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Purdue Baseball Releases 2023 Schedule

Gone is the weak non-conference slate.

Courtesy of Purdue Baseball

Last season Purdue made some national baseball news, as it was the last undefeated team in the country with a 15-0 start. Yes, it was against some very weak competition, but 15-0 had them ranked in a few of the top 25 polls. The team faded to a 29-21 mark and had a number of weather cancellations, but it finished 9-12 in Big Ten play and still qualified for the Big Ten Tournament.

Today the athletic department released the 2023 schedule, and it is a doozy.

February 17-19 - Holy Cross (Sugar Land, TX, four games) - Once again, Purdue will start its season at the home of the Triple-A Sugar Land Space Cowboys in a neutral site four game series. Holy Cross was 17-37 last year.

February 24-26 - NJIT (Holly Springs, NC, four games) - This is essentially another warm-up series, again at Ting Stadium in Holly Springs where Purdue played some games last year. NJIT was 26-27 a year ago.

March 3-5 - Akron (Holly Springs, NC, four games) - The team will stay in North Carolina as part of an eight game stand at Ting Stadium. Akron finished dead last in the MAC last year at 14-39.

March 10-12 - at Ole Miss (three games) - There is a very good chance Purdue is 12-0 and should be at least 10-2 before it faces a gigantic test in week four. Ole Miss was the consensus “last team in” to last year’s NCAA Tournament. They squeezed into the field as a 3 seed in the Coral Gables Regional, then ripped off five straight wins to win that regional and a Super Regional at Southern Miss. They would then go on to win the College World Series for the first time ever, given them a 10-1 NCAA Tournament run. They are always a strong team, but this is the first time Purdue will play a defending National Champion since 1967 Ohio State.

March 15 - Northern Illinois - We get a midweek home opener! NIU was 14-40 last year and Purdue won a wild 17-14 midweek game against them last year.

March 17-19 - at Evansville (three games) - The Aces were pretty good a year ago. They were 32-24 and finished second int he MVC. They came up just short of an NCAA bid in the conference tournament. they were scheduled to play a midweek game at Purdue, but it was cancelled due to weather.

March 21 - Illinois-Chicago - UIC was 22-25 last year, but took both midweek games of a home and home from Purdue.

March 22 - Butler - The Bulldogs struggled to a 19-35-1 record last year and lost to Purdue on senior night 11-6 at Alexander Field.

March 24-26 - at Michigan State (three games) - Big Ten play starts at the end of March in East Lansing, where the Spartans were 24-30 overall and missed the league tournament at 8-16.

March 28 - at Indiana State - The Sycamores are always a strong program, but they struggled to 26-22-1 last year. Only one of the two midweek games scheduled with them was played last year, and it was a 10-6 extra inning win for the Trees.

March 31-April 2 - Northwestern (three games) - The Big Ten home opener comes against a Wildcats team that was 23-27 last year. Purdue took two of three games from them in Evanston late in the season.

April 4 - Evansville - Purdue gets a nice return midweek game against the Aces.

April 7-9 - at Minnesota (three games) - The Gophers are normally among the Big Ten’s best, but they have finished last in the conference the last two years. Last year they were 16-36 with a 6-18 league mark.

April 11 - Indiana State - As usual, Purdue gets a return midweek home game with the Trees.

April 14-16 - Penn State (three games) - Penn State got into the league tourney with an 11-13 record last year and finished 26-29 overall. They also took two of three from Purdue in Happy Valley.

April 18 - Ball State - The Cardinals had some real bad luck last year. They were 40-19 overall and won the MAC regular season title at 32-7. They were playing the MAC Tournament at home when Central Michigan upset them twice to steal the automatic bid. This was after they had a four game sweep against them in the regular season.

April 19 - Butler (Victory Field, Indianapolis) - The Boilers return to Victory Field for the first time in a while as they will play Butler in downtown Indy. They were scheduled to play them there in 2020, but...

April 21-23 - at Maryland (three games) - Maryland is the defending Big Ten Champion and hosted a regional last year at 48-14. They were upset by UConn, however, and missed a Super Regional. They won two games against Purdue in last year’s regular season final series, while the final game was rained out (which made people in Nebraska VERY MAD ONLINE).

April 25 - Valparaiso - The Beacons were 16-32 last year and lost a 10 inning game at Purdue 6-5.

April 26 - Miami (OH) - The Red Hawks were 23-33 last year, but they are another nearby opponent handy for midweek games.

April 28-30 - Rutgers (three games) - Rutgers had a great year last year at 44-15 and beat Purdue in the Big Ten Tournament 10-3. They lost the conference championship game to Michigan, and that probably cost them an NCAA bid, as the Wolverines were bid thieves.

May 5-7 - South Dakota State (three games) - This is Purdue’s “bye” week in conference play, and we host the Jackrabbits. They were 20-23 last year and Purdue swept four games from them in Sugar Land, Texas to start the season.

May 9 - at Illinois-Chicago - Like Indiana State, this is a return midweek game.

May 12-14 - at Indiana (three games) - Purdue took two of three from the Hoosiers last year, including a merciless 17-0 opener and wild 16-15 finale. They were a disappointing 27-32 last year, but made a run with two Big Ten Tournament wins.

May 18-20 - Nebraska (three games) - The Big Ten is clearly trolling, as last year’s final day rainout sent Purdue to the Big Ten Tournament on winning percentage over Nebraska, while a likely loss to Maryland would have kept us home. This made Nebraska fans VERY MAD ONLINE. Perhaps next time Nebraska shouldn’t go 23-30 and 10-14 in the league as the preseason favorite.

Overall this is a favorable slate. There should be another hot start as I would not be surprised if Purdue is 3-0 headed to Mississippi. That series is a very big challenge, and even one win there would be huge. The Boilers luck out by getting three of the conference’s five weakest teams in the first three Big Ten series. The only games against 2022 NCAA teams are Ole Miss and Maryland, though Rutgers, Evansville, and Ball State were very good and just missed the field. There could even be an argument that Rutgers deserved the bid Ole Miss got, but the Rebels clearly made the most of their second chance by winning the whole damn thing. Indiana and Indiana State are also both perennial NCAA teams locally.

Outside of Ole Miss and Maryland the schedule is not too daunting. Purdue can aim for 30 wins and if the pitching improves it could threaten for more.