In the most recent Michigan baseball series, Team 150 made the 11-hour flight to the beautiful campus of Hawai’i to take on the Rainbow Warriors in a 4 game weekend series. Michigan entered the series freshly rested after their Spring Break swing and handled business very nicely, sweeping all four games and moving to 11-3 on the season.
Oliver Jaskie, P. Jaskie continues his terrific start to the 2016 season. After being named Big Ten Pitcher of the Week twice, he supplemented those nods with yet another stellar start in game one of the series, allowing only three hits and three walks in 5.1 innings of work. Improving to 3-0 this season, Jaskie has yet to allow an earned run in 16.2 innings, and is holding batters to a .153 average against him, good enough for 4th in the Big Ten.
Brett Adcock, P. Adcock took the baton from Jaskie this week, earning Big Ten Pitcher of the Week honors after his own start against Hawai’i on Friday night. Over 7 innings of work, Adcock struck out 12 batters, including a clutch punch-out with 2 runners on in the bottom of the 5th to hold the tie at one run apiece en route to collecting his first win of the season. The junior lefty lowered his ERA to 1.15 on the season, which is 4th in the Big Ten.
— Big Ten Baseball (@B1Gbaseball) March 14, 2016
The Catching Platoon Harrison Wenson and Drew Lugbauer. You’re probably growing to expect these two in the top performers every week given their torrid start to the season. Wenson went 3-5 with a run scored in Game 1, 2-4 with an RBI in Game 2, and knocked in 3 runs in Game 3, pushing his total to 14, tied for the team lead. Lugbauer also did his fair share of mashing, collecting 2 RBI in Game 1, scored 2 runs in Game 2, and going 3-3 with both an RBI and a run scored. Wenson leads the team in average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and total bases.
I also want to mention the performances of outfielders Matt Ramsay and Cody Bruder, who also hit the ball with ease on this trip. Ramsay collected 5 hits and scored 6 runs (exemplary top of the order play), while Bruder, who has the luxury of hitting with either Wenson and Lugbauer on base nearly every at-bat, had 8 hits and knocked in 6 runs.
Michigan took care of Hawai’i as they should, an aggressively average team that doesn’t often see great competition simply because of the hassles involved in traveling to and from the island. This series wouldn’t have weighed heavily on the rankings unless they got swept, so these four wins didn’t do much for Michigan’s national stock. That said, they moved up in the major rankings; up to 18th in Baseball America, 20th in Perfect Game, 24th in College Baseball News, and while still unranked according to D1 Baseball, they did fall under the “received consideration” category, which is a first for this season. They are also no longer the lone ranked Big Ten team; Michigan State rounds out Baseball America’s rankings at 25th.
Michigan faces Oklahoma State next weekend in Stillwater, which will be the hardest matchup since Cal last month.
The Cowboys stood pat in their rankings this week; 22nd in Baseball America, 23rd in Perfect Game, and 25th in D1 Baseball after beating up on Abilene Christian. They face a very good Dallas Baptist team for a single game this week before Michigan, a game that will likely be an excellent barometer for what Michigan can expect next weekend.
- Coach Bakich has the team hitting the cover off the ball at the moment, but Oklahoma State’s pitching staff boasts a 2.28 ERA which is 2nd-best in the Big 12.
- Like Michigan’s three-headed monster of Adcock, Jaskie, and Nutof, OKState has three of the top five Big 12 pitchers (sorted by ERA): JR Tyler Buffett (reliever, .89 ERA and .167 BAA in 20.1 innings of work), SO Thomas Hatch (1.67 in four starts), and FR Jensen Elliott (1.93 in four starts).
- Here is a side-by-side statistical comparison of the two teams:
|Batting Average Against||.184||.228|
Michigan is the better all around team, but they will face the toughest pitching of the year this coming weekend, a true test of how good Team 150 really is. All games will be streamed live on the Oklahoma State Athletics YouTube channel, which can be found here.
Header Photo: Michigan Baseball