May 12, 2005
GARY, Ind. - Five walks and a hit-by-pitch in the span of six batters in the third inning led to three Crusader runs, as Purdue lost to Valparaiso at USS Steel Yard on Wednesday evening, 5-3. Purdue is now 18-25 heading into a conference weekend vs. Iowa at Lambert Field.
Purdue led 2-1 entering the third inning, but Boilermaker pitching surrendered a walk, a hit-by-pitch, and then four consecutive free passes, giving the Crusaders a three-run inning without swinging a bat.
The Boilermakers scored first, pushing across a run in the first inning off Valpo starter Jordan Smolar. Mike Coles led off the game with a single and moved to second on a wild pitch and third on a passed ball. Andy Dahl hit a ball to third base that was thrown away, allowing Coles to score the opening run.
Valparaiso evened the game in the home half of the first on three singles and a wild pitch.
Purdue regained the lead the lead in the second when Dahl hit a sacrifice fly to left driving in Jeff Mojzik from third. Mojzik drew a one-out walk, moved to second when Dane Wolfe walked and was at third after a single by Coles.
In the deciding third inning, Purdue starter Martin Havens walked Mike Arensdorf with one out, then hit Kevin Kutansky with a pitch, and loaded the bases with a free pass to Matt Augustine. A walk to Tyler Lowell pushed home Arensdorf and chased Havens from the mound. Relief pitcher Allan Donato took the hill and threw eight straight balls, allowing two more runs to score without the benefit of a base hit. Andrew Groves came on to relieve Donato and coaxed John Giusti to line into a double play to end the inning.
Valpo added another run in the fourth on a double by Kevin Perri and an RBI triple to right-center by Kutansky. Groves kept the Crusaders off the scoreboard for the remainder of the game, pitching 5.2 innings and allowing three hits and one run while striking out six.
Purdue closed the deficit to two with a single run in the seventh inning off reliever Derek Smith. Coles led off the frame with a double down the line in left and advanced 90 feet on a grounder by Eric Wolfe. John Hunter reached on a throwing error by the Valpo shortstop, allowing Coles to score for the second time in the game.
The Boilermakers put two runners on base in the eighth and ninth, but were unable to score as Adam Knobel picked up his seventh save of the year and 13th of his career, establishing a career record for the Crusaders.
Smolar picked up the win for Valpo, moving his record to 2-2, while Havens suffered his first loss of the season (0-1).
Purdue managed just six hits in the game vs. Crusader pitcher, with Coles collecting three and Hunter two.
The Boilermakers play host to the Iowa Hawkeyes in the penultimate Big Ten series of the 2005 campaign beginning on Friday at 3 p.m. at Lambert Field. Iowa enters the series in second place in the Big Ten, while Purdue is in third. The top six teams in the conference standings at the end of the season move on to the Big Ten Tournament, with the top two teams receiving a bye in the first round.