Baseball: Northwestern Recap

Submitted by formerlyanonymous on May 17th, 2010 at 12:06 AM

the captains Oh Captains, My Captains

That just happened. Michigan wins the series 2-1 on the most stunning senior day in recent memory. This series has it all - A pitcher's duel, a stunning heart breaker, a come-from-behind win on senior day featuring the two co-captains completing a walk off. If you have ever been a baseball fan, this was the series for you.

Game One

Box Score R H E
Northwestern 0 1 0   1 0 1   0 0 0   3 9 3
Michigan 2 0 0   0 0 1   1 0 x   4 10 0

W – Gerbe (2-0)… Save – Burgoon (9)

Game one was the pitchers' duel. Michigan managed the early lead thanks to a leadoff walk of Patrick Biondi. After going to third on a perfectly placed hit and run by Toth, going right through the hole vacated by the second baseman, LaMarre would knock him in on a would-be double play, but Northwestern's second baseman double clutched, giving LaMarre just enough time to beat out the throw. After Berset's single, Crank would line out deep to left, gaining an easy sacrifice fly, and Michigan led 2-0.


Alan Oaks was on the mound for Michigan and had a pretty good game. In his 6 innings of work, he gave up 7 hits and 3 runs. Two of those came in the form of solo home runs by Northwestern's third baseman Chris Lashmet. The third run also involved Lashmet. In the 6th, he would single and score on a Zach Morton double that screamed past a diving Lorenz and took a strange hop off the wall, evading Ryan LaMarre in left.

LaMarre would lead the response for Michigan, knocking a triple off the center field wall. This set up Chris Berset up for an easy RBI single.

Oaks would open the 7th with a hard hit double, and the bullpen would take over for Oaks after that, with the game tied at 3 a piece. Gerbe would give up a sac bunt to move the runner to third, but Mike Dufek made a great play on a slow roller by the next batter to gun the runner trying to score and preserve the tie.

In the bottom of the 7th, Biondi got the offense started on a two-out rally. His walk was followed by back-to-back singles by Toth and LaMarre to bring in a run. With the lead, 4-3, it was all Burgoon from here on out.

Notable Stars

  • The Pen – 3 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 1 K, W, Save
  • Anthony Toth – 3/4
  • Ryan LaMarre – 2/4, 2 R, 2 RBI, 3B
  • Game Time: 2 hours 35 minutes
  • Attendance: 1385

Notable Goats

  • Coley Crank – 0/3 RBI, 3 LOB, SACF

The rest of the series, including the THRILLING CONCLUSION, after the jump.

Game Two

Box Score R H E
Northwestern 0 0 3   0 4 0   0 3 0   10 18 1
Michigan 0 0 1   0 1 6   0 0 0   8 9 2

L – Burgoon (6-4)

This game was the heartbreaker. Michigan dug itself deep in a hole early. Bobby Brosnahan continued his lack of control, posting 10 hits and 3 walks over 4.1 innings. The third inning was a string of six singles for the Wildcats, plating 3 runs. The 5th was the last straw for Brosnahan, though, as after giving up a single and a walk, the lefty gave up a 3-run homer.

Kolby Wood would enter the game at this point and after a couple of outs, he had himself an exit to the inning before Derek Dennis booted a simple ground ball. A run scored on what should have been the last out.

biondi pumped Michigan would get that run back in the bottom half as they began to chip away at the 7-1 NU lead. Nick Urban launched a no-doubter for a solo home run to left, but that was all Michigan could muster in the 5th. The 6th was a different story.

After a Toth pop out, Michigan fans were treated to back-to-back-to back home runs from LaMarre, Berset, and Crank. That's three homers in a row. Dufek would follow with a single to chase the Wildcat starter. The reliever Gailey would throw 4 pitches in a walk to Nick Urban before being replaced by Jensen. He was greeted by Lorenz with a double to the left field wall to score Dufek. Derek Dennis would then reach on a chopper to the pitcher, who threw to first, but the first baseman pulled off the bag rushing to return the ball home. The ball got past the first baseman, allowing Urban to score easily, and a play at the plate saw Lorenz score as well. All of a sudden, Michigan has a 8-7 lead.

Things went quietly until the top of the 8th. After getting two quick outs, Kolby Wood was taken out as John Lorenz made an error on what should have been the last out of the inning. Burgoon was noticeably off, having to throw on back-to-back days again. The first batter he faced ripped a double off the left center wall to tie the game. That was followed by another single and another double, this one bouncing off the left field fence in foul territory, evading Ryan LaMarre again, much like in game one. A final single would plate another, making it a three-run inning for the Wildcats before Burgoon would be pulled without recording an out. The crowd was in shock.

