April 6, 2013
| at Purdue
| Final Score
|| NU 10, PUR 6
|| NU 13-10 (3-5 Big Ten), Purdue 11-17 (4-4 Big Ten)
| Next NU Event
|| at Purdue (West Lafayette, Ind.), April 7, 12:00 p.m. CT
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Northwestern rallied for four runs with two outs in the top of the ninth inning to push past the Purdue Boilermakers, 10-6, in the second game of a three-game set at Alexander Field Saturday. It marks the second true road victory of the season for the Wildcats and their first in Big Ten play.
The action in the ninth started when Trevor Stevens drew a two-out walk off Purdue reliever Mike Lutz and promptly stole second and third base with Nick Linne at the dish. Linne earned a base on balls of his own before Zach Morton found a hole on the left side of the infield for a single that brought in the go-ahead run.
The Wildcats weren't done yet, however, Northwestern tagged Lutz for three more runs on a pair of singles before he was lifted in favor of Brett Andrzejewski. Jake Straub and Zach Jones did the honors of chasing Lutz with RBI base hits to center and right field, respectively.
Straub, who entered the game in the fourth inning Saturday, set a career high with four hits. He also tied a career high with three RBI against the Boilermakers. Jones set his own career high with three RBI and matched his previous-best effort with a trio of hits. Stevens, who was also instrumental in starting the late rally, stole a career-high three bases in the victory.
After scoring 13 runs in the first game of the series on Friday night, the Boilermakers picked up where they left off in the bottom of the first Saturday. Stephen Talbott led off the frame with a single up the middle; he scored to batters later on a groundout to first base. Purdue then loaded the bases with just one away, but Northwestern's Luke Farrell reached back and ripped off back-to-back strikeouts to end the inning and limit the damage to a lone run.
The Wildcats quickly evened the score in the top of the second inning against Purdue starting pitcher Robert Ramer. NU's Scott Heelan doubled over the centerfielder's head and scampered to third on a base hit by Jones. Jack Mitchell hit a pitch up the middle and the Boilermakers were able to turn a 4-6-3 double play, but Heelan scored on the play to even the ledger at a run apiece.
Purdue got the run right back in the bottom of the frame. Cody Strong walked, stole second base and scored on a single to right from Sean McHugh. McHugh advanced to second on a balk, but Farrell got Jack Picchiotti to strike out looking to end the second inning.
Colby Everett and Walker Moses kick-started the Northwestern offense once again in the top of the third. Everett singled in front of the left fielder, Talbott, and Moses hit his second double of the year to give the Wildcats a pair of runners in scoring position with nobody out. Everett scored when Stevens reached an error by Purdue's Jake Hansen and Moses followed suit when Linne hit into the second double play of the afternoon. After two and a half innings, Northwestern finally had its first lead of the series, 3-2.
Purdue scored a single run in its third consecutive inning in the home half of the third. The Boilermakers strung together three-straight base hits to right field before Strong drew a bases-loaded walk to tie the game yet again, 3-3. Once more, Farrell struck out the final two batters of the inning to limit the damage to one run.
The Wildcats loaded the bases with three-straight singles in the top of the fourth inning. Luke Dauch drilled a ball right back at Ramer, who caught the missile and fired to first base to double off Mitchell. Ramer then got a ground ball to shortstop to escape the threat unscathed.
Straub, who collected one of those singles in the fourth inning, got a big base hit in his next at-bat in the top of the fifth. The Fishers, Ind., native poked a single to left field that allowed Stevens and Linne to score and chased Ramer from the ballgame.
Jones greeted Lutz with an RBI ground out to extend Northwestern's lead to three runs at 6-3. The Wildcats executed two double steals and collected four stolen bases in the fifth inning, which marked a season-high for a single inning this season.
Strong led off the bottom of the sixth with his third walk of the game and he later scored Purdue's only run of that inning when McHugh reached on an error. Farrell then got Picchiotti to ground into an inning-ending double play turned by Stevens, Everett and Jones. After six innings at Alexander Field, Northwestern led Purdue, 6-4.
Left-hander Dan Tyson relieved Farrell to open the seventh inning. With two outs, Strong hit a two-run double to left field in his first official at-bat of the game. That extra-base hit by the freshman tied the score once again, 6-6.
Jack Livingston was on the mound for the Wildcats with Talbott on second base with one out in the bottom of the eighth when Dauch made a leaping catch as he ran to right to take away extra bases for Picchiotti. Talbott tagged and moved to third on the play, but he was stranded there when Stevens made a tremendous play to charge the ball and throw to Jones in time to tag Kyle Wood for the final out.
After NU netted its four late runs, Ethan Bramschreiber, though not in a save situation, slammed the door on Purdue to seal Northwestern's third Big Ten victory of the season. Livingston earned the win out of the bullpen, the first of his career.
The Wildcats will look to win the series on Sunday afternoon at Alexander Field. Sophomore Brandon Magallones is scheduled to start for the Wildcats; he'll be opposed by Purdue's Brad Schreiber. The game will be streamed live on the Big Ten Digital Network with the first pitch set for noon.
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