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Monday, May 18, 1998

Ex-Eagle Peters wins batting title

PECOS, May 18 -- Former Pecos Eagles baseball player Matt
Peters, now a fifth-year senior at the University of
Texas-Pan American, won the Sun Belt Conference batting
title this season, finishing with a .420 average.

Peters, whose father Steve was head baseball coach for the
Eagles during the 1970s, earned all-district honors for
Pecos his junior season, before moving to Eldorado in 1992.

He didn't play baseball as a senior, then walked on at
UT-Pan Am, where after redshirting as a freshman, he played
three years for Al Ogletree, who coached Steve Peters at Sul
Ross State University from 1967-69.

Along with leading the Broncs in hitting, Peters also was
first in sacrifice bunts with seven and in triples with
three. He wound up with 58 hits in 138 at-bats to beat out
South Alabama's Tom Whitehurst (.401) and Randy Sugg of
Arkansas State (.400).

"I think coach Reggie (Treadaway) really gave me a lot of
confidence in my hands, to trust in it, and to believe in
yourself," Peters said, though he was doubtful about being
selected in the June 8 amateur draft.

"No I don't expect to be drafted," he said. "Why? I guess I
don't fit the mold for professional baseball. They usually
draft guys over six feet with big bats. I'm content with
that. I'm just happy I made it this far. I'm not a power
threat. About 20 of my hits were bunts."

The 5-foot-9 Peters improved his average by 139 points over
1996 for UT-Pan Am, which went 18-32 overall this season,
and were eighth in the Sun Belt Conference, with an 11-15

Peters father did play one season in the Milwaukee Brewers'
minor league system, before taking over three years later as
PHS head baseball coach. He served in that position until
1982. He also served as assistant football coach, before
working at the First National Bank. He's currently
superintendent for the Irion County ISD in Mertzon.

Wells springs perfect game on Twins, 4-0

AP Sports Writer
NEW YORK, May 18 -- David Wells had been called a lot of
things. Perfect wasn't one of them.

Until Sunday.

Until he became only the 13th player in modern major league
history to throw a perfect game.

``Couldn't happen to a crazier guy, huh?'' Wells said after
the Yankees' 4-0 victory over the Minnesota Twins. ``I'm
just going to cherish this for the rest of my life.''

He is burly, perhaps overweight. Goofy, confrontational and
maybe a bit peculiar.

And he's one of only two people to throw perfect games in
Yankee Stadium, baseball's most famous ballpark. The other,
Don Larsen, did it in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series.

Both went to the same school: Point Loma High in San Diego.

And both are carefree characters who love the nightlife.

``Two Point Loma Pointers pitching perfect games,'' Wells
said with a laugh, puffing on a Monte Cristo cigar after
taking Larsen's telephone call in the clubhouse.

``I knew that. I understand he's goofy, too,'' Larsen said
from his home in Idaho. ``I'm glad for him.''

Wells (5-1) struck out 11, throwing 79 strikes and 41 balls
in dominating from start to finish.

``In the seventh inning, I started getting really nervous.
I knew what was going on,'' Wells said. ``I was hoping the
fans would kind of shush a little bit. They were making me

With 49,820 on hand for Beanie Baby Day, the ballpark was
nearly full. It was hard to believe some fans left after the
eighth inning to beat traffic.

``I'm sure there have been no-hitters that have been
pitched when there were like 16,000 people in the stands.
It's nice to have one on a day when there's 50,000 people,''
said Yankees manager Joe Torre, who watched Larsen's game
from the upper deck in left. ``We'll keep remembering what
Beanie Babies mean from now on -- even though the Boomer is
the farthest thing from a Beanie Baby.''

Wells tried to keep his mind occupied, but his teammates
tried to avoid him, except for David Cone and Luis Sojo.

``After the seventh inning, I told him it was time to break
out the knuckleball,'' Cone said. ``He let out a big laugh.
That told me he needed it.''

When Wells came back to the dugout after the eighth, Cone
said he was disappointed not to see any knucklers.

``You ain't shown me nothin','' Cone told him.

Wells, who went to a three-ball count on four batters, gave
up his only hard-hit ball in the eighth, Ron Coomer's sharp
one-hopper up the middle that second baseman Chuck Knoblauch
knocked down. Knoblauch recovered and had plenty of time to
throw out his former teammate.

``That's a reaction-type play,'' Knoblauch said. ``It
hopped up in my face.''

Wells got a standing ovation as he came out to pitch the
final inning, and the crowd stayed on its feet. Jon Shave
hit a routine fly to right. Javier Valentin struck out.

It all came down to Pat Meares. He took a called strike,
then lofted a high, lazy fly to Paul O'Neill in right.

Wells pumped his left fist twice at the ground after the
final out.

'' `This is great Jorge! This is great!' He must have said
it six times,'' catcher Jorge Posada remembered.

Wells' teammates swarmed him, and the hero was carried off
the field by Bernie Williams and Darryl Strawberry.

By the time he made it into the clubhouse, three magnums of
champagne already were on the carpet in front of his locker.
Comedian Billy Crystal was there to get his ticket stub

``I got here late. What happened?'' Crystal said to him.

Jackson given no slack by Pippen in Bulls' win

AP Basketball Writer
CHICAGO -- They'll be giving the MVP award to Michael
Jordan today.

Based on what happened in Sunday's game, they could have
given it to Scottie Pippen.

Right from the start, Pippen confronted Indiana point guard
Mark Jackson with 94 feet of in-your-face defense. The rest
of the Bulls followed his lead as Chicago beat the Pacers
85-79 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals.

``I wanted to play Jackson, I wanted to make him have to
work,'' Pippen said. ``We felt Ron (Harper) could do a
better job on Reggie (Miller) and give Michael more energy
from an offensive standpoint.''

With their playmaker unable to comfortably run the offense,
the Pacers turned into an inept, bumbling bunch. And after
the Bulls shook off their offensive cobwebs, they were on
their way to a 1-0 lead in the best-of-7 series.

Tonight, the Utah Jazz try to take a 2-0 lead in their
Western Conference final when they play host to the Los
Angeles Lakers. The Jazz befuddled Shaquille O'Neal and the
Lakers 112-77 in Game 1 on Saturday.

``That's something we looked at coming into this series,''
Pippen said of defending Indiana's point guard. ``(Jackson)
really makes that team click, and with ball pressure and my
size, it sort of limits the offensive opportunities that he
can have and also allows us to pressure the ball and not let
him see our defense.''

It was a scheme for which Indiana had no answer. And as the
Pacers prepare to play Game 2 on Tuesday night, they'll
undoubtedly be wondering what wrinkles the Bulls will come
up with next.

In the meantime, Jordan will receive his fifth Most
Valuable Player award.

``I feel proud about it,'' Jordan said. ``But right now I
can't say I've accomplished everything I wanted to
accomplish. It puts more pressure on me and this team when
you win this type of award, because now they expect you to
win the championship.

``I'm sure (the voters) expect the elevation of my game to
the point where we get the sixth championship -- and that is
part of my challenge.''

Jordan certainly looked like anything but an MVP as he
struggled through a 1-for-9 first half, even missing three
or four layups.

But he was his old self in the second half, scoring 25 of
his 31 points as Chicago went ahead and stayed ahead.

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