The Masters – Apr. 6-9, Augusta, Georgia
GolfersTimeDateStart Hole
Kevin NaMike Weir8:00 AM ET4/61
Matthew McCleanVijay SinghScott Stallings8:12 AM ET4/61
Talor GoochJason KokrakSandy Lyle8:24 AM ET4/61
Fred CouplesRussell HenleyAlex Noren8:36 AM ET4/61
Kevin KisnerAdrian MeronkLouis Oosthuizen8:48 AM ET4/61
Harrison CroweMin Woo LeeLarry Mize9:00 AM ET4/61
Sergio GarciaKazuki HigaKeith Mitchell9:12 AM ET4/61
Patrick ReedAdam SvenssonSahith Theegala9:24 AM ET4/61
Mackenzie HughesShane LowryThomas Pieters9:36 AM ET4/61
Mateo Fernandez de OliveiraSeamus PowerBubba Watson9:48 AM ET4/61
Abraham AncerKeegan BradleyChris Kirk10:06 AM ET4/61
Viktor HovlandXander SchauffeleTiger Woods10:18 AM ET4/61
Patrick CantlayKurt KitayamaAdam Scott10:30 AM ET4/61
Jon RahmJustin ThomasCameron Young10:42 AM ET4/61
Sungjae ImHideki MatsuyamaCameron Smith10:54 AM ET4/61
Cameron ChampJose Maria Olazabal11:06 AM ET4/61
Taylor MooreAldrich PotgieterCharl Schwartzel11:18 AM ET4/61
Bryson DeChambeauFrancesco MolinariJ.T. Poston11:30 AM ET4/61
Ben CarrBernhard LangerMito Pereira11:42 AM ET4/61
Brooks KoepkaDanny WillettGary Woodland11:54 AM ET4/61
K.H. LeeSepp StrakaHarold Varner III12:12 PM ET4/61
Tom HogeSi Woo KimPhil Mickelson12:24 PM ET4/61
Harris EnglishRyan FoxBilly Horschel12:36 PM ET4/61
Jason DayZach JohnsonGordon Sargent12:48 PM ET4/61
Brian HarmanTyrrell HattonJoaquin Niemann1:00 PM ET4/61
Corey ConnersDustin JohnsonJustin Rose1:12 PM ET4/61
Matthew FitzpatrickCollin MorikawaWill Zalatoris1:24 PM ET4/61
Sam BennettMax HomaScottie Scheffler1:36 PM ET4/61
Sam BurnsTom KimRory McIlroy1:48 PM ET4/61
Tony FinauTommy FleetwoodJordan Spieth2:00 PM ET4/61
GolfersTimeDateStart Hole
Cameron ChampJose Maria Olazabal8:00 AM ET4/71
Taylor MooreAldrich PotgieterCharl Schwartzel8:12 AM ET4/71
Bryson DeChambeauFrancesco MolinariJ.T. Poston8:24 AM ET4/71
Ben CarrBernhard LangerMito Pereira8:36 AM ET4/71
Brooks KoepkaDanny WillettGary Woodland8:48 AM ET4/71
K.H. LeeSepp StrakaHarold Varner III9:00 AM ET4/71
Tom HogeSi Woo KimPhil Mickelson9:12 AM ET4/71
Harris EnglishRyan FoxBilly Horschel9:24 AM ET4/71
Jason DayZach JohnsonGordon Sargent9:36 AM ET4/71
Brian HarmanTyrrell HattonJoaquin Niemann9:48 AM ET4/71
Corey ConnersDustin JohnsonJustin Rose10:06 AM ET4/71
Matthew FitzpatrickCollin MorikawaWill Zalatoris10:18 AM ET4/71
Sam BennettMax HomaScottie Scheffler10:30 AM ET4/71
Sam BurnsTom KimRory McIlroy10:42 AM ET4/71
Tony FinauTommy FleetwoodJordan Spieth10:54 AM ET4/71
Kevin NaMike Weir11:06 AM ET4/71
Matthew McCleanVijay SinghScott Stallings11:18 AM ET4/71
Talor GoochJason KokrakSandy Lyle11:30 AM ET4/71
Fred CouplesRussell HenleyAlex Noren11:42 AM ET4/71
Kevin KisnerAdrian MeronkLouis Oosthuizen11:54 AM ET4/71
Harrison CroweMin Woo LeeLarry Mize12:12 PM ET4/71
Sergio GarciaKazuki HigaKeith Mitchell12:24 PM ET4/71
Patrick ReedAdam SvenssonSahith Theegala12:36 PM ET4/71
Mackenzie HughesShane LowryThomas Pieters12:48 PM ET4/71
Mateo Fernandez de OliveiraSeamus PowerBubba Watson1:00 PM ET4/71
Abraham AncerKeegan BradleyChris Kirk1:12 PM ET4/71
Viktor HovlandXander SchauffeleTiger Woods1:24 PM ET4/71
Patrick CantlayKurt KitayamaAdam Scott1:36 PM ET4/71
Jon RahmJustin ThomasCameron Young1:48 PM ET4/71
Sungjae ImHideki MatsuyamaCameron Smith2:00 PM ET4/71



While the Indiana Pacers were able to survive a rollercoaster first three and half quarters against the New York Knicks on Wednesday night, one final scoring stretch and a trio of 30-plus-point performances proved too much for the Blue & Gold.

The Knicks (47-33) went on an 18-9 run in the final 4:34 to break open a tie game and escape with a 138-129 victory over the Pacers (34-46) at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. With the win, the Knicks hold a 3-0 season series lead over the Pacers.

Immanuel Quickley led all scorers with 39 points, Quentin Grimes recorded a career-best 36 points and Obi Toppin dropped in a season-best 32 points for the Knicks. Mitchell Robinson also had a double-double with 14 points and 16 rebounds.

The trio of offensive performances is just the third time in Knicks history that three players scored 30 or more points in a single game. It was the first time that happened for a Knicks team since March 24, 1979.

For Indiana, eight players scored in double figures, led by 19 points from Jalen Smith, 18 points by T.J. McConnell off the bench and 17 points from rookie Bennedict Mathurin. McConnell also recorded 12 assists for his sixth double-double this season.

The visitors shot 52-for-100 (18-for-46 3-point range) from the field while the Pacers finished 45-for-98 (15-for-30 3-point range).

“They just punched us in the mouth early,” Smith said. “We got off to a slow start. I don’t think we (were) fully prepared to play as a starting unit. That was our fault. That was the reason why we dug that hole, why we lost that game. Because the starters didn’t really do our job today.”

Several key players sat out from the game, including Jalen Brunson, Julius Randle and R.J. Barrett for the Knicks and Tyrese Haliburton, Myles Turner and Chris Duarte for the Pacers.

The outcome of the game didn’t alter any playoffs seeding.

New York is currently sitting in fifth place in the Eastern Conference with a playoff berth clinched, but can’t catch the Cleveland Cavaliers for fourth, while Indiana has been eliminated from postseason contention entirely.

The Pacers dug out of an 18-point first quarter hole by closing the first half on a 15-8 run to trail the Knicks 70-67 at intermission.

Indiana came out ice cold and New York could hardly miss to start the game.

The Knicks hit eight of their first 13 shots, with Quickley logging nine points on a trio of 3-pointers, to go on a 17-0 run and lead 21-7 with 6:25 left in the first quarter. Indiana, on the other hand, shot 3-for-12 to begin.

New York continued scoring at a high volume, using a pair of mini 5-0 scoring spurts to build their lead, before the Pacers answered with a run of their own as Gabe York – who was playing in his first game of the season on a two-way contract – hit two 3-pointers and McConnell got a bucket to cut it to 32-22 with 2:10 left in the opening frame.

At the end of the first quarter, the Pacers trailed 38-29.

York, who was playing in his third NBA game ever, hit another 3-pointer to start the second quarter to spur a 9-4 run to make it a four-point game with nine minutes left in the half.

After tying the game at 44, the Knicks scored eight unanswered points thanks to a pair of 3-pointers from Grimes to lead 52-44 with 5:04 on the clock.

The Knicks led again by 10 before Mathurin converted an and-one and fellow first-year man Andrew Nembhard drilled a 3-pointer to spur the 15-8 Pacers run in the final 3:11 of the half to make it a three-point game.

Out of the break, Jordan Nwora hit a 3-pointer to knot the game and the teams then stayed within a possession until the Knicks went on an 8-0 run, thanks to 3-pointers by Quickley and Toppin and an alley-oop from Robinson, to lead 88-82 with five minutes left in the third quarter.

The Knicks didn’t relinquish the lead before the end of the third quarter and used a 14-2 scoring streak to lead by 14 points before the Pacers scored seven unanswered in the final 37 seconds including a layup by McConnell at the buzzer.

The teams tied the score four times until back-to-back dunks from Toppin and a 3-pointer from Grimes gave the Knicks a 127-120 lead with just under three minutes left.

New York was able to hang on to the lead from there and held the Pacers to six points down the final stretch until Mathurin hit a wide open 3-pointer with seven seconds remaining.

“To start the game, we made some game plan errors that put us in a big hole,” Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle said. “… It’s all stuff that’s correctable. As coaches, we’re teachers. We’ve gotta teach and not ridicule – make sure these guys understand the things they have to do better.”

New York won the rebounding margin 52-37 and the Pacers had 17 turnovers.

Indiana will conclude its 2022-2023 home schedule on Friday by hosting the Detroit Pistons. The Pacers finish out the regular season against the Knicks in Madison Square Garden on Sunday.

Inside the Numbers

The Pacers were outscored 24-16 in second-chance points, 28-17 in fast-break points, and 68-54 in points in the paint.

York scored a career-high nine points.

McConnell matched his season-best 12 assists.

Oshae Brissett finished with the highest +/- for the Pacers at +28 and York was a +22.

You Can Quote Me On That

“The guys that started the game learned some valuable things tonight about being ready to play right off the bat against a team that’s very physical.” – Carlisle on the starting lineup

“We started the second half, we did better for a while and then it went sideways. Then they had the opportunity to finish and we just made some mistakes. We’re going to learn from those.” – Carlisle on the loss

“I love Gabe. What’s not to like about the guy? He’s consistent. He’s loyal and he’s got skill. He knows who he is as a player (and) who he is as a teammate.  … He’s just been a real staple for the (Fort Wayne) Mad Ants the last two years. He’s a first-class person, a hell of a player and this is a great opportunity for him and a great opportunity for our guys to play with another guy like this.” – Carlisle on York’s performance

“I’ve run out of adjectives to describe his competitive excellence.” – Carlisle on McConnell

“It always takes practice playing with new groups, new lineups, new experiments. Everybody’s learned a lot. Everybody’s been playing different roles and expanding their roles and just working to get better.” – Aaron Nesmith on continuing to develop chemistry with young starting unit

“They play hard. Real skilled guys, hard to keep in front. They’re quick, they have a good first step, got good finishing around the rim and then they both can shoot the ball. We’ve got to do a better job of containing them, but luckily we get another chance in (four) days.” — Nesmith on Quickley and Grimes having big nights

“I was just playing my game. Didn’t go outside my box, didn’t do nothing crazy. Just did what I know I can do and the team knows I can do. The main focus was just not trying to force anything, but let the game come to me.” – Smith on his offensive performance

“He was incredible. He is such a gifted shooter and a gifted scorer. Proud is an understatement. Me and him go way back and to see him come in, in an NBA game and hit the ground running … it’s not surprising, but it’s awesome to see.” – McConnell on York, who is a former college teammate of his

“We were playing unselfish, we were moving the ball, getting out running and when we do that we do best. It’s not about one person, it’s about the collective. And when we get the ball side to side and you know, get people touching it, a lot of teams struggle to guard it.” – McConnell on the second unit’s scoring

Stat of the Night

By scoring 129 points against the Knicks, the Pacers set a new NBA franchise record for total points in a season. With two games left, the Pacers are at 9,279 points.The previous high was 9,197 set during the 1991-1992 season.


McConnell has scored 10+ points in eight straight games.

Haliburton and Duarte have both missed five straight games and Turner has sat out six in a row for the Pacers due to injuries.

Indiana high school basketball legend and Butler University men’s basketball director of basketball operations Greg Oden revved up the crowd pregame.

Up Next

The Pacers will play their final home game of the season when they host Jaden Ivey and the Detroit Pistons at Gainbridge Fieldhouse for Fan Appreciation Night presented by Kroger on Friday, April 7 at 7:00 PM ET.



It’s Groundhog Day for Colts general manager Chris Ballard.

Indianapolis won four games and entered another offseason under the cloud of uncertainty at quarterback.

The 2023 NFL Draft figures to help answer some questions. New head coach Shane Steichen is ready to put his stamp on the offense after helping the Philadelphia Eagles motor through the NFC and into the Super Bowl with a unique scheme piloted by Jalen Hurts.

Ballard insisted in February a move to the top of the draft for the franchise’s preferred QB prospect wasn’t a home run, and it’s less likely after the Carolina Panthers swapped picks with the Chicago Bears. Carolina has a similar thirst to quench at QB after failed attempts to settle the position with castoffs.

Colts owner Jim Irsay clearly has ideas. He’s months into his open pining for Alabama quarterback Bryce Young. That scenario appears far-fetched without trading for one of the top two picks.

Steichen has other areas to address, with an offensive line that folded early in the 2022 season and a secondary with multiple holes.

1. QB: Ballard might not have final say on a decision he’s made before, considering Carson Wentz and Matt Ryan didn’t exactly pan out and Irsay is publicly swinging his sword for the team to find a stabilizing franchise quarterback.

2. OL: Left tackle and right guard are positions with potential solutions, none proven, which isn’t ideal with a rookie quarterback. The Colts allowed 60 sacks and 65 additional hits on the quarterback in 2022.

3. WR: Where are the playmakers? Durability was a question with Parris Campbell but letting him walk further dents a fragile depth chart outside.

Round Pick (Overall)
1. 4 (4)
2. 4 (35)
3. 16 (79)
4. 4 (106)
5. 3 (138)
5. 27 (162)
5. 41 (176)
7. 4 (221)
7. 19 (236)

1. QB Bryce Young, Alabama: When Steichen rattled off his list of requirements for quarterback success, he might as well have been reading Young’s scouting report. Already proven with a quarterback few viewed as the NFL prototype in Hurts, the size questions surrounding Young could be tuned out by this staff. But getting him? That will be somewhere between extremely difficult and impossible without moving massive draft capital.

2. OT Blake Freeland, BYU: A towering tackle at 6-feet-8, Freeland showcased lighter feet in workouts than expected and is proven to have heavy hands based on his game film. He’d likely slot at right tackle but could be an option on the left side down the road.

3. WR Jalin Hyatt, Tennessee: A second-round option with speed for days, Hyatt would be the immediate deep threat opposite Michael Pittman Jr.


INDIANAPOLIS (Wednesday, April 5, 2023) –  Indy Eleven survived a scare in its 2023 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup debut against Michigan Stars FC, but a second half equalizer from Harrison Robledo and a pair of goals in the first added time period lifted Indiana’s Team to a 3-1 win in Second Round action. Halftime substitute forward Solomon Asante provided a spark off the bench, providing assists on all three goals to spur the Eleven on to a hard-fought victory over the NISA side at IUPUI Carroll Stadium.

After the match was pushed back an hour to accommodate weather moving through Central Indiana, the Boys in Blue got to work on the offensive end early and often. Similar to its USL Championship match against Las Vegas at Carroll Stadium four nights earlier, Indy Eleven dominated possession, allowing Michigan only rare counterattack opportunities while holding the ball in its attacking half for the vast majority of the first half.

Despite cross after cross sent into the area – mostly from the right flank through Younes Boudadi and Jack Blake – Indiana’s Team had trouble beating Stars FC’s last line of defense, with two close efforts from Sebastian Guenzatti that were blocked just prior to the half hour mark registering as Indy’s best looks of the opening stanza.

In first half stoppage time Michigan saw one of its few chances of any note result in a point to the penalty spot after Indy defender Mechack Jerome’s high challenge on Nebojsa Popovic was whistled as a foul. Nebojsa slotted the ensuing penalty kick low and right, sending Eleven goalkeeper Yannik Oettl the wrong way to give the visitors a shock 1-0 lead heading into the break.

The Eleven came out blazing again in the second 45 minutes, with Juan Tejada’s glancing redirect two minutes in serving notice to the Stars. After Guenzatti’s 56th minute finish was nullified for offside, Robledo finally scratched one across for the Eleven three minutes later when he accepted Asante’s cross to the top of the area with a touch before poking past diving Michigan goalkeeper Tatenda Mkuruva to even the proceedings.

Asante continued to provide dangerous service from the right flank, but time and time again his efforts were repelled or ensuing shots that he set up were blocked to keep the match 1-1. The 77th minute saw fellow halftime substitute Aodhan Quinn nearly punch one directly off a 30-yard free kick, while his service on another set piece in the 87th minute found the head of defender Adrian Diz Pe at the back post, but his header couldn’t make it through heavy traffic.

Michigan had a chance to steal the match in the 89th minute through Leon Maric, whose shot from 20 yards took a deflection and left Oettl stranded, but the ball bounced just wide. On the other end Guenzatti saw a loose ball land at his feet three minutes into stoppage time, but Mkuruva was on the spot to get low and deflect the ball high into the air. Maric put Indy to the test again minutes later from near the penalty spot only to see Oettl parry the chance away, while Tejada had the final chance of regulation to pick a winner, only to see his redirect pushed wide, sending the match into 30 minutes of added extra time.

It didn’t take long for the Eleven to stamp their claim in extra time, as just two minutes in Guenzatti finally got his goal on a re-racked corner kick opportunity that saw Asante’s low ball from the right side find Guenzatti to knock in at the doorstep, giving Indy its first lead of the night at 2-1. A minute deep into stoppage time in the first extra period it was Tejada providing some insurance with a shot from the top of the area that was set up by yet another Asante service. The Eleven were able to ride out the rest of added time with relative ease, allowing Indiana’s Team to advance in U.S. Soccer’s club national championship tournament.

Indy Eleven will find out its Third Round opponent tomorrow evening, when U.S. Soccer will broadcast its draw for the round live on the Bleacher Report app and Bleacher Report’s YouTube channel. Next up on the field, the Eleven (1W-0L-2D, 5 pts., T-5th in Eastern Conference) will return to USL Championship regular season action and conclude its three-game, weeklong homestand by welcoming Oakland Roots SC to Carroll Stadium this Saturday, April 8, for a 7:00 p.m. ET kickoff at Carroll Stadium.

Single-game tickets for all home games at IUPUI Carroll Stadium along with prorated Season Ticket Memberships, specially-priced group tickets, and an increased portfolio of hospitality options are available for purchase now via or by calling 317-685-1100 during regular business hours (Mon.-Fri., 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.).

Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup – Second Round

Indy Eleven 3 : 1 Michigan Stars FC (aet)

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Michael A. Carroll Stadium – Indianapolis, Ind.

