WHO: Iowa Hawkeyes (24-15, 9-6 B1G) at Ohio State (23-18, 6-6 B1G)
- Friday, April 26th -- 5:35 PM CT
- Saturday, April 27th – 2:05 PM CT
- Sunday, April 28th – 11:05 AM CT
Iowa heads back out on the road following their fourth series win in a row last weekend and an extra innings win on Tuesday night. The Hawkeyes put a beatdown on the Huskers, taking two of three from the second place team in the conference. Iowa now takes on Ohio State, who is currently .500 in Big Ten play and ranked 8th in the conference.
After being swept by Northwestern, Ohio State has won their last two series over Michigan and Maryland and gone 7-2 overall. The Buckeyes are 15-7 at home this season while the Hawkeyes are 9-11 on the road.
AT THE PLATE
Ohio State is one of the best hitting teams in the conference. Right fielder Dominic Canzone leads the Big Ten in runs scored and hits, and is also third in the Big Ten with eleven home runs this season. Canzone leads the Buckeyes with a .375 batting average and five stolen bases. In left field, Ohio State senior Brad Cherry leads the team with 36 RBIs. He is hitting .325 and has ten home runs on the year.
As a team, Ohio State has had nine players hit a combined 44 home runs this season, second best in the Big Ten behind Indiana, who has hit 72(!!). For comparison, Iowa has only hit 22 as a team. The Buckeyes also rank third in overall team batting average, hitting .280, and third in total runs scored with 242.
On the mound, the Hawkeyes will send out Cole McDonald, Cam Baumann, and Grant Judkins. McDonald pushed his streak of throwing six or more innings to five with his start against Nebraska. He has allowed two or fewer runs in four of his last five starts. Baumann threw five innings against Nebraska, struck out seven, and only allowed two earned runs. Judkins was a tough luck loser against Nebraska, as he threw seven innings and only allowed one earned run. His 1.88 ERA is third best in the Big Ten, but he only has a 4-4 record to show for it.
Out of the bullpen for the Hawks, Grant Leonard continues to be dominant. He has now thrown 21 innings on the year and has only allowed three runs. He has gone ten straight appearances without allowing a runner to score.
ON THE MOUND
The Buckeyes rank tenth in the Big Ten with a 4.86 ERA but rank third in strikeouts with 366. Their strikeout leader is Seth Lonsway, who is third in the Big Ten with 68 strikeouts on the season. Lonsway has started ten games, with a 5-3 record and a 4.83 ERA. The other Buckeye starters will be Griffan Smith, who is 4-2 with a 3.75 ERA, and Garrett Burhen, who is 5-2 with a 4.21 ERA. Buckeye closer Andrew Magno has six saves on the year and has struck out 33 batters in 27.2 innings of work.
The Iowa bats seem to be heating up, as their .266 overall average is good for fourth in the Big Ten. They cranked out 17 hits in the second game against Nebraska, including home runs from Izaya Fullard and Ben Norman. Tanner Wetrich now has an 11-game hit streak while Chris Whelan has reached base in 19 straight games. We should also mention that Justin Jenkins hit his first home run of the season on Tuesday night against Milwaukee. The home run also happened to be a walk-off to give Iowa the win in extra innings, which is pretty great for the junior who has struggled for much of the season.
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