Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Michigan Softball: Highlights and Interviews

Michigan Softball split with Northwestern. Stay tied for the Big Ten Championship.

Day 2 of the draft with the Big Ten players

Breakdown of players from the Big Ten and where they were drafted.

Michigan Baseball: Jim Abbott a look back

One of Michigan's best pitchers.

William Campbell: First Michigan Commit

William Campbell (DT)

Definitely passes the sight test. He does not appear too being carrying that extra baggage around the middle that many high school linemen do. Has ability to play on either side of ball. However, guys who can play in defensive line are at a premium. He fits into Michigan’s new defense at either Defensive Tackle position in 4-3. He could play either Nose Tackle or Strong side Defensive End in 3-3 Okie defense.

Big Will shows a nasty physical side to his game. Hits and is not scared to mix it up. Very quick off the ball and when he plays low with leverage is almost impossible to move. One of the best bull rushes I have seen from high school Defensive Tackles. Will has skill set to be elite defender.

Needs Work:
He is definitely raw and needs work on his technique. Relies too much on bull rush, needs to start working on swim and other speed rush moves. Hand control needs work; he allows Offensive linemen to get hands inside and does not shed them well. Also needs to be more consistent with playing low.


written by CoachBt and ErocWolverine

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Michigan Baseball: Michigan beats Western Michigan


Wolverines Ride Recknagel to Victory Over Broncos

April 29, 2008
Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Wilpon Complex)

Score: #22 Michigan 7, Western Michigan 4
Records: U-M (31-10), WMU (21-16-1)

Next U-M Game: Friday, May 2 -- vs. Ohio State (Wilpon Complex), 6:35 p.m.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The No. 22-ranked University of Michigan baseball team improved to 12-0 at home in the Wilpon Baseball Complex, home to Ray Fisher Stadium, with a 7-4 win against Western Michigan Tuesday evening (April 29). Senior 1B Nate Recknagel (Lake Orion, Mich./Lake Orion HS) paced the Wolverines (31-9), going 3-for-4 with three RBI and two runs scored, including the game-winner. Recknagel fell a triple shy of hitting for the cycle, as the senior slugger hit a homer in the first inning, a single in the third, and a double in the fourth.

Sophomore Eric Katzman (Harrington Park, N.J./Northern Valley Old Tappan HS) earned his first win of the season, throwing two scoreless innings out of the bullpen. Sophomore/freshman Matt Gerbe (Shelby Township, Mich./Eisenhower HS) recorded the final two outs of the game, both on strikeouts.

Recknagel gave the Maize and Blue the early 1-0 lead as he blasted his 18th home run of the season on the first pitch he saw from Broncos starter Brian Schutzbach in the first inning. The home run moved the senior slugger into sole possession of second place on the Michigan all-time single-season home run list.

Western tied the game at 1-1 in the top of the third as Zach Gentile singled in Pedro Dager. Dager singled earlier in the frame with one out and moved to third following a walk and a wild pitch. The Broncos loaded the bases in the inning, but with two outs Michigan freshman starter Kolby Wood (Eau Claire, Mich,/Berrien Springs HS) struck out Matthew Abro looking to end the threat.

Michigan responded with two runs in the bottom of the frame. Junior Jason Christian (Loveland, Ohio/Loveland HS) scored on a Recknagel single, and fifth-year senior 2B Leif Mahler (Columbus, Ohio/St. Charles Prep) scored on an Adam Abraham (Grosse Pointe Park, Mich./South HS) double. Christian began the inning with a double into the rightfield corner and moved to third on a throwing error by the pitcher on Mahler's sacrifice bunt attempt. That set up Recknagel's second RBI of the day, on a sharp single to leftfield. Abraham gave the Wolverines a two-run lead two batters later as he blistered the ball off the 26-foot wall in leftfield, pushing the score to 3-1.

That lead was short-lived, however, as WMU put up two runs in the ensuing inning. Joe Sheets led off the frame with a single to third and advanced to second on a throwing error. He scored one batter later, as Kyle Galbraith singled back up the middle to cut the deficit to 3-2. Dager sent a ball into centerfield that fell out of the centerfielder's glove, allowing Galbraith to score the unearned run and knot the score at 3-3.

Recknagel again gave U-M a one-run lead when he ripped an RBI double into leftfield in the bottom half of the inning for a 4-3 Wolverine advantage. After sophomore C Chris Berset (Vienna, Va./Heights School), who walked to lead off the inning, was moved to third via a sacrifice bunt and a bouncer back to the pitcher, Recknagel drove him home with his third RBI of the ballgame.

The score remained the same until the top of the sixth, when Gentile's RBI single made it 4-4. The Broncos loaded the bases against Katzman, but the sophomore lefty got Chris Lewis to fly out to rightfielder Alan Oaks (White Lake, Mich./Divine Child HS) after a seven-pitch battle.

In the top of the seventh the Broncos threatened again, as Sheets led off with a single into rightfield for WMU's 10th hit of the game. He was sacrificed to second with one out but was stranded as Derek Mosher lined out to Christian and Kevan Hess struck out looking.

In the bottom of the frame, Recknagel led off with a four-pitch walk, followed by a pair of hit batsmen as junior P/DH Zach Putnam (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer HS) and Abraham were plunked on back-to-back pitches to load the bases. Junior Kevin Cislo (Novi, Mich./Novi HS) pinch hit for Oaks and bounced to the second baseman, who was unable to turn the double play as Cislo beat the throw to first. Recknagel was able to score on the play to put the Wolverines ahead for good at 5-4. Michigan added a second run in the inning, as Putnam came down the line from third on a single by Berset for a 6-4 Wolverine advantage.

Following a run in the bottom of the eighth to make the score 7-4, Gerbe was called out of the Wolverine bullpen to close the door. Gerbe did just that as he fanned the only two batters he faced, with the final out of the ballgame coming via a three-pitch K.

The Wolverines will return to Big Ten Conference play when they welcome the Ohio State Buckeyes for a four-game series starting Friday (May 2) wth the dedication game of the Wilpon Baseball Complex, home of Ray Fisher Stadium. Pregame festivities will begin at 6:20 p.m. and will conclude with the ceremonial first pitch by New York Mets principle owner, CEO and president Fred Wilpon.

Mailbag question:


I'm an avid reader of your site and I have a question regarding expectations given Newsome's commitment. So it seems that Newsome is a pass-first guy, pro-style by all accounts, who happens to run really fast. I know you've evaluated all the QB below, but I'm wondering, what do you think RR will do with his system having Newsome as the QB? It just occurred to me that everywhere RR has gone; he has tweaked his system different on almost every occasion. Do you then expect us to pass a lot more than, say, he did at WVU w/ White? Because UM has way more talent at WR than he ever had at WVU, and Newsome is also an incredible talent. Do you see another evolution for RR's read option spread attack? Perhaps a way-faster version of what we did at the Capital One bowl coupled with a QB who can run, but also pass well while executing read options effectively? Doesn't that seem to be the supreme tweak for RR's offense? Many think that WVU w/ White represented the pinnacle of RR's offensive scheme, but when executed with better receivers, better RBs, better all-around athletes in the skilled position, and a quick QB who can pass well wouldn't that, in fact, be the pinnacle of his offensive scheme? And so, does it not seem that with top WRs, and a top QB who can run well and pass very well, that the pass will be a significant part of the offense, and not a run-heavy style a la White? Thoughts?
Thanks in advance to Eroc and CoachBt.

Go Blue!

Thanks for the question. I think Newsome wants to be a pass first, pro style QB, not sure that he is. From film available, some of his best plays are with his legs. He is capable of breaking tackles and than outrunning the secondary. He shows a very strong arm, but definitely needs some refinement in the short game. He does seem to have more potential in the passing game than White. In addition, I would fully expect to see more balance to Michigan’s attack than was used at West Virginia. Still think the QB read option would be the basis of the offense. When you are running that scheme with Quarterbacks like Threet and Cone, it tells us you truly believe in the scheme. I do agree that with the wealth of talent at both Tight End and Split End will give Michigan the capability of being a more explosive, diverse offense. With more options to throw at the defense then staff had at West Virginia. However, Tight Ends were very situational players during practice and spring. What Michigan I looking to do (IMO) am keep the strong running attack in the Quarterback read package, and tweak it slightly by using Tight Ends and some additional vertical game with Michigan’s excellent Split Ends. I do not expect at this time to see anything close to pro style, multiple Wide Receiver set offense.

written by CoachBt and ErocWolverine

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Michigan Baseball: Interview with Coach Rich Maloney Part 2

Interview with Michigan Baseball Head Coach Rich Maloney: Part 2

ErocWolverine: Your team has been doing well in the Big Ten how do you keep these guys focused on the big prize after taking care of your rival handily and now facing a team like Indiana?

