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September 07, 1978 - Image 28

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1978-09-07

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Page 28-Thursday, September 7, 1978-The Michigan Doily


nine thrown into. World Series

NW U U E r t WE m - NoW : w y IfU

Pitchers propel Wolverines to
3rd league title in four years

The 1978 edition of the Michigan baseball team did not
have either outstanding talent at many positions, nor
significant depth past the front liners. Nevertheless, the
Wolverines were able to mold themselves into a team
capable of winning the Big Ten championship (the third in
four years), the NCAA regionals and finally competing in
the College World Series, finishing with a 30-17 mark.
Michigan swept to the Big Ten championship on the hot
bats of George Fousiannes and Rick Leach along with an
outstanding pitching staff.
A sophomore, Fousiannes carried the non-hitting
Wolverines through the early part of the season with six
home runs and 25 rbi's in the first 22 games. Though "Fous"
cooled off in the latter part of the campaign (.257, 6, 28)
Michigan never faltered behind the torrid performance of
the quarterback-turned-centerfielder, Leach.
In his first two seasons at Michigan, the Flint junior
would have to bounce back from an early season slump ...
eventually ripping the ball near a .400 pace, with his season
mark reaching the mid .300's. This season however, there
was no early season letdown, and when the lefthander
began his late season surge his batting average was
already high. As a result, Leach ended the season with a
.404 mark, shattering former Wolverine Bill Freehan's
record for hits in a season (56) with 61.
Of the other members of the Wolverine lineup, only cat-
cher Jim Capoferi aided Leach and Fousannes during the
regular season (.306, 5, 23). The five seniors in the lineup
(Dave Chapman, Mike Parker, Jim Berra, Bob Wasilewski
and Scott Anderson), though contributing at times with
clutch hits, batted a collective .234.
With only three productive hitters during the regular
campaign, Michigan pitching had to a yeoman's job of
holding down opposition clubs until the Wolverines got hot.
And did they ever.
Michigan's starting staff of Steve Howe, Craig McGin-
nis, Tom'Owens, Steve Perry and Bill Stennett along with
reliever Mark Clinton choked off enemy bats day after day.
Until the final two games against Southern California (10
earned runs) and North Carolina (7 earned runs) in the
NCAA's, the Wolverine hurlers had an ERA of under 3.00.
Leading the way in every pitching department was
sophomore Steve Howe. Co-Michigan MVP with Leach, the
cocky southpaw was 11-3 for the year, receiving a decision
in every game he appeared. The Clarkston native finished
with a 1.74 ERA in 98.3 innings, striking out 92 while walking
only 27.

After two years, Howe is 20-6 with an ERA of 1.80 and.
nine shutouts.
While no one on the staff equalled the efforts of Howe,
every member did his part. McGinnis (6-4, 3.51), Stennett
(3-3, 3.74), Owens (5-3, 3.88) and Perry (3-1, 3.70) composed
the rest of the starters while freshman Clinton (2-0, 2.63)
impressed late in the year.
McGinnis and Stennett have graduated, and Owens was
taken in the free agent draft, so coach Moby Benedict faces
a task of putting back together a staff which was so in-
strumental in Michigan 1978 success.
After the season, the Wolverines advanced to the World
Series where they won once before dropping two straight;
first to the eventual champion Trojans and then to the
Tarheels. Once again, Howe was a focal point, defeating
Baylor with a one-hitter and giving up the three-run homer
to North Carolina's Greg Robinson that concluded
Michigan's season.
But a new star arose on the Wolverine horizon in the form
of left fielder Vic Ray. Without' a roundtripper during the
season, Ray changed his swing before the P4CAA's, and
clouted two homers.
If Ray can continue into next season with the same im-
provement, Michigan could have a hitting attack that would
take some of the pressure off the shrunken pitching staff.
The Wolverines enter 1979 with two-thirds of an outfield;
an inexperienced infield, solid catching and good pitching.
What Benedict does to mold Michigan will determine its
The biggest problem is the infield. Fousiannes is ten-
tatively penciled in at short, with reserve John
McEldowney at second. Who will man first and third is.
anybody's guess. Sophomore Chuck Wagner is liable to see
some action at third, with a host of others competing for the
Junior Capoferi will handle the majority of the catching
duties, with Gerry Hool and Dale Mason in the background.
Either Hool or Mason could conceivably move to first.
Howe and Perry will probably be joined by Clinton in the
starting rotation, leaving a wide open battle for the other
two starting spots and relief. Sophomore Mike Bryant has
the inside track for one opening and freshman Mike
Thomas will be given a long look.
the 1979 version of the Wolverines will be a talented,
albeit untested group. Improvements need to be made in
power, consistent hitting and speed. Lost is a sound defen-
se, particularly on the left side.
Prognosis: another race for first, and depending on the
youngsters, with an opportunity to contend again for
national honors.

