The Michigan Daily - Friday, March 25, 2005 -11
Three Amigos spark
By Pete Sneider
Daily Sports Writer
They call them the "Three Amigos."
But the talented trio of Michigan hurlers bear little
resemblance to Lucky Day, Ned Nederlander and
"I'm not sure if I love that nickname," senior cap-
tain Jim Brauer said. "But they call us that for a rea-
Penn and Feldkamp, who could be No. I pitchers
on most Big Ten staffs, round out the "Three Ami-
"It doesn't matter who's pitching on what day
because it's really like we have three No. I (pitch-
ers)," first-year pitching coach Bob Keller said.
"Since we have such a deep, consistent staff, we
feel that, the majority of the time, we can, carry the
Like it or not, these amigos should
give Wolverine fans something to
"old" about heading into today's home-
opener against Oakland at Ray Fisher
Brauer, along with senior Michael
Penn and junior Derek Feldkamp,
looks to guide a Michigan (11-3) team
- ranked 22nd by Collegiate Baseball
- that is seeking its first Big Ten title
since 1997. With early wins over Geor-
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load," Brauer said. "If one guy goes out
and throws a good game, the next guy
wants to go out and beat that perfor-
mance. As much as we all respect each
other, we're all trying to elevate each
other's games, and that's why we're
doing so well."
Starting out this season 3-0 with a
2.42 ERA, Brauer has been rock solid
on the mound. With his improved con-
trol - just nine three-ball counts in 95
batters faced - and a nasty slider, the
coming back. It ended up being a pretty easy deci-
Feldkamp, who was selected in the 41st round by
the Toronto Blue Jays in the same draft, opted to
return as well. The 6-foot-4, 200-pound right-hander
boasts a 3-0 record and a team-best 1.23 ERA enter-
ing this weekend's series against Oakland. Feldkamp
can top out in the mid-90s, but he relies on his chan-
geup later in the count.
"Right now, my changeup has been by far my
best pitch," Feldkamp said. "It really helped me out
last weekend at Ohio - it got me out of some real
Penn, who transferred from Ball State three years
ago, completes the trio. The lanky right-hander is 2-1
with a 3.18 ERA on the year but has walked just three
of the 86 batters he has faced.
"I force contact a lot, so I think that's why (the
staff) calls me the control guy," Penn said. "I like to
shove the ball into the zone and challenge the batter.
I might not get many strikeouts, but I get a lot of guys
to ground out."
With regard to the NCAA tournament, the boys
of summer are wary of looking too far ahead. But
the captain says going deep into June is very possible
- citing reasons off the field as well.
"This team really has no seniority bias - it's really
a team atmosphere," Brauer said. "In the past, we've
had a lot of divisions in the team, but it's really been
a different feel than in the past. It wouldn't surprise
me to go to regionals, and, if that goes our way, then
to Omaha (for the college world series). In the past,
I'd be laughed at for saying that, but that's how good
I think this team is."
gia and North Carolina, who were ranked eighth and
10th at the time, it's certainly within the ballpark.
"Of all the years I've been here, this is by far the
most complete team we've had," Brauer said. "I've
seen many other Big Ten teams, and I don't think
anybody has near the pitching staff that we have. I
think (not winning the Big Ten Championship) would
be a huge disappointment."
In his fifth season, Brauer has gone through three
head coaches, four pitching coaches and over 100
"I've seen it all," Brauer said. "This year is like
2004 all-conference pitcher is primed for another
Last spring, the Montreal Expos - now the Wash-
ington Nationals - selected Brauer in the 42nd
round of the Major League Baseball draft. The right-
hander flirted with idea of going pro, but ultimately
decided against it.
"I wasn't getting offered that much at the time, so I
just figured I had a lot more to prove (at Michigan),"
Brauer said. "If you asked me a year ago (if I would
be back), I would have most likely said no. I just fig-
ured I would get a decent-round pick and just go. But
I started realizing more and more how many guys are
Senior Jim Brauer has gotten off to a strong start this season, earning a 3-0 record
to go along with a 2.42 ERA.
Junior Chris Getz earned preseason All-American honors, the only Big Ten player to
do so. He is hitting .446 on the season.
to the Fish
at Florida Atlantic
at East Carolina
No. 8 Georgia
No. 10 North Carolina
New York Tech
Central Conn. State
THE BASEBALL WRITERS GO OUT ON A LIMB
AND GIVE THEIR PREDICTIONS FOR THE
2005 BASEBALL SEASON.
Big Ten Champion
Big Ten Runner-up
Big Ten Player of the Year
Michigan's regular-season record
College World Series Champion
College World Series Runner-up
Michigan's position player MVP
Michigan's pitching MVP
Michigan's breakout player
Michigan's top reliever
Michigam's final ranking
Surprise Big Ten team
Opening Day Attendance
Best name in the Big Ten
Cal. State Fullerton
THE POP OF
OF THE BAT.
Derek Feldkamp Jim Brauer Feldkamp
Doug Pickens Michael McCormick Clayton Richard
Drew Taylor Richard Richard
Not Ranked 21.2no
Indiana Minnesota Illinois
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ift shp for The Department of
presents a Howard R. Marsh
CHARLES A. KROHN
u 2004-2005 Howard R. Marsh Visiting Professor of Journalism
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