Gerbe would get the last guy of the 8th out and pitch through the ninth. Michigan was unable to get anything going offensively in either the 8th or 9th despite having base runners in both. Nick Urban sealed the loss by being doubled off by the right fielder, extending his lead too far on a shallow pop up. What a way to end the game.

Notable Stars

  • John Lorenz – 2/5, 2 R, RBI, 2B
  • LaMarre, Berset, Crank – Back-To-Back-To-Back Jacks
  • Matt Gerbe – 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB
  • Attendance - 1727

Notable Goats

  • Lorenz and Dennis – 1 unearned for Dennis. Box score says just one for Lorenz, but really, Burgoon wouldn't have come in if he hadn't. That should be 2 more.
  • Berset and Crank – 3 LOB each
  • Bobby Brosnahan – 4.1 IP, 10 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 3 BB, 4 K

Game Three

Box Score R H E
Northwestern 0 8 6   0 0 0   0 0 0   0   14 16 2
Michigan 0 0 6   0 3 1   2 0 2   1   15 18 2

W-Burgoon (4-1)

seniors And then there was the epic comeback. This game was not all good times and sunshine. No, Brandon Sinnery and Eric Katzman started this game with a solid punch to the gut to each and every one of the 1,780 in attendance. In the first 2.1 innings, the two pitchers combined for 12 runs on 8 hits, 4 walks, and a hit batter. Both had no control of their pitches. Matt Broder came in and did his best to get out of a sticky situation. He would give up 2 runs to close out the Northwestern 3rd, but by then it was already 14-0.

It was bad. It was ugly. Fans left. And are they ever feeling sheepish this morning.

With the top of the order due up in the Michigan 3rd, the momentum shifted. Biondi singled. Toth singled. LaMarre homered. Crank would walk, Dufek would single. URban would double. Dennis would single. Biondi would use his speed to force an errant throw. All of a sudden, it was 14-6.

Then the bull pen came alive. Matt Miller, coming off a poor excuse for a one-inning start against Michigan State, entered the game in a crucial situation. He got his out and Northwestern would strand 2 runners.

That big out would give Michigan more momentum going into the bottom of the 5th. Dufek opened the inning with a single. Urban would walk. Lorenz then doubled to left. 14-7. Dennis would ground out, but a run would score. 14-8. Biondi singled through the infield. It's 14-9.

In the 6th, it started again. A Berset walk got the inning started with one out. After a wild pitch moves him over, Dufek lines one into left. The play at the plate seemed questionable, but Berset is called out. Urban then is hit by a pitch to put runners on 1st and 2nd. Lorenz singles him in, and the lead is just 4.

In the 7th, Berset reminds the home plate umpire that he cares not for his call. With Biondi on first, Berset homers deep to right. The score is 14-12. [I really hope he said that to the ump after hitting it out: "I care not for your prior call, sir!" - Tim]

We move to the bottom of the 9th. Matt Miller has thrown a gem of 4.2 innings in relief so far. Michigan is up and down to their final out. Biondi sits on second after leading off the inning with a single and moving to second on a wild pitch. Chris Berset is up with 2 outs. Strike one. Strike two. The Northwestern moms in the front row embrace in victory.

Stop the presses, Chris Berset takes the 0-2 pitch out of the park. The score is tied! 14-14. Michigan has done it, they've come back from 14-0 on the heroics of team captain Chris Berset and his 2 home runs.

So we go to extras. Matt Miller stays on the mound. Michigan's bullpen is otherwise exhausted of proven options. The inning starts tensely. NU's Morton singles to third on a bunt on the first pitch. The next batter hits into a fielder's choice as Toth fields the ball and steps on second, unable to turn two. A strikeout of Cavagnaro makes it two outs. The next batter singles up the middle. Finally, Miller secures the last out on a swinging strike out, require Berset to throw him out at first. Crisis avoided.

To the bottom of the tenth, we've got the other captain up. Mike Dufek is at the plate. First pitch is a strike. The crowd is silent. The second pitch, it's hammered. It's going, going, gone. Michigan wins! It's a home run for Mike Dufek, capping off the most exciting senior day in recent Michigan history. Michigan wins 15-14 in 10 innings.

Notable Stars

Chris Berset – 2 HRs for 4 RBI. Game tying runs.

Mike Dufek – 1 walk off home run. Game winner.

Matt Miller – 5.2 IP, Win.

There's names that should be named but this win was too awesome. I'm going to go with the Big Ten Network as my Notable Goat for not having this archived soon enough for me to have watched this game 4 times already. I'm still getting pumped up just going through the pictures and descriptions I've gotten from everyone else.

