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Michigan CB Keith Washington (6) is one of several players who will study abroad this summer.

Trip to Italy opens study opportunities for Michigan players, baseball and softball teams beat Michigan State 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 Wednesday, April 19, 2017, and here’s your Breakfast of Victors…

Michigan wrapped up the home portion of its spring practices Tuesday with one last session before it embarks on a weeklong trip to Italy. The team will have three final spring practices in Rome, including a scrimmage.

Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh has lined up other educational and cultural activities for the team during the trip. Not all players will return to Ann Arbor immediately, however. Since classes at Michigan will have ended for the semester, several will leave from Rome to take part in study abroad programs offered by the university to all its students.

Senior linebacker Noah Furbush will travel to Costa Rica for a course on food, energy and water systems. Sophomore offensive lineman Ben Bredeson will travel to Barcelona, Spain, to study sports and society. Junior Keith Washington will head to Buenos Aires, Argentina, for a similar course. Senior linebacker Jared Wangler is heading to Iceland.

“It’s very technical and engineering-driven,” said Furbush, an engineering major, about his program.

The trip to Italy opened the possibility of studying abroad for several players.

“It’s something I wanted to do in the summer time, so they gave me the opportunity and I took it,” Washington said. “(My Spanish) is pretty good but I’ve still got to work on a few things, though.”

Big bats lead to baseball’s 30th win

Michigan equaled its season high with 17 hits, including 4 each by sophomore Ako Thomas and senior Johnny Slater, as the No. 13-ranked Wolverines beat Michigan State 12-4 Tuesday night at Ray Fisher Stadium. All four of Slater’s hits were doubles.

Michigan scored the final 9 runs of the game after Michigan State had taken a 4-3 lead in the top of the fifth inning.

Michigan is now 30-7 on the season, its best start since 2008. This game did not count in the Big Ten standings, where Michigan is 6-3 and in third place, but the rivals will play a 3-game conference series to end the regular season May 18-20. Michigan hosts Indiana for a 3-game series starting Friday.

300K and counting

Senior RHP Megan Betsa walked 7 but allowed just 1 Michigan State run, thanks in large part to striking out 14 Spartans in a 3-1 victory Tuesday at Alumni Field. Betsa leads the nation with 306 strikeouts, the third straight season she has surpassed the 300 mark. Betsa is the first Michigan pitcher to accomplish the feat 3 times.

The win improves Michigan, ranked No. 19 in the coaches poll, to 32-9-1 overall and 12-2 in the Big Ten. The Wolverines are in second place behind No. 5 Minnesota (38-3, 11-1), and travel to Wisconsin for a 3-game weekend series that begins Friday.

Ode to Zach

Columbus Blue Jackets rookie and former Wolverines defenseman Zach Werenski is out for the rest of the NHL playoffs. Werenski took a puck to the face and suffered facial fractures in a 5-4 overtime loss to Pittsburgh in Game 3 of Columbus’ first-round series with the defending Stanley Cup champs.

Columbus extended its season by at least 1 game with a 5-4 win in Game 4 at home on Tuesday, forcing a Game 5 in Pittsburgh. Fans weren’t forgetting about Werenski.

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