WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (Purdue Sports) — Patrick J. Smith struck out the side in each of the first two innings and Zac Fascia drove in a run in his first three plate appearances as part of a four-RBI night, leading Purdue baseball to an 11-2 victory vs. Purdue Fort Wayne on Tuesday at Alexander Field.
The Boilermakers (15-25) scored six times in the fifth inning to blow the game open en route to posting a season-high run total for the second night in a row. They won for the third time in the last four games and improved to 8-4 at Alexander this season. Purdue has seven more games remaining on its season-long nine-game homestand.
Smith retired 12 of the 13 batters he faced over four innings of one-hit ball. He struck out the side in order to open the game. The Boilermakers finished with 10 Ks, posting their 18th double-figure strikeout total in game No. 40 of the season. As starting pitchers, Cory Brooks and Smith combined for eight innings of one-hit ball over the last two nights, retiring 24 of 26 batters faced.
Skyler Hunter led off the fifth inning with a triple after the Mastodons' left fielder made a poor read on the fly ball. It was the junior's fifth triple of the season and 10th career, moving into fifth place on the program's all-time list. Later in the bottom of the fifth, Fascia delivered a two-run double off the wall in right field. Owen Jansen also doubled home a pair in the frame.
Ryan Howe connected for a towering home run over the left field bullpen to cap the scoring in the eighth inning. It was the freshman's second homer of the season and first as a Boilermaker at Alexander Field. He's riding an eight-game hit streak.
Cole McKenzie doubled and walked twice, extending his hit streak to eight consecutive games as well. He has reached base safely multiple times in all eight games, compiling a .528 on-base percentage during the streak. Hunter has reached base safely in 21 consecutive games and hit safely in each of the first 12 games at Alexander Field this season. He joined Fascia and McKenzie as Boilermakers to reach base safely three times Wednesday.
Milo Beam and Tyler Powers teamed up to execute a squeeze bunt for the second day in a row. Beam got the bunt down as Powers broke from third base with one out in the fourth inning. Beam has an RBI in three straight games.
Kyle Wade worked a 1-2-3 seventh inning, lowering his ERA at Alexander Field this season to 0.95 over a team-high 19 innings pitched.
A leadoff walk in the top of the ninth ended Purdue's season-long streak of 18 consecutive innings without issuing a base on balls, a run that dated back to the eighth inning of Sunday's loss at Rutgers.
Up next, the Boilermakers host Southeast Missouri State for their open weekend in Big Ten Conference play. Friday's series opener is slated for 6 p.m. ET.
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