The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on October 7, 1996 · Page 12
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 12

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Monday, October 7, 1996
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MONDAY. OCTOBER 7, 1996 SPORTS THE SALINA JOURNAL BASEBALL PLAYOFFS National League CARDINALS vs. BRAVES A look at the best-of-7 National League playoff series between the St. Louis Cardinals and Atlanta Braves: Schedule Game 1, Wednesday at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium (7:11 p.m. CDT, FOX); Game 2, Thursday at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium (7:11 p.m., FOX); Game 3, Saturday at Busch Stadium (3:15 p.m., FOX); Game 4, Sunday at Busch Stadium (6:30 p.m., FOX); Game 5 (if necessary), Monday at Busch Stadium (6:09 p.m., FOX); Game 6 (if necessary), Wednesday at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium (3:15 p.m., FOX); Game 7 (if necessary), Thursday at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium (7:11 p.m., FOX). Season Series Atlanta won, 9-4. Matchups • CARDINALS — Were 0-6 against Atlanta at Busch Stadium, scoring two runs or fewer in five of those games.... Todd Stottlemyre, who started Game 1 in first round of playoffs, was 0-3 vs. Braves. Andy Benes was 1-1 in four starts.... Bullpen did fine — Dennis Eckersley, Tony Fossas and Mark Petkovsek combined for 12 2-3 scoreless innings.... Ex-Braves star Ron Gant hit four homers with nine RBIs. Also struck out 13 times in 48 at-bats.... John Mabry (.304) was only regular over .300.... Cards own big edge in speed. St. Louis safe on 15 of 18 steal attempts (Brian Jordan was 5-for-6), while Braves were just 4-for-8 (Mark Whiten, since traded away, had three of those swipes).... Cardinals batted just .227 against Atlanta with nine homers and 121 strikeouts. Braves batted .241 but hit 21 homers and struck out 70 times. • BRAVES — Swept Cardinals in St. Louis, but went just 3-4 against them at home.... Greg Maddux was 2-0 with an 0.78 ERA in three starts vs. Cards this season.... St. Louis stopped John Smoltz's 14-game winning streak this year, keyed when Ron Gant homered on first pitch. Smoltz is 5-9 vs. St. Louis. ... Relief ace Mark Wohlers was overwhelming, earning five saves. Pitched nine scoreless innings, striking out 15.... Leadoff man Marquis Grissom erupted for six home runs (of career-high 23) in only 56 at-bats. Had 10 RBIs. ... Fred McGriff hit three home runs, six doubles and drove in 12 runs. Chipper Jones also home- red three times.... Javy Lopez led regulars with .343 average. Projected Lineups • CARDINALS — Royce Clayton ss, Ray Lankford cf, Ron Gant If, Brian Jordan rf, Gary Gaetti 3b, John Mabry jb, Tom Pagnozzi c, Luis Alicea 2b, Todd Stottlemyre p. • BRAVES — Marquis Grissom cf, Mark Lemke 2b, Chipper Jones 3b, Fred McGriff 1b, Ryan Klesko If, Javy Lopez c, Jermaine Dye rf, Jeff Blauser ss, John Smoltz p. Projected Rotations • CARDINALS — Todd Stottlemyre (14-11, 3.87 ERA), Andy Benes (18-10, 3.83), Donovan Osbome (13-9, 3.53). Rookie Alan Benes (13-10, 4.90) could also start. • BRAVES — John Smoltz (24-8, 2.94 ERA), Greg Maddux (15-11, 2.72), Tom Glavine (15-10, 2.98). Denny Neagle, acquired In late season trade with Pittsburgh, could start Game 4. Relievers • CARDINALS — Dennis Eckersley was 30- for-34 in save situations in regular season, then went 3-for-3 in the playoffs. Not the dominant ace he once was, but seems strong now. ... Manager Tony La Russa uses a bullpen by committee in the middle innings. Tony Fossas (65 appearances) and Rick Honeycutt (61) mostly handle the left-handed hitters, Mark Petkovsek and T.J. Mathews can pitch anywhere. • BRAVES — Mark Wohlers throws up near 100 mph, often making him overpowering in the ninth inning. He set franchise record with 39 saves (in 44 chances) this season, and added two more in playoffs. Struck out 100 in 77 1-3 innings. ... Submariner Brad Clontz (5.69 ERA) led majors with 81 appearances, but slumped near end and did not pitch against Dodgers. Mike Bielecki and Greg McMichael pitched briefly in