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Indiana drops series to Purdue

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Hoosiers fail to capitalize on opportunities and fall again to the Boilers.

Sean Mintert

Indiana had their chances on Saturday but were unable to convert enough of those into runs as they fell 7-3 to Purdue.

Both teams started slowly offensively, combining for one hit through the first two innings until the Boilermakers broke through with two runs in the 3rd and four more in the 4th to take a 6-0 lead.

In the Bottom of the 3rd, Indiana starter Brian Hobbie began the inning by walking Bryce Bonner, who then advanced to second on Logan Poisall’s sacrifice bunt. After Alec Olund struck out swinging, Evan Warden drove a two-run homer over the left-field wall to give Purdue the early lead. Hobbie then forced Harry Shipley to ground out to second, and any threat of a big inning was neutralized.

However, Hobbie’s troubles continued in the fourth, when Nick Dalesandro led off the inning with a single to center. Skyler Hunter laid down a good bunt, and beat the throw at first to put runners on first and second with no one out. IU recorded the first out of the inning when Mike Madej tapped one back to Hobbie, but it allowed both runners to move into scoring position. Bryce Bonner then grounded a double up the third base line, and both runners came around to score, making it 4-0 in favor of Purdue. Logan Poisall followed up Bonner’s double with a home run to left, and just like that, Purdue led 6-0.

Indiana showed signs of life in the top of the 5th inning where, after being held to just two hits in the first four innings, the bats finally came alive to put the Hoosiers on the scoreboard. Matt Gorski began the inning by laying down a beautiful bunt down the third base line, and beat the throw for a leadoff single. Tony Butler then drew a walk, but Jeremy Houston grounded into a double play that advanced Butler to third. Alex Krupa came up with an RBI single up the middle, and the Hoosiers finally recorded their first run of the game. Luke Miller then followed up with a moonshot over the wall in left center, and Indiana closed the gap to 6-3.

Indiana had an outside chance at another rally in the 6th, when Logan Sowers led off the inning with a single. Ryan Fineman followed with a hard-hit grounder to short, and he beat the throw to avoid the double play. Gorski singled and the Hoosiers had runners at first and second with two outs. However, Tony Butler ended any hopes of a rally when he flew out to center to end the inning.

Indiana’s best chance at adding to their run total came in the 7th, when Houston led off the inning by reaching first on a throwing error by Madej. Krupa was then hit by a pitch, putting runners at first and second with no one out. Purdue starter Gareth Stroh was removed in favor of reliever Ross Learnard, who entered Saturday’s game with an ERA of 0.89. Luke Miller popped out to second, but Jake Matheny, who pinch hit for Matt Lloyd, drew a four-pitch walk to load the bases. Learnard settled down and forced Sowers to pop up to second baseman Evan Warden, then Craig Dedelow hit a soft liner to short, ending the inning.

Purdue added to their lead in the 8th off of Hobbie, who pitched the whole game for the Hoosiers. Nick Dalesandro got the Boilers going with a one-out single up the middle, and advanced to third when Skyler Hunter collected a single of his own. Jacson McGowan drove in Dalesandro on his fly ball to deep right field, which allowed him to tag and score easily. Hobbie then picked off Hunter at first, which ended the inning.

Down to their final three outs, Indiana was unable to do anything in the Top of the 9th, and Cam Williams shut the door, retiring the Hoosiers 1-2-3 to end the game.

The final game of the series will be played Sunday afternoon at 1:00 PM. Indiana drops to 15-13-2 (3-4-1), and Purdue improves to 17-13 (5-3).