The Michigan Wolverines traveled south this past weekend to take on the Louisville Cardinals for a three-game series. The Cardinals took the first and third games while the Wolverines won the second game.
After the series, Michigan now sits 8-7 on the young season as it gets ready to go to Nashville to face the Vanderbilt Commodores in a rematch of the 2019 National Championship series.
First, let’s take a look at what happened against Louisville.
It felt like this one was a game the Wolverines could’ve won. We’ve been saying that a lot so far this year, but it is what it is. They kept it close the whole time and the defense played well enough to get the win. The issue for them in this one were the blown opportunities.
They had numerous chances to get it done with the bats, but couldn’t get the big hits when they needed it most. Michigan was just 2-of-18 at the plate with runners in scoring position. Even in the 9th inning, trailing 5-3, the Wolverines got the first two runners on base but failed to get either across the plate.
Louisville took Game 1, 5-3.
The second game showcased a lot more offense. This one actually started Friday, but was finished on Saturday due to weather.
The Wolverines got up early and never looked back in this one. It was 2-1 going into the 3rd inning, but a 10-run frame for Michigan put this one away early. Louisville showed a little bit of fight and tallied seven total runs, but the Wolverines were too much in this one and took Game 2, 16-7.
Clark Elliot, Tito Flores and Jordan Rogers each had multi-hit games for Michigan.
Louisville took the rubber match, and it wasn’t very close either. There weren’t any major innings where Louisville poured it on like Michigan’s 10-run inning in Game 2, but the Cardinals simply had a consistent dose of offense the whole game and scored in every frame but the 6th.
Jimmy Obertop had a nice day at the plate for Michigan, going 2-for-3, but the rest of the Wolverines only managed two hits combined. Louisville took Game 3 by a score of 13-1 to claim the series victory.
Next up for the Wolverines is the fourth-ranked team in the nation: Vanderbilt.
The Wolverines play just one game against the Commodores, Tuesday evening with first pitch scheduled for 6 p.m.
Vanderbilt can play ball. Bottom line. The Commodores are a powerhouse every year, and Michigan fans know better than anyone after they ended the Wolverines miracle run in the 2019 College World Series.
This year’s Vandy squad is no different from the rest. The Commodores are 13-2 with the two losses coming to Oklahoma State, who is currently ranked No. 6 in the nation.
On offense, Vandy has some guys who flat out rake. They have five starters who hit over .300: Tate Kolwyck (.320), Spencer Jones (.347), Javier Vaz (.375), Dominic Keegan (.429) and Davis Diaz (.471). The Commodores lineup is stacked.
The pitching is similarly impressive. Gage Bradley has one outing that didn’t go very well, and he has an ERA of 99.00, but the next lowest on the team is 2.74. That’s out of 16 different players with pitching appearances this season. There are five players on the staff that have three or more appearances and still haven’t given up a run. The team ERA is 1.71.
It’s unclear at this point who will start for Vanderbilt on Tuesday, but the Wolverines will have their hands full.