Baseball BTT: Iowa Recap & Minnesota Preview

Submitted by formerlyanonymous on May 28th, 2010 at 12:07 AM

 nick uban goes kayak 
Nick Urban, Going Yard.
Photo by
MGoBlue.com

Michigan
(35-20, 15-10)

vs

Minnesota
(28-28, 16-9)

Friday 7:00pm ET
Bill Davis Stadium
Columbus, OH

Bobby Brosnahan vs TJ Oakes
Stats Audio   TV:BTN  
Notes: Michigan is 85-86 all time.
Minnesota is 1-0 in the tourney.

Season Series

Minnesota Recap

7-14

 

4-5

2-1

Michigan defeated Iowa in an absolutely dominating performance, winning 18-4. With the win, Michigan moves on in the winner's bracket to face the #1 seed Minnesota Golden Gophers. For Iowa recap and a look at Minnesota, follow the jump.

Iowa Recap

Box Score R H E
Iowa 1 0 0   0 1 0   2 0 0   4 9 3
Michigan 1 6 0   5 4 0   0 0 x   18 21 1

W – Oaks (6-5)

It was a hot day in Columbus, but not as hot as our offense:

box score screen grab Box Score Screen Grab

To be fair, that's the same SID intern that wrote about orange groves and how well manicured the opponent's field was in the notes on the Buckeye's loss to Webber International.

If there's one thing I'll give Alan Oaks, it's that he just gets better throughout a game. In the first inning, those watching the game would see Oaks hit a batter on the first pitch and then slip his foot over the rubber, bouncing a ball just short of the dirt. In the second inning, he launched a pitch off the screen behind the plate… about 20 feet behind the batter. The widescreen camera couldn't even pick it up.

lamarre in the zone But then, after a quick second to recollect his thoughts, Alan found his curve ball, the offense exploded for not one, but two big innings, and life was good. Oaks continued his "effectively wild" streak, walking 3 and hitting two, but his inconsistency also kept the Hawkeyes off balance. Several times, the Iowa bats were well ahead of the pitch, leading to easy fly balls and the occasional chopper to the infield.

Meanwhile, the offense was on its game. The 21 hits registered was a season high, but more importantly, the as many as 12 run lead was enough to allow Rich Maloney to throw freshman Kyle Clark and insert a couple of back ups late in the game so they could get their inaugural Big Ten Tournament jitters out of the way in garbage time.

So many great days at the plate as Michigan singled through every hole in the infield at will, so let's just take a quick run through in the stars.

Notable Stars

  • Ryan LaMarre (pictured above and to the right) – 4/6, 4 RBI, 2 R. In the zone.
  • Coley Crank – 3/5, 3 RBI, 2 R, K, 2B
  • Mike Dufek – 3/4, 2 RBI, 2 R, 2B, Sac Fly
  • Nick Urban – 3/4, 3 RBI, 2 R, 2B, HR, HBP
  • Derek Dennis – 3/3, 2 RBI, R, 2 HBP
  • Alan Oaks – 7 ip to save the bullpen. Also played the jester as he Bull Durham'd one to the backstop. Also made a key bases loaded double play to stab a liner right at him and flip to first. Huge momentum point in the game.

Notable Goats

  • Chris Berset – Only starter not to get a hit. He did have 2 sac flies and scored a run.
  • Anthony Toth – error for an unearned run (Did go 2/5 with 3 R, RBI)

Minnesota – Reviewing the Recap

The series against Minnesota was Michigan's second series loss of the year, and man was there some heart breaking. After a wholesale pitching collapse in a game one that saw Eric Katzman make his weekend debut, Michigan looked to have game two in the bag. After pulling off the suicide squeeze to take a 4-2 lead into the bottom of the ninth with Tyler Burgoon on the mound, the Gophers singled Michigan to death, earning a walk off on a 3-2, 2-out Schultz liner up the middle.

The final game was a pitchers' duel featuring Michigan's projected starter in the Big Ten Tournament. After Brandon Sinnery posted up a shaky 5.1 inning start, today's projected starter Bobby Brosnahan came in for the final 3.2 innings of shut out relief. Michigan would win 2-1 with the game winner coming in a Ryan LaMarre home run. Brosnahan would get the win.

Michigan regulars against Iowa:

Player AB R H RBI BB K Other

Biondi

13

1

4

0

2

1

3 steals

Toth

9

1

1

0

4

2

SACB

LaMarre

12

2

1

1

1

2

HR, GDP

Berset

12

2

4

1

0

2

 

Crank

9

2

0

0

1

7

7(!) Ks

Dufek

9

1

3

3

2

2

2B, SACF

Urban

9

3

4

5

0

1

2 2B, HR

Lorenz

11

0

5

2

0

1

2B, SACB

Dennis

11

0

1

1

0

4

SACB

Yeah, I had to point out those 7 Ks for Crank twice. Urban and Lorenz started their recent hot streaks in Minnesota, so hopefully they let it continue to ride.

