Purdue drops season opener to Southern Miss in 10 innings

Owen Jansen doubled three times as part of four-hit effort and Purdue baseball held three different leads, but No. 21 Southern Miss rallied late to defeat the Boilermakers 7-6 on a walk-off single in the 10th inning Friday.

Posted: Feb 16, 2019 12:20 AM
Updated: Feb 16, 2019 12:27 AM

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (Purdue Sports) — Owen Jansen doubled three times as part of four-hit effort and Purdue baseball held three different leads, but No. 21 Southern Miss rallied late to defeat the Boilermakers 7-6 on a walk-off single in the 10th inning Friday.

In the season opener for both teams, Purdue (0-1) held leads of 1-0, 2-1 and 6-4. But the Golden Eagles (1-0) scored a single run in seven of the final eight innings, posting three unanswered tallies twice.

Even though the Boilermakers took a 6-5 lead into the bottom of the ninth, they were somewhat fortunate to extend the game to an extra frame. After a dropped fly ball in center field and intentional walk tied the game and loaded the bases, Patrick J. Smith escaped the jam without the game-winning run scoring. With one out, he came back from a 3-1 count to get an out at the plate on a fielder's choice ground ball to first base.

Matthew Guidry won the game for Southern Miss with a two-out single in the 10th inning.

Zac Fascia delivered a two-out, game-tying RBI single in the seventh inning as Purdue scored twice to pull even at 4-4. Charlie Nasuti scored the go-ahead run the following frame, getting his hand on the plate after Tyler Powers hit a sharp grounder to a drawn-in second baseman playing behind the mound.

FRIDAY NOTABLES
• Jansen doubled in the third, seventh and eighth innings. He posted the first three-double game by a Boilermaker since Daniel Sander in May 2016. His 4-for-4 effort also included a sacrifice bunt and intentional walk in the 10th inning. He accounted for the first four-hit game by a Boilermaker in a season opener since Eric Charles in 2011. Jansen had more hits Friday than his entire freshman season (3-for-28).
• Cole McKenzie hit a line drive into center field on the first pitch of the game. Purdue's new leadoff man reached base safely in each of his first four plate appearances.
• As the Boilermakers' catcher, Fascia threw out three base runners at second base. He also reached base safely three times, singling in his final two at-bats.
• With runners on the corners, Dalton Parker and Matt Moore both recorded big strikeouts against USM's preseason All-American and cleanup hitter Matt Wallner.
• Purdue enjoyed a 13-10 edge in the hit column, but stranded 12 men on base. The Boilermakers opened the game (and season) with three consecutive singles, but a caught stealing and an inning-ending double play kept them from scoring.

Four of the five errors committed in the game came on failed pickoffs at first base. Three of those four plays were two-base errors and all four runners ended up scoring.

A leadoff infield single by Brant Blaylock, who hit a pinch-hit home run in his first at-bat, coupled with a dropped throw at first on a pickoff attempt put the game-winning run in scoring position in the 10th inning. After retiring the next two batters, Austin Peterson was up 0-2 in the count on Gabe Montenegro when a fastball on the inside corner clipped the edge of Montenegro's elbow guard. That kept the inning alive and brought Guidry to the plate. Guidry delivered the game-winning single through the right side of the infield.

Parker retired six consecutive batters from the first through third innings, working the game's lone 1-2-3 frame in the bottom of the second. He struck out the final two batters of the first inning to strand runners on the corners and then opened the following frame with another K.

Jansen's doubles in the third, seventh and eighth innings all led to Purdue runs. He scored the game-tying run on Fascia's two-out single in the top of the seventh.

Despite an 0-for-4 night, Ben Nisle drove in runs with productive outs in the third and seventh innings. Six of the game's first seven runs came home via productive outs, including four sacrifice flies.

Patrick W. Smith unexpectedly executed a quasi-squeeze bunt in the fourth inning. A pitch on the hands hit the knob of Smith's bat, caroming down the third base line and allowing Johnny Sage to score from third base.

Skyler Hunter made a nice diving catch in left-center field with a man in scoring position in the seventh inning, but was unable to make the catch on a slicing fly ball with one out and two men aboard in the bottom of the ninth. The game-tying run scored on the play, which was ruled an error.

Game 2 of the series is set for 5 p.m. ET.

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