IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa baseball team returns to the friendly confines of Duane Banks Field for a Tuesday midweek match-up against Western Illinois. Game time is set for 6:05 p.m. (CT).
The Hawkeyes are 10-1 at Duane Banks Field and 19-11 overall after dropping 2-of-3 games at Northwestern over the weekend. Iowa won Friday’s series opener, 14-2, to run its winning streak to a season-high eight games, but lost back-to-back contests Saturday and Sunday to fall to 3-3 in Big Ten play.
The Leathernecks bring a 9-20 overall record to Iowa City after claiming a series victory at Omaha last weekend. Western Illinois won 2-of-3 games, taking the opener, 14-4, and the finale, 11-10. Junior Johnathan Fleek leads the Leathernecks with a team-high .352 batting average to go along with 15 RBIs. Senior Chris Tschida has a team-high 17 RBIs.
Sophomore Robert Neustrom paces Iowa with a .354 batting average – the fifth-highest mark in the Big Ten — and he is one of five Hawkeyes hitting above .300 on the season. Jake Adams, who hit home runs in back-to-back games over the weekend, leads the conference in home runs (13) and RBIs (43.) The 13 jacks are tied for fourth nationally, while the RBIs are tied for seventh.
Junior Tyler Cropley also hit a home run in consecutive games during the series at Northwestern, giving him four on the year. The McCook Lake, South Dakota, native has hit safely in six of Iowa’s last seven games. He has a .308 average during the stretch with seven RBIs and six runs.
Western Illinois will send RHP Jimmy Perkins to the mound for his third consecutive midweek start. The sophomore from Cary, Illinois, is 2-1 with a 5.14 ERA in five appearances.
The Hawkeyes will counter with LHP Elijah Wood, who will be making his first career start. The Washington, Iowa, native has allowed five runs — four earned – on 15 hits and has a 2.84 ERA with six strikeouts in 12 2/3 innings.
Iowa is 5-0 in midweek games this season, moving its midweek winning streak to 18 consecutive games dating back to the 2015 season. The Hawkeyes are hitting .288 as a team and averaging 8.4 runs during the midweek and have a 3.20 staff ERA.
The game will be streamed online via BTN Plus on BTN2Go. The game will also be broadcast on the Hawkeye Radio Network/Hawkeye All-Access with Zach Mackey on the call.
Following the midweek matchup, the Hawkeyes return to Big Ten action, facing Nebraska in a three-game series in Lincoln from April 14-16.