The Michigan Wolverines baseball team gets a mid-season break from Big Ten play and host the Oklahoma State Cowboys at Ray Fisher Stadium this weekend. If the Wolverines want any hope of getting an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, they need some wins against this talented Cowboys squad to bolster their resume.
Going into the series, Michigan is 21-18 (9-6 B1G) and in third in the conference standings. A regular season conference title is very much in play for the Wolverines, but that doesn’t guarantee a trip to the tournament.
Fortunately, the Wolverines get the bottom three teams in the conference for their final three series. That certainly gives Michigan a shot to go out and win a championship. However, to maximize the chances of an at-large bid, some wins against Oklahoma State this weekend would be huge.
The Cowboys came into the season with some high expectations. The season hasn't gone completely to plan, however, as Oklahoma State recently dropped out of the top-25 after a very promising 15-3 start to the season.
Now, the Cowboys sit at 28-13 (11-7 Big 12) and recently suffered a five-game losing streak. However, Oklahoma State has gotten back into a little bit of a groove recently and will come into this series riding a five-game winning streak.
Offensively, the Cowboys have been raking this season and only have two players hitting below .200 in the starting nine. Carson Benge (.351), Roc Riggio (.340) and Nolan Schubart (.338) stick out in a stacked Oklahoma State lineup.
On the rubber, the three pitchers Michigan will likely face are Isaac Stebens, Juaran Watts-Brown and Ben Abram. Stebens has been lights out this season with a 2.66 ERA and will be very tough to face. Watts-Brown has been solid as well with a 3.88 ERA and Abram is sitting at 6.13.
This series is full of themed games as well, as the two teams get things going on Friday at 4 p.m. for Dollar Ticket Day. Game 2 is Saturday at 2 p.m. and Game 3 is Sunday at noon.