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September 12, 1961 - Image 41

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1961-09-12

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER, 12,1961

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

PAGE NINE

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 1961 THE MICHIGAN DAILY PAGE N!NE

c F - - , -

LOSES NCAA PLAYOFFS:
Baseball Team Wins Big Ten Title

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By DON BURNESS
After only three years at the
helm of. the Wolverine baseball
squad, Don Lund produced a
league champion with a 10-2 mark.
However, the rest of the story
is not as bright. The Michigan
nine fought all the way into the
NCAA regional finals before losing
to a solid Cincinati Bearcat team.
The. Wolverines, playing the re-
gionals on their home field, were
successful against Detroit and
Western Michigan but the Cnd
cinnatians downed Coach Lund's
crew twice to oust them from the
double elimination playoffs.
Defeat was not entirely disap-
pointing to the Michigan diamond
mentor, for the next season look-
ed extremely promising with a
batch of star sophomores return-
ing, headed by Big Ten batting
champ, Bill Freehan.
Signs Pro Pact
Then Freehan signed a majorl
league contract with the Detroit
Tigers for $100,000 and next
year's hopes looked dimmer.
But despite the dark side, Lund
was happy with the team's per-
formance.
The success of last year's club
can be directly attributed to whatt
Lund called "the right .attitude,"
the confidence and desire that en-
ables each player to produce af
maximum performance at all
times. Seven sophomores startedE
with one junior and ,a senior
breaking into the lineup as LundE
manipulated his players frequent-c
ly to suit the particular need. I
Play Gopherst
The Wolverines, whose overall
record was 21-11, opened the BigE
Ten season against defending'
NCAA champ Minnesota at AnnI
Arbor. Steady pitching by Mikee
Joyce and a two-run home run inN

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ANOTHER RUN ACROSS-Second baseman Joe Jones romps home after a teammate's hit, while
the hapless catcher winces as the throw comes in from the outfield too late.

the bottom of the ninth inning by
shortstop Dick Honig were enough
for a 5-3 Michigan win. It was
indicative of the successful season
ahead.
Throughout the season Joyce
and fellow sophomore Fritz Fish-
er pitched excellent ball, and 26
Michigan homers were essential
to the team's fine record.
Joyce won nine of 12 decisions
and compiled a 5-1 conference
mark, his only loss suffered at
Illinois after the title had been
clinched. The strong righthander
whipped Michigan State twice in

one afternoon and topped Indiana
at Bloomington in possibly the
'wildest game of the year, with a
24-5 victory margin.
Whereas Joyce combined a sink-1
er and a variety of speeds on the;
mound, lanky southpaw Fisher
used a blazing fastball and slider
to post a 6-2 mark. His two losses
were heartbreakers, one a 3-2
squeaker at Indiana and the oth-
er, a 14-inning 4-3 setback by
Western Michigan in the NCAA
regionals that eliminated Michi-
gan. In that contest Fisher worked
six innings and fanned 11 while
giving up a lone tally.
Freehan Stars
Beside the superior mound
chores of Joyce and Fisher, the
big catcher-first baseman Freehan
must be labeled the one most val-
uable player last year. The 6'3"
star blasted conference pitching at
a record .585 clip and also paced
the Big Ten in RBI's with 18. Sin-
gle handedly Freehan whipped
Wisconsin and Purdue as he hit
two homers apiece in each game,
driving in all but one of the runs
in each win. And in the NCAA re-
gionals he accounted for both tal-
lies in a 2-1 win over the Cincin-
nati Bearcats.
The Royal Oak sophomore bat-
ted .476 for the season and belt-
ed 10 homers in compiling the
finest statistics ever at Michigan.

Another pair of sophs comprise
a double play combination which
pulled off 25 twin killings. Short-
stop Honig batted a meek .218 but
his play in the field was important
to the team's record, Joe Jones at
second base displayed quick hands,
speed on the basepaths (he was
timed in 4.0 seconds to first base)
and a .303 batting average. He
reached base safely six times in
the Indiana rout and banged out
three hits against Western Mich-
igan's Broncos in a regularly
scheduled game.
Third sacker Joe Merullo, a
junior, and outfielders Jim Steck-
ley, Dennis Spalla and Jim New-
man, all sophomores, plus cap-
tain-elect Ed Hood were other
starters who return this year.
Steckley batted over .300 and
Newman played four positions for
Lund, being especially adept in
right field where he made the two
finest defensive plays of the year
and also threw out two runners
at home.
Thus with the nucleus of last
year's crew back, excepting Free-
han, Michigan is expected to be a
serious threat to cop a second
straight title. The team last year
lost nine games by one or two
runs, and with added experience
the baseball picture this year
should be bright, if the rest of the
squad can make up for Freehan's
power-a mighty tall order.

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WekCorne 6entlemeni!

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favorwith1

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SLIDER-Taking his turn at bat in the Detroit game, Wolverine
hurler Fritz Fisher found himself hooking a slide into third
instead of throwing a slider at the opposing batters.;

I. I

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featuring

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