April 28, 2012
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Eric Charles delivered a two-out game-tying single in the ninth inning and Cameron Perkins won it with a walk-off hit in the 14th, as No. 13 Purdue baseball won a 4-3 thriller against Michigan State Saturday afternoon at Lambert Field to clinch another Big Ten series victory.
The Boilermakers (34-6, 14-3 Big Ten) won for the 14th time in their last 15 games and recorded their second walk-off win of the year at Lambert. It was Purdue's longest game since defeating Ohio State in 16 innings April 11, 2004, at home. The Boilers have won the first two games in five of their first six Big Ten series this year.
Charles enjoyed a good overall game, finishing the day 3-for-5 with a walk, sacrifice bunt and three RBIs at the plate. Defensively, he started a pair of 4-6-3 inning-ending double plays. He singled to right field on a full-count pitch with the bases loaded and two outs in the ninth inning, tying the game.
Perkins registered his second career walk-off hit, singling into right center with runners on second and third and no outs in the 14th inning. Tyler Spillner reached safely on an error to open the frame and scored the game-winning run.
Errors by MSU second baseman Ryan Jones helped Purdue tie and win the game. His error in the ninth inning gave Purdue runners on first and second with one out and ultimately gave Charles a chance to bat. Jones was unable to handle another ground ball to begin the 14th inning, allowing Spillner to reach safely.
Both starting pitchers performed well and remained on the mound until the eighth inning. Purdue's Lance Breedlove worked 7 1/3 innings of two-run ball, striking out four while not issuing a walk. His streak of consecutive scoreless innings pitched at Lambert Field ended at 33 when MSU's Torsten Boss connected for a three-run triple into the right field corner with the bases loaded and two outs in the eighth inning. The big hit came off closer Nick Wittgren and accounted for the first runs of the game.
Michigan State (26-15, 7-7 Big Ten) starter Andrew Waszak worked seven-plus innings of one-run ball. Purdue had only one runner advance past first base with Waszak on the mound until the eighth. He gave way to lefty Jeff Kinley out of the bullpen after surrendering consecutive singles to begin the eighth inning.
The Boilermakers tied the game with two unearned runs off MSU closer Tony Wieber in the ninth. The reliever had surrendered only runs all season entering the day. Walks to Ryan Bridges and Bennett Oliver along with the error by Jones on a ball hit by Andrew Dixon ignited the rally. Wieber went to a full count on Spillner as well before getting him to fly out to center field. With two outs in the inning, the runners were in motion when Charles singled in front of the right fielder to tie the game.
Wittgren and Blake Mascarello teamed up for six innings of one-run relief. Mascarello (8-1) pitched for the second day in a row but worked 3 2/3 scoreless frames to earn his Big Ten-leading eighth win of the year. He relieved Wittgren with runners on first and second and one out in the 10th inning. He got the first batter he faced, MSU cleanup hitter Ryan Krill, to ground into an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play. Wittgren struck out the side in order in the top of the ninth after giving up the three-run triple to Boss.
Charles also drove in Purdue's first run of the game with a single in the eighth inning, plating Dixon.
Breedlove retired 14 consecutive batters from the third through seventh innings. He was replaced after surrendering a pair of singles in the eighth inning. Wittgren inherited runners on the corners with one out, walking MSU's No. 9 hitter to load the bases. He got Jones to pop out for a big second out, but Boss came through with the second game-changing bases-loaded hit of the series. His fly ball into the right field corner glanced off the glove of Barrett Serrato as the outfielder crashed into the fence.
Friday, Serrato had connected for a grand slam to right field for the big hit of the game.
Michigan State reliever Trey Popp (2-1) gave his team a chance to win with four innings of two-hit relief. He replaced Wieber after a leadoff single from Kevin Plawecki in the 10th inning. Purdue did not have a runner advance past first base with Popp on the mound until the 14th.
The series concludes Sunday at 1 p.m.