Coming into its series against Hawaii, the Michigan baseball team had a cumulative earned-run average of 1.44 — the fourth-lowest in the country.
The 18th-ranked Wolverines continued their dominance on the mound against the Rainbow Warriors this weekend. The starters pitched especially well for Michigan, surrendering a combined four earned runs during Michigan’s four-game sweep. The Wolverines’ team ERA now stands firm at 1.83 — holding their spot of fourth in the nation.
“The thing that continues to impress me and the thing that I’m excited about the most with this group, and that’s the character, the makeup, the intangible skill set that this team has,” said Michigan coach Erik Bakich.
Junior left-hander Brett Adcock earned Big Ten Pitcher of the Week honors with his performance in Michigan’s 6-5 victory Friday. He threw seven innings, gave up two hits and one run, walked two and struck out 12 — a career high for him.
In spite of Adcock’s dominant outing, he was not awarded the win as the Rainbow Warriors scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to send the game into an extra frame.
But junior designated hitter Harrison Wenson came through in the top of the 10th with a single to drive in the winning run for the Wolverines.
“Brett Adcock was commanding his fastball down in the zone on both sides of the plate,” Bakich said. “When you command your fastball down in the zone and you can manipulate the ball on both sides of the plate and the velocity is 92, 93, 94, it doesn’t matter who your are as a hitter. That’s tough.”
Adcock agreed with Bakich’s assessment.
“I tried to attack the zone, let the defense work and let the guys behind me make plays,” Adcock said. “You have to trust your defense and let them work.”
Not to be outdone, sophomore left-hander Oliver Jaskie turned in a gem in Michigan’s 6-0 win Thursday. He pitched 5.1 shutout innings, allowed three hits, walked three and struck out three. Jaskie has yet to surrender an earned run this year.
“Everyone who goes out (to the mound) seems to do a very good job of attacking the strike zone with multiple pitches,” Bakich said.
The Wolverines’ defense — which struggled at times during its Spring Break trip to California — was not perfect, but performed better against Hawaii. Though Michigan committed three errors in the first contest of Saturday’s doubleheader, it was a different story in Friday’s game.
In the bottom of the ninth, following a wild pitch by right-hander Bryan Pall, sophomore catcher Drew Lugbauer made a strong throw to Pall to tag a runner out and prevent Hawaii from winning the game.
“The errors we made were aggressive,” Bakich said. “I was very pleased with our defense, I thought we played outstanding defense. We had an error on a pickoff throw, I don’t feel like those errors affected the outcome of the game. I feel good about our defense. I feel like we’ve got a very good defensive team, even though the fielding percentage may not accurately reflect how good the defense is.”