#18 Purdue (24-5) @ Ball State (7-22)
This midweek test brought a decent game to the fans who were there to witness it…for the first 5 innings at least. Purdue scored one run in the top of the 2nd inning thanks to a leadoff double by Junior Kevin Plawecki, and Junior Angelo Cianfrocco singled him in with 2 outs for the first Boilermaker run. Ball State countered with one run in the 3rd and 4th innings by stringing together a few singles and taking a 2-1 lead after 4 innings.
Purdue came back and scored 2 more in the top of the 5th, thanks to two errors in the inning by Ball State (who ended up with 6 errors in the game). Then it all came loose in the top of the 6th, as the Boilermakers posted their biggest inning of the year, scoring 12 runs and batting two times through the order. There were too many hits to list them all, but the inning started off with back-to-back-to-back doubles by Senior Barrett Serrato, Sophomore Sean McHugh, and Junior Angelo Cianfrocco. Both Cianfrocco and Senior David Miller hit bombs over the right field fence.
Neither team put up any more runs after that, as the Boilermakers earned their 25th victory on the season with the 15-2 victory. Robert Ramer pitched 4 innings of 2 run ball, and the bullpen didn’t allow any more runs after that.
Along with earning B1G co-pitcher of the week this past week, Senior Joe Haase was also named to the College Baseball Hall of Fame’s weekly National All-Star Lineup. Senior Lance Breedlove was named to the same lineup last weekend.
Illinois comes into the weekend (18-13, 3-3 Big Ten) having won 7 of their last 10 games, including 2 of 3 from a series at Indiana last weekend. This weekend will start the toughest stretch of the Boilermaker’s schedule. The next three weekends (after Illinois) will include series at Nebraska, (23-12, 5-4 Big Ten) vs. Michigan State, (20-11, 3-3 Big Ten) and at #7 UCLA (22-7, 8-4 Pac-12).
Purdue will throw the new rotation of Senior Joe Haase (5-0, 3.59 ERA) on Saturday, Senior Lance Breedlove (5-2, 2.55 ERA) on Saturday, and Freshman Connor Podkul (1-0, 2.57 ERA) on Sunday. For those who don’t remember, Podkul replaced Senior Calvin Gunter as the Sunday starter last weekend at Northwestern. Illinois will (most likely) counter with Kevin Johnson, (5-2, 4.05 ERA) John Kravetz, (5-2, 4.62 ERA) and Josh Ferry (2-1, 7.24 ERA)
Offensively, Illinois has a few guys that can do some damage. Jordan Parr leads the team with a .363 batting average .549 slg %, 3 triples, and 62 total bases. Brandon Hohl leads the team with 5 HR and 50 RBI, but also has the most strikeouts (25). Out of the pen, Illinois will look to go to Anthony Milazzo and Reid Roper. Combined, they have given up just 2 earned runs in a total of 16.2 innings pitched.
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.
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