Illinois State Tops Purdue, 5-2
March 24, 2010
NORMAL, Ill. - Illinois State starter Brad Sorkin held Purdue scoreless for six innings and both Ryan Court and Anthony Ruffolo drove in a pair of runs as the Redbirds defeated the Boilermakers, 5-2, at Lambert Field Wednesday afternoon.
Sorkin, a freshman from Buffalo Grove, Ill., allowed just one hit in the second start of his career and got all the offense he needed from Court and Ruffolo while pitching the Redbirds (9-9) to their fifth win in the last seven games. Sorkin (1-1) kept the Boilermakers (8-9) off balance all afternoon while landing breaking balls in the strike zone and induced ground balls on 10-of-13 balls put in play through four innings.
Ruffolo and Court teamed up to give the Redbirds a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning. Ruffolo led off the inning with a single to right, but reached third after the ball ricocheted off Barret Arthur and into the corner. Court grounded out to short in the next at-bat but pushed across Ruffolo in the process. Court drove in his second run of the game with a two-out single in the fourth to push across Chad Hinshaw and give the Redbirds a 2-0 advantage.
Court also shined defensively, helping Sorkin wriggle out of a dangerous situation in the bottom of the second with a heady play. Purdue had runners on the corners with just one out, but Court fielded a chopper to third and cut down the potential tying run with a throw to the plate to start a rundown. Matt Mirabal then threw out Arthur on an attempted theft of third to end the inning.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Sorkin ran into a little trouble after walking the leadoff hitter, Cameron Perkins, and hitting Arthur to put two men on with no outs. Jon Moore bunted the two runners into scoring position, but Sorkin struck out Barrett Serrato and induced another inning-ending ground ball to Court at third.
Ruffolo gave the Redbirds a little breathing room with a two-out, two-RBI single in the top of the eighth inning - runs Illinois State would need after Purdue answered with its only two runs in the bottom half of the eighth. Josh Colon drove in Tyler McNeely for the Redbirds' fifth run in the ninth.
Ryan Copeland came out of the bullpen and pitched a perfect seventh inning before the Boilermakers tagged JD Learnard for the two runs in the eighth. Kenny Long stopped the Purdue rally in the eighth and pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his first career save.
Illinois State ventures back across the state line into Indiana this weekend, when the Redbirds begin Missouri Valley Conference play with a three-game series at Indiana State (March 26-28).
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