The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 23, 1998 · Page 11
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 11

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Salina, Kansas
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Saturday, May 23, 1998
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Page 11
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THE SALIrWOOURNAL Sports MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL / B3 PRO BASKETBALL / B4 GOLF/B5 B T SPORTS JOURNAL HAROLD BECHARD The Salina Journal Stephenson not happy with hitters WICHITA — Gene Stephenson didn't mince any words after entering the interview room Friday evening at Eck Stadium. The Wichita State head coach had just given his baseball team an earful in the Shocker dressing room next door after a crushing 3- 2,11-mning loss to Arkansas in the NCAA Midwest Regional. The second-ranked Shockers had lost despite Arkansas having as many errors as hits. The Razorbacks had four of each, but it was still good enough to put a shocking end to Wichita State's 17-game winning streak and handing WSU just its six loss in 62 games. "They gave us the opportunities because they made errors," Stephenson said. "I think (ASU starter Mike) Moriarity threw fantastic, but we failed to make any adjustments at the plate and he continued to do the same thing to us all day long." Moriarity made the nation's best hitting team look average at best. The heart of the Shockers' lineup — Nos. 4 (Pat Magness), 5 (Brian Preston), 6 (Joey Blue) and 7 (Tim Hayes) — were hitless in 15 official at-bats, while No. 3 hitter Jeff Ryan had only a bloop double in five trips. Stephenson blamed it all on his team's inability to adjust to Moriarty's pitching style, which consisted of trimming the corners and keeping the ball away. "When you're stubborn and you don't change and you don't adjust, you get beat," Stephenson said. "We played decent defense and pitched outstanding, but we just failed to make any adjustments at the plate." Moriarty, who threw a staggering 155 pitches in 10 innings — 35 over his usual pitch limit — said the Shockers were trying to pull everything. But, it's only human nature for a team that had 122 home runs and carried a .375 team batting average into Friday's game to do that. Add the fact the wind was blowing out to left field, and it was obvious what the Shockers were trying to do. "Yeah, that's what I noticed," Moriarity said. "I was throwing my fastball and slider away almost the entire game, and until they made an adjustment, I was going to stay out there, and they never did. "That's why I got a lot of ground balls. They were trying to pull everything, it seemed like." Despite all the Shockers' troubles at the plate, Arkansas was having even more trouble with WSU starter Steve Foral, who was masterful for eight innings. The Razorbacks had just one hit heading into the ninth inning. The Hogs' best offensive weapon was the hit batsman. Foral hit four Arkansas batters in the game. With Wichita State leading 2-1, the bottom of the ninth started off innocently enough when Brad Hagedorn grounded out to short. After Eric Hinske lined a single to center, Stephenson came out to talk to Foral and learned his senior left-hander was tired. "I intended not to take him out," Stephenson said. "I just wanted to see how he felt, but he indicated he was dead tired." Foral was pulled in favor of reliever Marc Bluma, who quickly showed he didn't have the same stuff he had shown the day before against Southeast Missouri State. Bluma walked Ryan Lundquist and then wild pitched Hinske and Lundquist to second and third. Rodney Nye, who would later homer in the llth for the game- winner, hit a chopper back to Bluma and Hinske broke for home. Bluma threw high to catcher Brian Preston as Hinske was bearing down on the WSU catcher. The ball glanced off Preston's glove — remarkably, Bluma was called for the error — and after Hinske had steamrolled Preston at home, the game was tied. Two innings later, it was over. "I'm disappointed, but if we expect to win this tournament, we need to earn it," Stephenson said. "We're going to find out if we have the mental toughness and ability to adjust and the talent to go to Omaha." Heating up the bats would help. CLASS 5A REGIONAL AT SALINA STADIUM Salina athletes qualify for state Williams wins two events, Newman four; South boys second By LARRY MORITZ The Salina Journal Her fellow competitors were making their final sprint down the triple jump runway Friday evening as Tammy Williams dumped the sand from her shoes and pulled on her grey sweat pants one leg at a time. Williams was calling it a day, passing on her final attempt in the event. And why shouldn't she? Her mission when she stepped into Salina Stadium for the Class 5A regional track and field meet was to qualify for state in two individual events, and that mission was complete. The Salina Central sophomore had already locked up a spot in the long jump at next