The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Te iiaDl-mhaaymApril 19, 2010 - 3B
Blue keeps tie for Big Ten
lead, wins in rubber match
By BEN ESTES
Daily Sports Writer
A 17-1 victory in the opening
game of a series would seem to
predict a relatively easy weekend
for the winning team.
It wasn't as much of a breeze as
that result would indicate for the
ball team, but ILINOIS 1
the Wolverines MICHIGAN 17
secure a series
victory at Illi- ILLINOIS 6
nois. MICHIGAN 2
(6-3 Big Ten, ILLINOIS 4
23-12 overall) MICHIGAN 11
day's affair, 6-2,
but rebounded in the finale, win-
ning 11-4 to remain tied atop the
* Big Ten standings.
The final score of Sunday's
game belies how close it was, as
the two teams were tied 3-3 for
the majority of the afternoon.
The Fighting Illini chased Michi-
gan's starter, sophomore right-
hander Brandon Sinnery, in the
third inning after the Worcester,
Massachusetts native allowed
four hits and three unearned
runs, as Illinois tied it up.
But junior right-hander Tyler
Burgoon continued his domi-
nance out of the bullpen, reliev-
ing Sinnery and pitching a
flawless 5.1 innings.
"(Burgoon) gave us a valiant
effort, and we really had to have
it," Michigan coach Rich Malo-
ney said. "The game was in the
balance, and we brought him in
early, and to his credit, he was
just marvelous. He came in with
a couple runners on, had the
momentum switched to their way
to Tyler's credit, he was just
Burgoon's performance gave
* Michigan the opportunity to win
the game. The Wolverines did
just that when the team's bats
exploded for six runs in the sev-
enth inning to put the game out
of reach. Senior catcher Chris
From Page 1B
CALAMITY ON THE RINGS: A
20-plus foot ladder isn't normally
part of the scene on the floor at the
Christl Arena. But Friday night,
the ladder was a staple for much of
the meet. After the rings broke as
an Illinois gymnast was doing his
routine, officials had to bring in a
whole new set of rings.
It took 40 minutes to secure
them and after almost every rota-
tion, the rings were tweaked
"We were like alright, just con-
trol what you can," Chan said.
"So we stayed loose and when we
came back we just came on again.
Everyone just picked it up and we
rocked the sets."
The team is accustomed to
practicing on the rings at the
Coliseum in Ann Arbor and com-
peting on different ones at Cliff
Keen Arena. Those rings are noto-
riously crooked at times so the
issues just made the competition
feel more like a home match, even
From Page 1B
Since freshman year, the three
have been the building blocks
behind the rebirth of the gymnas-
tics program. After Michigan's sev-
enth-place finish during the trio's
freshman year, it went on to place
fourth in 2007, sixth in 2008, and
second in 2009.
"It's all about that saying 'Those
who stay will be champions,' "
McCarthy said, referring to the
famous sign put up in the Michigan
football team's locker room in 1969
by first-year head coach Bo Schem-
bechler. "And I'm living it in the
moment and that's incredible. It's
what the team's all about. It's just
an incredible feeling to be a cham-
The three contributed high
scores this past weekend. McCar-
thy was the only individual event
winner on the high bar, Caldwell
was an All-American on the floor
and vault, and Goldberg had the
second-highest score on a crucial
ring routine Friday during the team
From Page 1B
the punting drills.
He dropped two of them, but the
fact that the balls were even going
near him doesn't bode well for the
Wolverines' punting unit next year.
"We didn't have too many that
landed in the white lines," Rodri-
guez said. "Which is concerning."
In fact, sophomore quarterback
Tate Forcier looked like the team's
best punter on Saturday, at one
point booting the ball 53 yards.
Berset knocked the winning run
home with a single to right field
with no outs, scoring junior out-
fielder Ryan LaMarre.
