Regular Season Statistics
Founded: 1817 Location: Ann Arbor, Mich. Enrollment: 36,650 Athletic Director: Tom Goss Conference: Big Ten Nickname: Wolverines Colors: Maize and Blue Home Field: Ray Fisher Stadium (4,000) 1998 Record: 21-27-1 Big Ten Record/Finish: 9-14/tie 6th Letterman Returning/Lost: 24/14 Starters Returning/Lost: 6/3 Pitchers Returning/Lost: 9/9
Third baseman Mike Cervenak, co-captain, has started 55of Michigan’s 56 games. Cervenak, Michigan’s all-time hit leader(277), enters playoff action hitting .325 with seven homers andteam-leading 58 RBI. Cervenak hit .330 in Big Ten play. Cervenakalso holds ‘M’ career records for doubles (60) and at bats (795)and he is tied 6th in all-time ‘M’ homers (28). Cervenak hit .556in the series at Minnesota going 10-for-18. He has had a pair of4-hit games this season at Iowa and vs. Notre Dame with HR &double in Grand Rapids, Mich. Second baseman Bobby Scales,co-captain, is the only Wolverine player with 56 starts and heleads the team with a .360 average (77-for-214). Scales, who leadsthe team with nine home runs, has led off three games with homers(at Iowa, Minnesota & Ball State). Scales has had three hittingstreaks of 10 games or more (12, 18 & 13) this season includinga career-best 18 game streak. Scales hit .389 in Big Ten play thisseason (42-for-108) and Scales has hits in 48 of 56 games playedthis season and provides ‘pop’ in leadoff spot with 63 runs, 77hits, 14 doubles, 3 triples, nine homers, 43 RBI and .579 sluggingpct. Scales ranks seventh on the ‘M’ career hit list with 211 hits(7th at Michigan). RHP Bryce Ralston collected histeam-leading eighth win beating Penn State 6-1. He has 3.51 ERA in11 starts in overall action and he is 6-0 with 2.79 ERA in six BigTen starts with wins over Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, MichiganState, Indiana and Penn State. Ralston has complete game wins atIowa and vs. Michigan State. He entered suspended game vs. OhioState in the third inning of 0-0 game and left with score 3-3 in nodecision. On the spring trip to California Ralston suffered hisonly loss at Pepperdine on ‘short rest.’ Ralston had a career-bestnine strikeouts vs. MSU. Ralston’s win over Illinois came whenIllini were unbeaten (5-0) and in first place as defending Big Tenchamps. Ralston left UCLA game with 3-1 lead in 8th but had nodecision in eventual 4-3 ‘M’ win in 10 innings. CenterfielderBrian Bush has made 55 starts in 56 games and is second onthe team hitting .353 (79-for-224) with career bests in hits (79)and RBI (37). Bush hit .330 in Big Ten play. Bush has had 12 &14 (career best) hitting streaks. With 224 at bats Bush has tiedJim Paciorek’s 1981 single season record. Bush leads the Wolverineswith five triples and 11 stolen bases. Known for his defense, Bushhas recorded seven assists. Rightfielder Jason Alcaraz ishitting .307 (65-for-212) with 16 doubles, and seven homers and heis second on the team with 44 RBI. Alcaraz highlighted the finalgame of the season going 5-for-5 at Penn State tying the Big Tenrecord for doubles in a game (3). Alcaraz moved into third place inboth Michigan records for career hits (256) and doubles (51).Earlier in the season Alcaraz he collected career hit # 200, atwo-run homer at UCLA and he knocked in 10th-inning game-winningrun vs. Bruins with sac fly. His 250th hit was a double vs.Indiana. The Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 1996 and a First TeamAll-Big Ten in 1996 & 1997, Alcaraz has made 202 career starts.First baseman Bryan Besco leads the Wolverines with 19doubles, the fourth best single season total for the Wolverines.Besco set the ‘M’ record for doubles in 1997 with 26 and currentlyranks fourth in career doubles with 50. In the 1997 Big TenPlayoffs Besco was Michigan’s highlight going 6-for-15 (.400) withtwo doubles and three homers for a 1.133 slugging percentage.Catcher David Parrish has made 43 starts and is hitting .325(53-for-163) in overall action with seven homers and 30 RBI.Parrish hit .373 in Big Ten play (25-for-67) and was named Big Tenplayer of the week vs. MSU with three homers, two doubles and eightRBI while hitting .636 for the series. RHP J.J. Putz is 4-4with 3.61 ERA with 57 strikeouts in 62.1 innings. Putz pitchedback-to-back nine-inning complete game wins on road in Big Ten atMinnesota and Michigan State. Putz held the then nationally-rankedGophers to season low (at that point) three runs and knocked themout of first place tie with OSU. Putz was 4-3 in Big Ten play with3.61 ERA . He pitched a seven- inning shutout over defending champIllinois in early April.
Michigan reaches playoffs for third time in four year underhead coach Geoff Zahn (1996 at Penn State, hosting as regularseason champs in 1997 and in Columbus in 1999). The Wolverines havemade the Big Ten Championship Playoffs 13 times and have won arecord six championships, while placing second three times, thirdthree times and fourth once. Michigan has turned a single-seasonhigh 66 double plays. The previous best was 62 in 1997.