Top of the Lineup Leads the Way as Purdue Hangs on For Road Win at Auburn

PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM Tyler Spillner had four hits for the second game in a row.
PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM
Tyler Spillner had four hits for the second game in a row.
PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM

March 2, 2012


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AUBURN, Ala. -- Tyler Spillner and Eric Charles each had four hits at the top of the lineup and Cameron Perkins and Kevin Plawecki both drove in a trio of runs, leading Purdue baseball to a 9-8 victory at Auburn Friday evening.

The Boilermakers (6-1) took an early 4-0 lead but won the game thanks to four runs over the final two frames. David Miller scored an insurance run in the top of the ninth and it proved to be the difference in the game after Auburn (6-5) scored three times in the bottom of the frame. Nick Wittgren retired the final two batters, highlighted by a three-pitch strikeout for the third out, to close out the win with the potential tying run at second base.

The victory was Purdue's first against a Southeastern Conference opponent since 2007 and the first against Auburn since 1941.

Miller also scored the go-ahead run in the top of the eighth on a base hit by Charles after opening the inning with the first hit of the year given up by Auburn reliever Dillon Ortman (0-1).

Perkins collected RBIs with a single in each of the first two innings and later a game-tying sacrifice fly in the sixth. Plawecki singled home a pair in the eighth.

Blake Mascarello (2-0) earned the win in relief, working 3 2/3 innings. He surrendered a pair of unearned runs in the fifth when Auburn took its first lead. He left the game with the bases loaded in the ninth and all three runners ended up scoring. But Wittgren retired three of the four batters he faced versus the 4-5-6-7 portion of the lineup to close out the win.

The Purdue leadoff man reached base safely four times on the night and ended up scoring all four times. Spillner, Andrew Dixon, Stephen Talbott and Miller each singled to open an inning and came around to score. Talbott also executed three sacrifice bunts on the night and all three times the base runner he advanced to second base ended up scoring.

Unearned runs impacted the middle of the game. A two-out error by Ryan Bridges at first base allowed Auburn to tie the game and then take the lead in the bottom of the fifth inning. In the top of the sixth, Charles nearly ran into an out when he ventured too far off the first base bag with Talbott in front of him at second. But the catcher's throw went into right field, allowing Talbott to take third. Perkins hit a fly ball to center field for a game-tying sac fly moments later.

Auburn entered the day with 37 stolen bases in its first 10 games this year. Plawecki helped shutdown the Tigers' running game by throwing out a runner trying to steal in the first and fifth innings.

Meanwhile at the plate, Purdue successfully executed a pair of hit and runs. Spillner singled through the vacated right side in the fourth inning and Charles had a base hit through the left side in the sixth.

Spillner and Charles had back-to-back hits in the first, second and eighth innings. The Boilermakers went on to score at least twice in both innings. Spillner posted his second four-hit effort in as many games and fourth career. Charles had multiple hits and scored a run for the fourth consecutive game. He posted his sixth career four-hit game.

Wittgren earned his 14th career save, moving within one of the Purdue all-time record. Mascarello and Wittgren backed up starter Joe Haase, who worked 4 1/3 innings. Thanks to a caught stealing and double play, he faced only 10 batters in his first three innings.

Purdue takes on Southern Miss Saturday at 1 p.m. ET. The Golden Eagles thumped Charleston Southern 16-2 in the first game of the four-team tournament at Auburn's Plainsman Park this weekend.