May 8, 2013
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Purdue baseball turned three double plays behind another quality performance from pitcher Gavin Downs, but Ball State scored four times in the seventh inning to defeat the Boilermakers, 4-3, Wednesday afternoon.
Purdue's five-game win streak in the series dating back to 2009 was snapped. The Cardinals (24-20) have won seven of their last eight games.
The Boilermakers (16-28) left runners on the corners in each of the last two innings en route to stranding nine me on base in the game. Purdue scored three times thanks to four consecutive hits - including a home run from Angelo Cianfrocco - in the second inning, but managed only three hits the rest of the game.
Downs worked 6 1/3 innings of three-run ball. He posted 1-2-3 innings in the first and fourth and pitched over a leadoff double in the fifth. Thanks to an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play in the bottom of the third, he faced only 13 batters through the first four frames.
Billy Wellman and Wes Winkle delivered the big hits for Ball State in the bottom of the seventh. Wellman connected for a two-run homer to left field and Winkle delivered the two-out, two-run single that gave Ball State the lead.
Wellman also made a key play defensively at third base on a slow roller off the bat of Sean McHugh to record the final out of the game. Purdue had runners on the corners with the potential tying run at third following a two-out walk to Jack Amaro and a single from Stephen Talbott.
An inning earlier, Kyle Wood was hit by a pitch and Cody Strong reached on an error to give the Boilers a pair of base runners. But sidearmer Miles Moeller got Cianfrocco to fly out to right field and struck out pinch hitter Josh Estill to keep his team in front.
Defensively, Purdue also turned inning-ending double plays in the sixth and eighth innings, both coming with two men aboard.
Reliever Mike Lutz (1-5) was only able to retire one of the six batters he faced. He gave way to Brad Schreiber with a 2-0 count on the cleanup hitter after walking Sean Godfrey and then failing to keep the runner close at first base.
Cianfrocco's first home run of the season and seventh career opened the scoring in the three-run second inning. He went deep at the Ball Diamond in Muncie for the second year in a row. Three straight singles from Kyle Bischoff, Jack Picchiotti and Brandon Krieg followed. Krieg's single plated Bischoff after the senior had gone first to third on Picchiotti's base hit through the right side. Picchiotti scored when the BSU catcher threw the ball away wide of third on a double steal.
Strong was hit by a pitch with two outs in the third inning and has now reached base safely in 18 consecutive games that he has started. Wood started in right field for the first time since the second game of the season.
The Boilermakers return to action Friday when they open a Big Ten Conference series at Michigan. First pitch in Ann Arbor is set for 6 p.m.