Michigan junior right-hander Cam Weston could only watch as the ball flew over his head into center field. Seton Hall third-baseman Mark McNelly picked up an RBI single to give the Pirates a 1-0 lead with only one out to begin the game. Weston kept his composure, stepped back onto the mound and quickly retired the next two batters. The Wolverines never trailed a team for the rest of the weekend.
The Michigan baseball team (5-2 overall) swept its three games in Miami, crushing Seton Hall (0-6) once, 8-2, and FIU (7-2) twice, 16-8 and 13-9.
Despite two quick outs to start the bottom of the first, the Wolverines rallied to take the lead. Junior infielder Tito Flores cranked it to right center field and reached third base while scoring two runners to take back control of the game.
It was a miracle the Pirates were held scoreless for the next three innings. Weston allowed six men to reach base and four to reach scoring position. The Michigan defense bent, but they never broke. Even with the bases loaded in the fourth Weston stayed calm and didn’t let Seton Hall sniff the plate.
Meanwhile, the Wolverine bats kept piling on. Junior outfielder Clark Elliott tacked on his third home run in the first five games. They also loaded the bases in the fourth inning. The difference was that all three men actually scored to stretch the lead to 6-1.
Junior infielder Ted Burton sank the final dagger in the game in the seventh with his two RBI double. Despite getting outhit 13-8, Michigan kept its 8-2 lead until the final out.
Unfortunately for FIU, its first game against the Wolverines featured a breakout performance from Joe Stewart. The grad transfer outfielder from Michigan State dominated the Panther pitching staff with four hits, four RBIs, and a home run to top it off.
However, it wasn’t just Stewart. Michigan’s bats were on fire for both games against FIU. Its 29 runs in two games showed complete control of the plate.
Burton picked up right from where he left off with the bases loaded in the first. He smashed a double to left-center field and scored all three men on loaded bases. After he scored as well, the Wolverines took a commanding 5-0 lead but the game was far from over.
The Panther’s own transfer outfielder Alec Sanchez from Florida State showed up in the second inning with a big double to claw back into striking distance. At 5-3 after only two innings it was pretty clear this wouldn’t be a boring game.
For the next three innings, it was like a boxing match where both guys only knew how to throw a right hook. Letting up four runs in three innings will usually doom a team. That is, unless, said team scores nine in the same time frame to put the game completely out of reach. Michigan may have gotten punched in the face, but they packed a bigger one.
The Wolverines cruised the rest of the game, ending with a season high of 16 hits. In an ugly game with two wild pitches and two errors, they still came out on top 16-8.
Both teams didn’t slow down at all in their second game on Sunday. After jumping out to a 7-0 lead after three innings it appeared to be another blowout.
Sophomore pitcher Logan Wood checked in to start the fourth inning. He only gave up one hit, yet three Panthers made it all the way around the diamond due to three walks and a hit-by-pitch. After the third walk, he was replaced by senior Walker Cleveland who immediately picked off the man at first to limit the damage to three runs.
However, no Michigan pitcher was able to hold FIU for long. Cleveland and fellow senior reliever Willie Weiss had rough late innings. Cleveland gave up four runs in the sixth before being replaced by Weiss. Although he gave up no hits, Weiss had several walks and wild-pitches with an overall lack of control on the mound.
The Panthers fought all the way back to 10-9 to start the ninth. However, the Wolverine batters made sure this wouldn’t end the same as last weekend’s Texas Tech game. Elliott scored the third run of the inning off a single from grad-transfer infielder Matt Frey. Michigan took the game to 13-9 and never looked back.