March 28, 2011
Midweek Stat Pack | Game Day Central (with live coverage links)
Purdue leads 17-2
2010 in West Lafayette: Purdue 10, IPFW 4 (March 23
2010 in Fort Wayne: Purdue 3, IPFW 2 (April 27)
First Meeting: Purdue swept a doubleheader, 3-2 & 2-1 (1976 in West Lafeyette)
Probable Pitching Matchup
Calvin Gunter (Jr, LHP) vs. Ryan August (Sr, RHP)
Tuesday Weather Forecast for West Lafayette, Ind.
46 degrees, clear skies
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue baseball closes out the month of March Tuesday with its final tune up before Big Ten Conference play opens Friday, hosting IPFW for a 4 p.m. first pitch at Lambert Field.
The schedule originally called for Purdue (15-8) to visit Fort Wayne this week and IPFW (4-12) to travel to West Lafayette April 13. But the dates were flip flopped in order to take advantage of the opportunity to play the game in Fort Wayne at Parkview Field. The Minor League Baseball stadium is home to the Fort Wayne TipCaps, the San Diego Padres’ Single-A affiliate in the Midwest League.
The Boilermakers have posted a 10-6 record in the month of March. After beginning the month with six straight wins, Purdue has been up and down over the last 10 days, alternating wins and losses in the last eight games. But the Boilers won handily Sunday, scoring in each of first five innings en route to blasting Bradley, 12-1.
The game Tuesday represents Purdue’s second of 10 against in-state rivals. The Boilermakers are scheduled to play home-and-home midweek series against IPFW, Butler and Ball State along with the traditional three-game weekend set versus rival Indiana (April 29-May 1 in West Lafayette).
After working five scoreless innings last week in the midweek win against Wabash, Calvin Gunter is scheduled to start again Tuesday. Gunter did not pitch in either of Purdue’s wins against IPFW last year during his first season as a member of the pitching staff. The Boilermakers did not face IPFW’s probable starting pitcher, right-hander Ryan August, in either game last year as well.
IPFW did not open its 2011 season until March 1 after its season-opening series at Pittsburgh (Feb. 26-27) was canceled due to inclement weather. The Mastodons carried a 2-10 record into their home-opening series against Wisconsin-Milwaukee this past weekend, but managed to split the four-game set with a UWM team that was picked to finish second in the Horizon League preseason poll.
August started that season-opening midweek game against Butler on March 1. His top outing so far this season was two innings of scoreless relief to close out a March 11 win at Murray State.
IPFW is off to a slow start at the plate, batting just .224 as team. Shortstop Will Faulkner has done his part while batting in the two-hole in the lineup. He entered the week leading the team in nearly every offensive category, highlighted by a .364 batting average to go along with 10 walks and five stolen bases.
Fort Wayne native Tyler Spillner has been Purdue’s top performer against the Mastodons the last two years, going 9-for-24 (.375) with eight runs scored. He posted his second career four-hit effort Sunday in the win against Bradley. The junior is batting .458 with 10 extra-base hits over the last 12 games, raising his average from .231 on March 11 to .356. Spillner enters the week riding a career-best eight-game hitting streak.
Big Ten play begins Friday with the opening of a three-game series against preseason favorite Minnesota at Target Field in Downtown Minneapolis. The series was moved to the home of the Minnesota Twins after the roof of Metrodome was damaged by a blizzard in December.