NU MEDIA RELATIONS:
West Lafayette, Ind. – The Nebraska baseball team (16-7, 3-0 Big Ten) completed a sweep of the Purdue Boilermakers (4-17, 0-3 Big Ten) on Sunday afternoon, holding on for a 9-8 victory. It’s the first conference road sweep by the Huskers since May of 2014, when Nebraska swept Michigan State in East Lansing.
After posting a season-high 16 hits on Friday night, the Huskers matched the mark on Sunday, including home runs from Jake Placzek and Steven Reveles. In the series the Huskers scored 29 runs on 46 hits. Nebraska’s 1-2-3 hitters each had three hits on Sunday, going 9-for-15, including Ryan Boldt who notched his third three-hit performance of the series.
The Huskers had an 8-1 lead heading into the bottom of the sixth, but the Boilermakers put up three runs in both the sixth and seventh innings, and quickly it was a one-run game, 8-7, headed to the eighth. Nebraska got a two-out solo homer from Steven Reveles in the eighth, pushing its lead to 9-7. Purdue responded with a run in the bottom of the frame, again cutting NU’s lead to one run. Freshman Chad Luensmann stranded the tying run at third base in the ninth, ending the game with a strikeout to secure his third save of the season.
Matt Waldron went 5.2 innings in his fourth start of the year and improved to 4-1. The freshman from Omaha retired the first 10 batters faced. On the afternoon, Waldron allowed four runs (three earned) on four hits and a walk, while striking out four. Waldron has gone at least 5.0 innings in all four of his starts, and including a 6.0-inning relief outing, Waldron has gone 5.0 innings or more in five straight appearances.
Purdue had to go to its bullpen early, as starter Tanner Andrews lasted just 3.1 innings after giving up six runs (four earned) on seven hits and one walk. Four Purdue relievers gave them a chance to get back in the game by allowing three runs over the final 5.2 innings.
Just like the first two games of the series, the Huskers took an early lead. Boldt started the game with his seventh hit of the series and its was quickly 2-0 when Placzek deposited a 1-0 offering from Andrews into the left-field bullpen. Ben Miller followed with his seventh double of the year, but then Andrews retired three straight Huskers and got out of the frame with just two runs on the board.
After Waldron put the Boilermakers down in order in the bottom of the first, Nebraska took advantage of Purdue’s seventh error of the series. Boldt started the frame with his second single of the game and was then at third after third baseman Cody Strong threw the ball into right field after collecting a ground ball from Placzek. With no one out, Miller then hit into what would have been an inning-ending double play without the error, but instead Boldt scored to give NU a 3-0 lead.
In the fourth, Taylor Fish and Jake Schleppenbach go the offense going with back-to-back one-out singles and Reveles drove them both in with a double to deep center field. Boldt then hit a tailing fly ball to left-field and Jack Picchiotti committed an error when the ball bounced off his glove, and Reveles scored the third run of the inning.
Picchiotti got Purdue’s first hit of the game with a one-out double in the fourth. Kyle Johnson followed with a single and after a fly out to right field, Purdue had 1st-and-3rd with two outs. Waldron nearly put up another scoreless inning, but a fielding error by Placzek on a ground ball by Nick Dalesandro scored a run and kept the inning going. Waldron bounced back and got another groundball to limit the damage to one run.
Nebraska’s offense got the run back and tacked on another in the top of the fifth when Fish drove in a pair with a two-out single. On the play Jake Meyers scored on the way from first to give NU a 8-1 lead.
Purdue cut NU’s lead to four in the sixth with three runs on three hits. Following a two-out walk, the Huskers went to Jeff Chesnut and Alex Olund welcomed him with a RBI single. Chesnut then got No. 9 hitter Harry Shipley to ground out.
Purdue kept up the pressure in the seventh and cut NU’s lead to one run. Garett King hit leadoff hitter Duncan McKinnon and then walked Brett Carlson. King came back and struck out Johnson, but then gave up a three-run opposite field home run to Wood, cutting NU’s lead to 8-7. King then walked Dalesandro and with the tying run on base and one out the Huskers went to reliever Reece Eddins. Purdue went to its bench and Justin Gubser lined a single into left field. With the tying and go-ahead runs on base, Eddins got Strong to bounce into a 6-4-3 double play and kept the Huskers in front by one run, 8-7, going to the eighth.
Reliever Gavin Downs retired the first two Huskers he faced in the eighth, but couldn’t retire the Huskers in order, as Reveles launched his fourth home run of the season into the left-field bullpen. It was an important run, as the Boilers picked up a run in their half of the eighth. Purdue had the tying and go-ahead runs on the corners for Johnson and Wood with one out, but Luensmann struck out Johnson looking and got Wood to fly out.
Luensmann hit Dalesandro to start the ninth and after a sac bunt he was in scoring position at second base with one out. A ground ball then moved him to third, but he would end the game there as Luensmann struck out Olund to end the game.
Following a five-game road trip to the state of Indiana, the Huskers will head back to Lincoln and host the Creighton Bluejays on Tuesday night at 6:32 p.m. on BTN. Nebraska will hold it Big Ten home opener next weekend when the Illinois Fighting Illini come to Lincoln.