March 20, 2011
N O T E S
Michigan (6-12) used a three-run seventh-inning rally to spark a 5-2 win over host Eastern Michigan (11-7) in the championship game of the Oestrike Classic. U-M was 3-0 in the tournament, while EMU was 2-1, Oakland was 1-2, and Alma was 0-3.
The win for the Wolverines Sunday vs. EMU was the third straight of the season, the longest U-M winning streak since a three-game streak May 16-20 2010 (vs. Northwestern, Ball State and Penn State). Michigan is 6-12 for the first time since a 6-12-1 start in 2000.
Sophomore CF Patrick Biondi, who is hitting .303 (23-for-76), was 1-for-4 with a three-run double that provided the winning margin over Eastern Michigan in the championship game. It was Biondi's first game-winning RBI of the season and his third career "gamer" as a Wolverine.
Biondi, who ranks second on the team with seven stolen bases, collected his 36th career stolen base.
Sophomore RHP Kyle Clark (1-1, 2.42 ERA) allowed five hits and two runs (one earned) in 7.1 innings pitched as he earned his first career win as a Wolverine.
Sophomore RHP Ben Ballantine (1-1, 4.33 ERA, one save) worked the final 1.2 innings with four strikeouts to earn his first career save as a Wolverine. Ballantine, who has 15 strikeouts in 18.2 innings on the season, struck out the side in the ninth inning. He was named to the Oestrike Classic all-tournament team as a relief pitcher.
Sophomore SS Derek Dennis, who is hitting .313 (21-for-67), was 2-for-4 in Sunday's win for his third multi-hit game in the weekend tournament. Dennis, who was 7-for-15 (.538) in the Oestrike Classic, has seven multi-hit games in 2011 and 20 career multi-hit games. He was named the co-Most Valuable Player of the Oestrike Classic with Eastern Michigan's Ken Battiston.
Senior/junior 1B Garrett Stephens, who is hitting .262 (17-for-65), was 1-for-3 with a run-scoring single and a walk. Stephens leads Michigan with 11 RBI.
Junior 3B John Lorenz, who is hitting .278 (20-for-72) for the season, was 1-for-4 Sunday to extend his hitting streak to six games, and he scored the tying run in the three-run seventh inning. He has hits in 15 of the 17 games in which he has had an at-bat this season, and he has hits in 29 of his last 31 games over the past two seasons. Lorenz was named to the Oestrike Classic all-tournament team.
Senior co-captain 2B Anthony Toth, who is hitting .265 (18-for-68), was 1-for-4 with a walk Sunday at EMU. Toth has hits in 17 of his last 21 games as a Wolverine.
Freshman RF Michael O'Neill, who is hitting .356 (26-for-73), was 0-for-4 at Eastern Michigan, snapping his team-leading hitting streak at 17 games.
Q U O T E S
Michigan Head Coach Rich Maloney
On the weekend sweep at the Oestrike Classic ... "We pitched really well all weekend, which is very, very encouraging. We found ways to win, which we hadn't done all year. This is huge. From where we were with the record that we had, there were some tough losses and it was hard. For the kids to still show resiliency, battle and fight, I'm real proud."
On the job of the pitching staff this weekend ... "Three quality starts. That's outstanding. That gives the whole team a lift. We played really outstanding defense as well. The only errors that we made in this whole weekend were on two pickoff plays, so we probably fielded over .980 and that was outstanding. That's encouraging because we're supposed to play good defense and it's good to see that come alive. Patrick Biondi had that big hit this game. He's been working so hard and he's such a great player. He's just been in a little bit of a tailspin. For him to come through, I hope that ignites him. It sure ignited our team and that was big."