Matt Schmidt belted a two run homer in the ninth inning to lead the Michigan Wolverines to a dramatic 4-3 victory over defending national champion and No. 2 ranked Vanderbilt on Friday night in the college baseabll season opener in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Michigan broke a 1-1 deadlock in the seventh inning, but gave up a pair of runs to the top seeded Commodores in the bottom half of the inning to put them ahead, 3-2. Freshman Clark Elliot singled for the Wolverines in the top of the ninth, and scored when Schmidt belted the game winning home run. Click here for the box score.
Jeff Criswell, a solid draft prospect in his own right, drew the starting assignment for the Wolverines. He gave up three runs in 6 1⁄3 innings to log a quality start. Benjamin Keizer, a redshirt senior, pitched 1-2/3 innings of relief for Michigan and picked up the win. Isaiah Page slammed the door in the ninth despite hitting two batters to seal the victory for Michigan.
The venue for the season opener was Salt River Park in Scottsdale, Arizona, in the MLB4 Collegiate Tournament. The two teams faced each other in a rematch of the 2019 College World Series final, which was won by Vanderbilt. Michigan surprised the college baseball world by upsetting top ranked UCLA, among others, en route to the series final in Omaha. The Wolverines took the first game in a best-of-three series, but the Commodores took the last two to claim the title. The Wolverines opened the season ranked 13th in the nation despite many players graduating or being lost in the MLB draft.
The tournament features star players such as Arizona State’s Spencer Torkelson, who homered for the Sun Devils in the fourth inning of their 4-1 victory over Villanova. He and Vanderbilt shortstop Austin Martin, who drove in the first run of the game, are often mentioned as possible first overall selections by the Tigers in next June’s amateur player draft.
Michigan continues tournament play with a twin bill on Saturday, facing Cal Poly in the afternoon, and Arizona State in Phoenix at night (that second matchup is free to watch on Facebook Live). The Wolverines will be on the road to start the season, playing in Arizona, California, and Florida until they play their home opener on March 13 in Ann Arbor.
Here’s how some top MLB draft prospects performed on Friday:
Austin Martin, vs. Michigan: 0-4, RBI
Spencer Torkelson, vs. Villanova: 1-2, HR, R, RBI, 2 BB, SO
Nick Gonzales, vs. Texas Southern: 2-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, 4 RBI, BB
New Mexico State INF Nick Gonzales: 2-for-4, HR, 2B, 4 RBI, BB vs Texas Southern— Locked On Orioles (@LockedOnOrioles) February 15, 2020
Made some slick plays up the middle and rocked a 3-R HR to put the game away in the 8th
Highlights from @ColinDeaverTV: pic.twitter.com/GN0CqWZgdG
Emerson Hancock, vs. Richmond: 4.0 IP, 9 H, 6 ER, BB, 4 SO
Asa Lacy, vs. Miami (OH): 6.0 IP, 3 H, ER, 2 BB, 8 SO
Reid Detmers, vs. Ole Miss: 5.0 IP, 3 H, ER, 2 BB, 9 SO