It was a rough night for the Boilermaker baseball team in first game of the NCAA Tournament Chapel Hill Regional tournament on Friday night.
No. 2 seed Purdue (37-20) notched just four hits in a 9-1 loss that saw No. 3 seed Houston’s (37-23) pitcher, Aaron Fletcher, throw a complete game with intermittent rain falling.
Weather.com showed a thunderstorm warning affecting the area until 8:45 p.m., but the brunt of the storm moved around the site of the 7 p.m., Friday game.
The lone run scored by Purdue was a product of poor execution by the Cougars and a bit of grit from the Boilers in the bottom of the third inning.
Purdue's right fielder Alec Olund reached first thanks to an error by Fletcher. During a bunt attempt, third baseman Evan Warden was hit by a pitch, moving Olund to second. Shortstop Harry Shipley had an opportunity for an RBI with two on and no outs.
Shipley took advantage, hitting a high-bouncing chopper up the middle. Olund scored, despite an acrobatic stop from Houston second baseman Connor Hollis. The single put Purdue ahead, 1-0.
But that was the only time the Boilers scored.
Hear what Coach Waz & Harry Shipley had to say about #Purdue's 9-1 loss to Houston & a strong pitching performance by UH starter Aaron Fletcher at Friday's postgame press conference. #BoilerUp pic.twitter.com/YoxI9cPHX2— Purdue Baseball (@PurdueBaseball) June 2, 2018
Houston went 7-for-15 with runners in scoring position on its way to plating nine runs. Purdue managed to go just 1-for-6 in the category.
The middle of Houston’s lineup led the way for the Cougars. Third baseman Jared Triolo, first baseman Lael Lockhart and DH Joe Davis — the team's 3, 4 and 5 hitters — combined for eight of the team’s 15 hits.
No Boilermaker logged more than one hit.
Purdue’s defense played cleanly when necessary. The Boilermakers made no errors compared to Houston’s two.
Heading into the ninth inning, Purdue was down 5-1, but Houston added four more runs with the help of a 3-run homer from Lockhart. The Houston starter's pitching and an 8-run deficit were too much for Purdue.
The Boilermakers went three and out in the bottom of the ninth.
Fletcher allowed just one run on four hits, one wall and two strikeouts and 109 pitches in his nine innings of work.
Purdue's starting pitcher Tanner Andrews went five innings, giving up four earned runs on seven hits and two bases on balls while securing three strikeouts.
Purdue will play North Carolina AT&T at 1 p.m. Saturday. The game can be streamed on ESPN3.
📷 Thanks to photographer Clinton @cdCole55 for shooting our game Friday vs. Houston. He's covering the White Sox farm system this summer & made the trip from Winston-Salem. Check out his gallery. #BoilerUp https://t.co/R81RTSUySE— Purdue Baseball (@PurdueBaseball) June 2, 2018
Information about NC A&T's Friday game:
North Carolina 11, North Carolina A&T 0: Michael Busch had a two-run double in the third inning and a three-run homer in a five-run fourth to drive in five runs for host North Carolina. The Tar Heels got a strong outing from starter Cooper Criswell, who allowed three hits with six strikeouts in six shutout innings.
– Tribune Media Service contributed to this report.