It was an outburst akin to the
events of Friday night, when the
Fighting Illini (4-5, 16-15) help-
lessly looked on as the Wolver-
ines came into Illinois Field and
laid a beating on them in the
series' opening game.
Michigan got on the board
early, putting up two runs in the
top of the first. And by the time
the next inning was over, the
team was up 9-0, and the rout
was on. Maloney stresses the
importance of "big," "shutdown"
innings all the time, and his team
answered the bell Friday and
The offense wasn't even nec-
essary in the opener, as the Wol-
verines' ace, senior right-hander
Alan Oaks, shut down the Illini to
the tune of just five hits and one
run over eight innings.
It was a welcome sign, as the
big righty had struggled recently.
Oaks began the season on a tear,
accumulating a 2.63 ERA over his
first five starts, including solid
performances against ranked
teams North Carolina, Louisville
and Coastal Carolina.
But Big Ten play had been his
bane during the first two weeks,
as he was subpar against Indiana
That changed in Champaign,
"We needed to get him back
on track," Maloney said. "We're
going to have to pitch really well,
especially on (Friday), through
the rest of the season if we're
going to have some success. It's
good to see Alan get going, and
hopefully he'll build momentum
and get back to where he was."
The other bright spot was the
long-awaited first home run, of
the season for senior Mike Dufek,
who led all Big Ten first basemen
with 17 a year ago.
While the rest of his offensive
game remained strong, earlier
this season Dufek nonetheless
had to watch painfully as less
powerful teammates like fresh-
man centerfielder Patrick Biondi
and redshirt junior second base-
man Anthony Toth went deep.
The co-captain finally got on
the board with his blast in the
third inning Friday, part of a
4-for-5, four RBI day. And though
his teammates mockingly greeted
him with silence back in the dug-
out, it was a satisfying moment.
"It's a huge relief," Dufek said.
"Right when I hit it, I knew it was
out, with the wind blowing out
like it was. Really, (Maloney) just
wants us to knock in runs, the
guys in the middle of the line-up.
But it was nice to have it."
The team's goal every week-
end is to win the series, and three
weeks into Big Ten play, Michi-
gan is 3-for-3, good enough for a
first-place tie in the conference
with Ohio State.
While a home stand against
the Buckeyes looms in two weeks,
Michigan first hosts Iowa next
"We're in the hunt," Malo-
ney said. "We're where we need
to be right now. When you're in
first place at this point and in the
thick of things, that's huge.
"I definitely like the way the
team's shaping itself out right
KRANTZ UPDATE: Redshirt
Kevin Krantz, who fractured
his thumb in the March 26 game
against Indiana University-Purdue
University Fort Wayne, is likely out
for the rest of the season.
Krantz had been one of a
number of players attempting to
replace LaMarre in the lineup
when he was out with his own
broken thumb, though now with
senior Mike Kittle's emergence
and LaMarre's return, Krantz was
unlikely to see much playing time
had he not gotten injured.
Maloney said he will be re-
evaluated in about three and a half
weeks, but as of now, it does not
look good for the Traverse City
From Page 1B
The talk surrounding Robinson's
spring maturation had been getting
louder and louder as spring prac-
tices went on, and with Robinson's
performance Saturday in front of
35,000 fans, the talk of him chal-
lenging incumbent starter Forcier's
job is now at its loudest.
But Rodriguez insists that the
competition remains too close to
call, with all three quarterbacks
making strides in the spring's 15
"I'm pleased that they've gotten
better (but) nobody has taken the
position and grabbed it," Rodri-
guez said. "I was hoping more than
one guy would anyway... I don't
know if it will be solved, who's the
No. 1 guy, by the first game."
Forcier - who had injured his
ankle in practice on Thursday -
looked much less impressive than
he did in his first spring game,
nearly throwing an interception
on his second play of the afternoon
while also losing a fumble.
