Michigan bats stay warm in double separation with Illinois

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Illinois won the first game before Michigan took the last drink.
Ted burton became the fifth UM player to hit a grand slam with his charge in the first inning of Game 2.
Michigan hit five home runs in Game 1.

To place: Evanston, Illinois (Miller Park)
The scores: Illinois 13, Michigan 7; Michigan 19, Illinois 4
Registers: UM (21-11, 21-11 B1G), ILL (15-16, 15-16 B1G)
Next Unified Messaging Event: Friday, May 7 – at Michigan State (East Lansing, Michigan), 6:35 p.m.

EVANSTON, Ill. – For a second day in a row, the University of Michigan baseball team split a neutral site double with Illinois on Sunday (May 2) to cap a wild weekend that saw the teams combined for 19 home runs amidst 25 mph winds at Northwestern’s Miller Park. The Illini won the opener 13-7, while UM won the nightcap 19-4.

Similar to Saturday, when Illinois took the opener and started the scoring in Game 2, the Fighting Illini took advantage of a pair of first-inning steps to take a 2-0 lead thanks to a half-round of the second game. Michigan came back strong, hitting and scoring seven times thanks to Ted burton grand slam and a two-point explosion Christan bullock. Burton became the fifth Michigan player to strike a grand slam so far this season.

Michigan extended their lead to 9-2 after two innings and 13-3 after five, after a triple RBI of Christian Molfetta, an RBI single from Clark elliot and a double of Jimmy obertop.

The Wolverines put the game aside in the sixth as Danny zimmerman belted a two-sleeve explosion and Benjamin Sems connected for a basic treble in a six-point inning. This allowed Michigan to finish the game early with this year’s “race rule” ending double-headed games early for margins over 10 after seven innings. Angelo Smith finished the seventh inning to make a winner of Ben Dragani (3-2), who started well by keeping Illinois two runs in five innings of relief.

Elliott had four of Michigan’s 17 hits while Molfetta had three. Burton was 2 for 2 with a pair of stairs.

Michigan belted five home runs in the opener, but Illinois was 7-for-14 with runners in scoring position while the Wolverines only managed a 1-in-7 mark while the Illini won 13-7.

After a walk to start the game, Jackson Raper put Illinois at the top with a blown home run in left field. Molfetta responded to that, starting the bottom of the first with a left in-line circuit.

Things took a turn for the worse for Michigan in the fourth as Illinois scored three unearned runs after a pair of two outings, a field error, a wild pitch and a single bloop that gave the Illini a lead of 5-1. Michigan responded loudly at the bottom of the frame.

Sems started the bottom of the fourth inning driving a 1-0 fastball over the right field wall and Tito Flores followed by taking the first pitch he saw over the wall into left center field for the second straight weekend squad. After a difficult double ball of play, Bullock took a fastball over the line into left field and over the 326-foot marker for another solo shot and suddenly he was back to a deficit of a point.

Illinois regained momentum at the top of fifth place as the Illini entered the MU’s reading box and scored the Wolverines for five points on five hits and one mistake to take a 10- lead. 4.

Michigan came close to an imposing three-run Obertop homerun in the sixth inning, but the Wolverines ran out of time in the shortened game after Illinois scored three more times in the seventh.

The next step for the Wolverines is a four-game streak against rival Michigan State in East Lansing. The first game is scheduled for Friday, May 7 at 6:35 p.m. from the Spartans’ McLane Stadium.



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