CWS Baseball Highlights/Postgame: Vanderbilt Wins College World Series

Tim Corbin and Vanderbilt players

The Vanderbilt Commodores defeated the Michigan Wolverines 8-2 on Wednesday, June 26 in Omaha, NE to win the 2019 College Baseball World Series. Look inside for highlights, play by play and post game press conference video.

Play by Play

Michigan starters: 4/2b Thomas; 7/cf Franklin; 22/rf Brewer; 15/1b
Kerr; 10/3b Nelson; 5/lf Bullock; 2/ss Blomgren; 0/c Donovan; 25/dh
Paige; 37/p Kauffmann;
Vanderbilt starters: 16/3b Martin; 51/rf Bleday; 10/ss Paul; 5/c
Clarke; 18/cf DeMarco; 19/lf Scott; 2/2b Ray; 20/dh Duvall; 22/1b
Infante; 44/p Hickman;
Michigan 1st – No play. Thomas singled to left field (1-2 KFB).
Franklin singled to right field (1-0 B); Thomas advanced to third.
Brewer singled to left field, RBI (0-2 KS); Franklin advanced to
second; Thomas scored. Kerr struck out swinging (1-2 BFFFS). Nelson
struck out swinging (0-2 SKS). Bullock struck out swinging (0-2
KSS). 1 run, 3 hits, 0 errors, 2 LOB.
Vanderbilt 1st – Martin struck out looking (2-2 BSBFK). Bleday flied
out to cf (0-0). Paul walked (3-1 BBBKB). Clarke flied out to lf
(0-0). 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB.
Michigan 2nd – Blomgren flied out to rf (2-2 KBSB). Donovan flied out
to rf to right center (2-2 BBKF). Bertram pinch hit for Paige.
Bertram walked (3-1 BKBBB). Bertram failed pickoff attempt. Bertram
stole second. Thomas struck out swinging (2-2 KBBKS). 0 runs, 0
hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB.
Vanderbilt 2nd – DeMarco homered to left field, RBI (2-1 BFB). Scott
struck out swinging (2-2 KKBBS). Ray struck out swinging (0-2 FKS).
Duvall struck out swinging (2-2 BBKKS). 1 run, 1 hit, 0 errors, 0
L O B .
Michigan 3rd – Franklin struck out looking (1-2 FBFK). Brewer struck
out swinging (1-2 BFFS). Kerr popped up to ss (2-0 BB). 0 runs, 0
hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.
Vanderbilt 3rd – Infante struck out swinging (1-2 KKBFS). Martin
grounded out to 3b (1-2 KBF). Bleday walked (3-0 BBBB). Paul
singled up the middle (0-2 FK); Bleday advanced to second. Clarke
walked (3-1 BBFBB); Paul advanced to second; Bleday advanced to
third. DeMarco walked, RBI (3-2 FBFBBB); Clarke advanced to second;
Paul advanced to third; Bleday scored. Scott singled up the middle,
2 RBI (0-0); DeMarco advanced to third; Clarke scored; Paul scored.
Ray popped up to ss (2-2 BBFK). 3 runs, 2 hits, 0 errors, 2 LOB.
Michigan 4th – Nelson struck out swinging (1-2 BSKS). Bullock walked
(3-2 KBKBBB). Blomgren singled to center field (1-0 B); Bullock
advanced to third. Blomgren failed pickoff attempt. Blomgren failed
pickoff attempt. Blomgren failed pickoff attempt. Donovan lined out
to ss (2-2 BBKF). Bertram to dh. Blomgren failed pickoff attempt.
Bertram walked (3-1 BBKBB); Blomgren advanced to second. Thomas
lined out to lf (1-1 BK). 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 3 LOB.
Vanderbilt 4th – Duvall walked (3-2 BKFFBBB). Criswell to p for
Kauffmann. Infante struck out swinging (1-2 BSSFS). Martin walked
(3-2 KBBSBB); Duvall advanced to second. Bleday singled to center
field, RBI (1-2 KBFF); Martin advanced to third; Duvall scored.
Paul flied out to lf, SF, RBI (0-0); Martin scored. Clarke singled
to right center (0-0); Bleday advanced to third. DeMarco flied out
to rf (1-2 BSF). 2 runs, 2 hits, 0 errors, 2 LOB.
