Three-Run Seventh Lifts Michigan over Iona in Series Opener
Michael O'Neill

Feb. 24, 2012

Box Score | Notes

Site: Port St. Lucie, Fla. (Tradition Field #5)
Score: Michigan 9, Iona 6
Records: U-M (3-1); Iona (1-3)
Next U-M Event: Saturday, Feb. 25 -- vs. Iona - doubleheader (Port St. Lucie, Fla.), 11 a.m.

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- A three-run seventh inning broke a 6-6 tie and propelled the University of Michigan baseball team to a 9-6 win over Iona in the first of a four-game series Friday afternoon (Feb. 24) at Tradition Field. Michigan has now won three games in a row after today's victory over the Gaels.

Freshman Will Drake (Fairfield, Ohio/Fairfield) drove in three runs and had the big hit, a two-run triple to the gap in left in the seventh inning. Sophomore Michael O'Neill (Powell, Ohio/Olentangy Liberty) and junior Patrick Biondi (Woodhaven, Mich./Divine Child) had two hits apiece, while sophomore Brett Winger(Orlando, Fla./Olympia) had two runs batted in.

Michigan and Iona traded zeroes in the first three innings, but the Maize and Blue erupted for six runs in the next two frames. In the fourth, Biondi walked, stole second and third and scored on a Drake groundout. O'Neill doubled to left, stole second and scored on a sacrifice fly from senior Coley Crank (Pinole, Calif./Pinole Valley). Then in the fifth, junior Derek Dennis (Ada, Mich./Forest Hills Central) and freshman Kevin White (Charlottesville, Va./St. Anne's-Belfield) both walked and scored on a Winger triple. Freshman Dylan Delaney (Woodland Hills, Calif./Chaminade) brought in a run with a groundout. With no one on and two outs, Drake was hit by a pitch, stole second, moved to third on a throwing error and scored on O'Neill's second double of the day.

Iona came to tie the game with four runs in the sixth and two in the seventh. It was highlighted by James Beck's three-run home run to straightaway center field in the sixth frame. Michigan came back to take the lead for good in the home half of the seventh. Delaney singled to open the inning. Biondi then singled to right and both runners moved up 90 feet on an error by the Iona rightfielder. Drake's triple brought in both runners and the freshman scored on a sacrifice fly from O'Neill.

Junior Kyle Clark (Portage, Mich./Portage Central) earned the win on the mound, striking out a batter and allowing three hits and two runs in two innings of work. Senior Brandon Sinnery (Worcester, Mass./Worcester Academy) started the game for U-M. He allowed five hits and three earned runs with a strikeout and two walks in six innings. Freshman Trent Szkutnik (Temperance, Mich./Bedford) struck out a batter in the ninth for his first career save.

Beck drove in five runs for the Gaels, going 2-for-4 at the plate. Derrick Bligh was tagged with the loss in relief. He allowed five hits and four runs with a pair of strikeouts in two innings.

Michigan and Iona resume the series Saturday morning (Feb. 25) with a doubleheader in Port St. Lucie, Fla. The first pitch of game one will start at 11 a.m. at Tradition Field.

Contact: Kent Reichert (734) 647-4423

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