OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Michigan could sense the momentum slipping away. Jimmy Kerr got it back.

Kerr homered for the third time in the College World Series, this time after Vanderbilt pulled within one in the sixth inning, and the Wolverines beat the Commodores 7-4 in Game 1 of the best-of-three finals Monday night.

“We needed that blast right there,” Coach Erik Bakich said.

The Wolverines (50-20), who barely got into the NCAA Tournament after a poor finish to the regular season, are seeking the school’s first baseball championship since 1962. Ohio State is the last Big Ten School to take home the title, winning it all in 1966.

Tommy Henry (12-5) was unflappable for a second straight start. Coming off a three-hit shutout of Florida State on June 17, he struck out eight while pitching 8 1/3 innings of seven-hit ball. Jeff Criswell got the last two outs.

Game 2 is tonight, and Vanderbilt will send Kumar Rocker to the mound. The freshman threw a no-hitter in the super regionals and turned in a solid performance in his CWS start against Mississippi State on Wednesday. For Michigan it could be Jeff Criswell getting the start.

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