Feb. 19, 2011
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.
- Notre Dame scored 11 times in the fourth inning, capitalizing on three poor defensive plays by Purdue, on its way to blitzing the Boilermakers, 19-2, Saturday evening on day two of the BIG EAST-Big Ten Challenge.
The Fighting Irish (1-1) scored 19 unanswered runs after Purdue (1-1) struck first with a pair of tallies in the bottom of the second inning.
Tyler Spillner and Ryan Bridges both had two hits, together accounting for half of the Boilermakers' total in the loss. Spillner singled, doubled and walked twice - reaching base safely in four of his five plate appearances.
Notre Dame's Herman Petzold and Eric Jagielo both delivered with the bases loaded, clearing the bases with extra-base hits in the third and fourth innings, respectively. The Fighting Irish sent 16 men to the plate in the fourth inning. Purdue starting pitcher Blake Mascarello (0-1) got off to a good start by throwing first pitch strikes and would have retired the first seven hitters in order if not for an error to open the top of the second.
But it was the No. 8 and 9 hitters in the Notre Dame lineup that ignited the offensive onslaught, beginning with back-to-back singles in the third. Matt Scioscia and Alex Robinson finished the game a combined 8-for-9 with four RBIs and five runs scored. Robinson was a perfect 5-for-5.
Leading 3-2 in the top of the fourth, back-to-back singles by Joe Hudson and Trey Mancini chased Mascarello. In his first appearance as a Boilermaker, Lance Breedlove got the first two hitters he faced to hit ground balls to the left side of the infield but neither led to an out.
Third baseman Cameron Perkins handled a high chopper at third base and saw that he had a play on Hudson at the plate after the Notre Dame catcher had run on contact. But Perkins threw low to the plate. By the time Kevin Plawecki was able to return the throw to Perkins at third, Hudson had already dived back safely.
The key play of the inning occurred moments later when a potential double play ball got through Barrett Serrato at shortstop, allowing two runs to score. And instead of it being a 4-2 game with a runner on third and two outs, the rally continued with none out.
The third defensive lapse happened on Jagielo's bases-clearing triple. Spillner initially broke in on the rocket to center field. He was not able to recover in time to keep the ball from going to the wall and making it an 8-2 game.
The Boilermakers scored twice in the second inning when Serrato tripled home Bridges and Stephen Talbott executed a squeeze bunt to plate Serrato. But Purdue was unable to capitalize on a bases-loaded opportunity later in the inning. Notre Dame starter Cole Johnson (1-0) retired Perkins on a foul ball into the bullpen. Johnson allowed only three hitters to reach after his teammates staked him to the big lead.
Purdue takes on Pittsburgh Sunday at 1 p.m. in both teams' final game of the Challenge.