On this episode of the College Baseball Central Podcast, Joe Healy talks Purdue Boilermakers baseball with Nathan Baird of the Journal & Courier.
After struggling for the last few seasons, the Purdue baseball program took a decided step in the right direction in 2017 under first-year head coach Mark Wasikowski.
By the time the regular season was done, they had qualified for the Big Ten Tournament, and while that might not strike you as a big accomplishment on its own, when you consider that the team went 2-22 in league play in 2016, it’s clearly a big step forward. They had eclipsed their Big Ten win total from 2016 by the end of the second conference series of the season in 2017, a series win over Ohio State on the road. They also surpassed their overall win total from 2016 by March 18th of 2017 after completing a four-game sweep of Santa Clara, also on the road.
Now, Wasikowski and his staff are tasked with continuing to move the program forward, a challenge they certainly sound ready to take on, as we covered in a piece on Purdue earlier this offseason.
Among the topics discussed in this episode are:
- The surprise of Purdue’s 2017 success
- Why Wasikowski has been a good fit for the program
- Differences between the 2016 and 2017 teams that played a role in the drastic improvement
- The kind of team Purdue will have in 2018
- The biggest challenges the coaching staff will face in getting Purdue to the next level