March 18, 2011
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. - David Miller, Ryan Bridges and Tyler Spiller each connected for a home run and Purdue baseball scored five times in the first inning on the way to pounding Tennessee Tech, 13-3, Friday afternoon in the opener of a three-game series.
The Boilermakers (12-5) improved to 3-3 on their spring break and snapped a brief three-game losing streak.
Purdue pitchers Robert Ramer and Pat Gannon teamed up for 11 strikeouts and helped prevent 10 TTU base runners from scoring. Ramer (2-0) worked five innings in his first start of the season, giving up two earned runs while striking out four. Gannon closed the game out, earning a save with four scoreless innings of relief. He struck out a career-high seven and did not issue a walk.
Tennessee Tech (7-11) out hit the Boilers 12-11 but Purdue took advantage of its eight free passes (five walks, three hit by pitch).
Miller connected for a three-run homer in the first inning after the Boilers were given an extra out in the frame. Bridges went deep for the second game in a row, connecting for a two-run shot to center field in the third inning. Spillner crushed his two-run homer to right field, clearing the scoreboard in the fourth for his second long ball of the spring break trip.
Bridges finished the game with four productive plate appearances, going 2-for-3 with a walk, sacrifice fly and two runs scored. Stephen Talbott hit safely for a sixth consecutive game on the road trip, doubling in front of Spillner's home run in the fourth and singling home a pair in Purdue's four-run seventh inning. Miller drove in a season-high four runs after also getting hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the seventh.
Gannon gave up a leadoff hit in each of his four innings of relief, but was able to pitch over the potential rally starters thanks in part to the strikeout. The left-hander struck out a pair in each of his first three innings, fanning the final two batters in both the seventh and eighth innings.
Spillner hit the first pitch of the game into the right field corner for his ninth career triple. Eric Charles also swung at the first pitch and hit a ground ball to third base. Devin Rivers' throw across the diamond was in the dirt, allowing Charles to reach safely. Cameron Perkins and Kevin Plawecki followed with back-to-back singles, giving Purdue the lead and loading the bases. After a strikeout and Bridges' sac fly in foul territory down the right field line, Miller launched a pitch over the fence in right center for his second home run of the year.
Tennessee Tech got back in the game on Zach Stephens' two-run homer in the bottom of the inning. But Ramer bounced back by keeping the Golden Eagles off the scoreboard in the next three frames. Miller and Charles teamed up on a 6-4-3 double play to eliminate a two-on, one-out scenario in the third.
Walks to Plawecki and Barrett Serrato and a base hit from Bridges loaded the bases in the seventh. After Miller was hit by a pitch to force in a run, Andrew Dixon plated Serrato with a sac fly to right. Talbott followed with his two-run single to right.
The three home runs matched a season-high for Purdue. The Boilermakers have connected for eight home runs in their last four games after hitting five in the first 13 games of the season. Five different Boilers have gone deep in the last four games.
The three-game series continues Saturday at 2 p.m.