The Jackson Sun from Jackson, Tennessee on June 24, 1999 · 27
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The Jackson Sun from Jackson, Tennessee · 27

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Jackson, Tennessee
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Thursday, June 24, 1999
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27
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Thursday, June 24, 1999 BASEBALL The Jackson Sun3C SOUTHERN LEAGUE Final First Halt Standingi EASTERN DIVISION w t Pet Ga KnonviHe 38 32 543 Jacteonville 36 34 514-2 Greenville 31 37 45s 6 Ote"do 30 37 448 6"T" Carolina 31 39 443 7 WESTERN DIVISION W L Pet GB Huntsville 38 32 543 Diamond Jag 38 32 543 - Chattanooga 37 33 529 1 Mobile 34 35 493 3'; Birmingham 34 36 486 4 Tuesday'! Rttults Diamond Jaxx 6. Birmingham 2 Jacksonville 8. Carolina 5 GreenwHe 3-3. Orlando 6-1 Knoxvitle 4. Mobile 3 Chattanooga 4. Huntsville 2 End first half SOUTHERN LEAGUE EASTERN DIVISION W I Pet GB Carolina 0 0 .000 - Greenvillee 0 0 .000 Jacksonville 0 0 .000 - KnoKville 0 0 .000 - Orlando 0 0 000 - WESTERN DIVISION W L Pet GB Birmingham 0 0 000 Chattanooga 0 0 000 Huntsville 0 0 .000 ' - Mobile 0 0 .000 - Diamond Jaxx 0 0 , 000 - Wednesday's Result Southern League AU-Star Game Western 5. Eastern 2 Today's Games Diamond Jaxx at Chattanooga. 6 p.m. Carolina at Mobile KnoxvUle at Greenville Jacksonville at Huntsville Birmingham at Orlando Friday's Games Diamond Jaxx at Chattanooga Carolina at Mobile Knoxville at Greenville Jacksonville at Huntsville Birmingham at Orlando Saturday's Games Diamond Jaxx at Chattanooga Carolina at Mobile Knoxville at Greenville Jacksonville at Huntsville Birmingham a) Orlando Sunday's Games Diamond Jaxx at Chattanooga Carolina at Mobile Knoxville at Greenville Jacksonville at Huntsville Birmingham at Orlando PRINGLES PARK TICKET PRICES Oi level $10 Field Box $7 Box $6 Reserved $5 General Admission $4 Berm ..$2 Ticket Information: (901) 664-2020 Diamond Jaxx's next homestand July 3-5 vs. Chattanooga TODAY'S PITCHERS Diamond Jaxx David Manning (2-0. 6.40 ERA) at Chattanooga Lookouts TBA 6 p.m. WWEZ-FM 97.5. WNWS-FM 101.5 BOX SCORE DIAMOND JAXX t, BIRMINGHAM 1 DIAMOND JAXX BIRMINGHAM Cbnstiensen cf Rexrode 2b tnotn H Audelb CredeSb Pemberton dh Pauic Olson if DeHaefOH Myettep Penap Davenport p . r ktH t t 2 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 t t 1 1 1 t 1 0 0 0 0 t 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 00 0 0 0 0 00 0 0 0 6 7 S ab r h M S 0 2 0 5 110 3 0 0 0 3 0 2 1 4 0 0 0 4 111 2 0 10 4 0 10 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Mayers 2b Speed rl-d Neison 3b Zulela lb Rennhack dlwf Vieira If Bowersd Walker ph Rtckettsp Ramp Bra.Kingc Potancosa Bre King ph-tt Yoderp Smith p Newman p Totals Totals 34 2 I J Diamond Jan 000 000 141-6 Birmingham 100 100 -000-2 E-Polanco. holm. Crade. DP-Diamond Jaw 1. Birmingham 1. LOB-Oiamond Jaxx 2. Birmingham 10. SBWalker IIOI. Aude (23). Paul (12). Olson (4). 3B-Rexrode (31. HR-Zuleta (9). Rennhacft (2). Pemberton (7). SACRam. SB-flexrode (10). Audai8l.CS-Speed.Paul. IP H R ER B8 SO Diamond Jan Voder 5.1 8 2 4 6 Smith 1.1 0 0 0 0 3 Newman W. 3-1 .1 0 0 0 0 1 Ricketls .2 t 0 0 11 Ram S. 16 1.1 1 0 0 0 1 Myelte 7 3 2 2 2 3 PenaL.1-2 0 1 1 1 0 0 Davenport 2 3 3 1 0 1 MyeM laced 1 batter m me 6th. Pern faced 1 batter in the 8th. Umpiiet-Horne: Tuner Fin Kennedy: Third: Boberg, Tune 243 A.8.9SS. HOW THEY SCORED How The runt scored Tuesday night between the Diamond Jaxx and Birmingham Barons. BARONS FIRST INNING Jackie Rexrode reached on a fielder's choice, moved to second on a walk to Jeff Inglin. Rexrode scored on a single by Rich Aude. Barons 1 , Jaxx 0. BARONS FOURTH INNING Rudy Pemberton hit a home run. Barons 2. Jaxx 0. DIAMOND JAXX SEVENTH INNING Julio Zuleta hit a home run. Barons 2. Jaxx 1 . DIAMOND JAXX EIGHTH INNING Scott Vieira walked, and moved to third on a pinch-hit double by Ron Walker. Brett King reached on an error to load the bases. Chad Meyers hit a two-run single, scoring Vieira and Walker, and King scored on a two-base throwing error. Meyers moved to third on that error and scored on Dorian Speed's grounder. Jaxx 5. Barons 2. DIAMOND JAXX NINTH INNING ' Mike Rennhack hit I home run. Jaxx 6. Barons 2. PLAYER OF GAME Chad Meyers' two-run single In the eighth Inning rallied the Diamond Jaxx to a 6-2 corrxHrorrrtohind victory against Birmingham, Nashville Speedway was proving ground for today's stars Continued from cover move something from the speedway to the new track. "A flag stand or something," he said. "You borrow from the old to create the new." Still, if Nashville Speedway closes, it will leave a void. "Considering the type of racing and the drivers who nave graduated here, there will be senti 