A career effort by starting pitcher Karl Kauffmann and 14 runs on 14 hits pushed the No. 11-ranked University of Michigan baseball team to its 20th straight win on Sunday (April 22) as the Wolverines defeated Penn State, 14-2, to execute their sixth straight series sweep at the Wilpon Complex, home of Ray Fisher Stadium.
The win is Michigan’s 20th in a row and marks the program’s longest win streak since 1987. The streak is also tied for the third-longest in program history and stands as the second-longest active win streak in the NCAA.
The three-game sweep marks Michigan’s sixth series sweep this season, including the fourth in conference action. The Wolverines are also 11-0 in Big Ten play for the first time since 2008.
Kauffmann earned the win for the Wolverines with a career-high seven innings of work. He allowed just two hits and struck out a career-high 11 with one walk.
Michigan took an early lead in the bottom of the first inning with three runs on two walks, a base hit and two Penn State errors. Sophomore Christan Bullock and junior Jonathan Engelmann drew back-to-back walks, and an outfield single off the bat of Jesse Franklin allowed Bullock to score for a 1-0 lead. An error on the play pushed Engelmann to third and Franklin to second. A fielding error on the following play allowed Nelson to reach safely as Engelmann scored for a two-run lead. With Franklin on third and Nelson on first, a sacrifice fly from freshman Jordan Nwogu pushed Franklin home and put the Wolverines up, 3-0.
Nwogu put Michigan up by four with a solo home run in the bottom of the third inning, and the Wolverines extended their lead to 9-0 with five runs in the fourth. Redshirt freshman Harrison Salter led off the frame with a walk and took second on a failed pickoff attempt before a base hit from junior Ako Thomas gave Michigan runners on the corners. A walk to Bullock loaded the bases, and a two-run single off the bat of Engelmann gave U-M a six-run lead. With two men still on base, Franklin extended Michigan’s lead to nine with just one swing — a three-run home run over the right-field wall.
The Maize and Blue added five runs on six hits in the bottom of the sixth for a 14-0 lead. The two-out rally featured run-scoring hits from junior Blake Nelson, redshirt junior Miles Lewis, Salter and Thomas.
Michigan totaled 14 hits in the win, including homers from Franklin and Nwogu as well as a double from redshirt sophomore Joe Pace. Over the three games, the Wolverines outscored the Nittany Lions, 41-14.
Michigan (24-11) will return to action on Friday (April 27) when the Wolverines travel to Iowa City, Iowa, for a three-game set with the Iowa Hawkeyes. First pitch for Friday’s game is slated for 6:05 p.m. CDT.