Scoring Summary:

MICH – Nebojsa Popovic (penalty kick) 47+’

IND – Harrison Robledo (Solomon Asante) 59’

IND – Sebastian Guenzatti (Solomon Asante) 92’

IND – Juan Tejada (Solomon Asante) 106+’

Discipline Summary:

MICH – Andres Chalbaud (caution) 35’

MICH – Kotaro Umeda (caution) 48+’

MICH – Nicolas Nikolla (caution) 79’

MICH – D’Morea Alewine (caution) 109’

Indy Eleven line-up (4-3-3): Yannik Oettl; Bryam Rebellón (Robby Dambrot 45’), Jesus Vazquez, Mechack Jerome (Adrian Diz Pe 64’), Younes Boudadi; Alann Torres (Solomon Asante 45’), Cam Lindley (Jonas Fjeldberg 85’), Jack Blake (Aodhan Quinn 45’); Sebastian Guenzatti, Harrison Robledo (Gustavo Rissi 105’), Juan Tejada

Eleven bench: Tim Trilk (GK)

Michigan Stars FC line-up (4-5-1): Tatenda Mkuruva; Artem Baranovskyi, Garrett Hogbin, Andres Chalbaud, Iakov Shmelev; Kotaro Umeda (Nicolas Nikolla 70’), Roberto Mejia (Milo Barton 115’), D’Morea Alewine, Anthony Bowie, Nebojsa Popovic (Hunter Olson 52’) (Robert Juncaj 100’); Leon Maric

Stars FC bench: Noah Lawrence (GK)


Purdue Guard Brandon Newman entered his name into the NCAA transfer portal Tuesday. He is the first Purdue player to enter the portal this offseason.

“Purdue, Can’t express enough how grateful I am for these last four years. The good times and the bad, that has molded me into the man I am today. This University will be a part of me and will travel with me everywhere I go. Forever and always. Love, 5,” Newman posted on his Twitter account.

Newman averaged 6.0 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.1 assists last season, helping the Boilermakers win Big Ten regular season and tournament championships.


DENVER – Butler lost their first conference road game of the season, falling 19-4 to third-ranked Denver on Wednesday. The Bulldogs leave Colorado with a 5-5 overall record and 1-1 record in conference play, while the Pioneers remain undefeated with a 12-0 overall record and 2-0 record in the Big East.

How it happened

Following two early goals by Denver, Butler responded to make the score 2-1 with a Leah Rubino goal off of a Campbell Connors assist. From there, Denver took control of the quarter by scoring six consecutive goals to take an 8-1 lead.

In the second quarter, Rubino scored her second goal of the day and Connors found the back of the net off a precise assist from Greer Bireley. Denver would still command the lead, however, scoring three goals in the quarter to go into halftime with an 11-3 lead.

The Pioneers’ defense stiffened up in the third quarter, as Butler only attempted two shots and no goals in the quarter. Five more goals put them up 16-3 with one more quarter of play. 

Bireley connected with Connors for the second time of the day to open scoring in the fourth quarter. Three more shots found the back of the net for Denver before the final buzzer sounded with the Pioneers taking the win.

Notable Stats

Rubino and Connors scored all four of the Dawgs’ goals, with two each.

Greer Bireley ended the day with two points, both coming from assists.

10 different players scored a goal for Denver.

19 goals are the most by a Butler opponent since Feb. 12 against Youngstown State.

Denver outshot Butler 37-14, with 30 of those shots on goal.

The Bulldogs had 22 turnovers, 16 of them caused by the Pioneers.

Caroline Smith started in goal and finished with nine saves. Aleigh Monroe took over in the second half and made two saves.

Denver won the draw control battle by a small margin, 14-12.

The Pioneers’ 12 assists were the most by a Butler opponent this season.

Up Next

The Bulldogs face another conference rival on the road, as they take on Villanova on Saturday. Butler will be looking for their second Big East win in program history. Start time is scheduled for noon.


INDIANAPOLIS – Butler will face Xavier this weekend in Cincinnati to signal the start of BIG EAST action. The three-game series will stream on FloSports beginning on Thursday afternoon at 3 PM. Single games on Friday and Saturday are slated to start at 1 PM.

Weekend Schedule

Thursday, April 6 – 3 PM

Friday, April 7 – 1 PM

Saturday, April 8 – 1 PM

All Games Played at Hayden Field

Projected Starters

TBD vs. RHP Ethan Bosacker

LHP Cory Bosecker vs. LHP Brant Alazaus

RHP Lukas Galdoni vs. TBD

Scouting Xavier

The Musketeers went 5-0 last week and are currently on a seven-game win streak. Justin Loer earned BIG EAST Pitcher of the Week accolades on Monday and catcher Matthew DePrey was named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll. Xavier most recently defeated Miami Ohio in the Joe Nuxhall Classic to improve to 17-12 on the season. Head Coach Billy O’Conner has a talented group in 2023 that leads the conference in hits, home runs, ERA, WHIP, and strikeout-to-walk ratio. DePrey and Andrew Walker are the top hitters in the Xavier lineup. Walker leads the club with 40 hits and 28 RBI. He is trouble once on base as well with a team-high 14 stolen bases. DePrey is tied with Walker for the team lead in doubles with seven. He has eight home runs on the year in 29 starts. On the bump, look for Ethan Bosacker and Brant Alazaus to get starts. Bosacker is 3-1 on the year with a 2.70 ERA. He has 48 strikeouts in 40 innings of action and has only gave up 12 earned runs. Alazaus has 43 K’s in 40.1 innings of action. He is 3-3 on the hill with a 5.13 ERA.

Recent History vs. the Musketeers

Since joining the BIG EAST in 2014, Butler is 7-17 against Xavier. The Musketeers swept Butler one year ago at Bulldog Park. They also swept the series in 2019 (two games), 2017 and in 2016. Butler has weekend wins over Xavier in 2018, 2015, and 2014 winning two of three each year.

BIG EAST Standings

Georgetown 2-1, 16-12

Villanova 1-2, 5-21

#19 UConn 0-0, 20-6

St. John’s 0-0, 16-10

Creighton 0-0, 12-9

Xavier 0-0, 17-12

Seton Hall 0-0, 12-13

Butler 0-0, 7-20

BIG EAST Openers

The Bulldogs will be on the road to start the BIG EAST slate for the fifth time in 10 years. Butler opened the 2022 conference schedule at Villanova and were sent to Seton Hall in 2021. Covid-19 wiped out the 2020 campaign and the ‘Dawgs hosted St. John’s in 2019. Butler and Creighton played a two-game series at a neutral site in 2018 (inclement weather), splitting the games.

2017 was the last time BU won a weekend series to start conference action. They took two of three from Seton Hall that year. Butler and Xavier have never met in the opening weekend of conference competition until this year. Finally, the Bulldogs have never won all three games to start conference play, but they have been swept once (2015 vs. St. John’s).

#BIGEASTbase Weekly Honors

Cole Graverson led Butler to a 2-0 shutout victory over Eastern Illinois on Sunday at Coaches Stadium. He came in to throw five scoreless innings, which led to his first win on the mound. Overall, he struck out five batters, didn’t issue a walk, and allowed just one hit in the win. Graverson is the third Bulldog this year to land on the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll joining Jon Vore (3/27) and Cory Bosecker (2/27). Joey Urban was tabbed BIG EAST Player of the Week after opening weekend (2/20).

Bulldog Bits

– Aaron Barokas hasn’t allowed a run over his last four outings (7.2 IP)

– Xavier Carter’s first home run as a Bulldog lifted BU to a 2-0 win over EIU

– Lukas Galdoni has struck out six batters in each of his last two starts

– Cole Graverson threw six innings last week, struck out seven batters, and didn’t allow a run

– Dawson Taylor came up with his first save of the season at Eastern Illinois

– Joey Urban has a hit in 20 of Butler’s 27 games

– Urban has a double in back-to-back games moving his season total to seven

– No Bulldog pitcher has gone longer than 5.1 innings on the mound this season

– Cory Bosecker struck out a season-high 10 batters at Campbell (2/24)

– Butler played 14 innings at EIU on April 2, just one inning shy of tying the longest game team record

– The Bulldogs have won back-to-back games three times this season, but have not won three-straight

– BU is 1-1 in extra inning games this season… They are 2-5 in one-run games

– Butler has scored 20 runs in the second inning, their most of any frame, and have limited the opponent to just 18, the fewest of any inning.


Joey Urban and Carter Dorighi are the only players on the roster to appear in all 27 games this season. Each newcomer has started in each contest and the duo ranks 1-2 on the team in batting average. Dorighi has played shortstop in 25 of his 27 starts and Urban has split time between left and centerfield.


Carter Dorighi has a three-game hitting streak heading into Cincinnati and Joey Urban has reached base safely in seven-straight games.

Four-Hit Games

Xavier Carter and Ryan O’Halloran each had four hits in game one of Sunday’s doubleheader at Eastern Illinois. Carter went into April 2 with just two multi-hit games all year and then delivered four hits in game one followed by two hits in game two. He scored a run in each game while adding a double and a homer. O’Halloran jumped into the starting lineup for the first time since March 4 on Sunday and went 4-for-6 from the plate with an RBI and a run scored.

Up Next

Butler will head to Ann Arbor on Tuesday, April 11 to play Michigan on B1G+. First pitch at Ray Fisher Stadium is set for 4 PM. The ‘Dawgs then return to BIG EAST action with a three-game home series vs. Villanova.


Game Information – Butler vs. Villanova

DATE:                         Thursday, Apr. 6 – Saturday, Apr. 8

LOCATION:                Indianapolis, Ind. / Butler Softball Field


LIVE VIDEO:               (Gm 1 & Gm 2) FloSoftball

Full Notes

The Butler softball team hosts Villanova for a critical three-game BIG EAST series from Thursday, Apr. 6 through Saturday, Apr. 8. The Bulldogs (14-21, 8-1 BIG EAST) sit atop the conference standings, ahead of UConn (9-3 BIG EAST) and Seton Hall (9-3 BIG EAST). The Wildcats (19-16, 5-4 BIG EAST) are currently in fourth.

Bulldog Bits

(as of 4/2/23)

Kieli Ryan has thrown out 10 runners attempting to steal. She sits atop the BIG EAST and is 13th nationally in that category. She also leads the conference with 2 pickoffs.

Monique Hoosen leads the BIG EAST (47th nationally) with 9 home runs.  Her slugging percentage (.648) ranks fourth in the conference.

Ella White ranks fifth in the BIG EAST with 24 RBI.

Paige Dorsett ranks sixth in the BIG EAST with a .643 slugging percentage.

Kaylee Gross ranks first in the BIG EAST with 5 sacrifice bunts.

(only BIG EAST competition)

Ella White leads the BIG EAST with a 1.080 slugging percentage and 16 RBI.

Kaylee Gross leads the BIG EAST in batting average (.607) and hits (17).

Sydney Carter is second in the BIG EAST with a .538 batting average in conference games.

With nine home runs this season, Monique Hoosen is now tied for fifth on Butler’s all-time single-season list. With 22 in her career, she is now tied for fourth on Butler’s all-time list for career home runs.

An 8-1 start in conference play represents the best start for Butler since joining the BIG EAST in 2014.

(vs. Creighton)

Paige Dorsett and Monique Hoosen each had a pair of home runs in the three-game series.

Ellie Boyer was 4-for-8 (.500) with two doubles, a stolen base, and four runs scored.

Olivia Moxley was 4-for-8 (.500) and led the team with 4 RBI. She had a stolen base and scored twice.

Cate Lehner was 3-for-7 (.429) with two stolen bases and three runs scored.

Six Bulldogs had at least two RBI for the series.

Sydney Cammon pitched a complete game shutout in game two. It was Butler’s first shutout of the season.


Series: Villanova leads, 10-9                           

Villanova defeated Butler, 2-0, in the 2022 BIG EAST Tournament in Rosemont, Ill., after Butler had taken both regular season games in Villanova, 3-1 and 6-0.

In 2021, Villanova swept Butler in Indianapolis and then won again in the BIG EAST Tournament in Storrs, Conn.

Butler swept the three-game series in 2017. The teams did not meet from 2018-2020.

in 2023 BIG EAST series: Georgetown W, 2-1 | Creighton W, 3-0 | UConn L, 0-3

wins include: Dayton, Miami (Ohio), Boston College, North Carolina, Cal

losses include: Wisconsin, Stanford, Auburn

VILLANOVA vs. (opponents)                      Butler

runs:       152-148                                                    142

hits:         233-273                                                  231

RBI:         143-135                                                     131

SB:           30-29                                                      26

ERA:       3.62-3.80                                                 5.56

Batting Leaders:

#15 Tess Cites (.328) 38 H, 22 RBI, 7 SB

#19 Ryan Henry (.288) 6 HR, 21 RBI

#8 Chloe Smith (.252) 5 2B, 4 HR, 19 RBI

Pitching Leaders:

#9 Kat Gallant (8-3) 2.47 ERA, 56 K

#4 Peyton Schnackenberg (3.96) 1.43 ERA, 47 K

#11 Kelsey White (4.73) 1.71 ERA, 25 K


No. 11 Ball State (16-8, 9-3 MIVA) | No. 10 Loyola Chicago (21-4, 11-1 MIVA) Thursday, April 6 at 7 pm ET

| Purdue Fort-Wayne (16-10, 7-5 MIVA) Saturday, April 8 at 7 pm ET

Series History: Loyola Chicago leads the all-time series 39-24

Last meeting: Loyola Chicago 3, Ball State 1 (2/16/23)

Series History: Ball State leads the series 80-33

Last meeting: Ball State 3, Purdue Fort Wayne 2 (2/18/23)

CRUZ’S FIRST MEMORABLE SEASON: The Cardinals are looking to build off a historic 2022 season which saw Donan Cruz, in his first year at the helm, lead Ball State to a 23-4 overall record and the No. 2 seed in the NCAA Men’s Volleyball Championship. BSU was also ranked third in the final NVA/AVCA Men’s Division I-II Coaches Poll: the highest ranking in program history. Ball State was also the 2022 Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association regular season and tournament champions. Cruz was named the 2022 AVCA Coach of the Year last season and MIVA Coach of the Year.

MIVA TOURNAMENT QUARTERFINALS: Ball State has clinched a home game in the MIVA Tournament quarterfinals which starts next Saturday, April 15. The Cardinals will know their opponent following this weekend’s matches.

IS IT POSSIBLE? YES: It is possible that the Cardinals could earn a share of the MIVA regular season title and earn the No. 1 seed. But only if the following happens: Sharing the MIVA title would require two wins for Ball State and two losses for Loyola. Ball State earning the No. 1 seed would take the above happening, plus Ball State winning the tiebreaker, which would be beating Loyola in three sets, or beating them in four and having the advantage in total points. Beating the Ramblers in five would give Loyola the tiebreaker and the No. 1 seed.

SCOUTING LOYOLA CHICAGO: A win by the Ramblers in either of their final two matches, or one loss by both Ball State and Ohio State, would clinch the outright MIVA regular season title. Loyola Chicago comes to Ball State Thursday with an overall record of 21-4 and stand at 11-1 in MIVA action. The Ramblers lone loss in conference play came against Purdue Fort Wayne in five sets on March 18 in Fort Wayne. Loyola Chicago is led offensively by Parker Van Buren with 368 total kills for the season and he is averaging 4.04 kills per set which ranks fifth nationally. Defensively, Nicodemus Meyer averages 1.28 blocks per set which ranks third nationally.

SCOUTING PURDUE FORT WAYNE: PFW is one of the Cardinals longest rivals and will come to Worthen Arena for senior and alumni night Saturday for a 7 pm ET first serve. The Mastodons arrive in Muncie with a 16-10 overall record and currently own a 7-5 conference ledger. Ball State defeated PFW in Fort Wayne Feb. 18 in a five-set thriller. The Cardinals’ defense played a big role in that win as BSU set the program record in total blocks in a single match (26.5). It was also the third-most in NCAA rally scoring history. PFW is led by Jon Diedrich who is averaging 3.79 kills per set.

SCOUTING BALL STATE: The Cardinals are ranked 11th in the nation after sweeping their second-straight MIVA weekend in a row with wins over Quincy (3-0) and Lewis (3-2). Ball State sits in second in the MIVA with a 16-8 overall record and a 9-3 ledger in conference play. Leading the Cardinals offensively is Kaleb Jennes at 3.67 kills per set.

MIVA TOURNAMENT HISTORY: Ball State has won the MIVA Tournament title a total of 15 times (1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1984, 1985, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1994, 1995, 1997, 2002 & 2022).


MUNCIE, Ind. – The Ball State baseball team makes a trip back to Charleston, South Carolina, for a four-game series with The Citadel. The Cardinals and Bulldogs are scheduled for one game on Thursday, a doubleheader on Friday, and one game one Saturday.

The Cardinals are coming off a 12-3 victory at home against the Bellarmine Knights. Ball State enters the weekend series with a 21-7 record, while The Citadel boasts a 14-14 mark. 

Gold Glove Peltier

At the conclusion of last season, Ryan Peltier was honored as the best defensive third baseman in the NCAA and received an ABCA/Rawlings Gold Glove. After being named the MAC Defensive Player of the Year and earning a spot on the All-MAC Second Team for back-to-back seasons, Peltier was awarded the first Gold Glove in BSU history. He was a 2023 Preseason All-American honoree from Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.

Peltier is second on the team with a .394 batting average. He has pelted a team-best seven homers and has a team-high 28 RBIs. He has a slugging percentage of .706, which is 94th in the country and second in the MAC. Peltier has scored 41 runs, which is tied for third in the NCAA and is first the MAC. He leads the team in doubles with 11 and he has added one triple. His 11 doubles are tied for 47th in the NCAA and are tied for third in the conference.

What Can Brown Do for You?

Ryan Brown was named the No. 49 prospect in college baseball by D1 Baseball. Brown was the only Mid-American Conference player selected to the top-100 list. He was also tabbed as one of the top mid-major prospects for the 2023 season. Brown also landed on the 2023 MLB Draft: Rising Righthanded Pitchers watch list. Last season, Brown earned recognition as a Collegiate Baseball Newspaper Freshman All-American along with the MAC Freshman Pitcher of the Year. He also earned a spot on the All-MAC Second Team.

Brown is currently tied for 36th in the NCAA with 51 strikeouts. He his 4-1 on the year and has thrown 26 1/3 innings. Opponents are hitting just .169 against him for the season.

Don’t Mess with Tex

Trennor O’Donnell leads the team with a 1.82 ERA. His ERA is tied for the 24th best in the country and leads the MAC. His 45 strikeouts are tied for 87th in the NCAA and are tied for seventh in the conference. He has a 2-1 record and has thrown 39 2/3 innings. Opponents are hitting just .200 against him.

Scouting the Cardinals

Decker Scheffler leads the squad with a .403 batting average, which is tied for 49th in the NCAA and second in the MAC. He has 22 RBIs, 21 runs scored, six doubles, three homers, and three triples. His three triples are tied for 27th in the country and tied for first in the conference. Scheffler is tied for the 90th as toughest player to strikeout in the NCAA and is fourth in the MAC. Adam Tellier is third on the team with a .355 average. He has 28 runs scored, 16 walks, 14 RBIs, eight doubles, three triples, and one home run. His three triples are tied for 27th in the NCAA and are tied for the most in the MAC. Nick Gregory might only be hitting .216, but he leads the team with 23 walks. His 23 walks are tied for 95th in the NCAA and are fourth in the MAC. He has scored 23 runs and driven in eight runs.

Logan Schulfer is third on the team with 34 strikeouts. He as a 1-0 record with a 5.32 ERA. Ty Johnson is fourth on the team with 28 strikeouts in 23 2/3 innings of work. He has a 3-1 record with a 5.32 ERA. Tanner Knapp and Ty Weatherly have each struck out 26 batters. Knapp and Weatherly are both 1-1 on the year. Jacob Hartlaub is the remaining pitcher with more that 20 strikeouts, with 24. He has a 3-2 record.

