May 2, 2016
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|Western Illinois (13-26) at Iowa (20-21)|
|Date||May 3, 2016|
|Location||Iowa City, Iowa | Duane Banks Field|
|Statistics||Western Illinois | Iowa|
|Live Video Stream||BTN Plus|
|Date | Time||Tuesday, May 3 | 6:35 p.m. (CT)|
|Pitching Matchup||IOWA:Fr., RHP Cole McDonald (4-1, 1.86 ERA) vs.
WIU: So., RHP Ricky Digrugilliers (1-0, 5.06 ERA)
IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa baseball team plays it final home midweek game of the season Tuesday, hosting Western Illinois at 6:35 p.m. (CT) at Duane Banks Field.
The Hawkeyes bring a 20-21 overall record into the contest after dropping two of three games last weekend against Kansas State. The Leathernecks are 13-26 overall following their road Summit League series win at South Dakota State. Western Illinois won two of three games.
Iowa will send freshman right-handed pitcher Cole McDonald to the hill for his seventh start. The New Hampton, Iowa, native is second on the team with four wins, going 4-1 with a 1.86 ERA. He has allowed four runs in 19 1/3 innings and has 21 strikeouts to four walks.
McDonald went a career-long five innings, scattering four hits and fanning five in a win over Grand View on April 26. He is 4-0 with a 1.65 ERA in six starts this season.
Western Illinois will counter with sophomore Ricky Digrugilliers, who will be making his first start of the season. The right-handed pitcher is 1-0 with a 5.06 ERA in 11 appearances, allowing 10 runs (nine earned) on 20 hits over 16 innings. He has 14 strikeouts against three walks.
The Leathernecks are hitting .238 as a team and average 4.2 runs per game. Outfielder Roman Visintine is the only Western Illinois regular hitting above .300; he sits at .375 with 21 runs and eight RBIs. Chris Tschida is hitting .294 with a team-high 25 RBIs and 20 runs scored.
On the mound, Western Illinois has a 5.62 team ERA, allowing 255 runs (209 earned) over 334 2/3 innings. The staff has surrendered 390 hits and struck out 273 to 159 walks.
Iowa is looking to ignite its offense after being held in check during its last four games. The Hawkeyes are 2-2 during the stretch, but is averaging just 2.3 runs and hitting .219 as a team. Senior Tyler Peyton has accounted for 1/4 of the hits, posting a .538 average (7-of-13).
The Hawkeyes are 7-0 in midweek games this season — all at Banks Field. Iowa is hitting .320 as a team and average 12.9 runs per game. Five regulars are hitting better than .300 and the pitching staff has a 2.36 ERA with two shutouts. Iowa pitchers have 65 strikeouts in 61 innings and opponents are hitting .235.
Iowa leads the all-time series over Western Illinois, 71-27-2. The two teams split a pair of contests last season with both teams winning on its home field. The Leathernecks run-ruled Iowa, 16-5, in Macomb and the Hawkeyes won 7-5 in Iowa City.
Western Illinois is led by former Hawkeye assistant Ryan Brownlee, who served on the Iowa coaching staff from 2004-12. Leatherneck volunteer assistant coach Derek Stecklein was a four-year Hawkeye student manager.
Tuesday’s game will be video streamed live on BTN Plus and a radio broadcast will be available on Hawkeye All-Access with Brent Balbinot on the call.
Following the midweek matchup, Iowa heads to Columbus, Ohio, for a crucial three-game Big Ten weekend series at Ohio State.