May 15, 2012
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Sean McHugh tied the game with a two-out, pinch-hit home run in the ninth inning and Cameron Perkins won it in the 10th with a line drive to left field, lifting No. 13 Purdue baseball to a 2-1 walk-off win against Indiana State Tuesday afternoon in the final game ever played at Lambert Field.
The Boilermakers (40-10) reached the 40-win benchmark for the first time in program history. Including a 13-3 mark this season, Purdue finished with an unofficial all-time record of 554-391-4 at Lambert Field, the team's home field since 1965. The Boilers also won their 17th straight true midweek game Tuesday, a streak that dates back to March 2011.
Indiana State (40-13) used three pitchers in the ninth inning, calling on left-hander Reggie Hochstedler to setup a lefty-lefty matchup with Barrett Serrato after Brandon Dorsett had retired the first two batters of the frame. McHugh was sent in to pinch hit and connected for his second home run of the season and fourth career. The sophomore also hit the first home run of the 2011 season at Lambert.
Purdue loaded the bases with no outs in the 10th inning thanks to a leadoff single from David Miller, which was aided by a friendly Lambert Field hop, and back-to-back bunts by Andrew Dixon and Tyler Spillner. After Chris Machado (0-1) struck out Eric Charles for the first out, Perkins hit a line drive in front of the left fielder. Indiana State had the outfield playing shallow and Kyle Burnam threw the ball to third base to get a force out on Dixon. But Miller scored from third and the Boilers celebrated their third walk-off win of the year.
Purdue won its home opener and home finale this season 2-1 in 10 innings. The victories came against Louisville and Indiana State, teams that are both projected to qualify for the NCAA Tournament.
Perkins recorded his third career walk-off RBI, including second this year. He also drove in the game-winning run in the 14th inning of the April 28 victory against Michigan State.
Robert Ramer once again pitched well in a midweek start, surrendering only an unearned run over 5 1/3 innings of four-hit ball. He issued only his second walk of the season. Calvin Gunter induced a pair of inning-ending double plays in his 2 2/3 innings of relief. Nick Wittgren (2-0) retired five of the six batters he faced, highlighted by a 1-2-3 frame in the top of the 10th.
Indiana State starter Kyle Rupe frustrated the Boilers for seven innings, surrendering only two hits. He retired Perkins to leave the bases loaded in the third inning and pitched over a leadoff single from Ryan Bridges in the fifth.
Angelo Cianfrocco nearly homered twice in the game, hitting fly balls to the wall in right field in the second and seventh innings against Rupe. Dixon made a nice jumping catch on the warning track in left field in the sixth inning to rob ISU's Jeremy Lucas of a double.
The Sycamores scored their only run in the fourth inning on an RBI double from Jon Hedges. Rob Ort scored after he reached on a dropped fly ball by Dixon in short left field.
Purdue turned a 6-4-3 double play on a ball hit by Ort, erasing a leadoff walk in the sixth inning. Perkins smothered a hard-hit ball by Ryan Walterhouse in the seventh, starting a 5-4-3 twin killing.
Machado was unable to make a play on either bunt in the 10th inning. Dixon was able to push the ball past the pitcher into no's man land, easily beating it out for a bunt single. Spillner's but was a traditional comebacker that bounced off Machado's glove for an error.
Purdue improved to 8-0 this season and 16-1 the last three years when Ramer has started on the mound.
The Boilermakers' 15 seniors were honored before the game for their contributions to Purdue baseball. They have helped lead the program to 77 victories as upperclassmen.
The Boilers return to action Thursday when they open the final Big Ten series of the season at Iowa. Purdue needs one win to clinch the Big Ten title outright. Thursday's series opener is slated for 7 p.m. ET. Game two Friday will be televised live on the Big Ten Network at 7:30 p.m. ET.