BASE: Weekend Previews

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PENN STATE at ILLINOIS
Friday, April 2 - 6:05 p.m. CT -
www.BigTenNetwork.com
RHP Mike Wanamaker (1-2, 5.62 ERA) vs. RHP Will Strack (1-0, 4.28 ERA)
Saturday, April 3 - 3:05 p.m. CT
RHP Ignas (2-1, 5.34 ERA) vs. RHP Kevin Johnson (1-0, 5.00 ERA)
Sunday, April 4 - 12:05 p.m. CT - www.BigTenNetwork.com
RHP Neal Herring (2-1, 5.20 ERA) vs. TBA
Storylines: Illinois enters the conference season with a 9-9 record, while Penn State comes in with a 10-13 mark. The Illini are led by junior first baseman Matt Dittman, who paces the conference with a .500 average and .617 on-base percentage, which rank third and second, respectively, in the NCAA. Casey McMurray also ranks among the Big Ten's best in average (.407), slugging (.712) and on-base percentage (.479). Ben Heath fronts the Lions' offensive attack with a .667 slugging percentage on the strength of nine doubles and seven homers, which all rank among the conference's elite. On the mound, the Illini pitching staff combines for an ERA of 5.27, while the Nittany Lions hold a mark of 6.55.

MICHIGAN at INDIANA
Friday, April 2 - 3:05 p.m. ET
RHP Alan Oaks (3-3, 2.79 ERA) vs. RHP Walker Stadler (3-2, 4.91 ERA)
Saturday, April 3 - 1 p.m. ET
LHP Bobby Brosnahan (2-2, 4.15 ERA) vs. TBA
Sunday, April 4 - 1 p.m. ET
TBA vs. LHP Drew Leininger (3-1, 1.22 ERA)
Storylines: Michigan opens its conference schedule with a 13-9 record, currently riding a seven-game winning streak, while Indiana holds a 12-11 mark, most recently coming off a hard-fought 5-4 loss to No. 8 Louisville on Tuesday. Coley Crank provides the strength for Michigan with a .727 slugging percentage on seven home runs and nine doubles. Alex Dickerson and Jerrud Sabourin are doing the heavy lifting for the Hoosiers with Dickerson ranking first in the Big Ten in slugging (.837) and third in hitting (.429). Sabourin is second in batting(.452) and seventh in slugging (.663). On the mound, Indiana's Sunday starter Drew Leininger leads the Big Ten with a 1.22 ERA and is second in opponents' batting average (.206), while Michigan's Friday starter Alan Oaks is fourth in opponents' batting average (.217) and ninth in ERA (2.79).

IOWA at MICHIGAN STATE
Friday, April 2 - 4 p.m. ET
LHP Jarred Hippen (1-2, 2.54 ERA) vs. RHP AJ Achter (3-0, 1.52 ERA)
Saturday, April 3 - 1:05 p.m. ET
RHP Zach Kenyon (1-1, 4.62 ERA) vs. RHP Kurt Wunderlich (4-1, 3.44 ERA)
Sunday, April 4 - 1:05 p.m. ET
RHP Phil Schreiber (2-2, 5.22 ERA) vs. RHP Tony Bucciferro (3-2, 4.33 ERA)
Storylines: Michigan State opens the Big Ten season with the conference's best record at 17-4, which matches the Spartans' best start since 1992. MSU is riding an 11-game winning streak, which is the program's longest since 2004. The Spartan pitching staff is second in the Big Ten with a 4.64 ERA and is allowing opponents to hit just .264, which leads the conference. At the plate, Michigan State batters are reaching base at a Big Ten-leading .420 average, led by Jeff Holm and Eli Boike who are hitting .405 and .398, respectively. The Hawkeyes enter the series with a 9-13 mark, led by Kurtis Muller, who is hitting .407 and slugging .489. Friday starter Jarred Hippen holds a team-best ERA of 2.54 and has struck out 30 batters this season.

MINNESOTA at PURDUE
Friday, April 2 - 4 p.m. ET
RHP Seth Rosin (2-2, 4.15 ERA) vs. TBA
Saturday, April 3 - 2 p.m. ET
RHP TJ Oakes (1-1, 2.86 ERA) vs. TBA
Sunday, April 4 - 1 p.m. ET
LHP Phil Isaksson (2-0, 3.91 ERA) vs. TBA
Storylines: Purdue opens its conference slate with a 12-10 mark, while Minnesota comes in at 9-16. The Boilermakers are led by their pitching staff, which holds a conference-best ERA of 4.38 and is allowing opposing batters to hit just .275. Matt Bischoff has a team-best ERA of 2.08, while Bischoff (.245), Matt Jansen (.231) and Matt Morgan (.233) all rank among the Big Ten's best in opponents' batting average. Minnesota will also rely on its arms with a staff that holds a collective 4.65 ERA and .278 average against. Friday starter Seth Rosin has allowed just two walks all season while striking out 33. He is the reigning Big Ten Pitcher of the Week.

OHIO STATE at NORTHWESTERN
Friday, April 2 - 3 p.m. CT
RHP Alex Wimmers (5-0, 2.12 ERA) vs. RHP Francis Brooke (3-1, 3.46 ERA)
Saturday, April 3 - 1 p.m. CT
RHP Drew Rucinski (3-0, 2.03 ERA) vs. LHP Eric Jokisch (1-4, 7.40 ERA)
Sunday, April 4 - 1 p.m. CT
RHP Dean Wolosiansky (1-3, 5.62 ERA) vs. RHP Zach Morton (0-4, 8.10 ERA)
Storylines: Ohio State begins its Big Ten title defense, opening the conference slate with a 14-7 record. Northwestern comes in with a 6-18 mark. Friday's opener will feature two Pitcher of the Year candidates in the Buckeyes' Alex Wimmers and the Wildcats' Francis Brooke. On offense, Cory Kovanda paces Ohio State with a .414 average, while Zach Hurley (.667 slugging, 11 doubles) and Michael Stephens (.632 slugging, five home runs) provide the power. For Northwestern, Paul Sneider ranks among the Big Ten's leaders with 35 hits, while the speedy Trevor Stevens has three triples and nine stolen bases.

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