COLUMBUS — Iowa struck first in Thursday’s Big Ten Baseball Tournament second round game, scoring a run in the top of the first inning to take the early lead. But Michigan answered.
The Wolverines (14-10 Big Ten, 35-20 overall) roared back with a run of their own in the first inning and six more in the bottom of the second. They never looked back, rolling to a 18-4 victory and advancing to the Big Ten semifinals.
Michigan chased Hawkeye starter Nick Brown early. After freshman centerfielder Patrick Biondi drew a bases-loaded walk, redshirt junior second baseman Anthony Toth singled to drive in another runner and give the Wolverines a 4-1 lead.
Right-hander Zach Kenyon relieved Brown but did not fare much better. He allowed all of his inherited runners to score, and after holding Michigan scoreless in the third, allowed four more runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Senior rightfielder Nick Urban’s fifth home run of the year capped the rally and gave the Wolverines a 12-2 lead, sealing the game.
Urban added a double and had three RBI for the game, while junior leftfielder Ryan LaMarre paced the offense with four hits and four RBI of his own.
Ace senior right-hander Alan Oaks had the ball for Michigan and pitched solidly, earning his sixth win of the year. Oaks went seven strong innings and gave up just three earned runs, saving the bullpen for later tourney games in the process. Freshman right-hander Kyle Clark finished out the last two innings.
With the victory, the Wolverines move on to play the winner of Thursday night’s game between Indiana and Minnesota. Redshirt freshman left-hander Bobby Brosnahan will get the ball Friday for a 7:05 pm start.