The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 26, 1998 · Page 15
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 15

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Tuesday, May 26, 1998
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IHEySALINA JOURNAL SPORTS TUESDAY, MAY 26. 1998 B3 TTENNIS Sampras wins first match on French clay Powerful serve and volleying game help top-seed down Martin By ROB GLOSTER The Associated Press PARIS — Pete Sampras ignored the sweaty streaks of red clay coating his white socks. ;He pretended he was on a hard 'surface, or on the grass courts on which he's nearly unbeat- J 'able. r Sure, the balls felt heavy and muddy court slowed his forays to the net. But Sampras, to whom clay has always felt like ''quicksand, stuck to his normal -•'•" style. The result was a 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 victory over golfing buddy Todd Martin in Monday's first round of the French Open, a -tournament that annually bedevils Sampras and is the only .'Grand Slam title to elude him. '•Sampras has dominated tennis the past five years with powerful serves and sharp volleys. But those elements are least effective on clay, where stamina and persistence reign. • • He has won 10 Grand Slam ti- "..• ties, but has never made it past '•the semifinals of the French •-Open, where he is seeded No. 1 year after year, but often loses •i' to much lower-ranked players. • •' '• On Monday, against a player who won a clay-court event last month in Barcelona, Spain, the top-seeded Sampras slammed „.serves at up to 127 mph and refused to sacrifice his volleying game. ~J. "It's my only choice, to try to • Men's winners — Pete Sampras (1), Marcelo Rios (3),. •Yevgeny Kafelnikov (6), Carlos Moya (12), Albert Costa (13) and Felix Mantilla (15)., • Women's winners — Martina Hingis (1), Venus Williams (8) and IvaMa)oll(IO). • Men's losers — Greg Rusedski,(5), Jonas Bjorkman (7) and Karol Kucera (9). • Women's losers — Irina Spirlea, (9), Nathalie Tauziat (12) and Lisa Raymond (16). • Unfinished match — No. 4 Patrick Rafter was tied with Sebastien Lareau two sets apiece when.the match was called by darkness. ' • Today's schedule ~ Petr Korda (2) vs. Mariano Zabaleta, Gustavo Kuerten (8) vs. Charles Auffray>nd Michael Chang (1'1) ' vs. Alex Ca!atrava,'- : ' '•'•'-, ' '?• Lindsay ; Davenport ,-(2) : vs,, ' Kimberly, Po, Araritxa -Sanchez Vlcarlo (4) vs. Jana Kandarr, Amanda Coetzer (5) vs. Patty Schnyder, Monica Seles (6) vs. Annabel Ellwood, Conchita • Martinez, (7) vs. Magalie Lamarre and Mary Pierce (11) vs. Sablne Appelmans. play the way I play on hard courts," he said. "I'm not going to stay back and win this tournament. I know that I need to come in. "Today, it was cold and windy. The balls were very heavy. The court was very muddy. But that's just part of clay." Venus Williams nearly matched Sampras' power, smashing service winners at up to 108 mph while winning 12 of The Associated Press Top-seeded Pete Sampras of the United States returns a shot during his match Monday against countryman Todd Martin during their first-round match at Roland Garros Stadium. the last 14 games to defeat Tamarine Tanasugarn of Thailand. Williams, seeded eighth in just her second year at Roland Garros, won 6-3, 6-1 against the overwhelmed Tanasugarn, like Williams, a native of Los Angeles. Wearing hoop earrings and white, turquoise and royal blue beads in her hair, Williams was stoic throughout the match, until she shocked Tanasugarn with a delicate drop shot in the next-to-last game. As the shot floated across the net, Williams turned to smile at her sister, Serena, who plays her first-round match Tuesday. "I think the only people that are going to run that down are Serena and me," she said. Several top men's seeds lost Monday, including No. 5 Greg Rusedski, who had an outside chance of capturing the No. 1 ranking if he had won the French Open. Also beaten were No. 7 Jonas Bjorkman, who lost in straight sets to 1995 French Open champion Thomas Muster, and No. 9 Karol Kucera. Among the women, the losers were No. 9 Irina Spirlea, No. 12 Nathalie Tauziat, who defeated Venus Williams in the second round last year, and No. 16 Lisa Raymond. Top-seeded Martina Hingis won 6-2, 6-1 over Maria Sanchez Lorenzo. Hingis made it to