The Baytown Sun from Baytown, Texas on April 29, 1986 · Page 12
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April 29, 1986

The Baytown Sun from Baytown, Texas · Page 12

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Baytown, Texas
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Tuesday, April 29, 1986
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Page 12
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2-B THE BAYTOWN Tue*d*y, April 29, I 1 Rebels clinging to last-ditch playoff hopes- By DAVID BERKOWTTZ OK dreamers. It's time to call on your imaginative powers. Imagine that Lee College wins its final four baseball games this season. Imagine that Laredo Junior College loses its final four games. And imagine that LC defeats Laredo in a playoff game. It may be more miracle than wishful thinking, but that scenario is what it will take for the Rebels to earn a second straight berth in the state junior college baseball tournament May 15-18 at Baylor University in Waco, Due to a slump that at one point pushed LC into the cellar of the Texas Junior College Athletic Conference, such dreams are all that remain for Coach Dick Smith and players. With a 7-9 record in conference play, the Rebels are one loss away from being eliminated from playoff contention. The Alvin Community College Dolphins will try to pull the plug Wednesday, when the Rebels visit Alvin for a 1 p.m. double-header. LC will conclude its regular-season schedule with two games Saturday at Jenkins Park against Texas Southmost College. A home double-header Thursday with Panola Junior College has been canceled. In the cases of Alvin and Texas Southmost, the Rebels have some paying back to do. Those teams are responsible for handing LC four of its TJCAC losses. "We can't go back and play them over," Smith said. "You can't think about the 'what ifs' and 'should have beens.' It's too late for that." If the Rebels go about their business as they did Saturday afternoon at Jenkins Park, they should be able to hold up their end of the bargain. LC swept a double-header from defending national champion San Jacinto College. That is a feat accomplished by only one other team (McLennan Community College) this season. "It was strong pitching and timely hitting," Smith said. "We just played up to our potential " The solid pitching was supplied in good part by sophomores Dwight Fruge and Jerry Littlejohn. .With three days of rest under their belts, Smith said they may see more action against Alvin. Fruge continued his consistent work this season by holding San Jacinto to seven hits in a complete- game performance. The right-hander from Dayton improved his record to a team-best 8-2. "He's done the job nearly every timeout," Smith said. "He has good location on his fastball and he throws a good breaking ball and change-up. Anytime you have a good three-pitch pitcher, he usually has good luck." Fruge's 2.82 earned run average ranks him second on the team to Pat Black (2.44). Although he struggled early in the season, LittleJohn has been sharp since the TJCAC schedule began. He is 3-1 with a 2.88 ERA in league games. A reliever last season and early this spring, Littlejohn has found a starter's role to his liking. At the heart of the 1-foot~4 Deer Park native's su<;<fesfc story is his unconventional pitching motion. ' •'He's gotten a lot more movement on the ball," Smith said. "With the right technique, it makes, him an effective pitcher. He's about the only pit*!; In; our league who throws submarine style. He's tough tohit." v, : ,j, If the Rebels are to improve their 38-27,season record this week, they must continue the style.,qf, hitting they demonstrated against San Jacinto., ,A, combined 21-hit attack raised the team batt)ng average to .287 overall and .266 in the TJCAC, ; , Sophomore left fielder Lonnie Walker continues to lead the club in average at .359 (.429'<in<ttie TJCAC). He is also the league leader in doubles' with 17. '.'.>", Greg Sims (.328), Henry DeLeon (.3117, •Jay- Moore (.302) and Mike Easley (.301) are thp'tJfliy other LC players batting better than .300 for 'lite' season. ' "'' Dernier produces as Cubs nip Pads By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS With only nine home runs in more than 1,600 career major- league at-bats, Bob Dernier was an unlikely late-inning power hitter, especially against a pair of hard-throwing relievers. Dernier, however, brought Chicago back from a 3-1 deficit with his 10th career homer, in the eighth inning off Tim Stoddard, and a two-run double in the ninth against Goose Gossage, giving the Cubs a 4-3 victory over the San Diego Padres. "You don't go up there with a whole lot of confidence against a guy who throws the bail 90 