The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 21, 1998 · Page 21
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 21

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Salina, Kansas
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Thursday, May 21, 1998
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Page 21
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THURSDAY MAY 21, 1998 THE SALINA JOURNAL Sports SCOREBOARD / D2 BASEBALL / D3 AUTO RACING / D4 T COLLEGE ATHLETICS Hughes resigns at Wesleyan Hughes: Overlapping of women's basketball, volleyball the past three years 'have begun to take a toll' By BOB DAVIDSON The Sallna Journal Tom Hughes, women's basketball and volleyball coach at Kansas Wesleyan the past three seasons, has resigned both positions effective June 15. Hughes submitted his resignation Wednesday in a letter faxed to Wesleyan athletic director Jerry Jones and local media outlets from Franklin, N.H., where Hughes is currently an assistant coach with the New Hampshire Thunder Loons of the United States Basketball League. "This was an extremely difficult and gut-wrenching decision to make," Hughes said in the letter. . HUGHES "However, I felt at this time it was in the best interest of Kansas Wesleyan University, my players, myself and my family that I take this action. After three years, the overlapping of volleyball and basketball have begun to take a toll, both mentally and physically." Hughes would not discuss the letter Tuesday afternoon when contacted in Franklin, N.H. "The only thing I will say is my daughter made the comment that I've spent more time with other people's kids than I have my own," he said. Hughes said he doesn't have another job beyond the USBL position, but that he is looking. Jones said Hughes' resignation wasn't unexpected. "Tom's always talked about getting a men's coaching job. I'm surprised he didn't mention that in his letter. The job with the New Hampshire Thunder Loons follows his heart. He was going this way looking for a job," he said. Jones said Hughes had applied for men's coaching positions at St. Mary's College in Leavenworth and Kansas Newman College this spring. r Jones declined comment when asked if Hughes was asked to resign. "I have no comment since Tom has resigned," Jones said. Hughes accepted the assistant coaching position with the USBL team earlier this month and was scheduled to be gone until early July. The USBL opportunity came on short notice and Hughes left Salina within a week of the offer. He took a recruiting trip to Arizona before going to New Hampshire to join the Thunder Loons. "We received Tom's resignation today, but I can't say I haven't been preparing for something like this," Jones said. Jones said the two coaching positions have been offered to one person who is currently on staff, "but we don't have a reply, yet." Speculation is the offer was made to Jennifer Head, a former Wesleyan basketball player and an assistant basketball coach to Hughes all three years. "It would be fair to speculate that," Jones said. Head declined comment when contacted Wednes- See HUGHES, Page D3 "It was the worst brawl I've seen in 25 years." • George Steinbrenner, Yankees owner Suspensions and fines were levied Wednesday as the result of Tuesday's bench-clearing brawl between the Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. The brawl was precipitated when Orioles relief pitcher Armando Benltez beaned Yankee Tino Martinez after Bernle Williams had cracked a three- run home run that gave New York a 7-5 lead In the eighth Inning. The Yankees won the game, 9-5. — The Associated Press Five suspensions result from brawl Orioles apologize to Yankees for pitcher throwing at Martinez By BEN WALKER The Associated Press NEW YORK —Three players suspended, another one injured. At least the New York Yankees got an apology from the Baltimore Orioles. Orioles reliever Armando Benitez was suspended for eight games on Wednesday for intentionally throwing at Tino Martinez, and four other players were penalized for their involvement in the brawl that followed at Yankee Stadium. Darryl Strawberry and Graeme Lloyd of the New York Yankees were suspended for three games each by the American League for "overly aggressive behavior, fighting and prolonging the violent in- cident" on Tuesday night. Alan