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September 06, 1973 - Image 46

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Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1973-09-06

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Page Six

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

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By MARC FELDMAN
Proving the old adage that the
best offense is a good defense,
the Michigan baseball team re-
bounded from a rocky start to
post a 22-16 overall record and
finish a solid second place in the
Big Ten Conference race behind
Minnesota.
The Wolverine batsmen didn't
knock down many fences last
spring but an excellent pitching'
staff, led by Pete Helt, Art "Ace"
Adams and Chuck Rogers com-
bined for a phenomenal eleven
shutouts and a team earned run
average of 2.83.
Coach Moby Benedict went
with a four man rotation most
of the year, a pattern necessi-
tated by the familiar Big Ten
schedule of back to back dou-
bleheaders on Friday and Sat-
urday. Adams, a southpaw, was
the workhorse of the staff and
compiled a 6-4 record and hurled
three whitewashes. Helt, the on-
ly senior pitcher, was 5-4 and
had a fine earned run average of
2.55.
Rogers and Craig Forhan
rounded out the rotation and both
underclassmen had earned run
averages around the 2.25 mark
although Forhan won just four
of nine decisions.
Entering the final weekend
of the Big Ten campaign, Min-
nesota led the loop with a 10-4
record and Michigan was a
game behind, 9-S. One strike
against Michigan's hopes was
that in the'event the Gophers
and Wolverines ending In a tie
in the standings, Minnesota
would win the conference on
the basis of an edge in total
runs scored in the two games
played between the teams.
As a result, Michigan had to
hope for two Gopher losses as
well as a sweep in its pair of
doubleheaders with Wisconsin
and Northwestern. The Gophers,
who later went on the College
World Series in Omaha, Nebras-
ka, swept all four of their re-
maining games and Michigan's
3-1 weekend was only good
ern and Wisconsin was only good
enough for second place.
The way the season started
on Michigan's annual spring
trip to the sunny climes of Ari-
zona, not many thought the
Wolverines would be a serious
challenger in the Big Ten pen-

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nant race. It appeared that the
loss of underclassmen Mickey
Elwood and Leon Roberts to the
professional ranks, as well as
steady .305 hitting centerfielder
Greg Buss to a knee injury sus-
tained in varsity basketball
competition, had taken its toll
on the Wolverines.
Facing some of the finest
teams in the country in the
University of Arizona and Ari-
zona State, Michigan lost its
first seven games before re-
versing that trend with a 1-0
triumph over Glendale College.
Wins weren't quite so hard to
come by in the friendlier con-
fines of the Midwest and the
Diamondmen
Last Year's Record: 22-16
Last Year's Finish: Second
Outlook: Still looking for the big
bat
Wolverines quickly rose to the
.500 mark with a succession of
victories over non-conference
teams like Notre Dame, Bowl-
ing Green, Eastern Michigan,
and the University of Detroit.
Compiling a 9-3 record against
non-league foes, the Wolver-
ines were a more respectable
10-10 heading into the confer-
ence season.
The Big Ten was more evenly
matched in 1973 than it had
been for some time. Only Purdue,
which won just two of eighteen
league games and had a team
earned run average of over
10.00, wasn't a factor in the race.
The competition among the oth-
er nine teams was so close that
in addition to Minnesota and
Michigan, seven other teams
had a mathematical chance for
a share of the title prior to the
last weekend of play - but the
Gophers prevailed.
Michigan's fielding was usual-
ly quite reliable but one incredi-
ble lapse in the second game of
a doubleheader against Illinois
could have cost the Wolverines
the pennant. Michigan had tak-
en the first game of the twinbill
from the Illini and led in the
nightcap until the final inning
when four Wolverine fielding
miscues gave away the game.
Michigan's worst problems
were at the plate. Just two
batsmen finished over .300, and
only four others over .250, The
top Wolverine hitter was desig-
nated hitter Jim Kocoloski who
stroked 33 hits in 87 at bats
for a .379 average. Fellow sen-
ior and most valuable player
Tom Kettinger led the team in
hits (39), runs (24), and runs
batted in (24) in compiling a
.342 batting average.

ood
Another senior, Pat Sullivan,
had the most potent extra base
hit bat with five doubles, two
triples, and four home runs
among his 34 safeties. Although
the team hit a composite .256, it
was the pitching that won
games for the Wolverines. In
fact, in one incredible game Bob
Barnett of the University of De-
troit hurled asno-hitter at Mich-
igan only to lose 2-0 on the mis-
takes of his teammates.
The lack of hitting was not
costly in this particular game
but it was more evident in a
mid-season Fisher Stadium dou-
bleheader with Iowa, in which
the Wolverines took it on the
chin twice, 2-0, 2-1.
Looking ahead to the 1974
season, pitching will be Michi-
gan's forte once again. The
hurling corps will be minus on-
ly the graduated Pete Helt and
with a year of experience un-
der their belts, Adams, Forhan,
Rogers and Tom Joyce can
only improve.
Behind the mound, Benedict
has some holes to fill, most not-
able at shortstop and first base.
Mark Crane was an All-District
shortstop in 1972 and was draft-
ed and signed to a professional
contract by the Philadelphia
Phillies after the free agent draft
of June, 1973. Sullivan,; the Wol-
verine first sacker for four
years, was the only legitimate
power hitter on the team and his
bat will be hard to replace.
GregrBuss was granted anoth-
er year of eligibility and will
probably push Dan Damiani,
who made just one error in 61
chances this year, from center
to right, Damiani was a fresh-
man in 1973 and placed third on
the team with 14 RBIs despite
a .204 batting average.
Pitching may be 70 per cent
of baseball but a strong "other
30 per cent helps too.

itch,

no

hit

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Daily Photo by DAVID MARGOLICK
Chuck Rogers (22) sets to fire

Gymnastics: First again

By RICH STUCK
Reprinted from April 11 edition
The bubble had to burst for the
Michigan gymnastics team ~and
last Friday it finally did. The
scene was the NCAA champion-
ships in beautiful Eugene, Ore-
gon. It was during the final two
events in their drive to finish
among the top three teams that
the collapse came. And it was
one that had the entire crowd
emotionally bound to the young
and game Wolverines.

