March 11, 2012
MURRAY, Ky. - Stephen Talbott and Cameron Perkins each recorded four hits and multiple RBIs, leading the way on another prolific offensive day for No. 29 Purdue baseball, which won its seventh straight game and completed a series sweep of Murray State, 13-2, Sunday afternoon.
The Boilermakers (11-1) kept pace with the 1959 team for the best one-loss start to a season in program history. Purdue's 1959 team was 12-1 before dropping its 14th game of the year.
After pounding out a program-record 30 hits Saturday in a 22-1 blowout win, Sunday's series finale was a one-run game entering the sixth inning. Talbott connected for a solo home run in the sixth and the Boilers tacked on three more runs with two outs thanks to four consecutive hits. The big inning came against MSU reliever Will Handlin, who had not given up an earned run in 15 2/3 innings pitched entering the day.
Purdue starter Calvin Gunter gave up a pair of two-out runs in the bottom of the first, but the senior regrouped and retired 11 of the 15 batters he faced over the rest of his five-inning outing. Gunter (2-0) worked a 1-2-3 third inning and erased a leadoff walk in the fifth by inducing a 6-3 double play ball turned by shortstop David Miller. The Boilermakers did not commit an error in the series.
Talbott had four hits for the second day in a row and tied his career high with four RBIs. He finished the weekend 10-for-17 with five extra-base hits, finishing a triple shy of the cycle Sunday. The junior delivered the first big hit of the day, a two-run, two-out double that tied the game in the top of the second inning. Perkins registered four singles and scored three times, finishing the series 10-for-18 with a team-high seven runs scored.
Barrett Serrato had three hits Sunday, highlighted by a two-out, two-run single in the sixth inning. Ten of his 11 RBIs this season have come with two outs.
The hustle of Eric Charles came into play twice on the day. The senior beat the throw at first on a potential double play ball to second base with the bases loaded and one out in the fourth inning. The go-ahead run scored on the play after MSU (8-8) was unable to complete the inning-ending double play. In the sixth inning, Charles beat out an infield single on a routine ground ball to shortstop and it led to a three-run rally.
Jack DeAno, Mike Sudbury, Sean Collins and Nick Wittgren teamed up for four innings of shutout relief. The Purdue bullpen did not surrender a run in the series. In fact, of the five runs the Boilers gave up in the series, four were scored in the first inning. Purdue trailed entering the second inning of all three games.
DeAno was able to get the big outs he needed to leave runners on base and keep Murray State off the scoreboard. A pair of singles and a two-out walk loaded the bases in the sixth, but DeAno got MSU leadoff man Ty Stetson to ground out to second to end the threat. An inning later, he retired the five and six hitters in the Thoroughbreds' lineup to finish off the frame with two runners aboard.
Sudbury and Collins teamed up for a 1-2-3 eighth and Wittgren retired the top of the MSU lineup in order in the ninth.
Purdue posted its first three-game series sweep on the road since the opening weekend of March 2011 at Lipscomb. The seven-game win streak is one game shy of the team's season-best streak of a year ago.
The Boilermakers continue their eight-game spring break trip Tuesday at Missouri State. First pitch has been moved from 4 to 7:30 p.m. ET. The game will be played at the Hammons Field, the home of the St. Louis Cardinals Double-A affiliate in the Texas League.