Michigan Eliminated From NCAA Regional by Kentucky
June 1, 2008
Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Wilpon Complex)
Event: NCAA Regional
Score: Kentucky 12, #17 Michigan 6
Records: U-M (46-14), Kentucky (43-19)
Next U-M Game: Season Completed
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The No. 17-ranked University of Michigan baseball team had its season come to an end with a 12-6 loss to Kentucky on Sunday (June 1) in the NCAA Regional at the Wilpon Complex, home of Ray Fisher Stadium. Despite facing a 9-1 deficit through two innings, the Wolverines responded and made it a 9-6 affair in the fifth inning. Unfortunately, the offense subsided in the final four innings when the Wolverines stranded eight of their 17 runners left on base.
Junior third baseman Adam Abraham (Grosse Pointe Park, Mich./South HS) spearheaded U-M's offensive output with a 4-for-6 showing at the plate with a run scored and a run batted in. Although Michigan out-hit Kentucky 16-12, the Wildcats had seven extra-base hits on five doubles and two home runs.
Michigan scored once in the top of the first inning on an RBI single from Abraham. However, the opening frame of the elimination contest clearly belonged to Kentucky, which tallied seven runs on five hits, including three doubles and a home run.
U-M starter Jeff DeCarlo (Medford, Mass./St .John's Prep) gave up a leadoff hit and then walked the next two batters before giving way to senior/junior Ben Jenzen (Grosse Pointe, Mich./South HS). Kentucky continued the pressure with consecutive two-run doubles to make the score 4-1. The Wildcats added three more in the frame to push the score to 7-1 after one inning.
Kentucky upped its lead to 9-1 as a result of two sacrifice flies to centerfield in the second inning. Jenzen hit the leadoff man and then allowed another double before getting three of the next four batters out.
Michigan pulled to within three runs, making the score 9-6 with runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings. Abraham doubled and scored on a Derek VanBuskirk (St. Clair, Mich./St. Clair HS) single in the third. The hit was the senior leftfielder's 200th of his career, as he became the 19th member of Michigan's 200-hit club.
In the fourth inning, junior DH Zach Putnam (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer HS) brought the crowd to its feet with a three-run blast to centerfield -- his second home run in as many days. The three-run jack was set up by junior SS Jason Christian's (Loveland, Ohio/Loveland HS) third walk of the game and fifth-year 2B Leif Mahler's (Columbus, Ohio/St. Charles Prep) first hit of the day.
On inning later, sophomore 1B Mike Dufek (Scottsdale, Ariz./Desert Mountain HS) led off with a single and came around on Mahler's two-out double into the leftfield corner. The double was Mahler's team-leading and career-best 17th of the season.
UK's All-America first team selection Sawyer Carroll halted the Wolverine momentum in the sixth inning with a two-run home run to centerfield, pushing the score to 11-6. Prior to the sixth, U-M freshman reliever Tyler Burgoon (Defiance, Ohio/Defiance HS) had retired nine of the 11 batters he had faced since entering the game to start the third inning.
Senior/junior Michael Powers (St. Clair Shores, Mich./South Lake HS) was called in from the pen following the home run for his 28th appearance of the season.
The Wolverines complete their season with an overall record of 46-14. The Wolverine claimed their third consecutive Big Ten regular-season crown and captured the Big Ten Tournament trophy with a 3-0 weekend at home. Their 26 Big Ten regular-season wins set a record that may never be broken, as the league is moving to 24 games next season.