BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (Purdue Sports) — Jacson McGowan hit a two-run homer and Tanner Andrews worked six innings of two-hit ball, leading Purdue baseball to a 4-2 series-opening win at No. 10 Indiana on Friday.
The Boilermakers (15-10, 4-0 B1G) won their sixth consecutive game and improved to 4-0 in Big Ten play for the first time since 1985, remaining atop the conference standings. Indiana (20-6, 1-2 B1G) saw its nine-game win streak at home come to an end.
Purdue scored twice with two outs in the ninth inning to break a 2-2 stalemate. With the bases loaded, IU shortstop Justin Walker misplayed a ground ball, allowing two runners to come home. Ross Learnard struck out the side in the bottom of the frame, working around a pair of singles.
The Boilermakers did not record a hit in the ninth inning. Walks to Evan Warden and Shipley coupled with a hit by pitch of pinch hitter Bryce Bonner loaded the bases for Hunter, who joined Shipley with two hits Friday.
Walker was also the reason the game was tied in the ninth inning. He drove in both of IU’s runs from the nine-hole in the lineup. Both runs scored in somewhat unconventional fashion. With a runner on third and one out in the third inning, he hit a comebacker to Andrews. But the ball skipped high enough in the air that Scotty Bradley had enough time to scamper home as Andrews had to take the out at first base.
Walker was also credited with a sacrifice fly on a looping line drive that was caught by second baseman Tyler Powers a few steps into right field. Matt Gorski used his speed to steal the run, winning a game of cat and mouse as Powers ran the ball in. Gorski dove into home plate safely just before the tag was applied. That play allowed IU to tie game at 2-2 in the bottom of the fifth.
McGowan’s homer was an opposite-field line drive to right field with Hunter aboard in the fourth inning. He also hit a towering fly ball to left with Shipley aboard in the top of the eighth, but the wind knocked the ball down and may have been the reason it stayed in the ballpark.
All four walks Andrews issued came in the fifth inning. He was able to keep the game tied by striking out IU’s No. 3 hitter Luke Miller to end the frame the bases loaded. An inning later, the Hoosiers stranded runners on the corners.
Learnard (1-1) gave up consecutive singles in the ninth inning to allow the tying run to reach base, but he responded with two strikeouts to finish off the win. He fanned IU’s No. 2 hitter Matt Lloyd and then the Hoosiers pinch hitter for Miller, who was the designated hitter Friday due to an ailment.
Game two of the series is slated for Saturday at 2 p.m. ET.