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May 25, 1994 - Image 12

Resource type:
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Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1994-05-25

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12 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, May 25, 1994

LDs Freehan puts 1989 probation
behind Michigan baseball sqi

iuiuI

By Scott Burton
DAILY BASEBALL WRITER
BA'ITLE CREEK - Michigan
baseball coach Bill Freehan had quite
an act to follow when he took over the
Wolverines in 1990 - and one to
avoid as well.
His predecessor, Bud Middaugh,
established Michigan baseball as a
perennial national power. He also
used illegal recruiting tactics to do
so. Middaugh resigned amid allega-
tions of misconduct following a Big
Ten title in 1989.
Just after Freehan took over, the
program was placed on a two-year
probation by the Big Ten, which re-
stricted where Michigan could re-
cruit and how many players could be
offered scholarships. The penalty was
the first ever handed to a sports pro-
gram at Michigan.
ItwasonehellofamessthatFreehan
inherited, and a mess that was hard to
dispose of. Unlike many newcoaches,
he didn't come in with a clean slate or
a fresh direction - he came to right a
program with tainted breath.
But, amazingly, after several years

of struggles and second-division fin-
ishes, it can now be said that the trash is
out on the curb, the slate is sanitized, the
breath is minty clean and the direction
for Michigan baseball is up --way up.
This year, the Wolverines finished
third in the Big Ten, completed the
season with a .500 record and quali-
fied for their first playoffs since
Middaugh resigned.
Last weekend, Michigan nearly
pulled off one of the biggest upsets in
conference tournament history, knock-
ing off Minnesota before nearly doing
the same to No. 4 Ohio State.
And the prospects for next year are
even more promising. The team gradu-
ates just two players and carries the
confidence of being a gritty, resilient
and extremely competitive ball club.
"We've been working hard to get
this program back to where it should
be," Freehan said after his team's 9-7
loss to the Buckeyes Sunday. "What
we've accomplished in the tourna-
ment represents a move in the right
direction ... The things that the team
has done here can do nothing but help
the future of our program."

How did Michigan baseball turn
from a program tainted by violationsto
one that is on the brink of greatness?
The answer, funny enough, is re-
cruiting. Despite being just two years
removed from NCAA restrictions,
Freehan and his staff have attracted a
roster deep with talent.
To lure top players to Michigan,
hardly the most luxurious climate to
play ball, Freehan sells the value of a
Michigan education first and fore-
most. When the Miamis and the Ari-
zona States promise plush playing
conditions,Freehan promises a highly
valued degree.
And if you scan the resumes of the
Wolverines,you'llrealizehehasfound
an effective recruiting strategy: He's
got BaseballAmerica'stophigh-school
player fromlast year in infielder Kelly
Dransfeldt; one of the Big Ten's top
two prospects in the upcoming profes-
sional draft in pitcher Ray Ricken; a
1994SmithCandidateanda1993fresh-
man All-American in outfielder Scott
Weaver, and the list goes on.
"I think we've had the talent in this
program for a year or two, but it takes

Michigan coach Bill Freehan (No. 11) guided the Wolverines back to the Big
Ten playoffs for the first time since 1989 this season.

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Men's track rallies at Big Ten meet

By Eugene Bowen
DAILY SPORTS WRITER
The 94th annual Big Ten Outdoor
Championships, held last week at Wis-
consin, have come and gone, and the
members of the Michigan men's track

Of

team have begun to reflect upon their That was my whole strategy," Sullivan
performances. With the NCAA cham- said.
pionships less than two weeks away, Junior Tyrone Wheatley shocked
they haven't much time. many when he won his first Big Ten
After its dismal ninth place show- track and field title ever, winning the
ing Saturday, the Michigan men ral- 110-meter hurdles with a time of
lied Sunday to finish fourth overall 14.12, barely defeating the 1994
with a score of 94.5, a dramatic im- door 110-meter hurdle champion,
provement over its eighth-place show- Reggie Torian of Wisconsin. This is
ing last year. Illinois won the meet with no small feat for Wheatley as this was
a score of 134.5, defeating defending only his third race of the year.
champion Ohio State, which had to Freshman Neil Gardner scored in
settle for second place and a score of three separate events, the most for
127. any Wolverine. He came in seventh in
Freshman Kevin Sullivan was the 10,000 meter with a time of 14.31,
crowned 1500-meter champion for the and he won 8th in the triple jump and
second time this year with a time of 5th in the long jump with distances*
3:43.16. He also captured second place 49' 1.75" and 24' 4.25", respectively.
in the 800 meter with a time of 1:50.90. Junior Stan Johanning captured
SophomoreteammateScott MacDonald fourth place in the javelin throw with a
wonthirdinbothevents,running3:45.55 distance of 196' 8". Senior Toby
and 1:51.02, respectively. VanPelt snared sixth in the pole vault
"I wanted to be first into the turn. with a height of 16' 2.5". Also, sopho-
more decathlete Sean Clancy came in
third in his event with a total of 7,132
Newsletters points.
Members of the Michigan men's
Newsletters team are competing today at East4
Michigan in the their last chance to
Newsletters qualify for the NCAA Outdoor Cham-
Newsletters pionships to be held in Boise, Idaho
Big savings on newsletters for June 1-4.
all clubs, businesses, and
organizations. Welcome Students
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THE
WEEK

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