-- It was a new day and a better day for the Indiana baseball team on Monday at Sembower Field. The Hoosiers bounced back from a pair of tough losses on Sunday to sweep Purdue and earn a series split with 14-5 and 4-2 victories over the Boilermakers. IU improved to 31-19 on the season and 14-14 in Big Ten play.
"We saved ourselves today," Hoosier head coach Bob Morgan said. "We didn't really play well until the fourth inning of the first game, but we were really able to turn things around. I told the guys that I am most proud of the fact that we came back from being down 0-2 and evened it up. Hopefully we can build on this going into our final regular season conference match-up."
Purdue, which dropped to 25-25 overall and 10-17 in the Big Ten, took two games from IU on Sunday, winning game one, 10-3, and game two, 20-4.
The Hoosiers were victorious in game one Monday on the strength of a 10-run fourth inning. The Boilermakers jumped out to a 4-0 lead through three and a half innings.
Purdue rightfielder Daniel Underwood nailed his third home run of the series, a solo shot to right field, in the first frame. The Boilers scored two runs in the second and another in the top of the fourth.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Hoosiers came to life and all of their frustrations from Sunday's losses were unleashed. Junior shortstop Seth Bynum nailed a leadoff single up the middle and redshirt freshman first baseman Ryan Parker collected a base hit to right that sent Bynum over to third. Purdue made a pitching change and brought in Jason Driscoll to replace starter Chris Toneguzzi. On Driscoll's first delivery, junior rightfielder Ryan Donley belted his fifth home run of the season to left-center, pulling the Hoosiers within a run.
Junior catcher Cody Wargo followed the long ball with a single to left and Reggie Watson came in to pinch run. Senior centerfielder Kenny Marrs hit a single through the left side and senior leftfielder Mark Calkins laid down a bunt single to load the bases. Sophomore Corby Heckman drew a walk and Watson walked in to even the score at four runs apiece. The Boilers brought Josh Herman in to pitch with the bases still loaded. Herman threw a wild pitch that allowed Marrs to score and advanced the other two runners a base. Senior third baseman Vasili Spanos reached on a walk to re-load the bases. Senior designated hitter Nick Evans lined a single into right field and picked up two RBI as Calkins and Heckman scored. An errant throw by the Purdue rightfielder allowed Evans to move up the second and Spanos the opportunity to score.
Still with no outs, Matt Skripsky replaced Herman on the hill. Bynum walked and Parker followed with a bunt single to load the bases once again with Evans on third. Donley collected two more RBI as he drove a single to center field to plate Evans and Bynum. After a sacrifice bunt by Watson, Purdue recorded two strikeouts to finally stop the Hoosiers scoring surge. The damage had been done though as Indian held a 10-4 lead.
Purdue scored one run in the fifth, but the Hoosiers answered by scoring three more in the bottom of the frame. Spanos was hit by a pitch with one out and Evans nailed the scoreboard in right-center with his third homer of the season to put IU up 12-5. Two batters later, Parker launched a solo shot to right for run No. 13.
The Hoosiers scored their last run of the game in the sixth when Heckman drove Marrs home with a sacrifice fly to left.
Freshman Josh Lewis (4-1) earned his fourth win of the season in five innings of work on the mound. Lewis turned in a gusty performance on the hill after he was nailed with a hit in the third inning. He allowed seven hits and four earned runs while walking three and recording three strikeouts. Redshirt freshman Austin Rhoads pitched the final two innings and gave up just one hit and struck out one. Driscoll was tagged with the loss for Purdue. He gave up four hits and five earned runs without recording an out.
In game two, senior Kevin O'Brien was tabbed to make his first career start on the mound for the Hoosiers. O'Brien responded by tossing a complete game and improving his season record to 4-0. The Patterson, N.Y., product allowed eight hits and only two runs in seven innings. He fanned two batters and walked just one.
Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the first, the Hoosiers took a 3-1 lead as Evans ripped a base-clearing double to left field.
The Boilermakers closed within 3-2 in the top of the third by IU tacked on another run as Bynum plated Evans with a double to left-center.
Evans finished the day 4-for-7 at the plate with three runs scored and five RBI. Calkins had two hits in each game for the Hoosiers and Parker turned in a 3-for-3 performance in game two with two runs scored and an RBI.
"Nick Evans and Kevin O'Brien stepped up for us," Morgan said. "We need to give those two seniors credit for stepping up. O'Brien pitched a really good ball game (in game two)."
Luke Howard took the loss for Purdue, slipping to 3-3 on the season. Howard pitched four innings, scattered six hits and gave up four runs while walking one.
Indiana returns to action on Wednesday, May 14, when it meets Valparaiso at Railcats Stadium in Gary, Ind. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.