Team breakdown courtesy of MGoBlue.com
The University of Michigan baseball team (19-13, 4-5 Big Ten) visits State College, Pennsylvania, for a three-game series at Penn State (9-8, 1-4 Big Ten) this Friday through Sunday (April 10-12). The series opens on Friday (April 10) at 5 p.m. The game will be televised on the Big Ten Network with Andy Masur and Jack Dahm on the call. The set continues on Saturday afternoon (April 11) at 2:05 p.m. and concludes Sunday (April 12) at 1:05 p.m. Michigan, winners of seven of its last eight games, is coming off an 18-4 win over Eastern Michigan this past Tuesday (April 7).
SCOUTING PENN STATE -- The Nittany Lions (9-18, 1-4 Big Ten) are coming off a 4-2 win over Bucknell on Tuesday night (April 7). Nick Graham drove in a pair of runs in the win and Jordan Donmoyer allowed just two hits and a run in four innings of work. Aaron Novak leads Penn State with a .371 batting average and four home runs while Nick Distasio has a 3.54 ERA.
SERIES VS. PENN STATE -- Penn State has a 46-42 series advantage on Michigan heading into this weekend's series. The Wolverines swept the Nittany Lions in a three-game series on April 12-14, 2013. Michigan won the series finale, 8-1, as Travis Maezes and Michael O'Neill had three hits apiece and Matt Ogden earned the win with six shutout innings of relief.
BIG TEN LEADERS -- The Wolverines lead the Big Ten in batting average (.301) and are second in slugging percentage (.426), on-base percentage (.384) and doubles (68). On the mound, U-M is sixth in ERA (3.66) and is fourth in strikeouts (242). Senior Jackson Glines is tied for second in the league in batting average (.376) and second in on-base percentage (.489) while sophomore Carmen Benedetti leads the Big Ten with 35 RBI. Junior Jacob Cronenworth is tied for second with 22 walks and is second with 34 runs scored.
SLATER DRIVES IN SIX WITH PAIR OF HOME RUNS -- Sophomore Johnny Slater set a career high with six RBI as he belted a pair of home runs in Michigan's 18-4 win over Eastern Michigan on Tuesday afternoon (April 7). Slater's first home run came in the sixth inning to give Michigan a 13-4 lead. His second three-run blast happened in the very next inning. Both home runs were to rightfield and his six RBI in a single game ties him for the single-game lead with Carmen Benedetti, who drove in six against Toledo on March 7. Slater is hitting .245 this season with 12 RBI on the year.
OFFENSIVE EXPLOSION LIFTS U-M PAST EASTERN -- The Wolverines had a season-high 20 hits and sophomore Johnny Slater and junior Cody Bruder combined to drive in 11 runs in Michigan's 18-4 win over Eastern Michigan on April 7. Slater was 3-for-3 with two home runs and six RBI, reaching base in all five plate appearances. Bruder was 5-for-6 with two doubles, two triples and five RBI. Michigan moved its team batting average from .294 to .301 after the win over the Eagles.
U-M BRINGS OUT THE BATS IN EIGHT-GAME STRETCH -- Michigan has a 7-1 record in its last eight games, which includes a pair of wins over 2014 NCAA Regional teams Maryland and Indiana. The Wolverines have a .328 team batting average in that span, including 31 extra-base hits. Sophomore Carmen Benedetti is hitting .484 in that time while Cronenworth has three home runs in the last eight contest. The team ERA is 3.04 and sophomore Brett Adcock has struck out 11 batters in the last 10 innings of work.