May 16, 2007
D-Rays are latest Disney attraction
Associated Press/Phelan M. Ebenhack
Tampa Bay Devil Rays season ticket holder Frances Fusco watches the Texas Rangers during pregame warm-ups at Walt Disney World's Wide World of Sports in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.. The Devil Rays, seeking to increase their exposure in central Florida, played the first of three games against the Rangers at Disney World Tuesday.
By The Associated Press
To Space Mountain and Tower of Terror, add major league baseball as a Disney World attraction.
The Tampa Bay Devil Rays certainly profited Tuesday night by moving games about 90 miles from their usual home. Brendan Harris singled through a drawn-in infield with the bases loaded in the 10th inning, giving the Devil Rays a 4-3 victory over the Texas Rangers in the first major league regular-season game played in Central Florida.
“It was kind of neat, actually. There was a buzz about the place,” Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. “I know our players felt it, and I felt it. ... It was a nice atmosphere.”
Of course, any time and anywhere the Devils Rays win makes for a festive occasion; they are 16-22 this season. But the first of a three-game series switched from St. Petersburg to Kissimmee was something special.
That was the idea. And despite slow advance ticket sales, most of the seats in the minor league park at Disney’s Wide World of Sports complex were filled. Attendance was announced as 8,443, a little more than 1,000 below capacity and slightly better than the 8,241 the Devil Rays and Rangers averaged for six dates at Tropicana Field last season.
Disney’s 9,500-seat park is the smallest to host major league games since the Oakland Athletics opened the 1996 season with six “home” games against Toronto and Detroit at 9,000-seat Cashman Field in Las Vegas.
“It felt a little different. It’s the first time that I could hear individual fans,” Texas right-hander Brandon McCarthy said. “I think once you get to the big leagues, you start to feed off that energy of 30,000 people going strong.”
With ticket prices ranging from $49 to $119 for the lower deck and $35 to $42 on the upper level, many fans opted for $15 lawn seating up the third base line and on the hill behind the left field fence.
For Tampa Bay, Harris’ fourth hit of the game drove in the winning run off Scott Feldman (1-2), who was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma earlier in the day. Brian Stokes (2-5) pitched the 10th for the Devil Rays.
Athletics 5, Royals 4, 11 innings: At Oakland, Dan Johnson’s sacrifice fly to center in the bottom of the 11th scored Shannon Stewart on a tight play at the plate. Stewart got his right leg under catcher Paul Phillips’ tag attempt after a great throw home by David DeJesus.
Lenny DiNardo (1-1) pitched the 11th for the victory in a game that went 3 hours, 43 minutes.
Stewart and Nick Swisher hit consecutive one-out singles against Joakim Soria (1-2) before Eric Chavez was intentionally walked to bring up Johnson, who earlier extended his AL-best hitting streak to 15 games with a single.
Mariners 11, Angels 3: At Seattle, Ichiro Suzuki had his sixth five-hit game and rookie Sean White (1-0) got his first major league win by retiring 13 straight batters.
Mariners starter Felix Hernandez returned from the disabled list to pitch 3 2-3 innings. The 21-year-old Hernandez, who was dominant before a strained forearm idled him for 26 days, looked healthy but rusty in allowing three runs and walking three.
Tigers 7, Red Sox 2: At Boston, Justin Verlander gave up six hits over 7 2-3 innings, and Brandon Inge and Magglio Ordonez homered to cool off Tim Wakefield.
Verlander (4-1) allowed two runs and struck out seven before leaving the game when Kevin Youkilis hit a solo home run in the eighth. The reigning AL Rookie of the Year, Verlander has allowed four earned runs in four road starts this season.
Wakefield (4-4) was leading the AL in opponents’ batting average, second in the league in ERA and hadn’t allow a run in his two previous starts.
Indians 15, Twins 7: At Cleveland, the Indians had two six-run innings in accumulating season highs in hits and runs.
Jhonny Peralta homered and had four RBIs, Grady Sizemore had four hits, including a two-run homer, and Josh Barfield had three hits and three RBIs for the Indians.
Peralta’s three-run homer keyed a six-run first off Ramon Ortiz (3-4). Cleveland had 17 hits and improved baseball’s best home record to 12-3.
Blue Jays 2, Orioles 1: At Toronto, Jesse Litsch pitched into the ninth inning in his major league debut and Troy Glaus singled in the go-ahead run in the sixth.
Litsch walked Miguel Tejada with two outs in the ninth and Jeremy Accardo relieved. Accardo allowed a single to Ramon Hernandez before retiring Aubrey Huff on a groundout to second to earn his third save.
