The Michigan Wolverines (8-7 record) split the pair of games played on Saturday at Pepperdine (12-3) in Mailbu, California, winning the first game by a score of 7-4 and falling 6-1 in the evening leg. The win in the second game gave Pepperdine the series victory as Michigan fell to 4-4 in its California road trip the last two weeks.
Here’s what happened in each game on Saturday.
Game 1: 7-4 W
Steve Hajjar was tremendous for Michigan, going six innings and allowing two earned runs on five hits with three walks and 10 strikeouts. The Wolverines scored the first seven runs of the game and were led by 2 RBI-games from both Clark Elliott and Jimmy Obertop. Joey Velazquez (also on the football team, of course) got his first start of the year in left field and went 2-for-5 with an RBI double in the third. Jordan Nwogu and Riley Bertram knocked in the other runs for the Wolverines.
The Waves got a pair of runs in both the sixth and eighth innings to make things a little bit stressful later in the game, but Cam Weston came in to work a hitless ninth inning to slam the door and pick up his second save of the season.
Win: Steve Hajjar (3-0): 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R (2 ER), 3 BB, 10 SO
Loss: Trevor Kniskern (2-1): 3 IP, 4 H, 6 R (6 ER), 4 BB, 3 SO
Save: Cam Weston (2): IP, SO
Game 2: 6-1 L
Nwogu led off game two with a home run to left center field, but that would be the only offense that Michigan would be able to muster for the second game. The Wolverines had only a pair of hits, both from Nwogu, in the entire game and left 11 men on base despite walking seven times.
Pepperdine scored two runs in the second, one run in both the fifth and sixth innings and another pair in the eighth to put the game further out of reach for Michigan.
Blake Beers was solid in another start but did not have the run support. He would go five innings, allowing three runs on five hits with seven strikeouts and two walks. Walker Cleveland, Ben Keizer and Joe Pace also got work out of the bullpen in the game.
Win: Gunnar Groen (2-1): 6.1 IP, 2 H, R (ER), 4 BB, 2 SO
Loss: Blake Beers (2-2): 5 IP, 5 H, 3 R (3 ER), 2 BB, 7 SO
Michigan had some definite highlights in the first month of the season, but also experienced some of the growing pains that head coach Erik Bakich said might be good for his team before the season began. When they fire on all cylinders, they are as good as any team in the country and perhaps getting home for the first time all season might be just what the doctor ordered.
The Wolverines will play their home opener on Friday afternoon at 4 p.m. ET at Ray Fisher Stadium when Canisius (3-10-1) comes to town. The four-game set also features a doubleheader on Saturday with games at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. ET, respectively. They close the series out on Sunday at 1 p.m.