It had been nearly two years since Purdue played a non-Big Ten baseball series, but it was worth the wait. The Boilers headed down to Sugar Land, Texas this weekend as part of the start of college baseball and it was quite the successful weekend. The offense pounded out 40 runs over four games against South Dakota State and romped to a 4-0 weekend record for a great start to the season.
Purdue 5, South Dakota State 4
Welcome to West Lafayette, Paul Toetz! The former Hoosier homered in his first at bat as a Boilermaker to give Purdue a 1-0 lead, but starting pitcher Wyatt Wendell got in trouble and gave up four third inning runs. The Boilers got three in the bottom of the third though, with Cam Thompson providing a big two run single to tie it. A double by Curtis Washington in the 7th gave Purdue a 5-4 lead, and Griffin Lohman came on to strike out four for a two inning save. Landon Weins earned the win with 4 1⁄3 innings of two hit, shutout baseball.
Purdue 11, South Dakota State 1
Purdue 14, South Dakota State 3
The bats were especially dominant in both games, while the pitching was definitely on point. In game one Jackson Smeltz earned the win. giving up one run on two hits over four innings, while Ricky Castor had the extremely rare five inning save with five shutout innings. Toetz added a second home run for the weekend and had three RBI and Ty Gill had a two run home run in his Boilermaker debut.
In game two Cam Thompson had a big game, going 2 for 3 with a home run and 4 RBI. Five different pitchers saw action as Purdue spread the wealth on the mound. Officially Troy Wansing got the win in three innings pitched. An eight run seventh inning blew this game wide open.
Purdue 10, South Dakota State 7
Sunday games of a four game series can get a wild as teams get deep into the pitching staff, and that is what happened here. Purdue fell behind 1-0 after a half inning, but pushed across seven in the bottom of the first. Thompson provided the big blow with a bases clearing 3-run double. From there Purdue added a run in the second, sixth, and eight to hold on. Kyle Wade was your winner, going 3 2⁄3 in relief with four strikeouts. Eric Hildebrand was the third different pitcher to notch a save with a scoreless ninth.
The top of Purdue’s lineup did serious damage all weekend. Mike Bolton Jr. and Curtis Washington Jr, were constantly on base at the top, each scoring seven runs. Thompson finished the weekend with 9 RBI and a home run while Toetz had two homers and 5 RBI. Senior Evan Albrecht also had his first career home run in game 4.
Purdue will head to Holly Springs, NC net week for another four game set as it will take on Princeton. The Tigers have not won a game in three years. They were 0-7 in the abbreviated 2020 season, didn’t play at all last year, and were off this past weekend.