Normally these will be a bit shorter as I won’t have to go through as many different teams in a weekend and we will also only have 3 games instead of four.
I wanted to start with a little complaint about Friday’s multimedia. I had quite a bit of fun just trying to see anything about the game yesterday. I loaded up the CSTV Gametracker (stats) well before the game started. I renewed my long running battle with MGoBlue’s multimedia player well before game time to ensure it would be working. The media player doesn’t work with firefox (huge downer), and I am generally only 50-50 to get it working in IE. I even checked out WBCN’s sport stream to make sure I had every avenue covered.
One o’clock passed with no luck. The media player’s got nothing for the baseball game, just loads then stops. Gametracker is stuck in pregame. I go to try to refresh it by opening the link from MGoBlue, and they replaced the link by directing me to an old stat tracker (a USF vs Notre Dame game last season) at the USF site. The sports stream even let me down as they were playing the Duke vs UM basketball game in syndication. Well this is a huge suckfest.
So 38 minutes after the first pitch, MGoBlue finally gets a hold of the radio feed. It’s in the 2nd inning. I go and check the stat link at MGoBlue, its still not CSTV, but they did link to a CiL live blog on USF’s website. It started out fairly quiet, but about an hour into the game, a large contingent of Wolverine fans took over the board. It was good to see the fan showing on another site. The moderators from USF were pretty good about letting Michigan fans say their piece, but there were some posts not approved from myself that probably could/should have been. That happens in the CiL’s though.
So while the technology wasn’t all it could be, things ended out alright. We had only missed a one run USF first, and Michigan going down silently in the first two.
Notes from the Challenge
Over 50 scouts in the north and midwest regions were in attendance this weekend, as this offered them a great chance to check out prospects with limited travel.
Saturday saw what is thought to be the first game ever to be umpired by a woman in D1 baseball, much less two women at the same time (yes, I specifically linked those words as a single phrase). As an umpire myself, those lady’s got some balls to go out their on the field with men.
The Big10 went 5-3 on Friday, on 4-4 Saturday, and 6-2 on Sunday to take the Challenge by a total margin of 15-9. Great showing by the Big10 as a whole. The first two days of the Challenge, most Big10 teams either just squeaked out a victory or were totally blasted out of the ball park. Sunday wasn’t quite as close on the victories, but there were some pretty bad losses still. Michigan came out the best looking. Ohio State was the only other Big10 team to emerge undefeated. Indiana went 2-1, losing only (read: badly) to St. John’s. Purdue went 1-2 losing to both USF and Notre Dame. Those aren’t bad losses for the Boilermakers. Notre Dame was another extra inning game for them, their second in as many days.
Michigan 6, USF 5
Win – Burgoon (1-0) Loss – Salgueiro (0-1)
|Images from mgoblue.com|
This game started out rough for Fetter and the Wolverines. USF jumped out to a quick lead with 1 run in the first inning from 3 singles. Fetter managed to get out of the inning by inducing a ground out and then striking out a batter, his first of 6 Ks.
The second inning also hosted a pair of USF singles, but the problems began with an error by third basemen John Lorenz. Lorenz threw wide of the bag allowing the runners an extra base. A run scored on that play, and the following single. Fetter locked down after this inning, allowing only one hit in the next 3 frames.
Michigan was fairly quiet on offense as well. McLouth did knock his first homer of the year in his first career at bat in the second inning. In the fourth, Toth walked, advanced to third on a LaMarre single, then scored on a Dufek ground out. Fontanez really had our number at the plate. He was economical with his pitch count and managed to pick off two of our runners.
Matt Gerbe relieved Fetter in the 6th, pitching 2 good innings, and being beaten up in his third inning of work. He ended up giving up 2 runs on 2 singles, a double, a walk and a hit-by-pitch. This inning looked to put the nail in the coffin for Michigan; on the CiL, I figured Coach Prado would bring in Salguiero and close out the game. At the time, I thought we were done.
Then Coach Prado made the decision to bring in his middle reliever Teddy Kaufman. Kaufman immediately loaded the bases when Crank crank’d (I’ve been waiting all off season to use that) a double, Fellows walked, and Cislo was hit by the pitch. Salguiero entered the game here.
I liked our odds with LaMarre at the plate. He is a good singles hitter and doesn’t strike out much. He didn’t disappoint, looping a single into right field plating 2 runs. We got lucky to tie the game as LaMarre should have been picked off in a first and third situation, but on a throw went wild allowing Cislo to score the tying run.
