Eight-Run Rally Lifts Boilers to Rubber Game Win at Nebraska

Box Score May 11, 2015

Box Score | Series Stats

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LINCOLN, Neb. -- Purdue baseball scored eight times in the sixth inning and the extended rally propelled the Boilermakers to their first rubber game win in Big Ten play since April 2012, defeating Nebraska, 9-6, Monday afternoon.

Purdue (17-34, 4-17 Big Ten) won its first Big Ten series since March 2013 at Penn State. The Boilermakers had dropped nine straight Big Ten rubber games since its last visit to Lincoln in April 2012 when it claimed the series with a victory in the final game of the weekend. Since the Huskers joined the conference in 2012, Ohio State is the only other team to win a pair of series at Haymarket Park. Nebraska (34-19, 9-12 Big Ten) entered the weekend 20-4 at home this season.

Purdue sent 13 men to the plate during its most productive inning since April 2013. The eight runs on eight hits in the frame turned a 2-1 deficit into a seven-run lead. Kyle Johnson started the rally with a home run and singled home a run in his second at-bat of the inning. Jack Picchiotti also had two hits in the top of the sixth.

Brett Haan (2-9) worked five innings of two-run ball, inducing 10 ground ball outs on a day in which the wind was blowing out. He kept the Huskers off the scoreboard until the fifth inning when they scored twice with two outs.

Joe Eichmann came up one out shy of closing out the win for a four-inning save. After retiring the first two batters of the bottom of the ninth, he issued two walks and gave up an RBI single. Nebraska brought the potential tying run to the plate when Kyle Van Hoeck walked the first batter he faced. But Van Hoeck came back from a 3-0 count to retire Austin Darby on a grounder to first base to end the game, earning his first collegiate save.

Cody Strong and Brandon Krieg each had three hits, including a single in the eight-run inning. In Krieg's second at-bat of the extended rally, he beat the throw to first base to stay out of an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play. That allowed the Boilers to score two more runs in the frame, making the ninth inning not nearly as much of a nail biter as it could have been after Nebraska scored twice in both the eighth and ninth.

Purdue had 12 consecutive productive plate appearances in the sixth inning, a stretch that included Johnson's second home run of the series, seven singles, two walks, a sacrifice bunt by Justin Gubser and Krieg's RBI fielder's choice. The Huskers used four pitchers in the frame. Seven different Boilers recorded an RBI during the rally, including two for Johnson. After loading the bases with one out, the next six Purdue hitters to come to the plate drove in a run.

Eichmann worked around leadoff singles in the sixth and seventh innings, putting up zeroes in both frames and preventing the home team from getting right back in the game after the Boilers opened up their 9-2 lead. Haan and Eichmann teamed up to allow Nebraska no more than one base runner in six of the first seven innings.

Kyle Wood and Johnson joined Strong and Krieg as Boilers to reach base safely three times in the win. Johnson finished the series with two hits and a run scored in all three games. He has reached base safely in 16 consecutive games, the longest streak on the team this season.

Purdue had not won a Big Ten series after dropping the opener since May 2009 at Michigan State.

The Boilermakers returns to action Tuesday for their midweek finale at Valparaiso. It will be Purdue's first game in Northwest Indiana since hosting the 2012 NCAA Regional at the U.S. Steel Yard ballpark in Gary.

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