In Sports from United Press International

June 17, 2002 at 11:51 PM
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Steelers sign QB Charlie Batch

PITTSBURGH, June 18 (UPI) -- Quarterback Charlie Batch, a native of Homestead, Pa., on signed a one-year contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers Monday after also being courted by the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The 27-year-old Batch will compete with Tommy Maddox for the backup job to starting quarterback Kordell Stewart in Pittsburgh. Jacksonville wanted him to serve as a backup to Mark Brunell.

Batch, 27, was essentially squeezed out in Detroit when the Lions selected Oregon quarterback Joey Harrington with the third overall pick in the April draft.

Batch lost his starting job to Mike McMahon last season and missed the last five games with a shoulder injury. He completed 58 percent of his passes for 2,392 yards and 12 touchdowns with 12 interceptions in 10 games, all losses. McMahon led the Lions to their only two wins in five starts and will compete with Harrington for the starting job in 2002.

A second-round pick in 1998, Batch started 46 of 48 games in four seasons with the Lions, completing 56 percent of his passes for 9,016 yards and 49 touchdowns with 40 interceptions.

Brewers sign Cecil Fielder's son

MILWAUKEE, June 18 (UPI) -- The Milwaukee Brewers agreed to terms Monday with their first-round pick in this month's draft, infielder Prince Fielder, the son of former major league slugger Cecil Fielder.

The younger Fielder was the seventh overall draft pick out of Eau Gallie High School in Melbourne, Fla., where he batted .524 with 10 home runs and 41 RBI in just 82 at-bats.

Like his father, the 18-year-old Fielder has ample girth. At six feet tall, he weighs 255 pounds. Unlike his father, he bats from the left side.

"He has raw power, tremendous makeup and a great family history in the game that will help him as he begins his trip through our minor league system and on to the major leagues," Brewers scouting director Jack Zduriencik said.

Fielder will begin his trip with Ogden of the Pioneer League. He was the 20th of Milwaukee's 42 draft picks to agree to terms.

IRL hears Indy 500 appeal

INDIANAPOLIS, June 18 (UPI) -- Team Green took its appeal of the 86th Indianapolis 500 Monday to Indy Racing League president and CEO Tony George who held a six-hour hearing and a decision is expected within 30 days.

Both Team Green and Penske Racing made opening statements, presented evidence and questioned witnesses before George, who also is president and CEO of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Indianapolis attorney Dave Mattingly served as administrator of the hearing. Various IRL officials attended the hearing to verify information provided by both sides. Under IRL rules, George will render the decision. While there is no deadline, a determination typically is issued within a month.

At issue is Helio Castroneves' second straight Indy 500 victory. Team Green contends that Paul Tracy passed Castroneves before a caution flag flew with two laps remaining and should have been the leader when the race ended. IRL officials have ruled that Tracy passed Castroneves after the caution period, a violation of Indy 500 rules.

Red Wings celebrate with parade

DETROIT, June 18 (UPI) -- An estimated crowd of 1.2 million screamed for the Detroit Red Wings Monday, but were unable to coax a decision from Dominik Hasek.

Chants of "One more year, one more year" rattled the ears of Hasek as the Red Wings celebrated their third Stanley Cup title in six years with a victory parade from Woodward Avenue to Hart Plaza.

Scotty Bowman received his final salute after capping the greatest coaching career in NHL history with his ninth Stanley Cup title. He announced his retirement last Thursday night after the Red Wings captured the Cup with a 3-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes in Game Five.

Now, the 37-year-old Hasek may also leave. After becoming the first European goaltender to win the Stanley Cup, Hasek also is contemplating retirement.

The Detroit fans pushed for a decision to put an exclamation point on the festivities. Backup goaltender Manny Legace riled up the crowd even further by proclaiming, "I would love to back up 'The Dominator' for one more year." But Hasek remained noncommital.

The Stanley Cup was the missing piece of hardware for the Hasek, who already had six Vezina trophies, two Hart trophies and an Olympic gold medal. If he stays, Hasek has options the next two seasons that would pay him $8 million a year.

U.S. stuns Mexico at World Cup

SEOUL, June 18 (UPI) -- Thanks to quick counter-attacks that resulted in goals from John McBride and Landon Donovan, the United States defeated Mexico and reached the quarterfinals of the World Cup.

In a sport that struggles for recognition in the United States but which is almost a religion around the rest of the planet, the Americans made the kind of impact that could not be ignored.

