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Indiana Bounces Back in Game Two; Beat Purdue 14-1

Indiana Baseball dugout congratulates Matt Gorski after hitting a solo home run in the third inning Saturday against Purdue. Indiana scored six runs in the third and beat the Boilermakers 14-1 (Mark Timko/HN)

After a crushing loss in the series opener Friday night against Purdue, it looked like Indiana baseball’s struggles were going to continue in game two of the series.

Then, the Hoosier offense woke up.

Back to back home runs from junior catcher Ryan Fineman and sophomore left fielder Matt Gorski ignited Indiana at the plate as they took game two of the series against Purdue 14-1.

“We really worked some counts, that was our goal on their guys to work some counts and get in some good spots,” IU head Coach Chris Lemonis said. “We were able to get some momentum going and let you relax and take some pitches and then we jumped on a couple.”

Indiana recorded 15 hits as a team including seven extra base hits with nine different Hoosiers reaching base via a base knock.

Freshman shortstop, and Lafayette native, Justin Walker bounced back in Saturday’s game going 2-for-5 at the plate with a double, triple and 3 RBIs after making an error in the ninth inning to lose the game Friday.

Indiana catcher Ryan Fineman crosses home plate after hitting a solo home run in the third inning against Purdue Saturday. Fineman’s solo shot sparked the Hoosier offense to six runs in the third inning as Indiana won 14-1. (Mark Timko/HN)

As a team, Indiana went 8-for-21 with runners on base and 6-for-14 with runners in scoring position.

Fineman, who got the rally started in the third inning, did the most damage at the dish Saturday going 3-for-5 with a big fly, double and two RBIs.

Over the last six games, the Hoosier backstop has gone 12-for-24 in the batters box with two home runs and nine RBI’s.

“I definitely feel good out there,” Fineman said. “I’m seeing the ball well, I just got to keep putting good swings on the ball.”

Although it turned out to be all Indiana in the end, the first two innings were rough on the Indiana defense.

Junior starting pitcher Pauly Milto walked the lead off batter to start the game, then an error and another walk loaded the bases. Luckily for the Hoosiers, the Boilermakers only plated one run with the bases loaded and no one out in the first.

Milto was on the ropes again in the second inning after loading the bases with nobody out, but a pop out and a massive double play ball ended the inning.

“More importantly we got through those first two hard innings, nobody out basically and Pauly just stood in there,” Fineman said. “He’s got so much composure out there, he’s a veteran pitcher, doesn’t really worry about mistakes, he just kind of goes out there and throws his stuff.”

Milto threw 23 pitches in the first inning before finally escaping the jam, and in innings two through six, he didn’t throw more than 14 pitches in each inning, making quick work of the Boilermakers.

Indiana starting pitcher Pauly Milto delivers a pitch against Purdue on Saturday April 7. After working out of jams in the first and second innings, Milto settled down to throw 7 strong innings for the Hoosiers. (Mark Timko/HN)

Lemonis said Milto found control in his slider in the middle innings, which allowed him to throw seven innings while striking out four and allowing just one unearned run.

“I don’t even think he had his best stuff, but I told him it was his best day on the mound for us,” Lemonis said. “We couldn’t have goofed it up any worse in the first two innings and it could have gone bad and be down five or six runs and you’re not going to come back at that point. It just shows a mature older guy who kept his poise and kept pitching.”

Indiana’s flaming hot offense coupled with Milto’s stellar stuff on the mound earned them a much needed victory in game two of the series to push their overall record to 21-6 on the year.

First pitch for the rubber match between Indiana and Purdue is slated for 3:05 p.m. Sunday with sophomore Cam Beauchamp scheduled to toe the slab for the Hoosiers.

Zain Pyarali

I am a junior from Edwardsville, Illinois majoring in Sports Media. I formerly worked for the Indiana Daily Student for two years serving as the Sports Editor and beat reporters for Men’s Basketball, Men’s Soccer, Baseball and Field Hockey during my time with the student newspaper. Currently I am the Men’s Basketball beat reporter for IU Student Television while I also broadcast games for BTN Student U. Email me: zpyarali@thehoosiernetwork.com and follow me on Twitter: @ZainPyarali

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