week's Kansas State Championships at Wichita, and was leading the triple jump by a comfortable 15 inches when she decided to skip her sixth and final attempt. "I strained my quadricep in my left leg about two weeks ago and my first day back to practice was only Tuesday, so I was out almost a week," Williams said. "I decided to skip my last jump rather than take any unnecessary chances, and because I also have to run in the (400-meter) relay." Williams set personal records in winning both the long jump (17-5%) and triple jump (36-0), then helped the Mustangs' 400 relay team to a state-qualifying third-place finish. The Salina South boys had the best finish in the team standings among the Salina schools as the Cougars were surprise second- place finishers. Hays won the See REGIONAL, Page B4 • .., .. ••••..••< •' ,v DAVIS TURNER/The Salina Journal Hayg Hjgh>s Maft Ing|ey j right j gnd teammate phi , Mitche || head toward the finish line in the 110-meter high hurdles at Friday's Class SA Salina Central Regional. Both qualified for state, placing third and secqnd, respectively. T COLLEGE BASEBALL 1 Ith-inning homer stuns WSU Arkansas ties game in ninth, sinks Shockers on Nye's decisive blast By HAROLD BECHARD The Salina Journal WICHITA — In a tense pitchers' duel, Wichita State blinked first. And, as a result, the Shockers are one loss away from a disas- uinumkr ' trous ending to a nr-rtinLiAi record-breaking REGIONAL S eason. Arkansas 3 The Arkansas WichitaSt 2 Razorbacks, the last team to beat Wichita State, did it again Friday afternoon, and this one hurt a lot worse than the 16-5 thumping on April 28. Rodney Nye ended the suspense in the bottom of the llth inning with a home run that gave the Razorbacks a stunning 3-2 victory in the second round of the NCAA Midwest. Nye's 15th homer of the season kept the Razorbacks alive in the double-elimination tournament and shocked the 5,480 fans on T HIGH SCHOOL TENNIS hand at Eck Stadium. The outcome left Shocker head coach Gene Stephenson disappointed, frustrated and upset. Disappointed because the loss wiped out a brilliant eight innings from WSU starter Steve Foral. Frustrated because his Shockers left 11 runners on base and couldn't hold a ninth-inning lead. And upset because the nation's top hitting team didn't, and wouldn't, adjust to Mike Moriarity. "Moriarity pitched a great game, but Steve Foral threw a better one," said Stephenson, who saw his team lose at home for the first time in 35 games this season. "I'm disappointed because we're a lot better than we showed." But the numbers don't lie, and the Shockers have just nine runs and 15 hits in 20 innings of the tournament. And both runs Friday were unearned, coming on a two-out error by Arkansas shortstop Joe Jester in the third inning that gave Wichita State a 2-0 lead. The Shockers, who play Ari- zona State today at 11 a.m., carried a 2-1 lead into the ninth inning. "We showed a lot of heart and courage," said Arkansas coach Norm DeBriyn, whose team improved to 38-20. The Shockers (56-6) got one-out singles by Kevin Hooper and Zach Sorenson in the third inning before Jeff Ryan struck out. Sorenson then stole second and both he and Hooper scored when Jester booted Pat Magness' routine ground ball to short. Arkansas got one run back in the fourth when Brad Hagedorn scored on a ground ball to second by Ryan Lundquist. Wichita State put runners on base in every inning after that, but only one reached third base as Moriarity kept the Shockers off balance. Foral was even better, allowing just one run and one hit through eight innings. But then came the fateful ninth. After Hagedorn grounded to short for the first out, Eric Hinske lined a single to center. Stephenson came to the mound with the intention of leaving Foral in the game, but the senior lefty admitted he was out of gas. "A couple things went through my mind, but I was tired," Foral said. "We had a righty-righty matchup coming up and I felt it was the best thing if I came out and Bluma came in." Wichita State reliever Marc Bluma did come in and promptly walked Lundquist on four pitches and wild pitched runners to second and third. Nye then hit a chopper back to Bluma. Hinske broke for home and Bluma threw high to WSU catcher Brian Preston. The ball glanced off Preston's glove just before Hinske barreled over Preston to score the tying run. The Razorbacks then loaded the bases later in the inning and again in the 10th, but couldn't score. Nye took care of everything in the llth, hitting the second pitch thrown by WSU reliever Greg Bauer. "I thought the pitch was a little away, and it may have been up a little bit," said Nye. "I just wanted to hit the ball hard." And he did. Central, Winfield in dogfight for 5A title Stroer, Hoffman-Lamb reach semis; Wilson- Jones aim for fifth By ARNE GREEN The Salina Journal WICHITA — By ignoring the team standings Friday, the Salina Central Mustangs positioned themselves to make a run at the championship today at the Class 5A state tennis