The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - April 6, 1998 - 3B
Buckeyes serious about rivalry
By Jacob Wheeler
Daily Sports Writer
COLUMBUS --There's a good
reason the Ohio State baseball team
waited until this past Friday to play
its first-ever night game in Bill Davis
The Buckeyes hosted long-time
rival Michigan this past weekend,
looking to pay back the team that
destroyed their hopes for a Big Ten
regular-season title on the final day
of the season last year.
The 3,600 fans who attended
Friday night's opener under the lights
knew the importance of this series.
And the 1,500 who returned to brave
football weather the next night knew
it as well.
The raucous, drunk fans sitting
behind home plate Saturday night
knew how crucial these games were.
It was clear, as one fan even donned a
fluorescent Corona visor and enter-
tained the rest of the crowd with the
chicken dance, that they understood
what these games meant.
The Buckeyes knew it when they
won the third game in a row with
catcher Tom Durant's two-out, game-
winning hit in the seventh inning
Saturday. The bench cleared and the
Buckeyes celebrated their comeback
victory on the field.
And the Ohio
State fan who
Baseball stood in front of
o0mmentary Michigan's char-
ter bus and
Wolverines after their 3-2 loss - he
also knew how significant it was that
the Buckeyes took three of four
games in the series.
Ohio State is now 5-3 in the Big
Ten, just two games behind first-
place Illinois. But with the three loss-
es, Michigan's record fell to 2-6. And
now. the Wolverines find themselves
in last place, already one-third of the
way through the season -just i'
year after occupying the driver's seat
in the conference.
With 16 games remaining.
Michigan would have to win 10 to
finish at .500. But that hardly consti-
tutes a successful season for a
defending conference champion.
Last year's team went 17-9 in the
Big Ten, and it will probably take
about 16 wins to clinch it this year.
That means the Wolverines would
have to go 14-2 the rest of the way to
contend for another title.
Granted, Michigans first eight con-
ference games were all on the road --
at Illinois and Ohio State. And the
Wolverines host their next three con-
ference series -- against Minnesota,
Michigan State and Penn State.
But winning 14 of 16 games would
be a pretty difficult task for
Michigan. Just ask the Bucl eve ffaith-
ful standing in front of the team bus
I . i
tfielder Derek Besco had been slumping of late, but he went two-for-four with four RBI in Michigan's 12-8 victory over
State yesterday. It was the Wolverines' only win in their four-game series with the Buckeyes.
KEYES like Ohio State"
While Michigan's pitchers were
ontinued from Page 31 impressive this weekend, control was 1
im, and the crowd rose, urging the also a problem in their first game. uanr in
uckeycs to squash the Michigan rally. Starter Brian Berryman (2-2) was
But Tousa battled, fouling off pitches brilliant, allowing just three hits in a six-
td waiting for the one he wanted. And inning, complete game performance.
hen it came, the freshman jumped all But Berryman had trouble finding the
it, belting a single into right field strike zone in the second, walking four
scoring Besco. straight batters to force in the Buckeyes'
"In my first couple of swings, I wasn't first run. An error by third baseman
-ry close," Tousa said. "I was just try- Mike Cervenak allowed a second run to
ig to make contact at the end." score, and Berryman held Ohio State
Ohio State's chances to erase scoreless for the rest of the game.
ichigan's one-run lead in the final Michigan was also shut down, as I~A,
ning looked slim initially, as the first Ohio State starter Eric Thompson (4-1) (AFE
o Buckeye batters made quick outs. allowed just one run on two hits. The
Then, with two strikes on Ohio State's Buckeyes eventually prevailed, 2-1, in a "Outstaning...Four 5tarel"
ike Kremblas, the Wolverines started game that featured just fine total hits --The Detroit News and
all apart. Steinbach hit Kremblas from both teams. The Detroit Free Press
'I h the next pitch, then allowed a single "Berryman is pitching pretty well for
d a walk, loading the bases. tIs this year, so walking those guys is "One of
Tyler Steketee replaced Steinbach, uncharacteristic of him," Zahn said.
Michigan's To4 Ten1'
d the crowd once again got on their "You can't give guys free passes, espe- O
et. Steketee, the team leader in saves cially in tight ball games when you know --The Zagat uide
st year, struggled with his control, there aren't going to be a lot of hits:'
alking second baseman Chad Michigan dropped the first-ever night 20% OFF
hrnsberger and tying the game at two. game at Davis Stadium on Friday, 6-4, in
In the next at-bat, catcher Tom Durant the series opener. Justin Fry, last years WITH STUDENT ID
rove a Steketee delivery into left field. Big Ten pitcher of the year, tossed a
ing the game-winning run for the complete game for the Buckeyes, strik- M ND YS
'keyes, who mobbed Durant as he ing out 10 while raising his record to 4- 0
'ached first base. Steinbach was I on the season.
iarged with the loss, dropping his "These are tough losses for Us, but we Moern American COoking
cord to 1-5 on the season. have to keep fighting",' Zahn said. "The
"We gave them runs, and you can't do kids are battling, and you can't ask any } PetrOit St
at with good teams. Kalahar said, more that that. (Next to The Farmer's Mkt)
verybody has lapses in concentration, "We're hustling and we're playing
d you can get away with that against pretty well, but Ohio State got a couple 313 .65.0700
eaker teams. But not against a team breaks:'
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