Daily Press from Newport News, Virginia on July 22, 1989 · Page 31
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Daily Press from Newport News, Virginia · Page 31

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Newport News, Virginia
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Saturday, July 22, 1989
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Page 31
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WF Peninsula knocks off Salem 5-4 Cortes spurs Pilots with double, triple By TERRY ARMOUR Staff Writer HAMPTON The 1989 Carolina League season has been one long uphill battle for the Peninsula Pilots' Rico Cortes. He spent a majority of the first half of the season with his batting average hovering around the .160 mark and was having a hard time getting it going offensively. But suddenly, things have gone in the right direction for Cortes, especially after going 2-for-4 Friday with a double and a triple in leading the Pilots to a 5-4 victory over the Salem Buccaneers. With his performance, Cortes' average has hit .240 for the first time since last season when he hit .257 for the New York Yankees' Gulf Coast League team at Sarasota, Fla. Cortes said that even when he was at his lowest point offensively, he always knew things would eventually come around. "I just want to give glory to God to give me the patience to deal with it as best I could," he said. "I'm just believing in myself now and that's the key for anything." Cortes was the catalyst Friday. With the Pilots (15-14) trailing 1-0, he hit a double off the base of the center field wall with Hector Vargas on first in the second inning. Vargas scored when Salem shortstop Mike Huyler muffed the relay throw from Darwin Pennye. Cortes came home on Pat Hewes' single to left field to give the Pilots a 2-1 advantage. After the Buccaneers (14-14) went up 3-2 off Pilots' starter Joe Gast (1-6) in the top of the fourth on a fielder's choice and a wild pitch, the Pilots came right back to even the score in their half of the inning when Cortes led off with a triple and scored on an error by Huyler. The Pilots took the lead for Daily PressTimes-Herald. Saturday, July 22, 1989 D3 - '"it 4 r: v ' - ' f J : Rico Cortes . . . gets two hits good in the seventh when they loaded the bases on three straight singles off Salem starter Pete Blohm (0-2). Dodd Johnson then reached on a fielder's choice to score Robert Hunter and Darrell Tingle came home on a throwing error by Salem second baseman Albert Molina. The Pilots led 5-3. Cortes made an error in the eighth inning, which led to an unearned run for Salem. But he said he's trying not to let the errors bother him as they did early in the season. "(Pilots pitcher) Reggie Rit-ter put it best when he told me I tend to get too hard on myself," Cortes said. Another player that has undergone a rebirth is pitcher Red Morrison, who pitched a flawless ninth inning for his first save of the season. Morrison, a former outfielder whom the Yankees converted to a pitcher two years ago, was a starter for the Pilots in the first half, but wildness sent him to the bullpen. Friday Morrison took a ball around the clubhouse to have his teammates sign it in honor of his first save. "I feel real good coming out of the bullpen," he said. "It's just a chance for me to show the guys what I can do. The more I pitch the better I do." Salem 100 200 0104 8 1 Peninsula 020 100 20x 5 1 Pete Blohm, Chip Duncan (8) and Trent Jewett. Joe Gast, Tad Powers (8), Red Morrison (9) and Pat Hewes. W Gast 11-6). L Blohm (0-2). S Morrison (1). 2B Salem, John Wehner; Peninsula. Rico Cortes. 3B Peninsula, Cortes. SB Salem, Domingo Mereio (13); Terry Crowlev Jr. (8); Mike Huvler 13). Individual standouts: Salem, Crowlev 2-5; Albert Molina, 2-4. Peninsula, Robert Hunter 2-4; Cortes 2-4; Hewes 2-4 (RBI). Records Salem 14-14, Peninsula 15-14. A 249 Tire rule may slow All-American leader By AL PEARCE Staff Writer HAMPTON Maybe this will slow down seven-time Langley Raceway winner Jerry Powell. On the other hand... The track's All-American teams finally get to test their "one-brand" tire rule in tonight's 25-lap feature. The rule wasn't aimed directly at Powell, but forgive officials if they secretly hope it makes the A-A class more competitive. So far, it's been