Los Angeles — Karl Kauffman and Jeff Criswell combined on a four-hitter, helping Michigan beat No. 1 national seed UCLA 3-2 Friday night in the opening game of the Los Angeles Super Regional.
Kauffman (10-6), a junior right-hander who was selected No. 77 overall in the Major League Baseball draft by the Colorado Rockies on Monday, allowed one hit and one walk through eight innings before Criswell came on to hold off UCLA in the bottom of the ninth.
The Wolverines (45-19), making their first super regional appearance since 2007, are one win from returning to the College World Series for the first time since 1984.
Kauffmann issued a leadoff walk and gave up two infield singles to load the bases in the ninth. Michael Toglia, the No. 23 overall pick in the MLB draft, singled to right to cut the lead to 3-2. Criswell came on and got Jake Pries to pop out and strike out Jack Stronach to end the game.
“This team is built for three games,” Kauffmann said. “We have a great starting staff and bullpen. And our offense, when we’re rolling, it’s something special. Getting that first win, keep building on the confidence, that’s big for us.”
Jesse Franklin hit a two-out, two-run single to open the scoring in the third inning, and Jordan Nwogu’s sacrifice fly put the Wolverines up 3-0 in the eighth.
Previously unbeaten Pac-12 pitcher of the year Ryan Garcia (10-1) allowed three runs — two earned — on five hits with eight strikeouts over 7 2/3 innings.
Los Angeles Super Regional
At Jackie Robinson Stadium; best-of-three
MICHIGAN (45-19) VS. UCLA (51-10)
Friday: Michigan 3, UCLA 2
Saturday: 9, ESPN2
Sunday, if necessary: 9, ESPN2