The Michigan Wolverines baseball team needed a series victory this weekend and that’s exactly what they got. After dropping their last two series, the Wolverines took two of three against the Spartans.
Michigan improved to 21-18 (9-6) and passed the Spartans in the Big Ten standings, moving up to third. Here’s how the weekend went.
Game 1: 5-3 W
Noah Rennard got the start on the rubber and continued his impressive season. After Rennard tossed a quick scoreless first, the Wolverines jumped on Michigan State for the early lead on a Jonathan Kim RBI-triple.
The Spartans didn’t let that lead last long as they came back in the 2nd inning and scored two quick runs to make it 2-1, but Rennard was lights out from that point on.
Michigan retook the lead quickly with a big 2nd of its own. Cody Jefferis singled in a run to tie things and then Ted Burton and Kim brought in two more with RBI singles of their own. The Wolverines held a 4-2 advantage.
Burton stayed hot in the 4th with a solo shot to make it 5-2 and the Wolverines were in control with Rennard dealing on the mound. The Spartans were able to add one more in the 5th, but that was all the scoring either team would do, and Michigan took this game, 5-3.
Rennard got the win and improved to 6-2, while Joseph Dzierwa took the L for Michigan State.
Game 2: 8-3 W
Connor O’Halloran took the mound for the Wolverines with a series victory up for grabs, and he did not disappoint. The offense helped him out with a huge 1st inning where Michigan plated four runs.
The Wolverines immediately loaded the bases before Joey Velazquez came up big with a two-RBI single to put Michigan up 2-0. Jack Van Remortel followed that up with a two-RBI single of his own.
After O’Halloran retired the first two batters in the 3rd, the Spartans got a rally going and brought in two runs to make it 4-2. Michigan State added one more in the 5th, and suddenly it was a one-run game.
Van Remortel got things going in the 6th with a huge solo shot to put Michigan up two. Jefferis and Burton then came up clutch with back-to-back doubles that put the Wolverines up 7-3. Gabe Sotres scored on a wild pitch to make it 8-3 in the 8th.
O’Halloran was able to close out the game for his first career complete game and bring his record to 7-2 while clinching a series victory for Michigan.
Game 3: 14-2 L
It would’ve been awesome to get the sweep over the Spartans, but Michigan State had other plans.
Michigan State got out to a 9-0 lead before the Wolverines could plate a run, and things were essentially over at that point. Van Remortel continued his impressive weekend at the plate with an RBI-double, but the Spartans quickly got two more runs right after and went up 11-1.
Burton hit his second homer of the weekend in the 6th to make it 11-2, but Michigan State had another quick response and added three runs to make it 14-2.
The Spartans got the win and avoided the sweep. Nick Powers got the win for Michigan State and Chase Allen got the L for Michigan.
This was a massive series win for the Wolverines, as the Spartans were in second place in the Big Ten before this weekend. Michigan is now in really good shape with just three Big Ten series remaining, all against the bottom three teams in the conference.
Michigan has a bit of a break coming up with no mid-week game this week. They have a non-conference series next weekend, as Oklahoma State visits Ann Arbor for a three-game series.