Last weekend was rough for Purdue, as the baseball Boilers were outscored 29-5 in three games by California to fall to 1-5. That record is a bit deceiving. Purdue has played four games against teams currently in most of college baseball's top 25 polls, losing all four. That helps with schedule strength, but not as much as winning a game or two would have.
This weekend they have a chance to get back on the winning track as they travel to East Tennessee State. Purdue will play the Bucs four times in three days starting at 4pm today. Saturday will be a doubleheader starting at 1pm, while Sunday is a single 1pm start.
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS
Friday: Tanner Andrews (0-1, 7.36 ERA) vs. ETSU's Blake Smith (0-1, 1.74 ERA)
Saturday Game 1: Gavin Downs (0-1, 12.60 ERA) vs. ETSU's Victor Gonzalez (1-0, 3.60 ERA)
Saturday Game 2: Nick Dalesandro (0-2, 5.23 ERA) vs. TBA for ETSU
Sunday: TBA for Purdue vs. ETSU's Ryan Simpler (0-1, 14.21 ERA)
ETSU enters the weekend with a 3-4 record that includes wins over Bowling Green, Northern Kentucky, and UNC-Asheville. They have played six of their seven games at home, however, with the lone road game being a midweek loss at Virginia Tech. They are led by Aaron Maher, who is batting an impressive .565 with a home run and 4 RBI. He has 13 hits in 23 at bats and has scored five runs. Hagen Owenby is also hot at .464 with 4 home runs and 10 RBI. They give ETSU a much more potent lineup than Purdue has.
For the boilers Jack Pichiotti and Kyle Johnson have started the year well, but the Boilers have struggled mightily to score runs. They get men on base, but in six games have a paltry nine team RBI. Nick Dalesandro has also been impressive as a freshman. IN the DH spot he is batting .357 with a pair of RBI, and on the mound he has been Purdue's best starter with a 5.23 ERA. He has had a couple of hard luck losses, however, as Purdue has given him just two runs of supports total.
Purdue simply needs more offense. That should come this weekend with ETSU sporting a 6.43 ERA against mostly mid-major opponents. Purdue's team ERA is not a lot better at 6.24, but that has come against some really good teams. California basically teed off on Purdue pitching, and the boiler shave now surrendered 9 home runs while a Purdue batter has yet to go deep.