Winnable Game Gets Away at Rutgers
April 15, 2017

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PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Purdue baseball committed a pair of costly errors in a five-run frame and stranded a runner at third base in three different innings, losing game two of its series at Rutgers 7-6 Saturday.

It was a 7-6 final for the second day in a row, setting up Sunday's 1 p.m. ET rubber game. The Boilermakers (18-16, 6-5 B1G) lost a one-run affair for only the second time this season, dropping to 5-2 in those close games.

Purdue led 4-1 entering the bottom of the fourth, but the Scarlet Knights (12-19, 1-4 B1G) sent 10 men to the plate to surge in front. The key sequence came against RU's 5-6-7-8 hitters. None of those batters hit the ball out of the infield, but the Boilermakers managed to record just one out during that stretch. After Christian Campbell's sacrifice bunt turned into a base hit to load the bases, Purdue starter Gareth Stroh (3-3) managed to induce a comebacker off the bat of Chris Folinusz. But the potential 1-2-3 double play ball turned into a game-changing play when Stroh's throw home pulled catcher Bryce Bonner off the plate.

The game-tying run scored moments later when third baseman Mike Madej failed to record an out on a ground ball. Madej got caught in between and missed the tag on Campbell. The bases remained loaded with no outs, allowing a fielder's choice ground ball out and sacrifice fly to tack on two more unearned runs.

After their leadoff man reached base safely in each frame, the Boilermakers had the potential tying run in scoring position in the final three innings but failed to pull even. Purdue had runners on the corners with one out in the seventh inning, but RU reliever Ryan Wares got Jacson McGowan to pop out and then retired Madej to keep his team in front. Pinch runner Milo Beam was cut down between second and third base on a one-out comebacker an inning later. Skyler Hunter came through with a two-out triple in the top of the ninth, but RU closer Max Hermann retired McGowan to finish off the win.

The Boilermakers scored three times in the third inning for the second day in a row. The first six Purdue hitters to come to the plate in the frame put together a productive plate appearance. A sac fly from Hunter, RBI double by McGowan and two-out single from Madej drove in the runs.

Nick Dalesandro drove in a pair of runs to give him five RBI for the series and 10 in the last six games. He came to the plate with a runner on third base and less than two outs twice Saturday, driving in the run via an RBI ground out and sacrifice fly. Evan Warden scored on both occasions. Purdue's leadoff man singled and was hit by a pitch, extending his reached base safely streak to 15 consecutive games. He was plunked for the 22nd time this season to extend his national-leading total.

Harry Shipley reached base safely three times via a pair of singles and a hit by pitch. He was able to steal a run after singling to open the fifth inning, swiping third base and coming home when the throw caromed off his leg info foul territory. Shipley was hit by a pitch to begin the top of the ninth, but was thrown out trying to steal second.

Stroh retired nine of the first 10 batters he faced and also worked a 1-2-3 frame vs. Rutgers' 3-4-5 hitters in the fifth inning. But the Scarlet Knights went on to score after having their leadoff man reach base safely in all three even-numbered frames when Stroh was on the mound.

Nick Wojtysiak retired five of the six batters he faced over an inning and two-thirds of hitless relief. He was able to strand a runner at third base in the bottom of the sixth after entering the game with one out in the frame.

Purdue is 1-2 in rubber games this season, winning April 2 at Ohio State to take the series.




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