Game 1: Purdue (18-4) vs. Penn State (7-16)
The first home weekend series…over a month after the season starts…gotta love baseball in the north. I made sure to get to the game early because I always like everything set up and ready to go a good 2 hours before the game starts. I do this because 1. It gives me time to hang out with the team and 2. I want to setup the cameras by the dugouts before any fans get there so they can’t see that one camera has to be saran-wrapped on the stand because a piece of it is missing. Luckily, when Alexander Field opens, the cameras will be built in and I won’t have those types of issues.
Senior Joe Haase threw a great game for the Boilermakers. He went 7 strong innings, giving up 2 runs on 5 Penn State hits. "The Pack" was very efficient, getting 9 runs on 11 hits. The game was actually close through the top of the 8th, as Penn State battled back from a 4-0 deficit and was down just 5-3 going into the bottom of the 8th. The Boilermakers then got their "big inning," scoring 4 times (all with 2 outs). Senior Sean Collins shutout the Nittany Lions in the 9th while throwing an uncharacteristic 88-89 mph, and sealing the 9-3 series opening victory. Normally he throws 83-84, so whatever he did before the game he should probably do every game.
Game 2: Purdue (19-4) vs. Penn State (7-17)
This game was a tight one, but a good one. Senior Lance Breedlove was ON it…so good, in fact, that he carried a no-hitter AND a perfect game into the 7th inning. He retired the first 19 batters until Penn State hit a line drive single to simultaneously crush his chances of the no-hit and perfect game bids. However, he still managed to get the complete-game shutout, recording five strikeouts, and not walking any Nittany Lion batters. Just 2 starts ago, his ERA was 4.18, but he has now lowered it to 2.74 with back-to-back fantastic complete-game outings.
Penn State’s pitcher had a no-hit bid of his own that went into the 7th inning, but Senior Chris Antonelli delivered the go-ahead single after a great at-bat in his first start of the season. Talk about clutch! Senior David Miller followed with another hit of his own to score Antonelli and give the Boilermakers the 2-0 victory with a possible chance to sweep Penn State on Sunday.
Head Coach Doug Schreiber also got his 400th win with the victory. Interestingly, as Calvin Gunter and David Miller point out in their own blog, his 100, 250th, 300th and 400th victories have all come against Penn State.
Game 3: Purdue (20-4) vs. Penn State (7-18)
This game started out a bit unexpectedly…but that’s bound to happen from time to time. As they say, you can’t win ‘em all. Senior southpaw Calvin Gunter started on the mound, but was taken out after just 1 1/3 innings. Penn State scored 6 runs off of Gunter, and then continued to score another 7 runs in the 3rd inning once sophomore Jack Deano and Senior Blake Mascarello came in for relief. The defense also committed 4 errors in the game, something that isn’t very characteristic of this team.
It was a tough game to watch, to say the least. The offense, however, did their job, scoring 6 runs (the goal is to score 7 per game) off of 10 hits. Penn State tacked on a few more runs in the later innings, and wound up beating the Boilers by a score of 16-6. The Boilermakers have yet to complete a B1G weekend sweep, having lost the past 2 Sunday games to Ohio State and Penn State. But 20-5 (4-2 Big Ten) is nothing to be disappointed about, and Northwestern won’t know what’s coming. This team will have more fire in them this next weekend and will hopefully get that first B1G sweep.
Big Ten Network was also at this game, unfortunately. They have a weekly Diamond Report on Sundays at 5 p.m. and luckily showed no highlights from the game. They mentioned Juniors Kevin Plawecki and Cameron Perkins briefly, but that was about it. They annoyingly pronounced "Plawecki" as Pla-WICK-i and that prompted me to joke that BTN should hire me to do the Diamond Report since I was completing the broadcaster’s sentences before they even finished.
Wednesday we head down to Victory Field for a midweek game against Anderson at 6 p.m. For those of you living in Indianapolis, I hope to see you at the game if possible. We won’t have another home game until April 13th, so try and make it out to support your Boilermakers!
Someone also requested that I do a post of the player’s walk-up songs for people that either can’t make it to any games or just want to know what they are. So if anyone else would be interested in finding out, I’ll get that info and do a post about it.
I am a Junior student manager at Purdue and will be chronicling stories of Boiler baseball throughout the entire season as I travel with them. There will be game previews and recaps for each weekend, as well as some "behind the scenes" stuff.
Follow me on twitter @Banski913