GARY, Ind. -- No. 25 Kent State scored five times with two outs in the second inning after Lance Breedlove had retired the first two batters of the frame, and the big inning propelled the Golden Flashes past No. 14 Purdue baseball, 7-3, on day two of the NCAA Gary Regional at U.S. Steel Yard.
The Boilermakers (45-13) drop to the loser's bracket where they play Kentucky in a 4 p.m. ET elimination game Sunday. Purdue will be the home team after winning a coin flip. The winner of the Purdue-Kentucky game would have to beat Kent State (43-17) twice to win the Regional. The Golden Flashes, who have won 19 games in a row, are in a Regional final for the second year in a row.
Kent State chased Breedlove (8-6) from the game with five two-out hits in the second inning. After back-to-back singles and a walk loaded the bases, KSU all-time hit leader Jimmy Rider delivered a three-run double into the left field corner. Two more run-scoring hits followed. At just an inning and two-thirds in length, it was Breedlove's shortest outing of the year.
Purdue scored in each of the first two innings but was unable to generate an extended rally against KSU starter Ryan Bores (9-2), who pitched the first complete game of the season for the Golden Flashes. The extended outing came at the perfect time for Kent State, which had four pitchers throw at least 60 pitches in the 21-inning marathon against Kentucky Friday.
The Boilermakers had the first two runners reach base safely in the fourth and seventh innings, but Bores induced ground ball double plays versus the next hitter in both frames. Purdue left the bases loaded in the fourth.
Sean Collins gave Purdue a chance to rally with five innings of shutout relief in the longest outing of his four-year college career. He also induced a pair of ground ball double plays, including one that he started in the sixth inning after snaring a hard hit comebacker.
The five-run second inning matched the second biggest rally against Purdue this year. The Boilers surrendered four or more runs in a frame for only the seventh time this season.
The first three hitters in the Kent State lineup - Evan Campbell (2-for-4), Rider (3-for-5) and David Lyon (3-for-4) - were a combined 8-for-13. Cleanup hitter George Roberts drove in a run in each of his first three at-bats.
Leadoff extra-base hits led to Purdue runs in the second and eighth innings. Cianfrocco doubled to right center to open the second. After a productive out from Ryan Bridges with a ground out to second base, David Miller hit the first pitch of his at-bat into right field for a sacrifice fly. That gave the Boilers a 2-1 advantage, their final lead of the night.
Plawecki tripled to left field to begin the eighth. Kent State left fielder Alex Miklos crashed into the wall awkwardly after trying to make a leaping catch and had to leave the game, although he did walk off the field under his own power. Plawecki scored on a ground ball to first base off the bat of Barrett Serrato.
Plawecki also drove in Purdue's first run of the game with a two-out single in the first inning, plating Eric Charles from second base. Charles singled earlier in the frame, his 275th career hit.