Possible Starting Matchups (subject to change)

Thursday: Ty Weatherly (RHP) vs. Sam Swygert (RHP) – 5 p.m.

Friday (Game 1):  Trennor O’Donnell (RHP) vs. Cameron Reeves (RHP) – 1 p.m.

Friday (Game 2): Ty Johnson (RHP) vs. Ben Hutchins (RHP) – 4:30 p.m.

Saturday: TBD vs. TBD – 1 p.m.

Ball State vs. The Citadel: The Series

The Cardinals and Bulldogs will meet for the fourth time on Thursday. The Citadel holds a 2-1 series lead. The Bulldogs won the last meeting, 5-2, on March 8, 2011.

Scouting the Bulldogs

Travis Lott leads The Citadel with a .370 batting average. He has 23 runs scored, 17 RBIs, eight doubles, two home runs, and one triple. Noah Mitchell is second on the squad with a .356 average. He leads the team with 10 doubles, triples with three, and RBIs with 28. He has scored 20 runs and hit one home run. Sawyer Reeves is hitting .343 with 23 RBIs and seven doubles. He paces the team with 28 runs scored. Thomas Rollauer is hitting .308 with 26 runs scored, 17 RBIs, eight doubles, and two home runs. Anthony Badala has a team-high four homers.

Cameron Reeves leads the pitching staff with a 3.34 ERA in 35 innings of work. He is expected to the start in game one on Friday. He is 5-1 with 33 strikeouts. Sam Swygert is projected to get the start on the mound on Thursday. Swygert is 2-2 with a 4.25 ERA in 29 2/3 innings of work. He has 31 strikeouts. Ben Hutchins is slated to get the start in game two on Friday. He enters with a 3-2 record in 34 1/3 innings. He has 33 strikeouts with a 4.46 ERA.


SOUTH BEND, Ind. — The Notre Dame Fighting Irish (15-11) are back on the road as they head to Pittsburgh, PA to take on the Pitt Panthers (13-13) at Charles L. Cost Field. The Irish enter the matchup 5-7 as they’re coming off of an ACC win over the UNC Tar Heels on Sunday, April 2.

DateTimeOpponentLocationProbable StartersTV
April 63 PM PittCharles L. Cost FieldRHP Blake Hely (1-1, 4.28)  vs.  RHP  Jack Sokol (3-1, 6.47)ACCNX
April 73 PM PittCharles L. Cost FieldRHP Jackson Dennies (0-2, 3.04)  vs.  RHP Kyle Mosley (0-3, 7.71ACCNX
April 81 PM PittCharles L. Cost FieldLHP Jack Findlay (4-1, 2.73)  vs.  RHP Logan Evans (1-1, 8.53)ACCNX

Thursday | Live Stats | ACCNX

Friday | Live Stats | ACCNX

Saturday | Live Stats | ACCNX

Notre Dame vs. Pitt Game Notes

Conference Play Resumes at Pitt

  • This will be the first road game for the Irish since taking down the No. 4 Wake Forest Demon Deacons at their place in a 3-1 victory on March 19, 2023.
  • The Irish take on Pitt for the 77th time in program on Thursday, as the Irish lead the overall series 51-25.
  • Notre Dame is 26-4 at home, 17-17 at Pitt, and 8-0 at neutral sites. 
  • The Irish last faced the Panthers at Frank Eck last season (5/13/22-5/15/22), where the Irish took the series after winning games one and two. 
  • Brooks Coetzee had a monster night at the plate in the 8-3 game one win. He started the game with hits in his first three at-bats, including a two-run home run in the fourth. He finished the game 3-of-4 from the plate with two runs and two RBI.
  • The Irish took game two 8-1 and fell in the final game of the series 5-2.

Irish Take on Northwestern

  • The Irish are now five-for-five in midweek matchups as they defeated the Northwestern Wildcats 12-0 on Tuesday at Frank Eck.
  • Notre Dame is now 6-3 after their second shutout win of the season. 
  • Jack Penney recorded his sixth homerun of the year in the bottom of the seventh and Joey Spence would record his first career home run in the bottom of the eight for a two-run homerun to extend the Irish lead 12-0 heading into the ninth.
  • The Irish will face the Wildcats again on the road on Tuesday, May 16. 

UNC Heads to South Bend for Another ACC Series 

  • The Notre Dame Fighting Irish (14-11) dropped the three-game series at Frank Eck as they fell to No. 13 North Carolina (20-8) in games one and two of the series. 
  • Looking for redemption after a tough loss to the Tar Heels on Friday night, the Irish fell 5-2 in the first game of day, but were able to take home the final game in a 9-1 victory on the home turf. 
  • Jackson Dennies recorded a career-high seven strikeouts across 4.2 innings in the game three win. He also allowed just two hits, while giving up no runs and walking no batters. 
  • Vinny Martinez had himself a weekend at the plate, recording five hits and five runs on the weekend, as well as three home runs and seven RBI. 

Midweek Matchup at Frank Eck Against Butler 

  • The Irish are 4-for-4 in their midweek matchups so far this season, with two neutral site wins over Saint Joseph’s in Holly Springs, a win over Valpo in the 2023 home opener, and a 4-0 win over Butler at Frank Eck.
  • Jackson Dennies started on the mound as he recorded a career-high six strikeouts across a career-high four innings pitched.

Irish Make History in Series Win Over No. 2 Louisville

  • The Notre Dame Fighting (12-9) Irish defeated the No. 2 Louisville Cardinals (19-4) in a historic fashion, taking the first game of the series on Friday, March 24 and the first game of the doubleheader on Sunday, March 26.
  • The 5-4 win on Sunday afternoon clinched the first-ever home series win over Louisville in program history. After falling 2-1 in the second game of the doubleheader, the Irish are now 4-5 in conference.
  • In game one, Notre Dame trailed 2-0 heading into the fifth.
  • The Irish held Louisville scoreless in the top of the inning, while the Irish offense really started to get hot in the bottom of the frame. The Irish led off with singles from DM Jefferson and TJ Williams, and a sac bunt from Jack Penney would put runners on second and third for Notre Dame.
  • Zack Prajzner scored both as he doubled down the left field line to add two Irish runs to the board and make it an even 2-2 ballgame. Zyska followed with a double of his own as he sent it to the wall in the left field gap to score Prajzner and take the lead 3-2.
  • The Cardinals would score another run in the top of the sixth to tie it up at 3-3.
  • The Irish immediately responded as Estevan Moreno ripped a home run to deep left, his second of the season, to put the Irish back on top at 4-3 and lead them to eventual 4-3 victory to take game one.
  • In Saturday’s doubleheader, the Cardinals would put their first run of the day on the board on the first pitch of the game as they opened up with a home run to right field to take an early 1-0 lead. And after leading off the top of the fifth with another home run, Louisville led 3-0.
  • Notre Dame wasn’t going anywhere, as the Irish bats started to get hot in the fifth. Notre Dame would score all five of their runs in the bottom of the inning. The Irish’s five runs would come off of just three three hits, all of which were home runs. Jack Penney would hit the first homer, followed by back-to-back home runs from Carter Putz and Brooks Coetzee.
  • The five-run inning lifted the Irish to a 5-4 win to clinch the series win over the Cardinals.

Notre Dame Opens up at Home Against Valparaiso

  • The Notre Dame Fighting Irish took down the Beacons in the 106th matchup between Valpo and Notre Dame as the Irish lead the overall series 86-21 with the very first game taking place on May 14, 1918.
  • The Irish defeated Valpo in a 8-4 victory in their home opener on Tuesday, March 21 at Frank Eck. 
  • Both graduate students, Zack Prajzner and Jack Zyska both recorded their first home runs of the season in Tuesday’s win. Prajzner’s homer to left field came in the bottom of the third and Zyska followed with his left field home run in the bottom of the fourth. 
  • David Lally Jr. made his second career start on the mound, throwing 2.1 innings before he was relieved in the third inning by Carter Bosch.  Bosch recorded a season-high six strikeouts across 3.2 innings and gave up no runs while allowing only two hits. Sammy Cooper came in to close in the top of the seventh, taking home his second win of the season.

Irish Resume Conference Play at No. 4 Wake Forest

  • The Notre Dame Fighting Irish finished the series 2-1 at no. 4 Wake Forest last weekend after falling in both doubleheader games on Saturday, but taking home Sunday’s game in a 3-1 victory. 
  • The Irish are now 9-8 on the year and 2-4 in the ACC after the road series. 
  • Due to Friday’s game being postponed for inclement weather, the Irish and Demon Deacons played a doubleheader on Saturday, March 18. 
  • Wake Forest took game one 4-1 and game two 12-3.
  • Jackson Dennies started on the mound for the Irish in game one, finishing the day with three strikeouts while allowing two runs and five hits across 3.2 innings pitched. 
  • Aidan Tyrell came in relief with two outs in the bottom of the fourth, throwing 3.1 innings, recording four strikeouts, and giving up just one run and one hit.
  • Trailing 1-0 heading into the top of the third, Danny Neri led off for the Irish with a double down the left field line and advanced to third on a sac bunt from TJ Williams. Estevan Moreno followed with his first hit of the day as he singled through the left side to score Neri for Notre Dame’s only run of the game
  • The Irish struggled to score in game two on Saturday. Trailing 12-1 heading into the top of the ninth, Connor Hincks singled to center field for his first career hit and was sent home on a two-run home run from Tony Lindwedel. Lindwedel’s first career home run would close the gap to 12-3 as Wake Forest took home the second game of the series.
  • Wake Forest was undefeated 14-0 at home so far this season until Notre Dame took game three with a score of 3-1.
  • The Irish offense sparked in the top of the second with a double to right center from Carter Putz, who scored after Jack Zyska hit a single to left field. 
  • The Irish posted an early 1-0 lead, while Findlay continued to shut down the Demon Deacons from the mound as he closed the first two innings with three strikeouts.
  • DM Jefferson started the third with a lead-off single to center field and advanced to second on a passed ball with TJ Williams up to bat. Jefferson was able to score and tack on another run for the Irish as an RBI single from Brooks Coetzee brought Jefferson home for the 2-0 lead.
  • Coetzee led off the sixth with a double to right center field, which was followed by a walk from Putz. With runners on first and second and Jack Penney up to bat, Coetzee was able to steal third on a wild pitch. Penney reached on a fielder’s choice, recording an RBI as Coetzee ran home to give the Irish a 3-0 edge heading into the bottom of the sixth.
  • Findlay recorded his 10th strikeout of the day before he was relieved by Blake Hely with two outs in the sixth. Findlay absolutely dominated from the mound, throwing 10 strikes across 5.2 innings and allowing just two hits and no runs.


SOUTH BEND, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame softball is back on the road for the first time in three weeks as the Fighting Irish head to Louisville for a matchup with the University of Louisville Cardinals. The series will feature a three-game set beginning Thursday night at 6 p.m., followed by matchups Friday at 5 p.m., and Saturday at 2 p.m. Thursday and Frida’s games will be aired on the ACC Network Extra, with Saturday’s finale coming on the ACC Network.

The Irish enter the weekend with a 21-10-1 record, and are 5-6-1 in ACC action. Notre Dame’s last five wins have all been run-rule victories as the Irish offense has raised its average .080 points over the past 14 games, and have seen their home run numbers nearly double in comparison to the first 18 games of the season.

That surge in the Irish offense can be directly related to the middle of the order hitting its stride. Joley Mitchell, Lexi Orozco, Karina Gaskins and Carlli Kloss are all hitting over the .400 mark in the past 14 games. Mitchell leads the team with a .535 average in the last 14 games, hitting five home runs and driving in 20. Mitchell leads the team with a .370 average on the season, while stealing eight bases.

Orozco and Gaskins lead the power with 10 home runs each. Orozco leads the team with 31 RBI on the season, while Gaskins has driven in 27. That RBI total equals her total walks drawn for the season, leading the ACC and ranking in the top 10 nationally in walks per game.

The pitching staff is led by graduate student Payton Tidd. Tidd has appeared in 19 games, starting 14. She’s thrown in a team-high 93.1 innings and has struck out 78 hitters. Freshman Micaela Kastor adds 19 appearances with eight starts. She leads the team with three saves and limits opponents to a .212 average against. Shannon Becker worked a complete game her last time out, her second of the season. She’s appeared in a team-high 20 games, throwing 61.2 innings and striking out 51 hitters.

Louisville enters the weekend with a 24-10 record, going 9-2 in its conference action. Last time out, the Cardinals took care of business against Syracuse, sweeping a doubleheader before the final game of the series was canceled. Previous to that, Louisville dropped a midweek to Kentucky and swept an ACC series against NC State.

As a team, the Cardinals hit for a .316 average led by Sarah Gordon’s .406 mark. In 34 games this season, she’s hit nine doubles, five home runs and driven in 29. Korbe Otis adds a .400 average with a team-best 41 runs and is a perfect 15-for-15 in stolen base attempts. Daisy Hess leads the team with 18 stolen bases in 20 attempts, while hitting for a .323 average with 18 RBI. Taylor Roby leads the offense with 14 home runs, driving in a team-best 40 this season.

Roby also leads the Louisville pitching staff. The graduate student leads the team with 14 starts, appearing in 20 games and owning a 1.86 ERA. She’s thrown 71.1 innings, striking out 47 and allowing just 12 extra-base hits. Alyssa Zabala adds 20 appearances with 12 starts. She edges out Roby for the most innings this season at 71.2, while holding opponents to a .239 average against. She’s thrown four complete games and picked up a save. Same Booe adds a 1.68 ERA in 25.0 innings. Gabby Holloway and Cassie Grizzard each have an ERA just above 4.00, throwing 22.1 and 22.0 innings, respectively.


FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The Mastodon baseball team looks for their third straight Horizon League series win this week when they travel to Oakland. 

Game Day Information
 Purdue Fort Wayne (8-21, 5-4 Horizon League) vs. Oakland (10-17, 4-5 Horizon League)
Thursday, April 6 | 2:30 p.m.
February, April 7 | 2:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 8 | 2 p.m.
Where: Rochester, Mich. | Oakland Baseball Field
Weather: Friday: 53, cloudy | Saturday: 52, cloudy | Sunday: 54, cloudy
Live Stats:Link
Watch (Friday’s game only): ESPN+
Series History: Oakland leads 21-18

Probable Starters:
Purdue Fort Wayne:
 RHP Mac Ayres (1-1), RHP Owen Willard (0-1),  LHP Jacob Myer (0-2)
Oakland: RHP Bryce Konitzer (1-2), RHP Hunter Pidek (0-1), LHP Travis Densmore (2-3)

Scouting the Golden Grizzlies: Oakland has won league weekend series with Milwaukee and Youngstown State, but were swept by Wright State. Thomas Green has a team-best 31 hits. The Golden Grizzlies have a team ERA of 9.14 in league play this season. Travis Densmore is 2-1 in league play. 

Return of the SAC:Dylan Stewart has a league-best six sacrifice bunts this season. He is averaging one every four games.

Back in Black:Braedon Blackford owns a Horizon League-best eight home runs. He is sixth in the league in slugging (.554), RBIs (24) and runs (23).

Cade Gets on Base:Cade Nelis leads the league in walks (23) while ranking second in on-base percentage (.462). Over his last four games (YSU series and the Toledo game), he has two games with four hits and another with four walks. 

Strong Up The Middle:Cade Nelis has been nearly flawless this season at second base. He has started 28 games and owns a .992 fielding percentage with 73 assists and 51 putouts. He has only one error on the season, and that came in the first game of the year at Alabama State. 

JD Indeed:JD Deany has allowed one or zero runs in four of his last appearances on the mound.

Masto-Slams:  The ‘Dons hit grand slams in back-to-back games against Northern Kentucky. On March 24 Ben Higgins hit a grand slam and then in game one on March 26 Jarrett Bickel hit a game-tying grand slam in the seventh inning of a 9-5 win.

Record Within Striking Distance:  The 2023 season is Justin Miller’s fifth as a Mastodon. Miller owns 192 career strikeouts, the second most in program history for a career. He will look to pass Jason Horvath (2001-04) for the most in program history this season. Horvath recorded 210 strikeouts.

Save X4: Four different Mastodons have recorded a save this season. Brody FineMac AyresJD Deany and Justin Miller own saves for the ‘Dons.

‘Dons Dig The Long Ball: Eight different Mastodons have hit a home run this season.

Turn It!: The Mastodons are 12th in the nation in double plays turned with 27 this season.

Multi-verse: 13 different Mastodons have had a multi-hit game this season. Drew Dillon entered that group with a pair of hits on Tuesday against Toledo.

Hey Batter Batter (of the Week): Braedon Blackford hit .429 and slugged 1.357 with four home runs in 14 at bats over four games played in Winston-Salem, N.C. (March 3-5). He also recorded one double, seven RBIs, five runs scored, two walks and 19 total bases to earn the Horizon League Batter of the Week honor.

Hey Batter Batter (of the Week) X2: Ben HIggins was named the Horizon League Batter of the Week on April 4 for his play the prior weekend. His play was highlighted by his thee home run performance at Youngstown State on March 31). Higgins was the first Mastodon to hit three big flys in a game since 2016. 

D1Baseball Top 30:Braedon Blackford was named a Top 30 Hitter of the day for his two-run home run game vs. Cornell. He was ranked No. 11. JD Deany was selected as a Top 30 pitcher for his five shutout innings vs. Cornell. Ben Higgins was named the No. 3 hitter of the day by for his three dinger day against Youngstown State. 

Up Next: The ‘Dons are at the Valparaiso Beacons on April 11. 


FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Purdue Fort Wayne men’s volleyball will hit the road to play at No. 13 Ohio State and No. 11 Ball State this week in the last two MIVA matches of the regular season.

Game Day Information (Thursday)
Who: Ohio State Buckeyes
When: Thursday, April 6 | 7 PM
Where: Columbus, Ohio | Covelli Center
Live Stats: Link
Watch: B1G+
Game Notes: Purdue Fort Wayne | Ohio State | MIVA

Game Day Information (Saturday)
Who: Ball State Cardinals
When: Saturday, April 8 | 7 PM
Where: Muncie, Ind. | Worthen Arena
Live Stats: Link
Watch: ESPN3
Game Notes: Purdue Fort Wayne | Ball State | MIVA

Know Your Foes
• No. 13 Ohio State is 17-9 and 9-3 in the MIVA. The Buckeyes are playing their best volleyball, currently on a six-match winning streak, which includes a five-set win over No. 1 Penn State. The Buckeyes are led by Jacob Pasteur, who has been the MIVA Offensive Player of the Week three times and the AVCA National Player of the Week once. He is averaging 3.79 kills per set.
• No. 11 Ball State is 16-8, 9-3 MIVA and is on a four-match winning streak with wins over the teams currently in the bottom half of the MIVA. The Cardinals have a two-pronged attack in Kaleb Jenness and Tinaishe Ndavazocheva, who both are above three kills per set. 

Series Histories
• Ohio State leads the all-time series against the Mastodons 80-40 and has won the last three meetings. The Mastodons have not won in Columbus since 2014. The ‘Dons’ last win in 2021 saw Jon Diedrich go off for 24 kills with a .636 hitting clip. The ‘Dons hit .490 as a team in that match.
• Ball State leads the series 80-33 and has won the last six. That came after three-consecutive wins for the Mastodons. Purdue Fort Wayne’s last win in Muncie was in 2019, when Pelegrin Vargas had 19 kills to sweep the Cardinals.

