as overall IUPUI athletic coordinator. (These 1979 games are not counted in the baseball team's official records.)
Baseball flourished at IUPUI in the coming years. Between 1980 and 1993, teams went to NAIA district and area playoffs frequently. However, when IUPUI gained NCAA (National Collegiate Athletics Association) Division II and Division I status and became the Jaguars, only one team managed a winning season (1994). IUPUI administrators dropped baseball on the eve of the 2001 season.
To learn more about the history of baseball at IUPUI, please contact IUPUI Special Collections and Archives firstname.lastname@example.org.