In last season’s Big Ten preseason predictions Purdue baseball wasn’t even picked to finish in the top 8 of the league and qualify for the conference tournament. The Boilers defied those expectations and rolled to a second place finish in the league, reaching the NCAA Tournament and winning a game in the Chapel Hill Regional. This year the league is a little more ambitious when it comes to expectations. After a banner year Purdue is picked to finish 6th in the 13 team league, comfortably qualifiying for the 8-team league tournament.
Here is what the league release had to say:
Purdue made its third appearance in the NCAA Tournament last season and the first since 2012, finishing with a 38-21 record. The Boilermakers return junior outfielderSkyler Hunter and sophomore outfielder Ben Nisle, while welcoming a transfer catcher in Zac Fascia. Hunter started all 59 games for the Boilermakers and led the team in hits (78) for the second year in a row, while Nisle batted .304 with 28 runs scored, seven home runs and 43 RBI in 58 games.
Minnesota was picked to win the league for a second consecutive season, Followed by Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio State. Purdue and Nebraska were tied for the 6th and final pick in the top six.
The league also released a generic preseason honors list and the following three players from Purdue were on it:
Zac Fascia, C, Jr., Purdue
Skyler Hunter, OF, Jr., Purdue
Ben Nisle, OF, So., Purdue
Purdue begins its season Friday at No. 21 Southern miss, who will not have All-American Matt Wallner on the mound.
INJURY NEWS ⚠️: @SouthernMissBSB All-American RHP/OF Matt Wallner suffered a strain in his lower forearm and won’t pitch this weekend. Tests did not show major damage. He could still DH for #USM this weekend, however.— Kendall Rogers (@KendallRogers) February 13, 2019
Wallner has been electric during team scrimmages. #MLBDraft
First pitch this weekend is at 5pm Friday. Purdue did receive votes in the preseason coaches poll.