UM Baseball: Wolverines win 20th game in a row, longest since 1987

Michigan beats Delaware in baseball, 6-2, Friday, March 30, 2018, at Ray Fisher Stadium.
 

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.

Penn State plated runs in the seventh and ninth innings, but relievers Troy Miller and Angelo Smith closed out the game for Michigan to clinch the 14-2 victory and execute the series sweep.

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.

 

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