It was a rough weekend for Purdue baseball before a big Sunday helped even things out a bit. Purdue dropped the first two games of the weekend at Western Kentucky, but exploded for nine first inning runs to take the finale in a big way on Sunday.
Friday: Western Kentucky 8, Purdue 3
In a surprise move No. 1 starter Trent Johnson was moved into the closer’s role while Bo Hofstra was moved from the closer role to No. 1 starter. The move did not work. For the second consecutive outing Hofstra was shelled, giving up six runs on seven hits in 2 1⁄3 innings. Purdue was down 6-1 after just three innigns and never recovered. What makes this even more shicking is that Johnson had been great in his last two outings.
Purdue did get two back in the fourth on a Mason Gavre single and Kyle LaPlante sacrifice fly, but the Purdue offense was held to seven hits total. Zac Fascia also had a first inning RBI.
Saturday: Western Kentucky 11, Purdue 2
The teams were tied 1-1 through two innings, but Davis Sims had a three-run homer in the third as part of a six run inning to blow the game open for the Hilltoppers. Kevin Lambert also cleared the bases in the inning iwth a three-run triple.
At the plate Bryce Bonner and Evan Albrecht each drove in runs, but Purdue had nine hits scattered about the lineup.
Sunday: Purdue 19, Western Kentucky 1
There were no offensive problems today. Purdue exploded for nine runs before the Hilltoppers even had an at bat. Evan Albrecht had a monster day at the plate, going 5 for 7 with 3 RBI. Zac Fascia drove in four runs while Miles Simington had three hits and 2 RBI. This was obviously more than enough for Jett Jackson to pick up his first career win. He was still excellent with only one run on four hits in five innings of work.
While Purdue lost the series it was very good to see them respond in a big way on Sunday. The bats finally woke up after scoring only 13 runs total in the previous six games (all losses).
Purdue has one more road non-conference series before getting into conference play. The Boilers will head to Evansville enxt week for three games against the Purple Aces, who are 4-11. It should be a good tune-up opportunity before conference play.