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April 04, 2005 - Image 13

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-04-04

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The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - April 4, 2005 - 5B

LINE OF THE WEEK
Jim Brauer,.
Starting Pitcher
Friday vs. Minnesota (L, 1-0)

WHAT DID YOU SAY?
"For once, we had something to
cheer about."
- Michigan coach Rich Maloney on the
team s reaction after the Wolverines
took their first lead of the series

PLAYERS OF THE SERIES

Matt Fornasiere
(Minnesota)
Minnesota's leadoff hitter sparked
the Gophers' lineup. He went 7-for-
15 over the series and picked up at
least one hit in each game.

Jeff Kunkel
(Michigan)
Hitting 4-for-12, Kunkel was a rare bright
spot in an otherwise dismal offensive week-
end for Michigan. He also shined defensive-
ly, gunning down five baserunners.

PH RERBB
8 4 11 5

so
7

FRIDAY'S GAME
Michigan Wolverines 0
LP:Jim Brauer (4-1)
Minnesota Golden Gophers 1
WP: Matt Loberg (3-3)

SATURDAY, GAME 1
Michigan Wolverines 2
LP: Jeff Niemec (2-1)
Minnesota Golden Gophers 3
r . a WP: John Gaub (1-0)

SATURDAY, GAME 2
Michigan Wolverines 3
LP: Paul Hammond (1-1)
Minnesota Golden Gophers 6
WP: Brian Bull (1-1)

YESTERDAY'S GAME
Michigan Wolverines 3
WP: Derek Feldkamp (4-1)
Minnesota Golden Gophers 13
LP: Andy Peters (1-0)

Blue bats endure rough weekend vs Gophers

By Pete Sneider
Daily Sports Writer
MINNEAPOLIS - Last Wednesday against
Eastern Michigan, the Michigan baseball team
amassed 18 runs on 21 hits. In its first Big Ten series
of the year against Minnesota this weekend, Mich-
igan managed just five runs on 17 hits in the first
three games.
The Wolverines lost all three contests by scores of
1-0, 3-2 and 6-3, respectively.
While each game's outcome could arguably be
blamed on a defensive miscue, the Michigan offense
struggled to find its rhythm.
"We've pitched pretty well," Michigan coach Rich
Maloney said. "We've played pretty good defense,
but we just haven't hit."
The Wolverines were riding a 10-game winning
streak entering this weekend's series, and they were
averaging just over nine runs per game in that span.
The roster boasted seven starters who were batting
over .300 - four of whom were hitting over .400.
But the potent Michigan lineup went stagnant
against the Gophers, batting .200 as a team in the
three-game stretch.
It took 20 innings before Michigan even estab-
lished its first lead of the series. In the third inning
of Game 3, junior Chris Getz drilled an RBI single
to rightfield, giving the Wolverines a 1-0 lead. But
with one out and two men aboard, the Wolverines
failed to add insurance, and Minnesota was able to
come right back in the bottom half of that inning to
tie it up.
"We've missed a lot of situations to move guys
over," pitcher Michael Penn said. "We just haven't

done the little things well this weekend."
But the Wolverines showed some signs of life
when sophomore Eric Rose laid down a two-run
bunt in the fourth inning of the same game. The
Michigan dugout erupted as junior Jeff Kunkel and
freshman Derek VanBuskirk crossed the plate, giv-
ing the Wolverines a 3-1 advantage.
"We got some momentum when Rose had that
bunt," Maloney said. "VanBuskirk scores, and we're
all excited. For once we had momentum, something
we haven't had the whole weekend. For once, we had
something to cheer about."
In the same inning, sophomore Brad Roblin was
driven off the field by an ambulance after he was
beaned in the head by Gopher hurler Josh Oslin the
previous inning. The medical assistance stalled the
game for about 15 minutes, suppressing some of the
Michigan momentum.
But, adding insult to injury, the elation was short-
lived. The Gophers were able to even the score again
in the bottom half of the inning.
"Even with the ambulance coming and delay-
ing the game, we didn't shut them down that next
inning," Maloney said. "That's what you need to do.
That was critical in my opinion."
Roblin received stitches on his forehead and did
not play the fourth and final game yesterday. He is
currently listed as day-to-day.
Aside from execution and momentum, Maloney
offered another valid reason for Michigan's offen-
sive woes.
"There's no question that this whole series we've
been (facing a lot of) 0-2 counts," Maloney said.
The Wolverines faced 25 0-2 counts in the first
three games, while the Gophers dealt with only 13.

