March 12, 2013
CINCINNATI -- Robert Ramer finished just one out shy of a complete-game victory on the mound and his teammates staked him to an early lead with a four-run first inning, as Purdue baseball won at Cincinnati, 7-4, Tuesday afternoon in game three of the spring break trip.
The Boilermakers (5-9) recorded 12 hits and drew nine free passes, scoring the four runs in the top of the first thanks in part to four walks and two hit batters. Purdue left 13 runners on base in the game, but the Bearcats (4-9) never brought the tying run to the plate after the Boilers took the early lead.
Ramer (2-1) struck out a season-high seven and retired the first 10 batters of the game in order, highlighted by striking out the side in the bottom of the third. He surrendered two runs in the fifth and ninth innings, but the senior also induced three ground ball double plays, including two of the inning-ending variety.
Stephen Talbott was 3-for-4 at the plate to finish as one of four Purdue players with multiple hits. Kyle Wood reached base safely four times thanks to a single and three walks, scoring after each of his first three plate appearances.
Jake Hansen walked twice and singled, extending his hitting streak to seven consecutive games. Jack Picchiotti had a pair of singles and a bases-loaded walk, finishing with two RBI. Angelo Cianfrocco also drove in a pair of runs thanks to a two-out single to open the scoring in the four-run first inning and a sacrifice fly the following frame. Sean McHugh and Conner Hudnall had two hits apiece as well.
Patrick Kenney struck out the only man he faced with the potential tying run on deck to close out the win and earn his second save of the season.
The Boilermakers turned double plays of the 6-4-3, 4-6-3 and 5-4-3 variety. Ramer escaped a runners-on-the-corners jam with the 6-4-3 twin killing off the bat of the UC cleanup hitter in the fourth inning. The same batter hit into the 4-6-3 DP in the eighth. The first three batters of the ninth inning had reached base safely when Ramer induced the 5-4-3 double play. The next batter singled home the runner on third base to end Ramer's day. The senior was going for his second complete-game victory of the year.
A double from McHugh and walk to Wood set the stage for Cianfrocco in the top of the first inning. After the run-scoring single to center, UC starter Christian McElroy (1-3) lost control of the strike zone. The right-hander hit Talbott to load the bases and walked Picchiotti to force in a run. Jack Amaro was also hit by a pitch and Hansen's bases-loaded walk forced home the final run of the rally. Purdue managed to score four-plus runs in an inning for the seventh time this season.
The Boilermakers tacked on insurance runs in the second, fourth and sixth innings. Picchiotti delivered a two-out single to plate Wood in the fourth and Amaro executed a squeeze bunt to score Talbott in the sixth.
Ramer improved his career record to 15-2, moving within one victory of joining the Purdue all-time leaderboard. He did not give up a hit Tuesday until Justin Glass singled with one out in the fourth inning. And while the UC pitchers gave the Boilers nine free passes, Ramer issued only one walk.
Purdue has turned 19 double plays this season to lead the Big Ten. The three twin killings Tuesday represents a season high.
The Boilermakers have won six of the last seven meetings with Cincinnati dating back to 2003. Now 2-1 on their seven-game spring break trip, they return to action Wednesday for a rematch with No. 4 Louisville. First pitch at the Cardinals' Jim Patterson Stadium is slated for noon. Mike Lutz will get the start on the mound.