this guy evidently hired to work for AD
Central Michigan (15-10)
|Wednesday 2:30pm ET, Ray Fisher Stadium|
|TBA||vs||Bryce Morrow (1-0, 7.71 ERA)|
|Stats||Audio (WBCN)||Video ($2.99)|| |
|Notes: 32-27-2 All-Time vs CMU, Last meeting a 2-10 L in 2009. |
Game time has been updated to avoid rain.
Michigan and Central Michigan have quite the heated rivalry over their all time series, as adequately reflected in the all time series being so close. This isn't even due to decades old scores either, Michigan hasn't beaten CMU since 2007 (13-3), being beat pretty bad 10-2 in 2009 and 3-7 in 2008. Go a couple years back and you'll find the barn burner of 2004 played in Mt. Pleasant. Michigan escaped with a 14-13 win in the most back and forth games in recent memory. The series has been a great one, and all indications are that this year's installment will be just as awesome.
Central Michigan comes in with an RPI just under 200, and a strength of schedule rated 192 in the country. The Chippewas have a solid series win over Miami in MAC play, but not a lot else to write home about in terms of quality wins. They've played two other Big Ten teams this season, Indiana who shut them out 9-0, and Michigan State, who won by a score of 13-10.
The offense is lead by Nate Theunissen, who, as of Tuesday pre-UIC* is batting .409 with 13 doubles, 3 homers, and 24 RBI. He's by far their leading slugger with a .659 slugging percentage, and leads the team in on base percentage with a .459. Also worth noting is Dale Cornstubble. He's batting .357 with 20 RBI and .488 slugging percentage, 2nd only to Theunissen. Billy Anderson is their next top hitter with a .354 batting average and a .485 slugging percentage, but he's also their stolen base threat with 11 on the year. His 15 attempts are about 40% of the teams attempts, so don't expect too much from anyone else. All three of those hitters have about the same on base percentage, mostly in the .450-.460 range. That's quality, especially for the MAC.
*All these stats were before the UIC game on Tuesday.
Pitching profile, weather, and thoughts after a jump.
Michigan went into Bloomington this weekend for a three game set to open conference play. The first two games were high intensity with plenty of drama, the last game was a huge let down. Despite that let down, Michigan currently sits tied for first place with 4 other Big Ten teams as we emerge 2-1 on the weekend. That's more important than how badly the team face planted on Sunday.
So for full recap, take the jump. My thoughts on the series come after the individual game recaps.
Okay, so today's game was absolutely ridiculous. Michigan committed 5 errors in the first 6 innings to give Indiana a 9-3 lead. Some of those errors were more costly than others, including the 3 in the 2nd. That second inning saw IU score 5 unearned runs. It was horrible. Much Sam Adams was drank as I slammed my head into the desk.
Michigan couldn't do anything right. We'd get a pop up between the shortstop, left fielder, and center fielder, they'd miss the pop up off the glove, then throw out our runner on a perfect throw to second. It was ridiculous. Every IU ground ball would hit the seam between the infielders. The ones that did go at us, they'd catch a lip and throw off Derek Dennis (their SS had a similar problem but was given a home call hit as he didn't even get a glove on it). Everything was going against us.
Then amazing happened. In the 7th, Michigan scored 5 runs of their own, pulling it to 9-8. Matt Gerbe did well to keep us in, and he was rewarded with an explosive 7th featuring 5 runs on 4 hits and two hit batters. Things shifted our way.
Katzman came in and had to be bailed out by Burgoon. For Burgoon's bailout, he was given two more runs in the 8th to give Michigan the lead, including one scored by pinch runner Ryan LaMarre (played a bit in the field but no at bats). That was short-lived though, as IU took the tied it in the bottom of the inning.
Things got crazy in the ninth, as with two outs, Biondi missed a bouncer to him, which took him to the wall. The batter went for the in the park homer, slipped a bit after passing third, and was just out at the plate. Score and the game is over, but no! Michigan gets out and we're headed to extras.
