WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Joe Haase pitched at least eight innings in a quality start for the third time this season and the offense scored four times in the second inning to give him an early lead, propelling Purdue baseball to a 6-2 series-clinching victory against rival Indiana Saturday afternoon at Lambert Field.
The Boilermakers (29-13, 9-5 Big Ten) posted their fourth consecutive Big Ten series victory and closed the month of April with a 13-5 record. The Hoosiers (25-18, 6-8 Big Ten) dropped their sixth straight game, five of those six losses coming in league play.
Purdue also assured itself of a third straight series victory against its biggest rival. Dating back to the 2008 Big Ten Tournament, the Boilers have now won eight of the last 11 meetings.
Haase (5-2) finished one out shy of a complete game for the second time this season. He bounced back from a poor outing last weekend at Northwestern by surrendering only one earned run, keeping IU off the scoreboard until the eighth inning. He struck out six and did not issue a walk until the sixth inning.
Tyler Spillner delivered the big hit of the four-run second inning, doubling to right field to drive in a pair. David Miller and Eric Charles also registered an RBI during the rally. Purdue tacked on an insurance run in the sixth and seventh innings.
Each of the first five hits Haase allowed came with two outs in an inning. An IU hitter did not reach base with less than two outs until he walked Alex Dickerson with one out in the sixth. Dickerson also led off the eighth inning with a base hit, marking the first time the Hoosiers put their leadoff man aboard, and eventually scored Indiana's first run.
Haase retired nine consecutive batters from the third through sixth innings after surrendering a two-out single to Dickerson, who was 4-for-4 with a walk. The Hoosiers stranded 12 runners on base in the game.
Angelo Cianfrocco reached base safely in the in three of his four plate appearances, including each of the three innings that Purdue scored. His one-out walk ignited the four-run second inning. He also singled in the sixth and drove in a run with a two-out hit in the seventh.
As was the case in Friday's series opener, Indiana aided the Purdue offense with errors and free passes. After Cianfrocco walked in the second, Andrew Dixon hit a chopper to second base that got through Micah Johnson and into right field. Miller followed with a base hit up the middle to open the scoring. A walk to Stephen Talbott then loaded the bases for Spillner.
On a day in which the wind was blowing in, Spillner was able to drive the ball over the head of IU right fielder Matt Serfling. Talbott scored on a subsequent sacrifice fly from Charles.
Indiana starter Chad Martin (2-4) kept his team in the game with three scoreless innings after the four-run rally. But in the bottom of the sixth, the Boilers strung together three straight singles from Kevin Plawecki, Cianfrocco and Dixon to score their first of two insurance runs. An inning later, Cianfrocco singled home Cameron Perkins.
Spillner led the way with three hits. Miller and Talbott joined Cianfrocco with a pair of singles. Twenty-one of the 24 combined hits in the game were singles.
The Boilermakers will go for their first series sweep of Big Ten play Sunday. The series finale is slated for 1 p.m.