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Pingbats Sweep Purdue, RPI Drops Anyway

Our rivals to the north are so awful at baseball that by simply playing them, the hardball Hoosiers saw their RPI drop two spots. Regardless, the Hoosiers did what they needed to do and won all three weekend games against inferior competition, keeping them in the discussion for a national seed.

Schwarber and DeMuth wrecked a whole lot of souls this weekend.
Schwarber and DeMuth wrecked a whole lot of souls this weekend.

Prior to the start of the Purdue series, Baseball America writer Aaron Fitt opined that the Hoosiers needed to win 8 of their remaining 11 contests to finish in the top 8 and secure a national seed for the College World Series. Indiana spent the weekend getting three of those wins out of the way by obliterating rival Purdue 6-0, 7-3, and 12-3 at Bart Kaufman Stadium in front of three standing-room only crowds. With midweek win over Miami (OH) and using Fitt's article as a guide, it would seem the Hoosiers need to win four of their last seven to get the national seed. The good news being that three of those games come against B1G bottom-dweller Penn State and three more come at home against Minnesota. (A road date with Louisville is sandwiched in between.) As you may, or may not, recall: securing a national seed in the CWS means that IU would host a regional and (should they win it) also host the Super Regional. Being one of the eight national seeds would mean not having to leave Bloomington prior to the final tournament in Omaha.

Speaking of clinching scenarios, the Hoosiers' magic number has dropped to 4 with six conference games to play. For those unfamiliar with the term "Magic Number," it means that's the number of needed Hoosier wins and/or second-place team losses to clinch the B1G regular season title. In this case: Nebraska is three games back of the Hoosiers at 13-5, so any combination of 4 Hoosier wins / Cornhusker losses (in the conference) will clinch the title and the #1 seed for the B1G Tournament.

Hilariously enough, because RPI hinges so much on your strength of schedule, the Hoosiers saw their RPI drop two spots over the weekend because they were contractually obligated to take the field and play a really bad team in the Boilermakers. But you can only play who is on the schedule, and the Hoosiers took it to the Boilers all three days, at no point in the 27 innings of baseball did Purdue ever manage to put the assumed outcome in doubt. The Hoosiers are the best team in the B1G, by far, while Purdue is arguably the worst and it certainly showed this weekend. No matter who Purdue trotted out to the mound: righty, lefty, senior, freshman- it did not matter, the Hoosiers lineup mashed from top to bottom and it was a ton of fun to watch. Any time you score a lot of runs it makes the game fun, but to pile up these blowouts on a rival made it even better. Especially considering this was the first time these teams have played since this big load of nonsense from 2012, as the squads did not meet in 2013.

So, yeah, it was a good weekend to be a Hoosier and a bad one to be a Boilermaker. Just like the other 51 weekends in a given year.

Also: check out the twitter feeds of @IndianaBaseballNews and @HoosierBaseball to see all the neat photos of the #TurnBackTheClock promotion that they did for Sunday's game. The Hoosiers wore their throwbacks while the umpires also donned the suits they wore back in 1910, along with a stadium organist and barbershop quartet. I tweeted a request for them to also use wooden bats, but it was not acknowledged.