The Daily Oklahoman from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on May 19, 1988 · 49
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The Daily Oklahoman from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma · 49

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Issue Date:
Thursday, May 19, 1988
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THE DAILY OKLAHOMAN Classified Ads Crossword Puzzle TV Listings THURSDAY, MAY 19, 1988 29 4m? UOHNi TfcaROHDB Ebright Is Fielding New Look " Hi 7hei1 5t comes t0 hitting ff a baseball, Oklahoma's Chris Ebright takes center stage. Put down the peanuts and soda pop. Stop talking to your buddy. Pay attention. Ebright deserves your respect. But when it comes to fielding a baseball, once upon a time there weren't enough places to hide Ebright. Please suppress your laughter and derogatory remarks. Ebright needs your patience. If this were Little League, Ebright would be the kid stuck in right field. Great hitter, but where do you play him? There's no designated hitter in Little League. . At Jenks High School, Ebright played the outfield when he wasn't pitching. His offensive skills too good to ignore, OU offered Ebright a scholarship. The Sootiers,' with a veteran squad in 1986, took Ebright completely out oi the picture and redshirted the 6-1, 180-pound lefty. "I didn't think he'd play for us," OU coach Enos Semore said. "1 hate to waste a year on a guy, but I don't think there was any use for him then." Following his sabbatical, Ebright played right field as a freshman last year. He performed respectably five errors in 73 fielding attempts. "I wasn't as bad an outfielder as people made me out to be," Ebright said. "But instead of being aggressive, I played scared. I was too hard on myself. I wanted to shake my label (of being a poor defensive player)." Semore tried Ebright at first base for one-third of this season. Upon seeing the results, Semore promptly moved him back to right field for the other two-thirds. "Sure, he struggled at first,' Semore said. "But he's a lot better outfielder than he was before. I think if I moved him back to first base now he'd do a lot better." Meanwhile, through all the heartache and hard knocks in the field, Ebright's hitting prospered. His .460 batting average in 1987 was better than any freshman in OU history and the second-highest average ever (behind Dale Mitchell's .507 in 1946). -With a 2-for-4, one-home-run, two-RBI performance against Missouri in the first round of the Big Eight Conference tournament at All Sports Stadium Wednesday afternoon, Ebright's average now stands at a team-leading .406 this season. He also leads OU in home runs (18), triples (six), hits (88) and RBI (84). "I don't rate hitters I've coached," Semore said. "But if I did, I'd say he'd rate right at the top." Because of the redshirt season, Ebright is eligible for next month's amateur draft. "I don't know anything about the draft so I'm' not worried about it," Ebright said. "I don't even know how it works," Pro scouts obviously love Ebright's stick, but what about his glove? "That image about him not being able to field is in the past," Semore said. "He's throwing the ball pretty good. There's no comparison to his defense now to when ho was struggling in the outfield, And believe me, he wan struggling," "I think they consider me an average outfielder now," said Ebright, who has five errors in 200 attempts this season, "Hit-ting's always come pretty natural, I've had to work hard on defense," A Grand Opening for OU -1 I l I ill ,:. ... 1 - - Slnfl Pholoby Cou3 Hoke OU's Darron Cox slides safely into home plate as Missouri catcher Dave Slavin awaits the throw. Sooners Pin 12-6 Defeat On Missouri By Mac Bentlev Staff Writer Perhaps Jim Huslig's luck is changing. Perhaps it was about time. Oklahoma gave the Prairie Village, Kan., sophomore one of his few chances to relax on the mound Wednesday afternoon as the Sooners blew past Missouri 12-6 in the opening game of the Big Eight tournau?R-. . Huslig, b--. Tjoyed leads of 5-1 early and 12-1 before 1,910 fans at All Sports Sodium. 