April 16, 2006
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -
Neal Gorka homered twice in the first two innings of Sunday's game as the Boilermaker offense scored early and very often, defeating rival Indiana 25-8 in the Big Ten series finale.
The 25 runs scored by the Boilermakers were the most by a Purdue team since plating 27 vs. IUPUI in 2000. The game marked the 31st time in the program's 119-year history the Purdue Nine reached the 20-run plateau.
The game seemed to start the way IU hoped, as Hoosier starter retired Mitch Hilligoss for the first out. Hilligoss had gone 0-8 in Purdue's two losses to Indiana, and 4-4 in the Boilermaker win on Saturday. However, the tide quickly turned in favor of Purdue as Jordan Comadena launched his second home run of the season over the left field wall for a 1-0 lead. Eric Wolfe followed with a single and John Hunter reached on an error by shortstop Josh Richardson, bringing up Gorka with two on base. Down 0-2 in the count, the Purdue right fielder turned on an offering from Adam Poole and deposited over the fence in left for a three-run homer and a 4-0 Purdue lead.
Indiana scraped across a run in the bottom of the first, but the Purdue offensive onslaught continued in the top of the second.
Hilligoss led off the second inning with a single and moved to second on a wild pitch. Wolfe was hit by a pitch and Hunter singled, loading the bases and sending Poole to a quick shower. IU reliever Chris Hervey toed the rubber and served up a 2-1 pitch to Gorka that landed beyond the centerfield fence for a grand slam, the second grand slam of the weekend for the senior from Westchester, Ill.
Leading 8-1 going to the third inning, Purdue would end the inning having scored more runs in the first third of Sunday's game then it had in any single game this season. An RBI triple by Hilligoss made the score 9-1, and Comadena's sacrifice fly tacked on a 10th run. With two out and no one on base, a single by Wolfe and a double by Hunter resulted in two runs when both runners advanced on an errant throw into the infield and a wilde throw to third by first baseman Cameron Satterwhite. Gorka singled and Jeff Mojzik walked to put two runners on base for Ryne White, who drove an 0-2 pitch out of the park to center for his second home run of the season and a 15-1 Purdue lead. The inning continued with a single by John Cummins, a hit-by-pitch to Dane Wolfe and a two-run double by Hilligoss.
Purdue added two more runs in the fourth inning on a sacrifice fly by Gorka and an RBI single by White.
Gorka ended the game 4-6 at the plate with four runs scored and a career-best eight runs driven in. The two-home run game was the first of the senior's career. Gorka drove in 14 runs during the four-game weekend series.
The Boilemakers moved ahead 21-2 in the sixth on back-to-back home runs by Mojzik and White off IU reliever David Trager.
Indiana got it's offense clicking in the bottom of the sixth thanks to four base hits and three Boilermaker errors, scoring six unearned runs off Purdue starter Ricky Heines. The six-run inning made the score 21-8.
For good measure, the Boilermakers scored four more runs in the eighth against Trager on a sacrifice fly by Cummins, a two-run double by Dane Wolfe, and an RBI base hit by Hilligoss. The inning extended Purdue's lead to the final margin of 25-8.
Heines went six innings on the mound for Purdue to pick up his third win of the season. Heines (3-0) allowed two earned runs in the outing on 10 hits and struck out three. Purdue has won each of the junior's last four starts.
Each Purdue starter in the batting order picked up at least one hit, while Hilligoss, Gorka and White each had four-hit afternoons. Hilligoss drove in four runs and White drove in five, while Eric Wolfe crossed the plate four times.
The Boilermakers had a season-high 26 hits in the game, out-hitting their rivals 26-14.
Purdue's next game is a Friday contest at Lambert Field vs. Michigan, the first game of a four-game Big Ten series. Purdue is currently in third place in the Big Ten, one game behind the second-place Wolveringes (8-4). Michigan is coming off of a four-game sweep of Ohio State in Ann Arbor.