by Max Heath • @max_heath • Mar 20
Indiana is looking to build off its four-game series sweep of Canisius plus that wild win against Indiana State and carry that success over to Big Ten play against the Iowa Hawkeyes.
The Hawkeyes will come to Bloomington with a 12-7 record with both good wins and bad losses. Iowa split their series with the now 9-11 Hawaii team at two games apiece and lost two of three games to the now 9-7 Evansville team. They were held to just one run in the final two games of the Evansville series. However, they showed some life winning two of three against once-ranked Oklahoma State where each game was decided by one run.
They aren’t the most consistent ball club, but they aren’t one to be taken lightly. Iowa finished 33-20 overall and tied Maryland for fourth in the Big Ten. They were a talented club last year but lost a lot and have some holes to fill.
Iowa is one spot above the Hoosiers in team batting average hitting .262 compared to Indiana’s mark of .256. However, they’ve scored 90 runs to Indiana’s 115 and have only hit 10 home runs to Indiana’s 25. Granted Indiana has played two more games, there is still a considerable gap in power. The Canisius series skews the overall scope of these statistics as well with the Hoosiers putting up 51 runs total, but it’s worth comparing. Indiana won’t want to surrender a lead early to Iowa, as the Hawkeyes are 5-0 upon scoring first. However, when Iowa is trailing past the sixth inning, they are 1-6 as a team and that’s partially due to their inability to hit the long ball. Indiana needs their starters to come out hot to better their chances.
Hitters to watch:
#34 C Austin Martin, Junior
Martin is a junior college transfer who has found early success at the Division 1 level. He is hitting .327 with three doubles, two homeruns and six RBIs. He leads the team with seven multi-hit games and has started fourteen games at catcher for the Hawkeyes.
#9 OF Ben Norman, Junior
Norman is coming off a down year but has started this season off with the best display of power for the Hawkeyes. He is hitting .258 with three doubles and a team best three home runs and 11 RBIs. He has good speed, successfully stealing six out of seven bases on the year to lead the team in that category as well.
#4 2B Mitchell Boe, Senior
Boe is one of the most experienced players returning for Iowa. He has been a starter for the last two years and has started every game in the leadoff spot this year for the Hawkeyes. Boe is hitting .279 with three doubles, a triple, and a homerun with 10 RBIs. He leads the team in walks with 14 and on-base percentage reaching 42% of the time.
Now Iowa’s pitching on the other hand hasn’t been that great. They hold a team ERA of 4.04 and have given up 75 runs, with 63 of those been counted as earned runs. They’ve given up 115 hits and 87 walks in 140.1 innings of work. To put that in perspective, Indiana has surrendered just 64 walks and 123 hits in 156.1 innings of work. The Hawkeyes have good strikeout stuff totaling 141, but they’ve struggled with control and given Indiana’s aggressive baserunning style, this matchup doesn’t bode well for Iowa if Indiana can reach base.
Projected Starting Pitchers:
Friday- #11 RHP Cole McDonald, Senior
McDonald hasn’t started his senior campaign the way he would’ve liked to. He’s started five games and accumulated a 1-3 record with a 5.47 ERA. In those five starts he’s gone 24.2 total innings giving up 26 hits, 15 earned runs, and walked 12batters. Opponents are hitting .277 against him and he’s given up 4+ earned runs in losses to George Mason, Hawaii, and Cal State Northridge. He’s the kind of guy the Hoosiers should come out aggressive because teams that have had success against him have gotten it going early.
Saturday- #35 LHP Cam Baumann, Sophomore
Saturday starter Cam Baumann hasn’t had much success this year either. He is 0-1 on the year with a 5.12 ERA with four starts, five appearances, and 19.1 total innings pitched. He’s yet to go further than five innings in a start this year and that’s partially because of the 19 hits and twelve walks he has given up in that 19.1 innings. Opponents are hitting .250 against him while scoring 13 runs. The biggest thing with Baumann is making him pitch to you. He has 19 strikeouts, but as you get deeper in counts with him, you increase the odds of him making mistakes.
Sunday- #7 RHP Gran Judkins, Junior
Judkins has been the back-door man for this shaky starting rotation for Iowa. He has a team best 1.52 ERA in 29.2 innings of work in five starts. With a 2-1 record and opponent batting average of .170, there is no question he has been the best for the Hawkeyes early this season. Unlike Baumann, Judkins has gone 5.0+ innings in each of his five starts. He’s given up just 17 hits, 5 earned runs, and 14 walks. His control and 90+ mph fastballhelped him record 30 strikeouts this year and Indiana is going to want to make his start as short as possible. They will want to see pitches for the opposite reasoning to Baumann, they just want to get him out of the game.
Indiana Projected Starters