The Wolverine

June-July 2012

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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BETTER DAYS Forced To Play Bigger Roles Than Expected, U-M's Youth Offers Promise For 2013 AHEAD Freshman catcher/outfielder Kevin White started 23, and played in 35, of the Wolverines' first 52 games this season, and he was hitting . 223 with three home runs and 11 RBI. R PHOTO COURTESY MICHIGAN ATHLETIC MEDIA RELATIONS BY MICHAEL SPATH self staring out onto the infield at Ray Fisher Stadium under the lights punctuat- ing the Wolverines' 5-2 win. He was envisioning the day in which elishing a hard-fought, and much-needed, victory over Coastal Carolina May 9, Michigan baseball coach Rich Maloney caught him- who stoically absorbed the moment in 2006, 2007 and 2008. In 2006, Maloney's fourth season in Ann the Maize and Blue storm the pitcher's mound to revel in a Big Ten champion- ship, noting when that day comes again, he will be right in the middle of the rau- cous celebration. "I told the boys, the next time we win it, I'm in the dog pile," said Maloney, 62 THE WOLVERINE JUNE/JULY 2012 Arbor, Michigan captured its first regular- season conference crown since 1997, and then also went on to snag the tournament title. A year later, the Wolverines repeated for the first time 1988-89, and advanced to an NCAA Super Regional after pulling an upset at the Nashville Regional. When the 2008 season came to its con- 30-25 and 35-22 records after four sea- sons with at least 40 victories. U-M fin- ished second in the Big Ten in 2010, and expected to be back on top soon. Instead, the Maize and Blue have tumbled, going 17-37 a year ago and 21-31 this spring through May 13, with a final Big Ten series versus Nebraska May 17-19. "In my career, I had never experienced clusion, U-M had won a two-decade- high 46 games, and had again pulled the double whammy of Big Ten regular- season and tournament championships. In 2009-10, Michigan took a step back, though not a dramatic one, slumping to a losing season until last season. It's not fun," Maloney said. "It's been hard on all of us, the players, the staff, because all of us want to win for Michigan. And as a team, they've done so many things well, and haven't made excuses even though we've been undermanned. But what's been good is, in the midst of the storm,

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