COLUMBUS, Ohio (Purdue Sports) — Purdue baseball hit back-to-back home runs twice and overcome deficits of 5-0 and 12-8 to win a Sunday slugfest at Ohio State 16-15.
Ben Nisle homered twice while contributing to both back-to-back jacks, teaming up with Miles Simington and Zac Fascia. The Boilermakers (11-20) homered on consecutive pitches both times. They hit back-to-back home runs twice in a game for the first time since a March 2003 win vs. Miami (Ohio) at Lambert Field.
Skyler Hunter recorded his 250th career hit as part of his second four-hit game as a Boilermaker. He's just the fourth Purdue player to reach the 250 milestone. The switch-hitter recorded hits from both sides of the plate and delivered the game-tying double to make it 12-12 in the seventh inning.
Jackson Smeltz struck out the Buckeyes' No. 2 hitter with the tying run at third base to close out the victory, earning his first collegiate save.
• The Boilermakers scored four runs in the third, fourth and seventh innings. They scored at least four times in consecutive innings and in three different frames in the same game for the first time since a May 2018 win vs. Purdue Fort Wayne. The final score that night at Alexander Field was 27-3, marking the program's only other game with a combined 30 runs off the BBCOR bat era (2011-present).
• The last three Purdue-Ohio State series finales dating back to May 2018 have featured a combined 77 runs – 22 in 2018, 24 in 2019 and 31 this year.
• The 15 runs were the most surrendered in a victory since defeating Boston University 36-16 in March 1991. The 31 combined runs were the most in a game featuring Purdue since a 22-14 loss (36) at Missouri in March 2010.
• The Boilermakers hit four home runs in a game for the first time since a March 2017 win at Southeast Missouri State.
• Ben Nisle posted his second career multi-homer game and the first by a Boilermaker since Jacson McGowan in April 2018 at Maryland. Nisle has homered in five consecutive weekends.
• Miles Simington posted his third four-RBI game as a Boilermaker and joined Skyler Hunter as the only active Purdue players with a 20-game reached base safely streak during their careers.
• As of April 22, the Boilermakers had only one set of back-to-back home runs since the start of the 2011 season – McGowan and Nisle vs. Houston at an NCAA Regional in June 2018. Purdue has now done it three times in its last six games. Meanwhile, the 2021 team joined the 2003 and 2010 Boilermakers as the only teams since 2001 with three sets of back-to-back jacks in the same season.
• Nisle joined Daniel Underwood (4, 2000-03) and Ryne White (3, 2006-08) as the only Boilermakers since 2001 to be part of three sets of back-to-back home runs. Nisle is also the first Boilermaker with multiple multi-homer games in his career since Cameron Perkins had four from 2010 to 2012.
Purdue responded with eight unanswered runs after the Buckeyes had surged in front 12-8 with a five-run fifth inning. Nisle and Fascia tag teamed their consecutive solo shots in the top of the sixth to reinvigorate the offense. Hunter delivered his two-run double with the bases loaded in the seventh and later scored on an RBI single from Nisle.
It was the two insurance runs in the eighth inning that won Purdue the game. Mason Gavre connected for an RBI double down the left field line. He was later tagged out between third and home on a fielder's choice to third base. But Gavre kept the rundown alive long enough for Evan Albrecht to make it to second base. Albrecht took third on a pitch in the dirt and scored what proved to be the decisive run on Mike Bolton's Jr.'s two-out infield hit.
Down 5-0 early, Purdue roared to life via the home runs from Simington and Nisle in their second looks at OSU starter Jake Neely. Simington hit a three-run shot to center field and Nisle followed with an opposite-field blast to right. Cory Brooks posted a zero in the bottom half of the frame and the Boilermakers kept the momentum rolling with four two-out runs to open up their first lead at 8-5. Hunter beat out an infield hit to plate the tying run. Fascia's two-run single was the big hit of the fourth-inning rally.
There were only seven zeros posted over the 18 half innings. Eric Hildebrand (6th) and Jett Jackson (7th) teamed up to provide two of those in consecutive frames to help Purdue score its eight unanswered runs. The score swung from 12-8 OSU to 16-12 Boilermakers during that stretch.
Hildebrand (2-1) registered Purdue's lone true 1-2-3 inning in the sixth and Jackson also faced only three batters the following frame when an OSU base runner was picked off by Fascia between first and second. Fascia also threw out a base stealer at second to erase a two-out single in Brooks' scoreless third inning.
Bolton reached base safely at least twice for his eighth consecutive start. Nisle and Fascia both finished with three hits and three RBI. Hunter and Albrecht both scored three times.
The Boilermakers return to action Friday when they host Northwestern at 6 p.m. ET.