The U-N-I baseball team opens Missouri Valley Conference play this weekend against perennial power Wichita State. The Shockers are the pre-season favorite to win the Valley and are currently ranked 7th in the country. Northern Iowa is 7-7 but has won six of their last eight games after a slow start. The Panthers have been impressive on the mound where they have a team ERA of three-point-one-oh (3.10). U-N-I coach Rick Heller feels his team has the pitching to match-up against the Shockers.Heller doesn’t mind playing the Shockers to begin the conference season, as he wants to play them before they get rolling this season. U-N-I and Wichita State will play a four-game series at Eck Stadium beginning Friday. The two schools will play a doubleheader Saturday before finishing the series on Sunday.
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