WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – A six run sixth inning propelled Purdue to a 10-8 series-tying victory over the University of Iowa baseball team on Saturday afternoon at Alexander Field.
The Hawkeyes (8-9) hit two home runs in the top of the sixth inning – a three-run shot from Ben Norman and a solo shot from Peyton Williams – to take a 5-3 lead, but it was short-lived as the Boilermakers sent 11 batters to the plate in the bottom half to take control.
After Zac Fascia singled to leadoff the inning, Iowa went to Jack Guzek in relief and the Boilermakers proceeded to load the bases on a fielding error and a walk. Cam Thompson followed with a two-run double to tie the game and when it was all said and done, four more Boilermakers crossed the plate.
Iowa began chipping away, loading the bases with two outs in the seventh and getting one run back on a Norman bases-loaded walk. The Hawkeyes made the second 9-7 when Williams hit a solo blast to left center field for his second home run of the game.
The Hawkeyes loaded the bases in the eighth with nobody out, but Purdue reliever Eric Hildebrand got out of it unscathed. He struck out Trenton Wallace for the first out before getting Dylan Nedved to ground into an inning-ending 3-2-3 double play.
After Purdue pushed its lead to 10-7 in the eighth, Iowa had one last push. Norman drew a one-out walk and Matthew Sosa followed, reaching on a hit-by-pitch. Williams then knocked in his third run of the day with an RBI single before Avery Cook closed out the save.
Iowa starter Drew Irvine allowed four runs on six hits over five innings in the no-decision. Guzek (0-1) suffered the loss – in his second outing of the season – after allowing three runs on one hit in the sixth without getting an out.
The Hawkeyes finished with 10 hits in the game with Williams and Nedved collecting multi-hit contests. Williams had a career day, going 4-for-5 with two home runs, three runs scored and three RBIs, while Nedved was 2-for-4. Norman tied a career-high with four RBIs.
QUOTING HEAD COACH RICK HELLER
“Drew gave us a good start and gave us a chance, but we couldn’t provide a shutdown inning when we did score.
“When the relievers came in, the bats started to turn around and we were able to put some runs on the board. We scored four in the sixth and boom, we give them a six spot. Unfortunately, we were missing some of our bullpen guys today that we normally go to.
“They were able to take advantage of that in that inning. We had opportunities in the last four innings to score way more runs than we did, but we had bad at-bats with less than two outs and the bases loaded a couple times. Not only did we not get the hit, but we didn’t get the run in at all.
“We also didn’t play good defense today and a couple of miscues cost us a couple of runs. On the bright side, Peyton had a big day and Ben had a big home run and four RBIs. We had some guys that struggled offensively.”
– Five of Iowa’s 10 hits went for extra bases, including a triple from Nedved.
– Norman connected on his sixth home run of the season, extending his team lead.
– Williams is the first Hawkeye since Tanner Wetrich in 2019 to homer twice in a game. Williams homered in consecutive at-bats.
The Hawkeyes close out the weekend series Sunday, facing Purdue in the rubber game at noon (CT) at Alexander Field.