DETROIT, Mich. -- The Purdue University Northwest baseball picked up a huge series clinching victory on Sunday as the Pride defeated the No. 19 team in the country Wayne State, 7-4, at Harwell Field.
PNW started the scoring right away in the top of the first inning with two runs. Brett Veltema (Jenison, Mich./Jenison) hit a sacrifice fly to left field scoring Nick Albanese (Algonquin, Ill./Marian Central Catholic) then Kevin McCune (Munster, Ind./Andrean) ripped a double down the left field line to make it 2-0 which scored Hunter Thorn (Portage, Ind./Portage) from second base.
Couple innings later, McCune made it 3-0 after getting hit by the pitch which scored Albanese. Wayne State responded in the bottom half of the third frame with a run of their own to make it 3-1 PNW.
McCune came up big again for the Pride in the fifth inning. as he roped a single to right field scoring Ray Hilbrich (Schererville, Ind./Lake Central) from second and Albanese from third which made it 5-1.
After the Warriors changed pitchers for the top of the sixth inning, PNW was able to add two more runs in the frame. Hilbrich had an RBI single that scored Michael Woods (Elk Grove, Ill./Elk Grove) to make it 6-1 then the Pride extended it to 7-1 after Veltema also recorded an RBI single scoring Thorn from second.
Wayne State would not go away as the Warriors added one back in the bottom half of the inning to make it 7-2. The bottom of the ninth is when things got interesting.
PNW starting pitcher Alex Batistatos (Hobart, Ind./Hobart) was trying to record the complete game victory but Wayne State was looking for a late rally. The Warriors made it 7-3 with two outs in the ninth but then singled, drew a walk and doubled in another run to make it 7-4.
That was the end of the day for Batistatos. Joe Davi (New Lenox, Ill./Lincoln-Way Central) came in for the one-out save with the tying run at the plate and the senior did just that, forcing a fly out to left for his first save of the season.
Batistatos recorded the win on the mound as the junior went 8.2 innings, allowing four runs (all earned), issuing two walks and striking out eight.
PNW returns to the field Thursday, April 11 as the Pride travel to Lewis for a one-nine inning game starting at 3 p.m. CT.