at Midwest Rowing Championship
The Michigan Daily
vs. Siena Heights
Wednesday, April 24 1991
'M' BASEBALL VISITS EASTLANSING TODAY
Blue looks for strong finish
by Josh Dubow
Daily Baseball Writer
With the collegiate baseball sea-
son rapidly coming to a close, the
Michigan baseball team is looking
to close its year especially strong.
Unlike most teams, the Wolverines
do not have the luxury of a post-sea-
son tournament to overcome season-
long inconsistency. They serving the
second year of a two-year postseason
ban. They must reach fulfill their
potential in the coming two and a
"We must prove ourselves in the
regular season," Michigan coach
Bill Freehan said. "We need to fin-
ish as high as we can in the Big Ten."
This week, Michigan (8-8 in the
Big Ten, 23-18-1 overall) has a rare
important midweek contest, as it
travels to East Lansing to face intra-
state and Big Ten foe Michigan State
Today's doubleheader will go a
long way in determining the middle
of the Big Ten standings. Currently,
both the Wolverines and Spartans
are tied for fifth with Iowa.
Freehan will have the luxury of
sending his top two pitchers, Jason
Pfaff and Russell Brock, to the
mound for today's twinbill.
However, because of last Saturday's
rainout against Purdue, both Pfaff
and Brock were forced to pitch
Sunday. This takes them out of their
normal turn in the Wolverines' ro-
tation, which usually has both ju-
niors pitch Saturday and Wednesday.
But because Michigan does not
have its normal four-game Big Ten
series this weekend, Freehan will
have the entire staff at his disposal
If today's game is played as
scheduled, the Wolverines will have
another contest Thursday at Fisher
Stadium against Hillsdale. No mat-
ter what happens tomorrow,
Michigan does have one double-
header scheduled for this weekend as
Siena Heights will travel to Ann
Arbor for the first two meetings of
the year between the schools.
While Pfaff and Brock will lead
the pitching staff, the Wolverine
hitting will be charged by junior co-
captain Mike Matheny. The
Wolverine catcher received Mizuno
National Player of Week honors
this past week. Matheny shared the
award with Lee Amick of Wofford
College (S.C.), who hit eight round-
trippers this past week, and Steve
Whitaker of Long Beach State.
Whitaker struck out 16 against UC-
Irvine and has not yielded an earned
run over the past 32 innings.
Matheny earned the honor based
on his four-game home run streak.
Currently, Matheny leads the
Wolverines with seven home runs
and has knocked in 34 runs on the
season, more than doubling his ca-
reer total. Powered by a 12-game
hitting streak, Matheny is third on
the team in Big Ten batting average,
posting a .349 mark.
Freehan is looking for improved
defense from his squad this week.
The Wolverines poor fielding
played a major part in all four of
their losses last week.
"When we put everything to-
gether we are a good team," Freehan
said. "We can't field the way we
have been and expect to the type of
team we should be."
After this week's contests,
Michigan has four-game series left
with first-place Indiana and
Minnesota, as well as a home dou-
bleheader with Michigan State and a
road contest at Toledo.
Michigan pitcher Jason Pfaff leads the Wolverines into today's doubleheader at Michigan State. The
Wolverine ace will start one of today's two contests.
Softball aims for NCAA bid
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by Ryan Herrington
Daily Sports Writer
While most students only have
to worry about exams this time of
year, the Michigan softball team has
the extra burden of determining
whether it will be invited to play in
the NCAA playoffs at the end of
The Wolverines (7-7 in the Big
Ten, 26-16 overall) currently rest in
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fourth place intthe Big Ten. While
hopes of taking the crown look
slim, Michigan still has a chance of
gaining one of the 13 at-large
"We're not in control of our
destiny (with the Big Ten),"
Michigan coach Carol Hutchins
said. "But we still have a shot at
NCAAs; which is our ultimate
Twenty teams make up the
NCAA post-season field, with an
automatic bid going to seven confer-
ence champions, including the Big
Ten's. Iowa and Minnesota are the
most likely candidates for this bid.
Both are tied for the Big Ten lead
with 10-2 records and split their
four-game series earlier this month.
The Wolverines are currently
No. 3 in the Mideast region.
However, in the past the NCAA
committee has passed over Michigan
when giving out bids.
"It's going to take a hell of an
effort, and a whole lot of luck,"
Hutchins said. "Our fate is in the
hands of the NCAA committee.
That doesn't comfort me. For the
sake of our seniors, I hope our luck
Michigan's NCAA hopes were
severely hampered Friday when it
lost the services of senior co-captain
Julie Cooper. Cooper injured her
knee in a collision at home plate
against Northwestern. She had
surgery yesterday and is expected to
miss the rest of the season. Still,
Hutchins is optimistic about how
her team will respond.
"Cooper was having an All-
American season and the team is ob-
viously disappointed," Hutchins
said. "However, we're getting good
responses from our players. I'm
very pleased with the results at
The Wolverines embark on the
rest of their season today, when they
travel to Ypsilanti to take on
Eastern Michigan. Today's game
was originally scheduled for April
8, but was postponed due to bad
After this game, the team will
focus on a different opponent: ex-
ams. The Wolverines take a week-*
and-a-half hiatus to concentrate on
grades before returning to the dia-
mond to take on Ohio State.
The Buckeyes comprise an inter-
esting opponent for Michigan. They
are third in the BigTen with a 7-6
record, but have a .371 winning per-
centage overall, victorious in only
13 of their 35 games.
Following Ohio State, the
Wolverines will encounter.b
Michigan State. Michigan defeated
the Spartans, 2-0 and 3-0, two weeks
ago and must garner two more vic-
tories for any hopes of post-season
The Wolverines wrap up the sea-
son by travelling to Minneapolis to
take on Minnesota. This matchup
will be critical as the Golden
Gophers, No. 2 in the Mideast re-
gion, are Michigan's top opposition
in the race for a NCAA bid.
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