Going into the eighth inning in West Lafayette, Indiana, on Friday night, all IU needed to preserve its 5-2 lead against Purdue was solid bullpen pitching and maybe a run or two for insurance.
The Hoosiers got neither, as the bullpen allowed allowed four runs in the eighth inning and the bats failed to score after the fifth. The Boilermakers handed the Hoosiers their fourth straight game without a win with a final of 6-5.
Sophomore ace Jonathan Stiever put together his longest and most impressive start of the season by lasting seven innings while allowing just seven hits, two earned runs and no walks. He stacked up his second-best strikeout total of the season as well, with six Purdue batters fanned.
This is the second consecutive start of Stiever’s where the sophomore pitched a quality start and the Hoosiers still lost. He put together his most impressive walks-and-hits-per-innings-pitched ratio since his first start of the season against Oregon State. Stiever still has not been credited with a win since his second start of the season against Florida Atlantic in February.
On Friday, IU was able to use Stiever’s start to its advantage to begin the game. Sophomore utility player Matt Lloyd singled in senior outfielder Alex Krupa in the first inning, and junior outfielder Logan Sowers grounded into a double play to score sophomore infielder Luke Miller.
IU put up three more runs by the end of the fifth inning, which included an RBI from a Tony Butler single, a Craig Dedelow home run and a single from freshman shortstop Jeremy Houston, who returned to action Friday after a minor hamstring injury had sidelined him since the Hawaii series in mid-March.
Purdue sophomore infielder Jacson McGowan was the only Boilermaker that could get to Stiever, as the sophomore knocked a home run and an RBI double for Purdue’s only two scoring plays before Stiever was pulled. McGowan finished 3-for-4 with three RBI.
Freshman pitcher Cal Krueger took the mound to start the eighth inning for IU and didn’t record an out while allowing the first three batters to reach base and one to score. Lloyd replaced Krueger and inherited his two baserunners with no outs.
Krueger was credited with three earned runs allowed, while Lloyd was credited with one.
Since starting Big Ten play 3-0 against Northwestern, IU has gone 0-3-1 and will look to defend its first threat to drop below .500 in the Big Ten season Saturday in game two of the Purdue series.
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