By Thomas Nelshoppen of The Baseball Zealot
Kentucky 12 Michigan 6
I had been warned in the past that the deeper you go into Michigan’s rotation, the suspect it gets. It was never more evident than in the Michigan-Kentucky game on Sunday. Kentucky scored 7 runs in their first inning and added two more in the second. Michigan starter Jeff DeCarlo gave up a hit, a wild pitch and two walks before getting yanked in favor of Ben Jenzen. Jenzen didn’t fare much better. He gave up three consecutive doubles to Collin Cowgill, Brian Spear and Chris Wade which quickly made it 5-1 Kentucky. Wildcat Troy Frazier topped off the first with a two-run homer.
UK starter Clint Tilford had his troubles, too. After giving up a run in the first and the third, he seemed to lose it in the 4th when Michigan put together a rally of their own. After a walk and a hit, DH Zach Putnam hit his second homerun of the tournament making the game a little more interesting, 9-5 UK.
The bullpen for both teams seemed to settle down and so did the offense. UM managed one more run in the fifth on a Leif Mahler double. In the sixth, it was Sawyer Carroll who once again who hit a dinger, this time a 2-run shot to left.
Mike Kaczmarek who relieved for Tilford got the win. Jeff DeCarlo and allowed 3 runs in 0 official innings pitched, got the loss. Collin Cowgill was 3 for 5 with 2 runs and 2 RBI and Sawyer Carroll was 1 for 3 with a homerun, 2 rbis and 3 runs.
Michigan’s Adam Abraham was 4 for 6 for the day and Leif Mahler had 3 hits.
With the loss, Michigan was eliminated from the tournament and Kentucky went on to play Arizona.
Arizona 5 Kentucky 3
It was a committee of hurlers as Kentucky went through eight pitchers against Arizona and none pitched more than two innings. It didn’t seem to do much good as the Wildcats of Arizona scored just enough runs to defeat the Wildcats of Kentucky.
Arizona, on the other hand stuck with Eric Berger, who went 7 1/3 innings and pitched a great game. He only gave up three runs and struck out eleven batters. The always tough Arizona bullpen did their job, too. Ryan Perry, Daniel Schlereth, and Jason Stoeffel allowed just a hit in the final 1 2/3 innings of the game.
Arizona got their first two runs in the 2nd inning when Bobby Coyle pinch hit for the DH. With a runner on, Coyle hit a homer, drawing first blood.
Two innings later, Arizona scored two more runs on a two-hit rally which included some small ball. A hit, a hit by pitch, a stolen base, a sacrifice rbi by Dwight Childs then a base knock RBI by Bryce Ortega. By then it was 4-0, Arizona.
UK managed to score runs in 4th, 6th and 8th. Collin Cowgill who has been hot all series, hit a solo homer in the 4th. Brian Spear did the same in the 6th. Spear also rapped an RBI double in the 8th. But it was too little too, late and Arizona emerged the victor of the game and of the tournament.
Here is the 2008 Ann Arbor All-Regional Team:
1B – C.J. Ziegler, Arizona
2B – Ryan Wilkes, Kentucky
SS – Jason Christian, Michigan
3B – Adam Abraham, Michigan
OF – Ryan LaMarre, Michigan
OF – Sawyer Carroll, Kentucky
OF – Collin Cowgill, Kentucky
C – Dwight Childs, Arizona
DH – Zach Putnam, Michigan
P – Jason Stoffel, Arizona (MVP)
P – Zach Putnam, Michigan
P – Eric Berger, Arizona
I can’t say there are any surprises here.
Congratulations to the Arizona Wildcats!