April 23, 1997

Boilermakers Pound Bulldogs in Nine-Inning Affair

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - While it is the end result that people look for, it is the journey that makes life interesting. The Purdue baseball team demonstrated that old adage again Wednesday in beating Butler 6-1 at Bulldog Park in Indianapolis.

Starting pitcher Matt Luce was scheduled to go three or four innings to get some midweek work in preparation for the Big Ten series with Iowa this weekend. Instead the senior right hander threw a strong eight innings for his fourth win of the season. Luce allowed only five hits, while striking out six. The only run that he allowed was on a home run b Justin Beasley.

"I wasn't comfortable in my last outing at Northwestern," said Luce. "Coach wanted me to get some work in during the week. I don't think that either one of us thought that I would go eight innings, but everything was clicking and I wasn't throwing that many pitches, so he left me in. I'll be ready for the weekend."

Senior catcher Anthony Grieco, who is hitting .391, ironically had his first two-hit game of the season. His first of the day was an RBI triple in the seventh. The triple was the first of his career. Freshman Daryyl Hallada, who has been in a hitting slump, went three-for-five with three runs scored. Sophomore Ryan Cole posted the first four-hit game of his career, yet he did not score or have an RBI.

On defense, the Boilermakers continued their stellar play by turning three double plays and not allowing any Bulldog base runners to advance to third.

"It was a unique game," said head coach Steve Green. "(Ryan) Cole had four hits without a run or RBI. We had three triples and 15 hits total. Matt (Luce) pitched more innings than we had planned. But, we got two wins this week and found the aggressiveness at the plate that has been making us so successful this season. This weekend is huge. Hopefully, the play of the last two days carries over and we can solidify our spot in the Big Ten race.

The Boilermakers have a 19-22 record on the season. They are 10-10 and tied for fourth in the Big Ten with Indiana and Penn State. They begin their four-game series with Iowa at 3 p.m. Friday at Lambert Field.