After a pair of heartbreaking walk-off losses to Ohio State last weekend, the Michigan baseball team was on a collision course with another tight finish Tuesday night against Notre Dame.

But Coley Crank arrived just in time.

With the game deadlocked 1-1 in the bottom of the eighth inning, the junior left fielder belted a solo shot over the left-center field wall, putting the Wolverines ahead for good. The 2-1 in victory in Ann Arbor was a relief — Michigan (6-9 Big Ten , 14-28 overall) was swept by the Buckeyes in a three-game series over the weekend.

Crank’s sixth home run of the season was just one reason he doesn’t mind seeing Notre Dame (7-10 Big East, 16-22-1) come to town. In five career games against the Fighting Irish, Crank has tallied a rap sheet that includes a .533 batting average, two doubles, two home runs and five RBI.

But while Crank’s heroics gave the win to redshirt sophomore pitcher Tyler Mills, the majority of the game was a pitchers’ duel between redshirt sophomore hurler Matt Broder and Notre Dame’s Adam Norton. In just his second start, Broder worked 6.1 innings, striking out five and allowing just four hits.

Broder’s lone slip-up was leaving a ball over the plate that Fighting Irish right fielder Herman Petzold deposited over the left-center field fence at Ray Fisher Stadium in the fourth inning.

Michigan manufactured its first run in the bottom half of the fourth. And it was all thanks to the steadiest performer for the Wolverines: freshman right fielder Michael O’Neill. O’Neill drove a double through the infield to lead off the inning, and he came around to tie the game on a one-out single from junior third baseman John Lorenz.

Mills finished up the pitching duties to pick up the win by striking out four batters and allowing only one hit in 2.2 innings on the mound. He closed out the Fighting Irish with a 1-2-3 ninth inning, getting Notre Dame center fielder Alex Robinson to fly out to end the game.

The victory was Michigan’s first against a team from a power conference this year.

The Wolverines and Fighting Irish close out the home-and-home midweek series with an evening game Wednesday in South Bend, Ind.

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