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Lincoln Journal Star from Lincoln, Nebraska • 17

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Lincoln, Nebraska
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17
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Sports Weekend Lincoln Journal Friday, April 23, 1982 17 Injuries concern Sanders -xfL -LI Liz''. 'V'SS ZM -'-j; Mr' LC i-fO A By Mike Babcock Staff Sports Writer Just about every day, now, Nebraska baseball coach John Sanders is confronted with a new medical problem involving someone on his team. Veteran pitcher Steve Gehrke is still waiting for his right arm to heal Outfielder Dave Bailor may require arthroscopic knee surgery to remove some cartilage, and catcher Nick Richards has been J'having. some dizzy spells," Sanders said, adding: "We've got a real 'M'AVH' unit going here." i vi mi ft.t, tmmta Atk iht mum STAFF PHOTO BY WEB RAY The two quarterback principals in Saturday's Spring Game (from left) Nate Mason ana Craig SuntJderg, share a joke with No. 1 Cornhusker signal-caller Turner Gill, who will not suit up for the annual Red-White intrasquad contest.

Gill to witc 111 roles Mason, out this spring and get back in the flow of things" so he can be ready to battle Gill, Mathison and Sundberg for the quarterback job next September. "With Turner (Gill) being here, I wanted to get as much repetition as I could," Mason said. Mason's ankle hasn't given him any trouble. It's almost 100 percent healed, he said. When he began the spring, his 40-yard dash time was about 4.6 seconds, but "everyday it gets better, and right now I'd say I'm close to the 4.5 1 ran when I came here." Mason knew the ankle was strong again "when I could dunk a basketball and it didn't hurt when I came down." His rehabilitation consisted of long hours spent on the Cybex machine, regular ice-downs, and later, some pickup basketball games.

Football players have injured themselves during such off-season basketball pursuits, and the sport isn't necessarily recommended by the coaches, but "I had to stay in shape somehow," said Mason. "Coach Osborne saw me with a bas By Mike Babcock Staff Sports Writer Nebraska quarterback Nate Mason spent last spring's Red-White intrasquad football game in the press box with coach Tom Osborne, unable to play because of a pulled hamstring. Mason read defenses and watched as teammate Turner Gill, then a freshman, directed the underdog White team on a 54-yard scoring drive in the final 1:30 which produced a 22-21 victory. Saturday at Memorial Stadium, the situation will be reversed. When the Cornhuskers conclude spring drills with their annual intrasquad game.

Mason will quarterback the Red unit and Gill will watch. Mason won't be 100 percent healthy, lie has a sore right shoulder which is likely to inhibit his passing efficiency. "I might not be able to throw deep, but I might be able to throw the intermediate passes," Mason said after practicing on Wednesday. "I tried to throw today, and it hurt like heck, but I want to help out in some way. at least by handing off or doing something." In light of Nebraska's quarterback situation.

Mason's presence is vital to Saturday's game-condition scrimmage. Gill, though listed No. 1 on the depth chart, has been held out of scrimmages this spring, while he recovers from nerve damage in his right leg. Bruce Mathison's left forearm is in a cast. That leaves Mason and Todd Zart to quarterback the Red unit, comprised mostly of first- and fourth-team players, with Craig Sundberg, Travis Turner and Troy Talarico leading the Whites, basically the second and third units.

Until his shoulder injury, Mason said he felt reasonably good about the way this spring has gone. "I haven't played as well as I'd like, but this is my first time playing in a long time." It's been particularly important to him, considering surgery to remove a calcium deposit in his right ankle sidelined him for all but three games last fall. The junior from Greenville. Texas, wanted "to get all the rustiness worked ketball a couple of times, and he didn't say anything." Mason hated the ice treatments the most. "They're so cold anyway, and I was getting them in the winter," he said.