3 tie for HR crown By RICH LOUP The Jackson Sun The Southern League's Home Run Derby was one in name only Wednesday night at Pringlea Park. Three home runs produced three champions in the event as warning track power was on display. Knoxville's Andy Thompson and Adam Melhuse, and Orlando's Luke Wilcox were the only players to go deep, and their playoff round produced no homers and a three-way tie. Each player earned $25 for fighting through wind and less-than-juiced baseballs. "It seemed like the wind was blowing out," said Thompson, who ended the first half of the season as the Southern League's leading home run hitter with 15. "I guess it was kind of a crosswind, so it was tough for the lefties. But I thought the righties would hit more home runs. I certainly thought I'd have more." Melhuse had no problem hitting Fans thrilled with best By DAN MORRIS The Jackson Sun For the first time in 12 years, Jimmy Chism, 55, of Jackson took his old first-baseman's mitt off the wall and headed to the ballpark. Wednesday night he was at Pringles Park, eager to watch the Southern League All-Star Game and catch a foul ball. "What a thrill it is to see the best in the league," said Chism, who played independent baseball 12 years in Toone and Bemis. "I got the ticket from work. I asked for this game especially." Chism was among 4,169 who braved rainy weather to see the league's first All-Star show in Jackson. Six Diamond Jaxx were Luncheon gives chance for advice By DAN MORRIS The Jackson Sun Diamond Jaxx pitcher Phil Norton always is looking for ways to get better. So he made the most of his luncheon opportunity Wednesday while sitting with former major-league all-star Fred Lynn at the Jackson Country Club. "He gave me advice on how to pitch to lefties," said Norton, a left-hander who was the starting pitcher Wednesday night for the Western Division in the Southern League All-Star Game at Pringles Park. "He said a good left-handed hitter should get the slider and curve away. But if it's a weak hitter, pound him inside." Lynn ought to know since he is left-handed. He was among 24 former major leaguers who played in a Legends Game on Tuesday and attended the Wednesday luncheon. The Southern League All-Stars were seated at different tables with some of the legends. Norton leads the Southern League with a 2.76 ERA and 69 Jaxx eyeing Continued from cover co, a team that lurked in the distance until it got hot in the final week to vault into contention. Unlike the Cubs, the Jaxx won their final game of the regular season with clutch performances. Chad Meyers delivered the biggest blow with his two-run single in the eighth, a hot smash off the glove of Birmingham third baseman Joe Crede that scored Scott Vieira and Ron Walker. Meyers pulled the Jaxx from a one-run deficit to a one-run lead with one swing of the bat. Trembley and Meyers, however, gave huge praise to Walker, whose pinch-hit double with no outs moved Vieira to third and put the go-ahead run in scoring position. The right-handed hitting Walker entered the game after Birmingham manager Chris Cron went to left-hander Jesus Pena with Jaxx center fielder Brent Bowers scheduled to hit. "We kept telling each other all game, 'It's going to be contagious, it's going to be contagious,' "Meyers said. "It's going to take one guy to step up and we rode Ron Walker." Trembley had prepared Walker mental value lost," track spokesman Dave Kohler said. "So many people have come and competed here through the years." There's been racing at the site since 1904. NASCAR waved its first flag in 1958, when top drivers like Roberts, Lee Petty and Buck Baker battled it out. Richard Petty won nine times at Nashville, Wal-trip eight. The speedway had Winston Cup from the left side in this contest. He was down to his last out after struggling from the right side, so he switched over and knocked the next pitch over the right-field' wall. "I figured I couldn't do any worse than I had right-handed, so I figured I'd give it a shot," Melhuse chuckled. "I didn't hit lefty originally because I figured the wind seemed to be blowing to left field. I just went ahead to see what I could do and I got a hold of one." Melhuse hit seven homers from the right side and five from the left in the first half of the season for a total of 12. Wilcox also hit 12 homers in the season's first 70 games. He said his approach in the home run derby was simple. "Swing hard," Wilcox said. "The balls were right out of the batting cage. I figured for something like that they'd put some new balls out there and give us a chance. The wind was blowing fine, out to left on the team, and Jaxx manager Dave Trembley was skipper for the Western Division team. "I think it's an honor for Jackson to have this game so soon," Jaxx season-ticket