April 29, 1997

Boilers Beat Broncos

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Purdue baseball team reached the .500 mark for the first time this season with a 9-8 win over Western Michigan at Lambert Field on Tuesday. The Boilermakers have won 15 of their last 20 games to reach the break-even point.

Purdue (23-23) fell behind 4-0 early on a first-inning grand slam by Bronco right fielder Kristopher Gundrum. The Boilers answered with five runs in the second, including two on sophomore third baseman Ryan Cole's second home run of the season.

Purdue scored two more runs in the fourth inning on a two-run single to right by senior second baseman Rod Metzler.

The Broncos took an 8-7 lead with a run in the fifth and three more in the seventh, but it was not enough as Purdue came back with two in the bottom half of the seventh. Metzler led off the inning with a double to right and scored on a one-out double to left-center by junior Mike Rothstein. Sophomore Todd Ellinger then singled home Rothstein to give Purdue the lead for good.

Junior Jason Howard picked up his second win of the season with three scoreless innings of relief. He struck out the last five hitters he faced.

The Boilermakers play Valparaiso Wednesday at 4 p.m.