OMAHA, Neb. – The phrase Revenge Tour usually brings Michigan football to mind. But lately, the term has been just as true of Michigan’s baseball team (47-20), which defeated No. 8 Texas Tech, 5-3, in the opening game of the College World Series on Saturday. In March, the Red Raiders swept the Wolverines in disheartening fashion. But when it counted, and with a chip on their shoulders, Michigan emerged triumphant.
The last time the Michigan baseball team was on the west coast, they left with more questions than answers. The Wolverines’ offense was quiet as they took their first loss of the season at California State University-Northridge on Mar. 3, and it struggled to find a rhythm for the remainder of the trip, suffering defeats at the hands of Long Beach State, USC and Oklahoma State. A victory over No. 1 UCLA was one of few bright spots on the week-long California swing.
COLLEGE PARK – The Michigan baseball team (33-11) beat Maryland, 10-4, Saturday to clinch another weekend win in their three-game road series in College Park. Every member of the Wolverines’ lineup reached base at least once in a comfortable victory over the Terrapins.
“We were just able to hit the ball well, we battled with two strikes, we played good defense, and we had a quality start from Tommy (Henry), and we ran the bases well,” Michigan coach Erik Bakich said. “It was just a very complete effort.”
The Wolverines put runners on base with walks and hit-by-pitches, advanced those runners on wild pitches and stolen bases and kept them alive on fielders’ choices and errors. In a weekend series that was closer than anticipated at times, much of the Wolverines’ success came when they were able to capitalize on their opponents’ mistakes.
As the Wolverines head into the final stretch of their season, having Criswell dominate like this in that Sunday-starter role is more important than ever. The Big Ten race is tightening up, with Nebraska, Indiana and Iowa all looking like strong contenders.
But if Criswell can keep up this improvement — and Bakich and Fetter have both expressed every confidence that he can — the Wolverines have the potential to be serious competitors for the conference title too, and maybe even a postseason run.