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Boilermaker bats get the best of the Golden Eagle bullpen in 13-3 win

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- The Purdue Boilermakers struck early with a five-run first inning Friday afternoon en route to a dominant 13-3 win over the Golden Eagles.

It took three pitches for the Boilermakers to put their first run on the board in the top of the first, starting when Tyler Spillner cranked Golden Eagle starter Tristan Archer's first pitch of the evening down the left field line for a triple to lead off. Archer's second pitch yielded a second base runner on a fielding error, and his third a single by Tyler Perkins to score Spillner and give Purdue a quick 1-0 lead.

Cleanup hitter and catcher Kevin Plawecki singled up the middle to load the bases before Archer notched a strikeout on the five-hitter, Barrett Serrato. He followed with a sacrifice fly to Ryan Bridges to get the second out, but put another run on the board. The six-hole hitter, David Miller, then stepped up to bat and clocked a two-out, three-shot homer to put the Boilermakers up 5-0 headed into the bottom of the inning.

With all of the momentum favoring Purdue in the first, Tech was only able to respond with two runs in the bottom of the frame. Chad Oberacker, batting in the three-hole, ripped a two-out single for Zach Stephens to follow with his fifth home run of the season, setting the score at 5-2. Ben Burgess earned a walk, but was stranded on Casanova Donaldson's strikeout to end the inning.

The Boilermaker bats remained steady throughout the rest of the game, as they notched two more runs in both the top of the third and fourth innings, both times on two-run homers by Serrato in the third and Bridges in the fourth.

Tech however, was held scoreless until heading into the bottom of the fifth with the score set at 9-2 in favor of Purdue. Zephan Guyear notched a single in the bottom of the fifth, advanced to third on a fielding error, and crossed home on a balk by Purdue starter Robert Ramer to make the score 9-3.

But that would be the final run for Tech on the day, while Purdue would go on to stretch their lead to their eventual 13-3 win in the top of the seventh. After two innings of holding the Boilermakers scoreless as a reliever, freshman Justin Alexander walked Plawecki and Serrato and surrendered a single to Bridges to load the bases. He plunked seven-spot hitter Miller to bring in a run, setting the score at 10-3 with one out.

Veteran reliever Wade Bilbrey came in to close the game for Tech, finishing out the seventh and pitching through the final two innings. He shouldered Purdue's Andrew Dixon with a full count before inducing an RBI sacrifice fly-out to right field, which scored Serrato and left Miller at first, putting runners on the corners.

Miller, however, stole second to put two Boilermakers in scoring position for Stephen Talbott, who dropped a two-RBI single into right field for two more runs on the inning and a score of 13-3.

The Boilermakers notched 13 hits on the game, led by Spillner (2-for-4), Talbott (2-for-4) and Bridges (2-for-3). Miller led with runs batted in, however, as his solo hit of the game scored four for the team's 13 runs.

Archer took the loss for Tech, having given up the lead in his first inning of work and allowing nine runs on nine hits on the day, striking out three and dropping to a 3-2 record. Ramer earned his first win of the season for the Boilermakers, pitching through five innings and striking out five. With the win, Purdue improved to 12-5 while the Golden Eagles fell to 7-11.

Guyear and Stephens both displayed 3-for-5 performances at the plate, with Stephens batting in two of Tech's three runs on the game.

Both teams will reconvene on Saturday for game two of the three-game series, which will start at 2 p.m.