The Boilermakers have been red hot lately having grabbed eight wins in a row.
The latest in the stretch of wins for Purdue (24-16, 10-4) came against a visiting Rutgers team who has had a strong season but came into the series at 6-6 in Big Ten play.
The Boilermakers were able to take care of the Scarlet Knights (22-18, 6-9) by respective scores of 4-0, 9-4, and 1-0. This marked the first time that Purdue has had two shutout wins in a Big Ten series since May 1992. A key player for the Boilermakers this weekend was junior catcher Nick Dalesandro. He caught every pitch of the weekend for Purdue. In the last game of the series, he stole two bases and scored the team’s only run of the day.
“Let’s start with Nick Dalesandro,” head coach Mark Wazikowski said. “Catching three wins in a row … Really leading the pitching staff, he’s been fantastic. He’s leading the pitching staff at a high level.”
With these three wins, the Boilermakers are now undefeated in the first five games of their nine game homestand and have won seven Big Ten games in a row. Purdue has also now led for the last 26 consecutive innings, and it has not trailed in the it’s last 48 consecutive innings, dating back to last Sunday’s game against the University of Maryland. This weekend’s series caps off the Boilermakers’ third Big Ten series sweep of the season and first at Alexander Field.
Purdue now sits at fourth in the Big Ten standings and currently holds the longest active winning streak in the Big Ten.
“We’re finally trusting all the stuff that we put in,” senior outfielder Alec Olund said. “We’re really believing, just playing baseball and having fun … I think that’s why you’re seeing more consistent success and better baseball.”
With the series against Rutgers over, Purdue is in the final stretch of the regular season with three more Big Ten series against Northwestern, Ohio State, and Minnesota.
“Right now we’re playing good baseball which is what you want to do at the end of April,” Wasikowski said. “We’re looking to take it one day at a time and literally one pitch at a time. If we can do that I think we’ll be in a good position.”
The Boilermakers are in contention for a top seed in the Big Ten tournament and potentially a bid to the NCAA tournament if they can continue this hot streak.
Purdue will play again at home this coming Friday against visiting Big Ten opponent Northwestern. The first pitch will be thrown at 6 p.m. and fans can follow the game live on BTN Plus or purduesports.com