playoffs. Prediction BRAVES in 5. — By BEN WALKER American League ORIOLES vs. YANKEES A look at the best-of-7 American League playoff series between the Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees: Schedule Game 1, Tuesday at Yankee Stadium (7:07 p.m., NBC); Game 2, Wednesday at Yankee Stadium (3:07 p.m., NBC); Game 3, Friday at Camden Yards (7:07 p.m., NBC); Game 4, Saturday at Camden Yards (6:37 p.m., NBC); Game 5 (if necessary), Sunday at Camden Yards (3:07 p.m., NBC); Game 6 (if necessary), Tuesday, Oct. 15 at Yankee Stadium (7:07 p.m., NBC); Game 7 (if necessary), Wednesday, Oct. 16 at Yankee Stadium (7:07 p.m., NBC). Season Series New York won, 10-3. Matchups \S ORIOLES — Teams played some thrilling games this year, including longest nine-inning game (4 hours, 21 minutes) in baseball history on April 30.... After ' trimming Yankees' lead from 12 Vz games to 2 1 A, Orioles went to Yankee Stadium for critical three-game series in mid-September down four games and dropped two of three.... Orioles were 1-6 vs. Yankees in games decided by two runs or fewer.... The most powerful lineup in baseball history (record 257 regular- season homers) hit 12 in 13 games against Yankees pitchers.... Cal Ripken batted .345 with two homers and 11 RBIs.... Brady Anderson, who hit 50 homers in the regular season, hit three vs. New York but batted only .200 (10-for-50). Had four of club's eight steals. ,.. Mike-Mussina went 0-3 with 6.32 in three starts.... Left-hander David Wells was only starter to earn victory (June 30). • YANKEES — The April 30 early-morning win at Camden Yards moved them into first place for first time this season, and they never gave it up.... Swept four-game series in Baltimore after All-Star break to open a 10-game lead in AL East. Closer John Wetteland earned save in each win.... New York was 6-0 at Camden Yards this season.... Bernie Williams had team-best .367 average with four homers and 13 walks.... Andy Pettitte went 3-0 with 3.76 ERA in three starts. He beat Mussina with seven shutout innings on June 29, and pitched three scoreless innings of relief for win in 11-6,15-inning victory one night after getting no-decision in the team's nine-inning marathon.... Middle reliever Jeff Nelson picked up two of his four victories vs. O's.... Mariano Rivera, virtually unhittable all season, had two of his three regular season losses in six appearances. The two-run ninth-inning homer he allowed to Rafael Palmeiro on June 28 was the first off him since September 1995. Projected Lineups t/ ORIOLES — Brady Anderson cf, Todd Zeile 3b, Roberto Alomar 2b, Rafael Palmeiro 1b, Bobby Bonilla rf, Cal Ripken ss, Eddie Murray dh, Pete Incaviglia or Mike Devereaux If, Chris Hoiles c. • YANKEES — Tim Raines If, Wade Boggs 3b, Bernie Williams cf, Tino Martinez 1b, Darryl Strawberry or Cecil Fielder dh, Paul O'Neill rf, Mariano Duncan 2b, Derek Jeter ss, Joe Girardi c. Projected Rotations • ORIOLES— Scott Erickson (13-12,5.02 ERA), Mike Mussina (19-11,4.81), David Wells (11-14,5.14). Rocky Coppinger (10-6,5.18) is long reliever if starter knocked out early. • YANKEES — David Cone (7-2,2.88), Andy Pet- titte (21-8, 3.87), Jimmy Key (12-11,4.68), Kenny Rogers (12-8,4.68). Manager Joe Torre was hesitant about adding Rogers to postseason roster, and after lasting just two innings in his Game 4 start at Texas, it's easy to see why. Dwight Gooden (11-7, 5.01), left off the roster for the opening round, won't be activated for the AL championship series either. Relievers • ORIOLES — Randy Myers (31 saves), Arthur Rhodes (9-1, 62 Ks in 53 innings), Armando Benitez (2 wins vs. Cleveland), Terry Mathews (hitless 2 2-3 innings vs. Cle). Don't .be surprised if manager Davey Johnson leaves lefty Jesse Orosco in the bullpen. He was awful against Cleveland, walking the bases loaded in the eighth inning to set up Albert Belle's Game 3 grand slam. • YANKEES — Mariano Rivera (8-3, 2.09 ERA), John Wetteland (43 saves). Forget the rest of the guys manager Joe Torre may parade out there, these are the only two who matter. Rivera may be the most dominating right-handed reliever in baseball, and