FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) – Purdue Fort Wayne took a pair from Milwaukee on Friday (May 13) in league play. The Mastodons won all five games from the Panthers this season. The 'Dons did the little things in game one for a 2-1 win and then blew things open in game two for a 14-4 victory. The two wins were crucial as the 'Dons jockey for Horizon League Championship positioning.
GAME 1 | Purdue Fort Wayne 2, Milwaukee 1 (scheduled seven-inning game)
Freshman Rex Stills struck out five Milwaukee hitters over five innings of work to help lift the 'Dons to the win in game one over Milwaukee 2-1.
Stills got a key double play in the fifth inning with the game scoreless. Milwaukee had the first two runners on base and then put the runners in motion. A line out to left field resulted in a 7-4 double play to all but end the threat.
Stills was lifted in the sixth after Milwaukee put runners at the corners with two outs. Brian Skelton came in and earned a double play. Milwaukee tied the game on the play, but halted the possible big inning.
Jack Lang opened the bottom of the sixth with a four-pitch walked. He was at third when Garett Lake stepped to the plate with two outs and lined a pitch to center to put the 'Dons up 2-1. Skelton threw 1-2-3 seventh to close out the game. Skelton received the win and is now 4-0.
- Skelton lowered his Horizon League ERA to 2.08 over 21.2 innings this year.
- The 'Dons limited Milwaukee to just 1-for-7 (.143) with runners in scoring position.
- Lake led the Mastodons at the plate, going 2-for-3 with an RBI.
- Alex Evenson walked, had a hit and a run scored for the 'Dons.
- Milwaukee was led offensively by Ty Olejnik, who went 3-for-4 with two doubles.
- Riley Frey took the loss, going all six innings for the Panthers. He is 4-5.
GAME 2 | Purdue Fort Wayne 14, Milwaukee 4
The 'Dons took a 4-1 lead in the first inning and never surrendered the advantage on the way to the double-digit win.
While the offense put up a season-high 14 runs, it was senior Justin Miller on the mound making it look just as easy. The southpaw went six shutout innings, giving up three hits, one walk and striking out six.
In the batter's box, the Mastodons were paced by Jarrett Bickel, who went 2-for-5 on the day with a home run and three RBIs. Ben Higgins was 2-for-4 with a walk and two RBIs. Cade Nelis put together two hits in three trips to the plate while adding a walk and knocking in a run.
Trailing 1-0, the Mastodons first put four runs on the board in the first inning. The frame included a two-run single off the bat of Higgins.
The Panthers then gained ground, narrowing the lead to 4-3 until the Mastodons expanded their advantage in the third with three runs. Dylan Stewart had an RBI and then a pair came home on a Milwaukee error.
It was a 7-4 game until the eighth when the 'Dons scored seven times, highlighted by Bickel's three-run home run. It was his sixth home run of the year.
- It is the first time the 'Dons have defeated the same opponent in a season five times since going 6-0 against Western Illinois in 2016.
- Justin Miller now has 178 career strikeouts. He is two short of taking over second all-time in program history.
- Four Mastodons had multiple hits in the contest.
- The Mastodons out-hit the Panthers 11-10.
- Mitchell Spencer, Justin Miller and Kevin Fee combined for 10 strikeouts.
- The Mastodons drew six walks at the plate.
- The Panthers' Ty Olejnik was 2-for-3 with a home run and two RBIs.
- The 'Dons improve to 15-32 (12-14 Horizon). Milwaukee falls to 18-27 (7-15 Horizon).
- The 'Dons are at Wright State on Saturday (May 14) for a pair of games.