The Michigan Wolverines are headed to Louisville for the NCAA Regionals this weekend. The Louisville Cardinals (38-18-1) are the one seed and host of the regional. The Oregon Ducks (35-23) are the two seed. Michigan (32-26) will be the regional’s three seed, and the Southeastern Missouri State Redhawks (37-20) are the four seed.
Michigan has gotten hot at the right time. A whole new season starts on Friday at 7 p.m. for the Wolverines — a season where nothing matters except for the momentum you bring, which is a good position to be in after Michigan became the first team to ever knock off the top four seeds to win the Big Ten Tournament.
Michigan’s postseason will begin against the two-seeded Oregon Ducks. Oregon has had a rollercoaster ride of a year, with hot streaks and cold streaks alike. The Ducks won an early series against the Pac-12 Champion and No. 2 ranked team in the country, the Stanford Cardinal. They won the first two games, 4-3 and 16-13, before dropping game three, 6-10.
The Ducks also swept their midweek series against the top-15 ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs. Additionally, the Ducks swept No. 25 Arizona in a three game set to end the year.
Ultimately, the Ducks can play against elite competition.
However, the Ducks have lost some games they shouldn’t have as well. This includes dropping a game to Ball State and a game against the Pac-12’s last-place USC. They dropped two games and the series to ninth-place Washington State at their home stadium. Additionally, they were swept by UCLA and Oregon State, going 0-5 against OSU and 0-3 against UCLA.
Most importantly for the Wolverines, they have all the momentum going into this matchup. The Ducks lost the first two games in the Pac-12 Tournament, eliminating them immediately.
The Ducks are a consistent team, without any major weak links. On the other side of that coin, they have very few players who can beat you individually. A few hitters stand out above the rest, such as outfielder Anthony Hall and infielder Drew Cowley.
Cowley sports a .423 average and gets on base at a .509 clip. Although he is on base more than half the time, he is not a threat to steal bases, as he only has two successful steals in his 37 games played. He is not a power threat, as he only has three home runs in his 137 at bats.
Anthony Hall doesn’t have as gaudy of an average as Cowley, but his .321 average is by no means under par. He has racked up 14 home runs on the year, good for the most on the team by three. However, his 41 strikeouts and sub-400 on-base percentage keeps him at bay.
The Ducks two most consistent starting pitchers have ERAs of 5.40 and 5.51. Their bullpen is what wins them games on the mound. All four of their go-to relievers, Logan Mercado, Rio Britton, Kolby Somers and Christian Ciuffetelli have sub-3 ERAs. they have all made over 20 appearances and thrown roughly 30 innings in total. Rio Britton leads the pen with a 4-0 record through 32 appearances, sporting a 2.82 ERA through 38.1 innings of work.
Watch the Michigan Wolverines carry on their fantastic postseason run as they face off against the Oregon Ducks tonight at 7 p.m. The game is streaming on ESPNU, ESPN+ and the ESPN app.
If the Wolverines win, they will face the winner of the Louisville vs. Southeast Missouri State game. If they lose, they will face the loser of that game.