Coming off of the best season in program history what will the Boilermakers do for an encore?
Last season went 45-14 in baseball, shattering the program record for single-season wins and winning the Big Ten title for the first time in 103 years. The Boilers were in the top 15 for most of the season and even took a game from No. 2 overall seed UCLA in a weekend where they could have all but clinched an unprecedented National seed to the NCAA Tournament.
Purdue went on to win the Big Ten Tournament for the first time, hosted a regional in Gary, and won its first ever NCAA Tournament game over Valparaiso before falling to eventual CWS participant Kent State and Kentucky. It was a slightly disappointing end to a hell of a run.
Much of that team is gone, but Purdue will open the brand new Alexander Field as one of the finest college baseball venues in the country and that, plus the boost of last year's run, will hopefully make Purdue a regular NCAA participant instead of once every 25 years.
Today coach Doug Schreiber announced the 2013 schedule, and it is a good one:
|02/15/13||vs. Connecticut||Dunedin, Fla. (Fla. Auto Exchange Stadium)||4:00 p.m.|
|02/16/13||vs. South Florida||Clearwater, Fla. (Bright House Field)||7:30 p.m.|
|02/17/13||vs. Louisville||St. Petersburg, Fla. (Al Lang Stadium)||10:00 a.m.|
|vs. Connecticut||St. Petersburg, Fla. (Al Lang Stadium)||1:00 p.m.|
|02/22/13||vs. Samford||Starkville, Miss.||3:00 p.m.|
|at Mississippi State||Starkville, Miss.||7:00 p.m.|
|02/23/13||at Mississippi State||Starkville, Miss.||7:00 p.m.|
|02/24/13||vs. Samford||Starkville, Miss.||12:00 p.m.|
|03/01/13||at Samford||Birmingham, Ala.||7:00 p.m.|
|03/02/13||at Samford||Birmingham, Ala.||3:00 p.m.|
|03/03/13||at Samford||Birmingham, Ala.||2:00 p.m.|
|03/08/13||at Illinois-Chicago||Chicago, Ill.||5:05 p.m.|
|03/09/13||at Illinois-Chicago||Chicago, Ill.||2:05 p.m.|
|03/10/13||at Illinois-Chicago||Chicago, Ill.||2:05 p.m.|
|03/12/13||at Cincinnati||Cincinnati, Ohio||4:00 p.m.|
|03/13/13||at Louisville||Louisville, Ky.||12:00 p.m.|
|03/15/13||at Evansville||Evansville, Ind.||7:00 p.m.|
|03/16/13||at Evansville||Evansville, Ind.||3:00 p.m.|
|03/17/13||at Evansville||Evansville, Ind.||2:00 p.m.|
|Alexander Field Premiere Week|
|03/19/13||vs. Illinois-Chicago||West Lafayette, Ind.||6:00 p.m.|
|03/22/13||vs. Ohio State *||West Lafayette, Ind.||7:00 p.m.|
|03/23/13||vs. Ohio State *||West Lafayette, Ind.||2:00 p.m.|
|03/24/13||vs. Ohio State *||West Lafayette, Ind.||1:00 p.m.|
|03/27/13||vs. IPFW||West Lafayette, Ind.||6:00 p.m.|
|03/29/13||at Penn State *||University Park, Pa.||6:00 p.m.|
|03/30/13||at Penn State *||University Park, Pa.||2:00 p.m.|
|03/31/13||at Penn State *||University Park, Pa.||1:00 p.m.|
|04/02/13||vs. Butler||West Lafayette, Ind.||6:00 p.m.|
|04/03/13||vs. Indiana State||West Lafayette, Ind.||6:00 p.m.|
|04/05/13||vs. Northwestern *||West Lafayette, Ind.||7:00 p.m.|
|04/06/13||vs. Northwestern *||West Lafayette, Ind.||2:00 p.m.|
|04/07/13||vs. Northwestern *||West Lafayette, Ind.||1:00 p.m.|
|04/09/13||at Indiana State||Terre Haute, Ind.||6:00 p.m.|
|04/10/13||vs. Ball State||West Lafayette, Ind.||6:00 p.m.|
|04/12/13||at Illinois *||Champaign, Ill.||7:05 p.m.|
|04/13/13||at Illinois *||Champaign, Ill.||4:05 p.m.|
