April 16, 2006
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Michigan scored three runs off Ohio State starter J.B. Shuck in the bottom of the first inning and added two runs in the eighth in a 5-4 victory over the Buckeyes as the Wolverines registered their first sweep of Ohio State since 1987. The loss by Shuck was his first loss of the season and dropped him to 5-1.
Ohio State took its first lead in the series by scoring a run in the top of the first inning. Matt Angle (So., Whitehall, Ohio/Whitehall-Yearling) drew a walk to lead off the inning and went to third on a single through the right side by Jonathan Zizzo (So., Youngstown, Ohio/Sarasota [Fla.]). Eric Fryer (So., Reynoldsburg, Ohio/Reynoldsburg) drove him in with a single up the middle. A third hit of the inning loaded the bases with one out, but a pop up and a fly out ended the threat.
The lead did not last long, however, as the Wolverines scored three runs on four hits. OSU starting pitcher J.B. Shuck (Fr., Galion, Ohio/Galion) hit Eric Rose to lead off the inning. Leif Mahler singled through the right side and when Wes Schirtzinger (Jr., Westerville, Ohio/Westerville North) failed to scoop up the ball, Rose was able to score. Mahler reached second and went to third on a single through the left side by Doug Pickens. Nate Recknagel followed with an RBI single and Derek VanBuskirk gave Michigan a 3-1 lead with an RBI double to left-center field.
The Buckeyes got a run back in the fourth, turning a lead-off single up the middle by Adam Schneider (Jr., Agoura Hills, Calif./Agoura) into a run on a sacrifice fly by Angle. Schirtzinger bunted Schneider over and then he went to third on a single through the left side by Justin Miller (Fr., Dayton, Va./Turner Ashby) before scoring on Angle’s sac fly. Zizzo singled to right field and Miller was waved home by head coach and third-base coach Bob Todd, but Miller was thrown out 9-3-2 to prevent the tying run from reaching the plate. Shuck was replaced in the eighth inning by right-handed pitcher Dan Barker (So., Dayton, Ohio/Northmont). Shuck allowed three runs on nine hits with seven strikeouts and four walks.
Barker walked the first batter he faced and then gave up a double to left-center field to put runners and second and third. That forced Todd to bring in closer Rory Meister (So., Mansfield, Ohio/Mansfield Madison), but he gave up a two-run single to right-center field that gave Michigan a 5-2 lead.
Ohio State mounted a comeback in the top of the ninth, but it fell just short. Angle scored when Wolverine left-fielder Mike Schmidt dropped a fly ball off the bat of Ronnie Bourquin (Jr., Canton, Ohio/Canton South) that would have ended the game. Bourquin would come around from second to score on an RBI single to center by Jedidiah Stephen (Sr., Caldwell, Ohio/Shenandoah).
Michigan had two hits each from Mahler, Recknagel and Abraham. Tony Kennedy (So., Bloomington, Ind./Bloomington South) led the Buckeyes in going 3-for-4, while Zizzo and Stephen each had two hits. Ohio State out-hit Michigan 13-11. Each team had one error.
Andrew Hess picked up the victory for Michigan, improving to 2-0 on the year. He allowed two runs on 11hits with six strikeouts and two walks. Ben Janzen picked up the save, his first of the year.
The last time Michigan won the first three games of a series against Ohio State was 2000, but the Buckeyes fought back to win 14-4 in the finale to prevent a sweep. Michigan has three four-game series sweeps of Ohio State, but none since 1987. Conversely, the Buckeyes also have swept the Wolverines three times though not since 1996. The last time a team had swept Ohio State was last year when Illinois swept four games to open conference play.
Ohio State (20-11 overall, 6-6 Big Ten) returns to Bill Davis Stadium Wednesday at 6:35 p.m. when it plays host to the Oakland Golden Grizzlies. The game will be broadcast on AM 920 WMNI and on ohiostatebuckeyes.com.