This weekend the Hoosiers got their revenge, sweeping the Boilermakers. They took the first game 6-0, the second game 7-3 and the third 12-3.
No. 15 IU improved to 32-12, 16-2 on the season, while Purdue dropped to 12-32, 5-13. The Hoosiers have a three-game lead over both Nebraska and Illinois for first place in the Big Ten.
“We just don’t look at it like it’s Purdue,” IU Coach Tracy Smith said. “It’s another team in the Big Ten and I thought we handled what we needed to handle this weekend to keep ourselves in contention to nail down a championship.”
With the sweep, the Hoosiers have now won 20 of their last 22 games.
On Friday, senior pitcher Joey DeNato picked up his 10th win of the season. He lowered his ERA to 2.06 with the shutout.
Sophomore pitcher Christian Morris started and got the win Saturday, his third start of the season. His ERA dropped to 2.25 after allowing only one hit in five and a third innings.
Senior pitcher Brian Korte went 2-0 with the win Sunday, pitching five scoreless innings to lower his ERA to 1.78.
“The weather, the atmosphere, the whole old school thing, it was pretty cool,” Korte said. “Looking back I’ll definitely remember this game.”
IU had an old school theme for Sunday’s game. The team wore its throwback uniforms, hired an organ player and the umpires were dressed in old fashioned uniforms.
The players put on a show for two record-setting crowds, with 3,661 attending the game Saturday and 3,862 Sunday setting the all-time record for an IU baseball game, breaking Saturday’s record. The series marked the first time IU has drawn more than 3,000 fans in each game of a three-game series.
“We are proud of that,” Smith said. “This is what we thought it could be. I love that we give the people of Bloomington and the surrounding community, and maybe other people drove in from greater distances, something to enjoy at this time of year. I was very excited to see that, and it’s nice that we have the support.”
The Hoosier offense was firing on all cylinders yet again, with 25 runs and 42 hits in the series.
Senior third baseman Dustin DeMuth played a great game Sunday, going 3-for-3 with two doubles and six RBIs to go along with a walk. He boosted his batting average to .381, the highest on the team.
“I think everyone was locked in today,” DeMuth said. “We wanted to come out and get the sweep, especially against Purdue. I thought we got off to a good start.”
Junior catcher Kyle Schwarber also had a good series, with seven hits, two of them doubles and one a rocket of a home run, to increase his average to .348.
“I got some pretty good barrel on (the home run),” Schwarber said. “It was one you just watch.”
The Hoosiers now have seven of their nine starters hitting at least .298.
Sophomore pitcher Will Coursen-Carr, who was an important part of last year’s team, has struggled this season and came in to pitch in relief Sunday. He was pulled after hitting a batter and walking the next on four pitches.
“We want to get him on track,” Smith said. “He is one of the best pitchers in this conference, whether he believes it or not. He’s just has to get his confidence back.”
With finals this week, IU does not have a midweek game. The team will travel to Penn State this weekend.
Schwarber said in his freshman year, when they played at Sembower, there were probably 50 to 100 spectators.
“Now you have over 3,000,” Schwarber said. “It’s great to have people looking forward to coming to watch baseball and cheering us on. It adds an extra element to the game.”
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