miles per hour," Dernier said. "You're looking to get on top of it, hit it well, and hope nobody's standing there." Dernier said he expected nothing but fastballs from Stoddard. "I played with Timmy in 1984, and I know he's going to challenge you," Dernier said. "He's that kind of pitcher.'' The Cubs' center fielder also expected to see hard pitches from Gossage. "I call it a country hard ball," he said. "That's what makes the game fun. He's out there to win, and most of the time he will. But there are times when he's going to lose, too. The Cubs are one of five teams that are 4-5 games behind the New York Mets in the National League East, but Dernier said Major Leagues his teammates are confident after opening a road trip with a victory. "It could be one of those games that turns the team around," he said. "It's fun to play against and with those kind of guys." Matt Keough, l-l, worked the eighth inning to pick up the victory and Jay Bailer retired the side in the ninth for his third save. Dodgers 2, Pirates 1 Fernando Valenzuela allowed only six hits and struck out nine while Los Angeles managed two runs with the help of a balk and a Pittsburgh error. "It's been a long time since I've seen a lot of runs," Valenzuela said after his second 2-1 triumph of the season. "But I don't care how many runs I get; I don't change my game." Valenzuela. 3-1, took a four-hit shutout into the eighth, but a leadoff double by Sid Bream and two groundouts brought home the Pirates' only run. Pirates starter Bob Kipper, 02, balked with the bases loaded and two outs for the Dodgers' first run in the fourth inning. Cardinals 5, Giants 4 Vince Coleman had three hits, scored two runs, knocked in one, stole two bases and threw a runner out at the plate, helping St. Texans fall 17-0 Rodriguez untouched i * } ' *, "\ in Dodgers' victory FORMER LOS Angeles Dodger R.J. Reynolds, now with the Pittsburgh Pirates, slides into second base to break up a double play initiated by Dodger shortstop Mariano Duncan during Monday's game in Los Angeles. (AP photo) Louis snap a seven-game losing streak with a victory over San Francisco. Coleman drove in a run in the 12th with his third hit after teammate Jerry White's sacrifice fly broke a 3-3 tie. The Cardinals needed the insurance run as the Giants scored in the bottom of the 12th and had the bases load- ed before Pat Perry saved the victory, getting Dan Gladden on a iong fly to end the game. Losing pitcher Mark Davis, 11, committed an error on a bunt to set up St. Louis' winning rally in the 12th. Todd Worrell, 1-1, the third of five Cardinal pitchers, got the victory by pitching the 10th and llth. The Dodgers' John Rodriguez struck out 12 and pitched a no- hitter to lead his team to a 17-0 East League victory over the Texans in major league play Monday night. Dennis Odneal led the hitting with two singles and two runs batted in. Damien Brum, Eric Campbell and Rodriguez also had a hit. Jeff Miles was the losing pitcher. Giants 3, Astros 1 Daniel Groberg doubled and drove in a run, and Damon Gates pitched well, to help the Giants take sole possession of first place in the East League. Other leaders at the plate for the Giants were Michael Pokluda with a single and Jon Parker with a single and RBI. The Astros' Cory Johnson and William Gunn had doubles. Losing pitcher James Thorp struck out eight. Panthers 11, Hawks 8 Mike Wright picked up the win with eight strikeouts, while Jack Lurnas, Tony Kelley and Alan Cooper supported him with hits. Trey Price led the Hawks with a pair of doubles, a single and an RBI. Alex Benoit, Chris Clark, Ailen Leth and Patrick Hart had other Hawk hits. Price was the losing pitcher. Bears 8, Cubs 5 Danny Deans struck out 12 for the win. Jason Estrada, Matt Rister (2-for-3, two RBI), James Little Leagues r ' Ortiz and Tony Davila led -the Bears at the plate. Bryan Maley had the only Cub hit, and pitcher Thomas Beets suffered Eagles 16, Owls 15 • -..«'• Eric Couch led the Owls .with three RBI and a 3-for-!4 Iperr. formance. Corey Hoffpfavin helped with two hits. Pacing! the Eagles was winning -pitcher Nicholas Bills, who had three hits. Chad Davis took the loss.'