Feb. 18, 2012
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.
- Lance Breedlove
struck out a career-high 11 over seven shutout innings and Andrew Dixon
drove in a pair of runs with a four-hit effort, leading Purdue baseball to a quick 6-0 shutout of Cincinnati Saturday evening at the Big Ten/Big East Challenge.
The Boilermakers (2-0) won both ends of their season-opening day-night doubleheader after topping Connecticut 9-4 Saturday morning. In the nightcap with the Bearcats (0-2), Purdue led the entire game thanks to a two-out, run-scoring triple from Kevin Plawecki in the first inning.
Breedlove cruised through his seven innings, surrendering only a pair of two-out singles. Only a two-out error in the fifth inning prevented him from retiring the final 16 batters he faced. The senior put together 1-2-3 innings in the third, fourth, sixth and seventh. He struck out the side in the first inning and recorded at least one strikeout in every frame he worked. He did not issue a walk.
Dixon extended the Boilers' lead with a two-out, two-run double in the fourth inning. Plawecki and Barrett Serrato were in motion on a full-count pitch when Dixon hit a line drive into center field. Cincinnati's Jake Proctor tried to make a diving catch on the sinking liner but it bounced in front of him and skipped by, allowing both runners to score standing up.
Dixon also singled three times, scoring Purdue's final tally of the three-run sixth inning that blew the game open. It was his first four-hit effort as a Boilermaker.
Plawecki reached base safely four times, scoring twice. He was aboard when Ryan Bridges executed a squeeze bunt in the sixth inning to plate Cameron Perkins, who was hit by a pitch to reach base safely for a 65th consecutive game dating back to 2010. David
Cincinnati only had multiple runners on base in one of the nine innings. Brett Andrzejewski issued a walk and gave up a bloop single in the eighth inning, but responded by retiring the first two hitters in the UC lineup to end the threat and preserve the shutout.
Breedlove's 11 strikeouts represent the most by a Purdue pitcher since Matt Morgan fanned 14 in a March 2010 win at Ohio. Breedlove needed only 89 pitches to complete his seven innings and was a big reason why the game was played in two hours and two minutes.
The victory was the Boilers' first in shutout fashion since the series opener with Michigan, April 8, 2011, at Lambert Field.
Purdue concludes its schedule at the Big Ten/Big East Challenge Sunday at 10 a.m. against Notre Dame, which is also 2-0 at the events thanks to wins against Illinois and Iowa.