WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (Purdue Sports) – Ohio State scored in each of the first four innings to post 11 runs for the day, putting Purdue baseball in an early hole in an 11-2 rubber game loss Sunday afternoon at Alexander Field.
The Boilermakers (11-29, 5-10 Big Ten) lost two-of-three in a series for the sixth consecutive weekend. This weekend against OSU marked the fourth time during that stretch that Purdue won the opener but lost the series. The Boilers fell to 0-5 in rubber games this season and have lost eight straight weekend rubber games dating back to May 2012. Purdue has been outscored 24-5 the last two Sundays.
The Buckeyes (25-19, 6-9 Big Ten) moved into eighth place in the Big Ten standings and grabbed a potential tiebreaker as the teams chase the final conference tournament berths.
Adam Dressler (2-2) hit the OSU leadoff man with the first pitch of the game. In his first Big Ten start, the freshman gave up three runs (one earned) in the first inning and was unable to record an out in the top of the second. It marked the second Sunday in a row and ninth time this season a Purdue starter worked one or fewer innings.
On a windy day at the ballpark in which the ball was not carrying, the Boilermakers made 12 outs on fly balls. Ohio State only had five. Its line drive and ground ball approach led to 11 hits and three errors by Purdue infielders.
Greg Greve (5-3) gave OSU its third quality start of the series. The senior surrendered just one unearned over seven innings of four-hit ball. He issued only one walk. Greve retired 16 of 17 batters from the first through sixth innings, working three straight 1-2-3 frames in the middle of the game.
Kyle Wood accounted for three of the Boilers’ four hits, singling in the first, seventh and ninth innings to reach base safely in his 21st consecutive game. The first baseman has also been on at least once in the last 22 Big Ten games in which he has played dating back to last season.
Ohio State jumped out to an early 8-1 lead with a three-run first and five-run second. Purdue gave up four or more runs in a frame for the 19th time this season. The Buckeyes scored all three runs in the first inning with two outs after Patrick Porter and Aaron Gretz came through with RBI singles up the middle. The first of the Boilers’ three errors on the day extended the frame and led to Gretz’s two-run hit with the bases loaded.
Matt Gibbs issued four consecutive walks with two down in the second inning after replacing Dressler with two aboard and no outs. The junior’s consecutive scoreless innings streak was snapped at 16. Though he had allowed some inherited runners to score during the streak, which spanned eight relief appearances, Gibbs had not been charged with a run since April 1.
Connor Podkul and Tim McElroy teamed up to shut out OSU in the second half of the game, working a combined 5 2/3 innings of one-hit relief. Podkul pitched 8 2/3 innings of scoreless three-hit ball over his two appearances this week and is expected to start next Sunday at No. 13 Indiana. He induced an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play and worked a 1-2-3 sixth inning on this day. McElroy retired nine of the 10 batters he faced over three innings of hitless relief, striking out a career-high six and the side in the top of the ninth.
Sean McHugh doubled off the wall in left field with two outs in the first inning and scored when the OSU second baseman threw the ball away on an infield single for Wood. But Purdue only had one base runner over the next five innings. The first two batters reached base safely in the seventh and eighth innings but the Boilers didn’t score. Jack Picchiotti’s two-out RBI double in the bottom of the ninth accounted for the final margin.
Purdue is scheduled to play its next seven games on the road, beginning with Tuesday’s midweek date at Illinois State. First pitch is set for 7 p.m. ET.