Golden Eagles even the series; Tag Boilermakers with 8-3 loss
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – All nine Golden Eagle batters notched hits on Saturday as the TTU offense combined to clock 13 hits off of Purdue's pitching staff as Tech avenged the loss in game one of the series with a hefty 8-3 victory in game two.
Purdue led off the first inning with a 1-0 home run by Tyler Spillner to take a quick 1-0 lead, which they extended in the third inning when a fielding error and a walk put David Talbott and Spillner on first and second. A double steal moved both runners into scoring position, and a line-out by Eric Charles scored Talbott to give the Boilermakers a 2-0 lead.
Tech rallied over three innings though, scoring two runs in the bottom of the fourth, fifth and sixth innings while holding Purdue to just one run in the top of the sixth.
Zephan Guyear led off in the bottom of the fourth with a base hit, and Chad Oberacker's double put the tying run in scoring position for the Golden Eagles. Cleanup hitter Zach Stephens popped up a sacrifice foul fly to score Guyear and advance Oberacker, who came home as Casanova Donaldson laid down his first pitch from Nick Wittgren for an RBI bunt single.
Eight-spot hitter Frankie Beech struck for Tech in the bottom of the fifth with a base hit to lead off, while Austin Wulf notched a base hit of his own, putting runners on the corners for Zephan Guyear. Wulf moved into scoring position on a wild pitch, and a second misfire clocked Guyear to load the bases for Oberacker.
Behind in the count, 1-2, Oberacker fouled off two more pitches before ripping a single into right field to score Beech and Wulf, putting Tech on top 4-2. The Golden Eagles would maintain the lead from that point on, notching four more insurance runs over the course of four more innings.
Purdue threatened in the sixth inning, as an error and a base hit by Charles put runners on and a perfectly executed sacrifice bunt moved them into scoring position. Tech starter Matt Shepherd plunked Kevin Plawecki to load the bases for Barrett Serrato, whose base hit scored lead-off man Spillner.
With the score at 4-3 and the bases loaded with one out for the Boilermakers, smart fielding by the Golden Eagles got them out of the jam and into the bottom of the frame. Ryan Bridges popped up to second baseman Frankie Beech, who made the easy out and quickly fired to first baseman Zach Stephens to catch Serrato off the bag to complete the double play and end the inning.
Tech notched one more run off of Whittgren on a single by Evan Frazier to score Donaldson before Sean Collins took the mound in relief. He surrendered a double to Chad Hayes that put Frazier on third before being replaced by Mike Sudbury. Sudbury loaded the bases on a walk to Wulf, and clocked Guyear to bring in Tech's sixth run of the game.
The dominance offensively continued for Tech as the defense held tight. Purdue was held scoreless for the final three innings of play, while Tech notched two more runs in the bottom of the eighth.
With two outs, Hayes recorded his second hit of the game, which Wulf followed with a double to center field. The hit pushed Hayes to third but an error on Dixon allowed him to score on the play. Wulf moved to third on a balk and came home on a single by Guyear to set the score at the final 8-3.
Wulf, Guyear and Oberacker joined Hayes with two hits on the day, with Guyear and Oberacker notching two RBIs apiece to fuel the scoring. Spillner led the Boilermakers with a 2-for-4 effort at the plate, which yielded one RBI.
Despite being down 2-0 after three innings, Shepherd pitched through seven, notching five strikeouts and allowing just one earned run on five hits. Cullen Park finished out the game for the Golden Eagles, striking out five in just two innings of work and securing Tech's new record of 8-11.
In his first start of the year for the Boilermakers, Wittgren shouldered the loss on the day as Purdue fell to 12-6.
The finale game of the three-day series will kick off at 1 p.m. on Sunday.