March 15, 2014
SAN DIEGO -- Purdue baseball posted season-high totals with seven runs on 12 hits, but couldn't protect a 5-3 lead entering the seventh inning in an 8-7 series-opening loss at San Diego State Friday evening.
The Boilermakers (1-11) overcame deficits of 2-0 and 3-2, taking the lead with a three-run top of the sixth. But the Aztecs (13-4) scored five times in the bottom of the seventh thanks to a pair of hits, two walks, an error and a wild pitch.
Highlighted by Kyle Johnson's third home run as a Boilermaker, Purdue recorded three hits and scored twice against SDSU closer Michael Cederoth in the ninth inning. The right-hander had surrendered only four hits over 14 1/3 innings pitched entering the night. The Boilers had the potential tying run on second base with one out, but Cederoth retired the final two batters of the game on only two pitches. Purdue left 11 runners on base in the game.
Conner Hudnall and Brandon Krieg each had three hits and an RBI double for the Boilermakers. Hudnall also threw out a man at the plating trying to tag up and score on a fly ball to right field with the bases loaded and no outs in the third inning. A nifty slide by Krieg allowed him to be safe at the plate on a two-run single from Sean McHugh in the top of the fifth that tied the game.
Jordan Minch pitched six-plus innings of four-run ball. After working a 1-2-3 sixth vs. SDSU's 5-6-7 hitters, the lefty issued a leadoff walk in the seventh before giving way to Mike Lutz (0-2). The key hit of the Aztecs' five-run rally was a bloop single down the right field line off the bat of No. 3 hitter Ty France with the bases loaded and one out. The tying run scored and the go-ahead run took third on the play. Two ground balls and a wild pitch allowed three more runs to score in the inning, two of the tallies going down as unearned after Cody Strong failed to hold on to the ball at second base on a force out attempt.
San Diego State pulled starter Mike RoBards after five innings with the home team leading 3-2. The Aztecs used three pitchers in the sixth inning while Purdue opened up a 5-3 lead. But Cody Thompson (2-0) struck out McHugh and Kyle Wood with runners on the corners to the end inning and went on to work 2 2/3 innings of one-hit relief.
Hudnall, Strong and Krieg each delivered an RBI hit in the sixth inning. A leadoff walk to Johnson ignited the rally.
Minch successfully limited the damage in the third and fifth innings after SDSU loaded the bases with no outs. But after Hudnall threw out the Aztecs' leadoff man at the plate for the fly ball double play in the third, Minch uncorked a wild pitch to the next batter to allow the runner on third to score.
It appeared as though Minch would get pulled after SDSU loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the fifth, but head coach Doug Schreiber left him in the game and Minch induced a 6-3 double play off the bat of France. The go-ahead run scored on the play but the lefty quickly ended the inning to keep it a one-run game. Purdue went ahead not long after with the three run-scoring hits in the following frame.
Schreiber coached his 850th career game as the leader of the Boilermakers Friday.
The four-game weekend wraparound series continues Saturday at 9 p.m. ET.