The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
" Michigan suffers third loss to a MAC team
Thursday, April 9, 2009 - 5A
By TIM ROHAN
Daily Sports Writer
A smorgasbord of Michigan
pitchers marched to the mound
yesterday for the Michigan base-
ball team, but no one could stop the
streak of bad pitching.
The Wolverines lost 10-2 to
Central Michigan, dropping their
record to 2-3 against teams from
the Mid-American Conference this
season. It was their worst loss to a
MAC team since a 14-0 loss to the
Chippewas in 2002.
"We lost a ton of guys (before
the season) and with that being
said, the MAC, they sense that,
they're no fools," Michigan coach
Rich Maloney said. "When I was
in the MAC, when I was a player, I
wanted to beat Michigan because I
wanted to go to Michigan. All those
guys wish they were at Michigan.
... That's the truth. So the reality is
they're coming ready to play."
In last Sunday's 16-S loss to Penn
State, Michigan exhausted its bull-
pen by using five relievers in five
innings. Freshman Brandon Sin-
nery, sophomore Travis Smith and
senior Mike Wilson all saw the
mound Sunday, and each pitched
Without a clear candidate to start
against the Chippewas (4-5 MAC,
14-17 overall), Michigan decided
to have a staff day. The Wolverines
relied on multiple pitchers for a few
innings at a time after starter Kevin
Vangheluwe went as far as he could.
Vangheluwe took the mound in
his first career start. He didn't last
e long - four runs and less than two
innings later, he was gone.
Six relievers were used after
the freshman was pulled from the
"For us, we want to see a lot of
different guys anyhow, because,
quite frankly, we haven't been
pitching very well," Maloney said.
"So therefore we're waiting for
someone to step up."
Mishaps didn't help the reliev-
ers, who gave up six runs while they
tried to stop the bleeding. No pitch-
er recorded more than five outs.
Junior Juliana Paz (right) will give Michigan an "inside view" of her native Brazil
Paz and 'M' headed
to Brazil next month
Senior Mike Wilson was one of seven pitchers who gave up a combined 12 hits in yesterday's 10-2 loss to CentralvM
Maloney said one bright spot
was the pitching of sophomore
Kolby Wood, who had "nasty" stuff.
Wood pitched 1.2 perfect innings
and struck out three batters.
Central Michigan's freshman
pitcher Rick Dodridge effectively
controlled the Wolverine batters.
Dodridge shined despite entering
the game with a 5.96 earned run
average. Michigan (3-3 Big Ten,
18-11) managed just five hits off him
in over six innings of work.
"It's a huge momentum swing to
have to comeback from a deficit,"
senior Kevin Cislo said. "The first
team that scores usually wins. We
have to find a way to shut down
teams early in the game and have
our offense pick it up. We haven't
been able to do that all year."
Nothing was going right for
Michigan. Even when the ball was
playable, the Wolverines had a few
miscues which could have made
their night easier. The defense had
two official errors and many other
possible plays were not executed.
Michigan failed to make the plays
on defense, at the plate and on the
mound that were necessary to avoid
another loss to a MAC team.
Michigan's only loss to a MAC
team last year came against Central
Michigan on Apr. 4, when the Chip-
pewas scored seven unanswered
runs. The Wolverines have lost six
of its last 10 games, and after yes-
terday's loss, their problems are
"It's not that the guys aren't try-
ing," Maloney said. "They may even
be trying more than they should be
trying. I don't know. But right now
it's more psychological than it is
anything else. It's not the opponent
- we are the opponent. We're beat-
Wolverine bats rise
up after slow start
iartans for fifth
By MARK BURNS
Daily Sports Writer
EAST LANSING - It took
Michigan's men's tennis junior
George Navas three hard-fought
sets to defeat Michigan State's
Ronnie Hulewicz yesterday.
But Hulewicz's actions after
losing at No. 5 singles told the real
story of the day.
