Purdue Baseball: Late Rally Lifts Boilers to Opening Day Victory

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SANFORD, Fla. — Kyle LaPlante's two-out, three-run double in the eighth inning rallied Purdue to a 9-6 victory against Hofstra in the season opener on Friday in Sanford, Fla.

The Boilermakers (1-0) trailed for much of the game, overcoming deficits of 3-1 and 6-4. They scored five times in the bottom of the eighth inning, taking advantage of four walks in the frame en route to winning their first game under head coach Greg Goff.

LaPlante led the way for the Boilermakers with his three hits, and Skyler Hunter also had  three RBIs, delivering a go-ahead, two-run double in the fourth inning and drawing the game-tying, bases-loaded walk in front of LaPlante's double in the eighth. LaPlante's big hit in the eighth inning was the difference.

"I knew he was going to come with a fastball in, and I was just there on that middle in corner and I put a good swing on it, said LaPlante, a junior from Lancaster, N.Y. who was playing his first game for the Boilermakers.  "We got deep in counts tonight, and I think that helped a lot. We got to see a lot of pitches.''

Purdue showed a lot of clutch hitting throughout the season opener, scoring seven of their nine runs with two outs.

Purdue used four pitchers throughout the game, and no one went more than 2 2/3 of an inning. They combined for 12 strikeouts, matching the 2017 team for the second-most in a season opener this century.

Trent Johnson started, and struggled a bit. He gave up five hits and three walks and didn't make it out of the third inning. Dalton Parker got the win in relief. He pitched 2 2/3 innings and allowed only one hit. 

Bo Hofstra, one of the best closers in the country, pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning after that big rally by Purdue to pick up his first save of the season, and ninth of his career. He struck out the first two Hofstra hitters, and then Tyler Powers made a nice sliding catch in foul territory up the first base line to end the game.

The series continues on Saturday with a doubleheader. 

Related Purdue baseball items

  • BOX SCORE: Purdue 9, Hofstra 6. CLICK HERE 
  • SEASON PREVIEW: A look at the 2020 Boilermakers CLICK HERE
  • 2020 SCHEDULE: Here's the complete schedule for the season. CLICK HERE
  • 2020 ROSTER: Here are the Boilermakers' players. CLICK HERE
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