The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 16, 1995 · Page 9
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 9

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Salina, Kansas
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Tuesday, May 16, 1995
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Page 9
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SPORTS Scoreboard B2 Classified B4 Fun B7 Almanac B8 Section B The Salina Journal Tuesday, May 16,1995 Hey baseball, they're not coming back Royals' attendance measures fan anger By CRAIG HORST The Associated Press KANSAS CITY, Mo. — "Can we leave now?" is the plaintive cry from a too cute little blonde girl sitting bored two rows back in general admission as a baseball game drones on at Kauffman Sta- ^^^^^^^^ dium. ""JT^"T^^^ • A city that was in a collective AlMM|fSlS funk after unending weeks of black clouds overhead and rain normally would have turned out in droves on what was the prettiest day so far of the spring. Mother's Day dawned here with a hot sun and a blue sky following day after day of excuses for keeping the lawnmower in the garage. The Royals in any other year could have expected a crowd in the high 30s. They didn't reach a miserly 14,000. Hey baseball! Listen up! They're not coming back! Twelve-thousand-plus of the people sitting in the lower deck around home plate Sunday probably were using tickets owned by local corporations and given away to employees, customers and other preferred people. We're talking zero walkup crowd. Even the man manning the general admission booth did a double take when this fan tried to buy a ticket just after J.T. Snow homered to start the second inning in what would be another defeat for the punchless Royals. Whatever magic baseball had is gone. At least from here. And baseball better get worried fast about how to get it back. The kids are bored. There's a lot of other high-tech magical stuff going on that gets then* attention faster than a slow-paced game controlled by people who don't really seem to have a good sense of what goes on in the real world. A weekend series between the Angels and Royals spent in general admission in Kauffman Stadium — $4 parking, $5 ticket, $3.25 Coors Light, $3.25 Colossel Seitz Hot Dog per day for the three-game series — proved there is a hard-core fan out there willing to pay for the privilege of sitting in the outfield and making bad jokes about an outfielder named Salmon. As in, "Hey Salmon, I didn't know a fish could catch." But Friday, fans were there mostly for the fireworks that are a fixture after the game. Saturday's two-out home run in the bottom of the ninth by the Royals' Gary Gaetti to win the game normally would have been the cause for raucous celebration. Instead, we just stood for a minute and headed for our cars, grateful we wouldn't have to feel guilty about leaving with the game unfinished. Ozzie Guillen — he of the "We don't owe the fans anything" fame — ought to sit in G-A some night. This game is dying, and who knows how Guillen and his friends are going to make a such a comfortable living when it's gone. How can anyone explain why players simply can go through the motions at such a precipitous time in baseball history? Section 144, Row Two. Right field. Friday night. Felix Jose is defending the corner, but he can barely stifle a yawn. Can't seem to keep his glove on. Jose got waived Saturday, but his replacement Sunday, Vince Coleman, has a routine fly ball hit off his glove for the Royals' third error of the game. A grounder hit straight at second baseman Chico Lind glances off the heel of his glove. Lind shrugs his shoulders. The beefy man in the seat in front meticulously fills out a homemade scorecard, like he's probably done in the same seat hundreds of times before. Even he leaves disgustedly, gathering up his two kids, when Chili Davis hits a three-run homer into one of the fountains in right in the eighth. This fan, who wanted to join that one on the way out, would rather eat a ballpark frank than have a five-star dinner in Paris. Not any more. This fan doesn't know if it's the fault of the owners or the players. And it doesn't matter whose fault it is when a national treasure turns rotten. This fan grew up watching Hank Aaron and Warren Spahn and Eddie Matthews when acting Commissioner Bud Selig still was dealing cars. This fan was there when the Braves did the city of Milwaukee wrong. This fan is here right now when baseball is doing every fan wrong. The upper deck is desolate on this brightest Sunday of the year. What fans there are pack the exits after the Royals go out meekly in the eighth, trailing 8-1. "Don't leave yet, George Brett is coming out of retirement," a diehard G-A fan says in a voice that has little hope in it. "Daddy, how many innings are left?" the restless little blonde girl asks. • Baseball on Page B3 Krehbiel rolls to regional crown Central doubles team takes first By LARRY MORITZ The Salina journal McPHERSON — Jacob Krehbiel's steady climb up the regional ladder is now complete. The Salina Central junior cap- e^MBBMBMBBMB^B^ tured his first Class 5A South earns state trip against Central Photos by Kelly Presnell/Salina Journal ABOVE: Salina Central shortstop Tara McDonald stretches for a first-inning hit Monday night by Salina South's Jenny Stronger. McDonald came up with the ball, but not in time to throw Strenger out. BELOW: South's Erin Plumer manages to touch home despite having to wrestle with Central catcher Ashley Wilson to score on a delayed steal. Cougars drop Mustangs, 7-1 By JOHN BATTLE The Salina Journal A quick start and the potent arm of Amanda Reed were just the ingredients Salina South's softball team needed. Reed allowed just three hits and was staked to a 4-0 lead after the first inning as the Cougars beat Salina Central 7-1 Monday in a Class 5A regional championship game at East Crawford Recreation Area. BBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBB The victory Class 5A moved South ALL. (2 °- 1) illt0 thC SOftball class 5A state tournament for the third consecutive year. "Right now we're playing about as good as we can play," South coach Daryl Hoelting said. "We have won our last 15 games. It's nice to be playing this well heading into the tournament." South jumped out of the gates quickly in the first inning off Central pitcher Courtney Wilson. With one out, Ashley Plumer and Danell Russell reached on back-to-back walks. Erin Plumer then reached on an infield hit to load the bases. April Steele then walked to force in Ashley Plumer and Jenny Strenger singled home Russell. Jill Chapman reached on an error which scored Erin Plumer and Steele scored on a wild pitch by Wilson. The result was a 4-0 lead that seemed to take the air out of the Mustangs. "That first inning really summed up the game," Hoelting said. "We put some runs up on the board and that enabled us to be more aggressive on the bases." The 4-0 lead would prove to be plenty for Reed, who improves to 181 on the season. Reed, who had seven strikeouts, was not threatened through most of the game. She allowed no Central runner past second base through six innings. "My change-up was working well," Reed said. "I was able to keep them off balance with it." The Cougars scored two more runs in the fourth inning to take a commanding 6-0 lead. Erin Plumer had the key play in the inning, a delayed steal of home. "When we weren't shooting ourselves in the foot, South was being very aggressive on the bases," Central coach Jim LoVullo said. "Amanda Reed pitched a very good game." class , 5AU re - gional championship Monday at the McPherson High School courts, assuring himself one of the top seeds at next week's state meet in the process. Krehbiel motored through his three opponents without losing a set, as did teammates John Huseman and Jay Sexton in the doubles bracket. Despite a Central sweep of the individual titles, the Mustangs couldn't bring home the team trophy. Central's 10 points were one less than McPherson, as the Bullpups won the regional title for the second consecutive year. Salina South finished fourth in the team competition with four points, one behind Buhler in third. Cougar senior Brian Newcomer was his team's lone state qualifier, finishing fourth in the singles competition. Krehbiel (26-4) took third as a Journal file photo Salina Central's Jacob Krehbiel won the Class 5A regional singles title Monday in McPherson. freshman and second as a sophomore before finishing his medal tri- fecta with a 6-2, 6-3 win over McPherson's Matt Turner in Monday's championship match. "I've progressed one spot each year, so I guess it is getting a little easier," Krehbiel said. "I played great my first two matches, but I'm not used to the heat like we had today. >• See SOUTH'S, Page B3 Sacred Heart senior captures regional title South added it's final run in the sixth inning and Central finally got on the board in the seventh. "It's unfortunate that Salina South and Salina Central had to play in the same regional," Hoelting said. "Central has a fine ballclub." Central, which ends its season at 14-5, advanced to the championship game with a 17-0 victory over McPherson in the opening game. Central got a fine pitching performance of its own as Kristy VanEm- burgh (5-0) threw a no-hitter. "We were confident going into that game," LoVullo said. "We took care of business and got out of the gates fast. A no-hitter is definitely something to be proud of." Central started the scoring in the first inning as Courtney Wilson drove in a pair of runs with a bloop single. The score remained 2-0 until the fourth inning. The Mustangs took advantage of two McPherson errors to score two more runs and take a 4-0 lead. Central added three more in the top of the sixth and put the game away with 10 in the seventh. Lynsey Ginther had three RBI and Jami LoVullo had two against 316 Mac. Michelle Brown went 3-for-5 and VanEmburgh was 2-for-5. "We had a successful season and beat everyone in the league once," LoVullo said. "We're young and are only going to get better." • Linescores in Scoreboard Southeast's Currie loses to Brelsford By The Journal Staff HESSTON — Steve Brelsford of Sacred Heart cruised to the