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View Sample Pages : Bluefield Daily Telegraph, August 27, 1990

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Bluefield Daily Telegraph (Newspaper) - August 27, 1990, Bluefield, West Virginia (Blueftdb Pailp SVIrgrapf) Sports Section D Monday, August 27, 1990 Bench talk Mets crown Pats Books, article to feature minors With the Appalachian League boys of summer moving on at the end of the week, our free ride of publicity ends also. Bluefield and Princeton wouldn’t have their regular spots in publications like the Sporting News and USA Today. But several other publications will fill the slack during this winter. T wo books and a National Geographic magazine article are planned about the minor leauges. and all three protects should be released in the late fall and early winter. People involved in all three have visited Bowen Field to breathe in the aroma of Appalachian League ball. The opening series of the 1989 season, Los Angeles Times writer David Lamb visited Bluefield as part of a year-long trek through the country. I didn’t know who he was when he visited, but he wrote an article that mentioned a stop in Bluefield in the Baseball News, a newsletter of the National Association. Lamb’s book, treating minor league baseball as a slice of Americana, should be out this winter. But along the way he’ll also be writing the article for National Geographic’s first major article spotlighting sports. National Geographic photographer Bill Allard came to Bluefield July 22 and took pictures of the scene when Bluefield played Elizabethton, including members of the Bluefield Baseball Club’s board of directors meeting Baltimore part-owner Larry Lucchino. Elizabethton’s visit this weekend brought out a photographer from a book project entitled Baseball in America, set for release in time for the Christmas buying season. The book, brought to you by the people who did “A Day in the Life of America” several years ago, will feature the work of IOO photographers snapping shots at minor league parks around the country. The improvements to the facility done for this season, along with the naturally beauty setting of Bowen Field, have to mean good ink for Bluefield. It’s kind of nice to see good publicity flowing through the hills. Mercer madness — The Elizabethton Twins came close to two records during the 1990 campaign, but trips to Mercer County left them with just smoke instead of a prize. In early August, the Twins’ 20-game winning streak snapped in a 5-0 loss at Princeton, leaving them three games short of the league record. This weekend at Bowen Field, the Orioles became the first team to sweep Elizabethton in a two-game series. That sweep took away the Twins’ final chance to set a professional baseball record with a final winning percentage over .800. The Twins had won 31 of 34 before losing the second game of Thursday’s doubleheader to Bluefield. Saturday’s loss left the Twins with 14 on the season, and with three games against Huntington already cancelled the best the Twins can finish is 55-14 (.797). Paintsville went 52-13 in 1979 to establish the professional baseball record at .800, and Great Falls in the Pioneer League went 53-14 (.791) last year. But the chance to set a record hasn’t been foremost on the mind of Elizabethton skipper Ray Smith. “I don’t think the records fazed us. I didn’t sense the troops were letting the heat get to them,” Smith said. Beside first-round pick Todd Ritchie, who has a 2.02 ERA despite losing to Bluefield Thursday, none of the Twins have flashy pedigrees. “We have a good club, but not a great club," said Smith, in his fourth year managing the Twins. “We’ve been getting quality starts from our pitchers, going six or seven innings eveiy start, and the bullpen has shut down the other teams. “We get the big hits. There are no weak sisters in this lineup,” Smith said. ‘The scouts have done a good job getting the talent to contribute.” An effort that didn’t work out came Aug. 9 at Princeton, when the Twins committed five errors to snap their 20-game winning streak. “Against Princeton we didn’t play good, we didn’t field and we didn’t get timely hits,” Smith said. “We’re an average defensive club at best. We’ve had some games with three or four errors and won.” Elizabethton has been helped by Minnesota’s decision to add a team in the Gulf Coast League in 1989. "We had 38 players on the roster before, and now we have 26. I've been able to stick with a solid lineup, and we only have a few batters without IOO at-bats,” Smith said. “With 38 players, you have to get them all time in the lineup. You’ve got to get into the lineup to improve.” Pretty good year — Bluefield^ strong showing