Wetteland seems fully recovered from groin pull that landed him on DL during season. Prediction YANKEES in 6. — By TOM WITHERS T AUTO RACING Playoffs / AL series starts Tuesday FROM PAGE B1 The Yankees, who won their series 3-1 over Texas with three home runs by Bernie Williams, figure to make things tough on Baltimore. New York went 10-3 against the Orioles this season, winning some in slugfests. The best-of-7 series starts Tuesday night in the Bronx. "It's going to be real good for us to start off at home, particularly after the tough series with Texas," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "Baltimore was as good as any team in the league in the second half of the season. It doesn't matter how many regular season games we won from them. This series could go either way." The NL series begins Wednesday night in Atlanta, with the focus on pitching. The Braves held Los Angeles to just 14 hits and no home runs in three games. The three-man playoff rotation — John Smoltz, Greg Maddux and Glavine — was 3-0 with an 0.79 ERA. The Braves have won seven Labonte wins, tightens championship chase Victory at Quality 500 pulls Labonte within one point of Gordon By The Associated Press CONCORD, N.C. — Terry Labonte's first reaction when he was told Jeff Gordon's car was experiencing overheating problems in Sunday's UAW-GM Quality 500 was a small case of nerves. Despite the fact that Labonte is chasing the defending Winston Cup champion for this year's points title, Gordon is his Hendrick Motorsports teammate, and their Chevrolet Monte Carlos are nearly identical. "The last time Jeff had engine problems was at Rockingham (in February), and a few laps later, I had similar problems," explained Labonte, who went on to win Sunday's race at Charlotte Motor Speedway and move within one point of his teammate in the season standings. "After that, I really paid attention to my water pressure and the other gauges. I was a little nervous for a while. But everything stayed where it was supposed to." Labonte posted only his second victory of the season and his first in 37 career starts on the IVi-mile Charlotte oval. The victory, combined with Gordon's 31st-place finish, brought the 1984 Winston Cup champion nearly all the way back from the 111 points he faced coming into the race. It is now the closest championship race ever at this point of the season. The closest previous was in 1979 when Darrell Waltrip led Richard Petty by 17 points. Petty came on to win by 11. Team owner Rick Hendrick, who came to the post-race interview with Labonte, said, "The way we look at it, we've got a three- race season now. If we do everything the same way as we've been doing it, we've got a real good chance that one of these two guys is going to win the championship." T PRO GOLF League Championship Series AMERICAN LEAGUE (NBC) Tuesday, Oct. 8 Baltimore at New York, 7:07 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 9 Baltimore at New York, 3:07 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11 New York at Baltimore, 7:07 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12 New York at Baltimore, 6:37 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 13 New York at Baltimore, 3:07 p.m., If necessary Tuesday, Oct. 15 Baltimore at New York, 7:07 p.m., if necessary Wednesday, Oct. 16 Baltimore at New York, 7:07 p.m., if necessary NATIONAL LEAGUE (FOX) Wednesday, Oct. 9 St. Louis at Atlanta, 7:11 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 10 St. Louis at Atlanta, 7:11 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12 Atlanta at St. Louis, 3:15 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 13 Atlanta at St. Louis, 6:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 14 Atlanta at St. Louis, 6:09 p.m., if necessary Wednesday, Oct. 16 St. Louis at Atlanta, 3:15 p.m., if necessary Thursday, Oct. 17 St. Louis at Atlanta, 7:11 p.m., if necessary straight games at home in the postseason, and 14 of 17 overall. Atlanta went 9-4 against St. Louis this season. The Cardinals are playing in their first postseason since 1987, but have plenty of October