After leading Michigan to a 4-0
start last season, Forcier's produc-
tion dropped off significantly in
the second half of the season, as
the Wolverines stumbled to a 5-7
Despite the well-publicized bat-
tle between Robinson and Forcier,
the day's biggest ovation came
when an entirely different signal
caller took the field.
Gardner, whose hype had pre-
ceded him as the nation's top dual-
threat quarterback, struggled at
first in his debut in the Big House,
fumbling his first snap and throw-
ing an interception. But his poten-
tial was obvious as the game went
on, as he launched a perfectly
thrown deep ball to junior slot
receiver Martavious Odoms late in
the scrimmage, which Odoms let
fall between his hands.
"Tate and Denard are a little bit
ahead of Devin," Rodriguez said.
"They have a little more experi-
Despite the fact that Robinson's
performance took place ina spring
scrimmage, his obvious improve-
ment in the passing game could
open the door to him being named
the winner of Michigan's quarter-
As he stood on the sidelines last
spring, even then, Robinson knew
being in the starting lineup could
be in the cards for him.
"I've got a pretty good chance,"
Robinson told the Daily after
last year's spring game about his
opportunity for playing time last
fall. "That's my gut feeling, but the
coaches are telling me I've got a
chance to start."
And that chance could be draw-
ing near in his second season, as
spring practices end and the sum-
mer competition heats up under
Srocyzinski and Navas end career
with doubles loss, singles victories
By ANDREW HADDAD
Daily Sports Writer
Senior Day for the Michigan
men's tennis team almost turned
into a disaster for George Navas and
After an emotional ceremony
before the Wolverines' eventual
5-2 victory over Purdue, the two
seniors lost a heartbreaker at No. 1
doubles, 9-8 (3), surrendering the
doubles point to a mediocre confer-
ence foe they were heavily favored
"We came out a bit flat in doubles
and weren't really on top of our
game," Sroczynski said. "We kept it
close there for a while, but couldn't
get that one bounce we needed to
Things got worse when Sroczyn-
ski dropped the first set of his No.
3 singles match, and Navas's oppo-
nent at No. 4 singles took him to a
second-set tiebreaker. For a while, it
appeared that Navas's match would
come down to a third set.
"I'll admit it, I was pretty ner-
vous," Navas said. "I tried not to
think about it, but the idea that I
would lose on Senior Day to Purdue
was hard not to think about."
Fortunately for the two seniors
and the Wolverines (7-1 Big Ten,
11-8 overall), Sroczynski came back
and won his match 2-6, 6-4, 6-3,
and Navas took care of business in
the tiebreaker to win 6-3, 7-6 (5).
"I'm a little disappointed in our
performance, especially in dou-
bles," Michigan coach Bruce Ber-
que said. "We came out a little flat
in an area that is usually our strong
point. We'll need better efforts than
Senior George Navas helped the Wolverines to a 5-2 victory on Senior Night.
this from now on. But I'm proud of
the way we bounced back, especial-
ly George and Mike."
Victory came a little more easily
for the other Wolverines. At No. 1
singles, freshman Evan King put on
a dominant performance, winning
6-1, 6-0. Junior Jason Jung won
6-2, 6-3 at No. 2 singles and junior
Chris Madden won 6-0, 6-3 at No.
Still, the story of the day was
Navas and Sroczynski. The two
have been key contributors to the
team for four years and were hon-
ored on the court with their fami-
lies before the match in a special
"It was definitely emotional for
me," Sroczynski said. "I was for-
tunate enough to spend four great
years here and met a lot of people
that have helped me. It's sad, it's my
last match at home. It was difficult."
"The pre-match ceremony was
nice... but all of the emotions of the
day didn't really hit me until the
second set of singles," Navas said.
"I don't think I've been like that in
a long time. For the rest of my life,
I'll be really proud of my four years
here. I'll look back and remember
more than just the matches; I'll
remember the connection I had
with everyone else on the team. I
love this university and I'll always
be a part of this program in some
way or another."
