WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Northwestern scored in six of the nine innings, opening up an early lead with a five-run top of the second and defeating Purdue baseball, 13-4, in the rubber game of the Big Ten Conference series Sunday afternoon at Alexander Field.
The Boilermakers (11-18, 4-5 Big Ten) dropped four of their five home games this week to fall to 1-7 at Alexander Field this spring. Purdue has now lost back-to-back home series for the first time since 2002. The road team has won each of the last four Purdue-Northwestern series dating back to 2010. In 2010, the Wildcats (14-10, 4-5 Big Ten) also came back and won the series after the Boilers took the opening game.
After Purdue starter Brad Schreiber (1-4) worked a 1-2-3 first inning, Northwestern opened the top of the second with three consecutive singles to ignite the five-run rally. Following an error and a sacrifice fly, back-to-back two-out hits from the top of the Wildcats' lineup extended the lead to 5-1.
Every time the Boilers scored Sunday, Northwestern answered with at least one run in the top half of the next frame. Down 10-2 in the bottom of the sixth, Purdue had five consecutive singles to begin the inning, scoring twice. But NU starter Brandon Magallones (4-2) responded by retiring the next three batters in order on a strikeout and two pop ups.
The Wildcats pounded out 19 hits in the win, 16 being singles. Cleanup hitter Zach Jones was 4-for-6 as one of six NU players with multiple hits. Going back to Saturday, the cleanup spot in the Northwestern lineup was 9-for-11 in the final two games of the series, producing eight consecutive hits through fourth inning Sunday.
Jack Picchiotti, Cody Strong and Jake Hansen each had two hits for the Boilers. Picchiotti doubled in the first inning and delivered an RBI single after Hansen doubled to open the bottom of the fifth.
Purdue used eight pitchers for the third time this season. Schreiber gave way to the bullpen after giving up three more hits and a walk during three-run third inning. Schreiber (first), Tim McElroy (fourth) and Kyle Johnson (1-2-3 ninth) were the only Boilers that successfully put up a zero Sunday. Brett Andrzejewski pitched in relief for the fourth game in a row. He has appeared in each of the first six Big Ten games at Alexander Field this season.
Magallones worked only one 1-2-3 frame in his six innings, but the sophomore put up three straight zeros as his team was jumping out to its early lead. The Boilermakers left 11 men on base Sunday and 30 in the series.
Purdue returns to action Tuesday for a 6 p.m. rematch at Indiana State. The Sycamores scored twice with two outs in the ninth inning Wednesday to rally for a 4-3 win in the first meeting of the season.