Where does Michigan — and Big Ten baseball as a whole — go from here? That is the question after the Wolverines fell short in the finals of the College World Series on Wednesday. Vanderbilt took the best-of-three series with an 8-2 victory in Game 3 that gave the Southeastern Conference another national championship at the Big Ten’s expense. That does not diminish what the Wolverines accomplished in the last month under head coach Eric Bakich. Michigan beat UCLA, the No. 1 overall seed in the tournament, in a best-of-three series in the super regionals. Tommy Henry dominated in his College World Series starts, including Game 1 vs. the Commodores on Monday. MORE: Sign up for DAZN to watch ‘ChangeUp,’ a new MLB live whiparound show The top seed failed to reach the College World Series for the first time since 2015. The Wolverines were the first Big Ten team to reach the championship series since 1966, and they did it with a diverse roster led by stars Jimmy Kerr and Jordan Brewer. The run didn’t just evoke memories of their CWS teams in the 1980s that featured Barry Larkin, Chris Sabo and Hal Morris, it also prompted a question the Big Ten should be asking more often: Why not go for it in baseball? For Michigan, that should be an easy answer. The longer Bakich stays, the more chances this team should have. The Wolverines last won a national championship in hockey in 1998, in football in 1997 and in basketball (men’s or women’s) in 1989. The baseball team won in 1953 and 1962 and nearly broke that 21-year drought among the four programs. It should be positioned to make another run with an improved roster after the recruiting boost that comes with a College World Series appearance. The rest of the Big Ten should follow suit. That means places like Ohio State, which won the conference tournament and keeps score with the Wolverines at birth, and Nebraska, which has yet to get back to Omaha since joining the conference. The process won’t be perfect. Weather is a legitimate factor in scheduling and recruiting, but Michigan proved that it was an excuse only for so long.When you look at other sports, the only one the Big Ten dominates is wrestling. Iowa (2000) and Minnesota (2001, 2002) won the first three wrestling national championships of the millennium and the Gophers, Hawkeyes, Penn State and Ohio State have combined for every national championship in the sport since 2007. The conference’s major sports have combined for one national championship this decade, and that was Ohio State’s run to the first College Football Playoff title in 2014. Men’s basketball hasn’t brought home a national championship since Michigan State in 2000. Minnesota (2002, 2003), Wisconsin (2006) and Michigan State (2007) have combined for four national championships in men’s ice hockey, but that sport does not have a true Power 5 presence. Baseball could, if Michigan and the Big Ten build on what has happened in Omaha the past few weeks. The run didn’t end with a national championship, but the publicity Michigan generated opened a lot of eyes in a part of the country where baseball can succeed. We’ll see where it goes from here.
The westbound side will be closed today, and the eastbound side will be shut down Thursday, Rivas said. It’s all worthwhile, said Councilwoman Cathy Warner, who lives on that side of the city. “It’s just like your house,” Warner said. “You have to do a new roof every so many years. This is just regular maintenance that has to be done.” If the city did nothing, the streets would be in even worse shape, she said. The project is part of the city’s five-year maintenance plans, Warner said. The idea is to repave every street once every five years, she added. WHITTIER – Just get through this week. That’s the message for Mar Vista Street residents and commuters who have been enduring the repaving of a large portion of the busy thoroughfare. Work on the street from College Avenue to Ocean View Avenue has been under way for the past couple of weeks, but by Friday it should be completed, said Sebastian Rivas, foreman for Hardy and Hardy Inc. of Santa Ana, which was awarded the $202,000 contract from the city. But this week won’t be easy, with paving planned for that area today and Thursday. For people driving on Mar Vista, David Pelser, Whittier’s public works director, said they should be careful. “As always if you’re going through a construction zone, you want to slow down, be alert and be prepared to yield the right of way,” Pelser said. [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3022160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!