'Boy, it felt great when I saw those runs piling up," said Huslig. "I was able to come out more relaxed. "It's one of the few times that's happened to me." The Sooners, winning their opener for the fourth straight year, move into tonight's 7 o'clock winner's bracket final against either Nebras- Big 8 Sked Oklahoma State vs. Nebraska, lale. 7 p.m. - Oklahoma vs. OSU-Nebras-fta winner. Friday's Game 7 p.m. Thursday's 1 p.m. winner vs. Thursday's 7 p.m. loser. Saturday's Game Thursday's 7 p.m. winner vs. Friday winner (possible championship). Sunday's Game Championship game (if necessary). OU Missouri . Clark 2b Slvrstl ss Adslr Rsdrf Total 34 810 6 Total Cowboy Duo Catch Eyes Of Scouts By Volney Mceee Staff Writer The major-league scouts who are kibitizing and scribbling their ways through the Big Eight Conference baseball tournament at All Sports Stadium aren't expecting to unearth any previously undiscovered diamonds in the rough, That's because Oklahoma State Cowboys Robin Ventura and Monty Fariss stand out like 10-karat engagement rings. There are others who'll be drafted (the rule says a player must be a junior or reach age 21), but junior third baseman Ventura and junior shortstop Fariss are the gems. "They're both going to go in the first round," said Bobby Morgan, who scouts for the Kansas City Royals. "They're both major-league See SCOUTS, Page 34 New Mexico Is Pure Bliss Lobos Name New Boss ....12 Butler cf Cole ss Catlbrry ss tDrignt ri 10 Bhrtnlb Chmpsn S30 142 OOX 12 fj 4. 01) 7. 2B-Silesirl, Plltange 2. Cox. Chflmoaane. 3B Silv awKIr KIH8P Douglas by Potlholl. U Bible, Chrlslal. T 2:28. A 1,910. . k - ....,;. ... Iff 1 v ' f , .1 ' ' mm- r ... . i ,. iliiis ,r . :'. . 8tlf Photo by OouHok: j OU leftlielder John Douglas runs down a foul ball Wednesday. ka or Oklahoma State, who played later Wednesday night. OU now is 43-17, Missouri 40-19. The Tigers, who have not won a first-round game since 1979, play the OSU-Nebraska loser today at 1. In Huslig's four losses this season, the Sooners have scored one, two, zero and three runs. He has beaten Missouri 4-1, and Nebraska 2-1, and the last time he enjoyed a big lead was in an 11-8 victory over Texas April 4. But the drought ended Wednesday. The Sooners rocked three Miz-zou hurlers for 15 hits, including home runs by Mark Cole (his sixth) and Chris Ebright (18th). A couple of double plays after leadoff walks in the third and fourth kept Huslig in charge. Cole also had a couple of singles and was good for five runs batted in. His homer, a two-run shot, run came in the bottom of the first inning after Missouri had scored on a Dave Silvestri triple and Jon Pit-tenger double. "Anytime you can answer back right away you regain the momentum," said Sooner coach Enos Semore. "It also gives your pitcher confidence that you will give him support." Huslig worked eight innings, gave up eight hits and five runs, walked three and struck out six. "I thought about getting him out of the game earlier, but he hadn't thrown many pitches until the eighth inning," said Semore. "If the tournament goes all the way to Sunday, he'll still have plenty of rest." The Sooners knocked out Missouri starter Mike Potthoff, 8-3, in the fifth inning, pinning him with nine hits and eight runs, seven earned. Homering for the Tigers were Gary Barth and Tim Hawkins. Barth's homer was the 100th home rim in tournament history. ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Southern Method-ist's Dave Bliss was named Wednesday as the new basketball coach at the University of New Mexico. The hiring, announced in a statement released by the school, came two days after Indiana coach Bob Knight decided to stay with the Hoosiers, Bliss, the Lobos' 16th head coach, is a former assistant under Knight at Army and Indiana, He coached at Oklahoma for five seasons before moving to SMU. Bliss succeeds Gary Colson, who announced his resignation April 26. Athletic director John Koenig said contract terms will be released at a later date. Bliss, who came to Albuquerque Tuesday with his wife Claudia, met with Koenig and other university officials Wednesday. "Claudia and I are thrilled to have the opportunity to come to the Uni- A Victory for the Books High Schools Adopt New Eligibility Plan Dave Bliss versity of New Mexico and share in the basketball excitement that has been well-known throughout the United States," Bliss said. Bliss, 44, is coming off a 28-7 season at SMU in which he led the Mustangs to their third berth in the NCA'A Tournament in four seasons. Bliss has a 1.42-101 record at SMU and has a career mark of 210-103. By Mike Baldwin Staff Writer Oklahoma schools have accepted a new eligibility policy that some are calling "No-Pass, No-Play." The new plan, which goes into effect next fall, isn't Identical to Texas' policy, but students will face tougher scholastic eligibility