Burgoon came in for his first pressure situation of the season, tied in the 9th. He responded with a quick 1-2-3 inning right through the heart of the order. The bottom of the ninth started nicely with a Nick Urban double off the left center wall. Instead of bunting the runner to third, Maloney gambled on Chris Berset and Tim Kalczynski. Neither could move the runner over, leaving the inning in the hands of Kenny Fellows. Fellows hit a quick ground ball back up the middle, but Sam Mende, the USF shortstop could only knock it down as the speedy Urban came around to score. Victory. As I said in the preview, Salguiero can be high risk-high reward, we caught him on the high-risk appearance.
Timely hitting was the key here. USF out-hit us 11-10, but they stranded an extra 4 men on base.
- Nick Urban – 3/4 2 2b, R
- Ryan LaMarre – 2/4 2 RBI, SB
- Kenny Fellows – 3/3 R, RBI, BB, 1 CS
- Jason McLouth – 1/4 Solo HR
- Tyler Burgoon – 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 BB, W
Michigan 4, Purdue 3 (10 innings)
Win – Burgoon (2-0) Loss – Wurdack (0-1)
To start day two of the season, Michigan came out looking a little sluggish early. The Wolverines registered a hit in each of the first 5 innings, but they just couldn’t get any runs on the board.
Purdue on the other hand go on the board in the second inning in the midst of a four hit inning. Backup catcher Coley Crank also had an error in the inning while attempting to pick off a runner at first base, leading to one unearned run. Purdue would score again in the top of the 6th when Purdue outfielder Jon Moore reached on a Tim Kalczynski error at third base. Moore eventually would score after a pair of Purdue hits.
|Post Game Celebrating,
Image from mgoblue.com
Michigan responded in the bottom half of the 6th managed 4 hits in the inning to tie the game at 3-3. The next few innings went by quickly. Purdue started to form a rally in the 7th, but Tyler Burgoon entered the game with 2 runners on and no outs. He induced a pop out to himself on an attempted bunt, struck out a batter, and Chris Berset threw out Purdue DH Jonathan Lilly attempting to steal third.
Burgoon gave up a hit in the 9th and two in the 10th, all singles, but the Boilermakers couldn’t muster up any runs out of it. In the bottom of the 10th, Michigan got started with a Toth walk. Toth stole second on strike three of the LaMarre at-bat, forcing Purdue to face Dufek with a runner on second. Purdue elected to intentionally walk Dufek and set up a potential inning ending double play. Urban then flew out to shallow right field, Toth tagged up and just made it into third base before the ball reached the base. McLouth finished the game with a single up the middle, scoring Toth. Victory.
This victory is extremely encouraging as Purdue is the team picked as the team capable of usurping Michigan in the Big10 this year. And while we don’t play them in the season, this game will go a long way to give our guys confidence come tournament time.
Not enough praise can be directed to our pitching staff after this game. They only gave up one earned run early in the game. Kolby Wood gave us a good start, he just wasn’t helped out by the defense. Sinnery got us out of trouble when we needed him and Tyler Burgoon is on fire right now. Tyler was by and large the player of the game. I have to imagine he’s done for the weekend, and probably at least until the Wisconsin-Milwaukee game next Friday. He’s already pitched 5 innings this weekend. That’s a lot to start the season.
- Tyler Burgoon – 4 IP, 3 H, 0Rs, 4Ks, W
- Mike Dufek – 2/3 RBI, R, 2 BBs
- Jason McLouth – 3/5 2 RBIs
- Anthony Toth – 0/2 3BBs, 2 Rs, 1 SBs, 1 CS
- Nick Urban – 2/5
Michigan 6, Cincinnati 1
W – Travis Smith (1-0) L – Tyler Smith (0-1)
|Mike Dufek’s Homerun,
Image from mgoblue.com
This game Michigan came out swinging it hot. The Wolverines plated 3 in the 1st inning with a pair of walks sandwiching a single, followed by a RBI sacrifice fly by Jason McLouth and a 2 RBI single by Nick Urban. The three lead was all the M pitching staff would need to finish off the BearCats. Travis Smith gave up 7 hits and one run in 5 innings of work while reliever Matt Miller shut down the Cincinnati offense over the last 4 innings. Smith ended the night striking out 9 batters, being named Aaron Fitt’s Best Escape Artist. Not to be outdone, Miller struck out 7 while walking none and giving up 2 hits. That is outstanding.
