March 26, 2005
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Purdue Boilermakers doubled their season wins output in the matter of six hours, sweeping a doubleheader from Western Michigan in Purdue's home-opening series. The Boilermakers blanked the Broncos 4-0 in the nightcap after taking the early game 9-5.
Purdue improved to 4-12 on the season while Western Michigan fell to 5-9.
The Boilermaker sticks did the damage in Game One, pounding out 15 hits, including two doubles and a triple, in Purdue's highest run output of the 2005 season.
Trailing 2-0 in the third inning, Purdue plated four runs to grab a lead it would not relinquish. Two runs in the fourth and two more in the fifth extended the Boilermaker lead to 8-2 before the Broncos would close the spread late in the contest.
In the home half of the third, senior Andy Dahl was hit by a pitch to start the frame and moved to second on a single by sophomore Mitch Hilligoss. Junior Neal Gorka drove home both runners with a triple to right-center, tying the game with his team-leading eighth and ninth RBI. A groundout by junior Eric Wolfe pushed Gorka across the plate to make the score 3-2. Three consecutive two-out his by sophomore Spencer Ingaldson, sophomore Eric Osborn and senior Mike Coles scored the fourth run on the inning.
With the first to Purdue batters retired in the fourth, another two-out rally would bump the Boilermaker advantage to 6-2. A single by Gorka follwed by a walk to Wolfe brought up junior John Hunter, who singled through the right side of the infield. Gorka scored from second on the single, and Wolfe would follow the Purdue right fielder home when WMU cathcer Mark Abro threw wildly to third in an attempt to cut down Wolfe.
Two up, two down would greet the Boilermakers in the fifth, but Purdue would once again strike for two runs before the third out could be registered. Junior Tyler Heck singled on the infield and swiped second base. Dahl reached on an error by the Bronco third baseman and then followed Heck around the bases on a two-run double off the bat of Hilligoss.
Three runs in the eighth by the Broncos cut the score to 8-5, but Purdue would cash in an insurance run in the bottom of the stanza. With the bases full of Boilermakers, senior Matt Bush, pinch-hitting for Osborn, was hit by an 0-2 pitch to pick up the easy RBI.
Senior hurler Scott Byrnes yielded two runs in six innings while striking out five to pick up the win, his first of the season (1-3). Juniors Jay Buente and Chris Toneguzzi combined for the final nine outs to secure the win.
Purdue's bats would not be so lively in Game Two, but the Boilermaker pitchers would make up for the light hitting with a solid performance in the night cap.
Senior starter Mitch Pruemer tossed six scoreless innings, scattering nine hits and striking out five Broncos to record his second win of the season. WMU stranded 10 runners on base during Pruemer's six innings of work.
Junior Brent Coudron came on in the seventh and pitched three shutout innings for his first save of the season. Coudron struck out three while giving up just one base hit.
Purdue looked like the offense would not miss a beat from Game One, scoring two runs in the first inning off WMU starter Dan O'Brien. However, O'Brien would settle down, pitching six innings and striking out 10 before being removed from the mound.
In the opening frame, Dahl reached on an error and moved to third on a single by Hilligoss. After a steal of second by Hilligoss, Hunter sent a seeing-eye single through the right side of the infield, scoring both baserunners in front of him.
Purdue would tack on another run in the third when Dahl led off with a double down the left field line and Hilligoss and Gorka layed down back-to-back sacrifice bunts, bringing Dahl in for a 3-0 lead. The run was the ninth two-out run of the day for the Boilermakers.
An insurance run would be added in the home half of the eighth when Hilligoss picked up his fourth hit of the afternoon, scoring Coles from second base. Coles reached base on a base on balls and stole second, his second swipe of the day.
Hilligoss led the offense for the Boilermakers, picking up four hits in eight at-bats with three RBI. The sophomore shortstop has a double, a sacrifice and stole a base during the twinbill. Hilligoss is now batting .417 on the season trhrough 16 games, and has reached base safely in 15 of 16 contests.
Purdue and Western Michigan conclude the three-game weekend series on Sunday at Lambert Field in a game that has been moved to a noon start. The orginial starting time for the contest had been 1 p.m.