March 15, 2012
WICHITA, Kan. - No. 24 Purdue baseball scored five times in the seventh inning to break open a tie game and the extended rally carried the Boilermakers to their ninth-consecutive win, a series-opening victory at Wichita State, 8-3, Thursday afternoon.
Purdue (13-1) is now officially off to the best one-loss start in program history. The nine-game win streak represents the Boilers' longest since winning 13 in a row in 2001.
Purdue knocked around an opposing bullpen yet again, hanging the loss on another reliever (Foster Vielock) that had not surrendered an earned run this season entering the day. Angelo Cianfrocco plated the go-ahead run with a bases-loaded sacrifice fly and the Boilers tacked on three more runs with two outs.
David Miller led the way with his first four-hit effort at Purdue. He's 7-for-9 in the last two games. The senior delivered two-out run-scoring hits in the fourth and seventh innings. Tyler Spillner also came through with two-out run-scoring hits in the sixth and seventh innings. Spillner's base hit in the top of the sixth plated Miller and tied the game, 3-3.
Jack DeAno (2-0) put together his third scoreless relief appearance of the season, striking out four over 3 1/3 innings. Robert Ramer also pitched well in his first start of the year, limiting WSU (10-9) to three runs on four hits over 4 1/3 innings. The third run scored after he left the game with two outs in the fifth.
Kevin Plawecki doubled twice on a pair of rockets into left center field. He scored Purdue's first run of the day after his two-bagger off the wall to open the top of the fourth. It was the catcher's seventh consecutive two-hit effort.
Cameron Perkins and Plawecki reached safely to open the top of the seventh and ignite the seventh-inning rally. Perkins recorded his second infield single of the day and Plawecki was hit in the back by an 0-2 pitch. Barrett Serrato followed with a sacrifice bunt, reaching safely when the throw to first pulled the WSU second baseman off the bag while covering the bag on the defensive rotation. Cianfrocco hit a fly ball to right field that scored Perkins and allowed Plawecki to advance to third. He would score on a wild pitch uncorked by new WSU reliever Aaron LaBrie.
With one out in the sixth inning, Miller singled, stole second and took third on a throwing error. Spillner came through with the clutch two-out hit, tying the game with a single through the right side.
DeAno took over for Ramer as the Boilers began their third trip through the WSU lineup. The sophomore was greeted by a bunt single and two-out RBI hit that gave the Shockers the lead. But DeAno was able to end the threat when Johnny Coy's line drive to the warning track in left field was hit directly at Stephen Talbott.
DeAno pitched over a leadoff single in the sixth inning and an inning-opening walk in the seventh. He recorded at least one strikeout in each of his three full innings of relief, ending both the seventh and eighth with Ks.
Ramer worked 1-2-3 innings in the first and third inning. He struck out three and did not issue a walk. His 1-2-3 third inning was aided by nice defensive plays by Perkins and Plawecki. Perkins barehanded a slow chopper up the third base line and threw out Tyler Coughenour for the second out of the inning. Moments later, Plawecki popped out from behind home plate and prevented Kevin Hall from recording a bunt single.
Andrew Dixon and Talbott also recorded an RBI in the win. Dixon executed a squeeze bunt with runners on the corners in the top of the fourth, plating the Boilers' first run of the game. Talbott, meanwhile, delivered the second of the three straight two-out run-scoring hits in the seventh, a double down the right field line.
Game two of the four-game series is set for Friday at 6 p.m. ET.