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May 23, 2011 - Image 10

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Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2011-05-23

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Monday, May 23, 2011
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Blue loses two to Penn State

By DANIEL WASSERMAN
Daily Sports Writer
In the grand scheme of things,
the games this past weekend meant
nothing.
Good thing nobody told that to
the Michigan baseball players, who
got a rare chance to celebrate on the
field, follow- PENN STATE 1
ing 5-4 walk- MICHIGAN 0
off win in 11
innings over PENN STATE 4
Penn State on MICHIGAN 5
Friday.
The win PENN STATE 11
was sand- MICHIGAN 8
wiched
between two more frustrating 1-0
and 11-8 losses to conclude the Wol-
verines' disappointing season.
Saturday was Senior Day for
Michigan's lone departing seniors,
fifth-year senior pitcher Matt
Gerbe and injured fifth-year senior
captain Anthony Toth. The Wol-
verines (7-16 Big Ten, 17-37 overall)
honored Gerbe by allowing him to
start just his third career game.
And the righty - who has bat-
tled injuries for much of his career
- didn't disappoint early on.
Through four innings, Gerbe
allowed no runs and just one hit,
striking out a career-high five.
But trailing 2-0 in the fifth
inning, the Nittany Lions (12-12,
32-30) ended Gerbe's day. After
allowing two singles and a walk,
center fielder Sean Deegan - the

conference's leader in homers and
slugging percentage - tied the
game with a two-run double.
Junior pitcher Kevin Vanghe-
luwe came on in relief, allowing a
run-scoring sacrifice-fly, a two-run
homer and a single before being
pulled. By the time freshman hurl-
er Alex Lakatos finally ended the
inning, the Nittany Lions had taken
a 6-2 lead. They took a 9-2 lead into
the eighth, when the Wolverines
made things interesting.
With the bases loaded, fresh-
man right fielder Michael O'Neill's
grounder to second was thrown
away, allowing two Michigan run-
ners to score. The Wolverines
added three more runs off sopho-
more center fielder Patrick Biondi's
single and two ensuing fielder's
choices.
Freshman catcher Cole Martin
- representing the go-ahead run
with the score 9-7 - struck out,
stranding two men on base.
After the Nittany Lions"made it
11-7 in the top of the ninth, Michi-
gan got a run back off an O'Neill
single. Junior left fielder Coley
Crank came up with two on and
two outs, representing the tying
run. But Crank struck out, ending
Michigan's season.
"It was an exciting game," Mich-
igan coach Rich Maloney said. "I
guess what I'm very pleased with is
that, despite the difficult season we
had, the guys never did quit ... It's
that attitude to never quit that's a

good trait for building a team."
On Friday, the Wolverines took
the early lead when O'Neill singled,
later stole third and scored off a
Crank single. Michigan gained
back two runs in the fifth and car-
ried the lead into the eighth, thanks
to stifling pitching from redshirt
sophomore Matt Broder.
Redshirt sophomore pitcher
Tyler Mills came in after fresh-
man hurler Jake Engels loaded the
bases, and gave up two runs on a
walk and wild pitch to tie the game.
Mills escaped major damage by
inducing a bases-loaded groundout.
In the eleventh, O'Neill singled,
Biondi reached on a Penn State
throwing error and Crank was
walked to load the bases.
Junior third baseman John
Lorenz sent a 2-1 pitch into right to
end the game, igniting a celebratory
mob in the infield around Lorenz.
"To come from behind and
see the kids celebrate on the field
- we've had so many of those
throughout the years that I've been
here and in the history of our pro-
gram - but to have a moment like
that in the difficult season, I was
really happy for the guys," Maloney
said.
On Thursday, the Wolverines
wasted a gem from junior pitcher
Brandon Sinnery. The righty went
eight innings, allowing just one
run off four hits, while striking out
seven, but earned the loss as Michi-
gan's bats were muted all night.

Ledby Kin
first Regioi
By STEPHEN J. NESBITT
Daily Sports Editor
Lion Kim had just one thing
between him, a career day and a
NCAA Championship berth. On
the 17th hole of his final round at
the Central Regional on Saturday
- the 53rd hole of the weekend -
Kim was in a sand trap for the first
time all weekend.
But Kim holed out from the
bunker for an eagle, leading the
Michigan golf team to its first-ever
Regional title and propelling the
Wolverines to set a single-round
program regional record of 275
shots. Michigan edged out Illinois
by two shots to claim the top spot
in the 14-team field.
Kim's eagle highlighted his
final-round658- tyingacareerbest
- and gave him a share of the top
score of the weekend. Michigan's
captain posted the second-best
score (205) in Michigan history
for a 54-hole tournament, becom-
ing a co-medalist for the weekend
alongside the Fighting Illini's Luke
Guthrie.
"It was so much fun," Kim said
of his day-long battle with Guthrie.
"He and I knew we were tied for
the lead and we really went after
each other with birdies and eagles
here and there.
"He knew he had to make the
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i,'M' wins
nal crown
putt on 18 to tie me and he made
a 10-footer for birdie to tie me, but
you have to give him a lot of props
for his effort. It was so much fun,
you sometimes almost want it to
end the way it did."
And while it ended just right
for Kim, the tournament didn't
start off nearly as well. Kim's ail-
ing ankle nearly kept him off the
course.
"I did not want to hurt this team
because of me pulling out or being
injured," Kim said. "That was the
last thing I wanted. I told myself to
gut it out. It was painful. I limped
all three front nines before it
warmed up."
Added Michigan coach Andrew
Sapp: "Lion (Kim) leading the way
-for us, hurt and everything, was
just a truly amazing and coura-
geous effort. (His ankle) was hurt-
ing him worse today than it did
yesterday, but I guess it loosened
up and the adrenaline helped him
make it through. For him to just
make it through, and for that mat-
ter even play, and then be the co-
champion, just incredible."
Entering the final day, Kim sat
at sixth on the leaderboard and
Michigan was sitting in third place
behind Alabama and Illinois.
But the Wolverines rode the
hot swings of Kim, junior Matt
Thompson and freshman Joey
Garber - whose 209 tally was
a career best - to a come-from-
behind finish.'
"Wejust tore up the back nine -
it was awesome," Sapp said. "At one
point, I was talking with the Illi-
nois coach on No.12 and they were
just tearing it up and I said to him,
'You are going to run away with
it.' And then low and behold, they
started backing up and we started
making birdies and just kept going
from there."
The program's first regional
title punched Michigan's ticket to
the NCAA Championships for the
second time in three years. The
NCAA Championships will run
May 31-June 6 in Stillwater, Okla.
The Wolverines haven't posted a
national title since back-to-back
championships in 1934 and 1935.
"All five guys really had a great,
great event. When you have four
guys finish in the top 20 and two
guys in the top five, you know you
are going to have a good chance to
win."

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