Purdue baseball suffers weekend sweep at Cambria College Classic

Jett Jackson performed like an ace with six innings of one-hit ball on the mound, but Purdue baseball's four-run lead did not hold up in a 6-5 loss to No. 23 North Carolina in 10 innings Sunday at the CambriaCollegeClassic.

Posted: Mar 1, 2020 11:32 PM
Updated: Mar 3, 2020 2:06 PM

MINNEAPOLIS (Purdue Sports) — Jett Jackson performed like an ace with six innings of one-hit ball on the mound, but Purdue baseball's four-run lead did not hold up in a 6-5 loss to No. 23 North Carolina in 10 innings Sunday at the CambriaCollegeClassic.

The Tar Heels (8-4) rallied for six runs over the final four innings, tying the game on a two-out single in bottom of the eighth and winning it on a walk-off double to deep left center in the 10th. Patrick Alvarez delivered the game-tying RBI and scored the winning run (from first base) on Clemente Inclan's double. Both Alvarez and Inclan did not start the game.

Jackson retired 18 of the 21 batters he faced and has now worked 11 innings of one-run ball over his last two starts. He struck out five while issuing only one walk. The lone hit he surrendered was a one-out single in the first inning.

For the weekend, Purdue's starting pitchers – Trent Johnson, Cory Brooks and Jackson – combined for 16 innings of five-run ball. Only two of those five runs scored while they were physically on the mound.

Ben Nisle and Miles Simington connected for consecutive opposite-field doubles in the sixth inning when Purdue scored three times to extend its lead to 4-0. Skyler Hunter, Nisle and Simington each registered two hits Sunday. Zac Fascia reached base safely four times via a single, two walks and a hit by pitch. Hunter (5-for-12) represented Purdue (6-4) on the CambriaCollegeClassic All-Tournament Team.

Justin Fugitt and Ryan Howe made key contributions off the bench. Fugitt delivered a pinch-hit RBI single to plate Simington in the sixth inning. Simington also scored on Howe's squeeze bunt in the top of the eighth, an insurance run that put the Boilermakers up 5-3.

North Carolina racked up eight of its 12 hits against Purdue's relief ace Bo Hofstra. Entering the day, Hofstra had not allowed a hit in 5 2/3 innings pitched over three appearances this season. As UNC's No. 4 and 5 hitters, Danny Serretti and Joey Lancellotti ignited the rallies in the sixth and eighth innings with consecutive hits. Lancellotti connected for a two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh.

Eric Hildebrand retired the first two batters with the game on the line, escaping a bases-loaded jam and extending the game to the 10th. With the first pitch he threw, Hildebrand got Lancellotti to pop out to shortstop for the key second out. Hunter made a sliding catch in left center field to end the threat.

The Boilermakers return to action Wednesday when they open midweek play with a 3 p.m. ET non-conference game at rival Indiana.

SUNDAY NOTABLES
• Skyler Hunter recorded a hit to open all three games of the tournament, doubling down the left field line as the game's first batter Friday and Sunday. He's riding a seven-game hit streak, has reached base safely in the first 10 games of the season and hit safely in every game of a weekend for the 21st time as a Boilermaker. The switch-hitter was a team-best 5-for-12 in Minneapolis.
• North Carolina's outfielders made a pair of strong defensive plays Sunday. Hunter was robbed of an extra-base hit by his center field counterpart Dylan Harris, who made an impressive diving catch in the right-center gap. Left fielder Angel Zarate threw out Evan Albrecht at the plate on a two-out single from Miles Simington to end the third inning.
• Jett Jackson retired eight consecutive batters from the second through fourth innings, highlighted by a 1-2-3 frame vs. UNC's 3-4-5 hitters in the bottom of the fourth. If not for a throwing error following a dropped strike three in the second inning, he could have potentially set down 11 consecutive batters.
• Purdue relievers were charged with 12 runs on 19 hits over 10 1/3 innings in the tournament.
• Entering the day, the Boilermakers had been outscored in the sixth inning 8-0 on the weekend 26-5 for the season. However, Purdue also conceded its first eighth-inning runs of the season Sunday.

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