The next few innings passed without much. The BearCats had at least one hit in each of the first four innings, but like Michigan against Purdue, they just weren’t getting runners across the plate. In the 5th, they managed to get on the board when Travis Smith began to lose his touch. After giving up a lead off double and the runner advancing to third on a fly out, Smith walked a batter and hit the next two, forcing in a run. Smith managed to get a ground ball on the following batter, ending the inning with a 4-6-3 double play. Cincinnati would never threaten to score again.
Michigan scored again in the 7th. Anthony Toth singled and Ryan LaMarre was hit by a pitch, setting up this:
This missile cleared the berm behind the right-field fence and bounced halfway up the chain-link fence that shields U.S. 19. And it got there in a hurry. I haven’t seen a ball hit that hard since Dominguez hit two massive homers for Louisville in the 2007 College World Series.
As we used to say in high school, he hit that one to the sequoias. And while Aaron Fitt might have screwed up the name on that description (he incorrectly attributes the home run to Cincinnati’s Mike Spina), I’m sure Mike Dufek appreciates the compliment. In the end, mark it down another victory for Michigan, putting them at 3-0 to start the season.
- Mike Dufek – 1/3 3 RBIs, 2Rs, 2 BBs
- Nick Urban – 3/5 2b, 3b (that’s a HR from a cycle)
- Ryan LaMarre – 2/3 2Rs
- Anthony Toth – 2/4 R, 2BBs
- Travis Smith – 5 IP, 7 Hs, 1 R, 2 BBs, 9 Ks
- Matt Miller – 4 IP, 2 Hs, 0 Rs, 0 BBs, 7 Ks
St. John’s Recap
Michigan 4, St. John’s 2
W – Eric Katzman (1-0) L- Nick Luisi (0-1)
|Katzman vs St. John’s,
Image from mgoblue.com
Michigan jumped out with the lead in the top of the 1st inning when St. John’s starter Nick Luisi came out a little rusty. He walked Cislo and Toth on a combined 9 pitches. After being settled down by his pitching coach, he came back sharp to get LaMarre and Dufek, but a Jason McLouth infield single to third ruffled the starter’s feathers just enough for him to hand a fastball on the outside part of the plate to Nick Urban, who drove the pitch right back up the middle. Cislo and Toth scored to put Michigan up 2-0.
Eric Katzman started for Michigan and was he ever on. Eric only worked himself into trouble once in the third where he gave up a single, double, then sacrifice fly to give up a run,. This was the best career start for Katzman, not to mention his longest at 7 innings. He only allowed 7 hits, 1 run, and 4 walks while striking out four batters. His breaking ball and side arm fastballs were leaving batters guessing and flailing wildly.
Michigan manufactured a run in the 6th inning. Chris Berset walked and was sacrificed over by Lorenz. Fellows then lined a single to left, and Berset just beat the tag at the plate.
With Burgoon unavailable, Dufek came in for the 2 inning save opportunity. In the 8th, Dufek breezed right through the line up. Michigan came into the top of the 9th and was handed a run on a silver platter. The St. John’s relievers Aremento and Cole walked the first four batters of the inning to give up a run. Valcarcel came in and stopped the bleeding, but Michigan had a crucial insurance run to extend the lead to 3 runs.
Dufek came out to close the game down in the 9th, but faced some trouble. After giving up a lead off walk, Dufek eventually gave up a double off the wall, giving up a run. That would be the last base runner of the game though, as the next batter grounded out to end the game. Victory.
Katzman was the hero of this game. He held a team that had averaged 16.5 runs per game this weekend and held them to just one in 7 innings. I’d include Mike Dufek as a “team pitching” effort, but Dufek’s offense was so bad today, he doesn’t deserve the credit on defense. Mike managed to go 0/4 with 4 Ks. Yes my friends, that’s a Golden Sombrero. He narrowly avoided the Texas-5-gallon hat in the 9th. He successfully fouled off 7 pitches in a gritty walk that brought in an RBI. Very Eckstein-ish.
- Eric Katzman – 7 IP, 7 Hs, 1 R, 4 K, 2 BBs, W
- Mike Dufek – 0/4 BB, 4 Ks (Golden Sombrero), RBI, 2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 3 Ks
- Kevin Cislo – o/2 3 BBs, 2 Rs
- Jake McLouth – 3/4
- Nick Urban – 1/5 2 RBIs
- Chris Berset – 1/2 2 BBs, R
- Kenny Fellows – 2/4 RBI
I’ll check out the teams overall stats in my next post. This one seemed long enough.