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April 10, 2000 - Image 15

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

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SportsMonday - April 10, 2000 - The Michigan Daily - 5B

SIj Michigan 1

Player of the Illinois series
Bobby Korecky
Sophomore, Pitcher
Korecky pitched a complete game, allowed only four hits, one
eamed run and walked only one batter for the 4-1 Michigan win

Wolverines 4



Fighting llini



On the whole, Rutkowski
would rather be in Ann Arbor

Team W L Pct. Overall
1. Illinois 10 2 .833 23-9-0
2. Minnesota 6 2 .875 19-13-0
3. P'enn State 5 4 .623 22-9-0

4. Ohio State
5. Purdue

4 4 .500 21-11-0

By Ryan C. Moloney
Daily Sports Writer
CHAMPAIGN - "No way," freshman out-
fielder Blake Rutkowski said.
The short and to the point answer from
l ichigan's freshman centerfielder quelled all
speculation of whether or not the Illinois native
regretted choosing
Michigan over the Fighting
Illini to play college base- BASEBALL
ball. Illinois had just fin- Notebook
ished taking three of four
games from the Wolverines, but as he scanned
the Illini's celebration, Rutkowski stopped
short of prediction - confident swagger
ould do.
"We can play a lot better than these guys," he
said. "I'm looking forward to that.'
Rutkowski was recruited heavily out of high
school by Illinois and liked the program - but
he liked Michigan more. Playing in front of
his parents and friends, Rutkowski's weekend
started off relatively quietly. He sat out
Friday's game and went 0-for-3 in Saturday's
first game. He singled in a tidy, but modest, 1-
for-2 performance in Saturday's second game
and cracked the starting lineup again yester-
Though most of the Michigan batting order
would beg to differ, Rutkowski found nothing
mysterious about Illini starter Mitch Walk';
curveball. going 3-for-4 including two crushed
doubles for three RBI. If his bat continues,
Rutkowski may find himself as the third fresh-
man, along with Brock Koman and Jordan
Cantalamessa. to join the every day starting
"I'm starting to see the ball a lot better now,"
*utkowski said.
Parrish continues to impress managers on his

tenacious teur of Big Ten hitting venues.
Parrish found Illini Field especially comfort-
able - he batted .692, going 9 for 13 in the
four-game set and extended his hit streak to 13
games. Illinois coach Itch Jones employed a
number of strategies, all to no avail.
"I don't know if we can pitch to David
Parrish, he's hit everything we've thrown to
Jones decided on pitching Parrish inside in
the series' third game when Parrish popped-out
and knocked a bloop single to right on fastballs
on the handle.
"We'll take our chances (with inside pitch-
ing)," Jones said. "Scratch singles are a lot bet-
ter than him ripping doubles down the line."
In fact, on Sunday it looked as if Jones' strat-
egy worked too well - Parrish was hit by a
pitch in his first two at-bats.
BAT CAVED: The umpiring crew of Dave
Smith, Steve Partington and Don Umland con-
fiscated one of Jordan Cantalamessa's bats
before the start of yesterday's game. The
umpires examine the bats in both dugouts
before every game and found Cantalamessa's
bat too flat for game play.
"With the light alloy metals they use, they
flatten out sometimes," coach Geoff Zahn said.
The Wolverines have sentback 15 bats to
their manufacturers this year because of split-
ting or flattening-out. Zahn said.
VARSITY BLUES: After starting the season as
Michigan's red-hot No. 3 hitter, freshman
Brock Koman has struggled as of late. For the
series, Koman went 2-for-13 and dropped to
sixth in the batting lineup. Against Big Ten
competition, Koman is hitting .090. Overall,
he's hitting .308.
"Brock's a mature kid," Zahn said. "He's just
going through a slump, a tough time. He'll hit
again, he's got the temperament for it.

