April 24, 2010
Site: West Lafayette, Ind. (Lambert Field)
Score: Purdue 2, Northwestern 1
Records: NU (13-23, 5-5 Big Ten), Purdue (23-14, 6-4 Big Ten)
Next NU Event: Saturday, April 24 (Game 2) -- at Purdue (West Lafayette, Ind.), 1:30 p.m. CT
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -
Northwestern failed to capitalize on early scoring opportunities as it dropped the opening game of a doubleheader to Purdue, 2-1, at Lambert Field. The Wildcats stranded nine baserunners in the contest, including eight in the first five innings.
The pitching matchup was a good one as Purdue's Matt Bischoff, a three-time All-Big Ten selection, squared off against 2008 Big Ten Freshman of the Year Eric Jokisch for the Wildcats.
Northwestern had plenty of chances to score early on, but couldn't convert with runners in scoring position. The Wildcats collected seven hits through the first five innings, but stranded eight baserunners through those frames including five at either second or third base.
A leadoff walk in the bottom of the third came back to cost Jokisch as Purdue was able to get on the board first. Payton Bieker drew the free pass, moved up 90 feet on a sacrifice bunt and then scored on a single by Eric Charles.
The Boilermakers were able to add to their lead in a rarely seen manner in the fifth. Jon Moore got aboard with a one-out single and was at third with two away when he perfectly timed a straight steal of home, barely eluding the tag of Chad Noble who had to reach around batter Cameron Perkins.
Staked to a two-run lead, Bischoff got stronger as the game went along. After running into trouble early in the contest, the hard-throwing right-hander only allowed one walk between the sixth and eight innings.
Bischoff was relieved by Drew Wurdack to start the top of the ninth and pinch hitter Chris Kontos started things for NU with a double down the left field line. With one away, Geoff Rowan hit a chopper behind the mound that Nick Overmyer booted into shallow center field.
Kontos raced around to score on the play, but Rowan was nabbed attempting to reach second. Wurdack then recorded a strikeout for the final out of the game to nail down his second save of the season.
Jokisch deserved a much better fate than being saddled with the loss. The junior southpaw went the distance for NU, scattering seven hits while walking two and striking out three. Bischoff got the win, allowing seven hits and three walks.
Noble and Chris Lashmet had two hits apiece for Northwestern.