Wolverines Edge Irish in First Half of Home-and-Home Series

April 20, 2010

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Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Wilpon Complex)
Score: Michigan 3, Notre Dame 2
Records: U-M (23-12), Notre Dame (15-20)
Attendance: 1,384
Next U-M Event: Wednesday, April 21 -- at Notre Dame (South Bend, Ind.), 6:05 p.m.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Meeting in Ann Arbor for the first time since 1977, the University of Michigan baseball team bested Notre Dame, 3-2, on Tuesday evening (April 20) at the Wilpon Baseball Complex, home of historic Ray Fisher Stadium.

Senior pitcher Eric Katzman (Harrington Park, N.J./Northern Valley Old Tappan) got the ball for Michigan and went five innings and struck out three Irish for the win. Junior pitcher Matt Gerbe (Shelby Township, Mich./Eisenhower) picked up his first save of the season, tossing 1.2 innings in relief.

Sophomore designated hitter Coley Crank (Pinole, Calif./Pinole Valley) led the Michigan offense with two hits, and senior catcher Chris Berset (Vienna, Va./Heights School) extended his hit streak to 20 games with a single in the sixth inning.

With a runner at second base in the third inning, Notre Dame looked to score first. Before any damage could be done, sophomore third baseman John Lorenz (Frankfurt, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) came up with spectacular catch against the third-base fence to end the threat. The Wolverines capitalized in the bottom half of the frame with a single to right by senior/junior second baseman Anthony Toth (Lorain, Ohio/St. Ignatius). The single sent freshman shortstop Derek Dennis (Ada, Mich./Forest Hills Central) rounding second into a play at the plate where the rookie narrowly beat out the throw from rightfield.

Michigan took a 3-0 lead in the fourth inning off run-scoring hits from Lorenz and senior leftfielder Mike Kittle (Clarkston, Mich./Clarkston). Senior first baseman Mike Dufek (Scottsdale, Ariz./Desert Mountain) doubled to deep leftfield to put two runners in scoring position. A groundball by Lorenz pushed Crank across from third before Kittle sliced a single through the right side to drive in Dufek from second.

Notre Dame loaded the bases in the top half of the fifth but was held to one run off a sacrifice fly. Before the Irish could score again, Katzman got an inning-ending strikeout. Junior pitcher Travis Smith (Austin, Texas/Stephen F. Austin), freshman pitcher Kyle Clark (Portage, Mich./Portage Central) and Gerbe combined for only one run allowed out of the bullpen to preserve the Michigan victory.

Michigan will head to Notre Dame for the first visiting half of a home-and-home series on Wednesday (April 21) at 6:05 p.m. at Eck Stadium in South Bend, Ind. The game will be streamed on MGoBlue All-Access (audio, free).

Contact: Ryan Sosin (734) 763-4423

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