EVANSTON, Ill. - Blake Mascarello worked five scoreless innings of relief and Tyler Spillner drove in the go-ahead run while posting a three-hit effort, highlighting Purdue baseball's doubleheader split with Northwestern Saturday afternoon. The Boilermakers won game one, 9-7, but lost the nightcap, 14-1.
Purdue (26-13, 6-5 Big Ten) scored the first five runs and final three tallies of game one. But an early five-run lead turned into a 6-5 deficit until the seventh inning.
Cameron Perkins homered in the ninth inning of game one but saw his career-best 20-game hitting streak snapped in the nightcap. Northwestern shortstop Trevor Stevens helped halt the streak when he robbed Perkins of a hit with a diving stop behind the second base bag in the fifth inning. Perkins was hit by a pitch in his first at-bat of game two, reaching base safely for a 45th consecutive game dating back to last season.
Mascarello (2-4) excelled in relief once again, helping keep Northwestern (13-22, 5-6 Big Ten) off the scoreboard after the fourth inning. He gave up five singles over his five scoreless innings, striking out four. Nick Wittgren pitched a scoreless ninth inning to earn his Big Ten-leading ninth save of the season.
David Miller and Andrew Dixon scored on Spillner's two-run single into left center in the seventh inning that turned a one-run deficit into a one-run lead. Miller walked and Dixon delivered a pinch-hit double down the left field line to set the stage for Spillner.
Miller was 2-for-2 with two RBIs and three walks in game one. Stephen Talbott recorded three singles on the day to extend his hitting streak to a career-best 10 consecutive games.
Purdue starting pitchers Matt Morgan and Joe Haase (4-2) were both unable to record an out in the fourth inning. Morgan walked four while giving up seven runs. Haase did not register a strikeout while surrendering five runs.
Northwestern hit five home runs in game two, becoming the first opponent to post a double-figure run total against Purdue since Belmont on March 16.
The Boilermakers left 12 runners on base hit in the nightcap and stranded 26 for the day. The Boilermakers were retired in 1-2-3 fashion only once (second inning of game two) on the day.
The start time of Sunday's rubber game was pushed up an hour to 1 p.m. (EDT). A victory Sunday would give Purdue its third straight Big Ten series win and first series victory in Evanston since 2001.
Game One Recap The Boilermakers scored five times in the first inning despite recording only two hits in the frame. Purdue capitalized on two hit batsmen, a walk and a throwing error by Northwestern third baseman Chris Lashmen on a sacrifice bunt by Eric Charles. All four Boilers that reached on free passes ended up scoring.
Spillner led off both games with a double. He scored when Lashmen threw the ball away up the right field line on Charles' bunt. Barrett Serrato walked and Kevin Plawecki was hit by a pitch to load the bases. After Charles scored on a wild pitch, Angelo Cianfrocco delivered a sacrifice fly to right field that also allowed Plawecki to take third. Miller capped the scoring with a base hit through the left side that plated Talbott.
Cianfrocco, Talbott and Miller strung together three consecutive singles in the third inning to put Purdue up 6-1. But Northwestern scored four times in the bottom of the frame and took the lead with more tallies in the fourth.
With Dixon pinch hitting for David Blount in the seventh inning, the Boilers sent three consecutive left-handed hitters to the plate against NU reliever Ethan Bramschreiber (1-2), who did not give up a hit to any of the six right-handed hitters he faced over two innings of relief. After Dixon doubled on a 2-and-2 count, Spillner also delivered an opposite field hit that put Purdue ahead to stay.
Perkins connected for his team-leading fifth home run of the season against Northwestern closer Paul Snieder with one out in the top of the ninth.
Mascarello and Wittgren teamed up to retire 12 of the final 15 batters to come to the plate for the Wildcats. Mascarello put together 1-2-3 innings in the sixth and eighth.
Game Two Recap Northwestern starter Luke Farrell (4-1) limited Purdue to six hits over eight innings of shutout ball. He struck out seven. The Boilermakers did not score until Kyle Bischoff doubled home Spillner in the ninth inning.
Farrell escaped an early jam by inducing a 3-6-3 double play ball off the bat of Serrato with runners on the corners and one out in the first inning. Stevens saved a run with his diving play that robbed Perkins of a hit and led to an inning-ending fielder's choice in the fifth.
The Wildcats pounded out nine extra-base hits and scored in six of the eight innings in which they batted. Northwestern had at least one extra-base hit in every inning it scored. Snieder and Chris Kontos both connected for a two-run homer in the fourth inning when the Wildcats blew the game open.