the final last year despite a strained knee ligament caused by a fall from a horse. She was back on horseback in the days leading to this year's tournament, but was much more careful as she prepared for the only Grand Slam tournament she failed to win in 1997. "I'm riding, but not as crazy as last year," Hingis said. "I was jumping a little bit with my horse, but not too high." Sampras had 12 aces against Martin, six in the final set. At times, such as when he leaped high to smash an overhead in the final set, he seemed to be playing on grass. But he also adapted his game in subtle ways to the slow clay. He varied his serves, whipping some at blinding speeds and throwing in a few angled ones. Sampras reached the semifinals two years ago, but it was unusually hot and dry that spring — making the courts play more like a hard surface. This year, Sampras knows he may not be as lucky. "The way I look at clay, it's basically balls and weather," he said. "It certainly would be nice if it warmed up a little bit, got a little bit dryer, which would make things quicker, which helps me." T MAJOR LEAGUES McGwire bashes No. 25 Cardinals' slugger breaks Griffey's record for homers by June 1 By The Associated Press "ST. LOUIS — Grooving a pitch to. Mark McGwire was about the only mistake John Thomson made. McGwire became the first major league player ever to hit 25 hoiners before June 1, but Thom- spflt then shut down the St. Louis CVrtijnals and led the Colorado Rockies to a 6-1 victory Monday. .McGwire, on pace to hit 83 homers with 202 RBIs, sent a first- inning pitch 433 feet off a Stadium Club window just below Big Mac Land, the section in the upper deck in left field named for him by a fast-food restaurant. He has four homers in three games, and nine in the last seven. * He has 30 homers in 49 games at Busch Stadium since St. Louis acquired him from Oakland last Aug. 31. McGwire tied Texas' Juan Gonzalez for the major league RBIs lead at 61. The old record for homers before June 1 was 24, by Seattle's Ken Griffey Jr. in 19.97. ' L4rry Walker doubled to extend his";hitting streak to 20, the best in the majors this season. Dante Bichette had a three-run double in the first and Ellis Burks busted out of a l-for-31 slump with three doubles. • Thomson (3-5) had lost his previous three starts, allowing 14 The Associated Press St. Louis first baseman Mark McGwire receives congratulations Monday after hitting his 25th home run of the season. runs in 14 % innings. This time, he gave up just the one run and five hits in seven innings, striking out six and walking one. After McGwire extended the Cardinals streak for games with consecutive homers to 17, an ongoing team record, he popped up in the third, lined out in the sixth and walked in the eighth. Walker started Colorado's three- run first with a two-out double, Vinny Castilla was hit by a pitch and Todd Helton walked. Bichette, who had been 4-for-29 with three RBIs, cleared the bases with a double just inside the left-field line. Burks had an RBI double in the second to make it 4-1. Walker hit an RBI groundout in the seventh and pinch-hitter Jeff Reed hit a run-scoring single in the eighth. Cardinals rookie Mike Busby (51) left after 4% innings, allowing four runs and five hits. St. Louis was also missing Brian Jordan (sore left shoulder, left wrist and left thigh), Gary Gaetti (left eye injury) and David Howard (injured right shoulder). T PRO BASKETBALL Jazz taking waiting for By GREG BEACHAM The Associated Press SALT LAKE CITY — Let the Chicago Bulls and the Indiana Pacers run themselves into a state of exhaustion. The Utah Jazz have a more productive way to pass the time. Taking it easy. On Monday, while the Bulls and Pacers were sweating out Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals, the Jazz spent the afternoon relaxing, barbecuing and watching the game on television. After turning the Los Angeles Lakers' swagger into a stagger, after sweeping one of the league's most talented teams out of the Western Conference finals, the Jazz had earned their rest. "We're going to enjoy getting ready for the next round," Chris Morris said after the Jazz returned from Los Angeles on Sunday, hours after completing the first four-game playoff sweep in club history with a 96-94 victory over the Lakers