He didn’t start the game, but Cade Bunnell finished it.
The senior second baseman entered Wednesday night’s rivalry matchup against Purdue in the bottom of the eighth inning as a pinch hitter. Bunnell struck out in that plate appearance, but the second time around for Bunnell would go much better.
In the bottom of the tenth the Wisconsin native sent a one out bases loaded single down the left field line to send everyone home.
— Indiana Baseball ⚾️ (@IndianaBase) April 11, 2019
Indiana (20-12) won its third game in a row as the Hoosiers defeated Purdue 7-6 in ten innings.
Things got sideways quickly for IU before a familiar face came in and held down the fort.
Freshman starter McCade Brown struggled mightily with control at Bart Kaufman Field, giving up four walks, a hit and two runs before he could record the game’s first out.
Enter Tommy Sommer — and call it his unofficial return to the starting rotation.
The Indiana lefthander had missed a month due to injury until a brief return in a relief appearance on Saturday against Penn State.
Sommer began the season in the starting rotation and he made his defacto return on Wednesday night. The Carmel, Ind. native took over with the bases loaded in the first and managed to get out of the inning with no further damage.
That was just one of six masterful innings for Sommer, who used location and changing speeds to keep the Purdue hitters guessing. Sommer gave up just one hit with no walks and six strikeouts in his six innings of work.
Meanwhile sophomore slugger Cole Barr added to his Big Ten leading home run total with his 12th bomb of the season. The shot to left center helped Indiana claim a 3-2 lead in the bottom half of the first.
— Indiana Baseball ⚾️ (@IndianaBase) April 10, 2019
A subsequent homer by Drew Ashley in the sixth extended the lead to 4-2 and added to IU’s NCAA leading long ball total.
Matt Gorski delivered a two-run single in the sixth to make it 6-2 and give the appearance that Indiana might cruise to victory.
But more freshman pitching struggles made it interesting, and then a ninth inning error sent the game to extras.
Gabe Bierman walked three Boilers and gave up three runs in the seventh, and then a Justin Walker error in the ninth ultimately led to the tying run for Purdue. Walker’s father played baseball for the Boilers.
But Bunnell had Walker and the freshmen pitchers’ backs.
After Grant Sloan struck out the side in the top of the tenth, a Scotty Bradley double got things going in the bottom half and set up Bunnell’s one out game-winner.
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