late in the season could help the Baltimore organization finish with a better than .500 record throughout the farm system. Through Saturday’s games. Baltimore teams were one game above .500 (293-292). Rochester has clinched a division title in Class AAA and Frederick won the first half in its Carolina League division and leads the second half with a week to go. Bluefield ^ three-game winning streak put the Orioles six-games above .500 for the first time this season. Mike Judge is a copy editor and sports writer for the Daily Telegraph. By DALE MULLINS of the Daily Telegraph staff  ---------*tf......................................................... PRINCETON — Ouch. This was the word most often used by the Prindceton Patriots in Sunday’s 8-1 loss to the Kingsport Mets at Hunnt-cutt Field. Two Patriot players — Aure-lio Llanos and Jesus Garces — exited the game after suffering nagging injuries In their first trips to the plate. The injury-riddled Patriots (28-32) had lost infielder Luis Brito for the remainder of the season earlier in the month. The lone bright spot for the Patriots came in the sixth when first baseman Ron Lockett blasted a solo homer to right. Princeton will send Chris Snyder to the hill tonight in the wrap-up of the two-game set with the Mets. The game, slated for 7:30 p.m., is sponsored by First Community Bank. In the meantime, Kingsport’s 13-hit attack stung the Prince ton pitching trio of Joel Adamson, David Hammond and Juan Villareal. Villareal did the most effective job of the three, hurling two shutout innings while giving up just one double to Omar Garcia. The power-hitting tandem of Butch Huskey and Aaron Ledesma bruised Patriot pitching, getting three hits and driving in two runs apiece. Tom Wegmann went the distance. handcuffing Princeton on Just four hits while fanning seven. He put the finishing touches on his victory by retiring the final seven Pricneton batters. The Mets, currently clinging to second in the Appalachian league with a 39-28 record, pummeled Adamson for five runs. Addmson surrendereed eight hits in 1% innings before handing the mound chores to Hammond. Huskey, a 6-5, 230-pound third baseman, and Ledesma, the Mets’ clean-up hitter, scalded back-to-back RBI sin gles in the first and second. Lead-off hitter Quilvio Veras smashed doubles in the first and second, setting the stage for Huskey’s opposite-field two-bagger. He scooted home with his second run on Ledesma’s base hit. Tony Moore staked'King-sport to a comfortable six-run cushion, slamming a solo homer in the third. Hammond settled down and retired the next seven in a row. Wegmann no-hit Princeton for three innings before Jerome Edwards broke the Pats’ hitless string with a lead-off single in the fourth. Edwards entered the game in the first when Llanos, the starting center fielder, was hit on the knee by a Wegmann offering. Edwards, inserted in a pich-running role, promptly stole second. , The injury bug, which has devastated the Patriots’ infield, continued to plague Princeton. Garces, the starting shorstop, was forced to the dugout in the bottom of the third. Carroll aims for accuracy By MICKEY FURFARI for the Daily Telegraph MORGANTOWN — West Virginia place-kicker Brad Carroll is striving for more accuracy on field goals. He made ll in 16 attempts last season, his first as the Mountaineers’ main man. But he was far from satisfied. ‘The one goal everybody has is to make every one you kick,” the 5-10, 190-pound senior from Hatfield, Pa., said. “Anything less, you’re going to be upset about.” That’s why he has been concentrating on splitting the uprights from varying ranges this fall. “Last year I mostly worked on my leg strength,” Carroll recalled. “And I think that helped me on my kickoffs and also on some field goals. “But I think this year kicking from the 35, 30 and 25 has helped my consistency. I’m on target more.” So far, so good. He’s three-for-three in fullscale preseason scrimmages. Brad Carroll ...WVU kicker He has connected from 41, 40 and 32 yards. Carroll’s longest field goal in a game sailed 49 yards. That was one of three he made in last year’s 30-21 victory at Lou- AP Laserphoto Colorado’s defense stops Tennessee’s Chuck Webb. Kelly passes Vols to tie with Colorado ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — If not for an ugly first half, the inaugural Pigskin Classic might have been just that — a classic. Mike Pritchard helped give No. 5 Colorado a two-touch-down lead with runs of 78 and 55 yards, but Andy Kelly’s sensational passing brought No. 8 Tennessee back for a 31-31 tie Sunday. “No one felt we were out of it,” Kelly said. “We take pride in sticking to our game plan and not quitting. We have a lot of mature