OMAHA, Neb. (Purdue Sports) – Tanner Andrews struck out seven and induced 14 ground ball outs in a complete-game effort and No. 27 Purdue baseball scored eight unanswered runs to defeat Ohio State 8-2 Wednesday in the opening round of the Big Ten Tournament.
The Boilermakers (35-18) won for the 19th time in their last 21 games, evening the season series at 2-2 with the only team to defeat them in the last month. The victory also improved Purdue’s RPI to 35 and likely clinched an NCAA Regional bid.
The Boilermakers (7-4) have won at least five straight games for the fourth time this season. They’ll play Michigan on Thursday at 6 p.m. ET, with the winner advancing to Saturday’s bracket finals.
Andrews pitched the first complete game by a Boilermaker at the Big Ten Tournament since Matt Bischoff beat Northwestern in his final Purdue start in 2010. Andrews surrendered a two-out, two-run double in the top of the first, but responded with consecutive 1-2-3 innings. He worked five flawless frames total, retiring 21 of 23 batters from the second through eighth innings.
Harry Shipley’s two-out, three-run double in the bottom of the sixth blew the game open. Shipley tied his career with five RBI. Despite batting leadoff in every game, the senior has a team-high 22 RBI during the month-long hot stretch. He drove in the go-ahead run in the fifth inning with an RBI single.
As the bottom third of the lineup, Alec Olund, Evan Warden and Tyler Powers were a combined 5-for-10 with two RBI and six runs scored. Powers also made a number of impressive plays defensively at second base.
Skyler Hunter singled three times to extend his reached base safely streak to 21 consecutive games, matching the longest streak of his career.
The Boilermakers had their leadoff man reach base safely four times in a span of five innings from the third through seventh, plating that runner three times while posting eight unanswered runs. Warden and Powers reached base safely in all three frames in which Purdue scored.
Andrews enjoyed a great deal of redemption after he failed to record an out in his 2017 Big Ten Tournament start vs. Nebraska. He’s worked 16 1/3 innings of two-run ball over his last two starts, issuing just three walks while helping guide the Boilermakers into position for NCAA Regional bid. Andrews struck out four consecutive batters at one point and retired 11 consecutive hitters form the fifth through eighth innings. Ohio State (34-21) did not make an out via the air until a pop up to begin the top of the eighth.
The Boilermakers sent nine men to the plate in the sixth inning, scoring five-plus in a frame for the 11th time this season and at the Big Ten Tournament for the second year in a row. Olund’s ground ball to first base with the sacks packed and one out plated the first run. Warden followed with an RBI single. After a walk to Powers loaded the bases again, Shipley delivered the back-breaking double into the right-center gap.
Warden’s leadoff double in the bottom of the third helped Purdue tie the game. Powers followed with a base hit and Shipley put the ball in play to second base to drive in a run. Nick Dalesandro followed with a line drive to center field and Powers scored when the ball skipped past Dillon Dingler. Dalesandro also walked twice to reach base safely three times.
Andrews pitched his second career complete game and the first by a Boilermaker since Gareth Stroh beat Illinois at Alexander Field in April 2017. A Nebraska native, Stroh is slated to take the ball Thursday for Purdue.
The Boilermakers have not played Michigan at the Big Ten Tournament since 2008 in Ann Arbor when they were the top two seeds.