Free Bases Burn Boilers as OSU Spoils Alexander Field Debut

PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM Kyle Wood connected for a double in the fourth inning, the Boilers' lone extra-base hit.
PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM
Kyle Wood connected for a double in the fourth inning, the Boilers' lone extra-base hit.
PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM

March 22, 2013

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Purdue baseball issued 14 walks while collecting only six hits in its opportunities at the plate, losing the inaugural game at Alexander Field, 10-1, to Ohio State Friday afternoon in the Big Ten Conference opener for both teams.

The Boilermakers' new stadium hosted its first regular-season game after the program moved into the facility in August and practiced there throughout the fall. Tuesday's game against Illinois-Chicago was originally scheduled to be the inaugural contest at Alexander Field, but it was canceled due to a 10-degree wind chill coupled with frigid temperatures. The series schedule against Ohio State was also rearranged this week, including the addition of a Saturday doubleheader at 2 p.m.

While the Purdue pitchers and defense were giving up a number of free bases, Ohio State's Jaron Long (4-1) pounded the strike zone early and often. He did not issue a walk in eight innings of five-hit ball, keeping the Boilers (7-12, 0-1 Big Ten) off the scoreboard until the eighth inning. He recorded four 1-2-3 innings in the first six frames.

Purdue starter Brad Schreiber (1-3) kept his team in the game until the sixth when a three-run triple from Tim Wetzel broke it open and ended Schreiber's day. The right-hander walked five and hit a batter over 5 1/3 innings. Four of the six hits he allowed went for extra bases.

A bases-loaded walk in the top of the second and a solo home run by Kirby Pellant to lead off the fourth accounted for the Buckeyes' first two runs of the game. Schreiber had otherwise minimized the damage in the first five innings. He teamed up with catcher Sean McHugh for a strike `em out throw `em out double play to erase a leadoff double to open the game. An inning later, Schreiber had struck out the No. 9 hitter with the bases loaded for the second out of the inning. But a five-pitch walk to Wetzel forced home the game's first run.

Again in the fifth, Schreiber came up with a big strikeout for the second out of the inning with a runner on third. Yet the following frame two walks, an error and an infield single set the stage for Wetzel's bases-clearing triple to right center.

The Purdue bullpen didn't fare much better, with Brett Andrzejewski's 1-2-3 inning in the top of the ninth serving as the only effective relief. But OSU (13-6, 1-0 Big Ten) had already gone up 10-1 by then.

Conner Hudnall was the lone Boiler to record multiple hits, singing in the second and ninth innings. Purdue did not have multiple runners on base in an inning until the eighth when Kyle Johnson and Jake Hansen came through with singles. Jack Picchiotti was safe on a close play at first to stay out of an inning-ending double play on a ground ball near the second base bag, picking up the team's lone RBI of the day as Johnson scored from third on the play to prevent the shutout.

Hansen has now reached safely in 12 consecutive games and 17 of the first 19 games this year. He kept the streak alive with a single in his final at-bat Friday. Brandon's Krieg's 11-game reached base safely streak was snapped. Purdue did not draw a free pass until Angelo Cianfrocco walked with one out in the ninth inning against OSU reliever Tyler Giannonatti.

The series finale was moved from Sunday to the nightcap of Saturday's doubleheader due to a Sunday forecast that calls for temps in the mid-30s with a mixture of rain and snow.