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April 17, 2002 - Image 15

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2002-04-17

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The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, April 17, 2002 -15

Amid fial
By Charles Paradis
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan baseball team (6-6
Big Ten, 11-18 overall) will be with-
out one of its usual players when it
takes on Oakland this afternoon.
Freshman Paul Hammond, who has
been getting the nod to start midweek
games, injured himself against Illi-
nois last weekend. The southpaw will
have an MRI done this week, but
until then it is not certain what the
status of his injury will be.
In his place, Jim Brauer (1-3, 6.52
ERA) will take the mound against the
Grizzlies. Brauer, a 6-foot-4 sopho-
more, pitched against Illinois last
weekend, but was removed from the
second game of Saturday's double-
header after being hit by a ball.
"(Brauer) didn't get to throw a lot
on the weekend, because he got hit by
a line drive," interim coach Chris
Harrison said. "He's OK, we just
wanted him to get up and throw a
couple of innings."
While the Wolverines have some
injuries on the mound, all three of
their catchers are healthy and strong.
Sophomore catcher Jake Fox, the
reigning Big Ten Player of the Week,
could also serve as the designated hit-
ter for the Wolverines this afternoon.
Michigan is faced with the unusual
problem of having three talented
catchers fighting for playing time.
Jason Wuerfel, Alex Coleman and
Fox have all played behind the plate
this season and have all contributed.
"It's hard to get them in," Harrison
said. "Coleman has been catching
real well, and Wuerfel has had a good
year for us, so we try to work all of
them in to the lineup as much as we
can. In regards to (Fox), he's such a
big part of the lineup. He's a guy we
need to get in there and get as many
at bats as we can."
For the next two weeks, the base-
ball team will be undergoing the
same finals schedule as all the other
students at Michigan. During that
time, the team will also play a home-
and-home series against archrival
Michigan State (6-5, 22-8). The
Wolverines will host games against
the Spartans at Ray Fisher Stadium
this Friday and Sunday and will travel
to East Lansing for a doubleheader on

Joppru is suspended indefinitely

Continued from Page 13
able gains - the Wolverines didn't have one run for
more than 30 yards last season.
The offensive line has "been improving the whole
spring," tailback Chris Perry said. "They've been work-
ing hard, and I think they'll do better than they did last
year. That's really going to help us out."
If this past Saturday's annual spring scrimmage was
any indication of the group's improvement, the Wolver-
ines still have some work to do. The rushing attack was
held in check for most of the game by the swarming
defensive line, as Perry, Michigan's leading rusher, ran 12
times for 34 yards - an average of 2.8 yards per carry.
"I thought our defense did a great job of getting off the
ball, and we didn't sustain our blocks well enough," Mal-
one said.
"I was a little disappointed in the way we blocked up
front," Carr said.
The rushers were not the only group that was tortured
by the experienced defensive front. The quarterbacks
spent most of the day on their heels, avoiding pressure
from ends Shantee Orr and Alain Kashama.
"We did not protect the passer as well as we'd like to,"
Carr said. "I think the truth is that there's a lot of guys in
that (defensive) front four - about two or three deep -
that are not easy to block. There's some great pass rush-
ers there."
The turnover on the line has left Michigan's coaching
staff with the task of evaluating seven redshirt freshmen
and two sophomores who have not played in a game for
the Wolverines.

"The biggest thing is getting out there and getting
experience," senior offensive lineman Dave Petruziello
said. "Everyone's improved, and that's the biggest thing."
Carr and Malone agree that freshman Adam Stenavich
has "stood out" as a guy who is ready to play, even
though he has put on some weight in the offseason.
"What he needs to do this summer is work on his
quickness a little bit," Carr said. "Because he put on
weight, he's not as quick as he was last fall. But Adam's
going to be a good football player."
Malone, who coaches the offensive line along with his
duties as coordinator, said that junior Tony Pape has
impressed him this spring and will be an "anchor" for the
line this season. Morgan has also raised some eyebrows
with his stre gth and athleticism and has moved to left
tackle for the oment to add some much-needed depth.
"Athletically, Courtney gives you something in terms
of being able to protect the. passer," Carr said. "And that
is an issue for us with a left-handed quarterback and two
right-handed quarterbacks."
TIGHT SITUATION: Michigan tight end Benny Joppru has
been suspended indefinitely from the Michigan football
team after the fifth-year senior was arrested for his
involvement in a fight outside of Rick's American Cafe
on Saturday night.
Joppru and Michigan wrestler Mike Kulczycki had to
be seperated and put in handcuffs at the corner of Willard
and Church streets around 11:30 p.m. Saturday. Kulczyc-
ki, a two-time letterwinner, was also suspended indefi-
nitely by Michigan wreslting coach Joe McFarland.
Joppru had 17 catches for 119 yards last season; he
was projected to start at tight end for the Wolverines.
Carr could not be reached for comment.

Michigan sophomore right-hander Jim Brauer will make a rare mid-week start today
at The Fish because freshman Paul Hammond Is out with an Injury.

The Spartans boast a .350 batting
average and 57 home runs on the sea-
son. Compared to Michigan's .271
batting average and mere 20 home
runs, the weekend should be a tough
one for the Wolverines.
After the second grueling week of
finals, Michigan will travel to State
College to take on Penn State in a
four-game road series. The Nittany
Lions have not had the season they
expected, with a 3-8 record in Big Ten
play to place them ninth in the con-
After Penn State, the Wolverines
will then have the chance to relax and

Who: Michigan vs. Oakland, Michigan State
When: 3 p.m. today, 3 p.m. tomorrow, 1 p.m.
Saturday, 1 p.m. Sunday
Latest: Jim Brauer will start today in place of
injured freshman Paul Hammond.
enjoy themselves off the field.
"Once they get done with finals,
it's a nice time for them. They get to
concentrate on baseball and their
studies are out of the way, but that
still is a couple of weeks away," Har-
rison said.

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