April 14, 2000
West Lafayette, Ind.--The Hoosiers and Boilermakers battled for nine innings but when the final strike was called it was Indiana that came up one run short as Purdue defeated the Hoosiers 6-5.
The one-run loss was Indiana's sixth in Big Ten play this year as the Hoosiers are now 5-8 in conference play and 23-16 overall.
The two teams traded leads early in the game, but Purdue put up a three-spot in the sixth inning to take the lead for good. Trailing 4-3 the Boilermakers got a one-out RBI ground out and a two-out, two-run single to take a 6-5 advantage.
The Hoosiers battled back in the eighth inning when they pulled to within one at 6-5. Rich Berich led off the inning with a single and moved to second when Jason Williams reached on an error. Berich then looked hung up in a rundown but was able to swipe third and on an errant throw by shortstop Mike Duursma was able to advance home. Tim McNab, who pinch ran for Williams, moved to second on the error, so the Hoosiers had the tying run in scoring position with no one out. But, Gibran Hamdan then struck out on a bunt attempt and on the same play McNab was picked off of second base for a double play ending the Hoosier rally. Indiana rallied again in the ninth but left the tying run on third base.
Indiana got out of the gates quickly as Benji Clause battled back from an 0-2 count to drill a double off of the left field wall. Dan Haegele then fought back from an 0-2 count to single up the middle to score Clause. Haegele moved to second on the throw home as the Boilermakers tried to catch Clause at the plate. Blake St. Clair then had a strong at bat that saw him come back from a 1-2 count to foul off six pitches and earn a walk to put runners on first and second. But, Haegele was picked off of a second by the catcher before Vasilli Spanos doubled to left center scoring just St. Clair to give Indiana a 2-0 lead in the first.
Purdue scored in the bottom off of the inning and again in the third and the fourth to a 3-2 lead.
But, Indiana grabbed a 4-3 lead with a pair of runs in the sixth. Berich led off with a single to extend his hit streak to eight straight. He moved to second when Williams singled to right. The senior outfielder is now hitting an even .500 in the Big Ten this season.
The runners moved up 90 feet on a ground out by Kevin O'Brien and then one more base when catcher's interference was called. Berich crossed home to tie the game at three and then after a bunt single by Eric Blakeley Williams scampered home with the go ahead run.
Brad Edwards (5-3) suffered the loss for the Hoosiers as he worked through six innings.
The two teams will do battle in a doubleheader tomorrow beginning at 1 p.m.
Check back soon