For a long time on Friday night, it looked like Indiana would ride the strong pitching of Jonathan Stiever and a solid offensive performance to victory over Purdue. But the Boilermaker offense came alive (and the Indiana bullpen showed up) in the 8th inning to win 6-5, denying the Hoosiers a much needed Big 10 win.
The Hoosiers got going right away. After Alex Krupa drew a walk and Luke Miller singled, Matt Lloyd came through with an RBI single, giving Indiana an early lead. Logan Sowers then grounded into a double play, but it was enough to bring home Miller, and the Hoosiers ended the 1st inning up 2-0.
Purdue was able to get one run back in the Bottom of the 2nd, when first baseman Jacson McGowan drove a leadoff home run to right field, but that was all the Boilers were able to muster in the 2nd.
Indiana was able to increase the lead to 4-1 in the Top of the 4th, when Sowers led off the inning with a single. Craig Dedelow walked, then Ryan Fineman moved both runners over with a sacrifice bunt. After Austin Cangelosi struck out, Tony Butler came up with a big two-out single to left, scoring Sowers and allowing Dedelow to advance to third. Jeremy Houston kept the hit parade going with another single, and Dedelow came around to score. Krupa then walked to load the bases, but Miller was unable to convert on the opportunity and grounded out to short.
Dedelow kept it going in the 5th when he drove a two-out bomb into the Hoosier bullpen in right field to make the score 5-1.
The Hoosiers had yet another opportunity to add to their advantage in the Top of the 6th, as Butler smacked a double down the left field line to put a man in scoring position with only one out. After Houston grounded out, Krupa drew a walk, giving Indiana a couple of baserunners. Both advanced on a wild pitch from Purdue starter Tanner Andrews, but neither were brought home as Miller mashed a line drive to right, but Alec Olund didn’t have to move to make the catch, and the Hoosiers came up empty.
Stiever ran into his first spot of trouble in the Bottom of the 6th when Skyler Hunter drove a two-out double into the gap in left center, then McGowan continued his excellent hitting with a double to right. Hunter was able to score easily from second, making the score 5-2. It looked like there could be more trouble for the Hoosiers in the inning when Mike Madej singled to left, but Krupa came up with the defensive play of the game when he gunned down McGowan at the plate, denying the Boilers a run and ending the inning.
Stiever’s outing ended there as Cal Krueger took over pitching duties for the Hoosiers in the Bottom of the 8th, and started his outing by promptly hitting Evan Warden with his first pitch. Harry Shipley followed with a single to right, and Purdue was in business with runners at first and second with no one out. Nick Dalesandro kept the Boiler offense rolling with a single that went off the glove of Matt Gorski at first, and Warden came around to score.
Chris Lemonis had seen enough and brought in Matt Lloyd to replace Krueger. But Lloyd was unable to put out the fire and gave up a single to Skyler Hunter, which loaded the bases. He then threw a wild pitch, which scored Shipley from third, and put runners on second and third with no outs. McGowan came up with yet another big hit and singled to left, scoring Dalesandro and tying the game at 5. Madej then ripped a line drive that yet again went off Gorski’s glove and went into right, allowing Hunter to score and giving Purdue their first lead at 6-5. That was all the scoring the Hoosier would allow, as Bryce Bonner lined into a double play, then Kade Kryzsko was brought in to face John LeGare, and forced him to fly out to center, finally ending the inning. But the damage had been done and Purdue led 6-5 headed into the 9th.
The Hoosiers were unable to get anything going to respond to the stunning comeback, and Ross Learnard sent Indiana down in order in the Top of the 9th.
Purdue improves to 16-13 (4-3), while Indiana falls to 15-12-2 (3-3-1). The two teams will meet again Saturday evening, at 6:00 p.m.