With the addition of Rutgers and Maryland to the Big Ten, Michigan baseball coach Erik Bakich said he is excited for the opportunity to expand east.
“In addition to targeting the best players in the state of Michigan and in the Midwest region, this allows us to expand our recruiting footprint into the Northeast and down the Eastern Seaboard, where there are a ton of Michigan alumni and a lot of good baseball players,” Bakich said.
Both Rutgers and Maryland suffered losing seasons in 2012. The Scarlet Knights concluded with a 20-30 finish while the Terrapins had an equally lousy, 21-35 record. Five of the Atlantic Coast Conference’s 12 teams are ranked in the top-20. Although this may give Maryland an excuse for their 5-25 conference record, Maryland still finished last in the ACC last year.
On the other hand, the Big Ten’s top-20 claim-to-fame is No. 12 Purdue. With such a weak conference, Michigan’s second-rate, 22-34 performance last year was that much more frustrating.
The Wolverines, however, hope to return to competitiveness with the help of Bakich, who was announced the 19th head coach of the Michigan baseball team on June 27. Bakich, coincidently, was the head coach at Maryland a year ago.
With Bakich’s ties to the East, the Wolverines could capitalize on eastern talent to get back in the winner’s column. Luckily, Bakich still has two more years before Rutgers and Maryland compete in the Big Ten. This should give him just enough time to polish up Michigan’s roster before he takes on his former team.