Michigan head baseball coach Erik Bakich talks about Tommy Henry's performance in Game 1 in the College World Series final on June 24, 2019.
Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press
OMAHA, Nebraska – John Kerr is not much of a storyteller. Not really a talker.
So his grandson, Jimmy, did not hear many stories about Michigan Baseball's ravaged 1962 national championship team growing up. But when he arrived at Ann Arbor four years ago, when a third generation UM player – his father Derek, played for the 1984 team, the school's last to move on to the College World Series – the stories began to flow.
When Wolverines have rattled off victories over the past week and a half in Omaha, Kerr has noticed the similarities in their paths.
In 1962, U-M's first College World Series against Texas came; this year it was against texas tech. That year they beat Florida State; This year is the same.
"Unfortunately, Santa Clara isn't here this year," Kerr said a week ago.
No, U-M's last enemy this year is bigger and better than Santa Clara.  Vanderbilt is considered one of the best teams in college baseball, a well-oiled machine with lots of experience on the game's biggest stage. And Michigan has to beat it twice.
One down, one to go.
Hours after hearing his grandfather turn to the team with former teammate Dick Honig, wearing a light throwback version of Team 96 & # 39 ; s uniforms, Kerr delivered knock-out battles in a crucial 7-4 win over Vanderbilt. His doubts about the two-round home at the top of the seventh inning gave left-hander Tommy Henry much more assurance than he needed for his final victory as Wolverine, and now Team 153 – whose rally bugs throughout the NCAA tournament have been "We believe "- needs a final victory to secure a seismic national championship.
"I don't think it's too many of us," Kerr said. "We were a team that really shouldn't be here."
No, Wolverines should now spread across the country and see the best of three finals from where they will spend their summers. They would not have been here, if not for a two-strike, walk-off winner against Illinois in the Big Ten tournament, and they would certainly not beat No. 1 UCLA on their own farm or move on to the college World Series finals .
And Vanderbilt? Commodores are Goliath. Wolverines is David.
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Now they are a win a way.
"The same thing we continue to say," says Erik Sagde bakich "Don't make this moment too big. We need to shrink the moment, and that's what we've been talking about, shrinking the moment and doing It's just about baseball and immersing these guys – these guys just have to immerse themselves in each other. That's really all it is.
"And if it can only be about baseball and just immersing in one another, then they are not thinking about to win a national championship. "
Michigan tops Vanderbilt, 7-4, in the Game 1 of CWS finals, June 24. Anthony Fenech, Joe Rexrode & Adam Sparks break it down, see Game 2 from Omaha .
The Tennessean, Detroit Free Press
But that's there. It was immediately in their opinion, starting with sophomore outfielder Christian Bullock, who shouted, "One more!" Went into the clubhouse. It will be in their opinion when they wake up in the morning, and that is in their opinion, because Henry was again outstanding and closed his UM career with 8nings innings solid pitching.
In the winners, Henry allowed four rounds of seven hits, but greatly neutralized a dangerous Vanderbilt lineup and gave Bakich the length and Game 1 victory he needed. Henry, U-M's junior co-ace, knocked out eight smashes, went one and received a hearty message from Bakich after departure.
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Henry was backed by another relentless performance from his 14-hit and six-walk offense, scoring again in the first inning and Jordan Brewer and Blake Nelson ran in the races in the first and Ako Thomas and Jesse Franklin ran in the second before Commodores reacted with three runs at the bottom.
Michigan Wolverine's Starter Tommy Henry during the first entry against Vanderbilt Commodores in Game 1 of Master abet series of the 2019 College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park, June 24, 2019, in Omaha, Neb. (Photo: Bruce Thorson, USA TODAY Sports)
It would be Henry's only match. He followed up with three scoreless innings before JJ Bleday hit a home run to lead the sixth. With two outs, U-M's defense finally hit – Jack Blomgren made a throw error at shortstop – and soon after a couple of wild courses, the battler was at third base.
But Henry kept the lead with his greatest pitch in the game, a shooter to knock out Stephen Scott swinging, Wolverines beat something more, and now they are staring at a feat that seemed unlikely – even impossible – for a month since.
"They know what they're playing for," Bakich said. "They know what the effort is. They know the scene. They know everything. But they don't work like the scene, and the lights and the moment are too big because I think they're doing a really good job of just staying in the moment. with each other and have as much fun as they can and be as loose as they possibly can. "
It was just the same message – a message of fellowship – that Kerr's grandfather and teammate preached before the battle, perhaps the most effective of the pregam. messages they received last.
"It was weird," Kerr said. "It is perhaps the most I have ever heard him speak, but I loved every second. He just had good things to say about what it means to the team, what it means to U of M alumni, especially how they played in 1962. "
One down, one to go.