Michigan 5th – Franklin struck out swinging (0-2 FSS). Brewer struck
out looking (2-2 BKFBK). Kerr flied out to lf (0-0). 0 runs, 0
hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.
Vanderbilt 5th – Scott struck out swinging (2-2 BKBFS). Ray grounded
out to 3b (2-0 BB). Duvall struck out swinging (2-2 BBKSS). 0 runs,
0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.
Michigan 6th – Nelson flied out to cf (2-2 BBFFF). Bullock struck out
swinging (1-2 KBFS). Blomgren grounded out to ss (3-2 KBBFB). 0
runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.
Vanderbilt 6th – Infante struck out swinging (1-2 FBSS). Martin flied
out to cf (3-1 BBFB). Bleday struck out looking (2-2 BKFBK). 0
runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.
Michigan 7th – Eder to p for Hickman. Donovan struck out swinging
(3-2 FBFBBFS). Bertram grounded out to ss (1-0 B). Thomas lined out
to ss (2-1 BBK). 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.
Vanderbilt 7th – Paul grounded out to 2b (1-1 BF). Clarke singled to
third base (0-1 K). DeMarco reached on a fielder’s choice to
shortstop (1-1 KB); Clarke out at second ss to 2b. DeMarco stole
second. Scott walked (3-0 BBBB). Ray singled to left field, RBI
(0-0); Scott advanced to second; DeMarco scored. Duvall struck out
swinging (2-2 SBKBS). 1 run, 2 hits, 0 errors, 2 LOB.
Michigan 8th – Franklin doubled to left center (0-0). Brewer fouled
out to 1b (2-2 BBSF); Franklin advanced to third. Kerr struck out
swinging (1-2 KBFS). Nelson doubled down the lf line, RBI (0-0);
Franklin scored. Nelson advanced to third. Bullock struck out
swinging (2-2 BKBSS). 1 run, 2 hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB.
Vanderbilt 8th – Infante grounded out to ss (0-2 FF). Martin grounded
out to ss (1-1 KB). Bleday walked (3-0 BBBB). Paul singled to right
field (1-0 B); Bleday advanced to second. Clarke singled to right
field, RBI (0-0); Paul advanced to third; Bleday scored. DeMarco
struck out swinging (0-2 KSS). 1 run, 2 hits, 0 errors, 2 LOB.
Michigan 9th – Blomgren flied out to cf (2-1 BBK). Donovan struck out
swinging (2-2 BBKSS). Bertram walked (3-2 SBFBFBFB). Bertram
advanced to second. Thomas flied out to cf (2-2 BKBF). 0 runs, 0
hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB.

Vanderbilt Quotes

TIM CORBIN: I don’t know where to start. I’ve got a lot
of conflicting thoughts right now just in terms of how we
feel. But I think it starts, again, on the mound. If you
want to talk about the game, it certainly starts on the
mound with Mason. He’s created such harmony during
the course of the year with how he’s pitched the
weekday and certainly down the stretch here. He’s
pitched some very difficult games himself and certainly
gave us a great start tonight.
And then Pat certainly got us going a little bit
offensively with the home run, and then we were pretty
clutch with two outs today and getting those runs. I felt
like we were going to hit well. I felt like we were going
to play well. I thought this was going to be a nice night
for the kids.
It was difficult because we played such a good
Michigan team. I thought they had elite pitching. I
thought they played so well to get through UCLA and to
get into this thing and make it difficult on everyone.
In some ways playing against Erik is — there’s a conflict
of thoughts that way, as well, but he certainly did a
great job with his team. And I’m just happy for our
team. I’m happy for the boys. It’s fun to watch this
thing come full circle for them.
Q. For Pat, I know it’s not a walk-off homer, but it’s
a home run in the college national championship.
Fast-forward 10, 20 years. How do you think that
memory is going to be for you hitting that home
PAT DeMARCO: Yeah, I don’t think it’s really sunk in
yet. I don’t think it’s sunk in yet for any of us yet, this
whole experience. I was just trying to stay in the
moment, and hopefully it’ll sink in in a couple years, but
right now just feels like any other.
Q. Mason and Ethan, in the first inning after the
first few base hits, Ethan, you went over to the
mound and spoke to Mason, and it seemed like a
completely different ballgame from there on out.
What did you say to Mason? And, Mason, how did
that calm you down?
ETHAN PAUL: I think, if I can remember, I just wanted
to give him a little rest. It was the first inning and it
wasn’t like there was anything to really worry about.
