Boilermakers Close Out Spring Break With 4-Game Set in First Trip to Wichita St.

PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM Kevin Plawecki has hit safely in eight straight games, posting six straight two-hit efforts.
PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM
Kevin Plawecki has hit safely in eight straight games, posting six straight two-hit efforts.
PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM

March 14, 2012


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Purdue Feature at College Baseball Daily

Probable Starting Pitchers
Thursday: Robert Ramer (Jr, RHP) vs. WSU's Mitch Mormann (Sr, RHP)
Friday: Joe Haase (Sr, RHP) vs. WSU's Albert Minnis (So, LHP)
Saturday Game One: Lance Breedlove (Sr, RHP) vs. WSU's Josh Smith (Sr, LHP)
Saturday Game Two: Calvin Gunter (Sr, LHP) vs. WSU's Kris Gardner (RS-Fr, LHP)

Weekend Weather Forecast for Wichita, Kan.
Thursday: 81 degrees, 30 percent chance of rain
Friday: 80 degrees, 20 percent chance of rain
Saturday: 76 degrees, 30 percent chance of rain

WICHITA, Kan. - No. 24 Purdue baseball closes out its eight-game spring break trip with another formidable road test, taking on Wichita State for a four-game weekend series scheduled to be played over three days.

The original start times at WSU's Eck Stadium for the games Thursday and Friday have been pushed up due to Wichita State basketball action. Thursday's game is now set for 4 p.m. ET and action Friday will begin at 6 p.m. ET. Saturday's doubleheader is slated for 3 p.m. ET.

The Boilermakers (12-1) enter the series riding an eight-game win streak, matching their longest streaks of both 2010 and 2011. A win Thursday in the series opener would give Purdue it's best-ever one-loss start in program history and it's first win streak longer than eight games since posting 13 consecutive victories in 2001.

The Boilermakers have outscored the opposition 82-33 during their win streak. However, five of the eight wins have come in games decided by three runs or less. Tuesday's game at Missouri State featured a combined six runs scored, the fewest in any of Purdue's first 13 games this season.

A balanced lineup has been the Boilers most dangerous asset throughout the season. But during the recent win streak primary run producers Cameron Perkins (.526, 14 RBIs) and Kevin Plawecki (.485, 15 RBIs) have led the way. Both sluggers have hit safely in all eight games. Stephen Talbott has also been on a tear in the nine hole, posting six consecutive multi-hit games during a 17-for-31 hot stretch.

On the mound, Blake Mascarello has pitched in five of the eight games during the win streak, earning the win in the victories against Auburn, Murray State (game one) and Missouri State. In an effort to not disrupt the weekend rotation's normal schedule any more than necessary, the coaching staff has opted to give the ball to Robert Ramer for Thursday's series opener. Joe Haase will remain penciled in for Friday and Lance Breedlove and Calvin Gunter will take the ball for the two games Saturday.

Ramer pitched well as a midweek and spot starter last season and has compiled a perfect 7-0 record in his three years with the program. However, Thursday will mark his first significant action of the season. He has worked only two innings of relief so far in 2012.

Wichita State (10-8) represents the last of Purdue's four first-time opponents on the 2012 regular-season schedule. The Boilermakers have not played a game in the state of Kansas since losing at Kansas State in March 1996.

The Shockers have a strong baseball tradition, highlighted by a 1989 College World Series championship. Wichita State has played in 27 NCAA Tournaments and seven College World Series, its last CWS appearance coming in 1996.

The Shockers are expected to start a six-foot-six right-hander and three left-handers on the mound against Purdue. Game one starter Mitch Mormann started his college career at LSU and has surrendered only 12 hits in 18 2/3 innings pitched. Used primarily as relievers, Foster Vielock (no earned runs allowed in 17 1/3 innings), Cale Elam (15 Ks and 4 saves in seven appearances) and A.J. Ladwig (0.40 ERA, 16 strikeouts vs. one walk) have led the way for the WSU pitching staff.

Johnny Coy has been the most consistent Shocker at the plate. He leads the team with a .394 batting average, seven extra-base hits and 23 RBIs. The first baseman was the NCBWA National Player of the Week after a 15-for-25 showing at the plate in late February as WSU went 5-0. He has already been selected twice in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.

Wichita State has posted eight of 10 wins at home this season. Eck Stadium has hosted numerous NCAA Regionals and features an artificial turf surface.