EVANSVILLE, Ind. -- Brad Schreiber and Patrick Kenney made the big pitches when they needed to while starting and closing out the game on the mound, leaving 11 runners on base in Purdue baseball's 4-3 series-opening win at Evansville Friday.
The Boilermakers (6-10) improved to 3-2 on their spring break trip, which will conclude Saturday with a 1 p.m. ET doubleheader against the Purple Aces (6-10). With rain in the forecast for Sunday, the two teams decided to play a twinbill Saturday.
Purdue posted its first one-run win of the season Friday. Schreiber (1-2) earned his first victory of the year with his finest outing of 2013, striking out a season-high seven over six innings of one-run ball. The right-hander recorded just one 1-2-3 inning but consistently pitched out of tight spots while surrendering four hits and two walks.
Kenney earned his third save of the season by getting the final seven outs. He surrendered only one hit, a leadoff single in the ninth by the UE leadoff man Kevin Kaczmarski, but that base runner was thrown out trying to steal second by catcher Sean McHugh. Kenney induced fly outs to end the seventh and ninth innings with the potential tying run in scoring position.
Offensively, the Boilers scored twice in the fourth and sixth innings. Stephen Talbott had a hit, stole a base and scored a run in both innings. He connected for a two-out double over the left fielder's head to plate Josh Estill as the game's first run in the top of the fourth. Moments later, Talbott stole third base and scored when the third baseman let the throw goes off his glove and down the left field line.
Conner Hudnall's one-out double ignited the sixth-inning rally. Talbott followed with a slow ground ball to shortstop that he beat out for an infield single. Hudnall held up initially but was able to take third base when the shortstop threw the ball away. Cody Strong was down in the count 1-2 but kept the at-bat alive and hit a hard chopper that deflected off the pitcher's glove and went to second base for an RBI ground out. Jack Amaro followed with a two-out single to center, scoring Talbott.
Jake Hansen had a pair of hits to extend his team-best hitting streak to nine consecutive games. Brandon Krieg was hit by a pitch in the third inning to keep his streak of reaching base safely alive at nine games long.
Kaczmarski accounted for three of his team's seven hits, singling in each of his final three at-bats. He scored on a two-out single from Jason Hockemeyer to make it a one-run game in the bottom of the fifth.
After Kenney worked a 1-2-3 eighth inning against the Aces' 7-8-9 hitters, Kaczmarski slapped an 0-2 pitch through the left side for a leadoff single in the bottom of the ninth. Jake Mahon tried to bunt the runner to second but fouled off three pitches, the third coming while he was trying to pull the bat back on a fastball high and tight. McHugh threw out Kaczmarski at second by a wide margin moments later. Kenney walked the next two hitters to keep the outcome in doubt, but he hung tough and got Evansville's No. 5 hitter to fly out to left for the final out.
Kaczmarski was on first when Mahon connected for a line drive to center field that Talbott misplayed and it went for an RBI triple. Mahon scored on a wild pitch moments later to make it a one-run game. A walk and an error kept the inning alive for UE, and Kenney got the call from the bullpen with runners on first and second with two outs. He got the first man he faced to fly out to center field.
Schreiber pitched over a one-out double in the first, striking out UE's No. 3 hitter for the second out of the inning after the runner had taken third on a wild pitch. The Purples Aces had a leadoff double in the fourth, but Schreiber came back to retire the next three batters and the base runner never advanced.
Robert Ramer was scheduled to pitch Sunday's series finale. But after he threw over 100 pitches in his win at Cincinnati Tuesday, head coach Doug Schreiber said Eddie De LaRiva would now take the ball for game two of Saturday's doubleheader.