KOKOMO, Ind. - Harry Shipley scored from first base on a pair of RBI doubles by Jacson McGowan, accounting for the go-ahead run in the ninth inning to lift Purdue baseball to a 9-7 victory vs. Fort Wayne on Tuesday at Kokomo Municipal Stadium.
The Boilermakers (27-24) never trailed while snapping a season-long five-game losing streak. The back-and-forth affair featured tie scores of 2-2, 3-3, 6-6 and 7-7. Purdue's 3-2 advantage after the second inning snapped a 41-inning streak in which it had not held the lead.
Kokomo native Evan Warden led off the contest with a home run to left field, accounting for the Boilermakers' first game-opening homer since Tyler Spillner went deep in a March 2011 loss at Tennessee Tech. Warden's third home run of the season was the first of seven extra-base hits for Purdue. He drove in another run with a two-out bloop triple an inning later.
Ross Learnard retired six of the eight batters he faced to close out the victory, improving to 6-0 on the year. The lefty escaped a bases-loaded jam in the eighth inning after entering the game with runners on first and second base with no outs. He struck out Fort Wayne's No. 3 hitter Brock Logan with the bases loaded for the second out of the inning.
Hayden Grant connected for a two-run homer to left field in the fourth inning, giving Purdue the lead back at 5-3. It was the senior's first collegiate long ball. After a bunt single by Shipley later in the frame, McGowan doubled into the left field corner to pick up a two-out RBI. McGowan drove in the go-ahead run in the ninth via a ringing double off the left field wall.
Grant turned an inning-ending 5-3 double play with runners on first and second in the bottom of the fifth. The play helped Tanner Schumacher get through 2 1/3 innings of one-run relief. He stranded a pair of inherited base runners by retiring the first batter he faced to end the bottom of the fourth. The only run he allowed came on a two-out homer in the sixth inning.
Doubles by Mike Madej and Nick Dalesandro also led to runs for Purdue. Madej came through with a two-out RBI double in the first inning, plating Skyler Hunter from first base. Shipley drove in Warden with a two-out single in the top of the sixth.
The Mastodons (8-41) scored five of their seven runs on homers. Logan went deep to center field, Jackson Boyce homered to right field and Jake Weber connected for a solo shot to left field. All three home runs tied the game after the Boilermakers had taken the lead in the top of the frame.
Purdue closes the regular season with a Thursday-Friday-Saturday series at Minnesota. The Gophers moved into first place in the Big Ten standings with their doubleheader sweep of Rutgers on Tuesday. The Boilermakers enter the weekend with a one-game lead on Michigan State for the final berth in the eight-team Big Ten Tournament. The first two games of the Purdue-Minnesota series will be televised live by the Big Ten Network. First pitch Thursday is slated for 7:30 p.m. ET.