This weekend the Rutgers baseball team will be traveling to West Lafayette, Indiana to take on Purdue for a weekend of Big Ten baseball.
Starting on Friday, the Scarlet Knights (6-5, 6-5) will be looking to continue their success from the previous series against Ohio State where they took 2 out of the 3 games in the series.
During the series, Rutgers got support from a handful of key players and will look to them and others in this series to replicate its success.
On the mound, it had standout performances from junior left-handed pitcher Harry Rutkowski who punched out 11 batters in the Knights' win, and graduate student pitcher Ben Wereski who pitched seven shutout innings in the win against the Buckeyes (6-5, 6-5). Wereski, who transferred from Columbia, has been solidifying himself as a crucial part of the rotation by bringing his earned run average down to 2.00 after the series.
At the plate, the main concern for the Boilermakers (2-9, 2-9) should be sophomore infielder, Chris Brito. Brito has been off to a hot start batting .357 and leading the Big Ten in home runs with eight through only 11 games so far.
Brito has more home runs so far this season than in his last two years combined. Brito has also already totaled more runs batted in this season with 18 in 11 games compared to his last full season in 2019 where he drove in 17 runners in 43 games.
Purdue has had a 2-9 start to the season and will be looking to claw its way back in this upcoming series. Having played Rutgers a total of 14 times in the past, the two teams are at a dead tie at seven wins and losses each against one another.
The Purdue pitching staff has struggled lately with a team earned run average (ERA) of 6.43. If the Boilermakers want to keep the Knights bats at bay then it is important that they find success in their rotation and bullpen.
On Friday Rutgers will give Rutkowski the start and will look to continue its success in a new series versus Purdue.
For updates on the Rutgers baseball team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.