It is unusual for a college baseball game to be played in September, so it makes sense that an early-season scrimmage for the Michigan baseball team would be anything but ordinary.

The Wolverines defeated the Ontario Blue Jays 24-1 in a game that was planned to last 14 innings, behind an impressive display of power from many up-and-comers. Michigan hit six home runs, with Kevin Krantz blasting two against the helpless Blue Jay pitchers.

“It’s always good when we can manufacture runs,” Krantz said. “This game put everything in perspective for where we are as a team, and it’s great.”

The Wolverines put on an impressive show in their first preseason scrimmage, even though it came against an under-18 team. The Blue Jays are a summer baseball program in the Premier Baseball League of Ontario, and despite their youth, they stuck with the Wolverines until the fourth inning when Michigan broke through for six runs.

This served as a first test for the young Wolverines, and coach Rich Maloney was impressed with their performance.

“I saw what we were pretty much looking for,” Maloney said. “I thought it was an encouraging game.”

There are many questions surrounding the team’s lack of experience following departures from last year, but Krantz is not worried.

“We are young, but today really shows we can play,” Krantz said. “This was very positive.”

Maloney mentioned the importance of young, inexperienced players stepping up, and many of those players welcomed the challenge. Freshman Alex Lakatos had three hits, including a home run, and Krantz had four hits and four RBI, including two long balls.

Some big contributors from last year did not want to be left out of the scoring party. Redshirt junior first baseman Garret Stephens drove in seven runs on three hits and a homer, and junior catcher Coley Crank accounted for three RBI and a home run.

Obviously, the offense was impressive, but holding a team to one run over 14 innings is also nothing to scoff at. Pitchers Bobby Brosnahan (redshirt freshman) and Kolby Wood (junior) both impressed, combining for six innings, no runs and six strikeouts.

In the end, one of the main differences between the two squads proved to be the leather. The Wolverines played solid defense throughout the night, turning four double plays, while the Blue Jays kept innings alive with their six errors. Michigan also did a good job of capitalizing and not letting many opportunities pass them by.

Despite the lopsided score, the win gave the team something to build upon, which is substantial, considering they will not play another game for roughly four months.

“We got the chance to play somebody else and got the chance to be responsive to who we are,” Maloney said. It may have just been a scrimmage, but the players and coaching staff are clearly eager for the spring.

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