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EDITOR: GREG NOBLE, 369-1917 THE CINCINNATI ENQUIRER WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 23, 1991 SECTION E MMO ScoreboardE-2 Chighisola tradedE-3 DigestE-4 BasebalIE-4 Whiny Wyche act detracts from a strong track record Tim Lr Sullivan I 1 Esiason to sit Hurt shoulder against Bills BY JOHN FAY The Cincinnati Enquirer Sam's building his own guillotine Boomer Esiason . . . streak to end Jack Brennan Jfav tf BILLUPS FINED: After hearing his side of a Saturday altercation, the Bengals decided to withhold Lewis Billups' paycheck for last week an action tantamount to a $34,000 fineE-5.' ARGUMENT DOWNPLAYED: Backs coach Jim Anderson said his nationally televised argument with Sam Wyche Monday really wasn't. "Things are said on the sidelines that appear to be one way but aren't," Anderson saidE-5. ' IN CONTROL: Players disputed the notion, advanced by . broadcasters Monday night, that the team is on the brink of collapseE-6. How many NFL coaches have been fired after winning two division titles in four years and making one Super Bowl trip in the span? I'll wager it would be considered rare. And perhaps quite rash. Mike Brown is anything but rash.' It's clear he wants to give Sam Wyche plenty of rope during the Bengals' free fall, and it's eminently arguable Wyche deserves it. You who would immediately dismiss Wyche, consider: As a fan, you're in this for the kicks. There's no bigger NFL kick than a playoff victory. In the past three seasons (1988-90), only San Francisco won more playoff games than the Bengals. Only the Giants and Bills won as many (three). But it's just as clear and no doubt immensely troubling to Brown that Wyche persists in using the GM's rope to hang himself. He creates the very impression he so seems to resent that this is a team lacking "control." The 0-7 Bengals, who play at 6-1 Houston , Sunday, got some bad news Tuesday: Boomer Esiason won't play. ' Esiason, who has started 34 straight games, has a slightly separated left shoulder, suffered in the fourth quarter Monday night. Esiason holds out some hope of playing, but "If I had to say, I'd say no," he said Tuesday. "It's my throwing arm," Esiason said. "If it was my other shoulder, I'd definitely be playing this week. But because it's my throwing arm, I have to be really careful." The team is preparing for Houston with Erik Wilhelm as the starter. It will be the first regular-season start for the third-year player. Wilhelm finished the game against Buffalo . with decent numbers 9-for-13 for 80 yards and led the team to one field goal. "This is an opportunity for me to play and help this team win," Wilhelm said. "Every week, I prepare for this kind of thing to happen., I'm not going to get all worried and let the pressure get to me." Sam didn't lose just the game Monday night. He lost the sidelines, and then lost the post-game press conference. Again. He didn't quietly slip to 0-7. He went headfirst down the steps to 0-7, noisily alerting all to his plight. Once the outcome was no longer in doubt, ABC's Monday Night boys made the storyline Sam Wyche, not the 7-1 Bills. Start with the sideline stuff. Sam, America neither wants nor expects you to be the second coming of Tom Landry. Emotion is part of your game. (Please see BRENNAN, Page E-6) Atlanta's first Series game ends fittingly ATLANTA In the fifth hour of play, in the 12th inning of tension, after a dozen pinch hitters and some 71 outs, the first World Series game ever played in Atlanta came to an exhilarating end Tuesday morning. i Second baseman Mark Lemke, whose error had invited catastrophe earlier in the inning, redeemed himself and reprieved his team with a run-scoring single that gave the Braves a 3-2 victory over the Minnesota Twins. This was baseball drama at its most draining, a game of consequence and contours, failure and fate. The Twins, out of position players, used a pitcher to pinch hit in the top of the 12th inning and it nearly paid off. The Braves, blessed with another brilliant start by 21-year-old Steve Avery, nearly squandered it with their screwups. "After a while, I didn't think anybody was going to score," Lemke said after his two-out single scored' David Justice from second base after 244 minutes of play. "Neither team was getting any opportunities, and then, when we did, we weren't coming through." ; Twins in position, falter After taking a 4-1 lead in the top of the fifth inning, the Braves would not get another hit until the 10th. After tying the game with a two-run homer by pinch-hitter Chili Davis in the eighth inning, the Twins would move five runners into scoring position and score none of them. "It was just a terrific ballgame," said Twins manager Tom Kelly. "We were down, 4-1, against Avery and put a pretty Lemke boosts Braves k 1, i Single wins Game 3 in 12th inning, 5-4 BY ROB PARKER The Cincinnati Enquirer ATLANTA The Atlanta Braves are alive. After blowing a two-run, eighth-inning lead, the Braves got a clutch two-out RBI single by Mark Lemke , , git J ' to score David Justice and hand the Minnesota Twins a 5-4, 12-inning loss before a sellout crowd of 50,878 at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium Tuesday night in Game 3 of the 88th World Series. j -. good scare into him. Anymore, a good scare of Avery is a moral victory. Through six innings, the 21-year-old pitcher was his standard dominant self. Two of the three runs charged against him were none of his doing. Leading off the game, Twins outfielder Dan Gladden lifted a routine fly ball to right-center field. Either Justice or Ron Gant could have caught it, but their momentary indecision allowed the ball to bounce through for a triple. Gladden scored on a sacrifice fly by Chuck Knoblauch; Before the Twins would produce another baserunner, Avery had retired 15 in a row and Atlanta had taken a 4-1 lead. Between the second and the fifth inning a span covering 12 batters Avery threw only five balls. Had either Justice or Gant been able to field Gladden's first-inning fly, Avery could have taken a perfect game into the