Talented Michigan Takes Aim At Texas TechWeekend Spotlight
Michigan carried higher expectations into the 2019 season than it has heading into any of coach Erik Bakich’s previous six years at the helm. These Wolverines are loaded with talent on the mound and around the diamond, and they garnered a No. 16 preseason ranking in the D1Baseball Top 25.
And so far, Michigan has largely lived up to that billing. Aside from a stretch in early March when they lost four our of five on the West Coast, the Wolverines have been perfect. Their pitching has proven elite, ranking 10th in the nation in ERA (2.56) and fourth in fewest hits allowed per nine innings (6.21). They faced one strong test at the Dodgertown Classic, where they earned a marquee Friday night win at now-No. 1 UCLA, then lost a pair of very competitive games against USC and Oklahoma State. But they’ll face their stiffest test yet this weekend at Texas Tech, a very dangerous offensive club that has been up and down thus far, but is always fearsome at home. The Wolverines play three games against the Red Raiders, starting tonight, then finish with a game against Stetson in Lubbock on Saturday night.
“It’s a tough place to play. Regardless of what happens, this is one of the better environments in college baseball,” Bakich said. “We know they’re gonna be an exceptional team, an outstanding test, much like UCLA and Oklahoma State. The environment will be even more hostile, but no question, we’re gonna have to play well. But this is great for our guys to see this type of atmosphere as well. I think any time we can do this, especially at this time, maybe not the very first opening weekend but as we’ve got our feet underneath us, to be able to get a weekend like this, this is awesome.”
Certainly the Wolverines seem to have their feet under them now, riding a five-game winning streak. Their offense got right in a four-game sweep of Manhattan last weekend, scoring 48 runs in those four games, then another 12 on Tuesday against Western Michigan.