March 27, 2005
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -
The blast of a bat and the strength of an arm led the Purdue Boilermakers past Western Michigan on Sunday afternoon at Lambert Field, 6-0. The shutout victory over the Broncos was the second consecutive shutout for Purdue over WMU during the weekend series.
The back-to-back shutouts against Western Michigan marked the first time Purdue has blanked teams in consecutive games in 11 years. The last back-to-back shutouts for the Boilermakers came on March 15 and March 17 of 1994, when Purdue defeated Valparaiso 1-0 and St. Joseph's (Ind.) 3-0.
Sophomore pitcher Dan Sattler (1-1) pitched six scoreless innings for the win, and junior outfielder Neal Gorka was 2-for-3 at teh plate with a double, a home run and three RBI.
The Boilermakers wasted little time jumping on WMU pitcher Bryan French (0-2), scoring two runs in the first, one in the second and one in the third to build a 4-0 lead.
Sophomore Mitch Hilligoss singled to right with one down in the first and stole second before coming around to score on a double down the line in left by Gorka. The steal was Hilligoss' seventh of the season in seven attempts. With two out, junior John Hunter singled to right to drive home Gorka from second with Purdue's second run.
In the second, senior Mike Coles dropped down a bunt single and moved to second on a groundout by junior Tyler Heck. Coles then broke for third, stealing the bag and scoring when WMU catcher Mark Abro's throw sailed into left field.
The Boilermakers struck for a run in the third on another RBI single to right off the bat of Hunter, again scoring Gorka from second base. Gorka led off the inning with a walk and advnaced 90 feet on a sacrifice bunt by junior Eric Wolfe.
Purdue capped the scoring in the fifth, once again with the help of Gorka. Hilligoss led off the inning with a sharp groundball that hopped through the legs of first baseman Kyle Maunus and hustled to second before right fielder Richj Rennhack to throw the ball into the infield. With a 1-0 count, Gorka torched an offering from French off the scoreboard in right-center for his third home run of the season and a 6-0 lead for the Boilamakers.
Leading 6-0, Sattler would leave the game after six innings of work in favor of juniors Trae Dauby and Chris Toneguzzi. The tandem pitched the final three innings without allowing a baserunner and striking out three.
Purdue, now 5-12 and on a four-game winning streak, travels to Ball State on Wednesday, March 30, for a 3 p.m. non-conference game before starting the Big Ten season on Friday at home against Penn State. The PSU series begins on April 1 at 3 p.m.