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September 08, 1988 - Image 76

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1988-09-08

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Page 4 - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 8, 1988

SPRING

Blue batters
* Big Ten in
m elodram a
BY MICHAEL SALINSKY
The 1989 Michigan baseball team should put on quite a show for the
Ann Arbor faithful. If 1987 was a "rebuilding" year and 1988 was a year
of "growth," then 1989 may be a year of "fulfillment" for many of the
young Wolverines.
In 1987, the Wolverines were the surprise hit of the season. Head
coach Bud Middaugh captured his sixth Big Ten title in eight years de-
spite his major reconstruction of the team. In that season, first year
players Phil Price, Rich Samplinski, Chris Gagin, and Greg McMurtry
all logged 100 or more at-bats for a Michigan team that batted .315 for
the season.
THE 1988 TEAM was like a drama in four acts. In act one,
Michigan - ranked as high as number two in the preseason - dropped
five of its first six, finishing the year-opening spring trip to Texas at a
disappointing 5-5.
In act two, the Wolverines won 30 of 32, including 13 of 14 against
Big Ten foes. The potent Michigan offense scored in double digits 11
times. In one stretch, super sophomore Price homered in five consecu-
tive doubleheaders.
The top two starters on the staff, Jim Abbott and Mike Ignasiak,
both went 6-0 over the 32-game stretch in which Michigan took control
of the Big Ten race.
BUT IN ACT THREE, the story. line changed dramatically. The
seemingly invincible Wolverines became vincible - hit heavy by in-
juries to Price, catcher Darrin Campbell and infielder Jim Durham, who
was slow to regain form after hamstring problems.
The villains in act three were Wisconsin, which split four games
with Michigan in Ann Arbor, and Ohio State, which came in the fol-
lowing weekend and took three of four from the Wolverines.
Those series and a twin-bill split with arch-rival Michigan State
made the Big Ten race a scramble, with Ohio State and Wisconsin only
two games back with four games remaining.
AT PRESS TIME, act four hadn't been written, but all the ele-
ments were in place for a suspenseful finish. Heading into four games
at Indiana, the Wolverines needed one win to assure themselves a spot
in the four-team Big Ten playoffs, and three wins to win the regular
season race and host those playoffs.
Whatever the results in 1988, next year's cast of characters provide
an optimisticoutlook for the upcoming season.
IAREA'S HOTTEST SAILBOARD SHOP!

JOHN MUNSON/Doi ,s
Shortstop Bill St. Peter celebrates a home run against Minnesota. St. Peter is one Michigan
athlete who balances a home life - a wife and child - with school and sports.
Washington chops down
stereotypes, opp onents

BY MIKE GILL
Changing times with old values.
Malivai Washington stole the
show last year. He was the rookie
phenomenon of the men's tennis
team.
Before coming to Michigan,
Washington had a list of accom-
plishments that would stretch a
country mile: quarterfinals of the
Junior Wimbledon Championships;
finals of the National Indoor Tour-
nament; the U.S. Open singles
round of sixteen; U.S. Open doubles
semifinals; and member of the 1987
U.S. Davis Cup team.
MANY accomplishments, many
awards. What makes a person so
young so good? Tennis coaches with
European accents? Gadgets with
electronic control panels resembling
the space shuttle's?
How about dad?
"He's everything in the world,"
Washington said. "My dad's the one
who taught me everything I know
about tennis.
"My father is the only one who's

coached me from when I started (age
5) 'til when I was 16 years old. He
still has an influence. I still g o
home and work with him."
Washington, who hails from
Swartz Creek, claims his father is a
"self-taught tennis player who just
got me started."
START HE DID. Washington
played in his first tournament at age
seven and won his first competition
at the tender age of eight. Now he's
moved to college competition after
spending a term at a Florida tennis
academy and working last year in
Grand Rapids with former Michigan
star netter Victor Amaya.
"He's just a tremendous athlete,"
coach Brian Eisner said. "What we're
trying to do is come up with a style
of game in which we feel he can at-
tain his maximum effectiveness. I
want to build his game around his
power base."
Power base, indeed. Detroit Edi-
son should check into this one.
Washington's power in his serve and
baseline work is - for a lack of a

WAS H TE NAW

w4/ s4

d

Boards Featured
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Sails

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« GAASTRA " NEIL PRYDE
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better word - overpowering. Eisner
wants to leash Washington's
strength into what he calls "control
power."
"THERE'S A fine line between
power and trying to do too much,"
Eisner said. "At this level, what is
ultimately going to happen is you're
going to pay the piper and lose the
match when you let your power get
out of control. Situations he used to
get out of, he won't now."
Washington had several reasons
to attend Michigan. One was a
chance for a national championship.
Another was proximity to home -
"It's about 45 minutes from home
so it's easy to see my parents." Fi-
nally, it's loyalty - "Michigan is
my home state," he said.
Old values. But in changing
times.
Malivai Washington is Black.
Being a Black tennis player is as
common as Middle East peace - it
happens, but not very often. Wash-
ington is entering uncharted waters.
"THAT'S TRUE," Wash-
ington said. "I don't feel un-
comfortable with it. I guess I feel
kind of privileged."
"I feel fortunate because not too
many Blacks either have a chance to
get into tennis or they just don't get
into it, period."
Washington's heroes are not only
Arthur Ashe and Chip Hooper, two
Black players who made it to the
top, but other great players such as
Bjorn Borg and Jimmy Connors as
well. "In a way they were role mod-
els because someday you'd like to be
as good as them," Washington said.
In his first year, Washington was
the number three singles player, be-
hind only Ed Nagel and Dan Gold-
berg. The sky is his only limit. And
higher he climbs.
"I don't feel uncomfortable with
it."
Changing times.
"The main thing is, tennis is a
whole lot of fun."
Old values.

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