Goodbye NCAA Tournament.
Purdue entered the weekend needing a decent series win over a solid mid major program in order to right the ship for the NCAA Tournament. Instead, it was Belmont who got the boost. The Bruins walked into Alexander Field and swept Purdue, strengthening their own case foe the NCAA Tournament should they fail to win the Ohio Valley Conference and dealing a crippling blow to Purdue’s chances.
Belmont 3, Purdue 2
Jackson Smeltz took his first loss of the season despite a solid outing, as Purdue’s normally strong offense spoiled a rare good pitching game. Belmont’s Tommy Crider had solo home runs in the second and sixth and the Bruins got a third inning run on an error. A third inning single from Evan Albrecht drove in a run and Mike Bolton had a fifth inning homer, but the offense could not get much else going against Andy Bean, who moved to 7-1. The Bruins pulled off double plays in the seventh and eighth to kill late rallies.
Belmont 11, Purdue 1
The less said the better about this one. Troy Viola had a solo homer in the bottom of the third to get one back after Belmont scored three in the top of the inning, but it was all Belmont from there. Purdue managed only six hits while Belmont pounded out 16, so it could have been much worse than the 10 run margin.
Belmont 8, Purdue 6
This looked to be more of the same, as Belmont led 8-2 after five innings, but the offense finally came to life to make a game of it late. Overall though it was a disjointed game. Purdue had 16 hits and ended up leaving a whopping 17 guys on base. That’s almost enough for Congressional representation. Ryan Howe drove in a pair of runs and after a Jake Jarvis RBI single in the ninth Purdue had the tying runs on base, but a groundout ended the threat.
Purdue now falls to 22-13 on the season, and they have lost 12 of the last 16 and five in a row. That all but ends any hopes of an at large bid to the NCAA tournament unless they inexplicably get hot again and win the vast majority (if not all) of their remaining 15 games. The best hope now is to finish in the top eight of the league standings to make the Big Ten Tournament, at least.
They will try to right the ship Tuesday night with a home game against Valparaiso (13-22)