March 30, 2012
Site: Minneapolis, Minn. (Metrodome)
Score: Minnesota 6, Michigan 3
Records: U-M (12-14, 0-1 Big Ten), Minnesota (14-13, 1-0 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Saturday, March 31 -- at Minnesota (Minneapolis, Minn.), 2:05 p.m. CDT
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. -- The University of Michigan baseball team lost its Big Ten opener 6-3 at Minnesota Friday night (March 30) at the Metrodome. Michigan scored first and had a two-run ninth, but the Golden Gophers plated four in the third and two in the fifth to win the first game of the series.
Michigan opened the scoring in the top of the first. Junior Patrick Biondi (Woodhaven, Mich./Divine Child) began the game with a single and then stole second. With one out, sophomore Michael O'Neill (Powell, Ohio/Olentangy Liberty) hit a grounder deep in the hole at short. Michael Handel got to it, but his throw was high, allowing Biondi to score.
The Golden Gophers took the lead in the bottom of the third. Minnesota opened with two singles. A sacrifice bunt moved both runners up a base. Dan Olinger then reached on a Texas League single, scoring Matt Puhl. With two outs, Bobby Juan lined a ball to right that was lost in the lights, scoring three runs on an inside-the-park home run. Minnesota added two more in the fifth on an RBI groundout from Olinger and a triple by Juan.
Michigan scored twice in the top of the ninth inning. Gopher reliever Tom Windle walked seniors Coley Crank (Pinole, Calif./Pinole Valley) and John Lorenz (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) to start the inning. After a strikeout, Windle walked sophomore Cole Martin (Bay City, Mich./John Glenn) to load the bases. Sophomore pinch hitter Alex Lakatos (Grand Rapids, Mich./Forest Hills Central) brought home a run on a single to right, cutting the Minnesota lead to 6-2. Biondi was then hit by a pitch, scoring Lorenz and making it 6-3. Gopher reliever Kevin Kray got freshman Will Drake (Fairfield, Ohio/Fairfield) to ground out to end the game.
Biondi was 3-for-4, reaching base four times in the game. Juan drove in four runs, while he joined Troy Larson and Olinger with two hits apiece for Minnesota.
Senior Brandon Sinnery (Worcester, Mass./Worcester Academy) was tagged with the loss. He went six innings, allowing nine hits and six earned runs with five strikeouts and a walk. Junior Kyle Clark (Portage, Mich./Portage Central) struck out a pair in two innings of relief. TJ Oakes moved to 5-1 for Minnesota, striking out nine and allowing five hits and an unearned run in seven innings, while Kray picked up his fifth save of the season.
Michigan and Minnesota continue the three-game Big Ten series Saturday afternoon (March 31) at 2:05 p.m. CDT from the Metrodome.
Contact: Kent Reichert (734) 763-4423