Purdue Baseball Visits Ohio St. for First Time Since 2012

WEEKEND SERIES INFORMATION
Purdue (13-11, 1-2 B1G) at Ohio State (10-14, 0-3 B1G)
Friday to Sunday, March 31 to April 2 at 6:30, 6 and 1 p.m. ET / Game 2 on BTN, BTN2Go
Bill Davis Stadium / Columbus, Ohio
All-Time Series: OSU leads 145-62-1 / All-Time in Columbus: OSU leads 77-23
2016: OSU swept a 3-game series (April 29-May 1 in West Lafayette)
Last Series in Columbus & Purdue’s Last Series Win vs. OSU: Purdue won 2-of-3 (March 2012)

PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS
Friday: Tanner Andrews (Jr, RHP) vs. TBA for Ohio State
Saturday: Gareth Stroh (So, LHP) vs. TBA for Ohio State
Sunday: Mike Kornacker (So, RHP) vs. TBA for Ohio State

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (www.purduesports.com) – For the last of its seven consecutive weekends on the road to begin the season, Purdue baseball makes its first visit to Ohio State in five years.

First pitch at Bill Davis Stadium in the Ohio’s state capital is set for 6:30 p.m. Friday, 6 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday (all times ET). The Boilermakers will make their season debut on the Big Ten Network on Saturday.

Purdue has not visited Columbus since winning the 2012 Big Ten Tournament at Huntington Park, the home of the Triple-A Columbus Clippers. The Boilermakers’ first conference weekend of that dual-championship season was its last visit to Ohio State’s campus. The Buckeyes were the first-ever opponent at Alexander Field in 2013 and also made the trip to West Lafayette in 2014 and 2016.

Ohio State is in the midst of a nine-game homestand that concludes Wednesday with a midweek game against Kent State. While Purdue plays its first two conference weekends on the road, the Buckeyes are at home for their first two. But they’re just 2-6 since opening their home schedule March 18, getting swept by Xavier and Minnesota the last two weekends.

The road team has won each of the last seven Purdue-OSU series dating back to 2007. The teams did not play in 2010, 2011 and 2015.

BATS QUIET SINCE SCORING 16 IN MIDWEEK OPENER
• The Boilermakers have experienced lots of ups and downs offensively over the first month and a half of the season. During the recent seven-game win streak, the offense peaked with a 16-run outburst in the midweek opener at Ball State. But Purdue has scored just eight runs in its five games since. The pitching has picked up the slack and helped the Boilermakers win two of those games. Purdue has surrendered runs in only nine of the 43 innings in which it has been in the field over the last five. However, 15 of the 19 runs against have been scored in just five frames.
• Evan Warden (14) and Harry Shipley (12) enter the weekend ranked 1-2 nationally in hit by pitch. The Boilermakers lead the Big Ten in that category (36) as well as sacrifice bunts (25) and sac flies (17). Purdue is also second in doubles (54), but has had the most base runners erased in the conference via ground ball double plays (18) and caught stealings (14).

FOUR BOILERMAKERS RIDING NOTABLE STREAKS
• Nick Dalesandro, Ross Learnard, Skyler Hunter and Tanner Andrews all enter the weekend riding a notable streak. Dalesandro and Hunter have reached base safely in 20 and 14 consecutive games. Leanard and Andrews have pitched 14 and 13 consecutive scoreless innings. Dalesandro’s reached base safely streak is the longest among active Boilermakers and the first 20-game single-season run by a Purdue player since Kyle Wood (24) in 2014. Learnard (17 IP) and fellow reliever Dalton Parker (19 2/3 IP) have both allowed run(s) in only one inning this season. Learnard’s streak is the longest by a Purdue pitcher since Matt Gibbs worked 17 consecutive scoreless innings, also all as a reliever, in 2014.
• The Boilermakers are 5-1 on Fridays this season behind Andrews. He’s the first Purdue pitcher since Joe Haase in April 2012 to work at least six scoreless innings in consecutive starts. Haase was also the last Boilermaker to lead Purdue to three shutout wins in a season, which Andrews has already done. Andrews is big reason why Purdue has won two weekend series and has yet to be swept this year. From 2014 to 2016, the Boilermakers only won three weekend series. Purdue has won as many games this month (10) as it did in all of last season. The Boilermakers had not had a 10-win month since going 10-5 in May 2012, a month that culminated with the Big Ten Tournament title in Columbus.

QUICK LOOK AT OHIO STATE
• The Buckeyes’ sweep at Alexander Field the final weekend of April last year ignited their late-season surge. They won 18 of 22 down the stretch, including five games at the Big Ten Tournament to claim the title, en route to qualifying for an NCAA Regional for the first time since 2009. But Ohio State lost a number of experienced upperclassmen from last year’s team and has struggled on weekends this year. The Buckeyes are just 6-13 on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
• Fishers, Indiana, native Tre’ Gantt leads OSU in batting average (.318), hits (28), runs (18), doubles (6) and walks (18). Jacob Barnwell (.301) is the only other regular batting over .270 as the Buckeyes’ team batting average has dipped to .240. Ohio State has hit 22 home runs in 24 games, but the long balls have accounted for 33 percent of their extra-base hits (67). The Buckeyes are fourth in the Big Ten in homers but only ninth in slugging percentage (.393). By comparison, of Purdue’s 71 extra-base hits in 24 games, only 11 (15 percent) have been homers.
• Right-handers Jake Post, Adam Niemeyer and Ryan Feltner have comprised the weekend rotation for much of the season, but Ohio State has opted to not announce its starting pitchers prior to the series this week. Seth Kinker has excelled as a relief ace, surrendering just four extra-base hits while striking out 21 in 22 innings. He has a win and three saves in 12 appearances. Lefty Connor Curlis (25 Ks in 20 2/3) earned the game two start against Minnesota last weekend in place of Niemeyer.

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