Purdue baseball completes sweep with 8-6 win at Maryland

Purdue baseball scored six unanswered runs over the final three innings, rallying for an 8-6 victory at Maryland on Sunday that completed a three-game series sweep.

Posted: Apr 23, 2018 1:41 AM

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (Purdue Sports) — Purdue baseball scored six unanswered runs over the final three innings, rallying for an 8-6 victory at Maryland on Sunday that completed a three-game series sweep.

The Boilermakers (19-16, 7-4 B1G) trailed 6-2 entering the top of the seventh, but scored five times in the frame to take their first lead of the day. Saturday, Jacson McGowan hit a game-tying homer in the ninth inning and Purdue went on to win in 11.

The Boilermakers tied the game on a bases-clearing single by Skyler Hunter in which three runs scored. Hunter dropped a single into left-center field to drive in a pair. Nick Dalesandro was able to score from first base when left fielder Will Watson's throw ended up next to the Maryland (16-23, 3-8 B1G) dugout. The Terps still had an opportunity to throw out Dalesandro at the plate, but the ball appeared to slip out of the UMD player's hand on the short toss home. Hunter scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch moments later.

Four Purdue relievers teamed up for six innings of three-hit ball, striking out six. Ross Learnard closed out the game for the third day in a row, earning a save in all three games of the sweep. He worked 6 1/3 innings of two-hit relief to lead the Boilermakers to a 4-1 week and has now pitched 19 consecutive scoreless innings.

Cameron Williams and Trevor Cheaney both worked 1-2-3 innings Sunday after Purdue took the lead. The bullpen pitched 15 innings of three-run relief in the sweep.

SUNDAY NOTABLES
• The Boilermakers have posted series sweeps at both Penn State and Maryland this season, recording two sweeps on the road in Big Ten play for the first time since 2001 (at Michigan State, at Northwestern).
• Purdue is 17-11 away from Alexander Field this year, owning the most combined road and neutral site wins in the Big Ten. The program's nine true road wins are tied for the most in the league.
• Ben Nisle connected for a solo homer in the fourth inning to get the Boilermakers on the board. It was his sixth home run, three coming in Big Ten play. He's the first Purdue freshman with six since Kyle Wood in 2013 and the first true freshman to hit at least six in the BBCOR bat era (2011-present).
• In 12 conference weekends under second-year head coach Mark Wasikowski, Purdue has series victories vs. six different opponents. Three of those have been sweeps.
• The Boilermakers have six wins when tied or trailing after six innings. They're 13-1 when leading after six.
• Harry Shipley (4-for-11, 3 BB, HBP), McGowan (6-for-12, BB, HBP) and Hunter (6-for-14, BB) all reached base safely at least seven times in the series. Evan Warden (5-for-13) and Nisle (3-for-12) also hit safely in all three games of the sweep.
• Shipley was 1-for-3 with a walk, hit by pitch and RBI fielder's choice Sunday. He has hit safely in 10 straight Big Ten games and reached base safely in 13 consecutive games overall, matching the longest on-base streak on the team this season.
• Learnard recorded his 10th career save Sunday, becoming just the seventh pitcher to reach the benchmark.

Alec Olund's leadoff double ignited the seventh-inning rally. Walks to Warden and pinch hitter Charlie Nasuti followed, loading the bases and chasing Maryland starter Tyler Blohm. Purdue hit into four double plays in the win, but Shipley was able to stay out of a twin killing on his ground ball to second base. A walk to Dalesandro loaded the bases again and Hunter followed with the game-changing single.

Hunter doubled to lead off the ninth inning as well. Maryland brought the infield in with one out, but the shortstop could not handle a ground ball off the bat of Nisle, plating the insurance to run to make it a two-run lead.

Purdue starter Trent Johnson did not surrender a hit on his first trip through the lineup, escaping a first-inning jam and working a 1-2-3 top of the second. But a dropped pop up with two outs extended the third inning. Zach Jancarski followed with a three-run homer to left field. It was the first homer Johnson has allowed this season.

Bo Hofstra (2-3) took over to begin the fourth inning and retired seven of the first eight batters he faced. But a pair of walks led to runs in the bottom of the sixth as Nick Dunn delivered a two-out, two-run double that extended the Terps' lead to 6-2.

McGowan delivered an RBI single in the sixth inning. He has 42 RBI vs. 41 hits this season and Purdue improved to 17-6 when he drives in a run.

The Boilermakers registered leadoff singles against Blohm in each of the first three innings, but that runner was erased by a double play each time. Purdue had not hit into four double plays since a March 2017 game at Ball State that it won 16-4 thanks to 21 hits.

The Boilermakers play 13 of their final 17 regular-season games at home. A season-long nine-game homestand begins Tuesday vs. Chicago State. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. ET.

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