- , • Lions 11, Cougars 8- /•'•> ' Aaron Leth sparked the 'Lions with two RBI and two hits',- while Franky Savage went 2-for-2'with an RBI. James McCord led" the Cougars with two hits and 1 "as many RBI. ' •' ' ' Padres 14, Rangers 12' -' " Pitcher Kade Johnson, picked up the win for the Padres. Padres 20, Indians 2 ^ In a Thursday game, Chad ir- win, Brandi Langley and Todd Lopez led the hitting, while'Kade Johnson was the winning 'pitcher. WEST CHAMBERS ' Expos 22, Reds 17 '. The Expos' Michael .Wtairler, hit two home runs and a triple, while Jerry Stewart, Jeff Gann and Brandon Gigout added a homer apiece. In an earlier game, the Expos and Orioles tied 15-15. .' ' LC netters go winless ALVIN - Lee College was shut out in its attempt to send a player to the national junior college tennis tournament. The Rebels' highest hopes were riding on sophomore Saleh Dada, who was the team's most consistent singles player throughout the 1986 season. But even he fell in the first round of the Region XIV Tournament, which was held Friday and Saturday at Alvin Community College. Tyler Junior College won the men's region championship, and Wharton County Junior College placed second, to earn trips to the national event. Dada dropped a 6-4, 6-3 decision in his opening match to an opponent from Paris Junior College. That seemed to set the tone of the tourney for the Rebels. Others who were eliminated in singles play Friday were Eric Enderle 6-2, 6-2; David Neese6-3, 63; Alfonso Escalera 6-1, 62; Kirk Graham 6-1, 6-3; and Barry Nichols 6-2, 6-2. The story wasn't any better in doubles action Saturday. Dada and Enderle lost 6-2,' 6-3; Neese and Escalera fell 6-1, 6-4; and Graham and Nichols were beaten 6-2,6-3. Ralston's fire rubs off on SMU tennis team DALLAS (AP) — The weather was nice, the band was playing, and the best four college tennis teams in America were in Athens, Ga., for the 1985 NCAA men's tennis championships. The veins in Dennis Ralston's temples flared. Ralston and his Southern Methodist team were not playing Southern Cal for the championship, but in a "meaningless" match to decide third place. The Mustangs and Trojans had been eliminated in the semifinals, and Ralston wanted nothing more than to go home to Dallas. After SMU won four of the six singles contests, it needed to win only one of the doubles to finish third. When UCLA and Georgia were ready to take center court for the championship match, SMU and USC were moved off to a side court. Then, before the Mustangs and Trojans had completed the doubles, the Georgia band struck up a rousing rendition of the school's fight song. SMU would lose all three doubles contests, and Ralston left no doubt what he thought about the playing, delaying and losing of third-place competition. "It's a meaningless match," he said. "It's a joke. It's not a question of consolation. You battle for the championship. When you're out, you're out." Ralston is a competitor, and you can see it in the eyes of the No. 1-ranked men's tennis team in the nation, his SMU Mustangs. He has taken last year's Baseball teams have goals to meet frustrating fourth-place finish and channeled it into drive and determination that has been increasingly evident this season. The Mustangs, winners of their last 23 dual matches, already have a spot in the 16- team NCAA championships, scheduled for the end of May in Athens. Last weekend, the Mustangs successfully defended their 1985 Southwest Conference title in Corpus Christi. When the Mustangs are in action, so is Ralston. He remains along the sideline, conferring with each player during the odd- game breaks, offering small coaching tips, which is allowed in college tennis but not in the pros. "Sometimes, I think he just psyches the opposition out," said Den Bishop, an SMU junior. "Face it. If I was watching Dennis Ralston giving tips to the guy I was playing, I'd be worried, especially if all my coach told me was not to drink so much water." Ralston has turned a successful pro career — including three U.S. Open doubles championships and a runner-up singles finish at Wimbledon in 1966 — into a successful college coaching career. In his sixth season at SMU, he is well on his way to becoming the most successful coach in school tennis history. SMU has advanced to the NCAA championships the past five years, reaching the top five in three of the past four tournaments, including second place in 1983. This season, the goal is the first NCAA title in SMU's successful tennis history. "We came back, after last year, knowing that we could have been in the final if it weren't for one set of doubles (a 5-4 loss to UCLA)," Ralston said, "and we could have won. We have everybody back this year, and we have a chance to win. That's all you need — one chance. That's how I build their, expectations. Give them goals. Give them something to shoot for." Ralston also coaches pros Chris Evert Lloyd and Carling Bassett during his free lime, but it doesn't compare to his work during an SMU match. His intensity is always on display. "Sometimes I think I'm too intense," Ralston said. "I always try to figure out the little things that might make a difference. Sometimes they probably don't, but every once in a while..." It is Ihe same intensity that once earned him the nickname of Dennis the