six THE MICHIGAN DAILY
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Fisher Gets Better as Season Rolls O
By PETE DiLORENZI
Michigan clinched the Big Ten
baseball title last Saturday at Il-
linois by defeating the Illini, 3-1,
The winning pitcher in that
game was a 19 year old, blond 6' 1"
sophomore political science major
from Adrian, Michigan, Fritz
Fisher. The fireballing lefty al-
lowed only one hit, a single to left
One-hitters are not exactly a
rarity for the modest Fisher, who,
throughout his brilliant high
school career, had pitched "three
or four" of them. And it was a
brilliant career. In two years as
a pitcher, at Adrian High School,
Fisher had a 16-0 record-7-0 as
a junior, and 9-0 as a senior-and
a .025 ERA.
He never allowed more than four
hits a game.
When he wasn't baffling batters,
he was doing the same to opposing
pitchers. "I used to play center
field when I wasn't pitching. I
hit .300 as a sophomore and about
.350 as a junior and a senior, he
In the summer, Fisher spent his
time playing for the Lundquist
Insurance team of Detroit, a na-
tional championship team. On the
team, along with Fisher, were pres-
ent Wolverines Bill Freehan, Dick
Honig and Jim Steckley.
Fisher seemed to be fighting for
control in his first few starts this
season. "I'm usually wild at the
beginning of any season, at least
I almost always have been," says
Fisher. "After a few games and
a little more experience, however,
I start finding the plate more
easily, and the walks usually go
A follower of Wolverine statis-
tics will know that Fisher has
struck out 69 batters in 57i/3 in-
nings pitched as a Wolverine. This,
too, is not a rarity for Fisher. "I
always had a lot of strikeouts,
even in high school."
"The difference between me now
and when I first came to Michi-
gan is that today I'm more of a
pitcher than I was when I first
came. In high school, I could get
by with a fast ball and a some-
times curve, but here, I've learned
to use more pitches and when to
"When I came here, I had my
fastball and a pretty good curve,
but I relied mainly on the fast-
ball. Now I use a curve and am
learning to throw a changeup.
Lately, I've been using the change-
up to set up my fastball. In the
Illinois game, I used all three of
Fast Pickoff Motion
In the Northwestern game, Fish-
er also demonstrated that he has
a lightning-fast pickoff move to
first. In that game, a Northwest-
ern batter took too big a lead to
suit Fisher. In an instant, the
hapless batter found himself be-
ing chased toward second base by
first baseman Bill Freehan, who
had somehow gotten the ball. The
batter ran, and Freehan chased.
The batter didn't get half way.
"I learned the pickoff in high
school and worked on it a lot. Now
it's a pat thing."
This season, Fisher has pitched
in seven games, won six and lost
one, struck out 69 and walked 45.
In. 5713 innings pitched he has
given up 49 hits, 31 runs-22 of
them earned-for an ERA of 3.45.
He is hitting .250, with six hits
including a triple in 24 trips to
Fisher credits much of his suc-
cess here at Michigan to Coach
Don Lund and assistant coach
"Coach Lund has made me a
pitcher. He taught me that you
can't just go out to the mound and
throw the ball and call yourself
a good pitcher. You've got to vary
your pitches and keep the batters
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many stars, individuals who got
the big hit or made the key play
in the field to save a game. Pitch-
ers Mike Joyce and Fritz Fisher,
a pair of sophomores who week
after week hurled clutch wins,
must be xrecognized as primary
factors in the club's success.
Joyce won eight games including
triumphs over Minnesota, Indiana,
and two, over Michigan State.
Fisher won six times, his last out-
ing clinching the league title with
a one-hit effort at Illinois.
Dick Honig at short and Barry
Marshall, the first sacker, drove.
in important tallies that won
games despite their sub-par bat-
ting averages. These two knocked
in all the runs against Minnesota.
Statistics indicate that ' the
Wolverines' depth and balance
were instrumental in the tea
posting its 19-9 record.
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