WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (www.purduesports.com) – Purdue baseball took advantage of having the chance to bat last for the first time this season, scoring twice with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to rally for a 3-2 walk-off win vs. Kent State in the home opener Tuesday at Alexander Field.
Pinch runner Milo Beam scored the game-tying run on a balk after going first to third on a hit-and-run single by Skyler Hunter. Logan Poisall followed with the game-winning RBI on a slow chopper to shortstop that went for an infield hit. Poisall joined Alec Olund and Nick Dalesandro as active Boilermakers with a walk-off hit.
Purdue (13-10) won its home opener for the 12th time in the last 16 years dating back to 2002 and snapped Kent State’s six-game win streak.
All seven runs scored in the game were unearned after the Boilermakers took advantage of a pair of passed balls and an error gave the Golden Flashes (15-7) an extra out in the sixth inning.
Jack Dellinger worked 7 1/3 innings of four-hit ball in the longest outing of his freshman season. He struck out five and did not issue a walk. The top of the sixth was the only inning in which he allowed multiple base runners. Ross Learnard (2-0) retired five of the six batters he faced to lower his ERA to 0.53 this season and extend his consecutive scoreless innings pitched streak to 14.
Hunter’s two-out single in the ninth inning extended his reached base safely streak to 13 consecutive games. Nick Dalesandro singled twice to push his reached safely streak to 19 straight games, but Kent State closer Zach Spangler (0-1) retired Dalesandro to open the ninth inning. After a long at-bat, Spangler struck out Jacson McGowan. But strike three caromed off the glove of catcher Pete Schuler. McGowan was able to beat the throw to first base on the dropped strike three to put the tying run aboard
Running for McGowan, Beam was able to make it to third base on Hunter’s single through the left side. After Hunter stole second, Beam’s activity at third base got Spangler to commit a balk, allowing both runners to advance. Poisall’s grounder got past Spangler, but was hit slowly enough that shortstop Josh Hollander had to rush the play and was not able to make a throw to first
Harry Shipley drove in Purdue’s first run with a RBI single down the right field line in third inning, plating Evan Warden after the Boilermakers’ second baseman had reached on an infield single to open the frame.
Kent State relievers had retired seven consecutive Purdue batters entering the ninth inning, striking out four. The Boilermakers stranded Dalesandro at third base as the tying run in the sixth inning.
Two doubles, a sac bunt and an error gave the Golden Flashes the lead in the sixth inning. With a man on third and one out, Purdue brought the infield in. Dellinger got Luke Burch, KSU’s leading hitter, to hit a grounder to second base, but the ball got past Warden. That allowed the runner to score after Sam Hurt initially held his ground at third base on contact. Dylan Rosa made it hurt even more when he delivered a two-out RBI to left field.
The Boilermakers continue midweek play Wednesday when they host Valparaiso at 6 p.m. ET.