Tommy Henry gets a heroes' welcome after getting pulled in the ninth inning vs. Vanderbilt.

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CWS Title Series: Game One In Pictures

OMAHA, Nebr. — The Michigan Wolverines are 27 outs away from a national championship. 

Let that sink in for a minute. Go ahead, I’ll wait… 

Yes, a “snow belt” team, from the Big 10. Against a monster team from the SEC.This is a UofM team that held practices outside in February in Ann Arbor even when temperatures were in the single digits. No, I’m not lying. Michigan. 

On Monday night at TD Ameritrade Park, the Wolverines once again leaned on lefty Tommy Henry to pull out a 7-4 win over No. 1-ranked (RPI) Vanderbilt in game one of the CWS championship series. The strapping junior pitched into the ninth inning, throwing 110 pitches and containing the Commodores to just three earned runs on seven hits. Once again the big key was that he didn’t get walk-happy, issuing just one free pass in his 8.1 innings of work. 

 

The light shined down on him… Tommy Henry was a big-time stud once again in game one for the Wolverines.

 

On the opposite side of that, three Vandy pitchers combined to issue six walks and 14 hits on the night. Starting pitcher Drake Fellows relented seven hits and four walks in his 5.2 innings of work and suffered just his second loss of the season against 13 wins.

UMich No. 2 starter Jeff Criswell came on to throw the final nine pitches of the night to secure the win. This is similar to what I saw Criswell do in the Los Angeles Super Regional two weeks ago where he came on to throw the final 2/3rds of the Friday win over UCLA and then started the second game of the series on Saturday. In that second game, he went 5.1 innings and allowed just one earned run, even though the game ended up going 12 innings before the Bruins pulled off the W.

Reliever/starter Jeff Criswell threw nine pitches in closing out the Monday night win. Now, the big question is whether Erik Bakich and company will go ahead and start Criswell on Tuesday night after all or not.

 

Can Criswell pull the same trick again here in Omaha against VU? It appears as if the super soph with get the game two start against the Anchor Down boys on Tuesday. So let’s see how this goes. 

Meanwhile, game one couldn’t have gone much better for the Maize and Blue. 

PICS
Some more visual images from the Game One win over the Vanderbilt… 

To the spoils go the riches. Jimmy Kerr, who hit his third CWS home run in Monday’s game one win, gets interviewed by Kris Budden after the game.

 

Jordan Brewer races home with a dirt-filled slide as part of his 2-for-4 day at the plate. Teammate Christan Bullock yells his approval as home plate umpire Jeff Henrich supervises.

 

Jordan Brewer ignites the Michigan dugout (Eric Sorenson)

 

Though he didn’t get the W he was looking for, VU starter Drake Fellows threw well enough to give his team a chance, despite giving up four earned runs in his 5.2 innings.

 

J J Bleday was up to his usual tricks, slamming a sixth inning solo home run to pull his Vandy Boys within a run of the Wolverines.

 

Key Play: In the eighth inning, Austin Martin was thrown out at third by UofM right-fielder Jordan Brewer to stymie any hopes at a comeback.

 

Michigan’s Joe Donovan homers against Vandy (Eric Sorenson)

 

YES!… The Michigan Wolverines breathe a sigh of relief having raced out to a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series vs. heavily-favored Vanderbilt.

 

 

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