Following the loss, the Spartan
freshman walked to the backdrop
behind his court and grabbed his
towel. After shaking hands with
Navas and the umpire, Hulewicz
plopped down on a nearby bench
and buried his head in the towel
for a couple minutes.
Hulewicz's display epitomized
the match as the Wolverines dis-
mantled the Spartans, 7-0, at the
Michigan State Indoor Tennis
"We don't want to take any-
one lightly, but (Michigan) coach
(Bruce Berque) really wanted
us to be competitive in today's
match," junior Mike Sroczynski
said. "Getting another win on the
road definitely helps the team's
After the teams split the first
two doubles matches, the doubles
point rested on the shoulders of
Sroczynski and senior co-captain
Because the Spartans (0-7
Big Ten, 12-10 overall) defeated
Michigan in doubles the previous
two seasons, Berque said he urged
Michigan to play with "energy"
and "hunger" because he knew
its in-state rival would come out
Sroczynski and Aarts stayed
composed and poised, battling
for each point to escape with an
8-6 victory and the doubles point
for the Wolverines (3-4, 9-13).
Sroczynski was easily the biggest
and strongest player on the court
for both teams, using his serve to
overpower the Spartans.
"We definitely want the guys
to use their serves as weapons,"
Berque said. "But we also want
to manage them and make a lot
of high-percentage first serves in
singles and doubles. When we do
that, we have a good chance of
After grabbing the doubles
point for the Wolverines, Sroc-
zynski's serve and return game
were too strong for the Spartans
at the No. 3 singles position. He
defeated his opponent in straight
sets, 6-4, 6-4.
"On days like this, when I can
serve well, there's really nothing
(my opponent) can do," Sroczyn-
ski said. "I was hitting my spots
Berque said Sroczynski hadn't
been playing his best tennis
earlier in the season but he has
improved considerably in the past
Navas and senior Andrew Maz-
lin used multiple aces in their
three-set singles victories to help
the team beat the Spartans for the
fifth straight time.
Michigan will hope to use its
service game next Sunday at Pur-
due to force the Boilermakers to
bury their faces into a few more
"It's easier when you have
that 'W' behind you in the locker
room," sophomore Chris Mad-
den said. "You can celebrate a
little bit and believe in yourself
By MICHAEL FLOREK
Daily Sports Writer
It's a tradition duringthe Jewish
holiday of Passover to eat unleav-
But hours before the holiday
began at sunset yesterday, the
Michigan softball team's bats
appeared to be observing Passover
early. Eventually, the offense rose
to life in the Wolverines' 7-2 win at
The Chippewas (1-7 Mid-Amer-
ican Conference, 7-19 overall)
jumped out to an early 1-0 lead as
pitcher Ali Pettit hung on by throw-
ingballs low. Central Michigan held
a slim lead until the sixth inning,
when junior outfielder Angela Find-
lay found her swing and belted a
two-run homer over the left-center
wall of Margo Jonker Stadium.
"I was just going up there to hit
the ball hard," Findlay said. "We
had just talked about keeping our
eyes down on the ball."
Findlay's blast was just the
beginning. Sparked by a five-run
seventh inning, the eighth-ranked
Wolverines extended their win
streak to seven.
Freshman second baseman
Stephanie Kirkpatrick, who made
her first appearance in the lead-
off spot, was the lone Wolverine
to consistently reach base. Michi-
gan coach Carol Hutchins said
the lineup switch was a trial but
hinted that it could reappear in the
The move paid off. Michigan
(4-2 Big Ten, 27-9) had three hits
before the sixth inning - and two
"I like being in the leadoff spot,"
said Kirkpatrick, who hit leadoff in
high school. "It felt like I was back
home in my spot. It wasn't differ-
ent. I'll fake any spot, but it was
comfortable being up at the top."
Sophomore first basemanDorian
Shaw's first-inning fielding error
led to Michigan's early 1-0 deficit.
