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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - May 3, 2005, New Braunfels, Texas rage 6 — Herald-Zhtung — T\iesday, May 3,2005 Roue Davila films her daughter batting for MB. SPORTS COMING THURSDAY rn rn Playoff previews A peek at this week’s baseball series. i Heralo-Zettunc To have your sports event publicized, contact Will Wright at 625-9144, ext. 223, or by e-mail at [email protected] THE DAILY TI-C-KE-T Span return bottle SA hosts Denver in fifth game offirst-round NBA playoff series Time: 8:30 p.m. (TNT.WOAl-M 1200) I SV baseballer vs. Southwest Rangers take on old district foe Dragons in 1st game of Class 5A bidistrict series Time: 7pm. Unicorns vs. Hgln NB softboiled travel to District 26-4A champ Elgin for area softball playoff Time: 6 p.m., 8pm. MHH Sidelines From staff, wire reports STATE COWBOYS PICK UP RB THOMAS — Free agent running back Anthony Thomas agreed to a one-year deal Monday with the Dallas Cowboys. Thomas, 6-2,225, will provide depth at running back and some veteran experience, especially after the release last week of Richie Anderson. Julius Jones became the top back as a rookie last season for the Cowboys, who also drafted Marion Barber in the fourth round of the NFL draft last month. Financial terms of the deal weren’t released. A second-round pick out of Michigan in 2001, Thomas had two 1,000-yard seasons in his four years with the Chicago Bears. He had 404 yards rushing and two touchdowns in 12 games last season. NATIONAL UNION WILL TALK WITH SELIG - The baseball players’ union told commissioner Bud Selig on Monday that it was willing to talk to him about his call for harsher steroids penalties. In a letter sent to Selig, union head Donald Fehr said, “We will look forward to discussing the points you raised.” Last week, Selig wrote to Fehr, asking players to agree to even tougher penalties than the ones that took effect at the start of the season. Selig now wants a 50-game suspension for first-time steroid offenders, a 100-game ban for a second offense and a lifetime suspension for a third violation. WALLACE TOF DEFENDER - The Detroit Pistons’ Ben Wallace won the NBAs Defensive Player of the Year award Monday, his third in four years. Wallace, who was presented with the trophy at an afternoon news conference, joins Dikembe Mutombo as the only players to win the award three or more times. Wallace also won the award in 2002 and 2003. Mutombo won in 1995, 1997, 1998 and 2001. [Turing the regular season, Wallace ranked fifth with 2.38 blocks per game, second with an average of 12.2 rebounds — the only player among the top five in both categories — and 23rd with 1.43 steals per game. Pettitte, Biggio help Houston subdue Pittsburgh, 11-4 HOUSTON (AP) — Andy Pettitte pitched effectively into the eighth inning, and Craig Biggio homered and drove in four runs to lead the Houston Astros over the Pittsburgh Pirates 11-4 Monday night Biggio also got his 400th career stolen base in the first inning and scored three times. He finished with three hits, helping Houston improve to 10-3 at home. The Astros are just I-IO on the road Morgan Ensbeig went 3-for-3 with a two-run double, and Brad Ausmus had a two-run single. Pettitte (2-2) allowed three runs — two earned — and four hits in 7 2/3 innings. He struck out five, walked two and retired 12 of his first 13 batters. jason Bay and Tike Redman each hit a two-run homer in the eighth for the Pirates, who have lost 20 of their las t 22 games at Minute Maid Park, where they are 7-35 all-dime. josh Fogg (1-2) lasted just four innings, allowing eight runs, seven hits and two walks. He had no strikeouts and lost to the Astros for the fourth straight time. He’s 3-5 overall against them but hasn’t won since July 21,2003. Houston took a 3-0 lead in the first inning on an RBI single by Mike Lamb and a two-run double by Ensberg. In the fourth, the Astros loaded the bases with none out, and Ausmus’ two-run single made it 5-0. Two outs later, Biggio hit a three-run shot, his third of the season. Redman's two-run homer snapped an 0-for-19 skid and gave the Pirates their first two