IU Drops Doubleheader at Purdue
West Lafayette, Ind.- The Indiana baseball team lost a pair of tough 2-1 games in a doubleheader against intrastate rival Purdue at Lambert Field. Purdue's Mitch Koester and Andy Dahl were the heroes with game-winning hits in games one and two, respectively. Despite the losses, Indiana got strong efforts from its pitching staff.
In the first game, Koester atoned for an error earlier in the game that allowed the Hoosiers to tie the game. He singled down the right field line in the bottom of the seventh to plate Eric Wolfe and give the Boilers a 2-1 victory. In game two, the Boilers again used late game heroics. This time, Andy Dahl hit a two-out, two-strike home run over the left field wall, giving Purdue another 2-1 victory.
Over the two games, the IU pitching staff allowed only seven hits, four runs, all earned and struck out six. Junior Steve Nielsen was impressive in game two of the double dip. The Joliet, Ill., native pitched 6 2/3 innings, allowing only three hits and struck out three. On the other side, Purdue got a pair of stellar, complete game performances from Chris Toneguzzi in game one and Brian Karpel in game two.
For the second straight day, the Boilermakers got on the board first. After leadoff hitter Mike Coles drew a walk to start the bottom of the third, Indiana starting pitcher Chris Behrens threw a pair of wild pitches, allowing Coles to advance around to third base. Catcher Ben Fritz drove Coles home with a single through the left side of the infield, giving the Boilers a 1-0 lead.
The Hoosiers were in business in the top of the fourth with runners on second and third and zero outs. Senior shortstop Seth Bynum reached on an error by his counter part Purdue's Mitch Koester to start off the inning. Junior Joe Kemp followed up with a squibbed double down the left field line to give the Hoosiers two runners in scoring position. IU could only muster one run as senior Kevin Mahar hit a sac fly to right center field driving home Bynum.
Koester made up for his error in the bottom of the seventh. Eric Wolfe led off the inning with a single through the right side of the infield. Andy Dahl laid down a sacrifice bunt, advancing Wolfe to second. Wolfe took third after IU reliever Adam Pegg threw a wild pitch, the third of the game for Indiana pitching, setting up Koester's game-winning hit.
Purdue starter Chris Toneguzzi went the distance, allowing only four hits. He also struck out six Hoosiers while throwing 121 pitches. Behrens and Pegg were effective for the Hoosiers allowing five hits, all singles, and striking out a combined three Boilers. Behrens threw the first three innings for the Hoosiers, while Pegg threw the final three and a third before the winning hit.
Purdue took an early 1-0 lead in game two as well. They got on the board in the first inning via the walk. Following a single by Mitch Hilligoss, three of the next four Boilermakers walked to score the run. Simon Klink was hit by a pitch, Eric Wolfe drew a free pass and Spencer Ingaldson drew the next free pass to force in Hilligoss. It marked the third-straight game in which Purdue took the lead to start the game.
Like they had in the pervious two games, the Hoosiers responded. Junior Joe Kemp drove a double to right field to open the top of the second. Junior first baseman Corby Heckman followed with a walk, and then both runners moved up on a pass ball. Designated hitter Ryan Parker drove home Kemp with a RBI ground out to second base.
The second game of the doubleheader followed the pattern of the first as the game went into the bottom of the seventh inning tied at one. Once again, the Boilers got some late inning heroics as Andy Dahl hit a two-out home run over the left field wall for the 2-1 win. It was the sixth home run on the season for Dahl.
After struggling through the first inning, Hoosier starter Steve Nielsen settled down and pitch well over the final 5 2/3. Despite giving up the game-winning home run, Nielsen only allowed three hits over his 91 pitches. He also struck out three hitters on the afternoon. Purdue's Brian Karpel matched Nielsen pitch for pitch as he pitched a complete game allowing four hits and striking out six.
With the losses, the Hoosiers can do no better than a split in the series, meaning Purdue earns at least a half point in the Titan Series. The half point gives Purdue the school year long, all-sport Titan Series Title. The final game of the intrastate rivalry will be Sunday at 1:00 p.m. at Lambert Field.
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