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Michigan baseball wins 2022 Big Ten Tournament, advances to NCAA Tournament

The Wolverines are headed to the big dance.

(Mark Kuhlmann / Big Ten Conference)
(Mark Kuhlmann / Big Ten Conference)

I’m not sure if this is getting a little too repetitive for everybody here ... but The University of Michigan won another Big Ten Championship.

The Wolverines’ baseball squad clinched their spot in the NCAA Tournament Sunday evening after taking down the Rutgers Scarlet Knights in the Big Ten Tournament Championship, 10-4.

But before Michigan even got to Rutgers, it had to defeat Iowa first in the semifinals. The Wolverines were able to do so in blowout fashion, 13-1, in a game that only went seven innings thanks to the Big Ten Tournament’s run-rule.

The second game on Sunday was for all the marbles against Rutgers for an automatic spot in the NCAA Tournament, and the Wolverines didn’t waste time putting runs on the board. In the first inning, Clark Elliott scored thanks to a sacrifice fly off the bat of Matt Frey. Then, Tito Flores roped an RBI single to right field to put the Maize and Blue up 2-0 early.

But Rutgers marched back in the second inning with a solo home run from Josh Kuroda-Grauer, and then put up one run in the third from a Tony Santa Maria RBI triple.

But like most of these comebacks for the opposite team, they ultimately fell short and did not last very long. In the fourth inning, Ted Burton crossed the plate off courtesy of a Jake Marti suicide squeeze, which was executed to perfection. 3-2, good guys.

The very next inning, the fifth, Frey laced an RBI single to put Michigan back up by two runs. In the sixth, Michigan scored another run thanks to a wild pitch from Rutgers pitcher Dale Stanevich. Michigan held a three-run advantage heading into the later innings, but the Scarlet Knights wouldn’t go down without a fight.

Rutgers scored an unearned run in the seventh inning to make it a 5-3 game, but again, that comeback attempt wouldn’t last very long. Michigan catcher Jimmy Obertop crushed a three-run bomb to left-center field. With one mighty swing of the bat, Michigan was suddenly up 8-3.

The Scarlet Knights score one more run in the eighth inning on an RBI groundout, but Michigan wanted the last word. The Wolverines a pair of insurance runs in the top of the ninth on yet another suicide squeeze.

Final: Michigan 10, Rutgers 4.

This is Michigan’s first Big Ten Tournament Championship since 2015, and its 10th overall in program history.

Michigan led the way on the Big Ten All Tournament Team, with shortstop Riley Bertram, third baseman Matt Frey, outfielder Clark Elliott, DH Tito Flores and pitcher Cameron Weston all making it on the team. Elliott was also named the tournament most outstanding player, a rightfully deserved honor for him.

Next up: the NCAA Tournament. We will know later this afternoon during the NCAA Tournament selection show (12 p.m., ESPN2) who Michigan gets in the first round.