Navas will have a quick transi-
tionfromthe life ofacollege athlete
to the real world. He startsworking
at Bank of America in late June, just
weeks after the season ends, while
Sroczynski will continue to pursue
After the match, Berque had a lot
of praise for both players, lauding
their contributions to the program.
"I'm always going to have fond
memories of them, not just for the
success they have endured, but for
the commitment they have made to
this program," Berque said. "They
bring so much to this program and
this team, it was nice to see them
have a strong finish."
though it was 600 miles away.
"I gathered the team together
and told them, 'This is adversity,'
" Golder said. "The team that han-
dles the adversity the best is going
to win this championship."
And Michigan did just that.
Although junior Thomas Kelley
fell off the rings, four of his team-
mates scored above 15 to help
propel Michigan to first place-.3
points better than defending
champions Stanford, who finished
this year in second place.
Soon after, it was ruled that due
to the irregularities of the new set
of rings and the issues with the
ones that had broken, anybody
who had fallen off the rings would
be permitted a second attempt.
The scores weren't finalized until
.those second chances were grant-
Kelley took his second chance,
turning in a score of 14.750, good
for third on the squad to up the
Wolverines' score by .4. Kelley's
final performance widened the
gap between Michigan and the
Cardinal to .7 points., Michigan
was the very clear winner while
Illinois remained in fourth place.
Looking past their direct effect
on the team, they were the type of
leaders that the team needed to be
"It was great to have them stay
for the fifth year," junior Thomas
Kelley said. "They've been true
Wolverines for five years now. They
taught us what it meant to really
love Michigan and give it every-
thing you have. I remember telling
Kent right before his floor routine
to do it for Michigan, because that's
what he taught me."
The success they accomplished
this year didn't come easily. They
had to overcome many hurdles
early and later on in their careers
to achieve so much. Caldwell had
a torn stomach muscle as a sopho-
more, forcing him to have surgery.
And McCarthy broke his hand dur-
ing his freshman year, causing him
"Losing is worse than injuries,"
Goldberg said. "When you lose, it
does a mental one on you. And to
bounce back and keep fighting, to
keep working through all the blood
sweat and tears, makes it all worth-
These three, along with seniors
Mel Santander, David Chan and
ROHAN'S SEASON CONTIN-
UES : Freshman Rohan Sebas-
tian, one of two freshmen on the
team, is scheduled to compete in
the European Championships for
Ireland this week and the compe-
tition will provide him with much
needed experience. Grover will be
coaching the Irish national team.
With only a year under his belt,
the learning curve remains high
for performing in competition -
and Golder loves the idea of any
extra experience for the fresh-
"He still needs to learn how to
compete better," Golder said. "I
try to play the psychologist and
try to get a little sudden reinforce-
ment, some subtle hints. I have a
style of not making a big deal over
anything, just try to move in the
direction we have to go."
Sebastian competed on the
floor, the steel rings and the vault,
but only his vault score was count-
ed towards the NCAA Champion-
ship. Golder hopes practicing in
the high pressure situation will
help him to perform to his poten-
tial when the team needs him in
Torrance Laury will be missed next
year. But the departing seniors are
confident the team will continue
"You set the precedent by your
work ethic and what you preach,"
Goldberg said. "If you walk your
talk, the young guys will follow.
And that's what I told them at the
end of this championship. I was
like, 'Guys it doesn't end here. I
want this team to become a dynas-
ty With all the new freshmen com-
ing next year, these guys have to set
the tone and show these youngguys
what Michigan is all about."
Not only are the graduates con-
fident Michigan will continue its
recent success, but future leaders
on the team are also confident.
"(The leadership) will be really
important because we'll have a
young team next year," Kelley
said. "We have quite a few fresh-
men coming in, so it's going to be
a lot of seniors and a lot of fresh-
man. There's going to be a nice
established system in place for the
freshman to come into and take a
part of, so they'll know right away
what it means to be a Michigan
Wolverine the second they walk
into the gym."
