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May 18, 1998 - Image 15

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1998-05-18

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Monday, May 18, 1998 -- The Michigan Daily - 15

.What happened?

By Jacob Wheeler
Daily Sports Writer
The front cover of the 1998 Michigan
baseball media guide presented this
year's Wolverines with a daunting task
from the very beginning.
It shows a group of celebrating,
upstart victors who had just clinched
Michigan's first regular-season Big Ten
championship in eight year.
It was supposed to serve as a bench-
mark for Zahn's '98 club - viewed as
one of the most talented of this decade.
This year's Wolverines were the defend-
ing champs, and they were expected to
celebrate even further into May this sea-
son. A postseason Big Ten Tournament
championship and a berth in the College
World Series were realistic goals.
Michigan even cracked the preseason
national top 10 rankings.
But as sports fans know, high rankings
and championship expectations can ruin
good teams.
What set the Wolverines reeling all
season long was the rain and snow in
mid-March that postponed seven con-
secutive games,. including a four game
series against conference foe Iowa.
The results were devastating.
Michigan got to play only one non-con-

ference tune-up game before opening the
Big Ten season. When Zahn's pitchers
began the conference season at Illinois,
the Wolverines were rocked for 45 runs
in just four games.
Michigan never really recovered from
the three losses to the Illini. The
Wolverines spiraling toward a 9-15 con-
ference record by season's end. They
narrowly avoided last place a week ago
with three victories at Indiana.
Of course, there are other reasons for
Michigan's worst Big Ten season since
1951. Injuries - which last year's cham-
pionship team avoided almost complete-
ly - played their toll, most notably sit-
ting down team captain and returning
MVP Brian Kalczynski for the season's
second half.
Zahn also lost his hvetiest pitching
arm for part of the season in fireballerJ.J.
Putz, leaving Michigan without a domi-
nant fourth starter.
But the biggest characteristic these
underachieving Wolverines missed from
last year's team was muscle power from
the Besco brothers. The same identical
twins who combined for 26 home runs
and 124 RBI last season didn't look the
same in this go-round, collecting just 10
homers and 56 runs combined.

Harris ignites
Blue golfers
By Jon Zemke
Daily Sports Writer
Golf is a tranquil sport, relaxing and serene.
Michael Harris doesn't like tranquil, relaxing or serene
sports. Harris is a competitor. He works hard, plays hard and
is one ofthe best in the Big Ten. Rules are not his thing. Harris
is a golf rebel without a cause, breaking putters and opponents
like none other. This man is not Tiger Woods.
When the Michigan's men golf team started the season, not
much was expected out of the young team withn gIy one
returning player - Harris. This was supposed to be a rebuild-
ing year for the Wolverines, and it appeared to be just that
when Michigan finished in the back of the pack at its first two
Then Harris decided he had enough, and he broke through
at the Kroger Intercollegiate, taking the title. Harris finished
first again at the Persimmon Ridge Intercollegiate the next
week. His performance propelled the team to a second place
finish overall, its best showing all year
Harris went on to lead the Wolverines in scoring for the rest
of the season, racking up another first place finish at the
Marshall Invitational April 10-11.
But when Harris gets mad, he isn't afraid to show it. At the
Keppler Intercollegiate, Harris missed a putt on the final hole,
losing first place in the tournament. He also lost Iis cool.
Harris went on a rampage which led to his disqualification.
Harris led Michigan to a strong finishing at the Big Ten
Championships to end the season in fifth place in the confer-
ence. He kept himself composed on the third day and shot an
unbelievable 67, cementing the Wolverines in the top five.
"He was a shoe-in," coach Jim Carras said of Harris mak-
ing the all-Big Ten squad.
Michigan should return as a more experienced team next
year with Harris leading the way for his senior year.
"We are looking forward to next year," said Carras.
402M a 1300

Brian Alexander and theMich' plth staff were mcked
often this season, conbibuting to a disappeieth-9 season.

Continued from Page 16
Michigan was only able to take two points, as Matt Wright
defeated Cris James in a singles match, 7-6, 6-1. John Long
also won his match against Steve Brizendine in convincing
fashion 7-5, 6-2.
But those were the only points Michigan would receive.
Senior's David Paradzik and Brook Blain ended their careers
at Michigan falling in their singles matches. Paradzik lost to
Jamie Gordon 7-6, 6-2, and Blain lost to Dan Swan 6-4, 1-6,
"We were just inconsistent," Michigan assistant coach Dan
Goldberg said.

ContInued from Page 16
more Brooke Hart said. "They wanted
The Badgers jumped out to an early
lead, winning the second through fifth
singles matches in straight sets. The
Wolverines were flat fromthe outset,
and did not win a game in the first set of
any of these matches.
"On my court, I started off a little
slow," Moon said."But even if I hit a
really good shot, she would hit a better

The match could have ended before
doubles play, but Michigan's Brooke
Hart and Jen Boylan pulled off victories
at No. I and No. 6 singles, respectively.
Winning 4-2, Wisconsin needed only
one point to finish off the Wolverines.
Dena Baritot and partner April Gabler
defeated Michigan's Erryn Weggenman
and Tumeka Harris at No. 3 doubles to
clinch the match for the Badgers.
The losstook the Wolverines to an I1I-
13 overall record, with 10 losses coming
to opponents ranked in the top 50 nation-
ally. Michigan compiled an 8-6 mark
against Big Ten opponents.

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