Hot Bats Lead Michigan Past Michigan State

April 18, 2017

» Johnny Slater tied a career high with four hits, all of which were doubles, and batted in four runs, while Ako Thomas went 4-for-5 with two RBI.
» Eight of Michigan's starters got a hit as the Wolverines tied a team season high with 17 hits.
» Michigan is now 15-0 when leading after the first inning, and the Wolverines have won five straight.

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Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Wilpon Complex)
Score: #13 Michigan 12, Michigan State 4
Records: Michigan (30-7), MSU (20-13)
Next U-M Event: Friday, April 21 -- vs. Indiana (Wilpon Complex), 6 p.m.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Backed by four hits apiece from sophomore Ako Thomas and senior Johnny Slater, the No. 13-ranked University of Michigan baseball team combined for 17 hits and scored in five separate innings to defeat Michigan State by a score of 12-4 on Tuesday (April 18) at the Wilpon Complex, home of Ray Fisher Stadium.

Michigan State jumped on the board early, plating a run in the top of the first for an early lead. Michigan responded, however, in the bottom of the frame with two runs on three hits. Thomas and Slater led off the rally with back-to-back doubles, quickly tying the score at 1-1, and an RBI sac fly from senior Michael Brdar allowed Slater to score for a one-run Michigan lead.

After a scoreless second, Michigan added a run in the bottom of the third as Slater got things going with a two-out double, and Brdar drove him in with an RBI single up the middle.

Michigan State rallied for three runs in the top of the fifth to force a 4-3 lead, but Michigan tied the game in the bottom of the same inning as senior Harrison Wenson scored on another sac fly from Brdar.

With the score tied 4-4, Michigan held the Spartans scoreless in the top of the sixth and returned in the bottom of the inning to rally for four runs and force a defining lead. Junior Jake Bivens led off the inning with a single to left field and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Bivens then took third on an outfield single by Nick Poirier and scored as sophomore Jonathan Engelmann knocked in the eventual game-winning run with an RBI groundout. A walk to Wenson and an RBI single by Thomas extended the Wolverines' lead to 6-4, but Slater cleared the bases with his third double of the game to push Michigan ahead, 8-4.

The Maize and Blue added four more runs in the following inning on RBI from Engelmann, Thomas and Slater, and after scoreless eighth and ninth innings, the Wolverines took home the 12-4 victory.

Michigan is now 15-0 when leading after the first inning, and the Wolverines have now won five straight.

Overall, Michigan rallied for 17 hits in the win, tying a season high previously set last weekend against then-No. 18 Oklahoma. Slater finished the day with a career-high four hits, all of which were doubles, and Thomas ended the day four-for-five and extended his reached-base streak to 37 games. All but one starter recorded a hit in the effort.

Junior Michael Hendrickson started on the mound for Michigan, tossing four complete innings before exiting the game. He allowed just three hits in the outing with one strikeout. Following his departure, the Michigan bullpen allowed just one run on one hit through the remaining five innings. The relievers combined to strike out seven batters, and freshman lefty Tommy Henry was credited with the win in the effort. Senior righty Mac Lozer also appeared for the Wolverines in the eighth, making his 87th career appearance and moving up in Michigan's record books to second all-time.

Tweet of the Day

The No. 13-ranked Wolverines return to play on Friday (April 21) when they start a three-game Big Ten Conference series with Indiana. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Wilpon Complex, home of Ray Fisher Stadium. [ Tickets ]

Communications Contact: Katie Gwinn Hewitt

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