While expectations were high for junior left-handed pitcher Brett Adcock and sophomore right-hander Ryan Nutof against Canisius, it was sophomore left-hander Oliver Jaskie who shined for the Michigan baseball team.
As a freshman in 2015, Jaskie had only one start to his name in 22 appearances, posting a 2-0 record and a 5.58 earned-run average.
While Jaskie began the season as Michigan’s fourth starter, he looked like the Wolverines’ ace on Sunday against the Golden Griffins. Jaskie tossed six innings, allowing just three hits and recording nine strikeouts on his way to picking up the win. His performance earned him Big Ten Pitcher of the Week honors.
Jaskie doesn’t care too much about the accolades, though.
“Honestly, I’m more excited about the team’s success this week,” Jaskie said. “Every pitcher that got in there did really well. It was awesome to see.”
At Michigan’s team banquet on Feb. 12, Michigan coach Erik Bakich commended Jaskie for how he trained over the summer and how much he has improved since last season. Bakich joked that his command was so good that he couldn’t throw a ball straight if he tried.
Jaskie credits pitching coach Sean Kenny for his development since last year.
“Coach Kenny has been awesome,” Jaskie said. “He’s the best pitching coach in the country. He does everything he could possibly do for us, and we love him for that.”
Bakich expects Jaskie to be a starter for the entirety of the 2016 season and is excited about his potential after his outing against Canisius.
“I think what you saw on Sunday is a byproduct of a kid with a tremendous work ethic and an extremely high character,” Bakich said. “The success that he has on the field is the byproduct of many things, but the investment he makes into pitching and into his craft is what you’re seeing.”
The craft Bakich is referring to is Jaskie’s extensive repertoire of pitches. Coming out of high school with a fastball, breaking ball and changeup, Jaskie has also been developing his slider since last season.
If Sunday was any indication of how Jaskie will pitch for the rest of the season, he will soon become a household name.
But Jaskie isn’t worrying about the rest of the season right now.
“It feels great having some momentum at the start of the season,” Jaskie said. “Hopefully we can carry that into our training sessions this week and then carry those training sessions over to our games in our upcoming Spring Break. But right now we’re just focusing on today and we go from there.”