October 26, 2006


Rainout could help out Cardinals pitching staff

Big Fan

Associated Press/Morry Gash
St. Louis Cardinals fan Kirk Pound from O’Fallon, Mo., stands in the rain at Busch Stadium in St. Louis as the start of Game 4 of the World Series between the Detroit Tigers and Cardinals is delayed Wednesday. The game was postponed.

AP Baseball Writer

ST. LOUIS — All this rain means more rest for pitchers, and that could spell trouble for the slumping Detroit Tigers.
Game 4 was postponed Wednesday night because of showers and will be made up tonight at 8:27 p.m., potentially sending the World Series into scheduling chaos. More wet weather was expected the next two days, and nobody was certain when Detroit and_St. Louis would play again.
Now, Cardinals manager Tony La Russa has several appealing options. He could juggle his rotation and bring back Jeff Weaver on regular rest in Game 5 instead of pitching rookie Anthony Reyes again. Reyes, however, dominated Detroit during a 7-2 victory in the opener.
So either way, the Cardinals appear to be in pretty good shape — even if their soggy field isn’t. They already lead the best-of-seven Series 2-1 against a Tigers team that batted .185 and managed a total of only five runs in the first three games.
The last time the AL champions were rained out, though, they beat the New York Yankees the next three days to win their first-round playoff series.
“Maybe we can bounce back like that again,” said Detroit leadoff hitter Curtis Granderson, who is 0-for-13 against St. Louis. “I played in this stuff plenty of times before, in high school and college.”
Tigers manager Jim Leyland also could bump up lefty Kenny Rogers, who beat Weaver in Game 2 on Sunday night and extended his shutout streak to 23 innings this postseason. But Leyland specifically set up his rotation to give Rogers two starts at home, and the Series doesn’t shift back to Detroit until Game 6.
“You can second-guess how the rotation’s going to go the rest of the series, whatever you want to do,” Leyland said. “Jeremy Bonderman is pitching the next game for the Tigers. He’s earned it. He’s one of our horses and he will be on the mound when Game 4 starts — whenever that may be.”
Game 5 at Busch Stadium was pushed back to Friday night, which was supposed to be a day off in the Series. And it doesn’t look much better this weekend in Detroit, with a cold and rainy forecast.
“They’re going to be dicey,” said Jimmie Lee Solomon, executive vice president of baseball operations in the commissioner’s office. “There is about a 70 percent chance of rain (today). It’s going to be light rain. We don’t know whether or not that rain will linger, like_it did tonight.”
After the Cardinals won 5-0 in Game 3 behind ace Chris Carpenter, a silver tarp covered the Busch Stadium infield all evening Wednesday. Players didn’t come out to warm up and Game 4 never got started.
“This wouldn’t have been a baseball game, it would have been survival,” La Russa said. “I’m actually pleased for both teams that we’re not playing. Fans, that wouldn’t have been too much fun, either.”
But Bonderman, slated to start against St. Louis’ Jeff Suppan, was eager to pitch in the light drizzle early on.
“We aren’t sugar. We ain’t going to melt,” Bonderman said.
Tigers first baseman Sean Casey, however, thought Major League Baseball made the right call.
“Guys getting hurt, having a five-inning World Series game, nobody wants that,” Casey said.
A sparse crowd was informed of the rainout about three minutes after baseball made the announcement. Fans covered in plastic, many who stayed for hours hoping the rain would stop, quickly filed toward the exits.
Some had waited out the delay in the stands. Others packed the gift shop and lined up at concession stands.
Standing beneath an umbrella in the upper deck, Victoria Atkinson was disappointed. She came all the way from Montreal to watch.
“I’m a baseball fan and I wanted to see a baseball game,” she said. “We kept hearing all different things — that there was a blip on the radar screen, that the rain might stop, that it would keep going.
“I don’t know if they could have called it earlier than they did,” she added. “I guess they had a lot of hot dogs to sell and they sold them.”
The cigarette-puffing Leyland had his own way of passing the time.
“I smoked about a carton, probably the worst day of the year for my lungs,” he said.
Steady showers all day led to the first World Series rainout since the 1996 opener between the Atlanta Braves and New York Yankees. The rain fell harder as the night progressed, and the game was called after a delay of 1 hour, 51 minutes, the first time a Series game in St. Louis has been rained out.
“It became apparent the front was not going to move through,” Solomon said. “It stalled in front of us.
“Unfortunately, Friday’s forecast is pretty bad also. We could get a soaking, as much as 2 or 2 1/2 inches, they say.”
It also was the fourth washout of a wet postseason. The Cardinals had two games rained out in the NL championship series against the New York Mets, and Game 2 of Detroit’s first-round series at Yankee Stadium also was postponed.
“You want to go out there and play, but you can’t control the weather,” St. Louis outfielder Preston Wilson said. “It’s not that big of a deal.”
Despite all the rain, La Russa said he was told by Major League Baseball that the teams might still get a travel day between Games 5 and 6.
“That has not been determined exactly how they’ll handle that, but that could happen,” Solomon said.
Added FOX network spokesman Lou D’Ermilio: “Right now my understanding is that if we play (today) and we play Friday, we’ll be playing Saturday and Sunday.”
Asked what would happen if tonight’s game was rained out, D’Ermilio said: “We didn’t get that far. We’re going to meet (today).”




