The Wolverine

September 2016

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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SEPTEMBER 2016 THE WOLVERINE 17   INSIDE MICHIGAN ATHLETICS Michigan baseball's junior standout closer Bryan Pall took home Freshman All- American honors in 2015 and followed that up with a strong sophomore cam- paign in which he notched a 3-1 record with four saves and a 2.81 ERA in 25 relief appearances. This summer, he was named to the all-star team in the Cape Cod League — argu- ably the best summer league in amateur baseball — after posting an impressive 0.69 ERA in 13 innings pitched while striking out 15 batters. Nickname: "BP, I get called that a lot. Not sure how it started, but the team calls me Bernie. I'm not sure how it started, but it stuck." Favorite Restaurant In Ann Arbor: "The Blue Tractor." Best meal he can cook by himself: "In my own opinion, I can grill a pretty good steak." Sports he plays besides baseball: "I played basketball and believe it or not, I played point guard." Hobbies: "I love hanging out with my teammates, but I'm a huge movie guy. I love going to theaters and watching them at home." Favorite TV show: "I am really into the show 'Big Brother.' It'd be cool to be on that show." Favorite movie: "'Inception.'" Dream vacation: "Not sure where it would be, but somewhere with all of my friends and family would be a dream vacation." Favorite professional athlete: "Tom Brady, just the way he works and pushes himself all the time. His competitive drive is just remarkable." Role model: "I would say my older brother. He's a pilot for a jet company in Indi- ana. He's extremely talented and works incredibly hard. I have never seen someone so invested in their work." Why he chose baseball over other sports: "I have a bloodline with baseball … My uncle played in the pros, and I have been playing since I was 4. I just love competing and knowing it's me versus you; it's awesome." What he hopes to do after baseball at Michigan: "I would like to see how far baseball can take me. I would like to get into the business field and get my degree in that." His overall U-M experience: "I couldn't imagine being anywhere else than where I am. The group of guys and personalities our coaches brought in, I just have a blast. I think our coaching staff is the best in the country." — Brandon Brown Pall was 3-1 with four saves and a 2.81 ERA in 25 appearances out of the bullpen for Michigan in 2016. PHOTO COURTESY MICHIGAN ATHLETIC MEDIA RELATIONS Getting To Know Baseball Junior Bryan Pall MAIZE AND BLUE NOTEBOOK TAYLOR MCLAUGHLIN WINS SILVER AT WORLD JUNIORS M i c h i g a n s o p h o m o re t r a c k star Taylor McLaughlin earned a silver medal at the World Junior Championships in Poland in the 400-meter hurdles. McLaughlin recorded a lifetime-best finish of 49.45 seconds in the race. McLaughlin finished as the fast- est American junior (under 20 years old) and outperformed his No. 3 ranking in the world. His outstanding freshman season included a fifth-place, All-America finish at the NCAA Championships in the 400-meter hurdles, plus Big Ten and U.S. Junior National titles in the event. HEIDI RITNER NAMED MVP OF JUNIOR OLYMPICS Incoming Michigan women's water polo freshman goalkeeper Heidi Ritner was named MVP of the USA Water Polo National Ju- nior Olympics. En route to her team outscoring others 91-36, Ritner held their title opponent to only six goals in a 13-6 champi- onship victory. Ritner's team, the SOCAL Water Polo Foundation, finished undefeated at the seven- game tournament. Ritner is also a goalkeeper for the USA Youth National Team. She is one of six signees coming into this year's coveted 2016 recruiting class for the women's water polo club. Ritner will be in competition for the starting goalkeeper in the cage for the Wolverines in 2016. AKO THOMAS LEADS SUMMER HITTING, NAMED ALL-STAR Michigan baseball sophomore Ako Thomas led all Wolverines in hitting this summer with a .313 batting average in 22 games played. Thomas played his ball in the New England Collegiate Base- ball League for the Sanford Mari- ners the past three months. Thomas recorded 25 hits, six of them for extra bases, with 10 runs batted in and walked 17 times. — Brandon Justice

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