Sports

Glines helps Wolverines win Big Ten title

Former Yosemite High School three-sport athlete (class of 2010) Jackson Glines, has had a great baseball season and helped the University of Michigan (37-23, 14-10 Big Ten Conference) win the Big Ten Tournament Championship Sunday, beating Maryland, 4-3.

The six-foot, 190 pound center fielder lead the Big Ten Conference with an on-base percentage of .456, batted .359 (No. 2), had 79 hits (No. 3), 52 runs scored (No. 5), and a .514 slugging percentage (No. 7).

Glines started the season strong back in February going 3-for-4, plus two walks against Tennessee Tech, and 3-for-4 with two doubles against Davidson. The milestones continued throughout the season including a 3-for-3 day with two RBIs and and three runs against Siena (March 1), and hitting .455 while reaching base nine times in a three-games series with Kansas (March 13-15). He was named the Big Ten Player of the Week on March 2.

Conference title

The Wolverines, coached by Erik Bakich, scored four times in the fourth inning Sunday and stopped Maryland rallies in the eighth and ninth to defeat the Terrapins, 4-3, in the Big Ten Tournament championship game. The game was played at Minneapolis Target Field, home of the Minnesota Twins.

It was the ninth Big Ten Tournament title for Michigan, earning the school’s 22 NCAA Tournament berth in school history. The team finished conference play tied for third with Michigan State, and Maryland, behind Iowa and Illinois in the 13-team conference.

Michigan opens the NCAA Regional Tournament play Friday in Lousiville, Ky., against Bradley. If the Wolverines win, they will face the winner of the Louisville - Morehead State game on Saturday. That tournament is followed by the super regionals before the the NCAA World Series gets under way in mid-June.

Michigan got to the championship game by beating Indiana (4-1), Iowa (8-5), and Illinois (5-3) in the weekend tournament. In the four games, Glines batted an impressive .500.

“It was a very nerve-racking game at the end, but we were confident we would pull it off,” Glines said Monday. “I’m on cloud 9 right now - I’m not sure it has sunk in yet.”

Glines said his teammates are best group of players he could ask to play with.

“We came together at the start of the season and said we would all play our best and go out and win as many games as we could,” Glines said. “This championship is a tribute to that hard work by all the players and the entire coaching staff.”

Glines described Coach Bakich as a high intensity coach who made all his player better.

Glines, a left-handed hitter, said playing D-I baseball helped him along with the technology Michigan uses to study hitting.

“I’m thankful that Coach Bakich brought me here to the University of Michigan, and gave me the opportunity to blossom like a flower,” Glines said. “My overall game improved under his leadership and he taught me to do everything (batting and fielding) at a higher, more competitive level.”

In Sunday’s championship game, Glines, a senior, walked to open the bottom of the fourth. The next batter hit a bouncer back to the Maryland pitcher, who threw wide to second, allowing Glines to move to third. Cody Bruder tied the game as his single scored Glines.

From Oakhurst to Michigan via Fresno

Glines, on the honor roll all four years of high school, was a two-time all-North Sequoia League honoree at YHS as a sophomore and junior.

Glines was injured while playing quarterback the Badger’s football team, and was forced to sit out his senior year of baseball following shoulder surgery. He played summer baseball for the Clovis Reds and the Cal Blaze.

His high school coach, John McMillen, said Glines was one to always put in the extra effort necessary to be the best.

“I look forward to seeing him get a chance to show what he can do at the professional level,” McMillen said.

After graduating from YHS, Glines played two seasons at Fresno City College, earning Most Valuable Player of the Central Valley Conference his sophomore season - hitting .374 with four home runs, 29 RBIs and 49 runs scored in 2013, and being named a NorCal All-American. He earned first team all-CVC honors his freshman year after hitting .393 for the Rams.

In a story earlier in the season by Ann Arbor sports writer Steve Kornacki, it was explained how Coach Bakich found Glines.

“The coach at Fresno City College is Ron Scott,” said Bakich. “Ron’s been there a long time, and he’s a legendary coach, and when he says he’s got a good player, he has a good player. We were actually recruiting somebody else at Fresno City in my second year at Maryland. And we saw Jackson and said, ‘Hey, who’s that guy?’ We needed somebody who could step right in, and we called up Coach Scott and said, ‘How is Jackson doing?’ And, of course, he was doing great.”

“He was being recruited,” said Bakich, “but not heavily. San Diego and a couple of schools were looking at him. And the whole time, we’re thinking, ‘How are the schools in California not all over this kid?’ He did there what he’s doing now - which is hitting a ton of line drives. He has an uncanny ability to put the barrel on the ball.

Bakich told Kornacki that Glines has supreme confidence in his ability.

Human laser show

“We have the players make self-affirmations,” said Bakich. “Everyone lists three, and one of his is, ‘I am a human laser show.’ And so he got the nickname ‘Glinedrives.’ Everywhere he goes, all he does is hit. You can get him up in the middle of the night, and he’ll hit a line drive. He’s not a power hitter; he’s not a singles hitter. He’s just a line drive hitter from the left-field line to the right-field line. He strings together one quality at-bat after another.”

Bakich said Glines is also very solid defensively, and has good speed. He stole 16 bases this season out of 19 attempts.

“I just try to hit the pitcher in the forehead every single time,” Glines said when asked to explain his hitting ability. “I wrote that I am a human laser show. We made these confidence-conditioning statements to make sure they are in our heads and then go out there and do them.”

He attended UOM on an 80% athletic scholarship, and graduated May 3 from the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. is expected to enter the Major League Baseball draft which gets under way June 8.

Glines isn’t among MLB.com’s top 100 draft prospects, but Bakich sees a future for him in the majors.

“I think he’ll hit his way onto a major league roster someday because he just has that ‘it factor,” said Bakich. “He kind of reminds me of Andy Dirks from Wichita State who played for the Detroit Tigers. He was an eighth-round pick but hung around in the big leagues. He may not be a perennial All-Star but is a guy who adds value to any organization. Jackson’s kind of the same way to me. He’s going to get an opportunity, and he’s going to hit at every level he goes to.”

Glines, whose parents, Tim, and Victoria, are both teachers, hopes to have a career in baseball.

“I hope I get drafted,” Glines said. “It would truly be a dream come true ... it’s a goal I have been working on petty much my whole life.”

NOTE: see video at MGoBlue.com.

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