Purdue faced a tough task this weekend by traveling to one of the best teams in the Big Ten this weekend. Illinois was ranked No. 25 in the D1 Baseball poll, a spot behind Iowa as the two top 25 programs in the Big Ten. The Boilers did put up a good fight, but ultimately dropped all three games in Champaign.
Friday: Illinois 5, Purdue 2 (12 innings)
Trent Johnson continued to have a great year as he has been fantastic in Big Ten play. he gave up just one run on four hits in seven innings as he handcuffed the Illini all night. Ryan Howe scored on a groundout by Cole Mckenzie in the fifth and Purdue took a 2-1 lead when Milo Beam scored on a bunt single from Tyler Powers in the top of the ninth.
Holding the narrow lead Bo Hofstra came in, but Jack Yalowitz delivered a two-out RBI single to tie the game. The teams then traded zeros in the 10th and 11th, but Zac Taylor delivered a walk-off three-run homer off of Andrew Bohm in the bottom of the 12th. Powers was 3 for 5 with an RBI for Purdue, but Bohm continued to have horrible luck ont he mound, falling to 0-8.
Saturday: Illinois 5, Purdue 4
Skyler Hunter got the 200th hit of his career and the pitching staff established a new program record with 438 strikeouts on the year, but the Boilers again could not hold a late lead. Zac Fascia had a pair of RBIs and Purdue scored three in the sixth to take a 4-2 lead, but the Illini responded with two in the bottom of the inning and one in the seventh off of Austin Peterson. all nine starters in the lineup for Purdue recorded at least one hit on the ninth, but situational hitting was poor. Even with three runs in the sixth Purdue left the bases loaded. Purdue left nine runners on base in the game.
Sunday: Illinois 6, Purdue 4
Purdue took a lead in the top of the first when Bryce Bonner scored on an RBI single from Hunter. A second RBI from Hunter in the third scored Beam to make it 2-0, but Illinois responded with two in the bottom of the fourth. Purdue led 3-2 after a run in the fourth, but gave up two in the bottom of the inning and two more in the bottom of hte sixth after Bonner tied the game at 4-4 with a ground out in the top of the sixth. Kyle Wade took the loss on the mound, giving up two runs in 2 1⁄3 innings of relief.
The weekend sweep probably ended any chance of Purdue reaching the Big Ten Tournament this season. Purdue sits at 7-13 in the league going into the final weekend of the season and needs to sweep Ohio State to even have a chance. They would also need Rutgers to get swept at Indiana (possible), Maryland to get swept at home by Iowa (possible) and Michigan State to lose at least one game to Illinois.
The final four games of the regular season start Tuesday when Purdue hosts Xavier before Ohio State comes to town Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.