That Mason is even around for spring drills is a result of his having gone home to Texas for a brief lime after his surgery. He says now if he had stayed in Lincoln, "I might have hung it up. But going home helped me more than anything else," Mason said. "Kverybody there tried to pick me up and give me encouragement." The week after the Penn State game was probably the worst of Mason's college football career. His opportunity to start for the Cornhuskers quickly ended in the pain of the calcium build-up in his right ankle.

At first, "I got used to the pain, and it didn't bother me until I got hit." But as the days went by, the pain worsened to the point that "I couldn't drop back and plant my foot." said Mason. "I was telling people I was 75 percent. I don't know if it was that good, but I As a result, Sanders had to spend considerable time figuring out a pitching rotation for this weekend's Big Eight Conference series with Kansas. The eighth-ranked Cornhuskers, 35-10 overall and 11-5 in the Big Eight, play Kansas, 18-18, in double-headers Saturday and Sunday at Buck Beltzer Field. Saturday's games are part of Nebraska's "Spring Sports Day," which also includes the annual Red-White intrasquad football game at Memorial Stadium.

The first baseball game on Saturday begins at 11:30 a.m. Sunday's double-header is set for 1p.m. Not being able to use Gehrke, has had a "domino effect" on Nebraska's pitching staff, said Sanders. It's not as simple as moving every pitcher up one game. Among other things, he's got to consider who's available, and likely to be effective, in both long and short relief.

So after much deliberation with assistant coach Ray Tromba, Sanders has settled on junior Todd Oakes as his starting pitcher for the series opener. Oakes, the Big Eight "Pitcher of the Week" for a 10-inning effort against Iowa State last weekend, is 7-2 with a 2.62 earned-run average and five complete games. Chris Knust, 3-0 and 4.15, is slated to start the second game. Sunday's starters will be Anthony Kelley (4-1, 2.95) and Bob Sebra (3-3, 6.80). Sanders made only one change to compensate for the loss of Bailor.

Bill Hendricks, who was Nebraska's designated hitter against right-handed pitchers, has been playing left field, and Mark Mauer has moved in as the left-handed designated hitter. Sanders said he could have shifted shortstop Dan Boever to third base; moved third baseman Dan Tomich to' first, allowing Steve Stanicek to play left field; moved Kurt Eubanks from second base to shortstop; and put Scott Hooper in the lineup at second, but "the thing we didn't want to do was start playing mus-cial chairs." This weekend's series is vital since Nebraska is in second place, a game behind Oklahoma State, in the Big Eight. The Cornhuskers conclude their conference schedule next weekend against Oklahoma, in Norman. Ninth-ranked Oklahoma State is idle in the Big Eight this week, before finishing with series at Missouri and at home against Kansas. Nebraska carries a .315 team batting average into this weekend, paced by Stanicek's .465.

The Huskers have hit 41 home runs, 12 short of the single-season school record set in 1980. Related story, Babcock column on Page 1 8 Pressure off, now challenge starts thought, I've got a chance to play. "I think a lot of the mistakes I was making were because of the ankle. I'd just try to hand off or read defenses, things like that, and I'd be thinking about the ankle," he said. "It was nobody's fault but mine." It reached the point where Mason couldn't take the pain any more.

He went to NU head trainer and physical therapist George Sullivan and admitted he had been trying to downplay the problem. Sullivan x-rayed the ankle and told Mason "I could ruin it for life. The doctors said that could happen." Because of the surgery, it didn't happen, and now Mason is ready for the fall. But because of the sore shoulder, he won't be 100 percent on Saturday. As a result.

Mason isn't expecting a performance like the one he had when he was a freshman two years ago. He quarterbacked the White team, rushing for a game-high 91 yards. He completed N-of-13 passes for a game -high 106 yards. This year, win or lose, he's just happy to be playing. NU Spring Game rosters Red Quarterbacks Nate Mason, Todd Zart.

l-backs Tim Brunsardt, Rosier Craig, Greg Davis, Robert Kingston, Mike Rozier. Fullbacks Pat Borer, Roscoe Home. Mark Schellen, Doug Wilkening. Wingbacks Tom Currv, Irving Frvar, Roger Lindstrom. Tight ends Jeff Bawdon, Mitch Krenk, Jamie Williams.

