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Recap: Michigan Baseball drops series opener vs. UConn on Friday

A five-spot in the first inning wasn’t enough for the Wolverines

Michigan Photography

Michigan Baseball came into the second weekend of action as one of the most impressive teams in the country in the early part of the year, but now have suffered back-to-back losses to Connecticut to fall to 3-2 on the year in the first of a three-game series in Port St. Lucie, Florida.

The Wolverines, who lost last Sunday to UConn in the final game of the MLB4 Collegiate Tournament in Tempe, Arizona, had a 5-0 lead after the their first at-bats of the game and led after seven innings, but the bullpen was unable to close things down.

Junior right-hander Jeff Criswell (no decision, 6.35 ERA in 11 13 IP in two starts) got the start for Michigan and finished with eight strikeouts and two walks while allowing five earned runs (six total) on four hits in five-plus innings pitched. The Wolverines offense produced its seven runs on four hits, eight walks and an error from the Huskies.

The 5-0 lead was built on five walks, a hit-by-pitch, a sacrifice fly and then an RBI single from senior outfielder Dominic Clementi, who continues to perform well to start the year after an injury riddled 2019. UConn came back in the second with a couple of runs to get the score to 5-2 before Michigan responded with junior outfielder Jordan Nwogu’s first home run of the year, a solo blast to left field to put things at 6-2.

The Huskies tied the score at 6-6 in the top of the sixth inning as Criswell started to get roughed up a bit, giving way to the bullpen. Freshman infielder Ted Burton gave Michigan the lead back at 7-6 after a two-out RBI single that scored Riley Bertram in the bottom of the sixth. UConn scored the final two runs of the game in the eighth and ninth innings to take the 8-7 lead and the first of the three-game set. Freshman Cameron Weston and senior Benjamin Keiser would combine to pitch the final four innings of the game (two innings each) and surrender two runs on six hits with two strikeouts and two walks.

Win: Kenneth Haus (1-0): 1 IP, 1 BB, 2 SO

Loss: Benjamin Keizer (1-1): 2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 2 SO

Save: Caleb Wurster (1): 1 IP, 1 BB, 1 SO

Michigan and UConn continue their three-game series on Saturday with first pitch scheduled for 2 p.m. ET from Port St. Lucie before closing things out Sunday at 11 a.m. ET. Neither game will be streamed or televised, so we will keep you updated here, as well as our social media accounts.

Full box scores can be found on MGoBlue.com.