We all trust Mason. He’s going to give us a good
outing. I think I just wanted to remind him that it’s a big
park. I wanted him to work down in the zone and let
our defense work. We trust each other in the infield, so
we wanted to make some plays for him.
MASON HICKMAN: Yeah, he was just trying to get a
little confidence going with me, just give me a breather.
Said, Just keep the ball down. Let’s get a ground ball,
let’s turn two, and we’ll be out of this thing soon. So it
was just a little break for me and a little reassurance.
Q. Ethan, I talked to Teddy and Susan, and they
weren’t going to ask to go up there, but I could tell
they really, really appreciated you guys bringing
them up there. Why did you think that was
ETHAN PAUL: For so many reasons. You know, those
two mean so much to this program and all the players
and the seniors. I mean, to this day every time I look at
Teddy I think of Donny, and just being able to share
that moment with them was something that I think — I
can speak for the seniors, but probably the whole team,
is something that we’ve all really wanted to do. This
team is so special for so many reasons, but we’re all
genuinely — we all care about each other, and they’re
just as much a part of the team as we all are.
Q. Ethan, you and a few other guys made the
decision to come back for your senior year. What
does it mean now that you accomplished the final
goal that you guys had set out?
ETHAN PAUL: I mean, it definitely makes it — makes
the decision a lot easier. I think at the end of the day,
our number one reason to come back to school wasn’t
to have this outlandish season or anything like that. I
think that we all wanted to just be a part of something
special. It’s great to win a national championship, it’s
great to do all those things, but the program means so
much more to us than just winning.
I think there’s such a bond with each other and we do
all those things off the field and we celebrate each
other so well. I’m happy that we were able to have this
moment, and it’s going to be a memory forever, but just
being able to share this team and this experience with
these guys, I mean, friends for life.
Q. Ethan, did you guys feel pressure through the
postseason being the No. 2 seed?
ETHAN PAUL: I wouldn’t say so. We’ve never really —
credit to the maturity and the experience on this team,
we’ve never really looked too much into the rankings or
opinions or media and stuff like that. It’s great to be
thought highly of, but that’s one of the reasons why this
team is so successful, is we were able to just stay
within each other and keep the communication within
each other and have a similar vision. So I think that led
us to having some success along the postseason.
Q. Mason, you were midweek this year, obviously
you’re weekend last year. At some point in the
season did you think this would be possible, that
you would be on the mound for a national title, this
type of moment for you to be in?
MASON HICKMAN: Absolutely. I thought we had the
chance the whole season to end up in this situation. I
had no idea what exactly my role would be. For me it
was just trying to put our team in any position to win
that I possibly can, and a lot of the credit is just
because of the defense we had behind us, because of
the offense that was produced tonight, and that really
allowed us to get to this moment.
Q. Pat, the way this offense kind of coalesced here
over the last couple of games, what do you
attribute that to? It seemed like you guys were
very patient. The walks seemed like a major factor
here. Was that a point of emphasis for you guys
heading into the last two games?
PAT DeMARCO: Yeah, it was kind of a slow start to the
tournament, but we were playing good offense. It was
just we weren’t getting that big hit, and tonight most of
the damage was done with two outs, and we were just
getting that big hit, and we were stringing good offense
together as a team. It was team offense tonight, yeah.
Q. I’ve asked you about 100 different decisions
throughout the year of who starts at second and
short and how you move guys around, who’s going
to be the weekend starter and all that. Do you see
each of those incremental steps led to something
like this? Do you look back at each of those
decisions and think it could have gone one way or
the other if you didn’t make the right decision?
TIM CORBIN: I guess you could think about it that way,
but you’d drive yourself crazy. I think the decisions that
we always wanted to make as a staff is just try to
create consistency among the group, and the closer we
could get to roles quicker, the better we felt we would
be. Once we created those roles, then we just asked
the guys to serve them and stay in them and do
whatever they could to move the team along, and they
did that.
Q. You’ve said before that seniors are often your
favorite class. This year having a bigger senior
class than you normally do, for a number of
reasons, what does this mean for you to see this
happen for them?
TIM CORBIN: You don’t always get what you want in
life, and to watch this situation come full circle for them
is particularly gratifying. They experienced devastation
at the lowest level as an 18-year-old watching a friend,
lose a friend, and suffer through that heartbreak for a
long period of time. They played with heavy hearts for
a long period of time, and the program didn’t feel right
for a time. Rightly so.
