The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on April 19, 2001 · Page 21
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 21

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Salina, Kansas
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Thursday, April 19, 2001
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Page 21
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THURSDAY APRIL 19, 2001 THE SAUNA JOURNAL Sports PRO BASEBALL / D3 HIGH SCHOOL TENNIS / D3 BRIEFS / D3 T MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL Royals foiled by 'scrappy* Twins KC takes 3-1 lead into eighth, but bullpen again fails to hold lead; Cogan takes defeat By DAVE CAMPBELL The Associated Press AL Royals Twins The Associated Press After getting ejected from the game, Royals manager Tony Muser gets in the face of umpire Eric Cooper during the eighth inning Wednesday in Minneapolis. MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Twins have been a pain for the Royals. "They're just a scrappy bunch of boys that'U come back and beat you," Kansas City said manager Tony Muser after the Twins scored four times in the eighth inning to rally past the Royals for the second straight game, winning 5-3. Bobby Kielty's double in the eighth put the Twins ahead and got Muser kicked out of the game. Muser argued with umpire Eric Cooper that Kieilty's chopper down the third-base line went foul. Kielty later scored on a wild pitch to give the Twins a 5-3 lead after they had trailed 3-1 entering the inning. Minnesota (11-3) has eight come-from-be- hind victories and finished its season- opening homestand 8-1. "We just keep plugging away," first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz said. Matt Lawton, who has reached base in every game, drew his league-leading 19th walk to lead off the eighth against Jason Grimsley. Corey Koskie, who had the game-winning hit in the ninth Tuesday, scored Lawton with a double. Tony Cogan (0-1) relieved, and Doug Mientkiewicz drove in Koskie with a single that tied the game. Then Kielty's disputed double scored Mientkiewicz. "I gave up (on the play), knowing it was a foul ball," Royals third baseman Joe Randa said. "I turn around, and he's calling it fair It was a terrible call." Cooper was unavailable to comment on the call. The Twins weren't about to debate it. "The umpire called it fair," Minnesota manager Tom Kelly said. Kielty laughed when asked if his hit was legitimate. "Off the bat, I thought it was fair," he said. "But halfway down the line, that's the ump's decision." The Twins, 13th in the league in runs scored last season, entered play Wednesday leading the AL in batting average (.305), on-base percentage (.370) and slugging percentage (.521). Their 11-3 start has been fueled by contributions from nearly every spot in the lineup. Lawton, the Twins' third-place hitter and lone All-Star last season, is batting .220 but has still been helping out. "Matty's been doing a great job of sticking with his plan to take more pitches this year," Mientkiewicz said. "Sooner or later, they're going to have to give him pitches to hit." The Royals, who blew a 4-1 lead Tuesday, wasted a fine effort by Jeff Suppan, who pitched three-hit ball over 6 2-3 innings. Kansas City has four blown saves this year and 60 since the start of the 1999 season. "Grimsley has had a rough two days," Muser said. "We just couldn't get any outs." Suppan wasn't about to rip his relievers. See ROYALS, Page D3 Another one bites the dust JEFF COOPER / The Salina Journal Brown Mackle third baseman Megan Burchfield slides safely into second base in the first game of a doubleheader against Maple Woods on Wednesday at Bill Burke Park. The Lions won the game 3-1 before losing the nightcap 6-3. Story in briefs, page D3. PRO FOOTBALL Redskins need near perfect draft Washington faces task of filling needs with only four picks By JOSEPH WHITE The Associated Press ASHBURN, Va. — The Washington Redskins' draft position is about as bad as the team's salary cap mess, and that's pretty bad. After overspending last year, the Redskins are short on cash and have suffered a huge WHEN: 11 a.m., Saturday (Rounds 1-3); 10 a.m., Sunday {Rounds 4-7). offseason talent drain in an effort to get under the cap. The draft-day solution, then, would be to restock the roster with lower-priced picks from the middle and lower rounds. No such luck. The Redskins currently have only four selections in Saturday's NFL draft, in the first (15th overall), second, fourth and fifth rounds. That's a legacy of fired director of player personnel director Vinny Cerrato, who regularly spent his low-rounders in trades for marginal players of little or no impact. What a way to return to the NFL for Marty Schottenheimer, who realizes he needs to bat 1.000 in his first draft as the Redskins' coach and director of football operations. "We've got an opportunity with four picks to get four guys that will come out and be on our football team," Schotten­ heimer said. "I'd be disappointed if they did not." Schottenheimer has to take part of the responsibility for the slim pickings. The Redskins had to give up their third- round pick to Kansas City to hire him out of a two-year retirement in January The obvious solution would be for the Redskins to trade the high-priced first round pick for several lower-round selections. Schottenheimer would like to do that, and it still might happen, but first there's the matter of finding someone willing to deal. "Everybody wants to trade down," Schottenheimer said, "so maybe the thing for us would be to go against the tide and trade up." Schottenheimer didn't laugh when he said that, but it's not to be taken very seriously The Redskins don't have enough picks