Game two of the series between IU baseball and Purdue could not have been more different than game one.
Following a 4-2 Purdue victory on Friday, IU, now 21-6, dominated the Boilermakers on Saturday en route to a 14-1 victory.
The IU offense went 0-9 with runners in scoring position Friday. The team turned that around in game two, hitting 6-14 during the win.
“We really worked some counts,” IU Coach Chris Lemonis said. “Overcoming the first two innings for us was huge, but then we were able to get some momentum going and it let’s you relax and take some pitches.”
The game started with a scare for IU as the Purdue offense put pressure on starting pitcher junior Pauly Milto.
A combination of two walks and an error from freshman infielder Justin Walker lead to Purdue striking in the first inning.
It was Walker’s ninth inning error in game one that cost IU the game.
Milto was able to pitch out of the inning giving up just the one unearned run and pitched around a similar situation in the second inning and gave up no runs.
After giving up three walks in the first two innings, Milto would have just one more in a seven inning outing.
“He’s got so much composure out there,” junior catcher Ryan Fineman said. “He’s doesn’t really worry about mistakes and goes out there and throws his stuff.”
After another costly error to begin Saturday’s game, Walker was able to turn it around going 2-5 with three runs batted in.
“I did think about it a lot last night because it was me who ended up making the error and losing the game,” Walker said. “It’s baseball. Errors are gonna happen.”
Walker has now started three consecutive games at third for the Hoosiers after sophomore Jeremy Houston started more than 70 consecutive games at that position.
“Confidence is big in this sport, and I’m feeling really confident,” Walker said. “It’s good to come out on the field and show it every day. I’m having a ton of fun, I love my teammates, I love the game.”
Walker was just one of nine IU batters to have a hit as part of a 15 hit performance by the Hoosiers.
The IU offense got its big inning in the second when the team combined to score six runs.
It all started with back-to-back home runs down the left field line from Fineman and sophomore outfielder Matt Gorski.
“Those two guys coming out, that sparked it,” Lemonis said.
Junior starting pitcher Jonathan Stiever delivered an eight inning performance Friday before Milto’s outing on Saturday, allowing Lemonis to have plenty of bullpen availability for game three.
“It does give us a lot of options tomorrow,” Lemonis said. “They’ve been the rock for us.”
The rubber match between the rivals will take place Sunday with first pitch scheduled for 3:05 p.m. Sophomore Cameron Beauchamp is expected to start for the Hoosiers.