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November 05, 2001 - Image 9

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-11-05

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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Sports desk: 763-2459
sportsdesk@umich.edu

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D'Backs rattle Rivera, win Series

ARIZONA 3, NEw YORK 2
PHOENIX (AP) - The final World Series
comeback belonged to the Arizona Diamondbacks
and it was the greatest of all.
Luis Gonzalez hit an RBI single to cap a two-
run rally off Mariano Rivera in the bottom of the
ninth inning, and Arizona stunned the New York
Yankees 3-2 in Game 7 last night.
The Yankees were only two outs from their
fourth straight World Series title when it all fell
apart.
Tony Womack tied it with an RBI double and,
after Craig Counsell was hit by a pitch to load the
bases, Gonzalez blooped a soft single to center
field.
Rivera, who had saved 23 straight postseason
games, could do nothing but watch the ball fall in
to end the Yankees' dynasty.
What began as a November duel between Curt
Schilling and Roger Clemens climaxed with the
Diamondbacks winning the title in just their fourth
year of existence. It was the fastest rise in history,

breaking the mark of five years set by the 1997
Florida Marlins.
The Diamondbacks did it by bouncing back
from two of the toughest losses in Series history.
They dropped Games 4 and 5 at Yankee Stadium,
blowing two-run leads in the bottom of the ninth
both times.
Randy Johnson, at 38, earned the victory in
relief. He also won Game 6 on Saturday night, a
15-2 romp. Johnson was 3-0, making him the first
pitcher to win three times in a Series since
Detroit's Mickey Lolich in 1968.
He and Schilling are linked in history not only
as World Series winners - but as MVPs.
Johnson, Schilling and several Arizona old-
timers, including Gonzalez, Mark Grace, Matt
Williams and Mike Morgan, won their first cham-
pionship ring.
"They have a great ballclub over there, but this
team was relentless," Gonzalez said. "This is prob-
ably going to go down as one of the best World
Series ever."
Brenly became the first manager to win the
championship in his first year since Ralph Houk
did it with the Yankees in 1961.
The Yankees, the team that would not give up,

nearly won it for the city that would not give in. A
highly motivated bunch, they showed extra resolve
after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York.
The Yankees were a homerun swing away from
elimination in the first round against Oakland, and
lost the first two games at Bank One Ballpark.'
But back in the desert, they looked lost.
"We're obviously disappointed in the result, but
not the effort,"Yankees manager Joe Toree said.
Alfonso Soriano's solo homer off Schilling put
New York ahead 2-1 in the eighth. Rivera, the most
dominant reliever in postseason history, set down
the Diamondbacks in the bottom half.
Then in the ninth, Arizona rallied.
Grace led off with a single and Rivera threw
away Damian Miller's bunt for an error, putting
runners at first and second.
Jay Bell bunted into a force play at third, but
Womack lined a tying double to the right-field
corner. Counsell, who scored the winning run in
Game 7 with Florida in 1997, was hit by a pitch.
With the infield in, Gonzalez hit it hard enough
for a game-winning single that set off fireworks,
pounding music and deafening cheers.
The Yankees fell to 5-6 overall in deciding
Game 7s of the Series.

AP PHOTO/Daily
Arizona's Luis Gonzalez is mobbed by teammates after hitting the game-winning single in
the bottom of the ninth inning in Game 7 of the World Series.

Wait

one

second

Varsity can't
blame tough
loss on the
final seconds

EAST LANSING - Maybe the
clock ran out, maybe it didn't.
It's impossible to know. Official
time is, after all, kept by the officials
on the field.
Maybe there was still a second left.
Maybe there were three.
From my standpoint, it looked like
time expired. Sitting in my seat, I was
convinced that Michigan was robbed.
But here's the thing - the Wolver-
ines left their door unlocked. There
was no reason for them to be in that
position to begin with.
Intra-state rivalries usually bring out
the best in everyone. And Michigan
State played better than it had all sea-
son. But where was
the Michigan team
that was thinking
Rose Bowl? Where
was the nation's No.
1 rush defense?
Where was the com-
posed John Navarre,
the one that looked
too good to let JON
another UCLA slip SCHWARZ
away? The Schwartz
Coach Lloyd Carr Authority
said that his Wolver-
ines "deserved bet-
ter." He said that about six times
during his post-game press conference.
But did they? Couldn't it be argued
that they got exactly what they
deserved?
The fact remains that the game was
over long before Michigan State quar-
terback Jeff Smoker made the phantom
spike. The game was over when he
threw an incomplete pass on fourth-
and-16 from the 50. But cornerback
Jeremy LeSueur committed one of
most ill-advised penalties in Michigan
history, grabbing Michigan State
receiver Charles Rogers by the face-
mask and flinging him out of bounds.
What would have been the end of the
game turned into a 15-yard penalty and
an automatic Michigan State first
down.
But it's as unfair to blame the entire
outcome on LeSueur as it is to blame
the clock. Countless times, Michigan
could have put the game away. But
poor decision making and worse execu-
tion led to the loss.
It started right at the beginning of
the game. When Rogers ran across the
field when the Spartans were punting
from Michigan's 31, did the Wolverines
really not see the fake coming? How
did Rogers get such good position that
he had to be interfered with, extending
the drive?,
A ]n.,.x r ,,-c. NA hgy..ri ' , rnch

