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Michigan Baseball Beats Vanderbilt in Game One of the College World Series

That right! The Wolverines are one win away from a National Championship

College World Series - Michigan v Vanderbilt - Game One Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images




Needed to type that out three times because I can’t believe we’re here. Riding a red-hot offense and another rock solid performance from Tommy Henry, YOUR MICHIGAN WOLVERINES ARE ONE WIN AWAY FROM A NATIONAL TITLE! This game was a ton of fun, so let’s get to it.

Michigan’s offense immediately picked up where it left off last week. Jordan Nwogu got things going with a walk and Jesse Franklin smacked one up the middle for a base hit. Nwogu aggressively went for third, but a blown call at third resulted in an out. The Vanderbilt third baseman’s tag was high and late, but neither Eric Bakich nor a replay official forced the issue. Jordan Brewer’s rocket to right brought Franklin home, but a slip on the way to third limited him to a double. With two outs, Brewer reached home on Blake Nelson’s grounder through the left side. I went to let the dogs out when the game went to commercial, and by the time I got back, Henry had already made work of the top of Vanderbilt’s order. Michigan 2-0

The Wolverines’ offense continued to party like pigs in slop in the second. Vanderbilt walked both Jack Blomgren and Joe Donovan back-to-back. Ako Thomas fought back from down in the count to double to left, scoring Blomgren. Franklin’s high-hopping groundout into the shift stretched the Wolverines’ lead to four.

However, the number two overall seed was not going to go down quietly. Vanderbilt rallied with two outs, and after a couple hits and another Joe Donovan passed ball, the lead was cut in half. Michigan 4-2

The third was mostly uneventful. Michigan’s three hitters all struck out, and Vanderbilt was only able to muster one base runner before a double play (and a slick scoop from Jimmy Kerr) ended the threat.

Despite a pair of lead-off singles, Michigan was unable to add to their lead in the fourth. Nwogu and Franklin both grounded out with men on second and third. Henry responded with a drama-free inning bringing things to the fifth.

In the top of the sixth, once again the Wolverines failed to capitalize on a pair of baserunners. On the first pitch of the bottom of the frame, the Commodores knocked the first pitch deep to right field for a home run, halving the Wolverines’ lead. Despite a Vanderbilt runner reaching third on a pair of balls that got by Donovan. Michigan 4-3.

Lizzy, they call him The Legacy Man. Jimmer Kerr smocked an absolute bomb over the right field fence with Jordan Brewer aboard, giving Tommy Henry his breathing room back. It was the third-generation Wolverine’s third MOAB in Omaha. Confident coming out of the stretch, Henry breezed his way to a 1-2-3 inning. Michigan 6-3.

In the top of the eighth, it looked for a moment that Michigan would blow this one wide open. A pair of foul-outs ended a one-out, bases loaded threat, but the Wolverines didn’t come away empty. Earlier in the inning, Donvan skied a no-doubter to left that brought the lead to four.

Despite a pair of arms warming up in the ‘pen, Henry came out to battle the meat of the ‘Dores order in the bottom of the eighth. A pair of strike-outs and an all-time assist from the arm of Jordan Brewer ended a minor Vanderbilt threat. Michigan 7-3.

Michigan’s red-hot offense started things off in the ninth with a lead-off double and bunt single. Unfortunately a pair of strikeouts from Thomas and Donovan, along with a deep fly-out from Nwogu failed to capitalize.

Henry, sitting on 107 pitches, trotted back out to finish another masterpiece. A lead-off double got Jeff Criswell up in the bullpen once again, though Henry was able to get one more big out before calling it a day. His final line: 8 and a 1/3, 3 earned runs. As he’s done all tournament, Criswell slowly made quick work of his opponents getting a sac-fly and ground-out to close this baby out.

And with that, Michigan stands one win away from a baseball National Championship. They’ll have their chance Tuesday night. Go Blue!