» Michigan never trailed in opening its season with a Big Ten Conference win.
» Jake Marti hit a two-run double on his first swing of the bat as a Wolverine.
» Benjamin Sems provided an insurance run with a ninth-inning RBI double.
» Willie Weiss struck out five batters in 2.1 innings of relief for the win.
Site: Round Rock, Texas (Dell Diamond)
Score: Michigan 4, Iowa 2
Records: U-M (1-0, 1-0 B1G), Iowa (0-1, 0-1 B1G)
Next U-M Event: Sunday, March 7 — vs. Iowa (Round Rock, Texas), 2 p.m. CST
ROUND ROCK, Texas — The University of Michigan baseball team opened its season with an impressive 4-2 victory over Iowa on Saturday night (March 6) at Dell Diamond.
Michigan (1-0, 1-0 Big Ten), ranked 21st by Baseball America and 18th by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the second. Benjamin Sems laced an opposite-field single to left and went to third on a Christan Bullock single that was rocketed past Iowa’s shortstop. Bullock took second on the throw, setting the tables for Jake Marti, who roped a two-run double inside the first-base bag on his first swing in a Michigan uniform.
Iowa (0-1, 0-1 Big Ten) struck back in its half of the inning with three straight hits, but U-M starting pitcher Steven Hajjar worked out of further trouble with his fourth strikeout of the night and a harmless flyout.
Hajjar cruised into the seventh inning with a low pitch-count, but the Hawkeyes tied the game against Michigan’s ace. With one out, Zeb Adreon singled softly to right and then stole second base. Matthew Sosa doubled home the tying run. Hajjar helped himself with a three-pitch strikeout, his eighth of the night, for the second out. U-M went to the bullpen in favor of Willie Weiss, who did exactly what was needed with a strikeout on a vicious slider to get out of the inning with the game tied.
Tito Flores started the eighth inning by rocketing a 2-1 fastball to left for a double. Sems laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt and Christian Molfetta laced a go-ahead RBI single up the middle. Bullock walked and both runners moved up on a passed ball before Marti drew a full-count walk to load the bases. Iowa went to the bullpen and closer Trace Hoffman limited the damage with a strikeout and groundout to keep the deficit at one, 3-2.
Michigan got a crucial insurance run in the top of the ninth inning with two outs. Flores rocketed another double to left field and came around when Sems went low in the zone on a 2-0 fastball and drove a double to the gap in left-center for a 4-0 lead.
The Wolverines leaned on Weiss (1-0), and the former freshman All-American responded in familiar fashion, striking out five of the seven outs he earned to collect the victory.
Newcomers to the starting lineup garnered six of Michigan’s eight hits, led by Flores’ two doubles. Sems and Bullock also had two hits. Despite the no-decision, Hajjar was impressive in his debut, throwing 6.2 innings in which he struck out eighth, walked one and allowed six hits.
Michigan and Iowa will continue the series Sunday with a 2 p.m. CST start in the first game of a doubleheader. Both games of the twinbill will be streamed live on Big Ten Network Plus.