guys on our team. This is going to give us confidence. “We were in a few games like this last year and were able to come back and win. We’re an experienced team.” The season-opening game between two teams who finished 11-1 last season was a standoff of contrasting styles. Pritchard, a converted wide receiver who led the team with 12 catches last year, gained 217 yards on 20 carries. Tne Buffaloes needed the big plays, because they had five of the game’s eight turnovers and Tennessee had a hot quarterback in Kelly, who passed for 368 yards, including 262 in the second half. Colorado had only 13 turnovers in the 1989 regular season, when it went 11-0 “No one felt we were out of it. We take pride in sticking to our game plan and not quitting. We have a lot of mature guys on our team. This is going to give us confidence.” Andy Kelly Tennessee quarterback before losing to Notre Dame in the Orange Bowl. Pritchard, who fumbled on Colorado’s first play, scored on his 78-yard run with 7:11 left, giving the Buffaloes a 31-17 lead. Quarterback Darian Hagan, in trouble inside, later-ailed to Pritchard, by himself on the right sideline. Then Kelly led the Tennessee rally, passing 14 yards to Carl Pickens to make it 31-24 with 4:09 left in the game. The Vols then held Colorado and regained possession on their 26. The passing of Kelly, who finished 33-for-55 — both school records — got Tennessee down to the 4, and Chuck Webb scored on a draw play with 2:25 left. Coach Johnny Majors elected to go for the tying extra point by Greg Burke rather than a two-point conversion. isville. He also made attempts from 42, 38, 37, 26, 25, 25, 21, 20. 19 and 18 yards. Like most kickers, Carroll would cherish more chances from longer distances. “It shows the coach has a little extra confidence in you,” he said. Just how far does he think he can boot the ball? “My longest field goal Just messing around was 63 yards,” he said. “But 49 was the longest in a game.” Carroll converted on 39 of 41 extra-point tries in 1989. And those two misses still bother him. But he wound up as the team’s leading scorer with a total of 72 points. The place-kicker, like punter Greg Hertzog, practices much of the time by himself. He even went down to Villanova’s field, near his home, and kicked this summer. But he values the services of snapper Jeff Sniffen and holder John Murphy. “Those are the only ones I really need,” he said. “Both are doing a great job.” Connors out of U.S. Open NEW YORK (AP) — The U.S. Open tennis championships, besieged by New Age players wielding power rackets and power games, begins today without two crowd favorites — Jimmy Connors and Chris Evert — for the first time in two decades. Connors, a five-time champion yielding reluctantly to age and injury, officially withdrew Sunday because of a strained left calf suffered Saturday in a match against Ivan Lendl. Connors, a week shy of his 38th birthday, hadn’t missed a U.S. Open since 1970. Evert, winner of six U.S. Opens, made an emotional departure from regular singles competition here last year. If the Open will miss Connors’ and Evert’s fierce competitiveness and unique styles, it will not lack for drama, as top seeds Stefan Ed berg and Stefft Graf try to hold off scrambles for their No. I rankings. Edberg, who beat Borts Becker in the final of Wimbledon, likes his chance of winning the U.S. Open for the first time. “I don’t have any fear of it this year.” said Edberg, a semifinalist in 1986 and 1987 but only a fourth-rounder the past two years. “It’s lull of terrible circumstances like bad weather, noisy fans, the planes, traffic. There is a lot to be frustrated about, and generally that makes it an open Open. You have to be strong to win it.” Edberg figures if he can’t win it, the title might go to defending champion Becker, three-time winner Ivan Lendl or two-time semifinalist Andre Agassi. AP Laserphoto Ernie Irvan and Larry McClure celebrate Bristol win. Home cooking good for Irvan By LARRY HYPES for the Daily Telegraph BRISTOL, Tenn. — Ernie Irvan found there’s no place like home Saturday night. The Kodak Chevy driver captured his first Winston Cup victory barely 15 miles away from the Morgan-McClure shops based in Abingdon, Va. Amazingly, the team had just signed a new three-year deal with Kodak before the race. Irvan has more than justified the confidence of his sponsors. In 17 races, he’s had eight top-IO finishes. He was second at Michigan in June’s Miller Genuine Draft 400, and third at the Motorcraft 500 in Atlanta in his very first start in March. Irvan was tabbed to replace Phil Parsons after just three races in the 1990 season. He has won two Busch Poles and been among the top IO starters ll times in those 17 