Michigan Leaves Strong ImpressionColumns
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Michigan saw an opportunity to make a national statement entering this weekend’s series against No. 18 Oklahoma. That much is evident.
For most teams this time of year, it’s all about conference play. But the Wolverines and Sooners had a chance to step out of league play for a weekend, and Erik Bakich’s club had to notice where Oklahoma’s RPI sat coming into the weekend. With that, came a rare midseason non-conference weekend where the Wolverines could make up some serious ground in the metrics, which is always important if you want to make the NCAA postseason or host a regional, as this team very well could in a few weeks.
Michigan played the first two games against the Sooners like a team on a mission. The Wolverines used a bevy of walks in the first game to oust Dylan Grove from the game in the first inning. They disposed of the Sooners 5-2. The second game of the series wasn’t so kind to the Sooners in result, as Michigan was dialed in offensively and scored nine of its 14 runs with two outs in a 14-4 win to clinch a big series win for the Big Ten Conference.
“The big difference today was our hitting with two outs. We were fortunate to score a lot of runs today in those situations,” Michigan coach Erik Bakich said. “We put together some two-out rallies and that was the big difference the first three innings. With that said, that probably isn’t the case if they have their usual starter [Jake Irvin].”
With Irvin out, Kyle Tyler starting the series finale and reliever J.B. Olson out, the Sooners flew to Ann Arbor in a world of hurt from an injury standpoint. It showed on Friday. OU was forced to start righthander Nathan Wiles two days early after he threw 67 pitches at Texas last weekend. It showed.
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