6. Iowaf
7. Indiana5
8. Michigan St. 2
9. Michigan 3
10. Northwestern
Yesterday's B
It uiois 7. Michi-an 4
lorw% 1. Purdue t.
N western s, INmtANS 7
Michigan St. 2. IPiN Sr.
N iNNrsm-, 13, Ohio State 5

6 6 .500 18-12-0
6 6 .500 12-19-0
5 7 .417 22-14-0
2 3 .400 9-17-0
3 7 .300 10-18-1
2 6 .000 15-14-0
[ig Ten results
Gyi s
Michigan =1. IiNohs I
11IANOIS 3. Michigan 2
ILLiNoIM 9. Michigan 4


Quinn 3b
Tousa ss
Parrish c
Bobeda If
Dines rf
Koman lb
Dombos dh
Cantala. 2b
Rutkosk cf

5 0 2 0
4 1 1 0
4 0 0 0
4 0 3 3
364 10 4

Player AB R H BI
Basak ss 42:2 0
Ballard of 4 1 2 2
Marquie 3b 5 1 4 4
Svihlik 2b 5 0 1 0
Gertz c 4 0 1 0
Parenti rf 4 0 2 0
Schutze. lb 4 2 1 0
Whitaker dh 0 1 0- 0
Simmons ph 2 0 1 0
Totals 357 146

E - Rutkowski (2). DP - Michigan 2.,Illinois 1. LOB-
Michigan 9, Illinois 11. 28 - Parrish (5).
Cantalamessa (8), Rutkowski 2(3), Parenti (3),.
Simmons (3) HR - Marquie (2) SB- Dines (1) SH
Whitaker (5).

Cranson L (2-4)
Walk W (2-1)

3.1 6
2.1 5
2.1 3




3 2
0 0

9.0 10 4 4 2 12

s courtesy of Jim Atwood/DAILY ILLINI
Freshman firstbaseman Brock Koman is still in a slump, but his batting problems have not affected his
fielding. Koman played an error free weekend at first and third base.

I . . - . I I

It's all in the 'clutch' for pitcher Korecky

Umpires - Don Unhand (home plae). Dave Smith (first
base. Steve Partington (third base).
At: Illinois Field
Attendance: 704
Start: 1:05 p.m.
Time: 2:37
Illinois inning one: Bas-ak flied ouit to right field.
Ballard singeto center ield. Marquie singled to
center field, advanced to second; Ballard advanced to
third, scored on error Ki Rutkowski. Fischer flied
out to left field. Sviilik flied out to left field. 1 run,
2 hits. I error, I LOB. Michigan 0, Illinois 1.
Michigan inning two: Dines singled to left field.
Komant struck out swinging. Dombos flied out to
left. Dines stole second. Cantalamessa walked.
Cantalamessa advanced to second; Dines advanced to
third on wild pitch. Rutkowski doubled down left
field line, 2 RBI, Quinn struck out swingino. 2
runs, 2 hits, 0 errors, I LOB. Michigan 2, Illinois 1.
Illinois inning two: Gert: struck out swinging.
Parenti doubled to right-center field. Schutrenhofer
reached(on fielder's chice; Parent i out at third'.
Whitaker walked. Basak walked; bases loaded.
Ballard sinolcd to center field, two RBI. Marquie
struck out looking. 2 runs, 2 hits, 0 errors, 2 LOB.
Michigan 2, Illinois 3.
Michigan inning four: Koman flied out to left field.
IJombos struck out sWinng. Can talamessa doubled
to left field. Rutkowski toubled dowvn left field line,
Cantalamessa scored. Quinn walked. Tousa struck
out swinging. I run, 2 bits, 0 errors, I LOB.
Michigan 3, Illinois 3.
Illinois inninPaour: Schutrenhofer singled to left.
center field. W\hitaker out at first, SAC bunt. Basak
sin geed to shortstop. Ballard hit pitch; s
loa3d. Marqui singled to center field, 2 RBI.
Fischer walked, bases loaded. Sihl ik grounded into
double plat. 2 runs, 3 hits, 0 errors, 2rLOB.
Michigan 1, Illinois 5.
Michir an inning file: Parrish singled to left field.
Bobecfa grounded out to short stop. Dines ground-
edout to third. Koman singled to right field, RBI,
advanced to second. Donibos groundfed out to-
third. I run, 2 hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB. Michigan 4,
Illinois 5.
Illinois inning sic: Basak sing led to left-center field.
Ballard flied out to right field. Basak stole second
base. Marquie homered to left-center field, 2 RBI.
Fischer popped up to shortstop. Svihlik singled to
center field. Gert: singled to left field. Parenti
r pto shortstop. 2 runs, 4 hits, 0 errors, 2
Michigan 4, Illinois 7.


