Indiana's Elijah Dunham (Indiana photo)

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Midwest Power Rankings: Indiana Consistent, Northwestern Joins Mix

Analysis

Each week of the 2020 season, through conference tournaments, we will be releasing our Midwest Power Rankings. All D1 programs located in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota are eligible for the list.

In addition to our rankings, we’ll include each week a list of upcoming series/games to which we’ll be paying particular attention. Indiana, playing some of the best baseball in the region through the first two weeks of the season, makes a big jump, while Northwestern makes its debut on the list after a big SEC road win:

1. Michigan (4-3; PR: 1). The Wolverines hold on to the top spot on our rankings despite stumbling down in Florida against Connecticut. Potential top 100 MLB Draft selection Jeff Criswell threw well early on Friday but was knocked out of the game in the sixth after allowing a double, walk, double and single to kick off the inning (all four would eventually score). Redshirt-freshman LHP Steve Hajjar (2-0, 1.64 ERA/1.18 WHIP with 10 strikeouts in 11 IP) continues to impress, grabbing the lone win of the weekend for the Wolverines, while junior OF Jordan Nwogu (.419/.455/.548) and senior OF Dominic Clementi (.368/.429/.526) pace the offense. All three of Michigan’s 2020 losses have now come to Connecticut – the Wolverines travel west to take on Cal Poly this weekend.

2. Indiana (4-2; PR: 5). The Hoosiers made a big jump this week thanks to another week of strong, consistent play, sweeping the South Alabama Tournament after a solid Week 1 showing against LSU. Regarding his team’s play so far, Coach Mercer shared, “It’s a group that’s very disciplined. They’re diligent, they work hard, and their focus is to go out and execute a game plan…that’s a group of guys I want to go to work with.” Junior OF Elijah Dunham (.476/.621/.762 with 7 BB, 3 2B and 1 HR) and sophomore OF Grant Richardson (.389/.455/.889 with 2 HR) have been big producers on the offensive side, while the entirety of the weekend rotation has been steady to dominant through six starts, allowing just nine runs in 31.2 innings of work (five of those runs coming on two homers). Right now, no one in the region is playing more consistent ball than the Hoosiers – they’ll look to keep things rolling down south in at the Keith LeClair Classic in North Carolina this weekend.

 

Check out our full Midwest power rankings below!


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