Wolverines Win Wild Big Ten Opener
April 2, 2010
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - In a wild, emotional Big Ten opener, Michigan scored six runs in the top of the 10th to rally for a 16-10 victory over the Indiana baseball team on Friday. Mike Dufek broke a 10-10 tie in extras with a two-run single to lift the Wolverines to 14-9 (1-0 Big Ten) on the season. Brian Lambert hit his first career home run, scored two runs and drove in two in a losing effort for the Hoosiers (12-12, 0-1).
Trailing 9-8 heading to the eighth inning, the Wolverines rallied for a pair of runs off Chris Squires to take a 10-9 lead. With two out in the top of the frame and a man on second, Derek Dennis knocked a single up the middle to score Ryan LaMarre to knot the game at 9-9. After an intentional walk, Anthony Toth hit a bounding grounder to Squires that deflected off the pitcher's glove and just out of the reach of shortstop Michael Basil to score Dennis and give U-M its first lead of the contest.
The Hoosiers came right back in the bottom of the eighth. With two down in the bottom of the inning, Micah Johnson beat out an infield single and advanced to second on a throwing error by Dennis. Blake Monar then pinch-hit and drilled a ball to left to score Johnson on a close play at the plate to again tie the score, this time at 10-10.
In the top of the ninth, Jerry Kleman took over on the mound and got the first batter on a groundout. With a lefty at the plate, he switched places with Jerrud Sabourin at first base, and Sabourin struck out Dufek for the second out. The two swapped places again with two down, and after surrendering a flyball hit to no-man's land in center and allowing an intentional walk, Kleman rebounded to strike out Mike Kittle to end the inning.
In the bottom of the frame, IU narrowly missed on a pair of chances to end the game. Sabourin led off and hit a high fly ball to right, but the ball landed safely in the glove of Nick Urban for out number one. Alex Dickerson followed by crushing a ball to left-center, but Garrett Stephens read it perfectly and caught it for out number two. Michael Earley then lined a ball to shallow center, and Patrick Biondi went for a diving catch only to see the ball trickle past him and all the way to the wall. Earley stumbled as he was rounding first, but still motored all the way around second and third, only to head home in pursuit of an inside-the-park home run anyway. The relay throw from Dennis to the plate, though, was in time, and the senior captain was out at the plate to send the game into extra innings.
U-M left no doubt in the top of the 10th. With the Hoosiers running out of pitchers, Kleman remained in the game and surrendered a trio of walks before Dufek's two-out single. Stephens followed with a grand slam to result in the final score.
The Hoosiers got out to a quick lead thanks to Lambert's first inning homer and a five-run second on three hits and three Wolverine errors. Sabourin, Earley and Lyon each had RBI singles in the frame, and with runners at the corners and two down, IU got aggressive on the basepaths. Lyon took off on a 2-2 pitch from first, and when the throw went to second, Earley broke for home, but Toth's throw to the plate was just in time to get Earley by a hair to end the frame with Indiana up 6-1.
Michigan got two runs in the top of the third, but the Hoosiers countered with two of their own in the bottom. Tyler Rogers, who snapped a slump with a pair of doubles in the game, had an RBI two-bagger and scored on a wild pitch to make it 8-3 IU. Rogers also led off the fifth with a double and scored on a Lambert RBI groundout to push the lead to 9-3.
Michigan appeared ready to counter in the sixth, loading the bases with one out. But Squires - normally the team's closer - came out of the bullpen and got Michigan's third and fourth hitters - Chris Berset and Coley Crank - on consecutive strikeouts to end the frame.
With the IU staff looking to preserve his arm, Squires remained in the game in center field as Jonny Hoffman came on to pitch. Hoffman, though, loaded the bases with nobody out, and Squires returned to the mound. He could not replicate his earlier success, though, with the Wolverines getting a single off Squires' foot and a grounder up the middle to plate three runs. He rebounded to get a groundout, but Toth came through with a metal-bat single to center to score two more and make it a 9-8 lead for IU heading into the eighth.
Dickerson extended his hitting streak to 18 games with a fifth-inning single, though his streak of 10 straight multi-hit games was snapped in his 1-for-4 day. Johnson had a 2-for-5 outing with two runs to move his hitting streak to 10 games, while Earley, Lyon, Sabourin and Rogers all added two hits apiece. Dufek, Toth and Kittle each had three-hit games for the Wolverines.
Indiana and Michigan will continue their weekend series with 1 p.m. games on Saturday and Sunday at Sembower Field. Admission is free to all Hoosier baseball home games, and live audio and statistics are available at IUHoosiers.com.
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