Split ends Mel Botts, Todd Brown, Mike Kosmicki, Rickv Simmons. Offensive tackles Scott Aschoff, Rob Stroyke, Rondv Theiss, Mark Travnowicz, Matt Wiegert, Jeff Kwapick. Offensive guords Dan Carlson, Kurt Gla-thar, Kevin Koozer, Brian Kramer, Keith Kreikemeier, Mike Mandelko, Scott Redwine, Dean Steinkuhler. Centers Brad Johnson, Dave Rimington, Dan Weed. Kicker Kevin Seibel; Grant Campbell.

Defensive ends Tony Felici, Wade Praeuner, Brad Smith, Scott Strasburger, Scott Tucker, Bill Weber. Defensive tackles Ron Bochmann, John Bunger, Tom Gdowski, Doug Herrmann, Rod Reynolds, Toby Williams. Middle guards Kevin McCormick, John Reinhardt, Mike Tranmer. Linebackers Rob Armstrong, Jim Baker, Steve Damkroger, Brent Evans, Mike Knox, Mike Shaw, John White. Cornerbacks Neil Harris, Bruce Juelfs, Allen Lvdav, Jim Murphy, Keith Peterson, Brian Pokorny, Dave Stacy.

Monsterbacks Tim Clare, Tim Holbrook, Kent McCallum, Kris Van Norman. Safeties Bret Clark, Jack Jeffries, John Napodando. White Quarterbacks Craig Sundberg, Troy Talarico, Travis Turner. l-backs Will Curtis, Paul Miles, Bill Patterson, Jeff Smith. Fullbacks Mark Morovec, Tom Rath-man, Ronnie Robinson.

Wingbacks Randy Huebert, Shane Swan-son, Jim Thompson. Tight ends Dan Bourn, Dave Dietz, Monte Engebritson, Todd Frain, Dan Hill. Split ends Andy Allen, Scott Kimball, Scott Schoettger, Tom Vergith, Don Wingard, Rod Yates. Offensive tackles Mark Behnlng, Tom Morros, Scott Raridon, Dan Schmuecker, John Sherlock, Mike Shoff. Offensive guords Jim Dittmer, Harry Grimminger, Scott McLaughlin, Greg Orton, Tim Roth, Anthony Thomas.

Centers Bill Lewis, Brad Muehllng, Kickers Lane Bates, Mark Hagerman, Dave Puddy, Dave Schneider, Dan Wingard. Defensive ends Eric Buchanan, Pete Hill, Tony Newton, Greg Reeves, Dave Ridder. Devensive tackles Mike Keeler, Jim Skow, Kevin Waechter, Mike Zierke. Middle guords Ken Grdeber, Jeff Mer-rell, KenShead. Linebackers Tab Burch, Mark Daum, Robert DeBus, Todd Proffitt, Dan Ripa, Rusty Ruhl, Kurt Whiteman.

Cornerbacks Kevin Biggers, Dave Burke, Todd Risher, Ricky Greene, Tim Peterson, Guy Rozier. Monsterbacks Calvin Haywood, Gerald Mart isi, Mike McCashland. Safeties Dovid Haase, Pat Larsen, Shane Thorell. By United Press International The pressure is off but the challenge begins: the challenge of making sure their spectacular start leads to a successful season for the Atlanta Braves. "If you can find anything good about losing it's the thought that maybe we'll be more relaxed now that our record streak is over," Braves' Manager Joe Torre said Thursday night after the Cincinnati Reds ended Atlanta's 13-game winning streak with a 2-1 victory.

"We had a lot of chances to keep it going, but maybe everyone was trying too hard," continued Torre. "Maybe we'll hit better now that we don't have the streak going." Atlanta set a modern major-league record by winning its first 13 games of the season. But right-hander Bruce Bere-nyi allowed five hits over 6 2-3 innings and drove in the winning run with a fifth-inning single to leave the Braves seven victories shy of the all-time record set by St. Louis in 1884. "After I came out, I couldn't even watch," said Berenyi.

