Page 12 -The Michigan Daily-Friday, May 22, 1987
Blue beats Boilermakers,
By GREG MOLZON
Winning the Big Ten playoffs almost has
become a yearly tradition for the Michigan
baseball team underhead coach Bud Middaugh.
This year, not even inexperience, a first round
loss, rain, or fired-up Boilermakers could keep
the Wolverines from winning their sixth
conference championship in Middaugh's eight
years in Ann Arbor.
After being rained out on Monday, the
Wolverines won the conference tournament on
Tuesday at Ray Fisher Stadium to gain an
automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. A
ninth inning, two-run single by Greg
McMurtry broke open a 2-2 deadlock and gave
the Wolverines a 4-2 win over Purdue.
Mike Iganasiak started the game and
pitched six strong innings, giving up only
three hits and striking out ten. But an Arci
Cianfrocco home run in the sixth put the
Boilermakers up, 2-1.
MCMURTRY was able to tie the game
in the seventh with an RBI single before the
game was delayed for 79 minutes by rain.
When play finally resumed, McMurtry hit the
Big Ten title
game-winning single and senior reliever Greg
Everson retired the Boilermakers in the
bottom of the ninth to put an end to Purdue's
hopes of winning the Big Ten for the first
time since 1909.
Everson was named the most valuable
player of the tournament for his clutch relief
pitching, which produced two wins and one
The Wolverines lost their first game in the
Big Ten playoffs last Friday to Iowa, 9-4.
This sent them into the losers bracket, where
they had to win four straight games in three
days to win the championship.
Michigan started its comeback with a wild
9-8 victory over Minnesota on Saturday. Bill
St. Peter hit a bases-loaded single in the
bottom of the ninth to save the Wolverines
On Sunday, Chris Lutz pitched a complete
game as Michigan avenged its opening game
loss by downing the Hawkeyes, 7-1.
The Wolverines then beat Purdue, 5-2,
behind a strong pitching performance by Jim
Abbott and the hitting of Phil Price.
uuwy rnot D UHNrMMUN
Wolverine shortstop Steve Finken turns a doubleplay against Purdue on Sunday. Michigan
beat Purdue in the final game of the Big Ten tournament on Tuesday.
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BY JEFF RUSH
Sparky's psych job...
...wears on young minds
Detroit's 10-8 come-from-ahead defeat against Texas on Tuesday
illustrates perfectly why it is time the Tigers replace ninth-year
manager Sparky Anderson.
Leading the way in the loss were sophomore slumpers Darnell
Coles and Eric King, two participants in Sparky's ongoing
Coles committed three errors, giving him the dubious distinction
of accomplishing in one game what has taken every other Tiger but
one the whole season. Coles' total of 15 errors gives him six more
than any other player in the majors.
King, meanwhile, served up the winning home run, dropping his
record to 2-3 and pushing his ERA to 4.01.
So why blame Sparky? Easy - promising young Tigers turning
into other teams' projects has become far too commonplace.
Anderson's inability to turn minor league stars into major league stars
has forced Detroit to depend on aging veterans, many of whom are
past their peak.
The future of this team isn't Larry Herndon, Chet Lemon, Darrell
Evans and Terry Harper. The future was Howard Johnson, Glenn
Wilson, Chris Pittaro, Mike Laga, Nelson Simmons, and Barbaro
Garbey. Sparky's mind games ended each of their Tiger careers. In
each case, Sparky built expectations too high, and when the players
didn't live up to those expectations, their confidence was shattered.
So it is with Coles and King. After a fine season last year, Coles
was envisioned as Detroit's third baseman for the next ten years.
Some throwing problems started Sparky thinking about playing Coles
at first. Coles' confidence in his arm has been shot. The way Sparky's
decisions have Coles' head spinning, it's no wonder he can't throw
accurately to first.
King has been forced to spend time both as a starter and a reliever
this spring, something which usually makes pitchers ineffective at
both. King has been far more effective as a reliever - why not use
him exclusively out of the bullpen?
Rookies Matt Nokes, Billy Bean, Mike Henneman, and Nate Snell
have been pleasant surprises thus far for the Tigers, but Sparky the
psychologist hasn't had them on his bench long enough to mess up
Sparky has proven he can win with teams that were filled with
stars who should have won. Sparky also has proven that he can't build
teams from the bottom up. The Tigers need someone who can.