After a long homestand (9 games!), Iowa hits the road to Ann Arbor for a weekend tilt with Michigan. The Hawkeyes remain in second place and a half-game behind Illinois for the conference lead while the Wolverines sit in fifth place. In other Big Ten action, Illinois travels to Columbus to take on Ohio State in the conference’s marquee weekend matchup.
Due to final exams, Michigan has been idle after taking two of three from Minnesota last weekend. The Wolverines lead the conference in batting average by a wide margin (ten points better than second place Michigan State) while also leading in on base percentage. On the mound, Michigan possesses a middling 3.48 team ERA while leading the conference in walks (181) with a shade over four per game.
|Cronenworth (2b)||.339||5||33||62 hits|
|Glines (cf)||.380||1||20||.473 OBP|
|Maezes (3b)||.337||1||24||Missed 13 games (injury)|
|Bendetti (1b)||.364||3||45||.549 slg %|
|Bruder (lf)||.306||1||35||10 doubles|
|Bivens (ss)||.308||0||11||11 hbp|
|Slater (rf)||.231||2||16||5 outfield assists|
|White (dh)||.261||2||6||.409 obp|
The Wolverines boast the Big Ten's best offensive attack with a .301 team batting average, the most doubles (94), and the league's highest on base percentage (.386). Jacob Cronenworth (2-4, 3.55 ERA) will take the hill this afternoon and he also sports an impressive .339 batting average with five bombs and a league-leading 62 hits. He rivals Tyler Peyton in do-it-all-ness. Centerfielder Jackson Glines leads the conference in batting average (.380) and on base percentage (.473).
Game One Info
When: Today, 3pm CT, Ray Fischer Stadium
How's it gonna be: It'll be interesting to see how Blake Hickman (normally Iowa's Saturday starter) handles his first Friday night start. He's been spectacular in conference play, winning each start (5-0) while holding opposing hitters to an astounding .165 batting average. Michigan counters with staff ace Jacob Cronenworth. Cronenworth is a hard-thrower and was penciled in as the team's closer before injuries to the staff. The Iowa staff may have to pitch around the top of the Michigan order, much like they did against Maryland, but Michigan's propensity to walk batters should fit nicely into Hellerball.
BONUS! Tomorrow's game (3:30 PM CT) will be televised on BTN, which will make it much easier to watch this very fun Iowa team in action.
LET'S GO HAWKS!!!