SAN MARCOS, Texas – It had been 90 years since Washington and Michigan last met, but junior Alex Schmidt made the first meeting in almost a century a memorable one.
Schmidt blasted a walk-off, two-run home run to right-center field – his second long ball of the night – in the 10th inning to push Washington (1-1) to an 8-6 victory over Michigan (0-2) in the nightcap of Friday’s Texas State Tournament at Bobcat Ballpark.
Schmidt, who had only three hits in 37 at bats in 2013, followed a one-out Jack Meggs single with his game-ending blast that set off a wild Huskies’ celebration at home plate. His homer made a winner out of Tyler Davis (1-0), who wiggled out of a jam in the top of the 10th by inducing and inning-ending double play, and a loser out of Jake Balicki (0-1).
Schmidt’s first home run of the night tied up the game at 6-6 in the eighth inning. The Lynnwood, Wash. native went 4-for-9 with 6 RBIs in the Huskies’ two games on Friday.
Both teams played earlier in the day. The Huskies lost 14-9 to Air Force in the morning, while Michigan lost 8-7, also in 10 innings, to host Texas State.
In the nightcap, UW’s starting pitcher Jared Fisher held Michigan hitless through 4 2/3 innings, but the Huskies could not score any early runs despite having base runners in each of the first four innings.
Finally in the bottom of the fifth, the Huskies broke through with a pair of runs. Austin Rei led off with a single and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Erik Forgione. Forgione was also safe on the play when the throw from pitcher Trent Szkutnik pulled the first baseman off the bag. Braden Bishop followed with a RBI single scoring Rei, and two pitches later Forgione would score an unearned run on a passed ball by catcher Cole Martin.
Unfortunately for Fisher and the Huskies, Michigan bounced right back with six runs – four of which were unearned –in the sixth. With runners on first and third and one out, pinch hitter Jackson Lamb popped up in foul territory behind the plate, but catcher Rei had the ball pop out of his mitt for an error. Lamb made the Huskies pay with a game-tying double to deep right that plated two.
After a walk, left-handed hitting catcher Cole Martin went the opposite way for a three-run homer. The Wolverines added another unearned run to take a 6-2 advantage.
Washington cut the Wolverines lead in half in the bottom of the sixth when Trevor Mitsui led off with a double and would eventually come around to score on an infield hit by pinch-hitter Meggs. It was the first career at bat by Meggs, the youngest son of Huskies’ coach Lindsay Meggs.
The Huskies would tie the score with three two-out runs in the eighth inning, highlighted by Schmidt’s homer. Robert Pehl led off with a walk, advanced to second on an errant pickoff attempt by the catcher Martin, and would score on Meggs’ second RBI single of the night. Schmidt would follow with his first career homer to right field, a no doubt blast into the Texas night.
Meggs, who entered the game in the sixth, went 3-for-3 with two runs and two RBIs.
Mitsui also added a pair of hits for the Huskies.
Reliever Will Ballowe threw 3.2 scoreless innings, allowing just four harmless hits, to keep the Huskies in the game.
Washington has a quick turnaround after playing until 1:00 a.m. local time and will play host Texas State on Saturday at 2:00 p.m CT. They wrap up the four-game swing in San Marcos, Texas with a 10:00 a.m. PT re-match against Michigan on Sunday.
GAME 2 vs. Michigan
UW 8, Michigan 6 (10 innings)
UM 000 006 000 0 -- 6 10 2
UW 000 021 030 2 -- 8 12 2
Jared Fisher, Will Ballowe (6), Tyler Davis (10) and Austin Rei, Parker Guinn (8). Trent Szkutnik, Keith Lehmann (5), Jake Balicki (8) and Cole Martin. W – Davis (1-0). L – Balecki (0-1). Sv - none. HR – UW, Alex Schmidt, 2 (2). UM, Martin. 2B - UW, Trevor Mitsui. UM, Jackson Lamb (2). Time – 3:55. Attendance – 2,439.