Wolverines Drop Both Sides of Doubleheader with MSU

March 27, 2011

• Boxscores: Game 1 | Game 2
Notes | Photo Gallery 

Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Wilpon Complex)
Michigan State 5, Michigan 4; Michigan State 8, Michigan 2
Records: U-M (6-15), MSU (15-5)
Next U-M Event: Wednesday, March 30 -- at Eastern Michigan (Ypsilanti, Mich.), 5 p.m.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Michigan baseball team was swept in a doubleheader Sunday afternoon (March 27), falling to Michigan State by scores of 5-4 and 8-2 at the Wilpon Baseball Complex, home of Ray Fisher Stadium. The Spartans swept the three-game series against the Wolverines for the first time since 2000.

In the opener, the Wolverines broke through for a run in the third as freshman Michael O'Neill (Powell, Ohio/Olentangy Liberty) singled home sophomore Patrick Biondi (Woodhaven, Mich./Divine Child). The game stayed at 1-0 with redshirt sophomore Bobby Brosnahan (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer) putting up zeroes on the mound until the top of the sixth. Andy Johnson led off with an infield single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from Jordan Keur. Johnson then scored on a two-out single from Jared Hook, tying the game at 1-1.

The Spartans plated four runs in the top of the seventh. Ryan Jones and Justin Scanlon led off the inning with singles. Jones went to third on Scanlon's hit and scored on a squeeze bunt from Andrew Carpenter. Johnson had the big blow, a three-run home run to left-centerfield as MSU led, 5-1.

Michigan came back with a three-spot in the seventh. Freshman Brett Winger (Orlando, Fla./Olympia) doubled off the wall in left to start the frame. Michigan State starter Tony Bucciferro then hit redshirt sophomore Kevin Krantz (Traverse City, Mich./Central). The Spartans brought in Tony Wieber and junior pinch hitter Coley Crank (Pinole, Calif./Pinole Valley) greeted him with a three-run home run to left to get the Wolverines within a run. It was Crank's first home run of the season and his 17th as a Wolverine.

Michigan had a two-out rally in the ninth as Wieber walked Crank and Biondi reached on a fielder's choice dropped throw at second, but the MSU pitcher got redshirt senior Anthony Toth (Lorain, Ohio/St. Ignatius) to fly out to end the game.

Biondi had two hits for the Maize and Blue, while Crank drove in the three runs on the homer. For MSU, Hook and Johnson had two hits apiece, with Johnson adding three runs batted in.

Brosnahan took the loss, giving up five runs and seven hits in 6.2 innings. He also struck out three and allowed one walk. Bucciferro picked up the win, allowing five hits and three runs with six strikeouts in six innings of work.

In the nightcap, Michigan State scored a run in the first on a Jeff Holm single that scored Brandon Eckerle. MSU put up three runs in the fourth off Michigan sophomore starter Kyle Clark (Portage, Mich./Portage Central). Jones was hit by a pitch, stole second, went to third on a groundout and scored on a Joel Fisher single. Jeff Kinley brought in a pair of runs on a triple to the rightfield gap, making it 4-0 Spartans.

Michigan State added a run in the fifth as Scanlon scored Torsten Boss on a bunt single. Michigan broke the shutout in the fifth. Redshirt junior Garrett Stephens (Davison, Mich./Davison) was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and moved to second on a Crank single. Stephens went to third on a fielder's choice and scored on a David Garner wild pitch.

Both teams plated runs in the eighth. Michigan State scored three as Boss, Jones and Scanlon all had RBI in the frame. For Michigan, Biondi doubled, went to third on a fly out and scored on a ground out from sophomore Derek Dennis (Ada, Mich./Forest Hills Central).

Clark pitched four innings, allowing five hits and four runs with a walk and a strikeout. Garner earned the win for MSU, giving up just four hits and a run with a pair of strikeouts.

Crank had two hits and was 3-for-4 for the day. For Michigan State, Eckerle, Hook, Scanlon and Carpenter had two hits apiece.

Michigan heads to Ypsilanti, Mich., for the fourth time this season, playing a mid-week game at Eastern Michigan. Start time for the Wednesday (March 30) game is 5 p.m.


• Michigan is 6-15 for the first time since 1970.

• Junior catcher/OF/DH Coley Crank, who came off the bench for only the second time in 21 games this season in Sunday's opener, was 3-for-4 with two walks, reaching base five times in six plate appearances in the doubleheader. Crank collected a three-run pinch home run and drew a walk in the first game and was 2-for-3 with a walk in the second game. Crank has four multi-hit games this season and 30 for his Michigan career.

• Crank's pinch homer, his first round-tripper of the season, was the first pinch homer for the Wolverines since current teammate Garrett Stephens had a pinch homer against Siena in 2009 (3-7-09). Crank is the active career leader in home runs for Michigan with 17.

• Crank, who has 10 runs batted in this season and 85 for his career, has hit the first Fisher Stadium homer for the Wolverines in both 2010 and 2011.

• Senior/junior 1B Garrett Stephens, who is hitting .260 (19-for-73), reached base four times in the doubleheader with a single, two walks and a hit-by-pitch in eight plate appearances.

• Sophomore CF Patrick Biondi, who is hitting .292 (26-for-89), was 3-for-9 with a double Sunday. Biondi was 2-for-5 in the opener for his team-leading ninth multi-hit game of the season and his 30th career multi-hit game as a Wolverine.

• Freshman RF Michael O'Neill, who is hitting .333 (28-for-84), was 1-for-8 in Sunday's twinbill. He was 1-for-4 with his team-leading 12th stolen base in the first game. O'Neill has hits in 19 of his 21 games this season.

• Freshman DH Brett Winger was 1-for-4 with a seventh-inning double for his first career hit while making his career debut as a Wolverine in the opener today. Winger was 1-for-8 in the doubleheader.

Contact: Kent Reichert (734) 763-4423

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