After falling behind 4-0 to start the game the Nebraska baseball team (25-14, 7-6 Big Ten) evened the score at 5-5 in the bottom of the fourth, but Cameron Perkins’ second home run of the game in the top of the fifth proved to be the eventual game winner in a 8-5 win for the Purdue Boilermakers on Friday night at Hawks Field.
The Huskers chased Purdue starter Joe Haase out of the game after just 4.1 innings, but were unable to do anything against reliever Blake Mascarello, who improved to 7-1 on the year with 4.2 innings of no-hit work on the mound.
Michael Pritchard extended his hitting streak to 16 games with a single in the third and added his second hit of the game with a single in the fourth. The sophomore from Creighton Prep also led the Huskers with two RBI’s on the night. Kash Kalkowski and Richard Stock each produced a two-out RBI in the third inning, while Rich Sanguinetti accounted for NU’s other RBI with what was then the game-tying RBI in the fourth.
The middle of Purdue’s lineup did the most damage, as the No. 3, 4 and 5 hitters each had two hits, including two home runs and three RBI’s from Perkins. Andrew Dixon also had two hits and two RBI’s for the Boilermakers.
Nebraska starter Jon Keller looked to be in good shape with two out and one on in the first, but Purdue kept the inning going with three straight two-out singles, a walk and another one-out single to plate four runs on five hits. The Boilermakers pushed the lead to 5-0 in the second with a two-out solo shot from Perkins.
After getting on the board with two runs in the bottom of the third, Josh Scheffert got the Huskers going with a one-out double in the fourth. The bases were soon loaded when Pat Kelly was HBP and Kale Kiser walked. Pritchard delivered a two-RBI single and Sanguinetti followed with an infield single to tie the game. Kalkowski then hit the ball hard down the third base line, but Perkins was able to get a glove on the ball and touched third before throwing to first for the inning-ending double play.
Purdue took the lead back in the fifth with a leadoff single by Eric Charles that was followed by Perkins’ second home run. The Boilermakers added another run in the seventh on a sacrifice fly.
After Chad Christensen reached on an error by David Miller at short in the fifth, Mascarello entered the game and retired the next 13 batters he faced to finish the game.
The Huskers will look to even the series tomorrow at 2:05 p.m. when sophomore Brandon Pierce takes his 4-1 record and 2.83 ERA to the mound. The Boilermakers will be out for the series win with senior Lance Breedlove, who is 6-2 on the year with a 2.23 ERA.