WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (Purdue Sports) — Led by four scoreless frames from Kyle Wade, Purdue pitchers posted eight consecutive zeros to finish the game, leading the Boilermakers to a 5-1 victory vs. Valparaiso on Tuesday in the opener of a five-game homestand at Alexander Field.
Purdue (8-16) won for the fourth time in its last five games. The Boilermakers have surrendered only 14 runs over the last five games, seven of those coming on just two swings of the bat in Sunday's rubber game win at Northwestern.
Skyler Hunter opened the game with an extra-base hit into the right field corner for the third time in the last five games. His triple helped Purdue quickly tie the game after the Crusaders (5-15) scored an unearned run with two outs in the top of the frame. Hunter capped his three-hit effort with an RBI single in the eighth inning. He has multiple hits in nine of the last 13 games, raising his batting average .127 points to .349 during that stretch.
Wade (2-1) faced only 13 batters during his four innings of two-hit relief, needing only 45 pitches to put four zeros on the board. The freshman finished his outing with a 1-2-3 frame vs. Valpo's 3-4-5 hitters. Wade has pitched in each of the first three home games this season, recording nine strikeouts vs. just one walk while surrendering only two earned runs over 14 2/3 innings.
Matt Moore worked a 1-2-3 top of the eighth vs. the top of the Crusaders' lineup. The lefty has retired 10 consecutive batters over his last five appearances dating back to March 15 at Jacksonville State. Bo Hofstra got the last two outs of Tuesday's win and has closed out each of Purdue's four wins over the last week.
Nick Evarts recorded his fourth consecutive two-hit game. Zac Fascia and Evarts both scored as the Boilermakers went ahead 3-1 in the fourth inning. With two outs, Johnny Sage his a slicing fly ball to left field and runners scored when Ryan Wickman was unable to make the catch.
It took until the eighth inning, but Cole McKenzie extended his reached base safely streak to 18 consecutive games with a leadoff single in the frame. He stole second base, took third on a throwing error and scored on a wild pitch. An inning earlier, Tyler Powers drew a leadoff walk and scored from second on Hunter's opposite-field single into left field.
James Kulak finished both of the innings he pitched with a strikeout. Fellow freshmen Austin Peterson and Conner Tomasic also contributed to the long stretch of zeros posted by Purdue pitching.
The Boilermakers host Penn State this weekend for their first home series of the season. Purdue has not played PSU at home since May 2015. However, the Nittany Lions played a three-game series against Minnesota at Alexander Field in April of last year.