College Baseball  Section

​BY MIKE KILLBREATH

Posted on April 6, 2018

​UM, MSU, CMU, and WMU baseball games postponed due to Friday's inclement weather; EMU wins 1-0

    (CCN) — The Michigan Wolverines and Michigan State Spartans didn't get to play any Big Ten Conference baseball on Friday and all two of the state's Mid-American Conference schools were also beaten by the weather man. Eastern Michigan beat Ball State 1-0 in a MAC game at Oestrike Stadium in Ypsilanti.

   The state's other four Big Ten and MAC schools hope to play doubleheaders on Saturday and conclude their weekend action with scheduled Sunday dates.

   Michigan's game Friday in Evanston, Illinois was postponed because of inclement weather. It's now scheduled to be made up as part of a Saturday doubleheader with games set for 11:30 am and 1 pm.

   MSU has Nebraska in town for a three-game series and Friday's contest will be shifted to part of a Saturday doubleheader scheduled to start at 12:05 pm. They're scheduled for action on Sunday at 11:05 am.

   The Central Michigan Chippewas had their MAC showdown for first place with Kent State wiped out by bad weather on Friday in the final game in their Mount Pleasant stadium under its identity as Theunissen Stadium. CMU is now hoping to open the scheduled three-game home series at 2:05 pm after a ceremony at 1:45 pm to rename the facility as Keilitz Field in honor of the Keilitz family's contributions over the years at CMU. A ceremony is also scheduled to take place to officially retire the uniform numbers of CMU legends Dean Kreiner and Dave Keilitz. The pair will throw out the ceremonial first pitch. 

   The Chippewas and Golden Flashes both enter the series with 4-2 records atop the MAC standings. They share first place with Miami of Ohio.

   Western Michigan has adjusted its schedule to a doubleheader on Saturday at Northern Illinois after the opener was wiped out by bad weather on Friday. The game times are noon and 3 pm on Saturday to be followed by a noon start on Sunday.

   Eastern Michigan kept on the heels of the MAC tri-leaders by winning a pitcher's duel at home on Friday. The Eagles improved to 4-3 in MAC action behind senior Justin McMurtrey's strong 8 inning gem. He gave up only four hits and walked only one batter while striking out a career-best 7 batters. It was the third victory of the year for the California pitcher and the 10th victory of his career at EMU.

   Freshman Thomas House came on for a 1-2-3 9th inning to nail down the first save of his collegiate career.

   Another freshman supplied the only offense EMU needed by breaking open a 0-0 tie in the bottom of the 8th inning. The Eagles got their winning margin when Eli Gora of Cincinnati drilled a RBI double.

   EMU closes out the three-game series with games at 2 pm on Saturday and at 1 pm on Sunday.


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BY MIKE KILLBREATH

​Posted on April 1, 2018

Michigan baseball team runs its winning streak to 12 straight with 4-2 victory over Delaware

   ANN ARBOR (CCN) — The Michigan Wolverines made it 12 in a row with a 4-2 victory on Sunday afternoon to sweep a non-league college baseball series with Delaware. They also beat Delaware 6-2 on Friday and 11-0 on Saturday.

   It was also UM's 11th straight victory at home and its third straight series sweep.

   The 12-game winning streak is the longest under Coach Erik Bakich who also has his Wolverines off to a 3-0 start in Big Ten Conference action after a season-opening sweep over arch rival Michigan State.

   The chilly weather put a damper on the gate after last weekend's Saturday-Sunday contests against MSU drew 1,207 fans and 1,349 fans, respectively. Sunday's finale against Delaware attracted only 484 fans. The attendance was 437 on Friday and 554 on Saturday although a few hundred extra fans took in the final few innings on Friday after Michigan softball fans were allowed in for free as they exited Alumni Field next to Ray Fisher Stadium inside the Wilpon Complex.

   Michigan improved its overall record to 16-11 against a Delaware squad that came into the weekend trip with a 13-9 record.

   UM pounded out 10 hits and put runners on the bases in every inning on Sunday. Freshman Jesse Franklin again swung the big bat with a three-hit day. His RBI single drove in the go-ahead run in the bottom of the 6th inning and he added some insurance with a solo home run in the bottom of the 8th.