"The way they had been going, anything could have happened. It was an incredible streak." The incredible is scheduled to continue tonight. The San Diego Padres are in town, bringing with them an eight- game winning streak. Virtually no one would have guessed before the season that those two clubs would own a combined 22-5 record by this stage. "It's an important series," said Torre.

The Reds, trailing 1-0, scored twice in the fifth when they reached Bob Walk, 2-1, for four hits. Walk faced the minimum 13 batters in the first 4 1-3 innings but Larry Biittner hit his second single of the night with one out and moved to third on a single by Paul Householder. Biittner scored on a single by Wayne Krenchicki. One out later, Berenyi, 3-1, lined a single up the middle to score Householder. The Braves scored their only run in the second when Dale Murphy led off with a walk, advanced to second on a walk to Chris Chambliss.

moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a groundout by Bruce Benedict. The Braves, who left 10 runners on base, had two other scoring opportunities. They failed to score in the fourth after Murphy and Chambliss led off with singles. They loaded the bases with one out in the seventh before reliever Tom Hume ended the threat by getting Glenn Hubbard on a fly to short right field and Claudell Washington on a bounceout. Hume earned his third save.

Friday Huskers eye Big Eight softball crown Baseball San Diego at Atlanta, 10:05 p.m., CE) Basketball NBA playoffs, Philadelphia at Atlanta, 7:05 p.m., QD NBA playoffs, Seattle at Houston, 10:30 p.m., CD 33), P.m., Saturday Baseball St. Louis at Philadelphia, noon, San Diego at Atlanta, 6 35 p.m., QD Other sports Professional rodeo, 7 a.m., (f) Golf: Classic, 10:30 a.m., 1 P.m., 4 p.m., 3 a.m., QD Bowling: Firestone Tournament of Champions, 2:30 p.m., Sports Saturday, 3:30 p.m., CO Wide World of Sports, 4 p.m., Sunday Football Nebraska Spring Game, 10:30 p.m., CE) as Basketball NBA playoffs, noon, CO 33) NBA playoffs, 2:30 p.m., 00033) Baseball San Diego at Atlanta, 1 :05 p.m., QD Golf New Orleans Men's Open, 1 p.m., Orlando Ladies Classic, 3 p.m., 11 p.m., QD Big Eight. "We stand a good chance, if we play to our potential" she said. "There's a lot of unity on our team, and everything's coming together. The hitting is there and the fielding is there.

Everyone is confident that winning it is within our reach." Oklahoma State, which will be shooting for its third consecutive crown, is top-seeded in the tournament, although Kansas is the coaches' favorite to win. Missouri is seeded fourth, followed by Kansas State, Oklahoma and Iowa State. Colorado does not have a softball team. The winner of the tournament automatically qualifies for the NCAA National Championships which begin in May, "The team that wins the Big Eight will be the team that concentrates' the most and wants it the most," Plantz said. "I hope that's us.

But whether we win or lose, I'm proud of them. They're all good players." After the Big Eight tournament, the Huskers will meet Creighton in a double-header at 3 p.m. Wednesday at Ballard Field. By Pam Daly Staff Sports Writer If strength, hard work and determination are the keys to winning a tournament, the Nebraska softball team has all but unlocked the doors to its first-ever Big Eight title. The Huskers will enter the three-day, double-elimination tournament in Norman, on Friday with a 21-9 record, and according to head coach Nancy Plantz, the time is right for NU to claim the Big Eight crown.

"We have the best Nebraska team we've ever fielded," Plantz said. "Anybody can win the Big Eight tournament. Everyone is strong. But I think we're at the point where we're peaking. And if it's going to happen, it's going to happen now." The Huskers have already made it happen this year against Big Eight rivals Oklahoma, Kansas State and Missouri.

