Tuesday, June 1, 2010
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Blue's season ends at Big Tens
By BEN ESTES
Daily Sports Writer
COLUMBUS - The senior first,
Mike Dufek, baseman slowly trudged
into the postgame press conference
on Saturday at Bill Davis Stadium in
Columbus, with an expression filled
with pain and disappointment.
And who could blame him? He had
just watched his team blow a seven-run
lead, losing to Iowa 11-8 in the confer-
ence's loser's bracket and getting elimi-
nated from the Big Ten Tournament.
Michigan's only hope of returning to
the national tournament was to receive
an at-large bid by winning the con-
ference tournament. But instead, the
Hawkeyes knocked the Wolverines out
of contention, ending their season.
"We were right in it today," Dufek
said. "(I) thought we were going to win
it when we had that big lead, (but) they
Just two days before, Michigan
steamrolled the Hawkeyes 18-4 in the
second round of the tournament, set-
ting up a meeting with Minnesota in
And after Michigan took an early
3-0 lead, Minnesota cut the deficit to
3-1 with a run in the seventh, causing
coach Rich Maloney to bring in closer
and junior right-hander Tyler Burgoon.
With the bases loaded, the Gophers'
Trip Schultz singled and Troy Larson
walked, tyingthe game at three. And in
the 11th frame, Minnesota completed
the comeback, as junior right-hander
Matt Miller could not retire a batter
before Kyle Knudson singled, sending
home the winning run.
The Wolverines had no time to dwell
on the heartbreaking loss, though, as
they had a rematch with Iowa the next
day. Atfirst,the Hawkeyes appeared as if
they would hand over another easy win
for Michigan. After a scoreless first three
innings, the Wolverines scored eight
over the next three and led 8-1going into
the bottom of the sixth. But that's when
the pitching meltdown began.
Starting pitcher and sophomore
right-hander Brandon Sinnery was
pulled in the sixth after allowing five
runs (four earned). Redshirt junior
right-hander Matt Gerbe then allowed
two, and it quickly became a one-run
lead for Michigan. Iowa came right
back to score four more times in the
bottom of the eighth, taking the defini-
tive 11-8 lead.
With three straight outs in its last
at-bat in the top of the ninth, the 2010
season ended quietly for the Michigan
baseball team. For the second straight
game (and continuing a theme that had
been prevalent all season), the Wolver-
ines experienced a crushing defeat,
one that could have gone either way.