Mavs Hammer Paints

The first 1,000 fans to enter the Taylor Stadium turnstiles Friday night received a free seat cushion. They didn't get much mileage out of their gifts in the early going.

The crowd spen most of the first two innings standing and applauding. Mid-Missouri scored seven runs in that span en route to an 18-1 win over the Chillicothe Paints.

Thomari Story-Harden and Eli Albertson each hit their fourth home runs of the season in the second, tying them for the team lead. Greg Buscher added his second home run of 2005 in the Mavericks' five-run seventh inning.

The win snapped a two-game losing streak for the Mavericks (7-14). Chillicothe fell to 11-11.

Chillichothe's bullpen was so bare near the end of the game that manager Glenn Wilson summoned position players to pitch. The Paints' right fielder and second baseman fared no better on the mound than its regular pitchers.

Mavericks' right-hander Nick Renault (2-1) threw a complete-game four-hitter. His 13 strikeouts werea a team season high. Renault had a perfect game through four innings before Paints' third baseman Beau Blacken singled to lead off the fifth.

Mid-Missouri and Chillicothe play again tonight at 7:05.

Years later, Gaines still inspirational

Rowdy Gaines tightened his goggles and stepped onto his block for the final of the 100-meter freestyle in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games. Around 25,000 people watched as the fastest swimmers in the world stood over the pool.

“I remember thinking this was a great chance to swim as an American,” Gaines said.

Double Dustys for Mavericks

Dusty Young did more than solidify the Mavericks’ middle infield when he joined the team as its shortstop Tuesday.

He made it possible for Mid-Missouri to boast one of the more inane distinctions in the Frontier League.

Added hours proposed for sports center

For as long as she can remember, Keiara Tatum, 16, has gone to the Armory Sports Center in the heart of downtown Columbia. She said her mother, who played in the Armory’s adult volleyball league, began taking her there when she was a small child.

Tatum said a lot of teenagers hang out at the Armory at 701 E. Ash St., and many would take advantage of the proposed extension of late-night activities the City Council discussed in its June 6 meeting.

Game part of Chung’s college goals

Whether it’s on the golf course or in life, D.J. Chung never seems to hit a bad shot.

Chung will continue his pursuit of the Francis Hagan Match Play Championship on Saturday at Lake of the Woods Golf Course. Chung is one of 16 remaining golfers to survive the field of 64.

Another sweep for Kansas City

KANSAS CITY — First they sweep the New York Yankees. Now they’ve swept the Los Angeles Dodgers.

What gives with these supposedly lowly Kansas City Royals? Three weeks ago, they were on track to lose more than 110 games. But since Buddy Bell became their manager they have won 11 of 15, including a 9-6 defeat of Los Angeles on Thursday night that gave them a three-game sweep of the Dodgers.

Pistons pull even in finals

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Tayshaun Prince looked down upon Manu Ginobili, faked him out with a quick move and darted to the basket for a resounding dunk.

It was easy, really. Almost too easy.

Roping team new to finals

Everyone stood as Sara Cunnings rode faster and faster. The 2004 rodeo queen made her way around the arena carrying the American flag while “God Bless America” was sung in the background. Announcer Travis Birdsong started the rodeo by blessing the riders and their families, “as they enjoy the sport we love.”

The arena at the Boone County Fairgrounds erupted in applause as the 2005 Dodge City Missouri High School Rodeo State Finals began at 7 p.m. Thursday. As anticipation grew, Brady Wilson, relieved to be competing in front of his home crowd, stayed relaxed.

All levels welcome to join at Skate Jam

There is a unique approach to skateboarding. For skating enthusiasts, it is more about having fun and hanging out with friends than seriously competing and trying to be the best.

So when there is an event dedicated to skating, it shouldn’t be surprising it follows that approach.

Lilly keeps Cardinals’ hitters struggling

TORONTO — Blue Jays manager John Gibbons has practically made it his mantra: Ted Lilly has to have a good season if Toronto is going to contend in the AL East.

Lilly finally lived up to the expectations Wednesday night, pitching seven scoreless innings in a 5-2 victory against the St. Louis Cardinals.

State rodeo finals in town

Goat tying, pole bending and steer wrestling are some of the events at this year’s Missouri high school rodeo finals.

The 2005 Dodge City Missouri Finals, held today through Sunday at the Boone County Fairgrounds, includes 10 contestants from Boone County.

Royals pitch solidly to win

KANSAS CITY — Jose Lima pitched eight solid innings for his first victory in 14 starts and Emil Brown drove in two runs Thursday night in Kansas City’s 3-1 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Announcer returns to Taylor Stadium

To hear Florence manager Jamie Keefe tell it, Jeff Johnson, the team’s radio voice, is Superman.

“He’s outstanding,” Keefe said. “First of all, he’s, in my eyes, probably the best broadcaster in the league. But, more importantly, he throws good BP. And he’s a good sales guy.”

Loyal fans star in Tigers’ commercial

Jack Frier’s persistence finally paid off. At 4 p.m. Wednesday, he was one of about 50 Missouri football fans who showed their enthusiasm for the Tigers in a commercial to promote the upcoming season. It was the second attempt to shoot the commercial after bad weather foiled the first try last week.

After driving from St. Louis to Columbia last week for the first attempt, Frier was disappointed when it was postponed. However, he wasn’t going to let anything stop him from participating, not even his doctor’s orders.

Mavericks’ bats overpower Freedom

His cameo appearance was brief, but Donnie Poles’ ears were only ringing for so long.

The Mavericks’ right fielder heard praise as he filled his cup from the Powerade jug in the corner of the dugout before Mid-Missouri’s 12-3 win over Florence Tuesday night.

Rookies help Royals pull away from Dodgers

KANSAS CITY — Rookie Shane Costa’s first major league home run snapped a fifth-inning tie and led the Royals past Los Angeles 3-2 Tuesday night in the first game the Dodgers ever played in Kansas City.

David DeJesus hit a two-run homer in the first for the Royals, who improved to 9-4 under new manager Buddy Bell. They were 8-25 when Tony Pena resigned on May 10.

Firing on all Pistons

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — The defending champion Detroit Pistons got a burst of life, and so did the NBA Finals.

Playing with a furious energy that was nowhere to be found in the first two games, Ben Wallace and Richard Hamilton led the way as the Pistons won 96-79, thoroughly outplaying the San Antonio Spurs in the second half of Game 3 Tuesday night.

Blue Jays edge Cards

TORONTO — Roy Halladay says he feels he is pitching as well as he did in 2003, when he won the American League Cy Young Award. The statistics show he is better.

Halladay pitched a five-hitter for his major league-leading fifth complete game, and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the St. Louis Cardinals 4-1 on Monday night.

U.S. Open Test Approaches

PINEHURST, N.C. — Four days ago, Conrad Ray was getting ready for the summer golf camp at Stanford University, where he just finished his first year as the golf coach.

Monday morning, he was on the first tee with Tiger Woods, getting ready for the U.S. Open.

Giddens’ future at KU uncertain

OLATHE, Kan. — Kansas fans who are finally getting over that embarrassing loss to little Bucknell have something new to grate on their nerves.

It’s not clear whether J.R. Giddens, the Jayhawks leading returning scorer who is recovering from a knife wound he suffered in a fight outside a Lawrence bar, will be allowed to rejoin the team. And it’s not clear he should.