Northwestern Eliminates Purdue, Advances to Face Michigan
May 26, 2006
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - The sun finally made an appearance at Ray Fischer Stadium in Ann Arbor during the sixth game of the weekend, which featured No. 2 Northwestern and No. 6 Purdue. Both teams were facing elimination dealing with a bit of adversity in the form of a delayed start, but it was the Wildcats who prevailed to stay alive, beating the Boilermakers by a score of 8-4. Northwestern will now play back-to-back games, and will face Michigan in game seven.
Northwestern got on the board first in the top of the second. Caleb Fields led off for the Wildcats with a single, and was driven home by a Dan Brauer double with no outs to put Northwestern on top by a run.
Purdue answered in the bottom of the third, when Alex Jaffe hit a one-out single to right, and was followed by Ingaldson, who hit a single of his own. Hilligoss then hit a third-consecutive single to bring home Jaffe to even the score.
In the top of the fourth, Antonio Mule smacked a long fly ball over the wall in center field that is 20 feet high and 400 feet from home plate. The solo shot was Mule's 10th home run of the year, and it gave his team a 2-1 advantage. Still with no outs in the inning, Caleb Fields reached first base on an error, and when Brauer stepped up to hit a long double off the fence, Fields rounded the bases and made it all the way home to put the `Cats up 3-1. An infield grounder then moved Brauer to third, and he scored on a Max Mann RBI single.
Behind an Ingaldson double and a Hilligoss single, Purdue cut the Northwestern lead to two in the bottom of the fifth. With only one out, Ryne White then hit a double to the gap in left-center field to score Hilligoss and end the inning with the Boilermakers down by just one.
Northwestern gave themselves a little breathing room in the eighth. Leading off, MacMahon reached first on an error by Osborn, which would prove to be costly. Mule then hit a hard grounder down the first base line that put him on first and advanced McMahon to third. Still no outs in the inning, and runners on the corners for Fields who hit the first pitch he faced through the left side for a single that scored MacMahon from third and advanced the runners. A walk and an Anthony Wycklendt single sent two runners home and made the score 7-3 with one inning left.
The Boilermakers made up some ground in their half of the eighth, but it wouldn't be enough. With two outs, Jordan Comadena tried to get his team's offense going with a double. A Neal Gorka double would allow Comedena to score, but the Northwestern pitching would get them out of the inning holding on to the lead. The Wildcats eighth run came in the ninth when a Jake Owens single and stolen base set up an RBI by McMahon.