April 25, 2008
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - A five-run first inning and four arms on the mound were enough for Purdue on Friday afternoon as the Boilermakers defeated the Minnesota Golden Gophers 6-2 at Lambert Field in the opening game of a four-game Big Ten series.
Purdue improved to 22-17 on the season and 13-4 in conference action. The Boilermakers remain in second place behind Michigan (16-1), which defeated Indiana on Friday 14-6.
Matt Bischoff won for the second straight start, allowing two runs in 5.1 innings of work. Bischoff (3-2) scattered eight hits while striking out four and walking two.
The Purdue bullpen continued to shine as Chris Ivanic, Andy Loomis and Josh Lindblom each took the mound in relief of Bischoff and tossed a combined 3.2 innings of shutout baseball, yielding two hits while striking out four. Lindblom recorded his Big Ten-leading 10th save of the season, the seventh save in seven opportunities in Big Ten play.
Lindblom's seven saves in Big Ten action are a Purdue conference season record, surpassing the former record of six saves by Andy Helmer in 2000.
The Boilermaker first inning would produce all the run support the Purdue pitchers would need, scoring five times on four hits.
Brandon Haveman led off the first with a single to left and moved to second on a walk to Ben Wolgamot. A balk by Gopher starting pitching Tom Buske advanced both runners into scoring position, and Haveman crossed the plate on a sacrifice fly to center by Ryne White. Jordan Comadena's single though the right side of the infield plated Wolgamot with the second run of the inning. Following a steal of second by Comadena, Dan Black was hit by a pitch to give Purdue two base runners. With two down, Jon Moore doubled down the left field line to drive home Comadena, and Jonathan Lilly singled to right-center for two runs and the Purdue 5-0 lead.
An inside-the-park homer by Minnesota's Eric Decker in the third and a conventional solo shot by Nate Hanson in the sixth pulled the Gophers to within three at 5-2, but Purdue got an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth to answer the Minnesota comeback effort.
With no one on and two out in the sixth, Lilly was hit by a Buske pitch - the third hit batter of the game and the 14th on the season for the Minnesota right-hander. Nick Overmyer moved Lilly to second with a single through the left side of the infield and Haveman picked up a RBI with his second double of the game.
Haveman led the Purdue offensive charge with three hits, a run scored and a RBI. Haveman now was 11 multiple-hit games in 17 Big Ten contests. Overmyer added two hits as eight of Purdue's nine starters in the batting order picked up at least one base knock.
Purdue and Minnesota return to Lambert Field on Saturday for a 1 p.m. doubleheader. Fans will have the chance to win game-worn jerseys from seasons past throughout the afternoon as jerseys from the past 15 seasons will be given away during the twinbill.