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April 20, 1998 - Image 19

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-04-20

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BASEBALL

The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday, April 20, 1998 - 19

'i

SMRIAI
Michfigan

ES S RE
i State 3, Michigan 1
'M' drops thrilling series finale,
loses three of four to Spartans

Key play:
SAfter Mic 'a, in took a one-mun lead in
the hottom ofC the eighth in Sunday's
series finale, Spartans left fielder Tom
Hartley halted the Wolverines'
chances of splitting the series. Hartley
belted a two out, two-run homer to
right field in the ninth inning --- a ball
that leaping Michigan rightfielder
Derek Besco missed by just inches.
Hartley sealed the victory in the bot-
tom of the inning by catching a Bobby
Scales fly ball at the warning track.

By Andy Latack
Daily Sports Writer
Michigan State left fielder Tom
Hartley closed his glove around
Michigan second baseman Bobby
Scales' long drive, and leapt into the air
- dashing the Michigan baseball team's
hopes for a fantastic comeback.
But Hartley was really just finishing a
job he had started a half-inning before.
The junior blasted a two-out, two-run
homer in the top of the ninth yesterday,
ending a fierce Michigan comeback and
sealing an 11-10 victory for the
Spartans, who took three of four games
from the Wolverines in the series.
After three one-sided games, yester-
day's slugfest at Fisher Stadiun typified
the bitter rivalry between the two evenly
matched teams.
Battling back from an early six-run
deficit, Michigan (6-10 Big Ten, 16-20-
1 overall) entered the ninth inning with a
10-9 lead. The Spartans were down to
their final out with a runner on first, and
it appeared as if Michigan was going to
pull off an amazing comeback to earna
split in the series.
But Hartley had other ideas.
Hartley, who was already 2-for-4 on
the day, came up tobat against Michigan
closer Tyler Steketee, who was making a
bid for his fifth save of the season.
Steketee had been efftetive in the ame.

relieving Nick Alexander to open the
seventh inning and facing the minimum
six batters going into the ninth. Sleketee
had just forced Spartans catcher Joe
Kalczynski to fly out to center, and had
two outs with a runner on first.
His first pitch to Hartley was a ball,
but Hartley connected with the next,
lofting a long drive to right field.
Michigan right fielder Derek Besco
sprinted to the wall, gauged the ball, and
leapt, but Hartley's drive sailed just over
his outstretched glove. It was his first
homer of the season, and it couldn't
have come at a worse time for the
Wolverines.
"You always want your closer on the
mound with a one run lead," Michigan
coach Geoff Zahn said. "You've got to
give Hartley credit for getting the job
done"
The Wolverines refused to go down
without a fight in their half of the ninth.
After center fielder Brian Bush started
the inning with a base hit, the junior
advanced to second on catcher Mick
Kalahar's bunt. Bush took third on a
wild pitch by reliever Chris Yens, and
remained there as Scales came to the
plate with two outs.
Scales battled, working the count to 3-
and-2 before flying out to lartley at the
warning track to end the game.
"It was a tough loss for us," Zahn
Left: Michigan
shortstop Scott
Tosa has had a
fine year with the
bat, hitting .343.
But he managed
Just three hits
against the
Spartans this
weekend.
Right: By the
~~. ~r time southpaw
Nick Alexander
entered the game
yesterday, the
damage was
done. Michigan
trailed 7-1 when
starter JJ. Putz
left the game.
Photos by
' JOHN KRAFT/Daily

said. "We played hard, we battled back,
and we had a chance to win at the end. It
didn't happen for us."
The offensive fireworks yesterday
were a change from the pitchers' duels
that took place in the previous games.
Brian Steinbach (3-5) pitched
Michigan's only victory of the series, a
6-0 gem in the second game of
Saturday's doubleheader. The senior
allowed just four hits in his complete-
game victory
But Michigan State (7-9, 18-19) had
the advantage on the mound for the rest
of the series. Mark Mulder, considered
the best pitching prospect in college
baseball by many scouts, befuddled the
Wolverines in Saturday's first game - a
7-2 Michigan State victory. le tossed a
complete game as well, striking out
eight, and the Spartans kept the offen-
sive pressure on, scoring in all but one
inning.
On Friday, Michigan State's Brian
Murphy went the full nine innings as the
Spartans pounced on the Wolverines,
10-1. Murphy limited Michigan to just
four hits, and faced the minimum 18
batters in his last six innings.
"Murphy and Mulder pitched pretty
well against us," Zahn said. "Mulder's
got great stuff and we gave him an early
lead. Its tough to beat him when he has
a lead."