With two errors in Wednesday's
game, Michigan has committed
five errors in its past three games.
The Wolverines have committed
four errors in their three midweek
games this season.
"We definitely need to play
some better defense," Hutchins
said. "We gave up a run in the first
inning, but we didn't let it lead to
big innings. ... It's just not concen-
trating and not staying focused on
the ball and the moment."
The single game was a rare
break from the new schedule of
midweek doubleheaders in Big Ten
games. The Wolverines insist they
are not fatigued by the new amount
of both nonconference and confer-
ence games on Wednesdays.
And despite their fielding
errors, the final result is still the
same - wins. Of their three mid-
week games, their lowest margin
of victory was yesterday's five-run
By MARK BURNS
Daily Sports Writer
Michigan volleyball coach Mark
Rosen knew he wanted to take his
team on a spring trip, but he didn't
China and Europe were pos-
sibilities. But while recruiting a
player from Iowa Western Com-
munity College - of all places
- last year, Rosen finally had his
At IWCC, Rosen found Juliana
Paz, a Porto Alegre, Brazil native.
Paz eventually committed to the
Wolverines, and Rosen and his
coaching staff decided to finalize
a plan that had been a few years in
"We had been talking about this
group of players going on a foreign
trip," Rosen said. "You want to do
it on a year where you have a lot of
Michigan returns all but two
players from last season's Sweet
Sixteen squad, so this was an ideal
time for the Wolverines to take a
With Paz on the roster, it was an
obvious move to head to Sao Paulo
and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from
Theteam will play six Brazilian
club teams in a 10-day stretch.
"Brazil tends tobe a little faster
pace, and they focus on defense
and ball control," Rosen said.
"They playjust aggressive defense,
keeping balls alive. It'll force us to
play at a much higher level."
Offensively, foreign competi-
tion is more "outside dominated,"
according to junior right side hit-
ter Megan Bower.
Setters tend to serve their hit-
ters on the sidelines instead of in
the middle of the court or out of
the back row.
And the attitude is different,
"They're very passionate about
how they play, and they play very
externally," Rosen said. "In our
country, if someone says some-
thing through the net, you get a
"That's commonplace there,
and it'll be interesting to see how
our kids handle that confronta-
The Wolverines will see a whole
different culture in Brazil.
In Brazil, teams don't have a lot
of money or funding, so players
compete in dirty, leaky facilities
that don't look like the state-of-
the-art volleyball courts here.
"We're a first-world country,
and they're third world." Rosen
said. "But in volleyball, (skills-
wise), it's the exact opposite."
Paz, a junior, will essentially be
a tour guide for her teammates and
"Juliana is going to be able to
give us an inside view, rather than
getting maybe the superficial side
of the country," Rosen said.
For the past few weeks, the out-
side hitter has tried to teach her
teammates about her native coun-
try. Bower said the team has been
learning different words every
day, like "please," "thank you," and
" excuse me."
"Juliana has been laughing at
us all the time," sophomore setter
Lexi Zimmerman said. "It's funny
from her point of view because
she'll screw up English words, and
everyone will be like 'Ooohhh'
And now we're butchering some
of these words and she's getting a
kick out of it, too."
THE NEXT STEP
Other Big Ten teams have
recently embarked on internation-
al trips. Purdue and Illinois trav-
eled to Europe last year.
Illinois showed a big improve-
ment after the trip. The Fighting
Illini went from 16-14 in 2007 to
a third-place finish in the Big Ten
with a 26-8 record last season.
Purdue won seven more games last
season than the year before.
"You usually see teams take a
surge the year they go on these
trips," Rosen said.
Rosen has seen his team's win
totals increase in each of the last
three seasons. And with much of
last year's team still intact, the trek
to Brazil could be what Michigan
needs to cement itself in the upper
echelon of the Big Ten.
"This trip could be what puts us
over the hump next year," Rosen
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