Background ‘Bler
Purdue Fort Wayne handed Loyola Chicago its first MIVA loss of the season with a five-set win over the Ramblers. Jon Diedrich had 19 kills, Bryce Walker had 14 kills with a .520 hitting percentage and a career-high nine blocks, and Sergio Carrillo recorded a double-double with 40 assists and 11 digs.

Movin’ Up The List
Jon Diedrich joined the 1,000-kill club against No. 14 Charleston (March 17). He is among the 20 Mastodons that have eclipsed this mark. Here’s where he ranks.
13. Darryl Shank – 1310 (2008-11)
14. Raul Papaleo – 1264 (1990-93)
15. Ted Owen – 1206 (1984-87)
16. Eddie Rivera – 1107 (2011-14)
17. Jon Diedrich – 1082 (2020-23)

Hello, My Name Is Bryce And I’ll Be Your Server
Bryce Walker is moving up the all-time ace list in program history.
13. Loren Gebert – 97 (1983-86)
14. Scott Lane – 95 (1999-00)
15. Hector Soto – 90 (1997-00)
16. Omar Rivera – 89 (2012-15)
17. Bryce Walker – 82 (2021-23)

Block Party
Ryan Steponaitis (1.00), Bryce Walker (0.98) and Mark Frazier (0.84) are all in the top-10 in the MIVA in blocks per set.

Bryce the Beast
Bryce Walker has the second-best career hitting percentage among active MIVA players with a .342 clip. His percentage of .340 this season is the best in the conference.

Now Walk It Out
Bryce Walker’s career mark of 0.35 aces per set is the second-most among active middle blockers in the country and the most in the MIVA. This mark is also top-25 overall and second in the MIVA among all positions, second to teammate Zach Solomon.

Zany Zach
Zach Solomon is the MIVA career leader with 0.37 aces per set with at least a full season played.

Yes, No (ah), Maybe
Noah Melendez is the active career leader in Division I/II with 757 digs in his five years. The next closest is Belmont Abbey’s Daniel Cerqua with 713.

3000-Assist Club
Sergio Carrillo recorded his 3,000th assist last week against Quincy. Carrillo has the fourth-most career assists among all Division I/II student-athletes with in his five seasons, now totaling 3,038. He is one of four players in the NCAA with 3,000 assists.

Last Time Out
Purdue Fort Wayne went 2-0 last weekend, picking up 3-1 wins over Quincy and Lindenwood. Carlos Mercado had a career-high 16 kills against Lindenwood on Senior Night.

Coming Up
The Mastodons will turn their attention to the MIVA Tournament. The ‘Dons could earn anything from the No. 2 seed to the No. 6 seed.


EVANSVILLE, Ind. – University of Southern Indiana Softball hits the road to take on Eastern Illinois University in Ohio Valley Conference play this weekend in Charleston, Illinois. The three-game set begins Friday with a doubleheader at 1 p.m. before Saturday’s series finale at 12 p.m.

Southern Indiana enters the series with a 12-16 overall record and a 6-5 mark in the Ohio Valley Conference. The Screaming Eagles are fourth in the OVC standings as they prepare to face the conference-leading Eastern Illinois Panthers. EIU sits at 19-13 this season with an 8-0 conference record.

The Screaming Eagles are coming off a 3-0 setback on Tuesday in a midweek matchup against Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). USI was held to one hit, while IUPUI scored three runs on five hits. Freshman pitcher Kylie Eads (Indianapolis, Indiana) made her first career start, allowing one unearned run in four innings. Freshman pitcher Raegan Gibson (Louisville, Kentucky) tossed the last three frames, giving up two runs – one earned.

Last weekend, USI picked up a series win in Ohio Valley Conference play against the University of Tennessee at Martin. The Screaming Eagles opened the series with a 6-4 win against the Skyhawks on Saturday. In Sunday’s doubleheader, UT Martin took the second game of the series, 5-0, before USI won the rubber game, 8-2, to capture the series victory. It marked USI’s third series win in the OVC season.

Southern Indiana’s offense was led by senior Allie Goodin (Evansville, Indiana), who batted .545 with seven RBIs and two doubles. Goodin bookended the weekend series with three-hit games and with four and three RBIs, respectively. Junior outfielder Mackenzie Bedrick (Brownsburg, Indiana) hit .500 with five runs scored on the weekend, and sophomore outfielder Kennedy Nalley (Huntingburg, Indiana) also batted .500 with four runs and three walks.

Overall, Goodin paces the Screaming Eagles with a .448 batting average, 13 doubles, and 23 RBIs. Her numbers rank among the top of the OVC, and her batting average and doubles total are top-20 in the nation. Goodin is hitting .550 with 17 RBIs in conference games. Junior first baseman Lexi Fair (Greenwood, Indiana) leads the team with four home runs and is second in RBIs with 15. Bedrick is hitting .321 and leads the team with 21 runs scored.

On Monday, sophomore pitcher Josie Newman (Indianapolis, Indiana) was named Ohio Valley Conference Pitcher of the Week for the third time this season. Newman earned the award after two masterful starts during the weekend series against UT Martin. She went 2-0 with two complete games, struck out 16 batters, allowed only seven total hits, and posted a 1.00 ERA in the two starts.

Newman leads the pitching rotation with a 10-6 record, 2.56 ERA, 104 strikeouts, and 10 complete games. Her 104 strikeouts lead the OVC and are inside the top-50 in the nation. The right-hander’s 10 wins and 10 complete games are tied atop the OVC leaders, while her four shutouts are first in the OVC. In conference play, Newman is 5-2 with a 3.05 ERA, 49 strikeouts, and six complete games.

Heading into the EIU series, junior catcher Sammie Kihega (Greenfield, Indiana) is fourth all-time in USI history with 74 career walks. She is one walk away from third. Kihega had a 19-game on-base streak snapped in the series opener at Southeast Missouri State University on March 25. The 19-game streak was a career best for Kihega.

Eastern Illinois has won its last three games, which came in a series sweep of Tennessee State University in OVC play last weekend. It was a close series, as each game was decided by three runs or less. The Panthers have also taken care of business in the OVC with sweeps against Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and UT Martin.

As a team, EIU has one of the best offenses in the league, batting .281 with 46 doubles, seven triples, and 30 triples to go along with 35 stolen bases. The pitching staff has a 3.36 ERA with 152 strikeouts, holding opposing hitters to a .257 batting average. Senior Rachel Kaufman paces EIU with a .391 batting average and is second on the team with five home runs and 20 RBIs. Junior Lindy Milkowski is hitting .345 while leading the squad with 10 home runs and 29 RBIs.

The two schools previously faced off in the only all-time meeting in 1994 with a two-game set. Eastern Illinois won both matchups, outscoring USI 7-0. Both games were hosted by Eastern Illinois.

All three games can be seen with a subscription to ESPN+ and heard on The Spin 95.7 FM. Additional coverage links are on the USI Softball schedule page on


Valparaiso (9-12, 1-5 MVC)

at Evansville (17-11, 3-3 MVC)

Charles H. Braun Stadium (1,200) | Evansville, Ind.

Friday, April 7, 6 p.m. – RHP Griffin McCluskey

Saturday, April 8, 2 p.m. – RHP Nathan Chasey

Sunday, April 9, 1 p.m. – RHP Bobby Nowak

Next Up in Valpo Baseball: The Valparaiso University baseball team will hit the road for an Easter weekend series at Evansville as the Beacons and Purple Aces square off in a set that begins on Good Friday under the lights at Braun Stadium. Seven of the next eight will be away from home including consecutive road weekends in Valley play.

Last Time Out: Behind quality pitching from Bobby Nowak and Nathan Chasey, Valpo won the series finale on Monday against Murray State at Emory G. Bauer Field, salvaging a 5-2 victory after being swept 14-3, 14-5 in Sunday’s doubleheader. Matt Olive and Kyle Schmack had big hits in support of Nowak, who logged six solid innings of two-run, four-hit ball while striking out nine and walking one. Chasey earned the save by permitting just one hit over three scoreless innings. The doubleheader was highlighted by a Ryan Maka grand slam and back-to-back jacks by Olive and Spencer Warfield. 

Following the Beacons: There will be no video streaming available of this weekend’s series. Links to Evansville’s radio broadcast and live stats are available on For all the latest in Valpo Baseball, follow @ValpoBaseball on Twitter and Instagram.

Head Coach Brian Schmack: Brian Schmack (177-279) is in his 10th season in charge of the program. He ranks third in program history in seasons coached and games coached as he enters 2023 having skippered 435 Valpo games. He enters the season with 168 victories, one of four coaches in program history with over 150. The former big-league pitcher led Valpo to 25 wins in his inaugural campaign in 2014, a school record for victories by a first-year skipper. Schmack, a member of the 2003 Detroit Tigers, served as pitching coach/associate head coach at Valpo for seven seasons prior to his promotion.

Series Notes: Valpo holds a 40-25 lead in an all-time series that dates all the way back to 1948. The two teams closed out the regular season against one another last season in Evansville, a set that saw Valpo drop the opener 9-2 before bouncing back to take the second game 8-4. The two teams were scheduled to close out the series on Saturday, May 21, but the regular-season finale was wiped out by inclement weather and the Beacons got on the bus and made their way to Springfield for the conference tournament.

In the Other Dugout – Evansville

Picked to finish third of 10 in the MVC preseason poll.

Went 32-24 last season and posted a 14-6 mark in conference play.

Won two games in the MVC Tournament including a 21-2 victory over DBU last year.

Started this season’s league slate with a road sweep at Missouri State, but were on the other end of a road sweep when Belmont came into Braun Stadium and took all three last weekend.

ERA Leader

Nathan Chasey logged three scoreless innings in the April 3 win vs. Murray State, nailing down his second save of the season and the third of his career. He gave up just one hit and one walk while working the final three frames to preserve a 5-2 win.

In his last four outings, Chasey has allowed just one run on six hits in 12 innings while walking just two and striking out seven.

With an ERA of 1.90, Chasey leads the Missouri Valley Conference.

He ranks second in the league behind only Murray State’s Jacob Pennington with an opposing batting average of .185, a number that ranks 28th

Chasey has allowed just 5.70 hits per nine innings this season, leading the MVC and ranking 34th nationally in that category.

Bobby on the Bump

Bobby Nowak made his first career start on Monday vs. Murray State, pitching Valpo to a 5-2 victory thanks to six innings of two-run, four-hit ball while walking one and striking out nine.

That outing marked Nowak’s first career start as his previous 25 appearances all came out of the bullpen.

Prior to his six-inning outing, the longest of his Valpo career was his previous game, 3 1/3 innings of relief on March 28 vs. Milwaukee. Prior to that, he had logged no more than 2 1/3 innings in any one appearance.

The nine strikeouts against the Racers surpassed his previous career high of seven, which came in that outing against the Panthers. Six of those strikeouts came in succession as he struck out the side in back-to-back innings against Murray State.

Over his last two games, Nowak has 16 strikeouts in 9 1/3 innings. Over his last four outings, he has yielded just two runs on five hits in 11 1/3 innings while walking three and striking out 18.

Nowak earned the win against Murray State to improve to 3-0 on the season. He has nine walks, 30 strikeouts and a batting average against of .161.

Nowak threw 3 1/3 shutout innings while yielding one hit and walking two in Valpo’s 11-inning victory over Milwaukee on March 28. He struck out seven and was the winning pitcher. He entered the game in a tight spot, with the contest tied at six and runners at second and third with nobody out in the eighth. He recorded a swinging strikeout to end the frame.

Beacon Blasts

Valpo launched three home runs during the April 2 doubleheader vs. Murray State, highlighted by a Ryan Maka grand slam, his third home run of the season and the eighth of his career.

Make became the second Beacon with a grand slam this season, joining Brady Renfro, who delivered Valpo’s big offensive blow in the March 10 upset of No. 22 Southern Miss. With the bases loaded in the seventh, Renfro belted a 409-foot grand slam featuring an exit velocity of 104 to stretch Valpo’s lead to 6-1.

Renfro’s slam was the first by a Valpo player since Sam Shaikin on March 3, 2019 at UNCW.

Maka and Renfro became the ninth and 10th Valpo players to hit a grand slam since Brian Schmack took over as head coach in 2014, joining Shaikin, Jayden Eggiman (April 11, 2018 vs. Milwaukee), Chase Dawson (March 16, 2018 at Arkansas Pine Bluff), James Stea (April 13, 2017 vs. Oakland), Nate Palace (May 15, 2016 vs. Oakland), Giovanni Garbella (April 25, 2016 vs. Purdue North Central), Dustin Beasley (March 2, 2015 at Western Carolina), and Nolan Lodden (March 1, 2015 at Gardner Webb).

The doubleheader against Murray State also saw Matt Olive and Spencer Warfield launch back-to-back jacks. Warfield’s big fly was the second of his career, both this season. Olive connected on his second home run of the season and the fourth of his collegiate career.

Renfro Reaching Regularly

Brady Renfro reached base in 21 consecutive games. He has boarded the bases in every game this season.

He became the first Valpo player to reach in 20 straight since Kaleb Hannahs did so in the final 20 games of the 2021 season.

Renfro now owns Valpo’s longest on-base streak since Sam Shaikin’s 23 gamer in 2017.

If he reaches base in every game this weekend, Renfro will own Valpo’s longest on-base streak since Nolan Lodden reached safely in 34 straight in 2016.

Part of Renfro’s success in getting on base has been thanks to his patience. He ranks second in The Valley and 54th nationally with 0.95 walks per game.

Other Notes Wrapping Up Murray State (April 2-3)

The Sunday doubleheader saw Valpo play wobbly defense as the team committed seven errors over the two games.

The three errors in the first game were a season high before being surpassed by four in Game 2. Prior to that series, Valpo had made multiple errors in a game just twice over the season’s first 18 contests and never more than two in a single game.

Nolan Tucker recorded three hits in Game 2 of the doubleheader, his fourth game with three or more hits this season.

Josh Cottrill twirled two scoreless innings out of the bullpen in Game 2. Of the seven Valpo men who took the mound in the doubleheader, he was the only one not charged with a run.

Jonathan Hyman tossed the ninth inning of Game 2, making his Valpo debut.

Brady Nowicki started at third base in the series finale, making his season debut.

The team’s only extra-base knock in Game 3 of the series was a double by Kade Reinertson.

Matt Olive drove in three runs in the series finale, while Kyle Schmack hit home the other two runs and upped his team-leading season RBI total to 20. No Valpo player had a multi-hit output in Sunday’s game, but eight different Beacons lashed out a base hit.

Two-Bagger Tidbits

The game-ending double by Kaleb Hannahs sent Valpo to a 7-6 victory over Milwaukee on March 28 and represented Hannahs’ third double of the game.

The Valpo third baseman became just the second MVC player with a three-double game this year, joining Missouri State’s Taeg Gollert (Feb. 18 vs. Cal Poly).

All three of Hannahs’ hits were two baggers, helping him become the first Valpo player since Zack Leone on April 25, 2018 at Notre Dame with three doubles in a game.

Valpo had five doubles in the contest, the team’s highest single-game total since April 16, 2022 at Illinois State.

Kaleb Calls Game

The third and final double of Kaleb Hannahs’ big day on March 28 vs. Milwaukee lifted the Beacons to their first walk-off win since April 23, 2021, when Valpo walked off to beat Southern Illinois in both games of a doubleheader, 7-6 in Game 1 and 4-3 in Game 2.

Jonathan Temple delivered a walk-off home run in Game 1, and Riley Dent lashed a walk-off single in Game 2 in the aforementioned sweep of the Salukis.

The win over the Panthers was Valpo’s second extra-inning game of the season and first since Feb. 25 at UT Martin, a 5-4, 10-inning triumph.

This was the first time the team played 11 innings since March 20, 2021 at Western Kentucky.

Valpo improved to 3-0 this season in one-run games. The team’s previous one-run affair was also decided by the exact score of 7-6 on March 4 at Little Rock.

Other Notes Wrapping Up March 28 (Valpo 7, Milwaukee 6; F/11)

Brady Renfro launched his third home run of the season and his 14th in a Valpo uniform.

Alex Thurston had his first triple of the season and the sixth of his career.

The Panthers trotted out eight different pitchers. Valpo starter Ryan Mintz was able to go five and issued no walks.

Each team had 12 hits, the fourth time in the last five games that Valpo has outhit the opponent or been tied in the hit column.

Home at Last

On March 28 vs. Milwaukee, Valpo finally lifted the lid on the home portion of the season after 17 straight away from home.

The Beacons have won three consecutive home openers.


INDIANAPOLIS – Coming off the heels of their win over Indiana Tech, the Marian women’s lacrosse team weathered a lengthy lightning delay to score a one-sided 18-5 victory over Lourdes on Wednesday evening. Marian’s win gives them a 10-3 overall mark on the season, marking the program’s second-ever season with double-digit victories. The Knights are 5-1 in WHAC play this year following the win.

Marian waited out a passing storm and lightning for over 100 minutes before hitting the field Wednesday, coming out a bit sluggish from the delay as Lourdes pounced on the Knights 87 seconds into the game with the opening goal. The Knights settled in after the opening Gray Wolves goal, and went on a proficient scoring run as Ashlynn Gray rattled the cage to level the score less than two minutes after the opening score. Ella Grace Giedd scored quickly after with an unassisted goal, and Grace Martin followed with a pair of goals 34 seconds apart to drive Marian’s lead to 4-1 in under six minutes.

Madison Ash, Taleah Nool, Giedd, and Ash. Gray kept the run going, as Marian charged their total to eight unanswered goals in an 8:30 window. The 8-1 lead would be answered by a Sarah Pryojski score at the 2:05 mark as Lourdes tried to mount a comeback, but the short-handed Gray Wolves would allow goals to Ash. Gray and Martin in the final 91 seconds of the first quarter, as they completed first quarter hat tricks to give Marian a 10-2 lead after 15 minutes.

Gray’s second goal in the quarter gave the senior 100 for her career, becoming the third player in program history to eclipse the milestone.

Marian kept the scoring going into the third quarter, as Katelynn Gray got on the board from a Giedd assist, and following a Lourdes goal, both Ash. Gray and Nool would score to give the Knights a double-digit lead. The running clock took off with 3:42 remaining in the first half, with Marian extending their lead to 11 goals before the break as Kate. Gray scored unassisted, giving the home team a comfortable 14-3 halftime lead.

The Knights would out-score Lourdes 4-2 in the second half, as Marian rotated every member of their roster into the game for valuable minutes. Nool completed her first collegiate hat trick midway through the third quarter, while Ruby Mason and Madeline Dumke netted goals of their own in the second half. Aliyah Evans finished the scoring for Marian in the win, as the junior two-sport athlete rifled a shot past the keeper on a pass from Dumke.

Ashlynn Gray led the Knights in scoring in their 18-5 victory, scoring on four of her five shots. Martin and Nool each had hat tricks, while Katelynn Gray and Giedd finished with two goals each. Madison Ash and Giedd each had three assists in the win. Defensively, Dumke led the Knights with six caused turnovers, while Lizzie Piercy added three of Marian’s 22 forced turnovers. Katherine Hirsch earned the win in cage with two saves, and Grace Coyne made one save in their second half work.

Marian will go on the road for their next two games, first traveling to Rochester Hills on Friday afternoon for a 4 p.m. contest against Rochester University.






























Garrett Mitchell capped a prolific series with a walk-off homer in the ninth inning Wednesday afternoon, leading the host Milwaukee Brewers to a three-game sweep of the New York Mets with a 7-6 win.

