It’s been a pretty chaotic week for the Michigan Wolverines baseball team. Last Friday, they were set to begin a weekend series with Cal State Fullerton, then play weekday games against UC Irvine and UCLA. After three cancellations during the series with Cal State Fullerton, things got switched up a little bit.
Michigan ended up only playing the Titans twice over the weekend, but was still able to get both weekday games against the Anteaters and Bruins. Here’s how the California trip went.
Game 1: 9-5 W against Cal State Fullerton
The Wolverines set the tone early in this one with starting pitcher Connor O’Halloran shutting the Titans down in order in the first, followed by an RBI double from Jack Van Remortel to put Michigan up in the 2nd.
O’Halloran retired the side with ease again in the bottom of the frame, but the Titans were able to even up the score in the 3rd on back-to-back doubles.
In the 4th, the Wolverines were able to get a little bit of breathing room on a three-run blast by Greg Pace Jr. (who won Big Ten Freshman of the Week) that gave Michigan a 4-1 lead.
The lead was never surrendered and was stretched all the way to 9-2 before Cal State Fullerton was able to tack on some runs in the 8th and 9th innings. However, the comeback effort wasn’t enough and the Wolverines took this one, 9-5.
Game 2: 7-3 W against Cal State Fullerton
Michigan didn’t get off to as strong of a start in this one, as the Titans scored a couple early runs and the Wolverine offense was stagnant for the first few innings. However, Michigan was able to even up the score in the 4th inning on a clutch two-out rally with RBIs from Mitch Voit and Jordon Rogers.
The 5th inning was when Michigan started to pull away. Pace led the inning off with a triple, and that got the momentum cooking for the Wolverines. Michigan would add three runs in the frame to take a 5-2 lead and never look back.
Both teams scored in the 8th as the Wolverines got two runs across to go up 7-2 before the Titans responded with one to make it 7-3. Michigan closed the 9th out strong and walked away with a two-game sweep of Cal State Fullerton.
Game 3: 15-3 L against UC Irvine
The back half of the California trip wasn’t as kind to the Wolverines. The first three and a half innings were looking great, but things quickly took a turn.
Michigan got out to a 3-0 lead after Pace Jr. hit a two-run triple and a Cody Jefferis RBI. Things were looking good, but that was the last of the fun for Michigan.
The Anteaters exploded for seven runs in the 4th to take a 7-3 lead, and Michigan couldn’t get back into it after that point. UC Irvine continued to pour it on throughout the game and ended up winning 15-3.
Game 4: 9-4 L against #17 UCLA
The Wolverines never really gave themselves a chance in this one, as UCLA went up big early on. By the end of the 4th inning, the Bruins were up 7-0 and Michigan looked dead in the water.
The lead was extended to 9-0, but the Wolverines’ offense finally woke up in the 8th inning and made things a little interesting.
Jake Marti provided the big spark in the inning with a three-run shot and Michigan eventually cut the lead down to 9-4, but that’s all the Wolverines would get. UCLA closed out the game in the 9th and took a 9-4 win.
After the California trip, Michigan now sits at 4-4 on the young season. The Wolverines move on to the Shriners College Classic at Minute Maid Park in Houston where Michigan will play No. 10 TCU, No. 24 Texas Tech and No. 14 Louisville.
Those games will certainly test the Wolverines, as those are three very talented teams, but it also gives Michigan three chances for some great wins. It should be an exciting weekend in Texas.
The first game gets underway Friday at 4 p.m. against TCU, followed by a noon game Saturday against Texas Tech and a noon game Sunday against Louisville.