The Hays Daily News from Hays, Kansas on June 12, 2006 · Page 9
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The Hays Daily News from Hays, Kansas · Page 9

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Monday, June 12, 2006
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A tied record Page B3. MONDAY, JUNE 12,2006 SPORTS THE HAYS DAILY NEWS Royals shortstop Angel Berroa looks for the call after forcing Devil Rays baserunner Rocco Baldelli out for the second out of a triple play during the second Inning Sunday, In Kansas City, Mo. CHARLIE RIEDEL Associated Press Royals turn rare triple play in loss KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Buddy Bell has witnessed all sorts of strange plays during his long professional baseball career. The triple play his Kansas City Royals turned was something new. With Tampa Bay's Aubrey Huff on third and Rocca Baldelli on first in the second inning of the Royals' 8-2 loss Sunday, Russell Branyan flied out to David DeJesus in shallow center. Huff came home on the play and Baldelli attempted to take second on the throw home, but was thrown out by pitcher Scott Elarton, who was backing up the throw to the plate. Angel Berroa tagged out Baldelli and then threw to Mark Teahen at third base as .the Royals claimed Huff left early Third base umpire Bob Davidson agreed with the appeal and ruled Huff out. "He left a step early," Teahen said. "It wasn't even close. He definitely left early." It was the Royals' sixth triple play in franchise history, and the first since April 3,1996, at Baltimore. It was the first triple play turned against the Devil Rays, who are in their ninth season. "I've never seen a triple play quite like that," said Bell, who has been Involved in professional baseball since 1970. The play was scored 8-1-6-5. "That triple play totally stands out because of the uniqueness," Devil Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "I can't imagine there has ever been a triple play like that with that combination of numbers." It was the third triple play of the season in the majors, and the first not involving the Minnesota Twins. The Chicago White Sox turned one on May 14 at the Metrodome in then- 9-7 victory, and the Twins had one against the Seattle Mariners in a 9- MAJOR LEAGUE LINESCORES Page B2. 5 victory at home on May 27. Huff disputed the call. "I didn't realize that was a triple play," Huff said. "That's how unimpressive that was. It's a joke. You've got to make sure, it has to really be obvious. It cost Branyan an RBI." Maddon argued with Davidson, to no avail. "Huff didn't do anything wrong," Maddon said. "He tagged appropriately and did not leave early." For Elarton, who gave up of the three home runs and 19 for the season to tie for the most in the American League, it was the only bright spot of his afternoon. Larks salvage split BY THE HAYS DAILY NEWS JOPLIN, Mo. — With a 4-0 shutout Sunday of the Southwest (Mo.) Slashers, the Hays Larks forced a split in the first four-game Jayhawk League series of the season. The win Sunday came after the Larks were swept in doubleheader action Saturday in Joplin, falling 2-1 and 3-1 to the Slashers, in their second season as members of the Jayhawk League. The defending league champion Larks are in their first home action of the season in non- league action against Salina at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. Hays (4-2 overall, 3-2 Jayhawk) plays eight straight home games, including a league doubleheader with the Derby Twins on Wednesday at 6 p.m. In Sunday's game, Larks reliever Sam Elam picked up a win in three innings as pai&pf a /;_ Jhree-pitcher shxitout for the jl larks. Starter Cliff Springston> pitched four innings in a scoreless ball game, giving up just three hits to the Slashers. The Larks put up two runs in the seventh inning to'break a scoreless tie, scoring on an error at third base by the Slashers and on a sacrifice RBI to Eric Lawson. Billy Sharp scored on the fly out to center field. Hays managed two hits in the inning and eight for the game. The Larks tacked on two more runs in the ninth on one Slasher error where Lawson and Jesus Hernandez scored on a throwing error by the Slashers' catcher. Southwest had six hits on the day, three off Springston and three off Elam. Mike Monterey pitched the eighth and ninth for his second save of the season. Lawson had the game's only RBI, going l-for-3 with a run scored. Catcher Kyle Day was 2- for-4 