March 4, 2012
Site: Port Charlotte, Fla. (North Charlotte Regional Park)
Event: Snowbird Invitational
Score: Xavier 5, Michigan 3
Records: U-M (6-6), XU (3-7)
Next U-M Event: Friday, March 9 -- at LSU (Baton Rouge, La.), 7 p.m. CST
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- The University of Michigan baseball team fell to Xavier, 5-3, on the final day of the Snowbird Invitational Sunday (March 4) at the North Charlotte Regional Park. Michigan held a 3-1 lead after six innings, but the Musketeers tied the game in the eighth and won it with two runs in the top of the ninth.
Xavier opened the scoring with a run in the third, but the Wolverines tied the game in the fourth. Sophomore Michael O'Neill (Powell, Ohio/Olentangy Liberty) opened the inning with a single. He stole second and moved to third on a single from sophomore Brett Winger (Orlando, Fla./Olympia). Senior Coley Crank (Pinole, Calif./Pinole Valley) brought him in on a fielder's choice ground ball to second.
Michigan took the 3-1 lead in the sixth. O'Neill led off with a double, moved to third on a Winger groundout and scored on a Crank infield single. Crank moved to second on a throwing error by Xavier pitcher Tyler Koors and scored on a single from sophomore Cole Martin (Bay City, Mich./John Glenn).
The Musketeers got one back in the seventh and tied the game in the eighth on a run-scoring triple. Then in the top half of the ninth, a two-run single plated a pair for the game-winning runs.
Junior Ben Ballantine (Napa, Calif./Napa) had another quality start for the Maize and Blue. He allowed eight hits and three runs with five strikeouts and two walks in 7.2 innings of work. The loss was tagged to freshman Trent Szkutnik (Temperance, Mich./Bedford), who gave up two runs and walked a pair in two-thirds of an inning.
Koors earned the win for Xavier. He went eight innings, allowing nine hits and two earned runs with three strikeouts.
O'Neill, Winger and Crank had two hits apiece for Michigan, with Crank driving in a pair of runs. Brian Bruening, Micah Elliott and Mark Elwell had two hits apiece for Xavier.
Michigan will next head to Baton Rouge, La., facing LSU this Friday (March 9) at 7 p.m. CST.
Contact: Kent Reichert (734) 763-4423