experience. Manager Tony La Russa and seven players who took part in the sweep over San Diego in the open- The Associated Press Terry Labonte emerges from his car and raises his fist after winning the UAW-GM Quality 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway Sunday. : Labonte living up to his nickname of The Iceman, said softly, "I'm glad we're back in the points race.... It's going to be close." The frustrated Gordon, who saw his string of three straight victories and eight consecutive top-five finishes ended by what was diagnosed by the team as a cracked cylinder head, said, "We're going to see what we're made of now and see if we can't win this thing." "We were very fortunate to be able to keep it running and get to the finish," Hendrick said. Gordon, who came into the race with an opportunity to match the modern NASCAR record of four consecutive victories, led several times early in the race. But, on lap 176, while running third, he suddenly slowed and drove onto pit road for an unscheduled stop. His crew raised the hood and poured water into the overheating engine. But the stop cost Gordon three laps. He lost more ground later, slapping the fourth-turn wall on lap 227, then being held for a one-lap penalty after passing several cars on the way in for a caution-period pit stop on lap 235. "We knew we couldn't have bad days," he said. "We're going to have to fight hard from here on out. It's unfortunate." It is the third year in a row that Gordon has had problems in this race. Last year, he finished 30th because of a broken driveshaft. In 1994, he wound up 28th after tangling with Ricky Rudd with eight laps left. Labonte took the lead on lap 308 of the 334-lap event and pulled steadily away from second-place finisher Mark Martin, who wound up 3.84-seconds — about a half straightaway — behind. "We weren't in the same league with him," said Martin, whose last victory came in this race a year ago. Sunday's finish was the 12th consecutive top-10 placing for Martin. Dale Jarrett moved within 92 points of the lead by finishing third. He was followed by Sterling Marlin and Ricky Craven, who faded after leading four times for 86 laps. Labonte got a five-point bonus for leading the most laps, 129, including the final 27. Labonte, who won $133,950, averaged 143.143 mph in winning for the first time since April at North Wilkesboro. Woods posts first pro win Victory gives rookie two-year exemption on tour, spot in Masters By The Associated Press LAS VEGAS — Tiger Woods, staking his first claim to greatness as a pro that he enjoyed as an amateur, parred the first playoff hole Sunday to beat Davis Love III and win the Las Vegas Invitational in only his fifth tournament as a pro. Woods watched with arms folded as Love missed a six-foot putt on WOODS the first playoff hole to give him the win and the $297,000 first prize. He earned $297,000, bringing his earnings to $437,194. Undecided previously about playing in the final two tournaments, of the year, Woods indicated he might play in the hopes of getting in the top 30 and a spot in the Tour Championship. The victory also gave Woods a two- year exemption on the PGA Tour and a guaranteed spot in the .Masters. Playing with the confidence of a veteran before thousands of screaming fans, Woods overpowered the par-5s to shoot 64 and take the lead in the clubhouse. The three-time U.S. Amateur champion then went straight to the driving range to hit practice shots in anticipation of a playoff that came after Love made eagle on 15 and birdie on 16. Then it became match play, and Woods, who proved himself a master of the art in winning his three Amateurs, was up to the task. Instead of hitting 2-iron off the tee as he had during regulation, Woods pulled out a 3-wood and then hit a 9-iron within 20 feet. Love, hitting driver off the tee, followed Woods' second shot by pulling an 8- iron into the left bunker. Woods just missed his birdie putt and tapped in for par, then watched as Love missed. "I didn't play match play too long ago," Woods said. "Now (in the playoff) it's match play and you got to try to make three. It was fortunate