March 31, 2006
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -
Northwestern's baseball team dropped its Big Ten opener to Michigan 6-2 Friday afternoon at Ray Fisher Stadium in Ann Arbor, Mich. NU took an early lead scoring two runs in the first inning, but allowed six Wolverine runs before the sixth inning. Senior Anthony Wycklendt was 2-for-4 with an RBI in the loss.
The Wildcats opened their Big Ten season with four hits and two runs in the top of the first inning. Designated hitter Dan Brauer (Wheaton, Ill./Wheaton-Warrenville South) and left fielder Anthony Wycklendt (Glendale, Wis./Nicolet) each singled in runs. Centerfielder Aaron Newman (Palatine, Ill./Palatine) and second baseman Jake Owens (Stevens Point, Wis./Pacelli) scored NU's runs after leading off the game with back-to-back singles.
Michigan got on the board with a single run in the bottom of the second inning. A leadoff double came around to score with the help of a wild pitch by Wildcat starter Andrew Smith (Fort Mitchell, Ky./Beechwood) and a sacrifice fly to centerfield.
The Wolverines tied the game 2-2 on another sacrifice fly in the bottom of the third inning. A leadoff single moved to third on a hit-and-run single and scored on a sacrifice fly to centerfield.
Michigan took a 4-2 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning after manufacturing a pair of runs on two hits, both doubles. The two two-baggers scored on a groundball to the shortstop and a sacrifice fly to centerfield.
Junior right-hander Ryan Myers (Lake Villa, Ill./Carmel) relieved Smith after the two doubles in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Smith pitched three-plus innings, giving up four runs (all earned) to take the loss. Smith is 2-4 on the season.
The Wolverines kept pouring it on in the bottom of the fifth inning. Two more runs crossed the plate on two hits-one of which was an RBI-triple-and two Wildcat errors.
The score after five complete innings was 6-2 Michigan.
Freshman Mike Folan (Arlington Heights, Ill./St. Viator) made his Big Ten debut in the bottom of the sixth inning. After a leadoff walk, Folan induced a fly ball and a strikeout before catcher Geoff Dietz (Lake Zurich, Ill./Lake Zurich) threw out the Wolverine runner trying to steal second. Folan pitched two complete innings of one-hit, no-run baseball.
NU left the bases loaded in the top of the seventh inning as a strikeout and groundout ended the threat. The Wildcats loaded the bases when first baseman Pat McMahon (Mundelein, Ill./Carmel) led off with a single to right field and went to second on pinch-hitter Tony Vercelli's (Wilmington, Ill./Wilmington) single through the right side. The two runners advanced 90-feet when pinch-hitter Stanley Finch (Lubbock, Texas/Cooper) was hit by a pitch.
Senior left-hander Chris Davidson (Huntington Woods, Mich./Berkley) took over on the mound in the bottom of the eighth inning. Davidson set down the Wolverines in order, registering a strike out.
The Wildcats and Wolverines are back in action tomorrow with a doubleheader at 1 p.m. (ET).