Ohio State scored 15 unanswered runs in its final four innings, rallying to defeat Purdue baseball 16-6 Sunday in the rubber game of the weekend series.
The Boilermaker bullpen had an uncharacteristic bad day. Purdue pitchers issued nine walks, matching the second most allowed this season, and their teammates committed three errors behind them.
Ohio State (33-17, 13-8) overcame the Boilermakers' 6-1 lead entering the bottom of the fifth. The Buckeyes took the lead on Conner Pohl's two-out, two-run single in the sixth, capping a four-run frame. They blew it open with a seven-spot in the bottom of the eighth, hitting a pair of home runs in the inning.
Bo Hofstra, Trevor Cheaney (1-1) and Ross Learnard have all been among Purdue's most effective relievers this season. But OSU scored 12 times against them on six walks and eight hits over 2 1/3 innings. Learnard's consecutive scoreless innings streak was snapped at 24 2/3. He was charged with six runs Sunday, one more than he had allowed over his first 49 career appearances as a Boilermaker.
Extra-base hits helped Purdue (30-18, 14-6) build its 6-1 lead. Ben Nisle delivered a three-run double in the first inning as part of another three-hit effort. The freshman finished the series 7-for-12 with four RBI and no strikeouts. He has recorded 11 RBI in the last six games.
Tyler Powers, Harry Shipley and Nick Dalesandro delivered three consecutive extra-base hits in the top of the fourth as the Boilermakers posted another three-run frame. Powers doubled over the center fielder's head, Shipley tripled into the right field corner and Dalesandro split the gap in right center for a double. Shipley finished the week with 12 RBI.
Skyler Hunter also doubled Sunday while reaching base safely four times. He walked twice and was hit by a pitch. He was on safely in eight of his 13 plate appearances for the series and is riding a season-long 16-game reached base safely streak. Nisle has been on base in 10 straight games.
But while the Purdue bullpen imploded, Austin Woodby (4-0) and Seth Kinker teamed up for 5 2/3 innings of scoreless four-hit relief for Ohio State. Kinker recorded his second three-inning save of the series.
The Boilermakers turned a pair of double plays and made three other nice defensive plays with the bases loaded, which essentially kept OSU from potentially scoring 20.
Shipley made a diving catch at shortstop on a line drive off the bat of Tyler Cowles for the final out of the third inning. In the bottom of the sixth, Hunter made a sliding catch in center field that turned a potential RBI single into a sacrifice fly. First baseman Jacson McGowan caught a pop up down the right field line with his back to home plate for the second out of the same frame.
Ohio State's leading hitter Noah McGowan batted with the bases loaded three times. He walked to force in runs in the third and seventh innings. He later connected for two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth. Nine-hole hitter Noah West was 3-for-3 with a double, grand slam and five RBI.
The ball was not put in play in the bottom of the seventh and the Buckeyes still scored twice thanks to a hit batter, four consecutive walks and two wild pitches.
Ohio State improved to 5-1 in rubber games this season. The home team won a Purdue-OSU series for the first time since the Buckeyes won three of four in Columbus in 2007.
The Boilermakers close out the regular season with four games at home this coming week. They've won nine consecutive games at Alexander Field. Up first is the midweek finale vs. first-time opponent Oral Roberts. First pitch Tuesday is slated for 6 p.m. ET.