April 14, 2013
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-- On another day in which the wind was blowing out at a hitter-friendly ballpark, Illinois again pounded out 20 hits and scored eight times in an inning to complete a Big Ten series sweep of Purdue baseball, 17-6, Sunday afternoon.
The Fighting Illini (22-10, 5-4 Big Ten) swept the Boilermakers (11-22, 4-8 Big Ten) for the first time since 1999 (also in Champaign) and extracted a little revenge after Purdue swept a much lower-scoring series in West Lafayette last year.
Illinois' Justin Parr hit for the cycle Sunday, finishing the day 4-for-5 with four RBI. The Fighting Illini hit four home runs Sunday and eight in the series. Reid Roper connected for his third two-run homer in as many games. Entering the weekend, the sophomore had not homered since the first game of his college career.
Kyle Wood hit a two-run homer for Purdue and scored three times. Kyle Johnson and Conner Hudnall also had a pair of hits.
The Boilermakers grounded into a pair of inning-ending double plays with the bases loaded, preventing them from ever really being a threat to at least tie the game after Illinois jumped out to a 6-0 lead. On both occasions, the Purdue batter hit the double play ball on the first pitch of his at-bat and the Illini went on to post a big inning in the bottom of the frame.
Trailing 6-2 in the top of the fifth, Jack Picchiotti grounded into a 4-6-3 double play. Illinois scored three times in the bottom of the inning thanks to three straights hits to begin the frame and later consecutive two-out RBI singles. The Boilermakers had cut their deficit to 9-5 when Hudnall stepped to the plate as the tying run in the eighth inning. He too grounded into a 4-6-3 twin killing. The Fighting Illini then blew the game open with their second eight-run rally of the series. The first nine Illinois batters of the bottom of the eighth reached base safely and Parr finished his cycle with a two-run triple.
A dropped fly ball in left center field followed by three straight hits, including a two-run homer from Brandon Hohl, gave the Illini an early 4-0 lead. Purdue had scored first in the first two games of the series.
The Boilermakers recorded four extra-base hits against Illinois starter Ryan Castellanos (2-0), who had surrendered only two in 17 1/3 innings pitched entering the weekend. Josh Estill and Kyle Johnson each doubled in the fourth inning, Johnson's two-bagger down the left line plating a pair. Kyle Bischoff and Hudnall also connected for doubles in the loss.
After throwing fewer than 40 pitches while recording only one out as Purdue's starting pitcher in Friday's 17-12 slugfest, Jordan Minch appeared in relief for the second time this season. He was able to work a 1-2-3 bottom of the sixth and put up another zero in the seventh. Starter Brad Schreiber (1-5) was hit hard again but did strike out the side in order in the bottom of the fourth. He surrendered three home runs Sunday.
Purdue has now been swept in a weekend series three times in the same season for the first time since 2009.
The Boilermakers are idle from midweek play this week. They return to action Friday when they open a Big Ten weekend series against Nebraska. The Huskers will be visiting West Lafayette for the first time since 1907 and for the first time as a conference rival. A formal dedication of Alexander Field is set for Saturday evening. First pitch Friday is set for 7 p.m.