Sunday Update: The first pitch of the rubber game of the series has been pushed back to 4 p.m. ET due to rain in the forecast.
NEW ORLEANS - Less than 24 hours after being shut out for the first time this year, Purdue baseball produced season-high totals for runs and hits in a 12-8 win at Tulane on Saturday.
The Boilermakers (9-3) scored six times over the first three frames to race out to an early lead and later blew the game open with a five-run sixth inning. Seven different Purdue players finished with multiple hits as part of a 19-hit attack.
The Boilermakers' leadoff man reached base safely in seven of the nine innings, scoring four times. In Friday's 1-0 loss, Purdue did not have its leadoff man reach safely in any frame. Evan Warden was on base safely five times. Charlie Nasuti and Jacson McGowan were both on base four times, McGowan extending his reached safely streak to 14 straight games dating back to last year.
Ben Nisle connected for a towering two-run homer down the left field line in the sixth inning, his second long ball of the season. He joined Nasuti with three hits. Highlighted by a two-run, bases-loaded single in the second inning, Skyler Hunter finished with a season-high four RBI. The switch-hitter extended his hit streak to 12 consecutive games, the longest run by any active Boilermaker.
A rainy first inning and more issues with a cracked fingernail on the index finger of his left hand led to some command issues for Gareth Stroh again. He walked five for the second straight start and gave way to the bullpen after four innings. But he surrendered only one earned run on three hits and Purdue improved to 13-6 when he has started on the mound. The lefty faced 15 consecutive batters without surrendering a hit from the first through fourth innings.
-- Purdue Baseball (@PurdueBaseball) March 11, 2018
Purdue scored at least four runs in an inning for the seventh time in the last six games and eighth time total this season. The Boilermakers never trailed Saturday despite stranding 16 runners on base and hitting into three double plays.
Purdue executed seven bunts in the win, reaching base safely on the first four. The Boilermakers were credited with five sac bunts.
The bottom third of the Purdue lineup was a combined 6-for-12 with six runs scored and three sacrifice bunts.
The first nine Boilermakers to come to the plate in the sixth inning put together a productive plate appearance. Tulane (7-8) scored four times in the bottom of the frame. The teams combined for 11 hits in the sixth inning after recording just seven hits total in Friday's 1-0 final.
Nasuti (.542), McGowan (.527) and Nick Dalesandro (.500) continue to sport on-base percentage of .500 or better. Nasuti has eight singles and five walks in 25 plate appearances this season.
Nisle continues to have more RBI (13) than hits (10) while starting every game of his freshman season thus far.
Relievers Mike Kornacker, Cameron Williams (2-0) and Trevor Cheaney all retired three consecutive batters at one point during their outings. Cheaney struck out the first two batters he faced in a 1-2-3 bottom of the eighth.
Tulane used seven pitchers, with relievers Brendan Cellucci and Brandon Issa both throwing only four pitches. Cellucci had command issues and was lifted with a 1-0 count on Dalesandro in the sixth inning. The first pitch Issa threw led to an inning-ending double play. But he left the game due to injury after retiring Nisle to lead off the following frame.
Green Wave starter Ross Massey (1-2) was struck in the rib cage by a line drive off the bat of Nick Evarts in the second inning. The lefty was able to remain in the game, facing five more batters, but he was lifted after only retiring one of the five.
Sunday's rubber game of the series has been moved to a 4 p.m. ET first pitch.