Mitchell, leading off the inning against Adam Ottavino (0-1), hit a full-count cutter well behind the right field fence for his third homer of the series. The Brewers hit nine homers in the series, during which they outscored the Mets 26-6. Devin Williams (1-0) tossed a perfect ninth inning for the win.

Joey Wiemer hit his first big-league homer, a three-run shot in the second, Jesse Winker had a two-run double and Owen Miller laced an RBI single for the Brewers. Winker and Luke Voit had two hits apiece.

Pete Alonso hit two homers and finished with four RBIs for the Mets. Francisco Lindor had three hits and two RBIs, but the rest of New York’s lineup combined for just two hits. The Mets snapped a 20-inning scoreless drought in the first, when Starling Marte was hit by a pitch with one out, stole second and scored on Lindor’s double.


Steven Kwan highlighted a two-run 10th inning with an RBI single, sending Cleveland to a victory over Oakland, the visitors’ second extra-inning win of the three-game series.

After seeing a 4-0 lead disappear Wednesday, the Guardians put up multiple runs in the 10th. Kwan’s bloop single to left field came after Cleveland had already gone up 5-4. Will Brennan’s RBI infield out scored extra-inning automatic runner Andres Gimenez, who had taken third on a wild pitch by Zach Jackson (0-1). Myles Straw, who had walked as the inning’s first batter, scored on Kwan’s single.

The A’s made it interesting in the bottom of the 10th after Guardians closer Emmanuel Clase walked leadoff man Esteury Ruiz to put the potential tying runs on base. Kemp’s grounder to first advanced the runners into scoring position with just one out, but Clase locked down his second save by striking out Aledmys Diaz and getting Jesus Aguilar to line out to right field. Eli Morgan (1-0), who worked a scoreless ninth, was credited with the win.


Jacob deGrom recorded 11 strikeouts over six innings and Josh Jung delivered the go-ahead home run in the sixth, lifting Texas over Baltimore in Arlington, Texas.

deGrom (1-0) earned his first victory with the Rangers, allowing two runs on two hits with two walks. He dominated early with four perfect frames, striking out the side in both the second and fourth innings.

Grayson Rodriguez, the Orioles’ top pitching prospect, allowed two runs on four hits with one walk and five strikeouts over five innings in his major league debut.


Wander Franco and Harold Ramirez each homered to lead visiting Tampa Bay to a win against Washington.

Shane McClanahan (2-0) went six innings, allowing two runs on five hits with four walks and six strikeouts for the Rays, who improved to 6-0 on the season.

Patrick Corbin (0-2) gave up six runs on 10 hits over six innings for the Nationals, who have lost five of their first six games.


Gerrit Cole struck out eight in 6 1/3 innings to best Aaron Nola as New York beat visiting Philadelphia in frigid conditions.

Gleyber Torres continued his hot start with three hits, including a pair of RBI singles, as the Yankees won for the fourth time in six games. Jose Trevino hit a two-run homer for the Yankees.

Kyle Schwarber homered for the second straight game for the Phillies.


Jorge Soler homered twice and drove in four runs as host Miami defeated Minnesota.

Miami’s Bryan De La Cruz had one of the biggest hits of the game in the eighth inning as he lined a two-out, go-ahead RBI single to center field. Soler followed with his second homer, a three-run shot. Trevor Larnach had an RBI single for the Twins.

Marlins center fielder Jazz Chisholm Jr. left the game in the first inning due to a stinger in his right shoulder. Chisholm was injured after running into Twins second baseman Kyle Farmer while trying to steal second base. De La Cruz replaced Chisholm in center and became the late-game hero.


Matt Olson doubled, homered and drove in three runs as visiting Atlanta defeated St. Louis to complete a three-game sweep.

Ronald Acuna Jr. had two hits and was driven in twice by Olson. Austin Riley went 2-for-4 with a double, an RBI and a run. Braves starting pitcher Bryce Elder (1-0) blanked the Cardinals for six innings on two hits and three walks. He struck out six.

Rookie outfielder Jordan Walker hit his first big-league homer and ripped an RBI double past third in the bottom of the ninth for St. Louis. Starting pitcher Miles Mikolas (0-1) allowed five runs on nine hits in six innings. He struck out six and walked one.


Carlos Santana and Andrew McCutchen each had two hits, and Mitch Keller pitched seven innings as Pittsburgh beat host Boston to complete a three-game sweep.

Santana hit a fourth-inning homer and finished with two RBIs. Keller (1-0) worked seven innings, striking out seven while allowing just one run on four hits and two walks. He threw 107 pitches.

Christian Arroyo went 2-for-3 with an RBI while Triston Casas doubled and scored for the Red Sox, who were held to just five hits. Boston starter Corey Kluber (0-2) pitched five innings of one-run, three-hit ball in a strong bounce-back start for Boston, retiring 14 of the last 15 batters he faced.


Chas McCormick and Jeremy Pena hit two-run homers, and host Houston salvaged the finale of a three-game series by defeating Detroit.

Kyle Tucker also homered and drove in two runs for the Astros, while Corey Julks had two hits, a run and an RBI. Houston starter Cristian Javier (1-0) gave up one run on five hits in six innings. He recorded five strikeouts and didn’t issue a walk.

Nick Maton and Austin Meadows knocked in the Detroit runs. Tigers starter Eduardo Rodriguez (0-2) gave up four runs and six hits in 4 2/3 innings.


Gavin Sheets delivered two hits and three RBIs and Luis Robert Jr. had three hits and an RBI to back five strong innings from Dylan Cease and help host Chicago defeat San Francisco.

Yoan Moncada and Andrew Benintendi supported Chicago’s 13-hit attack with two hits apiece. Cease improved to 1-0 despite struggling with his command. He walked five in five innings but was otherwise sharp, spacing one run and one hit with eight strikeouts.

J.D. Davis provided the Giants’ lone run and hit against Cease, smacking a homer to the opposite field in right with one out in the second inning. Giants right-hander Logan Webb (0-2) scattered four runs and nine hits in five innings with zero walks and four strikeouts.


Shohei Ohtani pitched six solid innings and Logan O’Hoppe homered as Los Angeles defeated host Seattle, taking two of three games in the series between the American League West rivals.

Ohtani (1-0) allowed one run on three hits, with four walks and eight strikeouts. Jose Quijada worked the ninth for his first save of the season. Ohtani and Mike Trout each had RBI hits.

The Mariners’ Chris Flexen (0-1) nearly matched Ohtani. Flexen allowed two runs on two hits in five innings, with two walks and four strikeouts. Eugenio Suarez went 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs and Ty France added an RBI double.


Vladimir Guerrero Jr. homered, right-hander Alek Manoah pitched seven scoreless innings and visiting Toronto defeated Kansas City.

Manoah (1-0) allowed no runs, one hit, four walks and hit a batter. He struck out five. Royals right-hander Zack Greinke (0-2) allowed one run, seven hits and one walk while striking out four in six innings. The Blue Jays, who held the Royals to two hits, have won two in a row after dropping the opener of the four-game series.

Guerrero hit his first home run of the season on a drive to right to lead off the eighth against Taylor Clarke. Daulton Varsho followed with a double to right and Matt Chapman hit an RBI single. The Royals had their first hit of the game with one out in the fifth when Jackie Bradley Jr. singled to right, putting runners at the corners. Manoah worked out of the jam with a popout and a strikeout.


CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago White Sox expect slugger Eloy Jiménez to miss two to three weeks because of a strained left hamstring he suffered running the bases.

The team placed Jiménez on the 10-day injured list Wednesday and recalled infielder Jake Burger from Triple-A Charlotte.

Jiménez sustained a low-grade strain running from first to third on Andrew Vaughn’s RBI double in the seventh inning of Monday’s 12-3 loss to the San Francisco Giants. The White Sox were off Tuesday.

“The most important thing was how he was gonna wake up today and walk in here,” manager Pedro Grifol said. “He was in the weight room right now. I saw him, I spoke to him. He’s strong. He feels better than what anybody else thought he was gonna feel like.”

The 26-year-old Jiménez is 4 for 19 in five games. He slugged 31 homers as a rookie in 2019, but played in just 55 games in 2021 after rupturing his left pectoral tendon trying to make a leaping catch in spring training. He had surgery on his right hamstring early last season after he was hurt trying to beat out a grounder and was limited to 84 games.

“He worked hard this offseason, he put the work in, he put the time in,” Grifol said. “He’s in great shape. It’s just one those things that happens, unfortunately. But the good thing is today he came in and he felt strong.”


CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago White Sox closer Liam Hendriks has completed his final round of chemotherapy for non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Hendriks posted a video Wednesday on Instagram of him ringing the “victory bell” and a lengthy note thanking his medical team, wife, family, friends and fans.

“These past 5 months have been both the quickest and slowest of my life,” he wrote. “Being able to ring this victory bell has been one of the most emotional things I’ve ever done.”

Hendriks said his life “changed forever” five months ago.

“You never think you will be the one who hears ‘you have cancer’ but there I was … in shock and fear not knowing what comes next,” he wrote.

Hendriks announced the diagnosis in January. He said in a video shown Monday prior to the White Sox’s home opener against the San Francisco Giants that he was beginning his final round of chemo.

A three-time All-Star, Hendriks was third in the majors with 37 saves and made his third All-Star team last season. He led the American League with a career-high 38 saves in 2021, after leaving Oakland to sign a $54 million, three-year contract with the White Sox.

Hendriks has 115 saves and a 3.81 ERA over 12 seasons with Minnesota, Toronto, Kansas City, Oakland and Chicago.



DETROIT (AP) Mikal Bridges scored 26 points and the Brooklyn Nets moved to the verge of a playoff spot by beating the Detroit Pistons 123-108 on Wednesday night.

“We just had to stay locked in down the stretch,” Bridges said. “We knew they made a big run against Miami last night, so we were expecting them to make it tough on us, too.”

Former Pistons guard Spencer Dinwiddie shot 1 for 10 from the floor but matched his career high with 16 assists for the Nets (44-36), who won for the fourth time in five games. They need one more victory or loss by Miami (42-37) to clinch the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference.

Joe Harris had 18 points on six 3-pointers, all in Brooklyn’s 47-point first quarter.

“The ball was really moving. Spencer did a great job of facilitating,” he said. “We’re playing unselfishly and making the second pass to turn good shots into great ones.”

R.J. Hampton had a career-high 27 points for Detroit, which has lost 22 of its last 23 games. Jaden Ivey had 23 points and 10 assists.

The Pistons trailed by as many as 19 points, but Hampton had 18 points in the third quarter to help them pull within 96-90.

“We took a punch in the third, but I thought we really responded,” Nets coach Jacque Vaughn said. “We had every guy doing whatever they could to try to contribute to a win.”

However, Brooklyn was able to take advantage of Detroit’s biggest weakness, getting enough offensive rebounds to prevent the Pistons from putting together a fourth-quarter run.

“It came down to the little things again tonight – that’s what always seems to be the issue for us,” Hampton said. “We need to take the step up from playing 42 good minutes to playing 48 good minutes. That’s when we will win some games.”

Brooklyn had its biggest quarter of the season in the first, but Harris missed an open 3-pointer at the buzzer that would have made it 50 points. Dinwiddie’s 10 assists in the period were the most in the NBA this season.

“We just had everything going and Spencer was finding everybody,” Bridges said. “They kept overhelping and we were able to get a lot of good looks.”

The Nets couldn’t keep up that pace in the second quarter, but the Pistons were only within 74-57 at the half because of six missed Brooklyn free throws. The Nets had a 35-13 edge in bench scoring in the half and had four players in double figures.

After starting 10 of 16, Brooklyn missed 13 of its next 14 3-point attempts, allowing Detroit to stay within 81-69 midway through the third quarter. Hampton led Detroit’s rally with four 3-pointers, including a 30-footer to make it 91-87 with 59 seconds left in the third quarter.


Nets: The 47-point quarter was the fourth-biggest in franchise history. The Nets had a 51-point fourth quarter against the Boston Celtics on March 3, 2020, and had 48-point quarters against the Pistons (1980) and Orlando (2022). … The Nets are the last team to lose a home game to the Pistons, losing 130-122 on Jan. 26.

Pistons: Detroit finished the season with a 9-32 record at Little Caesars Arena, the only NBA team to win fewer than 10 games at home. Charlotte and San Antonio are next with 13 wins. … The Pistons were down to six healthy players when Ivey limped off late in the third, but he returned from the locker room for the fourth.


Pistons coach Dwane Casey met with owner Tom Gores after the game, but he said they agreed to wait until after the season ends to make any decisions about next year. Casey is 121-261 (.317) in five seasons with the Pistons, including 80-220 (.267) in the last four years.


Nets: Host the Orlando Magic on Friday before finishing the regular season with a home game against the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday.

Pistons: Finish the season with divisional road games against the Indiana Pacers (Friday) and Chicago Bulls (Sunday). The Pistons are 1-13 against the Central Division this season.


ATLANTA (AP) Trae Young returned after missing one game with the flu and scored 25 points and had 16 assists to help the travel-weary Atlanta Hawks overwhelm shorthanded Washington 134-116 on Wednesday night.

With the win, the Hawks achieved a modest milestone as they prepare for the postseason. The Hawks (41-39) ended a streak of 33 games being within 1 game of .500.

The Nets defeated the Pistons and guaranteed that the Hawks cannot finish as the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference and will be in the conference play-in tournament for the second straight season. Atlanta holds the No. 8 seed and has a one-game lead over No. 9 Toronto.

The Hawks overcame travel issues that forced the team to fly from Chicago on Wednesday morning after plane difficulties caused the team to stay in Chicago on Tuesday night. Arriving in Atlanta at 2 p.m., the Hawks hit the court five and half hours later.

“It was definitely an unusual schedule,” AJ Griffin said. “Coach (Quin Snyder) handled it well. He set the tone. We knew we just had to play hard and get through the day.”

John Collins had 23 points and put the Hawks in control with a stellar sequence in the third quarter. Collins scooped up a loose ball before throwing down a reverse jam, then buried a 3-pointer on the next possession that gave the Hawks an 85-71 lead.

The Hawks did not trail for the game’s final 29 minutes and shot 43.3 percent from 3-point range.

Wizards center Daniel Gafford had a career-high 25 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.

Hawks reserve Jalen Johnson continued his recent string of strong play, matching his career high of 16 points, set the previous night in a win over the Bulls. Johnson also had 8 rebounds.

The Wizards played without out six of their top eight rotation players, including 20-plus point scorers Bradley Beal, Kristaps Porzingis and Kyle Kuzma as they play out the string following their elimination from playoff contention.

“I thought offensively, we did some good things,” said Wizards coach Wes Unseld Jr. “We moved the ball with pretty good pace. We were sharing the ball as best we can. We had some good looks that didn’t go down, but I’m more concerned with the defensive stuff.”


Snyder talked about his “deep” bench prior to Wednesday’s game, and the group backed up his assessment right away. Led by Johnson, Atlanta had 15 points from its bench in the first quarter after the Hawks got off to a sluggish start in the opening minutes. Johnson and Griffin finished with 16 points apiece.

“We have a lot of guys who are prepared,” Snyder said. “There are limited minutes and some tough decisions have to be made. One of the tings about our bench is the acceptance of a role. To put the team first is not something you take for granted.”

Snyder inserted guard Aaron Holiday for Young just six minutes into the game. The Hawks responded with a quick burst.

Holiday, who played just two minutes on Tuesday, had eight points and four assists in 21 minutes.


Wizards: First-round pick Johnny Davis started his third straight game and has averaged 18.7 points in his three starts. Davis scored 20 points each of his past two games. The rookie from Wisconsin averaged 11.6 points in 19 G League games and has played 26 games with the Wizards.

Hawks: De’Andre Hunter missed his fourth straight game with a knee injury. Hunter has started 65 games this season. … Bogdan Bogdanovic did not play due to right knee injury management. He led the Hawks with 26 points in Tuesday night’s win at Chicago. … The Hawks scored over 100 points for the 55th straight game, extending their team record.


Wizards: Host Miami on Friday night.

Hawks: Host Philadelphia on Friday night.


BOSTON (AP) Malcolm Brogdon scored 29 points and hit two late free throws to help the Boston Celtics hold on for a 97-93 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night.

With Milwaukee’s win over Chicago, Boston (55-25) secured the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Jaylen Brown added 25 points and 11 rebounds. Derrick White finished with 17 points in the opener of a two-game series. The teams meet again Friday in Boston.

Brogdon, a candidate for NBA Sixth Man of the Year after spending the previous seasons of his career in Milwaukee and Indiana as a starter, said he’s settled into his new role in Boston.

“Coming off the bench it can be a challenge sometimes, to be honest,” Brogdon said. “That’s where you’ve got to suck it up. You’re not going to score as much. You’re not going to play as much. I think that is what makes a great team – having guys that are able to do that. Guys that are able to sacrifice.”

A night after their two-point loss at Philadelphia, the Celtics played without three starters. All-Star Jayson Tatum (bruised left hip), Marcus Smart (neck spasms) and Al Horford (back stiffness) all got the night off on the second night of the back-to-back.

It made wrapping up the second seed that much more meaningful.

“You can’t take stuff like that for granted,” Brown said. “To be on a 50-plus win team is an honor. …. It’s great. And we’re getting ready to enter the postseason with a better feeling.”

The Raptors (40-40) fell a game behind eighth-place Atlanta (41-39) in the standings. Pascal Siakam had 18 points and 11 rebounds. Scottie Barnes added 18 points and eight rebounds.

Toronto went just 6 of 33 from beyond the arc. Boston didn’t shoot much better (11 of 38).

Siakam scored 14 straight for Toronto to help the Raptors trim what had been a 13-point deficit to 74-72 late in the third quarter.

Brogdon scored the final five points of the period to give Boston a seven-point cushion heading into the fourth.

Toronto kept chipping away and used an 8-1 run to tie the game at 82, before the Celtics responded with five straight points.

A dunk by Precious Achiuwa got Toronto within 89-86. Boston answered again, this time with a 6-2 spurt to get it back to six with a minute to play.

Boston ran the clock down, but Brogdon’s turnover led to a Raptors fast break and another dunk by Achiuwa, who was fouled. He completed the three-point play to make it 95-93 with 12.6 seconds left.

Brogdon was fouled on the ensuing inbounds pass and hit both free throws.

He said rest and building on their foundation were the priority for the Celtics heading over their final two games.

“It’s about finishing the season strong with good habits. We don’t want to lose these two games,” Brogdon said. “We want to go in with momentum. … I think that’s one of the most important things for any of the high-seeded teams is going in with momentum because we’re going to get everybody’s best shot.”


Raptors: Went 2 for 18 from 3-point line in the first half. … Siakam had 12 first-quarter points, but was held scoreless in the second quarter.

Celtics: Brown was awarded the Red Auerbach Award, given annually by the franchise to the player who “best exemplifies the spirit and meaning of what it means to be a Boston Celtic.”


White appeared to tweak his left ankle with under eight minutes to play in the third quarter after he landed awkwardly after getting fouled on a drive to the rim. He hit both ensuing free throws and stayed in the game before going to the bench with 3:57 left in the period.

He played the entire fourth quarter and led the Celtics on the night, logging 41 minutes.


MILWAUKEE (AP) Wrapping up the top seed in the NBA playoffs was the order of business for the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday night.

