After two weekends, Purdue baseball is at 5-3 a year. It took three out of four of Holy Cross during the opening weekend of the season. Last week they faced a decent one NJIT team in Holly Springs, North Carolina and split four games. This week, the team is back in Holly Springs for four more games against Akron before the season really gets rushed with a trip to the defending National Champion Mississippi.
Last season the Zips were a pretty dismal 14-39, but so far this season they have shown improvement. They are 3-4 after splitting four games West Carolina and losing two out of three Elon.
Akron (3-4, 15-41 in 2022) v Purdue (5-3, 29-21 in 2022)
4-Game Series / Friday to Sunday March 3 to 5 Ting Stadium / Holly Springs, NCSeries
Opener: Friday, March 3 at 1 p.m. ET
Doubleheader: Saturday, March 4, 1 p.m
Series Finale: Sunday, March 5 at 1 p.m
LIKELY PITCHING MATCHES
Friday: Khal Stephen (So, RHP) vs. Akron’s Sammy Tortorella (Jr, LHP)
Saturday Game 1: Jonathan Blackwell (Jr, LHP) vs. Akron’s Spencer Atkin (Jr, RHP)
Saturday Game 2: Kyle Iwinski (Jr, RHP) vs. TBA for Akron’s Anthony Fett (Jr, LHP)
Sunday: TBA for Purdue vs. Akron’s Joe Roth (Fr, RHP)
Purdue changes the pitching rotation a bit. Iwinski gets his first season start. He has a 1.23 ERA in three appearances out of the bullpen over the first eight games. That’s there in 7 1/3 turns. Calvin Schapira And CJ Backer will likely be taken into consideration for Sunday’s start.
In Akron, Purdue sees a familiar face in the opposing lineup. Jack Flint, a Zionsville native who spent the last three seasons in West Lafayette and played in 42 games, has been firmly on the plate to start the year. He hits .296 with 3 home runs and 6 RBI. Ian Pennington is also a hot bat with a .321 average and a 7 RBI home run. As a team, Akron only hits .228, so it could be a great weekend for Purdue’s starting pitching to get back on track.
Purdue’s bats should have a good weekend too. Akron’s team ERA is well above 7 and they have conceded six or more runs in all but one game. Joe Roththeir starter on Sunday was the best with a 2.79 ERA and an 0-1 record over 9 2/3 innings. Emmit Gillies has a save in four appearances from the bullpen.
On paper, this is a series that Purdue needs to sweep. Holy Cross is 1-7 on the year with their only win against Purdue, but Akron is not a team with a lot of pitching. The Boilermaker bats have gotten much better with it Cooper Cornblum And Jake Jarvis each batting .375. Paul Tutz chilled after a red hot opening weekend, but Evan Albert And Joe Jarvis are both over .300. Purdue’s team average of .287 gives them a solid lead heading into the weekend.