The regular season will come to a close this weekend for Michigan baseball as the Wolverines travel to Columbus to play Ohio State in a three-game series.
Michigan needs a big weekend if it wants a chance at winning a share of the Big Ten regular season title. Michigan is currently 26-23 (13-8 B1G) and two games back of first place. Ohio State is 28-25 (6-16) and currently sits in 12th place in the conference.
It has been a unique season for the Buckeyes. Their overall record isn’t that bad, but they have struggled mightily in conference play. Their non-conference record is 22-10, and come into this series riding a six-game win streak. Five of those wins came against non-conference teams.
The Buckeyes are typically a solid baseball team, and they went into conference play with a solid 12-7 record. However, things have spiraled from that point, and they have won just one series in conference play.
On offense, Ohio State boasts a pretty solid lineup. The Buckeyes have a team average of .269, and seven players in the typical starting nine are batting better than .275.
Tyler Pettorini has been far and away been their best offensive player, as he is batting .319 and has three homers and 25 RBIs. Meanwhile, Henry Kaczmar has the pop in the lineup with six homers and 42 RBIs.
In terms of pitching, Michigan will likely face Isaiah Coupet (3.55 ERA), Jonah Jenkins (3.71 ERA) and Gavin Bruni (5.08 ERA). The Buckeyes team ERA is 5.77.
On paper, Ohio State doesn’t look like a team that would be 6-15 in conference play and in second-to-last place in the Big Ten. Despite their conference record, it won’t be easy, as the Buckeyes are capable of playing well and are coming into this series hot. But Michigan will likely to need to sweep Ohio State this weekend to have any chance at a Big Ten title, so the Wolverines should have all the motivation in the world.
This series starts earlier than most as game one gets going on Thursday at 6 p.m. Game two follows on Friday at 6 p.m. and the series finale is Saturday at 2 p.m.