Menace on the pro tour, because of his emotional outbursts. Although it doesn't compare to the antics of today's pros, his team's trashing of a locker room after a Davis Cup loss made national headlines. Now, he is teaching a different philosophy. "I think I learned in my own game, the hard way, that if you lose control of what you're thinking, you can't play very well," 'Ralston said. "That is one of the things I try to stress to these guys. Of course, we can't all be emotionless like the Swedes, but I know if I lose my cool, the players will, too." That was one of the biggest adjustments for Ralston when he arrived on the college coaching scene. He took a lot of long walks back to the hotel. "There is not release for you, as a coach, because you're just watching," Ralston said. "If you're playing, you can win or lose and exert that energy, but for a coach, you sit there and watch a match, and when it's over, you haven't done anything except go through each point mentally, and that drains me. I'm whipped after every tight match." But his participation doesn't go unnoticed by the players. Richey Reneberg, a sophomore from Houston who is ranked third in the nation in singles, said Ralston's intensity is hard to match. "I can look over at him in a tight match, and it's like he's out there on the court with me," Reneberg said. "I think he feels the pressure more than I do. But he has been there before. He has played in the NCAAs, and he has played pro tennis. He knows what you're going through." Going into the SWC championships, Reneberg had won 27 of 30 matches this season at No. 2 singles. He advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals last year as a freshman and is a challenger for the individual championship this year. "I wanted to stay close- to home, but I also wanted to play for Dennis Ralston," Reneberg said. "Face it, Ralston is a, good drawing card. And once, I.arrjv- ed here, I realized that._cp^ch Ralston had faced a lot.pjf : -£he same problems that you facex.-He' could relate." Unlike most college coaches, Ralston could relate even - if Reneberg would decide- to" ivi'fh pro after this season. ". . .]l' ^ . John Ross, who plays^ No,/- :1 singles for the Mustangs, •willmot have to go back to school.,He is a senior and, with encouragernent • from Ralston, will give pro ".tennis a shot. , j, i ; • Ross is also a challenger.'for the individual NCAA singles:title^ after shaking off inconsistency he fought most of the season,*'He is ranked 14th nationally.-: -:,•-..' Mark Styslinger, playing. No; 5' singles, is the only other senior: on the team. Ralston lit- aipre-: season fire under both seniors. ••'. "I told them, as seniors, r th'at they would never get dhdtHer.. chance to win the NCAA's,'" Ralston said. "This is it. rtWrik they have been a real strohg fac 1 tor in leading the teanv ahd motivating the guys." ; " ''"• •'• Last year's fourth-place finish, no matter how demea'rtihg at the time, may go a long*way .in* motivating the Mustangs in this year's tournament. /". 'i't,'. REFINERY & CHEMICAL PLANT WORKERS DRYWALL FINISHERS and SANDBLASTERS From Page l-B show against rugged Deer Park in their April 4 meeting. Lee lost it in the sixth inning 7-5. Lee put Charlie Busby on the mound, but Herrington said he will go with John Moak as the starter tonight / Busby will take the honors Friday against Pasadena. The Ganders, aided by a pair of soto home runs from John Byington, cruised by the Eagles 7-2 in their last meeting. Herrington explained that there is quite a bit on the line in Lee's final week of play. "They want to win because they have their pride," he said. "They want to say, when they get old and gray, that they won so many games when they were in high school." When you need a doctor... CALL 425-9-DOC Gulf Const Hospital's Physician Referral . Buyiown. Texas 77521 MottvUI CopcxMion u* Afranu If you have worked in any of the above fiekte 25 years or more as a craftworker, operator or laborer, in operations, maintenance or construe tion, and have difficulty breathing or have king cancer, you MAY be suffering from an occupational disease. If you have an occupational disease, you MAY have a legal remedy to recover money damages No •• charge for initial visit. To obtain more information caU: Trw Law Offices o( HcndMl L HrtMH, PH.D., J.O, C«rtifi«d Industrie Hygwiwt - Amtfkan Bovil of hduitri* Hygw* Cwtifwd S»tety ProfeaionJl - Bo*n) of C*r«Md SiHty fnttunnH t* Bit Amwic* Ph 0 - Environment* HnMt. UnivtfSily ot OWjhomi. Scttod of Pue*e HwWi J D • Law Scum Texas College ol Law Offices at 3339 Fairview Pasadena, TX 77504 TIUMT-fMI NOT CEflTlfKO BY TH€ TEXAS MAM) Of LEGAL SPECIALIZATION

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