Michigan Athletics/MGoBlue.com
Johnny Slater (25) is congratulated after hitting a home run against Northwestern.

Michigan baseball drops Big Ten tourney opener as Northwestern rallies, tennis gets 2 wins at NCAA championships and more

Kevin Goheen

Wake up, University of Michigan fans, and welcome to Breakfast of Victors, Land of 10’s daily morning briefing of Wolverines athletics. We’ll get your weekdays started with all the latest Michigan news, notes and insights. Our goal is to bring you closer to the Maize and Blue, your favorite team.

Today is Thursday, May 25, 2017, and here’s your Breakfast of Victors…


Jackson Lamb hadn’t allowed a run all season but that changed Wednesday. Now, Michigan will have to come out of the losers’ bracket in the Big Ten Tournament.

The Wolverines, the No. 2 seed, led No. 7 Northwestern 4-3 entering the top of the ninth inning at Indiana’s Bart Kaufman Field, but the Wildcats rallied for three runs and the 6-4 victory, Lamb allowed 2 singles and a walk to the only three batters he faced before coach Erik Bakich replaced him with Will Tribucher, who got out of the inning but not undamaged.

Michigan (42-14) will face host Indiana, a 5-4 loser to Minnesota in its opening game, Thursday at 10 a.m. in an elimination game. Win and the Wolverines keep playing, but a loss will leave them waiting for the NCAA Tournament selection show on Monday.

“We’ve been really good at the end of the game for a long time now,” Bakich said. “Fifty-some-odd games where we’ve been pretty consistent that way, so I look at this as just a hiccup, just a fluke, just a speed bump. Our guys have responded every time they’ve gotten knocked down all season. They’ll respond [Thursday].”

Junior RHP Ryan Nutof gave up 3 runs on 6 hits in 6 1/3 innings, striking out a career-high 10 batters without a walk. Michigan was down 3-1 in the third inning but Nutof settled down and let the offense come back. Johnny Slater hit a solo home run in the third inning, and then doubles by Jonathan Engelmann and Ako Thomas keyed a two-run rally in the fifth inning that gave Michigan the lead.

Senior shortstop Michael Brdar was 2-for-4 at the plate and also made 5 assists on putouts, including a pair of that made the highlights.

NCAA tennis

Sophomores Brienne Minor and Kate Fahey won their first-round matches at the NCAA tennis championships Wednesday at the University of Georgia. Fahey beat Jessie Aney of North Carolina 6-1, 6-2, while Minor rallied after losing the first set for a 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 win against Sinead Lohan of Miami (Fla.). Lohan beat Minor in the first round of the singles tournament last year.

Minor will face Gabriela Talaba of Texas Tech in Thursday’s second round, while Fahey takes on No. 8 seed Viktoriya Lushkova of Oklahoma State. The winners advance to the round of 16 on Friday.

Fahey also is competing in the doubles competition with Alex Najarian. They face Brooke Austin and Kourtney Keegan of Florida in the first round Thursday at 5:30 p.m.

Connor Johnston and Jathan Malik are in the men’s doubles bracket. The duo takes on TCU’s Jerry Lopez and Reese Stalder Thursday at 3:30 p.m. in the first round.

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