Ako Thomas, Aaron Etchison, Michigan

Ako Thomas shares a laugh with Michigan assistant Aaron Etchison. (Shotgun Spratling)


Putting The Fun Back In Michigan


LOS ANGELES — Michigan starter Ryan Nutof left a pitch up in the zone and USC’s Adalberto Carrillo crushed it, hitting a shot over the center field wall. Nutof’s no-hitter and shutout were both gone in the fifth inning.

But the righthander didn’t let it faze him. He stepped back on the bump and went back to work.

“All the pitching staff, we say if they hit it out of the park, it’s a mistake. It’s a fluke,” Nutof said. “I kept thinking alright that was an accident. Who cares. I’m going to go right back. Put the coin back in the machine and do it again.”

Nutof pitched another pair of innings, allowing only a pair of two-out singles, finishing with 6.1 strong innings, giving up the one run, to earn his first win of the year.

It was emblematic of the resolve this year’s Michigan squad.

Ryan Nutof, MichiganRyan Nutof attacked the strike zone against USC. (Shotgun Spratling)

Head coach Erik Bakich is quick to point out that the Wolverines have not accomplished anything yet, but lessons learned from a disappointing finish in 2016 have propelled an older, mature group into a team that should compete for a Big Ten title.

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