O's Conine reaches two final matches


Orioles first baseman Jeff Conine celebrated his sixth wedding anniversary yesterday with wife Cindy by winning two semifinal matches at the Ektelon 32nd U.S. National Doubles Championship at Merritt Athletic Club.

Conine and his wife defeated top seeds Ivey Powell and Debra Bryant, 15-4, 15-6, in the mixed 25-and-over semifinal, and Jeff Conine and Steve Lerner topped second seeds Hart Johnson and Todd Stead, 15-5, 15-8, in the men's 30-and-over division.

"I think any tournament I enter, I expect to make it to the finals. That's always my goal," said Jeff Conine, a former world-class player. "If I don't make it, I'm disappointed. Even though I don't play anymore, I still have that competitive fire in me that says never lose."

Conine and Lerner will face Dale Valentine and Sallie Benedict in the finals at 9 a.m. today. The Lerners will compete against John Kleinschmidt and Chris Wright in the other final at noon today.

Pub Date: 10/10/99

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