IOWA CITY – Purdue scored six runs in the first four innings and added four runs late to post a 10-6 series-tying victory over the University of Iowa baseball team on Saturday afternoon at Duane Banks Field.
The loss drops Iowa’s record to 27-16 overall, 11-6 in Big Ten play.
The Boilermakers scored two runs on three hits in the second and added a single run in the third to knock Iowa starter Connor Schultz from the contest. Purdue doubled its lead with a Paul Toetz solo home run and a two-run single from CJ Valdez in the fourth against reliever Dylan Nedved.
The Hawkeyes’ offense came to life in the fifth when Brett McCleary and Kyle Huckstorf had one-out singles. Iowa got on the scoreboard on a Michael Seegers ground out before redshirt freshman Keaton Anthony hit a 404-foot blast over the scoreboard in left field to cut the deficit to 6-4.
The momentum was trending in Iowa’s favor when Izaya Fullard singled and Brendan Sher doubled to start the sixth, but Purdue reliever Khal Stephen followed with three straight backward Ks to end the Iowa threat.
Purdue added an insurance run in the seventh and broke the game open with a three-run eighth. The Boilermakers had two hits, two walks, and capitalized on a Hawkeye fielding error.
Iowa plated its final two runs in the eighth with two outs. After Sher singled and Ben Wilmes drew a walk, sophomore Cade Moss doubled down the left field line, trimming the deficit to 10-6.
Schultz (2-2) suffered the loss, allowing three runs on five hits over 2 2/3 innings. Purdue’s Wyatt Wendell earned the win, allowing four runs on seven hits over five innings.
QUOTING COACH HELLER
“I was glad to see us fight back, we just needed to keep it closer. It was one of those days where we were going to have to score some runs, they were swinging it well. The sixth inning killed us. We had second and third nobody out, three strikeouts in a row. That was huge as far as us coming back and you can’t walk batters late in the game like we did to allow the insurance they added.
“It didn’t start out well, we didn’t pitch well. We didn’t pitch well enough to win. Wendell did a nice job in his start. Their hitters, when we made a mistake, made us pay today.”
The Hawkeyes finished with 11 hits in the game with multi-hit contests from Peyton Williams, Anthony, Sher and Huckstorf.
Iowa had a season-high 1,734 fans in attendance.
Anthony’s home run was his ninth of the season, one off the team lead.
The rubber game of the series will begin at 1:05 p.m. (CT) on Sunday.