Feb. 27, 2005
BOCA RATON, Fla. -
Purdue hurler Mitch Pruemer made his first start on the mound for the Boilermakers in 648 days and led Purdue to a 9-3 victory over No. 34 Florida Atlantic on Sunday in front of 229 fans at FAU Field.
Pruemer last took the hill on May 11, 2003, at Sembrower Field in Bloomington, Ind., in Purdue's 10-3 win over the Indiana Hoosiers. Against the Owls on Sunday, the Boilermaker senior tossed 7.2 innings, allowing two runs on seven hits while striking out four.
With the win, Purdue improves to 1-2 on the season, while FAU drops to 6-3. The win over a ranked opponent was Purdue's first since defeating then-No. 18 Wake Forest 6-5 on Feb. 18, 2001, in Houston, Texas.
Purdue was led at the plate by Eric Wolfe with four hits and two RBI. Mitch Hilligoss added three hits, as did Spencer Ingaldson. Ingaldson also scored three runs in the game for the Boilermakers.
The Boilermakers struck first, plating a run in the second on a hit, a hit-by-pitch and a key FAU miscue. Wolfe led off the inning with a base hit to center and advanced 90 feet when Neal Gorka was hit by a pitch. In the following at-bat, Ingaldson's bunt attempt was caught in the air by third baseman Robbie Widlansky. However, Widlansky's attempt to double-up Gorka at first sailed away from Owl first baseman Jordan Haver, allowing Wolfe to score from second base.
FAU threatened in the home half of the second, loading the bases with one out. However, Pruemer blew a third strike past left fielder Bobby Diliberto and then retired catcher Justin Martin on groundout to second to escape the inning without a run.
In the top of the fifth, Ingaldson singled and was followed by Eric Osborn, who squared to bunt. Osborn when then hit by a pitch from FAU starter Chris Salberg and was granted first base. Owl head coach Kevin Cooney argued the call, believing Osborn stepped into the pitch and would not relinquish the fight, eventually being tossed from the game by first base umpire Darryl Davis. Following the ejection, Salberg was called for a balk, moving Ingaldson to third and Osborn to second. Hilligoss then grounded a ball between third and short for an infield single and an RBI, driving home third.
Purdue struck again in the sixth, starting with a single through the infield by John Hunter
, a wild pitch and a single to center by Wolfe that force Salberg from the mound. With Brandon Kloess on in relief and A.J. Prickel
pinch-running at third for Hunter, another FAU wild pitch allowed Prickel to score from 90 feet away. After Wolfe was caught trying to steal third, the Boilermakers put runners on with singles by Ingaldson and Osborn. Ingaldson then stole second and scored when FAU catcher Martin sailed his throw into left field, making the score 4-0 Purdue.
In the eighth, Purdue rallied for two two-out insurance runs. With two down and nobody on, Gorka singled through the right side of the infield and moved to third on a base hit by Ingaldson. A wild pitch by reliever Chris Eberhart plated Gorka, and a double to left-center off the bat of Osborn drove home Ingaldson with Purdue's sixth run.
FAU broke up the shutout in the bottom of the eighth, loading the bases with two out before Brian Lipman laced a single up the middle to score Diliberto and Derek Hutton. Chris Toneguzzi relieved Pruemer on the mound and recorded the third out to end the Owl inning.
A quick response came from the Boilermaker bats as Purdue . Coles led off the frame with a single, Hilligoss singled and Andy Dahl walked to load the bases. Wolfe singled for the fourth time in the game to plate two runs and force FAU to bring in its seventh pitcher of the game in Matt Dunn. Dunn was greeted by an RBI double down the left field line by Gorka, increasing the Purdue lead to seven runs.
Toneguzzi closed the ninth inning to pick up the first Purdue save of the season, the second of his career.
The Boilermakers will continue their 14-game roadtrip next week as they take on another NCAA postseason participant from 2004, the Mississippi Rebels. The series begins with a 6:30 p.m. contest on Friday, March 4. Of Purdue's opening 14 games on the road, 11 come against schools that played in last season's NCAA regionals.