Published: Thu, May 25, 2017
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Weather in Bloomington, Indiana, alters tournament schedule

Weather in Bloomington, Indiana, alters tournament schedule

Rain is in the forecast for the early morning hours, but Indiana's field turf surface at Bart Kaufman Field should have little trouble draining in time for first pitch. Wednesday's outburst comes in stark contrast to last year's Big Ten experience in Omaha, where the hosts produced three total runs while going 0-2. Luis Alvarado's single and Luke Roskam's bases-loaded walk both created runs as well.

FLORIDA STATE 5, NOTRE DAME 3: Jackson Lueck hit his second two-run home run of the game in the bottom of the 12th inning, lifting Florida State at a rainy Atlantic Coast Conference tournament in Louisville, Kentucky. The top-seeded Cornhuskers (35-18-1) pounded out 13 hits - including eight extra-base hits - to beat the eighth-seeded Boilers, 15-9.

The result wasn't what Purdue imagined in its first Big Ten Tournament appearance since 2012.

Purdue coach Mark Wasikowski said his starter was healthy but "he had a bad day, so it happens". "Guys had a lot of family in town, and we have guys from all over the country, so it's great that their families are here, giving them another opportunity to see their families. From the start of the game, we didn't necessarily set the tempo or the tone that we wanted to".

But thanks to Mother Nature, after Wednesday's 15-9 triumph over Purdue in the first round of the Big Ten tournament, Nebraska will have an unexpected day off Thursday. "And even those there were two errors on the board, there were probably three or four other plays that could have been made defensively if we played at an elite level and we didn't do that tonight". Errors and walks hurt Purdue nearly as much as the Cornhuskers' bats. The Boilermakers pitchers combined for 10 walks and one hit batsman. A pair of errors also led to four unearned runs.

The Huskers stayed consistent and kept adding on.

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Both universities have reacted with shock - and fear. "My gut reaction was I couldn't believe something like this could happen". Collins was visiting friends on the University of Maryland's campus and was waiting at the university's bus stop for an Uber.

The Huskers plated four runs in the first inning, knocking Purdue starting pitcher Tanner Andrews out of the game before he could record an out.

Purdue almost fought its way back, and might have had it not been for an incredible sequence for Nebraska right fielder Mojo Hagee. Nick Dalesandro and Skyler Hunter singled to start the inning. A double from Alec Olund, double from Milo Beam, and a single from Jacson McGowan put Purdue in the lead 5-4.

It was the last lead Purdue held. The teams continued to pound out hits in the small ballpark, but Purdue never surged ahead. While it worked fortunately for the weather concerns, field turf plays much faster than natural grass, which Wasikowski says can change the game. "They kept putting swings on balls - even the out balls throughout the game were squared up more often than not".

The Golden Gophers (34-19) trailed 4-1 before Jordan Kozicky hit a two-run homer, extending his on-base streak to 36 straight games. Reliever Robbie Palkert went the rest of the way, allowing single Purdue runs in the eighth (RBI groundout) and ninth (Evan Warden homer). Hunter went 2-for-4.

But while the offense settled in - Purdue had 11 hits in scoring nine runs - its pitching and defense did not. Jake Schleppenbach would lineout to end the inning. NU coach Darin Erstad said his hitters' recent turnaround has come as the Huskers have stopped worrying about outcomes.

If there's a silver lining for Purdue in the loss, it's that Andrews would likely be able to pitch Friday if Purdue can win its game Thursday.

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