runs. After Biggio dropped Freddy Sanchez’s popup to second for an error, Pettitte was relieved by Dan Wheeler, who gave up a two-run drive to Bay, making it 8-4. Pinch-hitter Orlando Palmeiro and Biggio each added an RBI double in the bottom half, and Jeff Bagwell drove in a run with a single. Notes: Biggio is only the second Astros player to reach 400 stolen bases, following Cesar Cedeno (487). Biggio is the fourth player in major league history to have 400 steals, 1,000 RBIs, 225 home runs, 1,500 runs, 1,000 walks, 2,600 hits and 500 doubles. The others are Barry Bonds, Rickey Henderson and Paul Molitor. ... In the first inning, Bagwell became the first Astro to reach 1,400 walks. ...With Craig Wilson’s fifth-inning double, Pittsburgh has had an extra-base hit in all 24 games this season. Dallas holds off Houston Mavericks win third straight to lead series DALLAS (AP) — Minutes away from finally leading their first-round playoff series, the Dallas Mavericks proved they deserved it. Keeping alive rebounds, diving for loose balls and making clutch shot after clutch shot. Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks held off a late charge by Houston and pulled out a 103- IOO victory Monday night, putting them ahead 3-2 in a series they trailed 0-2 after their last game in Dallas. After overcoming fourth-quarter deficits of eight and six points to win the last two games, the Mavs led by 11 just seconds into the final period this time. But Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming rallied the Rockets, combining for their last 13 points and getting them within two with 7.4 seconds left. Jason Terry scrambled to grab an inbounds pass, was fouled and made one of two foul shots to restore a three-point cushion. Dallas immediately fouled McGrady on the ensuing inbounds pass and he missed both foul shots, but got his own rebound and put up a potentially tying 3 horn the left comer. It missed and time expired with McGrady on the ground, practically under some REUTERS Dallas' Dirk Nowitzki, right, drives around Houston's Tracy McGrady during the first half of the Mavericks' 103-100 victory over the Rockets in Game 5 of the teams' NBA Western Conference playoff series. Dallas leads 3-2. courtside seats. Home fans were happy for the first time this series and now Dallas has two chances to join the 1969 Lakers and ’94 Rockets as the only teams to win a seven-game series after dropping the first two at home. Mavs fans will be glad to know those Lakers and Rockets squads were propelled by home wins in Game 5s. Game 6 is Thursday night in Houston, and Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy may have more on the line than just trying to force a seventh game. He was fined $100,000 earlier Monday for accusing officials of targeting Yao and refusing to tell the league which official was his source. Commissioner David Stern, who coincidentally attended this game, called the largest fine ever levied against an NBA coach only “an intermediary step" and said an investigation will continue — once the Rockets finish their playoff run. Stern even implied that Van Gundy could face a lifetime ban. Van Gundy laughed off the entire case and Yao offered to pay half the fine. Spurs on top of Denver in 2nd DENVER — The San Antonio Spurs held a 36-35 lead over the Denver Nuggets late Monday in the second quarter of Game 4 of their NBA Western Conference quarterfinal playoff series. At presstime, Tim Duncan had IO points for the Spurs, who lead the best-of-sev-en series 2-l.Tony Parker had seven points and Manu Gino-bili had five. Earl Boykins had nine points and Marcus Camby eight for Denver, which will come to San Antonio’s SBG Center for Game 5 Wednesday. A full report on Monday’s game will appear in Wednesday’s Herald-Zeitung. Anthony fined $7,500 for shove NEW YORK — Denver forward Carmele Anthony was fined $7,500 by the NBA on Monday for shoving San Antonio guard Manu Ginobili during Game 3 of the first-round playoff series between the Nuggets and Spurs. Anthony received a flagrant foul and was ejected with 22 seconds left in the fourth period of the Nuggets’ 86-78 loss to