Michigan linebacker Mike McCray now the old guy, baseball beats Oklahoma and more
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 Friday, April 14, 2017, and here’s your Breakfast of Victors …
Mike McCray hadn’t started a game at Michigan before last season. Now no one on the Wolverines defense has started more games than the linebacker, who is coming back for his fifth season.
“It’s different being the older guy, probably the oldest one on the team, but I’m getting comfortable with it. I know what to expect from everybody,” McCray said Thursday night after Michigan wrapped up its last spring practice before the annual spring game on Saturday.
The spring game between the Maize and the Blue teams – the teams were selected via a draft last weekend – is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. at Michigan Stadium. It will be preceded by the men’s lacrosse team hosting No. 9 Ohio State at 10:30 a.m.
McCray started all 13 games last season at the WILL outside position. The other 4 returning players with starting experience – defensive linemen Mo Hurst, Bryan Mone and Chase Winovich, and safety Josh Metellus – have a combined 9 starts between them.
McCray’s first 3 years at Michigan were injury-plagued. He missed all of 2015 with a right shoulder injury. McCray impressed coaches last spring and then utilized the summer to make sure he came into preseason camp in shape, ready to go.
He responded by finishing second on the team with 76 tackles and showed up all over the field and the stat sheet. McCray had 12.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, 2 interceptions, 7 pass breakups, 5 quarterback hurries, 1 forced fumble and 1 fumble recovery. He scored Michigan’s first touchdown against Florida State in the Orange Bowl on a 14-yard interception return with 54 seconds left in the third quarter.
McCray said he played last season at 245 pounds and is maintaining a similar weight.
“Being at the WILL, you have to be able to cover out wide with the receivers sometimes. It’s a pretty versatile position,” McCray said. “Getting the experience [last season] after not being able to play before, now I know what to expect going into the fall.”
Big first inning propels Michigan
The No. 13-ranked Michigan baseball team scored 3 runs without the benefit of a hit in the first inning and went on to beat No. 18 Oklahoma 5-2 Thursday in the opener of a 3-game series at Ray Fisher Stadium. The Wolverines capitalized on 5 walks and a hit batter by Oklahoma starter Dylan Grove to take the early lead.
Junior left-hander Oliver Jaskie (5-1) allowed 2 runs on 5 hits with 7 strikeouts in 7 innings. Junior third baseman Drew Lugbauer hit a 2-run home run, his 10th of the season, to help Michigan improve to 27-7. Oklahoma fell to 27-10.
How about this #LugBomb from tonight's win?
— Michigan Baseball (@umichbaseball) April 14, 2017
From diamond to booth
Former Michigan softball standout Sierra Romero debuts as an analyst on BTN this weekend. Romero was named Michigan’s Female Athlete of the Year in 2015 and 2016. She also was a 3-time Big Ten Player of the Year (2013, 2014, 2016) honoree, a 4-time All-American and the consensus national college player of the year last season.
— Lisa Byington (@LisaByington) April 13, 2017
- Mark Donnal will play his final season of basketball as a graduate transfer away from Michigan. According to Mark Snyder of the Detroit Free Press, Donnal has a visit to Creighton lined up, with Vanderbilt and Clemson also showing interest.
- Michigan alums Dylan Larkin, Jacob Trouba, Andrew Copp and J.T. Compher will represent Team USA in May at the World Hockey Championships, which will be played in Paris and Cologne, Germany.
- Derrick Walton Jr. fared better with his first-pitch performance Thursday than the Detroit Tigers did in an 11-5 loss against Minnesota.