When a team is on a roll, it is hard to stop winning. The Michigan baseball team rolled a lucky seven yesterday as it won its seventh-straight game, 5-3, against Eastern Michigan. Junior Kirk Taylor (1-0, 4.15 ERA) pitched five innings and allowed two runs just one earned to secure his first win of the season in his first start of the year.
Taylor was relieved by junior Phil Lobert and sophomore Brad McCloskey. McCloskey pitched just the top of the ninth, and recorded his first save of the year despite a bases-loaded situation that he managed his way out of, thanks to a great defensive play by shortstop Bill LaRosa.
“We knew we were going to use three pitchers today, at least,” Michigan coach Geoff Zahn said. “We had planned to have McCloskey come in and finish it up. He hadn”t been out there that much this year. I was extremely happy to see him get out of a tight situation there and throw strikes.”
The pitching by committee approach to yesterday”s game was aided by two exciting plays by catcher Jake Fox early in the game, and a little luck in the top of the third.
With one out in the Eastern first, Jesse Cogswell and Nick Soliz reached base with a single and error, and walk, respectively. After Taylor forced the second out of the inning, Frank Garcia hit a line drive to right field, scoring Cogswell from second. But another throwing error, this time by rightfielder Gino Lollio, allowed Soliz to score, and Garcia to advance to third.
What followed was a gamble by Eagles” coach Roger Coryell that did not pay off. As Taylor delivered a pitch to Luke Beeler, Eastern Michigan”s next batter, Garcia broke from third. Taylor”s pitch was low and outside, but in a quick sweep across the plate, Fox was able to apply the tag and end the inning down just two.
“I was a little surprised,” Fox said. “All of a sudden I saw the guy break for home and I thought, “What”s he doing?” So I jumped out, caught the ball, went down and tagged him.
“A lot of things happened back there today. It was a fun game to catch.”
The fun would not end for Fox and the Michigan defense. Just as the Wolverines escaped the first inning with a heads-up defensive play from Fox, they would end the second the same way. Fox struck down a steal attempt by