Series Thoughts

Holy hell what a finish today. I had to leave for work right as Evil Katzman entered the game. I was already feeling pretty horrible about the outcome. But wow, for the senior captains to pull that off – for the team to pull that off – on senior day? Wow. That was an emphatic exclamation point that Michigan will never go quietly into the night. There will be buzz from this game carrying on for days.

Outside of the dramatic win, other things caught my eye as well. Michigan's left handed pitching has been horrible the last few games. Matt Broder has become our best option, but hasn't been overwhelming either. I'm hopeful that Katzman's next outing will be a gem. His pattern last year was 2 horrible starts and then a good one. He's had his two bad ones in a row. Penn State, watch out.

matt miller is pumped tooSpeaking of bad pitching, I think we've hit the limit on Burgoon's ability to throw on back to back days. This is the second weekend that he's shown signs of being over extended. I think he could still probably go twice in a weekend, but too many innings can add up on a relievers arm.

Matt Miller (pictured right) and Matt Gerbe are going to be huge for Michigan next year. If Burgoon stays, I'm not sure if we see another transition to the starting spot for him or not. If we don't, we'll need both of the Matts to step up as seniors. This weekend was a huge one for both of them, each earning a win.

Our offense has come alive. Patrick Biondi went 4/5 with a walk and 3 runs in the series finale, capping off a 5/11 weekend. The bottom of the lineup was also on fire with Urban, Lorenz, and Dennis. This is by far the most productive three-game set they've had all season. When Michigan is clicking like this, there will be no stopping them.

This was a huge series win, and I'm claiming that the 14-run deficit being erased more than compensates for the vengeance called for in the preview.

Up Next

This is a busy week. Michigan faces Ball State in their last home game of the season on Tuesday. From there, they head to State College to face last place Penn State at Lubrano (the nicest park in the Big Ten). The weekend series technically starts on Thursday this week in order to give teams going to the Big Ten Tournament a chance to rest their arms before the action starts the following Wednesday.






















Michigan State








Ohio State












Penn State



This will be a huge series, with Michigan needing one win to seal a BTT invite. They also can get in with a loss from Iowa and one from Ohio State, Indiana, or Michigan State. Iowa is the only one of those teams that owns a head-to-head tie break over Michigan (T-Mill over at Hammer & Rails has a needs breakdown).

Go Blue! Beat Penn State!



May 17th, 2010 at 2:38 AM ^

I'm still giggling about this game. I looked back at my twitter stream from the game and it want from resignation to subdued hope to overt hope to fucking exuberance. This was the best baseball game I've ever been to.

Congrats to the team. Unlike the team, I almost gave up and left after NU got out to the 14-0 lead, but I heard a cheer from the crowd and decided to stay and see if Michigan could put up the fight. They never gave up, and kept on counter punching until their captains were able to save the day.

peg dash fab

May 17th, 2010 at 8:35 AM ^

The Northwestern moms in the front row embrace in victory.


Sitting some rows behind them, we all heard that woman loudly proclaim in the top of the 9th "Northwestern is already celebrating a victory!"  Happily, the long ride home on I-94 gave her plenty of time to stew in her juices!

That outburst notwithstanding, the (quite a few!) Northwestern fans at all three games were very positive and enthusiastic.  I had a nice conversation with Chris Seyferth's mom.  He's a grad student at Northwestern, having had some eligibility left over from Penn State.  Hometown boy makes good!


May 17th, 2010 at 11:02 AM ^

That has to be the largest comeback in Michigan history, if not B10 history, no?

Furthermore, 15 unanswered runs also has to be some kind of a record.  I'll admit I don't follow college baseball much at all, but a comeback like that in the pros would be all-time stuff.

Edit: I see this was already addressed on a thread on the board.  That's what I get for not reading the board before posting on a front page article.

Wolverine In Exile

May 17th, 2010 at 4:17 PM ^

The only thing missing... testicular fortitude.


“It just shows the team we have right now is (all about) grit,” Berset said. “We just gritted it out. We never thought we were out of it, even though we were down 14. Every team thinks you’re done with that (deficit), but we just stayed the course … it feels really, really good.”

“(The comeback) showed a lot of intestinal fortitude,” Michigan coach Rich Maloney said. “When you are behind as much as we were the last couple of games and to not quit, that is something that we have instilled. To the kids’ credit, they believe. And we can always use that in our program — that we are never dead.”\


peg dash fab

May 18th, 2010 at 9:43 AM ^

I know I'm obsessed with Sunday's (historic!) game, but I have to get it out. (WOOOOOO!!!!!)

Midway through Michigan's relentless comeback, it was the 5th inning or so and the score was 14-8 or so and Michigan was strokin' and a Northwestern fan near me turned to his companion and grimly uttered "We're gonna need more runs."

This popped into my head a minute ago along with that scene from Jaws ... we're gonna need a bigger boat.