Feb. 28, 2010
CLEARWATER, Fla. - The Purdue baseball team's rally in the ninth inning came up one run shy as the Boilermakers (0-3) dropped a 6-5 decision to Rutgers (1-5) in the final game of the Big Ten/Big East Challenge on Sunday.
Trailing 6-4 heading in the final inning, the Boilers led off the ninth with back-to-back singles by David Blount and Barrett Serrato. Tyler Spillner cut the lead to one with a run-scoring double to gap in right-center to plate Blount to make it 6-5 Rutgers.
Jon Moore followed with an unassisted grounder to first to keep the tying run 90 feet away with one down.
After Eric Charles drew a walk to load the bases, Cameron Perkins hit a chopper to the right side that first baseman Jaren Matthews threw home to force out Spillner for the second out in the frame.
Brad Scheiber, who entered his final at bat 2 for 3 with a double and run scored, grounded into a fielder's choice to shortstop Dan Betteridge, who flipped the ball to second to force out Perkins and end the rally and the game.
The closely fought contest saw five lead changes throughout. Rutgers got on the board in the first on solo homer by Pat Biserta, only to see Purdue rally back to take a 2-1 lead in the second on back-to-back doubles by Schreiber and Kevin Plawecki and an RBI single off the bat of Ryan Bridges.
The Purdue defense returned the runs in the home half of the second, committing three errors in the frame for a pair of unearned scores and a 3-2 Scarlet Knight edge.
The Boilers tied the game at 3-3 in the fourth a sacrifice fly off the bat of Spillner, and retook the lead on a run-scoring single by Plawecki in the fifth.
The Knights, who had only three hits through the first six innings, finally broke through for three runs on four hits in the seventh to take the lead for good at 6-4.
For the second consecutive game, a Boilermaker starter turned in a quality outing only to see no result. One day after Matt Morgan tossed seven shutout innings against Cincinnati, left-hander Matt Jansen limited Rutgers to one earned run on three hits over six complete. He was in line for the victory, but the Scarlet Knight's three-run seventh off the Purdue bullpen cost him the win.
Freshman Pat Gannon (0-1) was charged with the loss after allowing three runs on three hits in 2/3 of inning. The southpaw did record two strikeouts in his collegiate debut.
Rutgers reliever Dan O'Niell (1-0) picked up the win after quieting the Purdue offense to the tune of one run on three hits over three innings, and Tyler Gebler notched the save after halting the Purdue rally in the ninth.
Offensively, Purdue's Spillner finished 3 for 4 with four RBIs in the loss, and Plawecki added three hits, including a double, two RBIs and a run scored for the Boilers.
Purdue will attempt to salvage one win during its trip to Florida when it takes on West Virginia on Monday at 1 p.m. Right-hander Drew Wurdack is the scheduled starter for the Boilers.