April 1, 2012
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Penn State scored multiple runs in each of the first three innings on the way to posting a season-high run total, thumping No. 19 Purdue baseball, 16-6, Sunday afternoon in the finale of a three-game weekend series at Lambert Field.
The Boilermakers (20-5, 4-2 Big Ten) saw their eight-game home win streak dating back to last season come to an end. Purdue was unable to complete a Big Ten series sweep for the second weekend in a row.
Penn State (8-18, 2-4 Big Ten) hit four home runs, including a three-run shot by Aaron Novak in its seven-run third inning. The Nittany Lions' 16 runs were the most by a Purdue opponent since Notre Dame scored 19 in February 2011. It was the highest run total by a visiting team at Lambert Field since Ball State scored 17 in an April 2009 midweek game.
After PSU scored three times in the top of the first, Purdue loaded the bases and answered with two runs. David Miller hit a line drive down the left field line that was called foul. The two-out play could have cleared the bases and put the Boilers ahead, 5-3. Instead, PSU pitcher Steven Hill retired Miller to end the threat. Hill (1-3) kept Purdue off the scoreboard the following two innings while his teammates extended the lead to 13-2 and did not surrender multiple runs in an inning for the remainder of his outing.
Penn State's seven-run rally was the most prolific by an opponent since Notre Dame scored 11 times in the 2011 game.
There were seven errors committed in the game, leading to eight unearned runs.
Purdue capitalized on leadoff doubles by scoring runs in the first, fourth and fifth innings but could not generate longer rallies. Hill retired the next three batters after Miller's inning-opening double in the fourth. The following frame, he induced a 6-4-3 ground ball double play after a double by Cameron Perkins and subsequent single from Kevin Plawecki put runners on the corners with no outs.
Stellar in relief for much of the season, Jack DeAno and Blake Mascarello were unable to hold down Penn State on this day after starter Calvin Gunter (2-1) didn't make it out of the second inning. It was the shortest outing of the season by a Purdue starter.
DeAno got tagged for five runs (four earned) on three hits in his Lambert Field debut. He struck out the first two batters he faced to end the second inning but the only out he recorded in the third came on a sacrifice bunt.
Mascarello struck out a season-high five over four innings. The first of his five Ks was the 100th of his career. The lefty worked three consecutive scoreless innings after finally bringing the third inning to a close, but Purdue could not pull any closer than nine runs down. Mascarello gave up a pair of home runs after surrendering only two extra-base hits in his 29 innings this season.
Seven of the nine hitters in the PSU lineup finished with multiple hits.
The Boilermakers return to action Wednesday when they take on Anderson University (Ind.) Wednesday at Victory Field in Downtown Indianapolis. Victory Field is the home of the Indianapolis Indians, the Pittsburgh Pirates Triple-A affiliate in the International League.