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College World Series Notebook

June 14, 1999

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) _ Every time the Miami Hurricanes go to the interview room, their bilingual side comes out.

Jerry Del Castillo of WFBA Radio in Miami does play-by-play of the games in Spanish for listeners back in South Florida.

``Hispanics love baseball,″ he said.

During both of the Hurricanes’ post-game news conferences, Del Castillo has asked questions in English, repeated them in Spanish and received answers in both languages.

After Miami beat Alabama 8-1, Del Castillo asked right fielder Manny Crespo to discuss a seventh-inning bunt.

Crespo responded in Spanish as pitcher Alex Santos, who speaks Portuguese and some Spanish, translated for first baseman Kevin Brown. Crespo hesitated briefly before saying his answer again in English.

Del Castillo said he has broadcast baseball on the radio in Miami about five years, but this is his first College World Series. He said his tapes are used by other Spanish-language television and radio stations in the Miami area.

Crespo, pitcher David Gil and utility player Javier Rodriguez are among the Miami players who speak Spanish.


STREAM FISHING: If Texas A&M coach Mark Johnson isn’t sitting in a dugout or studying a scouting report, he often daydreams of dropping a fishing line in a mountain creek.

Johnson said he relaxes by thinking about his hometown of Las Vegas, N.M., a town of 15,600 residents on the east side of the Sangre de Cristo mountains in northern New Mexico.

``It’s a beautiful area,″ Johnson said. ``I used to go up Gallinas Canyon. I like to stream fish, and I was 20 minutes away from that. I love fishing for trout and walking the streams.″

The Aggies play Cal State-Fullerton in an elimination game Monday at the College World Series.

After this week, Johnson will resume his work as coach of Team USA. The collection of college and other amateurs plays this summer against the national teams from Japan, Nicaragua and elsewhere.

Another American team, made up of Class AAA pros and players from the 40-man rosters of major-league clubs, will compete at the Pan American Games in Canada as baseball follows the trend of professionals in the Olympics.

Johnson grew up in Las Vegas, where his father was an administrator at New Mexico Highlands University, and became an All-WAC outfielder at New Mexico during the mid-1960s.

He broke into coaching as an assistant with the Lobos and moved on to Arizona, Mississippi State and Texas A&M. He worked under two of the best-known college coaches: Jerry Kindall in Tucson and Ron Polk at MSU.

Johnson said bringing the Aggies to Omaha and being named coach of the United States team were big honors.

``It’s an amazing thing for me when I think of being from a small town like Las Vegas,″ he said. ``I’ve been really fortunate that things fell right for me. I got around the right people and got some good breaks.″


RECORD CROWD: The attendance of 24,859 for the late game between Rice and Oklahoma State was a record for a College World Series contest. The previous mark of 24,456 came during last year’s championship game.

It has been another good series at the gate. The crowd of 23,302 for Saturday night’s game between Stanford and Cal State-Fullerton was the third straight time the Rosenblatt Stadium fans set a record for the session.


OUCH, THAT HURTS: It was bad enough that Alabama lost to Miami. Some of the Tide players took a few lumps during the game, too.

Brent Boyd was hit on his left thumb by Miami starter Alex Santos with two outs in the top of the third. Boyd grabbed his hand and fell to the ground, where he stayed for about a minute as trainers attended to him.

He was applauded when he got up and walked to first base. His thump appeared swollen but Boyd stayed in the game and even dived at a ground ball by Bobby Hill in the bottom of the inning.

With Hill on second later in the inning, shortstop Andy Phillips came up limping briefly on a pickoff attempt. Phillips seemed to have his leg collapse under his weight as he tried to block the bag. Hill was safe on the play.

Finally, in the bottom of the sixth, Phillips took another one for the team when Mike Rodriguez slid into second and spiked him in the calf.

Team officials reported no serious injuries.


THEATER OF DREAMS: About 400 people, including College World Series players, their friends and family members, attended a screening of Kevin Costner’s new film ``For the Love of the Game″ on Sunday.

The verdict?

``It was pretty good,″ said Cal State-Fullerton pitcher John Smith.

Costner, in town for Saturday night’s game between the Titans and Stanford, also attended the screening at the Oak View Theater. He signed autographs for a long line of players and other fans.

Former Cal State-Fullerton coach Augie Garrido, who now coaches at Texas, plays the manager of the New York Yankees. Fullerton coach George Horton said Garrido and Costner are longtime friends.

Jose Mota, the son of former Los Angeles Dodgers player Manny Mota and an infielder on the Titans’ 1984 NCAA championship team, is cast in the film as shortstop for Costner’s team, the Detroit Tigers.

``We thought it was fabulous,″ Horton said.

Costner plays an aging pitcher who is throwing a perfect game against the Yankees. The film is set over the course of the game, with flashbacks of a love story and other scenes.

Horton said Costner fans, especially women, will appreciate key locker room and shower scenes.

``If you’re a Kevin fan, the word will get out,″ he said.

Costner left Omaha after the screening.

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