The long and winding road continues to open Purdue baseball’s season, as they have a third consecutive weekend series at a team from last year’s NCAA Tournament. This weekend Purdue will face Oral Roberts in a truncated three-game series in Tulsa. Originally slated to be a four-game set, Purdue and the Golden Eagles will only play three games over two days.
Purdue (1-6, 38-21 in 2018) at Oral Roberts (3-3, 38-20 in 2018)
Friday to Saturday, March 1 to 2 at 3 p.m. ET
Doubleheader Friday / Single Game Saturday
J.L. Johnson Stadium / Tulsa, Oklahoma
All-Time Series: Purdue leads 1-0 / All-Time in Tulsa: First Meetings
Last Meeting: Purdue 7, Oral Roberts 6 (May 15, 2018 in West Lafayette)
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS
Friday Game 1: Dalton Parker (Jr, RHP) vs. ORU’s Josh McMinn (Sr, RHP)
Friday Game 2: Andrew Bohm (R-So, RHP) vs. ORU’s Matt Gaskins (Jr, RHP(
Saturday: Patrick J. Smith (Sr, LHP) vs. ORU’s Isaac Coffey (Fr, RHP)
Oral Roberts has been feast or famine to start the year. They earned a 3-game sweep of Murray State during the opening weekend, but all three games of the Klieberg Bank College Classic in Corpus Christi, Texas last week. They fell to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 5-1, BYU 8-3, and Ohio State 8-3. The seven runs came after the plated 35 runs in three games against Murray State.
Spencer Henson has been their big bat, as he is hitting .316 with 2 home runs and 8 RBI. Hunter Wilson is batting .375 with 6 RBI while Andrew Pace has done well at the top of the lineup, hitting .333.
On the mound the starters have all been the pitchers of record in 5 of 6 games. Josh McMinn was solid in the season opener, but has been shelled for 17 hits and 10 earned runs in 13 innings. As a pitching staff Oral Roberts has an ERA of 4.33, but they make up for it by hitting .254 as a team with six home runs.
Last week at Texas Purdue was definitely better. Zac Fascia has been hot to start the season, batting .409 with a team high 5 RBI. The Boilers have yet to hit a home run through seven games, however. Our pitching staff has been worked around to the tune of a 6.90 ERA, but that comes from facing two teams that are not only NCAA teams, but possible hosts as top 16 national seeds.
It is telling that Ryan Beard was moved out of the weekend rotation this week in favor of Patrick J. Smith. Beard was knocked around by Texas in game two, but Smith was solid in game four after giving up three first inning runs.
This needs to be a series win for Purdue. Oral Roberts is probably the favorite to win the Summit League again, but we could use a weekend to gain some momentum before too many losses pile up. This is a team we can beat on the road and is not nearly as daunting as Southern Miss or Texas. It will be interesting to see how Purdue responds.