After rolling through the Big Ten in 2012 things have not been kind to Purdue baseball. In fact, they played 17 road 3-game series against Big Ten foes since then and won two of them before this weekend. They swept Penn State in State College in 2013 and took two of three from Nebraska in Lincoln in 2015. In all other series, Purdue lost.
This weekend the redemption tour for baseball continued as Purdue took two of three from Ohio State in Columbus. It was the first road Big Ten series win in two years and, at 3-3, Purdue has already topped last season’s conference win total.
Friday: Ohio State 13, Purdue 2
Ohio State came in as one of the worst hitting teams in the Big Ten and they were facing Tanner Andrews, who has twice won conference Pitcher of the Week honors and has emerged as a true ace for the Boilers. Naturally, they roughed him up. Andrews was tagged for 7 runs, 6 of them earned, in only three innings. Purdue did not help itself with five errors. The Boilers fell behind 9-0 after four innings, got 2 in the eighth, then gave up four more in the bottom of the inning as the Buckeyes rolled.
Saturday: Purdue 6, Ohio State 1
Things were much better for the Boilers in game 2. Gareth Stroh went 7 2/3 while giving up just one run on six hits to earn his second win of the season. Ross Learnard got the last four outs of the game for his first save of the year. They were excellent on the mound, and Purdue gave them plenty of cushion with all six runs in the first four innings. Evan Warden scored a run and drove in two from his leadoff spot. Mike Madej scored twice and drove in a run as well. Alec Olund had an RBI triple in the second and scored on a groundout from Warden.
Sunday: Purdue 2, Ohio State 1
Mike Kornacker was great in his 4th start, giving up just one run in five innings for his first win of the season. Cameron Williams pitched a pair of scoreless innings for his second save of the season. Overall, three Purdue pitchers gave up just four hits, and the offense did just enough. Skyler hunter delivered a 2-tun single up the middle with one out and that is the only offense Purdue needed. He drove in Warden and Harry Shipley, who had reached base on a single and error, respectively and were sacrificed over with no outs.
Overall, Purdue did a great job with a 15-12 start where 25 of its first 27 games were away from home. In said road games Purdue was 14-11 and split its six conference games 3-3. After 25 road games there are only 10 left away from Alexander Field before the Big Ten Tournament. Purdue will host Indiana State on Tuesday night before Indiana makes its first trip to West Lafayette since 2011 over the weekend.