Getting this out of the way early here. It’ll be part of the full recap on Monday at VB. Also going to be playing around with some new ideas for formatting.
W – Guilmet (2-1) L – Chris Fetter (2-1) Sv – Stoffel (4)
The story of game was runners left on base. Eric Sorenson, formerly of CSTV – back when, you know, they covered college baseball – now of collegebaseballtoday.com, sums it up like this:
You can look at this one of two ways, if you’re a Michigan fan it’s a case of blown opportunities and near-misses. If you’re an Arizona fan it’s a case of bearing down and coming up clutch when it mattered.
Either way, the fact remains that Arizona enticed Michigan into stranding 11 base runners on the night, eight of which were in scoring position. This frustration led to the UofA picking up a much-needed 2-0 win on Friday night in temperate Tucson.
Frustration indeed. Michigan stranded 5 runners at third, 3 at second, and three at first. The Wolverines also grounded into 2 inning ending double plays, both by Dufek. Those might have hurt the worst as it stranded one in the 1st and 2 in the 7th. The rally killer in the 7th was the end of the day for Michigan bats, which were actually fairly productive for not scoring a run.
Michigan spread out 9 hits and 4 walks on the night, and lead off several innings with hits. The runners just couldn’t be moved around. Outside of those double plays, the other major culprit was strikeouts. Michigan struck out a dozen times, earning everyone in the stadium a free Slurpee (actually they earned the free Slurpee after the ninth strikeout of the day in the 8th). Speaking of that particular strikeout, it was Alan Oaks’ fourth of the day, making him the second recipient of the golden sombrero this year for the Wolverines. Ugly.
Kevin Cislo and Anthony Toth both had multi-hit games, but after that, there wasn’t much else to talk about. Cislo went 3/5 with a double and Toth went 2/4 with a double. Both did, however, get caught stealing. I can’t blame Cislo too much for his, as it was a hit and run with him on second and Fellows on first. Ryan LaMarre struck out swinging at a pitch above his hands, leaving Cislo out to dry. Even Toth’s was tough luck as Arizona pitched out on the play. Our rock, their scissors.
The outfield wall did come into play a few times both on offense and defense. Fellows knocked a ball to the wall that lead to his first career triple. LaMarre ripped a high hard one to deep left, but between the wind and the fence, it just couldn’t make it past the warning track. I had the booth confirm that the hit would have been way out at the Fish. Tough luck for Ryan.
On defense, we had a mess of fly balls giving the outfielders trouble. Balls were consistently flying over their heads and off the wall. Kenny Fellows made a pair of “web gems,” one going back into the wall and the other sliding in foul territory. Kevin Cislo also had a great diving stab going toward first. He was at full extension on the backhanded grab of a sharp liner off the bat of Valenzuela. Good defense all around for the Wolverines in this game.
Chris Fetter didn’t have his best day on the mound, but you wouldn’t be able to tell that by his final line. Chris went 7 1/3 inning, giving up 8 hits and 2 runs, only one of which was earned. He worked into a jam here and there, but managed to get himself out of nearly every sticky situation. The run in the third came from a single, sacrifice bunt, and single, while the unearned run in the 5th came from a lead off single and a passed ball right through Kalczynski’s legs. The runner probably would have scored later in the inning as two batters later, a double went off the wall.
Let us never get shut out again?
- Kevin Cislo – 3/5 2b
- Chris Fetter – 7.1 IP, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 K, 0 BB, 1 HBP
- Matt Miller – 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R
- Alan Oaks – 0/4 4 Ks
- The 8 hole – Combined 0/4 with 4 Ks, stranding 5 base runners. To be fair I guess I should mention Aspinwall never batted despite being in the lineup in the 8 hole. Lorenz, McLouth, and Crank are the guilty party.
- Jake McLouth – Not really a goat, but he tweaked his ankle and only pinch hit in this game. We could had used his bat otherwise.
W -Simon (2-1) L – Matt Gerbe (0-1) Sv – Stoffel (5)
This game saw Michigan finally push runs across the board, but their big inning was immediately eclipsed by that of Arizona. Eric Katzman started shaky and it only got worse to start the third inning. He hit 3 batters and walked four while not giving up a hit and striking out four. He walked the bases loaded in the 3rd and was pulled for Matt Gerbe.
Gerbe walked in the first run, then gave up a pair of singles, allowing all of Katzman’s runners to score. He left after only getting two outs, he was pulled for Tyler Burgoon. Burgoon also inherited the bases loaded. He gave up a double to the first batter he faced, scoring all three of Gerbe’s baserunners. Michigan would never retake the lead.
Burgoon gave up another run in the 6th from back to back hits to lead off the inning. He gave up another 2 on a Dillion Baird 2-run-homer. Mike Wilson came in to stop the bleeding in the 8th and pitched 2 innings of shut out ball.
On offense, Michigan had a pretty good game, it just wasn’t enough to recover from the 6 run third inning. The Wolverines out hit the Wildcats 13 to 10, but pushing runs across the board was the problem. Michigan stranded 9 in this game, including 4 at third base and one at second (it was second and third and 1 out). Finishing innings just wasn’t happening.
In the third, Urban tripled to knock in runs 2 and 3, but he was followed by back-to-back strikeouts and a ground out. In the 7th, after Timmy Kalczynski sacrificed himself to move the runners to second and third and one out, Oaks struck out in a pinch hit opportunity and Toth grounded out. It was just tough luck there.
The middle of the order had a great game. McLouth returned from the tweaked ankle to go 3 for 5 with 3 RBIs and 2 runs. Mike Dufek did well going 3 for 4 with two doubles, a run and an RBI. LaMarre and Cislo both kept their hit streaks alive, currently at 10 games. LaMarre went 2 for 4 with 2 runs, while Cislo went 1 for 3 with 2 walks and a run.
This was a solid loss. The strikeout numbers, while high, weren’t as bad this time around. Stoffel is nasty and I find it amazing he hasn’t flown to the professional ranks yet. They guy throws in the mid 90s with accuracy. His breaking pitches had Michigan looking like deer in headlights. He struck out all 5 batters he faced this game. The guy is just good.
- Jake McLouth – 3/5 3 RBI, 2 R, K
- Mike Dufek – 3/4 2 2B, 1 R, 1 RBI
- Ryan LaMarre – 2/4 2B, 2 R
- Mike Wilson – 2IP, 1 H, 1 BB
- Eric Katzman – 2+IP, 3 ER, 4 BBs, 3 HBP, 0 H,
- Matt Gerbe – .2 IP, 3 ER