the Spurs Saturday night. Anthony finished with 19 points in Game 3 in Denver while Ginobili came off the bench to score 32 points. The fine was announced by league vice president Stu Jackson. NBA PLAYOFFS WESTERN CONFERENCE FIRST ROUND A Sj® DENVER NUGGETS VS. SAN ANTONIO SPURS (Radio: HOAL AM 1200) Sunday, April 24 Denver 93, San Antonio 87 ama ~ a a ---4-^.tl WW0CMIBSCIBY#    mL    # San Antonio 104, Denver 76 Saturday, April 30 San Antonio 86, Denver 78; Spurs lead series 2-1 Monday San Antonio at Denver, late Iii, J. ■ I, J ■ ww0€W1€WMjcFY Denver at San Antonio, 8:30 p.m., TNT, FSN Friday San Antonio at Denver, TBA, if necessary Sunday, May 8 Denver at San Antonio, TBA if necessaryCentral Texas bats played small but humorous role during World War IITRIPPNOLMGIIAIM Tripp Holmgrain is an outdoors writer for the Herald-Zeitung. p secret weapons often exploit Mother Nature — some more than others. One World War II weapon that used her to the hilt exploited America's own Kamikaze pilots — airmen sent into battle, sacrificing all in the name of their country. The anointed airmen were all tough, most were Texans and all were... bats. The Idea Dr. Lytle S. Adams, a vacationing dentist, had just visited Carlsbad Caverns, N.M. when Pearl Harbor was attacked Dec. 7,1941. Eager to exact revenge, the infuriated Adams was intrigued by the cave’s massive bat colony and wondered if bats could somehow help defeat Japan. Adams captured several of Carlsbad’s bats for further study, and once home, learned everything he could of the tiny mammals, their habits and the loads they could carry. He soon wrote the White House with a proposal and urged the government to investigate it further. Upon reviewing Adams’ letter, Presiden t Franklin D. Roosevelt wrote: “This man is not a nut. It sounds like a perfectly wild idea but is worth looking into." Adams’ proposal was forwarded to the National Defense Research Committee, and then to the Army Chemical Warfare Service whose records read: “President Roosevelt OK’d it and the project was on." The plan Adams’ plan called for the capture of thousands of bats. Refrigerated into hibernation and fitted with small incendiary bombs, they wo uld be dropped over targeted Japanese cities from high-flying planes during broad daylight. While falling, the nocturnal fliers would awaken and seek shelter in the roofs and eaves of buildings throughout target cities. The “bat bombs,” equipped with chemical timers, would ignite soon after, setting the buildings ablaze. Unable to extin guish so many simultaneous fires, Japanese cities, constructed primarily of wood, would quickly bum to the ground and the country’s surrender would inevitably follow. Hie Army got to work immediately, enlisting Dr. Adams and a crew of researchers to spearhead the project. After considering several bat species, researchers chose the Mexican free-tail for the job. Each averaged nine grams, could carry a payload nearly twice its body weight, were plentiful and easy to capture. “Airmen" were promptly conscripted from Central Texas’ Ney and Bracken Caves, home to more than 20 million free-tails. Bats were collected via suspended nets as they exited the cave at dusk. The outcome Although seemingly simple, numerous troubles plagued the project. Many bats refused to cooperate and flew to freedom. Falling bats awak ened too slowly and died upon impact. Bats deployed in slow-descending, parachute-tethered be were killed when the contraptions failed to open. Bats carrying heavie dummy loads often flew back to tin launch points or into research built ings. Die Army ceased testing in May I when a careless handler left a door open and escaping bats set fire to a hangar and a general’s car. The proj was promptly handed to the Navy, which quiddy passed the buck to ti Marine Corps. rhis unsuccessful quest to exploit Mother Nature was eventually shef for a far more successful one—spli ting the atom. The atomic bomb, tv annihilated cities and Japan’s unco) ditional surrender followed soon af And so our brave Texas airmen Bv to figh t another day, received honoi able discharges and returned hon* wife, kids and cave. ;