on the game as was shortstop Ross Brezovsk'y, who scored one of the four Lark runs. Saturday Slashers 2, Larks 1 In Saturday's first game of the doubleheader, the Larks suffered their first loss of the season, giving up just two runs on three Slasher hits. Hays starter Tyler Johnson pitched five Innings, giving up just one earned run. Reliever Scott Orobeck allowed the winning run across In the sixth Inning of his tough-luck loss when Slasher left fielder Tyler Doke scored on a throwing error at shortstop. Hays managed five hits In the opener and had Just the one error. First baseman Dan Sto vail was 2-for-3 with an RBI. Slashers 3, Larks 1 In Game 2 on Saturday, Hays starter Flto Grijalva surrendered six hits In 43J Innings to the Slashers, giving up three runs but only one earned In the two-run loss. The Slashers scored two unearned runs In the fifth on one Lark error. Billy Sharp was 1 -for-3 with the game's only RBI. ERIC GAY / Associated Press TOP LEFT: A Mavericks fan holds up a sign during Game 2 NBA Finals on Sunday indicating that Miami Heat center Shaquille O'Neal has made only two of 16 free throws in the series. TOP RIGHT: A young Mavericks fan shows his color. ABOVE: Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki watches his shot go in against the Heat in Game 2 Sunday. Nowitzki scored 26 points as the Mavericks took a 2-0 series lead. Stacking the odds Stackhouse 3-pointer a dagger in Mavericks' Game 2 win DALLAS (AP) — Jerry Stackhouse's 3- pointer split the net while he tumbled into his teammates' arms. He extricated himself from the jubilant Dallas bench and headed upcourt, pausing momentarily for a wide- eyed hug with coach Avery Johnson. It wasn't even halftime, and the Mavericks were firmly in control of Game 2 of the NBA finals. Incredibly, they even had a handle on Shaquille O'Neal, who had the worst playoff game of his career. Though they're still two games away from their first championship, the Mavs could celebrate a rip-roaring opening week in their thrilled Texas town. Dirk Nowitzki had 26 points and 16 re- bounds in the Mavericks' 99-85 victory Sun- • day night, leading a balanced attack that came at the Heat in waves and eventually put Dallas up 2-0 in the series. "We feel that this is an opportunity for us," Stackhouse said. "We want to do all we can to prepare ourselves to be able to fulfill a dream of ours, and fulfill the dream of our city. We're one more step closer to that." An offensive explosion is no surprise in Dallas, where fans have been treated to one of the NBAs most exciting teams for years. O'Neal's statistics were the real eye- catchers in Game 2: A career playoff-low five points, six rebounds and a fourth-quarter benching for the three-time finals MVP. Wary of simple double-teams, he frequently passed the ball out of the low post even before Dallas' second defender arrived. Was he afraid of being fouled and going to the line, where he went l-for-9 in Game 1 and l-for-7 in this one? The self-described "quotacious" center wouldn't talk about what went wrong: He skipped the postgame interview session, earning a $10,000 fine from the NBA and socking his team with a $25,000 bill. When the Heat take the court for Game 3 back home Tuesday night, somebody had better speak up. For two games, the Mavs have shackled one of his generation's greatest postseason performers, as his three NBA finals MVP awards attest. Though Johnson claims no special insight, the Mavs' defense on O'Neal was unprecedented. After Shaq scored on Miami's first possession, he waited 20k< minutes to get his only other field goal. SEE FINALS, PAGE B3 In cloud of clay, Rafael Nadal ends Roger Federer's streak MICHEL EULER / AMQolftod Prti. Rafael Nadal pow» with his trophy at the plawde la Concorde In Paris this morning. NadaJ won the French Open tennis final Sunday. PARIS (AP) — Unflappable and unbeatable against anyone else, Roger Federer looked helpless at times Sunday, his bid for a fourth consecutive Grand Slam title disappearing in the clouds of clay kicked up by Rafael Nadal. Over and over, for three hours and with the temperature at 90, Nadal scampered and skidded his way to reach seemingly unreachable balls. Going long stretches without a mistake, No. 2-ranked Nadal beat No. 1 Federer 1-6,6-1,64,7-6 (4) tp win his second straight French Open title. "I won the first set easily, and usually in a situation like that I don't let things go by. But it's a final. It's against Nadal, It's