The Michigan Daily - Monday, March 10, 1997 - 3B
'M' baseball heats up down south
Michigan wins Rollins tournament, extends winning streak to eight
By B.J. Luria
Daily Sports Writer
After giving up 62 runs in the first
three games of the season at Alabama, it
looked like Michigan would be looking
at more of the same when it gave up 12
runs in its next game aganst Stetson.
But that was before the Wolverines
feeled off eight straight victories in
Michigan coach Geoff Zahn was
pleased with the team's improvement
after losing the three games at Alabama
by a combined score of 62-13.
"It was good for us to come down
and win some games, games that we
0should win," Zahn said. "The key was
getting outside. Some of these guys
were puting on the spikes for the first
Despite blowing a 10-run lead
against Stetson in Deland, Fla., and
going on to lose the game, 12-10, a
,leek ago Saturday, the Wolverines
v:ere able to bounce back and beat
:stetson the next day, 8-4.
In the loss on Saturday, Michigan
cored 10 runs in the first four innings
°ehind junior right fielder Derek
Besco's home run and four RBI.
-sophomore J.J. Putz retired the first
,,.nine batters he faced before allowing
,:eight runs in the fourth inning.
In the second game of the weekend,
the Michigan hurlers held their oppo-
-nents under 10 runs for the first time
this season. Michigan again jumped out
to an early lead, and this time, held off
a late Stetson rally.
Junior Brian Steinbach pitched six
scoreless innings to pick up his, and
Michigan's, first win of the season.
Immediately following the weekend
series, the Wolverines traveled to
Winter Park for the Rollins Baseball
Week Tournament, where they played
seven more games in seven days.,
Monday, Michigan defeated Virginia
Tech, 9-4. The Wolverines were led by
sophomore third baseman Mike
By Josh Kleinbaum
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan softball team had a
busy break, finishing second and
third in two tournaments and sweep-
ihg a doubleheader.
In the Speedline Invitational in
Tampa, Fla., yesterday, the seventh-
ranked Wolverines (15-5-1) dropped
the championship game to No. 4
South Carolina, 2-0.
The Gamecocks took advantage of
two Michigan errors, with both of their
runs coming unearned. Senior Kelly
Holmes (5-3) pitched all seven innings
for the Wolverines but took the loss.
Gamecocks' pitcher Trinity
Johnson had a career game, striking
out 10 in seven innings of work. She
let up six hits, two more than
Holmes, but was able to work out of
jams with strikeouts. Johnson was
named the tournament's Most
In the semifinal game, the
Wolverines took advantage of solid
pitching to defeat No. 25 Michigan
* Junior Sara Griffin recorded the
shutout, improving her record to 9-0.
It was Griffin's 65th career win,
which moved her into a tie for sec-
ond on the Michigan all-time victory
tist. Griffin helped her own cause in
the first, driving in two runs with a
single in the three-run Michigan
In yesterday's quarterfinal game, it
was Jamie Gillies' turn to shutdown
the opposition from the mound.
Gillies recorded her first career
shutout, holding Ball State to just
four hits. Jennifer Smith was 2-for-3
at the plate for the Wolverines, and
knocked in two runs.
The other major highlights of the
tournament took place on the first
Griffin pitched the opening game
on March 7 against Marshall. In the
sixth inning, with the game knotted
at two, Griffin hit the first grand
slam of her three-year career, leading
the Wolverines to a 6-2 victory.
The homerun was Griffin's 1 Ith of
her career, tying Michigan's all-time
.career home run record. Griffin also
picked up the win.
- Outfielder Kyllen Tate and first
baseman Traci Conrad both went 3-
for-5 for the Wolverines.
In the day's second game, the
freshman Gillies pitched her first-
ever no-hitter. The Wolverines
defeated Temple, 10-0, in a game
abbreviated due to the mercy rule.
The game was called after five
because of Michigan's 10-run lead.
Cervenak, who opened the scoring with
a two-out, three-run double in the top of
the second inning. Michigan never
looked back as sophmore Luke Bonner
pitched seven innings and allowed three
earned runs to push his record to 1-1.
Sophomore first baseman Bryan Besco
ripped his second home run of the sea-
son in Michigan's four-run fifth.
Tuesday, the Wolverines extended
their win streak to three by defeating
Maine, 12-6. The game remained close
as runs were scored in each of the first
With Michigan leading 9-6 in the
bottom of the eighth, Bryan Besco put
the game out of reach with a three-run
home run. The Besco brothers knocked
in four runs apiece. Bryan leads the
team with 13 RBI while Derek is sec-
ond with 11. Sophomore Brian
Berryman picked up his first win of the
season while Cervenak suffered a bro-
ken nose early in the game.
