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April 23, 1954 - Image 3

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1954-04-23

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., FRIDAY, APRIL 23, 1954






MjI qrI r
by Paul Greenberg
COACH RAY FISHER'S Wolverine baseball outfit, victors in 11 of
15 outings against mediocre opposition so far this season, face
the acid test of conference competition this weekend-playing three
games on the road. Michigan has looked like anything but a national
champion so far this year, and if the Wolverines don't sharpen up
awfully fast they don't stand much of a chance of holding on to the
Big Ten crown which they've shared with Illinois for the past two
Personnel-wise the team is sound-but sonie of Fisher's key per-
formers haven't been playing up to their ability, and Michigan has as
a result lacked the "sharpness" that characterized its play over the
past several seasons. The teams' fielding has been unimpressive-even
atrociously bad at times-and its hitting has been discouragingly weak.
Fisher is well aware of the fact that Michigan has not earned
its present .733 won-lost percentage by virtue of out-playing the
opposition-the other teams have just been a little bit worse. Even
the supposedly great Wolverine pitching staff has been doing little
more than an adequate job.
The loss of last year's fine second-base combination of Gil Sabuco
and Bruce Haynam has hurt more than at first expected. Sophomores
Moby Benedict at short and Frank Ronan at second don't have the
poise and polish of their predecessors, with the tight, erratic Benedict
a far cry frm the smooth perfection of Haynam.
The Defensive Blues . .
DON EADDY, who has regained his eye at the plate after a poor
year in 1953, seems to have lost his confidence in the field and
he once again is having 4 hard time finding the range on the throws
from third to first. But porous as his inner defense is at the moment,
Fisher is having even more trouble with his left fieldings.
Both Bob Leach and Howie Tommelein seem to be in danger of
their lives every time they go after a fly ball-and while these fielding
miscues are more or less humorous in exhibtion contests, they lose
their laugh-provoking quality once the games begin to count.
At the plate, Michigan has been a good bit less than awe in-
spiring. Only Eaddy, Captain Jack Corbett and center-fielder Dan
Cline have been swinging with any authority-and three men can't
make up an offense. Paul Lepley, All-Big Ten outfielder whose
-t average is usually pressing the .400 mark, has been hovering a-
round .200 so far this year.
Tommelein and catcher Dick Leach both have sagged after hit-
ting well on the spring trip and Benedict hasn't been able to move out
of the .100's so far this season. With their teammates erratic in the
field, and lacking punch at bat, Michigan's pitchers have been forced
to carry a heavy burden and have come along in fair .style.
Troubles, Troubles Everywhere . .
BUT EVEN the pitching hasn't been as sharp as Fisher would like it.
Corbett, forced to spend a good deal of time perfecting his first
base play, has been hit hard every time he's thrown although he's yet
to lose. Ritter, the southpaw curve ball specialist has been steady, but
his two left-handed pitching mates, Marv Wisniewski and Dick Peter-
john have been having control troubles.
Wisniewski is the more experienced and better-poised of the two,
but sophomore Peterjohn has fanned 10 men in his last four innings
of spot pitching, which could be an indication that he's found the
range at last.
Ritter is scheduled to start today against Wisconsin at Madi-
son. The last time that Michigan played on the shores of Lake
Mendota, it split a doubleheader with the Badgers and clinched
a tie for the Big Ten title in the process. There were two big stories
connected with that twin Ifill-one had to do with Harvey Kuenn,
at that time the shortstop for Wisconsin, and the other with
Corbett of the Wolverines.
Kuenn, on his way to a .444 conference batting mark, got eight
hits in ten trips to the plate, half of them for extra bases. Corbett
was blasted from the hill and charged with the loss in the first game,
only to come back in relief of Wisniewski in the nightcap and save
the game for Michigan.
In tomorrow's twin bill against Northwestern Fisher has sched-
uled Corbett and Wisniewski for starting roles. The Wildcats fea-
ture a heavy hitting attack paced by 1952 All-American first baseman
Don Blaha, and promise to give the Wolverines a good workout.
Messrs. Fisher, Ritter and Corbett hope the Wolverines have got
their poor baseball out of their systems. If they haven't, it will be a
quiet bus ride back from Evanston.
Major League Standings

