Fall Report: MichiganFall Report
Michigan might’ve had an unorthodox fall at exactly the right time.
As with their Big Ten counterparts at Iowa, the Wolverines didn’t spend the entire fall in Ann Arbor, Mich. Instead, coach Erik Bakich and his club hit the airways and traveled to the Dominican Republic, where they were immersed into the country’s culture, while also playing some exhibition games that told the UM coaches a lot about their team.
That trip came at the right time for the Wolverines. Michigan has made NCAA tourney appearances two of the last three seasons, and most recently, put together an impressive 42-17 record this past season, while also being heavily in the mix for a regional host.
While getting to the postseason in 2017 was considered a success, the Wolverines hope to keep building their way to an eventual trip to the College World Series. Accomplishing that goal in 2018 might not be so easy, however, as UM has the tough job of replacing several key cogs.
Still, Bakich is pleased with the fall. They return some key elements, such as sparkplug middle infielder Ako Thomas and talented senior righthander Alec Rennard, among others. But also, have quite an impressive class of newcomers, along with some returning players who have new, more important roles.
“I actually thought that trip to the Dominican was very encouraging. It was the highlight of our fall and we got a chance to play some outside competition. We’ve done things like that sporadically, and it’s one of those experiences that my players and I will never forget,” Bakich said. “We lost some key pieces, but I also think we return some key pieces, too. We’ve got guys like Rennard, Will Tribucher, Troy Miller, Tommy Henry and others, who I feel have a chance to really step up for us. We’ve got a lot of position battles right now and we’ve got a lot of guys who were kind of on the sidelines in the past being thrust into some bigger roles. There might be question marks, but I’m excited about the talent we have at a lot of positions.”
Bakich also adds this about his 2018 club.
“I think this is the most physically talented team I’ve had here at Michigan, but it’s just inexperienced and unproven. We were a little up and down this fall, because we’re trying to figure a lot of things out. We’re on a climb right now and we’re still getting our footing,” he said. “We have some guys assuming leadership roles and we’ve made the training process pretty difficult. The training has probably been the most challenging of any fall we’ve had here. I think we can be one of those teams who is very good by the end of the season.”
Without further ado, let’s take an in-depth look at Michigan after workouts.
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