New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - May 26, 2005, New Braunfels, Texas
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Astros end loss streak, beat Cubs
CHICAGO (AP) — Brandon Backe outpitched Greg Maddux. and Morgan Ensberg hit a go-ahead homer Wednesday night as the Houston Astros broke a seven-game losing streak by beating the Chicago Cubs 5-1.
In a rapidly paced game that took just 2 hours, 21 minutes, the Astros improved to 3-21 away from Minute Maid Park.
Ensberg’s ninth homer and sixth in his last 16 games broke a 1-1 tie in the fifth, and the Astros sealed the long-awaited victory by scoring three runs in the eighth inning.
Backe (4-3) got his first win in six road starts, giving up seven hits and a run in seven-plus innings. He also played a big offensive role in the third when he singled off Maddux with two outs before stealing the first base of his major league career. Ortando Palmeiro then delivered an RBI single.
Maddux (2-3) allowed five runs and eight hits in 7 2/3 innings, including a leadoff single to Brad Ausmus in the eighth. Backe sacrificed him to second and a wild pitdi by Maddux got him to third before Todd Self came through with a two-out RBI single to make it 3-1.
Craig Biggio then beat out an infield hit before former Canyon star Lance Berkman — batting .179 entering the game — hit a two-out single off Michael Wuertz to make it 4-1. RelieverWill Ohman’s wild pitch allowed Houston’s third run of the inning to score.
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O’Connor also has pitching, tradition
Taryn are among the top three in the city,” Daigle said. “They have a couple of good bunters and a good lead off batter. But most of all they’re used to winning.
“They are the only Class 5A team in this area to ever win a semifinal game in the state tournament. So they have some tradition on their side, too.”
That kind of tradition is what Arredondo is seeking to continue at Smithson Valley, which made state in Class 5A in 2003, was a 4A semifinalist 1999 and 2002, and the 4A champion in 2001.
“I’ve learned how to become more of a competitor, just to go out there and give my 110 percent every game,” she said. “Before I got here, I didn’t know what to expect because I hadn’t been in high school before. But this means a lot to me. I have three more years of this.”
THE ALL-DISTRICT274A BASEBALLTEAMS
The District 27-4A baseball teams, as selected by league coaches (‘-unanimous):
Most Valuable Players — Bryan Price, Marble Falls, Sr.; Stephen Szkotak, Dripping Springs, Sr.
Newcomer of the Year — J.P. Ramirez, CF, Canyon, Fr.*
RRSTTEAM Pitchers — Ryan McGinley, NB,
Sr.*; Will Currier, DS, Jr.*; Jerris Springfield, Canyon, Sr.; Doug Roth, Lake Travis, Jr.
First base — Jeff Whitacre, MF.
Second base — Jeremy Erben, NB, Jr.
Third base — Brody Hanson, LT,
Shortstop — Tyler Hicks, MF, Sr. Outfielders — Rowdi Bizzell, Burnet, Sr.*; Daryl Lehman, DS, Sr.*; Jonathan Kutscherousky, LT, Sr.*; Tyler Carlson, LT, Sr.; Blaine Witek, NB, Sr.
Utility — Nick Isbell, DS, Jr. Catcher — Cameron Henk, Canyon, Jr.*
DH — Evan Weese, NB, Sr.*
Pitchers — Brian Millsap, LT, Sr.; Hunter Scott, MF, Sr.; Shyler Floyd, Burnet, Jr.
First base — David Vahrenkamp, Burnet, Jr.
Second base — Michael Tabler, Canyon, Sr.; Bobby Hawley, DS, Sr.
Third base — Jordan Herring, NB, Jr.
Shortstop — Shawn Thompson, Canyon, Sr.
Outfielders — Clayton Mott, NB, So.; Matt Schumann, Canyon, Sr.;
Lamar Milstead, DS, Sr.; Austin Kuenstler, Burnet, Sr.
Catcher—Trevor Coleman, DS,
Utility — Ryan Quidley, NB, Sr.
DH — David Neal, LT, So.
New Braunfels — Cole Gleason, P, Sr.; Luke Martin, OF, Sr.
Canyon — Ricky Gomez, 3B, Sr.; Ben Nelson, P, So.27-4A
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Several from area named all-district
RBIs, but was stellar in the outfield.
Second-team selections from New Braunfels were third baseman Jordan I ler-ring, outfielder Clayton Mott and utility man Ryan Quidley. Receiving honorable mention were pitcher Cole Gleason and outfielder Luke Martin.
Page SA — Herald-Zeitung — Thursday, May 26, 2005
CONTINUED FROM Page 7A
Rangers to have hot opener in Laredo
always try to beat the teams from the San Antonio area. So every chance they get, it’s a big thing for them.”
A victory tonight will put the Rangers within one game of reaching the 5A-Region IV final against the McAllen-Cor-pus Christi Moody series winner. It’s no secret that Smithson Valley would love another crack at Moody, which defeated the Rangers in last year’s regional final.
"We told the players that we’re just focusing on Alexander,” Proctor said. “Actually we’re not focusing on Alexander as much as we are focus
ing on us.”
Scoring big that early provides a psychological edge, Proctor said.