Rich Maloney: “That is always a concern of that from a coaches concern and one of the things I told our guys yesterday is what our goals were as a team at the beginning of the year. The importance of winning every game that we play especially going down the stretch because one of our goals was to host a regional. In order to do that we have to win the Big Ten and we have to get over forty wins in my opinion. Of course, the more wins we get than I can talk to them about being a number one or two seed and possible hosting a super regional. The only way we have chance to be a number one seed because of the RPI rating aren’t as high because of the teams we play in the north compared to the west and south teams. If we would have one those early games against some of the better teams we had a opportunity, but now we just need to win every game and value that every game is important because once you get into tournament one game can send you home. On any given day you have to be prepared and be ready to win.”

ErocWolverine: Hard to believe you have only two more weekends at home and it is just now getting nice for the fans to enjoy the weather and good baseball. To bad, the season starts so early?

Rich Maloney: “Yea a lot of obstacles are in the way for us at home with not having as many home games and then the first couple of weeks we have bad weather for the openers. I have told our kids that I believe when we get back to Omaha that we will have the biggest following of any team there. That includes the teams that are there every year because I believe it is going to be something special to support the team. I think when a team from the north actually breaks through and is in Omaha it will only make college baseball that much better.”

“The Michigan softball team broke through a few years ago, but their sport is a little different than ours because they can rely on one or two pitchers and for baseball you have to have a complete staff. Do not get me wrong what Coach “Hutch” has done is amazing and I feel like she is like Pat Summit of women’s college basketball.”

ErocWolverine: How does the layout of the stadium effect your team now especially the big wall in left field and will that affect your recruiting or how your team plays at home?

Rich Maloney: “Normally we do not play enough at home to use it for recruiting a certain type of player since we have twenty-one home games and thirty-five away games. We want a good balance with a combination of parts not just one or the other. We are going to try and recruit speedsters for the top and bottom of the order and have guys that can have power from the third through six spots.”

“Regarding the wall I think it will be a big advantage because most college ball team haven’t played with that kind of wall and once we start playing on it more I think it could be a huge advantage. Already we have seen it because against Eastern Michigan one of their outfielders ran close to the wall and it bounced off the wall and bounced off and our guy got a triple out of it instead of holding us to a single like we hope to take advantage of the wall.”

ErocWolverine: I know it is early and coaches like to take one game at a time, but how does the early loses affect your team for the post season ranking wise and also did it teach your team about being mentally prepared each game you play no matter who is your opponent?

Rich Maloney: “Of all the NCAA sports, I believe playing baseball in the north has the biggest disadvantage along with of course softball as well since we are playing at the same time. It would be great if we could start our season two weeks earlier to be able to play at least another series at home or bring in some bigger programs for non-conference games like a Arizona State or that kind of caliber instead of always going to their place to play. We do not worry about it and just try to win. In the off-season, we talk to people about the challenges of a northern school having to play that many games on the road. In addition, how that might affect our players with having the challenges of being at a university like Michigan with the players schooling. We were gone off and on for over a month because of our schedule at the beginning of the season and some of these southern schools go away for a long weekend and they think that is to long.”

ErocWolverine: How will the new facilities benefit your program in the off-season along with getting top recruits to come to Michigan?

Rich Maloney: “We cannot change the weather so it will be tough to bring an elite western or southern kid to Michigan along with having the coaches spend so much time trying to get a kid from there that likely will be tough to bring them to Michigan. My focus will still be the same as when I got here and that is get the best kids in the Midwest. We can do that and then supplement our needs by going out of the area when needed. What is will really do is make the kids when they come here walk into the locker room and say WOW. When they walk into the ballpark and see one of the best college places to play they are going to see a place they will want to play. Then in the off-season, the kids will be able to go hit anytime they want with our video projection-hitting machine that will pay off. They will be able to develop all year round now and that will be a huge positive. I do not see to many negatives for any kid that walks on campus with the facilities and the great academics we have at Michigan along with the support the administration has put forward to the baseball program. I would think most kids would look at Michigan as a viable option to continue their college education.”

ErocWolverine: Will your players start working out with Mike Barwis or one of his assistant trainers in the off-season or use their type of training?

Rich Maloney: “First of all Mike is bringing something to the table that is very positive and cutting edge and we have always wanted to be progressive in that area. We have been limited to some degree because of how the strength training was set up at Michigan. Now this has many of us coaches have hoped for that we could at least be innovative. I think Mike is bringing that to the department.”

“Who is going to be helping us right now the university is having some outside sources to come in for the non-football teams right now and analyzing where we are at right now. After they analyze several things we are in the process of some changes, bring in some innovation, and put us at cutting edge. I think Mike has brought in a new energy that has been positive and that has spilled over to the coaches. He will be solely being concentrating on football and probably his staff as well. Quite honestly, that in itself is such a huge responsibility with this university. We will probably have somebody else with similar ideas. Mike might oversee the entire program and help get everybody under one program, but his efforts will be on football. There is such huge pressure and expectations on the football program and their energy need to be focused on that in my opinion.”

ErocWolverine: How does the summer camp help in recruiting for baseball prospects?

Rich Maloney: “Summer camp really helps the younger kids to get on the radar. All the kids now are going to the showcases where all the top players go and get in front of hundreds of coaches instead of one camp with one coach. The summer camps do help and find some kids, but not like a summer camp for football. Do not get me wrong we find several talented kids through camp, but for the most part the summer camp is where we get kids on our radar for the future.”
written by ErocWolverine

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Monday, April 28, 2008

BTN: Behind the scenes with Big Ten players

Behind the scenes with Big Ten players at the draft.

Coaches Corner: Breaking down the Michigan players in the draft:

Jake Long:
Jake picked in the first round with the first pick to the Miami Dolphins. Big Jake is excellent fit for Miami, and the great thing is he can play either side very well. Remember Coach Parcells was the coach who ignored "the experts" and saw Jumbo Elliot as Left Tackle when nobody else did. Reason for Jumbos success and my confidence with Big Jake is any team with coach Parcells involved is going to have a strong power running game component.This will limit some of the effectiveness of those nasty edge rushers. When the Defensive End/Outside Linebacker has to be worried about the Offensive Tackle putting a hand on the ground, coming off the ball, and burying their ASS it will naturally his pass rush down.

Jake can be a guy that they can put at a position and not have to worry about him for ten to twelve years. The biggest question is can he play the left tackle against the speedy defense. He will be a solid tackle no matter which side, but the Dolphins are banking on him at left tackle.

Chad Henne:
Chad picked in the second round with the fifty-seventh pick to the Miami Dolphins. Henne going to Miami Dolphins is the perfect match. Chad could not have found a better situation.

The Dolphins have two experienced Quarterbacks available, but neither has been the answer the Dolphins are looking for. John Beck last years second round pick was very disappointing last season. Josh Mc Gown, formerly of the Raiders, Lions, and Cardinals has been a back up at best.

The opportunity to see meaningful snaps exists for Henne. Second thing is new Head Coach Tony Sparno and Offensive Coach Dan Henning is not West Coast offense people. They are of the strong running game, play action, throw the ball deep philosophy. Chad's big arm should be a huge asset for him and the Dolphins.

One of the biggest things for Chad Henne might be actually getting into camp and learning the system quickly. Being drafted in the second round should not make him a holdout like sometimes happens with quarterbacks in the NFL. The opportunity is there for him to either take over this year or learn the system and be the guy later this year or next season. A lot depends on how soon he learns the system and how the other quarterbacks do at the beginning of the year. The Dolphins have a lot more problems than just quarterback does and they need to fill many holes in this draft or in free agency.

Shawn Crable:
Shawn picked in the third round with the seventy-eight pick to the New England Patriots. Crable to New England is a great situation for both Patriots and Shawn. He is better suited to play outside linebacker/rush defensive end in 3-4 defenses than Will linebacker or Sam linebacker in 4-3 scheme. Shawn’s strength is as blitzing off edge from linebacker position. He does cover or play in space well enough o be perfect fit for 4-3 outside linebacker. In addition, as member of Patriots some god vets will tutor him so that the Patriots can bring along slowly and use him as situational edge rusher.

Crable just like Pierre Woods is in a place where they are not counting on them to make a big impact. The linebacker crew of the Patriots has some older linebackers so in a year or so they will be in place to take over. Right now is a good time to learn as much as they can from these players and adopt their work ethic and the soak in their knowledge of the game. Crable might be a guy that will really grow as a pro and be a outstanding player on a great team. He does not need to be the best player on the team, but just a guy that will fill a roll on the team.

Mario Manningham:
Mario picked in third round with the ninety-fifth pick to the New York Giants. This is a good fit. The Giants offense is a power running attack, with play action and deep passing game mixed in. This is the strength of Manningham's game with him running the deep and go routes of his famed double moves. He would not have fit anywhere near as well in a West Coast, or other short passing game. Mario has not shown the ability to play in space or create big plays out of short routes to excel in this type of offense. In addition, as with Crable, Mario will have time to learn his craft and break in slowly behind some very good vets and with very good Quarterback.

Mario needs to get everything together along with getting dedicated to the off-season and prepare himself for the NFL. He has some very good wide receivers so he will not have to come in and be a impact guy. He needs to learn the system and be prepared to step in when needed and a year or so down the line be ready to get a bigger role in this offense.