But the fact that they could navigate their way towards
their senior year, graduate, stay together, make
decisions to come back, and then, as Ethan said — I
think his point was straight on — we just — we kind of
stayed in our lane the entire year and just tried to do
small things well.
And as time went on, we never talked about
championships, we didn’t talk about winning the SEC,
we didn’t talk about winning a regional, we just stayed
very localized in their thinking, and I attribute that to the
older kids. That situation callused their brain, and
because they did that, it allowed them to get closer to
maturity than maybe if that didn’t happen.
I hate to say there’s any positive thing from losing a
young person, but certainly there’s experiences that
you gain from that that allow you to grow individually
and as a group, and we did that.
Q. Coach, just a few minutes ago in this room, Erik
Bakich said you are the best coach in America in
any sport. Can you speak about your relationship
with Erik and how it played out throughout the
course of this series?
TIM CORBIN: Listen, it’s always difficult to play
someone that you really care about. But we’re very
real with one another. Our wives are very real with one
another. We got to share this moment together as
friends and as families, and our two teams just played.
Once our two teams were on the field, then we kind of
let it go. We knew once it was over that we both could
live with one another. We don’t have egos. Neither
one of us do.
He’s a special guy. I say that besides the sport. I’ve
always said Vanderbilt is not Vanderbilt if Erik Bakich
isn’t there. He created a lot of this, these foundations
that Vanderbilt has allowed people to come and have
what we had today, and I just — in a big way, I wish he
was part of something like this with the same uniform.
I would have loved to celebrate with him because he’s
a very deserving guy. But in saying that, he will enjoy
this at some point. He will have that opportunity.
Q. Coach, when you look at kind of the
development of this pitching staff over the course
of the season, everyone knows how many huge
arms you have, but to see them come here and
command the zone the way they did in particular
on this stage, it seemed like that was something
that got better over the course of the season. Is
that an accurate read, first of all, and how
important do you think that was to getting this
team where it is right now?
TIM CORBIN: It’s very accurate. And you and Kendall
and Teddy have seen a lot of baseball, and you’ve
watched staffs grow throughout the year, and I think
that was — at the end of it, I know our offense was
celebrated for a long period of time, but you look at
what happened in this tournament, and it was pitching
and defense, and certainly starting pitching. We won
this in 2014, it was relief pitching. In this tournament it
was starting pitching.
And I think — forget the fact that Drake started on a
Friday or Raby started on a Sunday or Kumar started
on a Saturday. It was a strong collection of individuals,
and they pitched deep into ballgames. And when you
can pitch deep into ballgames in Omaha, you give
yourself a chance. Had we not done that, we weren’t
good enough offensively really to get through this
So, yes, that’s a very accurate read on our staff. It
grew as the year progressed.
Q. Kumar got named Most Outstanding Player. I
know we talked a lot about him last night, but what
does that mean as a freshman to have that guy
come out and pitch the way he did on this stage?
TIM CORBIN: It’s almost unfair to look at him — he’s a
freshman, but no one looks at him that way. And I think
he kind of gained that feel early March and April, and I
think it was his presence, I think it was his attention to
detail. He’s got a teachable spirit, and he’s one of
those kids that is curious. He’ll listen. He’ll ask good
questions. He won’t “yeah, yeah” you to death. He’s
not that kid.
There’s an honesty about him that’s very refreshing,
and he’s tough. He’s got a fiber of competition that’s
different. He loves the arena of competition, and when
you see guys like that, they separate themselves.
Handing him the ball, I didn’t feel at any time that that
was above him. I felt like that was for him. That’s
something he wanted. That’s something that he could
do. He pitches for Vanderbilt. He loves to pitch for his
team, and it’s pure, and it’s raw, and it’s not

Michigan Quotes

ERIK BAKICH: Well, first off, want to congratulate
Coach Corbin, Vanderbilt University, their staff, on
earning the national championship. They were the
best team, and I know what they put into it, and they
certainly deserve it.
I’m very proud of our team. When we talk about
leaving a legacy in our program and it’s not about 50
wins or stats or accolades, it’s these two guys to my left
here, along with the seniors and the upperclassmen,
they have inspired future generations of Michigan
baseball players with a belief that winning a national
championship is a possibility and getting to Omaha is
something that can be done on a consistent basis.
