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April 01, 2002 - Image 9

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2002-04-01

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cue £idMgant IU
sPORTS NDAY

Sports desk: 763-2459
sportsdesk@umich.edu

SECTION B

Clutch at home -

Michigan
nine stops
Hawkeyes
Daily Sports Writer
Every so often, there is a very close play
during a baseball game when no one
envies the umpire who has to make the
call. Sometimes, those instances can be
critical turning points in the game.
In the top of the third inning of Sunday's
second game between Iowa and Michigan,
home plate umpire Dave Buck was faced
with one of those crucial decisions. His
call ended up propelling the Wolverines to
a 4-1 win - their third in four games dur-
ing the opening weekend of the Big Ten
season.
sThe Hawkeyes had already tied the
game at 1-1 on an RBI single by shortstop
Jeff Gremley through the left side of the
infield. After Gremley moved to second on
a passed ball, senior Ian Mattiace laced the
first pitch he saw into left field for what
looked like the go-ahead RBI. But Michi-
gan outfielder Brandon Roberts made a
strong throw to beat the runner to the plate.
And after catcher Alex Coleman applied
the tag, Buck called the runner out to end
the inning.
Iowa coach Scot Broghamer was upset.
by the decision, arguing that Gremley had
slid under the tag and beat Coleman to the
plate.
"I thought he tagged him up around the
mid-chest region, and if he did that, it
means (Gremley's) legs are six feet farther
past where he tagged him and he was in,"
Broghamer said.
Michigan starter Jeff Trzos, who was
backing Coleman up on the play, thought
that Broghamer might have had a point.
"I thought he was safe," Trzos said. "I

DAVID KATZ/Daily
Michigan catcher Alex Coleman appeals to umpire Dave Buck after tagging out Iowa's Jeff Gremley in the third inning of Sunday's second game.

thought he got under (the tag). But I'm not
gonna say anything because (the call) is
going my way."
Coleman, on the other hand, who may
have had the best view of what hap-
pened, was positive that Gremley never
got passed him.
"I felt he slid right into my feet and
never got to the plate," Coleman said. "I
didn't think there was any doubt that the
guy was out."
Despite all of the differing views, Buck's
first impression was all that mattered, and
the Wolverines escaped the third with the
score tied at one.
The game remained that way until the
bottom of the fifth, when the Wolverines
were able to break things open. Designated
hitter Mike Sokol got the inning started for
Michigan with a five-pitch leadoff walk.

Shortstop Brock Koman moved Sokol to
third with a sharp base hit that bounced off
of the pitcher's mound and into center
field. But after Iowa first baseman Brad
Carlson made a spectacular stop on a
Roberts' ground ball and threw Sokol out
at home plate, it appeared the Wolverines
might come up empty handed again.
But a passed ball by Iowa catcher Cliff
Bruckner and a walk to right fielder Gino
Lollio loaded the bases, and Michigan had
another chance to surge ahead. This time,
first baseman Nate Wright made sure the
opportunity didn't go to waste. Wright's
slow dribbler down the* first-base line was
just enough to score Koman from third and
give Michigan a 2-1 lead that it never gave
up. Coleman followed Wright with a sharp
single into left field to score Koman and
Lollio and blow the game open.

"I was kind of sitting on changeup and
that's what he threw me" Coleman said of
his clutch single. "He got it up a little bit,
so I just hit it into centerfield."
Throughout the game, Trzos kept
Michigan close by staying ahead in the
count and throwing strikes. The senior
lefthander opened the game by tossing
first-pitch strikes to five of the first seven'
hitters he faced. Broghamer was
impressed with the way that Trzos had
command of his pitches.
"I thought he did a nice job. He kept us
off balance" Broghamer said.
Trzos felt that his success early in the
count was as much a result of a lack of
aggression from the Iowa hitters as his own
command. He also said that the extra few
days of rest he gained from a rain out on
See HAWKEYES, Page 4B

AP PHOTO
Maryland graduate Dave Sacks rejoices as the Terrapins beat
the Jayhawks to advance to the championship game.
Brackets busted.?
It could be worse
f you are like most people in the michigandaily.com/Pizza
House Challenge, your bracket was shot down long ago.
The average Joe Idiot earned 56 points out of a possible
120 by picking Duke over Kansas and stumbling through the
other picks.
Despite all the carnage on the
left side of the board (South and n ,
West Regions), a few people
have stood out from the rest -
unfortunately most of those
people did so because of their
remarkable stupidity.
The leaders will get their day
in the sun tomorrow, after the
final scores are tallied, but today b ife r
belongs to the losers.
In total, 253 people entered
the contest. Five people got zero Elite Eight teams. It doesn't
take that much brain power to pick one of the top two seeds in
either the East or the Midwest. How did these people get into
Michigan?
Sixty-four sound-minded people picked Maryland (the
third-most popular choice behind Duke and Kansas) to cut
down the nets in Atlanta. Someone picked Illinois-Chicago,
but nobody had Indiana becoming champions.
Our Illinois-Chicago friend came perilously close to being
the worst picker of the year. He had the Flames knocking off
Boston College for the title - neither team came close to
winning once.
But despite what appeared to be the best efforts of Mr. Illi-
nois Chicago, one man totaled just 32 points.
His loan Elite Eight team was, remarkably enough, Kent
State. For some reason we think that he was actually trying to
win. Duke, Gonzaga, Marquette and Mississippi State is a bad
Final Four, but the lack of a No. 15 seed winning the title
makes him more likely to be an unlucky fool than a deliberate
loser like our friendly Flames fan.
These two may have picked the fewest winners, but there
can be little doubt that stupider people are out there.
Many contestants left lines blank, and still others picked
winners that weren't involved in the game at all.
Admittedly, we goofed by putting Duke in Arizona's spot in
the West Region.-for the first bracket we published. But that is
no excuse for picking a Duke vs. Duke national semifinal, as
one crackhead did.
But the most amazingly braindead bracket of the year had a
different Duke vs. Duke game. This time the real Duke (from
the South) faced off against a magical Duke (which somehow
won the other semifinal between Maryland and Kansas). The
result of this Duke vs. Duke championship game? Of course,
Kansas won. If anyone out there knows the owner of this
bracket, please advise him to seek professional help.

