(Photo Credit: Indiana University Athletics)
Ann Arbor, MI – This weekend, Indiana (31-17, 12-6 B1G) will travel to Ann Arbor to face the Wolverines in what many perceive as a must win series for the Hoosier baseball squad. The Hoosiers are now ranked No. 25 and Michigan at No. 19 per Collegiate Baseball Newspaper’s poll on May 6th.
Indiana’s previously red-hot baseball squad has struggled on the road this season having a mere 9-11 on the road compared to their 18-4 record at the Bart. Their difficulties have been multifaceted with not only run scoring inconsistencies but with pitching difficulties sporadically.
Last weekend, they lost their first series of the last eight to a strong Illinois squad. The offense never found their footing till the last game of the series and at that point it was too late to salvage their road trip. Tallying one run in the first two games combined made it an uphill battle for the Hoosiers.
Pauly Milto and Tanner Gordon did not pitch up to their potential on Friday and Saturday, but Andrew Saalfrank continues to be a dominating force for Indiana. Now 7-1, he leads the Hoosiers and will continue to prove he is a force to be reckoned with throughout the remainder of the season.
The Series of the Season
Traveling to Michigan, Indiana is undoubtedly the underdogs of the weekend. The Wolverines are an impressive 36-11, 14-3 B1G and are Big Ten leaders by 2.5 games over the Hoosiers. Now, the Hoosiers have a way to salvage the weekend and make an argument for the postseason by obviously winning the entirety of the series. If they win the series but do not sweep, they will be able to make a powerful statement as well that they belong in the conversation among the best in the Big Ten and Division-I.
The race for the Big Ten championship may be decided this weekend, but the top 5 in the league are all very close and within less than 4 games from the lead. Indiana does not need to sweep the Wolverines, but it is likely that they need to win at least two games of the series to keep the postseason dreams afloat.
- Michigan, Indiana and Nebraska are the top-3 in the Big Ten, but none of these teams are ranked in D1Baseball’s top-25.
- Iowa and Illinois are 4th and 6th and ranked 24th and 25th respectively on D1Baseball.
- Indiana and Michigan are both ranked on Collegiate Baseball Newspaper Poll at 25th and 19th respectively.
- Indiana is still ranked No. 1 in team home runs at 81, five above 2nd place Tennessee Tech and Arizona St.
Indiana will host Louisville on Tuesday and then a final series against Rutgers Thur-Saturday next week. Their series against Michigan is the last away games the Hoosiers will play this season apart from postseason play.