Shreveport Captains right fielder Ted Wood has something

in common with St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Ozzie Smith

and 1988 Heisman Trophy winner Barry Sanders.

All three have been successful clients of famed


expert Mackie Shilstone.

"Ted's improvement this year can be traced to the special

program he attended in the past offseason that was conducted

by Mackie Shilstone," said Shreveport manager Bill Evers.

"His added strength has had a positive effect on every

aspect of his game."

Wood, a member of the 1988 U.S. Olympic baseball team, played

a key part in a two-run first-inning outburst that propelled

the Captains past

the Tulsa Drillers 3-1 Thursday night at Drillers Stadium.

The loss dropped the Drillers one game behind first-place

Jackson in the second-half Texas League Eastern Division


After Shilstone's instruction, Wood has had six homers,

31 runs batted in and a .270 batting average in just over

half a season. Last season, Wood hit .258 with no homers

and 43 RBIs for Shreveport.

"I'm not trying to hit homers," said Wood, a 23-year-old

left-handed batter. "They're just coming. Having a year

of experience in the league also has helped."

In the first inning Thursday, Wood, the parent San Francisco

Giants' second-round selection in the 1988 amateur draft,

hit an opposite-field, line-drive double to the warning

track to drive in Andres Santana from third base with the

game's first run.

Santana had started the game with a single off of Tulsa

left-hander Eric McCray, 3-3, stolen second base and advanced

to third on a wild pitch. Wood moved to third on a passed

ball by catcher Bill Haselman that originally was ruled

a wild pitch and scored on an infield grounder by Steve

Decker that deflected off McCray's glove.

Tulsa cut its deficit to 2-1 in the fourth inning on two-out

singles by Dan Rohrmeier, Bill Haselman and Paco Burgos.

But Shreveport countered with a run in the fifth. Erik Johnson

drew a one-out walk, moved to second on a wild pitch and

scored on a two-base throwing error by McCray on a pickoff


"McCray pitched very well in his seven innings," said

Tulsa manager Tommy Thompson. "The double (by Wood) in

the first that could have been caught and the bad pickoff

throw made a difference."

Three runs were all that Shreveport pitchers Rafael Novoa

and Steve Reed needed. Novoa scattered eight hits in 7 1/3

innings in his Class AA debut. Reed rescued Novoa from a

two-on, one-out jam in the eighth and pitched 1 2/3 innings

of hitless relief to pick up his third save.

"Novoa was outstanding," said Evers. "Reed is our closer

now that (Shreveport saves leader) Mark Dewey has been called

up (to Class AAA Phoenix). Reed did a good job as a closer

at (Class A) Clinton last year, and he will fill that role

well for us now."


Pitchers Jonathan Hurst and Fidel Compres, who were called

up from Class A Charlotte on Wednesday, are expected to

join the team today. Hurst, who will be inserted into the

starting rotation, was 8-1 with a 2.64 earned run average

while Compres, who will move into the bullpen, was 4-2 with

a 3.04 ERA. . .

Tulsa outfielder Kevin Belcher, who leads the team with

a .345 batting average, is being bothered by a tender right

arm and is hitless in his past 13 at-bats. He was limited

to designated-hitter duties Thursday. . .

Tulsa outfielder Dan Peltier, who is second on the team

with 37 RBIs, is expected to feel healthy enough to make

his first start of the second half tonight. Peltier has

suffered from an undiagnosed illness for most of the month.

. .

Before the seventh inning, home-plate umpire Darrel Mason

requested that the Drillers discontinue playing between-inning

music so close to the start of an inning. Mason was the

first umpire to complain about the Drillers' music-playing

this season.