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  • SportSThe Daily Texan

    Interim Sports Editor: David R. HenryE-mail: sports@dailytexanonline.comPhone: (512) 232-2210www.dailytexanonline.com

    8Monday, June 23, 2008

    MLB

    By Scott BaganDaily Texan Columnist

    By Colby WhiteDaily Texan Staff

    It took him some time to find his rhythm, but once Adauto Gonzalez settled in, it was clear who was the better fighter.

    Gonzalez (9-4-1, 0 KOs) notched a decisive eight-round unanimous-decision victory to claim the va-cant Texas Super Featherweight title against Justo Vallecillo (5-5-1, 0 KOs) Saturday at the Frank Erwin Center, despite having moments when he lacked a dominant offense.

    After two slow rounds where nei-ther fighter showed much aggres-sion to start the fight, the boos of the crowd moved Gonzalez to let his hands go in the third, leading to a near knockdown of Vallecillo near the end of the round. With Vallecil-

    lo on the ropes and staggering, the bell rang before Gonzalez could fin-ish the job.

    Gonzalez would keep the pres-sure on in the fourth, eventual-ly scoring the knockdown with a short left hook that caught Val-lecillo as he was leaping forward, searching for an opening. Vallecillo would get up, but Gonzalez, nick-named Gallito, or Little Roost-er, kept clear control throughout the rest of the bout.

    Throughout the remaining rounds, Gonzalez played more reservedly, choosing to show his speed and eva-sion to avoid losing his clear lead. Displaying a hit-and-run style, Gon-zalez kept Vallecillo on his heels with quick combinations to the body fol-lowed by footwork that maintained distance between the two fighters. Vallecillo would have his moments, chasing down Gonzalez in order to land punches, but the Nicaraguan failed to rattle off many combina-tions, and his single punches did not

    do enough damage to slow the elu-sive Gonzalez.

    The title is a first in the U.S. for Gonzalez, a former champion in Mexico.

    The undercard for the night proved to provide more action than the slow-starting main event for the fans who arrived early. Many of the fights turned out to be unorthodox slugfests.

    Austin native Ignacio Rivera over-came a tough four rounds against Rodrigo Villareal with a split de-cision. Both fighters capitalized on each others defensive flaws, land-ing a variety of power punches to the delight of the crowd.

    San Antonios Steve Hall lost by decision to Gabriel Hernandez in his pro debut, with both fighters finding moments to release flurries of combinations. In another pro de-but, Lee Bagan, a Texas graduate, put on a show against Ras Thomp-son. Bagan repeatedly unleashed damaging combinations on the in-side but was let down by his de-fense when Thompson threw wild overhand rights that found their target. Bagan and Thompson fought to a draw.

    While the life of a Chicago Cubs fan is heavily burdened with well-documented woes, solitude is not one of them.

    The term lovable losers has been branded on the Cubs franchise like an inverted badge of honor. While it is a testament to the clubs im-mense popularity, it is a reminder of the epic struggle the north-side Chicago team has en-dured for a century.

    One hundred years after their last World Se-ries victory, the Cubs have collected their 10,000th win.

    It was a tough first 10,000 wins, second year shortstop Ryan Theriot told Cubs.com. I hope the next 10,000 are easier.

    In October 2006, Chicago acquired veter-an manager Lou Piniella, who has proven to be most beneficial to the previously struggling club. Since his acquisition, the Cubs record improved from 66-96 in 2006 to 85-77 in 2007 and continues to strengthen.

    Piniellas club currently boasts the best re-cord in baseball (47-28), along with the most runs scored (411) and the leagues best home record: a remarkable 31-8.

    Piniella has made drastic changes to the teams batting order, defensive alignment, starting rota-tion and overall roster. Alfonso Soriano, a pow-er-hitting speedster who was also acquired in the 2006 off-season, became a permanent fixture in the leadoff role before breaking his hand June 11. While placing a power hitter like Soriano in the leadoff role was unpopular with Cubs fans, Pin-iella persisted, manufacturing the wins to support his move.

    Piniellas alterations to the starting rotation and bullpen were both unconventional and un-popular. Former closer Ryan Dempster swapped roles with long-time starter Kerry Wood. Since the change, both pitchers have re-invented them-selves. With Wood currently leading the nation-al league with 19 saves and Dempster possess-ing the leagues best home record, 8-0, the Cubs manager, yet again, proved his genius.

    Though Piniella has certainly been credited for much of the Cubs success this season, gener-al manager Jim Hendry cannot be overlooked. In the previous off-season, Hendry signed Japanese MVP Kosuke Fukudome to a four-year $48 mil-lion contract. Since the signing, the right fielder has led the majors in pitches taken, and he ranks seventh in the national league in on-base percent-age (.405), just ahead of Cubs third baseman Ara-mis Ramirez (.401).