INSIDE THE
NUMBERS
KEY STAT
.196
Michigan's batting average on the
weekend. The Wolverines had just
24 hits in 122 at-bats.
YESTERDAY'S GAME
Minnesota 13, Michigan 3

Michigan (16-7)
Player AB R H
Rose cf 3 2 0
Butler rf 4 1 1
Getz 2b/ss 4 0 3
Bohmb 4 0 0
Kunkel c 3 0 1
Rademac c 1 0 1
Scheidt 3b 3 0 0
Schmidt If 2 0 0
Pickens If 1 '0 0
Mahler ss 4 0 0
VanBuskir dh3 0 1
Totals: 323 7

Si
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1

Minnesota (11-11)
Player AB R
Fornasie ss 4 3
Thomps 2b 1 0
Hrncirik 3b 6 0
Mee rf 5 0
Kommer rf 0 0
Hunter 1b 2 3
Arlt ph/lb 1 0
Carison dh 2 1
DeSmid dh 1 0
Elder c 4 1
MacLean If 3 2
Leseman Cf 2 2
Vandera Cf 1 0
Chian 2b 3 1
Maciej 2b 1 0

H
3
0
3
0
0
2
0
1
0
2
2
2
0
0
1

Bi
2
0
1
0
0
2
0
0
0
2
1
0
0
1
1

Totals: 36 13 1610
LOB- Minnesota 10; Michigan 8 E - Michigan:
Butler (1); Minnesota: Hrncirik (3). HR-None. DP
-Minnesota 3. 2B5- Minnesota : Hunter (6). 145P
Minnesota 3: MacLean, Leseman, Chlan; Michigan 1:
VanBuskirk. SB. Minnesota 2: Fornasiere (3); Hrncirik
(14). CS- Minnesota: Leseman (3); Michigan: Schmidt
(3) SH - None SF- Minnesota 2: Hunter (3); Elder (2)

Sophomore Eric Rose went 3-for-12 and scored three runs over the weekend.

Michigan
Minnesota
Michigan
Feldkamp, L (4-1)
Hess
Tognetti
McCormick
Seddon
Minnesota
Brabender
Peters, W (1-0)
Mueller

R H
102 000 000 3 7
172 011 01X 13 16

Crucial mistakes frustrate 'M'-nine

IP
1.2
0+
3.1
1
2
IP
2.2
4.1
2

H
5
1
6
2
2
H
3
1

R
8
0
3
1
2
R
3
0
0

ER
8
0
3
1
1
ER
2
0
0

BB
1
2
3
0
0
BB
5
0
0

E
1-
0
SO
3
1
4
0
1
2
3
1

By H. Jose Bosch
Daily Sports Writer

Michigan coach Rich Maloney knows
that for Michigan to win the Big Ten, it
has to play well on defense.

But the Wolverines
wrong foot in Big Ten
play this weekend at
Minnesota, losing all
four of their games to
the Golden Gophers.
Defensive lapses are
what hurt Michigan the
most against the three-

got off on the

time defending Big Ten champions.
In the third inning of the first game,
senior Jim Brauer started by walking
Minnesota centerfielder Tony Leseman.
Designated hitter Kevin Carlson came
up to the plate and roped a shot into
left-centerfield. Sophomore Brad Rob-
lin came painfully close to stealing a hit
from Carlson, but he lost the ball when
he landed and slid into centerfielder
sophomore Eric Rose. Leseman scored
and provided the Golden Gophers with
the only run of the game.
"We just didn't communicate," Malo-
ney said. "In all fairness, Eric has just
been getting into the lineup. Brad just
figured that Eric would get it - it was
just one of those things."