   Junior Jonathan Engelmann went 3-for-4 and also drove in a run to give UM a 1-0 lead in the opening inning. The Mud Hens tied it in the 3rd inning on an unearned run before UM went ahead 2-1 on an RBI groundout from junior Ako Thomas that scored senior Brock Keener. The Mud Hens evened it at 2-2 in the top of the 5th inning on a double, single and RBI groundout.

   Starting UM pitcher Karl Kauffmann allowed both runs in his 6 innings of work and scattered 5 hits to improve his record to 4-2 on the year. Freshman Jeff Criswell and junior William Tribucher combined for 3 innings of shutout relief pitching to preserve the victory. Tribucher earned his second save despite giving up a hit and allowing a walk in the 9th inning.

 

Posted on April 1, 2018

EMU wins 4-3 at Bowling Green for its 9th straight series sweep over Falcons in baseball, taking 2-of-3

   BOWLING GREEN (CCN) — Eastern Michigan won its first series of the season on Sunday by beating Bowling Green's baseball team 4-3. The victory evened EMU's Mid-American Conference record at 3-3.

   It was also the ninth series victory in a row over Bowling Green for EMU which tuned up for a big non-league date on Wednesday at East Lansing to face the Michigan State Spartans of the BIg Ten Conference. It will be a nice trip for new Coach Eric Roof who is a former assistant coach and star athlete at MSU. Roof, who played in the minors with the Detroit Tigers' organization, was a three-year star at MSU.

   The Eagles will also be trying to score the MAC's second victory in a row at MSU. Western Michigan beat the Spartans 6-1 in East Lansing last week.

.   EMU's bullpen was lights out on Sunday as a trio of pitchers combined to allow just one run in 5 2/3 innings. Junior Mitchell Sparks was the winner with 2 1/3 innings of no-hit pitching to finish off a great series. He allowed only one hit in 4 1/3 shutout innings of work against Bowling Green. EMU won 9-2 on Friday before losing 10-3 on Saturday.

   EMU's offense had an 11-hit attack on Sunday with all but one starter getting into the act with at least one hit. Freshman Shane Easter of Kalamazoo picked up his first collegiate RBI and had his first two-hit day. Junior John Rensel Jr., added a two-run double.

 

Posted on March 31, 2018

Michigan bombs Delaware 11-0 for 11th straight in college baseball; Record now 15-11 after 4-11 start

   ANN ARBOR (CCN) — Game two of a scheduled doubleheader was wiped out by heavy rain and wind gusts Saturday in Ann Arbor, but it was Michigan's bats making plenty of thunder in the opener. The Wolverines won 11-0 over Delaware in a non-league contest for their second straight over the Mud Hens and their 11th victory in a row after a 4-11 start.

   It was Michigan's 10th straight victory at Ray FIsher Stadium inside the Wilpon Complex where 554 fans watched the action on a chilly afternoon. UM's last 11-game winning streak was in 2008 and Saturday's shutout was the third of the season.

   Freshman Ben Dragani went 6 1/3 innings to improve to 2-0 on the season. He gave up only 4 hits while striking out 5 batters. ​Junior Jack Bredeson and senior Austin Batka pitched one scoreless inning each to close out the contest after junior Troy Miller came on to get two outs in the 7th inning. Miller fired back-to-back strikeouts with the bases loaded.

   Every UM starter reached base in a 12-hit assault. Junior Ako Thomas, who ran his streak of reaching base safely to 26 consecutive games, was one of three Wolverines with a two-hit day. Junior Johnathan Engelmann and freshman Jesse Franklin also had two-hit games.

   Engelmann and sophomore Christian Bullock pulled off a double steal to highlight a three-run opening inning for the Wolverines. Franklin and redshirt junior Miles Lewis each got runs in on RBI sacrifice flies with the bases loaded while Engelmann delivered a RBI single.

   UM also hit the Mud Hens with a three spot in the bottom of the 7th inning.  Freshman Jack Blomgren lined a RBI double and sophomore Dominic Clementi added a pinch hit RBI triple.

   The two teams will conclude their series on Sunday in Ann Arbor and it's not yet known if Saturday's second game will be rescheduled after being wiped out by bad weather.


Posted on March 31, 2018

EMU comes up flat in Game 2 of Bowling Green series; 10-3 loss drops MAC baseball record to 2-3

   BOWLING GREEN (CCN) — Eastern Michigan's baseball club followed a 9-2 romp on Friday by coming up flat on Saturday at Bowling Green. EMU was beaten 10-3 to see its Mid-American Conference record fall to 2-3 while Bowling Green improved to 3-2.

