FanPost

Purdue Dugout Doings: 5-16-2022 (Delayed)

It has not always been pretty, but Purdue has given themselves a good shot at the Big Ten Tournament coming up. They have one last series coming up, and as long as they don’t get swept, they have a good chance.

Baseball Results:

4/26: FINAL—Purdue 6, Valparaiso 5 (10 innings)

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W: Wansing (3-3) L: Nowak (0-2)

This was an ugly game overall, but Purdue’s penchant for late game heroics kicked in again to lead the Boilermakers to victory. As has been the case in many of Purdue’s nonconference games, Purdue used one of their relievers as a starter, and it didn't work terribly this time. However, Purdue's offense was pretty sluggish at first, and the Beacons used the opportunity to take an early lead. The bats did eventually wake up in the fifth inning, and Purdue took the lead in the fifth inning. However, in the seventh, Purdue's pitching slipped up, and Valparaiso got a three-run double to retake the lead. The Purdue response was quick, and the game was tied at the end of the seventh inning. Neither team scored in the next two innings, so the game would move to extras. Purdue had a shot in the ninth with a runner on third and one out, but they couldn't move him home. Purdue did not blow another opportunity in the tenth, however, as a Troy Viola single won the game for Purdue. Four different relievers combined to shut down Valparaiso over the last three and a third innings, combining for four hits, three walks, and no runs allowed while striking out five. Offensively, Evan Albrecht singled two runs in in the fifth inning to give Purdue the lead, then doubled in another run in the seventh to tie the game.

4/29: FINAL—Purdue 18, Michigan 4

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W: Backer (2-0) L: O’Halloran (4-3)

Well, this came out of nowhere. Michigan was supposed to be one of the top teams in the conference, and Purdue came into this series on a bit of a slump. With this in mind, it is fair to be pretty surprised by the fact that Purdue put out their best offensive performance of the season. Michigan did hold the lead for a short period of time after scoring in the top of the second, but Purdue retook the lead with three runs in the bottom of the inning, and they never looked back. The scoring was pretty consistent as well, as Purdue added to their lead in six of the eight innings where they batted. Unlike Michigan, which relied pretty heavily on the long ball for their runs, only three of Purdue’s twenty hits went for extra bases. While I do not think that it would have mattered in this game, Michigan gave Purdue runs that made the game a bit uglier than it could have been. On the mound, CJ Backer provided a solid start by only giving up three hits and one run over five innings while walking none and striking out eight. In a game like this, there were quite a few offensive standouts, but Troy Viola was the top contributor. He had a single, two home runs, three runs scored, and five runs driven in. Other key contributors to this massive offensive performance were Curtis Washington, Evan Albrecht, and Paul Toetz, all of whom had at least three hits, two runs, and two runs batted in.

5/1: FINAL—Purdue 12, Michigan 4

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W: Wendell (4-2) L: Weston (4-3) SV: Weins (2)

Rain and thunderstorms around the West Lafayette area forced a Sunday doubleheader to finish the series, and Purdue continued their offensive firepower to win the first of those games. Like Friday’s game, Purdue’s offense was very consistent. Unlike the previous game, Purdue relied more on big swings of the bat to move runners in this game. Purdue started slowly, with at least on run from the second inning until the fifth, but they really broke things open with a six-run sixth inning. After that, the offense stopped, but they had done all of the damage that they needed to do. The pitching staff kept Michigan to a couple of two-run innings, and Purdue locked in a critical series win. Wyatt Wendell had another strong start, with a mere five hits and two runs allowed over six innings. He did not allow any walks and struck out eight. Offensively, Troy Viola had another strong game, finishing with four singles, three runs, two RBIs, and a walk. Paul Toetz had two doubles, two runs, and two RBIs, and CJ Valdez added a single, a home run, three runs, one run batted in, and a walk.