Mike Hart:
Mike picked in the sixth round with the two hundred sixth pick to the Indianapolis Colts. In my personal preference for Mike Hart has always been Denver Broncos. If he could not go there, Colts and Patriots were second and third choice. All three teams run version of zone schemes. This system best fits his skill set. Colts run three different zone looks, stretch, inside zone, and a called cutback with zone action. Mike Hart should be very good at all three. In addition, Mike’s ability to pass block out of multiple wide receiver sets should be big plus to his making Colts roster.

Mike Hart can go into camp with a chip on his shoulder and have the mentality of proving everybody wrong. So many of the scouts are saying he is not fast enough, big enough and cannot be a every down back, but those are the same things that all the experts were saying when he came to Michigan and by the third game of his freshman year he was proving all the doubters wrong. He is a guy that can hang on to the ball and he just seems to make the first guy miss when trying to tackling him.

Adrian Arringtion:
Adrian picked in the seventh round with the two hundred thirty-seventh pick for the New Orleans Saints. Sometimes when you are drafted late, you are better off not drafted at all. This way you can pick the team that gives you the best opportunity. That being said the New Orleans Saints give Adrian at least a shot at making the roster. They have some experience at wide receiver, but not so much that Arrington has any chance at all. Good thing about going to Saints is chance to learn from Coach Peyton. He is as good of an offense coach as you will find. His specialty is the passing game so even if he does not make the roster, the experience at New Orleans should be positive.

Adrian needs to get his head on straight and get in the mood of wanting to learn and do whatever it takes to make the team. He has an opportunity now to make a NFL roster. He is starting all over and a clean slate for a different program. I believe his past caught up to him in regards to the draft so that is why he fell so far. Well this is his chance to prove all those people wrong and show how hard he is willing to work to get things done.

written by CoachBt and ErocWolverine

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Michigan Softball: Michigan splits with NW

Michigan loses first game and then comes from behind to win in the second game.

Michigan Baseball: Interview with Coach Rich Maloney Part 1

Interview with Michigan Baseball Head Coach Rich Maloney Part 1:

ErocWolverine: What ended up being the problem with the lights on Friday night?

Rich Maloney: “Well the breakers did pop out on the lights, but what we believe happened was when the wall was being built that the wiring might have been hit during the process and when the lights were on for a period of time they overloaded. They have been working on that right now, so I am not sure what they found out the problem was.”

ErocWolverine: The ballpark is getting all the final touches done so how do you like it after all the hard work you and a lot of other people put in to your program to get this done?

Rich Maloney: “We are ecstatic about the hitting facility, about the locker room. I believe the locker room is one of the best in college baseball and we wanted it that way WOW factor and when recruits walk in and for our players to enjoy and hang out. We wanted a place for our players to build commemorate and I think we captured that I believe. The field itself is beautiful what we wanted, the video room we have, and the office area is very nice. We will not be done for another year in the planning of the area of the entrance and that will be the final piece to the puzzle. That is what we still need to capture and we did not do anything with the entrance because we were not sure how much space we really have and that is going to show the history of Michigan baseball. That will be one of the final pieces and one of the most important pieces. Once the season is over, we will start attacking that area.”

ErocWolverine: Is there anything else you would like to see be done regarding facilities for your program?

Rich Maloney: “We would have liked to have a complete weight room in the facility and hopefully someday we will because that is miy ultimate dream just like what hockey has for them, but we wasn’t able to pull that out in this first phase. We are probably going to have to extend some permanent seating at some point on down the line, but we wasn’t able to make that work with the budget that we had so there is just a couple things more that we will have to adjust to on down the road. Overall, the facility has been perceived very well and blends in very well with the building around it and capturing the old and the new.”

ErocWolverine: Had a great crowd for the MSU series at home any regrets on not adding more seats especially the fans bringing the brooms to the game on Sunday?

Rich Maloney: “There were many people there for sure and wish we had more seating. The plan was for more seating, but we were working within the budget and we had to prioritize what is most important. The first thing that was most important was getting hitting facility just right so our kids could continue to develop. The other main one was the locker room because that is where these kids spend a lot of their time. The two most important features that would benefit our kids and the other one were preparing ourselves for television in case we want to hold a regional.”

“Therefore, we prioritized and start going down the list and do to the list we had to put them down for another time. We are very thankful for what we have because this is a special place and we will try to address those other things on down the road. I hope that we can make our stadium full all the time and then try and make some tweaks along with creating a buzz to make these hot tickets. We can try to address how to make it better with adding non-permanent seating, but those are being used for preparation for graduation since the Big House cannot be used. After graduation, we will be able to have probably another thousand different seats down the first base and third base lines.”

“Quite honestly, we were pleasantly surprised by the amount of the crowd with the Michigan state series. We knew it was going to be a big crowd, but we never experience anything like that at Michigan. That is what we have been building for and hoping for. Until the fans, actually come out it is hard to spend money in that area hoping they come out. We can address that soon and will be able to accommodate those problems on down the line. I always thought we could have huge crowds here at Michigan depending on the weather and if we would have tried to hold the super regional last year here, we would not have been able to have enough seats for everybody. We are adjusting from what we had at the Michigan State series because we are expecting giant crowds for the Ohio State series coming up as long as the weather holds out so we are preparing as well to hopefully hosting a regional and pack that place.”

ErocWolverine: You had 27 runs against MSU in one game. Have you ever had that many runs in a game before at the college level?

Rich Maloney: “Well actually, I have when I was at Ball State we beat Valparaiso 27-10, beat Akron 31-5 and my favorite one was we beat Purdue 27-10 and that was special. We have a potent offense and when they get hot and Michigan State got deep into their pitching that can happen. I even went deep into the bench by the fourth inning. It was one of those days that it is fun when you are winning and terrible when you are losing.”

ErocWolverine: Your bats sure have been warming up just like the weather along with many homeruns lately?

Rich Maloney: “I knew from a power standpoint and we have always felt we had as much power as anybody in college baseball. Our park has not been conducive to hitting many homeruns. We have shortened the fences a little bit and that has helped, but our guys have been hitting them in the right spot as well. Unfortunately, you can hit the ball very well, but you hit it in the wrong spot and the other team makes a play. We had a lot of wind blowing out against Illinois and our guys started to launch them. Against Michigan State, the win was blowing in one direction and we were getting hot. I could see our guys hitting 75-85 this year of course depending on weather.”

written by ErocWolverine

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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Poll results:

Who do you think is Michigan football biggest rival?

Michigan State.....5.....(5%)

Notre Dame..........1.....(1%)

Ohio State...........92.....(93%)

Votes so far: 98

Poll closed

written by ErocWolverine

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Michigan Softball: Lose one and then win one in last inning


Final-Inning Thriller Hands Softball Split With Wildcats

April 27, 2008
Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Wilpon Complex)
Scores: #12 Northwestern 2, #6 Michigan 1; #6 Michigan 3, #12 Northwestern 2
Records: Michigan (44-5, 16-2 Big Ten), Northwestern (32-11, 16-2 Big Ten)
Next U-M Games: Wednesday, April 30 -- DH vs. Florida State (Wilpon Complex), 4 p.m.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Battling through doubleheader that fully lived up to billing, the No. 6-ranked University of Michigan softball team scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the seventh to claim the second game and earn the series split against No. 12 Northwestern on Sunday afternoon (April 27) in front of 2,491 fans at Alumni Field in the Wilpon Softball Complex. Michigan lost the opener 2-1 but recovered for a 3-2 win in the back end of the twinbill.

With the split, Michigan and Northwestern remain deadlocked atop the Big Ten Conference standings each with their additional loss coming against Iowa. In the even that both teams sweep their respective series next weekend, they will share the conference title while the tournament host will be decided by the fourth tiebreaker -- a coin flip.

Freshman pitcher Jordan Taylor (Valencia, Calif./Valencia HS) earned the victory in game two, improving her record to 24-2 with a three-hit, six-strikeout performance during seven innings pitched. After giving up a pair of runs in the second, the Wolverine rookie finished with five straight shutout innings and set down the final 11 batters she faced. Taylor also picked up a pair of strikeouts in an inning of work in the opener after entering in relief in the seventh. Despite a solid 10-strikeout performance, sophomore Nikki Nemitz (St. Clair Shores, Mich./Regina HS) took the loss in game one after allowing two runs on nine hits and a walk.

Senior second baseman Samantha Findlay (Lockport, Ill./East HS), who was the hero in game two, and junior shortstop Teddi Ewing (Olathe, Kan./East HS) each went 3-for-6 from the plate. Sophomore third baseman Maggie Viefhaus (Eureka, Mo./Eureka HS) was the only other Wolverine batter to post multiple hits on the day with a pair of base knocks in the nightcap.

Michigan combined for just four runs against Northwestern ace Lauren Delaney, who posted 18 strikeouts on the day. U-M, however, boasted numerous scoring opportunities but could not capitalize with runners on base, leaving 20 stranded between the two games and squandering three bases-loaded situations. The Wolverines loaded the bases a fourth time in the bottom half of the nightcap's seventh inning, and they finally capitalized.

