Comeback Victory at Winthrop Highlights Michigan's Saturday Split

March 12, 2011

• Boxscores: Stony Brook | Winthrop
• Postgame Audio: Anthony Toth | Ben Ballantine

Site: Rock Hill, S.C. (Winthrop Ballpark)
Bojangles Baseball Classic
Stony Brook 3, Michigan 1; Michigan 9, Winthrop 8
Records: U-M (3-11), Stony Brook (5-4), Winthrop (6-7)
Next U-M Event: Sunday, March 13 -- vs. Stony Brook in the Bojangles Baseball Classic (Rock Hill, S.C.) 10:30 a.m.

ROCK HILL, S.C. -- The University of Michigan baseball team scored six unanswered run in the final three innings to earn a 9-8 win at Winthrop, highlighting a Saturday (March 12) split at the Bojangles Baseball Classic at the Winthrop Ballpark. The Wolverines, who fell, 3-1, to Stony Brook earlier in the day, scored five runs in the seventh against Winthrop and redshirt senior Anthony Toth's (Lorain, Ohio/St. Ignatius) run-scoring double in the ninth scored the game-winner.

The Wolverines' late-inning heroics were possible by the stellar relief pitching performance of sophomore Ben Ballantine (Napa, Calif./Napa), who struck out six and allowed just three hits and no runs in 6.1 innings of relief to earn the win to move to 1-1 on the season.

Michigan was down 8-3 in the top of the seventh but sent 10 men to the plate to tie the score. Freshman Michael O'Neill (Powell, Ohio/Olentangy Liberty) walked to open the frame, stole second and scored on a double from junior Coley Crank (Pinole, Calif./Pinole Valley). Junior John Lorenz (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) and redshirt junior Garrett Stephens (Davison, Mich./Davison) earned walks in back-to-back at-bats, and with the bases loaded, redshirt freshman John DiLaura (Clinton Twp., Mich./Warren DeLaSalle) singled up the middle to score a pair of runs. Michigan then tied the game at eight as Toth's grounder to third was bobbled, which scored DiLaura.

In the ninth, DiLaura opened with a walk and freshman pinch runner Adam Robinson (Northbrook, Ill./Glenbrook North) moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from redshirt sophomore Kevin Krantz (Traverse City, Mich./Central). Winthrop closer Tommy Lawrence walked sophomore Derek Dennis (Ada, Mich./Forest Hills Central) to set up Toth's game-winning double to centerfield. Ballantine then gave up a walk in the ninth but got a fly to right to end the game.

Winthrop took a 3-0 lead in the third. Michigan came back to tie the game at three in the top of the third. Toth singled with one out, stole second and moved to third on an error. He joined O'Neill at the plate as Crank doubled to the gap in leftfield. Crank then scored on a single by Lorenz.

Winthrop plated five runs in the third off three hits and three walks. The big hit was a two-run single from Eddie Rohan, giving the Eagles the five-run lead.

Sophomore Patrick Biondi (Woodhaven, Mich./Divine Child) led Michigan with three hits, while Crank drove in three runs. For Winthrop, Chas Crane, Rohan and Matt Lobacz had two hits apiece. Lawrence took the loss in relief for the Eagles, allowing four hits and two runs in three innings of work.

In the opener, the Wolverines ran into a buzzsaw in Stony Brook starting pitcher Nick Tropeano. He struck out 10 batters in eight innings, giving up just three hits and no runs in improving to 2-1 on the year. Sophomore Kyle Clark (Portage, Mich./Portage Northern) also had a great outing, going eight innings and giving up six hits and two earned runs with four strikeouts.

Stony Brook scored a pair of runs in the first inning and scored a run in the second. The Wolverine pitching staff of Clark and redshirt freshman Logan McAnallen (DeWitt, Mich./DeWitt) shut down the Seawolves after that, allowing just two hits in the last seven innings.

Michigan had an opportunity to score in the fifth inning. Tropeano retired the first two hitters but gave up a double to Crank and a single to DiLaura. However, Tropeano struck out Robinson to end the inning.

Then in the ninth, William Carmona came in to replace Tropeano and hit Toth to start the inning. Biondi walked and O'Neill singled to load the bases with no one out. Stephens grounded into a double play that scored Toth and Lorenz grounded out to shortstop to end the game.

Pat Cantwell and Carmona had two hits apiece for Stony Brook, while O'Neill kept his hitting streak intact at 13 games for U-M. It moved to 14 games after the Winthrop contest. Carmona also earned his first save on the mound for the Seawolves.

Michigan concludes action in the Bojangles Baseball Classic on Sunday (March 13) as the Wolverines face Stony Brook at 10:30 a.m. in Rock Hill, S.C.

Contact: Kent Reichert (734) 763-4423

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