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April 10, 2000 - Image 11

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2000-04-10

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

che MibCigun i ttilg
PORT SMONDAY

Sports desk: 647-3336
sportsdesk@umich.edu

SECTION B

' .... ... .. ..

Baseball drops three at Illinois

T.J.
BERKA
Teeing Off

I By Dan Williams
Daily Sports Writer

,.
M

"Berka divulges diy
secret inz final hwrah

CHAMPAIGN - The Michigan
baseball team has made obvious
strides since it kicked off the Big
Ten season with four straight losses
to Minnesota at Ray Fisher Stadi-
um.
Despite the improvement, the
Wolverines still dropped three of
four games on the weekend to Illi-
nois, the conference leader. Michi-
gan (3-9 Big Ten, 10-18-1 overall)
finds itself six games under .500 in
the Big Ten and currently out of the
playoff picture.

The Wolverines played their most
well-rounded series to date against
the Fighting Illini, but in the end,
Illinois' experienced team was too
tough.
Illinois won the final game yes-
terday, 7-4, to clinch the series
advantage.
"We're a little disappointed right
now," Junior Scott Tousa said.
"We feel like we played four pret-
ty good ballgames and ended up
coming up on the short end of the
stick three times."
Senior Bryan Cranson (2-4) con-
tinued to struggle in a weekend
starting role for Michigan yester-

day. Cranson surrendered eight hits
in 4.1 innings before Michigan
coach Geoff Zahn turned to his
bullpen.
Michigan sophomore Phil Lobert
then fell victim to a two-run home-
run by No. 3 hitter Craig Marquie,
which sealed Illinois' victory.
The Michigan sluggers saw some
timely hitting by freshman Blake
Rutkowski in the ninth spot.
The centerfielder may have
earned a regular spot in the lineup
with a three-for-four day, including
two doubles and three RBI.
Junior David Parrish also chipped
in with two hits.

But for the most part, Michigan's
offense was stymied by the big
breaking curveball of Illinois starter
Mitch Walk. Walk struck out 12
Michigan batters.
Still, Michigan sent the tying run
to the plate in the top of the ninth in
the form of senior Rob Bobeda. But
the leftfielder's nightmarish day was
punctuated by his fourth strikeout in
an 0-for-5 game.
"We had some opportunities,"
Zahn said. "But Walk pitched pretty
well in the clutch. We're getting
better, but we're not there yet."
Saturday's doubleheader was
See ILLINOIS, Page 5B

s I write for the last time, I
have a secret to tell you all.
The guilt which it has caused
as been building up for the last four
Years, but is really eating me up now,
on the eve of my last day at the Daily
as a student.
That secret: I know nothing about
sports.
For those of you who have read my
columns and stories in the past year,
that probably doesn't come as much of
a shock. Look at my North Carolina
article for God's sake.
But for those of you who are read-
ing this schlock because
you thought that the guy in Atth,
the picture above ish
cute/handsome/studly, this ludil
may come as a surprise. gam
But that was all part of the M6
plan. Clea
Don't get me wrong, the Tar I
guy in that picture is really Tod
me. The sports editors of T
he Daily picked my pic- cani
ture because they thought to Wi
that it would entice felnale final
students to pick up the
Daily and do something other than the
crossword puzzle.
I can't even write a two-paragraph
e-mail without spelling errors, perhaps
due to the constant supply of alcohol
that I ingest on a daily basis. So I hon-
estly can't take credit for the articles
*hat have been placed under my head-
shot this year.
The person who you should thank is
former Michigan State wide receiver
Plaxico Burress. I'm not bullshitting at
all here; Mr. Burress has been a troop-
er this year, driving an hour every Sun-
day from East Lansing to give his
viewpoints on Michigan sports.
But Burress, for reasons unknown
-I think he mentioned something
bout a couple 40-ounce bottles of
Colt 45 and a SuperSoaker - was
unable to come down to Ann Arbor
and cover for me this weekend.
After much hair pulling by the
sports editors, they decided to let me
write this final column. And although I
had set up a chess game with Mateen
Cleaves, Roy Tarpley and Todd
Howard, I canceled it to write this final
piece.
A lot has gone on during my four
rears at Michigan in the sports world.
I have seen three national champi-
onships, all of which were longshots
the season that they happened.
I have seen a new basketball coach,
a lot of new basketball players and a
lot of old allegations during my time. I
have even seen three athletic directors
during my stay here, something that
few Michigan students can claim.
* I have seen Big Ten champions
(men's and women's swimming and
softball), surprise NCAA Tournament
entries (men's golf and volleyball), and
national powers with exciting years

