WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue succeeded in playing clean baseball over the course of a competitive doubleheader split Saturday with Iowa, losing the rubber game of the series after an injury changed the scope of the eighth inning of the nightcap.
The Boilermakers (11-23, 5-6 B1G) scored five times in the seventh inning of game 1 to rally for a 9-5 victory, snapping their season-long six-game losing streak. The Hawkeyes’ four-run top of the eighth ended a 2-2 stalemate in the nightcap and the visitors were able to take the rubber game 6-3.
Pitcher Ryan Beard suffered an apparent knee injury while planting his right leg to field a sacrifice bunt comebacker with man on first base and no outs in the second inning. Beard had matched Iowa’s Grant Judkins with seven innings of two-run ball at that point. With Beard out of the game, a two-run single and two-run homer later in the frame provided the Hawkeyes (20-14, 7-5 B1G) their game- and series-deciding inning.
Bryce Bonner and Cole McKenzie both hit a first-inning home run for the Boilermakers. Tanner Wetrich and Ben Norman each connected for a two-run homer for Iowa. Those were the first long balls hit at Alexander Field this season.
Purdue third baseman Tyler Powers turned a trio of 5-3 double plays in game 1, two coming with the bases loaded. The sophomore also posted his second collegiate three-hit game in the win, highlighted by a two-run single to cap the scoring in the big seventh inning.
Zac Fascia’s two-run triple off the wall in right center drove in the go-ahead run in the bottom of the seventh. Charlie Nasuti also delivered an RBI triple in the second inning of game 1.
Skyler Hunter singled in both games Saturday, extending his overall hit streak to 12 consecutive games and his reached base safely streak against Big Ten teams to 34 straight games. He hit safely in every game of a weekend of at least three games for the 18th time in his career. Johnny Sage reached base safely five times Saturday and also hit safely in all three games.
Bonner’s home run was his second as a Boilermaker, both coming at home in Big Ten play. That gave him an extra-base hit in four straight games. He executed a hit and run single with Evan Albrecht aboard in the eighth inning of game 2, helping to bring the tying run to the plate after McKenenzie followed with a two-out RBI single. Bonner also hit safely in all three games of the series.
Powers turned the 5-3 double plays in the fourth, sixth and eighth innings of game 1. The latter two were of the inning-ending variety. Purdue escaped bases-loaded jams in the sixth and seventh innings. Matt Moore struck out pinch hitter Luke Farley to keep it one-run game after the top of the seventh. The Boilermakers’ produced their game-winning rally in the bottom of the frame.
Beard recorded a trio of 1-2-3 innings and posted five consecutive zeros from the third through seventh innings. He matched his season high with six strikeouts. The senior did not surrender a hit his third time through the lineup.
As the game 1 starter, Andrew Bohm went nine-up, nine-down through the Iowa lineup his first time through, striking out three. But six of the nine Hawkeyes reached base safely the second time through. Bohm struck out five over 5 1/3 innings of three-hit ball.
The Boilermakers are back in action Tuesday when they host Butler at 7 p.m. ET. The game will be televised live by Fox Sports 1.