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It's been a pretty darn good few days for Michigan baseball.

Over the weekend, the Washington Nationals called up pitcher James Bourque (and his epic mustache), marking the first Wolverine drafted in the Erik Bakich era to make it to the major leagues. That's out of 25 players drafted, and counting.

Then, on Monday, Michigan barely had to wait a few minutes into the NCAA selection show to learn it was going dancing.

Michigan (41-18), the Big Ten runner-up, is in the NCAA Tournament for the third time in five years and is heading to the regional hosted by defending national champion Oregon State. Central Michigan (46-12), the Mid-American Conference regular-season and tournament champion, is off to the Mississippi State regional.

"This is what you train for," said Bakich, who is in his seventh season as head coach at Michigan. "For every kid who plays Division I baseball, the pinnacle of college baseball is to get to Omaha (the College World Series). It's the reason I coach.

"Every single minute of every day that you invest into trying to have the best team, the best program, is for these opportunities.

"It's bigger than anything else.

Michigan, which made the semifinals of the Big Ten tournament, will open the NCAA Tournament against Creighton (38-11), the champion out of the Big East, at 4 Friday. Oregon State (36-18-1), the No. 16 seed in the nation, will open against Cincinnati (30-29) at 10 Friday.

Creighton is one of three Division I baseball programs from the state of Nebraska, all of which made the NCAA Tournament.

Creighton, of course, is Bakich's focus, and not Oregon State, which just so happens to be led by junior catcher Adley Rutschman, the presumptive No. 1 pick in next month's MLB Draft whom some call baseball's best prospect since Bryce Harper.

"We played a couple years ago," Bakich said of Creighton. "Just a tough, hard-nosed scrappy program. Their kids play hard.

"We've got our hands full."

Michigan still is waiting on a health update on junior center fielder Jordan Brewer, the Big Ten player of the year who missed the final two games of the Big Ten tournament because of a turf-toe flare-up.

Brewer could hardly put any weight on his right leg late in the tournament. He's been dealing with the injury for more than a month.

"I don't know if we can give him the amount of rest he actually needs," Bakich said. "Hopefully, he's good enough to go. If not, we've got some very capable guys right behind him that played well in the outfield over the weekend.

Junior right-hander Karl Kauffmann, a former Birmingham Brother Rice standout, will get the ball for Michigan in Game 1. He's 8-6 with a 2.86 ERA this season.

As for Central Michigan, riding an 18-game winning streak, the Chippewas will open their first NCAA appearance since 1995 in Starkville, Miss., against Miami (Fla.), which is 39-18. They play at 8 Friday. On the other side of the pod, Mississippi State (46-13), the nation's No. 6 seed, plays Southern (32-22) at 1 Friday.

The Chippewas, the lone representative out of the low-RPI MAC, are back in the NCAA Tournament under first-year head coach Jordan Bischel, who came over from Northwood. It's Central Michigan's 12th appearance ever.

Both Michigan and Central Michigan were No. 3 seeds in their four-team pods.

The Big Ten landed five teams, including tournament champion Ohio State, regular-season champion Indiana, Nebraska and Illinois — so the Wolverines know they're plenty battle-tested.

"Every time there's a regional or tournament, you're looking at breaking it up into one game at a time," said Bakich, whose team will fly out to Corvallis, Ore., on Wednesday, practice Thursday, and then play Friday. "Right now, it's the Creighton regional. That's where our focus is and zeroed and lasered in on.

"We're trying to stay in that winner's bracket, but Creighton is a great team, a great program, and one of the best teams in the Midwest. They streamrolled the Big East."

The top eight seeds in position to host both regionals and Super Regionals are No. 1 UCLA (47-8), followed by Vanderbilt (49-10), Georgia Tech (41-17), Georgia (44-15), Arkansas (41-17), Mississippi State (46-13), Louisville (43-15) and Texas Tech (39-17).

Corvallis Regional

At Goss Stadium, Corvallis, Ore.

FRIDAY

Game 1: Michigan (41-18) vs. Creighton (38-11), 4 p.m.

Game 2: Cincinnati (30-29) vs. Oregon State (36-18-1), 10 p.m.

SATURDAY

Game 3: Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser

Game 4: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner

SUNDAY

Game 5: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 loser

Game 6: Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner

MONDAY

Game 7: Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner (if necessary)

Starkville Regional

At Dudy Noble Field, Starkville, Miss.

FRIDAY

Game 1: Southern (32-22) vs. Mississippi State (46-13), 1 p.m.

Game 2: Central Michigan (46-12) vs. Miami (39-18), 8 p.m.

SATURDAY

Game 3: Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser

Game 4: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner

SUNDAY

Game 5: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 loser

Game 6: Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner

MONDAY

Game 7: Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner (if necessary)

tpaul@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @tonypaul1984

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