Recap: Michigan defeats Vanderbilt 7-4, one win from CWS title

Nolan Bianchi
The Detroit News

The Michigan Wolverines are one win away from an NCAA baseball title after defeating Vanderbilt 7-4 to open the best-of-three College World Series.

Michigan pitcher Tommy Henry was lights out Monday night in Omaha, going 8 1/3 innings with seven hits, three earned runs and eight strikeouts.

Jimmy Kerr had a two-run home run in the seventh inning, Joe Donovan was 2-for-4 with a home run and two runs scored, Jordan Brewer was 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored and Blake Donovan had three hits for Michigan.

Michigan's Joe Donovan (0) celebrates with Ako Thomas (4) after hitting a home run against Vanderbilt during the eighth inning in Game 1.

9th inning

Top 9th

Christan Bullock smacks a pitch into centerfield and somehow makes it to second base. Every player in Michigan's starting nine has at least one hit. 

Jack Blomgren singles on a bunt to third base that's unable to be fielded by Austin Martin. Runners are at the corners with no outs. 

Patrick Raby then gets Joe Donovan and Ako Thomas to strike out swinging. Jordan Nwogu lines out to end the inning.

End T9: Michigan 7, Vanderbilt 3 

Bottom 9th

Pat DeMarco doubles to start the ninth inning. Jimmy Kerr makes a terrific play on a dribbler to first and throws out Stephen Scott. One out.

Jeff Criswell is in to relieve Tommy Henry.

Henry: 8 1/3 IP, 110 P, 7 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K

Harrison Ray flies out to centerfield, scoring DeMarco. Criswell gets Ty Duvall to ground out to short, and this thing is all over.

FINAL: Michigan 7, Vanderbilt 4

8th inning: Henry locks it down late

Top 8th

Patrick Raby has entered the game for Zach King.

King: 1 1/3 IP, 23 P, 3 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3K

Raby's first batter, Joe Donovan, take him deep to left field. Michigan has a 7-3 lead.

Ako Thomas walks on five pitches. Jordan Nwogu singles to left. Raby will get a visit from the pitching coach.

Jesse Franklin strikes out swinging. One out, runners at first and second. Jordan Brewer then walks to load the bases.

Jimmy Kerr pops it up in foul territory. It's easily handled. Two down.

Blake Nelson fouls out to end the inning.

End T8 : Michigan 7, Vanderbilt 3

Bottom 8th

Tommy Henry walks Austin Martin on four straight to start the inning. He bounces back by striking out JJ Bleday.

Ethan Paul hits an 0-2 single. Martin tries for third, but Jordan Brewer says 'not in my kitchen' and puts it on a rope to the third baseman. Two outs, a runner on first.

Henry paints the corner to end the inning. The boys are fired up.

End B8: Michigan 7, Vanderbilt 3

7th inning: Kerr throws counterpunch, grows Wolverine lead

Top 7th

Jordan Brewer beats out a dribbler to shortstop by half of a hair. The umpires review it and uphold the call. 

And that's a good thing for Michigan, because Jimmy Kerr promptly sends a hanging slider way outta this ballpark to give the Wolverines a 6-3 lead.

Blake Nelson keeps the momentum rolling for Michigan with a single on the next pitch.

Christan Bullock then struck out swinging, Nelson stole second, and then stole third on a throwing error. Jack Blomgren grounds out to end the inning.

End T7: Michigan 6, Vanderbilt 3

Bottom 7th

Tommy Henry is out to lead Michigan into the seventh. He's at 78 pitches.

Harrison Ray starts the inning with a groundout to third base. Ty Duvall then flies out to left. Henry gets Julian Infante to pop out to end the inning, and the Wolverines are six outs away from a 1-0 lead.

End B7: Michigan 6, Vanderbilt 3

6th inning: Vanderbilt pulls within a run

Top 6th

Christan Bullock is struck out looking to start the inning. That's seven strikeouts for Drake Fellows.

Austin Martin is unable to field a dribbler by Jack Blomgren. Runners are at first and second with no outs. Blomgren then advances on a wild pitch.

Joe Donovan flies out to center. Ako Thomas walks on five pitches. Reliever Zach King has entered the game for Fellows.

Fellows: 5 2/3 IP, 114 P, 7 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 7 K

King fights back from a 3-0 count to eventually strike out Jordan Nwogu.

End T6: Michigan 4, Vanderbilt 2

Bottom 6th

JJ  Bleday blasts a first-pitch home run off Tommy Henry. The Commodores have pulled within a run.

Ethan Paul grounds out to second for the first out of the inning. Philip Clarke then flies out to right field, pushing Jordan Brewer to the warning track.

Pat DeMarco grounds to short, but Blomgren's rushed through sails to the left of first baseman Jimmy Kerr. One on with two outs.

