4/23/19 Baseball vs Chicago State, Skyler Hunter

Junior Skyler Hunter eyes down a ball at the plate in a game against Chicago State at Alexander Field.

After defeating Chicago State 10-1 on Tuesday night, Purdue continued its home stand against Purdue Fort Wayne. The Boilers defeated PFW 11-2, stretching the All-time series matchup to 14-4 in favor of Purdue.

Senior pitcher Patrick J. Smith got things started for the Boilers (15-25, 6-8 Big Ten) due to his skilled work on the mound. He started the game with three straight strikeouts to retire the Mastodons (5-33, 0-18 Summit League) quickly. The Boilers then pushed ahead in the bottom of the inning, turning two walks into two runs.

PFW never found an answer for Smith. In the four innings he pitched, he only gave up one hit while throwing six strikeouts. Freshman pitcher James Kulak came in to offer Smith some relief at the start of the fifth inning. At that moment, the Mastodons began to show some life in the game.

Fort Wayne reeled off four hits and two runs in the fifth inning. They began the inning with two straight hits, which seemed to swing all the momentum to their side, but the Boilers responded with a double play in the field. The Mastodons continued to battle at the plate, getting two more hits to put some runs on the board.

Purdue’s most consistent batter, junior Skyler Hunter, who is currently on a 25-game streak of reaching a base, started the bottom of the fifth with a triple that rallied the Boilermakers and gave back the team some momentum.

“I was just going up there trying to make solid contact and put the ball in play,” Hunter said. ”Triples bring a lot of energy to the team and carried over to a couple guys.”

Purdue ran through its line up without getting a single out and seemingly put the game out of reach, swiftly stretching their 4-2 lead to 10-2.

Kulak found his way after Purdue’s run and carried the success into defense, striking out two PFW batters.

The Boilers were unable to put any runs up at the bottom the sixth as they went three up, three down. However, freshman pitcher Kyle Wade, who came into relieve Kulak, was able to induce the same result as the Mastodons, retiring the first three batters he faced.

Purdue continued its dominance for the remainder of the game and never let Fort Wayne get back into it. Freshman Ryan Howe started the bottom of the eighth with a solo home run on a shot to left field, putting a cherry on top of the Boilermaker win.

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