DELAND, Fla. - Gareth Stroh pitched through some command issues while surrendering just one unearned run over six innings and four Boilermakers recorded multiple hits, leading Purdue baseball to an 11-1 win vs. Central Michigan (2-6-1) on Friday at the Westin Lake Mary Stetson Invitational.
The Boilermakers (7-1) led 2-1 entering the bottom of the seventh before blowing the game open with nine unanswered runs over their final two innings at the plate. Purdue posted a five-run frame for the second game in a row, accomplishing the feat for the first time since May 2013 in a series at Michigan.
Jacson McGowan homered off the batter eye's in center field in the seventh inning, connecting for his fifth long ball of the season. He has gone deep in five of the Boilermakers' first eight games and hit safely in a career-high 10 straight games dating back to the end of 2017. The first baseman has recorded an RBI in all but one game this year.
Purdue kept pace with the 2000 and 2012 Boilermakers for the program's best one-loss starts since 1965.
Purdue improved to 13-5 on Fridays dating back to the start of the 2017 season.
The Boilermakers have won seven of Stroh's last nine starts dating back to his complete game against Illinois in April of last season. Stroh (2-0) issued four of his five walks Friday in the fifth inning, but thanks in part to a pickoff between second and third, it took a throwing error on a steal of third base to plate the only run of the day for CMU.
Nick Dalesandro recorded three hits for the third time in the last four games. He's 9-for-16 during that stretch, reaching base safely in 12 of his 19 plate appearances. The junior has reached base safely in every game this season.
Even though he has now played in each of the first eight games this year, freshman Tyler Powers registered a bases-loaded, two-run single in his first collegiate at-bat Friday. He singled up the middle in the eighth inning. Powers is Purdue's fourth freshman to record his first hit so far this year.
Skyler Hunter and Ben Nisle both tripled to right center. Hunter's extra-base hit led to the game's first run after he scored on a wild pitch moments later. He has hit safely in all eight games this year. Nisle's triple plated a pair of runs in the Boilermakers' five-run seventh inning. Nisle is tied for second on the team with eight RBI, driving in a run in five of his first eight games for Purdue.
Purdue has won 7 of Gareth Stroh's last 9 starts dating back to April of last year. He surrendered just 1 hit over 6 IP & was able to pitch through some command issues in Friday's win. #BoilerUp pic.twitter.com/LcwYdXwdom
-- Purdue Baseball (@PurdueBaseball) March 2, 2018
Stroh worked a trio of true 1-2-3 innings. He opened the game with consecutive 1-2-3 frames, but closing his outing with a similar showing vs. CMU's 2-3-4 hitters was more significant. Stroh was able to regroup after issuing the four walks in the top of the fifth, retiring each of the first four hitters in the Chippewas' lineup the third time he faced them.
Stroh faced the minimum over 3 2/3 innings, erasing a leadoff walk in the top of the third by inducing a 6-3 double play to end the third. The only hit he surrendered was a two-out single in the fourth inning. The five walks were the most Stroh had issued since walking seven in a spring break trip win at Santa Clara last year.
Purdue left eight men on base over the first five innings, failing to extend its early lead after scoring in each of the first two innings. Consecutive doubles by Milo Beam and Evan Warden produced the Boilermakers' only RBI until McGowan went deep to chase CMU starter Michael Brettell (1-2) with one out in the seventh inning.
Bo Hofstra and Mike Kornacker both worked a scoreless inning of relief before Andrew Bohm closed out the win with his first full inning of relief as a Boilermaker. Hofstra and Kornacker have combined for 13 2/3 innings of five-hit relief this season.
The Boilermakers take on Virginia Tech on Saturday at 1 p.m. ET on day two of the three-day, four-team Westin Lake Mary Stetson Invitational.