Indiana baseball snuffs out Purdue's late surge in Big Ten tournament

BLOOMINGTON – Indiana baseball earned an 8-6 win over Purdue in the opening game of the Big Ten Tournament on Tuesday night.

The rare postseason showdown between the rivals was no disappointment. They hadn't played each other in the Big Ten Tournament since 2012.

No. 3 seed Indiana (31-22) managed to erase a four-run rally in the ninth inning and advance to the winner's bracket in the program's 11th straight tournament appearance. The loss dropped No. 6 seed Purdue (33-23) into the losers bracket of the double-elimination tournament.

Teams faced an extended weather delay that resulted in first pitch being pushed back from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. The rain continued to fall as the game began and the high wind caused a number of near misses in the outfield.

Indiana baseball survives Purdue's rally in the ninth inning

Purdue scored the decisive run with no outs after taking an 8-2 lead into the ninth inning.

The rally began with a home run by Keenan Taylor off right-hander Jacob Vogel. Vogel's appearance ended briefly after he put two more runners on base without getting an out. Vogel entered the game with a 0.43 ERA in 21 innings pitched (18 appearances) and had not given up a run in more than 13 innings.

Indiana baseball coach Jeff Mercer turned to Brayden Risedorph, a sophomore who entered the game with eight career saves, to finish the game. It turned into a nail-biter when Keenan Spence hit a three-run homer off Risedorph to make it 8-6.

Spence also hit a home run in the eighth.

The decisive batting appearance came when Risedorph Couper got Cornblum to hit a double play with Jo Stevens at first base.

He struck out Thomas Green to end the game.

Purdue left 11 runners on base in the loss and walked with the crucial out to end the eighth inning with the bases loaded. Cornblum was ruled out trying to bring home a passed ball when Taylor, the team's No. 2 hitter, was at bat.

Indiana baseball rookie Jasen Oliver improves

Oliver's second batting appearance in the Big Ten Tournament was memorable.

The true freshman from Almont, Michigan gave his team a 3-1 lead with his ninth home run of the season in the fifth inning. He hit a ball into right field that flew just over the fence.

In a nearly identical spot, Purdue right fielder Keenan Spence robbed Carter Mathison of a home run with a jump shot in the second inning. He stayed hot and hit an RBI double in the bottom of the sixth. The former high school All-American finished the game 3 for 4, missing just one triple to cycle with two runs and four RBIs.

Indiana battled for order in the sixth, scoring an 8-1 score. Oliver had one of three extra-base hits in the inning as part of a five-run inning. The Hoosiers struck starting pitcher Jordan Morales out of the game in the inning. Morales allowed five earned runs on seven hits and one walk.

Indiana baseball struggled in the first innings

Indiana starter Ty Bothwell struck out Purdue's leadoff hitter Mike Bolton to start the game. The Boilermakers scored 70% of their points when he got on base in the leadoff inning this season, but he didn't make it past first base.

First baseman Brock Tibbitts made a nice catch in foul territory and leaned over the fence for the second out.

Indiana also got through the second inning unscathed after Bothwell loaded the bases. Cornblum and Green hit back-to-back singles and Camden Gasser reached first base with a walk with two outs.

Bolton flied out to left field to end the inning.

The Boilermakers broke through with a run in the fourth inning when Indiana made a pitcher change and Drew Buhr entered the game. Bothwell threw 53 pitches (34 strikes) in three innings, allowing three hits and a walk.

Stevens saw the third pitch he saw for a double to lead off the inning. He managed to score on a sacrifice fly from Green. Mathison limited the damage by making an incredible diving grab midway through the game.

Michael Niziolek is the Indiana reporter for the Bloomington Herald-Times. You can follow him on X. @michaelniziolek Click here to read all of his coverage.

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