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Purdue Baseball Faces Chicago State and Indiana in Midweek Games

The Boilers get a National TV game Wednesday night at home.

Ryan Beard will face off against Indiana on Wednesday.
Courtesy Purdue Baseball

The road warriors of Purdue come back to Alexander Field this week after a three-game sweep of Maryland in College Park. That is both good and bad. Of Purdue’s 35 games to date only 7 have come at home. Four of Purdue’s other home games have been cancelled due to rain, and three of them were games where Purdue was probably going to win. While it is good to be home, Purdue is a paltry 2-5 at Alexander Field this year. It has beaten Lipscomb and Valparaiso at home, but has a 2-0 loss to Ball State, a 2-1 loss to Indiana State, and a 3-1 loss to Lipscomb.

So runs have been a problem at home. In fact, Minnesota has more wins at Alexander Field this year (5) than Purdue (2), and we’re still smarting from the beating we took at the hands of the Golden Gophers. Hopefully Purdue’s home fortunes will change as it begins a 9-game homestand tonight. The Boilers will finish the year with 13 of its last 17 games at home. The Boilers have a rescheduled game at Ball State on May 9th and a trip to Ohio State May 11-13 as the only remaining road games. Many of the home games are favorable too. Of these next nine games, eight are against teams below 100 in the RPI. In six of those games our opponent is below 200 (Chicago State, Northwestern 3 times, and IPFW).

It is time for Purdue to make some headway if it is going to surpass last season’s 29 wins and 12 league wins. It all starts in the midweek with a pair of vastly different foes.

Chicago State (7-29, 2-13 WAC) at Purdue (19-16, 7-4 B1G)

Tuesday, April 24 at 6 p.m. ET / BTN Plus on BTN2Go


Andrew Bohm (RS-Fr, RHP) vs. TBA for CSU

Much like in basketball, Chicago State really has no business being a Division I program. The Cougars finally won a pair of league games this weekend by taking a series over Utah Valley, but before those two wins they had lost 13 straight games. During the 13 game losing streak they scored 2 or fewer runs eight times and gave up more than 10 runs 11 times. It was part of a larger skid where they lost 26 of 27 with the one victory coming at home over Big Ten member Northwestern. During those 26 losses they were shutout 8 times, scored a single run six times, and scored only 2 runs five times.

As a team Chicago state is hitting just .221 with Matt Paciello as the top hitter at .325, 2 HR, and 18 RBI. Tyler Lower is batting .319 with 4 HR and 21 RBI, but overall here is not a lot of pop to this lineup. The pitching staff has a huge ERA of 8.02 and, since this is a midweek game, we’re not even going to see their best. They save those for their conference weekends. Redshirt freshman Andrew Bohm will make his first career start tonight. He has struggled with an 11.74 ERA in 7 relief appearances this year, but this is a chance for him to gain some confidence.

Assuming that rain does not cancel this game Purdue should win by quite a lot.

No. 15 Indiana (29-8, 7-4 B1G) at Purdue

Wednesday, April 25 at 7 p.m. ET / ESPNU


Ryan Beard (Jr, LHP) vs. TBA for IU

A night after facing one of the worst Division I teams in the country we’ll face probably the best in the Midwest. Purdue and Indiana met a few weeks ago in their Big Ten series with the Hoosiers taking two of three in Bloomington. Purdue won game one 4-2 and Indiana took game 2 14-1. Game 3 was a marathon 13 inning affair the Hoosiers won 7-5 on a walk-off home run by Logan Kaletha.

That series was part of a red hot stretch for the Hoosiers. The Friday loss was their only loss during a 13-1 stretch, but Ohio State beat them 5-4 and 6-5 this weekend to take that Big Ten series. As a result, Purdue and Indiana are tied at 7-4 in the conference four games behind leader Michigan, but this game will not count in the league standings despite both teams having lost a league game due to weather (Purdue vs. Minnesota and Indiana vs. Iowa).

While this doesn’t count in the conference race it is still a fun midweek game scheduled for rivalry purposes. It will also be nationally televised on ESPNU. Indiana is likely headed to the NCAA Tournament, while Purdue is on the outside looking in right now with an RPI. The Boilers are just 1-5 against top 50 RPI teams. The one win came against Indiana, while losses to Minnesota (twice), Stetson, and Indiana (twice) were our other best games. There is a small chance Purdue can earn at large bid still, but it would likely have to beat Indiana tomorrow night win its series against Ohio State (currently 38 in the RPI) and Michigan (currently 54 in the RPI and undefeated in the Big Ten) while not dropping any of its other games.

It is probably a tall order for Purdue to go something like 15-2 in these last 17 games (which we probably need to do for any NCAA at large chances), but it is likely going to be a big favorite in 10 of them. If the Boilers can get hot here at the right time it is entirely possible it can enter the Big Ten Tournament with 30 overall wins and a decent seed. That would be another step forward in year two under Coach Wasikowski.