tournament. "Everybody's trying just to concentrate on ourselves and not worry about the rest of the team," said Central junior Ben Hoffman, who teamed with junior Jeff Lamb to win two matches Friday and reach the doubles semifinals at Wichita State's Sheldon Coleman Tennis Complex. "We got about what we expected. We wish we'd gotten two doubles to the semifinals, but hopefully we can still get the team title." Hoffman and Lamb were joined in the semifinals by teammate Pe- te Stroer, the defending singles champion, who dropped just one game in breezing through his first two matches. Chris Wilson and Lance Jones also are alive in doubles after winning one match and losing in the second round. They could finish as high as fifth. Central and Winfield were the only two schools to qualify full teams for the tournament and they are poised to battle it out today. Winfield won all four of its first-round matches, but lost three of four quarterfinals. Topeka West has an outside chance with both a singles and double entry in the semifinals. Central coach Bob Warkentine said he tried to downplay the team race to his players. "We're taking the same approach I take in every sport — football, wrestling or tennis," Warkentine said. "If we play well, the team thing will take care of itself. If we play well, we'll win. If the other team plays better than us, they deserve to win." Winfield got two significant head-to-head victories over Central when Phil Denny edged the Mustangs' Andy Porter 7-5, 7-6 (74) in the first round and the team of Aaron Dick and Josh Mettling slipped past Wilson and Jones 6-2, 7-5 in the quarterfinals. Porter was then eliminated with a 9-3 losers' bracket loss to Nolan Pringle of Maize. But those were the only setbacks for Central. Stroer blanked El Dorado's Chris Derstein 6-0, 60, then followed it with a 6-0, 6-1 thrashing of Wichita Carroll's Greg Oxler. He will face Mike Watkins of St. Thomas Aquinas in the semifinals today when the tournament resumes at 10 a.m. "I'm feeling really good right now, compared to my regional final match," Stroer said. "I'm playing pretty solid and I'm ready for tomorrow. This is what I've been waiting for." The other singles semifinal has Topeka West's Martin Zovic facing Wichita Kapaun's Brent Steven. Lamb and Hoffman, who finished second to McPherson's Andy Johnson and Will Heidebrecht at regionals, were sharp in both of their matches. They turned back Aquinas' Ryan Monley and Ryan McCarthy 6-0,6-4 in the first round, then drilled Kapaun's Sam Ritchie and Robbie Wilkins 6-1,6-1 in the quarterfinals. ''' ': "We're playing well," Hoffman said. "Hopefully we can carry it over to tomorrow's matches. "Our volleys were really stiff and we both served well. Our returns are the strong part of our game and we hit those well." Lamb and Hoffman will face Winfield's Dick and Mettlin today in another key head-to-head matchup with Johnson and Heidebrecht taking on Topeka West's Chris Humphrey and Chris Roth in the other semifinals. Johnson and Heidebrecht, which brought a 22-0 record into the tournament, won their first two matches handily. T PRO BASKETBALL Lakers fall at Forum in Game 3 O'Neal scores 39, but Utah takes 3-0 series lead behind reserves By BOB BAUM The Associated Press INGLEWOOD, Calif. — Home did nothing to ease the Los Angeles Lakers' frustration against Utah in : the Western Conference finals. Now they're just a game away from an embarrassing sweep at the ( hands of the cool, efficient Jazz. Shaquille O'Neal powered his way to 39 points and 15 rebounds ! but got little help from his teammates Friday • night in a 109-98 loss that put Utah up 3-0 in the best-of-7 series. The Jazz can complete their first sweep of a seven-game series in franchise history with a victory Sunday. No team has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit to win a playoff series. Shandon Anderson, the last in a , series of heroes off the bench for the Jazz, scored nine points in a . three-minute span of the fourth quarter. He finished with 13 points, 11 in the fourth quarter. Another reserve, Chris Morris, scored 15 for Utah. With all the talk of the depth and talent of the Lakers, the Utah bench outscored its Los Angeles counterparts 46-22. Bryon Russell, who didn't miss a field goal in six attempts, hit a 3- pointer with 1:37 left to put the Jazz up 99-92, and the disbelieving Lakers fans streamed toward the exits. Karl Malone, who was 9-of-22 from the field, scored 22 of his 26 points in the second half and grabbed 10 rebounds. Russell added 17 points. While O'Neal did everything he could to get the Lakers back in the series, Eddie Jones, Nick Van Exel and the other Los Angeles shooters were missing in action most of the night. Jones was l-for-10 in the first half and 6-for-19 for the game. Van Exel was 2-for-13. I SUGGESTIONS? CALL BOB DAVIDSON, SPORTS EDITOR, AT (785) 823-6363 OR 1-800-827-6363 OR E-MAIL AT sjbdavidson@saljournal.com , «ii . .. i. 'i

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