1.E
.at
)le
HC

(hockey and football).
Luck followed me during my years
at the Daily. While I never covered a
national championship, every one of
my beats have won more
games/matches then they have lost.
During that time, the Daily has
taken me on a whirlwind tour of the
country, as I rocked South Beach on
New Year's and walloped Worcester,
Mass. covering hockey last year. I even
pillaged the mid-section of our coun-
try while traveling to the Softball Col-
lege World Series in Oklahoma City.
I now possess bleacher seats from
the Metrodome, signs
u h I from the Carrier Dome
and countless chairs from
eness basketball arenas all over
with the country. And I have
een loved every minute of it.
s, Roy Covering Michigan
?y a sports for the Daily was
oward, the coolest thing I have
,eled it ever done. I joined the
e ti Daily immediately after I
to this arrived on campus my
pece. freshman year and things
have turned out better for
me then I could have ever imagined.
But covering Michigan sports was
only a minor reason why my four years
at Michigan were the best of my life. I
have learned a lot about myself, and
others, that I couldn't have learned
without the Daily.
I have made great friends during my
four years here. I have worked with the
oddest collection of personalities -
The Daily is chock full of screwballs
and crackers, including myself. They
have taught me lots of things, like con-
taining my sanity in an insane place,
and have been the best friends a lazy,
drunk ass like me could ever have.
I'd also like to thank the students for
putting up with my column. As much
as it was awkward for me when ran-
dom people would approach me in the
streets or at the bar, shouting my name
or complimenting me, I really enjoyed
it.
I even liked the few people - the
300 or so Michigan State fans who
have called for my head this year
because, simply, they are stupid Spar-
tans (just kidding) - that have e-
mailed me telling me that I am a) a
female b) gay c) a roody-poo candy
ass d) a no-talent bastard.
As I write my last paragraph ever in
the Daily, I have no clue what will
happen next. I don't know if I'll be
writing, bartending or living in the
streets. But no matter what I do, I'll
make sure to drink to all my friends,
my family and fans along the way.
- TJ. Berka thanks youfbr reading
his column and, hopefully, thanks you
for enjoying it. If you still want to talk
sports with him, visit him at Jimmy
John's on South U on Thursday, Sat-
urday and Monday nights or email
him at berkat@umich.edu.

DANNY KALICK/Daily
Michigan centerfielder Chrissy Garza slides into home but is called out on the
play. The Wolverines eventually won both games of the doubleheader.
Sofitball topples
tough w.eather'

By Arun Gopal
Daily Sports Writer
After a two-month voyage that took
it from San Francisco to Tampa and
eemingly every point in between, the
Michigan softball team finally
returned home this weekend. As one
might expect, the Wolverines were
eagerly anticipating their first home
games, after 33 straight contests on the
road.
Jubilantly, Michigan took the field
on Friday for a doubleheader against
Wisconsin. The Wolverines entered
the day tied for first in the Big Ten,
with a perfect 4-0 record. In spite of
the cold, rainy conditions, the team
was full of optimism and excitement.
Michigan (6-1 Big Ten, 28-7 overall
) proceeded to lose to the Badgers (2-
3, 23-16), 2-0. The second game was
promptly cancelled due to inclement
weather.
Unfazed, the Wolverines rebounded

yesterday against Minnesota (0-7, 22-
19), winning a pair of games from the
Golden Gophers by scores of 1-0 and
4-1.
"Wisconsin was able to get the key
hits on Friday, and we didn't," Michi-
gan coach Carol Hutchins said. "Our
kids really wanted to play today, and I
thought that gave us the edge."
The losing pitcher in Friday's game,
junior Marie Barda, was able to
bounce back from that disappointment
with a strong outing in the nightcap
yesterday. Barda pitched a complete
game two-hitter against Minnesota,
registering six strikeouts along the
way.
"In spite of the weather, I think I did
pretty fair this weekend," Barda said.
"I did eventually adjust to the rain and
the snow."
The "rain and the snow" fell during
Friday's game against the Badgers.
Temperatures that hovered in the teens
were accompanied by a stiff wind

Michigan freshman infielder Marissa Young makes contact at the plate yester-
day. Young's performance was a definite bright spot for the Wolverines.

throughout the contest.
Not to be outdone, the clouds
opened up during the sixth inning, and
it wasn't long before fans and players
alike ran for cover from the torrential
storms that drenched Ann Arbor.
Sitting in the stands in this type of

weather is difficult enough - trying to
play a sport at a high level is nearly
impossible. In spite of that, Barda was
still able to limit Wisconsin to two
runs on four hits, while striking out
ten.
See SOFTBALL, Page 4B

Netters end weekend in controversy

By Brian Steere
Daily Sports Writer
If Saturday's loss against Indiana was painful for the
No. 20 Michigan men's tennis team, Sunday's defeat
at the hands of Purdue was an absolute heartbreaker.
After falling to the Hoosiers 5-2 on Saturday, the
Wolverines lost a controversial 4-3 decision to the
Boilermakers on Sunday afternoon for their second
straight defeat at the Varsity Tennis Center.
In a sport where a few inches mean the difference
between winning and losing, the Wolverines were the
victims of some questionable line calls yesterday
afternoon in their loss to Purdue.
The most notable display of confrontation came at
No. 4 singles, where Michigan sophomore Ben Cox
came up just a few points short in a three-set loss to
the Boilermakers' Carl McCafferty.
After cnlittina the frst two ste and hattling evelnh

Despite having been overruled on numerous occa-
sions throughout the match, the chair umpire refused
to change McCafferty's call this time, much to the dis-
may of Cox and the Michigan fans in the crowd.
McCafferty then took control of the tiebreaker,
jumping out to a 6-1 lead. But Cox refused to submit
and battled back to within two points at 4-6. However,
with McCafferty serving, the chair umpire overruled
Cox's service call, which allowed McCafferty to
escape with a controversial victory.
Enraged by the umpire's overrule that ended the
match, Cox vehemently challenged his decision but
didn't get anywhere.
Following the painful defeat, Cox was only able to
think about what might have been.
"It's an extremely frustrating loss because I felt like
I was right back in the tiebreaker before the umpire
overruled me," Cox said. "Who knows, if I had ended
un winning toav's match that might have turned

Home Sweet-Home
After spending the entire mhointh of March on the road,
the Michigan men's tennis team is halfway, through a
six gam home stretch. The Wolverines host three
different teams at the Varsity Tennis Center this week.

Thurs April 13
'St., April15
Sun., Apyil 16

Notre Dame
"'owaon
Wisconhsin

3:00 p.m.
-1:00 p.m.'
1:00 p.m.

defeat.
But the rest of the Michigan players on the court
stenned un and refused to o down without a fight.

*'F'. {.Xe. i Kkx '4, ,k, vet% rx 4i C r ~

I

I

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