WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (Purdue Sports) — Ohio State went deep three times to left field, becoming the first visiting team to hit multiple home runs at Alexander Field this season while defeating Purdue baseball 7-0 in Thursday's series opener.
The Boilermakers (20-32, 7-14 B1G) were officially eliminated from Big Ten Tournament contention. The Buckeyes (29-24, 10-12 B1G) joined Northwestern and Maryland in a three-way tie for seventh place in the standings.
Purdue starter Trent Johnson struck out seven over 7 1/3 innings, his longest outing as a Boilermaker. He entered the night having allowed only one home run in 53 innings this season. Johnson (3-3) posted five consecutive scoreless innings after giving up a two-out solo homer to Dillon Dingler in the top of the first. But Brent Todys led off the seventh with another long ball to left field and Brady Cherry hit a three-run shot the following frame as the last batter Johnson faced.
Ohio State's three home runs were the most by a visiting team at Alexander since Minnesota hit four as part of an 18-run outburst on an offensive-friendly Saturday in April 2018.
Johnson retired 16 of the 20 batters he faced between the solo homers by Dingler and Todys, keeping it a 1-0 game until the seventh inning.
But the Boilermakers were shutout for the seventh time this season. Indianapolis native Garrett Burhenn (6-3) struck out six and induced 10 ground ball outs over eight innings of six-hit ball. Purdue hit into inning-ending double plays in the second and sixth. The Boilermakers had six base runners over the first five innings, but had a runner picked off at first, another erased on a twin killing, and then stranded a pair in both the third and fifth. Burhenn retired the leadoff man in each of his first seven frames.
Cole McKenzie and Tyler Powers both recorded a pair of singles, accounting for four of the Boilermakers' six hits. Evan Albrecht also reached base safely twice via a single and hit by pitch.
McKenzie extended his season-long reached base safely streak to 20 consecutive games with his 12th multi-hit game during the streak. But Zac Fascia's team-long 15-game hit streak was snapped Thursday. Ryan Howe's 11-game hit streak in Big Ten play also came to an end.
Game 2 of the series is Friday at 6 p.m. ET.
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