Weekend No. 2 of the College Baseball season is here and Purdue finally made it to Texas for some baseball action. This weekend will be slightly busier than last week. Purdue is playing four games instead of three, as Sunday there will be a championship game and a consolation game in the Alamo Irish Classic at Nelson Wolff Stadium in San Antonio. That stadium is home of the San Antonio Missions, Double-A affiliate of the Padres.
St. Louis, Incarnate Word, and Notre Dame are the other three teams in this event. Purdue has a three-game series at St. Louis later this season, so playing the Billikens today is a preview for later. Purdue also beat them twice last season at Alexander Field and the third game was rained out. Here is the schedule for the weekend:
TOURNAMENT INFORMATION: ALAMO IRISH CLASSIC
Purdue (3-0) vs. Saint Louis (1-3), Incarnate Word (2-2) and Notre Dame (2-1)
Friday to Sunday, Feb. 23 to 25 / Nelson Wolff Stadium / San Antonio, Texas
vs. Saint Louis / Friday, Feb. 23 at 1 p.m. ET
vs. Incarnate Word / Friday, Feb. 23 at 5 p.m.
vs. No. 30 Notre Dame / Saturday, Feb. 24 at 1 p.m.
Championship or Consolation Game / Sunday, Feb. 25 at Noon
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS
Friday: Gareth Stroh (Jr, LHP) vs. SLU’s Jackson Wark (Jr, RHP)
Friday: Nick Wojtysiak (Sr, LHP) vs. TBA for Incarnate Word
Saturday: Tanner Andrews (Sr, RHP) vs. UND’s Tommy Sheehan (Fr, LHP)
Sunday: Ryan Beard (Sr, LHP) vs. TBD
vs. Saint Louis: Purdue leads 4-2 / Last Meeting: Purdue swept 2-game series (2017)
vs. Incarnate Word: First Meeting
vs. Notre Dame: UND leads 79-39-3 / Last Meeting: Purdue 15, Notre Dame 8 (2012)
St. Louis went 1-3 last week in the Diamond 9 Invitational in Kissimmee, Florida. They beat Pittsburgh but lost to Old Dominion once and Toledo twice. Incarnate Word hosted North Dakota State for four games and earned an even split. Notre Dame had the most impressive debut in all of college baseball by going to LSU, ranked 9th and last year’s national runner-up, and winning two of three.
As a result, Purdue is flipping its rotation a little. No. 1 starter Tanner Andrews will go tomorrow vs. the Fighting Irish. Nick Wojtysiak will get his first career start today against Incarnate Word after he threw four scoreless inning and earned the win in game two last week. Normal No. 2 starter Gareth Stroh will throw the opener today, while No. 3 starter Ryan Beard will throw Sunday’s game.
The tournament is a complete round robin, and the two best teams will meet Sunday in the championship while the other two will play in the consolation game.
Purdue’s had the Big Ten player of the Week last week in Jacson McGowan. He is now batting .538 on the season with 3 homers and 7 RBI. Skyler Hunter also tore apart Western Michigan pitching by going 7 of 11 at the plate over all three games. Evan Warden is also batting .417 with a homer and 2 RBI.
On the mound Andrews was dominant, throwing a scoreless 6 2/3 with nine strikeouts for the win in last week’s opener. Saving him for Notre Dame was likely the right call. That will likely be the toughest game of the weekend, and if Purdue can sweep both games today it likely gets two shots at the Irish. If there is to be an NCAA tournament berth this season beating a quality non-conference team like Notre Dame (whose schedule will be boosted by the ACC) is critical. Taking three of four this weekend and earning a split with Notre Dame would be very good.