Michigan Swept by Northwestern in Big Ten Doubleheader
Coley Crank

April 21, 2012

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Boxscores: Game 1 | Game 2

Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Wilpon Complex)
Scores: Northwestern 6, Michigan 5 (11 innings); Northwestern 8, Michigan 5
Records: U-M (16-24, 3-8 Big Ten), NU (13-22, 5-9 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Sunday, April 22 -- vs. Northwestern (Wilpon Complex), 1:05 p.m.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Michigan baseball team was swept by Northwestern in a Big Ten doubleheader Saturday afternoon (April 21) at the Wilpon Complex, home of Ray Fisher Stadium. The Wolverines came back to tie the opener in the bottom of the ninth, but Northwestern outscored Michigan 3-2 in the 11th to win, 6-5. The Wildcats also won the nightcap 8-5, scoring four unearned runs.

The first game was scoreless thorugh three innings before Northwestern put up a pair in the fourth. Zach Morton led off the inning with a single and went to second on a one-out walk to Jack Havey. Northwestern loaded the bases on a Kyle Ruchim single. Michigan looked to get out of the inning as Geoff Rowan grounded to short, but an error kept the inning alive and scored Morton. Nick Linne then struck out but reached on a wild pitch, scoring Havey. Northwestern plated a run in the fifth on a Snieder sacrifice fly that scored Morton from second base.

Senior Coley Crank (Pinole, Calif./Pinole Valley) led off the bottom of the fifth with his eighth home run of the year, a towering shot over the wall in left. Sophomore Brett Winger (Orlando, Fla./Olympia) reached base on an error, went to second on a groundout and scored on a single from senior John Lorenz (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln-Way East), cutting the Wildcat lead to 3-2.

The score remained 3-2 until the bottom of the ninth. Junior/sophomore John DiLaura (Clinton Twp., Mich./Warren DeLa Salle) walked with two outs. Crank then walked, and on a full count Winger singled to right to score sophomore pinch runner Adam Robinson (Northbrook, Ill./Glenbrook North) and tie the game at 3-3.

Northwestern scored the game-winning runs in the top of the 11th. Ruchim was hit by a pitch with one out. He stole second and scored on a single from pinch hitter Colby Everett. Jack Quickley pinch ran for Everett and went to second on a Rowan walk, stole third and scored on a throwing error. The inning's third run came home on a squeeze bunt by Linne.

Michigan battled back with a pair of runs in the 11th. Senior/junior Kevin Krantz (Traverse City, Mich./Central) walked to lead off the frame, and junior Patrick Biondi (Woodhaven, Mich./Divine Child) doubled to put runners on second and third with no one out. Freshman pinch hitter Mike Dolloff (Davison, Mich./Davison) brought in Krantz on a groundout, and Biondi scored on a Crank sacrifice fly. Winger walked, but freshman Dylan Delaney (Woodland Hills, Calif./Chaminade) fouled out to end the game.

Senior Brandon Sinnery (Worcester, Mass./Worcester Academy) had another quality start, going eight innings and allowing just five hits and an earned run while striking out a season-high eight batters. Freshman Matt Ogden (Aurora, Colo./Smoky Hill) took the loss. He went three innings, allowing one hit and two earned runs with a pair of strikeouts. Luke Farrell earned the win for Northwestern in relief, striking out four in 4.1 innings. Ruchim picked up his sixth save by retiring the final three batters in the 11th.

Lorenz led the Michigan offense, going 3-for-4 with an RBI, while Biondi, Crank and Winger had two hits apiece. For Northwestern, Morton had two hits and two runs scored.

Michigan took the lead in the bottom of the first in the nightcap. Crank and Winger had two-out singles, and Lorenz brought in a run with a single up the middle. Northwestern came back and scored two unearned runs in the top of the second. With runners on first and second and two outs, a throwing error scored Ruchim and Hamilton Wise singled to center to bring in the second run.

Michigan tied the game in the bottom of the second as freshman Kevin White (Charlottesville, Va./St. Anne's-Belfield) doubled and scored on a single by classmate Eric Jacobson (Chicago, Ill./St. Ignatius). Snieder then led off the Northwestern third with a solo home run to right.

Northwestern brought in three runs in the top of the fifth. Morton and Havey walked, and both runners moved up 90 feet on a Patrick Miller sacrifice bunt. Four straight walks then brought in three runs, making it 6-2.

Michigan scored three runs of its own in the bottom of the sixth. Jacobson singled, moved up to second on a wild pitch, and went to third on a Delaney sacrifice bunt. He scored on Biondi's squeeze bunt. DiLaura walked and trotted home on Crank's second home run of the day and ninth of the season.

The Wildcats added insurance with single runs in the seventh and ninth innings, both unearned. Michigan loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth on singles from Lorenz, Winger and White, but Northwestern's Michael Jahns came in and got three strikeouts to end the game.

Michigan had 16 hits in the nightcap, led by Winger's 4-for-5 performance. White had a career-high three hits, while Crank, Lorenz and Jacobson had two hits apiece. Michigan left 13 men on base. For Northwestern, Wise and Havey had two hits apiece.

Junior Ben Ballantine (Napa, Calif./Napa) was tagged with the loss, allowing four earned runs and five hits with a pair of strikeouts in 4.2 innings. Junior Kyle Clark (Portage, Mich./Portage Central) did not allow an earned run and had a pair of strikeouts in 4.1 innings of relief. Brandon Magallones earned the win for the Wildcats, allowing 10 hits and five runs with a pair of strikeouts in six innings, and Jahns picked up his first save.

Michigan and Northwestern conclude the three-game series Sunday afternoon (April 22) at 1:05 p.m. It will be Military Appreciation Day at the Wilpon Complex, home of Ray Fisher Stadium.

Contact: Kent Reichert (734) 763-4423

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