Down 4-1 in the seventh inning, the Purple Aces baseball team rallied to get within one, but Purdue was able to hang on for a 4-3 win on Friday evening at Braun Stadium.
Kevin Kaczmarski went 3-5 while scoring a pair of runs for UE (6-10) while Jake Mahon notched a pair of hits and a RBI. Starting pitcher Kyle Freeland battled through seven innings, giving up four runs, with just one being earned. He struck out four while giving up just five hits. Tyler Miller finished off the final two innings.
Leading Purdue (6-10) was Jake Hansen, who went 2-for-4 while three other batters knocked in a run.
Kyle Freeland set the Boilermakers down in order to open the game as UE threatened in the bottom half of the opening frame. Jake Mahon roped a double to left before moving to third on a wild pitch with one out but the threat was ended with a strikeout and groundout.
The scoreless action came to an end in the fourth inning as Purdue plated a pair of runs to take the lead. With one out, Josh Estill singled up the middle before stealing second. Two batters later, Stephen Talbott laced a double to left to score Estill. Talbott crossed the plate following a UE error on his steal of third base.
Evansville chopped the lead in half in the bottom of the fifth with some 2-out magic. Kevin Kaczmarski singled before Mahon got hit by a pitch. That sequence brought Jason Hockemeyer up as he singled up the middle to put the Aces on the board.
In the top of the sixth, Purdue put two more runs on the board. Conner Hundall doubled before advancing to third when Stepehn Talbott reached on an error. Cody Strong knocked Hundall in on his fielder's choice while Talbott scored on a Jack Amaro base knock to center.
With one out in the bottom of the seventh, the Aces made their run. Mahon notched his second hit of the game, a deep triple to center to plate Kaczmarski, who reached on a single. Mahon would later score on a wild pitch. Evansville put two more batters on base before a fly out to center ended the inning.
Defense was the name of the game in the eighth as the Aces used their defense to hold Purdue scoreless. Mahon made two remarkable plays at second while John Day made the scoops at first to sit the Boilermakers down in order.
The score would remain at 4-3 entering the bottom of the ninth as UE made its final rally. Kaczmarski notched his third hit of the day, but with one out, was caught stealing at second. Evansville still did not give up as the next two batters would walk, but the rally was not meant to be as Day flew out to end the contest.
UE finished the night with three runs on seven hits while Purdue recorded four runs on six hits. Brad Schreiber earned the win for Purdue, tossing six innings of 4-hit, 1-run ball. Three other pitchers came in as Patrick Kenney earned the save, pitching a scoreless 2 1/3.
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