Feb. 28, 2013
Game Notes | Listen | Game Day Central (with live links)
Probable Starting Pitchers
Friday: Brad Schreiber (Jr, RHP) vs. Samford's Samford's C.K. Irby (Jr, RHP)
Saturday: Jordan Minch (Fr, LHP) vs. Eric Wright (Jr, LHP)
Sunday: Robert Ramer (Sr, RHP) vs. Samford's Alex Milazzo (Jr, RHP)
Weekend Weather Forecast for Birmingham, Ala.
Friday: 45 degrees, clear skies
Saturday: 42 degrees, chance of scattered snow flurries
Sunday: 43 degrees, clear skies
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Purdue baseball's first traditional weekend series of the season will be against a now familiar foe, as the Boilers visit Birmingham to close out a stretch of five games in 10 days against Samford.
The first pitch at Joe Lee Griffin Field is set for 5 p.m. Friday, 3 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday (all ET). Friday's game time was moved up from 6 to 4 p.m. local time due to the forecasted temperatures in the 40s for the weekend.
Purdue (3-5) and Samford (5-5) split their two games at Mississippi State's Diamond Classic at Dudy Noble Field last weekend in Starkville. The Boilermakers won the weekend opener 9-4 and the Bulldogs took the Sunday meeting, 6-3. Both games were decided by eighth-inning rallies, Purdue scoring five times in the top of the eighth Friday and Samford putting up a three spot in the same frame Sunday. Both teams also dropped a pair of games to No. 5 Mississippi State in Starkville. However, the Boilers were much more competitive against MSU, losing 3-2 and 7-6 versus Samford's 8-2 and 8-1 defeats.
The Bulldogs will have the home field advantage this weekend as Purdue visits the picturesque campus in the Birmingham neighborhood of Homewood for the first time since the 2007 spring break trip. The Boilermakers won two-of-three that weekend to close out an eight-game spring break trip through Alabama. Purdue was victorious in each of its three games played in the state of Alabama a season ago, winning a four-team tournament hosted by Auburn the first weekend of March.
After both teams played four games during their first two weekends of the season, a more traditional three-game set means one fewer starting pitcher is needed. For Purdue, Kyle Wood will be skipped in the rotation after leaving Sunday's game against Samford in the second inning with what has been diagnosed as a forearm strain. Head coach Doug Schreiber said he hoped to have Wood available to bat in the lineup, but was also wary of slowing the lefty's recovery from the injury.
So while Purdue is expected to face a pair of Samford starting pitchers it saw last weekend in Starkville, the Boilers will start a pair of new arms in Jordan Minch and Robert Ramer. They were the starters in the games against MSU at the Diamond Classic. Meanwhile, Brad Schreiber limited Samford to just four hits over six-plus innings in Purdue's win Friday.
Alex Milazzo was equally effective for Samford in the Sunday rematch. The righty was effectively wild while limiting the Boilers to five hits over seven innings. He was able to pitch deep into the game despite issuing six walks and striking out seven.
Schreiber said Wednesday his team needed to cut down on its strikeouts up and down the lineup. Purdue has struck out 22 more times than its opponents. However, the Boilers have been able to capitalize on their opportunities for big innings. While scoring 42 runs in their first eight games, Purdue has only scored in 18 of the 72 innings in which the team has batted. The Boilers have already posted single-inning rallies of seven, five and four (twice) runs. The seven- and five-run rallies were the decisive frames in two of Purdue's three victories.
Conner Hudnall and Brandon Krieg each had four hits in the win against Samford last weekend, leading the way as the Boilers pounded out a season-high 16 hits. It marked the first time that two Purdue players had four hits in the same game since it happened twice in a big offensive series at Murray State in March 2012.
Samford was a member of the Ohio Valley Conference when Purdue visited Birmingham for the weekend series in March 2007. The Bulldogs joined the Southern Conference in time for the 2009 baseball season and won the SoCon Tournament last season. Western Carolina and Wofford are the only other current SoCon teams the Boilers have played before and this weekend represents their first three-game series against a SoCon school.