Michigan sophomore Tim Leveque had a scheduled start postponed for the second-straight weekend with the snowfall on Sunday. As a result, he did not get to pitch against one of the top Big Ten teams in Penn State. Instead he”ll be facing a Bowling Green baseball team with hot bats.
“We need to get him some innings,” Michigan coach Geoff Zahn said of Leveque. “Keep him sharp.”
Leveque”s 0.00 earned-run average in 17.1 innings will be challenged by the Falcons (5-2 MAC, 14-7 overall) and their team batting average of .318. Of course, he”s going to have to give up an earned run at some point or another.
“To expect him to go the whole year without an ERA that”s not going to happen,” Zahn said.
Bowling Green is coming off a win over Ohio in which it connected for 19 hits and as many runs. The Falcons boast six starters who are hitting above .300.
“I don”t look so much at those kinds of statistics,” Zahn said. “I”m much more concerned with our own approach.”
The last time Michigan (1-3 Big Ten, 10-12 overall) played Bowling Green, four pitchers held the Falcons to four runs, just two of which were earned, in the 7-4 Michigan victory.
Even if Leveque falls from grace and stains his spotless ERA, he may receive the run support that Michigan”s pitchers have been lacking. Bowling Green”s team ERA is 6.36. And if the Falcons” 19 runs scored against Ohio is an indication of their potent offense, then the 14 runs Bowling Green allowed in that game show that Michigan hitters have a chance to get healthy.
“I would like to see the bats come alive a little bit here,” Zahn said. “We”re a better hitting team than we”ve shown.”
Michigan had one of its better days at the plate in its last game with Bowling Green on March 27.
The seven runs the Wolverines put up against the Falcons constitute Michigan”s highest offensive output over its past seven contests. Michigan homered four times in that game.
Zahn has expressed disappointment in the hitting from the bottom half of the lineup, but maintains confidence that the bats will come around.
Tomorrow, Michigan will face another weak pitching staff as it travels to Eastern Michigan. The Eagles” pitchers combine for a 6.59 ERA.
Rich Hill (1-2, 4.50 ERA) will be making the start against Eastern Michigan.