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Mitchell native Kendall Patrick starts first four games for Michigan baseball

Mitchell native Kendall Patrick tags first base, during a game against Air Force at the Texas State Tournament. (U-M photo service)

Mitchell native Kendall Patrick recently fulfilled a lifelong dream.

The Michigan Wolverines junior recorded his first hit as a Division I college baseball player Feb. 14.

The hit — a single up the middle — came in the fourth inning of the Wolverines’ first game of the season against Texas State University. He added another base hit in the eighth inning and finished 2-for-4.

“The pitcher gave me a slider away and I went with it,” Patrick said of his first Division I hit. “I got down 0-2 early in the count, then I took a couple pitches and tried to go deep in the count.”

The junior started all four games to open the weekend for Michigan, which opened its season at the Texas State Invitational in San Marcos, Texas. The Wolverines finished the weekend series 1-2-1, with the lone win coming over Air Force.

“It didn’t set in that I was playing Division I baseball until the night before the first game,” Patrick said. “We were doing a walk through at the University of Texas that Thursday night and it really hit me.”

Patrick played first base each game of the invitational and finished 2-for-15, with 34 putouts, three assists and zero errors.

“I played catcher a lot throughout the fall,” Patrick said. “Then I got hot in preseason workouts and they gave me the crash course on how to play first base because they wanted to keep my bat in the lineup.”

Patrick signed with the Wolverines after hitting .390 with 15 doubles, seven home runs and 43 RBIs last season at Black Hawk College, in Moline, Ill. There Patrick was named the Arrowhead Conference Most Valuable Player and was an all-region second-team selection as a catcher.

Patrick said the biggest difference between junior college baseball and Division I has been the traveling. He said his JUCO squad spent hours driving to games, while the Wolverines have already taken two flights to Texas.

Michigan heads back to Texas this weekend for a three-game series with the University of Houston.