holder Billy Schrivner of Jackson said. "In this group, you're seeing the cream of the crop. If you can remember the names, you're going to see some of them in the lineup of a major-league team pretty soon." Steve Allen and his wife, Renee, from Henderson County brought their 12-year-old son Dustin Allen to the game. When he bought the tickets, Steve thought he would be seeing some major-league all-stars from the National League. "But I wasn't too disappointed strikeouts and is tied for second in wins with six. Jim Crowell, a left-handed pitcher with the Chattanooga Lookouts, was seated at the same table with George Foster, Dave Parker and Miss Tennessee Allison Alderson of Jackson. He said hello to Alderson but concentrated on talks with Parker. "Dave Parker was a lot bigger than I thought he was," Crowell said. "When I shook his hand, it kind of smothered mine. Just to sit and talk with guys like that is amazing." Also attending were Southern League president Arnie Fielkow and Mike Moore, President of the National Association of Profes sional Baseball Clubs. He oversees all of minor-league baseball. "I always wanted to come here," Moore said. "My dad (Minor Moore) played here in the Kitty League with Paducah in the 1940s." Moore was getting his first look at the newest city and ballpark in the Southern League. "It's a tremendous ballpark and tremendous city," Moore said. "I'm Western playoff berth for the opportunity and gave him some advice, which Walker followed to execution. "I told him a couple of innings earlier that I thought Pena was going to come in the game, late in the game," Trembley said. "I told him to be ready and don't swing at anything until you get a fastball. He got a first-pitch breaking ball and like (hitting coach) Tack (Wilson) said, he could've have swung at it, it would have been an easy double-play ball. He didnt't swing at it, he got another change-up, he didn't swing at it. He made the guy throw him a fastball and that was the big hit in the game." The Jaxx also relied on their bullpen, which pitched 3 scoreless innings and continued a stretch where it has allowed just three earned runs in 27 innings. "The team has been the kind of ball club all season where well bend a little bit, but we don't break," Trembley said. "We played with some emotion (Tuesday), and we got big outs from guys out of the bullpen. "The key to our club all year has been good starting pitching, kind of hold it close, get outs out of the bullpen and try to find a way to get it done late in the game, and racing, then called the Grand National circuit, until 1984, when the facility fell into disrepair. Since then, the speedway has been upgraded several times. The track has been resurfaced, a new pit road and VIP suites added, and lighting and seats improved. The speedway now has racing in the NASCAR Busch and Craftsman Truck series as its top attractions. TOTE BOARD Player, Team HR Adam Melhuse, Knoxville 1 Andy Thompson, Knoxville 1 Luke Wilcox, Orlando 1 field. You had some guys with a lot of power out there and nobody could hit a ball out. It's either the pitching or the balls. The guy was throwing strikes." Because of intermittent rain during the day, there was no batting practice on the field. Thompson said that might have helped loosen up the hitters. But he added that the biggest objective was enjoyment. "I had a lot of guys here that I played with in the past, and then a couple of my own teammates," Thompson said. "We were just going to have a lot of fun, and actually it's pretty relaxed. I really didn't feel nervous up there at all. Like I said, I'm surprised that all of us didn't hit more home runs. Whether it was the conditions or whether we were nervous, I don't know. It was fun." of league when I realized it was the Southern League All-Stars," he admitted. "Baseball is baseball. I like Little League just as good as the rest." Steve coached Beven years for the County Line Little League. Dustin is an all-star this season. "This is really nice," Dustin said, looking out at the field. "I want to play here someday." , Jimmy Payne, 27, of Jackson decided the All-Star Game was a must-see. "I've seen four teams come to town this year," Payne said. "I started following the Jaxx in the paper, and I wanted to see the best the Southern League had to offer." just so happy to see how people have accepted minor-league baseball here. It seems to be a focal point of the community. That's what we strive for. That's what makes minor-league baseball fun all over the country." This is the first time in several years the Southern League has used the traditional format of Western Division All-Stars playing Eastern Division All-Stars in a mid-season game. That doubled the number of players at the event. Last year, the