Michigan lost two more heartbreakers
on Saturday.
In the first game of day two, Leseman
led off the bottom of the ninth inning
reaching base after being hit by junior
pitcher Jeff Niemiec. Golden Gopher
freshman Jeremy Chlan then tried to lay
down a sacrifice bunt to move the runner
over. But Niemiec threw the ball away
and Leseman was able to score the win-
ning run from first, while rightfielder
Matt Butler desperately tried to find the
ball underneath a bullpen bench.
"(We're talking about) a routine bunt
play," Maloney said. "I mean, what can
you say. You have to make the play."
The second game of Saturday's dou-
bleheader was tied at three in the fifth
inning. Senior Drew Taylor hit the first
batter he faced - loading the bases
- but battled back to record two outs.
Golden Gopher sophomore Kevin Carl-
son then hit a pop up toward the leftfield
line that was misplayed by junior Mike
Schmidt and drove in the three runs for
Minnesota, including the game-winner.
"It's tough to start in the Big Ten
when you're playing the former champs
in their home field," senior Jeff Kunkel
said. "You just have to battle."
FRESHMAN CONTRIBUTORS: Freshmen Derek
VanBuskirk and Doug Pickens made two big
plays on Saturday in the sixth inning of the

second game of the series - one on offense
and one on defense. VanBuskirk went first
- smoking a pinch-hit leadoff double to
rightfield and later scoring the game-tying
run on senior Matt Butler's sacrifice fly.
Pickens then took his turn helping the team
on the defensive end. In the bottom half of
the sixth inning, Pickens fielded a well hit
ground ball at second and gunned out Min-
nesota rightfielder Mike Mee, who was try-
ing to score from third base.
"His play was equally as important as
getting a hit or scoring a run," VanBus-
kirk said.
VanBuskirk is currently hitting .306
with one home run and five RBI for the
Wolverines. Pickens is struggling at the
plate - hitting only .175 - but he has
driven in six runs and is tied for first on
the team with two sacrifice flies. The
West Bloomfield native has played well
in the field, committing only two errors.
CATCH ME IF YOU CAN: Senior catcher
Jeff Kunkel threw out five would-be
base-stealers over the weekend.
"He was throwing guys out all the
time," VanBuskirk said. "He's doing
everything out there and playing really
hard. That's all you can hope for."
Kunkel has thrown out eight of 20
runners attempting to steal this season
- good for 40 percent - and is one of the
team leaders in batting average (.396).

Michigan (16-7)
Player AB R
Butler rf 3 0
Roblin If 1 0
Schmidt if 2 0
Getz 2b 3 0
Bohm 1b 2 0
Scheidt 3b 3 0
Kunkel c 3 1
VanBuski dh 3 1
Mahler ss 2 0
Rose cf 3 1

H
0
0
0
1
0
0
2
1
0
2

SATURDAY, GAME 2
Minnesota 6, Michigan 3

BI
0
0
0
1
0
0
0I
01
0 1
2

Totals: 25 3 6 3
LOB - Minnesota 7; Michigan 5 E - Minnesota:
J. Chian (4). HA - None. OP - Minnesota 1;
Michigan 2. 2B- Minnesota : Carlson (2). HBP
-Minnesota 2: Mee, Leseman; Michigan: Roblin. SS
- Michigan: Rose (1). CS- Minnesota: MacLean (1);
Michigan: Butler (4) SH -Michigan: Mahler (3)

Minnesota (11-11)
Player AB R H 91
Fornasie ss 4 1 2 0
Hrncirik 3b 4 1 3 2
Mee rf 2 , 11._0
Elderc 4 1 1 0
Hunterib 3 1 1 0
Carlson dh 3 0 1 4
MacLean If 3 0 0 0
Leseman cf 1 1 1 1
Chlan 2b 3 0 0 0
Totals: 27 6 106

Michigan
Minnesota
Michigan
Hammond, L (1-1)
Taylor
Minnesota
Oslin
Bull, W (1-1)

R H
001 200 0 3 6
001 230 X 6 10

E
0
1
SO
4
1

IP H
4 8
2 2

R
5
1

ER
5
1

BB
0
2

IP H R ER BB SO
4 6 3 3 2 2
3 0 00 0 1

SATURDAY, GAME 1
Minnesota 3, Michigan 2

FILErPOuO
Junior Mike Schmidt's misplay in leftfleld allowed the game-
winning run to score in Michigan's 6-3 loss on Saturday.

