Michigan Baseball: We’re Talking Wolverine Baseball


Posted at 6:00am — 5/3/2010

Michigan Baseball: We’re Talking Wolverine Baseball

Another treat was bestowed on the author this week watching the Buckeyes and the Wolverines go at it this weekend, after a fun mid-week softball doubleheader in Columbus.

Never have I seen the Big Ten this tightly knotted at this time of the year. If this weekend’s Ohio State-Michigan match up is any indication, then the cause for the log-jam is equal competition. The Big Ten may not have a super-team that can make a long run in the tournament, but there is plenty of solid baseball to be seen.

Some are bemoaning the fact that Michigan did not sweep the series, but the difference between the two teams in the three games was slim. Michigan is going on the road, so getting the edge in the rubber game was very important.

Michigan caught a break that few true sports fans want to see; a Friday injury while warming up in the pen to Ohio State ace (and Big Ten ace), All-American Alex Wimmers.

Big Blue jumped on the last minute replacement with a barrage of doubles and eventually scored a 4-1 victory.

Saturday’s game was excellent, the result was a 4-3 Ohio State win in 10 innings. Too many players on both teams took called third strikes. This should not have been a mystery as the ump was pulling the trigger and showing little mercy regardless of uniform. Both defenses played well overall, with strong outfield play and solid infield play, excepting great range from the shortstops. Few coaches have that luxury at the college level.

Minus Wimmers, the pitching is even. Pitchers on both sides threw strikes and set up the hitters pretty well, especially Ohio State’s ability to throw off-speed pitches and get them over when needed. Late in the game, the Michigan hitters were whiffing at first ball change-ups served up by the Buckeyes, a pitcher’s best friend against a first –ball fastball hitting team.

The catching was solid on both ends. Both coaches put runners into motion at good times to try and get the base that might win the game on a single. Michigan had two runners thrown out as the Ohio State pitchers came set quick and as a result the runners got a mediocre jump on the pitcher (only two or three steps before the ball left the pitchers hand) and were DOA.

Both teams are scrappy and capable of comebacks, Ohio State appears to be very resilient. This team also appears to have the most talent in the league, having in the middle of the line-up junior catcher Dan Burkhart and senior Michael Stephens. Michigan could use a little more pop in the line-up, but the pitching puts the offense in a position to win.

Before the Saturday game, Barry Larkin was honored and 500 early fans received nice commemorative t-shirts. Larkin informed the crowd that Ohio State never recruited him, but Bo did (ouch). All in all it was a very nice ceremony and a game fitting the honoring of a Michigan legend.

Sunday’s game was another tight one, won by the Blue, 6-5. Dr. Long-ball showed up and provided the early cushion that Michigan held onto.

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Written by GBMWolverine Staff — Doc4Blu

Go Blue — Wear Maize!