Head Coach: Doug Schreiber
2006 record: 31-27 (15-17 in conference play)
2006 RPI: 104
Projected 2007 Finish:
Baseball America - 5th
Collegiate Baseball - 4th
National Rankings: PG Cross Checker #100
At The Plate: The Boilermakers return one of the Big Ten’s top hitters in sophomore 1B/OF Ryne White. In his debut season, White hit .352 with six homers and forty-two RBI. His numbers, including an OPS of .966, landed him on the Freshman All-America squad. He’s also on the short list for Big Ten Player of the Year consideration in ‘07. White will get help from OF/C Spencer Ingaldson. Ingaldson, like White, was a second team All-Big Ten choice in 2006. The red shirt senior hit .327 a year ago with 22 RBI. He also led the Boilers in sacrifice bunts.
The Boilermakers will probably need returnees OF Alex Jaffee, OF Jordan Comadena and 2B Eric Osborn to improve on last season’s numbers, if their offense is going to be consistent. I’ve also told been to watch for contributions from 1B Andy Preston.
On The Mound: Purdue should have a very strong rotation in 2007. RHPs Ricky Heines (5-3, 4.16) and Dan Sattler (5-7, 3.14) were both third team All-Big Ten last year. Expect both to improve on their ‘06 totals. The Boilers also have a couple of new faces that could make a big impact. RHP Josh Lindblom transferred to Purdue from Tennessee. Lindblom is a West Lafayette native with a low 90’s fastball. Baseball America considers Lindblom the top newcomer in the Big Ten. Another pitcher that might provide immediate dividends is Tony Sedlmeyer. Sedlmeyer (RHP) originally signed to play at LSU before changing his mind and opting for Purdue.
The Schedule: Coach Schreiber usually offers his ball club one of the best non-conference schedules amongst Big Ten programs. This year is no different. The highlights are three games at #19 Georgia and three more contests at Auburn. There is also a road game at Notre Dame. In conference action, Purdue gets to travel to Michigan, but hosts Ohio State. It’s another tough slate for the Boilermakers in 2007.
Bottom Line: If their starters can pitch close to their potential, I think the Boilers will be a better pitching team in 2007 than in 2006. Finding a dependable closer would help greatly. However, I think their offense might not be quite as good this year as last. In the end, Purdue should make the conference tournament in 2007. A finish between fourth and sixth is most likely.