DANNY MOLOSHOK/Daily
Gavin Groninger lit up the EA Sports All-Stars, scoring 29
points in the Wolverines' 94-68 victory.
'M'pounds E
All-Stars, 94-68
By David Horn
Daily Sports Writer
EA Sports is not known for its basketball. Of the EA
Sports video game family, their basketball games are proba-
bly the weakest. But they field a real basketball team too, and
it was that team that gave Michigan its first test of the season
in yesterday's exhibition. Exhi-
( EA SPORTS 68 bition or regular season, video
game or real live men, the
M MICHIGAN 94 Wolverines were interested in
the win.
"Never underestimate the habit of winning," has become
an early mantra of head coach Tommy Amaker. Michigan got
the win, 94-68, on the strength of a phenomenal shooting day
by junior guard Gavin Groninger.
Groninger, who is .never hesitant to pull the trigger on 3-
pointers, shot 7-of-i 1 from 3-point land and 9-of-14 overall,
finishing the game with 29 points. He was helped offensively
by senior captain Leon Jones, whose 19 points and nine
rebounds picked up the slack of three key players who spent
their day on the bench.
LaVell Blanchard sat down after just six minutes when he
re-aggravated his ankle, which was injured last week during
practice. He should practice today and for the rest of the
week.
Bernard Robinson sat due to a violation of team rules. He
will practice this week, and will likely play in next weekend's
exhibition.
Josh Moore is still nursing his back, which has been giving
him problems all preseason.
See EA SPORTS, Page 3B
Stickersbaned
in Big Ten semi__s
S FIELD HOCKEY
Ir, rCHAMvPIONSHIPS
By Blake FRlion
Daily Sports Writer

DANNY MOLOSHOK/Daily
Eric Brackins and the rest of the Wolverines had a tough time bringing down Michigan State's T.J. Duckett, who ran for 211 yards and
scored two touchdowns, including the game-winner with no time left on the clock..
Last-second heroics doom Wolvernes

By Arun Gopal
Daily Sports Writer
EAST LANSING - When Michigan
State coach Bobby Williams walked up to
the podium for his press conference follow-
ing Saturday's last-second, 26-24 victory
over No. 6 Michigan, he looked at the
microphone, smiled and asked, "Is this
thing on?"
The normally-reserved Williams could
afford to crack jokes, following what might
have been the greatest game in the storied
Michigan-Michigan State rivalry. When
tailback T.J. Duckett caught Jeff Smoker's
heave into the endzone on the final play to
give the Spartans (3-2 Big Ten, 5-2 overall)
the victory, Spartan Stadium exploded and
Michinan State celhrated an imnrnhhle

ing on the pile, but I said, 'No, no, I better
not'," a visibly thrilled Williams said. "That
was a huge win for this program."
Michigan (4-1, 6-2) entered the game
having lost on three of its last four trips to
East Lansing. The last thing the Wolverines
needed was to fall behind early, which is
exactly what happened.
After being stopped at Michigan's 31-
yard line on its first possession, Michigan
State lined up in punt formation. But, the
Spartans had no intention of kicking the
ball; instead, punter Craig Jarrett lofted a
pass to a streaking Charles Rogers, who
drew a pass-interference penalty against
freshman cornerback Marlin Jackson.
The penalty gave the Spartans a first-
down at the 16-yard line, and Michigan
State wated little time in taking advantage.

Spartans a 7-0 lead just 5:27 into the game.
"I just tried to make a play, tried to put
some points on the board," said Rogers,
who finished with 86 yards and a touch-
down on six receptions. "Smoke went to
me, and it was the right time."
The Wolverines responded on their next
possession when Hayden Epstein kicked a
school-record 57-yard field goal to cut the
deficit to four. Michigan finally took its
first lead of the game in the second quarter.
Following a missed Michigan State field
goal, the Wolverines got the ball at their
own 33-yard line and drove 67 yards in
eight plays. Michigan quarterback John
Navarre connected with Marquise Walker
for a 14-yard touchdown to give the
Wolverines a 10-7 lead.
But. the Soartans wasted no time in

The disappointing season for the Michigan field hockey
team continued as it fell to Ohio State 3-0 in the semifinals of
the Big Ten Tournament. After defeating Northwestern 6-1 in
the quarterfinals, the Wolverines looked poised to capture
their third-consecutive conference tournament title. After the
victory the team - including coach Marcia Pankratz - was
very optimistic about its upcoming matches and the level of

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