May 12, 2010
A Quick Look at Purdue
The Boilermakers head into the seventh weekend of Big Ten play with a 28-18 overall record and an 10-8 mark in conference play ... After opening the season 1-6, Purdue has gone on to a 27-12 record in its last 39 contests ... The Boilers are hitting .318 as a team and averaging 7.5 runs, 11.4 hits and 6.7 RBIs per game this season ... On the mound, the Boilermakers have posted a 4.72 team ERA in 410 1/3 innings pitched ... Opponents are hitting just .273 against the staff and the Purdue arms have a better than 2-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio (368-160).
Purdue went 2-1 last week, knocking off Big Ten foe Michigan State in the first two games of a league series before stumbling in the finale ... Still the series victory was enough to move Purdue into a four-way tie for first in the conference standings with Michigan, Minnesota and Northwestern ... The Boilermakers hit .305 against the Spartan pitching staff with five doubles, a triple, two home runs, 16 RBIs and 18 runs scored ... Six of the nine Purdue starters in the series hit .300 or better ... Individually, Jonthan Lilly led the way by hitting an even .500 (5 for 10) with a double, three RBIs and a run scored ... Lilly delivered the game-wiinning base hit in the second game of the series with a two-out opposite field base hit in the eighth inning ... Drew Madia and Angelo Cianfrocco each hit three-run homers in the series, with Cianfrocco's accounting for the winning margin in the 8-5 victory in the series opener ... Madia's home run tied him with freshmen Kevin Plawecki and Cameron Perkins for the team lead at seven for the year ... On the mound Purdue posted a 4.33 team ERA in 27 innings of work ... The pitching staff combined to strikeout 25 MSU hitters while allowing just nine walks ... Senior Matt Bischoff moved into a tie for second on the Purdue season list with his eighth victory of the season ... Freshman Brad Schreiber earned his first collegiate win on the mound with 1 2/3 shutout innings of relief in the Game 2 win.
The Boilermakers will head to Champaign, Ill., for a trio of Big Ten games with Illinois this weekend. The league series is pivotal for both clubs as they stand just two games apart in the standings at 10-8 for Purdue and 8-10 for the Illini ... Saturday's game will be shown live on the Big Ten Network at 7 p.m. ET ... Purdue will then host Butler on Tuesday in its final home game of the season before heading to Iowa City for a series with the Hawkeyes to wrap up the regular season.
Purdue vs. The Opposition
The Boilermakers and Illini have met 223 times on the baseball diamond in a series that dates back to 1893 ... Illinois leads the all-time series 148-74-1, but Purdue has won four of the last five meetings between the two ... The Boilers won two of three from Illinois last season, taking the league series 2-to-1 in West Lafayette, including a 12-8 victory in the final game of the regular season which advanced the Boilers to the Big Ten Tournament.
Big Ten Insanity
With just two weekends left to play, the Big Ten Conference regular season title remains up for grabs. The league leaders, Purdue, Michigan, Minnesota and Northwestern (all are 10-8), are just two games ahead of conference cellar dwellers (for now) Illinois, Iowa, Michigan State and Penn State (8-10). Ohio State and Indiana (9-9) are just one game behind the conference leaders ... The series slated for this weekend are: Indiana at Michigan State, Northwestern at Michigan, Ohio State at Iowa, Penn State at Minnesota and of course Purdue at Illinois.
It's Been Tight
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 18 games, Purdue has scored three more runs than its opposition 120-117, and the Boilers have played in three extra inning contests (and are 2-1), six one-run games (4-2) and five games have been decided by two runs (2-3).
Heading into the week of play, Purdue's offense is among the top three teams in the Big Ten in overall batting average (3rd, .318), slugging percentage (2nd, .483), on base percentage (3rd, .391), runs scored (3rd, 347), hits (1st, 527), RBIs (t3rd, 309), doubles (t3rd, 98), triples (t2nd, 17) and home runs (2nd, 47) ... On the mound, the Boilers are among the top three in the league in ERA (2nd, 4.74), opposing batting average (1st, .273), Innings pitched (3rd, 410 1/3), strikeouts (1st, 368), wins (2nd, 28) and saves (1st, 13) ... Individually, Tyler Spillner's seven triples are the most by a league player this season, while Matt Bischoff's 3.45 ERA is sixth, .264 opposing batting average is seventh and his 77 strikeouts and eight wins are second.
A Team Effort
As noted above, the Boilermakers have one of the most potent offenses in the Big Ten this season, yet very few league leaders. The reason for the anomaly can be found in the fact the nearly the entire season has been one huge team effort. Purdue has eight players with 20 or more runs scored, 12 different players with 12 or more RBIs - including six with 20 or more - and 16 players have teamed up to hit at least one of Purdue's 47 home runs this season.
Sophomore Ryan Bridges has put together a team-season-high 12-game hitting streak. The infielder is hitting .465 (20 for 43) with six doubles, a home run, 10 RBIs and 12 runs scored over the course of the 12 games. During the recent hot streak he has collected a three-hit game to go along with six two-hit contests to raise his batting average 108 points to its current .365.
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 368 strikeouts this year are already the third most in Purdue history and just four shy of the all-time high of 372 set in 2006 ... Matt Bischoff's eight wins this year are the most for a Purdue pitcher since Jeff Isom tied the school record with 10 victories in 1993, and are tied for second on the season list ... Bischoff's 21 career wins are tied for fifth in Purdue history, his 44 career starts are the seventh most and his 298 2/3 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' 14 doubles this season are tied with Jermaine Allensworth for the Purdue freshman record ... Perkins' and Kevin Plawecki's seven home runs are tied for the third most by freshman in school history ... Plawecki's 41 RBIs are just five away from tying Rico Rossy's rookie record set in 1982 ... Tyler Spillner broke the season record for triples with his seventh of the season on April 27 at IPFW.
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 273 strikeouts in his four-year Purdue career, 16 better than previous record holder Chris Bloomer, and will have at least two more scheduled starts this year to put his record even further out of reach ... On the season watch list, Bischoff's 77 Ks this year leaves him just 10 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 7.7 strikeouts per game this year and has posted double-digit Ks in four of his 10 starts thus far. His career season best is 80 strikeouts, established in 2009.