I could hit first and put some pressure on him. He knew I was in position for birdie and he just came over an 8-iron a. bit." "He's obviously the next great player and we're all going to have to work to beat him," said Love, also a loser in a five-man playoff last week in the Buick Challenge. "As disappointed as I am, I'm that much happy for him. He's a great player and he's great for th'e tour." Love, playing four groups behind, had followed an eagle on the par-415th with a birdie on 16 to tie the rookie sensation. The cheers that swept over the 18th green after Woods finished with a 64 had barely subsided when Love, by then a stroke behind, hit a wedge within six feet on the 16th hole and made the putt to tie for the lead. Love then stepped up on the 196- yard 17th hole and carved a brilliant iron shot just right of the water to about 12 feet. The putt just slid by on the right, however, and Love headed to 18 needing birdie to win. Love could manage only p"ar, and the two golfers went back to the 18th tee for the first playoff hole. Seniors: Morgan prevails LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Gil Morgan, who turned 50 and became eligible to play on the tqur just 11 days earlier, birdied ,the first five holes and shot 5-under- par 66 to win the $800,000 Ralphs Senior Classic. whips Hut chinson ing round own World Series rings. "To watch this club grow and improve through the course of the season has been a real pleasure and a privilege," La Russa said. "They came so far so fast and refused to make any excuses about all the newness and taking the time to gel." Red Ravens rush for 586 yards, move to 5-0 with decisive 56-26 win By The Associated Press When the curtain came down on the 1995 football season, Coffeyville coach Skip Foster had a very strong feeling that his 1996 team could and would improve on a 6-3-1 record. Saturday, the Red Ravens kept fulfilling the promise of a year ago by totaling 586 yards — all rushing — and chewing up Hutchinson 56-26 to run its record to 5-0, best in the Jayhawk Community College Conference. In other conference games, Garden City beat Butler County 34-23 and Fort Scott crushed Highland 50-15 In noii-couterence action, Dodge City got belted by Air Force Prep 62-20 and Independence beat Haskell 39-17. Garden City is in second place in the eight-team JCCC with a 4-1 record. "The players all had a great attitude after last season," Foster said of his Coffeyville team. "You could see that the freshmen, who knew they'd be back, were hungry to get on to 1996." Coffeyville did as it wished on Saturday against Hutchinson, which had held five opponents to an average 73 rushing yards while running up a 4-1 record. I-backs Mike Jenkins and Derrick Foster combined for seven touchdowns and 393 yards. Jenkins, a sophomore, scored five times and gained 264 yards on 24 carries while Foster, a freshman, scored twice and got 129 yards on 14 carries. Last year, James Shibest and Jim Gush were both assistants at Garden City. Gush has moved up to the top spot and Shibest is head coach at Butler County. Shibest's homecoming was soured Saturday by Garden City freshman Tyson Wilson, who car- ried the ball 35 times for 174 yards and scored on a 6-yard run. Butler County was led by quarterback Craig Strickland, who completed 16-of-37 passes for 326 yards, including three interceptions, and Ricky Hall, who caught seven passes for 206 yards. Hall caught TD passes of 9 and 94 yards. "We needed a game like this, against quality competition," said Gush. "We've gotten better, but against competition not as good as Butler County. This was a big test." Fort Scott held Highland to only 102 yards, 15 in the first half, as Cory McGriff accounted for 100 of the Greyhounds' 331 yards on 20 carries. Dodge City struggled big-time against Air Force Prep, losing for the 32nd time in 33 games dating back to early 1993. Independence amassed 339 yards to ease the pain of four fumbles, three lost to- Haskell. The Pis rates led at the half, 39-7, and the starters were benched for the finaj two periods.

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