U-M's Comeback Goes for Naught in 11-Inning Loss to Gophers
Carmen Benedetti

April 4, 2014

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Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Wilpon Complex)
Score: Minnesota 9, Michigan 6 (11 inn.)
Records: U-M (13-16-1, 3-4 Big Ten), MINN (16-9, 4-3 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Saturday, April 5 - vs. Minnesota (Wilpon Complex), 2 p.m.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Michigan baseball team battled back from a 5-0 deficit and forced extra innings with a three-run eighth, but Minnesota scored three times in the 11th frame to take the series opener, 9-6, Friday afternoon (April 4) at the Wilpon Complex, home of Ray Fisher Stadium.

The Golden Gophers opened the scoring with a run in the third on a wild pitch and throwing error to plate Tony Skjefte. Minnesota then put four runs up in the fourth inning on three hits. The big hit was a two-run single up the middle from Jordan Smith.

Michigan was held hitless through the first three innings, but broke through in the fourth. Sophomores Travis Maezes (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer) and Jacob Cronenworth (St. Clair, Mich./St. Clair) opened the inning with singles. Both Wolverines stole a base and Maezes scored on junior Jackson Glines' (Coarsegold, Calif./Fresno City College) groundout. Junior Kyle Jusick (Portage, Mich./Portage Central) then doubled down the right-field line to score Cronenworth. Jusick moved up on a groundout and scored when senior/junior Kendall Patrick (Mitchell, S.D./Blackhawk College) singled through the left side, cutting Minnesota's lead to 5-3.

Minnesota put up a run in the sixth but Michigan came back to tie the game at six in the bottom of the eighth. A Cronenworth walk and Glines single put runners at the corners with one out. Jusick walked and Cronenworth scored on a wild pitch from Gopher reliever Dalton Sawyer. Freshman Carmen Benedetti (Grosse Pointe, Mich./South) came through with a big two-run double to right, tying the game. Michigan had a runner on third with one out but a popped up bunt and groundout ended the inning.

The Wolverines had another good opportunity to end the game in the ninth. A walk, passed ball and groundout put a runner on third with one out. Minnesota intentionally walked Maezes and Cronenworth to load the bases. The Gophers got out of the jam with a fielder's choice groundout to home and a strikeout.

The Gophers put up three unearned runs in the 11th. A bases loaded walk to Skjefte made it 7-6 Minnesota and Bobby Juan's two-run single gave the Gophers a three-run cushion.

Cronenworth was tagged with the loss in relief. He allowed three runs, all unearned and struck out three with a walk and three hits in two innings. Senior Ben Ballantine (Napa, Calif./Napa) allowed four hits and four runs in 3.1 innigns with a pair of strikeouts and three walks. Freshman Brett Adcock (Kawkawlin, Mich./Bay City Western) ate some innings in the middle relief, striking out five and allowing four hits and two runs, going five and two-thirds for his longest outing of the year.

The Wolverines had nine hits from nine different men in the game. Benedetti drove in two while Cronenworth scored a pair of runs.

Michigan and Minnesota continue the Big Ten set on Saturday afternoon (April 5) at 2 p.m. at the Wilpon Complex, home of Ray Fisher Stadium.

Contact: Kent Reichert

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