    Hendry additionally inked starting pitcher Car-los Zambrano to a five-year $91 million deal in August of last season. Since Zambranos exten-sion, the ace pitcher from Venezuela has played a pivotal role in the teams 08 success, ranking fifth in the national league in wins (8), sixth in earned run average (3.13), seventh in strikeouts (177) and first in batting average among active pitchers, hit-ting .362 through 47 plate appearances.

    Despite a successful record-setting 2008 sea-son, the Cubs have been forced to place both Sori-ano and Zambrano on the disabled list after Zam-brano suffered a minor shoulder strain on June 18 against Piniellas former team, the Tampa Bay Rays. The 15-day absence, however, should not drastically hinder the Cubs, who possess a deep and talented minor league farm system. Piniella, however, is cautiously optimistic.

    Its a big blow to us, Piniella told Cubs.com. Weve got a real good farm system though, and thats what its here for. We brought up some kids, and hopefully they can swing some bats and help us win.

    The Cubs just finished a three-game series against cross-town rivals the Chicago White Sox, and will face the American League Centrals first-place team again this week, June 27-29.

    With both of Chicagos teams in first place, the windy city is howling with excitement and antic-ipation for what very well may be the first ever L-Series in Chicago come October.

    Piniella, Hendry have Cubs fans believing in team

    By David R. Henry & Austin Talbert

    Daily Texan StaffIts been quite a summer for Texas

    freshman Maston Wallace. The pole vaulter won the NCAA Out-

    door Track and Field Championships last week and took second place at the U.S. Junior Track and Field Outdoor

    Championships in Columbus, Ohio.Wallace will compete in the World

    Junior Championships in Poland on July 10 with the qualification round at 2:30 a.m. Central Standard Time.

    Wallace cleared five meters to open the competition. He then achieved 5.15 meters on his first offi-cial attempt and cleared 5.30 meters to nab the silver on his second try.

    Last year, Wallace, who hails from Clear Brook High School near Hous-ton, was the nations top high school pole vaulter.

    He vaulted 5.35 meters at the

    NCAA championship, and his per-sonal best is 5.50 meters, which he recorded at the Big 12 outdoor cham-pionships on May 18.

    Teammate Danzell Fortson compet-ed in the 400-meter at the U.S. Junior Track and Field Championships.

    Fortson finished sixth in his heat with a time of 47.57 seconds, leaving him unable to qualify for the world championships.

    However, the rest of the summer will be busy for some members of the Longhorn track team.

    Coach Bubba Thornton heads off

    to the U.S. Olympic Trials where his team will be decided.

    The head coach of this summers U.S. Olympic team, Thornton has the opportunity to coach some of his past and current Longhorns as NCAA Champions Leo Manzano and Jacob Hernandez, and graduating seniors Darren Brown and Jake Morse head to the trials June 27-July 6. The trials, held in Eugene, Ore., will also fea-ture former Longhorns Trey Hard-ee (decathlon) and Andra Manson (high jump) competing for a spot on Throntons team.

    Wallace comes in second at championshipsMENS TRACK AND FIELD

    OLYMPIC TRIALS

    Laura Wilkinson performs a dive in the semifinals of the womens platform at the U.S. Olympic diving trials in Indianapolis, Friday.

    Darron Cummings | Associated Press

    Chicago Cubs fans celebrate after the Cubs beat the Chicago White Sox 11-7 in an interleague baseball game Saturday in Chicago.

    Nam Y. Huh | Associated Press

    DTdailytexanonline.comSee photo gallery of Fight Night.

    Rolling with the punches

    Gonzalez wins in eight roundsAbove, Aduato Gallito Gonzalez, of Mexico, fights Justo Vallecillo, of Nicaragua, in the Texas Super Featherweight Final at the Frank Erwin Center Saturday night. Below, Lee Bagan, a 2007 UT graduate, gets water from his coach between rounds at Fight Night in the Frank Erwin Center Saturday night.

    Photos by Jeffrey McWhorter | Daily Texan Staff

    The term lovable losers has been branded on the Cubs

    franchise like an inverted badge of honor.

    Boxer beats Vallecillo to claim Texas Super Featherweight title

    Freshman pole vaulter earns berth in World Junior Championships

    Wilkinson secures bidBy Charles Osborne

    Daily Texan StaffAt 30 years old, some questioned

    whether alumna Laura Wilkinson was getting too old to keep competing at the top of her game. Wilkinson silenced all questions Sunday afternoon, taking first place at the U.S. Olympic diving tr