After going 45-14 two years ago during the best season in program history Purdue has fallen on very hard times. Purdue went 17-34 last season and, barring a miracle, will be even worse this season as it enters the final four games of the year at 12-35, 5-16 in the Big Ten.
Part of the problem has been some of the worst luck possible in 1-run games. The Boilers are 2-8 in 1-run games in Big Ten play and have additional 1-run losses to Samford, San Diego State (twice), Southern Illinois, and an extra inning loss to Louisville.
Still, there is the smallest of chances something can be salvaged from this season. With the expansion of the Big Ten Tournament from six to eight teams Purdue still has a chance to qualify for the Big Ten Tournament if it can sweep Iowa at home this weekend. The boilers have to sweep Our Most Hated Rivals and hope that Penn State drops at least one game at home to Michigan State. That would give Purdue the eighth and final slot in the Big Ten Tournament, putting them in a double elimination bracket with Indiana as the No. 1 seed and probably Minnesota and Michigan.
Purdue went a combined 1-8 against those teams, but lost all three games to Minnesota by one run and lost one to Michigan by one run.
Needless to say, it is another lost season. After Doug Schreiber had his team in contention from 2001 until winning the Big Ten in 2012 the Program has plunged into huge depths since opening Alexander Field. Here are Schreiber's teams:
1999: 24-30, 10-17
2000: 35-23, 17-11
2001: 32-24, 19-7
2002: 24-32, 13-19
2003: 29-26, 13-18
2004: 29-28, 17-14
2005: 27-30, 17-11
2006: 31-27, 15-17
2007: 22-32, 11-20
2008: 32-26, 21-10
2009: 25-26, 11-12
2010: 33-24, 12-12
2011: 37-20, 14-10
2012: 45-14, 17-7
As you can see, Purdue was at least respectable under Schreiber until the last few years. In years like 2011, 2006, and 2001 a great non-conference season was squandered by Big Ten struggles. In years like 2008, 2005, and 2000 the opposite happened. Also, the weather can no longer be used as an excuse. The baseball playing field is more even than ever with Indiana now among the sport's powers for two straight years and Evansville, Indiana State, and Ball State in line to make this year's NCAA Tournament.
Hopefully the coming weekend will be the start of a turnaround, especially after Purdue was so close at Minnesota this past weekend. This weekend is a Thursday-Friday-Saturday series so everyone in the conference has time to prepare for next week's Big Ten Tournament in Omaha, so come on out to the ballpark and be part of that turnaround.