Minnesota in the Tourney

Minnesota being the one seed also had a bye in the first round. In the second round, they faced Indiana. The Gophers survived a close one 10-8. Minnesota scored 8 in the first 2 innings, then saw the lead slowly dwindle. Indiana came within a single of tying it, but closer Scott Matyas shut the door for his 7th save.

Seth Rosin had the start and went 7.2 innings. He was roughed up for 7 run and should be out of commission until Sunday if necessary. Matyas should be alright to throw against Michigan, but I wouldn't expect him to go more than an inning.

Key Matchups

Two things I'll be keeping my eye on are Brosnahan's excitement and Biondi getting on base. Brosnahan will be making his BTT debut, and this will be a bit more intense than almost any other start he's made this season. Hopefully going in the second game, he won't have any early jitters, and more importantly, he needs to keep his composure if he gives up a hit or two – or worse, Michigan makes a few bonehead errors on the rough Bill Davis turf.

To summarize my theory on Biondi reaching base:

if Biondi == on_base

then Michigan_score++

end if

Biondi was just breaking out of his 0/28 slump when he faced Minnesota last time. This time around, he's coming in much hotter. If Biondi gets on base at least twice in this game, I'm liking Michigan's odds.

Predictions

This is a tough game to gauge. Both pitchers are freshmen making their Big Ten Tournament debuts in a night game in Columbus. TJ Oakes of Minnesota did throw in Columbus last Friday, so he's at least familiar with the field and the atmosphere (or lack thereof).

I think Minnesota has the edge in the starting pitching department, but Michigan definitely has the edge in the bull pen. On offense, Michigan is definitely the hot team. So my head is telling me Michigan pulls out a moderately low scoring affair.

Despite this, my gut leans toward starting pitching in a tournament like this. Pitching and defense wins championships, and I think Minnesota has an advantage there. I'm going to predict Minnesota wins 6-4.

dennis makes plays Michigan will need the D to win (Photo by MGoBlue.com)

I'm not sold on that prediction at all, but I'll stick with the initial gut feeling. So for those who can make it out to Columbus, get there and root on the team. For those who can't, the game will be on the Big Ten Network at 7pm. Watch it.

Go Blue. Beat the Gophers.

Comments

myrtlebeachmai…

May 28th, 2010 at 11:46 AM ^

It's amazing what these kids can do with a lead.  That (along with a little chat from the ol' pitching coach saying, "No you can just throw strikes") will "settle you down" in a hurry.  I think the truly great pitchers "get it" - 75% strikes, all the time.  Get ahead and then you can afford to miss because they're chasing.

Oaks seemed like he was "trying", whether to hit very outside edges, make his stuff extra nasty, whatever.  The ball was coming out of his hand all over the place - hence your examples in the first couple innings.  Once he just started pitching, he was worlds better.

I think our bats stay hot today, especially against their pen.  Barring an implosion by Brosnahan (i.e. down by more than 4 thru early innings) early, I think we storm back to win it.  Michigan 8-6.

formerlyanonymous

May 28th, 2010 at 1:07 PM ^

That's more the type of score my head wants to tell me. I definitely like it better, but I'm also the eternal pessimist.

Purdue is up 4-0 on Indiana early. Wurdack is pretty good and made it through the order virtually unscathed for the first 1.5 times around. That bodes well for Purdue. Matt Carr has struggled quite a bit. 4 runs on 4 hits in 4 innings, 2 walks/0 K.

I'm liking Purdue to close this one out.

Quag77

May 28th, 2010 at 3:20 PM ^

..and I think this comes down to a Michigan v Minnesota ending.   No way Purdue or Iowa has enough left in their tank to win out.  I'm liking the Big Blue's chances.

myrtlebeachmai…

May 28th, 2010 at 4:31 PM ^

Can you bump this thread TO the MGoBoard?  Would it help keep this thread at the top as we got closer to the game and people added comments?  This main board article is already 4 deep (doesn't move up with comments over here as you know).  Yesterday someone started a separate thread over there, but I didn't want to (feel it slights you) until suggesting it.  Whatever works for you. 

formerlyanonymous

May 28th, 2010 at 5:28 PM ^

I'll be opening a mgoboard open thread in the next hour. I forget about the board as I navigate by recent posts. It bumps up all posts, board, diary, story, comment, etc. I highly suggest it if you don't use the sticky subjects often.

My prediction run is holding strong. I was commenting on Hammer & Rails as Indiana was rallying to bring the game within 2. Called Purdue lighting up the score board late. Well, the next 4 innings they scored 11 runs to close out the game. Here's hoping I'm wrong in the night cap.