WHERE: Target Field; Minneapolis, MN
WHEN: 3:30 PM CT Today
HOW TO WATCH: BTN (The Mothership! Again!)
HOW TO LISTEN: 800 AM KXIC or 1360 AM KMJM or Hawkeye All-Access
RHP Calvin Mathews, IOWA (5-2, 2.08 ERA) vs RHP Christian Morris, IU (3-1, 5.44 ERA)
Mathews had what we on the interwebz call a 'meh' outing last time against Indiana: 4 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 2 K. Not good. Not disastrous. Iowa won. Morris did not appear for Indiana in the Iowa series. He recorded ten starts on the year, and his record is curiously decent for someone with his ERA. Looking at his season stat line, it appears he is most vulnerable where Iowa is least likely to punish him: extra-base hits. Morris served up 25 total (17 2B, 4 3B, 4 HR) 51 1/3 innings this year. By comparison, the sinkerballing Mathews surrendered just 11 (8 2B, 3 HR) in 65 innings pitched. Hopefully Iowa can take advantage.
Indiana's got some balance. Casey Rodrigue is their best all-around offensive threat (.286, 5 3B, 4 HR, 34 RBI, 13/18 SB/ATT), but all eight of their regulars have between 19 and 36 RBI, including four over 30 (compared to Iowa's one). Craig Dedelow leads them in homers with 6. The Hoosier bullpen looks pretty tough, too, with four arms dealing sub-3.00 ERAs and 39 or more innings pitched.
Given Morris's propensity to give up extra bases, Nick Day and Kris Goodman, Iowa's home run leaders with a modest three apiece, may need to take a couple extra big hacks today.
WHAT'S AT STAKE
For Iowa: Simply stay alive to win the conference tourney, perhaps what they need to do to host an NCAA regional. For Indiana: Solidify an at-large NCAA bid. The Hoosiers have surged nicely as of late, after the early-season BHGP MANCOTT so devastated them that they at one point dropped 8 of 10. But late-season sweeps of Maryland and Ohio State revived them, and a run in the B1G Tournament will probably extend the Hoosiers' season.
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