The Michigan Wolverines baseball team traveled to Champaign, Illinois over the weekend for a three-game series against the Fighting Illini. The Wolverines kept momentum from the week prior going and won the series, taking two of three from Illinois.
After the series, Michigan is now 15-12 overall and 5-1 in conference play.
Here’s how all three games went:
Game one: 12-9 W
This one was interesting in the sense that Michigan dominated the first half of the game and Illinois dominated the second half and made a valiant comeback effort.
Connor O’Halloran once again shined on the mound for the Wolverines and didn’t allow a baserunner until the 4th inning, which allowed Michigan’s offense to build a comfortable lead.
Michigan put three runs on the board in the 2nd as Tito Flores, Jack Van Remortel and Jonathon Kim all hit RBI doubles. After homers by Ted Burton in the 3rd and Mitch Voit in the 4th, the Wolverines led 6-1.
The lead was stretched to 9-2 going into the 7th and the game looked out of reach, but the Illini did not quit. Michigan added three runs in the inning to make it 12-2, which felt meaningless, but those three runs ended up being the difference in the game.
Illinois was able to continuously chip away and ended up plating seven runs in the final three innings, but it wasn’t enough and Michigan held on to win, 12-2.
O’Halloran got the win for Michigan and Riley Gowens took the L for Illinois.
Game two: 10-5 W
This one was a tale of two innings for the Wolverines. Down 1-0 in the 2nd, Michigan brought two runs in on a passed ball and another run in on a Burton double to give them a 3-1 lead.
Both teams added a run here and there throughout the game, but the 9th inning was where the majority of the action took place.
Michigan was up 4-3 going into the 9th. The Wolverines brought two runs in to make it 6-3 before Voit strolled up to the plate with the bases loaded and launched a grand slam over the center field wall to lock up the W.
Illinois was able to bring in two runs in the bottom of the 9th, but it wasn’t enough and the Wolverines secured the series with a 10-5 win.
Noah Rennard got the W for Michigan to improve to 4-0 on the year and Korey Bunselmeyer took the L for the Illini.
Game three: 11-1 L
Well, the Wolverines had to lose in conference play eventually. There weren’t a ton of bright spots in this one.
The Illini jumped on Michigan early and had a 6-0 lead before the Wolverines plated its lone run in the 4th on an RBI single by Van Remortel.
Runs just kept coming in this one for Illinois, as it was able to stretch the lead up to 10 runs and even gave Michigan a mercy scare, but the game did last nine innings and the Illini got an 11-1 win to avoid the sweep.
Walker Cleveland took the loss for Michigan and Jack Wenninger got the W for the Illini. Despite the game three loss, the Wolverines still got the series win and are off to a fantastic 5-1 start in Big Ten play.
Michigan is back in action tomorrow at 4 p.m. at Ray Fisher Stadium against Western Michigan.