GARY, Ind. -- No. 14 Purdue baseball scored all seven of its runs with two outs and Joe Haase earned his program-record 11th win of the season with seven innings of one-run ball, leading the Boilermakers to a 7-2 win against Valparaiso Friday evening on the opening night of the NCAA Tournament.
Purdue (45-12) will play Kent State Saturday at 8 p.m. ET at U.S. Steel Yard ballpark. The Golden Flashes outlasted Kentucky, 7-6, in a 21-inning marathon Friday, a game that ranks as the second longest in NCAA Division I Tournament history. Kentucky and Valparaiso (35-24) play at 4 p.m. Saturday in an elimination game.
Because Kentucky-Kent State took over six and half hours to complete, the Purdue-Valpo game did not start until 10:40 p.m. local time. But thanks in part to another quick outing from Haase, the game was played in two hours and 10 minutes.
The Boilermakers improved to 15-1 in games started by Haase (11-1) this year. His 16th start of the season also represents a new program single-season record. The senior struck out seven to match his career high for the seventh time. Five of the seven Ks came on a called third strike. In the process, he led the program to its first NCAA Tournament victory.
Meanwhile, Purdue capitalized on the five errors committed by the Crusaders, scoring six unearned runs against Valpo starter Tyler Deetjen (8-3). Cameron Perkins, Ryan Bridges, Barrett Serrato and Andrew Dixon each finished with a pair of hits. Serrato doubled twice, delivering a two-out, two-run two-bagger to give the Boilers the lead for good in the bottom of the third. Perkins also singled home a pair with two outs in the sixth inning. In both frames, an error kept the inning alive and made both runs unearned.
Haase recorded only one 1-2-3 inning. Valparaiso had the leadoff man reach base safely five times in Haase's seven innings, but that runner came around to score only once (third inning). The Crusaders had runners on second and third with one out in the fourth and runners on the corners with no outs in the sixth, but Haase prevented them from scoring in both innings. The senior induced a pop out and a ground out to end the threat in the fourth and posted back-to-back strikeouts for the first two outs of the sixth.
Brandon Krieg made the top defensive play of the night, robbing Andrew Bain of a base hit up the middle in the seventh inning. Valparaiso would have had at least runners on first and second with no outs, but instead Krieg was able to make a diving stop behind the second base bag and shovel the ball to David Miller for the force out.
Krieg started at second base in place of four-year starter Eric Charles, who was suspended for Friday's game for his role in the skirmish with Indiana during the Big Ten Tournament championships game victory last weekend. Charles will be back in the lineup Saturday. Krieg put the ball in plate in each of his four at-bats, executing a sacrifice bunt in the sixth inning and scoring a run in the fourth after reaching on a fielder's choice.
Seven different players scored to account for Purdue's seven runs. Sean McHugh and David Miller each recorded a two-out RBI in the seventh inning as the Boilers blew the game open.
The pitching matchup for Saturday's Purdue-Kent State game is expected to be Lance Breedlove (Sr, RHP) vs. Ryan Bores (Jr, RHP). Purdue head coach Doug Schreiber's first win as a leader of the program was against Kent State in March 1999. That was the last meeting between the two schools.