After a leadoff single up the middle from Ewing, senior leftfielder Alessandra Giampaolo (Pasadena, Calif./Polytechnic HS) sent a bouncing grounder to third base, where the Wildcats' Robin Thompson misplayed the hop to allow both runners to reach safely. Sophomore centerfielder Molly Bausher (Las Vegas, Nev./Spring Valley HS), with an 0-2 count, loaded the bases with a perfectly-placed slap bunt that sprung 10 yards toward the circle before spinning backward to home plate. Sophomore rightfielder Angela Findlay (Lockport, Ill./East HS) walked on five pitches to bring in a run -- narrowing NU's lead to one -- before her sister, Samantha, got ahold of the 1-2 pitch in the subsequent at-bat and fired it through the leftside gap for the game-winning, two-RBI base hit -- her eighth game-winning tally of the season.

The Wolverines had also loaded the bases -- with one out -- in their previous turn at the plate after a pair of walks and a Viefhaus single, but Delaney struck out the final two batters she faced to end the threat. Freshman Dorian Shaw (Burke, Va./Robinson SS), who had one of the strikeouts, put together an outstanding at-bat, fouling off six or seven hard-hit balls to the left before fanning on the 12th pitch.
Northwestern led for most of the game after establishing early control with a pair of runs in the second inning. Leadoff hitter Nicole Pauly made solid contact with the 2-2 pitch and sailed it high over the fence in rightfield. The Wildcats scored its second run in controversial fashion when Thompson yanked a hard grounder down the leftfield line that appeared to pass third base well in foul territory. The home-plate umpire ruled the ball fair, however, and Thompson was awarded a stand-up double and pinch runner Aly Euler came in from second base to score.

The afternoon's first game, despite 15 combined hits between the team and 21 batters left of base, ultimately came down to a pitcher's duel as the three hurlers allowed just three runs and collectively rung up 24 total batters.

After a pair of quick opening frames, the Wildcats took the game's first lead -- one they would not relinquish -- in the top half of the third, manufacturing a two-out run on three hits, including back-to-back base knocks to the left side. With a pair of runners on, Eric Dyer rapped a hard liner through the gap, allowing Tammy Williams to race home from second base. The Wolverines had a potential play at the plate as Giampaolo's throw reached simultaneously, but, without time for reaction, St. Clair was unable to play as the ball hit her and bounced back down the third baseline.

U-M threatened in the bottom half of the frame, rallying with two outs to load the bases -- on an error, a walk and a hit batsman -- for power-hitter Samantha Findlay, who worked the count full before striking out.

After three straight 1-2-3 half innings, Northwestern struck again in the top of the sixth with a pair of hits to kick off the inning and what would prove to be the game-winning tally. With two runners in scoring position after the leadoff knocks and a sacrifice bunt, Kelly Quinn lined an RBI single to leftfield, scoring Pauly from third base.

Michigan responded in the home half of the inning, putting its first run on the scoreboard to cut the NU lead to one. Angela Findlay initiated the rally from the leadoff spot, driving a hard base hit into left centerfield. After a pair of strikeouts, Shaw accepted a walk to put two runners on for freshman designated player Marley Powers (Owosso, Mich./Owosso HS), who dropped a well-place hit into shallow rightfield, scoring Findlay from second base. It was Powers' 14th RBI of the season -- in her 16th at-bat.

Both teams loaded the bases in the final inning. After a Northwestern leadoff double and subsequent single induced the Wolverines' to make a pitching change, Taylor earned a quick strikeout before walked the second batter she faced to load the bases. The Wolverine rookie set down the final two Wildcats to get out of the jam. In the home half of the inning, Michigan put three on base after back-to-back singles and a walk, but the Northwestern ace followed suit with a strikeout -- on three pitches -- to end the threat.

The Wolverines (44-5, 16-2 Big Ten) will host a non-conference mid-week slate against Florida State on Wednesday (April 30). The game will start at 4 p.m. at the Wilpon Softball Complex, home of Alumni Field.

Michigan Baseball: Drop another one to Indiana


Michigan Drops Series Finale at Indiana

April 27, 2008
Site: Bloomington, Ind. (Sembower Field)
Score: Michigan 4, Indiana 11
Records: U-M (30-10, 17-3 Big Ten), Indiana (18-24, 6-14 Big Ten)
Next Game: Tuesday, April 29 -- vs. Western Michigan (Wilpon Complex), 6:35 p.m.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The No. 23-ranked University of Michigan baseball team dropped the finale of its four-game series with Indiana, as the Hoosiers claimed an 11-4 victory inside Sembower Field Sunday afternoon (April 27). It marked the first time this season the Wolverines (30-10, 17-3 Big Ten) did not win a series in Big Ten play.

Junior SS Jason Christian (Loveland, Ohio/Loveland HS) gave the Wolverines an early 1-0 advantage, coming around to score on a Nate Recknagel (Lake Orion, Mich./Lake Orion HS) single into leftfield in the first inning.

Christian led off the game with a walk and moved to third when fifth-year senior 2B Leif Mahler (Columbus, Ohio/St. Charles Prep) ripped a double into rightfield. That set the stage for Recknagel to deliver the RBI single and advance Mahler to third.
Following a wild pitch by Hoosier starter Tyler Tufts, Recknagel stood on second and Mahler on third with no outs. After a strikeout for the first out of the inning, junior 3B Adam Abraham (Grosse Pointe Park, Mich./South HS) drew a walk to load the bases.

Senior LF Derek VanBuskirk (St. Clair, Mich./St. Clair) -- the next Wolverine to come to the plate -- hit one off the end of the bat that Tufts fielded and flipped to catcher Josh Phegley for out number two. With the bases still loaded, sophomore Alan Oaks (White Lake, Mich./Divine Child HS) bounced out to the first baseman, ending the inning with the Wolverines up 1-0.

In bottom of the frame Indiana responded with four runs to on five hits, including a 2-run home run off the bat of Phegley. The Hoosiers added two more runs in the inning with RBI's by Kip Shutz and Tyler Rogers.

Indiana added two more in the bottom of the second as Chris Hervey and Jerrud Sabourin connected for an RBI single and double, respectively, to push the score to 6-1.

The Maize and Blue cut the Indiana lead in to three in the top of the second with a two-run shot by Abraham to make the score 6-3. Following a walk to junior DH Zach Putnam (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer HS) to start the inning, Abraham blasted a 1-1 pitch the deepest part of left-centerfield and over the wall for his seventh homer of the season. The jack set a new career-season best the tri-captain, as he had a previous best of six during his freshman campaign.

Indiana though would score five unanswered runs with one in the fourth and four in the seventh for the eventual 11-4 victory.

Michigan looks to extend its home winning streak to 12 games when the Wolverines return to action in the Wilpon Baseball Complex Tuesday evening (April 29) against Western Michigan. The first pitch slated for 6:35 p.m.

• Despite Michigan's 11-4 loss at Indiana on Sunday (April 27) the Wolverines remained in first place, but Purdue completed a weekend sweep of Minnesota, 6-4, to pull with a game of first place. In other Big Ten action on Sunday Illinois pounded Penn State 17-6 for a weekend split, Michigan State used a bases loaded walk in the bottom of the ninth for an 11-10 comeback win to take three of four games from Iowa and Northwestern topped Ohio State 14-8 for a weekend split.

Big Ten Standings (After 4-27-08)
1. Michigan 17-3 (.850)
2. Purdue 16-4 (.800)
3. Illinois 11-9 (.550)
4. Ohio State 10-9 (.526)
5. Northwestern 10-10 & Penn State 10-10 (.500)
7. Michigan State 7-12 (.368)
8. Indiana 6-14, Iowa 6-14 & Minnesota 6-14 (.300).

Junior 3B Adam Abraham, who hit .500 (8-for-16) in the weekend series split at Indiana, was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer in Sunday's (April 27) loss. The homer, his third of the series, extended his current hitting streak to nine games. Abraham is hitting .361 (57-for-158) for the season with 10 doubles, seven homers and 43 RBI. He has 18 career home runs and 119 career RBI.

Fifth-year senior 2B Leif Mahler was 3-for-5 with a double Sunday in the loss at Indiana, his second three-hit game of the weekend series. Mahler pushed his overall season average to .307 (47-for-153) with a team-leading total of 14 doubles. The three-hit game on Sunday was his sixth of the season and he has 49 career multi-hit games.

Junior CF Kevin Cislo's run-scoring single in the eighth inning Sunday (April 27) extended his career-best and now current team-best hitting streak to 11 games. Cislo is hitting .355 (43-for-121) in overall action and continues to lead U-M in Big Ten play with a .429 (24-for-56) average.

Senior 1B Nate Recknagel, who was 8-for-16 in the weekend series at Indiana, was 1-for-4 with a run-scoring single to give the Wolverines a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning on Sunday. Recknagel has hits in 35 of U-M's 40 games this season and in 134 of the 165 games he has played in his career at U-M. For the season Recknagel leads the Wolverines in hitting at .404 (59-for-146), runs (40), hits (59), home runs (17), RBI (52), slugging (.815) and on base percentage (.480). Recknagel is seventh on U-M's career RBI list (154), one behind Phil Price (155 RBI, 1987-90) for sixth place.

