Rutgers baseball (42-14) the number two seed in the Big Ten Tournament, dominated Purdue 10-3 in the program’s first ever Big Ten Tournament game to advance to the second round Friday where it will face off with Penn State.
After Ryan Lasko opened the ball game with a solo homer in the bottom of the first to give Rutgers an early 1-0 lead, Purdue responded with three runs in the top half of the second inning, highlighted by a two-run jack from Cam Thompson.
Rutgers would tie the game in the bottom half of the second on a two-run double by Mike Nyisztor.
Later Rutgers exploded for five runs in the bottom of the seventh inning using small ball to their advantage. Evan Sleight drew a bases loaded walk with one out to give Rutgers a 4-3 lead. Tony Santa Maria followed that up with an infield single to chase home Nick Cimilo with a run to make it 5-3.
After a Richie Schiekofer grounder drove in a run, Josh Kuroda-Gauer’s two-run single blew the game open for Rutgers as the Scarlet Knights took an 8-3 lead.
Evan Sleight adds to the lead!!— Rutgers Baseball (@RutgersBaseball) May 26, 2022
A 2-run double into the corner gives us a 10-3 over Purdue!! pic.twitter.com/IPK0Kv4Sgw
“Purdue threw probably 150 sliders today. We chased some early in the game. The second and third time through the lineup, the guys did a better job,” Manager Steve Owens was quoted as saying on scarletknights.com. “We took some walks and then we got some hits in key spots. You can’t swing at balls and score runs. I think guys were amped up a little bit and then they did a pretty good job of settling into the game.”
Jared Kollar got the start, allowing three runs on six hits over 2.1 innings of work. Sam Portnoy was brilliant in 2.2 innings of relief, scattering three hits and shutting out the Boilermakers. Garret French and Dale Stanavich combined to keep the Boilermakers at bay with Stanavich getting the victory.
Rutgers takes on Penn State Friday afternoon at 2 p.m.