The Michigan Wolverines baseball team is headed to California this week, and it will be quite busy with five games from Saturday through Wednesday.
Let’s take a look at who the Wolverines’ square off with during this packed week.
Cal State Fullerton
Michigan begins the road trip with a weekend series against Cal State Fullerton. The Titans have started the season the same way as the Wolverines: splitting their first week and heading into this series 2-2.
It’s hard to tell what the strengths and weaknesses are of each team at this point in this point in the season, but it’s worth noting that Cal State Fullerton has been involved in some relatively high scoring games so far.
With a team average of .296, the bats of the Titans have been alive so far on the young season. However, with the exception of one game, the defense has allowed an average of more than 11 runs per game, letting up 21 in one game against Stanford.
The bulk of Michigan’s schedule this week comes against the Titans, so it is crucial the Wolverines perform well in this series to get the season, and the week, off to a good start. Building momentum is everything.
Saturday’s start time is set for 9 p.m. EST, with Sunday’s at 4 p.m. Monday’s at 8:30 p.m.
The Anteaters (awesome mascot) of UC Irvine have gotten off to a hot start. The Wolverines only play them once (Tuesday) but it’ll be a tough challenge.
In their opening weekend, the Anteaters swept Tulane and then beat USC. UC Irvine has shown a lot of skill in both aspects of the game so far, leading to that undefeated record.
In its first four games, UC Irvine has six players batting .250 or better and seven pitchers with a 0.00 ERA with at least one inning pitched. Michigan will have its hands full against the Anteaters.
Michigan vs. UC Irvine begins at 9 p.m. EST on Tuesday.
While all these matchups will be difficult for the Wolverines, the single game matchup against the 17th ranked UCLA Bruins will likely be the most challenging.
UCLA is 4-0 and hasn’t played a close game yet. The Bruins swept Omaha by scores of 16-1, 23-0 and 8-1. UCLA then played Pepperdine and won, 11-2. The Bruins are scoring a lot and not giving up runs; they are a well-oiled machine right now.
This is an important week for the Wolverines with opportunities for quality wins. If they can find a way to leave California with a winning record, that would be massive and help build momentum for the season going forward.
The Wolverines and Bruins get things going on Wednesday at 8 p.m. EST.