The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 29, 1998 · Page 17
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 17

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Friday, May 29, 1998
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THE SALINA JOURNAL SPORTS FRIDAY. MAY 29, 1998 "ti3 T MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL Team officials denying Johnson-for-Nomo deal But Mariners continue shopping Johnson around both leagues By PEGGY ANDERSEN The Associated Press SEATTLE — Randy Johnson wants out, and the Seattle Mariners are trying to accommo- , date him. Team officials met in Florida on Thursday to discuss possible trade scenarios for one of baseball's most feared pitchers. But the possibility of an immi- -nent deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers was dismissed by both teams. "It's been a wild day. The phone started ringing early and is probably still ringing at the hotel," Woody Woodward, head of baseball operations for the Mariners, said before Thursday night's game against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. "The fact is there is no truth to that rumor. The idea that names were given to me for a trade and it was very close to happening are not accurate." Johnson asked to be traded last fall after the Mariners indicated NOMO The Associated Press Seattle ace pitcher Randy Johnson has outwardly let It be known he wants traded. they would not renew his contract — worth $6 million this year — beyond this season. He renewed the request last week. The Mariners say they're talking with several teams about Johnson but are nowhere near a deal with Los Angeles, which reportedly was on the verge of obtaining the 34-year-old left-han- der in exchange for pitcher Hideo Nomo and an outfielder. While Woodward said he had spoken with Dodgers executive vice president Fred Claire on Thursday, he insisted there was nothing to the Johnson-for-Nomo report by MSNBC. "It was a good conversation. He said he was as surprised about the rumor as I was," said Woodward, adding that he hadn't spoken with Claire for "some time" before Thursday.. "I don't anticipate any type of deal while the ball club is here in Tampa. There's not a timetable. Would I like to get something done? Certainly. If we take one player, it's not going to be a big salary player. It's not that type of deal." Mariners manager Lou Piniel- la said the meeting Seattle officials held to discuss trade possibilities had been planned for days. "We just talked about our ball- club and things that could be done to improve it," Piniella said. San Diego and Baltimore also have been mentioned as possible suitors for Johnson. Woodward confirmed he has spoken -with several teams, but said that to reveal the exact number would be misleading. "A heck of a lot of clubs.have expressed interest, but not all of them truly have interest," Woodward said. "I'll just leave it at I've got a number of calls on that front." O's not ready to deal Alomar, Palmeiro By DAVID GINSBURG The Associated Press BALTIMORE — The Baltimore Orioles are eager to make a trade — if the right deal comes along. For now, however, infielders Roberto Alomar and Rafael Palmeiro aren't going ALOMAR • an y where - And ALOMAR the orioles have not yet started looking for a uniform that would fit 6-foot-10 pitcher Randy Johnson. . Despite owning a major league record $69 million payroll, Baltimore entered Thursday night's game against the Texas Rangers in last place in the AL East with a 23-28 record. Assistant general manager Kevin Malone said before the game that a trade might help turn things around, but no deal is imminent. "We would like to like to add if we could, or subtract if need be, to make us a better club," Malone said. According to reports out of New York last week, Alomar and Palmeiro, were destined to be traded to the New York Mets. But Malone said that a deal was never really that close to being completed. "That was premature," Malone said. "We've had a lot of discussions with a lot of clubs about a lot of players. For whatever reason, that particular portion of a particular discussion got out. It was just a normal discussion that was over-hyped." Malone staunchly denied that a trade that would have sent Alomar to the Mets for second baseman Carlos Baerga was shot down by Orioles owner Peter Angelos. "That was inaccurate. He did not squash that deal," Malone said. The Orioles would be very interested in getting Johnson from the Seattle Mariners. Johnson, like Alomar and Palmeiro, will become a free agent after this season. "I'm not sure Randy Johnson is available. If he became available, we would have to have some interest because we think a frontline starter would really be a significant addition to this pitching staff," Malone said. "We would be irresponsible not to try to get him." T HIGH SCHOOL STATE BASEBALL T COLLEGE BASEBALL CWS opens today in Omaha Potent Florida State hitters taking aim at Sun Devils in opener By TIM KORTE The