April 23, 2011
Site: Evanston, Ill. (Rocky Miller Park)
Score: Northwestern 14, Purdue 1
Records: NU (13-22, 5-6 Big Ten), Purdue (26-13, 6-5 Big Ten)
Next NU Event: Sunday, April 24 -- vs. Purdue (Rocky Miller Park), Noon
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern socked a season-high five home runs and Luke Farrell pitched eight shutout innings as the Wildcats rolled to a 14-1 rout of Purdue in the second game of a doubleheader Saturday afternoon at Rocky Miller Park.
The Boilermakers won the first game of the twinbill, 9-7.
NU certainly didn't come into the game known as a home run hitting team as the 'Cats had hit just seven round-trippers through their first 34 games this season. However, the hosts make Rocky Miller Park their personal launching pad in this particular contest.
Farrell worked around a leadoff double in the top of the first before the Wildcats surged in front in the bottom of the second. Chris Kontos started the inning with a double before Geoff Rowan plated him with a single through the left side. Hamilton Wise would contributed a run-scoring groundout before Trevor Stevens added a sacrifice fly to put Northwestern up 3-0.
Ruchim stepped to the plate to lead off the bottom of the third against Purdue starter Joe Haase and the freshman took him deep over the wall in left for his first collegiate homer.
Both Haase and Matt Morgan, who started the first game for the visitors, entered their respective contests with season ERAs under 3.00, but NU chased both pitchers after three innings.
Haase's day was done after Trevor Stevens hit a triple to right to lead off the fourth. Purdue brought on left-hander Pat Gannon to face Paul Snieder, but the move backfired. Snieder, who entered the day hitting .370 off left-handed pitchers this season socked a massive two-run shot to right-center to put the hosts up 6-0.
After Jack Havey had a one-out single, Kontos stepped to the plate two batters later and took Gannon over the fence in left for his first homer of the year to make it 8-0.
Meanwhile, Farrell continued to make the big pitches he needed, continually holding Purdue's high-powered offense in check. The Boilermakers entered the day leading the Big Ten in virtually every offensive category, but Farrell kept putting zeros on the board.
After Farrell stranded two for the second consecutive inning in the sixth, Northwestern added one to its lead in the bottom half of the frame. Snieder started the inning with a double off Mike Sudbury before eventually coming home on a sac fly by Havey. Kontos started the seventh in similar fashion, ripping a double for his third extra-base hit of the game before touching home on a single by Rowan.
Farrell put up one final zero in the top of the eighth before Northwestern scored four final runs in its half of the inning. Back-to-back hits by pinch hitters Patrick Miller and Brant Cavagnaro gave the Wildcats runners on the corners with no one out before Lashmet plated Miller with a sac fly. Havey then blasted a two-run homer to give the 'Cats a 13-0 lead.
Opting to save its bullpen, Purdue brought on senior Cameron Perkins, one of the Big Ten's top hitters, to pitch for the first time in his career. Ruchim greeted him rudely, connecting for a homer on a full-count pitch to increase the lead to 14.
Farrell gave way to Ruchim on the mound in the top of the ninth and the Boilermakers got a run on an RBI double by Kyle Bischoff to spoil the shutout.
Northwestern ripped 19 hits in the contest, two shy of its season high of 21 achieved at Ohio State April 3. Seven different Wildcats had at least two hits in the contest, paced by three apiece from Havey and Kontos. Kontos scored three times, while Havey drove in three. The Wildcats' five homers were their most since hitting five against Illinois May 2, 2009.
Farrell (4-1) struck out seven while scattering six hits and three walks to earn the win.
The teams conclude their series at noon Sunday. The game has been moved up one hour due to the threat of inclement weather.
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