Michigan puts Big Ten baseball back on map at College World Series

first_imgThe 1953 and 1962 Michigan teams did, and they went on to win the next game en route to the national championship. The Wolverines have accounted for two of the Big Ten’s six baseball national championships, and for the moment this team has put the rest of the field on notice, even if there’s a long way to go.  The Big Ten might not be in this position often.  But Michigan looks comfortable in these surroundings. MORE: College World Series scores, bracket, TV schedule”I was pretty nervous,” Henry said on the ESPN telecast afterward. “For the first batter, my legs were shaking. I’m not going to lie. But you settle in, trust the guys behind you, trust your team, trust your coaches. Then you get comfortable out there.”  Henry looked comfortable, and so did his teammates. Christian Bullock made a leaping catch in the sixth inning; a catch in which half his hand was outside the glove. Second baseman Ako Thomas made a diving stop in the ninth inning to prevent a Seminoles’ rally.  Michigan looks comfortable on the College World Series stage – and considering it’s a Big Ten school that’s something worth taking stock in heading into the winner’s bracket final Thursday. Considering half of the field consisted of SEC teams, this is a win the conference should take.   This does not happen often. The Wolverines are making the 30th College World Series appearance by a school that currently plays in the Big Ten. Michigan became the first Big Ten team since Ohio State in 1966 to win its first two games in the winner’s bracket at the College World Series.  Here is a look at the short list of Big Ten teams to win their first two games at the College World Seres:  YEARSCHOOL1950Rutgers**1952Penn State**1953Michigan*1954Michigan State1956Minnesota*1957Penn State**1960Minnesota*1962Michigan*1964Minnesota*1965Ohio State1966Ohio State*2019Michigan*Denotes eventual national champion  **Denotes was not a Big Ten member at the time   Michigan, of course, is quickly becoming the story of this tournament after knocking off top seed UCLA in the Super Regionals. They have continued that momentum with victories against Texas Tech and Florida State at the College World Series, and they will be able to use Henry again at some point in the tournament. Program legends such as Jim Abbott have taken notice.  Absolute gem on the biggest of stages. This team man, this team. @umichbaseball #GoBlue— Jim Abbott (@jabbottum31) June 18, 2019​The Wolverines reached the College World Series five times between 1978-84, and they won four games through those appearances. The 1983 team that featured Barry Larkin and Chris Sabo made it to the semifinals. None of those teams won their first two games.  Michigan ace Tommy Henry made the headlines with a three-hit shutout in a 2-0 victory against Florida State in the second round of the College World Series on Monday.  Henry, who was taken by the Arizona Diamondbacks with the No. 74 pick in the 2019 MLB Draft, finished with 10 strikeouts, but afterward was quick to deflect the credit to his teammates.  last_img

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