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March 22, 1996 - Image 12

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-03-22

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t12 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, March 22, 1996

Michigan opens Big Ten season
hoping to give record a boost

By Jim Rose
Daily Sports Writer
It wasn't enough that the Michigan
baseball team had trouble getting
started down south. Thirteen losses in
,14 games is not exactly a blazing
beginning.
i Upon returning north, the Wolver-
Anes were snowed out yesterday, in what
should have been their home opener.
Hardly a home field advantage.
So now, instead of traveling all the
way down to the warm-weather cli-
,mates - where the baseball teams
,,have been practicing all year long -
And since Ray Fisher Stadium would
Abe better suited for ice skates than
baseball spikes, Michigan will try to
split the difference.
The Wolverines are going to Purdue.
The Big Ten season begins tomor-
.°row for Michigan, when Purdue (7-11)
hosts the 1 p.m. doubleheader in West
;Lafayette. The series will continue Sun-
day with another twinbill at the same
time.
. Although the Wolverines are anx-
_ious to. play ball, they probably
wouldn't mind easing their way into
the conference season, rather than
;jumping aright in against an experi-
#enced Boilermakers' squad.
r Purdue returns 21 lettermen from
itast year's team, which finished third
in the Big Ten. Seven of the returners
Kare starters in the field, and 11 are
,pitchers.

After a dismal 1994 campaign when
Purdue finished in the conference cel-
lar, 1995 featured a mature, talented
group of Boilermakers. Purdue sat
atop the Big Ten standings for the
first half of the spring, before stum-
bling and winding up in third place.
Senior catcher Beau Baltzell has
paced the Boilermakers in the early
going this season, hitting .348 to lead
66
"Right now it
looks like (junior
Brian) Steinbach
will Start the
second game. "
-- Chris Harrison
Michigan assistant
baseball coach
the team. Senior Rick Galle is hitting at
a .344 clip while handling duties at the
hot corner.
Another threat in the Purdue lineup
is switch-hitting shortstop Rod
Metzler. After an impressive sopho-
more season (.324), Metzler has been
mentioned as a possible candidate for
Big Ten player of the year honors.
The junior is off to a slow start,
however, hitting just .203 with 16

strikeouts. After playing second base
each of the past two seasons, Metzler
has had a rough time adjusting to
short, committing an atrocious 16 er-
rors in 17 games.
Purdue's pitching staff has been its
strength thus far, with six pitchers
posting ERAs under four. Junior
righties Mike Hedman (3-1, 2.57
ERA) and Chris Bloomer (2-3, 3.60)
are the top two starters.
The Wolverines' pitching, on the
other hand, has struggled. Sophomore
Mike Hribernik (1-2) has the staff's
lowest ERA, at 4.70. Hribernik will
get the nod for Saturday's first game,
said Michigan assistant coach Chris
Harrison.
"Right now it looks like (junior
Brian) Steinbach will start the second
game," Harrison said. "We're not sure
about the rest ofthe weekend, though."
Sunday's starters will probably be
either freshmen Luke Bonner or J.J.
Putz, or senior Mark Temple, who was
slated to take the mound for yesterday's
snow-out.
Junior Mike Cervenak is pacing the
Wolverines at the plate, hitting.355. He
is followed closely by freshman out-
fielder Jason Alcaraz, at .347.
"Mikewill definitely be inthelineup,
but we don't know exactly where yet,"
Harrison said.
Cervenak has seen action at third,
first and DH thus far. For now, the
coaches are more concerned with keep-
ing his bat in the lineup than finding
him a permanent home in the field,
Harrison said.
"(The positions in the field) will be
determinedby several factors," Harrison
said. "(Outfielder) Derek Besco is com-
ing off a wrist injury, but hopefully
he'll be able to play. And (Brian)
Kalczynski has been playing well de-
fensively at third. So we still have some
decisions to make."

The Michigan women's swimming and diving team could only dive into sixth place in the first day of the NCAAs.

Lutheran Campus Ministry Presents:
14th Annual Kauper Lecture
Body, Holy, Sex:
Religious Faith and Sensuous Feast
Dr. Elizabeth Bettenhausen
Social Ethicist, Theologian, Writer
Boston, Massachusetts
Sunday, March 24,4:00 P.M.
Squire, Sanders and Dempsy Auditorium
Room 120
University of Michigan Law School
Reception Following
The Public is cordially invited to attend
Other Events in Connection with Lecture
Sunday, March 24, 10:00 A.M., Dr. Bettenhausen
will preach and lead an "Afterword" on
"The Church's Impasse on Sex."
Lord of Light Lutheran Church, 801 S. Forest at Hill
668-7622

dence won) their tournament, and leader with 10 goals and 50 assists, the first five.
TOU N EY~ Minnesota also won their tournament. has been one of Michigan's most con- And Michigan's defensive unit
But we play pretty good defense, and sistent contributors all season. The been as potent as its offense. Over!c
Continued from Page 11 I like our goaltending and special senior suffered a deep thigh bruise in past six games, Michigan has givei
But this year, Providence will not teams." the CCHA championship game last up just 11 goals (five in one game
have to sit at home. The Friars im- If Minnesota advances, it will be in- Saturday. He did not return to the and have recorded two shutouts in thf
pressed the selection committee after teresting to see game and was span. The Wolverines have eight shut
winning the Hockey East tournament, how Boni n t deemed ques- outs for the season and have allowe(
upsetting Boston University, 5-4, in matches up to I think we tionable at the one goal in 11 separate games
the semifinals and Maine, 3-2, in the Michigan's pair time forthe early Michigan's defense averages onl:
finals. of centers, match Up pretty rounds of the 2.34 goals against per game, tops it
Providence is led by Joe Hulbig, B r e n d a n NCAAs. How- the nation.
who was named player of the week Morrison and well agaist either ever, Hilton re- Netminder Marty Turco is the 1
and tournament MVP for his efforts. Kevin Hilton. F! turned to prac- link in Michigan's defensive ch
The junior forward had five total M o rr i s o n , t Eed tice this week The sophomore goaltender holds
points in the two games, including the also a Hobey - Red Berenson and will skate 2.20 goals-against average and is see
game-winner against Maine. Baker finalist. Michigan hockey coach, on. Sunday. ond in the nation in goaltending.
So how do the Wolverines stack up grabbed one as- "I f w e play Michigan's tournament experiene
against the competition? sist against the Providence and Minnesota Providence, then may give it the edge over Providence
"I think we match up pretty well Gophers in the they're the un- but possibly not Minnesota, whic
against either team," Michigan coach College Hockey Showcase. It was only derdog," Berenson said. "If it's Min- has made 11 straight playoff appeai
Red Berenson said Saturday after the his sixth game of the year after suffer- nesota, they are a team we have seen ances, the longest such string of an
seedings were announced. "(Provi- ing a knee injury at the start of the and respect. Both are top teams. We college hockey program inthe natio

,....

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