Associated Press OMAHA, Neb. — Florida State enters the College World Series as .an offensive dynamo. Coach Mike • Martin said Thursday he hopes the Seminoles bottled the potion that helped them average 19 runs a game last week. , Florida State (53-18), unbeaten in four home games to win last week's Atlantic II regional, is seeded No. 3 for College World Series that begins today. The Seminoles open against No. 6 Arizona State (38-22). The late contest has No. 2 Miami (50-10) against No. 7 Long Beach State (41-21-1). Like each school that advanced to Omaha, Florida State found an offensive groove at the right time of the season. Leading the way is freshman outfielder Matt Diaz, who went 15-for- 20 with five doubles, seven home runs and 19 RBIs in the four regional games. He made headlines with four homers in a 23-2 victory over Oklahoma. "For him to do what he has done is amazing," Martin said. "Fifteen-' for-20 in a four-game spurt? It's hard for me to even say it. There's no question that he was quite a role player last week." Outfielder Brian Cox has a 23- game hitting streak and 18 homers. CWS pairings College World Series At Rosenblatt Stadium , Omaha, Neb. Today -• Florida Slate (53-18) vs. Arizona State .,(38-22), 2;3Qp;.m. , , ., 'Mlanji,, Fla. ,(50-10) vs. Long Beach •State"(41;21-1)/6:30p,m. Saturday Southern 'California (44-16) vs. .Louisiana State (46-17), 12:30 p.rn. Florida (46-16) vs. Mississippi State (41-21), 6:30 p.m. • ' With Diaz (21 home runs) and catcher Jeremy Salazar (17), the Seminoles had three players hit at least 17 homers for the first time since 1982. "I'd like them to miss the bus," Arizona State coach Pat Murphy said. "I know they're always going to be a well coached club, and the way they're hitting right now is a bonus for them." Compounding the challenge for the Sun Devils, their staff ace isn't available. Ryan Mills (7-3, 4.32 ERA) threw Monday in the Midwest regional final, so Phill Lowery (8-6,4.98) will start. "I wasn't going to bring him back too early," Murphy said. Seven of the eight regionals were decided on Sunday, but Arizona State's game against Georgia Tech in Wichita, was postponed that evening by a tornado warning. Wes Crawford (9-3, 3.04) will start for the Seminoles. Miami has found a comfort zone at Rosenblatt Stadium, where the Hurricanes are playing for the fifth straight year. Coach Jim Morris said he thinks the 'familiarity will pay dividends. "The more you come here, the more comfortable you become," he said. "I think that's going to help us do what we need to do to get ready." Still, Morris said his team got excited Thursday over the sight of stadium from the team bus. After coming over a hill, cheers broke out as the field came into view. "It was a real nice feeling to see the stadium again. I'm sure it's always a real big thrill for the younger guys," said junior first baseman Aubrey Huff, who enters the series hitting .414. While the Hurricanes have become an Omaha fixture, Long Beach State is making its fourth trip overall and first since 1993. Long Beach coach Dave Snow said he has no motivational tricks to make up the experience difference. "Our guys don't respond to that," Snow said. "I've got to get real mean with them. I'll tell them if they don't play with the right level of intensity, it won't matter what seed we are." The 49ers' batting leader is Big West player of the year Paul Day, who comes into the series hitting .404 with 15 home runs. But Miami counters with Pat Burrejl, a top pro prospect who is hitting .431 with 16 homers after missing most of the season with a back injury. County Four Ball starts today at SCC By The Journal Staff The first of the 1998 Saline County men's golf tournaments gets under way today with the opening round of the County Four Ball at Salina Country Club. The three-day event moves to Salina Municipal for Saturday's second round and the tournament champions will be determined Sunday at Elks Country Club. The tournament field has 96 teams, including two-time defend- ing champions Don Vandegrift and Steve Brown as partners once again. Other teams considered among the favorites are Sean Robertson and Daran Neuschafer, Marty Simpson and Gary Denning, Bob Vidricksen and Tyler Alt, Matt Cline and Mike Hulteen, David Dupy and Ryan Shriver, and the father-son team of Dick Jensen and David Jensen. Simpson and Denning are former champions of this event, as are Hulteen, Neuschafer, and Sylvan, Canton-Galva part of Class 2-1A field Head coaches worried about long layoffs since regional tournaments By HAROLD BECHARD The Salina Journal EMPORIA — Mike Weatherman and Joe Rierson are concerned about the long layoffs their baseball teams have endured since winning regional championships. Both teams will have been inactive for 11 days when the Class 2-1A state baseball tournament opens today at Soden's Grove. Sylvan outscored Sacred Heart, 13-7, and Canton-Galva blistered Wichita Independent, 22-0, in regional title games on May 18. "We played that