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April 15, 1996 - Image 17

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-04-15

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BASEBALL

The Michigan Daily -- SPORTSMonday -- Monday, April 15, 1996 - 7B

I-AND-RUN
Continuedi from Page 1B
his record to 4-2.
tn yesterday's opening game, Wild-
cat riglitfielder Jim Reeder supplied
Northwestern with its only runs of the
contest as he crushed a three-run homer
over the right field fence in the third
inning off Michigan pitcher Brian
Steinibach. The dinger put the Wildcats
*front 3-1.
But Steinbach (3=2) settled down,
pitching a seven-inning complete game
and picked up the win, thanks to the
Wolverines' pesky extra-inning play.
.Michigan broke a 3-3 tie in the eighth
inning on Jason Alcaraz's fielder choice
with the based loaded. Cervenak came
home to score the tie-breaking run and
made it' home on Josh Levey's° wild
pitch togive Michigan a5-3 lead. North-
Sestern coach Paul Stevens felt his
uad was in too much of a giving
mood.. r
"Wei did have leads, and we gave
away a lot runs with two outs or two
strikes," Stevens said. "We gave a lot of
things away this weekend. I kind of felt
like Santa Claus."
Greg Ziesemer suffered the loss for
the Wildcats as his record fell to 2-2.
In Michigan's victory in the second
Ome, Michigan broke open a 1-1 game
with a seven-run ninth inning. Wildcat
pitcher Mark Seaman, in his third in-
ning of relief, hit the next two Michigan
batters._- Kallahar and pinch-hitter
Ryan :Kelly. Cervenak walked to load
the bases. Beermann then walked and
Kallahar trotted home from third for the
tie-breaking run. Next, Alcaraz roped a
liner just inside the first base line for a
bases-clearing triple, giving the Wol-
erines a commanding 5-1 lead.
*Michigan's Mark Temple pitched a
nine-inning complete game, giving up
five, hits and two runs to pick up his
sixth straight victory. His record stands
at 6-3. The Wolverines' only loss came
when Chris Pederson cracked a grand-
slam in the bottom of the sixth off Arvai
that put Northwestern on top, 5-2.

Wolverines finaily
reach .500 mark

By Will Mccahili
Daily Sports Writer
EVANSTON -Who woulda thunk
it?
After the

last game of
Michigan's
spring-break
roadtrip, the
Wolverines
were 1-13,and
it already
looked like
coach Geoff
Zahn's first
season at the

-~i

helm would be a washout, if not a
complete drowning.
But since the last loss of that roadtrip
almost a month ago, the Wolverines
have gone 16-4, and now find them-
selves at .500 for the season.
"To start out 1-13 is tough," sopho-
more Derek Besco said. "But we
battled back, and now we're at .500."
His brother echoed these senti-
ments.
"it took a long time, but we're fi-
nally there," pitcher and designated
hitter Bryan Besco said. "We should
be on our way now."~
After reaching the .500 mark for
the first time in his career at Michi-
gan, rookie coach Geoff Zahn was
quick to pass the credit to his team.
"It's a credit to them - they've
battled the whole way," Zahn said.
Not only are the Wolverines all-
even for the first time all year, but
they find themselves in first place in
the Big Ten with a 12-4 conference
record.
"We're in first place, and that's all
I can ask for," Derek Besco said.

Michigan's success this season has
surprised few players, either from
among the Wolverines or their latest
victims, the Wildcats.
"Yeah, I thought they were going to
be a very, very good team," North-
western coach Paul Stevens said. "1
thought they were going to be a very
sound, very disciplined team.
"Everything you heard about them
pointed to Geoff doing a great job
with them."
And, so far, that's certainly what
Zahn has done.
This is a team that lost seven start-
ers from last season, including the
Big Ten batting champion. And that
squad finished dead last in the con-
ference.
This year's team is composed al-
most completely of underclassmen,
with only four seniors on the roster.
But here they are, in the conference
driver's seat, with two more confer-
ence wins than last year's team could
eke out in the entire Big Ten season.
Zahn has capitalized on the solid
pitching he had when he arrived, and
has squeezed the young hitters for
everything they could deliver.
His aggressive moves on offense
have made the Wolverines into a
ballclub that can explode for bunches
of runs on short notice. Zahn will
almost always call for a steal or -
what is by now his old standby - the
hit-and-run, whenever there are run-
ners on base.
And as each Michigan run crosses
the plate, one can almost hear the
silence as another doubter- and there
were certainly many among the Wol-
verine baseball faithful this time last
month - clams up.

