The Wolverine

March 2019

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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88 THE WOLVERINE MARCH 2019 BY ANDREW HUSSEY A s the winter sports come to a close, Michigan's spring sports begin their seasons. Here's a look at all of those squads, including a projec‑ tion on where each is expected to fin‑ ish both in the Big Ten and nationally: BASEBALL First Event: Feb. 15‑17 versus Bing‑ hamton at Port St. Lucie, Fla. Big Ten Predicted Finish: Top three NCAA Best-Case Scenario: Ad‑ vance to NCAA Regional final Coach's Expectations: "I'm one of those guys who's focused on how we play and how we prepare and how we go about things on a daily basis," head coach Erik Bakich said. "My ex‑ pectations are that we keep growing and improving and keep a growth mindset throughout the entire season every single day." Top Athlete: Junior outfielder Dominic Clementi led U‑M with a .368 batting average and a .485 on‑ base percentage last season, earning him a spot on the American Baseball Coaches Association/Rawlings All‑ Mideast Region first team as well as first‑team All‑Big Ten honors. "Dominic just has tremendous bat‑ to‑ball skills," Bakich said. "He's got a smooth, compact swing that generates a lot of bat speed and pop. He's able to slow the game down offensively and take what the pitcher gives him." Athlete To Watch: Left‑handed ju‑ nior pitcher Tommy Henry will lead Michigan's pitching staff this season after finishing last season with seven wins and an ERA of 3.09. He was second‑team All‑Big Ten in 2018. "He's just very consistent," Bakich said. "He not only has the combina‑ tion of good stuff with good com‑ mand, he just has a very good de‑ meanor to be starting pitcher. "He doesn't get rattled, and he has a good temperament." Don't Miss: March 21‑23 at Texas Tech. The Red Raiders advanced to the College World Series last season. MEN'S GOLF First Event: Feb. 8‑9 at the Big Ten Match Play Championship in Palm Coast, Fla. (Tied Purdue 3‑3, lost in tiebreaker; defeated Iowa 3.5‑2.5; tied Minnesota 3‑3, lost in tiebreaker; and defeated Penn State 3.5‑2.5) Big Ten Predicted Finish: Fifth NCAA Best-Case Scenario: Ad‑ vance to the NCAA Regional Coach's Expectations: "This is the start of the second half of our season," head coach Chris Whitten said. "We played in the fall, we've taken a big long break and guys have worked hard on their swings and their technique. "My expectation is to play better at every single event we go to and see a steady progression all the way to the Big Ten Championships." Top Athlete: Senior Nick Carlson was Michigan's second‑best golfer last season with a stroke average of 73.35, and he takes over the lead role after Kyle Mueller graduated. "Nick is a really confident guy," Whitten said. "He's also highly skilled. He's a powerful guy and he's able to hit some shots either with curve or with speed that a lot of peo‑ ple just can't hit." Athlete to Watch: Junior Brent Ito started in eight events last season, and in the fall season he was Michi‑ gan's second‑best golfer with a stroke average of 73.50. "Brent put in a ton of work on his game in his freshman year and didn't necessarily see the results right away," Whitten said. "He could have easily been discouraged, but he stayed at it. "He just doesn't get fazed by the pressure of competition at all. If any‑ thing, he plays better when there is more pressure." Don't Miss: April 26‑28 at the Big Ten Championships in Flourtown, Pa. WOMEN'S GOLF First Event: Feb. 1‑2 versus Min‑ nesota in Naples, Fla. (Lost 7.5‑6.5) Big Ten Predicted Finish: Sixth NCAA Best-Case Scenario: Ad‑ vance to NCAA Regional Coach's Expectations: "We've got high expectations," head coach Jan Dowling said. "We're doing every‑ thing we can to get ourselves into contention at every single tourna‑ ment we're competing in as a team. "Our goal is to qualify for the NCAA Championships and compete to win a Big Ten championship. That won't ever change." Top Athlete: Senior Elodie Van Di‑ evoet has earned U‑M's award for the lowest score the last two seasons and finished 19th at the Big Ten Champi‑ onship last season. In her sophomore year, she set multiple Michigan re‑ cords, including single‑season scor‑ ing average, 54‑hole Big Ten Tourna‑ ment score and highest individual finish at the NCAA Championships. "It's very compelling to follow her and her lead because she is a great student and the best golfer to play at Michigan," Dowling said. "If you're only going to have one senior, you want it to be Elodie." Athlete To Watch: Freshman Ash‑ ley Lau has impressed in her first season with the Wolverines and led the team with a 74.45 scoring average through mid‑February. "She came in the fall, and every‑ one was expecting big things from   OLYMPIC SPORTS PREVIEW U-M's Spring Squads Hope To Get Off To Hot Starts Junior outfielder Dominic Clementi hit a team-high .368 on his way to first-team all- region honors in 2018. PHOTO COURTESY MICHIGAN PHOTOGRAPHY

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