16 - The Michigan Daily - Monday, May 8, 2006
Abraham's slam powers
By H. Jose Bosch
Daily Sports Editor
man Joe Bonadonna, who forced out
Kunkel at home.
Walking up to the plate, Abraham was
If at first you don't succeed and then just 1-for-8 with a strikeout for the series
you fail six more times, try, try again. and was taken out of the starting lineup
For freshman Adam Abraham, that of the second game of Saturday's double-
"try, try again" was a single and a grand header. But all that faded away when the
. slam home run that helped lead the Mich- ball flew over the leftfield wall and gave
igan baseball team the Wolverines a 6-2 lead. Illinois trailed
to a 9-6 win over MHI the rest of the game.
Illinois on Sunday. [ug 6 Abraham was relieved to finally con-
The win helped tribute big for the team during the week-
salvage a tough weekend for Michigan, end.
who split the series with the Illini. But "I was looking for a pitch up in the
the Wolverines remained tied for first zone," the Grosse Pointe native said. "As
place in the Big Ten with Northwestern soon as I hit the ball, I realized it was
at the weekend's end. gone. We were down when I hit it, so it
"We're real confident with where we was a nice feeling."
are," Abraham said. "We're just playing Michigan also received a clutch per-
relaxed right now, having a good time formance from fifth-year senior Drew
and enjoying being in first place." Taylor out of the bullpen.
After losing two of the first three Entering the game in the bottom half
games against Illinois (12-12 Big Ten, of the fifth with the bases loaded and
27-21 overall), Michigan was in need of nobody out, Taylor retired the first bat-
a quick turnaround to keep its top spot in ter he faced and induced an inning-end-
the conference. ing groundout three batters later when
Trailing 3-2 heading into the fifth senior A.J. Scheidt picked up a ground
inning, catcher Jeff Kunkel started ball, stepped on third and fired the ball
things off with a single through the mid- across the diamond to get the second out.
dle followed by singles from sophomores Taylor's performance was indicative of
Nate Recknagel and Derek VanBuskirk the solid pitching during the weekend.
to load the bases. But sophomore Doug "Our pitching staff did a very good
Pickens failed to knock a run across job," Abraham said. "Our pitching really
when he grounded to Illini third base- came through for us in tight situations."
Freshman Zach Putnam set the tone
for the entire pitching staff on Friday
night when he held Illinois to just three
earned runs in 6 1/3 innings. But Illinois
pitcher Matt Whitmore was on fire, going
the distance allowing just one run and
striking out eight.
With Northwestern also losing on Fri-
day, the Wolverines (16-8, 29-17) didn't
lose any ground in the Big Ten standings,
which allowed them to refocus quickly.
"We figured that it would be a mat-
ter of time before we got the bats going
again," Van Buskirk said. "It was just
one of those things that you have to put
behind you and come out and try to win
as many games as you can the rest of
In game one of Saturday's double-
header, fifth-year senior Paul Hammond
pitched a complete game shutout and
struck out seven in the process, lead-
ing the team to a 1-0 win. Junior Mike
Schmidt's third-inning home run was the
difference in that game.
The Wolverines stumbled in game two
of the doubleheader, 7-4, but the win on
Sunday allowed the team to leave Cham-
paign confident about the final two week-
ends of the season.
"We put a solid nine players out every
day, so we just need good pitching and
timely hitting and we should be fine,"
Abraham's home run on Sunday helped Michigan salvage a series
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should never skip.
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The Finger thinks
pjs are acceptable attire
to af 8:00o am class.
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fifth year seniors
should be considered
grad students too.
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