For the third straight postseason, the Michigan baseball team will play in the NCAA Tournament. The Wolverines will travel to the Louisville Regional to face off against Louisville, Oregon and Southeast Missouri State. The Daily’s baseball beat breaks down how far each writer thinks Michigan will go.
Jake Singer: Super Regional
I’m not going to fully write this team off like I did last time.
Nonetheless, Michigan isn’t going to go that far. I think it has a chance to defeat Oregon and Louisville given both teams lost both of their games in their conference tournaments, and Michigan is hot right now.
The Big Ten is good. The Wolverines defeated both Rutgers and Maryland which is a hard feat.
The Big Ten isn’t a great representation of college baseball, though.
Tennessee, Stanford and other schools are just too talented and Michigan will meet its match sooner rather than later.
Despite all of this, if the Wolverines can make the Super Regional, it will be an ending to a successful season that could help with recruiting and interest next season.
David Woelkers: Regional Final
Last week, I thought I was being optimistic by predicting a semifinal finish for the Wolverines. Oh how wrong I was.
In winning the Big Ten Tournament, Michigan finally showed the potential that coach Erik Bakich has been speaking of all season. The question now is, was that potential built for a deep run outside of the Big Ten?
In a different regional, perhaps. However, knocking off Louisville is something that, in my opinion, is too far a stretch of the talent on the Wolverines roster.
That isn’t to drag down Michigan’s impressive run through the past few weeks, racking up wins over multiple teams with similar or perhaps even better resumes than the Cardinals. The difference in those games and the challenge the Wolverines face this weekend comes down to one thing — home field advantage.
Against Rutgers, they had the benefit of playing in Ray Fisher Stadium. In the Big Ten Tournament, the playing field was leveled with the neutral site of Omaha. When playing big teams in their home stadiums this season however, Michigan has either come up just short or taken a substantial loss.
Though it certainly has the potential to change that narrative, ultimately I think this weekend will prove no different.
Zain Rodger: College World Series
I’m done being a hater. It’s time to buy some stock.
The way Michigan looked a couple weeks ago against Maryland, it looked like its season was over. Then the mentality flipped. The Wolverines started having fun and played to their full potential to stun the Big Ten.
In a domination of Maryland and wins against the rest of the top four seeds, it looked like they could beat anyone in the country. They’re on fire at just the right time, and there’s no reason they can’t make it to the top eight.
Past that, I believe it’s a toss up. I see the run ending once Michigan reaches the top eight, but you never know. Baseball is weird, and at their best the Wolverines have a chance against anyone.
Ian Payne: Super Regional
Michigan is rolling.
On the other hand the heavy hitters in their regional, Louisville and Oregon, are coming in flat-footed. Both lost the first and only two games they played in their conference tournaments.
As a result the Wolverines are the hottest hand. Given that they showed at least a capability of beating Louisville in the midseason series, in which they went 1-2, the fact they now have significantly more momentum shows they have a real chance at emerging from this regional on top.
However, a Super Regional matchup against an equally hot team would prove an entirely different challenge. And I believe that is where Michigan will end its respectable postseason run.
Which eight teams will make the Men’s College World Series? (winner bolded)
Jake Singer: Virginia Tech, Tennessee, Stanford, UCLA, Oklahoma State, Miami (FL), Texas A&M, Texas
David Woelkers: Tennessee, East Carolina, Louisville, Virginia Tech, Stanford, North Carolina, Miami (FL), Oregon State
Zain Rodger: Stanford, Tennessee, Texas, Michigan, Oklahoma, North Carolina, LSU, Vanderbilt
Ian Payne: Tennessee, East Carolina, Texas A&M, Virginia Tech, Stanford, Oklahoma State, Miami (FL), Oregon State