The hard rain that fell at the start of Saturday's game at Turchin Stadium tapered off by the end of the second inning.
Unfortunately for Tulane, balls rained down from the Purdue bats all day long.
In stark contrast to Kaleb Roper's masterful shutout performance on Friday night, the Green Wave had a hard time getting anyone out as the Boilermakers racked up 19 hits with eight walks and three hit batsmen. They built an 11-2 lead on the strength of 16 singles and one wind-blown home run through six innings, then held on to win 12-8.
"We talk a lot about being ready to play early," Tulane coach Travis Jewett said. "After such a good performance last night you'd like to follow up with another one. We threw strike one last night, but not today."
For once, it was more than wildness that did in the Wave (7-8).
Ross Massey (1-2) was victim No. 1. Clearly bothered by the rain that came out of nowhere, he gave up six hits and five runs (two in the first, three in the second) in 1 1/3 inning.
"Right during the national anthem when it started raining, I was trying to see if we could hold (the start) off a smidge, but I guess with no dirt and mud (on the artificial surface), it wasn't (an option)," Jewett said. "Their guy had to do the same thing, and we came right back and tied it in the first. It just got away from us."
A line shot drilled Massey in the upper back in the second inning, knocking him to the ground for more than a minute as a trainer looked at him. He continued pitching but gave up two more singles and a walk before Jewett pulled the plug.
"He showed his toughness right there," Jewett said. "He wasn't going to come out of the game, and I didn't want to take him out. We needed some innings from him."
Purdue (9-3) stretched its lead with five runs in the sixth off Robert Price.
The big blow was Ben Nisle's wind-blown sky-high fly that was headed above the Hack Shack next to the wall in left field but drifted back over the top of the foul pole. That two-run homer, the Boilermakers' only extra-base hit, made the score 8-2, and they tacked on three more.
Adding injury to insult, Brandon Issa had to leave with an arm injury after getting a double play to end the sixth and a pop-out to start the seventh.
The result would have been more lopsided if Purdue had not left 16 on base.
The Boilermakers, who entered the series hitting .313, exhibited excellent bat control. They laid down bunts perfectly and found holes over and over.
The Wave pulled within striking distance by scoring four runs off five straight hits to start the sixth inning, making it 10-6, but came no closer.
Jonathan Artigues, Sal Gozzo and Matt Rowland each had three hits, but they were not nearly enough. Grant Witherspoon added two hits, but his fly to center fielder Skyler Hunter ended the game with two on and a four-run deficit.
"We went down early and put up a fight late," Rowland said. "That's been a characteristic of our team. When we get down, we keep fighting."
Tulane will look to rebound Sunday at 1 p.m. with Keagan Gillies (1-1, 3.71 ERA) opposing Purdue's Bo Hofstra (1-0, 0.87). Gillies has pitched well for stretches in all three of his starts and was outstanding in a 9-3 victory against Cal State Fullerton last Sunday.
"It's huge," Jewett said. "No matter what the score says, the series is tied at 1. Hopefully he'll continue to do what he has been doing and give us a chance."