Despite being without the injured Giannis Antetokounmpo and losing Khris Middleton to an injury early in the game, the Bucks made a second-half push to beat the Chicago Bulls 105-92. The Bucks went on a 15-0 run in the third quarter to overcome a 10-point deficit and pulled away in the fourth quarter.

Bobby Portis had 27 points and 13 rebounds, starting in place of Antetokounmpo, and center Brook Lopez finished with 26 points.

“It’s definitely a great achievement,” Lopez said. “It’s cool because we’ve had a lot of different lineups throughout the year, and regardless of who we’ve put out on the floor, our guys have come out with the right mindset and have been going out there to succeed.”

Antetokounmpo was ruled out before the game because of right knee soreness. He had 28 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists against Washington on Tuesday night.

Point guard Jrue Holiday scored 20 points and had a season-high 15 assists while adding eight rebounds, and he led the second-half surge. Jevon Carter had 16 points in a starting role.

Middleton started for the Bucks, but played just eight minutes before exiting with right knee soreness. He was 0 for 3 from the floor.

Milwaukee improved to 58-22 as it won its third straight game. The Bucks lead fellow Eastern Conference foe Boston by three games with two games remaining.

Wes Matthews played 30 minutes off the bench and harassed Bulls forward DeMar DeRozan throughout the game, helping limit DeRozan to eight points on 3-of-12 shooting. He did not score a basket until early in the fourth quarter.

“He’s one of the best scorers this league has seen,” Matthews said. “We’ve been battling for 14 years now and he;’s one of my favorite players to play against, one of my favorite players to watch.

“The biggest thing is to try to keep him off the free throw line, try to make him as uncomfortable as possible. He’s got an array of moves. You have to be willing to take that challenge.”

DeRozan said of his poor shooting night, “It won’t happen again. I guarantee you.”

Nikola Vucevic led the Bulls with 21 points and 11 rebounds. Coby White added 14 points, and Zach LaVine had 13.

The Bulls started the night in 10th place in the East and already having clinched a play-in berth. They will not be able to move up during the final two games after Atlanta won on Wednesday. Toronto lost in Boston but remains two games ahead of the Bulls with two to play, and the Raptors own the tiebreaker.

Chicago led, 61-51, when Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer took a timeout with 8:30 left in the third quarter. Milwaukee outscored the Bulls, 54-31, the rest of the way.

“We’ve talked about the defensive abilities of our players,” Budenholzer said. “They turned it up, really everybody.”

The Bucks coach said claiming the top seed in the East was no small matter.

“Night in and night out in this league, it’s hard,” Budenholzer said. “To have the best record, it is something that matters and is important. But being our best day each night is what we talk about the most.

“Now we get to take a breath. I have no idea what we’re going to do Friday and Sunday. The guys have earned it. Ton of a credit to the guys for what they’ve done since the all-star break to put themselves in this position.”


Bulls: Guard Alex Caruso was ruled out with a left foot injury, a problem he has dealt with in recent weeks. Caruso played 19 minutes and went scoreless in Chicago’s home loss to Atlanta on Tuesday night. “He doesn’t want to be a liability,” Bulls coach Billy Donovan said.

Bucks: Pat Connaughton sprained his right ankle in the first quarter Tuesday and was out Wednesday. “We’re hopeful it’s a very short-term thing,” Budenholzer said. “I would put it in the relatively positive bucket.” … Grayson Allen (right ankle sprain) is out for the rest of the regular-season, but Budenholzer remains hopeful the guard will be ready for the first round of the playoffs which open April 15.


Bulls: At Dallas on Friday night.

Bucks: Host Memphis on Friday night.


NEW ORLEANS (AP) While Herbert Jones makes his living as the Pelicans’ top defender. He can al;so punish opponents who underestimate his shot.

Jones highlighted a career-high, 35-point performance with five 3-pointers, and the New Orleans Pelicans overcame a 19-point deficit to beat the Memphis Grizzlies 138-131 in overtime Wednesday night and clinch a play-in spot.

“I show up every day and put in a ton of work on my jump shot,” said Jones, who repeatedly found himself unguarded by the Grizzlies when he received the ball near the 3-point arc. “I just kind of felt disrespected. I just stayed aggressive and the shots fell.”

Jones’ fast-break dunk capped a decisive 10-0 run to open the extra period. The surge started with a pair of 3s by Trey Murphy III, who hit seven 3s in the game and finished with 30 points.

The Pelicans combined to hit 21 3s. CJ McCollum hit six from deep and finished with 31 points and 10 rebounds for New Orleans, while Brandon Ingram overcame a slow start and hit a slew of clutch shots to wind up with 24 points and 13 rebounds.

The victory guarantees the Pelicans (41-39) at least a top-nine finish in the Western Conference, good enough to get into the play-in. The question is what seeding they’ll have after their final two games. They could get into the top six – and bypass the play-in – if they win twice more and get some help in the form of losses by the Clippers or Warriors.

“It’s incredible to have the opportunity two years in a row to play in the postseason,” second-year Pelicans coach Willie Green said. “We’re continuing to build. So, for us, this a big step.”

Jaren Jackson Jr. had 40 points, nine rebounds and four blocks for Memphis, which led for most of regulation despite resting Ja Morant (left hip), Luke Kennard (right ankle) and Xavier Tillman (right ankle).

Despite those absences, Memphis surged in front by 19 late in the second quarter when Brooks hit a 10-foot turnaround fade to make it 69-50.

The Grizzlies led for most of regulation and were up 101-89 in the fourth quarter when the Pelicans stunningly turned the game on its head with a 22-6 run during which they made seven 3s – four by Murphy. That put New Orleans in front 111-107 and had the crowd roaring and out of their seats as Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins called timeout.

Ingram, who scored 10 in the last 3:39 of regulation, hit a 16-foot, pull-up jumper in the face of tight defense from Dillon Brooks to make it 123-118 with 14.3 seconds left, and Trey Murphy III made it 124-118 when he hit one of two free throws with 11 seconds to go.

Memphis then remarkably forced overtime with a 6-0 run in the last five seconds, starting with Brooks’ corner 3 as he was fouled by Jones.

Brooks missed the free throw, apparently on purpose in hopes of his team getting a rebound, but New Orleans got it and called timeout, only to turn the ball over on an offensive foul during and inbound.

New Orleans then fouled Desmond Bane on the dribble with 2.6 seconds left, and he hit one free throw before purposely missing the second. Jaren Jackson rebounded and was fouled as he tried to put the ball back up with 0.4 on the clock. Jackson hit two free throws to tie it at 124.

But the Pelicans’ resolve seemed undiminished by their collapse in the final seconds regulation.

“We just understood that we came too far in this game to just let it go to waste,” Murphy said. “It’s one of those wins that builds character. We had lot of adversity, fought back, had more adversity and fought back again.”


Grizzlies: Brooks finished with 25 points, while Bane had 24. Tyus Jones had 13 points, 12 assists and four steals. … Outscored the Pelicans 70-34 in the paint and outrebounded New Orleans 49-44.

Pelicans: Had three players with 30 points in a game for the first time in franchise history. … The 19-point comeback was their largest this season. … Need one more victory in their last two games to finish with a winning regular season record for the first time since 2017-18, when they went 48-34. … Shot 50% (44 of 88), including 21 of 39 (53.8%) from 3.


Grizzlies: At Milwaukee on Friday night.

Pelicans: Host New York on Friday night.


DALLAS (AP) Kyrie Irving had already sparked a rally to put the Dallas Mavericks in front when he hit a gravity-defying shot that helped seal a victory to keep their postseason hopes alive.

Irving capped a 19-point fourth quarter with a high-arching 3-pointer to finish with 31 points, and Dallas stayed in the race for the final play-in spot in the Western Conference playoffs with a 123-119 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night.

The corner 3 from Irving finished his 25-point second half and put the Mavericks up 120-114 with two minutes remaining. Dallas trailed by 13 early in the third quarter.

“He made it rain. Uncle Drew,” Dallas coach Jason Kidd said. “His difficulty of shots, he makes look easy. But that was a big 3.”

Luka Doncic had 29 points and 10 rebounds as the Mavericks (38-42) matched Oklahoma City’s record for the 10th seed in the West with two games remaining.

The Thunder own the tiebreaker, so Dallas, which reached the West finals last year, needs at least one Oklahoma City loss to have a chance at another playoff run.

Facing the brink of postseason elimination with a loss, the Mavericks rallied in the third quarter, when Irving started and finished a 12-0 run with 3-pointers for an 82-78 lead.

Doncic and Tim Hardaway Jr., who scored 24 points, had the other two 3s on the run as Doncic and Irving won for the fifth time in 16 games together since the blockbuster trade that brought Irving from Brooklyn.

Dallas ended a three-game losing streak with just its second victory in its past nine games.

“We’ve been feeling the sense of desperation for the last couple of games now,” Hardaway said. “Just happy that we were able to come out on top for one of them, at least. Now it’s picking up where we left off.”

De’Aaron Fox scored 28 points and Domantas Sabonis had a triple-double with 19 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists for the Kings, who have already ended a 16-year playoff drought and are all but locked in to the third seed in the West.

Sacramento matched its biggest lead in the opening moments of the third quarter, but the Mavericks went back in front 79-78 on a 3 by Doncic with seven minutes left in the third.

“Our sense of urgency, our physicality, our pace, all of that stuff was really, really good in the first half,” Kings coach Mike Brown said. “They came out in the second half and took it to us. The game was basically reversed in that area.”

Sacramento had a season-high 22 offensive rebounds for a 30-14 edge in second-chance points, but the Mavericks had the biggest one of the game when Christian Wood grabbed a miss from Irving and five seconds later hit a 3-pointer for a 123-114 lead with a minute to go.

Wood scored 14 points despite 5-of-15 shooting.

Irving was 4 of 5 from 3-point range in the fourth quarter and 7 of 11 overall.

“Not every fourth quarter is like that for me,” Irving said. “You look back to the last few games, I wish I could have played as well as I did tonight. Just desperation basketball. It’s not like it’s the first time I’ve been in a must-win game, so it felt good.”


Kings: All five starters scored in double figures. Harrison Barnes had 16 points against his former team, Kevin Huerter scored 14 and Keegan Murray added 11.

Mavericks: Starters Reggie Bullock and Dwight Powell combined for just five points on just four shots. … Josh Green had 10 points and nine rebounds.


With the outcome decided as the final seconds ticked off, Doncic casually flipped a three-quarter-court shot that went in. Officials stopped long enough to confirm it was after the buzzer.


Kings: Golden State in home finale Friday.

Mavericks: Chicago visits Friday.


LOS ANGELES (AP) The battle of Los Angeles was no contest. The quest for the highest possible playoff seed is another story for the Clippers and Lakers.

Norman Powell scored 27 points, Kawhi Leonard added 25 in a game-high 43 minutes and the Clippers improved their playoff seeding chances with a 125-118 win over LeBron James and the Lakers on Wednesday night.

The Clippers’ 11th straight victory over their Arena hallmates pulled them into a tie with idle Golden State for fifth in the West at 42-38. The Clippers and Lakers came into their final meeting of the season tied in the standings at 41-38.

The Clippers can help themselves with wins in their last two regular-season games.

“I’m not a fan of the play-in tournament,” coach Tyronn Lue said. “We’re still not out of the clear yet.”

The Lakers had already clinched at least a play-in spot, but are trying to finish in the top six and earn one of the guaranteed postseason berths. The Clippers own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Lakers.

“Whatever we end up, that’s where we end up,” James said. “For us, it’s always about health. Over the last couple years, that’s been our Achilles’ heel.”

James had 33 points – 30 in the second half – eight rebounds, seven assists and six turnovers for the Lakers, who were closing out a back-to-back. Anthony Davis had 17 points and 11 rebounds for the Lakers, who had won four in a row and seven of eight.

The Clippers came in fresh, having had three days off. The Lakers, by comparison, eked out an overtime win at Utah on Tuesday night that required James and Davis to play even more minutes on the front end of the back-to-back.

“It was one of those scheduling conflicts,” James said. “It definitely got the best of us tonight.”

Playing without injured Paul George, the Clippers got 17 points and 13 rebounds from Ivica Zubac. Facing the Lakers for the first time since their divorce in February, Russell Westbrook added 14 points.

Bones Hyland hit three 3-pointers and Terance Mann added another early in the fourth to extend the Clippers’ lead to 106-90. Powell sent a perfectly timed alley-oop pass over Davis and Leonard slammed it down for a 112-92 lead.

James and Davis combined for nine points on 4-of-12 shooting in the half.

“I let them know Bron was going to come out guns blazing,” Lue said of his halftime speech.

James and Davis took over in the third during the Lakers’ lone dominant stretch of the game. They combined to score 17 of their team’s first 19 points during a run that cut the deficit from 21 points to eight. Davis scored over Mason Plumlee to draw the Lakers within seven.

But Powell ran off 10 in a row and Plumlee dunked to send the Clippers into the fourth leading 93-82. Leonard was limited to a 3-pointer in the third.

Coming in off three days’ rest, the Clippers opened the game with a 23-11 run in which a clearly motivated Westbrook scored eight points and assisted on their first two baskets.

“We came out with energy early,” Leonard said. “We kept our foot on the pedal.”

The Lakers answered with a 15-2 spurt to take their lone lead of the game, 26-25, while getting points from five different players.

The Clippers outscored the Lakers 34-21 in the second quarter to lead 71-52 at halftime. One of James’ no-look passes ended up in Mann’s hands and he fired to Powell, who hit a 3-pointer. Another James turnover resulted in a dunk by Mann.


Lakers: Lost the season series, 4-0. They were beaten by six, 13, 18 and seven points. … Mo Bamba (ankle sprain) has been out for a month.

Clippers: Leonard reached 4,000 career rebounds in the third. … They outscored the Lakers 20-8 in fast-break points in the first half, the most such points since November 2021 against Minnesota. … Marcus Morris (low back spasms) sat out.


Lakers: Host Phoenix on Friday. They’re 1-2 vs. the Suns this season.

Clippers: Host Portland on Saturday. The Blazers have already been eliminated from postseason contention.



NEW YORK (AP) Chris Kreider and Tyler Motte each scored twice and the New York Rangers beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 6-3 on Wednesday night.

Kaapo Kakko and Artemi Panarin also scored, Mika Zibanejad had three assists and Barclay Goodrow and Adam Fox each had two to help the Rangers win for the fifth time in seven games and improve to 11-2-2 in their last 15 games. Igor Shesterkin stopped 28 shots to win for the ninth time in his last 11 starts.

“Our start was good,” Motte said. “We tailed off in second and came back in the third. That’s what good teams do.”

Alex Killorn had a goal and an assist, and Darren Raddysh and Brandon Hagel also scored for Tampa Bay, which fell behind 3-0 midway through the first period and snapped a three-game win streak. Andrei Vasilevskiy finished with 31 saves after stopping 99 of 100 shots in the previous three games.

“We battled. Down 3-0 eight minutes in, then it was 4-3. I like that,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. “Down 3-0 to anybody in this league, it’s tough to come back. … Penalties got us in trouble and we ran out of gas.”

It was a physical game that featured four fights and several hard hits in a matchup of teams that met in the Eastern Conference final last year, which the Lightning won in six games to advance to their third straight Stanley Cup Final.

Kreider got his second of the night and 35th of the season to give the Rangers a 5-3 lead with 8 1/2 minutes remaining in the third as he knocked in the rebound of Zibanejad’s backhander that went off the post. Zibanejad got his 600th career point on the play.

“We were winning battles and advancing pucks,” Kreider said. “It was a strong game for us. … And having Shesty play the way he did really helps.”

Panarin scored on a power play from high in the left circle with 6:11 left for his 26th to push New York’s lead to 6-3.

The Lightning pulled to 3-2 at 7:10 of the second as Raddysh got his first career goal as he fired a shot from center point that appeared to deflect off the stick of Rangers defenseman Braden Schneider past Shesterkin..

Just 15 seconds later, Motte beat Vasilveskiy on a breakaway for his second of the night and eighth of the season to restore New York’s two-goal lead. It gave Motte his third career two-goal game.

“Tyler played real well tonight,” Rangers coach Gerard Gallant said. “He had good jump, he had a lot of shot opportunities at the net. Good for him. Put the pucks at the net, that’s what we talk about all the time.”

The Lightning cut the deficit to one again with 8 1/2 minutes to go in the second. Killorn skated in on Shesterkin, and the goalie stopped his initial shot and attempt on the rebound as he fell back into the goal. Hagel then knocked the puck into Shesterkin in the goal. It was Hagel’s 28th.

Kreider deflected Vladimir Tarasenko’s shot for a power-play goal 6:13 into the game. It was Kreider’s 263rd of his career, breaking a tie with Vic Hadfield for sole possession of fifth place on the franchise list.

Kakko scored at 7:41 on the Rangers’ next shot as he beat Vasilevskiy for his 17th, and Motte sent a shot from the left side near the boards that fluttered past the goalie’s blocker to make it 3-0 with 9:39 remaining in the first.

Killorn redirected Mikhail Sergachev’s long shot on a power play to get the Lightning on the scoreboard 19 seconds later. It was Killorn’s 25th.


Rangers RW Patrick Kane sat out for what Gallant said was a maintenance day/lower body issue. Ryan Lindgren returned to the lineup after missing the 17 of the last 18 games due to an upper body injury. The Rangers used a lineup with 11 forwards and seven defensemen.


Shortly before Kakko’s first-period goal, Jacob Trouba landed face-first on the ice after falling awkwardly following a hit by Corey Perry in the corner to Shesterkin’s right. He later left the bench and headed to the locker room and did not return to the game. Gallant said Trouba was day to day and would travel with the team on its upcoming trip.


The Rangers improved to 32-0-0 this season when scoring four or more goals, remaining the only team in the league that is unbeaten in such circumstances. … Lightning RW Nikita Kucherov had an assist on Killorn’s goal in the first period, giving him 78 assists and 107 points on the season.


Lightning: At the New York Islanders on Thursday night in the second of a three-game trip.

Rangers: At St. Louis on Thursday night in the opener of a two-game trip.


WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) Andrew Mangiapane and Nikita Zadorov each had a goal and assist and the Calgary Flames beat the Winnipeg Jets 3-1 on Wednesday night to keep their playoff hopes alive.

The Flames (37-27-15) and Jets (43-32-3) each have 89 points, but Winnipeg maintained its hold on the second Western Conference wild-card spot based on victories.

Walker Duehr also scored for the Flames, who lost to Chicago the night before, but are 5-1-0 in their past six games. Jacob Markstrom stopped 33 shots.

“He was great today,” Mangiapane said about Markstrom. “He’s been great down the stretch here. We’ve got three more games, we’re going to need him for all three of those. He’s a big part of our team and I’m happy to see how he’s playing right now.”

The Jets have four games remaining, one more than the Flames.

“We knew the game was must-win for us and it was a big them for them too, but you can feel it and the crowd was into it,” Markstrom said. “A great team effort and a great win.”

Kyle Connor scored for the Jets and Connor Hellebuyck made 32 saves.

The Jets play another crucial game Saturday when they host the Nashville Predators, who have 86 points and five games remaining.

“We are still above them. We have a game in hand. We’re still on the inside,” Jets center Pierre-Luc Dubois said. “But, of course, this team, we would have loved to win it and that is the objective. But we are still ahead of them. We still have one game in hand. We could be in a worse position right now, but we’ve got to look forward to the next game.”

Mangiapane gave Calgary a 2-1 lead at 6:06 of the second with his 17th of the season.

Zadorov sealed the victory when Hellebuyck couldn’t grab a high shot with 9:20 left in the third.

