Last weekend's Big Ten/Big East Baseball challenge had to be considered a success for Purdue. The boilermakers were one of the few teams that drew a game against a ranked opponent, yet they came out of the weekend with a convincing 10-2 victory over #9 Connecticut and were one of just three teams to take two victories last weekend from the Big Ten. For a team that was picked to finish 8th out of 10 teams, that's not bad. Michigan State currently is 3-0, while Purdue and Penn State are 2-1. Indiana grabbed a win over a ranked team last week in beating Coastal Carolina.
Purdue heads to Kentucky this weekend for a four game series against the Morehead State Eagles. The Boilers will play on Friday, two Saturday, and one Sunday, weather permitting as always. The Eagles are 0-4 after getting swept by Western Carolina last weekend and losing a midweek game to Kentucky. They have given up at least nine runs in every game so far and have only scored a maximum of six. As long as Purdue's defense doesn't betray it as it did against Notre Dame, Purdue should have success.
Matt Morgan started the season well by earning Big Ten Pitcher of the Week honors with his victory over UConn. He didn't give up a run in 5 2/3 innings of work to earn the win. Brad Schreiber earned the win over Pittsburgh on Sunday, while Nick Wittgren earned his first career save. Blake Mascarello took the Notre Dame game on the chin with five earned runs given up in three innings pitched. Lance Breedlove also got tagged for five earned runs in just a third of an inning against the Irish. We're still waiting for the Math Department to calculate his ERA.
At the plate Barrett Serrato earned Big Ten Player of the Week Honors, the first Purdue player to do so in three years. He went 6 for 9 over the weekend with a double, triple, three runs scored, and four RBIs. Kevin Plawecki also had four RBIs for the weekend. Along with Eric Charles and Cameron Perkins the Boilers should have plenty of chances to keep hitting.
In reality, Purdue had a great weekend other than the 19-2 loss to Notre Dame. That game was ruined by an 11 run fourth inning that ended things pretty quickly. This weekend is a rare opportunity for Purdue to build a solid starting record against what should be an overmatched Morehead State team. Purdue should be able to take at least 3 of 4, giving them a nice record before their spring break "whiskey tour" through Kentucky and Tennessee.
In addition to four against Morehead State, Purdue has a three game sets against Lipscomb (currently 3-2), Tennessee-Martin (1-3), and Tennessee Tech (0-4). As long as they take care of business they have a chance to steal RPI-building games at #21 Louisville on March 8th and #4 Vanderbilt on March 15th when we won't be facing those team's top pitchers. If Purdue can get at least one of those games it will help their NCAA profile greatly since they only have three games against the top 25 scheduled (though Pittsburgh and Minnesota received votes in the preseason poll)