Yesterday Purdue baseball had its first midweek game of the season and first game in the state of Indiana. It was a game in the sense that two teams showed up, pitches were thrown, and a score was kept. That’s about it.
Indiana 17, Purdue 2 (7 innings)
Fortunately, this game does not count in the Big Ten standings. This is the third year Indiana and Purdue have agreed to a single midweek game in order to give each other a quality opponent. That can be tricky to do in the Midwest. Purdue did lead 1-0 thanks to a bases loaded one out walk to Miles Simington in the top of the first, scoring Evan Albrecht.
Then all hell broke loose.
Indiana plated seven runs on four hits and two errors in the bottom of the first. Jordan Fucci had a three-run double for the big blow in the inning. The Hoosiers then added a run in the second, three in the fourth, and six in the fifth before Purdue managed to get it second run in the seventh. That’s when both coaches said enough was enough and mutually agreed to a run rule.
It was a dismal game for Purdue. The Boilers committed five errors after going error free in three games down at Campbell. Andrew Bohm made it only a third of an inning in his start and got tagged for five earned runs. Albrecht had two hits and an RBI, but the Boilers only had four hits as a team.
Purdue now has a chance to right the ship with a three-game set at Western Kentucky this weekend.
Weekend Series at Western Kentucky (8-4)
Friday: 3pm CT
Saturday: 1pm CT
Sunday: 1pm CT
The Hilltoppers are off to an 8-4 start this season playing mostly mid- to low-major teams. They started the season by taking two of three from Valparaiso. They then took a midweek game against Murray State before taking two of three from Wright State. They had another midweek win over Austin Peay before taking two of three from USC-Upstate. Yesterday they dropped a midweek game against Belmont.
Western Kentucky’s weekend starters have all struggled somewhat. Sean Bergeron (1-0, 2.93 ERA), Michael Darrell-Hicks (1-1, 4.61 ERA), Riley Boyd (0-0, 7.50 ERA), and Aristotle Peter (0-1, 9.00 ERA) have all made three starts. Boyd started the midweek game this week, so we will likely see the other three. As a staff Western Kentucky is giving up five earned runs per game and teams are batting .268 against them.
At the plate Western Kentucky has done very well as a team. They are batting .280 and already have seven home runs., Jack Wilson, Ray Zuberer, Matt Phipps, and Davis Sims are all batting over .300, which could be a difference since Purdue’s bats have been ice cold the last four games. Fortunately, we’re not playing a lights out ace like we did against Duke and NC State.
Overall this should be a fairly evenly matched series. Purdue’s starting pitching has been excellent the last weekends, so Trent Johnson, Jett Jackson, and Cory Brooks can hopefully stay hot. Purdue has to find an answer for its bullpen, however. In all three games last weekend, plus yesterday, the bullpen got rocked. Purdue needs to get its bats going as well.
This is a great chance to get a series win. Purdue is at WKU this week and at Evansville next weekend and needs to regain momentum before the Big Ten schedule starts at national runner-up Michigan on March 20th.