April 17, 2005
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Purdue Nine answered each Northwestern offensive output en route to a 10-5 win on Sunday at Lambert Field in the Big Ten series finale. With the victory, the Boilermakers forced a split of the four-game series and improved to 11-21 overall and 5-7 in the Big Ten.
Sophomore shortstop Mitch Hilligoss had the hot bat for the Boilermakers on Sunday, collecting four hits in five at-bats, including two doubles, while scoring three runs and driving in one.
Junior pitcher Jay Buente (1-2) picked up the win for the Boilermakers, tossing 5.2 innings of relief. Buente allowed just four hits and one run while striking out six. Buente came out of the bullpen in relief of freshman Allan Donato, who allowed four runs, three earned, in 3.1 innings. That start on the bump was the first for Donato as a collegiate pitcher.
With the score 6-4 in favor of the Boilermakers, Purdue iced the win with a four-spot in the seventh inning against NU reliever Chris Davidson. A Hilligoss single started the inning and was followed by a single by senior Andy Dahl and a sacrifice bunt by junior Eric Wolfe. After an intentional free pass to sophomore Eric Osborn loaded the bases, sophomore Spencer Ingaldson hit a ground ball to second. However, the ball was mishandled by Caleb Fields, allowing all runners to advance safely. Back-to-back base hits to left by juniors Neal Gorka and John Hunter drove in three runs to put the Boilermakers up 10-4.
Northwestern opened the game with two runs in the first off Donato on a two-run, two-out double by Anthony Wycklendt, but the Boilermakers wasted no time in tying the game.
Hilligoss lofted the first pitch from starter Ryan Myers to the wall in left and Wolfe doubled to left-center to put the Boilermakers on the board. After a walk and a hit-by-pitch, Gorka grounded into a fielder's choice, allowing Wolfe to score from third.
Purdue grabbed a 3-2 lead in the second on Hilligoss' second double in as many at-bats, driving in senior Mike Coles. Coles led off the inning with a single and moved to second on a bunt by freshman John Phegley.
The Wildcats knotted the score at 3-3 in the third inning when Jon Mikrut's single scored Aaron Newman from third. Newman reached on an error, swiped second and advanced to third when the attempt to throw him out at second skipped into centerfield.
Wycklendt homered to lead off the fourth for the Wildcats, giving Northwestern its last lead of the game at 4-3.
Purdue answered in the home half of the fourth with some power and a bit of help from Northwestern. Hunter led off the frame with a hit-by-pitch and trotted around the bases when Coles drove a 1-1 offering from Myers over the left-centerfield wall, his second roundtripper of the weekend and the year. Hilligoss reached base when he struckout on a pitch in the dirt and the throw to first by NU catcher Pat McMahon sailed down the right field line, allowing Hilligoss to end up at second. A groundout moved Hilligoss to third and a passed ball allowed the Purdue shortstop to scamper home for a 6-4 lead.
Northwestern added a late run, scoring once in the ninth, but Buente cloesd the game by coaxing a groundout to first by Mark Ori, stranding two runners on.
Myers was hit with the loss, falling to 3-3 on the season. The NU starter went 3.0 innings and allowed five run son five hits while walking two.
The Boilermakers received two RBI from Gorka, Hunter and Coles, the six, seven and eight hitters in the Sunday lineup.
Purdue takes to the road for a midweek game against Notre Dame, playing in South Bend at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, April 20. Next weekend finds Purdue in East Lansing for a four-game series with Michigan State, a series that will be broadcast via the internet. Carson Tucker and Mark Leddy will have the call from John H. Kobs Field.