Monday, May 7, 2012

What a comeback!

The No. 11 Purdue baseball team appeared to be headed for a sweep at the hands of No. 14 UCLA.  Down 10-5 in the ninth inning of Game 3, Purdue incredibly rallied for TEN runs in the top of the 9th and held on for a stunning 15-11 victory!

Some amazing stats from Purdue's half of the 9th inning:
- Purdue scored 8 runs with 2 outs.
- Purdue did not have a single multi-run at-bat in the 9th; that means there were TEN different at-bats with an RBI.
- The first 5 batters in the inning did not put a ball in play.  4 walks and a strikeout started the inning - any baseball fan will tell you that walks are the worst thing you can do as a pitcher with a 5-run lead (just ask Carlos Marmol). 
- The last run scored on a double.  That was the ONLY extra-base hit of the inning.  I watch a lot of baseball, and can't remember a team scoring 9 runs in an inning without an extra-base hit.
- Scott Griggs, UCLA's closer who opened the 9th, gave up the 4 walks and got the strikeout.  Southpaw Grant Watson, who relieved Griggs, then proceeded to give up 6 singles and a sacrifice fly.  Watson faced 7 batters and EVERY batter got an RBI.

While Purdue is considered a lock for the NCAA tournament, this win could help Purdue in it's quest to be a number one seed.  A one-series west coast trip against a top team is tough for any ballclub, regardless of level, and getting swept on the road wouldn't have been that big of a deal (this isn't football where a three-game losing streak sends fans to the Big Ten Network alternate channels to watch IU get blown out just so we can feel a little better about ourselves).  However, this win adds another notch to the belt and can get this team believing again that they can beat anyone.

Start paying attention folks.  Purdue should be playing in the postseason for the first time since 1987, and is on the verge of their first Big Ten Title since 1909. 

If you're in town this weekend, make sure to support the Boilers in their last home series of the year.  And if not, check out the Boilers on BTN at noon on Saturday as they take Michigan.

Boiler Up!

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