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BRIDGES, PURDUE WINS FIRST BIG TEN TOURNAMENT TITLE IN SCHOOL HISTORY

Sunday, May 27, 2012 • POSTED BY:  purduesports.com

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Andrew Dixon scored the tie-breaking run on a wild play in the ninth inning and Nick Wittgren closed the game out with a 1-2-3 bottom of the frame, as No. 15 Purdue baseball won its first-ever Big Ten Tournament title with a 6-5 win against Indiana Saturday evening at Huntington Park.

The Boilermakers (44-12) earned the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. They hope to be selected as one of the 16 NCAA Regional hosts. Those sites will be announced at 3:30 p.m. Sunday. The complete 64-team NCAA Tournament field will be unveiled at noon on Monday live on ESPNU.

Kevin Plawecki hit his second home run of the tournament in the eighth inning to give Purdue a 5-4 lead. He was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player after finishing the event 4-for-9 with five RBI. He's the third straight catcher to win the award and the first position player to be the Big Ten Player of the Year and Tournament MOP since Minnesota's Jack Hannahan in 2001.

Lance Breedlove, David Miller, Cameron Perkins and Barrett Serrato also represented Purdue on the All-Tournament Team. Serrato was a team-best 6-for-12 in the three games. Seven different Boilers recorded an RBI in the tournament.

Miller and Dixon both reached on infield singles in the top of the ninth inning. With runners on the corners and one out, Eric Charles hit a chopper to third base. Indiana got Miller in a run down between third and home. Miller kept the rundown alive long enough to give Dixon the opportunity to try to advance to third base. After Miller was tagged out, IU third baseman Dustin DeMuth turned around and tried to throw out Dixon at third. The ball glanced off the glove of shortstop Michael Basil and rolled down the left field line toward the bullpen. Dixon was able to get to his feet and easily score the go-ahead run.

Meanwhile, Charles tried to take third on the play. The throw beat him to the bag and Charles tried to slide through Basil, who took the throw standing in the base line instead of straddling the bag on a traditional play at third. A melee ensued after Charles and Basil collided as the out was recorded. Both dugouts eventually emptied. Charles was ejected for a flagrant slide.

After a lengthy delay as the umpires sorted out the fracas, Wittgren (3-0) returned to the mound with Indiana's 8-9-1 due up. He struck out the first two batters and got Justin Cureton to fly out to Dixon in center field to end the game.

Purdue is the third consecutive Big Ten team, and ninth dating back to 1993, to win both the Big Ten regular-season and tournament titles in the same year. May 12, the Boilers won their first Big Ten regular-season title since 1909. Purdue will be making its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1987.