Feb. 24, 2013
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Purdue baseball rallied for a three-run inning in the seventh to tie the game, but Samford capitalized on a pair of bases-loaded walks in the top of the eighth to answer back and defeat the Boilers, 6-3, Sunday afternoon on the final day of the Diamond Classic at Dudy Noble Field.
Purdue (3-5) dropped three of four this weekend at Mississippi State's tournament, splitting its two games with Samford. The Boilermakers and Bulldogs (5-3) will play again next weekend at Samford's campus in suburban Birmingham, a traditional three-game series that begins Friday.
Purdue starting pitcher Kyle Wood left the game due to arm soreness with one out in the second inning. The Boilermakers used eight pitchers in the game, including four in the eighth inning. Kyle Upp's three innings of one-hit relief highlighted the day on the mound.
There were 14 walks issued in the game, none bigger than the three straight issued by Purdue pitchers in the eighth inning. The Bulldogs took the lead thanks to back-to-back bases-loaded free passes and a sacrifice fly. Consecutive one-out singles from the bottom of the order ignited the rally.
After pounding out 16 hits in Friday's win versus Samford, the Boilers managed only five hits -- all singles -- Sunday against starting pitcher Alex Milazzo (2-0). The right-hander walked six and struck out seven over seven innings. He uncorked two wild pitches to help Purdue score twice in the seventh inning. Sean McHugh also had an RBI infield single during the rally after he had struck out earlier in the game with the bases loaded and one out.
Of Purdue's nine strikeouts at the plate Sunday, five came on a called third strike. The Boilermakers also hit into a pair of inning-ending double plays. In turn, Purdue was only able to capitalize once on having the leadoff man aboard safely, which happed four times over a stretch of five innings.
Angelo Cianfrocco's leadoff single in the seventh ignited the three-run rally. After Kyle Johnson was hit by a pitch, a walk to Brandon Krieg loaded the bases. Cianfrocco's pinch runner, Jack Amaro, scored on a wild pitch and another walk to Stephen Talbott loaded the bases again. McHugh hit a sharp ground ball to the shortstop's left that went for an infield hit and scored a run. Krieg scored the game-tying run on a wild pitch with two outs in the inning.
After working a 1-2-3 frame versus the 3-4-5 portion of the Samford lineup in the top of the seventh, Mike Lutz (0-1) struck out the first batter of the eighth. But consecutive singles from Drew McWhorter and Austin Allison led to the first pitching change of the inning. Patrick Kenney walked the only batter he would face on four pitches to load the bases.
Johnson got the call to move from center field to the mound. He went ahead in the count 0-2 on Brandon Powell, who was batting for the first time in the game, but could not finish off the Samford left fielder. The base on balls forced in a run and Johnson then issued a four-pitch walk to the next hitter to give Samford a two-run advantage. A sacrifice fly plated the third run of the inning and final tally of the game.
Wood left the game after giving up a one-out single in the second inning. Taking over for Wood, Eddie De LaRiva was allowed to warm up on the game mound but could not retire any of the first four batters he faced. An RBI double, hit batter, RBI single, walk and sacrifice fly were all part of Samford's three-run rally.
Milazzo issued three walks in the bottom of the third inning to load the bases with Boilermakers. But the ball was not put in play in the frame. Milazzo struck out both McHugh and Jack Picchiotti to strikeout the side and escape the jam.
The series opener at Samford Friday is slated for 7 p.m. ET.