The Bulldogs and Boiler Makers squared off in the second game of the Diamond Classic Friday night under the lights of Dudy Noble Field. The game started after a twenty-five minute rain delay, and finally after another delay, the Bulldogs defeated Purdue 3-2.
“I think our meteorology skills were tested to the fullest tonight,” said MSU coach John Cohen. He added that, “I think we faced a pretty solid Purdue club and they played well against us. I know we didn’t a lot of runs, but we are having good at-bats.”
MSU starting pitcher Jacob Lindgren was strong out of the gates. Lindgren finished with 5 1/3 innings pitched, one earned run, three hits, no walks, and six strikeouts. Lindgren retired eleven straight Purdue hitters from the third inning to the fifth inning.
Purdue got on the board first in the top of the sixth with a Sean McHough fielder’s choice that scored Kyle Johnson off of MSU freshman Myles Gentry after he replaced Lindgren (run charged to Lindgren).
It didn't take long for the Bulldogs to tie it up however. Leading off the bottom of the sixth, MSU right fielder Hunter Renfroe sent a blast over the left center field wall to tie it 1-1. It was Renfroe’s fifth career homerun and his third at Dudy Noble Field.
With runners on first and second with two down in the bottom of the seventh, the rain struck again causing a ninety-one minute rain delay. Rain delay activities included both teams managers sliding across the tarp, a dance-off, and MSU human limbo.
Purdue tied the game back up in the top of the eight with a two out RBI double down the right field line off of Luis Pollorena. Jonathan Holder replaced Pollorena and ended the inning with a strikeout.
Alex Detz opened up the Bulldog eight with a walk and was replaced by Derrick Armstrong at first base. Armstrong stole second base and made it to third on a throwing error by the Purdue catcher. Freshman Jacob Robson’s sacrifice fly scored Armstrong and the Bulldogs took the lead at 3-2.
“We did the fake bunt hit-and-run with Derrick Armstrong and the catcher over-threw the ball and ended up on third,” said Robson. He added, “I was just thinking score him anyway you can. So I just kept battling, finally got a pitch, and drove it.”
All-American closer Jonathan Holder came back out for the ninth and set down the Boiler Makers in order to record his first win of the season. With two more strikeouts in the ninth, Holder has now struck out 11 of the 14 batters he has faced this season.
“I got some lucky breaks there. Girodo came in and pounded the bottom of the zone, Luis pounded the bottom of the zone, and it really helps the umpire to see pitches low in the zone. So when I come in, the zone is usually open for me,” said Holder.
The Bulldogs will be in action twice tomorrow, facing Samford at 3:00pm and Purdue again at 6:00pm.