Purdue’s second in-season tournament was not quite as successful as its first. After beating both Central Michigan and Virginia Tech in the Westin Lake Mary Stetson Invitational they faced the host Stetson Hatters in the championship game today. Stetson also beat the Hokies and Chippewas, making today’s third game in the round robin a winner-take-all affair.
It wasn’t to be, however, as the hosts earned an 11-6 victory to win their own tournament. A 2-1 weekend with a win over an ACC team is still a very productive weekend for the Boilers.
Purdue 11, Central Michigan 1
Gareth Stroh earned his second win of the season but giving up an unearned run against just one hit in six strong innings. He did walk 5, but Purdue’s defense kept racking up the outs.
At the plate Nick Dalesandro was 3 of 4 with a pair of runs scored. Skyler Hunter and Ben Nisle each had a triple and Jacson McGowan hit his 5th home run of the season. This was a 2-1 game before blew it open with 5 in the 7th and 4 in the 8th. McGowan’s homer was a 2-run job in the 7th that started the late inning explosion.
Purdue 12, Virginia Tech 5
Purdue grabbed a valuable win over another ACC team in this one. Since the ACC is one of the strongest baseball conferences in the country and they regularly send 8-10 teams to the tournament a pair of wins against the league will do wonders for our RPI all year. Tanner Andrews gave up 2 runs on 8 hits over 6 innings to get his second win of the year.
At the plate McGowan continued his power trip with his 6th home run. He now leads the Big Ten in that category and is among the nation’s leaders too. He finished the day 3 for 4 with 4 RBI and 3 runs scored. Dalesandro stayed hot by going 4 of 5 with 3 RBI. The Hokies got three runs against the bullpen in the 9th, but coach Wasikowski had cleared his bench by then and trusted the backups to get 3 outs before gicing up 10 runs.
Stetston 11, Purdue 6
The third spot in the pitching rotation continues to be a little shaky. Ryan Beard lasted only 4 outs before he was pulled during a 4-run second inning. The Hatters took advantage of an early error to make two of the runs unearned. Mike Kornacker then gave up three in relief, and Stetson made Purdue pay for three errors total.
Purdue tied the game at 4-4 with four in the third, but promptly gave up 3 in the bottom half of the inning. The Boilers would then get it to 7-6 with two in the sixth, but the Stetson closer got a 10-out save to shut down our offense. Stetson also added four more in the 7th.
At the plate Nisle and Harry Shipley both drove in a pair of runs with clutch hits.
At 8-2 Purdue has a very early RPI of 9 among the near 300 Division I teams. Both Purdue and Indiana have the best conference records at 8-2. The Boilers now head to Tulane. The traditionally strong Green Wave did not make the tournament last season, but they are always solid.
Tulane finished this weekend at 6-5 after losing 2 of 3 at home to Cal State Fullerton, one of the powerhouses of college baseball. They have a sweep of Wright State to their credit but were swept last weekend by Mississippi. They will play a pair of midweek games before hosting Purdue.