April 14, 2014
Probable Pitching Matchup
Mike Lutz (So, RHP) vs. Butler's Peter Nyznyk (Jr, LHP)
All-Time: Purdue leads 102-33-3
All-Time Series in West Lafayette: Purdue leads 65-13-1
Purdue Under Doug Schreiber vs. Butler: Purdue leads 8-1 (Since 1999)
2014 in Birmingham: Purdue 3, Butler 2 (March 1)
2014 in Indianapolis: Purdue 6, Butler 1 (March 19)
Last Meeting in West Lafayette: Butler 8, Purdue 4 (April 2013)
Purdue's Last Win vs. Butler in West Lafayette: Purdue 5, Butler 4 (May 2010)
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- For the first of eight home games over a stretch of 13 days, Purdue baseball hosts Butler for midweek action Tuesday looking to sweep the three-game season series with the Bulldogs.
First pitch is set for 5 p.m. at Alexander Field, where general admission tickets are specially priced at $2 on Tuesdays. The original schedule called for the Boilermakers (7-24, 3-6 Big Ten) to host Butler (14-20, 2-4 Big East) on March 19 and visit Indianapolis April 15. The teams agreed to swap home dates last month due to field conditions.
Purdue will be looking to complete a unique season series sweep of the Bulldogs with wins in three different cities. The March 1 meeting in Birmingham, Ala., was a late addition to the schedule after the Boilers' weekend series at Missouri State was canceled due to winter weather. Purdue was a 3-2 winner at Samford's Joe Lee Griffin Field and also took the March 19 midweek opener, 6-1, in Indianapolis.
The Boilermakers have played in-state rivals IPFW (2009 games in Evansville, Fort Wayne and West Lafayette) and Indiana (1998 games in Bloomington, Indianapolis and West Lafayette) in three different cities in the same season once during the last two decades. However, wins against the same opponent in three different locations is believed to be a possible program first.
Butler's 8-4 victory at Alexander Field last season was its first in West Lafayette since 1983. A seven-run second inning gave the Bulldogs a big lead. Joe Eichmann worked 7 2/3 innings of one-run relief in his longest outing as a Boilermaker, but Purdue was unable to overcome the early deficit. The right-hander struck out five of the eight batters he faced last month in Indianapolis.
Eichmann has emerged as Purdue's top reliever this season, entering the week leading the Big Ten with 20 appearances. He has pitched in each of the Boilers' first nine conference games, making him the only pitcher in the league to appear in every one of his team's Big Ten contests so far. The junior has pitched in 11 of the 15 games since the last meeting with Butler.
Purdue has posted a 5-10 record since its last game against the Bulldogs, whom have compiled a 7-8 mark during that same stretch. Butler's series win against a Seton Hall team that is enjoying a strong season highlighted the last four weekends of action. The Bulldogs dropped games against common opponents Louisville (15-1) and IPFW (10-8) and were swept this past weekend at St. John's.
Six of the Boilers' last seven games have been one-run affairs or decided in extra innings. Unfortunately, Purdue is 2-5 in those games and now stands at 4-11 in contests decided by one or two runs.
Kyle Wood enters the week having reached base safely in 17 consecutive games, one shy of Sean McHugh's mark for the longest streak on the team this year. Wood is batting .333 (21-for-63) with a .442 on-base percentage during the streak.
After Conner Hudnall had to sit out Friday's series opener at Michigan State following his ejection in the April 8 game against Louisville, McHugh and Wood are now the only Boilers to play in each of the first 31 games this season. Wood has started 71 straight games dating back to March 2013. McHugh has started 52 straight while being in the line for 81 of the 82 games dating back to the start of 2013.
McHugh recorded a pair of hits in each of the first two games with Butler this season. Kyle Johnson had three hits and Hudnall three RBI in the win in Indianapolis last month. Purdue turned three inning-ending double plays with Gavin Downs on the mound in the March 1 victory in Birmingham.
Adam Dressler led the way on the mound in the midweek rematch, retiring 12 consecutive batters during one stretch to earn the victory in his first collegiate start. The freshman worked 5 2/3 innings of one-run ball in what remains the only outing this season in which a Purdue starter did not issue a walk.
The Boilermakers host Michigan and Ohio State the next two weekends. The only road game over the next two weeks is April 22 at Indiana State.