WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (Purdue Sports) — Purdue turned three double plays behind starter Ryan Beard and the bullpen backed him by retiring all 10 batters it faced, leading the Boilermakers to a 5-3 win vs. No. 15 Indiana in non-conference action Wednesday at Alexander Field.
The Boilermakers (21-16) won their fifth straight game and evened the season series with IU (29-9) at two games apiece. Purdue joined Ohio State as the only teams in the nation to beat the Hoosiers this season. Dating back to the 2008 Big Ten Tournament in the Ann Arbor, the Boilermakers have won 12 of the last 15 meetings with their rivals played outside of Bloomington.
The game was played in front of an Alexander Field record crowd of 2,369.
Purdue scored the first and final runs. The home team also answered after IU scored each of its three runs. The Boilermakers took the lead for good with a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth.
Bo Hofstra, Patrick J. Smith, Trevor Cheaney and Ross Learnard teamed up for three consecutive 1-2-3 innings to close out the win. Hofstra struck out three of the four batters he faced. Cheaney went through the 3-4-5 portion of the lineup without the ball leaving the infield, recording the final two outs of the eighth and the first out of the ninth.
The key play of the game was a line drive double play to Tyler Powers at second with the bases loaded for Indiana in the sixth inning. Purdue was able to double off a runner at second base. After Hofstra replaced Beard, the Hoosiers scored the runner from third via a two-out walk-off play on the base paths, but didn't have another batter reach safely.
Offensively, Jacson McGowan and Evan Warden both reached base safely three times. Harry Shipley opened the game with a single to extend his reached base safely streak to 15 consecutive games, matching the longest run of his career. His sacrifice fly with the bases loaded in the fourth inning plated the go-ahead run.
Nick Evarts and Ben Nisle both delivered a two-out RBI single to drive home Purdue's first two runs. Evarts singled with the bases loaded in the first inning. McGowan was thrown out at the plate to end the frame. Two innings later, IU pitched around McGowan with first base open. Nisle followed with a bloop single into right center to score Nick Dalesandro, who opened the frame with a double. Dalesandro extended his reached base safely streak to 11 consecutive games.
Indiana scored its runs in vastly different ways -- an infield single, an inside-the-park home run and the walk-off play with runners on the corners.
Matt Gorski's sinking line drive to center field in the fourth inning turned into the second inside-the-park homer of the season at Alexander. Gorski ran threw a stop sign at third base, but was able to slide in safely at the plate after Dalesandro couldn't handle a relay throw that appeared to short hop him.
Beard (2-3) induced 6-4-3 double plays in the first and fourth innings. Four of the nine hits he surrendered came in the fourth inning. After a rocky first month, Beard has compiled a 2.35 ERA over 23 innings in his four starts at Alexander Field.
Ross Learnard closed out a victory for the fifth time in the last seven games. He has earned a win and four saves during that stretch. The Boilermakers won for only the third time this season when McGowan did not have an RBI.
Purdue continues its nine-game homestand Friday when it opens a Big Ten series against Rutgers. First pitch of the series opener is set for 6 p.m. ET.