A very deep pitching staff and consistent hitting allowed the Michigan baseball team to win three of four games in the Lamar Classic over the weekend. The Wolverines capped the weekend with a 9-0 win over Central Connecticut State. Earlier in the weekend, they defeated New York Tech and split with Lamar. Michigan’s offense had 13 hits and scored in five of eight innings to dominate the Blue Devils.
Sophomore left fielder Brad Roblin had a double, two RBI’s and two steals during the game. Senior centerfielder Matt Butler notched a triple and scored three runs.
“From an offensive standpoint, the consistency is what I was most pleased about,” coach Rich Maloney said. “Pretty much, we’re getting 10 to 11 hits a game. And we’ve hit a few home runs. We have nine home runs in 11 games, which is pretty good. So I feel pretty comfortable with that.”
Michigan also pitched well against Central Connecticut State behind junior Derek Feldkamp. The Adrian native struck out four batters in five innings, giving up only one hit and one walk.
“I felt pretty good,” Feldkamp said. “I have a chance to come down here (Lamar) in the warm weather and pitch and try to locate (pitches) in the zone and kind of get into a groove. I just kept it going all day and all afternoon.”
The Wolverines got off to a hot start when they defeated New York Tech in the first game of the tournament, 14-9. Senior first baseman Kyle Bohm spearheaded the offensive attack with two home runs and five RBI’s. His grand slam in the third, with nobody out, put the Wolverines ahead for good.
Michigan’s toughest competition was the doubleheader against Lamar on Saturday. Michigan starter, senior Michael Penn allowed four earned runs on nine hits in five innings. Penn left the game down 5-0.
But the Wolverines wouldn’t lie down for the Cardinals. After scratching out two runs in the sixth inning, Roblin started the eighth inning with a two out triple. Junior shortstop Chris Getz drove him home with a single and then scored on a Bohm double to left. Freshman right fielder Doug Pickens drove Bohm in with a single and then later scored on a throwing error to tie the game at six.
Michigan senior pitcher Drew Taylor couldn’t hold the tie in the eighth. After giving up a walk and then balking, Taylor gave up a two out single to senior second baseman Jeremy Gray to give Lamar the lead for good.
But, according to Maloney, the Wolverines’ scrappy play was a positive; all six
runs scored were with two outs. Overall, Michigan scored 12 runs with two outs.
“We’re battlers,” Maloney said. “Kind of like a blue collar work ethic. A-never- say-die attitude. That attitude can take you a long way. Two-out hits are always a key to a championship team.”
Michigan came back strong in game two of the doubleheader behind the pitching of senior Jim Brauer. Brauer pitched seven innings, giving up five hits, one walk and one earned run while striking out nine.
“I felt really good,” Brauer said. “I had a lot of confidence early. It just carried throughout the game. And with the kind of run support I had, it just made my job that much easier.”
Led by Bohm and Getz, the Wolverines scored four times in the third inning and three times in both the fifth and sixth innings. Michigan was able to capitalize on the five errors committed by the Cardinals’ defense.
Defensively Michigan was solid but needs to work on a few things.
“I think we have to continually make sure we take care of the ball,” Maloney said. “Making sure we understand the value of keeping the double play in order and hitting the cut-off man — the importance of not going for a play if we don’t have it. But in general I think the guys are doing a very good job considering we’ve only been outside a few times.”