Flessner Fans 16 to Break Record; PNW Baseball Splits with Wayne State
HAMMOND, Ind. – Junior Kyle Flessner (Thomasboro, Ill./Kankakee CC/Rantoul Township) struck out a program-record 16 batters over seven innings of work toward a one-hit shutout to lead the Purdue Northwest baseball team to a 5-0 victory over Wayne State University (Mich.) in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) action Saturday afternoon at Albert’s Diamond Jewelers Field in Dowling Park in Hammond, Ind. Unfortunately for the Pride, the momentum did not carry over to game two as the Warriors came away with a 5-0 win.
Flessner was on fire early in game one striking out 11 of the first 12 batters he faced. After five scoreless innings to start the game, PNW got the bats going in the bottom of the sixth inning with senior Jacob Lane (Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence Central) hitting a two-out RBI single to left field to score senior Mike Mikulich (Hebron, Ind./Hebron) from third base.
However, the Pride were not done as sophomore Hunter Thorn (Portage, Ind./Portage) drove in another run with a RBI single to right field as well as a RBI double to right field by sophomore Alex Batistatos (Hobart, Ind./Hobart) and a RBI single by sophomore Tyler Kenjic (Hobart, Ind./Hobart). Flessner struck out the side in the seventh inning to complete his one-hit shutout allowing just a walk to pick up his first win of the season (1-2).
Game two was a different story as Wayne State jumped out to an early 2-0 lead behind three hits in the top of the first inning. The Warriors added three more runs in the top of the fourth with a pair of a RBI singles and another run off a wild pitch. PNW scattered five hits in the game with no player recording multiple hits. The Pride did not place a runner in scoring position until the bottom of the seventh inning with Lane and Batistatos advancing to third and second base, respectively, on a wild pitch.
Freshman Chad Patrick (Hebron, Ind./Hebron) suffered the loss (3-2) on the mound as the starter in game two for PNW. He pitched four innings and gave up eight hits, five runs (all earned) and three walks with five strikeouts. Freshman Justin Walter (Elkhart, Ind./Elkhart Memorial) threw two solid innings of relief giving up just three hits and a walk with one strikeout. Junior Joe Davi (New Lenox, Ill./Joliet JC/Lincoln-Way Central) pitched the final inning allowing just one hit.
Purdue Northwest (10-12 overall/3-8 GLIAC) wraps up the conference series with Wayne State on Sunday, April 8, with a single, nine-inning game. The series finale is slated for a noon CT start at Dowling Park.