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Indiana "Outplayed" by Purdue in Series Opening Loss

Whatever IU tried to do Friday against its in-state rival, it just wasn’t enough.

The Hoosiers couldn’t get enough offense, they couldn’t get enough late-inning pitching and they couldn’t make the defensive play when they needed. On the opposite side for the Purdue Boilermakers, they were able to capitalize off of those mistakes.

Freshman Justin Walker’s two-out error in the top of the ninth proved costly as the Boilermakers took game one of the series in Bloomington over the Hoosiers, 4-2.

“That’s two years in a row on Friday night we played close to the same game,” IU coach Chris Lemonis said. “They outplayed us and deserved to win.”

Coming in, it was expected that a pitchers dual would be in the cards, especially on a Friday. Jonathan Stiever and Tanner Andrews are their respective team’s aces and they pitched liked aces. Both gave up two runs each.

Stiever was once again his dominant self, but his most impressive work may have been pitching out of a jam in the eighth inning. He gave the Hoosiers a chance to win aside from his one mistake, a two-run home run by Purdue first baseman Jacson McGowan.

“I had confidence in my stuff,” Stiever said. “Being able to execute the pitches, I knew if I was able to do that, then I’d have success about them.”

But in the ninth was when things spiraled downward for the Hoosiers. Sophomore Cal Krueger has been stellar all season. As of late however, he’s lost a bit of control. Friday was more of the latter.

He loaded the bases with two outs, which enabled the Boilermakers to grab the lead. Walker’s error was the final straw, but it was caused by a hit by pitch and two walks. Purdue was off on contact with two outs and once Walker bobbled it, there was a chance for another runner to score, which he did.

“Poor Justin, he’s such a good shortstop,” Lemonis said. “He made a couple great plays and, you know, it’s an error. I grabbed him after the game and said ‘be ready to go tomorrow.’ He’s really talented and I know he feels it more than anybody.”

The Hoosiers have seemed to live and die by the long ball this season. With the wind on Friday, that wasn’t the case. They manufactured two runs, but it wasn’t enough.

Luckily for the Hoosiers, they get two more chances to get back at the Boilermakers this weekend. Lemonis mentioned how his team hasn’t faced much adversity this season and how it would be the sign of a good team to come out and play well.

“Pauly’s on the mound, everyone is really confident with him on the mound,” Stiever said. “Being able to flush this game and get out (Saturday), just be ready to play.”

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