April 29, 2007
LANSING, Mich. - No. 20 Michigan defeated the Michigan State baseball team, 21-9, in the series finale Sunday afternoon at Oldsmobile Park. Although MSU battled back from a 7-0 deficit to tie the score at 9 in the bottom of the sixth, the Wolverines scored 12 runs in the final three innings to get the win. Brandon Doherty, Eli Boike, Evan Friedland and Dennis Jones all had two hits apiece for the Spartans. MSU returns to action next weekend for a four-game series at Ohio State.
Eric Rose went 3-for-5 with four runs and five RBI for the league-leading Wolverines, who improved to 30-8 overall and 15-1 in the Big Ten. Adam Abraham and Chris Berset also collected three hits for Michigan.
The Spartans (15-22, 6-13 Big Ten) fell behind early as U of M scored seven runs in the top of the third. Doug Pickens delivered the big shot with a three-run homer in the inning. MSU returned the favor with five runs in the bottom half of the inning, cutting the lead to 7-5. Friedland led off with a single and scored on a Dennis Jones double, while Kyle Day and Boike also had run-scoring hits in the five-run third.
The Green and White cut the lead to one at 7-6 on a Doherty RBI groundout in the fourth, plating Friedland, who led off with a double.
Michigan scored twice in the top of the sixth on a Zach Putnam two-run double to left, but MSU tied the game at 9 with three runs in the bottom of the inning. Doherty drove in Jones with a double to right for the first run, putting runners on second and third. Back-to-back walks loaded the bases and brought in a run, putting the score at 9-8 with cleanup hitter Sean Walker at the plate. Walker almost came through in a big way with a grand slam, as he hit a towering shot to left field, but it fell just short at the warning track. Walker did get credit for an RBI with the sacrifice fly as the Spartans tied the game.
But just as the Spartans made it a new game in the sixth, the Wolverines responded with 12 runs in the final three innings, scoring five in the seventh, six in the eighth and one in the ninth for the 21-9 victory. The game-winning hit came courtesy of Wolverine shortstop Jason Christian - with one out and the bases loaded, Christian hit a two-run double to left field, starting the Michigan five-run inning. Christian scored four runs in the game and crossed the plate 11 times in the series.
Reliever Mike Monterey (1-2) came into the game in the top of the fourth for starter Kyle Corcoran, and pitched effectively until running into trouble in the seventh. He took the loss after giving up six runs on seven hits in 3.1 innings.
Ben Jenzen (2-1) tossed 1.2 innings of scoreless relief to earn the victory for Michigan.