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College World Series Notebook

June 18, 1999

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) _ Alabama shortstop Andy Phillips thought he knew everything about ``The Andy Griffith Show.″

Then he was grilled by Arizona Diamondbacks manager Buck Showalter. They chatted on a cellular phone as the Crimson Tide warmed up to play Miami.

``The first thing he asked me was how many episodes they made,″ Phillips said. ``I guessed 150. He told me there were 230-something episodes and he’s got every one of them cataloged on video.″

The impromptu quiz started when ESPN analyst Harold Reynolds, a former major-leaguer, noticed in the Alabama media guide that Phillips considers himself a fan of the show.

And that made Reynolds think of Showalter, whose knowledge of Mayberry is storied in baseball circles. Reynolds dialed Showalter’s home in Phoenix and handed the phone to Phillips behind the batting cage.

After a few minutes, Phillips was humbled.

``He told me all kinds of things, like Floyd the barber got polio and they never let him walk again after the 110th episode,″ Phillips said. ``I usually watch every day but now I know I’m definitely not as big a fan as I thought.″

Phillips went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts as his Southeastern Conference-record 36-game hitting streak ended in Alabama’s loss.


SPECIAL VISITOR: Former Southern California coach Rod Dedeaux was honored in a ceremony behind home plate just before the first pitch.

As part of the celebration surrounding Omaha’s 50th year of playing host to the College World Series, Mayor Hal Daub gave Dedeaux a key to the city.

Dedeaux led the Trojans to 10 of USC’s 12 championships, more than any other school. His 60-16 record (78 percent) is the best among coaches who appeared in at least 20 games at Omaha.

After the ceremony, Dedeaux received a one-minute standing ovation. He watched both games from a front-row seat near the visitor’s dugout.


LUCKY DOG: The Hurricanes sure have a funny-looking good luck charm.

Left-hander Eduardo Perez had been driving around Coral Gables, Fla., for several months with a small stuffed Chihuahua dog that he bought at a convenience store. Its head is mounted on a spring.

When the postseason began, he shared it with his teammates.

``I always had good luck when it was in my car,″ Perez said.

It’s the responsibility of right-hander Darryl Roque to bring the dog into the dugout and remove it after the game. When Miami needs a hit, Perez makes the dog’s head bounce on its spring.

``It shakes out his good luck and gets us some runs when we need a little help,″ Perez said.

It seems to be working for the Hurricanes, who are unbeaten in eight postseason games and will play for the national title Saturday. Roque even brought it to the postgame interview.

Roque was asked if it really works.

``Do you want to ask him?″ Roque said, bouncing the head with his finger.

It nodded yes.


ON SECOND THOUGHT: Umpire Bill Davis changed his call on a close play in the second inning of the early game, when Alabama’s Brent Boyd appeared to be out on a headfirst slide into first base.

It happened with a runner at second, one out and the score tied 1-1. Boyd grounded to shortstop Bobby Hill, who threw to first. Kevin Brown stretched and bobbled the catch as Boyd arrived in a dust cloud.

Davis paused, then called Boyd out. The Crimson Tide players rushed from the third-base dugout, stopping after a few feet while coach Jim Wells kept running over from the third-base box to argue.

After a brief talk, Davis walked down the baseline to consult with home plate umpire Ken Couch. Davis then turned around and gave the safe sign, bringing cheers from the Alabama bench.

Miami coach Jim Morris came out of his dugout to argue.

Kelley Gulledge took third on the play and scored to give Alabama a 2-1 lead when the next batter, Darren Wood, sacrificed.

Replays showed Brown dropped the ball as Boyd arrived. Hill eventually was charged with a throwing error.


NOT-SO-CLOSE CALL: After Antonio Bostic made the last out on a force at second, he threw his helmet across the infield as Miami players celebrated.

Shortstop Bobby Hill fielded a grounder from Derek Wigginton and stepped on the bag to force Bostic.

``It was close, but not that close,″ Hill said. ``I was there in plenty of time.″