Thinclads Travel
To Penn Relays

'M' Nine Opens Big Ten
Season Against Badgers

F~~~~~i __ __ _ _ _ _ _ _ _i



hurl against the Badgers this aft-I

By KEN COPP Besides these two crowns won
Carrying hopes of winning their by Nilsson, Michigan's entries in
third straight unofficial champion- the medley and four-mile relays
ship, fourteen Wolverine track- won their respective events. In
sters left yesterday for the 60th the latter race the Wolverines
annual Penn Relays being held in covered the distance in 17 min-
Philadelphia today and tomorrow. utes and 50 seconds to beat Penn
Although no official team score State, Syracuse, and favored Vil-
is kept by the meet officials, the lanova. In the race Canham will
probably use John Moule, George
Lynch, and John Ross, all of
whom ran this event last year,
plus sophomore Ron Wallingford
Moule and Ross will combine
with Grant Scruggs and Pete Gray
in the medley relay in an effort to
retain the title win last year. Both
Ross and Moule were members of
the winning quartet last year with
the latter two being newcomers.
/ * * *
CANHAM WILL also be taking a
two-mile relay team composed of
Roy Christiansen. Moule, Ross,
and Gray and a mile relay quar-
tet made up of Bob Rudisell, Dave
Hessler, Jack Carroll and Scruggs.
Two high-jumpers, Milt Mead
and Mark Booth, will accompany
the squad to Philadelphia where
Mead will try to better his sec-
ond-place finish of last year. In
these games he leaped six feet,
JOHN MOULE two inches but the tall senior has
... relay entry jumped six feet, eight and one-
quarter inches.,
various sports writers present score Booth who stands only five feet,
the meet in order that they may eight inches high has jumped
designate. an unofficial team higher than six feet, six inches this
champion, year and tied for second in the
In last .year's meet, Coach Big Ten indoor meet.
Don Canham's squad annexed Roger Maugh, who has cleared
four first places to make it the thirteen feet, will represent the
first team in the 59 years of the Wolverines in the pole vault event.
Penn Relays to cop four titles. Maugh leaped thirteen feet, four
inches in the meet two weeks ago
Captain Fritz Nilsson set a new with Stanford to take a first and
Relays record last year when he six days later defeated all competi-
heaved the discus a distance of tion to win the same event in the
174 feet-3% inches, with this UCLA meet.
throw bettering the old mark by
more than four feet.

Michigan gets its first taste of ernoon while Jack Corbett and
Conference competition this week- Marv Wisniewski will open on the
end as it plunges headlong into hill against the Wildcats.
the task of defending the Big Ten
baseball title it has shared with A pair of promising sopho-
Illinois for two straight years. more lefties, Dick Peterjohn and
The capabilities of Coach Ray Mark Ferrelli, plus righthander
Fisher's nine remain a question Garby Tadian, will be available
mark as his 17-man traveling for relfdy.
squad opens with a single contest Wisconsin warmed up for to-
at Wisconsin today and then day's tussle with the Wolverines
moves to Evanston for a twin-bill by blasting Bradley for 12 home-
with Northwestern tomorrow. runs last weekend as the Badgers
* * * swept a three-game series which
ALTHOUGH the Wolverines included a 26-3 triumph.
have posted an impressive. 11-4


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record in pre-Conference action,
Fisher is far from satisfied with
the progress his diamondmen have
Having looked particularly un-
impressive in dropping a pair
of games to Western Michigan,
the Maize and Blue has yet to
show itself able to play the kind
of ball that won for Michigan its
first national championship and{
21st Big Ten crown last year. 1
Fisher has indicated that he will
stick with a trio of proven mound
veterans for starting roles this
* * *

THE BADGERS, who finished
sixth a year ago, can field a vet-
eran infield and outfield but have
one of the Conference's most in-
experienced mound staffs.
In contrast, Northwestern
boasts six lettermen In a hurl-
ing corps headed by George Bar-
vinchak and Ziggie Niepokoj.
The Wildcats are equally sound
in the infield with Don Blaha, one
of the Big Ten's top hitters two
years ago, at first, Captain Larry
Kurka at short, Bruce Gordon at
second, and Jim Bragiel, a lusty
.388 hitter on the southern trip,

JACK RITTER is scheduled to holding down third.

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THE FOLLOWING day the Wol-
verines leader became a double
winner as he successfully defend-
ed his shot put title with a toss of
55 feet, 8% inches. This throw was
14 inches better than Nilsson had
ever thrown and only three inchesj
from the Relays record set by for-
mer Wolverine, Charlie Fonville.
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