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  • 14 Mar
    导出博客文章Gene Stephenson knew the end was near when he got on the phone with Twins
    pitcher Mike Pelfrey, one of his best players during 36 years as baseball coach
    at Wichita State. The two of them chatted for a bit Monday night, and Pelfrey
    came away disgusted that his mentor and friend was being forced out as the
    leader of a program Stephenson built from the ground up. "He deserves to go out
    on his own terms. Forcing him out is not right at all," Pelfrey said before
    Tuesday nights game against the Kansas City Royals. "I dont like the way they
    handled it." On Tuesday, Stephensons fate was sealed: He was officially fired
    after leading the Shockers back to the NCAA tournament this season and with a
    year left on his contract. "I remember watching video of that place when he got
    there and it was nothing," Pelfrey said. "I grew up in Wichita and that was the
    place to be and the place to go. When you think of Wichita State, you think of
    Gene Stephenson. To hear that they are turning their back on him is shameful.
    "This guy is a legend and I dont agree with it. Its not right at all."
    Stephenson won more games during his tenure than any other Division I program,
    and his career record of 1,837-675-3 leaves him with the second-most victories
    among major college coaches. Along with Pelfrey, he produced major leaguers such
    as Joe Carter and Casey Blake, and helped to deliver the schools only national
    championship during the 1989 season. "We have reached a decision to go a
    different direction with the leadership of our baseball program," athletic
    director Eric Sexton said in a statement. "Following an evaluation of the
    program as a whole and a presentation of the options, the decision became clear
    that this is the proper time to move into a new phase of Shocker baseball."
    Sexton had met with the 67-year-old Stephenson on Monday and reportedly gave him
    an ultimatum to either resign or be fired. Stephenson met briefly with reporters
    at Eck Stadium on Tuesday and said he had been forced out in what was evidently
    anything but an amicable split. "I am sorely disappointed about the way this
    went down," Stephenson said. "I dont think it was handled properly, but its not
    up for me to decide. We gave 36 years of our very best here." They were 36 years
    unlike the program had ever known. Wichita State scuffled along for more than
    two decades before disbanding the program after the 1970 season. When the school
    decided to restart it in 1977, administrators looked toward the recruiting
    co-ordinator and hitting coach at powerhouse Oklahoma to put everything
    together. Stephenson only needed three years -- and the signing of Carter, a
    three-time All-American -- to get Wichita State to the NCAA tournament for the
    first time. Two years later, the Shockers played in their first College World
    Series, losing to Miami in the national championship game. The school won 73
    games that year, setting an NCAA record for a single season. Wichita State would
    ultimately win 20 conference championships and make 28 appearances in the NCAA
    tournament under Stephenson, and make seven trips to the College World Series.
    The Shockers reached the pinnacle of college baseball by defeating Texas in the
    1989 national championship game. The program had slid over the past couple of
    season, though, and needed to win the Missouri Valley Conference tournament to
    reach the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2009 this season. The
    Shockers were beaten by Arkansas and regional champion Kansas State last
    weekend. Stephenson said that he hopes to continue coaching, though hes not sure
    where. He also spent several minutes thanking his former players, coaches and
    staff during an emotional farewell. Sexton said that pitching coach Brent
    Kemnitz, who is under contract through 2014, will take over on an interim basis
    but will not be considered for the full-time job. Sexton said that a national
    search for the next coach will begin immediately. "We thank Coach Stephenson for
    his years of service," Sexton said, "and the efforts he has made in his lifes
    work building this program from the beginning."
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    Wednesday on the UFCs "Fight for the Troops" televised card in Fort Campbell,
    Ky. Middlesex 408 for 6 (Gubbins 145, Compton 131, Onions 3-76) lead Durham 204
    (Rayner 4-17, Franklin 3-26) by 204 runs Scorecard The hearty cheers that
    reverberated around Lords told their own tale. Nick Compton had not merely
    reached a century at HQ, but had helped Middlesex into a position of dominance
    and, in the process, strengthened his teams hold on the summit of Division One.
