Big bats lift UM in NCAA regional opener
Louisville, Ky. — In the program's first NCAA Tournament game since 2008, the Michigan baseball team defeated Bradley, 10–5, Friday.
Fueled by runs in five innings, including a four-run second, the Wolverines (38-23) extended their win streak to six games in toppling the second-seeded Braves.
After going 1-2-3 in the top of the first inning and giving up a run in the bottom half, third-seeded Michigan was in danger of losing the momentum it had from last week's Big Ten Championship in its first game of NCAAs.
"We just had a couple of jitters out there," said starting pitcher Matt Ogden said. "A couple of fly balls got in the high sky and rattled us a little bit, but we did what we do best when we settled in after that. We knew there was a lot of game left."
Putting that in the front of their minds, the Wolverines bounced back right away in the top of the second inning.
Cleanup hitter Carmen Benedetti led the second inning off with a double down the left-field line, which was followed by an infield hit from designated hitter Cody Bruder.
A sacrifice bunt from Travis Maezes put two runners in scoring position with just one out, which Michigan would capitalize on, scoring both with a hit from Kevin White and sacrifice fly from Johnny Slater.
Senior catcher Kendall Patrick launched a line-drive two-run shot to left field to clear the bases and give UM a 4-1 lead.
With the run support, Ogden went 6-2/3 innings, allowing just five hits while striking out seven.
"It was a good way to start the tournament for us," Michigan coach Erik Bakich said. "We got a great start on the mound from Matt Ogden, just a quality performance. He settled in after that first inning where we had some jitters, and Matt just settled the game down and put a bunch of zeros up."
Ogden credited his catcher and coach.
"I just got out there and did what I've done all year, and attacked the zone, pitched to contact and let them get themselves out." Ogden said. "Kendall did a great job behind the plate and coach (Sean Kenny) called a good game. I was a little up to start the game, but settled in nicely. I had the mentality that even if I had my 'C' game, I'm going to beat their 'A' game."
Michigan would tack on two runs in the fourth and ninth, plus one in each the fifth and sixth. Bradley scored four times in the bottom of the ninth in a comeback attempt.
Patrick went 3-for-4 from the No. 9 spot with two home runs, a double and five RBIs.
At 4 p.m. today, Michigan will face No. 1 seed Louisville.
Louisville 7, Morehead State 2: Freshman Devin Hairston, the No. 8 hitter, had two singles, two doubles, scored twice and drove in a run for Louisville.
Logan Taylor added two RBIs for Louisville to back ace Kyle Funkhouser (8-5).
Where: Jim Patterson Stadium, Louisville, Ky.
At stake: Spot in best-of-three Super Regional against winner of Fullerton, Calif., regional
All games on ESPN3
Michigan 10, Bradley 5
Louisville 7, Morehead State 2
Game 3: Bradley vs. Morehead State, noon
Game 4: Michigan vs. Louisville, 4 p.m.
Game 5: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 loser, noon
Game 6: Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 4 p.m.
Game 7: Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, if necessary, 6 p.m.