Wolverines walk past Ohio
State, take three on weekend

By Kyle O'Ne.Il
Daily Sports Writer
Bases loaded. Last inning. Two outs. Tie game. Full
count.
That was the situation that freshmanJessica Mer-
chant faced in the first game of Michigan's doublehead-
er against Ohio State.
After fouling off two pitches to stay alive in the count,
Merchant stepped in, stared down Ohio State's ace
Wendy Allen and took the game-winning walk to give
the 13-ranked Wolverines (3-1 Big Ten, 24-7 overall) a
5-4 victory for their second win of the weekend.
They added a third victory yesterday with a sweep of
the Buckeyes (29-8, 2-2) thanks to an 8-2 win. Michi-
gan split with Penn State on Saturday with a loss of 1-0
and a 3-0 victory.
Surprisingly, the game-winning walk wasn't the
biggest gift the No. 25 Buckeyes gave to Michigan in
the final inning of the first game yesterday.
With two outs, runners on second andthird and the

Wolverines down 4-3, Michigan junior Marissa Young
hit what appeared to be a game-ending groundball to
Ohio State second baseman Jennifer Link. Link bobbled
the ball, allowing Kelsey Kollen to score from third and
tie the game at four.
Michigan's Melinda Moulden was intentionally
walked by Allen to get to Merchant, who was hitless in
the game. Allen threw three straight balls to Merchant
and worked from behind the rest of the at bat until she
threw a fastball up and away for ball four and the loss.
"Obviously Merchant had a great at bat," Michigan
coach Carol Hutchins said. "They walked Moulden, and
that was a good call and maneuver. We had a 3-1 take
(sign) on for Merchant to make (Allen) throw two more
strikes. There was a lot of pressure, and Merchant did a
great job because she had to fend off a lot of pitches."
In the second game of the doubleheader, Michigan
got to Ohio State pitcher Katie Chain early and often,
scoring five runs in the third inning to break a 1-1 tie.
The Wolverines added two more in the final four
See BUCKEYES, Page 5B

DAVID KATZ/Daily
Second baseman and leadoff hitter Kelsey Koillen celebrates after
cranking a home run In the fifth inning of yesterday's second game.

'M' tankers break top 10 once again
MEN'S SWIMMING AND DIVING ATHENS, GA
CHAMPIONSHIPS

By Courtney Lewis
Daily Sports Writer
ATHENS, Ga - The Michigan men's swim-
ming and diving team has worn them all year:
Blue T-shirts with a single maize word lettered
on the back - ONE. The shirts symbolize the
Wolverines' commitment to team success.
Maybe those shirts explain why even though
the Wolverines left the NCAA Championships
with some disappointing individual swims and
no champions, they were still able to finish in
the top 10 in the team standings.
While Texas battled Stanford to the last race
before winning its third consecutive national
title Saturday, Michigan used a strong perform-
ance in the first race, the 1,650-yard freestyle, to
move up from 11th. The Wolverines ended the
meet in ninth with 183 points.
"We figured we'd finish anywhere from sev-
enth to 10th," Freshman Brendan Neligan said.
"'I think we're somewhat pleased with how we
swam. I think it's going to open some eyes for
next year."

a fifth-place finish. Junior Justin Drake was
ninth, and Andrew Hurd and Dan Ketchum also
scored. Jason Coben, Jeff Hopwood and the 400
freestyle relay team rounded out Saturday's
point-winners.
Ketchum was Michigan's top swimmer for the
weekend, earning All-America honors in four
races, but he wasn't completely satisfied. After
finishing fifth in the 500 freestyle on Thursday,
he missed the 200-freestyle title by .09 seconds.
"I thought I really had a shot at winning the
race, and Adam (Sioui of Florida) just swam a
great race and touched me out," Ketchum said.
The Big Ten Swimmer of the Year was in
front for most of the race, but faded slightly.
"Everything was going real well, I think I just
tightened up in the last 25 even," Ketchum said.
"It was more of a 'please don't die, please don't
die instead of attacking the race."
Garrett Mangieri, an All-American in three
events, touched sixth in the 200 free.
Ketchum and Mangieri also swam in the 800
freestyle relay with Hurd and Neligan. Michigan
coach Jon Urbanchek thought that race would

pionship, but Southern California was too much
for Michigan - and everyone else. The Trojans
won the race in an American record time of
6:17.36, more than six seconds ahead of Texas.
Michigan took third.
Michigan's ninth place in the final team
standings was one spot better than last season's
Wolverines finished, and Urbanchek said
achieving the success of Texas or Stanford
requires patience.
"The time we ended up winning the NCAAs
in 1995, we started out with 1lth place, and we
gradually moved up one by one, within an eight
or nine-year span," Urbanchek said. "This is a
start. We're going in the right direction."
Legendary diving coach Dick Kimball will be
heading in a different direction. The NCAA
Championships was his last meet after 43 years
of coaching at Michigan, and the NCAA hon-
ored him with a presentation during Friday
night's competition. Kimball's fellow diving
coaches gathered around him as he received a
standing ovation and a plaque which called him
"one of the greatest coaches to ever touch the

PATRICK JONES/Daily
Tha MIchIdan man's swimming and diving team aEhieved its onal of flnishing In the top ten at NCAAs by

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