The Purdue Boilermakers won the Big Ten baseball tournament last night by kicking Indiana's ass twice -- the way that mattered was the second time on the field (6-5) in as many days; the other way was in a bench-clearing scuffle after a dust-up at third base.
The Boilers went 3-0 in the tourney and are now outright regular season champs as well as tourney champs. As mentioned the other day, they also have the pitcher, player AND coach of the year in the Big Ten. They've now received an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament, their first appearance in the big tourney in a quarter century.
The all-tournament team was also announced and featured five Boilermakers:
P: Jonny Hoffman, Indiana P: Tony Bucciferro, Michigan State
P: Lance Breedlove, Purdue
C: Kevin Plawecki, Purdue
1B: Ryan Krill, Michigan State
1B: Richard Stock, Nebraska
2B: Micah Johnson, Indiana
3B: Cameron Perkins, Purdue
SS: Kirby Pellant, Ohio State
SS: David Miller, Purdue
OF: Will Nolden, Indiana
OF: Anthony Cheky, Michigan State
OF: Barrett serrato, Purdue
DH: Michael Pritchard, Nebraska
Most Outstanding Player: Kevin Plawecki, Purdue
Of course, this all makes the mess that happened in the 9th inning that much more frustrating.
As you can see, Purdue's success is tied to their commitment to hustle (a familiar Boilermaker trait). That hustle, combined with the Hoosiers throwing it around like a little league team, led to the Boilers take the lead. Eric Charles then slid awkwardly into Michael Basil at third and apparently didn't acknowledge the famous IU banners, which Basil didn't like so he kind of knees him and there's a little shove and then before you know it, the benches have emptied, and someone (probably an umpire) is yelling "Get back in the fu-king dugout!"
Charles and Dustin DeMuth were ejected yet Basil, who started it all, was apparently not. I know there are always different way rivals see such a situation... BUT. Whether you like it or not, this was a baseball play until Basil started a fight, simple as that. I don't care if you don't like the slide or if you don't think it was textbook -- that doesn't matter. If a guy is blocking a base, you can barrel into him. That's how it works. Always has, and if you can't handle that, you shouldn't be playing baseball.
Watch the video above that Riley Schmitt had up last night. At 1:43, you can see Basil doing a headlock maneuver. At 1:49 you can see Charles -- who is on the ground and a bit more defenseless than the ogres standing over him -- get hammered by Basil who I guess took a bump from behind as an excuse to forearm shiver Charles. For a few scary seconds, Charles looks like a cowboy who fell under the herd.
The upshot is that Charles may likely be suspended for at least a game in the NCAA tournament as a result of this, which kind of seems like a bitter pill to swallow. Sure, we're biased, but here are the facts: Purdue has their first legit shot at the college world series perhaps ever. IU was frustrated and started a bench-clearing fight with their rival who was in the midst of taking their candy yet again. Somehow Purdue will have the biggest negative impact from this.
All that said, let's simply enjoy the fact that your Boilers are conference champs X 2.