singles championship in the Class 3-2-1A Regional Tennis Tournament on •••••••••••••••I Monday. Class 3-2-1A The s « Hi > senior lost tennis just six games in three matches to boost his record to 22-5 heading into next week's state tournament at Wichita Collegiate High School. "Steve was very relaxed today," SHHS coach Todd Courbot said. "If he can play like that next week, he should have a fun state tournament." The state tournament appearance will be the second in a row for Brelsford, who said he was pleased Brelsford with his approach shots and volleys against his three opponents. "I was pretty relaxed out there," Brelsford said. "My all- around game was working pretty well today, especially my short game." Although he'll be one of the top- seeded players next week in Wichita, Brelsford isn't making any predictions where he'll finish. "I just want to go play my best tennis and see what happens," he said. Brelsford won the regional singles title with a 6-2, 6-0 victory over Thayne Currie of Southeast of Saline. It was the first time the two had met this season. Currie will take a 14-7 record into next week's state meet. Jabbar leads class of seven into Basketball Hall of Fame Women's stars Miller, Donovan also added By Tha Associated Press SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — His signature sky hook dominated basketball for a generation. Basketball, however, was not Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's first love. "When I was a kid I wanted to play baseball," he said Monday upon being enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame. "Then I started growing. And, thank God, for basketball." "My parents never wanted me to be a basketball player. They didn't care. They wanted me to go to college." He was inducted along with women's stars Cheryl Miller and Anne Donovan, longtime Soviet coach Aleksandr Gomelsky, Jabbar the late referee Earl Strom and the Minneapolis Lakers duo of coach John Kundla and forward Vern Mikkelsen. Abdul-Jabbar recalled once bragging about his good grades to John Wooden, his Hall of Fame coach at UCLA. "He just looked at me and said 'What do you think you are here for?"' Abdul- Jabbar said. Said Wooden: "He was the most valuable player the college game has ever had. On or off the court." Hall of Famer Jerry West, the Lakers' general manager, served as Abdul-Jabbar's escort when Wooden couldn't make the ceremonies. "It seems that taller players can never do enough to please people both on and off the court," West said. "But that was never the case with Kareem. The more he played, the more I respected him for the way he performed. He is the greatest player of all time." At first, Abdul-Jabbar may have seen i basketball as a "neat way to get a free college education." But by the time the 7-foot-2 star retired after 20 years in the NBA, he was a record-breaking legend. He scored a record 44,149 points, and played more games (1,797) and blocked more shots (3,189) than any NBA player. He was an All-Star 19 times and the league's most valuable player six times. "I looked to Kareem all the time to develop my own game," Donovan said. Kundla and Mikkelsen had waited longest and were determined to savor every moment of their enshrinement. "I'm so high I don't know when I'll come down," said Mikkelsen, who pioneered the power forward position for the Lakers' first dynasty. Mikkelsen had been nominated seven times since 1979. "Sometimes things are sweeter for the wait," he said. "And going in with my coach is the icing on the cake." Kundla, who guided the Lakers to six league titles in the seven years from 1948 through 1954, had a simple explanation for his long wait. "With the players I had I was expected to win," he said, listing Hall of Famers George Mikan, Jim Pollard, Slater Martin, Clyde Lovellette and Elgin Baylor. "If I hadn't, I would and should have been fired." Miller, who played with Donovan on the 1984 Olympic team and now coaches the women's team at USC, said Donovan revolutionized the center position in women's basketball. "She could run the floor like a forward and had a very, very soft touch from 15 to 17 feet from the basket," Miller said. "She's so soft-spoken, but there was no getting in her face. You would never see it coming, but the next thing you knew, the trainer would be picking you up off the floor." Miller's escort was her childhood idol, Julius Erving, a Hall of Famer. He called her the greatest women's player ever. "It's an honor and a privilege," he,said. Big 12 plans playoff study HatcheU asked to find game's real worth By The Associated Press KEYSTONE, Colo. — The split over a Big 12 football playoff hit an impasse Monday and incoming commissioner Steve HatcheU was asked to make a hurried study of just exactly how much the game would be worth. As HatcheU races against a June 12-13 deadline, the nature of the emerging su- perconference itself could be at stake. Big 12 presidents, who make final decisions on all major issues, will meet June 12-13 to consider recommendations »- See BIG 12, Page B3

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