“Recently, we have jumped up on top and that gets some teams down,” he said. “They have to push and stress and that takes them out of the bunting game. That really helps us defensively. If you can take a team out of that mindset, it makes it easier on our staff and on the defense.”
However, after getting those leads, Smithson Valley has yet to deliver the knockout blow. The most recent example came last Friday, when the Rangers went up 5-0 in the first inning of the first game against Carroll but failed to score the rest of the way.
"We’re just having a problem hitting with guys on base,” Proctor added. “We start pressing a little when we
have guys on and then we try to get it all in one swing. We worked on it this week, but it’s being disciplined.”
District 29-5A champion Alexander has defeated Brownsville Pace and Mission Sharyland thus far. Tonight, coach Tim Bertholf will likely start second pitcher Louie Guerra (10-3). Ace Danny Cantu will probably start Game 2 Saturday.
“He’s the best player on their team,” Proctor said of Cantu. “When he comes in to pitch from shortstop, it does weaken them in the field. He throws 85-88 mph pretty consistently.”
Kendal Volz (12-2), the winner in each of the Rangers’ first games, will start tonight. Bryant Sparkman, coming off a tender shoulder, hurled a sparkling two-hitter in the clinching 1-0 win over Carroll
“He came out and got into his groove,” Proctor said. “He just seemed to be as confident as he’s ever been.”
Smithson Valley catcher Joe Pawelek summed up what his team needs to do tonight.
“We just have to go out and play this series like any other one. Just play our game and let them do what they want to do,” he said. “For us, it’s to hit the ball in good situations and make plays on defense, to pitch good and score runs.” The second game will be played at NEISD’s Blossom Athletic Center at 5 p.m. Friday. A third game, if necessary, will follow.
“Blossom is our second home — we played there during district,” Moczygemba added. “So it ought to be good playing in front of the home crowd.”
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SA nearly flawless in two games vs. Suns
Finals he’s been in, and Tony Parker, a starter on a championship team two years ago when he was just 21.
Among Phoenix’s regulars, only MVP Steve Nash and Jim Jackson have ever gotten this far, and neither has made it to the Finals.
“We’re doing a really good job finishing games this series,” Duncan said. “That’s through having guys like Rob and Tony who have been through it.... We understand that we want to get a good possession every time.”
How s this for taking quality shots: The Spurs made 16 of 22 in the final period of Game I, turning a six-point deficit into a seven-point win. In Game 2, they trailed by five, then made 12 of 17 to win by three—even though the Suns hit 52 percent in the fourth quarter and 56 percent for the game, tops against San Antonio this postseason.
“At some point, you have to say they deserved to win," Nash said. “Our guys, I thought, handled themselves well, we just didn’t make the plays that they made.... We just have to stay positive and hungry and go out there and give ourselves a
The Suns had one Tuesday night. After Ginobili made one of two free throws with 4.2 sec-onds left, Nash took the inbounds pass and hurried for the best 3-pointer he could get to try forcing overtime. I Ie did it last Saturday night against Dallas, but this one was much tougher. The Spurs defended it well, forcing Nash to “try to get something to the rim and see if it would get in."
It didn’t, leaving Phoenix with consecutive losses for the first time since early April.
Both teams were offWednes-day, the first of a three-day break before Game 3 Saturday night in San Antonio.
The layoff should help everyone. Duncan is playing on two sore ankles, and Nash seemingly has been going on fumes considering the roadrunnerlike pace he’s played at lately. He was out for only two minutes in Game 2 and he spent them on his back.
I lelp could be on the way for him and the Suns.
Joe Johnson, who could
defend Parker and run the offense while Nash rests, is expected to go through his first full practice on Thursday since breaking a bone near his left eye on May 11, lf all goes well the next few days, he might even start Saturday night.
The Suns have to win that game or Game 4 Monday night just to bring the series back to Phoenix. To reach the finals, they must win four of five, including at least two in San Antonio, where the Spurs have won 43 of 47 games this season. Phoenix, however, did win a league-best 31 road games this season and four of five so far this postseason.
“There’s no one in this locker room that doesn’t think we can’t go to San Antonio and win,” coach Mike D’Antoni said. “We can do it.”
History says they won’t. No team has ever won the conference finals or NBA Finals after losing Games I and 2 at home. Its happened in earlier rounds
— even once this postseason
— but not against tile caliber of teams that get this far.
T he Suns have been a terrific story this season, going from the lottery to the league’s most wins. They're fun to watch, too, with an unconventional lineup regularly zooming past I OO points and forcing foes, including the defense-oriented Spurs, to come along for the ride.
The question dogging them going into tile playoffs was how they’d handle the pressure that comes with raised expectations. They did fine in the first round, sweeping Memphis, and handled tile gut check of a second-round series against Dallas, bouncing back from 1-1 and 2-2 to knock out the Mavericks with consecutive wins.
Phoenix has been resilient against San Antonio, too. The Suns trailed by IO after the first quarter of both games, yet pulled off one — or two, or three—of their trademark ntns to take control ... only to see the game slip away at the end.
There is one consolation. At least the Suns are building a reservoir of experience they can one day draw from.