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April 12, 2013 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.cam

Friday, April 12, 2013 - 7

Pitching powers Wolverine streak

By ALEX TAYLOR
Daily Sports Writer
Drawing on motivation from
other Michigan athletic teams as
well as an injured teammate, the
Michigan baseball team will seek
to extend its current winning
streak to seven.
The Wolverines (4-2 Big Ten,
17-14 overall)
will take on
Penn State i
a three-game at Michigan
series this Matchup:
weekend. The Penn State
Nittany Lions 7-21; Michi-
(0-6, 7-21) have gan 17-14
struggled thus When: Friday
far and have 4:05 p.m.,
been swept in Sautrday 4:05
their first two p.m., Sunday
conference 12 p.m.
series. Ear- Where: Wil-
lier this week, pon Complex
though, Penn TV/Radio:
State defeated MGoBlue.com
Kent State -
which made an
improbable run to the College
World Series in Omaha, Neb. last
year.
"For us, it's not really about
them, it's about us," said Michi-
gan coach Erik Bakich. "We're
going to continue our style of
play, and if we play to our poten-
tial, and not down to the oppo-
nent, then we should be able to
take care of baseball."
The Wolverines' style of play
has been effective as of late, as
this current winning streak is the
team's longest since 2010. Michi-
gan started its streak last week
by dispatching two opponents in
mid-week games before sweep-
ing in-state rival Michigan State.
The Wolverines followed that up
by defeating No. 18 Notre Dame
this past Tuesday, 4-1.
The pitching staff, led by
freshman Evan Hill, redshirt
junior Logan McAnallen and
sophomore Trent Szkutnik, has

from first-inning runs en route to
victories.
"(Freshman infielder Travis)
Maezes leads off the Saturday
game with a triple, and he's fired
up, he almost knocks me out
when he slides in because he's so
fired up," said Bakich, who is also
the third-base coach. "In game
three, (sophomore outfielder)
Zach Zott hits a two-out, two-
run absolute bomb for two runs
in the first inning."
Zott has wielded a hot bat
recently for the Wolverines. In
eight of his last 11 games, he has
had at least two hits. On the sea-
son, he carries a .329 average
with a .447 slugging percentage.
Forcing Penn State to use its
bullpen will be an important fac-
torthisweekend. Opponentshave
scored a majority of their runs
against the Nittany Lions in the
later innings when their starters
are no longer in the game.
On Friday, Michigan will face
redshirt sophomore T.J. Jann,
who has appeared in seven games
this year and has held opposing
teams to a batting average of .235.
After complications from Tommy
John surgery in 2011, Jann was
told by doctors that his baseball
career could be over. After more
than two years of rehab, Jann has
been pitching solid as of late. In
his most recent outing against
Wright State, Jann pitched 7.1
innings while only giving up
three runs.
If Michigan continues its hot
play, it should be in great posi-
tion to not only win the series
but to potentially get back-to-
back sweeps. If the Wolverines
do, they'll continue to add to the
recent success of Michigan ath-
letics, something not lost on the
players or the coaching staff.
"These guys just want to con-
tribute to the winning tradition
and to the winning ways," Bakich
said. "That's what we're going to
keep on doing."

Sophomore Trent Szkutnik has been a big part of Michigan's six-game winning streak. Szkutnik is 3-4 with a 3.95 earned-run average in nine appearances Ibis season.

been a big reason for Michigan's
recent run. The staff has allowed
just seven runs over the past six
games. i
Monday, Hill was named the
Big Ten Freshman of the Week
for his performance against
Michigan State. In eight innings
of work, Hill gave up four hits,
struck out four and allowed only
one unearned run. The award is
the third in Hill's short career
- the others coming after his
performances against Western
Illinois and Saint Louis earlier
this year.
"Our entire pitching staff has
really pitched terrific, with great

tempo and just pounding the
zone," Bakich said. "And a big
part of it is having Pat Biondi back
in the lineup. He is ajackrabbit in
centerfield and he catches every-
thing."
While Michigan got Biondi,
a senior, back from injury, the
Wolverines lost fellow senior Ben
Ballantine to an ankle injury sus-
tained last week. A member of the
team's leadership council, Bal-
lantine was a starter for Michi-
gan and had a 2.62 earned-run
average in seven games. Ballan-
tine underwent season-ending
surgery on his ankle Tuesday.
Although Ballantine was unable

to attend Tuesday's game, he was
still represented by teammates,
who hung his jersey up in the
dugout during the game.
"Ben Ballantine's injury has
meant a lot to this group," Bakich
said. "They are really motivated
to make sure we continue to play
our butts off and do it for Ben."
Without Ballantine, Michigan
will likely stick with a three-
man rotation consisting of all
left-handers. Out of the bullpen,
the Wolverines will continue to
utilize senior right-hander Kyle
Clark, sophomore right-hander
Matt Ogden and freshman right-
hander Jacob Cronenworth as

they have all season.
The Nittany Lions have some
offensive weapons with the
potential to hurt the Wolverines.
Penn State's top three hitters
are batting above .300 and have
gap power. The three hitters, all
righties, have matchup advan-
tages against Michigan's lefty
pitchers.
Another key for Michigan will
be continuing to get off to good
starts offensively. In four of the
games in the winning streak, the
Wolverines have taken the early
lead by scoring in the first inning.
Twice against Michigan State,
the Wolverines rode momentum

