Illinois to test #18 Purdue this weekend

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Jordan and Justin Parr:  brothers tied for team lead in extra base hits with 12

The Illini didn’t quite pull it off at the Battle of Busch against Missouri.  They got a quick 3-1 lead in the first but Mizz pecked away at it till it was 5-3.  Relievers Ronnie Muck and Reid Roper did a superb job keeping Illinois in the game.  Muck pitched three scoreless innings and struck out four Tigers in the process.  Roper scored a run on a wild pitch in the eighth making it 5-4 then pitched a scoreless ninth inning. 

Illinois did manage to get the winning run to the plate in the bottom of the ninth when Tom Shelton reached on an error.  A double play and strikeout later, the game was over and Missouri claimed victory 5-4

Illinois has bigger fish to fry at this point.  This weekend, they take on #18 Purdue.  At the top of the standings in the Big Ten, this Purdue series will be big for Illinois.  Pitching announcements have been made for Friday and Saturday as per Fightingillini.com’s weekend preview.  Kevin Johnson (5-2) will go in the initial game and John Kravetz (5-2) will take on the Boilermakers on Saturday.  Sunday’s pitcher is TBA.  I’m wondering if the Coaches are deciding to give Matt Milroy a try. 

 

A quick rundown on the Purdue Boilermakers:

 

#18 Purdue Boilermakers

April 13, 2012 3 pm CT
April 14, 2012 1 pm CT
April 15, 2012 12 noon CT
Lambert Field West Lafayette, IN
Program website link 2012 Record  25-5 (7-2 Big Ten)  
Head Coach:  Doug Schreiber   Key player: Cameron Perkins (.387, 35 rbis)  

At #18, Purdue represents the Big Ten in the national rankings- they’re the sole conference who are ranked at the moment.  As well they should be.  They’re still in single digits in losses with a pretty incredible 25-5 overall record.  Some wondered if they’re preseason success would transfer to the Big Ten conference season.  Indeed it has.  They are atop the Big Ten standings with a 7-2 mark and don’t show any signs of slowing down. They’ve won their last five and nine of their last ten games. 

The disparity between Purdue and their opponents is quite wide.  They’ve outdone whoever they played both offensively (BA .329 to opponents’ .249) and on the mound (ERA 3.17 to 6.35).  Players to watch for Perkins, starting pitcher Lance Breedlove (5-2, 2.55 and Kevin Plawecki (.377 and tied for team high with Perkins with 33 runs).

 

Random Ramblings

I mentioned last week that SmilePolitely.com had asked me to do a weekly column on the Illini baseball team.  My second column just got posted this morning if you don’t get enough of me already. 

I enjoyed watching the Battle at Busch on the Big Ten Network. One thing puzzles me though.  Why would they get players’ names wrong on the screen?  Ok, I noticed it just once but it caught me by surprise.  In this day and age when they can download rosters from the school program which are obviously correct that kind of thing should probably not happen.  Ok, done with rant. 

Finally, there’s live audio for this weekend’s games for those wanting to listen.  Don’t forget Gametracker which in my mind is better than anything MLB serves up. 

 

Good luck this weekend, Illini!!


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One Response to “Illinois to test #18 Purdue this weekend”

  1. It’s a non-conference game with the possibility of rain-outs, injuries, etc. It would be awesome if both coaches could agree to allow all of their players (non-injured, of course) to take the field at some point during the game. It was rained out last year and who knows what next year or the year after will bring. The weekend starting pitchers could “save their arms” by pitching to only 1 or 2 players on the opposing team and still get the “MLB experience” of playing in a real game, not just practicing on the field.

    Are there any NCAA or BIG rules precluding that scenario?

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