regional so early and then had such a big layoff," Sylvan coach Mike Weatherman said. "It's been such an up and down year for us. I just hope we didn't lose any momentum." WEATHERMAN The Mustangs (11-5) are in the state tournament for the second time in three years and will meet Thayer (14-6) in a 4 p.m. first- round game today. Sylvan will be looking for a second state title this school year. The Mustangs won the Eight-Man II football championship in November. Two'years ago, during the 199596 school year, the Mustangs won state titles in football and basketball and were looking for the rare hat trick when they lost 3-2 to Frontenac in the first round of the 1996 state baseball tournament. "The kids were pretty excited that year because I don't think one school has ever won football basketball and baseball during the same school year," Weatherman said. "These seniors have been in a lot of big games. They know when it's on the line." Weatherman will start either senior Darris Meitler (5-1) or junior Clint Meitler (3-2) on the mound today. Senior first baseman Kevin Meyer leads the Mustangs in hitting at .450. The winner of today's Sylvan- Thayer game will face the Elkhart-Minneola winner Saturday in the semifinals at 10 a.m. "Elkhart is my hometown, so I hope we get to play them," Weatherman said. "We never get to do that any other time." Rierson's team is on a roll since starting the season 6-6. Canton- Galva is 9-1 in its last 10 games as hitting nearly .450 as a team after the return of senior Luke Koehn (broken collarbone) and Travis Tyler (bad back). The Eagles (15-7) will go with junior left-hander Beau Peterson (6-2) today at ^1:30 p.m. against a Pittsburg-Colgan team that won the state championship last year. * Rierson sees the bottom half of the bracket — Colgan (17-5)''and last year's runner-up Rossville (19-3) — as a very difficult one. "We're in a situation where we have nothing to lose," Rierson said. Three seniors — Chris Nelson (.406), Koehn (.402) and Jace Pavlovich (.398) — lead the team in hitting and started on Canfon- Galva's 1996 state championship team. Top-seeded Elkhart (20-2) opens the tournament against Minneola (6-8) at 11 a.m. The other fiirst- round game has Central-Burden (14-7) meeting Rossville (19-3) at 6:30 p.m. Trojans / White to pitch opener FROM PAGE C1 The Trojans showed their resiliency in the regional finals, when after blowing a big early lead they rallied for two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to edge Lyons 11-10. If nothing else, it showed Kolzow that they can handle the pressure of a state tournament. "Our kids have come from behind a lot this year," he said. "We want to start out well, but by the same token, if we don't start out well and it's still a close ballgame at the end, we know we can do it. "The important thing is which teams can relax. We have a pretty loose group and they have a lot of fun at it. We've been loose all week." The Trojans will start lefty Jimmy White on the mound with Jason Myers the probable semifinal starter should they get that far. Lance Zurfluh and Scott Chrisman have been the other starters, but Chrisman, -who also starts at second base, is questionable because of a bad back. For Southeast, shortstop Chance Ptacek is the leading hitter with a .423 average and Chrisman is batting .411. Left fielder Thane Douglas, third baseman Myers and, designated Chris Tuzicka and first basemen Jeff Knopf also hit between .370 and .400. "I think we're a strong team," Kolzow said. "I don't think any one thing stands out with us, but we do a lot of things well. "We don't rely on one, two or three players. We've probably had 10 or 11 players who have played key roles for us and played big. I don't think you can relax when you get to the lower part of our lineup." Neodesha, which is making its second state tournament appearance in three years, has been solid BRIEFLY all year, according to head coach Jim Arnold. •; "It's the type of team, if we play well and get on a roll we'll be pretty hard to beat," he said. "We've beaten some pretty big teams. The talent is there and the work ethic. "I think our strength has been our hustle, baserunning ability and our hit-and-run game. As far as pitching, we're just two deep. If we have a weakness it's our three and four pitchers." Johnson, a senior who also plays center field and bats over .400, is • the Bluestreaks' top pitcher. He alternates in center and on J the mound with junior cleanup hitter Jeremy Carpenter, who is batting .450. The leadoff man is senior shortstop Brad Mendenhall, who has a 13-game hitting streak and leads the team with a .467 average. Junior catcher Tyson Carpenter, Jeremy's cousin, also is a .400 hitter. Vidricksen while playing with different partners. Vidricksen had a course record round of 63 Wednesday at Salina Country Club and could help his team get off to a strong start. Dick Jensen is the 1997 County Player of the Year. Starting times are 7:30 a.m. today, 7 a.m. Saturday and 7:30 