The only way you can have an Omaha program is if
you first have an Omaha team, and this is very much a
tipping point for us. Very proud of what these guys put
in on a daily basis from day one. They were very
determined to make that mark and leave that legacy,
and everybody says that, but not everybody is willing to
do what it takes, and these guys did it on a daily basis.
The effort that they put in will never be forgotten
because now everyone coming back and everyone
coming in is going to know there are no little things.
We’re just going to find a way to get 1 percent better.
But we wouldn’t be in this position without our seniors,
without guys like Jimmy and Ako and all of our
upperclassmen. Just can’t say enough how proud I am
of what they not only have done for this team but the
impact this is going to have on future teams.
Q. For both the players, I know this is kind of a
tough moment for reflection, it’s all very fresh, but
can you maybe look back on these last four years
and how far you’ve come and kind of talk about
how you’ve seen this program grow?
JIMMY KERR: Yeah, I mean, coming in, we knew it
was a competitive program. Competed in the Big Ten
the year before we got there, and it’s continued to get
better since we’ve been there.
Yeah, right now it sucks. We knew our career would
end tonight, but we were hoping it would be in a better
way. It’s tough to think about right now, but we’ll look
back in maybe not a week, maybe not a month, but
years down the road. It’ll be fond memories.
AKO THOMAS: And as for me, just coming into
Michigan, not knowing what to expect, coming in as a
boy, felt like I definitely left as a man. This program has
taught me a lot, taught me how to be a better person,
better teammate. Definitely have invested in a lot of
good relationships here in my career here.
And like Jimmy said, this one sucks, but we had a
really good run. A lot of people didn’t expect us to be
here, and we fought our butts off, and we’re very proud.
Q. Jimmy and Ako, you guys were kind of known
for jumping on teams early on for most of the
postseason. You kind of got that start again
tonight. Tell us your feelings about your start early
on, getting a jump on them, and then how tough it
was to get it going again?
AKO THOMAS: Yeah, we came out on the attack. I
think it was three hits in a row, scored a run first. We
just didn’t execute the way we were supposed to. We
were kind of on our heels the rest of the game, didn’t
maximize our opportunities. But we fought our hardest
out there.
JIMMY KERR: Yeah, I’ve kind of got to point the thumb
at that. The last two days in the red zone, I haven’t got
it done. I’ve been striking out with runners on base,
less than two outs, when my team needed me. We
haven’t got the two-out RBIs that we did early on. We
didn’t have the clutch hits that we got early on. Yeah, I
Q. Erik, obviously the loss is pretty fresh here, but
do you think you guys doing what you did is kind
of a turning point for potentially the Big Ten and
northern baseball in general?
ERIK BAKICH: I can just speak for Michigan. It’s a
tipping point for Michigan. You know, it’s — I think
absolutely for our program — we’ve talked about in a
recruiting pitch that Midwest kids don’t need to go
south to develop into professional players and to make
postseason runs, and we’ve talked about kids from
outside of the Big Ten footprint, outside of the Midwest,
that they can come to Michigan and have that same
And so for us, we needed a magical type of season.
Inside of our locker room, believing is seeing, but
maybe externally seeing is believing. From those
external things, like recruiting or whatever it may be,
yeah, you would think that this type of success, even
though we’re not No. 1, will move the needle and tip
the scales and allow us to be a program that’s now
ignited to where this becomes the standard and the
guys believe that they know we can get here and they
know we can compete for a national championship.
Now they know what it takes to navigate their way
through a postseason.
We’re always going to recruit. We’re always going to
have good players. It’s one thing to have good players,
it’s another thing to play well as a team and play your
best when it means the most, and now our guys have
experience doing that, and that’s a huge luxury to have.
Q. Erik, you wanted your team to watch the
celebration after the game was over. How
frustrating is it — maybe that’s not the right word,
but frustrated to get so close to a national title that
you can taste it even when a lot of people didn’t
expect you to even be at the table?
ERIK BAKICH: Yeah, I mean, we were watching it
because there’s only one other team in the country that
gets to watch that live. Everyone else is watching it on
TV. That’s something that has value for our guys, to
see that in person.
We’re also watching it out of respect for Vanderbilt and
what they accomplished. It’s a huge moment for them.
