The Michigan Wolverines defeated the Maryland Terrapins in Game 8 of the Big Ten Tournament at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska, 15-8. Michigan is the No. 5 seed in the tournament, with a record of 29-25 (12-12), while Maryland was the No. 1 seed, with a record of 45-10 (18-5). Maryland had won eight straight coming into the contest.
The teams exchanged a run each in the first and second innings. Matt Frey doubled down the line to score First Team All-Big Ten outfielder Clark Elliott. Then, a Bobby Zmarzlak single through the middle tied the game for the Terrapins. Maryland went on to take the lead on a Kevin Keister home run in the third.
But as has been the theme the first two games of the tourney, this lead wouldn’t hold for very long.
Michigan took the lead in the bottom of the third and didn’t look back. Frey and Riley Bertram both had RBI hits while Tito Flores reached on an RBI fielder’s choice. The end of the third saw a 5-2 Wolverine lead.
Similar to the pattern in the Illinois game, Maryland continued to claw back but never enough to tie or take the lead. A two-RBI single in the fourth cut the lead to 5-4, but again, this wouldn’t hold.
Frey expanded the lead with his third and fourth RBI of the night in only the fourth inning, followed by RBI hits from Jimmy Obertop, Bertram and Flores to expand the lead to 10-4.
By the end of the seventh, Maryland had cut the lead to two, but had been stopped in its tracks by Willie Weiss out of the bullpen.
Michigan added five insurance runs in the bottom of the seventh — Flores and Clark home runs were the big blows, but an RBI sacrifice bunt by Jake Marti and a wild pitch scored two more runs for the Wolverines, bringing the score to 15-8.
Cameron Weston threw two shutout innings to seal the deal for the Wolverines, who continue to defy odds and move on in the winners’ bracket of the Big Ten Tournament.
Bertram led the Wolverine offense from the six hole in the lineup, going 4-for-5 with three RBI and a run scored. Frey had a three-hit night himself, with four RBI and two runs scored. Elliott and Joe Stewart combined for seven runs on the night, as Elliott scored four and Stewart scored three.
Michigan will play the winner of the elimination game between Iowa and Penn State at 6 p.m. Eastern/5 p.m. local time.