Purdue Downs Illinois, 10-5 to Stay Alive in Big Ten Tournament
May 25, 2006
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- After scoring one run in yesterday's 12-inning affair with Minnesota, Purdue broke out the bats early and often on Thursday afternoon in game three of the Big Ten Tournament. With the Boilermakers and their Illini opponents both facing elimination with a loss today, the teams came out of the cages swinging, but in the end Purdue would use 18 hits to score 10 runs to Illinois' 5.
Purdue's Spencer Ingaldson led off the game with a single to center field, and advanced to second when Mitch Hilligoss was walked. The runners both advanced when Ryne White laid down a sacrifice bunt and reached on an error. Illini pitcher Tanner Roark finally got his first out when clean-up hitter John Hunter lined out to first, but Jordan Comadena's single brought Ingaldson and Hilligoss home. With the Boilers up 2-0, Roark was able to get out of the inning without any more damage.
The Illini threatened to tie the ball game in their half of the first when Shawn Roof hit a one-out single to right, and then stole second to put himself in scoring position. But Purdue's right-hander, Jay Buente got out of the inning with no runs scored.
Purdue's Neal Gorka added a tally in the fourth when he scored on a long sacrifice fly by Eric Neilson. Gorka had reached base on a no-out double down the left field line, and advanced when Eric Osborn laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt.
Illinois cut the lead to one in the fourth when they finally got runs on the board. With one out and a runner on first, catcher Lars Davis knocked a single to right to advance Mike Rohde to third. The next batter, Ryan Hastings hit a single that knocked Rohde home, making the score 3-1. Still with only one out, Trevor Huisinga hit a sacrifice fly that brought home Davis and cut the Purdue lead to one.
Hilligoss lead off the top of the fifth with the first home run of the weekend, putting the Boilers' lead back up to two. They threatened more runs, but were unable to capitalize in the inning.
Illinois broke through in the bottom of the sixth. It started with a Rohde single through the right side and Davis followed that up with a single of his own. With runners on the corners, Hastings hit a hard grounder that Purdue was able to scoop up to get Davis out at second, but they could not turn the double play and Rohde crossed the plate. Huisinga then stepped up and knocked a double to left field, picking up an RBI as Hastings scored. Joe Bonadonna then got in on the action and hit an RBI single as Huisinga scored from second and put the Illini up 5-4.
The Boilermakers answered back quickly, however. In the top of the seventh against new Illinois pitcher Brian Long, Ingaldson and Hilligoss hit back-to-back singles. White then stepped up and hit a single of his own to score a run and advance Hilligoss to third. After a passed ball error, Hilligoss made it home and White was able to advance all the way to third. Up next was Jay Hunter who drove home White with a single through the left side. Hunter advanced to second on a Comadena sacrifice bunt, and scored on an Eric Osborn bunt that Long couldn't handle. In all, Purdue scored four total runs in the inning to regain the lead.
The Boilermakers added a run in the ninth when Alex Jaffe banged a single to left center field with two outs and two on, knocking in Neal Gorka for Purdue's final run. With a final of 10-5, Purdue advances in the consolation bracket, while Illinois was eliminated from tournament play.