On several occasions this year the Indiana University baseball team has had a flair for late game drama. But it doesn’t get much better than a walk-off series clinching home run to take down your rival. That’s exactly what the Hoosiers got on Sunday afternoon as they finished off a series win over Purdue and improved to 22-6 on the season.
It may have taken a couple weeks in March for the IU bats to re-acclimate to the Indiana cold weather, but for the second straight week IU brought a potent offense. In the 3 game series vs. the Boilers the Hoosiers scored nearly 8 runs per game while averaging more than 11 hits. Indiana hasn’t completely mastered the weather, however, as inclement conditions claimed another game. Tuesday’s contest against Ball State in Muncie was cancelled.
Today we take a look at (i) where the Hoosiers stand in the national rankings, (ii) review the week’s games, (iii) name our hitter and pitcher of the week, (iv) review the statistical leaders through 28 games, and (v) and take a look at this week’s schedule.
NATIONAL RANKINGS UPDATE
The Hoosiers remaining solidly in the Top 20 including a Top 10 spot in the D1 Baseball poll.
UPDATES IN BOLD.
- RPI: 20th (updated through 4/8 games; previous 18th). This week’s opponents are Indiana State (47th) and Northwestern (221st)
- USA Today Coaches Poll: 13th (updated 4/9; previous 11th)
- Baseball America: 16th (updated 4/9; previous 16th)
- D1Baseball: 10th (updated 4/9; previous 10th)
- NCBWA: 11th (4/2, previous 15th)
- Collegiate Baseball: 15th (updated 4/9; previous 13th)
- College Baseball Central: 11th (updated 4/9; previous 11th)
THE WEEK IN REVIEW
Purdue took the opening game of the weekend series as the Hoosiers struggled to get much going at the plate for starter Jonathan Stiever, and a 2-out, 2-run 9th inning fielding error ultimately did them in.
Logan Kaletha led the way for IU with 2 hits, while Lafayette native Justin Walker added a hit and 2 RBIs.
Stiever had a strong outing, going 8 innings and giving up just 2 runs, both earned, and allowing 7 hits while striking out 7. Cal Krueger walked 2 and gave up 2 unearned runs in the 9th and was tagged with the loss.
Purdue picked up a first inning run only to see IU explode for 2 in the 2nd and 6 in the 3rd for an 8-1 lead. From there the Hoosiers continued to pile it on while starter Pauly Milto cruised to the victory.
Lead-off man Logan Kaletha went 3 for 4 with 3 runs and 2 RBIs. Ryan Fineman also had 3 hits and added 2 RBIs and a run. Justin Walker had a triple and a double to go with 2 runs and 3 RBIs. Matt Lloyd also drove in 2.
For the second consecutive start Milto was able to pitch most of the game behind the comfort of a big lead. The Hoosier ace threw seven innings, giving up 1 unearned run, while allowing 5 hits and striking out 4. Tim Herrin threw 2 scoreless innings of relief.
The Hoosiers fell behind once again in the series finale. This time Purdue ran out to a 5-1 4th inning lead before IU began to mount its rally. Indiana put up 2 runs in the 4th, 1 in the 5th and 1 in the 7th. That tied the game and ultimately led to extra innings and set up bottom of the 13th fireworks for Logan Kaletha, who hit 2 run game-winner over the left-center field wall.
Kaletha scored 2 runs, drove in 2, and added a stolen base on the day. Scotty Bradley went 3 for 5 including the game tying home run and scored twice. Ryan Fineman, Matt Gorski and Elijah Dunham each had 2 hits.
After a choppy start from Cam Beauchamp, the IU bullpen was lights out. Cal Krueger and Matt Lloyd combined for 8 scoreless innings while only allowing 2 hits and striking out 9. Lloyd was credited with the win.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
IU’s lead-off man is becoming a regular here, earning the hitter of the week honor for the 3rd time this year. All he did this week is go 6 for 13 while scoring 5 runs and driving in 4. He also drew 4 walks and stole a base in the series, and of course he hit the walk-off, series winning homer on Sunday.
Lloyd had just one pitching appearance on the week, but it was a big one. It was Lloyd’s 5 scoreless innings from the 9th through 13th innings that allowed IU to hold off Purdue and ultimately win it on Sunday. Lloyd only gave up 2 hits and struck out 5. He has been solid all season, pitching 11 scoreless innings in 4 appearances while striking out 12. Of course Lloyd gets it done at the plate as well, with a .277 average, 4 home runs and a team leading 23 RBIs on the season.
STATISTICAL LEADERS THROUGH 28 GAMES
IU’s season to date statistical leaders through the Purdue series:
THIS WEEK’S SCHEDULE
The Hoosiers finish their home and home series with Indiana State this week before restarting Big Ten play with a three game weekend series with Northwestern at the Bart in Bloomington.
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Main photo and schedule graphic credit – Indiana University