It had been almost a month since Purdue had won a baseball game. After dropping the first two games of this weekend's series with Big Ten leader Michigan State another sweep was on the horizon, but Purdue fought back. The Boilers earned their first Big Ten win of the season and assured they would not be the first team winless in conference play since 1968.
Friday: Michigan State 11, Purdue 0
After Purdue had lost four straight and five of six by one right the Boilers were totally dominated Friday night by the Spartans. Cam Vieaux pitched a complete game shutout while scattering nine hits as Purdue left nine runners on base. Gavin Downs was tagged for four runs, but with a 6-0 lead the Spartans broke it open with five runs in the eighth off of Kyle Van Hoeck. Kris Simonton had a three-run triple in the 8th for the Spartans.
Saturday: Michigan State 5, Purdue 3
I actually went to this one after the spring game and Purdue was much better, but still was unable to get the big hit. The Boilers left the bases loaded in the sixth, seventh, and ninth and had 14 total runners left on base for the game. Matt Frawley pitched well for 6 2/3 innings, but took the loss with only two earned runs thanks to errors. Purdue did gun down two runners at home plate, however. Nick Dalesandro had two hits and 2 RBI as Purdue scored in the third, sixth, and seventh. His RBI in the seventh came on a bases loaded walk with two outs. Jordan Zimmerman and Justin Hovis each had three hits.
Sunday: Purdue 5, Michigan State 2
Finally, Purdue got solid pitching and timely hitting all in one game. Shane Bryant gave up two runs on seven hits in five innings, but left down 2-1 after giving up a pair of run in the top of the fifth. Purdue's first run came when James Jewell homered to lead off the third. He was the first Boilermaker other than Kyle Wood or Kyle Johnson to homer this season. Harry Shipley was able to score on a wild pitch in the bottom of the inning to tie it, then Brett Carlson hit his first home run of the season in the sixth to put Purdue in front 3-2.
Purdue added two runs in the seventh with a bases loaded RBI single from Alec Olund and an RBI single from Justin Gubser. From there, sophomore Tanner Andrews worked four scoreless innings while giving up just one hit to earn his first career victory.
Midway through the season Purdue sits at 1-11 in Big Ten play and is five games out of a Big Ten Tournament spot. They host Ball State and Indiana State this week on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively, before going to Maryland for three games. Yeah, any hopes of the postseason are long gone, but today's victory was a very good one over an NCAA caliber team. The Spartans are 7-2 in the league and in first place, so this threw a wrench in their plans. It is at least something to build on.