OMAHA, Neb. – If the Michigan baseball team is not a team of fate, it certainly is. On Monday night, Michigan provided another off-season classic in the Wolverines' first national championship series for 57 years. Tommy Henry (8.1 innings, seven hits, four runs, three earnings, eight strikeouts) delivered the Wolverines' 13th qualifying start in 13 postseason attempts over the weekend, Jimmy Kerr continued an otherworldly leap forward, and Michigan netted 12 hits in No's defeat .2 Vanderbilt.
When the 24,707 fans arrived at TD Ameritrade Park, the Wolverines had a 7: 4 victory and only one victory away from a national championship.
If Michigan (50-20 overall) had no nerves and turned out to be arguably the country's best team. It did not show up early. The Wolverines saw Drake Fellows' 13: 1 record and raised it to three goals, one walk and two runs in the upper half of the first innings. Jordan Brewer put a double right in Jesse Franklin, then Blake Nelson left home with a single two batters later. The only mistake of the innings came when the leader Jordan Nwogu was caught trying to get to the center on one.
The second inning looked very similar to the first for Michigan with two steps to open the innings and the Wolverines. Ako Thomas took the lead 4-0 in the lead as he scored a brace in the right field line.
Vanderbilt, who finished in the top 10 in virtually every offensive category, could not easily get away with it. The Commodores (57-12) used three singles to hit the board with two outs in the lower part of the second and added a second later on a handed ball.
Henry got out of the traffic jam and both he and Fellows settled down to deliver three innings and calm the crowd.
Vanderbilt took advantage of the bottom of the sixth when Michigan went two runners on base at the top of the frame, JJ Bleday drove a nationwide leading 27th home game of the season for the far-right grandstands. The Commodores were almost tied in the game after a mistake and two wild pitches push a two-time Baserunner into third place. But in an imperfect but courageous performance, Henry managed to deliver a clutch strikeout to end the inning.
The strikeout could also have ignited the Wolverines. In seventh place Kerr – who had only ten home runs in the first 141 games of his career – sent his seventh home run in eleven postseason games to the right field.
Although Michigan never ran after, two more insurance runs were clearly loosening the Wolverines. Henry fired a 1: 2: 3 victory, Joe Donovan added his own solo shot in the last sixteen and Jordan Brewer might have delivered the deciding result in the bottom of the second round when he threw a runner out with a frozen throw from the right field advance third place, which got the biggest part of the crowd going. Vanderbilt scored a sacrifice at the end of ninth, but Jeff Criswell finished the game.
Michigan's victory continues the impressive postseason. The Wolverines now beat the top 25 teams 7-2 in the NCAA tournament and 4: 0 in the College World Series in Omaha. As a result, the Wolverines have two attempts to win their third national title when they do Vanderbilt can beat again on Tuesday or Wednesday.