March 16, 2013
EVANSVILLE, Ind. -- Jordan Minch worked six shutout innings and Kyle Wood and Conner Hudnall each delivered a big two-run extra-base hit, leading Purdue baseball to a 4-1 victory in game one of a doubleheader split Saturday afternoon at Evansville that clinched a series victory for the Boilers.
The Purple Aces (7-11) posted season-high totals for runs and hits (20) to win the nightcap of the twinbill, 15-1.
Purdue (7-11) won a pair of close games in the series to finish its spring break trip with a 4-3 record. The Boilermakers had won four of their last five games before dropping the finale of the trip.
Having played their first 18 games away from the Purdue campus, the Boilers finally get a chance to open their home schedule Tuesday against Illinois-Chicago. The program's new stadium Alexander Field will premiere with five consecutive home games. Tuesday's game versus UIC is slated for 6 p.m.
The starting pitchers dominated the first game Saturday. Minch (2-2) surrendered only two infield hits while striking out a season-high seven over six innings. He retired 12 consecutive batters from the first through fifth innings, striking out the side in order in the bottom of the second.
Evansville's Kyle Lloyd (2-2) walked the first batter of the game but did not allow another baserunner until the sixth inning, retiring 16 consecutive hitters. The big right-hander was much more efficient with his pitch count and was able to work a complete game in the losing effort, striking out a career-high 12.
Having thrown over 100 pitches Tuesday in his win at Cincinnati, Purdue head coach Doug Schreiber determined Robert Ramer would not start game three of the series due to it getting moved up for the doubleheader on Saturday. But Ramer was available in relief Saturday and the senior recorded the final six outs of the game one win to earn his first save since 2010.
Wood connected for a two-run double to right center with runners on second and third and two outs in the sixth inning, breaking open the scoreless tie. After Wood singled with one out in the ninth, Hudnall connected for a two-run homer to right field, his second long ball of the season and the only home run for either team in the series.
Evansville scored in six of the eight innings in which the home team batted in the nightcap of the doubleheader. Purdue used eight pitchers in the loss, with Pat Gannon recording the only 1-2-3 inning (bottom of the sixth).
Sean McHugh batted leadoff as the starting catcher in both games, becoming the first Purdue player to hit leadoff as the catcher since Jordan Comadena in March 2008. Jake Hansen saw his nine-game hitting streak snapped in game one, but the senior has reached base successfully in 11 consecutive games. Brandon Krieg walked in his first plate appearance of game two and has now reached safely in 10 straight games in which he has batted.
The Boilermakers will also host Ohio State (March 22-24) and IPFW (March 27) during inaugural homestand at Alexander Field.
Game One Recap
Purdue did not record its first hit against Lloyd until Jack Picchiotti singled on a line drive to right field with two outs in the sixth inning. A one-out walk to Hansen earlier in the inning had ended Lloyd's streak of 16 consecutive batters retired. With McHugh and Picchiotti aboard, Wood was down in the count 1-2 when he hit a line drive into right center that fell out of the reach of the diving right fielder for the big hit the Boilers needed.
After scoring an unearned run in the seventh inning, Evansville nearly tied the game in the bottom of the eighth. Jason Hockemeyer had singled against Ramer and tried to score from first base after an infield single to third base and a throwing error by Hudnall. The ball went to fence line behind the first base bag, where Angelo Cianfrocco retrieved it and threw out Hockemeyer on a close play at the plate to end the inning.
Minch issued two walks and hit a batter to load the bases with two outs in the first inning. He got out of the jam and didn't allow another Evansville player to reach base until nine-hole hitter David Patton beat out an infield single to first base to record the game's first hit with two outs in the bottom of the fifth. Following a wild pitch, stolen base and walk to the UE leadoff hitter, Minch struck out Jake Mahon to leave runners on the corners. The lefty fanned the side in the fifth inning.
After giving up the two-run double to Wood, Lloyd got in a groove again and posted back-to-back 1-2-3 innings. But after Wood singled under the first baseman's glove, Hudnall connected for the long ball to right field. Nearly a tie game only moments earlier, it was suddenly a three-run lead for Purdue. Ramer pitched over a one-out single and did not allow the potential tying run to come to the plate in the bottom of the ninth.
Game Two Recap
Evansville scored in the first five innings of the game and led 5-0 when the Boilers finally got on the board in the top of the fourth. Purdue had a pair of defensive miscues in the first inning, helping UE score twice. And it was all Aces from then on.
Evansville's first batter of the inning reached base safely in six of the final seven innings that the home team came to the plate. That runner ended up scoring four times. Purdue starter Eddie De LaRiva (2-2) had to leave the game due to injury after an RBI double made it a 4-0 lead for UE with one out in the third inning.
The Boilermakers scored their lone run on back-to-back hits from Stephen Talbott and Josh Estill in the fourth inning. Talbott doubled over the left fielder's head and Estill singled him home. After a walk to Hudnall kept the line moving, Evansville starter Cole Isom (1-3) responded by retiring the next three batters in order. Purdue did not have more than one runner on at the same time the rest of the game.