On Saturday, Michigan baseball pulled another upset and advanced to the regional final undefeated after knocking off No. 12 Louisville.
What a couple of weeks it has been for Michigan baseball.
The Wolverines weren’t even a lock to make the Big Ten Tournament two weeks ago and clinched a spot with only two regular-season games left.
However, the berth in that tournament (and the tourney championship) gave U-M new life and a newfound confidence that has continued into the NCAA Tournament.
Following an 8-6 win on Friday over Oregon, Michigan baseball took on the regional host and 12th-seeded Louisville and stayed hot with a 7-3 win over the Cardinal.
Just like Friday night and this entire postseason, the offense was the spark.
Clark (the Spark) Elliott got things going for the Wolverines with a two-run home run in the bottom of the third. Joe Stewart went yard in the next at-bat, and the back-to-back homers gave the Wolverines a 3-1 lead.
They wouldn’t trail again.
Louisville trimmed the deficit to 3-2 when Michigan baseball got some insurance from Joey Velazquez, who continued his clutch hitting in the postseason with an RBI single. The Wolverines then scored another run on a perfect suicide squeeze by Jake Marti, which scored Ted Burton and put the Wolverines ahead 5-2.
Michigan added two more runs to the lead as they managed 12 total hits and scored 15 runs in their first 14 innings of regional baseball action.
From there, it was all about pitching and defense. Michigan baseball isn’t known for its starting pitching but Erik Bakich used his staff to perfection on Saturday. Noah Rennard came on in the second inning after Michigan allowed its first run for Walker Cleveland who started the game and when he left prior to the fifth inning, the Wolverines led 5-2.
Jacob Denner responded with some solid work, including a 1-2-3 inning. He was taken out in the seventh as Chase Allen helped him out of a jam. Then, Cameron Weston tossed two shutout innings to wrap up the enormous win for the Wolverines.
Clark had just one hit but Joe Stewart, the former Michigan State Spartan, was spectacular again with three hits and two runs scored. Matt Frey followed up his game-winning homer on Friday with another two-hit day. Bertram also had two hits for Michigan which has won nine of its last 11 games overall and six of seven since the start of the postseason.
What it means for Michigan baseball
The last time Michigan baseball won its first two regional games was in 2019 and that was the year the Wolverines reached the College World Series championship.
Michigan is now in the best position possible heading into Sunday. Louisville will take on Oregon, which also won on Saturday, Sunday morning. The winner of that game will then play the Wolverines in the regional final, but whichever team advances will need to beat Michigan baseball twice to advance to the Super Regional.
Michigan needs just one more win.