"We are doing something special here," said Team USA goalkeeper Brad Friedel. "We hope all the Americans can feel and recognize what an accomplishment this is."

After the United States recorded a 2-0 victory over its old rival in Jeonju, Brazil won by the same score against Belgium. Although Brazil was heavily favored, it was on its heels most of the evening in Kobe before Rivaldo finally scored in the 67th minute.

On Friday, the Americans will be a large underdog when they meet Germany in the quarterfinals, but if they can somehow pull off a win in that one, they would be two victories away from the unthinkable.

Although the United States played in the semifinals of the first World Cup in 1930, there were only 13 countries in that tournament and a team reached the semifinals by winning one of four groups. The Americans lost to Argentina in the semifinals that year, 6-0, and since then the United States had won just two World Cup matches prior to this competition.

The victory over Mexico was unexpected because of the way the United States finished group play--an uninspired 3-1 loss to Poland. It took an assist by South Korea, which beat Portugal in their final group encounter, for the Americans to back into the second round.

"I don't know if we were lucky," U.S. coach Bruce Arena said. "We beat the winner (Mexico) of the group with Italy in it. We beat one of the top five teams in the world (Portugal). We were the only team to get a point against Korea, the host country. We've had some impressive results in this World Cup. I wouldn't call that lucky, I think we have a good team. We will play a great team in Germany."

Brazil's victory will send it against England in the quarterfinals Friday in what could turn out to be the game that decides the championship.

The round of 16 comes to an end Tuesday with the co-hosting nations both in action. South Korea will face a stern test against Italy with the winner of that one going on to meet Spain. And Japan stands a real chance to advance against Turkey with surprising Senegal awaiting the winner.

Top-ranked Rice eliminated in college Series

OMAHA, Neb., June 18 (UPI) -- Brian Stavisky hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning Monday as Notre Dame stayed alive in the College World Series with a 5-3 win over Rice.

Steve Stanley started the rally with a one-out triple to right-center field off Justin Crowder (10-3), who had contained the Fighting Irish after replacing the ineffective Philip Humber in the third inning.

Steve Sollmann singled to center to tie it at 3-3 and Stavisky hitbelted a 1-2 pitch over the right center field wall for his ninth homer of the season.

Notre Dame (50-17) advances to play the loser of Monday night's Stanford-Texas game on Tuesday night. Rice, ranked first in the nation by Baseball America magazine, finished 52-14.

Monday night, J.D. Reininger homered and drove in four runs to lead Texas to an 8-7 triumph over Stanford in a winner's bracket contest at the College World Series.

Texas (55-15) receives two days off and can advance to the title game with a victory on Thursday. Stanford (46-17) will meet Notre Dame on Tuesday in an elimination game, with the winner facing the Longhorns.

Sugiyama, Kremer victorious

EASTBOURNE, England, June 18 (UPI) -- Ai Sugiyama of Japan and Luxembourg's Anne Kremer were victorious in Monday's only singles matches at the Britannic Asset Management Championships.

Sugiyama, the top ranked Japanese woman, posted a 6-4, 6-4 victory over France's Mary Pierce, who is one of three wild cards here. Kremer defeated Nathalie Dechy, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4.

Martina Navratilova and Russian Anna Kournikova are the other wild cards.

Navratilova will play her first singles match in almost eight years Tuesday against Tatiana Panova at this Wimbledon warmup. She is competing in doubles with Natasha Zvereva. The winner of 167 singles and 166 doubles titles, the 45-year-old Navratilova asked for a wild card into the event in which she is an 11-time champion. It was granted when organizers failed to entice Jennifer Capriati or Monica Seles.

Rusedski, two other seeds win

NOTTINGHAM, England, June 18 (UPI) -- Third-seeded Englishman Greg Rusedski returned from a neck injury and was one of three seeds to advance Monday in the first round of the Samsung Open.

Rusedski, who received a wild card for this tournament, recorded a 4-6, 6-2, 6-1 victory over 18-year-old Australian qualifier Todd Reid. The 28-year-old Rusedski, who has 10 career titles, has not reached the quarterfinals since February when he lost to Frenchman Nicolas Escude at Marseille.

Sixth-seeded Michel Kratochvil and No. 8 Davide Sanguinetti of Italy each had straight-sets victories Monday. Kratochvil beat British wild card Jamie Delgado, 7-6 (7-4), 6-3 and Sanguinetti ousted Jeff Coetzee, 6-4, 7-5. Romanian Adrian Voinea beat Brazil's Andre Sa, 6-1, 7-6 (7-3) and Russian Andrei Stoliarov defeated Georgia's Irakli Labadze, 6-3, 3-6, 6-2.

