He’s got the name and he’s got the talent. Senior catcher Coley Crank is working his way up the charts with numerous home runs and RBIs.

This weekend, the Michigan baseball team faced off against Northwestern in a three-game series. On Saturday, they had a doubleheader due to a rain delay Friday and lost both games, 6-5 and 8-5. On Sunday, the Wolverines turned things around and beat the Wildcats in the ninth inning, 5-4.

Despite a disappointing Saturday for the team, Crank played exceptionally well, hitting a home run in both games.

“Coley Crank was outstanding,” said Michigan coach Rich Maloney. “He’s always been a good hitter for us.”

In the first game, Crank put the first tally on the Michigan scoreboard with a home run to left field in the bottom of the sixth inning. Crank’s “crank” gave the team a boost when they were down by three, and senior third baseman John Lorenz brought sophomore first baseman Brett Winger home soon after.

Crank also added to his RBI total when the game went into extra innings. In the eleventh inning, he batted in junior center fielder Patrick Biondi on a hit to center field.

The next game started less than an hour later and followed a similar pattern. In the bottom of the sixth inning, when Michigan was down by four, Crank again homered to left field, bringing himself and redshirt sophomore second baseman John DiLaura home.

“We needed some big hits and we needed runs when I hit them, so everybody was real happy — including me,” Crank said.

Added Maloney: “(Crank’s) bat is starting to warm up again.”

Crank had a rocky start to the season — he wasn’t getting the same number of hits that he did in the past three years — but Maloney said this was similar to last season.

“He struggled the first half of last year, and then he got really hot the second half,” Maloney said. “And that’s what we’re hoping will happen now.”

Crank added, “This year, I think I could be doing better. I’m not too happy about my average, it’s pretty low. But things are coming together now and I’m feeling good.”

His average currently sits at .236, which places him at sixth on the team.

But there’s a lot more to a player than just their batting average. Of the 41 games this season, Crank has not only played in all of them, but started in all of them. When so many players are getting injured, this is actually an impressive feat. The two players with the highest batting averages, sophomore right fielder Michael O’Neill and freshman left fielder Will Drake, are both out due to hand and ankle injuries, respectively.

Crank is also tied for the second-most runs this season with Drake at 26, only following the lead-off hitter, Biondi.

Home runs and RBIs are where Crank stands out the most. He tops the charts at nine home runs and 32 RBIs this season. O’Neill, who boasts the best batting average on the team, comes in second for the most RBIs with a total of 25.

“Coley needs to be a big part of us if we’re gonna go (forward), especially with all those guys being out,” Maloney said.

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