2007 Big Ten Baseball Season in Review
July 5, 2007
Michigan became the first Big Ten team since 2003 to advance to NCAA Super Regionals, but the Wolverines saw their postseason cut short, dropping two games to defending national champion Oregon State, the eventual winner of the 2007 Men's College World Series.
One of three conference teams to earn a bid to the NCAA Championship, Michigan pulled off an upset over top-ranked Vanderbilt in the regional finals when a solo home run off the bat of freshman Alan Oaks broke a 4-4 tie in the 10th inning. The long ball was Oaks' second of the season and came at the expense of Commodore ace David Price, the first overall selection in the 2007 MLB draft.
In Game 1 of super-regional action, Michigan sophomore Zach Putnam held the Beavers hitless through 8.2 innings, but an RBI single in the ninth was all Oregon State needed to earn the 1-0 win and take a one-game lead in the best-of-three series. Wolverine pitching struggled in Game 2, giving up eight runs as U-M saw its season end with an 8-2 loss. Michigan senior Eric Rose belted solo home runs in his final two collegiate at-bats to provide the Wolverines' only offense.
The regional title was the first for the Wolverines since 1984 when they advanced to the World Series, which also marks the most recent appearance by any Big Ten team. The conference had not advanced a team to super regionals since 2003 when Ohio State swept through the Auburn Region.
Michigan received an at-large bid into the NCAA Championship after posting a 39-16 record in the regular season. The Wolverines compiled a 21-7 conference mark to earn the Big Ten regular-season title. Minnesota finished second in the conference standings and compiled an overall mark of 40-16 to earn its conference-leading 28th NCAA invitation. Ohio State earned its national bid after becoming the first six seed in history to win the Big Ten Tournament, automatically qualifying for NCAAs. Three teams marked the most conference representatives to the national championship since 2000.
Michigan finished the year ranked No. 20 in the final National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) poll, marking the highest end-of-season placement for a Big Ten team since Ohio State came in at No. 17 following the 2003 season. The Buckeyes and Golden Gophers each received votes outside the top 30 in this year's final edition.