ROSEMONT, Ill. (Purdue Sports) — Jacson McGowan had no control over Purdue baseball’s season-opening flight to Texas being grounded due to fog. He did make Perfect Game Park his own personal launching pad though, winning Big Ten Player of the Week honors after homering three times and posting 7-3-7 airplane-style numbers in the Boilermakers’ sweep of Western Michigan.
Purdue’s junior first baseman went deep in each game of the season-opening replacement series in Georgia. He finished the weekend 7-for-13 with the three homers and seven RBI. He racked up 17 total bases and scored four times.
McGowan was the first Boilermaker since March 2016 to go deep in three straight games, a feat that had not been accomplished by a Purdue player in the first three games of a season since at least the start of 2004. He’s the program’s first Big Ten Player of the Week honoree since March 2015. His predecessor at first base, fellow power hitter Kyle Wood, was the last Boilermaker to accomplish both feats.
McGowan was also named the league’s Player of the Week by 10innings.com.
Purdue was one of at least four Division I college baseball teams that had flights out of Chicago’s Midway Airport canceled Thursday. Instead of opening with a three-game set at Baylor, the replacement series with Western Michigan was organized. The Broncos also had their flight to Texas canceled. The coaching staffs determined the best bet for favorable weather was the LakePoint Complex north of Atlanta. The Boilermakers’ season ultimately began a day later than expected, but it was a successful start nonetheless with a doubleheader sweep Saturday. Purdue’s 2012 Big Ten championship team also won twice on its first day of the season and started the year 3-0.
Skyler Hunter and McGowan both finished the weekend with seven hits while batting 3-4 in the Boilermakers’ opening-weekend lineup. Hunter was aboard when McGowan went deep in games two and three of the series. Both players had four hits in Sunday’s win as McGowan recorded his third collegiate four-hit game as well as his third career four-RBI effort. He homered off a light pole in right field with his opposite-field shot.
Tanner Andrews was named the Big Ten Pitcher of the Week after winning his season-opening start at Texas State last year. Barrett Serrato (2011) was the last Boilermaker to win Player of the Week after the opening weekend of the season.