|04/14/13||at Illinois *||Champaign, Ill.||2:05 p.m.|
|Alexander Field Dedication Weekend|
|04/19/13||vs. Nebraska *||West Lafayette, Ind.||7:00 p.m.|
|04/20/13||vs. Nebraska *||West Lafayette, Ind.||7:00 p.m.|
|04/21/13||vs. Nebraska *||West Lafayette, Ind.||1:00 p.m.|
|04/23/13||vs. Illinois State||West Lafayette, Ind.||6:00 p.m.|
|04/24/13||vs. Illinois-Chicago||West Lafayette, Ind.||6:00 p.m.|
|04/26/13||at Michigan State *||East Lansing, Mich.||3:05 p.m.|
|04/27/13||at Michigan State *||East Lansing, Mich.||1:05 p.m.|
|04/28/13||at Michigan State *||East Lansing, Mich.||1:05 p.m.|
|05/03/13||vs. Southern Illinois||West Lafayette, Ind.||7:00 p.m.|
|05/04/13||vs. Southern Illinois||West Lafayette, Ind.||7:00 p.m.|
|05/05/13||vs. Southern Illinois||West Lafayette, Ind.||1:00 p.m.|
|05/08/13||at Ball State||Muncie, Ind.||3:00 p.m.|
|05/10/13||at Michigan *||Ann Arbor, Mich.||6:05 p.m.|
|05/11/13||at Michigan *||Ann Arbor, Mich.||4:05 p.m.|
|05/12/13||at Michigan *||Ann Arbor, Mich.||1:05 p.m.|
|05/14/13||vs. Eastern Michigan||West Lafayette, Ind.||6:00 p.m.|
|05/16/13||vs. Iowa *||West Lafayette, Ind.||7:00 p.m.|
|05/17/13||vs. Iowa *||West Lafayette, Ind.||7:00 p.m.|
|05/18/13||vs. Iowa *||West Lafayette, Ind.||1:00 p.m.|
The opening weekend of the Big East/Big Ten Challenge down in the Tampa area sees Purdue take on Big East champ and 2012 NCAA team Louisville in the first game of the season. The Cardinals were eliminated by eventual National Champion Arizona in the NCAAs and Purdue beat them 2-1 last season in West Lafayette. In addition to playing a very good Cards team twice Purdue will play Connecticut and South Florida, both threats to make the NCAAs.
Purdue then has seven games in a row against 2012 NCAA Tournament teams against Mississippi State (40-24) and Samford (41-23). Both teams were in the Tallahassee Regional last season with Samford reaching the final.
After nine games in 11 against 2012 NCAA teams to start the season Purdue gets a bit of a break by playing at Illinois-chicago for three before going to Cincinnati, then a third game against Louisville at Louisville. Purdue then goes to Evansville for three games before the first ever regular season game at Alexander Field on March 19.
Ohio State, Nebraska, Southern Illinois, Northwestern, and Nebraska will be the five weekend three-game home series while Purdue has three-game road series at Penn State, Illinois, Michigan, and 2012 NCAA team Michigan State.
Illinois-Chicago (twice) Indiana State, Ball State, Butler, IPFW, Eastern Michigan, and Illinois State all come to Purdue for non-conference games. Purdue has midweek games at Ball State and Indiana State once the Big Ten season starts.
It should be a challenging schedule. Louisville (three games), Samford (five games), Mississippi State (two games), Indiana State (two games), and Michigan State (three games) were all NCAA Tournament teams a year ago with Nebraska and Illinois State coming close.
Finally, the Big Ten Tournament will take place at Target Field in Minneapolis at the end of the season, with the winner getting an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
So there it is. The schedule is out and Alex will be available to cover this team once again. Let's keep this train rolling!