WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Robert Ramer struck out a career-high nine over eight innings of one-run ball, keeping his team in the game on another slow day for the offense in No. 19 Purdue baseball's 6-1 win against IPFW Wednesday afternoon at Lambert Field.
The Boilermakers (18-4) trailed 1-0 entering the bottom of the seventh but scored three times in the seventh and eighth innings to surge in front. Cameron Perkins tied the game with a solo home run to lead off the bottom of the seventh, his team-leading fourth long ball of the season and 20th career.
Ramer (1-0) worked four 1-2-3 innings, retiring the final nine batters he faced in order. He recorded five strikeouts his first time through the IPFW (5-17) lineup and two more in the eighth inning. It was the longest outing of his career.
Purdue turned a key double play to limit the damage in the fifth inning. The first three IPFW batters of the inning reached safely and the Mastodons took the lead on a blooper into right field. With the bases loaded and no outs when the blooper fell in front of a diving Barrett Serrato, the Boilers were able to get a force out at second base. A run scored on the play but it setup a runners-on-the-corners situation. Ramer got the next batter to hit a ground ball to Perkins at third base. Eric Charles made a nice play at second base to handle a lackluster throw, turning the inning-ending 5-4-3 double play to keep it a one-run game.
Kevin Plawecki scored the go-ahead run in the seventh inning on a wild pitch with Angelo Cianfrocco at the plate. Plawecki was hit by a pitch after Perkins went deep. Serrato followed with a double over the center fielder's head on a windy day at Lambert Field.
Alert base running by Serrato allowed him to score on a ground ball to second base off the bat of Cianfrocco. IPFW had the infield drawn in and the second baseman fielded the ball cleanly. Serrato broke for home after the throw went to first and he successfully scored when the first baseman's throw home short hopped the catcher.
Purdue scored three unearned in the eighth inning after a dropped third strike with Serrato at the plate extended the inning. Sean McHugh knocked in a pair with a bloop single into left center and Cianfrocco followed with an opposite-field hit through the left side.
IPFW starter Daniel Tursell (0-3) kept the Boilers off balance for the first six innings. He retired 11 consecutive batters from the first through fifth innings and surrendered only three hits on the day. The left-hander did not register a strikeout but managed to record 12 of his 18 outs on fly balls.
Ramer improved his career record to 8-0 with the win. Among the active Boilers with multiple decisions, he remains the program's only undefeated pitcher. Purdue is now 10-1 in games he has started during his career.
The Boilermakers continue their weeklong five-game homestand Friday when they open a three-game Big Ten Conference series with Penn State. First pitch is slated for 4 p.m.