Hopkins Bothwell celebrate strikeout vs Purdue

Indiana claims the weekend series in the Purdue rubber match

A full team effort with contributions from the entire lineup lead to a decisive 9-4 win

by Carl James •@jovian34 • March 21st, 2021

The Hoosiers for the first time this weekend played most of a game from ahead instead of behind. It was still close and Purdue refused to go away. The end didn’t seem clear until IU built up a five run lead in the bottom of the eighth inning. Hoosiers went on to win 9-5, claiming the series two games to one.

Acting head coach Dan Held said, “Each and every individual in the lineup helped in some capacity. Whether a sacrifice fly or a base hit.” He wasn’t exaggerating. Of the nine players to make a plate appearance, eight of them had at least one hit, and the one who didn’t had a sacrifice fly RBI.

Five players had multi-hit games, with usual suspects Drew Ashley, Paul Toetz, and Grant Richardson leading the effort. Richardson had a monster solo shot over 400 feet to center in the third inning. Ashley’s hits made this the 36th game in a row he has been on base.


Indiana also got production from the eight and nine holes with Collin Hopkins adding his first two hits of the season including a two run homer in the eighth and two hits from Jeremy Houston.


Houston had a very special game. Purdue did strike first in the top of the second inning scoring two runs. IU managed to runners on second and third with no outs in the bottom of the inning. This is a scenario where almost any ball in play would score a run. Unfortunately the next three batters had a walk and two strikeouts bringing Houston to the plate needed to get a hit or a walk to drive in a run. In typical Houston fashion, he worked the count to 3-2 and drove a hit to the left side scoring two runs to tie the game.

Gabe Bierman was on the bump. He started the game establishing his fastball at 90-91 MPH and touched as high as 94.


He lost about 3 MPH over the course of the game, but managed an increase mix of off-speed to keep Purdue off-balance and competed to get out of jams. He struck out seven in his six innings of work.


Bierman handed the ball to Ty Bothwell for the seventh who was excellent with his 88-89 fastball setting down all six hitters he faced, three by strikeout. With a five-run lead, Hoosiers designated closer Matt Litwicki was just downright unfair. He lit up the gun with a fastball sitting 95-97 and hit 99 MPH on the first pitch to the last batter of the game.