April 5, 2013
| at Purdue
| Final Score
|| PUR 13, NU 4
|| NU 12-10 (2-5 Big Ten), Purdue 11-16 (4-3 Big Ten)
| Next NU Event
|| at Purdue (West Lafayette, Ind.), April 6, 1:00 p.m. CT
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Purdue pushed across six unearned runs in the third inning Friday night to capture the first game of a Big Ten series against the Northwestern Wildcats, 13-4, at Alexander Field in West Lafayette, Ind.
The 'Cats rattled off 11 hits off the Boilermakers, but were only able to score four times in the game. Northwestern left nine runners on base Friday, marking the 12th time this year that it has stranded at least nine on the base paths.
Purdue pounced on the Wildcats with a trio of runs in the first inning, all with two outs. Kyle Wood, Kyle Johnson and Conner Hudnall each collected RBI singles off Northwestern's Zach Morton to get things started fir the home team.
The Wildcats dented the scoreboard for the first time in their half of the third inning. Third baseman Colby Everett laced a base hit to left field and scored from first on Kyle Ruchim's double to deep right field to make it 3-1 in favor of the home team.
Ruchim has reached base safely in all 16 games he has played this season and hit safely in 15 of those contests.
Purdue broke the game open and took advantage of two Northwestern errors to score six unearned runs in the bottom of the third inning. Hudnall, Stephen Talbott, Sean McHugh and Jack Picchiotti each drove in runs during the prolific stanza.
The relentless 'Cats scratched out another run against Purdue's Jordan Minch in the top of the fourth. Jack Mitchell singled and later scored when Walker Moses muscled a base hit up the middle. Unfortunately, NU left the bases loaded in the inning and trailed, 9-2, after three and a half innings.
Morton's night on the mound was done after four innings. Purdue scored nine times off the fifth-year senior, but only three of those tallies were earned. He surrendered nine hits and struck out a pair in his seventh start of the season. He was relieved out of the bullpen by junior Nick Friar.
Minch, meanwhile, picked up steam after Moses' RBI single. The southpaw sat down nine in a row before Trevor Stevens lined a double to the corner in left field to end the streak with two outs in the top of the seventh. The next batter, Ruchim, put a charge into a ball as well, but the left fielder, Talbott, made a nice running catch to rob NU's second baseman of extra bases.
Friar worked efficiently to retire six Boilermakers in a row before Hudnall doubled to open the bottom of the seventh. Hudnall eventually scored on a sacrifice fly to help Purdue extend its lead back to eight runs after seven innings of play.
NU's Jake Schieber entered the contest as a defensive replacement and in his first at-bat the freshman drove in the second run of his young career off Purdue reliever Tim McElroy. Jake Straub, who kicked off the rally with a one-out single to right field, scored on the play.
Later in the inning, Moses chipped in with his second RBI single of the night to allow Mitchell to score and slice the deficit to six runs at 10-4.
As was the case for most of the game, Purdue answered in the bottom of the inning. The Boilermakers scored three more times, highlighted by a two-run home run off the bat of Picchiotti, to take a 13-4 lead and finish the scoring for the night.
Morton took the loss on the mound, his first of the season. Minch earned his fourth victory of the year for Purdue.
The Wildcats will look to even the series on Saturday afternoon at Alexander Field. Senior Luke Farrell is scheduled to take the hill for the Wildcats; he'll be opposed by Purdue's Robert Ramer. The game will be streamed live on the Big Ten Digital Network with the first pitch set for 1 p.m. CT.
Tickets are on sale now for NU's game at Wrigley Field on Saturday, April 20. The 'Cats will take on Michigan at the Friendly Confines with the first pitch set for 6:05 p.m. To purchase tickets, call 888-GO-PURPLE (467-8775) or click here!
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