There is plenty of mutual admiration between Vanderbilt coach Tim Corbin and Michigan coach Erik Bakich, a Vanderbilt assistant under Corbin from 2003-09. So it’s not surprising to hear that Bakich’s players have high praise for their College World Series finals opponents.

“I think I can speak for most of the young kids in America, what Coach Corbin has done for the program, that’s one of the schools that when you grow up, you think about it, you watch their highlight videos on YouTube, you watching the stuff they do in the outfield, and obviously them coming to Omaha, and they’ve really built one of the gold-standard programs in the country,” Wolverines C Joe Donovan said at Sunday’s press conference in Omaha. “I know a lot of schools across the country look up to them as far as how you go to and the point you want to reach, and they’ve definitely inspired a lot of young kids to want to go play college baseball instead of pro ball, just because it looks so much fun with everything they do. And they obviously set the bar for where you want your program to be with I think it was three championships in the last six years, if I’m not mistaken.

“But yeah, that’s what everybody strives for, and it’s really admirable they’ve gotten to do that.”

UM infielder Jimmy Kerr shared similar praise of Corbin’s club.

“[E]choing off what Joe said, they’re one of the top programs in the country the past however many years,” Kerr said. “They’re a super consistent team, too. They’ve had success throughout the whole season, and not a lot of lows. That’s pretty admirable to keep up that kind of play throughout the whole year.

“They’ve got some of the best top-tier talent in the country, and they play with some class, too.”

The competitive juices are sure to be flowing once the CWS finals begin Monday night, but it’s clear that the Wolverines hold the Commodores in high regard heading into the best-of-three series.