Feb. 26, 2011
Site: Port St. Lucie, Fla. (Tradition Field #5)
Score: Rutgers 9, Michigan 4; Rutgers 5, Michigan 2
Records: U-M (0-6), Rutgers (4-2)
Next U-M Event: Sunday, Feb. 27 -- at New York Mets - exhibition (Port St. Lucie, Fla.), 12:10 p.m.
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- The University of Michigan baseball team was swept by Rutgers (9-4 and 5-2) Saturday afternoon (Feb. 26) in a doubleheader at Tradition Field #5. Two big innings by the Scarlet Knights hurt Michigan in the opener, while U-M held a lead through five innings of the nightcap, but Rutgers broke a 2-2 tie with three runs in the final two frames.
Rutgers put up runs in the first inning for the second straight day, plating three in the opening frame. Redshirt sophomore Tyler Mills (Mt. Pleasant, Mich./Mt. Pleasant) retired the first two hitters, but a single and error put runners on the corners. Bill Hoermann singled through the right side to score Steve Nyisztor. D.J. Anderson loaded the bases on a walk and Jeff Melillo brought home a pair with a double to left.
Redshirt sophomore Kevin Krantz (Traverse City, Mich./Central) doubled home redshirt freshman Zach Johnson (Grandville, Mich./Grandville) to make it 3-1 in the third. Mills settled down from innings two through five, retiring the Scarlet Knights in order in the third and fourth frames but ran into trouble in the sixth. A double by Russ Hopkins and a walk to Hoermann started the inning. Anderson then singled on a bunt back to the pitcher to load the bases. Melillo singled to left for the first run. Junior Brandon Sinnery (Worcester, Mass./Worcester Academy) came in and threw a wild pitch to score the second run. Sinnery struck out Dan Perrine but walked Brandon Boykin to reload the bases. A sacrifice fly and another wild pitch brought in two runs to give Rutgers a six-run advantage.
Michigan got back three of those runs in the bottom of the sixth. A double from redshirt senior Anthony Toth (Lorain, Ohio/St. Ignatius) started the inning. Freshman Michael O'Neill (Powell, Ohio/Olentangy Liberty) singled and Toth went to third on a throwing error from Nyisztor. A walk to junior Coley Crank (Pinole, Calif./Pinole Valley) and a sacrifice fly from junior John Lorenz (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) made it 7-2. With runners on second and third, redshirt junior Garrett Stephens (Davison, Mich./Davison) reached on a muffed throw by Hoermann, allowing both O'Neill and Crank to score. Rutgers added a pair of runs in the ninth on a passed ball and a sacrifice bunt that scored a run.
Mills was tagged with the loss, allowing four earned runs while giving up seven hits and striking out a pair in five-plus innings. Sinnery allowed an earned run on two hits in four innings of relief. Rob Smorol earned the win for the Scarlet Knights, allowing seven hits and two earned runs with three strikeouts in six innings.
Stephens and O'Neill had two hits apiece in game one for U-M, while Melillo had two hits and drove in three runs for Rutgers.
Michigan took its first lead of 2011 in the first inning of game two. Sophomore Patrick Biondi (Woodhaven, Mich./Divine Child) reached on a throwing error and stole second to open the inning. He moved to third on an O'Neill infield single and scored on a Coley sacrifice fly. Senior Travis Smith (Austin, Texas/Stephen F. Austin) looked good in the first two innings but had to leave before the start of the third due to injury. Sophomore Ben Ballantine (Napa, Calif./Napa) came in and threw four innings of relief, striking out a pair and giving up four hits and two runs. He allowed a run in the third on a run-scoring single from Lang. Michigan had the first two runners -- freshman Alex Lakatos (Grand Rapids, Mich./Forest Hills Central) and Biondi -- on in the third, but both were erased on a caught stealing (Lakatos) and a pickoff (Biondi).
Michigan took one back in the fifth when Lorenz doubled, went to third on a sacrifice bunt from freshman Cole Martin (Bay City, Mich./John Glenn) and scored on a fielder's choice off the bat of Lakatos. His grounder to short was picked up by Nyisztor, but the throw to get Lorenz out at the plate was high.
Rutgers tied the game in the top of the sixth. Lang singled with one out and moved to second on a groundout from Brian O'Grady. Nyisztor brought in Lang with a single to right.
The game was deadlocked at 2-2 until the top of the eighth. Boykin doubled to left with one out off senior Kolby Wood (Eau Claire, Mich./Berrien Springs). Boykin went to third on a Lang single and scored on a sacrifice fly from O'Grady. Rutgers added a pair of unearned runs in the ninth. Michigan had two quick outs, but a dropped fly extended the inning. Michael Zavala then homered off Wood to make the final 5-2.
Five Wolverines had a hit apiece, with Crank and Lakatos driving in the runs. For Rutgers, Lang was 3-for-4 with a run scored and a run batted in.
Wood was tagged with the loss, going the final three innings of relief with three strikeouts and one earned run. Nathaniel Roe went eight innings for Rutgers, striking out three and allowing five hits and one earned run for his first win of the season.
Michigan will play the New York Mets in an exhibition game Sunday (Feb. 27) at 12:10 p.m. at Digital Domain Park in Port St. Lucie, Fla. The Wolverines will jump back into regular-season play Wednesday (March 2) at Florida Gulf Coast. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.
N O T E S
Rutgers (4-2) used five unearned runs to beat Michigan (0-6), 9-4. Michigan, after losing all three games of the weekend series with Rutgers, is 14-6 in collegiate games at the Mets' complex since 2004.
The Wolverines held leads of 1-0 and 2-1 in Saturday's second game, the first U-M leads of the season. Rutgers tied the game with a run in the sixth inning and scored once in the eighth inning and twice in the ninth for the final margin.
Michigan is 0-6 for the first time since starting 0-8 in 1996.
Freshman RF Michael O'Neill extended his team-leading hitting streak to six games, going 2-for-4 with a stolen base in Saturday's opener and singling in the first inning of the second game. O'Neill, who is hitting .391 (9-for-23), has at least one hit in every game in his U-M career, including three multi-hit games.
Senior/junior 1B Garrett Stephens, who has hits in five of U-M's six games this season -- including the last four in a row -- was 3-for-6 with a walk in Saturday's doubleheader. Stephens was 2-for-4 with a double in the opener for his third career multi hit game.
Senior co-captain 2B Anthony Toth, was 1-for-5 with a double in Saturday's opener to extend his hitting streak to nine games, but the streak was snapped in the second game.
Sophomore SS Derek Dennis was 1-for-4 in Saturday's opener to extend his hitting streak to four games, but the mini streak was snapped in the second game.
Junior 3B John Lorenz was 0-for-3 with a sac fly in Saturday's opener, snapping his career-best hitting streak at 18 games. His second-game double gives him hits in 19 of his last 20 games. Lorenz is hitting .261 (6-for-23) for the season.
Contact: Kent Reichert (734) 763-4423