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Wednesday, October 22, 1997

Pratfall Classic: Marlins let off hook by Indians

AP Sports Writer
CLEVELAND, Oct. 22 -- Who's the frozen fish now?

Not the Florida Marlins. By the time they had finished with World Series Game 3, much of the nation must have thought ``The Mistake by the Lake'' referred specifically to the Indians' fielding.

``Tonight, both teams out-uglied each other,'' Indians manager Mike Hargrove said after Florida scored seven runs in the ninth, then gave up four to wind up with 14-11 victory over Cleveland and a 2-1 World Series lead.

Yes, the weather was cold: 49 degrees and a 29 wind-child at game-time.

Cleveland's fielding was even colder.

The Indians, who led 7-3 in the sixth, tied a World Series record by making three errors in one inning. With the score 7-all in the ninth, Marquis Grissom's throw following Darren Daulton's single hit Bobby Bonilla sliding into third and bounced into a p
hotographer's well, allowing the go-ahead run to score.

After that, it just got worse for Cleveland as the Marlins, in just their fifth year of existence, moved within two wins of a World Series title.

``I've never been involved in a game like this,'' said Gary Sheffield, who drove in five runs and made a great catch to rob Jim Thome of an extra-base hit.

``I've never been in a 14-11 game,'' Sheffield said. '' Just to do it in the World Series, you never think you're going to score that many runs in the World Series. I can't explain it.''

It was the second highest-scoring Series game, trailing only Toronto's epic 15-14 victory in Game 4 four years ago. Daulton, who played for the Philadelphia Phillies in that one and watched a 14-9 lead slip away, had a panic when Florida got its 14th run
against the Indians.

``Fourteen wasn't a good number on that night,'' Daulton said. ``It was tonight.''

It was hard to believe these were pennant-winners. They combined for 17 walks -- two short of the Series record -- six errors and seven unearned runs.

``I don't attribute the poor play to the weather,'' Hargrove said. ``It's just poor play.''

After the go-ahead run, reliever Eric Plunk made a pickoff throw that first baseman Jim Thome mishandled for an error that made it 9-7, and second baseman Tony Fernandez misplayed Craig Counsell's grounder to enable another run to score.

Sheffield and Bonilla followed with two-run singles off Jose Mesa and the Marlins had a 14-7 lead.

``It was a helpless feeling there in the ninth,'' Indians left fielder Bip Roberts said. ``Every time they put the bat on the ball, something bad happened.''

The morning -- the game ended at 12:36 a.m. -- got even stranger in the bottom half, when Marlins closer Robb Nen allowed a sacrifice fly to Fernandez, an RBI single to Marquis Grissom and a two-run double to Roberts before Omar Vizquel's game-ending gro

Florida, which made three errors of its own in falling behind, seemed as relieved as it was excited.

``I think it was bigger for us because this is the loudest crowd I've ever played in front of,'' said Sheffield, who hit a solo homer in the first, walked with the bases loaded in the third and doubled home the tying run in the seventh.

``I couldn't even hear myself think,'' he said. ``To pull out the first victory here is a big win.''

Florida will try to make it 3-1 tonight, with Tony Saunders facing Jaret Wright in a matchup of rookies. Conditions will be even harsher, with the gametime temperature forecast to be in the 30s.

``Let's not think about the ring. Let's not think about being the world champions,'' Marlins manager Jim Leyland said. ``Let's think about today's game and play today's game and see what happens from there.''

Eagles seek second place playoff game

PECOS, Oct. 22 -- The Pecos Eagles won't be finishing first in the District 4-4A volleyball standings, but they will have a chance to force a playoff for second place this Saturday, when they face the San Angelo Lake View Maidens.

The Eagles, who clinched a playoff spot this past Saturday thanks to their win over Big Spring and San Angelo's victory over Fort Stockton, were off on Tuesday, while Andrews and Lake View were scoring two game victories over the Steers and Prowlers. It
left the Mustangs two games up on the Eagles and the Maidens a game ahead of Pecos going into Saturday's final regular season matches.

"If we beat Lake View, we'll have to have a playoff for second," said Eagles' coach Becky Granado, while San Angelo could force a playoff for first, with a win and a loss by Andrews to Big Spring.

Any playoff would be early next week, with bi-district play for the second and third place teams set for Oct. 30 or Nov. 1. District champions earn a bye into the area round of the playoffs.

Granado said the Eagles will face either, El Paso Burges or El Paso High in bi-district. Those teams are tied for second in District 3-4A, and face each other Saturday. "I'm going to send Lily (Talamantez, Pecos' freshman coach) out there to see them," s
he said.

Talamantez' freshman team has finished its season, as Saturday's scheduled match against Lake View has been canceled. Granado said play will start Saturday with the junior varsity match at 1 p.m., followed by the varsity at about 2:30 p.m.

Switzer doubts second Philly `miracle'

IRVING, Texas, Oct. 22 (AP) -- When last we saw Barry Switzer against the Philadelphia Eagles, he was dashing on the field after a botched field goal on ``Monday Night Football,'' hugging any Dallas Cowboy he could find.

The Cowboys get the Eagles in a rematch Sunday and Switzer knows it will be a wild day in Veterans Stadium with a repeat football miracle unlikely.

``To win we'll have to play both halves of the game better than any half we played against them the last time,'' Switzer said Tuesday. ``We were very fortunate.''

Indeed. Dallas won 21-20 because holder Tom Hutton bobbled the snap on what was going to be a routine 21-yard field goal. Time ran out and Chris Boniol never got to swing his leg.

The Eagles beat Arizona 13-10 on a 24-yard overtime field goal by Boniol last Sunday. This time coach Ray Rhodes brought the team to the sideline to make sure things were right.

Switzer said Dallas will have to earn a win, not expect one to drop out of the sky.

``You look at them on film and they are a frightening offensive team,'' Switzer said. ``They are the No. 1 team in the NFL and the reason is their offensive line and their running back (Ricky Watters).''

Switzer broke out one of his homespun compliments for Watters.

``There's no running back like Watters,'' Switzer said. ``He's a slasher, he can change directions. He's a herky, jerky, highstepping, skipping, dancing fool. He's one of the great backs in football. I used to enjoy watching him when he was at Notre Dame

The Eagles (3-4) need the win to pull even with Dallas (4-3) at the halfway point of the season.

Playing a team the second time, provides something of a chess match for both coaches.

``We'll look at how they played us the last time and try to guesstimate on what they're going to do this time,'' Switzer. ``They probably won't use all the same stunts and blitzes.''

Switzer said it will handicap the Eagles defense this time around because of the injury to cornerback Bobby Taylor.

``They probably won't play us the same way in the secondary,'' Switzer said. ``They won't press their corners all the time. I imagine they will mix it up. Taylor is a great player and we know they'll miss him.''

Taylor's matchup with Dallas wide receiver Michael Irvin has been one of the highlights of the series between the two teams in recent seasons. Dallas has won 10 of its last 12 games against Philadelphia.

The Cowboys might also be missing one of their secondary mainstays, strong safety Darren Woodson.

Woodson, who has never missed a game in his six-year NFL career, has a hyperextended right knee.

Whether Woodson will break his 80-consecutive game streak remains questionable. Switzer listed him at 50-50 for the game at noon on Sunday.

``Woody has an MRI and there was no damage,'' Switzer said. ``We hope he can play but we know he didn't look like himself last week.''

Woodson had to come out of the Cowboys' 26-22 win over Jacksonville and his replacement, rookie Omar Stoutmire, preserved the victory with a late interception.

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