NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Matt Morgan struck out 10 in his three-hit, complete-game shutout, carrying Purdue baseball to a series-opening win at Lipscomb in a 1-0 pitcher's duel Friday afternoon.
Cameron Perkins drove in the game's only run with two outs in the eighth inning, plating Stephen Talbott from second base with a single to left. Talbott was safe on a close play at the plate despite not sliding. Perkins extended his career-best hitting streak to 12 consecutive games dating back to last season.
Morgan (2-0) only needed 108 pitches to record his first career complete-game shutout and his second complete game total. Lipscomb (6-4) put its leadoff man aboard in the seventh and eighth innings but he was able to pitch over the leadoff singles, striking out the final batter in both frames.
Lipscomb pitcher Richie Goodenow (0-2) also went the distance, limiting the Boilermakers (6-2) to six hits while striking out eight. He pitched over leadoff singles by Kevin Plawecki, who has hit safely in each of the first eight games this year, in the second and seventh innings. But Goodenow was unable to keep Talbott from scoring after hitting the Purdue left fielder with a pitch to begin the eighth.
The shutout victory was Purdue's first since blanking Chicago State at home in March of last season. The Boilermakers had not won a 1-0 game since April 2007 at Michigan State. The game was completed in one hour and 51 minutes, making it the fourth fastest game of the program's modern era.
At 6-2, Purdue remains off to its best start since the 2000 team opened the year 7-1.
Morgan struck out at least one hitter in every inning but the fifth. He put together five 1-2-3 frames, including the ninth inning when he retired the 3-4-5 portion of the Lipscomb lineup in order. The final out came on a comebacker that Morgan took to the bag himself for an unassisted out.
Morgan excelled at throwing his curveball for a strike, especially on the inside corner. He posted his third career double-figure strikeout performance and the first by a Purdue pitcher since Matt Bischoff fanned 10 against Northwestern in April of last season. With 172 career Ks, the senior has moved into 13th place all-time in program history.
Morgan retired nine consecutive batters from the first through fourth innings. Tennyson Dodd's two-out double in the fourth inning was Lipscomb's first hit of the day.
The Bisons' best chance to score came in the eighth inning. Morgan walked the No. 9 hitter after the frame had begun with a leadoff base hit and a sacrifice bunt. But with runners on first and second and the top of the lineup coming up, the Purdue pitcher was able to escape the jam by retiring M.L. Williams on a fly ball to right field and striking out Lee Wilson for the third time on the day.
The Boilermakers also backed up Morgan with flawless defense. Shortstop Barrett Serrato made a nice diving play near the second base bag for an inning-ending fielder's choice in the first inning. It was Purdue's first error free game of the young season.
David Blount also made a key contribution with his brief appearance in the game, executing a sacrifice bunt as a pinch hitter in the eighth inning, moving Talbott into scoring position.
The three-game series continues Saturday with a 3 p.m. (EST) matinee.