Michigan will look to right the ship against Cal State Fullterton. Jenna Hickey/Daily. Buy this photo.

Coming off its worst loss of the season to 5-22 Purdue Fort Wayne, the Michigan baseball team has a lot to prove. Its eight-game homestand comes to an end with an intriguing weekend series.

The Wolverines will look to rebound from their worst five game stretch of the year in their series against Cal State Fullerton. These will be the first games between the programs in over 20 years.

The one bright spot in Michigan’s recent five game skid was sophomore left-hander Connor O’Halloran. He broke out on Saint Patrick’s Day in an eight-inning, one run and 13 strikeout performance to beat Dayton. 

The most recent O’Halloran gem was the Wolverines’ sole win in the last two weeks in a seven inning shutout to best Iowa. Whether he starts on Friday or Saturday, it should be the Michigan’s best chance to win.

Although the shutout was a nice moment for the Wolverines, their series against Iowa left a lot to be desired. The once-top 30 offense in the nation put up an underwhelming seven runs through the three games.

“The real word is just consistency,” Michigan coach Erik Bakich said after the Iowa series. “We have not been a consistently good team. We’ve been on this up and down roller coaster so far and we’ve played a good schedule. But we’re in the middle of conference play now and we’ve had enough games under our belt where we need to start making those strides to where we are consistently good.”

Unlike the Wolverines’ offense, the Titans’ bats have been heating up at just the right time. They’ve scored over 10 runs in four of their last nine including a 16-6 victory over UC Riverside.

The scariest part of their lineup is the two and three spots. Just like Michigan, they have a dominant power hitter center fielder in the two-hole. Jackson Lyon leads the team in home runs, slugging percentage and extra base hits — while also posting a .341 batting average, good for second best on the team.

Third baseman Zach Lew doesn’t make things any easier for the Wolverine pitching staff. He leads Cal State Fullerton in batting average, RBIs and on base percentage, slashing a dangerous .347/.444/.439.

Right fielder Nate Nankil may not be as efficient of a hitter as his teammates, but he’s extremely tricky when he does get on base. The outfielder leads the Titans in steals by far, going 10-for-11 on the season, and leads the team in triples.

The potential of both offenses is extremely high, and the ceiling only rises when their pitching is factored into the equation. Michigan and Cal State Fullerton have posted 6.03 and 5.58 ERAs on the season, respectively. Even with the Wolverines recent offensive struggles, slugfests should be expected.

Both teams have had up and down seasons and this weekend’s series in Ann Arbor presents an interesting test for each one. Michigan has struggled against much worse teams than the Titans, but it has a chance to break its slump and return to form.