   EMU pitching yielded three home runs on Saturday and the defense committed costly errors to help the home team win big. EMU's offense was led by junior Max Schuemann and redshirt freshman Jeff Timko of Birmingham Brother Rice who each had two-hit days while each counting a two bagger. Schuemann's first hit was the 100th of his career at EMU.


Posted on March 30, 2018

Michigan Wolverines run streak to 10 victories in a row by beating Delaware 6-2 in non-league game

   ANN ARBOR (CCN) — Sophomore Tommy Henry turned in a career high 8 innings of work on the mound Friday for the Michigan Wolverines as they won their 10th college baseball game in a row with a 6-2 victory over the Delaware Mud Hens in a non-league affair.

   The victory, UM's 10th in a row, opened a scheduled four-game series with Delaware this weekend at Ray Fisher Stadium inside the Wilpon Complex in Ann Arbor in front of 554 fans. The crowd doubled during the final 3 innings as fans leaving Michigan's softball game were allowed in for free. The 1,450 fans at Alumni Field behind the baseball stadium had already been treated to a 4-0 victory over Purdue on a no-hitter by freshman Meghan Beaubien. 

   Five different UM baseball players knocked in runs to support the pitching gem by Henry.

   The lefty pitcher from Portage scattered 6 hits while striking out 5 batters. Junior lefty William Tribucher came on to get the save with a four-pitch inning in the top of the 9th to retire three straight Mud Hens.

   Henry, now 4-0 on the season, settled down after a rocky start that saw him surrender a home run in the opening inning.

   UM quickly gave him some support by scoring three times in the bottom half of the opening inning.

   Freshman Jordan Nwogu's RBI sacrifice fly tied it and UM went ahead 3-1 on back-to-back RBI singles by senior Brock Keener and freshman Jack Blomgren.



 

Delaware took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second on a solo homer, but the Wolverines responded in the bottom of the frame with three runs. Junior Blake Nelson led off the inning with a base hit through the left side, and a catcher's interference call allowed redshirt junior Miles Lewis to reach first base. Freshman Jordan Nwogu followed with a sacrifice fly to right field, which pushed Lewis to second and allowed Nelson to score and tie the game at 1. An RBI single from senior Brock Keener then scored Lewis, and a run-scoring single from freshman Jack Blomgren followed and scored Keener for a 3-1 Michigan lead.

Neither team scored again until the bottom of the fifth inning, when Michigan added three more runs to go ahead, 6-1. Keener, Blomgren and Thomas got the frame started with consecutive walks, which forced the Blue Hens to make a call to the bullpen. Sophomore Christan Bullock followed with a sacrifice fly that scored Keener and advanced both Blomgren and Thomas to scoring position. Blomgren then beat the throw home on a passed ball, and Thomas raced home for a 6-1 lead on a sacrifice fly by junior Jonathan Engelmann.

After seven strong innings on the mound, Henry came out for the top of the eighth to set a new career-high for innings pitched. After a one-out single put a man on base, a stolen base and a throwing error gave Delaware its third runner in scoring position for the game. An infield single then scored one run, cutting Michigan's lead to four.



The Maize and Blue totaled just four hits, but took advantage of four walks and one hit batter. Nelson led Michigan with two hits on the day, while Bullock, Engelmann, Nwogu, Keener and Blomgren each drove in a run.


Posted on March 30, 2018

EMU bats come to life in 9-2 romp at Bowling Green to even early MAC baseball record at 2-2

   BOWLING GREEN (CCN) — The Eastern Michigan University baseball team trailed early, but its bats came to life Friday afternoon on the road to begin a three-game series at Bowling Green. EMU won 9-2 to even its Mid-American Conference record at 2-2.

  Senior Justin McMurtrey went a career-high 7 1/3 innings, allowing only two runs on 8 hits while striking out a season-best 5 batters. Junior Mitchell Sparks closed out the victory by allowing only one hit over the final 1 2/3 innings.

   EMU's 10-hit attack was led by junior Kolton Schenker's three hits and two RBIs, including his team-leading fifth home run of the season. Junior Max Schuemann had a two-hit, two-RBI day, including a double, while redshirt freshman Jeff Timko of Birmingham Brother Rice and freshman Nate Jones each had two RBI days for EMU.


