Purdue baseball wins series opener at Little Rock

Photo Courtesy: Purdue Sports

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Purdue Sports) — Dalton Parker retired 10 of the 12 batters he faced in another excellent long relief outing and three different Boilermakers recorded an RBI double, propelling Purdue baseball to a 6-4 series-opening win at Little Rock on Friday.

The Boilermakers (3-2) were victorious on Friday for the second weekend in a row, winning the opening game of consecutive weekends for the first time since Feb. 26 and March 6 of the 2015 campaign. Purdue won the game despite being out hit 11-5. But the Boilermakers drew 11 free passes (8 walks, 3 hit by pitch) while only issuing two.

Mike Madej delivered the big hit of Purdue’s four-run fifth inning, two-run double down the left field line. Each of the first seven Boilermakers to come to the plate in the frame put together a productive plate appearance. The Boilermakers have already scored four or more runs in an inning five times this season. They only had seven such innings in 54 games a year ago.

Jacson McGowan and Logan Poisall recorded RBI doubles in the fourth inning to help Purdue overcome an early 2-0 deficit. McGowan drove in a run for the fifth consecutive game thanks to his fifth extra-base hit.

An inning-ending double play in the first inning and consecutive strike outs with two men aboard in the bottom of the fifth allowed starter Tanner Andrews (2-0) to limit Little Rock (0-5) to two runs over five innings. A leadoff walk and a pair of RBI doubles got the Trojans back in the game in the bottom of the sixth and led to the Boilermakers going to the bullpen for Parker.

The freshman retired five of the first six batters he faced and then induced a 6-4-3 double play ball to erase a leadoff single in the eighth inning. He struck out three of the final four batters he faced and has now worked 8 2/3 innings of shutout relief over his first two collegiate appearances, earning a win and a save in the process.

Andrews is the first Boilermaker to win each of his first two weekend starts of the season since Brad Schreiber in 2011. Purdue had not won its first two weekend-opening games of a new season since 2013.

Evan Warden and McGowan both reached base safely three times. Nick Dalesandro drew a pair of free passes, scored twice and threw out two base stealers with Andrews on the mound.

Harry Shipley singled in the ninth inning to extended his reached base safely streak to 10 consecutive games dating back to last season. Skyler Hunter, Alec Olund, Poisall and Warden have also been on base in every game this season. All four players drew a walk Friday.

Little Rock used eight pitchers in the game, including four in the fifth inning. Only one of them did not issue a walk. Starter Matt McDowell (0-2) did not give up a hit until McGowan doubled down the left field line to plate Dalesandro from first base in the fourth inning.

But after retiring nine of the first 11 Boilermakers he faced, McDowell allowed five of the final eight to come to the plate against him reach base. And one of those three outs was a sacrifice bunt by Shipley after Warden was hit by a pitch and Milo Beam singled to open the top of the fifth.

Despite being winless on the young season, Little Rock has held the lead at one point in all five games.

The series continues Saturday at 3 p.m. ET.