Purdue finally had a solid weekend on the diamond, but it wasn’t easy. After having to pickup a last minute series against NJIT in North Carolina, the Boilers dropped the opener in extra innings, but bounced back to win games two and three by a run each to get its first series win of the year. Here is how it went down.
Saturday Game 1: NJIT 9, Purdue 3 (10 innings)
It took a while to get the bats going, as the Boilers trailed 3-0 entering the bottom of the 8th, but Purdue managed to tie it with a three-run rally. Skyler Hunter scored on a single from Ben Nisle, who later scored when Owen Jansen drew a bases loaded walk. Tyler Powers then tied it on a sacrifice fly to get Andrew Bohm off the hook. Bohm pitched well, giving up 3 runs in 5 2⁄3 innings.
Thing fell apart in the 10th, however, when Bo Hofstra was hit for six unearned runs. Purdue only gave up three hits in the innings, but had a pair of critical errors. That was enough for NJIT to take game one.
Saturday Game 2: Purdue 9, NJIT 8
The Highlanders continued to be generous with bases loaded walks in game 2, and Purdue finally came out on top to end a five game losing streak. Cole McKenzie drew a bases loaded walk in the bottom of the ninth to score Tyler Powers and give Purdue the win. It was the fourth bases loaded walk for Purdue in the last three innings as the Boilers trailed 7-3 entering the bottom of the seventh, but rallied for three runs in the inning. Purdue then tacked on two more to take its first lead in more than five games. Zac Fascia drew a bases loaded walk and Johnny Sage drove in a run on a sacrifice fly to make it 8-7.
Justin Etts tied the game with a two-out home run off of Austin Peterson in the ninth, but McKenzie’s walk sealed the win. Peterson would earn the win in 5 1⁄3 innings of relief with 9 strikeouts. Patrick J. Smith also struck out 7 in 3 2⁄3 innings, giving the Purdue pitching staff 16 strikeouts on the day. Fascia also added his first home run of the season in the sixth.
Sunday: Purdue 3, NJIT 2
Sage drove in a pair of runs and Fascia had an RBI single to give Purdue a 3-1 lead through eight innings. Fascia and Sage each had an RBI single in the 8th to break a 1-1 tie and salvage a great performance from Ryan Beard. Beard went 7 2⁄3 and gave up only one run on six hits. He alsos truck out six. Matt Moore got the win, however, as he pitched a third of an inning but was responsible for a 9th inning run before Trent Johnson came on for the save.
It was an adventurous save as well. NJIT loaded the bases with no outs thanks to a single, a wlak, and an error. A wild pitch then scored a run, but Jonhson struck out the next three batters for the win.
Fascia had an excellent weekend with five hits and 3 RBI. Purdue battered worked 15 walks and Sage drove in four runs.
Purdue’s home season is scheduled to begin Tuesday night against Milwaukee; the Boilers enter with one of the longest home winning streaks in the nation at 13 straight. Purdue is also scheduled to play Indiana State in Terre Haute on Wednesday before going to Jacksonville State for a three-game weekend series down in Alabama. West Lafayette is expecting cold and rain Tuesday night, however, so don’t be surprised if the home opener is cancelled.