FINAL—Michigan 13, Purdue 2

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W: Allen (6-0) L: Wansing (2-4)

Purdue was on the wrong end of a blowout in the series finale, so they did not finish the sweep. Honestly, that is fine, as winning the series is enough of a positive step in my eyes. Michigan put up a crooked number in the second inning to give themselves a solid foothold, and while Purdue sort of responded, it was not enough, and they could not keep the hitting consistent. The Wolverines poured on with another crooked number in the fifth inning, and that would be more than enough. After scoring a combined thirty runs in the past two games, the Boilermaker hitters struggled against Chase Allen, only scoring two runs, one of which was unearned. Griffin Lohman did have a solid relief outing, pitching for ten thirds innings with a final stat line of two hits allowed, no runs allowed, no walks issued, and three strikeouts earned. Jake Jarvis had two hits, an RBI, and a walk.

5/6: FINAL—Iowa 5, Purdue 2

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W: Mazur (6-2) L: Backer (2-1) SV: Beutel (3)

Adam Mazur showed why he is one of the best pitchers in this conference in this game, as he strangled the Purdue lineup throughout this game. When the other pitcher is hurling a gem, you have very little room for error yourself, and one ugly inning ended up costing the Boilermakers in this game. The first two innings were very quiet, as both pitchers were in control. However, Iowa used a string of hits to push five runners across in the third inning and take a commanding lead. Most of the rest of the game transpired very quietly, as Purdue could not solve Adam Mazur and the Boilermaker pitching had solidified. Mazur finally started to crack in the ninth inning, and Purdue was able to chip away at the lead, but it was too little, too late. Ricky Castro clamped down on the Iowa bats in relief to keep this game in play, giving up only two hits and no runs in ten thirds innings of work while striking out three. However, other than a two-run single from Troy Viola in the ninth, Purdue’s offense was almost nonexistent in this game.

5/7: FINAL—Purdue 10, Iowa 6

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W: Wendell (5-2) L: Schultz (2-2)

An early hitting outburst and a late push after Iowa rallied gave the Boilermakers a key win in the push for the Big Ten Tournament. Purdue drew first blood with two runs in the second inning, and they added another run in the third. Three more Purdue runs in the top of the fourth pushed the lead to six, and at this point, Iowa’s offense was stalling. However, after four good innings from Wyatt Wendell while the lead built, Wendell struggled in the fifth inning, and the lead began to evaporate. By the end of the fifth inning, the lead was down to two runs. Undeterred, the Boilermakers scored another run in the seventh and three more runs in the eighth inning to make up all the damage from the fourth. The Hawkeyes scored two runs in the bottom half of that inning, but it would not be enough. The first four innings from Wyatt Wendell were solid, and that allowed Purdue to build up a significant lead. He would finish with seven hits, one walk, and four runs given up in five innings of work while striking out one. From the batter’s box, CJ Valdez had three hits, including one for extra bases, and drove in five runs to power the Boilermaker attack. As well, Paul Toetz had a two-run home run, and Mike Bolton Jr. scored three runs.

5/8: FINAL—Iowa 9, Purdue 1

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W: Langenberg (5-1) L: Danzeisen (1-1)

The combination of Purdue’s offensive struggles and a couple of outbursts from Iowa meant that the Hawkeyes won the final game, and thus the series. Iowa got a two-run home run in the first inning to take an early lead, and then pushed a couple more runs across the plate in the third inning. Meanwhile, Purdue’s hitters could do nothing against Iowa pitching. It was the fifth inning that really put the game almost entirely out of reach, as Iowa sent eleven batters to the plate, and five of them scored. The Boilermakers would outscore Iowa for the rest of the game, but it was not nearly enough. Nolan Daniel helped shut down the Iowa offense in the late innings, as he gave up a mere one hit and one run while pitching five strikeouts in seven thirds innings. A Mike Bolton Jr. home run provided the only Boilermaker run.

5/10: FINAL—Purdue 11, Butler 6

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W: Castro (2-1) L: MacCauley (3-3)

On a beautiful evening in West Lafayette, Purdue used a seven-run sixth inning to push past Butler in the team’s final nonconference game of the season despite only getting one extra-base hit in the game. The Boilermakers were able to jump on Butler’s starter early, assisted by some Butler errors. Unfortunately, after a few singles that were all just outside of a Boilermaker’s reach, a grand slam gave the Bulldogs the lead back. They would add to that with a couple of runs in the fourth inning. However, Purdue’s small-ball skill came into play in the sixth inning, as they sent eleven men to the plate. There was one double in that inning, but that would be the Boilermakers’ only extra-base hit of the game. Purdue would get one more insurance run in the eighth inning, but it wouldn’t be necessary. Khal Stephen pitched two innings of one-hit ball while striking out five to shut down Butler’s momentum late. From the batter’s box, CJ Valdez had the lone extra-base hit and drove in three runs, while ten different Boilermakers scored at least one run.

