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