4/16/19 Butler, Trent Johnson

Sophomore Trent Johnson pitches during an April 16 game against Butler.

Coming into the weekend against Rutgers, the Boilers were looking to turn things around after having dropped seven of their previous nine games.

That losing streak persisted as Purdue (13-25, 6-8 Big Ten) took just one of a three-game series against Rutgers (15-21, 7-5).

Friday was an all out pitching duel, as sophomore pitcher Andrew Bohm worked 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball in his longest outing as a Boilermaker. Rutgers topped Purdue 2-0 in the series opener.

Despite getting a runner on base in seven innings, Purdue left nine men stranded on base and were weak on offense, striking out 12 times against Rutgers’ Harry Rutkowski. The Scarlet Knights’ two runs came from RBI ground outs.

On Saturday, Purdue ended Rutgers 5-game Big Ten winning streak with a 6-2 victory behind sophomore pitcher Trent Johnson’s six-inning shutout performance.

In his longest outing on the mound as a Boiler, Johnson only threw 83 pitches in six innings during his first start of the season. Johnson struck out eight batters himself, while junior Dalton Parker struck out one in 1/3 inning. Parker returned to the mound for the first time since starting the March 1 series opener at Oral Roberts.

Sophomore pitcher Bo Hofstra came in to get his fifth save of the season, striking out four batters in the process.

Johnson routinely plays well against the Scarlet Knights. In two career starts against the team, he has thrown eleven-straight shutout innings.

Purdue’s first two runs came in the seventh inning when the Rutgers third baseman threw away a sacrifice bunt, allowing junior outfielder Johnny Sage and sophomore infielder Tyler Powers to score.

The Boilers piled on four more runs in the ninth, led by junior catcher Zac Fascia’s two-run single. Junior catcher Bryce Bonner and junior first baseman Cole McKenzie each had a bases-loaded walk in the win.

Things didn’t start off well for the Boilers on Sunday as they gave up three runs in the first inning from freshman pitcher James Kulak, one on a bases-loaded hit by pitch and two RBIs. In the second inning, Kulak was replaced by freshman pitcher Kyle Wade despite starting off the inning with a strikeout.

In the third inning, Purdue missed an opportunity to capitalize on a Rutgers error. Fascia reached first on a 2-out single, and freshman infielder Ryan Howe reached base after getting hit by the pitcher, but Sage was caught looking on a 2-2 curveball.

Purdue’s only run of the day came on a two-out RBI single from junior outfielder Milo Beam, who got Howe to home. In the series, the Boilers left 26 men stranded on base, with 11 coming in the series finale.

The team returns home on Tuesday night to face Chicago State at 6 p.m. at Alexander Field for a midweek matchup.

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