EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Every batter in the lineup had at least one hit and Jordan Minch worked seven innings of two-run ball in another quality start from the freshman, leading Purdue baseball to an 11-5 win at Michigan State Saturday afternoon.
The Boilermakers (13-26, 5-12 Big Ten) scored multiple runs in each of the final four innings to blow open a game that was tied 1-1 through five. Purdue snapped a nine-game losing streak in Big Ten play, its longest since 1977.
Minch (5-4) escaped a pair of bases-loaded jams and induced two ground ball double plays. With Purdue leading 3-1 in the bottom of the sixth, MSU (23-13, 6-5 Big Ten) loaded the bases with one out thanks to three consecutive singles. But Minch came back from a 2-0 count to strikeout Joel Fisher and then made a nice play on a well-hit comebacker to end the threat.
Kyle Johnson connected for a solo home run to open the eighth inning, extending his team-long hitting streak to 10 consecutive games. Conner Hudnall led the way with three hits, reaching base safely in the 19th consecutive game he has started. Kyle Wood, Josh Estill, Jake Hansen and Brandon Krieg all had at least two hits and one RBI. Estill drove in three runs to increase his RBI total for the week to 10.
Purdue scored five times against MSU starter David Garner (4-3) after the right-hander had worked a combined 12 2/3 scoreless innings against the Boilers in his underclassman seasons. He left the game with the bases loaded and two outs in the seventh inning. The Spartans brought in a lefty to face Wood, who was hit by a pitch to force in a run. Estill followed with an infield single off the pitcher's foot to push the Purdue lead to 5-1.
Michigan State also scored in each of the final three innings of the game so the Boilers' eight insurance runs after going up 3-1 in the top of the sixth proved significant.
Sean McHugh scored the go-ahead run from second base on a single through the left side from Estill with one out in the sixth inning. Both Wood and Estill advanced 90 feet as the ball got away after McHugh slid in on a close play at the plate. Jack Picchiotti followed with a sacrifice fly to left field.
Hansen and Krieg teamed up for a nice inning-ending double play with the bases loaded in the bottom of the third. Michigan State's fastest runner, Anthony Cheky, hit a ground ball to Hansen at shortstop. Krieg got just enough on the throw to get Cheky on a close play at first on the backend of the twin killing. Hansen and Krieg also teamed up for a 4-6-3 double play to erase a leadoff single in the second.
Purdue scored four unearned runs with two outs in the top of the ninth to extend the lead to 11-3. Jimmy Pickens dropped a fly ball in right field with two men aboard. Hansen and Krieg followed with RBI hits.
Minch handled five comebackers cleanly in the game. After striking out a season-high eight last weekend in a quality start against Nebraska, he only fanned three batters Saturday. He ended the first two innings with strikeouts and got the key K on Fisher with the game on the line in the sixth.
The rubber game of the series is slated for noon Sunday. It will be televised live by the Big Ten Network. The probable starting pitchers are Wood and MSU's Anthony Misiewicz (Fr, LHP).