Junior infielder
Scott Tousa raised
his batting avera re
to .276 this weeL-
end after going 6-
for-16. Tousa -
who hits second
in the lineup -
was protected in
the lineup this
weekend by David
Parrish, who bat-
ted third, instead
of fourthi where
he usually hits.

By Ryan C. Moloney
Daily Sports Writer
CHAMPAIGN - The time-tested "clutch
player" tag is usually used in reference to play-
ers who hit well with runners in scoring posi-
tion or relievers who can stop the bleeding in
the big innings.
Starting pitchers aren't prone to the "clutch"
label - if they throw a solid game. the situa-
tion for a "game-saving" hit or out shouldn't
theoretically occur in the first place.
But on Saturday, the Michigan Nine were
clutching onto hopes of a crucial conference
win after a 9-4 drubbing at the hands of
Illinois on Friday night.
The first game of the afternoon double-
header looked like a sink or swim game for the
Wolverines' - the tide of the season could
turn either way depending on the outcome. If
the shakv Wolverine rotation was looking for
the opportunity to come through, this was it.
Enter Bobby Korecky.
The sophomore starter has shown occasion-
al moments of brilliance this season, but as his
5.26 ERA going into the contest indicated, he

had yet to do it consistently.
But Koreckv felt good in the bullpen
beforehand and decided "not to beat myself
with walks -j ust throw strikes."
The result? A clutch outing.
Korecky tossed possibly his best game of
the season, going the distance and allowing
only four hits in the Wolvcrines' 4-1 victory at
Illinois Field.
The complete game was Korecky's second
on the season- one more than the rest of the
Michigan staff combined.
"Bobby was ahead in the count the whole
ball game, he kept the ball low, he changed
speeds and his breaking ball was moving
well," Illinois coach Itch Jones said. "I'm not
too sure he didn't beat us (single-handedly) in
that ball game - it was a well-pitched game
and he did a great job"
Korecky's stuff wasn't overpowering, but
methodical and meticulous. His near pinpoint
control, coupled with good pitch selection.
kept Illinois off-balance and resulted in ten
groundball outs.
"Instead of trying to throw pitches because
guys couldn't hit, he was saying 'There's what

I have, if you can hit this you're better than I
am,"' Dan Dombos said. "But apparently they
weren't better than him today."
Korecky settled down after allowing a run-
scoring double off the bat of Illinois super
freshman Andy Schutzenhofer to fall behind
1-0. Jay Dines' three-run homer in the third
inning provided Korecky with the confidence
of a cushioned lead. 4-1.
Though Michigan lost 3-2 in the second
came of the doubleheader, the momentum of
Korecky's performance carried over into
Vince Pistilli's outing. The nghthander surren-
dered one earned run in his complete game
"It does switch the momentum, especially
when you're playing away," Korecky said.
"Vince pitched awesome in the second game."
Korccky's only trouble after the first inning
occurred in the seventh when he walked the
leadoff man, Schutzenhofer. Coach Geoff
Zahn conferenced with Korecky on the mound
and assured him, saying he "deserved the
complete game" and "there was no way he
was coming out. Korecky then retired the
next three batters in order for the win.

Clutch with Two Outs

In the final three games of the Micht' n/Illinois
series, two outrhitting as a decisive factor.
Michigan produced most of their RBI's in all three'
games with two down.

