Following a four-hour, 18-minute weather delay, the University of Michigan baseball team clinched its 17th straight win on Saturday evening (April 15) with a 6-3 victory over Maryland in the second and final game of the weekend series at the Wilpon Complex, home of Ray Fisher Stadium.
Michigan has now won 17 games in a row, which marks a new record under head coach Erik Bakich and is tied for the program’s longest win streak since 1988, when the Wolverines won 18 straight. The series sweep is also Michigan’s fifth straight.
The Wolverines and Terrapins were originally scheduled to play a three-game series over three days at the Wilpon Complex, but inclement weather on Saturday (April 14) forced the postponement of the second game. The teams were then set to play a doubleheader on Sunday, but the rain delay forced the cancellation of the final game of the series.
When play finally began, Maryland struck first with a solo home run in the top of the second inning to take its first lead of the series, but Michigan answered with four runs in the bottom of the frame to go ahead, 4-1.
Redshirt junior Miles Lewis got the inning started with a leadoff single, and back-to-back walks to senior Brock Keener and freshman Jack Blomgren loaded the bases with no outs. A walk to junior Ako Thomas pushed home Lewis to tie the score, and an RBI groundout from sophomore Christan Bullock scored Keener for a 2-1 Michigan lead. With runners on second and third, junior Jonathan Engelmann followed with a double to the right-field corner to put the Wolverines up, 4-1.
Michigan added a run in the bottom of the fifth on back-to-back doubles from junior Blake Nelson and freshman Jesse Franklin, who tacked on one more in the bottom of the seventh on a solo homer — his sixth of the year.
The Terrapins scored a run in the sixth and eighth innings, but a travel deadline ended the game in the middle of the eighth with Michigan on top, 6-3.
Freshman starter Ben Dragani earned the win to improve to 4-0 on the season after tossing six innings and surrendering two runs on six hits. He tied his career high with six strikeouts before Michigan’s usual Sunday starter Karl Kauffmann came in for relief.
Junior reliever William Tribucher also appeared on the mound for the Wolverines and picked up his fourth save of the year as he recorded the final out in the top of the eighth.
Michigan totaled eight hits in the win. The Wolverines also walked seven times and swiped two bases.
The Wolverines (21-11) will return to play on Friday (April 20) when they open up a Big Ten weekend series with Penn State. First pitch for the series opener is scheduled for 4 p.m. at the Wilpon Complex, home of Ray Fisher Stadium.