a.m. Sunday. Each team schedules their own tee time today, with tourney officials establishing ' pairings and tee times for the final two days. Youth Sports Festival Monday at BiCenter The third annual Youth Sports Festival, sponsored by the Salina Parks & Recreation Department, is scheduled for 6-9 p.m., Monday at the Bicentennial Center's Heritage Hall. Players, coaches and parents are invited to attend. There is no admission charge. The Youth Sports Festival kicks off the start of the summer season with a variety of activities. There will be free refreshments (pizza and pop), games and activities for youngsters, information booths on summer youth sports activities in Salina, displays from local sporting goods stores and door prize drawings. Mitch Houlthus, the radio voice of the Kansas City Chiefs, is scheduled to be in attendance. For more information, contact the Parks & Recreation Department at (785) 826-7434. Webster to remain voice of Tiger athletics HAYS — Steve Webster, the radio voice of Fort Hays State athletics since 1989, has been hired by KJLS-FM to continue his work with the Tigers. KJLS was awarded the broadcast rights of Fort Hays State athletics earlier this season, ending the school's long association with KAYS-AM. "When all the applications were reviewed and finalists interviewed, it was clear that we did not have to look far to find the best choice for the job," KJLS general manager Chris Sook said. "Steve was the unanimous choice of our search committee." Webster served as news and sports director at KAYS and work at KVGB AM/FM in Great Bend and KWLS AM/FM in Pratt before going to Hays. 3 Shockers on second team All-America team WICHITA — Three Wichita State players have been named to Baseball America's All-America second team — shortstop Zach Sorensen, outfielder Jeff Ryan and designated hitter Pat Magness. Sorensen hit .424 with 17 home runs, 94 runs batted in and 22 stolen bases this season. Ryan hit .441 with 23 homers, 105 RBIs and 31 stolen bases. Magness hit .464 with 21 homers and 100 RBIs. Sorensen also was named to Collegiate Baseball's All-America second team-. Ryan and Magness were named to Collegiate Baseball and USA Today/Baseball Weekly's All-America first team. Wolf joins basketball staff at Barton County GREAT BEND — Ryan Wolf, an assistant coach at Howard (Texas) College the last three seasons, has been named an assistant basketball coach at Barton County Community College. Wolf, 25, joins the staff of new Barton County coach Ryan Cross. Howard was 56-36 during Wolfs three years. Wichita to play host to women's state amateur WICHITA — The 76th Kansas Women's Amateur and Mid-Amateur-Championship will be played July 13-16 at Reflection Ridge Golf Club. The 54-hole stroke-play tournament is open to all Kansas Women's Golf Association members with an established 18-hole USGA handicap index. The field is open to 124 entrants. There is a $95 entry fee. Entry forms and additional information are available in the spring edition of the KWGA Golf Bag Magazine. Entries open June 1 and close June 30. Salinan Houltberg continues strong pace ATLANTA — Former Salina South runner Ben Houltberg, a sophomore at Oral Roberts University, recently placed 10th in the Reebok Invitational. Houltberg's time in the 800-meter event was 1 minute, 50.5 seconds. The event included 50 pro- fessional and collegiate runners from across the country. In the last three weeks, Houltberg has won the Mid-Continent League 1,500-meter race in 3:52; won the Missouri Southern Last Chance 800-meter title in 1:52; and won the Texas-El Paso Twilite 800 in 1:52. KU doubles team wins opener in NCAA meet ATHENS, Ga. — The Kansas doubles team of Enrique Abaroa and Luis Uribe defeated Nathah Olvierholseer and Jeff Morrison of Florida 6-3,6-7 (7-4), 6-3 Thursday in the opening round of the NCAA men's doubles tournament. The victory earns Abaroa and Uribe All-America honors. Abaroa and Uribe, ranked llth nationally, advance to the second round of the 32-team tournament where they will face either James and Thomas Blake of Harvard or David Hodge and Johann Josste of Baylor. KC firm to redesign Lambeau Field GREEN BAY, Wis. — A company that has designed sports complexes including the new baseball park in- Phoenix has been hired for the remodeling of Lambeau Field, the Green Bay Packers said Thursday. Ellerbe Becket Architects of Kansas City, Mo., showed what "we could do to create additional entertainment features in the stadium," Packers President Bob Harlan said. The firm has remodeled stadiums for Notre Dame and the University of Missouri. Nearly 21,000 seats were added to Notre Dame Stadium while retaining the historical character. From Staff and Wire Reports SAUNA'S EXCLUSIVE RADIO VOICE -. FOR ^.AfiC.IVn PUBLIC NOTICE Swimming Pool 3" Chlorine Tabs 50 Ibs. Walmart $101.50 Sunflower Pool $134.95 K-Mart $99.98 Pools Plus $ 94 95 2401 S. 9th • 823-7665 Price! «» ot 5-27-98 NEWS TALK 91O

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