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April 14, 2000 - Image 17

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The Michigan Daily, 2000-04-14

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The Michigan Daily - Friday, April 14, 2000 - 17
.Great competition' expected when Ohio State visits The Fish
Perennial Big Ten contenders look to get season back on track in four-game weekend

By Dan Williams
ialy Sports Writer
-The Ohio State baseball team hasn't gotten
off to as quick a start as it would have liked.
With two conference series under their
belt, the Big Ten preseason favorite
Buckeyes (4-4 Big Ten, 21-11 overall) find
themselves in the middle of the pack early in
Th& season. They've split series with both
.Iowa and Minnesota.
"I think that if you take a look at the Big
Ten right now, splitting with people is not
necessarily what you want to do," Ohio State
coach Bob Todd said. "But if you get hot at
Hitting a homerun
If you don't have a car, want to spend a
lot of money on going to Comerica Park,
or just don't have anything better to do
this summer, check out the Michigan
Nine at a venue near you.'
April 14 Ohio State 1 p.m.
April 15 Ohio State (DH) I p.m.

the right time, you can definitely still win the
championship."
The Buckeyes plight seems microscopic
compared to that of the Wolverines.
Michigan entered the season believing that it
could make the Big Ten playoffs again,
despite the loss of 14 seniors from last year's
Big Ten Tournament championship team.
But Michigan's first 12 games in confer-
ence were demarcated by a bevy of youthful
mistakes, and without a remarkable turn-
around, Michigan will not experience the
postseason.
Such a turnaround would have to occur
this weekend.

Enter Ohio State: A team that hasn't lost
one of their last 23 Big Ten series. They're
also a team that has bested Michigan in five
of the last six conference series.
The Buckeyes have developed into
Michigan's biggest rival, with both teams
hovering around the top of the conference for
much of the last four years. The most recent
meeting saw the Wolverines overcoming
Ohio State, 8-6, in last year's Big Ten
Tournament.
"It's always been great competition
between us," Todd said. "It's been a good
rivalry because the players play good, clean,
hard baseball."

Michigan's biggest. weapon in the rivalry
renewal may be the pitching tandem of
sophomore Bobby Korecky and junior Vince
Pistilli, who are scheduled to make their sec-
ond consecutive " back-to-back starts in a
Saturday double-header.
Last weekend against Illinois, both hurlers
pitched complete games - Korecky in a 4-1
win and Pistilli in a 3-2 loss. They've risen
above the rest of the pitching staff by getting
ahead in the count and avoiding walks.
Ohio State counters with some of the more
powerful bats in school history.
Junior Chad Ehrnsberger and senior Jason
Turner are both among the Buckeye's 20

' most prolific all-time homerun hitters.
The downfall of both teams has been that
they simply haven't been able to put enough
full games together. Ohio State has made
enough mistakes to prevent them from
pouncing into the conference lead.
Michigan's mistakes have dropped the team
out of title contention, and practically off of
the playoff radar screen.
"We have to focus on the playoffs," said
sophomore pitcher Phil Lobert.
"We have to focus on it every pitch and
every batter. It's the only thing left that we
can do. There's no way that we can outright
win the conference."

W

April 16
April 23

Ohio State 1p.m.
Siena Heights 1 p.m.

April 26 Notre Dame 7 p.m.
April 28 Penn State 3 p.m.
April 29 Penn State 1 p.m.
April 30 Penn State 1 p.M.
May 2 Oakland 1 p.m.
May 3 Eastern Michigan 7 p.m.
May 3 Michigan State 3 p.m.
May 6 Michigan State (DH)1 p.m.
May 7 Michigan State 1 p.m.
May 9 Bowling Green 3 p.m.
May 10 Central Michigan 3 p.m.
May 12 Iowa 3 p.m.
May 13 Iowa (DH) I p.m.
May 14 Iowa, 1p.m.
May 18-21 Big Ten Toumament
Bold indicates home game

MARJORIE MARSHALL/Daily
Freshman Brad McCloskey and the Michigan pitching staff have been plagued by incon-
sistency. The hurlers need to find their rhythm when Ohio State invades this weekend.

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