March 9, 2012
MURRAY, Ky. - Blake Mascarello retired 13 of the 14 batters he faced over 4 1/3 innings of one-hit relief, finishing off a 5-2 win for No. 29 Purdue baseball at Murray State Friday afternoon in the opener of the Boilermakers' eight-game spring break road trip.
Purdue (9-1) won its fifth straight game and kept pace with the 1959 team as the last to suffer only one loss through its first 10 games. The Boilermakers posted each of their first nine wins this season against nine different teams.
Purdue took the lead for good thanks to a three-run third inning, which featured three extra-base hits. Eric Charles, Cameron Perkins, Kevin Plawecki, Barrett Serrato and Stephen Talbott each recorded two hits on the day.
Purdue starter Joe Haase finished one out shy of qualifying for the win, working 4 2/3 innings of two-run ball. He recorded his 100th career strikeout in the third inning. But more importantly, Haase induced an inning-ending 6-4-3 ground ball double play off the bat of MSU No. 2 hitter Colton Speed with the bases loaded and the Boilers leading 4-1 in the bottom of fourth.
Mascarello (3-0) worked 1-2-3 innings in the sixth, eighth and ninth innings. The only hit he surrendered was a two-out single in the seventh. But the most important out he recorded was the first of his outing. The senior won a lefty-lefty matchup versus MSU's Dylan Wheeler with two aboard and two outs in the fifth inning, ending the threat thanks to ground out to second base.
David Miller made the highlight defensive play of the day, robbing Travis Isaak of a base hit with a diving stop in the hole to begin the seventh inning.
Windy conditions made fly balls anything but sure outs Friday. Talbott tripled to open the third inning after the MSU center fielder could not hold on to the deep fly ball. Tyler Spillner and Plawecki both delivered opposite-field doubles later in the inning. Perkins also knocked in a run with a base hit.
Charles drove in both insurance runs for the Boilers. The senior drew a bases-loaded walk in the fourth inning and delivered a two-out single in the sixth.
Spillner connected for a three-run homer down the right field line with two outs in the third inning, but the first base umpire ruled the ball was foul. After an argument from Purdue head coach Doug Schreiber, Spillner returned to the plate and drew a walk to load the bases for Charles. Another walk forced in the Boilers' fourth run of the night. Murray starter Tyler Beers (1-1) struck out Perkins to end the inning and leave the bases loaded, but it turned out to be the final batter he faced.
Mascarello recorded season-highs for innings pitched and strikeouts (four). It was his fifth scoreless outing in his six relief appearances this year.
Plawecki hit safely and drove in a run for a fifth consecutive game. He is 10-for-21 with 10 RBIs during that stretch. Talbott scored a run for a fourth consecutive game.
The three-game series continues Saturday at 3 p.m.