Coming off a split debut against Seton Hall last weekend, the Michigan baseball team (2-2) will continue its preseason with eight straight matchups in California.
“Eight different teams in 10 days. So, yeah, it’s going to be a challenge, starting with Saint Louis on Friday,” said Michigan coach Erik Bakich on WTKA on Tuesday. “Saint Louis is another team kind of like Seton Hall that, maybe the fans don’t know much about, but they’re pretty darn good.”
The Wolverines will kick off the eight-game streak at the Jack Gifford Memorial Tournament in Santa Clara, Calif., facing off against Saint Louis, Creighton and Santa Clara. Following those matchups, they will head to San Jose and Los Angeles to play San Jose State and Loyola Marymount, respectively.
These games will give Michigan a chance to assess its two losses on the season and continue building off its preseason training.
After the Wolverines’ opening series, redshirt sophomore left fielder Miles Lewis — who made his debut for the team over the weekend — leads the team with a .389 batting average. He also recorded a walk-off single against Seton Hall.
Along with Lewis, freshman right-hander Tommy Henry took to the mound for the first time, striking out five Pirates over two innings.
Michigan’s powerhouse infield, spearheaded by senior catcher Harrison Wenson — who went .333 on the weekend — and senior shortstop Michael Brdar — who went .313 — will look to improve on its already quick start to the season.
“Offensively, I’m pretty excited about what we saw all four games,” Bakich said on WTKA. “We put up 28 runs in the four games, which is pretty good.”
While the Wolverines started out hot on offense, their defense wavered, which contributed to their two losses.
Junior right-hander Ryan Nutof gave up seven runs over three innings, and sophomore right-hander Jack Bredeson went just 2.1 innings before forfeiting six runs and blowing a save.
Michigan will continue to give its pitchers chances to make their mark on the rotation, though, as Nutof, junior left-hander Oliver Jaskie, junior left-hander Michael Hendrickson or junior right-hander Alec Rennard could take the mound for its matchup against Saint Louis.
The Wolverines will be looking to capitalize on their current hitting stride and get their pitching into a groove going into their long stretch on the road.