standards. The Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association announced Wednesday that 81 percent of the schools (303-71) voted for the new referendum that calls for tougher eligibility standards, There are two phases to the OSSAA's new plan: 1) Each student not passing five courses during a semester will be ineligible for the first six weeks of the next semester. All five courses must count towards graduation. Seniors, needing less than five credits to graduate, must be passing no less than four courses. All college courses being taken at the time also count toward the total of four. 2) Each school will be required to conduct week-by-week grade checks. If any student has a failing grade in any class, he or she will be ineligible the following week. If the grades aren't brought up to a passing level, the student will be ineligible until the grades improve. "This new scholastic eligibility rule is a true no-pass, rio-play measure," said OSSAA executive secretary H.J. Green. "It demonstrates that Oklahoma's school administrators, teachers and coaches are supportive of realistic standards of achievement. The new rule not only provides a realistic standard, but it also provides incentive for a student to regain eligibility by raising their own personal level of achievement." Each school will be required to file with the OSSAA the procedure it will use to conduct weekly grade checks. "We've always had the week-to-week requirement, but some people did not enforce it," said Bill Self, OSSAA secretary in charge of eligibility. "Now we'll be spot-checking. Schools that aren't abiding by the week-to-week (requirement) will be severely penalized by our board of directors." NAIA Facts What: The 16-team, double elimination tournament opens with 16 games today, continues with 12 games Friday (10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.), with the finals scheduled for noon and 2 p,m. (i( necessary game) Saturday, Whor: Hall of Fame Stadium: Due to construction, take NW 36th street, between Martin Luther King Blvd. and 1-35, turn north past Lincoln Park Golf Coarse, and go through the Firefighters Museum parking lot, Tickets Single-session tickets arc $7 lor box seats, ?S for reserved and $1 for general admission, $3 general admission tickets are available for students and senior citizens, A three-day tournament pass is $37,50 for box sents, $25 for reserved and $20 for gonevnl admission, NAIA Title Up for Grabs By Mike Baldwin Staff Writer Coaches say it's difficult to pick a favorite at this year's NAIA women's national fast-pitch softhall tournament, which gets underway today at Hall of Fame Stadium. The host team has won the championship the past two years, Even though Host. Oklahoma City University, ranked No. 4, is a solid contender, the logical choice may bo No, 2 IU-PU-Indianapolis. IUPU, 49-9, Is making, its sixth consecutive appearance at the national tournament, Defending champion Kearney (Neb.), which has qualified seven of eight years, is the only school that has made more appearances, IUPU returns six se nior starters off a team that has finished third the past two yoars. "All four years we've had the people to win a national title, but we just didn't play as well at nationals," said IUPU senior pitcher Sheryl Burrls. "This time we're playing extremely well, If we keep playing like wo did at district, there's no reason we can't win it," Burrls, a first-team All-Am erican, is 20-3 with an 0.53 ERA, She is 7-2, 0,34 ERA, in three previous nntionnl tournaments, Her only national tournament losses camo against, Kearney (Neb.) In '87 and to St, Mary's (Texas) In '80, two host teams that went on to win the nntionnl title, "I don't throw all that hard compared to speed pitchers, but I have a lot of confidence in our defense, Last year Oklahoma City was favored going in, but we beat them 1-0," said Burrls, who alternates with Debbie LiddolL "This is as high as we've been ranked going In, so I think we've got a good shot." IUPU has a potent attack. Cindy Reese, All-America third baseman, lends the way, batting a whopping .443. Reese has a .628 slugging percentage and Is the team leader in RBI (48) and home runs (5). No. 1. West Florida is 60-11, 15-5 vs. NAIA Top 20 teams. Ironically, the tournament's top seed Is forced to recruit primarily slow-pitch players, See NAIA, Patft 34 OCU's Stephanie Teeheo was named to the NAIA All-Amorico second tenm.

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