PISCATAWAY, N.J. (Purdue Sports) — Andrew Bohm worked 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball in his longest outing as a Boilermaker, but Purdue baseball lost a series-opening pitcher's duel 2-0 at Rutgers on Friday.
The Boilermakers (12-24, 5-7 B1G) had a base runner in seven of the nine innings, but left nine men on base and struck out 12 times against RU starter Harry Rutkowski. The sophomore lefty posted the most strikeouts by a Scarlet Knight since 2013.
Rutgers (14-20, 6-4 B1G) scored both of its runs on RBI ground outs, cashing in on both of its opportunities to plate a runner from third base with less than two outs. Meanwhile, Purdue stranded two men on base in the second, fifth and eighth innings. The Boilermakers had runners on second and third with one out in the top of the second, but Rutkowski (2-3) struck out the final two batters of the frame.
The Scarlet Knights have won five straight in Big Ten play, surrendering only eight runs during the streak.
Bohm (0-5) struck out five while making it through the Rutgers lineup three times. He surrendered only one hit to the final 15 batters he faced. He induced his eighth ground ball double play of the season to erase a one-out single in the third inning, tying Ryan Beard for the team lead in twin killings rolled up. Bohm worked a 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the fourth during a stretch in which he retired six in a row.
Skyler Hunter's one-out double in the fifth inning extended his hit streak to 14 consecutive games, making it the longest of his career and the longest by a Boilermaker since 2011. The switch-hitter has also reached base safely in 35 consecutive games vs. Big Ten teams.
Cole McKenzie singled three times, posting his third three-hit game of the season. The junior is 10-for-24 with four multi-hit efforts in the last six games. Ryan Howe reached base safely three times, including twice to open an inning,
Bryce Bonner doubled in the first inning, recording his fifth extra-base hit in the last seven games.
Rutgers shortstop Kevin Welsh made the key defensive play of the game, a diving stop behind second base to take a hit way from Zac Fascia in the eighth inning. Welsh was able to get a force out at second base on the play. Had the ball made it up the middle, McKenzie would have had an opportunity to go first to third with one out as the tying run.
Tyler Powers singled against RU closer Serafino Brito in the ninth inning to bring the tying run to the plate, but the game ended moments later on a 6-3 double play turned by Welsh.
Shortstop Evan Albrecht made a fine running catch on a foul pop up along the left field fence line. Powers took away a leadoff single with a diving stop at third base to open the fourth inning.
Purdue was shut out for the sixth time this season, including three times on Fridays.
Game 2 of the series is slated for Saturday at 1 p.m. ET. Trent Johnson will start on the mound for the Boilermakers.