Feb. 20, 2009
CLEARWATER, Fla. - A year removed from opening the season with three straight one-run loses, Purdue's Dan Black made sure the 2009 campaign didn't start off the same way. The junior third baseman hit a two-out double off of the left field fence in the bottom of the ninth inning to propel the Boilermakers (1-0) to a come from behind 11-10 win over Cincinnati (0-1) in the first Big East/Big Ten Challenge.
Trailing 10-9 heading into the bottom of the ninth, junior Nick Overmyer started the Boilermaker rally with a one-out triple off of UC closer Jake Geglein. The three-bagger narrowly missed going out of the ballpark, hitting the top of the left field fence and bouncing back into play.
After senior leadoff hitter Brandon Haveman saw his grounder up the middle get cut off by a drawn in Chris Peters at shortstop for the second out, classmate Ben Wolgamot followed with a solid single to left to score pinch runner Barrett Serrato and tie the game at 10.
Designated hitter Eric Charles drew a walk in the next at bat to push Wolgamot into scoring position and bring Black to the plate. The third baseman, who led Purdue with 18 homers and 70 RBIs last season, launched Geglein's 2-1 offering the opposite way into left. The tailing liner sailed over the head of outfielder Justin Riddell to plate Wolgamot for the walk-off win.
The game was a see-saw battle throughout. Aided by blustery conditions, routine fly balls turned into doubles and home runs for both teams.
UC got on the board in the top of the first on a two-run homer by Mike Spina. The blast, one four on the day for the Bearcats, sailed over the centerfield wall to stake UC to the early lead.
The Boilermakers cut the advantage to one in the home half of the frame with a single run on a sacrifice fly by true freshman Tyler Spillner in his first collegiate at bat.
The Boilers added three runs in the bottom of the second to a take a two-run lead at 4-2 on a run-scoring double by Overmyer and a two-run single by Wolgamot. The lead was short-lived however, as UC rallied for three more runs in the top of the third on back-to-back doubles to lead off the frame, and a pair of run-scoring singles to make it 5-4 Bearcats.
Cincinnati's Riddell homered, one of two solo blasts for him, to lead off the sixth to push the lead back to two, and the Bearcats added two runs in both the seventh and eighth innings. The resilient Boilermakers battled back each time, tying the game at 6-6 in the bottom of the sixth, 8-8 in the seventh and cut a two-run UC edge to one with a single run in the eighth.
Purdue's Kevin Cahill worked around leadoff double by Riddell in the top of the ninth to keep the Bearcat advantage to one and pave the way for Black's game-winning hit.
Offensively, Purdue rapped out 17 hits on the day, including five doubles and a triple. Individually, eight of nine Boilermaker starters finished with at least one hit. Overmyer (3 for 4, 2B, 3B, 2 RBI), Wolgamot (3 for 6, 2B, 3 RBI) and Alex Jaffee (3 for 5, RBI) led the way with three hits apiece. Wolgamot and Jaffee each scored a pair of runs in the win.
On the mound, Cahill (1-0) picked up his first win of the season with a scoreless inning of work in the ninth. Boiler right-hander Matt Bischoff allowed six runs on eight hits over five innings in a no-decision start.
UC's Geglein, who went 3-0 with nine saves in 2008, was charged with the loss after allowing two runs on three hits in one inning of work.
Purdue gets back to action on Saturday when it squares off against Big Ten foe Michigan in a non-conference game at 11 a.m. The Boilermakers will regroup for a second game against South Florida at 7:30 p.m.