The Wolverines played the tourna-
ment host, Rollins College, on
Wednesday. Michigan did not show its
host much respect, however, as the
Wolverines used a nine-run first inning
to cruise to a 15-8 victory. They were
also helped by six Rollins errors.
Sophomore Bobby Scales collected
his first two collegiate home runs and
knocked in seven runs. The switch-hit-
ting Scales pulled an Eddie Murray spe-
cial when he hit a grand slam in the first
inning from the left side of the plate,
and knocked a three-run homer over the
fence while batting right-handed in the
eighth. Junior pitcher Tyler Steketee
became the fourth Michigan hurler in
four days to pick up his first win of the
season, and the Wolverines pushed their
record to 4-4.
Thursday saw more of the same for
Michigan. The Wolverines pushed
seven runs across in the first three
innings en route to an 11-2 vicotry. Putz
pitched six innings of five-hit baseball
to pick up his first win of the season
Sollenberger in Paradise
Blue basketball and
football:" Powers no)
t's a source of pride for you.
As a Michigan student, its what you want to believe. You know what I'm talk-
ing about. It's that spiel you give all your friends who go to those "lesser"
So - you might say to a friend -.}ou think your college has a good basket-
ball andfootball team? iell, my school owns two ofthe nation s to/)-ire pro-
grains in both basketball and football. So there!!! You can't beat that'!!!
There's just one problem. This was true 10 years ago.
Today, it's a lie.
Stop deluding yourselves, Michigan fans. The Wolverines no longer rank
among the nation's best on the court and the gridiron.
Elite football programs don't lose four games each season like Michigan has
for the past four. Elite programs don't go to the (Your Silly Sponsor Here) Bowl
every year like the Wolverines have over the four-year span. Elite programs don't
lose to Purdue like Michigan did this season.
You want elite? Try Florida. The Gators' record over the past four seasons is :
45-6-1. Over the same span, Michigan has lost 10 more games than Florida.
Elite basketball programs don't lose more than 10 games each season like
Michigan has for the past three. Elite programs don't lose in the first round of
the NCAA tournament like Michigan did in both 1995 and '96. Elite programs
don't miss the tournament like the Wolverines did this year.
You want elite? Try Kentucky. The Wildcats' record over the past three years is
92-11. Right now, Michigan would have to win 73 games in a row to equal this*
You're probably saying, "OK, smart gut; what's the explanationfor Michigans
I don't have one. At least, I don't have an under-five-million-word explana-
But I can trace the roots of the Wolverines' downfall. That's easy.
For football, it started back in the fall of 1993. Michigan had won an incredible'
five Big Ten titles in a row and seemed poised to make a run at the national title.
But in the second game of the season. the third-ranked Wolverines were
drilled by Notre Dame.
They haven't recovered since.
See PARADISE, Page 51
After starting the season 04, the Michigan baseball team won eight games over
the past week - five of them without Mike Cervenak, who broke his nose.
and Derek Besco went 3-for-4 with two
doubles and three RBI, pushing him to
a team-leading 15 RBI.
Michigan copied its blueprint for
success against Maine on Friday to
wrap up the tournament championship.
The Wolverines used only two hits to
score six runs in the first inning. One
run would have been enough as Brian
Steinbach shut out the Black Bears. 12-
0. Maine managed only three hits
against the junior who pitched his first
complete-game shutout of the season
and bumped his record to 2-1. Derek
Besco picked up a bases-loaded walk in
the first inning to record his third game-
winning RBI in three days,
Michigan completed the tournament
sweep with a 13-5 victory over Rollins
on Saturday to run its record to 7-4.
Brian Besco once again keyed the
offensive attack, breaking open a 5-5 tic
with a three-run double in the sixth
See BASEBALL, Page 5B
res well over break
the bottom of the third. The victory was
Griffin's second shutout of the tourna-
ment - the first coming in a 3-0 victo-
ry over Utah State in the opening game
of the three-day affair.
The Silver Championship - also
known as the consolation game -
pitted the teams that finished third
and fourth in the preliminary rounds
against each other.
The Wolverines went 5-1 in the
tournament. They picked up wins
against Princeton, 7-2, Nicholls State,
3-1, and another win over Nebraska
in the preliminary rounds, 2-0, as
well as the win over Utah State and
the Silver Championship game.
Michigan also picked up a pair of vic-
tories in a mid-week doubleheader at
Alabama, its first doubleheader of the
Griffin earned the win in the open-
er, as the Wolverines bested the
Crimson Tide, 4-3. Alabama scored
all three of its runs in the bottom of
the first, all unearned.
In the nightcap, Holmes struck out
seven, as Michigan beat Alabama, 5-2.
The Wolverines used a four-run fifth
inning to break a 1-1 deadlock.
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