There is no question that last year’s baseball season was a complete disaster for Purdue. The Boilers were a dreadful 10-44, but they at least finished the year on a positive note. As the last team to have a weekend by in conference play, Purdue hosted Cal State Northridge for four games to close the season. Purdue ended up winning three of them, all via shutout, to send off Doug Schreiber as a winner.
This year Purdue returns the favor as the boilers travel out to California for four games against the Matadors as part of its spring break trip. Later on they will play four at Santa Clara, but after winning two of three at Southeast Missouri State last week Purdue has some momentum going for it.
WEEKEND SERIES INFORMATION
Purdue at CSUN (Game 1)
Friday, March 10 at 5 p.m. ET / Matador Field / Northridge, California
Probable Starting Pitchers: Tanner Andrews (Jr, RHP) vs. CSUN's Andrew Weston (Jr, RHP)
Purdue at CSUN (Game 2)
Saturday, March 11 at 4 p.m. ET / Matador Field / Northridge, California
Probable Starting Pitchers: Gareth Stroh (So, LHP) vs. CSUN's Samuel Myers (Sr, RHP)
Purdue at CSUN (Game 3)
Sunday, March 12 at 4 p.m. ET / Matador Field / Northridge, California
Probable Starting Pitchers: Mike Kornacker (So, RHP) vs. CSUN's Tei Vanderford (Jr, RHP)
Purdue at CSUN (Game 4)
Monday, March 13 at 3 p.m. ET / Matador Field / Northridge, California
Probable Starting Pitchers: TBA for Both Teams
Purdue’s tanner Andrews, who has been the best pitcher in the Big Ten so far at 3-0 and two Pitcher of the Week Awards, will face off against Andrew Weston. Last season Purdue tagged Weston for 3 earned runs in 5 1/3 innings during an 8-0 win on the final day of the season. Andrews had a win in game 2 of the series last year and a save in the final game for pitching more than 3 innings, so he should be familiar with the Matador lineup.
Purdue did not see either of Northridge’s other two pitchers, so that makes this a bit of a crapshoot. Stroh has been decent as Purdue’s No. 2 starter, but is 1-1 with a high ERA after getting knocked around once. As a team Northridge is batting .263 with Alvano Rubalcaba leading them at .344. Albee Weiss is their best power hitter with a .340 average and 3 home runs plus 12 RBI.
The matadors enter this weekend at 7-6 on the season. They opened by winning two of three at Portland before taking only one of four against Towson. Last weekend they got a VERY impressive series win by going to Vanderbilt, one of the best teams in college baseball the past five years or so, and taking two of three. They won 6-4 and 4-1 in the first two games before losing 11-3 in the finale. Already this week they played midweek games at UCLA and at home against Holy Cross.
If Purdue could take a few games this weekend there is a real chance we could think of a postseason from the Boilers. In order to even the playing field for northern teams the RPI actually gives more weight to true road victories in the form of a 1.6 multiplier for every road win. Since Purdue plays its first 22 games of the season on the road it can build a bit of a profile before ever coming home. Given that a lousy Purdue team took three of four from these guys last year, I actually have some confidence in advance of this series.