“If we didn’t win tonight or if you lose in overtime or a shootout, that’s a big swing, too, so all we did was close the gap,” Calgary coach Darryl Sutter said.


Flames: At Vancouver on Saturday night.

Jets: Host Nashville on Saturday night.


ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) When Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was the top overall pick by the Edmonton Oilers in 2011, many thought he would be on the verge of a couple 100-point seasons.

The veteran forward finally reached that milestone Wednesday night in his 12th NHL campaign.

Nugent-Hopkins became the third Edmonton skater to reach 100 points this season as the surging Oilers extended their points streak to 12 games with a 3-1 victory over the woeful Anaheim Ducks.

“I’m not a huge numbers or stats guy, but I mean, it’s definitely a milestone that I’m proud of,” said Nugent-Hopkins, who got the point with an assist on Zach Hyman’s empty-net goal late in the third period.

Nugent-Hopkins joined Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl to reach the century mark this season with the Oilers. The last time a team had three or more players with at least 100 points was Pittsburgh in 1995-96 with Mario Lemieux, Jaromir Jagr and Ron Francis).

“Connor and Leon do every single year (reach 100 points). For them to do what they do every year consistently is something that you don’t see too often,” Nugent-Hopkins said. “Personally, I just try to help out when I can and happy to be part of this group.”

McDavid also had an assist on Hyman’s goal to move him within two points of 150.

Klim Kostin had a goal and an assist, and Nick Bjugstad also scored for the Oilers, who have won six straight and strengthened their hold on second place in the Pacific Division. Jack Campbell stopped 27 shots.

It is the sixth time in franchise history they have had a points streak of at least 12 games. The last was 2005-06 when they had a team-record, 16-game run.

“I think we’re playing good hockey,” Oilers coach Jay Woodcock said. “I think we’re rounding into form at the right time of year. But I know there’s another level to our group, and we haven’t hit it just yet.”

Troy Terry scored for Anaheim and Lukas Dostal made 30 saves.

The Ducks have dropped nine straight and are 1-10 in their last 11 as they remained tied with Chicago and Columbus for fewest points in the NHL at 56.

It is the third straight season Anaheim had had a winless streak of at least nine games.

“We’ve done an excellent job at keeping negativity out of our room. We want to keep our work ethic high,” coach Dallas Eakins said. “If we can do that and invest in each other and look after each other the last few games here, I think it’d be a good way to end the season.”

Kostin, who was playing in his 100th NHL game, got his first point in 11 games midway through the second period when he took the pass from Mattias Ekholm and put a wrist shot from out front that Dostal was unable to get his glove on for his 11th of the season.

Three minutes later, Kostin made a pass behind the goal to Bjugstad to make it 2-0. It was Bjugstad’s 17th of the season and fourth since he was acquired by the Oilers from the Arizona Coyotes at the trade deadline.

Terry got the Ducks within a goal five minutes into the third on a wrist shot from the left faceoff circle.

Terry – who is tied with Trevor Zegras for the team lead in goals at 22 – had missed Anaheim’s four-game trip due to his wife expecting the couple’s first child.


The loss also guaranteed Anaheim would finish with the fewest points in a full 82-game season in franchise history. The previous low was 65 points in 1997-98, which was the fourth-worst record in the league that season.


Anaheim left winter Brock McGinn suffered an upper-body injury during the first period and did not return.


Oilers: At San Jose on Saturday.

Ducks: At Arizona on Saturday.



AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — Masters Chairman Fred Ridley sat among 33 champions in green jackets at golf’s most exclusive dinner. It was a time to celebrate Scottie Scheffler as the most recent winner, to share laughs, memories and even a few tears.

That’s how it is every year at Augusta National.

“I would not have known that anything was going on in the world of professional golf other than the norm,” Ridley said on the eve of a Masters unlike any other. “So I think — and I’m hopeful — that this week might get people thinking in a little bit different direction and things will change.”

There’s a full menu of activity at this Masters.

Tiger Woods returns for his 25th appearance with hopes his course knowledge can compensate for battered legs as he pursues another green jacket. Rory McIlroy gets another crack at the one major that keeps him from the career Grand Slam. No one has won the Masters back-to-back since Woods in 2002, and with Scheffler the No. 1 player in the world, he has an excellent chance.

The forecast is for the weather to turn nasty on the weekend. The real storm has been brewing for the last 10 months since the launch of LIV Golf and the 18 players at the Masters who defected to the rival league for its Saudi riches.

There have been accusations that LIV Golf isn’t serious competition with its 54-hole events, and even some name-calling — Fred Couples referred to Phil Mickelson as a “nut bag” — of LIV players for turning their backs on the tour that made them famous.

“Everyone thinks we suck now, so I want to play great,” Harold Varner III said, a LIV player with “Golf Saudi” on his bag. Varner joined for the money. He makes no secret about that.

All that gets set aside on Thursday when the players — professional and amateur, PGA Tour loyalists and those with LIV — have one thing in common.

“We talk about all these issues in golf, but we are here this week — these 88 players — and that’s all that’s on their mind is playing for that green jacket,” Ridley said. “It’s a great symbol of celebration of this game. And we’re looking forward to seeing someone donning it on Sunday afternoon.”

Normalcy is hard to find these days.

The PGA Tour and LIV Golf are involved in an antitrust lawsuit — a case management conference before a federal judge is scheduled for Friday afternoon, about the time Woods should be headed to Amen Corner.

A London-based arbitration panel reportedly will rule this week in favor of the European tour’s ability to sanction LIV players.

The large oak tree next to the Augusta National clubhouse is where all the VIPs across golf gather. Missing was Greg Norman, the CEO and commissioner of LIV Golf.

Norman stoked the debate by telling The Daily Telegraph if a LIV player won the Masters, the other 17 would be waiting for him behind the 18th green to celebrate. Norman won’t be there because he says he wasn’t invited.

“They only sent me a grounds pass last year and nothing, zilch, this time around,” he said. “I’m disappointed because it’s so petty, but of course I’ll still be watching.”

Ridley was quick to point that Norman, typically invited as a two-time British Open champion, showed up only twice in the last 10 years, once while doing radio commentary.

“We did not extend an invitation to Mr. Norman. The primary issue and the driver there is that I want the focus this week to be on the Masters competition, on the great players that are participating, the greatest players in the world,” Ridley said.

That includes LIV players. Ridley made sure of that when he announced in December that while he’s not happy with the fractured environment in golf, the Masters would honor players who qualified under the criteria.

By appearance, it certainly seems normal.

The players invited to take part in formal press conferences were the usual suspects — that included British Open champion Cameron Smith, the last big name to sign with LIV — though Phil Mickelson declined. The starting times had a mixture of PGA Tour and LIV Golf players, though none of the LIV players are part of the featured groups that will be streamed live.

Brooks Koepka played a practice round Tuesday with McIlroy, who has delivered some of the sharpest digs at LIV Golf over the last year. Koepka, a four-time major champion, last week became the first multiple winner at LIV Golf. McIlroy sent him a text to congratulate him and Koepka asked if he wanted to play a practice round.

Was it an indication of thawing relations between the rival circuits?

“I guess you could say that. It’s more just two friends wanting to play together,” Koepka said. “I just wanted to play with him, just compare my game. I know he’s been playing well. It was good for me to see, and I think it’s fun to be able to go play with these guys.”

And then he was back to playing with LIV colleagues on Wednesday.

“Everything’s been good, man,” Koepka said. “We’re still the same people.”

The idea is to make this the same Masters as it’s always been, and Ridley said he was happy to see the “tone has been really good here this week.”

“Golf brings people together, and I’m equally hopeful this week Augusta can be the beginning of a path forward for our game,” he said.

For now, all paths lead toward a green jacket. And that makes this Masters no different from so many others.


AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — There are plenty of perks that come from being the reigning Masters champion.

You have a year to don that cherished green jacket wherever you want. You can nab a tee time at Augusta National without any hassles. You get to select the menu for the champions dinner.

And getting to do it all over again?

Well, that’s a truly exclusive club.

Every year, the previous winner is sure to be reminded that only three players have ever won two straight Masters.

What a group it is.

Jack Nicklaus. Nick Faldo. Tiger Woods.

It was no different Tuesday for Scottie Scheffler, the latest player with a chance to join that illustrious trio.

The second question — and several others that followed — focused on what it would mean to go back to back.

“Any time you can get mentioned in the same breath as a Tiger and a Jack and a Nick Faldo is really special,” Scheffler said.

But, he was quick to add, “It’s not a motivating factor for me.”

Scheffler knows it’s tough enough to put together two straight shots that go where you want, so the odds of syncing up four stellar rounds at Augusta National — then four more a year later — are steep indeed.

That said, the 26-year-old Texan is the betting favorite — along with Rory McIlroy, according to FanDuel Sportsbook — as he sets his sights on another green jacket.

With good reason.

Scheffler is ranked No. 1 in the world. He’s already got a pair of victories this year. He’s finished inside the top 12 of his last nine events.

Not since Jordan Spieth in 2016 has a player arrived at the Masters with such heightened expectations of a repeat.

Doing his best to make it feel like any other week — or at least a week before he won the Masters — Scheffler came out early Sunday and got a round in with his sister, Callie, on his bag.

“I tried to get a little bit of the memories and stuff from last year out of the way as early as I could,” he said.

But those memories — and reminders — linger at every turn.

“It’s a bit different, when you see the list of guys when they get in the tournament and how they qualify,” Scheffler said, “and you see ‘Lifetime Exemption’ by your name I think is really cool. Hopefully I’ll have the opportunity to be coming back to this place for many years.”

Woods, who went back to back in 2001-02, was asked what it takes to accomplish such a rare feat.

Familiarity with the course, and all its idiosyncrasies, was at the top of his list.

“What has allowed some of us to defend the title is understanding how to play it,” Woods said. “Scottie knows how to play this golf course.”

It helps to have a guy like Ted Scott on the bag. He was the caddie for Bubba Watson during his two Masters victories, and he was at Scheffler’s side a year ago.

“I think the teamwork of player and caddie is so important here because there’s so many variables that go on,” Woods said. “The lies, the wind, the gusts, and knowledge of the golf course. There’s so many things that can happen, and talking through each and every shot. We just don’t go out there and say, ‘Yeah, you know, I have 152 yards, just go ahead and hit it.’”

A year ago, Scheffler took command with a second-round 67 that sent him to the weekend with a five-shot lead.

He wavered a bit on a windy Saturday, but bounced back for a 71 that kept his lead at three strokes. The final round was largely a victory lap as Scheffler wasn’t seriously threatened after the first couple of holes.

He won by three shots — a victory that actually was more comfortable than that because he took a double-bogey at the 18th.

Since then, Scheffler said his life hasn’t changed all that much.

He’s still got the same car, a 2012 Yukon X with about 190,000 miles on it. He still lives in the same house with his wife, Meredith.

“I bought a cold tub. That was a pretty big indulgence,” Scheffler said. “Still not running at home, but we bought it.”

He also likes to buy a high-end bottle of tequila after each win, but that’s about as extravagant as it gets.

“I’m sure eventually — maybe — I’ll get a new car,” Scheffler said. “I don’t know. I’m not huge on that kind of stuff.”

Come Sunday evening, he’d love to be in position to add to his tequila collection.

But if Scheffler needs a reminder that previous wins and world rankings don’t mean all that much. look no further than Spieth’s bid for a repeat in 2016. It looked like a lock when the world’s hottest player built a five-shot lead with nine holes to play.

Then, inexplicably, Spieth turned in a collapse for the ages. After two straight bogeys, he dunked two balls in the water at the 12th and took a quadruple-bogey that handed the lead — and the green jacket that should’ve been his — to Danny Willett. Spieth finished three shots back.

Instead of a repeat, it’s seven years on, and he’s still at one green jacket.

Which brings us back to Scheffler, who calls the No. 1 ranking nothing more than “a math algorithm.”

He did concede that “No. 1 is better than being No. 2 in the algorithm,” and he certainly knows it puts the focus squarely on his bid for consecutive titles.

No sooner had he grabbed a chair for his pre-Masters news conference than the moderator, Augusta National member Ron Townsend, reminded him of the significance.

“You know, last year at this time, you were sitting in that same chair, wearing a green jacket for the first time. Do you remember that?” Townsend asked.

“I do recall,” Scheffler said, breaking into a big smile.


AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — Tiger Woods is back at the Masters, along with his slight limp. It is not every step, every minute. But it is there. And as much hardware as he has in his mended right leg, the limp figures to be with him for as long as he plays the sport he once dominated.

As for how long he keeps playing Augusta National? That’s a little harder to foresee.

Woods conceded that each trip to the Masters — at his age (47) and with surgeries on both legs and his back over the last decade — makes him wonder if it’s going to be the last one.

“I don’t know how many more I have in me,” Woods said Tuesday.

This will be his 25th time playing the Masters, and Woods still is surprised there was a 24th. He was still recovering last year from crashing his car off a suburban Los Angeles road at over 85 mph, crushing bones in his right leg so badly he said doctors contemplated amputation.

“I didn’t know if I was going to play again at that time,” Woods said. “For some reason, everything kind of came together and I pushed it a little bit and I was able to make the cut, which was nice.”

Woods has an enormous presence at Augusta National because of his impact on the game, not to mention the five green jackets he has won, the last one in 2019. A year ago, the internet lit up with aviation tracking sites that followed his flight plan to the club for a pre-Masters scouting report.

And yet now he gives this Masters a sense of normalcy.

Golf has been consumed with the great divide between the establishment and Saudi-funded LIV Golf, which has 18 players at the Masters who are suspended from playing regular PGA Tour events. There is speculation how players on both sides will get along.

And then there is Woods at the Masters. Azaleas and dogwoods are in bloom. Thousands follow him in practice rounds. And Thursday will bring a familiar refrain from the first tee: “Fore please, Tiger Woods driving.”

From there, no one is sure what to expect, Woods included.

“He looks good,” said Rory McIlroy, who played Monday with Woods, 63-year-old Fred Couples and 20-year-old Tom Kim. “You know, if he didn’t have to walk up these hills and have all of that, I’d say he’d be one of the favorites. He’s got all of the shots. It’s just that physical limitation of walking 72 holes, especially on a golf course as hilly as this.”

Woods has matured, through time and too many surgeries, from the relentless champion to a guardian willing to pass along some of the local knowledge he picked up as a younger man from Couples and Raymond Floyd, from Seve Ballesteros and Jose Maria Olazabal.

He still wants to compete. There would be no point in staying after the Masters Club dinner Tuesday night if that were not the case. And he still thinks he can find a little magic.

He has said everywhere he has played over the last year — a total of 11 rounds in four tournaments, one of them a 36-hole exhibition in a cart with his son — that hitting shots isn’t the problem. It’s getting to the next one.

“Yeah, mobility, it’s not where I would like it,” Woods said. “I’ve said to you guys before, I’m very lucky to have this leg — it’s mine. Yes, it has been altered and there’s some hardware in there, but it’s still mine. It has been tough and will always be tough. The ability and endurance of what my leg will do going forward will never be the same. I understand that.

“That’s why I can’t prepare and play as many tournaments as I like, but that’s my future, and that’s OK. I’m OK with that.”

Woods found a small victory in just playing last year, and making the cut was a bonus. He has never missed the cut at the Masters as a pro, and that streak is on the line again. Then again, he showed up at Riviera in February for his first PGA Tour event in seven months and played all four rounds.

“I think my game is better than it was last year at this particular time,” he said. “I think my endurance is better. But it aches a little bit more than it did last year just because at that particular time when I came back, I really had not pushed it that often. And I had a little window in which I did push it and was able to come back.

“I just have to be cognizant of how much I can push it,” he said. “Like Rory was saying, I can hit a lot of shots but the difficulty for me is going to be the walking going forward. I wish it could be easier.”

So why bother showing up?

Woods long has said there’s no point in showing up if he didn’t think he could win. He teased with a 67 in the third round at Riviera. The shots are still in there. And he knows Augusta National better than any championship course he plays.

He pointed to Couples, who swings freely and walks casually, and still can hold his own. Couples shares the record with Gary Player for most consecutive cuts made at the Masters with 23. Woods can tie them if he makes it to the weekend.

Woods was asked if he felt the younger players to whom he passes along some of his knowledge perceive him as any kind of a threat. In his 13 PGA Tour events since he won his record-tying 82nd title on the PGA Tour, his best finish is a tie for ninth. That was before the car crash.

“Whether I’m a threat to them or not, who knows?” he said. “People probably didn’t think I was a threat in 2019, either, but kind of turned out OK.”



While the 2023 quarterback crop is an upgrade on the ’22 group, it still lacks the pizzazz of certain classes from the recent vintage. That said, there are some quality signal-callers with the potential to evolve into long-term QB1s in the right environment. Stroud is the most prototypical prospect of the bunch, as a talented passer and playmaker with the requisite physical traits and tools. Although the Ohio State standout did not lean into his athleticism for most of his collegiate career, his spectacular performance against Georgia in the College Football Playoff could encourage coaches to explore his potential as a dual-threat playmaker at the next level. Young checks off numerous boxes of a franchise quarterback, but lacks the size and frame that old-school team builders covet. Despite the 2021 Heisman Trophy winner’s production and performance as an exceptional passer from the pocket at Alabama, he could see his draft stock fall a bit due to his physical dimensions. Hooker is currently recovering from an ACL tear suffered in November and his advanced age (25) is a topic of conversation in the pre-draft process, but he’s one of the more polished quarterbacks that you’ll find when it comes to throwing with anticipation, timing and touch from the pocket. The athletic Tennessee product throws pinpoint darts to his intended targets at every range, deftly manages an offense and plays the game like a seasoned pro. Richardson is a freak athlete with Cam Newton-like tools as a dual-threat playmaker. Although his accuracy woes and limited experience (just 13 starts at Florida) make him a redshirt candidate as a rookie, Richardson could make his mark as a dynamic running threat early in his career while refining his skills as a passer. Levis is a wild card, as a talented passer and playmaker with A+ physical tools who didn’t always put his best work on tape in 2022. The Kentucky product has flashed intriguing potential as a QB1 — especially during the 2021 campaign — but his spotty play makes him something of a boom-or-bust prospect.


Stroud was a five-star recruit and top-50 overall prospect nationally even before throwing for 3,878 yards and 47 touchdowns as a senior at Rancho Cucamonga High School in California. He did not attempt a pass but ran for a 48-yard touchdown against Michigan State as a backup to future first-round pick Justin Fields in 2020 before taking the reins of the Buckeyes’ offense in 2021. He was named the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, Quarterback of the Year and Freshman of the Year, in addition to being a finalist for the Heisman Trophy, after ranking second in the FBS in pass efficiency (school-record 186.6) and third in passing touchdowns (44, against just six INTs) and completion percentage (317-441-71.9%). Stroud earned these honors, helping the team lead the nation with 561.5 yards of total offense per game, despite separating his right (throwing) shoulder in the season opener. He was a finalist for the Heisman and conference Offensive Player of the Year again in 2022, this time leading the FBS in pass efficiency (177.7) while throwing for 3,688 yards (258-389-66.3%) and ranking second in the FBS with 41 touchdowns (against six interceptions) in 13 starts. Also, Stroud ranked third in the FBS with 9.48 yards per attempt.