in Game 4. "I'm going to take it easy tomorrow." "It gives us a chance to rest," Jeff Hornacek said. "It gives us a chance to prepare for both teams until one of them wins, then, we'll concentrate on one." Utah will meet the winner of the series in the NBA Finals, be- life easy, final foe ginning Sunday if the Bulls win in five games or beginning June 4 if they don't. In either case, the Jazz will be given ample time to heal their assorted strains and pains acquired during the 96 regular-season and playoff games. Karl Malone has played most of the season with an injured finger tendon in his shooting hand, and he appeared to re-jam the finger in the second quarter Sunday. Still, Malone hit six straight free throws in the second half and seemed unaffected by the oversized bandage on his finger. Malone also had extra incentive to finish the conference finals early: His wife, Kay, is due to deliver the couple's fourth child any day. "We're all going to be fine once we get home and get back to work," Malone said. "We've been saying all along that we're not satisfied just to get to here." Hornacek, Utah's second-leading scorer during the regular season, was ineffective against the Lakers, and on Sunday he revealed how much he has been bothered by a strained left Achilles' tendon. "I really haven't wanted to bring it up, but it's been hard to push off my legs on shots," said Hornacek, who did manage to score 15 points in Game 4. T COLLEGE BASEBALL 3 Florida teams are top seeds Florida, Miami, Florida State headline field for College World Series By TIM KORTE The Associated Press Belcher pitches Royals past Angels Kansas City falls behind 4-0, but 2 Angels' errors lead to five runs in fifth By The Associated Press ANAHEIM, Calif. — When a pitcher has been around as long as Tiiii Belcher has, he knows a first- inriing grand slam is no reason to write off the game. Belcher shrugged off Garret Anderson's third career slam, retiring 13 of his next 14 batters. Belcher wound up pitching eight innings as the Kansas City Royals beat the Anaheim Angels 6-4 Monday night. "You try not to let it affect you, even though it does, but you just try to minimize the effect," Belcher said. "I mean, I didn't go berserk. A four-run lead isn't that big in the first inning. So you just have to say, 'Well, that's over with,' then go out and try to give your club a quality start, hang around a while until hopefully they can come back." Anderson drove a 1-1 pitch to right-center for his fourth homer of the season. It followed a double by Jim Edmonds, a walk to Tim Salmon and an error by shortstop Shane Halter on Cecil Fielder's grounder up the middle. "I was that one play from getting out of the inning, really, because Shane was close to the bag and could have started a double play," Belcher said. The 12-year veteran settled down after the homer and escaped an eighth-inning jam by retiring Matt Walbeck on a double-play grounder with the potential tying run on base. Belcher (3-6) allowed seven hits, struck out a season- high seven and walked two. "He's a tough character that grinds it out and doesn't like to come out of games," Kansas City manager Tony Muser said. "It doesn't matter what the score is. Sometimes he has good stuff, sometimes mediocre stuff, sometimes good control and sometimes bad control. But he just competes every pitch he throws and every hitter he faces." The Royals came back with a five-run fifth inning, made possible because of two errors by Anaheim's outfield. Johnny Damon hit an RBI single, and two runs scored when left fielder Darin Erstad missed Jose Offerman's sinking liner for a three-base error. Offerman scored the tying run on Hal Morris' RBI groundout and Dean Palmer walked, then advanced to third when Edmonds misplayed Jeff King's single to center for his second error of the season. Palmer scored the go-ahead run on Jeff Conine's sacrifice fly. Golf / Central squad heads for Winfield FROM PAGE B1 Hellmer, Mikel Knipp, Eric Evel and Andy Roemer, all making their first state tournament appearance. • Salina Central is no stranger to state golf tournaments. The Mustangs are making their 10th state appearance in the last 11 years as the Class 5A event is contested today at Winfield's Quail Ridge Country Club. Central was the regional runner-up