It was a move from the high school playbook. Michigan coach Rich
Maloney popped up from the dugout in the 11th inning and headed
toward the mound at The Fish. Freshman Dan Lentz stood on the
mound, awaiting his fate, surrounded by the Wolverine infield.
Maloney knew it was time to replace his reliever. But unlike his
normal routine of turning toward the third-base bullpen for a
replacement, Maloney looked across the huddle and called for
sophomore second baseman Chris Getz.
“(Getz) was a very good pitcher in high school,”
Maloney said. “He can throw 90 (miles per hour).”
Getz, usually slotted in at the leadoff spot, is hitting .277.
The move from the infield to the mound is nothing new for Getz, who
holds the Grosse Pointe South High School career record for saves.
In the 2001 Michigan High School Athletic Association state
championships, Getz was called from his spot at shortstop by coach
Dan Griesbaum to close out the game against Grand Ledge.
Minnesota’s Mike Mee faced Getz in his pitching debut, and
the one-pitch at-bat ended the inning on a grounder to first
The Chicago White Sox selected Getz as a shortstop in the sixth
round of the 2001 draft. While he may not join in on the new trend
of trying to make the Majors as a pitcher and position player, Getz
could be called upon to take the mound for the Wolverines again
“He’s been a guy we’ve been keeping secret
this year a little bit,” Maloney said. “He only got one
out, but that’s all we asked, and (the pitch) was a
Weather mayhem: It may be baseball season, but the
weather in Ann Arbor does not show it all the time.
This past week was the first time this season that the Michigan
baseball team could practice outside all week.
“The new turf (at The Fish) was laid down in November, so
we didn’t want to mess up the field practicing,”
But with the weather cooperating Michigan was finally able to
practice in conditions more like a game setting.
“It’s huge for us to get guys out there in the
elements, seeing the ball in the sun and seeing the ball off the
bat,” Maloney said. “We should play better as the
practice outside comes.”
While the weather was nice all week and for the first two games
of the series against Minnesota, the third game in the series was a
different story. The sun quickly vanished and soon after the fans
were scurrying to under the overhang of The Fish. The game
continued in the driving wind and rain, but was called in the top
of the fifth due to darkness.
“The weather was rough to play in Saturday and Sunday for
everyone, including the umpires,” Maloney said.
Saturday’s second game was finished yesterday before the
scheduled game. But the teams were not even sure if they were going
to play. A few quick calls resolved the situation.
“We called Western Michigan and Michigan State and they
were playing, so we said, ‘Let’s play,’ ”
Notes: Eric Rose’s 5-for-5 day was the first for a
Wolverine since Jason Alcaraz pulled off the feat against Penn
State in 1999. … Matt Butler extended his current hitting streak
with a single in the third inning Sunday. He went 3-for-6 on the
day … Kyle Bohm hit the only home run for the Wolverines on the
weekend. The longball, Friday, was his second on the season …
Pitcher Paul Hammond, returning from elbow surgery, earned his
first career win yesterday.