WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Nebraska scored multiple runs in each of the final four innings to blow open what was a one-run game through five, completing a series sweep of Purdue baseball, 12-2, Sunday afternoon at Alexander Field.
The Cornhuskers (19-19, 11-4 Big Ten) finished off a 5-0 week and moved into a virtual tie with Minnesota for first place in the Big Ten standings. Nebraska has played six more games than Minnesota (7-2 Big Ten), which had its entire series against Michigan State this weekend canceled due to inclement weather and field conditions.
The Boilermakers (11-25, 4-11 Big Ten) dropped their ninth straight game, the team's longest skid since starting the 2008 season 0-9. Purdue has surrendered a double-figure run total in eight of the nine losses. The Boilermakers were swept in a series for the fourth time this year. Purdue had not been swept in four series of at least three games since 1999, Doug Schreiber's first season as head coach.
The Boilermakers used eight pitchers for the fourth time this season. The Huskers scored 10 times against relief pitchers to cap a weekend in which they posted 24 runs in 11 innings against the Purdue bullpen. Kyle Wood made his first start on the mound since Feb. 24 but only pitched the first two innings as he continues to work his way back from a forearm injury. Brett Andrzejewski pitched in all three games of a series for the third time this season.
The Boilermakers had some highs and lows defensively Sunday. Kyle Johnson made his second highlight reel caliber diving catch of the series, taking away an RBI double away from Kash Kalkowski in left center to end the top of the seventh. Purdue also turned an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play with runners on the corners in the second inning. But the Boilers committed four errors Sunday, capping a weekend in which they made 10 defensive miscues while Nebraska did not commit an error and turned seven double plays.
Josh Estill's two-run, bases-loaded single in the bottom of the fourth plated the Boilers' only runs of the game. The timely hit made it one-run game. Mike Lutz was able to pitch out of a bases-loaded jam in the fifth but a two-run double from Michael Pritchard the following frame extended the Huskers' lead. Purdue had only one base runner after the fourth inning.
The Boilermakers continue their five-game homestand Tuesday when they host Illinois State at 6 p.m.