May 9, 2010
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Jonathan Lilly delivered the game-winning base hit with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning, as Purdue (28-17, 10-7) held off resilient Michigan State, 6-5, to clinch a series victory and keep pace in the Big Ten standings at Lambert Field on Sunday. The victory was Purdue's fourth one-run win in league play this season.
After the Spartans (28-16, 7-10) rallied for three runs in the top of the eighth to tie the game at 5-5, freshman catcher Kevin Plawecki led off the home half of the frame with his first collegiate triple to place the go-ahead run just 90 feet from the plate.
MSU opted to bring the infield in and replaced starting pitcher Kurt Wunderlich with closer Kurtis Frymier. The tactical moves appeared to work perfectly, as Jon Moore and Cameron Perkins grounded to short and first, respectively, for the first two outs.
Frymeier was then just one strike away from ending the Purdue threat when the left-handed hitting Lilly lofted a 1-2 pitch the opposite way into left field to plate Plawecki and hand Purdue the one-run edge.
Freshman right-hander Brad Schreiber (1-1), who entered with the game tied in the eighth and stranded runners at second and third, worked a perfect ninth to seal the victory and earn him his first collegiate win.
The Boilermakers opened to a quick 2-0 lead in the first after taking advantage of a pair of MSU errors, a passed ball, an RBI single by Eric Charles and a run-scoring double play ball off the bat of Plawekci.
Drew Madia hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the third to push the Purdue lead to 5-0, but MSU chipped away at the advantage with single runs in the fifth and sixth before tying the game with the three-run eighth. Madia's blast was his seventh of the year to move him into a tie for the team lead with Plawecki and Perkins and marked his team-best fifth fence-buster in Big Ten play this year.
Purdue starter Calvin Gunter turned in a strong outing in a no-decision effort. The Boiler southpaw allowed just two runs on five hits in 5 2/3 innings of work. He struck out two and walked four.
MSU starter Wunderlich (7-3) was charged with the loss after surrendering all six runs, four earned, on nine hits in seven-plus innings. He struck out four and walked four in the losing effort.
Charles, Ryan Bridges, Madia and Plawecki led the way individually at the plate, with each finishing with a pair of hits. Charles added a pair of runs to his tally for the day and the other three all came home on Madia's right-center shot in the third.
Purdue, which will enter Monday's series finale with Michigan State with a half game lead atop the Big Ten standings, will vie for its second league series sweep at 1 p.m. Right-hander Drew Wurdack is the scheduled starter for the Boilers.