Hoosiers Fall in 12 Innings at Purdue, 5-4
April 29, 2011
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Indiana University baseball team (25-17, 6-7 Big Ten) could not overcome a poor defensive effort in Friday's series opener at Purdue (28-13, 8-5), falling 5-4, in 12 innings. Four Hoosier defensive errors led to three unearned runs for the Boilermakers.
Alex Dickerson and Wes Wilson each went yard in the game, marking the first time IU has lost a game this year in which they hit multiple homeruns (3-1) and just the second defeat when hitting one or more longballs (11-2). Dickerson's moonball over the scoreboard in right center field was his sixth of the season, pulling him even with a trio of other Big Ten players for the conference lead in that category.
Freshman Joey DeNato had a bizarre day at the ballpark. He started the game in the dugout as the scheduled starting pitcher for game three of the series. DeNato was subbed into right field to start the fourth inning, however. The high school All-American then cranked a double off the right field wall, fired a game-saving outfield assist in the eighth before trotting to the mound for the final 1 2/3 innings of the game.
Wilson and Jerrud Sabourin each ripped off three hits with one going for extra bases.
Dickerson crushed the second pitch he saw in the top of the first screaming over the scoreboard in right center field, giving the Hoosiers a 1-0 lead.
Excellent defensive plays by Wilson and Blake Monar each started double plays to foil Purdue scoring opportunities. Wilson gathered a popped up bunt attempt and fired to first to double up the Boilers. In the second inning, Monar stabbed a scorched chopper which was headed past his right temple, and spun around to start the 1-6-3 inning-ending double play.
That is when the good defense came to a screeching halt though. Purdue's first three runs were all unearned thanks to IU errors. In between a lone Boilermaker run in the third inning and a pair in the fifth, Indiana scored its second tally in the fourth frame.
The Hoosiers then evened the score at three runs apiece in the top of the seventh. Micah Johnson flopped a looping lob over the pitcher and past the shortstop into center field for the RBI-single.
Things got real interesting the bottom of the eighth when Purdue got a runner to third base with just one out. Stephen Talbott gave the ball a ride into right field, but his sac fly attempt was spoiled as DeNato's missile pegged out a tagging Kevin Plawecki at the dish.
Indiana's dugout remained on their feet with arms raised high as Wilson led off the ninth with a 400-foot-plus bomb over the left field wall. Another Hoosier error aided the Boilers score once again in the bottom half of the inning. With the bases juiced with Boilermakers, Ryan Halstead induced a fly ball to extend the ballgame.
Through the next two innings, both squads had the opportunity to push across a run and win the game, but neither executed. Two walks and a base hit in the bottom of the 12th finally broke the stalemate, giving Purdue a 5-4 victory.
Game two of the series is slated for a 2 pm first pitch on Saturday.
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