You know, I already congratulated them on an amazing
season, but yeah, those would be the two reasons.
But, yeah, it is — obviously we want to win. We want to
be No. 1. We train to be No. 1.
But there’s only one happy team at the end of this. Ako
hit on it. What this has done for these guys as people
and how it’s going to impact their success, these guys
are going to go on, they’re going to be future husbands
and future fathers and future community leaders a
whole lot longer than they’re baseball players, but the
lessons that they learned in our program and through
our success in this postseason are going to last with
them forever.
Even though we’re not the national champion and we
are the national runner-up, I know what it’s going to do
for these guys for the rest of their lives, and that’s
Q. You’ve had great teams at Michigan over the
years, but what kind of clicked with this team?
What was the difference with this team compared
to the teams that you’ve had before?
ERIK BAKICH: Yeah, we have. We’ve had good
teams. We’ve had teams that — we had a team that led
the nation in draft picks a couple of years ago. You
know, you just need — with this team, we had the right
leadership with the upperclassmen, and we’ve had
good leadership before, but when you haven’t done it
before, you need that authentic moment to take place
to where it just clicks with everyone and the belief and
the confidence that they get from it.
But this team was different. This team from day one in
the fall — we didn’t have any off-the-field issues. We
didn’t have any academic issues. They set a record for
their GPA. It was the first time we’ve had a cumulative
program GPA of over a 3.0. Not that I get up here and
talk about academics, but just the consistency with
which we operated. We didn’t have missed class
issues, we didn’t have guys getting in trouble off the
field. We just had a very consistent group.
So I thought we would have a chance to be consistent
in the season, and I thought they were very deserving.
I thought the game — you know, you never know how
it’s going to work. You have loaded teams and you
finish short, and it just goes to show you that the game
doesn’t reward you on your clock, it rewards you on its
clock. I just felt like if we just kept working hard, even
when we were faltering down the stretch, that moment
would arrive. Luckily it did, and it sparked our team.
But I would say if we don’t have the leadership that we
have, the captains that we have, the upperclassmen
that we have, we would have never even been in that
position. So yeah, to answer your question, the
leadership within the group and the consistency with
which they operated allowed this run to take place.
Q. Coach, you talk about how this season and
throughout your time here you want to pay tribute
to the previous 152 teams that have come through
at Michigan, from the throwback uniforms being
one of the examples. Years from now, how do you
hope that future Michigan baseball teams are
looking back on Team 153?
ERIK BAKICH: Well, I think page 153 in the Michigan
baseball history book will always be earmarked, will
always be referenced. There’s just so many story lines
that have come out of this group of getting knocked
down and getting back up and fighting through
adversity and just having a bunch of just good dudes.
We talk about being a good dude in our program and
just a lot of really good kids that do the right thing.
And I think that future teams will always reference back
to this particular group as a model of consistency, you
know, of how to take care of the littlest of things and
having total buy-in, never doubting, even when it would
be very easy to doubt, even when we had some slipups.
But they didn’t, and they stuck with it. They
stayed positive, and they got hot when they needed to,
and they made the run that we needed to in order to
put ourselves in position to be one game away from a
national championship.
Yeah, you could look at it just at face value and say this
is the best team that Michigan baseball has produced,
but in the modern era to do what we did this year is
extremely special and I think bodes very well for the
future of our program.
Q. Piggy-backing off the future of your program,
what do you think this run means for the future of
your program in terms of recruiting and coming
back to Omaha?
ERIK BAKICH: Yeah, well, I think there’s some ignition
that goes with it. There’s probably some young kids
watching TV tonight and throughout the Midwest that
are now looking at Michigan as the baseball program to
go to in the entire Midwest. You’ve got a returning
group of players that are saying we want to be the ones
on that stage, and we remember all the little things that
went into being consistent from the fall to the
preseason, throughout the season, of continuing that
growth of getting better and getting better, regardless
of what the outcomes were in the games.
You’ve got a fan base, an administration and people
that touch our program in some way that are saying,
wow, this is pretty exciting, we want to do this again.
This was a fun ride; how can we make this something
that happens on a perennial basis or at least has a
chance to.
So I think there’s a definite spark there. This was not
some fluke. The way we recruit, the way we develop,
the way we’re supported, what Michigan is all about,
this is how it should be. Sometimes it takes time. It’s
taken us seven years to reach this point. But I feel
really good about what lies ahead.

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