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September 23, 2010 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 2010-09-23

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Thursday, September 23, 2010 - 7A

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Thursday, September 23, 2010 - 7A

Sophomore Patrick Blondi, shown here, was one of the Wolverines' best players as a freshman last season.
Maloney to depend
on brand-new core

EMILY CHIU/daily
Sophomore Coley Crank, pictured here, provides the Wolverines with a power-hitting bat after losing Mike Doufek.
'M' squashes Blue Jays

Despite losing top
players to minors,
Maloney sees much
potential in 2010
By STEVEN KELLNER
For theDaily
With the departure of five Wol-
verines to the pros, the Michigan
baseball team looked to break in
some new players in Wednesday's
scrimmage against the Ontario
Blue Jays.
Many fans remember the ESPN
* highlights of the Wolverines over-
coming a 14-1 deficit to topple
Northwestern last spring, but this
is an entirely new squad.
Led by speedy centerfielder
Patrick Biondi and power-hitting
catcher Coley Crank, Michigan
looks to build on an impressive
2010 campaign that saw the Wol-
verines finish second in the Big Ten
regular season. A 24-1 victory over
the Blue Jays on Wednesday in Ann
Arbor was a sign of good things to
come.
Trhe core of last season's team
was drafted within the first 20
rounds of the Major League Base-
ball draft this past June, beginning
with star outfielder Ryan Lamarre
going 61st overall to the Cincinnati
Reds.
Lamarre hit .282 with the low
class-A Dayton Dragons before get-

ting a late-season call up to high-A
Lynchburg.
The Reds also selected former
Wolverine catcher Chris Berset in
the 20th round.
He was sent to the Billings Mus-
tangs of the rookie Pioneer League.
The Seattle Mariners and Florida
Marlins picked pitchers Alan Oaks
and Tyler Burgoon in the eighth
and 10th rounds, respectively.
Oaks was a former Friday starter
and Burgoon was the closer last
season.
The biggest surprise of the 2010
draft class was pitcher Matt Miller.
A fifth round pick of the Milwau-
kee Brewers, Miller went 7-2 with
a 4.06 ERA en route to helping the
Helena Brewers (also of the Pio-
neer League) to a league champion-
ship this season.
"I keep tabs with all of them over
time," Michigan Coach Rich Malo-
ney said, "They're great guys."
The main goal of the day for
Michigan was to work in the new
players. Michigan started four
players who have yet to see exten-
sive action at the collegiate level,
including one true freshman.
"We were playing a lot of kids at
different positions, kind of getting
a feel for our team," Maloney said.
Sophomore outfielder Kevin
Krantz, who has only four hits in
22 career at bats at Michigan, made
his presence felt in the second
inning with a home run over the
left center field fence, along with
another blast that almost landed on

the softball field later in the game.
True freshman Alex Lakatos
also made a worthwhile contribu-
tion.
A right-handed pitcher by trade,
Lakatos started in the nine-hole, at
designated hitter. He ended a solid
afternoon with a solo home run.
Last season's returning starters
played well against the Blue Jays,
too. Biondi, a sophomore, was back
to his normal self, sliding head-first
into bases, while walkingtwice and
stealing two bases. Crank added a
solo shot over the left centerfield
fence.
The brightest spot for the Wol-
verines, however, was sophomore
Bobby Brosnahan.
Brosnahan, who came on late
last season and developed into
the Sunday starter for Michigan,
pitched three scoreless innings
while allowing only two hits.
Michigan will likely lean on him
this season to be an anchor of the
rotation.
A great baseball team needs to be
solid up the middle of the field, and
Michigan returns Crank at catcher,
senior Anthony Toth at second
base, sophomore Derek Dennis at
shortstop and Biondi roaming cen-
terfield.
Maloney is looking this fall to
see what his team can improve
upon. And so far, he likes what he
sees.
"I thought we did a pretty nice
job," said Maloney, "I saw pretty
much what I was hoping for."

By EVERETT COOK
For theDaily
It is unusual for a college
baseball
game to ONTARIO 1
be played MICHIGAN 24
in Sep-
tember, so it makes sense that an
early-season scrimmage for the
Michigan baseball team would
be anything but ordinary.
The Wolverines defeated
the Ontario Blue Jays 24-1 in a
game that was planned to last
14 innings, behind an impres-
sive display of power from many
up-and-comers. Michigan hit six
home runs, with Kevin Krantz
blasting two against the helpless
Blue Jay pitchers.
"It's always good when we can
manufacture runs," Krantz said.
"This game put everything in
perspective for where we are as
a team, and it's great."
The Wolverines put on an
impressive show in their first
preseason scrimmage, even
though it came against an under-
I8 team. The Blue Jays are a
summer baseball program in
the Premier Baseball League of
Ontario, and despite their youth,
they stuck with the Wolverines

until the fourth inning when
Michigan broke through for six
runs.
This served as a first test for,
the young Wolverines, and coach
Rich Maloney was impressed
with their performance.
"I saw what we were pretty
much looking for," Maloney said.
"I thought it was an encouraging
game."
There are many questions
surrounding the team's lack of
experience following departures
from last year, but Krantz is not
worried.
"We are young, but today real-
ly shows we can play," Krantz
said. "This was very positive."
Maloney mentioned the
importance of young, inexperi-
enced players stepping up, and
many of those players welcomed
the challenge. Freshman Alex
Lakatos had three hits, including
a home run, and Krantz had four
hits and four RBI, including two
long balls.
Some big contributors from
last year did not want to be left
out of the scoring party. Red-
shirt junior first baseman Gar-
ret Stephens drove in seven
runs on three hits and a homer,
and junior catcher Coley Crank

accounted for three RBI and a
home run.
obviously, the offense was
impressive, but holding a team
to one run over 14 innings is
also nothing to scoff at. Pitch-
ers Bobby Brosnahan (redshirt
freshman) and Kolby Wood
(junior) both impressed, com-
bining, for six innings, no runs
and six strikeouts.
In the end, one of the main dif-
ferences between the two squads
proved to be the leather. The
Wolverines played solid defense
throughout the night, turning
four double plays, while the Blue
Jays kept innings alive with their
six errors. Michigan also did a
good job of capitalizing and not
letting many opportunities pass
them by.
Despite the lopsided score, the
win gave the team something to
build upon, which is substantial,
considering they will not play
another game for roughly four
months.
"We got the chance to play
somebody else and got the
chance to be responsive to who
we are," Maloney said. It may
have just been a scrimmage, but
the players and coaching staff
are clearly eager for the spring.

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