THE HARD WAY
On Saturday, Point Park College of Pittsburgh beat Waynesburg State 8-1 in an NAIA baseball game. The victory was the Pioneers' 35th in a row, breaking the college mark set by Texas in 1977 and tied by David Lipscomb College of Nashville in 1984. Remarkably, Point Park is a three-building institution in the heart of Pittsburgh and owns neither a gym nor a baseball diamond. "We don't have athletic facilities per se," says Ginny Frizzi, the school's director of media relations, "but we make do."
One way the Pioneers make do is by working out in the basement of a campus building when it rains. Also, coach Mark Jackson, who has a 150-24 record in four years at Point Park, has installed a batting cage in a storage room. "I'm convinced our situation has helped us," he says. "Adversity is either going to rip you apart or make you stronger. We've chosen the latter."
The college, which has 1,000 full-time and 1,500 part-time students, has four athletic teams, whose home games are scattered far afield. The men's basketball team plays at a community college on the north side of town, while the women play at a high school in South Hills. The softball team hosts games at Chartiers Park in Bridgeville, Pa., and the baseball team plays at a public park in Butler, Pa. The baseball players make the half-hour commute to practice by bus, and on game day there are vans for fans. "We had 50 there a week ago when we tied the record," says Point Park sports information director Ron Wahl. "That's the most we've ever seen."
The game would have drawn even better had it been promoted as a record-setting effort. But, says Wahl, "No one knew we were that close." After the game, Jackson got curious. "I figured the record would be 40 or 50 straight wins," he says. "When I looked it up and realized we had tied it, I was really surprised. Obviously, we didn't focus on it."
Two Maryland legislators have introduced a bill that would require state lottery ads to bear the warning, "Playing the lottery is a form of gambling and can be compulsive." Maryland already has two daily games plus the weekly Lotto, and Governor William Schaefer has proposed two additional sports lotteries to help fund the construction of two stadiums. Last year lotteries raised $718.3 million, and it is considered doubtful that the legislature will do anything to jeopardize this money-making machine.
PUTTING IS A SNAP
In a recent college golf tournament in Durham, N.C., Wooster's Mike Collins became frustrated after three-putting 4 of the first 10 greens. Collins rested his putter on the back of his neck, pulled down and—snap!—the club broke. So Collins started putting with his eight-iron. He didn't three-putt another hole and finished with a 79.
He should have learned. The next day, using the repaired putter, he three-putted five times en route to an 88.