sixth inning. It was then that he allowed his first legitimate hit, a leadoff single to Junior Ortiz, and demonstrated the first signs of vulnerability. Pinch hitter Gene Larkin followed Ortiz with a single to left field, giving Minnesota runners on first and second with no outs and the top of the order due. Avery would escape the inning without yielding a run, but two of his three outs went to the warning track. The Twins, who had homered twice in both Games One and Two, were beginning to drive the ball. The trend continued, and the Twins finally collected in the seventh inning. Kirby Puckett led off with a home run to left field, slicing Atlanta's lead to 4-2. Avery lasted until the eighth, when Terry Pendleton' mishandled pinch hitter Brian Harper's leadoff smash, and Atlanta manager Bobby Cox decided it was time to turn to reliever Alejandro Pena. Pena's pitch fat Cox has made worse choices, but none The Braves now trail two games to one in this best-of-seven series. Braves right-hander John Smoltz (14-13) goes against Twins right-hander Jack Morris (18-12) in Game 4 tonight. WHEN: Today, 8:26 p.m. WHERE: Atlanta. TV: Channels 9, 7. RADIO: WCKY-AM (1530). PITCHERS: Braves' John Smoltz (14-13, . 3.80) vs. Twins' Jack Morris (18-12, 3.43). SERIES: Twins, 2-1. There were 42 players used, 23 by the Twins, in the longest World Series game in 14 years. Minnesota was in such a bind it had to use losing pitcher Rick Aguilera to pinch-hit in the top of the 12th with the bases, loaded and two outs. He flied out against winner Jim Clancy, ending the inning. Coming into the 12th, the Twins had limited the Braves to just one hit after the fifth inning. But with one out, David Justice singled against Aguilera, who had saved the first two Twins' wins in the series. (Please see SERIES, Page E-4) The Associated PressDoug Mills Atlanta's David Justice follows through on a solo home run in the fourth inning. Justice, a Covington Latin High graduate, later scored the winning run on Mark Lemke's single in the 1 2th inning. in so significant a spot. On his third pitch to pinch-hitter Chili Davis, Pena threw a UC ends local drought pitch fat enough that Davis was able to hit Tyson-Holyfield fight may never be staged an opposite-field homer to left held. Avery's lead had evaporated. The score was tied. 4-4. Then gridlock set in. Aided by a double play ball Lemke botched, the Twins would load the bases in the top of the 12th, but Kelly had no choice but to allow one of his pitchers to hit. He chose reliever Rick opportunities of staying at home, not only in playing for UC, but with job opportunities after graduation .'. . After visiting UC last weekend, I decided that was it." Huggins cannot comment until Gregor actually signs. The early signing period begins Nov. 13. In recent years, local stars LaSalle Thompson, Kannard Johnson, Rick Calloway, Joe Fredrick, Chip Jones, and Alex Davis all left town. Byron Larkin and Tyrone Hill chose Xavier. UC becan BY TOM GROESCHEN The Cincinnati Enquirer Lakota's Keith Gregor announced an oral commitment to the University of Cincinnati basketball program Tuesday, giving UC its biggest-name local recruit in 15 years. UC had not landed such a highly-regarded local senior since 1976, when Lockland's Greg Johnson chose the Bearcats. Johnson was a prep All-America, but injuries and academic woes shortened his UC career to two years. Aeuilera and he lined out to center held With one out in the bottom of the inning, Justice singled to right field. He later stole second base during an Aguilera walk to Greg Olson. This produced Keith Gregor . . . Lakota star Lemke. and he produced the ending. to be decided. Duva said a site, opponent and date will be announced in the next few days. Opponents who have been mentioned include Ray Mercer, former champion Larry Holmes and journeyman Alex Garcia. "We were unable to find a date in January to reschedule the Holyfield-Tyson fight that would be acceptable to all parties," Duva said. The Nov. 8 fight was postponed last Friday when Tyson injured his ribs training. A request by attorneys to delay the Jan. 27 trial has been denied. Should Tyson be convicted, he would face, up to 63 years in prison. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS NEW YORK Evander Ho- lyfield's promoter said the heavyweight champion's next title defense will not be against Mike Tyson. Unable to come up with a January date for a Holyfield-Ty-son fight, promoter Dan Duva said Tuesday the postponed match would , be rescheduled "for some time after January 1992." ' That means it is possible the fight never will take place. Tyson is scheduled to go on trial in Marion County Court in Indianapolis on Jan. 27 on a charge of rape and related charges. So Holyfield will fight in late November against an opponent "I guess I was looking for a good fastball to hit," Lemke said. "I was looking for the pitch in. Then, after one strike, I was just looking for a pitch to hit." Aguilera obliged with a fastball over the outside part of the plate, and Justice making local inroads last year by signing With-row's John Jacobs, an all-city player. But Jacobs wasn't as highly regarded, on a national scale, as Gregor is. Gregor's commitment should give UC more credibility in recruiting other local stars, such as Woodward's Damon Flint." "I've heard some criticism about the best players not wanting to go to UC when Tony Yates was there," Gregor said. "But coach Huggins has established himself; that's where I want to be." Gregor a winnerE-3. Gregor is ranked America's 69th best player by expert Bob Gibbons, and among the top 55 seniors by Hoop Scoop magazine. The 6-foot-5 guard-forward averaged 13.7 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 7.4 assists as a Lakota junior last year. "For most of my junior year, I thought Indiana was where I'd be going," Gregor said. "But I changed my mind this summer." UC coach Bob Huggins did it. "Coach Huggins madei me stop and think of some things," said Gregor. "He talked of the raced home ahead of an off-line throw by Gladden. Tim Sullivan is Enquirer sports columnist.