very uncompetitive. Powell won two of the first four races, four of the first eight and is 7-of-13 overall, including 3-for-3 this month. All that may change, starting tonight. Since opening day Langley's All-American teams were allowed to run Hercules, Mach II, B.F. Goodrich or Jet Streak tires. Powell found Jet Streaks to his liking. But officials announced two weeks ago that starting tonight, Mach II will be the A-A tire. According to track official Butch Lassiter, that's nothing new. "It's got nothing to do with who's winning or losing," he said. "We talked about it early in the year and decided to aim for a mid-season change. "Some drivers say Goodrich and Jet Streaks aren't available like they used to be. Everybody agreed to run Mach lis when last year's tires were used up." Powell's car may not take to the new rubber. "I practiced Thursday and lost a second per lap," he said Friday. "Our car ran good on Jet Streaks because we worked hard. Now we have to readjust for new tires." Powell grew up in West Virginia watching dirt-track star Rodney Combs. He saw his first race at 12 and immediately decided to become a racer, too. He's there, but it's taken awhile. Powell joined the Navy in '81 and became a radar - r 4- - .... Jerry Powell . . . has won 7-of-13 Langley races technician on the Coral Sea. One of his shipmates was Les Gibson, a former racer from Missouri. The men built a cardboard track and raced radio-controlled cars to ease the boredom of six-month cruises to the Med. They read dozens of racing books and magazines and watched countless tapes. "We learned a lot through those books and tapes," Powell said. "When we got shore duty last year Les said he'd build a car if I'd drive. We got the feel of it last year." They ran 11 races in '88, then spent every available winter hour improving their car. Armed with a $1,500 engine, they set a goal of five wins this year. "Remember," Powell said, "I had never raced until last year. The best I'd ever finished was fifth." He surpassed his five wins on July 1 in his 11th start. "And the more we won, the closer they checked the car," he said of Langley's inspectors. "I'll tell you, though, the car's legal. It costs too much to cheat." Langley's four-race program tonight includes an All-American 25. Late Model 100, Grand Stock 30 and Mini-Stock 20. Racing begins at 7:30. NASCAR's Busch tour has a 200-lapper at Hickory, N.C. and its Dash cars run a 100-lapper at Winston-Salem, both tonight. CART'S Indy cars have a 183-miler Sunday around a 1.8-mile circuit in Toronto, Canada. Four-time winner Emerson Fittipal-di leads the standings by 32 points over Rick Mears. The NHRA drag racers are at Denver for Sunday's Mile-High Nationals. Gary Ormsby leads Dick LaHaie in Top Fuel, Bruce Larson and Kenny Bernstein are 1-2 in Funny Car, and Bob Glidden leads the Pro Stock standings over Bruce Allen. Langley (Wins)Points Late Model Stock Car 1 Phil Warren (1) 236; 2. Roger Sowver (5) 218; 3. Dannv Edwards (2) 208; 4. John Livingston 162; 5. Buddv Molish (2) 160, 6 Chip Hudson (I) 156; 7. Billv Smith (1) 142; 8. Terrv Harris 136; 8. Mike Butfkin 130; 10. Buddv Dozier (1) 116 Grand Stock 1. Charlie Daniels (3 ) 254 ; 2. Dole Lemonds (5) 248; 3. Mitch Sarvis (2) 244; 4. Greg Edwards (2) 218; 5. Jim Humblet 164; 6. Chuck Britt 150; 7. (tie) Chris Perrv and Dannv Baker (2) 146; 9 Tommy Hoggord (1) 126; 10. Hugo Beltiore 112 All-American 1. Jerrv Powell (7) 3O0; 2. Paul Lubno (3) 278; 3. Robert Ball (2) 266; 4. Ken Webber 204; 5. John Gimbert (1) 188; 6. Mark Harlan 150; 7. Rodnev Bovd 144; 8. Tod Carson 142; 9. Jerrv Hav-ertv 138; 10. David Gaultnev 124 Mini-Stock 1. Jim Ewing (2) 250, 2. John Pisarski (7 ) 248 ; 3. Lorry Se-gelon 222 ; 4 Terrv Carroll 216; 5. Milton Herring (21 166, 6. Jodv McCormick (2) 148, 7. (tie) Bob Swanson and Sid Grizzard 136; 9 Ron Benton 122; 10. Frank Lovetl 116 Kulwicki leads fog-shortened Pocono qualifying From AP reports LONG POND, Pa. Alan Kulwicki led Friday's fog-shortened qualifying to grab at least a temporary hold on the pole for Sunday's AC Spark Plug 500 NASCAR race. Only 15 of more than 40 drivers had a chance to take qualifying laps at fog-draped Pocono International Racewav before NASCAR officials called off the rest of the round until this morning. The