April 21, 2012
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-- No. 16 Purdue baseball scored multiple runs in the first inning for the third game in a row and held an early 3-1 lead, but Nebraska scored seven unanswered runs to rally back and defeat the Boilers, 8-3, Saturday afternoon in game two of the Big Ten series.
Purdue (30-6, 11-3 Big Ten) lost for the first time since April 1, snapping the team's second 10-game win streak of the season. Sunday's series finale represents the first true rubber game of the year for the Boilers, who have not lost a series in 2012.
Nebraska (26-14, 8-6 Big Ten) surged in front with a five-run sixth inning, posting the second-best biggest rally of the year against Purdue in the process. The Huskers recorded seven hits over a stretch of eight at-bats in the fifth and sixth innings. Four straight hits to begin the sixth ignited the extended rally.
Starter Lance Breedlove (6-3) kept the Boilers in front when he induced an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play ball off the bat of Rich Sanguinetti with runners on the corners and one out in the fifth. But Breedlove was unable to record an out in the sixth. The senior had surrendered no more than one run in each of his four Big Ten starts but the potent Nebraska lineup scored five times on eight hits Saturday.
Freshman Pat Kelly delivered the go-ahead hit in the sixth inning, a humpback line drive down the right field line. Kelly had initially tried to bunt against Purdue reliever Brett Andrzejewski, but swung away after the count went to two strikes.
Kale Kiser delivered the other clutch hit of the big inning, singling over the top of a drawn in infield to plate two more. With runners on second and third and one out, the Boilers brought the infield in after the count went to two strikes on Kiser. He flipped the ball into short left field. It may have been caught with the infield at normal depth.
Purdue pitchers were unable to retire Nebraska cleanup hitter Richard Stock on the day. The first baseman went 4-for-4, finishing a triple shy of the cycle. He doubled and scored the Huskers' first run in the second inning, singled and scored in the sixth and connected for a solo homer in the seventh.
The Boilermakers struck first thanks to a two-run double from Kevin Plawecki in the first inning. With Eric Charles and Cameron Perkins aboard, Plawecki connected for a two-bagger off the wall in left center. Barrett Serrato later delivered a two-out run-scoring single in the third to plate Perkins and collect his 19th two-out RBI of the season.
But Purdue left 10 runners on base in the game. In the fifth and eighth innings, the Boilers registered back-to-back singles to open the frames. Purdue was unable to score both times. Perkins was picked off at second base for the first out of the fifth inning with a full count on Serrato. Stephen Talbott hit into a 4-6-3 double play to snuff out a potential rally in the eighth.
Nebraska starter Brandon Pierce (5-1) recorded just one 1-2-3 inning but was able to record key outs when he needed them. The sophomore worked seven innings, surrendering two earned runs on nine hits. He pitched the entire game from the stretch.
The game was played in front of a crowd 6,257 fans, a season-high total at Haymarket Park and the largest crowd to watch Purdue play.
The series concludes Sunday at 1:05 p.m. ET.