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4-run first inning powers Maryland past Purdue

Purdue baseball scored first for the second day in a row and received eight innings of three-run ball from the bullpen, but a four-run first inning powered Maryland to a 7-2 victory in the series finale Sunday.

Posted: May 16, 2021 10:19 PM

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (Purdue Sports) — Purdue baseball scored first for the second day in a row and received eight innings of three-run ball from the bullpen, but a four-run first inning powered Maryland to a 7-2 victory in the series finale Sunday.

Ben Nisle drove in both of the Boilermakers' runs, highlighted by a two-out double off the top of the wall in left field. It was his third double of the series and seventh extra-base hit during his current seven-game hit streak. Nisle finished the day 2-for-4 and the series 6-for-11.

Jett Jackson led the way with 3 1/3 innings of two-hit ball as four Purdue relievers combined for the eight innings of three-run work. Avery Cook retired all four batters he faced and Jackson Smeltz worked a 1-2-3 ninth vs. UMD's 2-3-4 hitters. Cook and Smeltz both struck out a pair.

Maryland starter Sean Burke (3-3) limited the Boilermakers (11-24)) to four hits over six innings, producing UMD's third straight quality start in the series. The Terrapins (24-14) only used seven pitchers while conceding just three runs in the sweep. In all three games, their starter went six innings. The bullpen provided nine scoreless innings over the three games.

Purdue's 19 strikeouts at the plate were just one shy of its season low in a three-game series (18 vs. Rutgers, March 26-28).

Maryland racked up six hits while sending 10 men to the plate in the first inning. Tommy Gardiner's two-run triple was the third of five consecutive hits after Cory Brooks struck out Big Ten home run leader Ben Cowles for the second out. On Gardiner's sinking line drive, center fielder Skyler Hunter tried to make a diving catch but the ball got past him and went to the wall.

Matt Shaw homered as part of a three-hit game. In the first inning, he went deep on the next pitch after Cory Brooks erased a leadoff walk by picking off Chris Alleyne at first base.

Hunter and Miles Simington were aboard when Nisle's ground out past the second base bag plated the game's first run. Hunter also scored on Nisle's RBI double and was the lone Boilermaker to touch home plate in the series.

Mike Bolton Jr. reached base safely twice via a hit by pitch and infield single. He also stole his 12th base of the season to remain perfect at 12-for-12.

The Boilermakers return to action Friday when they open a three-game series at Minnesota. Purdue is set to make its first trip to the Twin Cities since the final weekend of the 2017 regular season.

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