fog, which earlier contributed to a more than two-hour delay in qualifying, became so dense that the first turn of the 21-mile tri-oval was not visible from the starting line. Visibility was about 200 yards. Kulwicki's 157.279 mph lap edged Brett Bodine's 157.090. Both drive Ford Thunderbirds. "It might be the pole," Kulwicki said. "It was a very good lap. Not perfect but very good." His lap broke the event record of 157.153 mph set last year by Morgan Shepherd but fell short of Kulwicki's own track record of 158.806 mph, set when he won the pole for the Miller 500 in June, 1988. Qualifying was scheduled to resume at 8 this morning EDT. The pole for the $527,567 race carries a chance at a bigger prize; the winner gets a $106,400 bonus if he also wins the race. Firtipaldi breaks record TORONTO Emerson Fitti-paldi took a big step toward his second straight pole position, breaking the track record Friday while leading provisional qualifying for the Molson-Indy race. The Brazilian, who won the Indianapolis 500, turned a fast lap of 106.670 mph on the 1.78-mile, 11-turn temporary circuit. That easily bettered the previous mark of 106.314 set a year ago by Danny Sullivan. Fittipaldi, who won here in 1987, holds a big lead in the CART-PPG season standings 130-92 over Rick Mears after winning four of the last six Indy-car races and finishing second to Bobby Rahal last Sunday at the New Jersey Meadowlands. Ex-Pirates' starter shuts down Tides By CHARLIE DENN Staff Writer NORFOLK His recent career has been one of unusual extremes. Two years ago Bob Patterson was the opening day starting pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates. On the down side, last year his season came to a premature conclusion in late April when he had to undergo shoulder surgery. But Patterson is nothing if not a good competitor. He has bounced back from the surgery to pitch effectively again this summer, as evidenced by his effort Friday in Buffalo's 5-4 victory over the staggering Tidewater Tides. Patterson held the Tides to seven hits over eight innings to record the victory. And though he gave up four runs, the total would have been much less had a catch been made in Tidewater's three-run fourth inning. "He knows how to pitch," said Buffalo Manager Terry Collins. "He's been real consistent all year. He moves it in and out, up and down. You like to see guys like that work." Patterson's key has been his ability to maintain his poise through a number of difficult situations. The rapid rise to the major leagues, and subsequent lost season in 1988, might have ruined a less-determined player. "You have to try to play the cards you're dealt," he said. "I was very happy to be pitching for the Pirates on opening day in 1987, but you never feel like you've got it made until after you've been in the big leagues a while. "And last year was tough but I never even considered that my career was over." Patterson started off 1988 with two wins. He was 2-0 with a 2.32 ERA on April 28 when surgery on his rotator cuff was needed. He did not pitch again that year. "You hear rotator cuff and that makes you nervous," said Patterson, 8-4 after Friday's win. "But it wasn't really surgery on the muscle itself. They just scraped it out without doing anything serious." Still, that isn't an operation you recover from easily. Patterson's effectiveness this year still befuddles Collins. "To think that a year ago this guy had surgery on his shoulder is amazing," said Collins. "That's the worst thing that can happen to a pitcher." Patterson was locked in a scoreless duel with Kip Gross in the fourth when Tidewater's Barry Lyons hit a sinking drive down the right field line with two runners on base. Buffalo right fielder Albert Hall tried to make the catch but the ball fell in for a triple and both runs scored. After that outburst, however, Patterson settled down. He retired 10 straight batters at one point, including four straight strikeout victims. The Bisons, however, came right back with three runs of their own in the fifth, got the go-ahead run in the seventh and an insurance run in the eighth. That run was crucial when Tidewater's Tom O'Malley led off the ninth with a solo homer. Stan Belinda came on to get the save and send the Tides to their fourth straight loss. Buffalo ooo 030 no5 li o Tidewater 000 300 0014 7 1 Bob Patterson, Stan Belinda (9) and Tom Prince; Kip Gross, Shawn Barton (7), Tom Edens (9) and Gary Carter, Barry Lyons (7). W Patterson (8 4); L Gross 1041, Sv Belinda (1). 