Erik Bakich refuses to look ahead. The Michigan coach preaches consistency, and to do that, a single-game perspective must be kept.
That attitude has resulted in an impressive record — 3-0 in the Big Ten and 20-5 overall — the Wolverines’ best start through 25 games since 1987. Now ranked No. 17 nationally, Michigan will hope to build upon its nine-game winning streak as it faces Notre Dame and Bowling Green on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively.
“We go into each game knowing we’re going to play as hard as we can,” Bakich said. “We’re going to give the best effort with the best energy while executing. I think the buy-in to that type of mindset is what we’re seeing and the success is a product of that attitude that (the athletes) bring.”
With seven weeks of Big Ten play ahead, it would be easy for Michigan to get wrapped up in scouting reports. But Bakich emphasizes the need to view every game as a “one-game series.”
This week’s contests will be the first and only time the Wolverines will face the Fighting Irish and the Falcons. And spirits are high, especially after Michigan’s sweep at Northwestern.
Senior Matt Ramsay was named the Big Ten Co-Player of the Week after a standout performance in last weekend’s Big Ten series opener against Northwestern. He finished the weekend with eight runs on seven hits and garnered a team-high nine runs batted-in, something Ramsay attributes to the strength of his team.
“I think we don’t really give the (opponent’s) pitching staff a time to take a breath and I think that’s remarkable,” Ramsay said. “We learned that we can take a punch and we can bounce back especially with our offensive. We learned to just have confidence.”
Ramsay is the first Wolverine to be named Player of the Week, but two of his teammates have combined to win three Big Ten Pitcher of the Week awards — two for sophomore left hander Oliver Jaskie and one for junior left hander Brett Adcock.
“It’s nice to get some recognition for hard work,” Bakich said. “But we’re really just focused on how we’re going to continue to move the program forward.”
Notre Dame (14-11) is hosting Michigan after a three-game series against Wake Forest in which it won two of three games. The Fighting Irish are currently fourth in the Atlantic Division of the Atlantic Coastal Conference and tied for fifth place in a league with No. 14 North Carolina, Georgia Tech and Virginia.
Bowling Green is traveling to Ann Arbor with a 11-17 record and having won its last two games, both against Toledo. The victories included the team’s first Mid-Atlantic Conference win of its season.
But Bakich insists he doesn’t care who the Wolverines play so long as they stick to their game.
“No matter who we’re playing, we’re going to do whatever we have to do in that game to come out on top,” Bakich said. “I don’t think there’s a need to say anything different. As long as we stay consistent.
“The record may look good, but who cares. We haven’t done anything yet. So far we’re still plodding on and we’re still trying to get better. And that’s all we can do.”