on clay," Federer said. "That makes it very difficult—more difficult maybe than other cases." His 27-raatch winning streak at majors ended. Nadal's 60-match winning streak on red clay lives. So consider this; Nadal is now 6-1 against Federer over their careers. And this: Federer is 04 against the Spaniard in 2006,44-0 against everyone else. Nadal also is the first player to beat Federer in a Grand Slam final, The Swiss entered Sunday 70 in that category, the best such start to a career since the 1880s. "I can't say I'm better than him. Since I was born, I've never seen a more complete player. He's the best," Nadal said. "Maybe he was nervous, too. Roger was playing today for being on the top of history This pressure is a lot, no?" Federer was trying to join Don Budge (1938) and Rod Laver (1962,1969) as the only men to win Wimbledon, US. Open, Australian Open and French Open championships all in a row. He also had a chance to become the sixth man with a career Grand Slam. But it was Nadal who deposited a forehand volley to end the match, then slid onto his back on the clay and spread his arms and legs, as if to make a snow angel. After they shook hands, Federer sank in his seat, residue of the red dirt smearing his white headwrap. "I tried. I can't do more than try," Federer said. "But having this real unique opportunity that we haven't seen in such a long time in tennis—obviously, it's a pity" SEE FRENCH, WQEB3 It's go time U.S. begins play at soccer's World Cup By RONALD BLUM ASSOCIATED PRESS GELSENKIRCHEN, Germany — After four years of preparation, training and talk, the United States finally kicks off its World Cup campaign. Despite an increasingly impressive pedigree in the world's No. 1 sport, they're still strangers in the land of soccer. The Americans open play Monday against a strong side from the Czech Republic after more than a week in Germany surrounded by tight security, quizzed about lukewarm support back home and constantly questioned over whether tb^ey can reprise a surprisingly successful run in 2002. '^Everyone ifi anxious," U.S. cap•'' tauiciaudio ReynS said.*'Ire thsft time, really It's what everyone has ' been- waiting for for the last four years." r , ? > Th'eJUhitectStates is 0-7 in World Cup games in Europe, but made it to the quarterfinals at the 2002 tournament in South Korea before losing 1-0 to Germany It was America's most successful World Cup since 1930. Since then, star midfielder Landon Donovan's hair has thinned and winger Eddie Lewis speaks with a decidedly British accent now that he's played for English clubs the past six years. The one constant is security When the Americans leave their hotel for today's game, an ever-present convoy of police, State Department officials and private guards will encircle them. The U.S. bus is the only among the 32 teams that doesn't display the country's name. Reyna said the only thing on players' minds is soccer. "We're here to get results and do well," he said. "The World Cup is an experience you want to enjoy The guys are having a great time. There's no tension or anxiety within the team because of the security issues." Not so the opening game. U.S. players know that years of work could be wiped out by just a few seconds of lapses against the Czechs, Italy and Ghana, all part of the United States' tough first- round group. "It's very difficult to lose the first game and expect to get through," Donovan said. The Czechs made it to the semifinals of the 2004 European Championship, and all but four players are back from that roster. They had 35 goals in qualifying group play, tied for Europe's high, and 6-foot- 71/2 forward Jan Koller had nine goals, second-most in qualifying among European players. American soccer's battle for respect extends beyond the famous stadiums of Europe. In America, many sports fans remain unconvinced the sport is worth their time. Former congressman Jack Kemp, once an NFL quarterback, proclaimed on the floor of the House of Representatives: "Football is democratic, capitalism, whereas soccer is a European socialist sport." Twelve of the 23 U.S. players are based in Europe, several with big clubs, but many say they still encounter condescension from continental types. "Until we've really proven ourselves on kind of the European stage, I think it will still be there," said goalkeeper Kasey Keller, who plays here and lives in a German castle. , (-AOEB2

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