Michigan jumps to No. 1 in Baseball America rankings for first time

The Detroit News

Michigan baseball coach Erik Bakich promised everyone last month his Wolverines weren't a top 10 team "coming out of the snow in February."

It turns out the Michigan actually might be better than that.

Jeff Criswell and Michigan are ranked No. 1 for the first time in Baseball America's 40-year history.

A 3-1 weekend, including a victory over defending national champion Vanderbilt, has Michigan No. 1 in this week's Baseball America Top 25, released Monday. It's the first time in the publication's 40-year history the Wolverines are ranked No. 1, and the first time a Big Ten team has topped the rankings.

Michigan was No. 8 in Baseball America's preseason rankings.

Michigan's weekend trip to the Phoenix area included a 4-3 victory over Vanderbilt to open the season, behind Matt Schmidt's two-run blast in the top of the ninth inning. It also included a 5-0 victory Saturday night over Arizona State behind a combined five-hit shutout from Steve Hajjar and Jack White. The Commodores and Sun Devils are Nos. 5 and 8, respectively, in this week's Baseball America rankings.

"With two wins away from home against teams that began the season ranked in the top three of the rankings," Baseball America writes, "the Wolverines had the most impressive weekend of any team in the nation."

The Wolverines' only loss was 7-1 on Sunday to Connecticut. Those two teams play again Friday, Saturday and Sunday in Port St. Lucie, Florida.

"Even with a weekend-capping loss to Connecticut, Michigan left the biggest impression of any team on Opening Weekend," Baseball America writes. "The clear highlight was Friday’s win over Vanderbilt ... but what they did on Saturday might be more impressive. After taking care of Cal Poly (8-5) at Talking Stick in the afternoon, they bussed to Phoenix Municipal Stadium to play a road game against No. 3 Arizona State."