EMERSON, Ga. - Skyler Hunter and Jacson McGowan both recorded four hits while registering a combined five RBI and five runs scored, powering Purdue baseball to a 10-4 victory vs. Western Michigan that completed a three-game series sweep.
The Boilermakers (3-0) trailed 3-2 entering the sixth inning, but surged ahead with eight runs over the late innings. They finished the game with 16 hits, many coming to center field over the first half of the game. Hunter and McGowan both reached base safely in all four innings in which Purdue scored Sunday.
Freshman Bo Hofstra (1-0) retired all six batters he faced over two innings of relief in his collegiate debut, limiting WMU to a single run after entering the game with the bases loaded and no outs in the fifth inning.
Hunter and McGowan both finished the weekend with seven hits and drove in a run in all three games. McGowan homered in each game, becoming the first Boilermaker to go deep in three straight games since Kyle Wood in March 2016. McGowan connected for an opposite-field shot off a light pole in right field Sunday.
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Purdue is off to its first 3-0 start since the 2012 team opened the season 4-0, winning three straight neutral-site games at the Big East/Big Ten Challenge in the process.
The Boilermakers had not swept a season-opening series of at least three games against a single opponent since 1941 (vs. Naval Air Station Pensacola).
McGowan recorded his third career four-hit game; Hunter's was his first as a Boilermaker. It had been less than a year since two Purdue players both had four hits in the same game. Harry Shipley and McGowan accomplished the feat In an April midweek win vs. Fort Wayne last season.
The first seven Boilermakers to come to the plate in Purdue's four-run sixth inning put together a productive plate appearance.
Nick Dalesandro and Evan Warden joined Hunter and McGowan as Boilermakers to reach base safely in all three games of the series.
Purdue outscored WMU 20-6 in the series even while having three runners thrown out at the plate and three others erased on non-force outs on the base paths.
Twelve newcomers made their team debuts this weekend.
Purdue starter Ryan Beard retired the first seven batters of the game in order in his team debut. Of the other 14 he faced, he retired only three while working from the stretch. The lefty gave up four consecutive one-out singles in the third inning but managed minimize the damage to two runs with a bases-loaded strikeout to end the threat.
Two infield hits and a walk loaded the bases for the Broncos (0-3) again in the fifth inning. Hofstra was called upon to face the WMU cleanup hitter. He induced a comebacker that nearly led to a 1-2-3 double play. Instead a run scored when Dalesandro threw low to first base. Hofstra recorded five of his six outs via ground balls and worked a 1-2-3 sixth inning.
Trevor Cheaney escaped a bases-loaded jam in the eighth inning, inducing a 6-3 double play with the tying run at the plate. The newcomer retired four of the five batters he faced.
Hunter chased WMU starter Jake Piechota with a leadoff single in the bottom of the sixth. He probably should have been forced out at second base, but the Broncos' middle infielders did not take charge on McGowan's grounder over the mound. Instead of a potential double play, the ball rolled into center field for a hit and Hunter went first to third without a throw. Purdue's center fielder scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch moments later. Evan Kennedy's sac fly plated McGowan as the go-ahead tally.
Freshman Owen Jansen was called upon to pinch hit with the bases loaded in the sixth inning, delivering a two-run double into the right field corner. Hunter also tripled into the same corner to score the Boilermakers' first run in the third inning.
Purdue is back in action Friday when it squares off against Saint Louis and Incarnate Word at the Irish Alamo Classic in San Antonio. First pitch vs. the Billikens is set for 1 p.m. ET.