last week at Great Bend, finishing a stroke behind team champion McPherson. The Mustangs will face a loaded field at Winfield today, including defending state champion Wichita Kapaun and 1997 runner-up St. Thomas Aquinas. The tournament favorite may be Andover, after the Trojans shot a team score of 307 at last week's Wichita regional and had four individuals shoot 78 or better. Central's six-man team includes senior Ryan Rackley, who fell one shot shy of medalist honors at regional. Salina South sophomore David Dupy was the lone Cougar to qualify for state and will compete for individual honors only today. Dupy qualified with a top 10 finish at regional, placing seventh. • Four other state golf champions will be crowned today: Class 6A at Southwind Country Club, Garden City; Class 4A at Hesston Municipal Golf Park; Class 3A at Rolling Meadows Golf Course, Junction City; and the Sand Greens Tournament at LaCrosse Country Club. OMAHA, Neb. — It was a sweep for the Sunshine State as the NCAA baseball committee on Monday awarded Florida the No. 1 seed for this week's College World Series. The Gators (46-16) got the nod over No. 2 Miami (50-10), No. 3 Florida State (53-18) and No. 4 Southern Cal (44-16). "You could just about put these teams into a hat and throw them out," said Wake Forest athletics director Ron Wellman, the NCAA baseball committee chairman. "That's how close they are." The determining factors were overall records, head-to-head competition and how the teams fared over their last 15 games, Wellman said. Florida played four teams that qualified for the College World Series, going 2-1 against Florida State, 2-2 against Miami, 2-1 against LSU and 3-0 against Mississippi State. "Florida played some additional teams that are in the College World Series, and that probably was a factor," Wellman said. Two-time defending champion LSU (46-17) was seeded fifth, putting three teams from the Southeastern Conference in the same bracket. Mississippi State (41-21) was seeded eighth. The other teams are sixth-seeded Arizona State (38-22) and seventh-seeded Long Beach State (41-21-1). Friday's first-round pairings are Florida State-Arizona State, Miami-Long Beach State. On Saturday, Southern Cal plays LSU and Florida plays Mississippi State. The championship game is June 6. LSU is attempting to become the only the second team to win at least three straight titles. Southern Cal won five in a row from 1970-74. Arizona St. wins, joins CWS field Sun Devils slip past Georgia Tech 3-1 in Midwest Regional final By The Associated Press WICHITA — Ryan Mills pitched a three-hitter and Mikel Moreno homered as Arizona State beat Georgia Tech 3-1 Monday in the championship game of the NCAA Midwest Regional on Monday. The Sun Devils (38-22) advance to the College World Series Friday in Omaha, Neb. Playing a day late because of stormy weather Sunday, the Sun Devils took a 1-0 lead in the first as Willy Bloomquist led off with a single, moved to second on Rudy Arguelles' sacrifice bunt and scored on Jeff Phelps" double down the right field line. Bloomquist doubled to lead off the third inning and scored on a single by Arguelles up the middle. The Yellow Jackets (41-22) scored their only run in the bottom of the fourth on Eric McQueen's home run. Arizona State received some insurance in the fifth as Moreno smacked an inside fastball from Georgia Tech starter Cory Vance into the left field stands. Bloomquist went 3-for-4, contributing half of Arizona State's six hits. Moreno was named the series MVP. Mills (7-3) struck out nine and walked four in earning the win. Vance (6-4) gave up six hits, three runs and struck out four. Stroer captures Kansas District title WICHITA — Pete Stroer of Salina won the 18-under title Monday in the Missouri Valley region's Kansas District Qualifying tennis tournament. Stroer, a junior at Salina Central, advances to the national qualifier Circuit One June 8-12 at Springfield, Mo., where will compete against 23 other players from the five-state Missouri Valley region. Stroer, the top seed, drew a first- round bye then defeated John Breidenthal of Wichita 6-0, 6-2. He followed with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Merritt Gaunt of Wichita in the semifinals.

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