BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (Purdue Sports) — Purdue gave up runs in the first inning for the first time since its first game of the year and committed a season-high five errors in a 17-2 loss at Indiana on Wednesday in the midweek opener for both teams.
The Hoosiers (7-4) scored seven times in the first inning and six runs in the bottom of the fifth. The game was called in the middle of the seventh after the coaches agreed to a 10-run rule before the contest.
The Boilermakers (6-5) had an opportunity to put up a crooked number of its own in the first inning, but was unable able to put the ball in play in the frame. Two walks and two hit batters allowed Purdue to strike first on a bases-loaded walk to Miles Simington. IU starter McCade Brown escaped the bases-loaded jam without further damage thanks to consecutive strikeouts.
The bottom half of the first was equally ugly until Jordan Fucci delivered a bases-clearing, three-run double into the left-center gap. It was the first hit of the game from the 12th batter to come to the plate. Two walks and dropped fly ball in left field had loaded the bases.
Entering the day, the Boilermakers had only committed six errors in 10 games. They made two in the bottom of the first and another defensive miscue when the Hoosiers scored sixth times in the fifth inning. Meanwhile, Purdue had not conceded a first-inning run since Hofstra's leadoff man homered to begin the season Feb. 14.
Evan Albrecht reached base safely three times for the Boilermakers, finishing the day 2-for-3 with a hit by pitch, stolen base, run scored and his team-leading 11th RBI of the season. Zac Fascia drew a first-inning walk to remain the only Boilermaker to reach base safely in every game this year. Skyler Hunter's seven-game hit and 13-game reached base safely streak dating back to the end of 2019 both came to an end.
Hunter did make a fine diving catch in right center field in the fifth inning. Ryan Howe took away a base hit with a diving stop at third base in the bottom of the sixth.
Jackson Smeltz was Purdue's most effective pitcher. The lefty was charged with an unearned run on four hits over 2 2/3 innings. He did not issue a free pass and posted a zero in the third inning. Conner Tomasic recorded three outs and did not give up a hit to any of the five batters he faced. The Boilermakers used seven pitchers over six innings, issuing nine free passes (6 walks, 3 HBP).
Purdue returns to action Friday when it begins a three-game series at Western Kentucky. First pitch in Bowling Green is slated for 4 p.m. ET.