NEW ORLEANS - Purdue baseball's lineup was held in check by another strong outing from a Tulane starting pitcher, striking out 12 times in a 6-2 rubber game loss to the Green Wave on Sunday.
The Boilermakers (9-4) recorded season-high totals from runs (12) and hits (19) Saturday, but were limited to a combined two runs in the other two games of the series. Meanwhile, an early solo homer and two-run double helped Tulane (8-8) take an early 3-0 lead Sunday that it would not relinquish.
Evan Warden doubled twice Sunday and finished the series having reached base safely 10 times. Ben Nisle homered to left field for the second game in a row. Skyler Hunter joined Warden as the only Purdue players with multiple hits in the rubber game, extending his career-best hit streak to 13 consecutive games.
Tulane starter Keagan Gillies (2-1) struck out a career-high 11 over seven innings of two-run ball. The 6-foot-8 right-hander struck out seven of the first 13 batters he faced. The Boilermakers did not put the ball in play against him in both the third and fourth innings.
Purdue recorded seven hits over the final three frames that Gillies worked, but stranded six men on base during those innings. Reliever Ben White retired all six batters he faced to close out the game.
Coach @Waz4412 acknowledges that #Purdue ran into some strong pitching this weekend in New Orleans, but he's still looking for more of a complete situational offense & well-rounded effort from his team.#Boilers lost 2-of-3 at Tulane to open the spring break trip. pic.twitter.com/H0mL7etS2K
-- Purdue Baseball (@PurdueBaseball) March 12, 2018
Bo Hofstra (1-1) attacked the strike zone in his first collegiate start, but gave up three runs on five hits against the first eight batters he faced. Those totals were both more than the freshman had allowed over 10 1/3 innings of relief this season entering the day. Grant Witherspoon hit an opposite-field home run to left field in the first inning and Sal Gozzo delivered a two-run double to left the following frame.
When the Boilermakers finally scored in the sixth and seventh innings, bringing the tying run to the plate in both frames, the Green Wave got the run back in the bottom half twice.
Dalton Parker retired six of nine batters faced over two innings of one-hit relief in his longest outing since returning from an offseason injury. Matt Moore struck out a pair of left-handed hitters after entering the game with runners on the corners. But a two-out infield hit sandwiched in between did allow an inherited runner to score.
Witherspoon hit a pair of solo homers, but it was the bottom half of the Tulane lineup that was the difference in the game. The six through nine portion of the Green Wave lineup was a combined 6-for-13, with three doubles, three RBI and four runs scored.
Jacson McGowan drove in Purdue's first run of the game in the sixth inning with an infield single, recording his 20th RBI of the season. He also extended his reached base safely streak to 15 consecutive games dating back to the end of the 2017 campaign. Nisle's homer was his third of the season and gave the freshman 14 RBI in 13 games.
The Boilermakers continue their eight-game spring break trip Tuesday with a 7 p.m. ET game at Southeastern Louisiana.