They've made it happen against nationally ranked Arizona State and Utah, and long-time rival Creighton. "We've had good wins," Plantz said. "It will be hard to win the tournament it's hard work. But we're ca pable of doing it." The third-seeded Huskers will open the tournament at 6 p.m. against sixth-seeded Oklahoma on Friday.

Second-round games will be played Saturday with the championship rounds scheduled for Sunday. Plantz has special praise for freshman players Ann Schroeder, Denise Day and Wendy Turner. "All three are outstanding athletes," Plantz said. "Denise Day is leading the team in hitting, and she's just learning to hit. Her defensive skills (shortstop) are excellent; she has great anticipation and a great arm.

She's All-America material." Day came to Nebraska from South Williamsport, last fall where she was named Most Valuable Player for her school in the slow-pitch program. Switching to fast pitch seems to have posed no problem for Day, who will take a .345 batting average into the tournament. "It wasn't hard to switch over," Day said. "I had played some fast pitch when I was younger in Little League, so I had some experience with it." Day also is confident of Nebraska's ability to win the Burke, East win in chart-busting meet Station toss nation's best OMAHA (AP) Omaha Central's Larry Station recorded the nation's best discus throw by a high school performer this season when he hurled the discus 196 feet, 9 inches in a dual meet this week. Station's previous personal best was 196-1.

The best effort in the country before Station's throw Wednesday was a 193-8 by Rick Luiten of Monrovia, according to Jack Shepard of Track and Field News. Schuyler's Marty Kobza, a freshman at the University of Arkansas, holds the state discus mark at 201-7. staying there. Spartan girls' Coach Myron Oehlerking said that his team posted 12 season-best performances. Todd Eubanks of Lincoln East took the lead in Class A with a triple jump of "The weather helps you mentally and the competition helps you physically," said Eubanks, Although Eubanks finished second to Omaha Northwest's Daryl Summers in the 400, he also topped the state's previous best in the event with a :50.1 clocking.

Lincoln East's Tom Waltke and Kraig Vander-beek finished 1-2 in the 3200 run. Waltke's time of 9:35.2 was 14.8 seconds and Vanderbeek was 9.5 seconds better than the previous leading performance in the state this spring. Results on Page 18 By Ken Hambleton Prep Sports Writer OMAHA Even though the charts showing the top ten performances in each high school track event in the state are just two days old, they're ready for the graveyard after the eight-team Omaha Burke Boy-Girl Invitational track meet Thursday. All but two of the 31 winning performances qual-fied for the all-class top-ten charts, and seven winning performances were new season bests in the state. Three season-best marks were tied.

Omaha Burke, led by Scott Harris, won seven events and outdistanced runnerup Lincoln East, 132-111 in the boys division. The East girls posted a 119-82 advantage over Bellevue East in the girls division of the meet. 800 and ran a leg on the winning 3200 relay team. Sarita Miller of Bellevue East won the shot put, the 200 and ran legs on the winning 400 and 1600 relays. Amen's 800 time of 2:17.1 is almost three seconds faster than the next quickest clocking posted by any girl this spring.

The Spartan 3200 relay team of Amen, Sherri Crist, Pam Alward and Heidi Johnson cut 15 seconds off the previous best time in the event. "I was shooting for a good time in the 800 and after I ran a good 800 leg in the 3200 relay I was pretty confident I could get under 2:20," said Amen, who also won the 3200 and 1600. "It's got to give me confidence to get good times at this point in the season," she said. "It was just a matter of getting out in front of the traffic and "We've all been waiting to see what everybody would be able to do on a nice day," Burke Coach Beanie Lawrence said. "And you can see what the first big meet with top competition and good weather turned out here.

"Beating Lincoln East is important, because they have one of the best programs in the state and you know they'll be up there when the state meet rolls around," he said. Harris won the 300-meter intermediate hurdles in a state-leading time of :39.6, and tied his own leading effort of :14.5 In winning the 110-meter high hurdles. Burke also captured the boys 3200 and 400 relays, the pole vault, the 100 and the 1600. Lincoln East's Mary Amen, who won three individual events, posted the state's leading time in the .1.

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