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v %01 E OENy yWW1 1 V1 %

If there was ever an on-going soap
opera on the Michigan campus, it would
definitely be "As the Women Netters
Turn." Even before the women's tennis
team set foot on the courts for their first
match this year, they were enveloped in
a team dividing controversy.
Barb Selden, one of the best players
in the midwest, wanted to play tennis
for Michgan this year as she had the
past two years. However, there was a
hitch: Selden had only practiced with
the team a few times due to her heavy
academic load.
The women were in a dilemma.
Should they vote to allow their poten-
tially best player on the team to play, or
should they consider the sacrifices and
hard work they had contributed
throughout the year and deny Selden a
place on the squad.
The women chose the latter course of
action. However, coach John Atwood
was not worried.

"Barb's loss isn't going to hurt us that
much," Atwood said back in March.
"Her great ability in doubles will be
sorely missed, as will her singles' play,
but the girls we have here are very
good. We're deep all the way through."
Atwood was defitnitely correct in his
analysis of the team's strength.
Michigan had its best recruiting year
ever, as it signed widely sought-after
Sue Weber, Kathy Krickstein and Whit
Stodghill. Two other freshpersons,
Leticia Diaz-Perez and Lisa Wood were
walk-ons and played at the number four
and five singles spots respectively,
throughout the season.
Together with sophomores Kathy
Karzen, Ann Kercher and Elaine
Crosby, the team had its best talent on
paper of any Michigan squad since
women's tennis became a competitive
sport here several years ago. *
The women raced to an impressive
start as they won their first five dual
matches prior to the Buckeye Open at

Columbus. Once again the plot un-
The women did not fare too well at
Columbus as they finished sixth out of
eight teams. Coach Atwood fared even,
worse as he broke a University rule that
cost him his job.
"John told us two stories," said
freshperson star Krickstein. "The first
story was about the beer he ordered en-
ding up on the team tab. The second
story says the waitress at the same
restaurant wrote a letter to the
Michigan athletic department con,.
plaining that the team didn't leave a tip
after it had dinner."
Atwood was forced to resign for thes
infractions, although most observers



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felt there were extenuating circum-
stances surrounding his dismissal.
The women on the team .had been,
unhappy with Atwood's conduct and
were appalled at the way he handledl
the seeding at the Big Ten champion-
ships. Many members expressed how
difficult it would have been to play for,
Atwood if he hadn't quit. -
Assistant coach Bill Flood became in-
terim coach and the women resumed
their winning ways as they won six of.
their next eight dual matches to finish.
the year with an 11-2 record.
Nevertheless, with Krickstein out
with an ankle injury during Michigan's
victory in the state AIAW tournament,
the women suffered their swan song at
the Midwest AIAW competition where
they had been favored to win, losing to
Northwestern in the second round.
Although they performed under the
adversity of the Selden crisis, Atwood's
resignation and Krickstein's injury, the
women had an excellent year. Karzen
finished with a 19-7 record and won an
at-large bid to the national tourney
along with her doubles partner, Kir-
cher, as well as respect as one of the
best performers in the midwest.
All of the freshpersons generally
played well during the season and the
prospects for a goal-fulfilling season
next year look brighter with Selden
considering a return to practice and
play along with Debbie Rentschler, a
starter in the 1977 sesn



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