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Sports

Eckstein beats heat, chills with reality TV

ST. LOUIS — David Eckstein’s strategy for dealing with the dog days of summer: lots and lots of television.For years, the St. Louis Cardinals’ diminutive, high-energy shortstop has heard the whispers that his 5-foot-7, 170-pound body is likely to melt away in the summer heat. The answer from Eckstein, who hit a winning grand slam on Sunday, is consistent, season-long production in which the second half historically outperforms the first half, aided by nearly total inactivity when he is not playing baseball.

Grudzielanek powers Cardinals to win

MILWAUKEE - Victor Santos can’t figure out how to get Mark Grudzielanek out.Grudzielanek hit a home run and drove in a career-high five runs, leading the St. Louis Cardinals against the Milwaukee Brewers 8-4 on Monday night.

Glory at Baltusrol will be long shot

SPRINGFIELD, N.J. — The 17th hole at Baltusrol Golf Club is the longest in major championship history, measuring 650 yards down a tree-lined fairway and across a patch of bunkers and rough to an elevated green. Most figure that Tiger Woods and John Daly are the only ones who have a chance to reach it in two swings.And even that might be a stretch.

Eckstein unloads

ST. LOUIS - David Eckstein won two games with squeeze bunts in July. On Sunday, he shocked the Atlanta Braves with the long ball.

The diminutive St. Louis Cardinals’ leadoff hitter hit a grand slam off Chris Reitsma with one out in the ninth inning for a 5-3 victory against the Atlanta Braves. He hit his fourth career grand slam and the second winning slam of his career on a 1-0 pitch from Reitsma (3-3), who had entered the game with nine straight saves.

Boxing brothers bring enthusiasm to event

Justin, Kevin and Clyde Jones stood facing the red, white and blue boxing ring. The brothers, each clad in a black and silver Columbia Boxing Club uniform with a towel draped over his shoulders, pointed across the room to the crowd on the other side.

Of the more than 170 spectators at the Show-Me Boxing Exhibition on Sunday afternoon at the Holiday Inn Expo Center, about a quarter of them showed up to cheer the Joneses. The event featured 19 bouts with boxers ranging from 90 to 200-plus pounds.

Summer biking dreams

Under the trees at Rock Bridge State Park on Sunday afternoon, Dan Clinkinbeard, the Show-Me-State Games mountain biking commissioner, gives last-second instructions and jokes with the riders in the beginner level age 12-and-younger race. Riders should not play in the creek when they reach that portion of the course.

A minute later, he counts down from five, and the riders begin the race.

Hall welcomes four

CANTON, Ohio - He licked his fingers, a trademark of his 17 seasons as the NFL’s most prolific quarterback, then turned to one of his favorite receivers, Mark Clayton, in the audience.

“Go deep, Mark,” Dan Marino commanded.

Parents fuel love of basketball

Jane Whited’s voice was one of the loudest in the Hearnes Center Fieldhouse on Saturday afternoon.

“Caleb, follow your shot!” she yells, bouncing her leg nervously. “Come on, get the rebound! Box him out!”

Channs golf for change of pace

Winning was not the goal for Randy and Will Chann.

The Channs, of Columbia, played in the Show-Me State Games par-3 parent-child golf scramble Sunday afternoon at Perche Creek Golf Club.

Heat is concern as prep football practice begins

Every year Gregg Nesbitt talks to his players about the dangers of practicing in hot, humid weather.“The basic message is that the heat isn’t anything to play with,” said Nesbitt, the football coach at Hickman High School.Football fatalities happen every year, and some of them are at the high school level. But the recent death of MU football player Aaron O’Neal may add a face to the figures for local players.

Another uplifting event

Saturday evening, a line formed inside Shakespeare’s Pizza in the District. Gone from the back shelf were the familiar clear and green Shakespeare’s cups, replaced by tall, white Budweiser cups.

“We didn’t order enough,” owner Kurt Mirtsching said. “The Show-Me State Games is like a football Saturday for us. We love the games.”

Mavericks lose at Washington

The Mid-Missouri Mavericks lost 6-2 to the Washington Wild Things on Saturday at Falconi Field in Washington, Pa. Brian Baker scored on a passed ball and Thomari Story-Harden hit a home run in the ninth inning for the Mavericks (22-43), who committed four errors in the game.

Cantwell fifth, teammate Nelson wins shot put gold

HELSINKI, Finland - No more silver for Adam Nelson. At last, he has gold.

After second-place finishes in two Olympics, two outdoor world championships and one indoor world meet, Nelson won the shot put competition on Saturday night with his best throw in three years - 71 feet, 3 1/2 inches.>“I don’t know if the best person won, but I think the right person won,” said U.S. teammate Christian Cantwell, a former MU athlete who finished fifth.

Athletes drawn to refereeing

Carrying his shoes and socks, Pete Boyer walked barefoot across a crowded parking lot. He was only looking for two things: a bandage and a clean pair of socks.

“Looks like I’m going to have to wear tennis shoes for the next game,” he said. “I run every play as the players do and it takes a toll on your feet.”

Finding her balance

Classical music is playing in the background on the floor of the Hearnes Center Saturday morning as a very petite girl in a red, white and blue leotard swings from the higher of the uneven bars. Her golden blonde hair doesn’t move from the two red scrunchies holding it into two buns on the back sides of her head.

As she thinks about her next move her tongue hangs slightly out of her mouth, in concentration. She looks at a woman standing on the mat and mouths “Help me.”

Moore stays on board for gold

It should have been an intimidating situation, but it wasn’t for 7-year-old Paul Moore.

Paul has no fear.

Age just a small hurdle for cross country racer

In an event filled with young athletes, Barney Sword knows he’s an exception. At 74, Sword, of Columbia, was the oldest competitor in the Show-Me State Games Cross Country race. However, it’s a fact that doesn’t bother him.

“With running you have to realize you’re competing against yourself, not the people around you,” he said. “I can’t control how fast or slow someone else is, I just have to satisfy myself.”

Big Dogs race with the pack during cycling competition

A couple of canines were among the 96 competitors in the Show-Me State Games cycling race Saturday morning.

Romel “Lucky Dog” Quinones, 50, placed second in his age division and Bill “Daddy Dog” Earp, 62, won his age division.

New stadium on Mavs’ wish list

The Mid-Missouri Mavericks and city officials have had preliminary discussions about the possibility of a new stadium for the club, now in its third year in Columbia.

“When I traveled to the Gateway park in the Frontier League, I thought it would be nice for the Mavericks and the good people of Columbia to have a fan-friendly ballpark,” Mavericks’ co-owner and president Gary Wendt said.

Mavericks win in ninth

The Mid-Missouri Mavericks beat the Richmond Roosters 6-4 on Thursday night in the second game of a three game series at McBride Stadium in Richmond, Ind.

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