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June 04, 1983 - Image 12

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1983-06-04

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SPORTS
Page 12 Saturday, June 4, 1983 The Michigan Daily
STOLL PITCHING TODAY'S OPENER

Blue 1
By PAUL HELGREN
Specialtothe Daily
OMAHA, Neb. - A very interesting match-uo
unfolds when Maine pitcher Bill Swift takes the
mound against Michigan in first round College
World Series action here at Rosenblatt Stadium.
Not only will Swift have to overcome the
Wolverines, 48-7 and winners of the Mid-East
Regional, but he will have to defeat his friend Rich
Stoll, as well. Swift and Stoll, starters in today's
game, became friends this summer when they
played together on the United States team that
toured Japan. Michigan third baseman, Chris Sabo
was also a member of that squad.
SWIFT, WHO is 9-2 with a 2.50 earned run
average this year,is looking forward to meeting
the Wolverine ace.
"It's going to be me against him, I like that,"
said the 6-0 165-pound junior. "We were together
for a long time so I got to be good friends with Rich
and Chris. I'll probably say hi to them before the
game, but once I'm on the mound I'll forget all
about it."
But who will have the advantage when Sabo,
Michigan's leading home run hitter with 15, comes
to the plate?
"WELL, IT could go either way," Swift said.
"(Sabo's) a fastball hitter. He has problems with
the breaking pitch. But my best pitch is my
sinking fastball, so we'll see."
While the Stoll - Swift and Swift - Sabo mat-
chups are intriguing, it will be equally interesting
to see how Stoll copes with a Maine lineup that has
won 22 of it's last 24 games, including a three-
game sweep of the rain-delayed Northeast
Regional.
Contrasting with Maine's strong finish this year,
was a mediocre beginning. After making it to the
College World Series in each of the last two
seasons the Black Bears started out slowly this
season, dropping their first five games during
their spring trip in Florida. Maine coach John
Winkin said his team struggled early on but new
players in key positions developed quickly,
sparking the late season surge.
"WE HAD A lot of adjusting early in the
season," said the 30-year collegiate coaching
veteran. "We lost some key guys from last years

7s. Bears
team. We had to feel our way around a bit at fir-
st."
One position Maine has improved at is shor-
tstop. Senior Fred Staples, who enters today's
game hitting only .200 assumed the job near mid-
season and, according to Winkin, has done an out-
standing defensive job. Also, freshman Bill
Reynolds took over at third base and is hitting a
solid .322.
Besides working new men into key positions,
Winkin had to fight another battle - rainouts that
cost his team 15 games.
"Rainouts have affected most everything,"
Winkin said. "We had one string of eight days
without a game because of rain and another layoff
of 11 days. We were stalled from gelling."
BECAUSE OF the cancellations, the Black
Bears have played only 43 games, fewest in the
tournament. Winkin thinks this might be a disad-
vantage to his club.
"Generally during the season we meet teams
with the same problem," Winkin said. "Now we're
going to face teams that have been playing a lot of
teams so it might be a factor."
But statistically, Maine still looks pretty good.
As a beam, the Black Bears are hitting .311 with 36
homes runs. Their leading hitters are second
baseman Jeff Paul (.380,. 33 runs batted in) and
left fielder Brad Colton (.341, nine home runs, 53
RBIs).
COLTON APPEARS to be the Black Bears best
clutch hitter. In seven tournament games this
year, ECAC - New England Playoffs and the Nor-
theast Regional, Colton hit .500 with seven RBIs.
Although Colton has nine round-trippers, he does
not consider himself a home run hitter. Rather, he
describes himself as an "aggressive" hitter.
"I try to be aggressive at the plate," said the
senior veteran of two previous World Series. "I
used to swing like a baby. Now I'm more of an
aggressive hitter.
Other leading hitters for Maine include Kevin
Bernier (.333 with eight home runs and 18 stolen
bases) Rick Lashua (.333 with six homers), Bill
McInnis (.311 with 11 stolen bases).
Today's game, which begins at 6:10 p.m. EDT,
can be heard on WAAM radio (1600 AM). A tape-
delayed television broadcast can be seen at mid-
night on ESPN.

in Series
1BY JOHN KERR
Series predictions .. .
... unscientifically
OMAHA
THERE WAS AN interesting little blurb in the Score-
card section of Sports Illustrated a few weeks ago. It
concerned an elementary school kid who liked to predict
the outcome of pro football games. Seems this kid, who
did nothing but guess, had more success that CBS's
Jimmy the Greek and NBC's Pete Axthelm.
Well, that's all the justification I need for what follows
- an unscientific rundown of all eight teams in
the College World Series and their chances in the tour-
nament. I say unscientific because I haven't seen any of
these teams play a game, except Michigan. But what the
heck, it's worth a shot. I do have all the team statistics in
front of me, though.
My alphabetical prognosis
Alabama (43-9) - This is only the Crimson Tide's
third appearance ever in the World Series, so the lack of
experience will probably work against it. Alabama is a
great hitting club with a .340 team average but the pit-
ching is suspect. Another thing, I just don't think
Alabama can win national titles in any sport except
football. Look for the Tide to win one game before
heading home.
Arizona State (42-22) - Worst record in the Series, but
these guys come alive at tournament time. In their last
ten appearances in Omaha, the Sun Devils never have
finished worse than third. This is not their best team
however, and they will be hard pressed to keep that
streak alive.
James Madison (37-11) - It's nice that this is the
Dukes' first appearance ever here, but win the Series?
Yeah, right. Two straight and they are out.
Maine (29-14) - The Black Bears finished third last
year so they know what it takes to be successful here.
But no team from Maine is going to win a national
baseball title. It just won't happen. (I told you this was
unscientific.)
The Wolverines stack up
Michigan (48-7) - Just because I would kill to see this
team win it all doesn't mean I can't be objective.
Honestly, though, I think the Wolverines have what it
takes to win. They can hit, pitch and field as good as any
team in the tournament. Michigan was knocked out
early in 1980 and 1981, but I think it will be around a bit
longer this year.
Oklahoma State (47-14) - A good team, although it
doesn't have the best pitching. This is the third straight
year in Omaha for the Cowboys, so they know what the
pressure will be like. Having won 23 of its last 24 games,
this team is on a roll and I think it has a good shot of win-
ning it all.
Stanford (40-15-1) - Team batting average is only .302
and team ERA is 4.06 - mediocre both ways. Not a bad
team, but opening against Oklahoma State is a strike
against it. I think Stanford can win a game or two, but
don't bet on it finishing better than fourth.
Texas (61-14) - The Longhorns are the favorites and
with a 2.75 ERA, they are a good choice. Like Arizona
State, this team does well in post-season play. It should
finish in the top three.
To translate the above, look for Maine and James
Madison to be the first two teams knocked out, with
Michigan, Oklahoma State and Texas finishing as the
top three teams, not necessarily in that order.

I
4

Daily Photo by BRIAN MASCK
Michigan shortstop Barry Larkin puts the tag on Indiana's Bucky Autry in a game earlier this
year.

4

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