Purdue Begins Week on the Road With Midweeker at Ball State

PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM Josh Estill is batting .452 with 17 RBI in the last eight games.
PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM
Josh Estill is batting .452 with 17 RBI in the last eight games.
PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM

May 7, 2013


Midweek Stat Pack | Listen | Game Day Central (with live links)

Probable Starting Pitchers
Gavin Downs (RS-Fr, RHP) vs. BSU's Matt Johnsen (Jr, LHP)

Wednesday Weather Forecast for Muncie, Ind.
72 degrees, 20 percent chance of rain

Series History
All-Time: Purdue leads 47-34-2
Current Series Streak: Purdue has won 5 straight
Purdue Under Doug Schreiber vs. Ball State: Purdue leads 10-7 (Since 1999)
First Meeting of 2013: Rained Out After Four Innings, 1-0 BSU (April 10 in West Lafayette)
Last Meeting in Muncie: Purdue 15, BSU 2 (2012)
First Meeting: Purdue 9, BSU 7 (1930 in West Lafayette)

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Purdue baseball closes out the road portion of its schedule this week, beginning Wednesday with a midweek date in Muncie against Ball State.

First pitch is set for 3 p.m. Wednesday afternoon at the Ball Diamond. This weekend the Boilermakers (16-27) travel to Ann Arbor for the first time since 2010, taking on Michigan for the penultimate weekend of Big Ten Conference play.

Ball State (22-20) is scheduled to start a left-hander on the mound Wednesday. Matt Johnsen is slated to make his first start of the season. Michigan is expected to throw three lefty starters at the Boilers this weekend.

Ball State and Michigan share the common link of head coach Rich Maloney. The former Michigan skipper returned to BSU last summer after spending 10 seasons in Ann Arbor. A 256-144-1 record as the head coach of the Cardinals from 1996-2002 earned Maloney an opportunity to take over the Wolverines' program. He won over 60 percent of his games at Michigan, but failing to make the Big Ten Tournament in 2011 and 2012 led to a coaching change in Ann Arbor.

The Last Meeting
Purdue15
Ball State2
April 11, 2012
Muncie, Ind.
Twelve-Run Rally Propels Purdue to Blow Out Win at Ball State
No. 18 Purdue baseball scored a season-high 12 times on 11 hits while sending 17 men to the plate in the sixth inning, blowing open a one-run game entering the frame and defeating Ball State, 15-2, Wednesday afternoon.

Maloney has had an instant impact on Ball State, a program that went a combined 29-71 the last two seasons. With nine regular-season games remaining as well as a likely berth in the Mid-American Conference Tournament, the Cardinals could match that win total this year.

Purdue was 7-6-1 against Maloney's Ball State teams from 1996-02, including 3-2 under head coach Doug Schreiber. The 15th-year head coach of the Boilers began his collegiate coaching career as a graduate assistant at BSU from 1991-92. The Boilermakers went 16-17 versus Maloney's Michigan teams from 2003-12, including a pair of losses in the finals rounds of the 2008 Big Ten Tournament (in Ann Arbor) after the two teams finished one-two in the standings but did not play during the regular season.

Both Purdue and Ball State are coming off weekend sweeps. The Boilermakers posted their first-ever sweep at Alexander Field by winning all three games against Southern Illinois. Purdue trailed for only half an inning the entire series. Meanwhile, the Cardinals swept a MAC series at Eastern Michigan this past weekend in Ypsilanti, surging past EMU in the West Division standings in the process.

Purdue has won four five of its last seven. Entering Tuesday's nonconference against MAC rival Bowling Green (a non-play opponent this year), Ball State has won seven of its last 10 dating back to an April 17 upset at Indiana. That game was originally scheduled to be played in Muncie but was moved to Bloomington the day before due to field conditions.

Like Purdue, the Cardinals have also struggled a bit at home. They're only 4-7 at the Ball Diamond versus 18-13 in road and neutral-site games. The last two Purdue-Ball State games in Muncie have been decidedly different types of games. Two years ago, the Boilers scored four times with two outs in the ninth inning to overcome a one-run deficit. Last season, it was a one-run game entering the sixth inning when Purdue posted a 12-run rally to blow the game open. Angelo Cianfrocco homered as part of a three-hit effort. Stephen Talbott was 4-for-4. Both players had a pair of hits during the 12-run inning.

The Boilermakers and Cardinals played four innings April 10 of this year at Alexander Field before the game was called due to lightning and then thunderstorms. Gavin Downs also started on the mound for Purdue that day, surrendering just an unearned run over 4 2/3 innings.

The Boilermakers are 1-3 in true midweek action this year, pounding Illinois-Chicago, 20-0, April 24 in their last midweek game. The first meeting with Ball State was one of four home midweek games that were canceled this year due to inclement weather. Purdue is scheduled to host Eastern Michigan next week (May 14) for its midweek finale.