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April 17, 1995 - Image 15

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-04-17

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The Michigan Daily - Monday, April 17, 1995 - 15

Herr set to hurl tomorrow
'M' hockey forward will appear against Central Michigan

By Nicholas J. Cotsonika
Daily Baseball Writer
Matt Herr is doing something Wayne Gretzky never
could. He's playing the two sports he loves at a high level.
When the freshman righthander takes the mound against
Central Michigan 3 p.m. tomorrow at Fisher Stadium, he
will be one up on the future Hall of Fame center. As kids,
both grew up loving hockey and baseball, and both had
futures in the sports.
But only Herr has continued to play in both the winter
and the summer.
As a center and left wing on the Michigan hockey
team, Herr saw action in this year's NCAA Tournament
and helped the Wolverines to a CCHA regular season
He tallied 11 goals and eight assists for 19 points in his
first season on the ice. Now he will head to the hill to work
on his earned run average.
"I'm really excited about getting a chance to play (both
sports)," Herr said. "(Tomorrow) will be the first time I've
thrown in a game since my last high school game last
What a high school year that was. Herr followed a
hockey season in which he scored 53 points in 20 games,
was selected to the All-New England Prep Division I
Team and taken by the Washington Capitals in the fourth
round, with an stellar baseball campaign.
He was selected as the Hotchkiss School's Most
Valuable Player and led the squad in batting average.

His heroics - and his 86 mile per hour fastball -
earned him visits from college recruiters and a 29th-
round selection by the Atlanta Braves in the 1994
amateur baseball draft.
But Herr decided not to sign as a professional baseball
player. He only would have made the minimum rookie
salary, and after all, he was going to Michigan.
"If you sign a baseball contract you lose your hockey
scholarship," Herr said. "Atlanta would have had to pick
it up, and they weren't willing to do that."
So, Herr just gets to do what he loves at the collegiate
level. He says that both the Michigan hockey and baseball
coaches have been very supportive of his efforts, even
though hockey is his top priority.
"Everyone is understanding of my situation," Herr
said. "(Michigan baseball coach Bill) Freehan has been
very cooperative. They just hope that I can get myself into
shape to I can contribute."
Herr even missed his first chance to appear in a
baseball game last Thursday against Eastern Michigan
because of hockey. He left during the seventh inning to go
to a hockey meeting, and in the meantime, Michigan
assistant baseball coach Ace Adams was looking for him
to pitch.
"They were even great about that," Herr said. "They're
just looking for me to do all that I can, and if I do that, the
coaches have no problem. It's just great because I get to do
both, and I love it."
Even Wayne Gretzky can't say that.

Michigan outfielder Rodney Goble dives for home plate during Saturday's doubleheader against Michigan State.

Spartan skipper still
likes Blue's chances

By John Leroi
Daily Baseball Writer
EAST LANSING - Almost ev-
ery weekend, the Michigan baseball
team seems to pick up a split. Its 5-7
Big Ten record is nothing to shout
about. And for a team that was picked
to finish as high as second in the
conference, the Wolverines have been
an utter disappointment.
Heading into the weekend, Michi-
gan was alone in the Big Ten cellar.
But surprisingly enough, even af-
ter their usual mediocre weekend, the
Wolverines picked up some praise
from an admirer: Michigan State skip-
per Tom Smith.
After the series split, the 1992 Big
Ten coach of the year had nothing but
lauds for the guys in Blue. Sitting in
the dugout, chewing on sunflower
seeds, Smith seemed like anything
but an intrastate rival.
"(Michigan) is a good team,"
Smith said. "They.'ve got some good
players and they've got some really
good players."
Smith feels that the Wolverines
could still win the Big Ten crown.
"They have got a lot of talent," the
13-year coach said. "They are better
than they've been performing.
They've just got to break loose."
Of course, the grass always looks
greener on the other side of the fence.
Michigan coach Bill Freehan was not
thrilled with his teams performance
against Smith's ballclub.
"I'm not very happy with the way
we performed," Freehan said. "I don't
think the players are happy with it
"If you're Michigan State, a split
keeps you above .500 and right in the
conference race. A split doesn't give
us anything except keep us two games
below .500."
BACK-To-BACK: The Wolverines

