WEST LAFAYETTE – Tanner Andrews’ stellar opening day start in which he struck out a career-high nine over seven innings has earned the junior Big Ten Pitcher of the Week honors for the first time.
Andrews, a former three-sport star at Tippecanoe Valley High School, is a junior right-hander for Purdue.
Andrews dominated Texas State at Bobcat Ballpark, surrendering only one walk and two hits over seven innings of one-run ball. He led the Boilermakers to their first season-opening win since 2013 with the longest opening day start by a Purdue pitcher since Jay Buente worked eight innings of one-run ball, striking out 11, in 2006 at Louisiana-Lafayette. Buente was drafted later that year and went on to make it to the big leagues with the Marlins.
Andrews is Purdue’s first Big Ten Pitcher of the Week honoree since Joe Haase was recognized for a complete-game shutout of Michigan in May 2012. That was the opening game of the final series in the history of Lambert Field, a memorable weekend highlighted by the Boilermakers clinching the Big Ten title the following day.
Andrews retired 21 of the 24 batters he faced in San Marcos, including the first 10 in a row and 20 of the first 21. The only run he allowed came on a solo homer in the fourth inning. He did not have to pitch from the stretch until there were two outs in the seventh inning. Sixty of the 91 pitches he threw were strikes. He struck out five his first time through the Texas State lineup and recorded a pair of Ks in three different innings.
Led by Andrews, the Boilermakers were victorious in their first game under new head coach Mark Wasikowski. They ended up splitting the four-game series.
Andrews posted a game score of 77 in his gem. Only one outing was better by a Purdue pitcher in all of 2016, Mat Frawley’s game score of 86 in his final start as a Boilermaker. Frawley struck out eight over 8 1/3 innings of two-hit shutout ball in a 10-inning vs. Cal State Northridge. It was Andrews that finished off the game that night with an inning and two-thirds of hitless relief.
Andrews became the first Purdue pitcher to make consecutive opening day starts since Matt Bischoff started three straight from 2008 to 2010. Andrews posted the best opening day performance by a Boilermaker on the mound since Matt Morgan beat No. 9 Connecticut in the 2011 season opener, working 5 2/3 shutout innings that night in Florida. Buente had a game score of 80 in 2006 and Morgan 66 in 2011.
Andrews will be back on the mound Friday when Purdue opens a weekend series at Little Rock. The three-game set represents the Boilermakers’ first games in the state of Arkansas since 1967.