WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (Purdue Sports)– Michigan scored in each of the first three innings and an early 6-0 deficit doomed Purdue baseball in another rubber game loss, 13-3, Sunday afternoon at Alexander Field.
The Boilermakers (9-26, 4-8 Big Ten) lost their fourth rubber game in the last five weekends and seventh straight dating back to May 2012. The Wolverines (18-21-1, 8-7 Big Ten) improved to 3-1 in rubber games in conference play this year and claimed their first series victory in West Lafayette since 2006.
Purdue starter Brett Haan (1-2) was only able to retire two of the eight batters he faced and both of those outs came on sacrifices. It marked the fifth time this season that the Boilers’ starting pitcher worked one inning or fewer. However, it marked the first time it had happened since the finale of the San Diego State series over the opening weekend of spring break. Purdue ended up using nine pitchers Sunday, one shy of a season high.
The first two hitters in the Michigan lineup — Travis Maezes and Jacob Cronenworth — each scored four times and finished a combined 5-for-7 with three walks. Four different Wolverines had two RBI on the day.
Brandon Krieg led the way for the Boilers with three hits and a walk, capping off a week in which the junior was 10-for-16 with a .714 on-base percentage. Cody Strong, Kyle Johnson and Mike Gaglianese each doubled in the eighth inning as Purdue put up a couple runs, but it already trailed 13-1 entering the frame. Gaglianese’s RBI two-bagger was his first collegiate hit.
Adam Dressler struck out the first batter he faced to leave the bases loaded in the first inning, at least keeping the Boilers in the game after Michigan sent nine men to the plate and scored three times in the game’s opening frame. But a leadoff walk, triple and RBI ground out got the line moving again quickly for the Wolverines an inning later.
Mike Lutz and Connor Podkul each worked at least two innings of scoreless relief as the only Purdue pitchers that were able to get more than four outs. Lutz worked 5 1/3 scoreless innings of relief while appearing in all three games of a series for the fourth time in his career. Podkul made his first appearance on the mound since starting game three of the series at San Diego State on March 16. It was his first appearance at home since starting the series finale against Michigan in May 2012.
The Boilermakers had at least one base runner in each of the first six innings against U-M starter Logan McAnallen. But Purdue hit into a double play in three of the first four innings and could not capitalize on having five base runners over the first two frames. McAnallen (2-3) walked four but did not give up an extra-base hit over seven innings of one-hit ball.
The Boilermakers return to action Tuesday when they play the first of their two midweek games against Indiana State. First pitch in Terre Haute is set for 6 p.m.