WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Offense continues to dominate the three-game set between Minnesota and Purdue, and the Gopher Baseball team followed up a 22-run performance on Friday with an 18-8 win over the Boilermakers on Saturday at Alexander Field.
Minnesota (23-10, 7-1 Big Ten) slugged four home runs as they scored in each of the first six innings in yet another high-scoring affair against the Boilermakers. Micah Coffey capped off a two-out rally in the top of the first by depositing his fourth homer of the year into the visiting bullpen in right field. After Luke Pettersen’s RBI single in the second, Terrin Vavra lifted a three-run home run of his own over the right field fence to expand the lead to 7-0.
Purdue (15-15, 4-4 Big Ten) took advantage of miscues by the Gophers in the second and fourth innings, chasing starter Patrick Fredrickson after 3.1 innings of work. The three earned runs in the fourth were the first allowed by the rookie right-hander in 13.2 innings, a span of three starts. Minnesota continued to pile on the runs though, putting up two-spots in each of the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings, highlighted by Cole McDevitt’s two-run homer into the Boilermaker bullpen in left field.
Nick Lackney (2-2) earned the victory in relief for the Gophers, striking out three in 3.1 innings, allowing four runs, but just one earned, after an error.. Rookie Ryan Duffy made his return to the mound after having his appendix removed earlier this season, tossing 1.1 scoreless innings and striking out one.
Jordan Kozicky put the game on ice for the Gophers with a third, three-run home run in the eighth. Coffey went 3-for-4 on the day, driving in five runs for the second-straight game. He’s the first Gopher to drive in 10 runs in two games since Derek McCallum had 12 against Milwaukee and South Dakota State on April 14-15, 2009.
"A lot of good players have come through this program, so it's fun to accomplish a feat like that,” said Coffey after the game. “I'm just trying to see the ball well. We've worked hard, and I've had guys on base in front of me. Up and down the line-up, we've been able to put together good at-bats. It's been a fun couple of days."
Jake Stevenson tossed a perfect ninth inning to close out the game for the Gophers. Starter Gareth Stroh (4-2) took the defeat for the Boilermakers, allowing nine earned on seven hits and three walks in 3.0 innings of work.
"I think in the back of our minds. That has irked us that at the end of last year, they took a Big Ten title away from us. We try to approach every weekend the same way, with the same intent, but that's been in the back of our minds. It's been fun to go get a couple of wins." – Micah Coffey on the team’s motivation after dropping 2-of-3 against Purdue to close out the 2017 season
Minnesota hit three home runs for the second time this season (April 7 vs. Penn State) and four home runs for the first time since March 17, 2015 in a 13-12 victory over Richmond.
The three-game series concludes Sunday at Alexander Field. First pitch between the Gophers and Boilermakers is set for 12 p.m. ET.
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