April 16, 2005
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue scored late on Friday to claim a one-run win but was unable to relive the magic as the Boilermakers dropped a pair of one-run games to Northwestern at Lambert Field on Saturday afternoon.
The Boilermakers had the tying run in scoring position in both contests but were unable to pick up the clutch hit, causing their record to dip to 4-7 in Big Ten play and 10-21 overall. The Wildcats are 6-5 in conference games and 16-13 on the season.
Northwestern grabbed a 4-0 lead in Game One on four unearned runs in the third inning and held on as Purdue came up short in the come-from-behind bid.
Purdue got a home run off the bat of senior Mike Coles in the third, a bases-loaded walk from junior John Hunter and an RBI groundout by senior Andy Dahl to pull to within one. However, NU reliever Chris Hayes coaxed a game-ending doubleplay ball with the tying run on second to end the game.
Dan Schwartz (2-0) picked up the win for Northwestern, entering the game in the first inning when starter George Kontas suffered a strained back. Hayes picked up his fifth save by pitching the final 3.1 innings.
Purdue starter Mitch Pruemer (3-5) was the hard-luck loser despite not allowing an earned run in a complete-game, six-strikeout performance.
In Game Two, Northwestern broke up a scoreless tie with single runs in the fifth, sixth and seventh and again held on as Hayes recorded the final out with a Boilermaker in scoring position.
The Boilermakers tied the score at 1-1 in the fifth on a single to left by Dahl that scored sophomore Eric Osborn, then drew to within one in the seventh on a triple to left-center by Dahl that plated sophomore Mitch Hilligoss. Dahl was left at third when Hayes picked up a game-ending strikeout to secure his sixth save of the season and second of the day.
Purdue reliever Trae Dauby (0-3) was hit with the loss, allowing two runs in 2.0 innings of work out of the bullpen. Wildcat starter Evan Blesoff (3-4) went 6.2 innings for the win.
The Boilermakers and Wildcats return to Lambert Field on Sunday for a 1 p.m. series finale. The game can be heard in the Lafayette area on AM 1410 WLAS and worldwide via the internet at www.purduesports.com, with Kyle Charters and Ben Fritz on the call.