March 21, 2011
Midweek Stat Pack Notes | Game Day Central (with live coverage links)
Probable Pitching Matchups
Tuesday vs. Illinois State: Joe Haase (Jr, RHP) vs. JD Learnard (So, RHP)
Wednesday vs. Wabash: TBA vs. TBA
Weather Forecast for West Lafayette, Ind.
Tuesday: 68 degrees, 40 percent chance of thunderstorms
Wednesday: 67 degrees, 40 percent chance of thunderstorms
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue baseball opens the home portion of its schedule this week, welcoming Illinois State and Wabash to campus as the 46th and final season at Lambert Field begins.
First pitch is set for 4 p.m. Tuesday against Illinois State and Wednesday against longstanding area rival Wabash. The Boilermakers also host Bradley Sunday in the finale of a series in which the first two games are scheduled to be played in Peoria, Ill.
Purdue played its first 19 games away from West Lafayette, posting a 13-6 record thanks to five consecutive victorious weekends to begin the new season.
The Boilermakers closed their spring break trip with a series win at Tennessee Tech over the weekend, winning two-of-three at the defending Ohio Valley Conference regular-season champion. Tuesday, Purdue welcomes an Illinois State team to town that is also 13-6 this year after winning the Missouri Valley Conference regular-season and tournament titles in 2010.
The Boilermakers and Redbirds split their two midweek games a season ago, with the road team winning both dates. In fact, the home team has not won in the midweek series since Purdue’s 2008 victory in West Lafayette.
The Boilermakers will look to reverse that recent series trend while extending an impressive stretch in home openers. Purdue has not lost a home opener to a nonconference opponent since 1996. During head coach Doug Schreiber’s tenure (1999-present), the Boilers have compiled a 10-2 mark in home openers. Both losses coincided with the first home game at Lambert Field also marking the beginning of Big Ten Conference play.
Illinois State posted an impressive 6-2 record on its spring break trip in Florida, defeating Ohio State and splitting a pair of games at nationally-ranked Miami. The game the Redbirds lost in Coral Gables was decided in extra innings. Illinois State also split a season-opening, four-game series at Belmont, a team that defeated Purdue last week in Nashville.
ISU leadoff man Kevin Tokarski was a preseason All-American after winning MVC Player of the Year and Tournament MVP honors as a redshirt-sophomore. While he may be hitting only .260 so far this season, he has managed to steal 12 bases and draw 17 walks. Tyler McNeely (.375, 5 HR, 18 RBIs) and Ryan Court (.362, 10 XBH, 14 RBIs) have led the way at the plate.
Wabash is an NCAA Division III school located in Crawfordsville that competes in the North Coast Athletic Conference. Former Purdue standout Ben Wolgamot is serving as an assistant coach at Wabash this season.
Last year’s Purdue-Wabash game at Lambert Field was a low-scoring affair, with the two teams combining for only four runs on 11 hits in a 3-1 victory for the Boilermakers.
The all-time series dates back to 1888 but Purdue and Wabash only played once from 1975 through 2008.