'M improves to 8-0 in Big Ten play
By MATT KRASNOFF er, junior Denise Muresan.
For theDaily Muresan - ranked No. 20
---- nationally in singles - had a nine-
The Michigan women's ten- match winningstreak coming into
nis team's record in its past 12 Saturday. But after winning her
matches is an umblemished 12-0. doubles match with senior Tania
It's safe to say the Wolverines are Mahtani, Muresan's singles streak
rolling right now. ended at the hands of Purdue's
And Michigan traveled to West Michelle Sammons.
Lafayette, Indiana on Saturday to Bernstein is confident that
take on Purdue for its final road Muresan will bounce back.
match of the regular season. The "It was difficult for Denise,"
Wolverines added to their perfect Bernstein said. "(The windy) con-
record in Big Ten play - now 8-0 ditions were tough for her, but I
- and improved to 18-3 overall on expect her to be back next Satur-
the season. day to start a new win streak."
No. 4 Michigan swept the Junior captain Whitney Taney
doubles competition, earning the continued her strong singles play.
important first point in the early She defeated Jennifer Rabot, who
portion of the day's action. It was is ranked No. 111 nationally in
the seventh time in Big Ten play singles and was 5-1 in Big Ten play
that the team won all three dou- coining into the match.
bles matches. "Whitney did a great job
"Obviously the goal is to go up because the girl she played today
1-0, and we've had really good suc- was very athletic," Bernstein said.
cess with that," Michigan coach "But she stayed real positive the
Ronni Bernstein said. "I think the whole time, and it was a very, very
girls are confident going into dou- good win for her."
bles, and it definitely helped going The Wolverines will look to
into singles. It takes some of the continue their stellar season next
pressure off." weekend at home against Illinois
And with the decreased pres- on Saturday and Indiana on Sun-
sure, the Wolverines thrived in day.
singles play. They won five of the
six matches, with the lone loss
by the team's number-one play-
As the semester and regular
season wind down, Michigan
hopes the home cooking can help
them complete their quest for Big
"We have confidence, but we
have two really tough matches at
home next weekend," Bernstein
said. "Hopefully we'll have a great
crowd out there than can help us
at our home court."
Now in her third season, Bern-
stein has led her team to consecu-
tive second-round appearances in
the NCAA Championship, as well
as two straight runner-up finishes
at the Big Ten Tournament.
After falling just one match
short of the title two seasons in a
row, Bernstein hopes that this is
the year the Wolverines can call
themselves Big Ten champions.
"We put ourselves in a posi-
tion to win it, so we want to win
out (the regular season) and go
into the tournament and give it
a go," Bernstein said. "But we're
just taking it one match at a time.
We're feeling good about where
we are in the program, and we
think we can do it, but it'll come
down to how we compete and how
we play when the time comes."
Rodriguez was impressed, but
not quite ready to name Forcier the
starting punter just yet.
"He's a pretty talented punter,"
Rodriguez joked. "But I'd rather
Tate work on some other things."
Luckily for the Wolverines,
incoming freshman Will Hagerup,
the nation's highest-recruited
punter with offers from Florida,
Tennessee and Ohio State, will
arrive in the summer and is expect-
ed to take over the punting duties.
SPRING AWAKENING: Red-
shirt sophomore wide receiver Roy
Roundtree really likes springgames.
Last year, Roundtree was one
of the more impressive offensive
players in the game, catching three
bomb from then-freshman Forcier.
This year, Roundtree duplicated
last year's strong showing, catch-
ing balls all over the field from
sophomore quarterback Denard
The wideout caught two touch-
downs, one being a 97-yard sprint
to the end zone.
"Once I caught it, I just
thought to myself, 'I gotta score,"'
Roundtree said. "There's nobody in
front of me, nobody beside me so I
just knew I had to run."