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Howe, McKenzie propel Purdue past Butler 5-3

Five different pitchers recorded a 1-2-3 inning and Purdue baseball racked up 12 strikeouts on the mound in a 5-3 victory vs. Butler on Tuesday at Alexander Field.

Posted: Apr 17, 2019 2:10 AM
Updated: Apr 17, 2019 2:11 AM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (Purdue Sports) — Five different pitchers recorded a 1-2-3 inning and Purdue baseball racked up 12 strikeouts on the mound in a 5-3 victory vs. Butler on Tuesday at Alexander Field.

Cole McKenzie and Ryan Howe both recorded two hits and two RBI. McKenzie scored the go-ahead run from first base in the eighth inning on Howe's double to left field.

Cory Brooks worked two innings of one-hit ball in his collegiate debut, opening the game with a pair of strikeouts as part of a 1-2-3 inning. He pitched out of a bases-loaded jam the following frame, working around a pair of hit batters after conceding a leadoff double.

Matt Moore, Trent Johnson and Bo Hofstra teamed up to retire 14 of the final 15 batters of the game, eight of those 14 outs coming via the strikeout. Each reliever accounted for a 1-2-3 inning. Kyle Wade also retired all four batters he faced.

McKenzie delivered RBI singles up the middle in the third and fifth innings, the latter of the two coming with two outs to tie the score at 3-3. Howe came through with a two-out RBI single in the first inning. He hit another line drive to left field in the eighth inning. Head coach Mark Wasikowski opted to send McKenzie around third with one out. The junior beat the relay throw to the plate thanks in part to a head first dive.

Skyler Hunter walked and doubled to open innings in first two plate appearances. He scored on McKenzie's first hit of the night. Hunter extended his hit streak to 13 consecutive games, matching the longest streak of his career. He has also reached base safely in 23 consecutive home games, hitting safely in each of the first 10 this year.

The Bulldogs (18-16) took their lone lead of the night with three singles and an intentional walk to begin the fifth inning. The Boilermakers (12-23) were fortunate to record the first out of the frame on a run down between third base and the plate. On Robbie McCargar's RBI single, Harrison Freed got caught in no man's land after getting the stop sign at third base. Milo Beam's throw from left field was cut off by Tyler Powers and the third baseman teamed up with shortstop Evan Albrecht to tag up Freed before he could make it to the plate.

Moore regrouped and retired the next two batters on fly balls to right field, marking the start of the game-ending stretch in which Purdue set down 14 of 15.

Moore and Johnson (1-2) teamed up to strike out the side in the seventh inning around a one-out single by James Gargano, who accounted for three of Butler's six hits. Hofstra earned his fourth save of the season, all since March 22.

The Boilermakers recorded 10-plus strikeouts for the 15th time in 35 games this season.

McKenzie has seven hits and seven RBI over the last five games. Wade has surrendered only two earned runs over 18 innings pitched at Alexander Field this season.

Purdue is back in action Friday when it opens a three-game Big Ten series at Rutgers. First pitch in New Jersey is slated for 2 p.m. ET.

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