Michigan looks to remain,
.undefeated against Spartans

By NATE SELL
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan and Michi-
gan State softball teams know
each other all too well. In fact,
the Wolverines have played the
Spartans more than any other
opponent in history. On Friday,
the series will renew at Alumni
Field.
Although it's early in the
season, No. 12 Michigan (9-0
Big Ten, 32-7
overall) and
Michigan State Michigan
(7-1, 21-14) State at
have asserted Mich n
themselves as
powerhouses Matchup:
in the Big Ten MSU 21-14;
and currently Michigan 32-7
hold the top When: Fri-
two spots in day 4 p.m.
the conference. Where: Wil-
The Wolver- pon Complex
ines are riding TV/Radio:
many streaks ESPN
into this week-
end, most nota-
bly 14 straight wins. Against the
Spartans, Michigan has a 76-27
all-time record and has won the
last seven meetings.
In the first game of the series,
the Wolverines will look to
defend Alumni Field, where
they are 8-0 this season. Michi-
gan hopes to get rolling early
offensively, something that has
led to wins this season - it's
19-1 when scoring before the
second inning. The Wolverines
have outscored opponents 78-18
in the first inning, leading to
a number of shortened games.
Against Western Michigan, they
picked up their 14th run-rule
victory of the season, winning
8-0.
Since the beginning ofBig Ten
play, the Wolverines have swept
every team they have played and
are the only remaining team in
the Big Ten with a perfect con-
ference record. Michigan also

Berenson adds fifth
goalie recruit to class
By GREG GARNO hockey programs in the country
Daily Sports Writer and study at a great university.
We wish him the best of luck in
After losing three defensemen his future."
to the National Hockey League At six feet two inches tall,
and graduation, the Michigan Nagelvoort brings the height
hockey team needed to bolster between the pipes that Michi-
its pairings at the blue line before gan coach Red Berenson pre-
next season. fers. Freshman goaltender Steve
But on Thursday, the Wol- Racine is the same height.
verines received a commitment The Wolverines, who fin-
from goaltender Zach Nagel- ished 18-19-3 overall this season,
voort, who comes from the North already have four goalies on their
American Hockey League's roster, though.
Aberdeen Wings. Nagelvoort Racine started the last 10
will enter Ann Arbor this fall for games for Michigan this season,
the 2013-14 season. posting an 8-1-1 record with a
Nagelvoort will not be able to 2.00 goals-against average in
sign until Wednesday, though, that stretch. The Wolverines
the earliest possible time for pro- started two other netminders
spective student athletes to sign in a tumultuous season, junior
letters of intent. Adam Janecyk and freshman
"Very happy to announce my Jared Rutledge. Redshirt sopho-
commitment to the University of more Luke Dwyer remains the
Michigan for next fall. Proud to other goalie on the roster.
be a Wolverine!" Nagelvoort said The addition of Nagelvoort
on Twitter. will likely mean that one of the
Nagelvoort posted a 1.66 four will not be on the roster at
goals-against average and .949 the beginning of next season.
save percentage while going 8-1-1 But Michigan's glaring need
in his time with Aberdeen. The is still at defense. The departure
Holland, Mich. native originally of freshman Jacob Trouba to the
played for the Soo Eagles before NHL and junior Jon Merrill to
being traded to Aberdeen on the American Hockey League,
Feb. 7, posting a combined 17-6-2 along with the loss of Lee Mof-
record with both teams. fie to graduation, means only five
Former Michigan goaltender defensemen return to ateam that
Shawn Hunwick also played in gave up 3.25 goals per game -
the NAHL as a member of the good for 51st in the nation.
Alpena IceDiggers before walk- Nagelvoort will join nine
ing onto Michigan's team. other commitments for next
"We are extremely proud and year, including three defense-
excited for Zach to continue men - Michael Downing, Spen-
his career at the University of cer Hyman and Nolan de Jong.
Michigan," said Aberdeen head Forwards Evan Allen, Max Shua-
coach Travis Winter to NAHL. rt, Tyler Motte, J.T. Compher,
com. "He will have the oppor- Bryson Cianfrone and Alex Kile
tunity to play for one of the best also join Michigan next season.
FOLLOW THE DAILY FOOTBALL BEAT
Or the terrorists win.
@blockmfootball @everettcook
@theblockm @MattSlovin
@zhelfand @LizVukelich

Freshman shortstop Sierra Romero has been named the Big Ten Freshman of the Week five times this season.

leads the Big Ten in 10 offensive
categories including home runs,
batting average, walks and on-
base percentage.
Michigan State has looked
strong so far, currently in sec-
ond place in the conference. The
Spartans were perfect in the Big
Ten until last weekend, when
they dropped a game to Purdue.
This is a huge turnaround
from last. season, when they
went winless against conference
opponents and didn't beat any-
one in East Lansing. Head coach
Jacquie Joseph has already
responded by nearly doubling
her team's win total from last
year when it finished 11-42.
Freshman shortstop Sierra

Romero is an anchor for the
Wolverines' offense and has
been recognized accordingly.
After the series with Ohio State,
she was named Big Ten Fresh-
man of the Week for the third
straight week and the fifth time
this season. She also picked up
her second Player of the Week
award, leading to her being
named one of USA Softball's 25
finalists for the Collegiate Soft-
ball Player of the Year. She's one
of two freshmen to make the list
and one of two Big Ten players
named.
To come away with three wins
this weekend, Michigan will
have to keep outfielder Kylene
Hopkins in check. The senior

was an All-Big Ten first-team
outfielder in 2012 and has led
the Michigan State offense with
a .426 batting average, 46 home
runs and a.512 on-base percent-
age. They will also have to get
hits off junior Kelly Smith, who
has developed into an ace for the
Spartans, throwing 186 strike-
outs in 150.2 innings for a 16-7
record on the season.
After the first game in Ann
Arbor, the teams will compete
on Saturday and Sunday in
East Lansing for games 105 and
106 between the two schools.
Ohio State and Minnesota are
the only other two schools that
Michigan has played 100 times
or more.

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