May 26, 2010
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Iowa Hawkeyes (28-26) took advantage of poor Purdue fielding and pitching to plate four runs in the fifth and three more in the sixth to steal the opening game of the Big Ten Tournament, 7-4, over the Boilermakers (31-23). The loss was Purdue's fourth straight to Iowa.
Trailing 4-0 heading into the bottom of the fifth, the Hawkeyes started their come-from-behind rally with a single by Tyson Blaser to lead off the frame and an RBI double by Trevor Willis off of Purdue starter Matt Morgan. An errant throw on the relay home in attempt to cut down Blaser at the plate allowed Willis to advance to third.
Kurt Lee followed with a run-scoring single to slice the Boilermaker edge in half at 4-2 and ended Morgan's day on the mound in favor sophomore Joe Haase. The right-hander appeared to set up the first two outs in the frame on potential double play ball off the bat of Kurtis Muller, but the grounder rolled up the arm of shortstop Nick Overmyer and into center field for Purdue's second error in the inning.
UI's Mike McQuillian and Ryan Durant made the Boilers pay with a run-scoring grounder to second and a single, respectively, to tie the game at 4-4 with a pair of unearned runs.
Reliever Calvin Gunter, who took over for Haase to end the fifth, opened the sixth with a walk, a hit batter and a bunt single back to the mound to load the bases for the Hawkeyes. Senior Kevin Cahill entered and recorded a double play for the first two outs, but with the bases loaded Iowa took the lead at 5-4.
The Hawkeyes extended the advantage to three runs with a two-out, two-run single by Zach McCool to make it 7-4 Iowa.
Purdue tried to rally in the seventh and eighth, but an inning-ending double play squandered a two-on, one-out chance in the seventh and the Boilers left them loaded in the eighth on back-to-back strikeouts by Iowa reliever Zach Roberston.
Purdue opened the game with a pair of runs in the first on a run-scoring ground out by Ryan Bridges and a Kevin Plawecki RBI single, and tacked on single runs in the third and fourth on a Drew Madia base hit and Plawecki's second run-scoring single of the game.
Iowa's Jarred Hippen (6-4)(, who tossed a complete game against Purdue last Friday, settled in after the rough opening to pick up his sixth victory of the season. The left-hander allowed all four Purdue runs on 10 hits in 7 1/3 innings. He struck out five and walked none.
Iowa closer Kevin Lee tallied his 12th save of the year by recording the final two outs in the ninth.
Purdue's Gunter (1-3) was charged with the loss after allowing two runs on one hit while recording just a single out.
Offensively Purdue out-hit Iowa 11 to 8 on the day, but couldn't come up with the key knock late in the attempt to rally. Individually Jonathan Lilly finished the game 3 for 4 with three of Purdue's four runs scored. Tyler Spiller chipped in with three hits and a run scored, and Plawecki and Madia each paired hits for the Boilers in the loss.
The Boilermakers will return to action on Thursday against Northwestern. The win-or-go-home game will start at 12:05 p.m. and be broadcast live on the Big Ten Network.