Purdue’s 22 game road trip is over. The Boilers will open their home schedule Tuesday night against Kent State and Wednesday night against Valparaiso. It was a successful road trip too based on the last few seasons. Purdue has already passed last season’s win total and with a Friday night win in Iowa City the Boilers have already gotten half of last season’s two Big Ten wins. They come back at 12-10 overall and 1-2 in the Big Ten. Yes, they are not fantastic marks, but given the state of the program in recent seasons, it is nice to see the program back on the upswing.
Remember: this is a team that won 10 games in 2016, 20 in 2015, 13 in 2014, and 17 in 2013. This is already the latest in the season Purdue has had a winning record since the 2012 NCAA Tournament season, so this should be the best team since then.
Friday: Purdue 2, Iowa 0
Purdue pushed its winning streak to seven after a rain delay Friday night. Nick Dalesandro had an RBI triple in the top of the 8th on the first pitch after the rain delay to break a scoreless tie. Jacson McGowan then drove him home with a double on the next pitch. That was all the pitching staff needed in the shutout victory.
Tanner Andrews gave up six hits in six scoreless inning for the start, but Dalton parker picked up the win with a scoreless 7th inning. Cameron Williams then came on to pitch the final two innings and earn his first save of the season.
Saturday: Iowa 5, Purdue 1
Offense was at a premium again, but a four run eighth inning opened up the game for the Hawkeyes. Gareth Stroh had a solid outing by giving up just one run on 8 hits in 5 2/3, but that run erased a 1-0 Purdue lead in the sixth. Harry Shipley drove in Evan Warden for Purdue’s lone run on a fifth inning bunt single.
As well as Williams did the day before, he was hit with the loss when he was tagged for two runs in the eighth. The Hawkeyes plated four runs thanks to a throwing error and a wild pitch. Purdue almost got back into it in the ninth though. The Boilers loaded the bases to get the tying run to the plate, but Warden struck out looking and Alec Olund flied out to end the game.
Sunday: Iowa 7, Purdue 2
Another bad eighth inning cost Purdue the series today. The Hawkeyes broke open a 2-2 tie with five eighth inning runs to take the series as it got to the bullpen again. Mike Kornacker gave up two earned runs in five innings as the starter, but Nick Wojtysiak took the loss by giving up all five eighth inning runs. Dalesandro had an RBI groundout in the third and Shipley had an RBI sacrifice fly in the fifth for Purdue’s only runs.
For those interested in heading to Purdue’s home openers they are both at 6pm Tuesday and Wednesday night at Alexander Field. Kent State comes in at 15-6 and rated No. 19 in the RPI. They are coached by Jeff Duncan, who was the associate head coach at Purdue during the memorable 2012 season. He is in his third year at Kent State. The Flashes swept Ball State this weekend and have won six in a row.
On Wednesday Purdue gets Valparaiso, who is 8-13 and has waited even longer to play a home game. They don’t have a home game scheduled until April 5th. They have won just 2 of their last 10 games.