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Weekend Recap: Michigan State

There is a lot of not good in game 1 and 2, but game 3 went well.

Game 1

Box Score R H E
Michigan 0 0 4 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 0 7 10 3
MSU 0 0 2 0 1 0 0 0 2 2 1 8 11 1

W – Wonderlich (4-4) L – Eric Katzman (5-3) Sv – None

Michigan jumped ahead in this one with a big 3rd inning, but the defense kept creating new ways to let State get back into the game. In the third, Lorenz made a throwing error trying to get a runner at the plate. That would have been out number two and the ensuing fly ball would be the end of the inning. Instead a run scored, and the fly ball was a sacrifice fly to bring in another.

In the fifth, Fetter made his only mistake of the game, a lead off homerun on the first pitch of the inning. In the 9th, with the lead, Tyler Burgoon fielded a sacrifice bunt and went to first, overthrowing Kevin Cislo. The ball went into the outfield. Two runs would score unearned.

In the 10th, the bullpen fell apart. Burgoon let two runners on, Miller faced one batter (a walk), and Katzman gave up a bases loaded walk and sac fly. Two runs would score and we’d blow our second save of the game. In the 11th, the winning run would reach on a Anthony Toth error. It was awful.

Offense looked good though. The bottom of the order produced very well and we were getting the timely hits. We only stranded 6 runners the whole game. Unfortunately, it takes more than just scoring runs to win ball games – you’ve got to play defense.

Notable Stars

  • Chris Fetter – 8 IP, 3 R, 1 ER, 8 H, 3 BB, 6 K, ND
  • Mike Dufek – 1/4 3 RBI, R, HR, SACF
  • Anthony Toth – 3/5 R, RBI
  • Chris Berset – 2/5 R, 2B

Notable Goats

  • Defense – Toth/Lorenz/Burgoon. Errors lead to 5(!) unearned runs. Burgoon’s blew a save, Toth’s lead to the final MSU run
  • Bullpen – Along with Burgoon’s error, he had two earned runs (Miller/Katzman inherited them and couldn’t finish the inning). Miller faced one batter and walked him.

Other Notes

Game 2

Box Score R H E
MSU 0 0 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 3 6 1
Michigan 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 4 0

W – Achter (2-3) L – Alan Oaks (0-2) Sv – Wolff(4)

See: Why We Lost MSU Game 2. I think that touches nearly all the bad I wanted to touch upon.

As for the good, Alan Oaks pitched the game of his college career. Maloney said he earned the start and did he ever make the most of it. It is sickening he took the loss in this game. Alan only gave up 3 runs in the start, one from a balk with two outs and a runner on third (ouch); the other came from a one out walk followed by 3 2-out hits. Oaksie gave up 5 hits, walked 5 and hit a batter, but he managed his base runners well, working his way out of trouble. He even recorded four strikeouts, 2 coming in an inning where he had runners on 2nd and 3rd with one out.

Notable Stars

  • Alan Oaks – 7.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 BB, 1 HBP, 4 K, 1 Balk, 121 Pitches, 65 Strikes
  • Chris Berset – 2/4 RBI
  • Jim Abbott – Retired his #31 jersey, signed autographs for nearly an hour and a half
  • Attendance – Officially 3453. Highest of the season.

Notable Goats

Other Notes

  • My one regret: Chris Berset was on deck to end the game.
  • The Ann Arbor News – Frustrating.

“Timely hitting … you can’t teach it. It just has to happen,” Maloney said. “… Right now for our team, things haven’t been going real well.

Game 3

Box Score R H E
Michigan 0 0 2 0 4 0 0 1 2 9 12 0
MSU 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 2 7 0

W – Eric Katzman (6-3) L – Corcoran (0-4) Sv – Miller (3).

Thank god we won one to avert the first series sweep in at least 8 years. This game is everything I expected from the Michigan team this year. I expected us to hit well. I expected the pitching to be a little shaky but pull through. I expected us to take care of lesser opponents. Finally, for the first time all season, I saw Michigan baseball.

Eric Katzman, who apparently wants to earn a decision as often as possible, started this game and did fairly well. He wasn’t outstanding, but he was “good Katzman.” He didn’t have the best control, but he got outs. He just ran out of gas after 120 pitches, leading to the two runs scored. Matt Miller on the other hand was lights out for the 3+ innings of work.

Everything was clicking on offense. The top of the lineup was on base every inning and the middle of the lineup got the timely hitting to knock them in. Even John Lorenz had a great game knocking in 3 runs.

This game has me excited.

Notable Stars

  • Mike Dufek – 2/4 2 R, 3 RBI, 2B
  • Kenny Fellows – 3/5 2 R, SB
  • John Lorenz – 2/4 3 RBI
  • Kevin Cislo – 2/5 2 R
  • Matt Miller – 3.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 7 K, Save

Notable Goats

  • I got nothing. This was good Michigan baseball.
  • McLane Stadium Press Box for not having audio capabilities installed yet.

Other Notes

  • No news stories yet.

Wrap Up

This weekend was a bunch of gray clouds with a silver lining. We lost two of three to lowly Michigan State, a team who ranks in the 260s of 288 in team hitting. We lost to an in state rival, who we haven’t lost a series to since I don’t even know when – at least 8 years. We beat ourselves so badly in the first two games. We’ve dropped into 8th place in the Big10. We’re in jeopardy of missing the BigTen Tournament for the first time since 2002.

And then Sunday happened. While Game 3 was Michigan Baseball like I expected all season. Game 3 offers hope. Perhaps, just maybe, we finally had that “turning point” so many people have talked about the last 4 weeks. Perhaps Michigan has finally hit stride and will begin to compete. Perhaps I’m being to optimistic. Perhaps not. This game has me excited for the rest of the BigTen season.

Speaking about the rest of the season, it’s the midway point of the conference season, so I’ll be breaking down what happened so far and what we can expect to come in a post due out either later today or tomorrow. As for the week ahead, we’ve got a home-and-home with Notre Dame on Tuesday/Wednesday. Tuesday is here at the Fish. The weekend sees the Indiana Hoosiers and probable BigTen Player of the Year Josh Phegley come to Ann Arbor. More updates on those as the week progresses.

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2 Comments so far

  1. iubaseballfan says...

    FormerlyAnonymous,

    With the IU-Michigan baseball series this weekend, I was wondering if you would be interested in doing a little Q&A to preview the series? I could throw 5-7 questions your way and you could do the same, then we can post on our respective sites. Let me know if you are interested. Thanks!

  2. Other Chris says...

    “Tuesday it is here at the Fish if it doesn’t rain and snow, of which there is a 70% chance.”

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