The Michigan Wolverines (13-6) were back on the baseball field this weekend on a trip to College Park, Maryland. This trip included a pair of opponents with Northwestern on Saturday and Sunday and Maryland on Sunday afternoon and Monday.
It was a mixed bag for the Wolverines, who spit the four games they played over the weekend. We saw them flex some of the power that has made them fun to follow along with this season and timely pitching performances, but it was not consistent enough to come out with more than a pair of victories.
Here is a recap of what went down this past weekend:
Game 1: Michigan 5, Northwestern 2
Win: Joe Pace (2-0), 1.1 IP, 2 K, 1 BB
Loss: Garrett Boeckle (1-2), IP, 3 H, 3 ER, K
Save: Willie Weiss (1), IP, H, 2 K
Griffin Mazur’s three-run home run in the seventh inning broke a 2-2 tie to ultimately give the Wolverines a victory to kick off the weekend. The Wolverines also had a trio of doubles from Christian Molfetta, Benjamin Sems and Ted Burton in the game.
This was a victory headlined by an outstanding pitching performance from the Michigan staff against the Big Ten’s best offense. Steve Hajjar got the start and retired the first 11 batters he saw before finishing the day with 10 strikeouts, three hits and two earned runs allowed in 6.2 innings pitched. Joe Pace and Willie Weiss closed out the game with 2.1 innings of one-hit baseball with four strikeouts.
Game 2: Northwestern 4, Michigan 1
Win: Quinn Lavelle (4-0), 6 IP, 4 H, R (ER), 3 BB, 2 K
Loss: Ben Dragani (2-2), 4 IP, 3 R (3 ER), 2 BB, 2 K
Save: Sam Lawrence (3), IP, 2 H, K, BB
There was not much offense to speak of for the Wolverines in the first game of the Sunday doubleheader. Michigan got its lone run of the day when Jimmy Obertop reached on an error in the fourth inning, which allowed Mazur to score. Outside of doubles from Molfetta, Mazur and Danny Zimmerman, the bats were mostly quiet during a strong pitching showing from the Wildcats.
Ben Dragani got the start for the Wolverines and was unable to make it past four innings of work. Jacob Denner kept them in the game with 3.2 innings of work that saw him allow one run, but the offense was unable to pick up the rest of the staff.
Game 3: Michigan 6, Maryland 5
Win: Willie Weiss (3-1), 2.1 IP, 2 BB, 3 K
Loss: David Falco (1-1), IP, H, R (ER), 2 K
Sunday provided the chance for a quick turnaround with an afternoon game scheduled against a new opponent in Maryland. And it also provided the stage for some late-game heroics from the Wolverines.
Zimmerman came off the bench in the ninth inning with a pinch-hit home run to left field, which gave the Wolverines a 6-5 lead and ultimately, a victory.
That was not the only time Michigan flexed its power on Sunday, as their offensive output was started by a grand slam from Jimmy Obertop in the third inning. Obertop would score again in the seventh on a fielder's choice to give Michigan a 5-4 lead.
Maryland hit a pair of home runs in the game, the first coming on a two-run shot from Matthew Shaw in the first inning. Randy Bednar hit a two-run homer in the fifth to tie the game at 4-4.
Cameron Weston started the game for Michigan and gave up four earned runs on five hits with four strikeouts and four walks in four innings of work (Editor’s note: Lots of fours here). Joe Pace would follow with one run allowed in 2.1 innings of work before Will Proctor and Weiss slammed the door on the Terrapins in the final 2.2 innings of play.
Game 4: Maryland 17, Michigan 7
Win: Tyler Blohm (2-0), 1.2 IP, 3 BB, 2 K
Loss: Isaiah Paige (0-1), 0.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER)
Save: Sam Bello (3), 3.2 IP, H, R (ER), K
Michigan led this game 6-3 after the top of the fourth inning. It would then allow 14-straight runs before getting one back in the ninth in an ugly end to the weekend.
The highlight of the game for Michigan was the three home runs it hit as a team. Those came off the bats of Molfetta, Obertop and Brandon Lawrence. Lawrence’s was a pinch-hit blast in the ninth in his first at-bat as a Wolverine.
This was an ugly one, but one of those games that you just turn the page from. Next for the Wolverines is a three-game series at home against Ohio State (12-7) this weekend. The first pitch is scheduled for Friday at 4 p.m. ET with Saturday’s game taking place at 2 p.m. The Sunday finale begins at 4 p.m. and will be broadcast via ESPN2.
Baseball coverage will be expanding now that we have the bandwidth to give it the attention it deserves. We will also be picking up on softball, as well. We could use extra hands with coverage, so if this is something that interests you feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org!