WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - A 19-win improvement and a return to the Big Ten Tournament for the first time since winning the event in 2012 highlighted Purdue baseball's memorable turnaround campaign in 2017.
Under first-year head coach Mark Wasikowski, the Boilermakers saw their record improve from 10-44 in 2016 to 29-27 this year. It was the best year-to-year improvement in program history. Entering the week of the conference tournaments around the country, the 19-win improvement was also tops nationally. This season's team joined the 2007 Boilermakers as the only Big Ten teams since 1988 to win 10 more games in conference play than the year prior, improving from 2-22 to 12-12.
Purdue's first series victory at Minnesota since 2000 the final weekend of the regular season clinched a return to the Big Ten Tournament. The four-year postseason drought was the program's longest in over 20 years.
The Boilermakers posted a pair of seven-game win streaks, and recorded 10-plus victories in both March and April. Purdue won seven weekend series after having only six such successful weekends from 2013 to 2016. The Boilermakers recorded series sweeps against Santa Clara and Illinois and avoided being swept until a mid-May series against nationally ranked Michigan.
Purdue was 8-3 in one-run games after having a 2-13 record in similar contests the year before. The Boilermakers' 18 true road wins were tied with Minnesota for the most in the Big Ten.
Purdue will have to bid adieu to six seniors. However, the Boilermakers can welcome back all but one player in its lineup at the Big Ten Tournament while also returning all six pitchers that worked at least 40 innings this season.
Ross Learnard -- Second Team Relief Pitcher
Gareth Stroh -- Third Team Starting Pitcher
COLLEGIATE BASEBALL FRESHMAN ALL-AMERICAN
Bryce Bonner -- Catcher
BIG TEN SPORTSMANSHIP HONOREE
JOHNNY BENCH AWARD WATCH LIST
Team MVP -- Jacson McGowan
Red Mackey Award (Excellence by a Senior) -- Hayden Grant
Offensive Player of the Year -- Nick Dalesandro
Defensive Player of the Year -- Harry Shipley
Pitcher of the Year -- Ross Learnard
Clyde Lyle Award (Top Non-Scholarship Performer) -- Evan Warden
Mr. Boilermaker Award (Attitude) -- Tanner Andrews
Newcomer of the Year -- Gareth Stroh
LEARNARD'S TEAM RECORDS
0.58 ERA -- Season record for minimum 30 innings pitched
0.42 ERA -- Season record in Big Ten play for minimum 14 innings pitched
1.000 Winning Pct. (6-0) -- Season record (first pitcher with 6 wins without a loss)
March 28 -- Purdue 3, Kent State 2 in Bottom 9th (Game-Winning Single: Logan Poisall)
April 23 -- Purdue 2, Illinois 1 in Bottom 9th (Game-Winning Run: Milo Beam)
April 29 -- Purdue 4, Saint Louis 3 in Bottom 9th (Game-Winning Single: Harry Shipley)
May 6 -- Purdue 2, Northwestern 1 in Bottom 12th (Game-Winning Double: Alec Olund)
INDIVIDUAL & TEAM NOTABLES
Feb. 17 -- Tanner Andrews works seven innings of one-run ball to lead Purdue to its first season-opening win since 2013; Mark Wasikowski victorious in his first game as a head coach.
Feb. 18 -- Mike Madej, Jacson McGowan and Logan Poisall all homer in first inning of 12-8 win at Texas State, marking the first time since at least the beginning of the 2005 season that Purdue hit three home runs in an inning; Madej becomes first freshman since 2010 to hit Purdue's first home run of a season.
Feb. 24-April 1 -- Nick Dalesandro reaches base safely in 22 consecutive games, Purdue's longest single-season streak since 2014.
March 3 -- Tanner Andrews retires 27 of 32 batters in complete-game shutout at Southeast Missouri, becoming Purdue's first starting pitcher since 2011 to win his first three starts.
March 4 -- Harry Shipley, Nick Dalesandro, Alec Olund and John LeGare all go deep as Purdue defeats SEMO to clinch its first non-conference series win on the road since March 2013 at Evansville; the Boilermakers hit four home runs in a game for the first time since May 2012 and four different Purdue players went deep in the same game for the first time since April 2010.