Junior P/DH Zach Putnam had his team-leading and career-best hitting streak snapped at 16 games Sunday (April 27) as he was 0-for-4 with a run scored. Putnam is hitting .327 (50-for-153) with 10 doubles, seven homers and 40 RBI in overall action.

Michigan Water Polo: Headed to NCAA Championships


Westbound Wolverines Are Champions of the East

April 27, 2008
Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Canham Natatorium)
Event: Eastern Championship (Finals)
Scores: #11 Michigan 10, #14 Hartwick 7
Record: U-M (33-9); Hartwick (28-11)
Next U-M Event: Friday-Sunday, May 9-11 -- at NCAA Championship (Palo Alto, Calif.)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The No. 11-ranked University of Michigan water polo team captured the Eastern Championship title and an automatic bid for the 2008 NCAA Championship with its 10-7 win against the No. 14-ranked Hartwick on Sunday afternoon (April 27) in Canham Natatorium. Junior Julie Hyrne (Sunnyvale, Calif./Archbishop Mitty) was the star of the game for the Wolverines, tallying four goals, including the game-winner, and an assist. Hyrne was also named the Most Valuable Player for the Eastern Championship -- she had six goals during the tournament.

Junior goalkeeper Brittany May (Santa Barbara, Calif./Santa Barbara) also put forth an exemplary effort, making eight saves in the championship game. Sophomore Leah Robertson (Newport Beach, Calif./Newport Harbor) had five steals to go with three points on the day while senior Michelle Keeley (Rockford, Mich./Rockford) had a goal and an assist in her final collegiate game at home. Freshman Alison Mantel (Miami, Fla./Gulliver) had a pair of goals and two steals in the contest.

Hyrne converted for the game's opening goal at 5:51. With a defender on her back at two meters, Hyrne spun and swatted the ball along the water into the left of the goal. A minute and a half later, Keeley reared back and fired a ball into the cage from five meters. Keeley created space for herself by fading away from her defender while shooting towards the right of the cage to put U-M up 2-0. Kirsten Hudson got the Hawks on the board with a well-placed lob shot into the right portion of the goal at 3:55. Mantel caught a break on U-M's next goal. Mantel's shot pinballed off the crossbar then the goalie's back and over the goal line. Junior Mary Chatigny (Palm Springs, Calif./Palm Springs) ended the scoring in the first quarter by going coast to coast and lobbing a shot over the goalie into the top right corner of the goal.

Mantel notched her second goal of the game on a penalty shot at 5:09 to make it 5-1 in favor of the Wolverines. Junior Sharayah Hernandez (Pico Rivera, Calif./El Rancho) drew the five-meter penalty by breaking away from the Hartwick defense in transition. Thirty seconds later, Hudson's scored the second goal of the day for Hartwick as she simply rose up and fired the ball into the right of cage. Hyrne collected her second tally with a power-play goal at the two-minute mark. U-M worked the ball from right to center to left and Hyrne shot inside the left post before the Hawk goalie could recover. Robertson picked up the assist on the play. HC's Barbara Amaro trimmed U-M's lead to 6-3 on a skip shot 15 seconds later. May made her best save of the first half just inside the one-minute mark. May lunged for a shot heading for the top left corner of the cage and deflected it over the crossbar. May got somewhat lucky in the final seconds of the half when Hudson's penalty shot attempt skipped high over the crossbar.

At 3:14, the Hawks had made it a one-goal game at 6-5 thanks to two more goals. May stoned a Megan Dahl-Smith shot to maintain the slim Wolverine advantage. Dahl-Smith tried to deflect a crossing feed in front of the cage, but May alertly moved up out of the cage to smother the shot. Robertson and Hyrne reasserted Michigan's control of the game with goals at 1:54 and 30 seconds. Hyrne fed Robertson at the left of the cage for the first tally. Then Hyrne scored on a no-look, over the shoulder shot to give the Maize and Blue an 8-5 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

Hartwick's Ellen Sevigny scored a six-on-five goal at 6:10 of the final frame on a shot inside the left post. Chatigny responded on U-M's following possession. As a penalty to HC was expiring, Chatigny worked her way in from seven meters out to five before depositing the ball into the left of the goal. Hyrne poured in her fourth goal of the game with backhander at 2:37 as the shot clock was winding down. Hartwick cut its deficit back to three 12 seconds later, but the Wolverine defense put the clamps on down the stretch and held on for the triumph.

To the victors come the spoils as the Wolverines wrapped up the CWPA's automatic bid to the 2008 NCAA Championships (Fri.-Sun., May 9-11) in Palo Alto, Calif. The eight-team NCAA field and tournament bracket will be announced Monday, April 28, at 7 p.m. EDT on CBS College Sports Television. The bracket will be posted on the NCAA site after the selection show.

Coach Rod talks to BTN part 2

Coach Rod talking about what he wants at Michigan.

Coach Rod talks to BTN: part 1

Coach Rod talks to the BTN about Michigan.

Michigan Football: Carr not a traitor

from Detroit News

Carr not a traitor

Lloyd Carr retired. He didn't suddenly become senile.
Help a Michigan player transfer to Ohio State? Are you kidding?
A column in Thursday's Columbus Dispatch about Justin Boren, the former Michigan offensive lineman who has transferred to OSU, has Carr furious.

"Maybe they should take a cue from previous Michigan coach Lloyd Carr, who according to a source close to the situation worked behind the scenes to help Boren obtain his scholarship release from Michigan," Rob Oller wrote. "Carr even assured Boren that Ohio State is the closest thing to Michigan that he would find and that there are 'good people' in Columbus."

I can't remember the last time I heard Carr as livid as he was Friday night during a brief phone conversation.

He didn't mince words.

"It's a lie," Carr said, angrily. "That's a lie! That's it."

End of conversation. Well, pretty much. Trust me, there were a few other ways he said it was all a lie, and I don't think Carr was taking a cue from his Academy Award-winning buddy Russell Crowe. This was not acting. His response was real. Angrily real.

Posted by Angelique Chengelis on Fri, Apr 25, 2008 at 10:15 PM

These comments below are ErocWolverine comments on this matter:

To me this whole deal was a way of trying to drag down Coach Rod and also make the Michigan fans split between him and Coach Carr. People need to have a little common sense here and realize that Carr probably wanted the best for Boren, but I highly doubt he would have ever pushed anybody to Ohio State.

In fact I bet what Carr's words to Angeliques were "It's a f*ck**g lie," Carr said, angrily. "That's a g*d d*mn lie! That's f*ck**g it."

Coach Carr should be enjoying retirement instead of dealing with this crap. People need to get some common sense and don't believe everything you read especially from a Columbus paper or for that matter anything from Jim Carty or the Detroit Free Press.

Also for people to actually believe it and question Carr and everything he has done for Michigan in his 28 years at Michigan while 13 of those years were head coach. He ran a clean program that everybody should be proud of and a National Championship to Ann Arbor.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Michigan Football: Jake Long #1

Miami picked Jake Long #1 pick in the NFL draft.

Michigan Football: Long and Henne teammates at Miami


Miami Bound: Henne Joins Long as Dolphins Draft Pick

April 26, 2008

NEW YORK, N.Y. -- Chad Henne (Wyomissing, Pa./Wilson HS) joined University of Michigan teammate and the No. 1 overall pick, left tackle Jake Long (Lapeer, Mich./Lapeer East HS), as member of the Miami Dolphins with his selection in the second round of the 2008 NFL Draft Saturday (April 26) at Radio City Music Hall.
Henne was the 57th overall pick of the draft and the fourth quarterback chosen. Henne was drafted behind first-round picks Matt Ryan (third, Atlanta Falcons) and Joe Flacco (18th, Baltimore Ravens), and the player chosen one spot ahead of him, Brian Brohm (56th, Green Bay Packers).

This week's earlier announcement became official as Long was anointed the draft's No. 1 overall pick by the Dolphins. Long became the first of 252 players to be selected during the two-day draft that continues tomorrow (Sunday, April 27) with rounds three through seven.

Henne is the third-highest draft pick among U-M quarterbacks all-time. Jim Harbaugh, the 26th pick of the 1987 draft by the Chicago Bears, is the program's lone first-round selection. Todd Collins was a second-round selection as the 45th overall pick by the Buffalo Bills in the 1995 draft, and Steve Smith was a second-round choice (33rd overall) in the 1984 supplemental draft by the San Diego Chargers.

The 2008 Capital One Bowl Most Valuable Player, Henne completed 25-of-39 passes for a career-best 373 yards and three touchdown passes against the Florida Gators. He was 162-of-278 passing for 1,938 yards and 17 touchdowns during an injury shortened senior season that netted him All-Big Ten first team honors from the coaches. Henne set Michigan career records by completing 828-of-1387 passes for 9,715 yards and 87 touchdowns.

