May 6, 2010
A Quick Look at Purdue
The Boilermakers head into the sixth weekend of Big Ten play with a 26-17 overall record and an 8-7 mark in conference play ... After opening the season 1-6, Purdue has gone on to a 25-11 record in its last 36 contests ... The Boilers are hitting .319 as a team and averaging 7.7 runs, 11.5 hits and 6.8 RBIs per game this season ... On the mound, the Boilermakers have posted a 4.74 team ERA in 383 1/3 innings pitched ... Opponents are hitting just .278 against the staff and the Purdue arms have a better than 2-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio (343-151).
Purdue went 3-1 last week, including a series win over rival Indiana in Bloomington ... The Boilers played just one midweek game and defeated IPFW in Fort Wayne, 3-2 ... Robert Ramer tossed five shutout innings against the Mastodons to pick up his second career victory. The redshirt freshman allowed just two hits and one walk while striking out two. In two starts this year, Ramer has tossed nine shutout innings and allowed just three hits ... Tyler Spillner collected his seventh triple of the year to break the Purdue season record against the Mastodons ... The Boilers opened their three-game Big Ten series against Indiana with a 12-10 victory ... Purdue jumped out to an early 11-4 advatage and held on for the two-run victory ... Spillner finished the contest 3 for 3 with two runs scored, freshman Brad Schreiber hit a two-run homer and scored three times and Eric Charles finished the contest with three RBIs ... Matt Bischoff won his seventh game of the season despite allowing eight runs on 13 hits in six innings. He struck out six and walked none ... Matt Jansen tossed 2 1/3 scoreless innings to pick up his first save of the year ... IU rallied for four runs with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning to tie the second game and won the contest in 11 innings when relief pitcher Chris Squires singled in the game-winner off of Jansen ... Kevin Plawecki hit his seventh homer of the year and finished with three RBIs, Ryan Bridges chipped in with a two-run homer, the first of his collegiate career, and Spillner continued his torrid ways at the plate by going 3 for 5 with an RBI and two runs scored ... The Boilermakers thwarted a second IU come-from-behind bid by winning 10-7 in 10 innings in the rubber game ... The Hooisers rallied in the ninth inning for two runs with two outs to even the game at 7-7, but the Boilers got three runs in the top of the 10th thanks to a balk and wild pitch from IU reliever Mike McKinley, and a two-run single from Bridges ... Jonathan Lilly scored the game-winning in the 10th, finished the contest 2 for 4 and made a game-saving catch at the wall in the eighth and turned the play into a twin killing ... Drew Madia finished the contest 4 for 4 with two RBIs, Charles scored three runs and drove in a pair, Spillner added three hits and Nick Overmyer crossed home three times in the win ... Reliever Joe Haase tossed 1 2/3 scoreless innings out of the bullpen to pick up his first win of the season.
After a week of final exams, the Boilermakers will host Michigan State for a trio of Big Ten games at Lambert Field. The league series is pivotal for both clubs as they stand one game apart in the standings at 8-7 for Purdue and 7-8 for MSU ... Purdue will then head over to Muncie, Ind., for its penultimate nonconference game of the regular season against Ball State.
Purdue vs. The Opposition
The Boilermakers and Spartans have met 132 times on the baseball diamond in a series that dates back to 1949 ... MSU leads the all-time series 69-63, but Purdue has won four of the last five meetings between the two ... The Boilers won three of four from Sparty last season, taking the league series 2-to-1 in East Lansing and eliminating MSU from the Big Ten Tournament in Columbus with a 12-9 win.
Big Ten Insanity
The Big Ten Conference regular season title is up for grabs. The league leaders, Michigan and Northwestern (both are 9-6), are just three games ahead of conference cellar dwellers (for now) Illinois and Iowa (6-9) ... Purdue, Ohio State and Minnesota are only one game out of the lead at 8-7, while Indiana, Michigan State and Penn State are just one game behind the Boilers, Buckeyes and Golden Gophers at 7-8. The series slated for this weekend are: Illinois at Ohio State, Indiana at Northwestern, Iowa at Penn State, Michigan at Minnesota and MSU at Purdue.
Looking at Purdue's conference-only numbers and it's no wonder why the Boilers are in the midst of a log jam in league play. Through 15 games, Purdue has scored the exact same amount of runs as its opposition 102-102, and the Boilers have played in three extra inning contests (and are 2-1), four one-run games (3-1) and five games have been decided by two runs (2-3).
Sophomore Ryan Bridges is on fire of late. In his last seven games played, the infielder is hitting .500 (13 for 26) with three doubles, a home run, seven RBIs and eight runs scored. During the recent hot streak he has collected a three-hit game to go along with four two-hit contests.
Odds and Ends
Purdue's offense is closing in on the top five in school history in hits, runs, RBIs, doubles, triples, home runs, total bases and stolen bases ... The pitching staff's 343 strikeouts this year are already the fifth most in Purdue history and just 29 shy of the all-time high of 372 set in 2006 ... Matt Bischoff's seven wins this season are the most for a Purdue pitcher since Mitch Pruemer won seven games in 2002 and tied for ninth on the season list ... Bischoff's 20 career wins are tied for sixth in Purdue history, his 43 career starts are the seventh most and his 291 1/3 innings pitched are the fourth most ... Jon Moore's 38 career stolen bases are just three shy of moving him into the top 10 in school history ... Cameron Perkins' 13 doubles this season are just one away from Jermaine Allensworth's Purdue freshman record set in 1991 ... Perkins' and Kevin Plawecki's seven home runs are tied for the third most by freshman in school history ... Plawecki's 40 RBIs are just six away from tying Rico Rossy's rookie record set in 1982.
A Base Hit - Cubed
Sophomore Tyler Spillner snapped a five-way tie for the Purdue season record for triples with his seventh three-bagger of the year at IPFW on April 28. Spillner, who was tied with Shannon Stigleman (1995), Jermaine Allensworth (1992), Jeff Allison (1987) and Rico Rossy (1984), has now hit eight triples in his two-year career at Purdue to place him in a tie for 12th all-time in school history with the record standing at 13 ... Heading into the week of play, seven triples was tied for seventh nationally amongst all Division I players this season.
Now For The Extension
Right-hander Matt Bischoff became Purdue's all-time strikeout king with his eighth of 10 punchouts against Northwestern on April 24. The senior ace has 266 career strikeouts in his four-year Purdue career, nine better than previous record holder Chris Bloomer, and will have at least three more scheduled starts this year to put his record even further out of reach ... On the season watch list, Bischoff's 70 Ks this year leaves him just 17 shy of the high water mark of 87 at Purdue that is shared by Sherard Clinkscales (1992) and Andy Swain (1989). That mark should fall to Bischoff as well, as he is averaging 7.8 strikeouts per game this year and has posted double-digit Ks in four of his nine starts thus far. His career season best is 80 strikeouts, established in 2009.
A Team Effort
The Boilermaker offense has truly been a team affair this season. Purdue has eight players with 20 or more runs scored, 12 different players with 10 or more RBIs - including six with 20 or more - and 16 players have teamed up to hit at least one of Purdue's 45 home runs this season.