In Saturday’s doubleheader against the Flames (9-14), it was the Michigan baseball team that came out hot.

The 23rd-ranked Wolverines (15-5) continued their momentum after Friday’s 10-2 victory over Illinois-Chicago to win both games on the day.

In the first game, which was shortened to seven innings, Michigan junior left-handed pitcher Brett Adcock (2-2) pitched a complete game, allowing just four hits and fanning seven batters en route to a 5-0 shutout. It was the Wolverines’ fifth shutout this season.

“The defense made plays behind me,” Adcock said. “It’s really easy to go seven innings when you keep the pitch count down and know the defense has your back.

“I didn’t even know it was a seven-inning game until the sixth. I was planning on going longer.”

UIC almost got on the board in the first inning. Second baseman David Cronin hit a leadoff double and the Flames loaded the bases from a walk and a hit batsman. But with one out and the bases loaded, Adcock struck out the next two batters to come out of the frame unscathed.

Michigan, meanwhile, was able to get going on offense immediately. Despite going hitless in the first inning, the Wolverines still managed to take an early 2-0 lead. They got three consecutive free bases to start the inning.

With the bases loaded, junior catcher Harrison Wenson scored junior third baseman Jake Bivens on a sacrifice fly. Senior left fielder Matt Ramsay scored the following play on catcher Wyatt Mascarella’s throw after junior first baseman Carmen Benedetti stole second.

“That was a rare opportunity that presented itself,” said Michigan coach Erik Bakich. “That was the first time we’ve done a play like that this season. I like that we came out with aggression and took advantage of free passes and scoring opportunities.”

Added sophomore shortstop Michael Brdar: “It’s always fun scoring no matter how it happens if it helps our team.”

The bottom of the order was instrumental in extending Michigan’s lead. Freshman right fielder Jonathan Engelmann had two hits in three at-bats with a third-inning RBI to add to Michigan’s three-run cushion. Freshman second basemen Ako Thomas drove in the game’s final run with a single into left-center field to score Engelmann in the sixth inning.

The second game of Saturday’s doubleheader told a very similar story.

Cronin started the game with a single up the middle. A walk and a hit batsman loaded the bases with two outs, but sophomore righty Ryan Nutof (3-1) struck out designated hitter Alex Dee to end the inning without giving up a run.

Nutof had another impressive outing for the Wolverines, pitching six innings, giving up five hits and surrendering only one run to pick up the 10-4 victory.

The Wolverines struck first again in the first inning without recording a hit. Ramsay walked and Benedetti was hit by a pitch. A double steal moved the runners to third and second. A sacrifice fly by Wenson allowed Ramsay to score and give Michigan a 1-0 lead.

The Flames got on the scoreboard in the third inning. A wild pitch by Nutof allowed third baseman Brandon Gibis to come home and make the score 3-1.

The two-run deficit was short-lived for UIC as Michigan tacked on two more runs to increase its lead to 5-1.

Finally, the Wolverines’ offense erupted in the sixth inning. They loaded the bases with singles by Lugbauer and Bivens, and a walk by junior shortstop Michael Brdar. A single off Ramsay’s bat and an error by right fielder Conor Philbin allowed two runs to score.

Wenson continued the inning with a two-run single down the left-field line that scored Ramsay and Bivens. Wenson finished the day 3-for-4 with five RBI.

The Flames responded in the seventh inning. With junior right-hander Keith Lehmann in for Nutof, shortstop Cody Bohanek smacked a two-run double over the head of Engelmann to cut into Michigan’s lead, 9-3.

The offense continued into the eighth inning for UIC. After loading the bases with just one out, a sacrifice fly by Cronin added a run for the Flames. With two outs, Lehmann was replaced in favor of junior righty Mac Lozer, who ended the inning with a strikeout.

“(Lozer) does that a lot,” Bakich said. “He loves that role, and he’s good in it. That’s the situation where if there is a hit there, it’s a completely different game. That was a big moment.”

Junior right-hander Jackson Lamb made his season debut in the ninth inning. He struck out two batters and allowed just one hit and no runs to secure the win.

“This series, we’ve made great adjustments,” Brdar said. “We’ve been on top of the pitcher, and we’re having quality at-bats.”

With both of its victories today, Michigan clinched the series and extended their winning streak to four games. 

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