Ninth inning rally gives Purdue the 12-4 win and the 2-1 series
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The Purdue Boilermakers battled through a one-run deficit in the sixth as well as two ties in the fifth and the seventh on the way to a 12-4 victory to cap off the three-game series on Sunday afternoon.
They put up eight runs on the board on six hits during the top of the ninth inning as two members of the Golden Eagle pitching staff faced a total of 12 batters from Purdue.
As they did in the first two games of the series, the Boilermakers took an early lead in the top of the first inning when a walk and an error to the first two batters put runners on the corners for Kevin Plawecki, whose first of five hits on the day made its way through the right side to put Purdue up, 1-0.
They extended the lead in the second inning on a sacrifice fly by Jake Hansen to score Tyler Spillner, and notched a 3-0 lead in the top of the fourth after a double by Talbott and a base hit by Eric Charles. In the bottom half of the frame though, Casanova Donaldson's two-out single kicked off a two-run inning for Tech, as Donaldson crossed the plate on Ben Burgess' double and Evan Frazier (pictured) moved Burgess home with an RBI base hit.
The Golden Eagle momentum continued in the bottom of the fifth and sixth, as the pitching staff left four Boilermakers stranded on base over those two innings, and the offense recorded the first tie and lead of the game for Tech as well. The Golden Eagles saw their first tie at three-all on an RBI ground-out by Chad Oberacker to score Wulf from third after a double by Guyear in the bottom of the fifth, and took the lead, 4-3, in the next inning on a sacrifice fly by Frazier to score Donaldson.
Purdue answered with a huge threat in the seventh inning that ended up yielding just a second tie score, 4-4, but left three more Boilermakers on the base paths. Sophomore righty Nick Price, who took the mound in relief in the sixth, gave up a single to Plawecki and an RBI double to Ryan Bridges to tie it before being replaced by freshman RHP Garret Baugh. Spillner earned a one-out walk, and both runners moved into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt by Andrew Dixon. Baugh loaded the bases when he nicked pinch hitter David Miller, but got himself out of the jam with a strikeout to Talbott to strand three and preserve the tie.
Baugh left three Boilermakers stuck on base again in the bottom of the eighth, but was replaced by shortstop Chad Hayes in the top of the ninth after surrendering a single to Dixon. Unfortunately, the Boilermaker lineup tested Hayes on the mound, batting around the order and then some to score eight runs on six hits by 12 Purdue batters.
Dixon, who had three RBIs on the day, and Miller, who had one, each notched two hits on the inning, giving them matching 2-for-2 efforts on the game. But Purdue was really fueled offensively by a 5-for-5, two RBI effort from Plawecki, who was also hit by a pitch in his last at-bat.
Despite a diminishing top half of the inning, Tech's Tevis Sherfield and Zach Stephens both notched two-out singles in the bottom of the ninth, but the Golden Eagles were otherwise unable to respond to the Boilermaker's late-game rally.
The Golden Eagles had four runs on 10 hits and left 10 men on base over nine, while the Boilermakers racked up their 12 runs on 19 hits and stranded a total of 16 men on base over the course of the day. Tech was led at the plate by Stephens and Burgess, who each went 2-for-4 on the day, while Frazier's 1-for-3, two-RBI effort led TTU in scoring.
Having been responsible for putting the go-ahead run on base, Baugh was tagged with his first loss of the season, dropping to a record of 2-1 after pitching an inning and two thirds and giving up one run on two hits and two walks.
Blake Mascarello, a junior southpaw for Purdue, got his first win of the season and improving to 1-2 following just an inning of work and one strikeout. Purdue's starter, Brad Schrieber, struck out eight in six innings pitched, allowing four runs on seven hits and two walks.
Tech will hit the road for their next five games, taking on Vanderbilt, SIU-Edwardsville and Kentucky before returning home to kick off conference play against Jacksonville State on April 2.