Frosh keeps Red Dragons perfect

Thanks to freshman Jackie Plunkett, the SUNY Cortland field hockey team remains unbeaten.
Plunkett poked in a goal with just 4:11 left in regulation as the nationally top-ranked Red Dragons stayed unbeaten with a 1-0 victory over St. Lawrence University on Wednesday at the SUNY Cortland Stadium Complex.
The Red Dragons improved to 16-0, while the Saints are now 10-5 after having their six-game winning streak snapped.
Sophomore Stacy Billings out of Marathon recorded her eighth solo shutout of the season and the team’s 12th shutout this fall despite not making any saves. St. Lawrence junior goalie Lindsey Taylor finished with eight saves as Cortland out-shot the Saints 16-4.
The winning goal was set up when junior Kristin Courtney hit a ball into the circle from the right wing. Senior Brit Paulus played the ball on the right side and deflected it behind Taylor to Plunkett, who was in front of the cage about five yards out.
Plunkett smacked the ball into the cage for her third goal of the season.
St. Lawrence had a chance to tie the game with under three minutes remaining, but senior Sarah Child recorded a defensive save when she cleared away a shot by Mackenzie Kersen near the goal line.
The Saints also had a good scoring opportunity with 5:45 left and the game still scoreless. Patty Ball sent a long ball into the circle to Saeger Philpot, whose ensuing shot went just wide left of the cage.
Cortland out-shot the Saints in the first half, 5-0, and its best scoring chance of the period came with 30 seconds remaining. Senior Kelli Johnson worked free for a shot, but St. Lawrence senior Eliza Mathews made a defensive save to deny the goal.
The Red Dragons also pressured the Saints early in the second half, but Taylor made back-to-back saves on shots by Paulus and Plunkett to keep the game tied.
Cortland will travel to second-ranked The College of New Jersey on Sunday at 1 p.m. and will wrap up the regular season next Thursday at home versus Hartwick at 4 p.m.
RED DRAGON forward Kayla Chambers was chosen the SUNY Athletic Conference Player of the Week for the second time this season.
The sophomore out of Taconic Hills scored three goals and had an assist in a 5-0 win over Wilkes, then had a goal and an assist in a 6-0 romp past Morrisville.
For the season, Chambers is Cortland’s top scorer with 16 goals — five of those game-winners. She also had six assists.




Cortland romps in regular season finale

SUNY Cortland women closed out the regular season with a resounding soccer victory.
Freshman Mallory Morris recorded two goals and an assist, and sophomore Katie Trivisonno and sophomore Kiley Hadzicki each scored twice, as the Red Dragons defeated visiting Morrisville 9-0, in a non-league contest.
Junior Kylie Wood and freshman Lindsey Nielsen each finished with a goal and two assists for the Red Dragons (9-7-1) at the SUNY Cortland Stadium Complex White Field. Nielsen’s goal was the first of her collegiate career.
Sophomore Alyssa Cerroni also scored once for her first goal of the season, junior Mandy Womelsdorf on two goals and sophomore Kayla Sweet added an assist.
Junior Megan Thayer started in goal but did not make any saves over the first 17:40. Junior Shannon Burrows played the final 72:20 and made four saves to preserve the Red Dragons’ seventh shutout of_the season.
Morrisville freshman Katie Tiffany, from DeRuyter, played 73:10 in goal and made seven saves. She stopped six shots over the first 28:10 and made one save while playing the entire second half. Freshman Jessica Yates recorded four saves and allowed two goals over the final 16:50 of the first half for the Mustangs (2-14).
Cortland held a 23-8 advantage in total shots, including an 18-3 margin in the first half. Sophomore Kaelin Coltre took six of Morrisville’s eight shots.
Trivisonno scored Cortland’s first two goals in the first 13 minutes. Womelsdorf picked up assists on both goals, with Sweet also assisting on the second tally. Morris netted the third goal in the 17th minute and assisted on Hadzicki’s first goal in the 23rd minute.
Wood, who assisted on Morris’ first goal, found the net herself off a Nielsen assist in the 31st minute. The two combined again just over a minute later, this time Nielsen scoring off a Wood crossing pass.
In the second half, Hadzicki headed in a Nielsen cross in the 51st minute to extend the Cortland lead to 7-0. Cerroni and Morris added unassisted goals in the 64th and 82nd minutes, respectively.
The Red Dragons return to action next Tuesday when they host Buffalo State in a SUNYAC tournament quarterfinal game at 1 p.m. Cortland is the third seed and the Bengals are the sixth seed in the six-team tournament.
The winner will face second-seeded Brockport in the league semifinals Friday, Nov. 3, at the Hall of Fame Fields in Oneonta.
Cortland men are in action on Saturday, hosting Ithaca College in a 12:45 p.m. start.
IN ICE HOCKEY, Cortland junior forward Barry McLaughlin and freshman goalie Ben Binga received special SUNYC honors for the 2-0 Red Dragons.
McLaughlin, from Bellport, was named the Player of the Week after the Red Dragons captured the SUNYAC Challenge title. He had two goals and an assist in a 3-0 win over Brockport and then added an assist in a 2-1 triumph over Fredonia that gave Cortland the crown.
Binga, out of Rochester, was named the conference Goalie of the Week after earning MVP honors at the SUNYAC Challenge. He turned away 37 shots in the win over Brockport, as Cortland posted its first shutout since 2000. He added 45 saves against Fredonia, coming just 6:47 away from a second consecutive shutout before giving up a power play goal.