Daily Press from Newport News, Virginia on April 28, 1988 · Page 18
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Daily Press from Newport News, Virginia · Page 18

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Newport News, Virginia
Issue Date:
Thursday, April 28, 1988
Page:
Page 18
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Sports t?vbcoBSf miSitoiry doscipDie co-eiiDSV Fort Eustis Beachmasters keeping their 'Yes, sirs 'No, sirs' to minimum f . m - - ' . i i i. , - - .- s ' - ' V I , -' A' ' -As. - - ' " 1 7 - , - , . " ', ' M , " " ' . 1 . Staff photo by ADRIN SNIDER 480-RTG infielder Jerry Brown bobbles grounder. By ALAN HIRSCH Staff Writer Military discipline carries over to the ball field, cutting down on what needs polishing. At least that's the theory of Sgt. Tim McCarthy, who coaches the Fort Eustis Beachmasters sof tball team. He feels he knows when hard-line military discipline should stop, too. "You can't have 'Yes, sergeant. No, sergeant,' on the field. It hurts the attitude. There are only 140 people in this unit, and I know everybody on a first-name basis. "You may have 11 ballplayers, but you work as one unit." The Beachmasters and 480-RTG of Langley Air Force Base competed last weekend in the second annual Hit N' Run Classic at Carrollton's Nike Park. The Beachmasters dropped an 8-5 decision to Sea Level Surf Shop, then bounced back for a 7-6 victory over Breat Bridge Contractors before being knocked out of the double-elimination tournament, 17-7, by Tectonic. 480-RTG, after being whipped 8-0 by eventual tournament champion Double Play of Norfolk, was stopped, 7-4, by State Farm Insurance of Suffolk. "There isn't civilian support all over like there is in the Tidewater area," McCarthy said. "We appreciate that people like this let us in their tournaments. In a lot of places ... the attitude is 'They're a rowdy bunch of guys. They'll seek and destroy if they're in our tournament.' "This was our first tournament of the year," he said. "We'll play in the Fort Eustis league .during the week, 18 league games. There are 38 teams (divided into two leagues), and the top seven (in each league) play in the tournament." Scott Wy rick sat on the bench watching his teammates most of the weekend. He would also coach first base. Normally, he isn't even on the team. He plays for the base soccer team. But, he is a member of McCarthy's watercraft operators who perform ship-to-shore delivery. "They didn't know if they would have enough to play," Wy rick said. "I'm part of the company, and I want to see my company win. That's the way it is in the Army." "We just asked if he might want to come out, and we told him the chances are he wouldn't play," McCarthy said. "That's the kind of attitude we have. And, softball is one of the tools to keep morale high." Because of the nature of the company, McCarthy's players are often unavailable to compete. So, he draws on other company members. . "We started practice the 21st of March, and we're allotted 18 members. I would venture to say we've had 30 different people on and off. We even had a man come in from Fort Knox (Kentucky) last night, and he's here today (Saturday) playing." McCarthy doesn't worry about piecing together a jigsaw-puzzle lineup. "You just take what you can and do with them what you can at the time," he said. "You have to realize we're working with real disciplined people. You don't have to worry about the mental errors, so you just have to try to get the best physically fit people and put them out there." VMI's Beasley gives up oddball positioning By DAVE FAIRBANK Staff Writer Andy Beasley's position on a baseball field is set for now and Virginia Military Institute is better for it. Beasley has pitched and caught for the Keydets this year, once in the same game, but that experiment has been scrapped. Now the sophomore from Ferguson High School is strictly a catcher on defense. On offense he is making life miserable for opposing pitchers. Beasley enjoyed his dual role as pitcher and catcher for a while. "It was fun while it worked," Beasley said of the experiment. "But when you go out and get knocked around, it isn't much fun." Batting in the cleanup position, Beasley is hitting .424 (25-for-59) in his last 19 games, with three doubles, five home runs and 28 runs batted in. Overall, he is second for the Keydets in RBIs with 30 and is a remark ably patient hitter with 30 walks and only 16 strikeouts. Beasley is part of VMI's Peninsula Connection, along with Criss Finwood from Hampton High and Gary Si-bayan from York. The 5-foot-6 Sibayan is batting .300 as the leadoff hitter, with an unlikely team-high 10 home runs and 19 stolen bases in 21 attempts. Finwood, an All-Southern Conference shortstop, is batting .370 with 17 RBIs from the No. 2 slot. But Beasley possesses the most potential and versatility of the three, and the temptation to use him at perhaps the two most divergent positions on the field was understandable. "It's a very unique situation," VMI first-year coach Paul Maini said of the experiment. "In fact, it's so unique, it's probably not a good idea to do it. "In order to pitch him, you'd probably have to sit him out and rest him for a couple of days and we can't do that right now," Maini said. "I think his future is at catcher. If he was just a pitcher, he'd probably have a future there, too." Beasley, 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds, was recruited as a pitcher in high school. His arm was strong enough to make him a pitching prospect, but his strength made him a valuable everyday player. He throws right-handed, but bats left-handed, and the prospect of a left-handed hitting catcher makes him doubly attractive as an everyday player. Beasley has pitched twice this year. On March 27, he caught the first game of a doubleheader against Appalachian State, then was the starting pitcher in the second game. He went four innings, gave up four hits, one earned run, walked four and struck out six in a no-decision as the Keydets won 64. Beasley's only other pitching appearance came April 5 against Virginia, the day Joe DiMaggio came to Lexington to dedicate VMI's baseball field. Beasley began the game at catcher, then pitched Va innings of relief, and finished the game at catcher. He gave up six hits and six runs, all earned, as the Cavaliers spoiled the dedication, 11-5. "It kind of blew up in my face that day," Beasley said. Beasley's improvement has been remarkable. As a freshman, he played in 28 of 33 games, but hit just .203 with only four RBIs. Maini worked with Beasley last fall and winter to correct technical flaws in his swing. "I was very receptive," Beasley said, "especially the way I hit last year. I knew something had to be wrong." And Maini said Beasley has been a diligent student. , "His potential is unlimited," Maini said. "With his work ethic, there's no limit to how good he can be."

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