Michigan 5/12,4 RBI
Illinois 2/9, 1 RBI
Michigan /15 4 RBI
Ilinois 5/11 2 RBI

Michigan 3/10, 2 RBI
Illinois 2/7 3 RBI
Michigan 10 runs, 10 RBI
llinois 11 runs, 6 RBI

Illinois gets the nine-year Itch'



Photo by Peter Comve

Sy Dan Williams
Daily Sports Writer
CHAMPAIGN - For a long time,
Illinois baseball was a program on the
As of 1990, they had spaced out 26
Big Ten championships in 90 years,
the second most of any conference
school behind Michigan. They had
been to the NCAA tournament eight
times without ever seriously making
But in 1991, the Fighting Illini got
the "Itch."
Richard "Itch" Jones left Southern
Illinois University as the most suc-
cessful coach in school history in
1991 to take the helm at Illinois. He
hoped that he could turn the Illini
from a perennial Big Ten contender to
a nationally successful program.
His impressive career resume,
which began with MacMurray

University in 1966, includes 1.077
career victories - 10th on the all time
list of active division one coaches. He
has coached 89 players that have
matriculated into the world of profes-
sional baseball, including notables
such as Dave Stieb, Steve Finley and
Scott Spiezo. He led the Salukis to
three College World Series appear-
ances, including a national runner-up
finish in 1971.
With Illinois, making the program
"Itch" compatible was not without its
growing pains. The Illini didn't make
the Big Ten tournament four of the
team's fir'st five years under Jones.
But it didn't take long for the
coaching legends to sell the players on
his style.
Illinois is the only school to make
the Big Ten Tournament each of the
last four years. During the 1998 cam-
paign, the team won their first Big Ten
regular season title in 35 years. The

Illini then proceeded to reach the
NCAA Regional Finals where they
fell to Florida. It was the team's far-
thest venture into the post-season in
school history.
This season, the Illini are at it again.
After Sunday's action, Illinois found
themselves on top of the Big Ten
standings with a 10-2 record.
Plus, Jones has made Illinois base-
ball exciting for the fans.
He was instrumental in bringing
lights to Illinois Field. The Illini are
currently enjoying their first full sea-
son of regular night games.
And strong section of Illinois faith-
ful bore the cold, the wind and the rain
that consumed the field over the
weekend series with Michigan.
The fans, the players and the uni-
versity are all happy with "Itch." And
Illinois seems to be establishing itself
as the new baseball power of the Big

Michigan catcher David
Parrish went 2-for-3
yesterday, extending his
hitting streak to a career-
best thirteen games.
He needs to get a hit in
six more games in order
to break former Michigan
second baseman Bobby
Scales' 18-game hit
streak set in April last
The catcher would finish
the weekend 9-for-13
with four RBI and four
In his last five games, the
junior has 12 hits with
five doubles, two
homeruns and six RBI.
Parrish currently leads
the Wolverines with his
.357 batting average, 35
hits, seven home runs
and 25 RBI.
Continued from Page 1B


BALL STATE, 3 p.m.
Wednesday, April 12
at Toledo, 3 p.m.
Friday, April 14
OHIO STATE, 3 p.m.
Saturday, April 15
OHIO STATE (DH), 1:00 p.m.
(Home games in CAPS)


As darkness descended upon
Illinois Field Friday and
's Saturday, Michigan had a
chance to participate in an
activity becoming more and
more frequent in the Big Ten: night
baseball games,
The Fighting Illini became the third
team in the Big Ten (along with
Minnesota and Ohio State) to add
lights to their field in 1999. The lights
were a project of baseball coach
Richard Jones and staff along with
Illinois Athletic Director Ron
Illinois is now regularly drawing 1500
fans for night games, and they drew
600 in poor weather Saturday against
Should Michigan consider building
lights at Fisher Stadium?,
"Any time you can upgrade your facili-

Lower level game

Infield box
Outfield box
Pepsi family section



marked by good starting pitching for
Michigan by lefthander Bobby
Korecky and righthander Vince
Both players threw complete


I - . , I.. - r- --

off push.
"We pitched pretty well this week-
end," Zahn said.
"When we got in trouble, it was
the same old story. Yesterday we
walked guys, and got behind in the
count and that makes hitters better
hitters. - .

1 ~wA..~r


: t , /

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