May 19, 2010
A Quick Look at Purdue
The Boilermakers head into the final weekend of Big Ten play with a 31-19 overall record and a 12-9 mark in conference play ... After opening the season 1-6, Purdue has gone on to a 30-13 record in its last 43 contests ... The Boilers are hitting .312 as a team and averaging 7.3 runs, 11.2 hits and 6.5 RBIs per game this season ... On the mound, the Boilermakers have posted a 4.63 team ERA in 445 1/3 innings pitched ... Opponents are hitting just .272 against the staff and the Purdue arms have a better than 2-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio (388-169).
Purdue went 2-1 last week, sandwiching 8-2 and 5-1 Big Ten wins over Illinois around a 7-0 loss to the Illini in Champaign ... The loss was the first shutout of the Boilermakers this season ... Matt Bischoff picked up his team-leading ninth win in a dominate start on Friday. The right-hander allowed a run on back-to-back base hits in the first and then retired the next 23 consecutive hitters he faced - three outs in the first, the side in order from the second through the seventh and the first two outs in the eighth ... He threw Purdue first complete game of the season and ended up allowing just two runs on six hits with six strikeouts and no walks ... UI's Kevin Johnson blanked Purdue on Saturday with a six-hig complete game of his own ... Tyler Spillner had three of Purdue six hits in the contest ... Drew Wurdack turned in a solid 7 1/3-inning start on Sunday, and Nick Overmyer and Ryan Bridges hit multi-run homers to help Purdue win the series and maintain its second-place standing in the league race ... Overmyer hit a three-run homer and Bridges a two-run shot.
Purdue wrapped up its non-conference slate with a 5-4 win over visiting Butler on Tuesday. Jon Moore
hit a solo home run in his final Lambert Field at bat to break a 4-4 tie in the eighth and Brad Schreiber
tossed two scoreless innings of relief to pick up the victory. Senior Drew Madia
hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning.
The Boilermakers will head to Iowa City, Iowa, for a trio of Big Ten games with the Hawkeyes this weekend. The league series is pivotal for both clubs as Purdue is one game behind in its quest for its first Big Ten title since 1909, and the Hawkeyes are still in contention for an outside shot at a share of the conference title as well as a berth in the league tournament.
What's at Stake
The Boilermakers will certainly do a little bit of scoreboard watching this weekend. Conference leader, 13-8 Minnesota, is one full game ahead of Purdue in the league standings. Michigan currently sits in a tie with the Boilers for second in the conference at 12-9, while Northwestern is a game behind Purdue and the Wolverines in fourth at 11-10. Out of the 10 schools in the Big Ten that participate in baseball, eight of them still have at least some sort of shot at sharing the Big Ten regular season championship. Only Illinois and Penn State, which are four and five games out of first place with three to go, have been eliminated from the title talk, but the Nittany Lions and Illini are still capable of earning a slot in the Big Ten Tournament which takes the top six schools based on winning percentage.
Purdue vs. The Opposition
The Boilermakers and Hawkeyes have met 140 times on the baseball diamond in a series that dates back to 1902 ... Iowa leads the all-time series 80-58-1, but Purdue has won five of the last seven meetings between the two ... The Boilers won two of three from Iowa last season, taking the league series 2-to-1 in West Lafayette.
National Player of the Week
Senior Matt Bischoff was recognized by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper as one if its national players of the week after his performance at Illinois on May 14. Bischoff tossed a complete-game, six-hitter in which he retired 23 consecutive hitters. He struck out six and walked none.
A Team Effort
Purdue has nine players with 20 or more runs scored, 12 different players with 12 or more RBIs - including seven with 20 or more - and 16 players have teamed up to hit at least one of Purdue's 52 home runs this season.
The three-game series between Iowa and Purdue will feature not only the Boilers' freshman Brad Schreiber and head coach Doug Schreiber (no relation), but also the Hawkeyes' Phil Schreiber. Brad, who will see action out of the Purdue bullpen and possibly as the DH, and Phil, the scheduled Saturday starter, are cousins.
Getting It Done In The Big Ten
Senior ace Matt Bischoff is 6-0 with a 3.88 ERA in seven Big Ten starts and 53 1/3 innings pitched this season ... He has struck out 58 and walked only five against conference competition ... Dating back his freshman season last year, sophomore Sean Collins has still not given up an earned run in Big Ten play - a streak of 13 1/3 consecutive innings ... Six of Kevin Plawecki's eight home runs have been hit off of Big Ten pitching ... Jonathan Lilly and Ryan Bridges have found their respective grooves in the second half of the conference season. Lilly has appeared in 10 league games and is hitting .500 (15 for 30) with three doubles, a home run, six RBIs and six runs scored. Bridges is 18 for 48 (.375) with four doubles, two homers, 11 RBIs and 11 runs scored in 11 Big Ten starts.
Odds and Ends
Purdue's offense is closing in on/broken into the top five in school history in hits, runs (5th), RBIs, doubles, triples, home runs (t3rd), total bases (4th) and stolen bases (t5th) ... The pitching staff's 388 strikeouts this year are the most in Purdue history ... Matt Bischoff's nine wins this year are the most for a Purdue pitcher since Jeff Isom tied the school record with 10 victories in 1993 and second on the season list ... Bischoff's 22 career wins are tied for second in Purdue history, his 45 career starts are tied for the sixth most and his 307 2/3 innings pitched are the second most ... Bischoff is also among the top pitchers in all of Division I in both victories (9, T14th) and fewest walks per nine innings (1.25, 15th) ... Jon Moore's 38 career stolen bases are just three shy of moving him into the top 10 in school history ... Cameron Perkins' 15 doubles this season are the new high water mark for a freshman at Purdue ... Kevin Plawecki's eight home runs are tied for the second most by freshman in school history ... Plawecki's 44 RBIs are just two 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 279 strikeouts in his four-year Purdue career, 22 better than previous record holder Chris Bloomer, and will have at least one more scheduled start this year to put his record even further out of reach ... On the season watch list, Bischoff's career-high 83 Ks this year leaves him just four 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 at Iowa this week, as he is averaging 7.5 strikeouts per game this year and has posted double-digit Ks in four of his 11 starts thus far.