Calvin Gunter is a senior pitcher from Noblesville, Ind. The left-hander appeared in 15 games in 2011 with eight starts. Gunter went 5-3 with one save, recording 40 strikeouts in 45.1 innings. He spent the 2008 season at Toledo before sitting out the 2009 campaign after transferring to Purdue. Gunter was 1-3 in 2010 with three saves. He appeared in 22 games with four starts, fanning 32 in 36.2 innings. An Academic All-Big Ten selection in 2011, Gunter is majoring in political science.



David Miller is a senior from St. Louis, Mo. Miller started 46 of his 53 games at shortstop a season ago for the Boilermakers. He batted .281 with four doubles, three homers, 32 runs and 33 RBI. Miller led the Big Ten with 41 walks and an on-base percentage of .465. He was plunked 14 times, fanned just 24 times and was 9 for 13 on stolen bases. Miller played two seasons at Southwestern Illinois College before transferring to Purdue. Miller is majoring in history with plans of becoming a teacher and coach.


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Feb. 24, 2012 

It’s Opening Weekend and Our Passion Bucket is Full


With winter nearly over, it is time for another baseball season to begin. In professional baseball, pitchers and catchers are now just reporting to spring training. But for college baseball, it is Opening Day. Morning lifts, class during the day, and afternoon practices have culminated with programs across the nation beginning the 56-plus game grind. For the schools of the Big East and Big Ten Conferences, February 17 marks the season opener with the Big Ten/Big East Challenge in St. Petersburg, Florida. Ten schools from the Big Ten and nine from the Big East made the trip down south for what is now the fourth year of inter-conference competition. Although this is not always baseball in its most pristine condition (see the number of errors committed in Purdue vs. Notre Dame), it is a great showcase of some of the talent that college baseball has to offer.


This event being held in Florida, featuring 18 schools located in the Northeast/Midwest, there are obviously some long distances to be traveled. What seems to be a result of the ever-present need to “keep cost low”, some teams take a Christopher Columbus-like serpentine route. For us this involved the obvious need to fly from Indianapolis to Kansas City en-route to St. Petersburg.  For those who are geographically challenged, Kansas City is 480 miles west of Indianapolis and nowhere close to the Gulf of Mexico. Better yet is the return trip to West Lafayette that included flying over West Lafayette twice; once from St. Petersburg to Chicago and again from Chicago to Indianapolis. Perhaps sky diving review should precede PFP’s in practice to solve this?

(click here for video of Purdue's Dream Team Human Bicycle at Indy Airport)


As if we hadn’t waited long enough for February 17 to come around, the Boilers ran into some early adversity, the most common word in the Coach Schreiber Dictionary. An early morning BP session (only the third time the northern school had been on a field all spring) was plagued with light drizzle, greatly increasing the chance of a rainout. The early batting practice paid off with a bus ride back to the hotel to wait for better weather. No team wants to spend their first day waiting for clear skies, but again adversity had hit. It hit again two hours later with our second game delay of the day, and again two hours later with yet another delay. Coach Schreiber might have been onto something. Finally, around dinner time, we found out that the game had been canceled and moved to the following evening, leaving us royally frustrated. Rainouts are spent accomplishing one of three tasks: sleeping, homework, or in the case of the Purdue University “Dream Team”, a not-so-friendly game of Hang Time. NBA Hang Time is a video game played on the classic system of Nintendo 64, originally released in 1996. The moves performed on this game would make Blake Griffin blush as he dunks over a Kia. “Is it the shoes?”


Games finally began the morning of February 18 and began with a hard-fought victory over the University of Connecticut Huskies, only to be followed by another win later that evening against the University of Cincinnati Bearcats. Adversity seemed to have left with the rain… until Sunday. Sunday, or hit-day, featured Purdue squaring off against rival Notre Dame. Games against the Fighting Irish, and Hoosiers obviously, seem to evoke a level of intensity as well as passion that exceeds comprehension for those who sit on the outside looking in. Last year this same rivalry left us beaten and bruised as Notre Dame set a record number of offensive records in the Big Ten/Big East Challenge short history. This year an early 3-0 deficit did nothing to erase the bitter taste still in our mouths. Patience and perseverance prevailed as we were able to claw back to a one-run lead. Then the fireworks started. In the top of the sixth inning, bases loaded and nobody out, Cameron Perkins took the biggest swing so far for the Boilers with a grand slam that emptied our dugout in a furry of high fives, fist pumps, butt slaps, not to mention a handful of expletive-laced tirades. A celebration usually reserved for a game-winner might have seemed over the top for a sixth-inning bomb, but in a BCS-every-game-counts manner, the team recognized the importance of that swing. To the credit of Notre Dame, they continued to trade blows with us for the remainder of a game that was not kind to any pitcher’s statistics. In the end, the “good guys” prevailed and left what is sure to be another epic chapter in this rivalry to another meeting for another date.


Some might wonder how a team would celebrate a 3-0 start that ended in a victory over an arch-rival. With 12 hours of travel and homework of course. Arriving back on campus at 1:30 a.m. on Monday morning staring down 7:30 a.m. class (attendance somewhat optional) is at times the life of a college baseball player, but the week of preparation in readying for another opportunity to do it all again makes it all worth it. Because Thursday is right around the corner and for those above the 36°30’ north parallel, that means travel day.


Thanks for reading.


Cal Gunter and David Miller


(photos courtesy of Purdue Media Relations Office)