Page 16-Thursday, May 25, 1978-The Michigan Daily
THE SPORTING VIEWS
'M' '78 baseball. .
the comeback kids
By JAMIE TURNER
There are many sports stories that come out of Michigan every year.
This is a successful University when it comes to athletics, and as such one
can find heart-warming stories concerning the resurgence of a particular
team from the depths of despair to the heights of victory.
The Michigan baseball team is no exception to the rule. When the season
began the Wolverines were considered odds-on favorites to win the Big Ten.
The pitching was solid, and the hitting sufficient to provide scoring punch.
The Wolverines 'came north after their annual trip to Florida with a
respectful, it not awe-inspiring record. "Now," people thought, "the team
will begin their rampage on the way to an NCAA tournament spot."
But it didn't work that way. In popped Mother Nature to take away the
Michigan nine's sharpness. For over a week the season opener was post-
poned due to wet grounds, and with it went much of the offense that Moby
Beedict counted on to blow out opposing teams.
In the doldrums
By the afternoon of April 12th, the worst had arrived. Despite outstand-
ing pitching, Michigan went down to a double dip defeat at the hands of the
University of Detroit 2-0, 3-0. The Big Ten season was nearly at hand, and
practically every other team had been able to put in large amounts of prac-
tice. Minnesota had played nearly twice as many non-conference games as
had Michigan - and worse yet - the Gophers and Wisconsin were to be the
first teams the Wolverines would face.
Starting the conference season on the road is no easy task. As Benedict
once put it, "One bad weekend and you're out of the race before you're in it."
Perhaps it sounds a bit cliche, but it's true, Michigan had to start off well.
So they went 11-1 in the first six weeks of Big Ten play, all but
eliminating the rest of the teams with still two weekends left.
The next question is HOW? How did this team turn itself around in time
to run off 19 victories in its last 26 games and finish 13-3 in the Big Ten? Who
were the players who turned the season around?
Who's to blame?
Again, to paraphrase Benedict, 'Baseball is a team game,' and
nobody displayed that fact better than the Wolverines in the last part of the
season. But the fact remains that there were certain people who were in-
strumental in getting Michigan where it is now, preparing for the NCAA's
The first star has to be Rick Leach. No one in the last sixteen years ac-
complished what the pitcher-turned quarterback-turned center fielder did
this past season.
Big Ten batting champion with a .457 average. 55 hits this season, breaking
Bill Freehan's 1961 mark. Overall batting average of .430, again the highest
since 1961. Second in team runs batted in. Team leader in runs scored. The
list could go on and on. The final result was obvious.
Second star: Steve Howe. Not many people know that the sophomore
from Clarkston sat out much of last week with a bladder infection that was
feared to be much worse. Nevertheless, Howe got out of bed Friday, and by
Sunday was hurling a four hit shut-out - and putting Michigan into the
Howe will soon be declared an All-American, if he isn't one already. His
9-2 record and 1.82 ERA speak for themselves. All in all, another indispen-
sable reason why Michigan is where it is.
Third Star: George Fousiannes. Fousiannes has been moved into the
background the last few weeks with the heroics of his teammates, but
without the big DH from Birmingham, Michigan would not have been in such
good position heading into the stretch.
The mentor himself
For it was Fousiannes who almost singlehandedly accounted for
Wolverine scoring early in the season, when the rest of the batters seemed to
be confronting a pitched ball for the first time. By the middle of May he had
six home runs and 25 rbi's, every one of them seemingly coming in the clut-
Fourth Star: Moby Benedict. It is easy not to take the veteran coach
seriously. Benedict seems to be one long cliche at times, piling up enough
"That's baseball" excuses to make Ralph Houk proud.
But there can be no question that the Coach of the Wolverines did exactly
that: COACH. He didn't give up the ship and panic when Michigan was
struggling, and he didn't let his players get over confident when the,Cam-
pionship was within reach.
Tigers split with
Birds in away twinbill
BALTIMORE (AP)-Andres Mora's
first home run since being recalled
from the minor leagues May 15 gave
Baltimore's Jim Palmer a 1-0 victory
over Detroit for a split of last night's
For more sports, see Page 15
twi-night doubleheader with the Tigers.
The Tigers, who had lost 11 straight
games in Baltimore since July 31, 1976,
won the opener 3-2 on a ninth-inning
single by Aurelio Rodriguez, a late-
inning defensive replacement.
Mora won the nightcap with his
homer off Bob Sykes, who had won his
first three starts for Detroit after being
called up from the minors.
PALMER, 5-4, allowed six hits-two
apiece by Rusty Staub, Jason Thom-
pson and Steve Kemp-while knotching
his 199th career victory. The Tigers
loaded the bases in the sixth on a double
by Thompson and two walks, but
Palmer retired Milt May on a fly ball.
May's third hit of the opener laun-
ched Detroit's winning rally off Dennis
Martinez, 3-3. Steve Dillard ran for May
and scored on the hit by Rodriguez after
being sacrificed to second.
Burn baby burn
Dance instructor Mary "Sarge" Williams leads the players of the Knoxville
Farragut High School football team through a ballet routine during spring
conditioning drills.Step lightly boys.
SPOR TS OF THE DAILY:
A-maya rolls in Italy
ROME-Giant-killer Victor Amaya Bosox cruise
won his second-round match in the
$230,000 Italian Open Tennis Tour- TO8ONTO-Jack Brohamer and
nament yesterday by ousting Colom- Carlton Fisk hit two-run homers and
bian Ivan Molina 4-6, 6-1, 6-4. Mike Torrez tossed a seven-hitter for
The unranked Amaya, a 23-year-old his sixth victory as the Boston Red Sox
University of Michigan graduate, had downed the Toronto Blue Jays 8-2 last
eliminated seventh-seeded Corrado night.
Barazzutti of Italy in the first round Brohamer's first home run of the
Tuesday. seasop, which gave the Red Sox a 2-0
Another American, third-ranked lead with two out in the second inning,
Brian Gottfried, whipped Australian came against former Tiger Dave
Colin Dibley 6-1, 6-3, and fourth-seeded Lemanczyk, 1-8, with Fred Lynn
Eddie Dibbs of the United States aboard via a walk. Rick Burleson's
disposed of Argentine Jose Clerc 6-1, 6-3 bloop double and Jerry Remy's single
in second-round play yesterday. produced the third Boston run in the
Tennis' latest giant-killer is a giant third.
himself, taller and sturdier than some Boston got its sixth run in the seventh
basketball centers. inning without a hit off Joe Coleman,
Amaya, of Holland, Mich., 6-foot-7 another former Tiger, making his first
and 220 pounds, stunned the tourney appearance in a Toronto uniform.
Tuesday by ousting national hero Dwight Evans walked, took second on
Barazzutti 6-3, 7-6, overcoming the an infield out, and went to third when
seventh-seeded player as well as a Burleson struck out but reached first on
screaming crowd of 7,000 at the Fora Cerone's passed ball and scored as
Italico clay compound. Remy forced Burleson at second.
Maor League Baseball
Detroit 3-0. Baltimore2-t
Cleveland at New York, pp
Cincinnati S Atlanta4
-chicago 6., Phiiadelphia 4-2
Pittsburgh6 New York5