When the Michigan baseball team heads down to South Carolina for the Bojangles Baseball Classic this weekend, it will be making the trip with an unfamiliar traveling companion: a pair of wins.

For the first time all year, the Wolverines (2-9) will enter a series with some on their record, thanks to a pair of victories over Massachusetts last weekend. They will look to add four more against Stony Brook and Winthrop in the series that begins Friday.

“The first one’s always the hardest, so once we go that one out it kind of gave everyone a little bit of extra confidence to know that we can win,” redshirt sophomore right-hander Tyler Mills said. “There’s so much talent on the team, right now we’re just struggling to put it together.”

But even with some confidence and momentum, Michigan could run into trouble with each team’s ace. Both Winthrop (5-5) and Stony Brook (3-4) will pitch their first game of the three-team classic against Michigan, meaning the Wolverines will see each team’s No. 1 starter.

Tyler Mizenko will get the start for Winthrop on Friday and junior Nick Tropeano for Stony Brook on Saturday. At 2-0 with a 2.50 ERA, Mizenko boasts a better record than Tropeano, but Tropeano could end up being one of the best pitchers Michigan faces all year. The right-hander, who struck out 106 batters in 99.2 innings last year, was named a Preseason All-American after leading Stony Brook to the Regionals of the College World Series.

Michigan’s success, though, will mostly depend on its own pitching. Thus far, the Wolverines simply have not received enough productivity out of their starters to win ballgames. Michigan hurlers average just 3.2 innings and an alarming 6.70 ERA per start this season, and injuries to Kolby Wood and Travis Smith have only made things worse.

“Right now, the problem we’re having is we’re not attacking hitters,” Michigan pitching coach Matt White said. “Early in the year, we’ve used a bunch of different starting pitchers. We’re trying to get guys that will step up and give us innings at the beginning of the game.”

Mills, who threw Michigan’s only quality start of the season, will get the start in the opener against Winthrop. Mills and freshman right-hander Alex Lakatos, who will start Saturday, have been the only bright spots for the Michigan pitching staff so far this season.

At the other end of the spectrum is sophomore left-hander Bobby Brosnahan, who will throw against Stony Brook on Sunday. The No. 1 starter entering the season, Brosnahan has struggled early in both a starting and relief role.

“He’s not hitting his spots very well, and he’s a command pitcher,” Michigan coach Rich Maloney said. “I’d be surprised if he doesn’t pick it up here real soon. He’s a competitor.”

Sophomore right-hander Kyle Clark, who has surrendered three runs in seven innings of relief work, will get his first start on Saturday.

The offense, especially the top half of the lineup, has started to heat up. Center fielder Patrick Biondi and shortstop Derek Dennis combined for a .414 batting average last weekend, setting the table for right fielder Michael O’Neill and first baseman Garret Stephens. Both O’Neil, who has a hit in every game this season, and Stephens have been pleasant surprises for the Wolverines.

The bats are beginning to come alive.

Now it’s time for the pitchers.

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