SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — The No. 13 University of Michigan baseball team rallied from down one run in the eighth inning to win in breathtaking fashion, as senior Matthew Schmidt launched a go-ahead two-run home run in the ninth to secure a 4-3 victory over No. 2 Vanderbilt on Friday night (Feb. 14) at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.
After a quiet offensive game to start, the teams traded leads in the seventh inning, and Vanderbilt carried a 3-2 lead into the final frame. After freshman Clark Elliott knocked his first career hit to start a one-out rally, Schmidt hit his first career home run into the desert night to put Michigan ahead for good.
Senior pitcher Benjamin Keizer (1-0) picked up the victory out of the bullpen for Michigan (1-0). The left-hander went 1.2 shutout innings while giving up one hit and striking out two. Redshirt sophomore Isaiah Paige walked a tightrope in the ninth, but earned the save and the victory for the Wolverines.
Junior starter Jeff Criswell turned in a quality start for the Maize and Blue, throwing 6.1 innings, giving up three earned runs on two hits, with four walks and five strikeouts.
Schmidt's 2-for-4 day led the way for Michigan, adding a double to his home run. Freshman Jimmy Obertop furnished a noteworthy performance as well, going 1-for-3 with a double and a walk. Junior Jordan Nwogu also chipped for Michigan, putting together two hits in four trips to the plate.
The Wolverines trailed, 1-0, in the fourth inning when they put their first run on the board. Junior Joe Donovan came across to score the lone run of the inning on a Vanderbilt error to get Michigan on the board.
The game remained tied until the seventh inning, when the Wolverines got going again at the plate. Sophomore Riley Bertram started the inning by reaching on an error, was sacrificed to second by Elliott, and stole third moments later. Bertram scampered home to score on a wild pitch, which brought the Wolverines' lead to 2-1.
Vanderbilt struck back with two runs in the bottom of the seventh, setting the stage for Schmidt's ninth-inning heroics.
Michigan's first action Saturday (Feb. 15) will be against Cal Poly at 1 p.m. MST as part of the MLB4 Collegiate Tournament. The #BlueCrew will finish the day playing No. 9 Arizona State at Phoenix Municipal Stadium at 6 p.m. MST.