March 5 -- Purdue hits three more homers in a 17-7 loss; the seven home runs in the SEMO series were Purdue's most in a weekend series since 2006 at Indiana.
March 10-April 9 -- Skyler Hunter reaches base safely in 21 consecutive games.
March 11-May 12 -- Ross Learnard pitches 35 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings over 21 relief appearances, the longest streak by a Boilermaker since at the least the start of the 2005 season.
March 13-16 -- Jack Dellinger becomes Purdue's first pitcher since April 2014 to start consecutive games, the Boilermakers winning both of Dellinger's starts.
March 13-24 -- Purdue wins seven consecutive games, its longest win streak since April 2012.
March 17 -- Tanner Andrews strikes out 10 over 7 2/3 shutout innings, the first double-figure strikeout performance by a Purdue pitcher since March 2012.
March 18 -- Purdue sweeps a doubleheader at Santa Clara to complete a four-game series sweep, its first four-game sweep since April 2008 and its first on the road since April 2001; the Boilermakers had not swept a doubleheader on an opponent's home field March 2012.
March 22 -- Purdue wins its midweek opener 16-4 at Ball State, recording 20-plus hits for the first time since March 2015.
April 7 -- Purdue scores four runs in the eighth inning to rally for a 6-5 win vs. Indiana in the first meeting between the two rivals in West Lafayette since May 2011.
April 8 -- Purdue clinches a series win vs. Indiana with a 7-3 victory in front of an Alexander Field record crowd of 2,312 fans.
April 9 -- Evan Warden hit by a pitch for the 20th time, eclipsing the Purdue single-season record.
April 19-30 -- Purdue rallies for a 10-7 win at Indiana State to ignite another seven-game win streak, marking the first time since 2012 the Boilermakers won seven straight games twice in the same season; beginning with the seventh inning in Terre Haute, Purdue does not trail for 57 consecutive innings, the team's longest such streak since early in the 2011 campaign.
April 21-May 14 -- Purdue opens a 13-game homestand with a 4-2 win vs. Illinois; the Boilermakers finish their longest homestand since 1983 with a 7-6 record.
April 22 -- Gareth Stroh retires 27 of 29 batters faced in a complete-game two-hitter vs. Illinois, surrendering only a two-out solo homer in the ninth inning.
April 23 -- Milo Beam scores the game-winning run with two outs in the ninth inning as Purdue completes a three-game sweep of Illinois in walk-off fashion; Boilermakers post their first three-game sweep vs. a Big Ten opponent at Alexander Field and their first three-game sweep in league play since April 2012.
April 28 -- Dalton Parker closes out Purdue's 5-2 win vs. Saint Louis, earning his sixth save to eclipse a team freshman record that had stood since 1993.
May 7 -- Harry Shipley steals his 20th base of the season, becoming the first Boilermaker with 20 steals since 2005.
May 13 -- Harry Shipley hit by a pitch for the 56th time in his career, eclipsing the Purdue all-time record.
May 16 -- Evan Warden leads off Purdue's 9-7 win vs. Fort Wayne in Kokomo with the program's first game-opening home run since March 2011.
May 18-19 -- Purdue leads Minnesota 5-2 when a partial power outage Thursday night at Siebert Field forces the game to be suspended until Friday; the Boilermakers and Gophers play 20 innings Friday, splitting a doubleheader after Purdue closes out its game one win; the Boilermakers' first series win in Minneapolis since 2000 clinches their first Big Ten Tournament berth since 2012.
GAMES AGAINST NCAA TOURNAMENT TEAMS (12 GAMES)
March 24 to 26 at Iowa -- Lost 2-of-3
April 7 to 9 vs. Indiana -- Won 2-of-3
April 11 at Louisville -- Lost 13-2
May 12 to 14 vs. Michigan -- Lost 3
May 24 vs. Nebraska -- Lost 15-9
May 25 vs. Maryland -- Lost 5-2