Series Preview: Penn State Baseball vs. Michigan
The Penn State Nittany Lions have a tough task this weekend as they face second-place Michigan Wolverines.
Penn State enters the series with a record of three wins and eight losses compared to the Wolverine’s nine wins and three losses.
The Nittany Lions came away with just one win in their last series against the Maryland Terrapins. That one win came in the form of a walk-off single by freshman Josh Spiegel, but besides that, the Nittany Lions struggled mightily losing the first game 19-10 and dropping the final game of the series 7-1.
The key in this series for Penn State will be pitching. Bailey Dees, a player who is supposed to be the ace of the rotation has not lived up to those expectations this season. Dees has a record of 1-1, however an ERA of 8.56. If Penn State wants to win this series, Dees must set the tone and pitch well.
Penn State’s bullpen has been horrible so far this season and that is putting more pressure on the starters to pitch well as it is very hard for the bullpen to keep a lead.
The Nittany Lions’ offense has been very top-heavy this season with just four hitters batting over .270. Penn State’s best hitter has been Spiegel as he is batting .342 with three home runs and eight RBIs.
Leadoff hitter Gavin Homer has been excellent, batting .300 and has done a great job getting on base for the other hitters. The Nittany Lions will need to get contributions from up and down the lineup if they want to win this series.
As for the Wolverines, they came away with a series split last against their archrival the Michigan State Spartans.
The first game of the series saw the Spartans take a seven-run lead into the ninth inning, however Michigan rallied and scored eight runs to come away with the victory. Jimmy Obertop hit a two-run walk-off home run to win the game. It was a different story in game two, as the Wolverines were shut out 3-0.
Michigan has a very high-powered offense and will look to capitalize on the weak Penn State pitching. Look for catcher Christian Molfetta to have a big series as currently, he leads the team in average batting at .326. Obertop’s walk-off home run was his fifth on the season. He leads the team in home runs and is tied with Griffin Mazur for RBIs with 12.
The Wolverines pitching staff has the second lowest ERA in the conference, sitting at 2.88.
Leading the Wolverine staff is Cameron Weston. Weston on the season has a record of two wins and one loss and has an ERA of 2.45. Look for Weston to dominate these Nittany Lion batters.
Series Prediction: 3-0, Michigan
Michigan comes away with the sweep in convincing fashion as their offense will be too much for Penn State’s pitching.
Alex Rocco is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.