For baseball aficionados who watch Triple-A to see the stars of tomorrow, the Portland Beavers are not for you.
Most of the parent San Diego Padres' top prospects are playing elsewhere, and one assigned to Portland, infielder/outfielder Kevin Eberwein, will be lost for eight to 12 weeks after undergoing surgery on his right hand.
Two pitching prospects, Dennis Tankersley and Ben Howard, jumped over Portland recently when the parent club promoted them from AA Mobile. The same could happen with pitchers Jake Peavy and Eric Cyr.
However, indications are that the Padres will bring up third baseman Xavier Nady soon to play in Triple-A. Last year, Nady was considered the Padres' second-best prospect to fellow third sacker Sean Burroughs, but Nady has been at Class A Lake Elsinore (Calif.) for two seasons. Another third base prospect, Jake Gautreau, also plays at Lake Elsinore.
Burroughs has been hampered by a sore right throwing shoulder. It bothers his throwing but not his swinging, the Padre rookie says. The injury first occurred when Burroughs took a swing during a Beaver game last September.
The Beavers, hovering just above .500 for the first 1 1/2 months of the season, were 4-2 on their recently concluded home-stand and sport a 13-5 home record. They are on the road for the next 11 days for series at Tacoma, Las Vegas and Tucson.
The Fire will try to build some preseason momentum when they play the Chinese national team at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Rose Garden.
Portland coach Linda Hargrove has preached transition offense, defense and rebounding, and all three facets appeared stronger in the Fire's 74-60 exhibition win Saturday at Sacramento.
The Fire held the Monarchs to 37 percent shooting and won the board battle 43-26, snagging 15 offensive rebounds. Ukari Figgs was impressive in her debut running the Fire offense, scoring 15 points.
Still, Hargrove wants to see fewer turnovers. The Fire had 22 against Sacramento, including five by guard Tamicha Jackson.
Hawks eye local player
With Paul Gaustad's all-star contribution fresh in their minds, the Winter Hawks always look for Portland area talent to nurture. Last week, the Hawks put another local product, Michael Senseman, on their list. Coach Mike Williamson says Senseman, 14, who plays at Mountain View Ice Arena in Vancouver, Wash., isn't flashy or superb in any one way but is solid all-around.
Timbers seek win
The Portland Timbers (0-4-0, 0 points) return to PGE Park for a 7 p.m. Thursday game against Milwaukee. After that, they'll be idle for two weeks.
One bright spot in Portland's 1-0 road losses to Indiana and Cincinnati last weekend was new forward Noah Delgado, a 5-9 native of Fremont, Calif., who played at Fresno State.
'He's very quick and has a nose for the goal,' coach Bobby Howe says. 'He's here because of his potential. We've brought him in to help him develop.'
The University of Portland baseball team (23-26, 15-12 West Coast Conference) can win the WCC West Division by sweeping a three-game home series against Loyola Marymount. The games are at 3 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. É Oregon State (30-18, 9-9 Pacific-10 Conference) plays its final three home games of the regular season this weekend versus Washington. The Beavers, who went 0-3 at California last weekend by a combined score of 23-11, open the Husky series at 5 p.m. Friday. É OSU's 15th-ranked softball team (38-23, 7-14 Pac-10) start NCAA regional play against Wisconsin on Thursday at Iowa City, Iowa.
A Duck has won the Pac-10 decathlon title for the ninth time since Craig Brigham's victory in 1973. Senior Billy Pappas won Sunday at Pullman, Wash., scoring 7,532 points. The Pac-10 track championships for men and women are Saturday and Sunday at Washington State. É Juston Wood completed 8 of 10 passes for 11 yards and two touchdowns in Portland State's spring game Saturday. Wood led scoring drives of 70 and 67 yards. Backup Joe Wiser was 9 of 14 for 63 yards and one TD, with one interception. Ryan Fuqua, Hashim Hall, Saleem Muhammad and Joe Rubin combined for 170 yards on 35 carries.
Concordia's baseball season ended when the Cavaliers (23-36) lost 21-4 to Albertson College in the NAIA regional playoffs. É Lewis & Clark's Tracy Jonas, a junior outfielder, and Kim McBride, a sophomore utility player, made the all-Northwest Conference team. É Tim Copeland is stepping down as Pacific University women's soccer coach to assume added duties with the Portland City United Soccer club, where he also has been coaching. É The OSU women's basketball program has signed 6-2 forward Krystal Turner, who played the last two seasons at Arizona Western Community College, in Yuma.
Rookie Ben Crane of Beaverton won $518,000 and secured his PGA Tour card for next year by finishing second to Shigeki Maruyama in the Verizon Byron Nelson Classic at Irving, Texas. Crane, 26, led all golfers in the tournament with 25.5 putts per round. The former UO player jumped to 38th on the season money list with $636,029 in earnings.
Six athletes entered in this weekend's Adidas Oregon Track Classic won Saturday at the Japan Grand Prix in Osaka. Shawn Crawford ran the 100 meters in a world-leading 9.94 seconds. Other winners: Melissa Morrison, 12.81 in the 100-meter hurdles; Antonio Pettigrew, 44.72 in the 400; Kaltourma Nadjina, 52.20 in the women's 400; Mark Boswell, 7-4 in the high jump; and Charmaine Howell, 2 minutes, 3.25 seconds in the 800. The Oregon Track Classic is at 3 p.m. Saturday at Mt. Hood Community College.