DeMarco advances to second on a passed ball and then advances to third the same way on the next pitch.

Henry strikes out Stephen Scott to end the inning.

End B6: Michigan 4, Vanderbilt 3

5th inning: Pitchers flexing muscles in middle innings

Top 5th

Jordan Brewer strikes out swinging to start the inning. Jimmy Kerr flies out to left the very next pitch and Blake Nelson ends the inning with another strikeout. 

End T5: Michigan 4, Vanderbilt 2

Bottom 5th

Tommy Henry gets Ty Duvall to ground out to short. He then strikes out Julian Infante and gets Austin Martin to ground out to short again.

End B5: Michigan 4, Vanderbilt 2

4th inning: Both teams threaten, can't capitalize

Top 4th

Jack Blomgren reaches first on a dribbler that Vanderbilt third baseman Austin Martin is unable to make a play on. Joe Donovan advances him with a single in the following at-bat. 

Ako Thomas advances both runners with a sacrifice bunt. Runners on second and third, one out.

Nwogu grounds out to the pitcher after a nine-pitch at-bat. The runners stay put. 

Drake Fellows strands the runners by getting Jesse Franklin to ground out to second. He gets out of the inning at 89 pitches.

End T4: Michigan 4, Vanderbilt 2

Bottom 4th

Philip Clarke grounds out to second base to start the inning. Pat DeMarco reaches via hit by pitch. He's on first with one out.

Stephen Scott flies out to dead center. Harrison Ray grounds out to end the inning.

End T4: Michigan 4, Vanderbilt 2

3rd inning: Scoreless inning follows 4-run second

Top 3rd

Drake Fellows strikes out Jimmy Kerr, Blake Nelson and Christan Bullock to quickly escape from the third inning.

End T3: Michigan 4, Vanderbilt 2

Bottom 3rd

Austin Martin is aboard to start the inning with a single to left center. JJ Bleday fouls out on the next pitch. One out, one on.

Ethan Paul grounds a ball up the middle that's taken for a double play.

End B3: Michigan 4, Vanderbilt 2

2nd inning: Each team scores a pair, Michigan leads 4-2

Top 2nd

Jack Blomgren draws Michigan a leadoff walk for the second time in as many innings. He then advances to second on a passed ball as Joe Donovan eventually reaches on a seven-pitch walk. Runners on first and second. No outs.

Ako Thomas rips a two-strike double down the left-field line, scoring Blomgren and advancing Donovan to third. Jordan Nwogu grounds out to third, preventing any runners from advancing. One away, runners on second and third.

Jesse Franklin grounds out to shortstop, allowing Donovan to get in from third. It's 4-0, Michigan.

Jordan Brewer lines out to end the inning.

End T2: Michigan 4, Vanderbilt 0

Bottom 2nd

Philip Clarke singles to lead off the inning. Tommy Henry bounces back nicely by striking out Pat DeMarco in four pitches.

Stephen Scott is then struck out swinging. Two outs, man on first.

Harrison Ray reaches by ripping a ball down the third baseline, which Blake Nelson is able to stop, but not make a play on. Runners on first and second.

Ty Duvall is able to avoid some terrific pitches outside and eventually knocks home Clarke with a two-out single. A pitch then passes Joe Donovan and Ray scores from second. It's 4-2.

Henry strikes out Julian Infante to retire the side.

End B2: Michigan 4, Vanderbilt 2

1st inning: Michigan takes 2-0 lead

Top 1st

Drake Fellows walks Jordan Nwogu in five pitches to start the game. Jesse Franklin singles to center, which Nwogu gets a jump on and decides to go do third. He's thrown out by Pat Demarco, though replay suggest otherwise. 

Franklin is on second with one out. Jordan Brewer ropes a 3-1 pitch opposite field, scoring Franklin with an RBI double.

Jimmy Kerr strikes out swinging. Two outs. 

Blake Nelson rips a pitch into left, scoring Brewer, who got a great jump, with ease. It's 2-0, Wolverines.

Christan Bullock pops up in the infield to end the inning.

End T1: Michigan 2, Vanderbilt 0 

Bottom 1st

Tommy Henry retires Austin Martin via a groundout to third. JJ Bleday then grounds out to Jimmy Kerr at first. Ethan Paul is struck out swinging, and Henry is out of the first inning in seven pitches.

End B1: Michigan 2, Vanderbilt 0


Michigan takes on Vanderbilt in Game 1 of the best-of-three College World Series championship finals. You can follow the action here with live updates throughout the game by Nolan Bianchi of The Detroit News.


When: Monday, 7 p.m.

Where: TD Ameritrade Park, Omaha, Neb.

Records: Michigan 49-20, Vanderbilt 57-11

Series: Michigan leads 23-18-1



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