Purdue Begins Busy Week With Midweek Dates vs. ISU & UIC
April 22, 2014HOOSIER SPORTS 365
PURDUE SPORTS RELEASE
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind.-- Purdue baseball begins its five-game week with its only set of consecutive midweek dates this season, taking on Indiana State Tuesday in Terre Haute and hosting Illinois-Chicago Wednesday at Alexander Field.
First pitch Tuesday at ISU's Bob Warn Field is set for 6 p.m. Tuesday. Home midweek games at Alexander Field begin at 5 p.m. Wednesday's game will feature performances by the Purdue Twirlers-- the Silver Twins, the Girl in Black and the Golden Girl -- and a special fly ball promotion in which prizes (popcorn, T-shirts and sunglasses) will be given away for every fly ball out induced by Purdue pitchers.
Brett Haan will get a chance to bounce back after his shortest outing as a starter for the Boilers (9-26) Sunday. The junior threw out only 26 pitches in the rubber game of the series with Michigan. Tuesday, he'll join Jordan Minch as Purdue pitchers to start consecutive games this year. However, Minch did it early in the season in games that were played five days apart (March 1 at Samford and March 7 at LSU). In 2008, Matt Bischoff started an April 15 midweek game at Miami (Ohio) and the April 18 series opener at Ohio State.
Meanwhile, Connor Podkulwill look to build on his two scoreless innings of relief Sunday in his first appearance since March 16. He'll take the ball Wednesday against a UIC team that scored 18 runs against the Boilers April 1 in Chicago, but was shut out at Alexander Field a year ago.
In seven of the last eight Purdue-UIC games dating back to 2011, the winning team has put up a double-figure run total. The Flames (14-18) won 9-2 in the one game that didn't. The Boilermakers have won six of the eight meetings during that stretch. A 15-run rally in the second inning last year at Alexander Field led to a 20-0 victory for the home team.
Illinois-Chicago has compiled a 5-5 record since the first meeting with Purdue. The Flames' newly-completed Curtis Granderson Stadium was unveiled Thursday, with the MLB All-Star and UIC alumnus on hand for the dedication ceremony. Horizon League-leading Wright State swept the Flames in Chicago this past weekend.
The Boilermakers will also host Indiana State (25-12) May 13 for both teams' midweek finale. The Sycamores got off to a great start this season, taking a 14-2 record into a March 18 loss at Illinois. After losing its season opener to Auburn, ISU reeled off a 12-game win streak from Feb. 15 through March 12. The impressive early-season run included a pair of wins against Ohio State, which visits Alexander Field this weekend.
Indiana State has gone 11-9 overall since opening Missouri Valley Conference play March 21, splitting midweek games with Indiana, winning a series at common-opponent Southern Illinois and losing two-of-three to MVC rival Illinois State, which Purdue plays next week for midweek action. With a 25-12 overall record and RPI of 21, ISU is definitely in the mix for an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament.
The Sycamores are under the guidance of first-year head coach Mitch Hannahs, an ISU alumnus and former assistant coach. He returned to Terre Haute after a successful run at Lincoln Trail College in Robinson, Ill., replacing Rick Heller after Heller took over the Iowa program. Hannahs' son Derek leads ISU with 24 RBI.
Purdue's Brandon Krieghas posted seven multi-hit efforts in the last 10 games, batting .400 over that stretch. He also been solid defensively over the last two weeks, committing just one error in 44 defensive chances at shortstop. The junior reached base safely in in 15 of his 22 plate appearances last week.
The Boilermakers are 3-2 in midweek action so far this season. Adam Dressler has been the main man on the mound, compiling a 2.30 ERA while issuing only three walks over 15 2/3 innings. He has pitched in each of the first five midweek games and only UIC (6 runs, 2 earned over an inning and two-thirds) really got to him.