cranked back-to-back homeruns
against Michigan State twice on Sat-
In the nightcap, designated hitter
Scott Weaver followed centerfielder
Brian Simmons' homer with one of
his own. First baseman Chad
Chapman and third baseman Kelly
Dransfeldt teamed up for a back-to-
back effort in the fourth inning of the
first game.
Saturday marked the first time this
season an opposing pitcher gave up
back-to-back homeruns to the Wol-
The last time Michigan smacked
consecutive homers was at Michigan
State last year. Chapman and Ryan
Van Oeveren combined for those two
taters April 24.
The Wolverines must really get
psyched up for games with the Spar-
tans. The last time, Michigan
knocked back-to-back homeruns at
Fisher Stadium was against Michi-
gan State.
A-NIEMIEC: Wolverine catcher
Scott Niemiec is known for his defen-
sive prowess behind the plate. How-
ever, the senior backstop carried a big
bat for Michigan last season, with a
lofty .331 batting average.
However, in his last seven games,
Niemiec has only two hits in 17 at-
bats. Niemiec is hitting just .124 with
only 13 hits all season.
Worse yet, Niemiec hits even
worse when it counts. Coming into
the weekend, the senior was batting a
.100 in Big Ten action -worst among
the nine regular starters and second-
worst on the team.
But, to deepen the wound, Niemiec
went 1-for-12 at the plate in four
games with Michigan State to drop
his batting average to .095 -- the
absolute worst of any Wolverine with
more than one at-bat.

Continued from page 12
feet further than Chapman's.
Mark Temple (3-4) went the dis-
tance for the Wolverines, scattering
six hits over seven innings. Temple
surrendered only two earned runs,
one in the final inning, in his finest
performance of the season. The jun-
ior fanned seven Spartans and gave
up just two walks.
Trevor Harvey (2-5) took the loss
for Michigan State.
In yesterday's second game,
redshirt freshman Brian Steinbach
(1-2), gave up three runs on three
hits in the first inning, but didn't
surrender another Spartan hit and
grabbed his first collegiate victory,
Facing a 3-1 deficit in the sixth,
Weaver nailed a two-run homer, his
second of the weekend, to rightfield
to put the Wolverines on top for
good. Weeks took the loss to fall to
2-1 on the year..
Goble led with Michigan with
two hits and an RBI.
Michigan closer John Arvai
pitched out of a tight jam in the
seventh inning.
With runners on first and second
and nobody out, Arvai struck out
Zack Casey and Scott Ayotte before
getting Matt Riggins to ground out
to second to pick up his third save of
the year.
"It just shows you the caliber of
play in the Big Ten," Freehan said.
"This was a really tough game."
Freehan saw most of the last in-
ning from the team bus after getting
tossed out of the game.
Saturday night, Michigan blew
early leads of 2-1 and 4-2 and
couldn't muster more than two sev-
enth inning runs, falling to the Spar-
tans, 9-6.
The Wolverines' final two runs
came on back-to-back homers by

Michigan's Scott Weaver slides in safely Saturday. The Wolverines and Spartans split all four games.

centerfielder Brian Simmons and
Freshman Derek Besco (0-3)
pitched 2/3 of an inning to take the
loss for Michigan. Tom Olejnik (4-
0) grabbed the complete game vic-
tory for the Spartans.
Weaver was 3-for-3 at the plate,
knocking in two runs and scoring
three himself. Dransfeldt and sec-
ond baseman Kirk Beermann also
collected two hits for Michigan.
Michigan State won yesterday's
opener, 5-2, on Marty Patterson's
three-run homer in the ninth inning
off Michigan starter Matt Ferullo
The Wolverines sent the game
into extra innings on Simmons two-
run shot with two outs in the sev-
Pat Hachenski (1-1) took over in
the top of the eighth inning to pick
up the win for the Spartans. Goble
was 2-for-5 and Weaver 2-for-4 for


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