THEPROBg'LEM WITH MOST STATION
WAGONS IS THEY'RE EITHER TOO BIG ON THE
OUTSIDE OR TOO SMALL ON THE INSIDE

--<

Welcome Students-!

I -

TO

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lot of room, but for the one or two times a year you might really
need a big wagon, think of how many times a week you have
to go around the block looking for a place to, park it.
On the other hand, the smaller station wagons, while
considerably easier to handle, sometimes have so little space
inside they're hardly worthy of the name station wagon.
At Fiat, we discovered that a station wagon doesn't
have to be big on the outside to be big on the inside.
To illustrate, the Fiat 124 station wagon fits in the same
parking space as a Volkswagen Super Beetle. But, on the inside
it's 17 cu. ft. bigger than the VW Squareback, 10 cu. ft. bigger
than the Toyota Corolla, and 9 cu. ft. bigger than the Vega.
Yet despite the fact it's a station wagon, it handles
more like a sports car. (If you or your wife don't like to shift, it's
available with automatic transmission.)
The steering and suspension are modeled after our 124
Spider, so you can take a curve at 45 mph even with the wagon
loaded to the hilt.
The peppy engine lets you cruise along'all day at 70
mph without even puffing.
And if you've ever tried to stop a loaded-down station
wagon, you'll understand why we have radial tires and disc
brakes on all four wheels.
If you stop at a Fiat dealer, you'll discover one more
nice thing about our station wagon.
Not only is it a pleasure to drive, but at $279 5}, it's a
pleasure to buy.

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Coach Newt Loken had his
boys ready for the meet. Al-
though the critics said Michigan
could never crack the top three,
the spirit of the tumbllers that
lifted them in their miracle Big
Ten win seemed to be present in
o r e g o n ' s ancient McArthur
Court.
At the end of the compulsories
Michigan was a surprising fourth
but it needed a lots of points to
catch Indiana State for the num-
ber three team slot in Saturday's
finals. And they came oh so close
to doing it.
As they mace their move in the
optionals the Wolverines were the
talk of the crowd. Evidently
news of their conference title
had gotten around. It became
clear that the majority of the
Tumblers
Last Year's Record: 7-2
LastnYear's Finish: First (Big
Ten
Outlook: Slow and steady wins
the race
heretofore non - partisan fans
were now pulling for Michigan to
pull one more upset.
But then, when the roof caved
in in those last two deciding
events it was a moment to feel
sorry for the battling Michigan'
ders. Maybe it was the pressure
because every one who missed a
routine was a freshman or a
sophomore. The old reliables Ray
Gura, Ward Black and Bob John-
son were all brilliant,. But the
youngsters, well, one dramatic
breathtaker was all they pull out
of the fire this season.
There's an old adage in sports
that says, "Close only counts in
horseshoes, hand grenades, and
dancing." Yet, although the end
of the season was a disappointing
moment, the overall feats of the
team must not be underrated.
Much of the credit must go to
Loken. Starting the season with
only Gura, Black, Terry Boys
and Monty Falb as proven enti-
ties a bleak year appeared to lie
in store for the perennially strong
gymnasts. But Loken went to

work with his tremendous linow-
ledge of the sport and started to
build his team.
More importantly, though, he
brought his ever-present zest and
enthusiasm. This, maybe more
than anything else, played 'the
key role in the making of the
squad. Soon it was apparent that
Michigan would have to be reck-
oned with, after they toppled na-
tional powers Southern Illinois
and Oklahoma State. But a Big
Ten loss to Minnesota in a dual
meet seemed to label Michigan
as at most the second place con-
ference team. After Iowa hand-
cuffed the Gophers later on, the
predicted Maize and Blue finish
sunk to third.
A funny thing though: nobody
told Loken and his boys about
it. By now everyond knows the
story of that climactic Big Ten
meet in Bloomington. Setting
back in third place, the Wolver-
ines bolted out of nowhere to grab
the crown.
They did it with heavy support
from the freshmen and sopho-'
mores who were experiencing big
time pressure for the first time.
They, weren't through yet, how-
ever, as the nationals loomed
ahead. Not deceiving themselves
that they could possibly beat two
great teams, Iowa State and
Penn State for the title, Loken's
le-pers set their sights on a
third Place finish.
While the young "Cardiac
Kids": couldn't come through in
the clutch in sunny Oregon, they
certainly provided strong indi-
cations that Michigan will be
even better next year.
Loken is of course very opti-
mistic. "The NCAA's. went a
long way in turning our rookies
to veterans."
The signs .by Loken and the
letters and telegrams of encour-
agement that were posted at
Michigan's team hotel perhaps
best exemplify the unity that
helped Michigan get so far this
season. Every one of them had
the word TEAM on it. Without
that and a fellow named Newt
Loken the Michigan gymnastics
team would have never reached
the heights it did.

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