BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (Purdue Sports) — Purdue pitching racked up a team-record 18 strikeouts and the Boilermakers rallied from a four-run deficit to send the game to extras, but Indiana scored in the 10th inning to take the non-conference matchup 7-6 Wednesday.
Cole McKenzie delivered a pair of two-out RBI doubles, tying the game with two outs in the ninth inning with a two-bagger down the left field line. Ryan Howe scored from first base to complete the comeback from a 6-2 deficit.
Cade Bunnell's walk-off single was a near carbon copy of McKenzie's game-tying hit. Bunnell hit an opposite field flare down the left field line that was fair by no more than a foot. The game-winning hit came with the bases loaded and one out.
Dating back to 2016, six of the last seven IU-Purdue games in Bloomington have decided by two runs or fewer. The Hoosiers (20-12) have won six of those games thanks in part to a pair of walk-offs and four one-run victories.
James Kulak (6), Bo Hofstra (5), Matt Moore (3), Austin Peterson (2) and Trent Johnson (2) all struck out multiple batters as the Boilermakers (10-21) eclipsed a team benchmark that had stood since March 2010. It was Purdue's 14th double-figure strikeout game this season, already a new high-water mark since 2005.
Conner Tomasic was the only Boilermaker that did not record a strikeout. But he induced an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play ball vs. IU's top all-around player Matt Gorski in the bottom of the fourth.
Zac Fascia delivered a two-run double down the right field line to open the scoring as the first five Boilermakers of the game reached base safely. But Tommy Sommer retired the first three batters he faced, striking out a pair, to prevent Purdue from cashing in for a true big inning to begin the game. Sommer went on to retire 18 of the 19 batters he faced over six innings of one-hit relief.
Skyler Hunter singled and walked twice, scoring a pair of runs. The switch-hitter has reached base safely in 31 consecutive games vs. Big Ten opponents. Overall, he's currently riding a nine-game hit streak and 12-game reached base safely streak.
Evan Albrecht and Hunter were aboard when McKenzie hit a line drive into the left center gap, making it a one-run game in the top of the seventh. Moments earlier, McKenzie hit a line drive down the left field line that landed foul by less than a foot. It was foreshadowing of his game-tying him two innings later.
Both teams hit leadoff doubles to right field in the late innings. But while Purdue was unable to capitalize on Bryce Bonner's two-bagger to open the top of the eighth, Scotty Bradley's double in the 10th led to the game-winning run.
Hofstra (2-2) struck out IU's 3-4-5 hitters in order in the ninth inning to give the Boilermakers 17 strikeouts, tying the team record. Bradley's double and a pair of walks, one intentional, loaded the bases the following frame. Hofstra struck out Wyatt Cross for the record 18th K, but he was unable to finish off Bunnell. The senior hit an 0-2 pitch down the line to end the game.
The Hoosiers scored five of their seven runs with two outs, including a two-run homer from Cole Barr in the first inning and a two-run single by Gorski in the bottom of the sixth. Gorski's single also came on an 0-2 count.
Seven of Purdue's 18 strikeouts came against the 3-4 hitters in the IU lineup. There were 32 total strikeouts in the game as Indiana pitchers posted 14 Ks. Grant Sloan (2-2) struck out the side in order in the 10th inning to match Hofstra's heroics in the previous frame.
The Boilermakers lost in 10 innings for the third time this year.
Purdue is back in action this weekend when it hosts Iowa at Alexander Field for the first time since April 2015. First pitch Friday is slated for 6 p.m. ET.
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