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​BY MIKE KILLBREATH

Posted on March 28, 2018

​Wolverines break open 3-3 tie in bottom of 7th inning to beat CMU 8-5 in non-league affair

   ANN ARBOR (CCN) — The Michigan Wolverines scored three times in the bottom of the 7th inning Wednesday to break up a 3-3 tie and went on to win 8-5 in a non-league college baseball game against visiting Central Michigan. It was the ninth victory in a row for the Wolverines who now have a four-game weekend series at home against non-league rival Delaware. Click Here to Read More

   

​Posted on March 28, 2018

Western Michigan stuns MSU for second straight year; Downing Spartans 6-1 in East Lansing

   EAST LANSING (CCN) — Western Michigan scored a second straight victory in East Lansing by beating the Spartans 6-1 in college baseball action Wednesday. It was the fifth time since 2003 that the Broncos have beaten a Big Nine Conference opponent. WMU evened its overall record at 11-11 with Wednesday's victory. Click Here to Read More

 

BY MIKE KILLBREATH

Posted on March 26, 2018

Michigan's Jonathan Engelmann named Big 10 Co-Player of the Week winner after .429 batting average with 13 RBI to lead 5 victory week

   (CCN) — Outfielder Jonathan Engelmann's big week has earned Big Ten Conference Co-Player of the Week accolades for the Michigan junior. Engelmann knocked in 13 runs with a .429 batting average during a five-victory week that was capped off by a three-game weekend sweep over the Michigan State Spartans to open Big Ten action. The sweep followed mid-week victories over Oakland University and Western Michigan. Click Here to Read More

 

Posted on March 26, 2018

CMU plays this weekend for first place in MAC baseball while WMU, EMU aim to stay alive 

   (CCN) — Central Michigan will be playing Ball State with first place on the line in Mid-American Conference baseball this weekend while Eastern Michigan and Western Michigan will be fighting to avoid dropping out of the title race. EMU and WMU each lost 2-of-3 to start MAC play last weekend while CMU emerged from the opening weekend as one of five teams with a share of first place. All three of CMU's games this weekend are in Muncie, Indiana. Ball State sandwiched 5-1 and 7-2 victories around an 11-0 loss last weekend to open MAC play at Kent State. CMU lost 9-5 at Northern Illinois on Sunday when going for a weekend sweep after opening there with 8-1 and 6-0 victories.  Click Here to Read More

 



Posted on March 26, 2018

Michigan Wolverines stay No. 17 in latest college baseball poll; Oregon State remains at No. 1

   (CCN) — Oregon State remained No. 1 in the latest NCAA baseball poll while Indiana stayed at No. 11 for the second week in a row. Indiana was the only Big Ten Conference member ranked among the top 25 a week ago but the Hoosiers were joined this week by Illiniois. Oregon State hung on to the No. 1 spot despite losing its second game of the season when dropping an 8-4 decision to visiting Washington in a Sunday PAC 12 contest. The Beavers had opened the weekend series by beating the University of Washington 16-1 on Friday and 5-2 on Saturday.  Click Here to Read More


Posted on March 25, 2018

Oakland senior pitcher Jake Lee mows down 14 at UIC to set new school record for strikeouts

   CHICAGO — Jake Lee's school record 14 strikeouts led Oakland University to a 2-1 victory with a complete game gem at the University of Illinois-Chicago. Lee twirled a one-hitter. Lee broke Oakland's strikeout record of 13 set by Chris VanDyke in 2013. He surrendered a 2nd inning run on a sacrifice fly and UIC's only hit didn't come until the 5th inning when a double was then followed by Lee retiring 13 consecutive batters to end the game. Lee, a senior from Milford High School, added to his collection of Oakland records with the effort. He made 14 starts a year ago when his 86 strikeouts was the most by a Golden Grizzlies' pitcher in a season. His 86 innings in 2017 ranked fifth all-time in school history. Lee turned in a 4.71 earned run average a year ago after he finished 2016 with a 5-5 record and a 5.31 ERA in 59 1/3 innings of work when striking out 37 batters and walking 19. Lee was red-shirted in 2015 after transferring in from Hillsdale College. He was 5-3 with a 4.40 ERA as a freshman at Hillsdale when striking out 32 batters in 57 1/3 innings of work. 
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