national champs baby
Preview: Western Michigan, Poll Watch
Western Michigan (10-32)
|Tuesday 3:05pm ET, Kalamazoo, MI|
|Matt Miller (1-2, 5.98 ERA)||vs||Eric Heckaman (0-7, 8.65ERA)|
|Notes: 73-64 All Time (WMU used to be really good back in the 50s), |
Last year's home-and-home was a 2-0 Michigan sweep by score
20-1 and 6-0.
Michigan travels to coach Rich Maloney's old stomping ground today to face off with the Western Michigan Broncos. The Broncos are one of the worst teams in D1 baseball, #267 in Boyd's Pseudo-RPI. Despite that, they do have a mid-week win over Michigan State and a series win over a decent Miami (NTM) team.
Eric Heckaman gets the start for the Broncos for the 10th time this season, which leads the team. In his 51 innings pitched, the righty has given up 75 hits for an opponent batting average of .335. He has just 31 strikeouts but also has 20 walks. He hasn't given up a ton of extra base hits (13 doubles and 5 homers), and he also seems a bit wild with 7 HBP and 4 wild pitches.
At the plate, WMU is lead by Chris Lewis. Lewis leads the team in batting average (.370), on base percentage (.440), slugging percentage (.543), and RBI (34). Ryan McMillan is the only other major threat in the lineup batting .341 and slugging .541. His 24 RBI is second only to Lewis.
After that, there is a lot of meh. Michigan should be able to handle these guys easily, getting an easy win and probably dropping 3 spots in the RPI while their at it. WMU is just that bad.
Weather looks to be perfect with winds blowing straight out to right center at 15 to 20 mph.
Polls and Bubble Watch after the jump:
Polls & Bubble Watch
It's been way too long since I've been able to include one of these type sections…
Michigan made it into it's first poll of the year, being listed in the "Others Receiving Votes" of the National College Baseball Writers Association Poll. They are listed alphabetically, but if they were listed by total votes, I'm about 98% sure we'd be listed in a tie for last.
Michigan made it into two different NCAA Regional Projections today. SEBaseball (Rivals' South East Baseball) puts Michigan as a #3 seed at UCONN.
1. Connecticut (Big East Automatic) 35-9 #24
4. Columbia (Ivy Automatic) 25-19 #125
2. Virginia Tech (ACC at large) 32-14 #23
3. Michigan (Big 10 Automatic) 27-15 #57
That's an intriguing bracket as Virginia Tech is decent in the ACC, capable of knocking off giants, but they have had their share of consistency issues this year. UCONN is probably the most underrated team in the NCAA this year. They get little to no respect being in the Big East. They are extremely dangerous.
No. 7 Coastal Carolina
That regional would be death. Not only would Michigan have to face a potential filled, underachieving Alabama in the first round, but the other two teams are no slouch either. Coastal Carolina has been around the top 10 all year in RPI. At least if we were to face them again, we'd hopefully be at full health, not that our pitching is half of what it was 5 weeks ago.
Clemson baseball is like Clemson football/basketball. They're filled with talent but have an aversion to being great. Every time they get recognized for good play, they somehow collapse.