2B Cook, Hall, O'Malley, Prince. S Carter 3B Lyons HR Tidewater, Tom O Mallev (11). SB S Carter (121, Little (71 Individual standouts: Buffalo, Albert Hall 2-4: Scott Little 2-3; Steve Carter 2-5. Tidewater, Tom O Molley 2-4 A 5,243 Japan Continued from Dl It also reveals, as nothing before, that the basic incompatibility between American and Japanese baseball (and probably other enterprises as well) is the result of the deep-seated differences in the culture and philosophy of the two countries. Here, in the good old USA, individualism and personal achievement are glorified. In Japan, it's the opposite. The Japanese coaches and managers are primarily concerned with endless pregame training. The idea of athletics for fun appears to be alien. Like all Japanese sports, baseball is a moral discipline with the emphasis on courage, spirit and self-denial. The Japanese, according to Whiting, are perfectionists. They believe that with constant work and an iron will, one can accomplish anything: overcome injury and pain, defeat a more powerful foe in battle and even win a batting title. "Making the effort" is what counts. Winning is secondary. The centerpiece of the training routines are gattsu (guts) drills designed to push a player to his limits. The record for the 1980s was held by Koichi Tab-usLi. In 1984, the vear of his re- tirement at the age of 38, he capped off a day of workouts by fielding 900 consecutive ground-balls. It took 2 hours 50 minutes before he slumped to the ground, unable to get up. Whiting cites the case of a rookie pitcher, a potential star. Frail of build, he had difficulty keeping up with the torturous training. By the time his turn for pitching practice came around, he was so tired he could barely throw the ball over the plate. To correct the problem, his manager and coaches devised a special routine for him. First, he was forced to run from one stadium foul pole to the other (about 150 yards) 50 times. As an additional test of his resolve, coaches stood at both ends cursing him. Then came a special pitching practice in which every bad pitch prompted another flurry of insults. In the manner of most Japanese players, he kept a stiff upper lip and gave it all he had. This regimen continued at periodic intervals with no visible improvement in the rookie's performance. During his third season, he was admitted to a mental institution in Osaka, the victim of a nervous breakdown. Temper tantrums, practical joking, bickering and complaining norms in American baseball are unwelcome incursions into the Japanese team's collective peace of mind. When Hirsoshima Carp All-Star shortstop Yoshihiko Takahaslu threw down his glove in anger and disgust after committing an error, his manager stopped the game and, in full view of the crowd, slapped Takahashi's face. The next day. a Japanese journalist offered the acceptable explanation: "A player's glove is his most important possession. He should treat it with respect as a samurai would his sword." The language barrier is, of course, another disadvantage for the Americans. They are given interpreters but never know what the interpreters are saying. Tony Solaita. an American slugger who played for the Nippon Ham Fighters, was angry over brushback pitches in a game against the Lotte Orions. He used his interpreter, Toshi Shimada, to raise the issue with the Orions' catcher during pregame practice the following (lay. "Listen, you no-good SOB," said Solaita. who is built like an armored truck and has a temper to match, "if you have a pitcher throw at my head again. I'll (deleted) you." Shimada did not bat an eyelash as he translated: "Mr. Solaita asks that you please not throw at his head anymore. It makes his wife and children worrv." ! ; WE ARE OVERSTOCKED! I lisara : i I BALL ortU ALa II B I III at I DUNLOP KOQQ I . 1 1 r.r.u. .. 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Jefferson Ave Newport News, VA 838-2456 3234 Virginia Beach Blvd. Va Beach, VA. 463-3633 HOURS Men -Fri. 10-7.30 Sat. 10-6 00 Sun 12-5 00

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