JOHN KRAFT/ Daiy
Despite some great plays by third baseman Mike Cervenak, the Michigan defense
faltered this weekend, commiting eight errors in their four-game series.
Steinbach feels lock
tcking, shuts down
confere nce riv als

By Andy Latack
Daily Sports Writer
It may be that Michigan pitcher
Brian Steinbach just doesn't like
.-higan State. As a senior, it is like-
ly that he's been around Ann Arbor
long enough to develop a healthy dis-
like for the green and white.
Look at the numbers. Steinbach is
4-0 against the Spartans in his career,
with a stingy 1.88 ERA. Ie beat them
again this weekend, posting a com-
plete game shutout in Michigan's 6-0
win in the latter half of Saturday's
d ubleheader
ut actually, for Steinbach, the rea-
son for his impressive showing
against the Spartans -- and over the
past three weeks, for that matter -- is
much more personal.
After a 20-3 shellacking at Illinois
on March 27 dropped Steinbach's
record to 0-4, the Pawaukee, Wisc.
native had a realization.
"It really hit me that this was my
senior year and it could be the last
t e I ever pitch" Steinbach said. "It's
that I wasn't trying before, but I
didn't want to end my career on a sour
note, so I had to turn it around."
And what a turnaround it has been
for the 6-foot-5, 215-pound
Steinbach. After losing his first four
games, Steinbach - Michigan's
active leader in career wins - has put
together quite a run. He has won three
of his past four decisions, and has
*n durable as well, now leading the
aom in complete games (2) and
innings pitched (45).
And most important, Steinbach is
hitting his stride when the Wolverines
need it most - right now. This week-
end aginst the Spartans, Steinbach
was the only Michigan starter to make
it past the third inning, as fellow
startiers Brian Berryman, Bryan
Cranson and J.J. Putz struggled to get
batters out and maintain their control.
Ak rest of the rotation gave up 15
runs in under eight innings of work,
giving the Spartans early leads that
proved difficult for the Wolverines to
overcome.
But in Saturday's game, Steinbach

"It really hit me
that this was my
senior year and it
could be the last
time I ever
- Brian Steinbach,
Michigan starting pitcher
kept the Michigan State batters at bay
as he posted his second consecutive
complete game. He also went the dis-
tance in last Saturday's 7-2 win over
Minnesota, allowing four hits while
notching five strikeouts.
With his performances of late and
the rest of the pitchers struggling,
Steinbach looks a lot like the team's
best pitcher. Which is exactly what he
was two years ago, winning the Geoff
Zahn Award as Michigan's most valu-
able pitcher in 1995.
In fact, it may be a little harsh to say
that Steinbach was ever struggling.
With three of his first four losses com-
ing during Michigan's early-season
southern trip - to Texas A&M,
Houston and lamar Steinbach has
pitched well within the Big Ten,
accounting for two of the team's six
conference victories.
All of which makes the early season
losses to the bigger, more experienced
southern schools - two of which
were close games- seem fairly unim-
portant.
"I thought I threw some good
games against the Southern schools,"
Steinbach said. "But a hit would fall
in here or there, or a call wouldn't go
our way. In pitching, there is a fine
line between winning and losing,"
Steinbach said.
With the way he has been pitching
recently, there is no doubt as to which
side of that fine line Brian Steinbach
is on.

