LINCOLN, Neb. (Purdue Sports) — Skyler Hunter's two-run triple gave Purdue baseball an early lead, but Nebraska scored 12 times over its final five innings to defeat the Boilermakers 13-4 Saturday in the middle game of the series.
The Huskers (16-9, 6-2 B1G) plated 7 runs in the fifth inning for the second day in a row. Nebraska has scored 30 runs over the first two games of the weekend, 20 coming as part of big innings.
Hunter's triple plated Tyler Powers and Evan Albrecht as the big hit of Purdue's three-run third inning. Hunter reached base safely three times and recorded hits from both sides of the plate for the 17th time as a Boilermaker. With eight career triples, he's moved into 15th place in program history as the first player to crack the program's all-time leaderboard for three-baggers since 2013. He has reached base safely in 10 consecutive games overall and 23 straight in Big Ten play.
Hunter also made two excellent catches in center field, taking away likely extra-base hits in the third and fourth innings.
Purdue (10-19, 4-3 B1G) committed four errors for the second time this season. And it was an error on a potential double play ball in the bottom of the fifth that opened the door for Nebraska's big inning. Following a hit batter to begin the frame, Ryan Howe was unable to make the play on a ground ball to second base. After a walk loaded the bases, Luke Roskam delivered a two-run single and Cam Chick hit a three-run homer into the right field bullpen.
The Huskers' 5-6-7 potion of the lineup – Roskam, Angelo Altavilla and Cam Chick – were a combined 6-for-14 with eight RBI and six runs scored.
Nebraska starter Nate Fisher had to leave the game after the third inning due to a blister bursting open on a finger of his pitching hand. But Mike Waldron (1-0) and Robbie Palkert teamed up for six innings of one-run relief. Palkert retired 11 of the 14 batters he faced to close out the win.
The Boilermakers loaded the bases with one out in the sixth inning, but a bases-loaded walk to Albrecht accounted for the lone run in the frame as Palkert escaped the jam.
For the series, Purdue is just 2-for-16 with runners in scoring position. The Huskers are 15-for-31.
Nick Evarts singled twice to record multiple hits for the fifth time in the last nine games. He hit a hard ground ball into the shift on the left side of the infield with two outs in the third inning, but Altavilla was unable to make the play. That allowed Hunter to score the third run of the frame.
Purdue starter Andrew Bohm (0-4) issued a free pass to begin three of the five innings he started. That runner came around to score all three times. Austin Peterson struck out five and did not issue a walk over four innings of relief. The only earned run he surrendered came on a solo homer in the bottom of the eighth.
The first pitch of Sunday's series finale is slated for 1 p.m. ET. The game will be televised live by ESPNU.