GOPHERS
Continued from page :1B
chance to play in a Major League Baseball stadium for
the first time and play Minnesota, the reigning Big Ten
champs, got me a little too pumped."
Feldkamp gave up two more hits, one walk and a wild
pitch before he was replaced by sophomore Andrew
Hess.
Hess didn't fare much better, yielding two walks, a
single and a balk as he failed to retire a single Gopher
hitter. Senior Phil Tognetti came in for Hess and retired
the inning.
Michigan was never able to overcome the 8-1 lead
that Minnesota piled on in the second inning. The loss
capped off a disastrous weekend for the Wolverines,
who were 16-3 coming in and ranked No. 19 in the
nation by Collegiate Baseball.
After losing three heartbreaking pitching duels, get-
ting blown out in the fourth game was especially dis-
heartening for Michigan.
"To lose the first three games in close fashion is
tough," Maloney said. "And then to have one of our
best pitchers give up a seven-run (inning) when they're
not exactly hitting the tar out of the ball - I think it
knocked the wind out of us."

Michigan (16-7)
Player AB R H
Rose cf 4 0 0
Butler rf 3 0 1
Getz 2b/ss 3 0 0
Bohm 1b 2 0 1
Schmidt pr 0 1 0
Rademac c 1 0 0
Kunkel c/1b 3 0 1
Martin dh 4 0 0
Mahler ss 1 0 0
VanBusk2phhi 1 1
Pickens 2b 1 0 0
Roblin If 3 0 2
Totals: 302 6

Bi
0
1
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0I
0I
0
2

Minnesota (11-11)
Player AS R
Fornasie ss 4 0
Hrncirik 3b 4 0
Mee rf 3 1
Hunter 1b 3 0
Elder c 3 1
Carlson db 2 0
VanderA pr 0 0
DeSmidt 1 0
MacLean If 3 0
Leseman cf 3 1
Chlan 2b 3 0

H
1
1
1
1
0
0
0
0
1
0
0

8I
0
2
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0

Totals:

293 5 2

LOB - Minnesota 8; Michigan 5 E - Michigan:
J. Niemiec (2). HR- None. DP - Michigan 1. 2B
- Minnesota : Mee (2); Michigan: VanBuskirk (2).
HBP - Minnesota 2: MacLean, Leseman; Michigan:
Bohm. SS- Michigan 2: Getz (13), Roblin (9)
Minnesota: MacLean (6). CS- Michigan: Getz (3)
SH - Minnesota: Chian (2) SF- Michigan: Butler (1)
R H E

Michigan
Minnesota
Michigan
Penn
Richard
Niemiec, L (2-1)
Minnesota
DeVries
Gaub, W (1-0)

000 001 000 2 6 1
100 001 001 3 5 0

IP
5
3
.1

H
3
2
0

R
2
0
1

ER
1
0
0

BB
2
2
0

SO
3
1
0

IP H R ER BB SO
6 41 1 0 4
3 2 11 2 4

FRIDAY'S GAME
Minnesota 1, Michigan 0

Michigan (16-7)

Minnes

Player AB R H Bi Player
Butler rf 4 0 0 0 Fornasi
Roblin If 3 0 0 0 MacLea
Getz 2b 4 0 1 0 Mee rf
Bohm 1b 4 0 1 0 Elder c
Vanbusk pro 0 0 0 Hunter:
Scheidt 3b 2 0 1 0 Hrncirik
Pickens ph 1 0 0 0 Lesema
Kunkel c 3 0 0 0 Carlson
Mahler ss 3 0 1 0 Chlan 2

ota (11-11)
AB R
e ss 3 0
an If 4 0
3 0
3 0
1b 1 0
k 3b 3 0
an cf 2 1
idh 3 0
2b 2 0

H
1
1
0
0
0
1
0
1
0

BI
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0

.

Hr

i

I

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