Anthony Fenech and Adam Sparks preview the best-of-three Michigan-Vanderbilt national championship series from Omaha, Neb.
Adam Sparks, USA TODAY NETWORK – TennesseeDetroit Free Press sports writers and Nashville Tennessean sports writers predict Michigan baseball’s College World Series finals matchup against Vanderbilt. The best-of-three series starts Monday at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Nebraska: Matchup: Michigan Wolverines (49-20) vs. Vanderbilt Commodores (57-11).TV schedule: Game 1 – Monday, 7 p.m., ESPN; Game 2 – 7 p.m., ESPN; Game 3 – Wednesday, 7 p.m., ESPN (if necessary).More: Michigan vs. Vanderbilt in College World Series finals: Scouting reportAnthony FenechI’m not picking against Vanderbilt. This might be Tim Corbin’s best team, and Michigan’s margin for error will be significantly slimmer than previous games. The Wolverines are on their way, but they’re not deep enough yet to beat a team like the Commodores on the biggest stage.Champion: Vanderbilt, in two games. More: Why Bill Freehan’s No. 11 means so much in College World SeriesShawn WindsorMight as well continue the story. Might as well book the Wolverines to knock off another higher-seeded foe. Vanderbilt’s lineup is stacked, it has arguably the sport’s best pitcher and a bevy of pros. It won’t matter.Champion: Michigan, in three games.Joe RexrodeAutoplayShow ThumbnailsShow CaptionsLast SlideNext SlideIt’s the best team against the team playing the best. Vanderbilt should win because it has the scariest lineup in the sport, a commanding closer in Tyler Brown and three starters – Drake Fellows, Kumar Rocker, Mason Hickman – who have all turned in gems in Omaha. But Michigan isn’t just an underdog riding a wave. Tim Corbin understudy Erik Bakich has a terrific rotation led by lefty Tommy Henry. And the Wolverines are hitting everything, especially when it matters. This should be good.Champion: Vanderbilt, in three games.More: Meet the ‘odd couple’ that put Michigan baseball on brink of a titleAdam SparksVanderbilt touts more talent. But Michigan is on a magical run, and don’t forget it beat No. 1 overall seed UCLA in a best-of-three series to get to Omaha. The scariest game for the Commodores may be the first one because they’ll have to beat lefty Tommy Henry, a second-round MLB draft pick. If Vanderbilt can hit its way into Michigan’s bullpen, it will win the national title.Champion: Vanderbilt, in three games.More: Tim Corbin: Without Michigan’s Erik Bakich, there isn’t Vanderbilt baseballCLOSE
Jordan Brewer on Michigan baseball’s mindset in CWS finals, and what the run to the title series has done for university and program, June 23, 2019.
Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press