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April 03, 1997 - Image 11

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-04-03

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The Michigan Daily - Thursday, April 3, 1997 - 11A

Despite losses, Michigan
baseball remains patient

By Kevin Kasiborski
Daily Sports Writer
YPSILANTI - After sweeping four
games from defending Big Ten champi-
on Penn State over the weekend, the
Michigan baseball team appeared to be
on a roll.
But instead of riding that momentum
into this week, the Wolverines have
dropped two games to a pair of Mid-
American Conference schools.
Tuesday, they were shut out by
Bowling Green, 5-0, and yesterday they
fell to Eastern Michigan, 14-7.
"I don't know what it was today;"
Michigan coach Geoff Zahn said.
"Yesterday we were definitely flat. We
had a big series in the Big Ten. There is
no question that our guys get sky high
forthe Big Ten, and there was a letdown
yesterday. There shouldn't have been a
letdown today."
The score from yesterday's contest
appears lopsided, but the game was
tight until Eastern sent 12 men to the
plate in the sixth inning and scored
eight runs.

Leading 5-3, the first six Eagles
reached safely against Michigan pitcher
Luke Bonner to blow the game open.
Despite the loss, there were some
positive results to come out of the
game. The Wolverines' offense returned
to form, producing seven runs after
being shut out Tuesday for the first time
all season.
"You score seven runs, and you ought
to win the ballgame," Zahn said.
The warm spring weather yesterday
was an advantage for the hitters on
both sides, as balls hit in the air carried
well.
Bryan Besco hit a pair of mammoth
home runs to account for Michigan's
first three runs, and Mike Cervanek hit
his second round-tripper of the year.
The Michigan pitchers surrendered
four home runs to Eastern. Two came
in the decisive sixth inning, including
a two-run shot by' catcher Chris
Prozorowicz over the 390 foot sign in
straight-away centerfield.
"It was a good hitting day, but both
teams have good hitting," Eastern

Michigan coach Roger Coryell said.
"Some of the pitches were not as good
as the pitchers would like to make. Both
teams are good hitting ball clubs.'
In addition to his hitters, Zahn was
also happy with the performance of his
first two pitchers, Ryan Kelly and
Bryan Cranson.
"Cranson threw very well today. He
should have gotten out with no runs,'
he said. "We kicked some balls around.
We didn't catch balls we should have.
Ryan Kelly is getting better. We jtst
have to find the right combination bf
guys pitching"
The purpose of the midweek games
is to get the pitchers work and alIow
Zahn opportunity to find the winning
combination he seeks.
Michigan may suffer a few losses
because the Wolverine skipper
removes a pitcher who is throwing
well in order to get somebody else
some work. But it may be worth it
later in the season, when Zahn knows
exactly what he can expect from.his
pitchers.

*Wolverines have dropped two games in the last two days, killing the momentum gained from four wins over Penn State-
ast weekend.
Griffin hurls toward career year,
ties RBI record with double

Take The EasyWay
I Out Of College. I

Posh Kleinbaum
- Sports Writer
.KALAMAZOO -Someone for-
lot to tell Sara Griffin that she has a
whole year left to play softball at
Mlichigan.
At least, that's the way she plays.
The junior pitcher is having a
:areer year. Her 15-1 record and
ERA under 1.00 make her a candi-
late for Big Ten pitcher of the year.
And she's breaking records, too.
Uriffin's bases-loaded double in
he second game of
a doubleheader :
weep over Western
vlichigan yesterday
gave her 131 career
B T, tying the 1
Michigan record
teld by Traci Carr.
In the first game,
C 'ffin turned in
, ther solid per-
Formance - this time from the
nvond.
The hurler held Western Michigan
o one earned run, earning her the
:omplete-game victory. The win
>rought her career total to 71 - one
hy of the record held by former
ic'higan All-American Kelly
(Kvich.
riffin's ability to get out of jams
a win games even when she's hav-
ng off days has helped her cause -
and having a great supporting cast
Iden'thurt. either

"Sara isn't always at her best, and
I don't think today was one of her
best performances," Michigan coach
Carol Hutchins said. "But I think as
the game went on, she got better and
better.
"And pitchers get the win, but it's
a team effort, and we win 5-2
because we get that team effort. So I
give Sara a lot of credit, but it's still
a team effort."
BREAKOUT FOR SKEETER: Melissa
(Skeeter) Gentile had a breakout day
for the Wolverines. The third base-
man/catcher hit 3-for-3 in the opener
yesterday, missing the cycle by a
home run.
The freshman's .231 batting aver-
age going into yesterday's games is
deceiving.
"Skeeter is very capable of hitting
better than her .230-something aver-
age," Hutchins said. "She's a big
power hitter.She's got to cut down on
her swing, and that's what we're
working on constantly to get her
more consistency and base hits."
Gentile also brings offensive
strength to a position that the
Wolverines have struggled in -
catcher. The other two catchers on
the team are both hitting below the
Mendoza line. But her offensive
prowess doesn't come without its
price.
Gentile has committed six errors
this season. The other catchers have
combined for one.

TERRIFIC TRIO: Jaime Gillies has
quickly become an integral part of
the Wolverines. The freshman has
provided the squad with something it
lacked last year - a third pitcher.
All three pitchers - Gillies,
Griffin and Kelly Holmes - have
seen plenty of time this season and
have all been impressive. Gillies has
quickly jumped out to a 7-3 record
with a 1.69 ERA, and Holmes has an
8-4 record and a 1.31 ERA.
"It gives us an ability to not have
to work anyone to death," Hutchins
said.
"With Jamie being a freshman it
also puts us in a position so that if
she's not on, or she's not ready for
some reason, we don't have to use
her. We obviously rely a little more
heavily on Griffin and Holmes, and
that's not unusual to go with your
upperclassmen."
DAvE'S BLAST: Cathy Davie hit a
226-foot monster of a home run in
the first game yesterday. The hit,
which gave the Wolverines the lead
for good, bounced off the top of the
wall, just above the 226 foot sign in
right field.
"It was a long ball, well hit'
Hutchins said. "She hit all of that
ball?'
The home run drove Broncos' ace
pitcher Angie Rosich out of the
game.
It was only the seventh home-run
hit at Fran Ebert Field.

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As Part of the Distinguished Lecture Series on National Research Policy
The Office of the Vice President for Research Presents
* Congress, Science and the M R
Two Cultures

Vernon Ehlers
Member
U.S. House of Representatives
Friday, April 4, 1997, 9:00 a.m.
Rackham Amphitheatre

A Panel Discussion and Reception Follows the Lecture
http://www.ovpr.umich.edu (see upcoming events)

I

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