Purdue Baseball: Drop to 0-6 after weekend trip

Purdue Baseball drops to 0-6 after getting swept by No. 11 Rice

After opening the season by dropping three games to University of Tennessee, the Boilers traveled to Texas to face No. 11 Rice. The weekend was a rough one from the get-go. We had a player leave his wallet on the bus as soon as we got to Indianapolis airport (we were able to get it before leaving). Then we had several players lose their return flight plane ticket. Finally, we had players forget their plane ticket and wallet at the hotel after we had checked out. To top it all off the team got outscored 35-5 for the three game series and have been outscored 66-9 for the season.

Game 1: Purdue (0-4) at Rice (4-2)

Starting Pitchers: Patrick Kenney (0-0) vs Jordan Stephens (2-0)

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Purdue

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

-

1

7

1

Rice

0

1

0

0

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-

3

7

0

I was very happy with this loss, although I am neither a player nor coach; we looked like a different team than last weekend.

We had 7 innings of bullpen work, Gavin Downs (0-1), came out of the pen early and only gave up 2 earned runs on 4 hits through 5 innings on the bump.

Patrick Kenney who made his first collegiate start of his career only lasted one inning and faced two batters in the second before leaving the game. He worked himself out of an early jam in the first inning after Rice got a runner on third. If the coaching staff wants to make him a full time starter then they will need to build up his endurance and easing him into pitching more innings.

The Boilers lone run came in the 6th inning when Kyle Wood doubled to left center, he slid under the close tag by the second baseman. Connor Hudnall singled up the middle allowing Kyle Wood to come across the plate safely. This run tied up the game and fired up the dugout.

Downs struggled when he came back out in the bottom of the 6th; he gave up a walk to the leadoff batter, Shane Hoelscher. John Williamson moved Hoelscher to second on a sac bunt, Hoelscher then advanced to third on a wild throw to first that still got Williamson out. Kyle Wood then threw a high throw to third that went over Downs head allowing Hoelscher to safely slide into third. If the throw would have been online the boilers would have turned a 5-3-1 double play. John Clay Reeves hit a go ahead double that allowed Hoelscher to score and take the lead for the Owls. Later that inning Connor Teykl singled which allowed Reeves to score and for Rice to go up 3-1.

Connor Hudnall and Steve Maniago each had themselves a pair of hits during the contest.

Rice threw both of their best pitchers during the game, starter Jordan Stephens and closer Zech Lemond.

Gavin Downs was tacked for his first loss of the season, while Rice's Jordan Stephens picked up his second win in his two starts of the 2014 season.

Game 2: Purdue (0-5) at Rice (5-2)

Starting Pitchers: Jordan Minch (0-2) vs Blake Fox (2-0)

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Purdue

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0

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-

1

7

1

Rice

0

5

1

1

0

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2

0

X

-

9

12

0

The Boilers were able to jump out on top in the first inning by scratching a run across with two outs. Sean McHugh singled to right field, then Purdue batting average leader (.300) Kyle Wood knocked a deep double to right field advancing McHugh to third. Kyle Upp got his first hit and RBI of the season by singling to right field.

After this inning, with us being on top and having Jordan Minch on the mound, I thought our Boilers had it in the bag. But I was sure as hell wrong...

The second inning caused lots of trouble for our young Boilers, the Rice Owls scored 5 times on 6 hits and an error. Too many things went wrong for them in this inning; they had a throwing error early in the inning that caused runners to advance. Later in the inning the strangest thing happened, with a runner on second, John Williamson laid down a bunt to Kyle Wood at first base. Williamson stopped in the middle of the base path as Wood stood in-between him and first base. Wood ran at Williamson with the ball causing him to run back toward home plate. Now according to NCAA baseball rules, if the base runner runs back toward home on his way to first base than the runner is automatically out. However the umpires did not call him out, after our coaches had yelled at the players that he was out, Wood tossed the ball back to Minch and Williamson advanced safely to first base. After umpires discussed, they ruled that he was safe. If they would have just tagged him that would have made it two outs with a runner on third and only one run having scored in the inning. This was a momentum changer for the boilers. The Owls tacked on 4 more runs in three of the five innings following the five-run second.

Minch allowed 7 earned runs on 10 hits and 2 walks through 5.2 innings; he was accountable for the loss. The bullpen pitched 2.1 innings featuring 4 separate pitchers including Adam Dressler who made his colligate debut.

Game 3: Purdue (0-6) at Rice (6-2)

Starting Pitchers: Kyle Wood (0-2) vs Kevin McCanna (1-0)

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Purdue

0

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3

0

0

0

0

0

0

-

3

5

2

Rice

10

0

0

0

3

7

3

0

X

-

23

20

0

Well the box score sums it up, another disappointing loss for the Boilers. This game featured 10 different pitchers which all threw less than 1.1 innings. Starting pitcher Kyle Wood couldn't get settled in as he gave up 7 earned runs on 6 hits and 1 walk without recording an out. Connor Podkul made an appearance from the bullpen for the first time in his college career. The Pitching staff only recorded two strikeouts, by Matt Frawley and Brett Haan, in the massacre.

Cody Strong reached base safely for the sixth consecutive game, while Brandon Krieg got his first multi-hit game of the year.

After a team gets in a 10-0 hole after the first inning, it is very challenging for the team to dig themselves back out of that hole. In the third inning the boilers started to dig themselves out of that hole. They scratched three runs across the plate; two of them came off a double by Krieg who then advanced to third on the throw. Sean McHugh ground out in to a double play but was able to get Krieg across before ending the inning on a fly out to right field by Wood.

Syler Ewing crushed a grand slam over the left field wall in the 6th inning. He went 3 for 6 and had 6 RBI's in the Sunday game. He was 5 for 12 with 3 walks and 8 RBI's for the whole weekend. Look for him to be drafted after this season.

Once again it was a disappointing weekend of baseball for the boilers, but the teams we have faced are good quality teams. Tennessee is 7-0 to open the season and 11th ranked Rice is 6-2. The Boilers have a tough non-conference schedule; some say it's the hardest in the Big Ten this year. With having played in the Big Ten-Big East Tournament the past several years, it made for even playing ground, due to all the teams getting outside for the first time. Whereas Tennessee and Rice had an upper hand on the Boilers with both having been outside on a field for a few practices going into the meetings. I do believe this does impact a team and how they preform early on in the season.

The Boilers will return to action and will be seeking their first win this upcoming weekend at Missouri State. First pitch on Friday is at 4:05pm ET.

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