MICHIGAN STATE MICHIGAN
Player AS R H SI Player AS R H SI
Fernndez c 4r1 i00 Scaies 2b 3 0 0
Griggs 41 ii2 Acarazli at0s
MulderI f 4 2 3 1 D.Besco rf 3 0 0 0
Zodh 4 2 4 0 .Besco 1b 4 0 0 0
Pt s raani3 eidods a 0 1 0
KalczynskiIb 3 1 0 0 Bobedaci 4 0 1 0
Hatly 5 1a3a3Kalahar c 3 0 0 0
Deetrnia 24 1 01 Tosa ss ae0r1e
Totals 37 1015s10Totals 2914 0
IP H R ER BB SO
Michigan State
MupysW,43 9 4 1 1 4 1
Michigan
Bno'manL,L3-3 3.2 5 7 7 1 3
Hribernik 2.1 6 0 0 1 0
Reid 2.2 4 3 3 0 1
MICHIGAN MICHIGAN STATE
Player AB R H B Player AB R H BI
Cervenaka3b 3a0to 0aFenandezc 3 i 2 1
Scales 2b 2 1 1 0 Grigtss 4 0 t t
AlcaaIfi 2 i1i Wagnir cf4i132
D.Besco rf 3 0 1 1 Zsigo dh 2 0 0 0
B.Besco 1b 3 0 1 0 Pisani 3b 4 0 0 0
Seestedt dh 3 0 0 0 Kalczynskilb2 2 1 0
Bush of 23tOO arleysO 4 22 2
Kalhr 2 00 0Abaugh If4122
Parrish ph 1 0 0 0 Demetral 2b 3 0 1 0
Toua ss 2 00t0
Vaniicklyie ph 0 0 0
Totals 2602 52 Totals 30 711 7
IP H R ER BB SO
Michigan
Cranson L,3-4 3 4 a 3 4 2
aison 3a7 4 2 1 5
Michigan State
MulderiW, 4-4 7 5 2 2 1 8
MICHIGAN MICHIGAN STATE
Player ASSR HBI Player ABIOHSBI
Cervenaka3b 4 ia1 Fernandez rf4 0 0 0
Scales 2b 3 1 0 0 Grigg ss 4 0 1 0
AlcrazI 413a Wagnerc 2000
D.Besco r 4 i 1 0 Mulder 1lb 3 0 1 0
Parrish dh 4 1 1 1 Zsigop 2 0 0 0
Besco ib 4 000 Kalzynskic3 010
Bushec 2 1iii1SartleyI 2 00 0
Sanbornc f 0 0 0 0 Pisani3b 2 0 0 0
Kaahar 3 A00 remtra2b 2 t0
Tousass 3 0 1 0 Albagp 1 i
Totals 31610 5 Totals 2504 0
IP H R ER BB SO
Michigan
SteinbachW, 3-5 7 4 0 0 4 5
Michigan State
ZsigonL,5 6 .2 9 5 S 1 5
Axelson 1.1 1 0 0 0 1
MICHIGAN STATE MICHIGAN
Player AS R H SI Player AS R H SI
Femandeztrf 4 2 i 0 cervenak3b4 1 1 2
Grigg ss 5 11 1Saes2b 6 2 32
Wagier'of 5 0500 AcarazI 5 22 2
Mulder 1i 4 2 2 2 O.Bescoirt 1 1 0 0
Kalczynskic 5 0 1 2 B.Bescoib 4 0 1 0
HartleylI 5 2 3 2 Reid d 1 0 0 1
Albaugh dS 3 2 0 0 Seestedt ph 1 1 0 0
Pisani 3b 5 2 20 Sobedayph 1 00 0
DemnetraI2b 3 01 2 Sanbornef 2 0 1 1
Bush 31 2 0
Kalaharc 3 1 10
Tousa ss 5 1 1 0
Totals 4011119 Totals 3610128
IP H R ER BB SO
MichigaS tate
steiger 3 5 3 4 4 3
Masses 4.16 6 3 3 1
Yns W, 1- 1.1 1 1 0 2 0
Axelsons 0.1 0 0 0 0 0
Michigan
Putz 2 6 6 4 2 4
Alexander 4 2 3 0 2 2
Steketee L 3 3 2 2 0 3

M' pitching corps falters 1n losses

By Josh Borkin
Daily Sports Writer
This past weekend could not have
been more important for the
Michigan pitching staff. The
Wolverines, who have been cloaked
in inconsistency this season, were
facing rival Michigan State for a
four-game series.
Michigan's pitchers put together a
dismal ERA of 7.15 and lost three of
four to Michigan State over the week-
end.
Up until this past Friday, Brian
Berryman had the best ERA of any
pitcher in the starting rotation (5.22
ERA). In addition, he was the only
starter with a winning record (3-2).
Berryman's start against Michigan
State was unimpressive, and very
wild. Berryman was shelled in the
third inning, giving up seven earned
runs on five hits. In addition, he hit

three batters.
"Brian has been one of our most
consistent pitchers this season,"
Michigan coach Geoff Zahn said.
"Friday was very uncharacteristic of
Brian, and he was off all afternoon."
On Saturday, the Wolverines trav-
eled to East Lansing for a double-
header. Brian Cranson was looking
for redemption, but all he found was
another loss -- a 7-2 drubbing.
At times this season Cranson has
pitched brilliantly, but he's often
lacked offensive support. Saturday,
though, Cranson barely made it out of
the second, and was pulled in the
third after surrendering a solo home
run.
Bryce Ralston's relief effort pro-
vided the V .lverines was no better.
Ralston p ched the final three
innings, giving up four runs on seven
hits.

Brian Steinbach (2-5, 7.58) deliv-
ered the lone Wolverine win of the
series. Steinbach's complete game
shutout was "definitely an impressive
performance," Zahn said. Steinbach
gave up seven hits while striking out
five.
The Wolverines' final game against
Michigan State yesterday could not
have started or ended in more disap-
pointing fashion. J.J Putz, who has
battled injuries all season, started
yesterday afternoon, but was pulled
after the second inning.
The floodgates opened up on Putz
as soon as he threw his first pitch. In
two innings, he gave up seven runs on
six hits.
Tyler Steketee, who in the past
couple weeks has been untouchable,
gave up a crucial game-winning two-
run homer with two outs in the top of
the ninth.

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