races. Irvan’s earnings total $344,932 and he is 10th among the Winston Cup point leaders. ‘This was a great place to win that first race,” he said. “Our car was great tonight. The crew did a great job of getting it ready and I was lucxy that Rusty (Wallace) didn’t tap me. He was right behind me the last 90 laps or so and he could’ve spun me out about any time he wanted to. If I ever get behind him like that, I will sure give him the same courtesy.” Co-owner Larry McClure was ecstatic. “We won! We beat ’em! We’ll take it,” he shouted on the way to victory lane. “We’ve got the top car, top team, best sponsor, this is a great night. We’re excited about Kodak and Ernie Irvan being with us,” he noted. “We think Ernie is one of the rising stars of NASCAR and tonight’s race is an indication of that for sure.” The Modesto, Cal., native became the 12th different winner this season and third to win his first career triumph. Derrike Cope (Daytona) and Brett Bod-ine (North Wilkesboro) are the others. Irvan was one of Just four leaders. Dale Earnhardt did everything but take the checkers. He won the pole, the Halfway challenge, led the most laps (350 out of 500), and ran away from everything except bad tires. “Ifs a shame I had to pit,” he said after stopping on lap 418. ‘That car was just perfect.” The GM pilot had a brush with Ricky Rudd, and a minor skirmish with Geoff Bodlne on “This was a great place to win that first race. Our car was great tonight. The crew did a great job of getting it ready and I was lucky that Rusty (Wallace) didn’t tap me. He was right behind me the last 90 laps or so and he could’ve spun me out about any time he wanted to. lf I ever get behind him like that, I will sure give him the same courtesy." Ernie Irvan Busch 500 winner one lap, but usually ran away from the field on every restart and moved through most traffic like he was on rails. Bodlne led one lap. Dale Jarrett, in the Wood Brothers Ford, was the strongest car on the track at times in making a bid for his first triumph. He led a total of 126 laps, passing both Irvan and Earnhardt on separate occasions to move in front as the Woods tried for their first win here on the high banks of Bristol. Ten caution flags slowed the action for 46 laps. The biggest incident came on just the second lap when Cope spun, along with Morgan Shepherd, Bobby Hillin, Harry Gant, Greg Sacks, and Richard Petty. None of those cars escaped damage. Petty ultimately retired with heating problems, briefly returning as a relief driver for son Kyle after he slammed the front stretch wall and had to retire. Mark Martin continued his quiet but relentless quest for the championship by once again gaining points on Earnhardt. Martin finished third and picked up 13 points. He leads by 61 with 20 of the 29 • scheduled Winston Cup events complete. Most teams were affected by the weather. A temperature of 95 degrees, coupled with the • humidity, made a heat index rating of approximately 110 de- * grees. Many teams were scrambling to find relief drivers as the weary pilots battled the heat. . Richard and Kyle Petty, Davey Allison, and Brett Bocfine were forced out by the heat. A recora crowd of 58,200 filled every seat and covered the green hills surround this high-banked .533-mile oval. For the second straight year, the event was sold out weeks before race day. Ernie Irvan was glad so many hometown friends were there for the big show. Taiwan triumphs in Little League WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (AP) — When it comes to playing Taiwan’s talented group of 12-year-olds, most kids are out of their league. Taiwan won its 14th Little League World Series in 17 appearances as Sun Chao-Chi pitched a two-hitter and struck out 16 in a 9-0 victory Sunday over Shippensburg, Pa. In the first rain-delayed title game of the Little League championship, Sun struck out the first eight batters and drove in the game’s first run. “He probably had the best curveball we’ve seen and he could throw the fastball for strikes,’’ Shippensburg coach Glen Omdorff said. “He had us swinging at some bad pitches and that’s not us. We didn’t teach them that way. He had us doing it.” iThe championship was held on a Sunday for the first time in the tournament’s 44-year history after two quarterfinal games were postponed two days by rain. Taiwan reached the title game by defeating Ramstein AFB, West Germany, 14-0 and Trail, British Columbia, 20-1. Last season, the Taiwan team was beaten by a group of 12-year-olds from Trumbull. Conn., in one of the biggest upsets of 1989. Until last year, Taiwanese teams had won three World Series titles in a row and 13 of the previous 22. It didn’t take long for Taiwan to get back on top, either. ;