With a runner on third, the Michigan baseball team was deadlocked with Binghamton 4-4 in the eighth inning.
That didn’t last long.
Sophomore shortstop Jack Blomgren took the pitch and smashed a single up the middle to send senior infielder Blake Nelson home — giving his team the lead for good.
The Wolverines swept their opening weekend series against Binghamton and the unlikely heroes were in the bottom of their lineup.
“The guy (Blomgren) statistically who had the best weekend hit in our nine hole,” said Michigan coach Erik Bakich. “That’s just a credit to the really good hitters that we have on our team. What’s nice is that if somebody doesn’t have a great day then he can be picked up by someone else.”
Blomgren is part of a talented sophomore class that is expected to carry the load for Michigan this season. Bakich and his coaching staff seem to have found the right combination of players in their lineup as compared to a year ago which was overly reliant on the top of the batting order.
“In our 5-4 win (over Binghamton) on Saturday I think the top of our lineup was like 0-for-15 and the bottom of our lineup carried us,” Bakich said. “But the day before in the 10-0 win the top of our lineup had a great day and guys were smashing the ball all over the place. So it’s nice to have that balance, it’s nice to have multiple threats in the top, in the middle and in the bottom of the order. From a coaching standpoint, that’s the lineup we try to construct as you enter a season.”
In order for Michigan to be consistent this season, their role players will need to be prepared to step up.
Nelson also was instrumental in the second win going 2-for-4 with two runs-batted-in from the eighth spot. In the Wolverines’ first win, Blomgren shined again, going 3-for-4 with two RBIs while sophomore catcher Joe Donovan contributed with two hits and three RBIs at the seven spot.
For a team whose weakness last year was hitting, the early games are promising as Michigan has scored 27 runs in just three games.
“Yeah it’s an older lineup, there’s not a freshman in the starting lineup and what we have is we have balance,” Bakich said. “We have one through nine guys that are threats either with their speed, their power, or with just their general hitting ability. When you have a veteran lineup like that, it’s tough to pitch to and there’s no let-up.”