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Iowa baseball tops Purdue in series finale

Trent Johnson worked seven innings of three-hit ball in the finest outing of the season by a Boilermaker, but Iowa scored seven times in the eighth inning to blow open the pitcher's duel and take the rubber game of the series 8-5

Posted: Apr 4, 2021 9:40 PM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (Purdue Sports) — Trent Johnson worked seven innings of three-hit ball in the finest outing of the season by a Boilermaker, but Iowa scored seven times in the eighth inning to blow open the pitcher's duel and take the rubber game of the series 8-5.

Ben Norman doubled to lead off the eighth inning as the first of eight Hawkeyes to reach base safely to begin the frame. Iowa (9-9) racked up five hits, two walks, two hit batters and a sac fly during the extended rally, sending 12 men to the plate. Purdue (4-13) used four pitchers in the inning.

Miles Simington and Cam Thompson doubled back-to-back into the same left-center gap in the fourth inning to account for the Boilermakers' first run. Simington also doubled over the center fielder's head in the ninth and has a double in five consecutive games. He finished the homestand a team-best 11-for-26 and was the only Boilermaker to hit safely in all six games. Thompson had three doubles while finishing the weekend 5-for-7. He was also hit by a pitch twice for an on-base percentage of .778.

Johnson had only one true 1-2-3 inning but was efficient all the same. Even with five strikeouts and four walks (one intentional) he needed only 99 pitches to complete seven innings, matching his longest outing as a Boilermaker. The only run Iowa scored with Johnson on the mound came on a two-out wild pitch in the third inning.

Purdue did not go quietly after the Hawkeyes' big inning, scoring four times over the final two frames. Each of the first four batters of the bottom of the eighth had a productive plate appearance as the Boilermakers forced Iowa to put its closer, Dylan Nedved, on the mound after he had pitched 3 1/3 innings in Friday's 10-inning affair. As the second baseman for the first 7 ½ innings, Nedved had delivered a two-run double in the top half of the frame. Nedved got a couple big outs to finish off the eighth but Purdue scored three times against him in the ninth.

Cam Baumann and Duncan Davitt teamed up for 7 1/3 innings of two-run ball, successfully pitching to contact. Together they had two strikeouts, one walk and three hit batters over 35 batters faced.

Tyler Powers singled twice and executed a pair of sacrifice bunts, extending his career-long reached base safely streak to 11 consecutive games. He has been on base in every game he has played dating back to March 12, matching the longest streak on the team this season.

Purdue fell to 0-3 in rubber game this season. The Boilermakers also remained winless in Big Ten rubber games at home since May 2009. They've lost 13 consecutive home games to decide a conference series during the unlikely streak.

Purdue returns to action Saturday when it takes on Penn State in East Lansing as part of a three-team pod hosted by Michigan State.

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