to trade up, and he immediately added that there are See DRAFT, Page D3 • KU FOOTBALL CLEAN SLATE Concordia's Letourneau excited about fresh start under KU's new defensive coordinator By HAROLD BECHARD The Salina Journal Jake Letourneau made the switch from offense to defense two years ago for the Kansas Jayhawks Now the 6-foot-l, 197-pound junior from Concordia is learning a new defensive scheme at the strong safety position. Letourneau has learned it well enough to be listed No. 1 on the depth chart at his position heading into the final days of spring drills. The spring has been a learning experience for every KU player. The coaching staff was overhauled after the 2000 season and the slate, as Letourneau put it, has been wiped clean. "The spring has gone well. We installed a new defense, so everything is new," Letourneau said during a phone interview Wednesday "It's starting from ground zero as far as learning things. Every day we learn a little bit more. We get more comfortable with the stuff from the previous day We've got a lot of our stuff in and we're not making as many mental mistakes right now." Letourneau and his teammates are excited about playing for new defensive coordinator Tom Hayes, who spent five seasons with the Washington Redskins in the NFL as well as KAI\ISAS SPRING GAIVIE When: Saturday, 7 p.m. Where: Memorial Stadium, Lawrence. Admission: Free 15 years with Oklahoma, Texas A&M and UCLA. Hayes is also KU's assistant head coach and the secondary coach. "Everyone really likes (Hayes)," Letourneau said. "Everyone respects him, knows his past, the people he's coached and the teams he's coached. He knows how to win and knows how to get us to a bowl." A bowl game seems a long way off for a Kansas program coming off a disappointing 4-7 season last year that ended with four straight losses. But Letourneau said the new coaching staff has brought a renewed enthusiasm to the Jayhawk camp. "It's like a clean slate. Nobody is thinking about last year," Letourneau said. "It's a whole new team and whole new attitude. We're getting better every day. We're more of a team, not so much a group of individuals. We're playing for each other." Letourneau was a second-team All-Area selection in 1997 as a senior quarterback at Concordia High School. He finished his prep career with 4,621 yards passing and was asked to walk-on by KU head coach Terry Allen with the understanding that a scholarship would be waiting for him after one yean "I was recruited by Coach Allen after the signing date," Letourneau said. "The scholarships were filled, but he told me if I came I would get a scholarship after the first yean" Letourneau has added 10 pounds since his high school days, but it hasn't hurt his speed. He entered the 2000 fall drills as the fastest KU defensive back with a 4.47-second clocking in the 40-yard dash. He also has a 33-inch vertical leap to his credit and was a See KU, Page D3 T KCAC BASEBALL 'Yotes sweep Friends KWU improves record in KCAC to a stellar 16-1 By BOB DAVIDSON The Sttiina Journal After a potentially costly mistake, Scott Lohmeyer only wanted a chance to make amends. His coach, Tim Bellew, gave it to him. Lohmeyer drilled a one- out, two-run double to right KCAC I Friends 4 2 centerfield in the bot- KWU 114 tom of ' the sixth inning to snap a 2-2 tie and propel Kansas Wesleyan to a 4-2 Kansas Conference victory over Friends Wednesday at Evans Stadium. The victory gave KWU a sweep of the doubleheader after the Coyotes won the first game 11-4. The Coyotes, runaway leaders in the KCAC race, improve to 21-12 overall, 16-1 in the conference. Wesleyan entered the game with a six-game lead in the KCAC standings and could clinch the title Saturday at Tabon Friends falls to 20-17 and 8-10. Lohmeyer, a reserve first baseman, dropped an easy two-out pop fly in foul territory in the top of the sixth that loaded the bases for the Falcons. But Wesleyan escaped unscathed when pitcher Greg Kmet got the next batter, Greg Nardini, to pop up to second to end the inning. "I took my eye off the ball," Lohmeyer said. "I have no excuses. I didn't catch it and should have." But Lohmeyen a junior from Hoisington, atoned for his error with a line drive on a 1-2 pitch off Friends reliever Chris Fontes, driving home Cody Brassfield and J.J. Reynado from first and second. "I was trying to stay back and make contact," Lohmeyer said. "I haven't been hitting well lately and it felt good. He threw a curveball and kept it in the zone too much." "Scott thanked me for not pinch-hitting for him after his mistake," Wesleyan coach Tim Bellew said. "I had no inclination to pinch hit for him. (Fontes) made a mistake and he made him pay" Wesleyan took a 2-1 lead in the fourth on Ricardo Garcia's two-run homen but Friends tied it in the top of the fifth on back-to-back Wesleyan errors. But Kmet never fault- ered. He allowed seven hits in going the distance to improve his record to 51. "I kept the ball down and the guys made the plays when they had to," Kmet said. "I was getting my fastball on the outer half of the plate. "It's easy to keep your composure when you know the guys will get you runs. Somebody always steps up. Today it was Scott. It's always somebody different." Wesleyan pounded three Friends pitchers for 14 hits in the first game. Max Bethge went 4-for-4 and drove in four runs, two on a home run — his sixth of the season — that highlighted a six-run fourth inning. Sean Sloan and Cody Brassfield were each 3-for-3 and scored three runs apiece. Royce Carnley (7-3) allowed nine hits in going the distance. SUGGESTIONS? CALL BOB DAVIDSON, SPORTS EDITOR, AT 823-6363 OR 1-800-827-6363 OR. E-MAIL AT sjbdavidson@saljournal.com

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