May 15, 2013
(PPV) | Game Day Central
(with live links)
Probable Pitching Matchups
Thursday: Robert Ramer (Sr, RHP) vs. Iowa's Matt Dermody (Sr, LHP)
Friday: Jordan Minch (Fr, LHP) vs. Iowa's Sasha Kuebel (So, LHP)
Saturday: TBA vs. TBA
Weekend Weather Forecast for West Lafayette, Ind.
Thursday: 76 degrees, 40 percent chance of rain
Friday: 77 degrees, 40 percent chance of rain
Saturday: 79 degrees, 20 percent chance of rain
All-Time: Iowa leads 87-62-1
Purdue Under Doug Schreiber vs. Iowa: Purdue leads 28-25 (Since 1999)
2012: Iowa won 2-of-3 (2012 in Iowa City)
Last Series in West Lafayette: Purdue swept a three-game series (2011)
First Meeting: Purdue 5, Iowa 2 (1902 in West Lafayette)
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Purdue baseball closes out the regular season against Iowa for the fourth year in a row, wrapping up the 2013 campaign and inaugural season at Alexander Field at home this weekend.
First pitch is set for 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 1 p.m. on Saturday. Prior to Saturday's season finale, Purdue will honor its seven seniors - Brett Andrzejewski, Kyle Bischoff, Angelo Cianfrocco, Pat Gannon, Jake Hansen, Robert Ramer and Stephen Talbott - along with two seniors from the support staff (team manager Alex Urbanski and student athletic trainer Alberto Oseguera) for their contributions to the program. All seven players were part of the 2012 Big Ten championship team, the Boilers' first conference title since 1909.
The final weekend of Big Ten play is always played on a Thursday-Friday-Saturday format so teams can set their pitching rotations for next week's Big Ten Tournament. Unfortunately, both the Boilermakers (17-31, 6-15 Big Ten) and Hawkeyes (19-27, 7-14 Big Ten) have already been eliminated from Big Ten Tournament contention. The six-team event will open Wednesday, May 22, at Target Field in Downtown Minneapolis. It will not feature Purdue for the first time since 2007.
Elsewhere around the Big Ten, there's still a lot to be decided during the final weekend of the regular season. There are three very significant series as Ohio State hosts No. 15 Indiana, Illinois travels to Minnesota and Nebraska welcomes Michigan to Haymarket Park. Indiana (15-6 Big Ten), Ohio State (14-7), Nebraska (14-7) and Minnesota (12-6) are in search of at least a share of the Big Ten regular-season title. Illinois (12-9) and Michigan (12-9) are jockeying with Minnesota and Michigan State (10-8) for the final three Big Ten Tournament berths. Michigan State plays at last-place Penn State this weekend after hurting its case by losing two-of-three at Iowa last weekend. It was Iowa's first Big Ten series win of the year.
Among Purdue's seniors, Bischoff, Hansen and Ramer all have five years of service as members of the program since 2009. Cianfrocco, Gannon and Talbott arrived a year later and Andrzejewski came on board as a junior college transfer last season.
Andrzejewski is tops on the team in appearances (25) this year, leading the Big Ten in conference play by taking the mound in 14 of Purdue's first 21 league games. He has pitched in all nine Big Ten games at Alexander Field this year. He could finish as high as sixth on the program's single-season list for appearances.
Bischoff and his older brother Matt have teamed up to give the Boilers a Bischoff on the roster for each of the last seven seasons. Kyle has seen his most action as a senior, getting an opportunity to play first base for the first time at Purdue this year.
Cianfrocco has been a regular starter in each of his four seasons and even moved to the bullpen when the Boilers' needed another lefty reliever during the 2011 stretch run. He has homered in each of his four seasons and was a Big Ten Player of the Week honoree as a sophomore.
Gannon has been versatile as a lefty reliever during his career, often times pitching multiple innings to help the Boilers maintain leads. He has posted a 6-1 record along with a save in his 46 career appearances.
Hansen has overcome multiple injuries during his career and his perseverance was rewarded this season. With a clean bill of health finally allowing him to stay on the field, he has been one of the team's most consistent performers while making 37 starts at shortstop. Through mid-April, he was the only Boiler that had played in each of the first 32 games this year.
Ramer's consistency and durability have made him a very valuable member of the pitching staff. He has consistently given Purdue a chance to win, whether it was as a long reliever as an underclassman, a strike-throwing midweek starter, or a member of the weekend rotation this year. Ramer has compiled the best fewest walks per nine innings ratio (1.453, 31 walks in 192 innings) in program history to go along with his impressive 16-5 career record. Better yet, the Boilers have gone 21-10 in the games he has started.
Talbott is a three-year starting left fielder who ranks fifth in program history with 55 career stolen bases. He stole 30 consecutive bases to begin his career before finally getting caught in April of last season. Despite batting ninth in the lineup for much of 2011, he led the team in runs scored and earned All-Big Ten honors. He too homered at least once in each of his four seasons and was a Big Ten Player of the Week winner.
The home team has dominated the annual Purdue-Iowa series in recent years. The Hawkeyes were the only Big Ten team to win a series against the Boilers' Big Ten championship team a year ago. The road team has not won the Purdue-Iowa series since the Boilers took two-of-three in Iowa City in 2003.
Purdue swept Iowa at Lambert Field to close the 2011 regular season. But after the Hawkeyes won all five meetings in 2010, Iowa has been victorious in seven of the last 11 games. The Boilermakers were 24-17 against the Hawkeyes during head coach Doug Schreiber's tenure (1999-present) entering the 2010 campaign.
Purdue's loaded schedule of opposing lefties will continue this weekend. Southpaws Matt Dermody and Sasha Kuebel will make it eight straight games for the Boilers against lefties, as well as 10 of the last 11. Purdue is 8-12 against lefty starters this year, including 3-5 during the current southpaw-heavy stretch.
Kuebel was the 2012 Big Ten Freshman of the Year and shut down the Purdue offense in Iowa City last year. He got off to a slow start this year, but has impressed in back-to-back starts against the Michigan schools the last two weekends. He worked eight innings of one-run ball May 11 against MSU and pitched into the 10th inning while striking out eight two weeks ago in Ann Arbor.
Dermody is a three-year member of the weekend rotation who has compiled a 7-2 record this year despite having very similar numbers to his 2012 campaign in which he was 1-7, proving once again a pitcher's win-loss record can often times be deceiving. Like Ramer, he's also a strike thrower, issuing only 19 walks in 84 1/3 innings this season.