IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa baseball team travels to Macomb, Illinois, on Tuesday for a nonconference midweek matchup against Western Illinois. Game time is set for 4 p.m. (CT) at Alfred D. Boyer Stadium.
The Hawkeyes are going for the season sweep. Iowa defeated the Leathernecks, 4-1, on April 11 at Duane Banks Field.
Iowa is riding a four-game winning streak after sweeping Penn State last weekend in Iowa City. It was the team’s first conference sweep of the season, which improved the record to 27-15 — a season-high 12 games over .500.
The Hawkeyes won the first two games during a Friday doubleheader, winning, 4-2 and 8-2, before completing the sweep with a 9-1 victory Saturday night. Iowa is 9-6 in Big Ten play, putting it in a four-way tie for third place in the conference standings.
Western Illinois has won six of its last seven games to move to 16-23 overall. The Leathernecks defeated Omaha, 3-1, on Friday before the final two games of the series was washed out.
Western Illinois has four players hitting above the .300 mark, led by senior Adam McGinnis, who leads the team with a .362 batting average. Redshirt freshman Drue Galassi leads the team in home runs (6) and RBIs (28).
The Hawkeyes currently hold the fourth-highest team batting average in the Big Ten with a .284 average with four players hitting above .300. Robert Neustrom leads Iowa with a .358 average — a mark that ranks third in the conference. Neustrom also has Big Ten-bests in hits (63) and doubles (14).
Junior Jake Adams, who hit his 16th home run Saturday against Penn State, leads the conference in home runs and slugging percentage (.690). The 16 long balls are tied for sixth nationally.
Iowa will send sophomore right-hander Cole McDonald to the mound for his 10th start — first in the midweek — of the season. The New Hampton, Iowa, native is 2-3 with a 6.08 ERA. In his last outing, McDonald gave up four runs on two hits in two innings April 23 against Rutgers.
Western Illinois will counter with southpaw Pete Minella. The sophomore is 2-0 with a 4.98 ERA. In his last appearance against Omaha on April 28, Minella tossed 1 1/3 shutout innings, allowing one hit.
The Hawkeyes are 7-1 in midweek games this season and have won 19 of their last 20 dating back to the 2015 season. Iowa has won the last three meetings over Western Illinois.
Tuesday’s game will be broadcast on the Hawkeye Radio Network and Hawkeye All-Access with Zach Mackey on the call.
Following Tuesday’s game, Iowa returns to Big Ten action Friday, opening a three-game weekend series at Michigan State.