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May 28, 2002 - Image 12

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2002-05-28

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

12 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, May 28, 2002

Blue trio headed to
Bayou for NCAAs

By Nicholas Flees
For the Daily
The 2002 season ended May 19 for
all but three members of the Michigan
men's track and field team with a dis-
mal ninth-place finish in the Big Ten
Championships. The remaining three
runners - freshmen Alan Webb and
Nathan Brannen and senior tri-captain
Mike Wisniewski - began preparation
last week for the NCAA Champi-
onships, which begin Wednesday at
Louisiana State in Baton Rouge.
Webb, the American high school
record-holder in the mile, will repre-
sent Michigan in the 1500-meter run,
an event in which he placed first at the
Big Ten meet, while Brannen and Wis-
niewski will compete in the 800- and
10,000-meter runs, respectively.
"We're just keeping things even -
nothing super fast, nothing super slow.
We're just going to get sharpened and
do a little tweaking," said Michigan
coach Ron Warhurst of his team's
preparation. "Nate and Alan are run-
ning really well. Wisniewski's running
OK. He's a little tired."
Despite the team's disappointing per-
formance in the Big Ten meet, the
Wolverines have maintained an opti-
mistic perspective on the NCAAs.
"They'll run well," Warhurst said.

"Nate and Webb are both very capable
of making the finals and then when
they get there, they're very capable of
running in the top three or four." Wis-
niewski has already qualified automati-
cally for the finals.
The meet will mark the official end
of the NCAA season. Throughout the
summer, Webb and Brannen are
expected to compete in various ama-
teur events throughout the United
States and Canada. Also expected at
some point over the summer is an
announcement from Webb regarding
his much-anticipated decision on
whether to return to Michigan next fall
for his sophomore season.

Continued from Page 10
over Illinois in the eighth inning, allowing the game-win-
ning run to score after a wild pitch from Chad Garson. A
month ago, Michigan led Michigan State by three in the
ninth inning before Matt Collins threw five wild pitches
with the bases loaded in a 5-3 loss. The next week against
Penn State, Michigan lost again in the final inning. With
one out and a man on second, starter Jeff Trzos fielded a
grounder and, instead of going for the easy out at first
base, threw the ball over the head of Jominy, allowing
Penn State to win the game.
In the second to last series of the season, Michigan faced
Northwestern with both teams desperately needing victories
for a berth in the six-team Big Ten Tournament. After win-
ning the first game, Michigan dropped the last two games of
the three-game series on the last at-bat. In the first game,
Michigan led in the final inning when Rich Hill allowed two
runs, the last of which came on a bases-loaded walk.
Michigan's problems weren't restricted to the last inning.
Michigan led the conference in ERA, but the pitchers
received little help. Michigan often had trouble with simple
fielding plays; it had the most errors (99) and the worst field-
ing percentage (.948) in the conference in all games played.
Michigan never solved these problems as the season went
along. In the home series against Ohio State three weeks ago,
Michigan struggled with the basics, such as ground balls,
bunting to advance a base runner, running down a player
stuck between bases and relay throws. According to Harri-
son, these are the mistakes that ruined Michigan's season.
"Hitting is off and on - even pitching," Harrison said.
"The little things you have to do, your fielding, your base
running, your execution of a bunt defense. More than losing
the close games late, we didn't execute things early in games
that hurt us sometimes."
Senior Bobby Korecky, whose last season was cut short
after Michigan failed to qualify for the Big Ten Tournament,
put it this way: "After awhile, you think it is a curse on you."
A NEW HOPE: McCallister hopes a new coach will be able
to exorcise Michigan's demons. McCallister was the head of
a committee composed of former players and administrators

that has searched for a permanent coach since Harrison was
named interim coach. Because the Athletic Department had
so much time to conduct the search, McCallister got input
from a wide variety oftsources, including umpires and jour-
nalists. She said that just five people were interviewed for the
permanent position by her, Executive Associate Athletic
Director Mike Stevenson and Athletic Director Bill Martin.
McCallister does not have a date set for when a new coach
will be hired but said it will be soon.
McCallister hopes a new coach, combined with a new
baseball stadium that is being planned, will result in Michi-
gan's return to national prominence.
Said McCallister: "If there is a program that can get there,
it is the University of Michigan's."
HILL GONE?: Along with seniors Bobby Korecky and Jeff 4
Trzos, Hill, the junior lefthander, probably won't be in next
year's rotation. Hill will officially make up his mind after the
Major League Baseball Draft on June 4.
Hill was drafted last season by the Anaheim Angels in the
seventh round of the First-Year Player Draft and almost left
Michigan to join the organization. When he returned to
school, the Angels lost the rights to Hill. This year, he should
be drafted much higher, most likely somewhere in the first
three rounds.
"If I was drafted (in the first three rounds), I would enter-
tain that idea (of leaving)," Hill said.
Hill was dominant this season. Like always, he blew away
hitters with his fastball, becoming just the third Michigan
pitcher to strike out 100 batters (104). He also led the Big
Ten in strikeouts in conference games (65). But he wasn't a
one-dimensional hurler. In conference play, Hill finished sec-
ond in the Big Ten in opponents' batting average and eighth
in ERA. Yet he was only named to the All-Big Ten second
team because of a 3-7 record due to poor run support.
As part of the decision making process, Hill speaks with
former Michigan pitcher Bobby Wood about leaving early.
Wood, a 24th round selection by the New York Yankees in
last year's First-Year Player Draft, told Hill that there are lots
of ups and downs in the minors, but that he doesn't regret
leaving early. Hill can think of just one regret he would have.
Said Hill: "I would be disappointed that I never won any-
thing before I left."

Cramming was
never easier!
We make forgetting to
a thing of the past.





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