Just
Released!
TH E A T&T 4 x

JOE WESTRAT/Daily
Michigan freshman Bobby Scales tries to steal third against Michigan State
earlier this season.

J eft aiers dominate - g. - ;
inweekend series '

By Will:J~cCahlll
Daily Sprt Writer
EVANSTON - In Latin, the word
for "left" is "sinister." Sinister is also
probably how the Michigan and North-
*Festern pitching staffs are referring to
each other's lefthanded hitters afterthis
weekend's four games.
The eventual winning runs in three of
the four games came off of the bats of
southpaws.
In Saturday's first game, Wildcat in-
fielder Chris Pedersen single-handedly
beat the Wolverines. He knocked in all
five Northwestern runs in a 5-3 victory,
A ith four of those tallies coming on a
xth-inning grand slam off of
Michigan's John Arvai.
In the second game, Wolverine left
fielder, Jason Alcaraz drove in the runs
that broke the Wildcats' backs, driving
a bases-loaded triple into the rightfield
corner. to blow the game open in the
ninth inning (the second extra frame,
Big Ten doubleheaders being sched-
uled for only seven). In that contest,
Michigan scored seven runs in the ninth
' coast to an 8-2 win.
Sunday's games held more of the
same.,Alcaraz struck again, driving in
the go-ahead run in the first contest, a 5-
3, eight-inning Michigan triumph. All
three of the Wildcat runs in the same
game-were driven in by another lefty,
rightfielder Jim Reeder.
"I don't know I hit it;" Alcaraz said of

his triple Saturday.
Pederson said that the lefthanded hit-
ter has a step up on the righthanded one.
"I do have an advantage as far as
hitting (lefthanded)," Pedersen said.
"The ball's coming in at me, and it's
easier to see, easier to swing."
Northwestern coach Paul Stevens,
however, said his team did not get many
good cuts in Saturday or yesterday.
"I think we had two good swings all
weekend," said Stevens of the Pedersen
and Reeder dingers, which came amidst
an otherwise lethargic hitting effort from
his team.
Wolverine pitcher Mark Temple,
who got off relatively lightly against
Northwestern's southpaw hitters in
Saturday's second game (lefifielder
Mike Stritch knocked in one of the
two Wildcat runs), said he tries not to
treat the odd-handed hitters any dif-
ferently.
"It doesn't really affect me when I
go out there and pitch," the Michigan
senior said. "I'm going to try to pitch
to my strength and not their weak-
ness."
Fortunately for Michigan, Pedersen
was the only Wildcat lefty to do to the
Wolverines any real damage, Reeder's
ultimately inconsequential homer aside.
Northwestern has four other lefthanded
batters in the everyday lineup, and the
combined averages of all five going
into the weekend was .338.

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JOE WESTRATE/Daily
Kirk Beermann, shown here siiding Into second two weeks ago at Michigan State, contributed to Michigan's weekend
successes with a couple of hits and a pair of runs.

y~r A \ 1 1 1 ' ,
Besco brthr la

Contests! Prizes!

By Jlames Goldstein
Daily Sports Writer
It was doubly sweet for the brothers
against Northwestern this weekend.
Derek and Brian Besco both contrib-
uted in Michigan's three victories over
the Wildcats.
Derek was smoking the ball almost
every time at bat. He went 9-for- 16 in the
four game series, including 6-for-8 in
yesterday's games. His batting average is
now up to a scorching .466.
"I feel good out there," Besco said.

confidence in him."
Brian said that he had command of his
favorite pitch.
"My fastball is my best pitch, and that's
been working real well for me," Brian
said. "I just kept throwing it, and my
defense made great plays, and I made
good pitches."
RUNNERS sTRANDED: Even though the
Wolverines cameout on top in yesterday's
5-2 victory in the second game, Michigan
had trouble bringing home runners on
base.
In all, the Wolverines left a season-
high 12 runners on base. There were
numerous opportunities for Michigan to
break the game wide open. One example
was the fifth inning when Jason Alcaraz
stepped up to the plate with runners on
first and third with two outs. The Wolver-
ines had just increased the lead to 2-0 on
Kirk Beermann's RBI single, and
Alcaraz had a chance to give-the Wolver-

I

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"Couple of times
(Michigan coach
Geoff Zahn) is giv-
ingmeahit-and-run,
and he's letting me
swing away, and I
got a good pitches to
hit."
Derek said he
didn't hit any long

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