By: Phillip Lutz, Sports Editor

The first half did not go well.

The UM-Dearborn men’s baseball team is set to return to action on Feb. 25. They will travel to Florida to take part in the RussMatt Invitational.

The team played nine games last fall and lost all nine games. They are currently last in WHAC (Wolverine Hoosier Athletic Conference) standings, but they have this half of the season to improve.

The Wolverines will play eight games at the RussMatt Invitational. Winning these games could turn their disappointing season on its head.

The second half of the season pits them against Madonna University, who currently leads the WHAC with a perfect 9-0. They also will take on Siena Heights (2-7) in the WHAC (3-9) overall and Aquinas (0-6) in the WHAC (4-6) and are currently just ahead of them.

They also will face No. 22 Indiana Institute of Technology at their facility. Indiana is 5-1 and perfect at home with 3-0 and on a four game winning streak.

The Wolverines have to face Rochester College (2-4) and Cornerstone University (2-4) in the WHAC and 3-4 overall. They will also face (RV) Concordia University in May to end the season. Concordia is 4-2 overall and middle of the pack in the WHAC.

The only out of conference opponent they will face is the Cleary University Cougars. The Cougars are 0-2 so far this season, but will be tough competition down the line.

The Wolverines are led by junior Daniel Kerr who has 11 hits, 9 runs batted in, 4 walks, and 37 at bats. Senior Chase Turner and freshman Shaun Hannibal each had 10 hits. Turner also added seven runs batted in, a walk, and a homerun. Hannibal added three runs batted in, and five walks.

The team has had 76 strikeouts so far this season. Sophomores Cole VanWagoner (13) and Antonio Carta (12) struck out the most. On the flip side the Wolverines have struck out 58 batters.

The pitchers are led by freshman John Dyda and Alex Leija who each have 13 strikeouts. Leija also leads the team giving up 19 walks. The pitching staff has given up 12 home runs.

The Wolverines are not getting on base enough compared to the other WHAC teams. The Wolverines have 33 walks and 73 hits. Their opponents earned 60 walks and 113 hits.

The men will need to find ways to get more runs in the second half of the season. They play with heart and passion, but must play with more abandon to beat their opponents. They will need to focus on innings one and six because their opponents are scoring 16 points in those innings.

Check back with the Michigan Journal for all UM-Dearborn baseball news and scores.