canada africa partner reservation Michigan beats Michigan State 10-8 in 12 innings in crucial series finale

Michigan beats Michigan State 10-8 in 12 innings in crucial series finale


EAST LANSING – After winning all five previous Big Ten series, the Michigan baseball team’s streak against Michigan State came to an end as the Spartans took home wins both Friday and Saturday. But every conference game matters as the schedule moves toward postseason play.

For the Wolverines, Sunday’s game wasn’t just about avoiding being swept away by their in-state rivals during the season; a bid to Omaha for the Big Ten Tournament is in the offing.

In a pivotal game for both teams, Michigan (25-23 overall, 11-8 Big Ten) delivered the final blow in an offensive shootout against Michigan State (21-23, 10-8), defeating its in-state rival, 10, defeated. -8.

The Wolverines took advantage of a walk and two errors in the first inning to score a run without recording a hit. But like the previous two games, the Spartans circled the bases early and often, scoring in each of their first three innings and collecting four runs to Michigan’s. In a crucial game, the Wolverines ran out of steam.

But in the fourth inning, Michigan’s offense started to play at a high-stakes level. A walk and a single brought out hot-hitting graduate second baseman Mack Timbrook, who launched a sure-fire three-run homer into the trees behind the towering right field wall. Just two batters later, sophomore center fielder Jonathan Kim hit his second home run in as many days to give the Wolverines a 5-4 lead.

Going into Sunday’s game, Michigan was 10-7 in the Big Ten, good for sixth in a crowded top half of the conference. A fall to seventh-place Michigan State at 9-8 would swap the two teams, putting the Wolverines at risk of being on the outside looking to make the eight-team Big Ten Tournament.

And in perhaps his highest-pressure performance of the year, sophomore right-hander Kurt Barr delivered his shakiest performance. Barr’s unusual performance forced Michigan coach Tracy Smith to call on fifth-year left-hander Jacob Denner for the tenth time in twelve games.

But the Spartans also got to Denner and collected two points on him early. With Michigan State firing up the Wolverines’ most consistent pitchers, the onus was on the offense to keep up.

Timbrook led Michigan on that front. After his home run in the fourth inning, he hit a double off the wall in the fifth, and sophomore first baseman Mitch Voit also joined in the sixth inning, hitting a solo shot to left to close the deficit. one, 8-7.

Smith let Denner ride, though, because in a game of this importance, relying on a shallow bullpen is a risk most aren’t willing to take. And Denner settled, taking out the Spartans for the first time in the match in the sixth, seventh and eighth frames.

After a lull in the previously steady offensive production, Michigan broke through in the top of the ninth inning when Kim grounded into a double play but brought home a run, tying the game at eight apiece.

Heading into the bottom of the ninth, Smith once again put his faith in Denner to force the game into an extra frame. And Denner delivered, putting the Michigan State hitters in order in both the ninth and 10th inning.

Finally, in the twelfth inning, the scoring drought came to an end. Junior third baseman Cole Caruso singled to score one Wolverine. And an infield knock by junior pinch-hitter Joe Longo scored another, putting Michigan on top, 10-8.

The Wolverines held their ground in the bottom of the inning and successfully avoided a sweep, both in the series and on the season. But more importantly for Michigan’s postseason aspirations, it came through in a crucial game and earned another much-needed conference win.