Michigan Advances Past Northwestern By Final Score of 8-3
May 26, 2006
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - In an afternoon battle between the top two teams in the Big Ten regular season, it was Michigan who prevailed and advanced in the Big Ten Tournament, topping Northwestern by a score of 8-3. The Wolverines got two RBIs each from Adam Abraham, Nate Recknagle and Jeff Kunkel to propel them into tomorrow afternoon's game nine, where they will face the loser of tonight's game between Ohio State and Minnesota at 3:35 p.m. ET.
The game was a back-and-forth affair, with both teams staring at the face of elimination and creating plenty of scoring opportunities. Recknagle led the Wolverines on 4 for 5 hitting while Antonio Mule contributed 3 hits on 4 at-bats, including a home run.
Northwestern got on the board first with a run in the bottom of the first inning when Anthony Mule homered for the second time today, this time with a shot over the right field wall. It would be the only run of the inning for the team in black as right-handed pitcher Chris Fetter handled the next batter to end the inning.
The Wildcats' lead was short-lived however, as Michigan put up a fourth-inning rally. Eric Rose stole second base after being walked, and then Leif Mahler and Nate Recknagle both singled to load the bases with no outs to set up Jeff Kunkel. Kunkel knocked a single that scored Mahler and Rose. Adam Abraham then stepped to the plate and hit a double to left-center field that scored Recknagle. Doug Pickens then hit a one-out single to score Abraham. In all, the Wolverines scored four runs in the inning to take over the lead.
The `Cats were able to get a run back in their half of the inning when Caleb Fields drove in Jake Owens to cut Michigan's lead to two. The Wolverines got that run back in the top of the fifth when Abraham hit an RBI single to bring Mahler home to get the lead back to three.
In front of their home fans, the Wolverines pulled away in the ninth. Mike Schmidt led off with a triple that bounced off the wall to start the rally, and scored when the next batter, Rose, singled to center. Mahler was up next and laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance Rose to second. Then Recknagle stepped up and crushed a ball deep to left-center field that made it over the wall. The two-run shot made it 8-3, which would be the final score.
Michigan starter Chris Fetter struck out seven batters while walking two, and gave up two runs in six and two-thirds innings.