Michigan Baseball: Michigan Highlights

Michigan at Indiana

Michigan Softball: Michigan takes down Michigan State again in five innings


Nine-Run Second Inning Boosts U-M Past Michigan State

April 26, 2008
Site: East Lansing, Mich. (Old College Field)
Score: #6 Michigan 11, Michigan State 3 (5 innings)
Records: U-M (43-4, 15-1 Big Ten), MSU (25-24, 7-9 Big Ten)
Next U-M Game: Sunday, April 27 -- DH vs. Northwestern (Wilpon Complex), Noon

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- The No. 6-ranked University of Michigan softball team knocked out three home runs amidst an explosive nine-run second inning en route to an 11-3 run-rule victory over intrastate rival Michigan State on Saturday (April 26) in front of 727 fans at Old College Field. The Wolverines' victory in five innings marked their fifth consecutive run-rule decision.

Michigan's lineup combined for 10 hits -- its 13th double-digit hit effort of the season -- and three U-M players posted multi-hit performances as senior second baseman Samantha Findlay (Lockport, Ill./East HS), freshman first baseman Dorian Shaw (Burke, Va./Robinson SS) and junior Teddi Ewing (Olathe, Kan./East HS) registered a pair of hits apiece, including a home run each, and combined for nine of Michigan's 10 RBI.

While freshman pitcher Jordan Taylor (Valencia, Calif./Valencia HS) did not have her strongest outing from the circle, she did enough to claim her 23rd win of the season and become the winningest rookie pitcher in U-M program history. Taylor fanned five Spartan batters and allowed three runs on five hits and two walks.

After going down 1-2-3 in the opening frame, the Wolverines used their second turn at the plate to unload their most explosive single-inning showing of the season, producing nine runs on five hits, two walks and a hit batsman to quickly put the game out of reach. Findlay accepted a leadoff walk on four pitches, giving her sole possession of the U-M career record in the category (188), and after a successful fielder's choice from sophomore third baseman Maggie Viefhaus (Eureka, Mo./Eureka HS) and a groundout, Michigan had a pair of runners in scoring position. Shaw took a crack at the second pitch she faced and lifted it into the dirt pile beyond left-centerfield, using the three-run bomb to claim her eighth home run of the season.
With the bases cleared and still one out, sophomore catcher Roya St. Clair (Livonia, Mich./Stevenson HS) initiated the second wave of the U-M offensive attack with a shallow poke to leftfield. Ewing wasted little time before bringing her home, going yard for the first time this season -- fourth time in her career -- on a deep ball to leftfield that hit the top of the wall and bounced over. The Spartans quickly loaded up the bases over the next three at-bats, and Findlay made them pay, taking the first pitch deep over the scoreboard in left-centerfield for her 18th home run and third grand slam of the season. The Wolverines have posted a grand slam in four of the last five games.

Michigan State scored runs in the home halves of the second and third innings to narrow the gap to six runs and, for a time, erase U-M's run-rule advantage. The Spartans accepted a walk to begin a two-out rally in the former frame, and with a baserunner on first Jessica Bracamonte ripped an RBI double to the base of the wall in right-centerfield to put her team on the board. MSU's third-inning tallies also came with two outs, as Bianca Mejia lifted a towering two-run blast over the wall in deep centerfield.

U-M recaptured its eight-run cushion in the top half of the fourth as Viefhaus, with Angela Findlay (Lockport, Ill./East HS) and Samantha Findlay both in scoring position, blooped a double to leftfield. The Spartans had shifted their entire outfield to the right in the middle of Viefhaus' at-bat, and the Wolverines third baseman, in response, placed a perfect base hit to the open space near the foul line.
With the run-rule margin back in place, Taylor retired six of the next eight batters she faced, giving up a walk and a base hit early in the fourth before setting down five straight. With the series sweep, Michigan extended its winning streak to 14 consecutive games.

The Wolverines (43-4, 15-1 Big Ten) will return home tomorrow (Sunday, April 27) for a first-place battle with Northwestern (31-10, 15-1 Big Ten) at the Wilpon Softball Complex, home to Alumni Field. Both games of the noon doubleheader will be aired live on the Big Ten Network.

Michigan Baseball: Michigan splits with Indiana


U-M Splits Doubleheader at Indiana, Collects 30th Win

April 26, 2008
Site: Bloomington, Ind. (Sembower Field)
Scores: Indiana 2, #23 Michigan 1; #23 Michigan 11, Indiana 4
Records: U-M (30-9, 17-2 Big Ten), Indiana (17-24, 5-14 Big Ten)
Next U-M Game: Sunday, April 27 -- at Indiana (Bloomington, Ind.), 1 p.m.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The No. 23-ranked University of Michigan baseball team earned its 30th win of the season with an 11-4 victory at Indiana in the second game of a doubleheader Saturday afternoon (April 26) at Sembower Field. The Wolverines (30-9, 17-2 Big Ten) dropped the opener, falling 2-1 on a walk-off RBI single in the bottom seventh inning.

Junior P/DH Zach Putnam (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer HS) had a hit in each of the two games to extend his career-best hitting streak to 16 games, while classmate 3B Adam Abraham (Grosse Pointe Park, Mich./South HS) had four hits and four RBI on the day, driving in the lone Wolverine run in game one. Senior 1B/C Nate Recknagel (Lake Orion, Mich./Lake Orion HS) provided the power in game two, going 4-for-4 with three RBI, two runs scored and his 17th home run of the season, tying him for second place on U-M's single-season list.

Michigan scored at least one run in all seven innings in game two, with three in the sixth and three in the seventh to put the game out of reach. The Wolverines took an early 1-0 lead when junior SS Jason Christian (Loveland, Ohio/Loveland HS) scored from third on a bloop single into rightfield off the bat of Recknagel. Christian opened the game with a walk, then stole second and third to set up the 1-0 advantage.
However, the lead was short-lived as the first four Hoosiers batters reached and scored for a 4-1 IU advantage. After the four runs came around with only out in the inning, senior/junior RHP Michael Powers (St. Clair Shores, Mich./South Lake HS) was called in from the bullpen. Powers induced a fly ball to centerfield for the second out, but with Tyler Rogers on first gave up a double into the gap in right-center. Sophomore Alan Oaks (White Lake, Mich./Divine Child HS) came up with the ball and sent it to fifth-year senior 2B Leif Mahler (Columbus, Ohio/St. Charles Prep), who Mahler relayed the ball to Wolverine catcher Chris Berset (Vienna, Va./Heights School) to cut down Rogers at the plate for the third out of the inning.

The Maize and Blue tied the game with solo home runs in each of the next three innings. Oaks pulled U-M within two, 4-2, with a solo jack to straightaway centerfield in the top of the second. Recknagel made it a 4-3 game with his third-inning homer that bounced off the top of the Indiana scoreboard 370 feet away from home plate in right-centerfield. Abraham knotted the game at 4-4 with his home run in the fourth frame, as he sent a laser over the rightfield wall. It was his third off three hits in the game.

In the fifth, Recknagel gave the Wolverines the lead with a two-out single into leftfield to score junior CF Kevin Cislo (Novi, Mich./Novi HS) for 5-4 advantage. The run proved to be the game-winner, giving Recknagel his team-leading ninth game-winning RBI of the season.

Michigan went on to score six more runs, and Powers kept the Hoosiers off the board during his 5.2 innings pitched. Powers stuck out five and allowed only two hits to earn his fifth win of the season.

In the doubleheader opener, junior RHP Chris Fetter (Carmel, Ind./Carmel HS) pitched 6.1 solid innings, striking out five and allowing two runs (one earned) in his first loss of the year.

Indiana put up the first run of the ballgame in the third inning, when Evan Crawford scored from second on a two-out double by Chris Hervey. The run was unearned due to a dropped foul ball early in the frame.

Michigan tied the game in the top of the fifth when Abraham drove in pinch-runner Kenny Fellows (Holt, Mich./Holt HS) from third with a single to leftfield. Recknagel reached on a one-out walk and was replaced by Fellows. During Putnam's ensuing at-bat, coach Rich Maloney put on the hit and run, pulling the Hoosier second baseman to the bag. Putnam found the gap between first and second, allowing Fellows to move up to third and setting up the game-tying run.

However, in the bottom of the seventh, Jerrud Sabourin singled to lead off the inning and was replaced by pinch runner David Treager. A sacrifice bunt moved Treager to second and, following an intentional walk, Crawford sent the ball right back up the middle to score the run from second for the 2-1 win.

The two teams conclude their four-game series Sunday afternoon at Sembower Field with a 1 p.m. first pitch.