5/13: FINAL—Purdue 14, Northwestern 8

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W: Stephen (3-3) L: Sullivan (5-2)

In this critical series for Big Ten Tournament eligibility, the Boilermakers used a late surge from the bats and some wildness on Northwestern’s part to win the first game of the series. The Wildcats drew first blood with a couple of runs in the first inning, but Purdue was partially able to make it up in the second inning. The main attack fell in the fourth inning, where Purdue used key hits, small ball, and productive outs to score five runs and take the lead. Northwestern would score two runs in the bottom half of the inning to cut the lead’s size, but they would not lead again in this game. After the teams exchanged runs in the fifth and sixth innings, the Boilermaker hitters took command of this game with four runs in the seventh and three runs in the eighth. Northwestern would attempt a rally, but it would not be enough. Khal Stephen was solid in relief as he picked up the win in this game. His final stat line was three hits, no walks, and one run allowed while striking out four over almost three innings of work. Troy Viola had two multiple-RBI hits in the late innings to propel the Purdue offense, finishing with three hits, two of which went for extra bases, and five RBIs. Curtis Washington and Paul Toetz both had three hits for Purdue, while Mike Bolton Jr and Steve Ramirez scored three runs each and Cam Thompson hit his eleventh home run of the season.

5/14: FINAL—Northwestern 11, Purdue 1

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W: Farinelli (5-5) L: Wendell (5-3)

This game was entirely forgettable for Boilermaker fans. Northwestern put runs on the board in the first inning, and they never let up. The Wildcats would finish by hitting four home runs and scoring at least one run in six of the eight innings in which they batted. Purdue, meanwhile, accomplished almost nothing offensively, with an RBI groundout preventing the embarrassment of a shutout. Altogether, this is a game where you burn the tape and focus on the next game.

5/15: FINAL—Purdue 7, Northwestern 2

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W: Wansing (3-4) L: Comstock (0-4) SV: Weins (3)

A strong pitching performance gave Purdue a good foundation, and the hitters took opportunities where they could, causing Purdue to beat Northwestern and take this critical series. Combined with some outside results, this puts the chance at a Big Ten Tournament berth solely in Purdue’s hands. Purdue got a couple of runs early in the game, but things stayed pretty quiet for a while. A three-run sixth inning solidified the Boilermaker lead, and while Northwestern would score a couple of runs late in the game, it was not enough. According to Purdue’s recap, the Boilermakers broke their club record during this game with 107 stolen bases during this season, breaking a record that had held since 2000. Troy Wansing set Purdue up for success in the finale, as he gave up three hits and four walks but stranded every runner over his seventeen thirds innings pitched. Meanwhile, both Evan Albrecht and Steve Ramirez had multiple hits, including one for extra bases, and both knocked in two runs. Albrecht also led the team with two runs scored.

Key Leaders:

Troy Viola: 15-44, 3 2B, 2HR, 10R, 15RBI, BB

Mike Bolton Jr: 12-28, 2B, 3B, HR, 10R, 5RBI, 8BB

Wyatt Wendell: 15IP, 19H, 12R, 11ER, 3BB, 11K, 2W

Nolan Daniel: 5IP, 3H, R, ER, 5BB, 8K

Upcoming Action:

5/19 – 5/21: vs Maryland for three

Purdue concludes the regular season with a three game homestand against Maryland, who is looking to make one last push for a Big Ten regular season title. As long as the Boilermakers win at least one game over this weekend, they should be safely in the Big Ten Tournament, which should . There is a way that Purdue makes it in even if they get swept, but it will rely on some bad teams with nothing to play for acting as spoiler, so I wouldn’t rely on that. Maryland has lost single games to Minnesota on the road and Northwestern at home, so it can be done. We will see if Purdue can take care of business one last time.

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