In the 10th, Michigan got things going with 2 outs. With Biondi at second, Berset was intentionally walked, Crank was pitched around, and Dufek had a sharply hit 2-RBI single to right. Michigan takes the lead 12-10! Another walk later, Garrett Stephens hits a grand slam with room to spare! Flips the bat! Michigan up 16-10!
Burgoon would then shut down the Hoosiers in the 9th. It was an emotional roller coaster for those lucky enough to listen live. Game went back and forth and back again several times. Great finish. Amazing. I'm still reeling from the finish.
Michigan is officially in 1st place in the conference (sure, tied with Iowa, Purdue, and Ohio State). Great win.
Also worth noting, Jarred Hippen and Iowa beat Michigan State by a 5-3 score. Hippen threw the complete game. Huge win for Iowa, and he's part of the reason I think they'll be competing this year. Purdue beat Minnesota, which continues Minnesota's train wreck of a season. Penn State is up on Illinois on BTN.com's stream.
|Friday 3pm, Sembower Field, Bloomington, IN|
|Alan Oaks (3-3, 2.79 ERA)||vs||Walker Stadler (3-2, 4.91 ERA)|
|Notes: Michigan is 125-56 all time, including 1-2 in Ann Arbor last year|
|Saturday 2pm, Sembower Field, Bloomington, IN|
|Bobby Brosnahan(2-2, 4.15 ERA)||vs||TBA|
|Sunday 1pm, Sembower Field, Bloomington, IN|
|TBA||vs||Drew Leininger (3-1, 1.22 ERA)|
|Notes: My guess is Miller starts. I've heard rumors of Katzman.|
They come after the jump:
This isn't anything revolutionary, crucially important or even mildly fascinating, but I'd like to highlight a positive contribution from the M community to my community.
I hail (!) from the small town of Chelsea, about fifteen minutes west of A2. My residence here isn't particularly MGoRelevant, but somebody else's is: Chelsea also happens to be home to Michigan baseball coach Rich Maloney. I've had the pleasure of talking to him at a number of different sporting events in town, and I've always found him to be a great guy who makes an effort to be active in his community.
My positive impression of him grew a bit stronger today when I opened this week's edition of the local paper and saw a page of photos from area schools and preschools. March has been declared reading month in Chelsea, and among other things, that includes a variety of guests who visit local schools and read to the kids. As a part of that, Coach Maloney and several of the players spent time as guest readers at one of the elementary schools in Chelsea.
So as a resident of Chelsea, I'd like to thank Rich Maloney, Nick Urban, Mike Kittle, Chris Berset and Eric Katzman for taking the time to make a positive contribution to the community.
One of my favorite types of mgo-posts before the days of m.go.podcasts were segments called Vicious Electronic Questioning (VEQ). To quote Brian circa the 2009 ND game:
Hello once again. When Michigan plays the sort of opponent that actually has opposition bloggers this here blog tends to flag one of them down and relentlessly grill them until they are convinced their team will meet ignominious defeat.
Never does the phrase "sort of opponent that actually has opposition bloggers" come more into play than with college baseball. The Big Ten has a surprising amount of baseball coverage (and amazingly, we're fairly organized), and one of those fine blogs is Behind the Plate, covering this weekend's opponent, the Indiana Hoosiers.
So while I may not get quite as vicious as Brian in his VEQ's with House that Rock Built, I can also promise at least 75% less Tom Hammond:
He makes me hate Indiana for reasons I can't explain
What does posting a picture of Tom Hammond, a Notre Dame football announcer, have to do with Indiana University's baseball team? It just doesn't make any sense. If Tom Hammond is linked to IU, you must acquit. The defense rests.
Anyway, I return the favor by writer IUBaseballFan by answering some questions over at Behind the Plate, in which I predict a series sweep with a low confidence rating. Probably even lower now that I look into a certain ace on the IU staff, more about him after the jump. This will also act as the preview for the weekend, but I'll have a few more thoughts to post up tomorrow.Q&A after the jump...