Big Ten NFL Top Prospects

BTN: Big Ten's top NFL prospects

NFL Draft: Big Ten Offensive prospects

BTN: NFL Draft offensive prospects

BTN: Big Ten defensive prospects:

NFL Draft: Big Ten Defensive prospects

Big Ten Network: Prospects for the NFL Draft

Notalbe prospects in the Big Ten.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Michigan Baseball: Wolverines extend winning streak to 12


Wolverines Extend Winning Streak to 12 in Series Opener at Indiana

April 25, 2008
Site: Bloomington, Ind. (Sembower Field)
Score: Michigan 14, Indiana 6
Records: U-M (29-8, 16-1 Big Ten), Indiana (16-22, 4-13 Big Ten)
Next Game: Saturday, April 26 -- at Indiana (Bloomington, Ind.), 1 p.m./4 p.m.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The No. 23-ranked University of Michigan baseball team extended its winning streak to 12 games with an eight-run victory, 14-6, against Indiana in Sembower Field. The Wolverines (29-8, 16-1 Big Ten) received three-run home runs by senior LF Derek VanBuskirk (St. Clair, Mich./St. Clair HS) and junior 3B Adam Abraham (Grosse Pointe Park, Mich./South HS) and junior RHP Zach Putnam (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer HS) struck out five in seven innings for this fifth win of the season.

VanBuskirk, Abraham, Senior 1B Nate Recknagel (Lake Orion, Mich./Lake Orion HS) and fifth-year senior 2B Leif Mahler (Columbus, Ohio/St. Charles Prep) each had three hits for the day, combining for 12 of U-M's 18 hits. Junior SS Jason Christian (Loveland, Ohio/Loveland HS) was the fifth Wolverine with a multi-hit game with a pair of hits, including an RBI double in the second inning.

Sophomore C Chris Berset (Vienna, Va./Heights School) put U-M on the board first with an RBI double into left-centerfield in the second inning. Following a one-out single into left by sophomore RF Alan Oaks (White Lake, Mich./Divine Child HS), Berset, batting from the left side, one-hopped the ball to the fence, allowing Oaks to score from first for the 1-0 lead.

Berset then came around on Christian's sharp double to rightfield two batters later. With two outs in the inning, Christian pulled the ball over the first baseman's head and into right field for a 2-0 Wolverine advantage.

Michigan added three more in the third inning after VanBuskirk connected for his fourth home run in his last five at bats. The blast traveled over the right-centerfield wall and scored Putnam and Abraham, who walked and singled, respectively, earlier in the stanza.

In the ensuing inning, Recknagel stood on first with Putnam at the plate and two outs in the frame, when Putnam drove the ball to the Hoosier third baseman. The ball went into the dirt on the throw over to first allowing Putnam to reach on the throwing error.

That brought Abraham to the plate with on and two outs. The tri-captain worked the count full and on the second 3-2 pitch, he drilled a line drive that carried over the left-field wall for this fifth home run of the season and an 8-0 U-M lead.

Indiana pulled within 8-3 in the bottom of the fifth though an a three-run pinch hit home run by Tyler Rogers. The first two batters of the frame reached via a single and a walk, but Putnam retired the next to batters in succession leading to the three-run homer.

Putnam helped his cause in the top of the sixth, driving in Mahler with a double to left field to make the score 9-3. The double by Putnam extended his hitting streak to a career-best 14 games.

The Hoosiers made it a four-run game in the eighth, scoring twice for a 9-5 game.
Again the first two batters reached base on a single and a walk and came home on a two-run double off the bat of RF Kip Schutz. The rightfielder moved up to third base on the ensuing at bat as Jerrud Sabourin bounced out to Mahler at second.

Michael Early was then hit by a pitch, putting runners on the corners with only one out. Putnam though, was able to induce an inning ending 6-4-3 double play to get out of the jam.

The Wolverines scored five more runs to end the game, with two RBI coming off a VanBuskirk single in the eighth inning. The senior tri-captain has 14 RBI in his last two games as he drove in nine in the Wolverines 27-6 win last Sunday (April 20).

The two teams return to the diamond Saturday afternoon (April 26) for a doubleheader with the first pitch slated for 1 p.m. in Sembower Field.

Michigan Softball and Baseball: Big weekend for both teams for different reasons:

Michigan Softball:

Michigan plays Michigan State in a home and home series Friday and Saturday, but the big games of the weekend are on Sunday when Northwestern comes to play Michigan in a double header. Both games will be televised on the Big Ten Network starting at noon on Sunday and probably decide who will win the Big Ten conference this year along with who will host the Big Ten tournament.

Michigan cannot look past Michigan State especially being the in-state rival, but every game in the Big Ten is just important and losing to Michigan State would give Northwestern a big advantage. The best thing about this weekend is that three out of the four games are at Wilpon Complex at Alumni Field.

If you are in the Ann Arbor area come support one of the countries best softball programs in the country and wear your maize proudly this weekend and see what the new ballpark looks like. Every time I stop there, they get a little bit more and more done. A beautiful place to watch softball especially in those nice chair back seats (to bad the Big House did not have those).

Michigan Baseball:

Michigan takes on Indiana this weekend in a four game series. They cannot let their guard down either this weekend especially coming off sweeping your in-state rival last weekend and playing Indiana one of the weaker teams in the conference.

Michigan right now needs to win as many games as possible for the NCAA tournament if they want to host a regional game. Right now, they have a comfortable lead in the conference and a easy schedule the rest of the way in the Big Ten. They need to win the Big Ten along with the Big Ten tournament which is played at the conference winners home park so that will help out as well especially getting fans out to the ball park like they came out against Michigan State this past weekend.

Good luck to the ball teams this weekend and bring home some wins.

written by ErocWolverine

Thanks for stopping by
If you have any questions please e-mail

Michigan Softball: Nemitz launches Michigan past Sparty:


Nemitz' Grand Performance Launches U-M Past Spartans

April 25, 2008
Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Wilpon Softball Complex) Score: #6 Michigan 10, Michigan State 0 (5 inn.)
Records: #6 Michigan (42-4, 14-1), Michigan State (25-23, 7-8 Big Ten)
Next U-M Game: Saturday, April 26 -- vs. Michigan State (East Lansing, Mich.), Noon

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Sophomore pitcher Nikki Nemitz (St. Clair Shores, Mich./Regina HS) paced the No. 6- ranked University of Michigan softball team from the circle and the plate en route to a 10-0, five-inning win over intrastate foe Michigan State Friday evening (April 25) in front of a sellout crowd of 2,043 at the Wilpon Softball Complex.

The Wolverine hurler earned her 20th win of the season in strong fashion, fanning six Spartan batters while giving up just three hits to claim her career-high 10th shutout. Nemitz allowed a MSU baserunner into scoring position on just one occasion and set down three straight in the first and fourth frames. On the offensive side of the ball, she was 2-for-3 on the night, recording her first collegiate grand slam and a career-high five RBI. Her walk-off bomb in the bottom of the fifth gave Michigan the necessary run-rule margin and marked U-M's third grand slam in four games.

Senior second baseman Samantha Findlay (Lockport, Ill./East HS) knocked out her 17th home run of the season to put the Wolverines on the scoreboard in the bottom of the second. Findley hit a high, towering ball off the first pitch she faced that caught a strong Northern wind to land in the MSU bullpen just beyond the leftfield fence.

Michigan increased its lead in the third, pounding out four more runs on five hits, including three straight to lead off the frame. After junior shortstop Teddi Ewing (Olathe, Kas./East HS) jumpstarted the inning with a shallow poke to the left side, senior leftfielder Alessandra Giampaolo (Pasadena, Calif./Polytechnic HS) sailed a long ball to centerfield that appeared to be going out of the park -- only to hit padding atop the fence and bounce back into play, forcing the U-M captain to settle for her ninth double of the season. Sophomore centerfielder Molly Bausher (Las Vegas, Nev./Spring Valley HS) drove in both teammates on a blooper to rightfield, securing her fifth multi-RBI effort of the season.

Bausher's RBI single induced Michigan State to make a pitching change, but the Spartans' effort to quell the U-M offense proved ineffective. Sophomore third baseman Maggie Viefhaus (Pacific Mo./Eureka HS) scored Bausher on a hard single up the middle, and Nemitz followed suit, ripping a hard grounder of her own up the middle to allow Viefhaus to race home from second.

MSU threatened in the top of the fifth with a leadoff base hit, but the Wolverines held the Spartan baserunner out of scoring position after a fielder's choice and back-to-back unassisted outs from Ewing. The U-M shortstop made a great diving catch halfway between second and third base for the second out before she extended to snag a high liner to end the inning.

The Wolverines wrapped up the contest with a five-run effort in the home half of the fifth. U-M used a pair of walks and base-hit single to the leftside gap from sophomore rightfielder Angela Findlay (Lockport, Ill./East HS) to quickly load the bases with no outs. Viefhaus laid a soft grounder to the six-hole, but the MSU fielder misfired on the throw attempt to home plate, and Bausher safely slid in for the score.

The run, which padded Michigan's lead to six, resulted in another MSU pitching change. The swap again proved quite ineffective, as Nemitz got ahold of the 1-1 pitch and drove it down the rightfield line, sneaking just inside the right foul pole for her second career home run. The run-rule victory was Michigan's fourth in a row.

The Wolverines (42-4, 14-1 Big Ten) will head to East Lansing, Mich., for the second of two games against intrastate rival Michigan State. The game is slated for a noon start at Old College Field.

