It is never too early to start looking at the postseason and this week's SLIAC Game of the Week has possible implications on the baseball tournament as MacMurray faces Greenville in a three game series this weekend.
At a Glance
MacMurray travels to Greenville, Ill. for a three game divisional series this weekend; with one game on Friday and a double header on Saturday. MacMurray currently holds first place the SLIAC East Division while Greenville is tied for second in the divison.
MacMurray starts this week with an 8-9 overall record and a 4-0 record in the East Division. They swept Principia in their first divisional series of the season and picked up a 10-0 win over Blackburn in game one of their season series. The Highlanders are set to conclude their series against Blackburn with a double header on Tuesday.
MacMurray is the league's top scoring team, plating 145 runs through 17 games this season. They are hitting .305 as a team, just one of two teams hitting above .300 on the year, and have powered out eight home runs. Collin Antione, a freshman, leads the team with a .367 batting average and ranks second in the league in on-base percentage with a .537 mark. The Highlanders have seven players with at least 12 runs batted in already, led by senior Aaron Krummrich's 21 RBI. The Highlander pitching staff is paced by junior Dillon Hodges and freshman Trevor Knipe. Hodges has made four starts and has a 3.20 earned-run average with 13 strikeouts in 25.1 innings pitched while Knipe has appeared in six games and struck out 17 batters in 25 innings pitched.
Greenville is 5-10 overall and 1-1 in the East Division, splitting a double header against Spalding. The Panthers picked up a pair of wins in a cross divisional series against Iowa Wesleyan and are coming off a pair of losses to Washington University last weekend.
Greenville is hitting .290 as a team and although they are just seventh in the conference in scoring with 73 runs over 15 games, their attack has picked up as of late, scoring nine runs per game over their last five games. The Panther offense has received a spark from junior Josh Wheeler who is hitting .455 this season. Freshman Jesse Getz is hitting .390 with 10 runs batted in while Tim Osborne has struggled with the bat this year, hitting just .216, but remains one of the top power threats in the SLIAC with his four home runs and a team high 12 RBI. Pitchers Ryan Strohm and C.J. Opp, both juniors, have combined to make nine starts this season and throw 49 innings. Strohm holds a 4.61 earned-run average with a team best 17 strikeouts while Opp has a 3.74 earned-run average and a team best two wins on the mound.
- Greenville leads the all-time series against MacMurray 34-17, winning two of three games last season.
- Although MacMurray has the best winning percentage in SLIAC Tournament history (.714) the Highlanders are looking for their first postseason berth since the 2008 season.
- After starting the year just 1-8 the Panthers are 4-2 in their last six games.
- MacMurray is already closing in on their win total from last season. Last year they reached 12 overall wins and seven wins in conference play.