Mills of the Orioles and Jeff Nelson of the Yankees were suspended two games apiece. "Not enough of their guys; too many of our guys," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. Martinez was out of the lineup against the Orioles on Wednesday night because of a large bone bruise on his upper back. The All-Star first baseman's status was day-to-day after Benitez hit him. . "I apologize to the New York Yankees and to Tino Martinez specifically," Orioles manager Ray Miller said. "It was an act of an immature young man that led to this." On Wednesday, three batters were hit by pitches, and all took their bases without incident The Yankees won, 9-6. Benitez was fined $2,000, Strawberry and Lloyd each were fined $1,000, and Nelson and Mills both drew $500 fines. BASEBRAWL SUSPENSIONS Eight Games Armando Benitez Orioles Three Games Darryl Strawberry Yankees Graeme Lloyd Yankees Two Games Alan Mills Orioles Jeff Nelson Yankees "The severity of the discipline reflects the gravity of the offenses," AL president Gene Budig said. "Mr. Benitez not only intentionally threw at Martinez, but the location of the pitch was extremely dangerous and could have seriously injured the player." The fight also renewed calls by some for baseball to consider adopting a rule used by the NBA — that any player who leaves the bench is automatically suspended. Any such rule would have to be negotiated with the union. "I think that would be a terrible idea," said Gene Orza, the union's No. 2 official. "In a game in which the batter, however much he believes he is wronged, goes to the mound, if no one leaves the bench the fight is eight to one. As a result, the guys will leave the bench. They can't leave their teammate alone," he said. After giving up a three-run homer to Bernie Williams that put New York ahead 7-5, Benitez hit Martinez between the shoulder blades with his next pitch. The brawl spilled into the Orioles' dugout. New York went on to win 9-5. "It was the worst brawl I've seen in 25 years," Yankees owner George Steinbrenner said. The suspensions of Strawberry and Benitez began immediately. Mills' suspension would start after Benitez's is completed. Lloyd's suspension would start when Strawberry is finished sitting out, and Nelson's penalty would when Lloyd's is completed. Benitez and Strawberry said they will serve part of their suspensions on Wednesday and Thursday and then decide whether to appeal remainder of penalties, the players' union said. Mills will decide by Friday whether to appeal. There was no word on the plans of Lloyd and Nelson. Scoreboard Indians Royals • Tonight — Indians at Royals, 7:05. Indians send Royals to fifth straight loss By The Associated Press KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kenny Lofton drove in a career- high five runs and Travis Fryman homered Wednesday night to lead the Cleveland Indians to a 14-5 victory over the Kansas City Royals. Lofton drove in two runs with a third inning single, had a sacrifice fly in the fifth and capped a six-run sixth inning with a two-run homer, his fourth of the season. Fryman, who also singled and doubled, put the Indians in front earlier in the sixth with a three-run home run off Kansas City starter Tim Belcher (2-6), who allowed 11 hits and 10 runs in 5% innings. The loss was the fifth in a row and ninth in the last 11 for the Royals, who fell to 6-17 at home this season. Cleveland has scored 30 runs in the first two games of the series, the most Kansas City has ever allowed in consecutive games. Charles Nagy (5-2) pitched five innings, giving up 10 hits and five runs. With the Royals leading 5-4, the Indians broke the game open with six runs in the sixth. Manny Ramirez doubled with two outs to start the rally. After Brian Giles walked, Sandy Alomar tied the game with an RBI single. Fryman followed with a three-run homer, his sixth of the year. After a double by David Bell, Lofton hit a two- run homer to make it 10-5. Jeff King hit his ninth homer in the second inning to make it 1-0. After Lofton's two-run sin- gle put Cleveland up 2-1, Kansas City regained the lead with a three-run fourth on an RBI double by Jeff Conine, a sacrifice fly by Jermaine Dye and a RBI single by Sal Fasano. It was the first time the Royals had scored more than one run in an inning since May 14, a stretch of 40 innings. Cleveland