For the first time in almost two years, Purdue has won a three-game baseball series. Last season the Boiler did not got their fifth win of the season until April 17th. This year the fifth win came on March 4th as Purdue took the first two games this weekend at Southeast Missouri State.
Friday: Purdue 4, Southeast Missouri State 0
Tanner Andrews has been brilliant on the young season, and his third victory on Friday was his best. He threw a complete game shutout, striking out 8 and scattering only four hits as Purdue won its third straight Friday game of the year. He now has a 2.11 ERA in 21 1/3 innings and will likely be the Big Ten Pitcher of the Week for the second time in three weeks.
At the plate Purdue got a run in the first and three in the fifth to earn the win. Nick Dalesandro singled home Mike Madej from second to get things going. In the second Logan Poisall doubled, then scored on a double from Evan Warden. Warden scored on a single from John LeGare, then LeGare later scored on a wild pitch. That is all Purdue would need with Andrews dealing on the mound.
Saturday: Purdue 13, Southeast Missouri State 5
This win clinched Purdue’s non-conference road series win since 2012 when the Boilers swept Murray State. In this one four Purdue players hit home runs. LeGare, Alec Olund, and Dealesandro each had two-run home runs and Harry Shipley also added a homer. Purdue gave Gareth Stroh a 4-0 lead, but he struggled and gave up two in the bottom of the first. Stroh was not as sharp as Andrews, but he gave up five runs over six innings to get his first collegiate win.
Dalton Parker also had another solid outing out of the bullpen. He threw three scoreless innings to earn his second save of the year, this under the “three innings of quality relief” rule. He ended up striking out 6 of the 13 batters he faced.
Sunday: Southeast Missouri State 17, Purdue 7
The Boilers were unable to get the sweep as the pitching staff was shelled today. Tanner Schumacher gave up four earned runs in only 2 2/3 innings, but it was Brian Ghiselli that really got hammered. He lasted only 2/3 of an inning and gave up 6 runs on 4 hits. Four runs came on a fourth inning grand slam from Brian Lees that broke the game open. Purdue trailed 11-2 at that point, but never really got back in it.
Dalesandro and LeGare each had home runs for Purdue, while Jacson McGowan hit his second home run of the season.
Purdue will head to California for its next eight games over spring break. First is a stop at Cal State Northridge for four games Friday through Monday. Last season Purdue closed the year with four games against the Matadors at Alexander Field and the Boilers won three of them via shutout. Then, on Thursday, Purdue heads to Santa Clara for a four-game set that includes a Saturday doubleheader.
The Boilers now sit at 5-5 on the season and are definitely better than a year ago. As one of only five Big Ten teams at .500 or above a return to the Big Ten Tournament for the first time since 2012 certainly seems like a possibilty.