Monday, November 05, 2001

D'Backs revel in classic victory

The Associated Press

        PHOENIX — No comeback could be more unlikely, perhaps no World Series more dramatic.

        The Arizona Diamondbacks, headed for another excruciating one-run loss that would give New York its fourth consecutive championship, staged a shocking two-run, ninth-inning rally of their own Sunday night.

        “This is probably going to go down as one of the best World Series ever,” said Luis Gonzalez, who singled in the winning run in the 3-2 victory.

        It was the first time a team had rallied from a deficit to win in the ninth inning of a Game 7. The only comparable thriller came in 1912, when the Boston Red Sox rallied to beat the New York Giants in the 10th inning of Game 7.

        “I would have to say this has to be one of the very classic World Series,” said Diamondbacks owner Jerry Colangelo, who held the championship trophy as Curt Schilling doused his head with champagne in the Arizona clubhouse. “The ebbs and the flows and the great games and plays. But this is what stories and dreams are about, to win a World Series.”

        Colangelo tried for three decades to win a title with his NBA Phoenix Suns. This was the first major professional sports championship ever won by an Arizona team.

        Mark Grace started the rally with a single, Tony Womack tied the game with a double, and Luis Gonzalez won it with a bloop hit. The Diamondbacks won the World Series in just their fourth season of existence, the fastest team to do so. The Florida Marlins won the World Series in 1997 in their fifth year.

        “Was there any doubt in anybody's mind that somehow, some way, Game 7 was going to be crazy, unlikely?” Grace said. “How could you get more unlikely than beating Mariano Rivera? But I'll tell you what, this team believes.”

        Schilling, starting on three days' rest for the second consecutive time, left with one out in the eighth inning, trailing 2-1 on a solo home run by Alfonso Soriano. When manager Bob Brenly went to the mound he told Schilling, “We'll get that one back. That's not going to beat us, big man.”

        It sounded like an empty promise, since everybody knows the Yankees don't lose a lead in the late innings.

        “I'm a blind optimist,” Brenly said as his son doused his head with champagne in the wild clubhouse. “A lot of that comes from playing and coaching under Roger Craig. He was always looking for the silver lining, the possibility of getting back and winning the ballgame. Thank God the players bought into it, too.”

        Grace — the old ex-Cub in his first World Series after signing with Arizona as a free agent — started the ninth with his third single of the night.

        “I wasn't good enough to be the first baseman for the Cubs,” Grace said. “But I'm good enough to be the first baseman for the world champions, and that feels pretty damn good.”

        Bell, the original free agent to sign with Arizona, scored the run that made the Diamondbacks champions.

        “I go from goat to hero in a matter of a couple of seconds,” said Bell, who bunted into a force out at third. “It was unbelievable.”


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Kentucky boys cross country
Kentucky girls cross country
Three make state volleyball tourney
Cyclones 2, Richmond 1
Jets 16, Saints 9
Rochester 3, Mighty Ducks 2

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Jaguars lose fifth in row
Xavier picked to win A-10 West
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Ohio second-round pairings
Ohio first-round scores
Colerain 30, Hamilton 7
Elder 38, Lebanon 13
Princeton 56, Anderson 20
St. Xavier 41, Northmont 6
Dayton Carroll 18, Roger Bacon 13
McNicholas 56, Mount Healthy 13
New Richmond 42, Ross 38
Piqua 21, Edgewood 0
Washington C.H. 39, Indian Hill 31
Wyoming 49, Jonathan Alder 21
Badin 23, Valley View 16
Coldwater 54, Madeira 14
North College Hill 41, Chillicothe Zane Trace 10
Reading 39, Wheelersburg 31
Covington 47, Williamsburg 14
Kentucky second-round pairings
Kentucky first-round scores
Ballard 43, Dixie Heights 32
Beechwood 56, Berea 6
Bellevue 27, Nicholas Co. 13
Covington Catholic 44, Harrison Co. 22
Highlands 49, Bourbon County 30
Holmes 24, Montgomery County 0
Lexington Catholic 54, Grant County 14
Lloyd 46, East Carter 0
Newport Central Catholic 56, Raceland 7
Paris 37, Holy Cross 6
Shelby County 19, Boone County 17
Indiana playoff pairings
Indiana playoff scores