The Michigan baseball team (2-1 Big Ten, 10-10 overall) put on a pitching clinic in Iowa this past weekend with two strong performances from sophomore Michael Penn (1-3) and junior Bobby Garza (3-0).
In Iowa, Penn pitched a complete game shutout and only allowed four hits in the entire game. His eight strikeout performance gave him his first win of the season.
“Michael (Penn) did a great job,” first-year Michigan coach Rich Maloney said. “Iowa really lost their balance. It was the first time all year that (Penn) held a team under five runs, so we have to feel good about that.”
Penn is a 6-foot-4 right-handed transfer from Ball State. At Ball State, Penn pitched 30.1 innings. In comparison to last year’s Michigan’s squad, only junior Jim Brauer pitched more innings.
Garza also pitched a complete game in Iowa City to capture a victory for the Wolverines. This was the third win of the season for Garza, placing him as one of the top pitchers on the team.
“Bobby (Garza) was solid,” Maloney said. “He actually had the best breaking ball we’ve seen all year from him. We got two complete games from our pitchers, which is what we needed.”
Garza allowed seven hits and walked three in his performance against the Hawkeyes. Despite allowing five earned runs, Garza was able to survive thanks to the comfort of a nine-run cushion presented by the Michigan batters.
The victories by both Penn and Garza helped Michigan pull ahead in the series with Iowa. The two wins also allowed Michigan to gain a few important Big Ten victories, which will be essential for the Wolverines’ success in the Big Ten conference.
“It is extremely important to us to get these victories,” Penn said. “We are taking each game one game at a time. During the Big Ten matchups, we try to put our best foot forward and hopefully play well in those games. We are looking for good things against our Big Ten opponents.”