To have any chance at reaching the Big Ten Tournament in 2019 Purdue baseball needed to sweep the season ending series with Ohio State. That did not happen. The Buckeyes rolled into West Lafayette and their baseball team had a significatnly more successful weekend than their football team. OSU swept the Boilers with relative ease, as Purdue managed little offense in the first two games, then fell short in a wild game three today.
Ohio State 7, Purdue 0
The Purdue offense took a break Thursday night, as the Boilers were shutout for the seventh time in 54 games. Though the box score looks otherwise, Trent Johnson threw a really good game. A first inning home run Dillon Dingler was the most damage Johnson had until the seventh. Brent Todys hit him for a second solo homer in the seventh and in the eighth three more baserunners scored thanks to a Brady Cherry 3-run homer.
Purdue managed six hit son Thursday, but never pressured Garrett Burhenn as he went eight innings for the win for the Buckeyes.
Ohio State 6, Purdue 1
The good news is that Skyler Hunter scored on a first inning wild pitch to give purdue an early 1-0 lead. The bad news is that Ohio State pitcher Seth Lonsway went eight innings and gave up only two hits. Patrick J. Smith was tagged for four in the third and two in the fourth as Ohio State relied on superior pitching for the second straight night.
Ohio State 13, Purdue 11
This was a wild one. The Buckeyes exploded for eight int he top of the first to take an 8-0 lead before even throwing a pitch. Purdue got one abck in the bottom of the inning, but finally got its offense going with two outs in the fourth. Down 9-1, the Boilers exploded for three runs powered by a 3 RBI double from Zac Fascia. A run in the fifth tied it at 9-9 and got starter Cory Brooks off the hook, but a three-run home run from Conner Pohl off of Andrew Bohm in the sixth put Ohio State back in front for good.
Bohm continued to terrible luck on the season, falling to 0-9 on the year in 15 appearances on the mound. Conner Tomasic had an RBI triple and scored a run, but for the third striaght night Purdue couldn’t get clutch hits when it needed them.
And so closes a disappointing year for Purdue. The Boilers went 20-34 overall, 7-16 in Big Ten play. We only finished ahead of Penn State in conference play, and the 20-34 overall record tied Michigan State for the worst in the league. Since we won 38 games a year ago and had essentially the second best year in program history, it is a disappointment.
The biggest problem was the offense. Purdue lost eight games by 1 run and in 22 of the 34 losses the Boilers scored 3 runs or less. the pitching staff has a lot of promise. Trent Johnson and Cory Brooks will be a very good 1-2 next saeson. Bo Hofstra wa excellent at closing games and there are plenty of solid underclassmen on the pitching staff that will be good for a while. Matt Moore won five games out of the bullpen as well.
Purdue loses just three seniors in Nick Evarts, Patrick J. Smith, and Ryan Beard. Beard even missed the last third of the season with an injury. If you believe experience is a great teacher the Boilers will be much better next year, but the hitting needs to improve greatly. Purdue hit only .239 as a team with only 11 home runs. Jacson McGowan had 13 homers by himself in 2018, so the threat of power needs to be there.