tied the game in the fourth when Fryman doubled and scored on an RBI triple by Bell. Bell scored on Lofton's sacrifice fly to make it 4-all. MIDWEST REGIONAL Shockers regional favorites Top seed Wichita State takes 55-5 record into today's 7 p.m. opener against SE Missouri St By HAROLD BECHARD The Salina Journal WICHITA — Many believe it's a foregone conclusion that Wichita State will win this week's NCAA Midwest Regional and advance to the College World Series for the seventh time in 11 years. After all, the top-seeded Shockers enter . tonight's first-round regional game against Southeast Missouri State with a 16-game winning streak, a remarkable 55-5 record -^ and listed no lower than No. 3 in any of four national polls. l But Wichita State head coach Gene Stephenson says those numbers won't mean a thing when his club opens the tournament at 7 p.m. in Eck Stadium. The Shocker head coach says he'd stack up the six- team Midwest Regional field of No. 2 Georgia Tech, No. 3 Arizona State, No. 4 Arkansas, No. 5 Oklahoma STEPHENSON State and No. 6 Southeast Missouri State against any of the other seven. "Any time you're playing in a regional, you think your regional is the toughest one," Stephenson said Wednesday after his team's workout at Tyler Field. But there's no getting around the fact that Wichita State is the prohibitive favorite to join seven other regional champs in Omaha on May 29-June 6. "If we play well, and do the things we've done well this season, I like our chances," Stephenson said. The Shockers know a little about Southeast Missouri State. The Indians (32-22) ; qualified for their first NCAA Tournament . this year by winning the Ohio Valley Tournament. Last year, Southeast handed Wichita State its worst regular-season loss (14-6) of the season. "I have a lot of respect for Southeast Missouri State because they beat us as bad as anyone beat us last year," Stephenson said. "And they are a better team than a year '. ago." ' ! Southeast coach Mark Hogan knows his • ; team faces a major obstacle tonight, but said his team won't shy away from the challenge. "Our players are ready to go," Hogan said. "They feel very good about their ac- ' ! complishments this year and are eager to • l • play." The Indians are paced by sophomore outfielder Jeremy Johnson, who is hitting .337 with 12 home runs and 44 runs batted in. But those numbers pale in comparison to . Wichita State's All-American outfielder Jeff Ryan, the Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year. The Shocker junior is hitting .454 (second all-time in the WSU record-book), with 23 homers, 105 runs batted in, 106 runs scored and a .916 slugging percentage (all-time record). "I think his performance is second to ! none to anyone who has played here in the last 21 years," Stephenson said. Ryan, a semifinalist for player of the year honors, is joined on the Baseball Weekly All-American team by WSU first baseman , Pat Magness, who leads the nation in hitting (.467) with 21 homers and 99 RBI. The Shockers are expected to start sophomore right-hander Ben Christensen (9-0) tonight and go with senior lefty Steve Foral (10-1) on Friday. If the starters falter, MVC ' Pitcher of the Year Marc Bluma (5-0,10 ; saves) will be ready. Arizona State (34-21) and Arkansas (37-19)gets things started today at 11 a.m., followed by the 3 p.m. game matching Georgia Tech (38-20) and Oklahoma State (38-19). "I think an outside observer would think ; the Midwest Regional would be among the top two toughest regionals, as far as solid teams top-to-bottom in 1998, as well as tradition-wise," Stephenson said. Arkansas is the only regional team Wichita State has faced this season. The Razorbacks are the last team to hand the Shockers a loss, defeating them, 16-5, on April 28. AT WICHITA TYLER FIELD-ECU STADIUM Today's Game* 11 a.m. — Arizona State (34-21) vs. Arkansas (37-19). 3 p.m. — Georgia Tech (38-20) vs. Oklahoma State (38-19), 7 p.m. — Wichita State (55-5) vs. Southeast Missouri State (32-22). Tickets Individual reserved grandstand — $7.00. Individual general admission — $6.00. College students/youth 2-18 — $5.00. All-session reserved — $50.00 SUGGESTIONS? tifcLL BOB DAVIDSON, SPORTS EDITOR, AT (785) 82316363 OR 1-800-827-6363 OR E-MAIL AT sjbdavldsorrtlsaljournal.com

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