Five years ago, Litsch was a bat boy for Tampa Bay, fetching lumber for current Baltimore players Chris Gomez and Huff. He allowed just four singles, walked three and struck out one.
Daniel Cabrera (3-4) was almost as good, throwing a three-hitter to keep the Orioles in the game. He struck out six and walked five, one intentional, in his fourth career complete game and first this season.
Purple Tigers come out roaring
A fast start helped the Cortland High boys’ lacrosse team keep rolling on Tuesday afternoon.
The Purple Tigers scored two ride-and-transition goals in a three-minute stretch of the first quarter, at the end of which they were up 4-1, and went on to an 11-4 victory over visiting Chittenango.
CHS is now 12-1 in OHSL Class B (15-2 overall), tied for first with Jamesville-DeWitt, which trounced Fulton 14-1.
“We started real solidly,” Cortland coach John Spallone said. “We were in control, 4-1 after one and 6-2 at halftime on our Senior Day, but weren’t in cruise mode. It wasn’t perfect, but it was pretty good. It was our first game in hot and humid conditions, and it took some getting used to, just like soft field conditions or anything else.
“We did a lot in transition, and I’m happy to see that part coming along. We have a phrase. ‘You score in transition, and possess the ball even-up.’ We corrected ourselves at halftime and really dominated the third quarter; we only outscored them 2-0, but picked up 13 grounders and took 14 shots. We scored a couple of more goals to start the fourth to lock it up, and emptied the bench.”
The Purple Tiger coach noted that all of the winners’ goals came from attackmen on Tuesday, with junior Jack Spallone leading the way with five goals and three assists. Senior Taylor Brown had four goals and an assist, junior Nate Thomas a goal and two assists and junior Brian Sypher one goal.
CHS had a 33-23 shot advantage, senior starting goalie Zach Zayac making seven saves before junior Travis Carruthers came in to stop two shots in the final eight minutes. Dylan Mann made 15 saves for Chittenango (4-8 league, 8-8 overall), who got two goals apiece from Scott Corp and Gus Petosa.
Cortland closes out the season by visiting Fulton Thursday. The sectional seeding meeting is Sunday, and the Purple Tigers will open play a week from Thursday in the quarterfinals.
Trojans Stickers Put on Hold
Homer Central boys were deadlocked at 10-10 with East Syracuse-Minoa on George Butts Field Tuesday night when thunderstorms rolled through the area.
The OHSL Class B lacrosse match was suspended with 3:12 remaining in the fourth quarter. The game will resume this afternoon at 3:30 p.m. as the Spartans return for the conclusion of this contest on Butts Field.
— Homer JVs got a seven-goal effort from John Sciera as the Trojans posted a 13-7 win over East Syracuse-Minoa on Butts Field Tuesday.
“We started out a little slow on offense in the first half with our guys holding a 4-3 lead,” Homer coach Geoff Sorenson said. “We made a few adjustments during halftime and came out to scoring frenzy in the third quarter. We scored six goals in the first five minutes of the half.
“Our defense played well in front of Paul Zimmerman (10 saves), who made some amazing saves,” Sorenson added.
Mike Park added two goals to the winning attack with Bennett Quinlan, Carl Zimmerman, Luke Pederson and Aaron Darr each netting one goal. Quinlan dished out three assists with Pederson, Darr and Kane Hartnett each assisting once. Shane Davis recorded one save during his stint in the Trojan goal.
Homer JVs will host New Hartford Thursday at 5 p.m. on Butts Field.
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Coming to Cortland June 5-10 —
Help needed for upcoming Senior Games
The Empire State Senior Games will be celebrating its 25th anniversary when Cortland hosts the annual athletic gathering on June 5-10.
This is the sixth consecutive year Cortland will be hosting the games.
Volunteers are crucial to making this event a success, and this year is no different. Empire State Games organizers have indicated close to 100 or more volunteers are needed to help run the events.
SUNY Cortland is the main locale for the Empire State Games, with events also being held at the Cort-Lanes, Elm Tree Golf Course, Greek Peak and the Groton Horseshoe Club.
The Senior Games are an organized sport sand leisure program open for New York State residents ages 50 and over. The event is sponsored by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
The games also carry this motto: “You don’t stop playing when you grow old; you grow old when you stop playing.”
This year, there are already 50 competitors in their 90s scheduled to compete.
Participants are given brochures that advertise many Cortland activities and attractions, encouraging the competitors to stay in the community during the competition.
Those wishing to volunteer can contact Jane Rowe at 749-5952 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional information on the event can be obtained by visiting the web-site www.empirestategames.org.
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