Another weekend, another sweep. Purdue was able to dodge raindrops and get in its series with Indiana, but ended in another weep as Purdue fell to a dismal 4-24 overall and 0-9 in Big Ten play. Only one team in America out of 300 Division I teams now has a worse record than Purdue, and that is Mississippi Valley State at 2-23. This sweep was extra painful. First, it came at the hands of Indiana. Second, all three losses came by one run.
Friday: Indiana 10, Purdue 9
The Boilers nearly pulled off a huge comeback in this one. Started Mike Lutz was lit up for eight runs in two and two thirds, seven of them coming in a disastrous third inning as Indiana went in front 8-1 after three. Purdue added four runs in the fifth, however, to get back into it. Kyle Wood hit his Big Ten leading 10th home run of the year. Purdue gave up two runs in the seventh to fall behind 10-5, but scored four in the top of the ninth, but could not get the fifth run to tie.
Saturday: Indiana 3, Purdue 2
Purdue finally got a good pitching performance from a starter as Shane Bryant gave up just three runs in five and two thirds. He was hit for runs in the second, fifth, and sixth as Purdue held the Hoosiers to just six hits. Unfortunately, Purdue managed just two in return. Nick Dalesandro singled to lead off the fifth and a two-run double from Kyle Johnson in the sixth were Purdue's only hits. Johnson's double briefly tied the game at two, but Indiana got the winning run in the bottom of the inning when Logan Sowers was hit by a pitch, sacrificed to second, went to third on a groundout, and scored on a single.
Sunday: Indiana 7, Purdue 6
The Boilers saved their most painful loss yet for Sunday, as Purdue led 5-1 when the game went into a lengthy rain delay in the top of the seventh. Matt Frawley pitched five strong innings and gave up only one run on four hits. A three run third and two run sixth had Purdue in full control when the rains came, but Gavin Downs was hammered in the seventh. He was hit for four earned runs and tanner Andrews gave up a run to put Indiana in front 6-5 with five in the seventh. Cody Strong walked in the eighth and went to second on a wild pitch before Harry Shipley drove him home to tie it at 6-6. Indiana got the run right back, however, on a home run by Logan Sowers. Thomas Belcher nearly gave up a home run to Wood, but earned his second save of the weekend with a scoreless ninth.
As you can expect, the overall picture is very, very ugly. Purdue has been bad the last three seasons, but with a senior-laden roster they are just atrocious this year. It is not youth getting struggling to win games here. Purdue has only six freshmen on the roster, and of those six, only Delasandro and Duncan McKinnon regularly play. Many of the regulars are seniors who were pickups that should have continued the momentum of the great 2012 team. Purdue basically has two great hitters in Johnson and Wood, and one semi-decent pitcher in Frawley.
The next three weekends Purdue plays Michigan State, Maryland, and Ohio State, who are three of the best teams in the Big Ten. An 0-18 start to league play, in a 24 game league slate, seems very, very likely. Purdue might win midweek games against Eastern Michigan and Illinois State in there, but this season has been an utter disaster to this point. As much as I respect Doug Schreiber, who had Purdue on the verge of winning the Big Ten and the NCAA Tournament several times between 1999 and 2011 before breaking through in 2012, it might be time for him to go.