leading team (Mobile) played a squad of All-Stars from the other Southern League clubs. In previous years, the All-Stars played a ' Major League team. Part of the two-day All-Star celebration included golf rounds at Bent Tree Golf Course and the Jackson Country Club. Area golfers paired with the baseball legends and played a scramble. The winning team at 30-under par was led by legendary pitcher Vida Blue. He played with locals Buster O'Brien, Charles Ames, Bill Walker, Scott Lochridge and Ed Martindale. that's what we did." The crazy finish to the first half prompted Trembley to remember other pennant races where he was in the thick of the drama. He managed the Daytona Cubs to the 1995 Florida State League championship and the Harrisburg Senators to the 1987 Eastern League title. Trembley said he and some of the more experienced Jaxx tried to relay their past events to the rest of the team. "This is fun, this is fun," Trembley said. "It's hard to get to this spot. Not a whole lot of teams get to it, but it's fun to get there because it's great experience for them and their future for as long as you play baseball. And you don't forget these things, you don't forget these kind of games. Guys like Dan Smith and (Carl) Schutz, those kind of guys have really, really helped talking to the younger guys, especially the pitchers. It's just been neat. It's been neat." The Jaxx now hope for the same result as the '98 Chicago Cubs, who won their one-game playoff with the Giants to advance to the National League playoffs. Regardless of the outcome, the '99 Jaxx had a first half to remember. Jeff Purvis, Jeff Green, David Green and teen star Casey Atwood are among those who raced regularly at Nashville before moving to the Busch series in recent years. "I've always told people that Nashville is the place to start," said Hamilton, the 1991 Winston Cup Rookie of the Year. NASCAR schedule, 2C. San Antonio wins, takes 3-1 series lead By MIKE LOPRESTI Gannett News Service NEW YORK They now stand on the brink, David Robinson and Tim Duncan and their friends, one win away from the championship their city has never had. A clear pecking order was restored in the NBA Finals on Wednesday night, San Antonio style. The Spurs, returning to the shot-swatting defense that got them here, held off the New York Knicks, 96-89, to take a 3-1 series lead. A lead that no team has ever lost in the NBA Finals. Turning Game 3 into a bad memory, the Spurs took control with the Twin Towers in full fury. Duncan had 28 points, 18 rebounds and three blocked shots and rested one minute. Robinson added 14 points, 17 rebounds and four blocks. Together, they engineered a remarkable four-minute defensive stand in the third quarter that presented the Spurs with a 13-point lead that would be loudly and seriously threatened, but never lost. And there was help, too, as there had to be. Avery Johnson with his 10 points and 14 assists, Mario Elie with 18 points, Sean Elliott with 14. All of that was too much for the Knicks, despite the 26 points from Latrell Sprewell, 20 each from Allan Houston and Marcus Camby. Despite yet another stirring rally that fell just short, when they missed seven straight shots late in the game, putting a deadly silence on Madison Square Garden, and maybe their season. New York, which had two (gu 1ARANTEED! WC LL ftlCC I jHI PRICEONANY BRAND. We'll refund 150 of the price difference If you show us a current, local ad (mlhin 30 days of your purchase) that advertises your we for less. hchda clearance dose-aits eftf atslqp. firestonc KAUIAL All-Season, Affordable Radial. 13" SIZES 4 FOR $144 14" SIZES 4 FOR $166 15" SIZES 4 FOR $199 BO, 73 ft 70 series size wlltewaHs only. 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The Spurs were left with the relief of a game they nearly handed away with six turnovers in the fourth period but preserved. Now the Spurs' first title could come here Friday night in Game 5, before whatever hostility Madison Square Garden can muster, or back in dreamy-eyed San Antonio. But the Spurs seem nearly unstoppable now a team that has not lost consecutive games in four months now needing to be beaten three times in a row. It was nearly different. The Knicks closed to 81-80 with 5:24 left in the game, Charlie Ward missing a free throw and a chance to tie. Down 86-84, they had a chance to tie on a Houston jumper that bounced off the rim at 3:04. Free throws by Sean Elliott and Robinson pushed it back to 90-84. And the Knicks missed their next seven shots, by four different players. New York had the heart, but not the points. Or the rebounds. The San Antonio gap there was a decisive 49-34. For a half, they parried back and forth, the Spurs ahead 50-46 at the break. 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