Iowa preps for Western Illinois

BY RYAN RODRIGUEZ | MAY 05, 2015 5:00 AM

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The No. 15 Iowa baseball team will host its final midweek game of the season tonight at Banks Field as Western Illinois comes to town to take on the Hawkeyes.

The Hawkeyes are fresh off of a series win over Michigan last weekend in Ann Arbor and have won seven out of their last eight games dating back to April 14. 

After a blowout loss in the second game to the Wolverines on May 1, the Hawks won a tightly fought 2-0 battle in the third game to take the series and set themselves up for the clash with Western Illinois.

“I was happy with our offense,” head coach Rick Heller said after the win. “We battled against some good arms, and on a day when it was not easy to score runs, we put ourselves in position to all day long.”

Today figures to be another platoon day for Iowa’s pitching staff. 

As has been the case with most midweek action this season, Heller will most likely use the game as an opportunity to give some game experience to some of his lesser-used arms, opting to preserve his usual weekend rotation for the upcoming series against Minnesota. 

Today should also have a bit of a redemption narrative for the Hawkeyes, who lost, 16-5, to the Leathernecks on April 1 despite leading 5-0 through the game’s first four and a half innings. 

Heller and Company will see today’s contest as an opportunity to get the bats going again.

The Western Illinois pitching staff has a 5.98 team ERA, and it has allowed 429 hits and 310 runs (242 of which have been earned) in 364 innings. Western Illinois’ starter will be a game-time decision.

The Hawkeyes, who at times have struggled with midweek matchups, are on a two-game winning streak in Tuesday and Wednesday night contests after scoring victories over Sacramento State and Northern Illinois.

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