Michigan Women's Gymnastics


Wolverines Fall Short of Super Six Bid

April 24, 2008
Site: Athens, Ga. (Stegeman Coliseum)
Event: NCAA Championships Preliminaries
U-M Team Finish: 5th Place of 6 Teams (196.075)
Attendance: 8,650
Next U-M Event: Saturday, April 26 -- at NCAA Individual Event Finals (Athens, Ga.)

ATHENS, Ga. -- The University of Michigan women's gymnastics team had its season come to an end with a fifth-place finish at the NCAA Championships Preliminaries, with the Wolverines putting up a score of 196.075 in the evening session Thursday night (April 24).

The silver lining was the performances of freshman Kylee Botterman (New Lenox, Ill./Lincoln-Way Central) and junior Becky Bernard (Stow, Ohio/Stow-Munroe Falls) who each earned First Team All-America honors on the uneven bars, punching their tickets to Saturday's NCAA Individual Event Finals (April 26). Botterman also earned Second Team All-America honors on vault. Bernard and Botterman each scored 9.900 on bars, tying for fourth place with nine other gymnasts. Botterman's 9.875 on vault was good for a share of eighth place and earned her double All-America honors.

The host Georgia Gym Dogs won the session with a score of 197.625 to lead the top three teams which each advance to Friday's national championship meet. Utah scored 196.950 for second and Stanford took third with a 196.900. UCLA finished fourth (196.725) and Denver took sixth (194.200). Michigan finishes the year tied for eighth place in the nation with Oklahoma, which scored 196.075 in the afternoon session. Florida, Alabama and LSU advanced to the Super Six in the afternoon session.

After opening introductions, Michigan waited in its locker room on bye in the first rotation while Denver, UCLA, Stanford and Georgia kicked off the evening session. Stanford set the tone on floor, Michigan's first event in the second rotation, by posting a 49.175, while Denver went 48.625 on vault, UCLA scored 49.475 on bars and the Gym Dogs totaled 49.350 on the beam.

Michigan began its quest for a national title on floor with freshman Kari Pearce (Ann Arbor, Mich./Huron). Pearce stumbled on her final pass and scored a 9.225, followed by senior captain Nellie Kippley's (St. Cloud, Minn./Tech) 9.775. Senior Katie Lieberman (Lake Forest, Ill./Lake Forest) put up the Wolverines' highest score in the young meet, going 9.825 in the three spot, with sophomore Sarah Curtis (Reno, Nev./Reno) matching with a 9.825 in the four hole. Fifth/senior Lindsey Bruck (Marietta, N.Y./Marcellus) made it a three-of-a-kind with her own 9.825. In the final U-M performance of the rotation, Botterman capped floor with a 9.850 in her first routine at nationals to give Michigan a solid 49.100 after one event. Meanwhile, on vault, Stanford 49.200, while Utah kicked off its meet on bars with a 49.300. UCLA rotated to beam and scored 48.800, counting a fall to negate its hot start on bars and put its Super Six hopes in serious jeopardy.

In the third rotation, Michigan moved to vault and Pearce got the call once again to lead off for the Wolverines. Pearce vaulted into the teeth of the crowd noise generated by the Gym Dog fans during Georgia's opening floor exercise routine, scoring a 9.750 in her first vault at nationals. Veteran Bruck followed with a 9.800 which was followed by a 9.650 from Curtis. Lieberman scored a 9.775 with the fourth vault, followed by junior Tatjana Thuener-Rego's (Miami, Fla./American School) 9.750. Anchoring once again, Botterman nailed a 9.875 vault to post the highest total through three teams and three individual qualifiers. Michigan's 48.950 kept them in the hunt with half the meet remaining. On the other events, Denver scored 48.850 on bars, putting them at the back of the pack, while Utah went 49.050 on beam and Georgia scored 49.400 on floor to take full control of the meet.

Michigan sat out the fourth rotation on bye before bars, waiting and watching Georgia score 49.375 on vault, Stanford go 49.325 on bars, Denver scored 47.950 on beam and UCLA total 49.200 on floor. With more than half of the meet in the can, Georgia remained well ahead of the field with a logjam of Michigan, Utah, UCLA and Stanford for second and third place. Two of Georgia's vaulters surpassed Botterman's 9.875, but her chances of a shot at an individual event title remained good with just two teams left to vault.

In the fifth rotation, Michigan moved to one of its strongest events, bars, steady senior Bruck scored a 9.850 in the leadoff role with sophomore Maureen Moody (East Lansing, Mich./East Lansing) following her captain's lead with her own 9.850. Curtis scored a third 9.850 for U-M, followed by Thuener-Rego's 9.875 and junior Becky Bernard's (Stow, Ohio/Stow-Munroe Falls) awesome 9.900, tentatively punching her ticket for Saturday. Botterman anchored her third event, matching Bernard's 9.900 to tentatively join her teammate in Saturday's individual event finals. Unfortunately for Botterman, UCLA and an individual competitor from Auburn pushed her 9.875 out of the top four, ending her hopes of seeking an individual title on vault. Michigan's 49.375 put it in the mix with the rest of the Super Six hopefuls. Stanford took its turn on beam, concluding its meet with a 49.200 for a 196.900 final team score. Utah took to the floor for a 49.200, with UCLA wrapping up its meet with a 49.250 on vault, for a team total of 196.725.

Heading into the final rotation, Stanford (196.900) led all teams which had completed all four events, followed by UCLA (196.725). Georgia placed itself well ahead of all programs with just one event remaining, virtually punching its ticket to the Super Six, while Denver lagged with almost no chance of advancing. The fight among the remaining teams came down to Michigan, Utah, UCLA and Stanford. Michigan trailed Utah by 0.125 with the Utes on vault, while U-M needed to post a 49.475 on beam to equal Stanford and a 49.300 to equal UCLA.

With Michigan needing a stellar beam series, junior Huneth Lor (Aurora, Ill./Waubonsie Valley) scored a 9.650 to start things off. Senior Megan Moore (Rochester Hills, Mich./Rochester Adams) scored a 9.750 in her first and last routine at nationals, followed by sophomore Jordan Sexton's (Weddington, N.C./Weddington) 9.175. Curtis went 9.725 and Bernard scored a 9.775, leaving Bruck with one final chance to extend her storied gymnastics career by scoring high enough to advance individually to Saturday. She performed a solid routine, save for one bobble, finishing with a 9.750.

Michigan's season is over, but Botterman and Bernard will compete for individual national championships on Saturday (April 26) in the NCAA Individual Event Finals. The competition will feature the top gymnasts in the nation in their respective events and will start at 6 p.m. in Stegeman Coliseum.

• Michigan earns its 16th top-10 finish at nationals, tying for eighth with Oklahoma.

• Becky Bernard and Kylee Botterman each earned All-America first team honors for their 9.900s on bars, advancing to Saturday's individual event finals. Lauren Mirkovich (2006) was the last Wolverine to compete on bars at individual event finals. The last time Michigan had two athletes compete in the same event at individual event finals was in 2005 when Mirkovich and Elise Ray both took a shot at the uneven bars title.

• Botterman becomes Michigan's 32nd All-American. Bernard and Botterman become the 22nd and 23rd Wolverine First Team All-Americans and just the sixth and seventh first teamers on bars. Botterman also becomes the 28th Wolverine in program history to earn second team All-America honors.

• Five Wolverines competed at nationals for the first time in their careers (freshmen Kylee Botterman and Kari Pearce, sophomores Sarah Curtis and Jordan Sexton and senior Megan Moore).
Team Standings

Team Scores Vault Bars Beam Floor Total
1. Georgia 49.375 49.500 49.350 49.400 197.625
2. Utah 49.400 49.300 49.050 49.200 196.950
3. Stanford 49.200 49.325 49.200 49.175 196.900
4. UCLA 49.250 49.475 48.800 49.200 196.725
5. MICHIGAN 48.950 49.375 48.650 49.100 196.075
6. Denver 48.625 48.850 47.950 48.775 194.200

Event-By-Event U-M Individual Scores
Kari Pearce 9.750
Lindsey Bruck 9.800
Sarah Curtis 9.650
Katie Lieberman 9.775
Tatjana Thuener-Rego 9.750
Kylee Botterman 9.875 (t8)

Lindsey Bruck 9.850
Maureen Moody 9.850
Sarah Curtis 9.850
Tatjana Thuener-Rego 9.875
Becky Bernard 9.900 (t4)
Kylee Botterman 9.900 (t4)

Huneth Lor 9.650
Megan Moore 9.750
Jordan Sexton 9.175
Sarah Curtis 9.725
Becky Bernard 9.775
Lindsey Bruck 9.750

Kari Pearce 9.225
Nellie Kippley 9.775
Katie Lieberman 9.825
Sarah Curtis 9.825
Lindsey Bruck 9.825
Kylee Botterman 9.850

Lindsey Bruck 39.225
Sarah Curtis 39.050

( ) denotes place in the Top 8

Top four finishers earn first team All-America
and fifth through eighth place earn second team
All-America honors

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