The Boilermakers (7-7) are traveling to Evansville after a 19-run excursion at Western Kentucky on Sunday.
Sophomore infielder Evan Albrecht went 5-7 at the plate with five singles in that game.
“He’s had a great year so far,” head coach Greg Goff said. “Sunday I think was just kinda the epitome of all year. He’s been hitting the ball really well.”
Now, Albrecht — batting .364 with 16 hits and 14 runs batted in — wants to continue that high level of play against the Purple Aces (5-11).
Evansville’s pitchers have a combined earned run average of 7.8, which could give the Albrecht and the Boilermakers ample hitting opportunities.
“With Evansville, it’s just the normal approach that we always stay to,” Albrecht said. “Just hit the fastball away and then with two strikes just battle and put it in play.”
Goff sees this weekend as imperative for changing the momentum of the team’s season, and doesn’t underestimate Evansville’s pitching.
“We’re gonna be really disciplined,” Goff said. “These guys are gonna attack us, and we just gotta come out like we did Sunday and just be aggressive.”
Defensively, Purdue will have to prepare for hitters like Evansville infielder Mason Brinkley. Brinkley is hitting 359 with 14 hits but only two RBI. His inability to bat runs in may be his downfall against Purdue’s defense.
“Obviously with the better hitters (we need to) get ahead, that’s key with everyone,” Albrecht said. “You gotta keep them honest and spin a little breaking ball here and there, maybe a first pitch strike.
“(We need to) just play sound defense as we’ve been this whole year and just make the routine plays and everything will go in hand.”
Albrecht, who started 42 games at shortstop his freshman year, said chemistry in the middle infield is important.
Albrecht has spent time rooming with middle infielders junior Tyler Powers and sophomore Ryan Howe. He lived with Howe his freshman year, and is now rooming with Powers after he aided his transition onto the team.
“He was obviously the vet for that year,” Albrecht said about Powers. “He kinda took me under that wing, and we’re roommates so it’s pretty fun playing with Tyler.
“Either guy, if they’re up the middle, it’s fun, and we always keep it chill up the middle and half fun playing.”
The middle infield and the rest of the team will have to stay strong defensively against a Purple Aces team that is undefeated at home.