March 31, 2012
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Both starting pitchers took no-hitters into the seventh inning, but it was No. 19 Purdue baseball that broke through and scored twice in the frame to defeat Penn State, 2-0, earning head coach Doug Schreiber his 400th career victory.
Starting pitcher Lance Breedlove (4-2) went the distance for a second-consecutive start, pitching his first complete-game shutout as a Boilermaker. The senior retired the first 19 PSU batters of the game in order before a one-out single in the top of the seventh. He surrendered only two hits on the day while not issuing a walk and striking out five. He retired 27 of the 29 batters he faced.
Purdue (20-4, 4-1 Big Ten) reached the 20-win benchmark before April 1 for the first time in program history. The Boilermakers have won eight straight games at Lambert Field dating back to last season. Purdue closed the month of March with a 15-3 record.
Chris Antonelli delivered the go-ahead single in the seventh inning. The senior made his first start of the season Saturday and after a lengthy at-bat, hit a ground ball through the right side to score Kevin Plawecki from third base with two outs. Plawecki singled to open the frame, breaking up the no-hit bid by Penn State (7-18, 1-4 Big Ten) left-hander Joe Kurrasch (1-2).
David Miller followed Antonelli's single with a sinking line drive into right field that got away from PSU's Zach Ell, allowing Antonelli to slide in safely on a close play at the plate. All three hits Purdue recorded on the day came in the seventh inning.
Breedlove needed only 101 pitches to complete the game. He tossed the first complete-game shutout by a Purdue pitcher since Joe Haase blanked Minnesota at Target Field last year. Breedlove has led the way in each of the Boilers' two shutout wins this year, working a combined 16 innings of four-hit ball in his wins against Cincinnati and Penn State.
The Boilermakers also managed to win for the second time this week in a game in which they only scored two runs. Tuesday in the home opener, freshman Connor Podkul pitched six no-hit innings in a quality win against nationally-ranked Louisville in 10 innings. Purdue has surrendered only five runs over 36 innings in the first four games of its weeklong five-game homestand.
Schreiber, meanwhile, has now recorded his 100th, 250th, 300th and 400th career wins against Penn State. He received a Gatorade shower from his players during the postgame huddle in left field.The next landmark for the 14th-year head coach is Dave Alexander's all-time wins record (407) at Purdue.
Breedlove tallied at least one strikeout in four of his first five innings, but only one in the final four frames. He finished off the game with his seventh 1-2-3 inning in the ninth. Fourteen of the 27 outs he recorded were via fly balls or line drives, an unusually high amount for a right-hander who normally thrives on ground balls. He induced three ground ball double plays and had only five fly ball outs in his complete game last Saturday at Ohio State. It was Breedlove's fourth start of the season in which he did not issue a walk.
Plawecki reached base safely for a 19th consecutive game with his leadoff single in the seventh inning. The Boilermakers had only four base runners in the first six innings, none advancing past first base. Barrett Serrato bunted Plawecki into scoring position at second base and the Purdue catch took third on a long fly ball to right field off the bat of Angelo Cianfrocco. The count was 2-2 when Antonelli singled through the right side to plate the game's first run.
Kurrasch threw 120 pitches over 7 1/3 innings of two-run ball for Penn State. Three of the four walks he issued were to Eric Charles.
The Nittany Lions did successfully keep Cameron Perkins off base for the first time in a Big Ten game since 2010. The junior's streak of 46 consecutive games reaching base safely against conference rivals was snapped.
The series concludes Sunday at 1 p.m.