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Michigan baseball falls short to Illinois, ending six game win streak

Michigan baseball snapped a six-game winning streak this Sunday but remains tied for first in the Big Ten standings at 5-1.



Michigan Baseball
@Adiel_Photography (Instagram)

ANN ARBOR, MI — All good things must come to an end. After a six-game win streak, Michigan baseball fell to Illinois, losing 1-11 this Sunday. The Wolverines still hold a 5-1 conference record and are tied for first with Indiana in the Big Ten standings. Michigan baseball started conference play with a three-game sweep of Penn State last weekend and followed it up by taking two of three games against Illinois. After a rough start to the Tracy Smith era in Ann Arbor, including losing 6 straight games earlier in the season, the Wolverines have begun to turn the ship around and are playing much better baseball as of late.

The season so far

With a current overall record of 15-11, Michigan baseball hasn’t been bad by any means. However, the Wolverines have suffered losses to Akron and Oakland which rank 200th and 252nd respectively in division one baseball according to the NCAA Baseball Rating Percentage Index (RPI). In addition, Michigan baseball has suffered blowout losses to powerhouses No. 17 UCLA, No. 10 TCU, No. 24 Texas Tech, and No. 14 Louisville.

Things were beginning to look bleak for the Wolverines before outscoring opponents 56-27 during their 6-game winning streak leading up to Sunday. While Michigan did lose to their rival the Michigan State Spartans back in February as part of the MLB Desert Invitational, it did not count against the Wolverines in the Big Ten standings.

While still early in the conference season, Michigan baseball sits tied at the top of the conference with a 5-1 mark, just ahead of Maryland (2-1) and Michigan State (4-2). The Wolverines are currently led offensively by Johnathan Kim (.455 average, 25 hits, 2 HRs, 15 RBIs), Joe Longo (.307 average, 23 hits, 3 HRs, 13 RBIs), and Mitch Voit (.293 average, 27 hits, 3 HRs, 18 RBIs).

On the mound, the Wolverines are led by junior Connor O’Halloran (5-1, 2.09 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 59 SO, 10 BB), and senior Noah Rennard (4-1, 3.34 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 32 SO, 11 BB). Two-way player Mitch Voit has also pitched in 9 games (2-0, 2.35 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 13 SO, 6 BB).

Looking Ahead

Michigan baseball will host a mid-week game against the Broncos of Western Michigan and then finish off the week with a three-game homestand against the Nebraska Cornhuskers. The Wolverines have six more series to go before the Big Ten tournament starts, including a non-conference weekend series at the end of the month against Oklahoma State. Michigan will play a home series against Michigan State and Northwestern, and a road series at Rutgers, Minnesota, and Ohio State.

Michigan baseball is coming off a season in which they won the Big Ten tournament, before falling in the NCAA regionals to Louisville. They will look to build on their success from last year with their hot start to the conference season.

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