The Wolverine

August 2013

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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A Fast Start Freshman Pitcher Evan Hill Helped Launch The Erik Bakich Era In Michigan Baseball W By Andy Reid hen Evan Hill — the Wolverines' ace left-handed pitcher, who posted an impressive 7-3 record and held opponents to an overall .234 batting average as a rookie — Male Rookie Of The Year Evan Hill first arrived in Ann Arbor, he knew he wanted to make a big impact. He just didn't know it would come so soon. Michigan baseball opened the 2013 season with a trip to Berkley, Calif., Feb. 15 to take on Cal in a three-game series. Not only would the games against the Golden Bears kick off the Wolverines' season, they would also mark first-year coach Erik Bakich's official welcome to the maize and blue dugout. In the first two games, Michigan pitchers gave up 28 hits and11 runs with just 12 strikeouts. Thanks to an impressive offensive showing, the Wolverines overcame the poor performances from the mound to force extra innings in both games — but lost both, 5-4 in 11 innings Feb. 15 and 6-5 in 10 innings Feb. 16. Unfortunately, extra innings usually means using extra pitchers, and Michigan rifled through a total of eight starters, relievers and closers in the two games. With one more contest against Cal on Feb. 17, and plenty of tired arms in the bullpen, the Wolverines weren't quite sure what they were going to do. Assessing his talent pool before the season, Michigan pitching coach Sean Kenny had thought Hill would be a reliever in his first season, but knew the rookie had potential. Hill, originally recruited by former Michigan coach Rich Maloney, came in as the third-best baseball prospect in the state, according to the 2012 rankings by Michigan Baseball Prospectus. With his options running thin, Kenny approached Hill. "We had thrown out so many guys in those two extra-inning games. Coach Kenny came up to me and said, 'Tell Coach Bakich you want

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