Michigan Earns Split on Opening Day of Sam Houston Invite

March 5, 2011

Boxscores: Massachusetts | Sam Houston State
• Postgame Audio: Tyler Mills

Site: Huntsville, Texas (Don Sanders Stadium)
Henson Family Dealership/First National Bank of Huntsville Baseball Tournament
Michigan 5, UMass 2; Sam Houston State 11, Michigan 3
Records: U-M (1-8), UMass (0-1), SHSU (7-2)
Next U-M Event: Saturday, March 5 -- vs. Massachusetts - Henson Family Dealership/First National Bank of Huntsville Baseball Tournament (Huntsville, Texas), 1:30 p.m. CST

HUNTSVILLE, Texas -- The University of Michigan baseball team split on the first day of the Henson Family Dealership/First National Bank of Huntsville Baseball Tournament at Sanders Stadium, defeating Massachusetts, 5-2, before falling to host Sam Houston State, 11-3, in the nightcap on Friday (March 4).

Michigan picked up its first win of the year early in the day against Massachusetts, as redshirt sophomore Tyler Mills (Mt. Pleasant, Mich./Mt. Pleasant) was stellar in his second start of the season. Mills struck out seven in 7.1 innings of work, allowing just five hits and an earned run with one walk. Mills retired nine straight hitters from the second through fifth innings. Freshman Jake Engels (Portage, Mich./Portage Northern) picked up his first save of the season, striking out a batter and not allowing a hit in 1.2 innings of relief.

Michigan scored a pair of runs in both the second and third innings, building a lead it never relinquished. Redshirt junior Garrett Stephens (Davison, Mich./Davison) walked to start the second, stole second and went to third on a single by redshirt senior Anthony Toth (Lorain, Ohio/St. Ignatius). With one out, Stephens was thrown out at home on a fielder's choice, but redshirt freshman Zach Johnson (Grandville, Mich./Grandville) and redshirt sophomore Kevin Krantz (Traverse City, Mich./Central) came through with big two-out singles to score Toth and junior John Lorenz (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) for the early 2-0 lead. In the third, sophomore Derek Dennis (Ada, Mich./Forest Hills Central) singled to start the frame, stole second, went to third on a balk and scored on a triple from freshman Michael O'Neill (Powell, Ohio/Olentangy Liberty). O'Neill then trotted home on a Toth grounder with one out.

It stayed 4-0 Michigan until the seventh when sophomore Patrick Biondi (Woodhaven, Mich./Divine Child) singled, stole second and third, and scored on an O'Neill sacrifice fly. However, UMass plated its two runs in the eighth.

Dennis had two hits for the Maize and Blue, while O'Neill drove in a pair of runs.

In the Sam Houston State game, the Bearkats scored three runs in the first off redshirt sophomore starter Bobby Brosnahan (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer).

Michigan got a run back in the second as Toth doubled down the leftfield line, moved to third on a fly out by junior Coley Crank (Pinole, Calif./Pinole Valley) and scored on a Lorenz ground out. Michigan cut the deficit to 3-2 in the third with two outs, as Dennis walked, went to third on O'Neill's single and scored on a Stephens base hit to right.

Sophomore Kyle Clark (Portage, Mich./Portage Central) came on in the second inning and shut the Bearkats out until the fifth, when they pushed across two more runs.

Michigan got one back in the sixth, but it could have been more. Toth and Crank led off the inning with back-to-back singles. Sam Houston State starter Matt Shelton struck out the next two Wolverines but walked Krantz to load the bases. Shelton was relieved by Daniel Nottebart and Biondi greeted him with a run-scoring single, but on the play both Crank and Krantz ended up on third base as Krantz was tagged out for the final out of the inning.

Sam Houston State then scored three runs apiece in the sixth and seventh innings.

Biondi and Toth had two hits apiece for Michigan, while Toth scored a pair of runs.

Michigan continues play in the Henson Family Dealership/First National Bank of Huntsville Baseball Tournament tomorrow (Saturday, March 5) against Massachusetts. First pitch is at 1:30 p.m. CST in Huntsville, Texas.

Contact: Kent Reichert (734) 763-4423

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