    So as he punched the air in delight at his century, removing his helmet to
    acknowledge the crowds applause, Compton had much reason to be proud.That recent
    months have been among the most trying of Comptons professional life hardly
    needs restating. Indeed, when he brought up his 50, it was his first
    half-century of the year, and first since his crucial 85 underpinned Englands
    victory in the Durban Test at the end of 2015.Given these circumstances, and the
    huge importance of this match to his team, few of Comptons 25 first-class
    centuries can have been the cause of so much satisfaction. On this evidence,
    plenty more will be forthcoming in the County Championship. Compton has only
    just turned 33, retains one of the most resolute defensive techniques in the
    land and has a ravenous appetite for runs that few can rival in the county
    game.There seems no reason why, if he has the inclination, he cannot continue to
    feast in the shires for many years, a little like Marcus Trescothick and Mark
    Ramprakash, two other players who, for contrasting reasons, enjoyed
    international careers shorter than they had envisaged.Adhesive defence has been
    Comptons hallmark, and this innings was no different: he had to summon all of
    his fortitude to resist Rushwoths swing and the bounce of Mark Wood. And yet
    Compton revealed plenty more of his game: relentlessly efficient clips through
    the legside, some imperious hooks, and a succession of meticulously-placed late
    cuts, including the steer off Scott Borthwick that brought up his century a
    little before three oclock. While the early stages of his innings had been a
    little jittery, Compton unobtrusively gained in fluency, using his feet nimbly
    to spin and outpacing Nick Gubbins during their fertile alliance.Together with
    Gubbins, Compton added 247 runs in 79.1 overs, and how they fed of each other
    was highlighted not just by their harrying between the wickets but how Gubbins
    left his crease so early to laud Compton for his century that Durham might have
    run him out.This was a match-defining partnership, and a record-breaking one:
    Middlesexs highest stand for the second wicket against DDurham and only one shy
    of equalling the record for any wicket.dddddddddddd. Gubbins dismissal also left
    him one short of being the first batsman to reach 1,000 runs in the County
    Championship in 2016. Still, he might reflect that 999 runs at 66.60 apiece is
    not too shabby.Although this was only his third first-class century - Gubbins
    fell three times in the 90s before reaching his first - it brimmed with not
    merely assurance and class, but, for those who have witnessed him this season, a
    certain feeling of inevitability. Given that England are hardly overburdened
    with proven opening partners for Alastair Cook, it would be a surprise if
    Gubbins was not rewarded by a England Lions berth.Cricket has always fetishised
    the grace of the left-hander, and, in his clips through the legside, driving
    through point and dexterous use of his feet against spin, Gubbins has an
    elegance in keeping with this tradition. All these shots were in evidence
    against Durham; more importantly, so was Gubbins grit.How he needed it to
    withstand Wood. Woods frustration has been palpable all day, and, with Gubbins
    on 99, he expressed it in an over of short bowling, harassing Gubbins with a
    short leg and fly slip. Gubbins withstood, and reached his century against
    Borthwick in the next over, but still Wood returned, a brutal rising delivery
    from him smashing into Gubbins grill. When Wood eventually found late movement
    to induce Gubbins to edge to slip and end the second wicket stand, he looked to
    the sky - less in relief at the wicket, but in exasperation at waiting so long
    for it.When the second wicket stand was nascent, the previous evening, Gubbins
    had been spilled behind, off Onions; Compton had also survived two chances to
    the slips off Chris Rushworth before he has reached 20, one on the first evening
    and one on the second morning.By the time it finally ended, the alliance between
    Compton and Gubbins was worth more than the entirety of Durhams first innings
    and, buttressed by a forceful cameo from Paul Stirling, had secured Middlesex a
    lead of over 200: a position from which they will expect to win convincingly, in
    the process extend their lead at the top of Division One.And, as loud as the
    cheers that greeted Comptons century were, Middlesex can dream of even more
    boisterous acclaim should they clinch the Championship crown here against
    Yorkshire in the final game of the season. ' ' '