Michigan to Take on Defending National Champion Oregon State in NCAA Super Regionals
June 5, 2007
Michigan became the first Big Ten team since 2003 to earn a bid to NCAA Super Regionals with a dramatic 10-inning 4-3 win over top-seeded Vanderbilt in the regional finals on Monday at VU's Hawkins Field in Nashville, Tenn.
The Wolverines and Commodores were tied, 3-3, through regulation until freshman pinch hitter Alan Oaks took Vanderbilt ace David Price deep to left field. The long ball was Oaks' second of the season and handed Price his first loss of the year.
Michigan junior Nate Recknagel was 3-for-5 with a home run in the game and was named the Nashville Regional's Most Valuable Player. The first baseman finished the four-game series with a .375 batting average (6-for-16), seven RBI, two home runs, a double, a triple and four runs scored.
The Wolverines reached the regional final following a 10-3 win over Memphis on Friday. The Wolverines then topped the Commodores, 4-3, on Saturday before falling in a 10-7 decision to Vanderbilt on Sunday.
U-M will face last year's NCAA Champion Oregon State in a best-of-three series at Goss Stadium at Coleman Field in Corvallis, Ore. Game 1 of the series is set to begin Saturday at 3 p.m. ET and will be televised live on ESPNU.
Michigan was one of three Big Ten squads to earn a berth into the NCAA Championship as Minnesota and Ohio State each saw their seasons end in regionals. The Golden Gophers suffered a 7-1 loss to Cal State Fullerton in Game 1, but came back on Saturday to eliminate host San Diego with a 6-5, 10-inning victory. Minnesota was knocked out of the postseason on Sunday with an 11-6 loss to Fresno State. Ohio State dropped its first contest in a 5-4 decision to Louisiana-Lafayette but responded with a 6-5, extra-inning win over Le Moyne in Game 2. The Buckeyes' season came to a halt on Sunday with a 10-4 defeat at the hands of regional host Texas A&M.
BIG TEN TEAMS IN THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP
Ohio State was the last Big Ten team to advance to super regionals when it did so in 2003. The Buckeyes swept through regionals, knocking off host Auburn before dropping its first two contests to Southwest Missouri State in the next round.
Michigan's super regional appearance marks the fourth for a Big Ten team since the NCAA Championship expanded to its current format in 1999. Ohio State reached the second round of competition in 1999 and 2003, while Penn State earned a bid in 2000.
The Wolverines last advanced to the Men's College World Series in 1984, which also marks the most recent appearance by any conference squad.
Michigan has the most NCAA Championship wins of any Big Ten team with a 59-37 record. Its .615 winning percentage in the national bracket is also the highest by any conference squad.
The 2007 NCAA invitation marked the 20th national championship appearance for Michigan in program history. The only Big Ten school with more NCAA appearances is Minnesota (28).
Big Ten teams have won the NCAA Baseball Championship on six occasions. Michigan has won the crown twice (1953, 1962), while Minnesota has the most titles (1956, 1960, 1964), and Ohio State owns one (1966).
NCAA SUPER REGIONAL SCHEDULE
Saturday, June 9
Sunday, June 10
Monday, June 11 (if necessary)
*Games played at Oregon State's Goss Stadium at Coleman Field; All times Eastern