In Monday's other matches, Australian Wayne Arthurs eliminated Armenian Sargis Sargsian, 7-6, 6-7 (7-4), 6-2 and Frenchman Michael Llodra cruised past American Taylor Dent, 6-3, 6-4.

Comets re-acquire G Sonja Henning

HOUSTON, June 18 (UPI) -- The Houston Comets have reacquired Sonja Henning, the starting point guard on their 1999 championship team.

To get her back, the Comets sent forward Amanda Lassiter, a first-round pick in 2001, to Seattle for Henning.

"Sonja Henning gives us a proven point guard who helped us win a championship in 1999," said Comets Coach and General Manager Van Chancellor. "We hated to give up a promising young player like Amanda Lassiter, but we feel this move will improve the team."

During Houston's title run in 1999, Henning started all 32 games, averaging 4.0 points and 2.3 assists per game, and ranked second in the WNBA in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.55).

Seattle claimed Henning in the 2000 expansion draft, and she is the only player to have appeared in all 72 games in team history.

The 5-7 Henning started five of eight games for the Storm this season and averaged 2.3 points and 1.9 assists per contest.

Federer spoils Krajicek's comeback

'S-HERTOGENBOSCH, Netherlands, June 18 (UPI) -- Second-seeded Roger Federer of Switzerland, who is seeking his third title of the season, Monday spoiled the comeback of Dutchman Richard Krajicek at the Ordina Open.

Federer, who won the adidas International and the Tennis Masters Series event in Hamburg, recorded a 6-2, 7-5 win over Krajicek. Last week, Federer reached the semifinals of the Gerry Weber Open before losing to German Nicolas Kiefer in three sets.

Krajicek was playing for the first time since the Tennis Masters Series event in Stuttgart in 2000. Shortly after that tournament, he underwent right elbow surgery and missed all of the 2001 season.

Seventh-seeded Arnaud Clement of France routed Oliver Gross of Germany, 6-0, 6-2 and France's Anthony Dupuis upset eighth-seeded countryman Julien Boutter 6-4, 6-4.

In other men's matches, American Michael Russell beat Raemon Sluiter of the Netherlands, 7-6 (7-4), 6-2; Russia's Mikhail Youzhny breezed past Argentina's Agustin Calleri, 6-3, 6-0; Swiss qualifier Yves Allegro defeated Alex Calatrava of Spain, 6-4, 6-2; and Belgian Christophe Rochus rallied for a 1-6, 6-2, 6-4 win over French qualifier Rodolphe Cadart.

In women's action, fourth seed Elena Dementieva of Russia and No. 8 Martina Sucha of Slovakia each recorded straight-sets wins. Dementieva ousted Spain's Marta Marrero, 7-6 (7-4), 6-3 and Sucha dispatched Barbara Rittner of Germany, 7-6 (7-3), 7-5.

Also, Miriam Oremans of the Netherland beat Eva Dyrberg of Denmark, 6-1, 6-3; Germany's Bianka Lamade cruised past Silvana Bauer of the Netherlands, 6-2, 6-2; Andrea Glass of Germany overcame Rossana Neffa-De Los Rios of Paraguay, 6-7 (4-7), 7-5, 6-4; Russian Elena Bovina beat Germany's Marlene Weingartner, 6-4, 7-5; and Slovakia's Katarina Srebotnik defeated Anca Barna of Germany, 6-3, 6-4.

Pirates outfielder NL Player of Week

NEW YORK, June 18 (UPI) -- Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Craig Wilson, who homered in each game of a weekend series with the Cincinnati Reds, on Monday was named National League Player of the Week.

In six games, Wilson went 12-for-24 with four home runs, a double and six runs scored. He drove in at least one run in each of his six games.

Fick, Young share AL Player honor

NEW YORK, June 18 (UPI) -- Detroit Tigers outfielder Robert Fick and Texas Rangers second baseman Michael Young on Monday were named American League Co-Players of the Week.

Fick went 12-for-22 (.545) in six games with two doubles, three home runs and six RBI. He had three three-hit games, including a two-homer, five-RBI performance on June 10 against Montreal.

Young was equally as adept with the bat, hitting .542 (13-for-24) with three homers and nine RBI. His week was highlighted by a two-homer, five-hit performance on Friday at Houston.

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