College notes: Nike outfits UM baseball in pinstripes

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

Even though late owner George Steinbrenner was a noted Ohio State fan, the New York Yankees and the University of Michigan have a bit of a history, from Jim Abbott to Hal Morris, Steve Howe to Drew Henson.

And, of course, one of the most famous Yankees of them all, Derek Jeter, was all set to head to Ann Arbor — before the Yankees made him the sixth overall pick of the 1992 draft.

On Sunday afternoon, for a game against Army in Port St. Lucie, Fla., Michigan unveiled some alternate uniforms — and they had a distinct Yankees flavor. The white uniforms feature some slick-looking pinstripes, with a big, block, maize “M” placed over the left chest. Nike’s logo is on the right chest.

This is the first time Michigan has worn pinstripes since Nike became the school’s official outfitter, on Aug. 1, 2016.

A Michigan baseball spokesperson said the uniforms will be worn occasionally throughout the 2018 season, probably exclusively for home games from here on out.

The early reviews have been positive, with NCAA baseball asking on Twitter for a thumbs-up or thumbs-down. More than 85 percent of respondents gave the thumbs-up.

Michigan, which lost a ton of talent to the 2017 Major League Baseball draft but impressively restocked with one of the most acclaimed recruiting classes in Big Ten history, opened the season with two wins in the three-game series with Army. The series was at the spring-training home of the Mets, who are owned by Michigan alum Fred Wilpon.

It was a much tougher start to the season for Michigan State, which went 0-4 in the opening series at Fresno State. Same for Western Michigan, which lost all three to Purdue, and Eastern Michigan, which lost all four to Florida Gulf Coast.

Football fodder

Catching up on some football news:

■ With Kevin Johns leaving Western Michigan to become offensive coordinator at Texas Tech, Broncos coach Tim Lester promoted Jake Moreland from co-offensive coordinator to the only OC. Eric Evans is shifting from running-backs coach to pass-game coordinator and quarterbacks coach, with assistant head coach Terry Malone taking over running-backs duties. Also, Dontae Wright has been hired from Tennessee Tech to be co-special teams coordinator and safeties coach.

■ Former Kent State defensive coordinator Ben Needham has joined Eastern Michigan, as defensive-line coach. He replaces Chuck Bullough, who’s joined the staff at Michigan State.

■ Central Michigan still is looking to replace defensive-backs coach Archie Collins (Pittsburgh) and tight-ends coach/recruiting coordinator Sherrone Moore (Michigan).

■ Illinois defensive end Sean Adesanya, a graduate transfer, is committed to Central Michigan, CM Life reported.

This and that

■ It’s getting down to crunch time in hockey season, and several Michigan teams — including No. 15 Western Michigan, No. 17 Northern Michigan and No. 18 Michigan — are in contention to earn a spot in the 16-team NCAA Tournament field. The Wolverines probably did themselves a world of good Friday, beating top-ranked Notre Dame.

■ The Michigan women’s swimming and diving team captured its third consecutive Big Ten championship, with help from all corners — but especially sophomore Vanessa Krause, who set Big Ten, Big Ten Championships and Michigan records in winning the 200-yard butterfly in 1:53.44.

■ Props to Grand Valley State women’s basketball, which played a heckuva game Thursday before eventually falling to top-ranked Ashland, 96-90, in overtime in Allendale. That was Ashland’s 62nd victory in a row. Junior guard Natalie Koenig led Grand Valley with 26 points.

■ Former Pistons Rick Mahorn, James Edwards and Earl Cureton will headline the Horizon League’s annual Champions Brunch at Little Caesars Arena at 10 a.m. March 6. The event is open to the public, and costs $25 — which includes the meal, plus tickets to the men’s and women’s finals.

■ Oakland men’s basketball coach Greg Kampe earned his 600th Division I victory Friday night. He’s not the only Golden Grizzly to reach a milestone this year. Earlier this month, play-by-play Neal Ruhl broadcast his 300th Oakland game.