Two-year starter from a program with a high-octane offense known for creating high-level production opportunities for its quarterbacks. Stroud’s accuracy stands out on tape. He’s able to lead receivers with good placement and make on-frame throws to targets on all areas of the field. The question now is how quickly he will acclimate outside of the Ohio State scheme. Stroud didn’t often attack defenses with his legs, but if he can become a more willing runner, he will be able to extend drives rather than feeling forced into more challenging decision-making situations. NFL teams will have to balance what they saw on tape from Stroud during the 2022 regular season against his great College Football Playoff semifinal performance, when he shined versus Georgia’s impressive collection pro prospects. If he did it once he can do it again, and grading the flashes for Stroud might make the most sense.


  • Doesn’t hesitate to attack with his throws.
  • Has the arm strength to air out the deep ball toward the sideline with accuracy.
  • Played the game of his career against Georgia in College Football Playoff semifinal.
  • Showed willingness to extend and make plays outside the pocket against Georgia.
  • Finds his way back to platform throws when forced to move his feet.
  • Tapes shows ability to get through progressions.
  • Enough arm talent to pump, reset and then release.
  • The most naturally accurate top-tier quarterback in the 2023 draft class.
  • Puts it on frame, allowing receivers to catch in stride and keep rolling.
  • Showed maturity as game manager at times during 2022 season.


  • Hesitance to use his legs can put a cap on his success rate.
  • Labors to get squared to target when rolling out.
  • Needs a clearer scan for potential pressure points near the line of scrimmage.
  • Needs to play with better recognition and respect for safeties.
  • Inconsistent activating lower-body torque on drive throws.
  • Interceptions arise when he refuses to come off primary receiver.


Young signed with Alabama and was the Gatorade Player of the Year in California as a senior (4,528 yards, 58 TDs passing) at Mater Dei High School. He played in nine games behind Mac Jones for the national champions in 2020 (13-22-59.1%, 156 yards, one TD). Young took over the starting job in 2021 and won the Heisman Trophy and Maxwell Award as the nation’s top player as well as the Davey O’Brien and Manning Awards as the nation’s top quarterback. The Associated Press first-team All-American and SEC Offensive Player of the Year ranked second in the FBS with a school-record 4,872 yards and 47 passing touchdowns, third in passing efficiency (167.5) and pass attempts (547) and tied for third in pass completions (366). The 15-game starter was also the SEC Championship Game Most Valuable Player after passing for 421 yards and three touchdowns and running for 40 yards and a score. Young’s production in 12 starts dipped a bit in 2022 but he still ranked ninth in the FBS in pass efficiency (163.2), throwing for 3,328 yards and tying for 10th nationally with 32 touchdowns (245-380-64.5%, five INTs passing; 49-185-3.8, four TDs rushing). He was the Sugar Bowl MVP (15-21-71.4%, 321 yards, five TDs) in the win over Kansas State.


Slightly built with measurables that fall below the standard for the quarterback position, Young’s talent and face-of-the-franchise potential could force teams to focus more on his game film and less on his size. Young has had the advantage of working with a former NFL head coach (Bill O’Brien) who understands the challenges facing a pro quarterback. He’s a full-field reader whose confident demeanor on the field oozes off the tape but never becomes unbridled cockiness. He’s thoughtful in where he wants to go with the football and keeps the turnover count low. The deep ball is nothing special and his drive velocity fails to stand out, but he has enough arm strength to make the necessary throws. Young is perfectly capable of extending plays both inside and outside the pocket, but teams will want him to stay on schedule a little more often as a pro passer. He’s poised in the face of both physical and situational pressure and possesses a full offering of intangibles that helps set him apart from some of the more physically gifted quarterbacks in this class.


  • Calm demeanor on the field.
  • Played in a pro-style attack that required full-field reads.
  • Shows ability to dial up focus in big fourth quarter situations.
  • Uses eye manipulation to create easier throws.
  • Locates and avoids lurking trouble in zone coverage.
  • Good operation time with a compact release as thrower.
  • Unfazed by incoming rush and makes ball delivery his priority.
  • Good rush awareness and pocket mobility.
  • Actively reroutes his receivers when play extends.
  • Makes defenses pay when he breaks contain and improvises.


  • Weighed in at 204 pounds at the NFL Scouting Combine; since 2003, no QB who weighed fewer than 207 pounds at the combine has been drafted in Round 1.
  • Durability will be a concern due to slight frame.
  • Has a tendency to run receivers up against the boundary.
  • Leaves his lower half behind on drive throws at times.
  • Needs to prove he can find reads quickly and stay on schedule.
  • Deep throws come out flat and lose energy late.
  • Doesn’t run as often as he could to counter the rush and pick up first downs.


Hooker signed with Virginia Tech after winning two state titles and throwing for over 6,000 yards and 55 touchdowns at Dudley High School in North Carolina. As a redshirt freshman, he played in six games as a reserve (4-57-14.3, one TD rushing). Hokies coaches started Hooker eight times in 2019 (the team won his first six starts) and he set a school record with 124 completions without an interception (99-162-61.1%, 1,555 yards, 13 TDs, two INTs passing; 123-356-2.9, five TDs rushing). He started seven of eight games in 2020 (98-150-65.3%, 1,339 yards, nine TDs, five INTs passing; 120-620-5.2, nine TDs rushing) but decided he needed a change in scenery. Hooker took over the Tennessee job early in the 2021 season (11 starts in 13 games) and ended up ranking third in the FBS in pass efficiency (181.4) and fourth with 9.72 yards per attempt (206-303-68%, 2,945 yards, 31 TDs, three INTs passing; 166-616-3.7, five TDs rushing). He threw 140 passes without an interception during the season. Hooker was an early Heisman Trophy favorite in 2022, eventually winning SEC Offensive Player of the Year and being named a third-team Associated Press All-American. After throwing for 3,135 yards (229-329-69.6%) and 27 scores (against just two interceptions) and rushing for 430 yards (104 carries, 4.1 per) and five touchdowns in 11 starts, however, he suffered a torn left ACL that ended his season. Hooker led the nation’s top offense (in yards per game and points scored) with an FBS-best 9.53 yards per pass attempt. He also ranked second in pass efficiency (175.5) and seventh in completion percentage in 2022 and set Tennessee records by throwing 261 passes without an interception and recording a touchdown pass in 20 straight games.


Hooker’s age and ACL tear will be starting points for many draft conversations, but the most important question to be answered is whether he can thrive outside of the Tennessee offense. Hooker was frequently a half-field reader, which means he could lean on spacing, speed and/or route combinations to make life easier. He’s more accurate outside the numbers than between the hashes and his deep ball placement was much more uneven than expected. However, Hooker plays with excellent poise and footwork as a pocket passer. He will make quarterback coaches and play-callers happy with his adherence to keeping plays on schedule. He’s still showing signs of improvement and growth at the position, and his ability to hurt teams with his legs creates opportunities to help his offense outside of what he does in the pocket. His recovery from the ACL tear will require monitoring, but he has the talent to become a starter in a timing-based, spread offense.


  • Blends NFL pocket-passer size with dual-threat athleticism.
  • Rhythmic passer who prefers to keep plays on schedule.
  • Good operation time with twitchy release in quick game.
  • Patient in allowing route combinations to develop.
  • Footwork is as dialed in and consistent as you’ll find among this year’s QB prospects.
  • Avoids high risk, low yield throws for the most part.
  • TD-INT ratio of 58:5 in the last two seasons.
  • Sticks with delivery regardless of pressure.
  • Feels edges collapsing and climbs pocket to safety.
  • Helps identify protection for running backs.
  • Above average acceleration for success on called runs or as a scrambler.


  • Sustained torn ACL in left knee late last season.
  • Coming off injury as a 25-year-old rookie.
  • Rarely required to get through a slate of progressions in the Vols’ offense.
  • Might need to prove he can make window throws to stationary targets.
  • Sailed too many of his throws between the hashes.
  • Struggled when forced to throw on the move.
  • Left touchdowns on the field due to inconsistent placement on deep throws.
  • Internal clock hits snooze at times, leading to sacks that could have been avoided.
  • Takes on too much contact as a runner.


Richardson was one of the top quarterback recruits in the country coming out of Eastside High School in Gainesville (featured on the Netflix series “QB1: Beyond the Lights”) despite suffering a season-ending injury his senior year. He played in four games as a reserve in 2020 (1-2, 27 yards, one TD, one INT passing; 7-61-8.7 rushing) and in eight contests with one start in 2021 (38-64-59.4%, 529 yards, six TDs, five INTs passing; 51-401-7.9, three TDs rushing), splitting time with Emory Jones, who transferred to Arizona State after the season. Richardson took over the starting job in 2022, throwing for 2,549 yards (176-327-53.8%, 17 TDs, nine INTs) and rushing for 654 yards and nine scores (103 carries, 6.3 per) in 12 games. Richardson opted out of the Las Vegas Bowl. 


Dual-threat quarterback with an elite physical profile and a lot of work that needs to be done to reach a potentially high ceiling. Richardson’s frame, arm talent and mobility will demand respect as a potential first-round option. He has the ability to make plays on the move that very few of his NFL peers will be able to make. However, but his accuracy on short and simple throws left much to be desired due, in part, to shoddy footwork and inconsistent rhythm. The footwork issues can be corrected, but the challenge will be determining whether he can be at least a functionally accurate passer at the next level. Richardson’s potential to strike with the deep ball, attack the secondary from sideline to sideline and gash teams with his legs creates greater leeway in his projection as a developmental prospect. Ultimately, he will succeed or fail based on his ability to play with better post-snap recognition and deliver the football with consistency.


  • Elite size, strength and athletic ability for the quarterback position.
  • Has potential to perform in a variety of offensive schemes.
  • Can make explosive plays as a passer and runner.
  • Arm strength to throw downfield and into tight windows.
  • Functional pass accuracy when mechanically sound and in rhythm.
  • Willing to take a hit and still deliver the throw.
  • Good awareness of pressure mounting around him.
  • Footwork to slide and throw or scramble for yards.
  • Had touchdown-to-interception ratio of 12:2 over his final six games at Florida.
  • Ran for touchdowns of 45, 60, 73, 80 and 81 yards over the past two seasons.


  • Inconsistency and inaccuracy made it hard for him to have sustained success.
  • Could use a better feel for the timing of his progressions.
  • Needs to take some spice off short throws.
  • Below average touch and ball placement rolling out.
  • Hasn’t learned to manipulate coverage with his eyes.
  • Struggles to paint intermediate zone holes with anticipatory throws.
  • Accuracy issues are often a function of poor footwork.
  • Loses track of coverage and will throw into danger.
  • Too willing to flip the ball out instead of taking a sack.


Levis signed with Penn State after an outstanding career at Xavier High School in Connecticut. He started once as a redshirt freshman for the Nittany Lions in 2019 (28-47-59.6%, 223 yards, two TDs, two INTs passing; 51-213-4.2, three TDs rushing in seven contests) and once in 2020 (33-55-60%, 421 yards, one TD passing; 82-260-3.2, three TDs rushing) before transferring to Kentucky. The team captain started all 13 games for the Wildcats in 2021, throwing for 2,827 yards and 24 touchdowns (233-353-66%) and leading the squad with nine rushing scores (107-376-3.5). Levis started 11 games in his final college season (185-283-65.4%, 2,406 yards, 19 TDs, 10 INTs passing; two rushing TDs), missing one game with shoulder and turf toe injuries and opting out of the team’s bowl game. His father, Mike, played football at Denison University and his mother, Beth, was a two-time All-American soccer player at Yale. 


Levis is one of the most physically gifted quarterbacks in the draft, but there are warts in his game that might not be easily corrected. He has prototypical size and experience operating in a pro-style passing attack. He’s an athletic passer, with the ability to zip off-platform throws with plus velocity from a compact release. He struggled to put together an extended period of high-caliber quarterback play in 2022, but was also dealing with injuries that he fought his way through for much of the season. Levis has the arm to beat coverages on all three levels, but inadequate placement and accuracy have created a lot of uncatchable throws. He’s a capable runner outside the pocket but needs to improve his feel for pressure and his consistency when throwing on the move. Levis’ talent is well worth an investment, but could require a talented quarterback coach and a patient plan to tighten up his mechanics, rebuild his confidence and explore an offensive scheme that best suits him.


  • Prototypical size and build for an NFL quarterback.
  • Has experience taking snaps from under center.
  • Played in pro-style passing scheme requiring full field reads.
  • Athletic passer when working off-platform.
  • Release is compact, twitchy and effortless.
  • Extremely tough and played through injuries in 2022.
  • Serious arm talent with ability to complete passes in tight windows.
  • Can send deep passes over the heads of tardy safeties.
  • Ability to slide and throw simultaneously from the pocket.
  • Willing and capable as a runner near the goal line.


  • Nearly a quarter of his passes were thrown to targets behind the line of scrimmage in 2022, per PFF.
  • Inconsistent post-snap confidence to throw on time.
  • Uncomfortable working against short zones.
  • Big struggles finding his rhythm as a passer in 2022.
  • Falls into off-platform throws rather than trusting the footwork.
  • Scattershot ball placement and accuracy on simple throws.
  • Poor feel inside the pocket for pressure points.
  • Career TD-INT ratio falls below 2:1 mark.
  • Poor second reaction decision-making with the football.



LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) The felony assault case against former Nebraska interim head coach and assistant Mickey Joseph was dismissed Wednesday because the alleged victim refuses to testify.

Joseph had faced a charge of assault by strangulation or suffocation in connection with a November domestic disturbance at a Lincoln home.

A preliminary hearing was scheduled, but prosecutor Erica Pruess told Lancaster County Judge Laurie Yardley the alleged victim emailed her in February to say she wouldn’t testify.

Pruess said a law enforcement officer in Arizona, where the alleged victim now lives, unsuccessfully attempted to serve a subpoena compelling the alleged victim to appear as a material witness.

According to a court filing Monday, the officer made seven attempts to serve the subpoena at a Phoenix-area residence between March 22-27. The officer said on at least one occasion he saw somebody in the residence through a window.

Joseph, dressed in a suit and tie, appeared at Wednesday’s hearing by video with his attorney, Sean Brennan. A message seeking comment was left on Joseph’s cell phone.

Police went to a Lincoln residence in the afternoon of Nov. 30 – two days after Matt Rhule was introduced as the Cornhuskers’ new coach – after a report of a domestic disturbance. Following an investigation, Joseph was arrested at another location.

Joseph was Nebraska’s interim football coach for nine games in 2022 following the firing of Scott Frost. Joseph was placed on administrative leave after his arrest, and the university announced two weeks later that he was no longer with the football program.

The alleged victim told police she and Joseph were in an argument when Joseph pushed her, causing her to fall onto a couch. She said Joseph got on top of her and placed his hands around her throat.

“He pushed me on the couch and strangled me,” she said, according to a police affidavit. She said her breathing was impeded and that she wasn’t able to breathe until she pushed him off.

When she went into the kitchen, she said, Joseph grabbed her hair from behind and pulled her backward, causing her to fall to the floor. In the process of falling, she said, Joseph struck her in the left temple with a closed fist.

Police said she had visible redness and swelling around her left eye which was consistent with being struck, and she was observed to have several strands of hair clinging to her upper pant leg. She said the hairs were pulled from her when Joseph grabbed her.

The Associated Press generally does not identify people who say they have been subjected to extreme abuse. The woman in the Joseph case has not publicly identified herself.

Less than two weeks after Joseph was charged, Priscilla Joseph asked for a legal separation in Lancaster County Court. A judge denied Priscilla Joseph’s motion to have records sealed in that case.



KENT, Ohio (AP) — Fresh off an NCAA Tournament appearance, Kent State extended coach Rob Senderoff’s contract by three years Wednesday, keeping him through the 2028-29 season.

The 49-year-old coach has guided the Golden Flashes since 2011 and is 247-147 — the winningest coach in school history.

Kent State went 28-7 this season, including 15-0 at home, and won the Mid-American Conference championship. Indiana beat the Golden Flashes in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

“Coach Senderoff has done a tremendous job with our men’s basketball program and it is exciting to be able to recognize and reward he and his staff,” athletic director Randale Richmond said. “Coach Sendy’s teams have excelled on the court, in the classroom and in the Kent community.”

Before joining Kent State, Senderoff was an assistant at Indiana, Towson, Yale and Fordham.



CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) NASCAR teams boycotted a meeting with series leadership Wednesday as a show of frustration over the slow pace of negotiations on a new business model.

Three team representatives told The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity that the owners collectively decided to skip the quarterly meeting because they don’t believe NASCAR has negotiated in good faith. The request for anonymity is due to the sensitivity of the negotiations.

The owners went public last October with their frustration over what they consider a broken business model in which racetracks and NASCAR make the bulk of the money and teams are forced to fund their organizations through outside sponsorship.

NASCAR has said it is willing to work with the teams on financial security, and reiterated that commitment Wednesday after no owners showed for the meeting.

“NASCAR is committed to open and productive dialogue on a regular basis with all industry stakeholders,” NASCAR said in a statement. “We remain committed to continuing discussions in the spirit of collaboration and with the shared goal of growing our sport for the benefit of all stakeholders.”

The AP learned Wednesday that the team owners do not believe NASCAR has negotiated in good faith and that they have taken a step backward in talks on an improved business model. Moving forward, they want NASCAR chairman Jim France and executive vice chair Lesa France Kennedy at the meetings, the team representatives told AP.

NASCAR has maintained that teams receive about 40% of industry-wide generated revenue.

The financial split from the $8.2 billion media rights deal signed ahead of the 2015 season sends 65% to the tracks, 25% to the teams and 10% to NASCAR, according to the series. There are two major track operators, NASCAR and Speedway Motorsports; NASCAR owns the majority of the venues on the Cup Series schedule, including the crown jewel Daytona International Speedway, and the France family owns NASCAR.

Teams have argued they have become “full-time fundraisers” seeking sponsorship to keep their organizations afloat and the only possible place to make further financial cuts is through layoffs.

NASCAR in 2016 adopted a charter system for 36 cars that is as close to a franchise model as possible in a sport that was founded by and independently owned by the France family. The charters give the teams something of value to hold – or sell – and protect their investment in the sport.

But the team business model is still heavily dependent on sponsorship, which the teams must individually secure. The teams revealed last October that sponsorship covers between 60% to 80% of the budgets for all 16 chartered organizations.

Because sponsorship is so vital, teams are desperate for financial relief elsewhere and have asked NASCAR for distribution from the league to cover baseline costs.

The current charter agreement expires at the end of the 2024 season, the same time that NASCAR’s current television deals expire.

NASCAR President Steve Phelps in February told AP that he was confident a resolution could be found between the sanctioning body and the teams.

“We have said publicly and we will continue to say publicly that we need to have financially healthy race teams,” Phelps told AP. “Financially healthy race teams will put a better product on the racetrack and that’s great for the sport overall.

“Those are the discussions that we’re having with our race teams right now.”

NASCAR is also in the thick of negotiating a new television contract. NASCAR in 2015 signed an $8.2 billion contract with Fox Sports and NBC Sports. NASCAR has an exclusive negotiating window with both networks that expires May 1, Phelps told AP.

From that date, NASCAR can explore television rights deals with outside partners.



American League
TeamWLPctGBHomeRoadEastCentralWestLast 10Streak
Tampa Bay601.0003 – 03 – 00 – 03 – 00 – 06 – 0W 6
NY Yankees42.66724 – 20 – 00 – 00 – 00 – 04 – 2W 1
Baltimore33.50030 – 03 – 31 – 20 – 02 – 13 – 3L 1
Toronto33.50030 – 03 – 30 – 02 – 10 – 03 – 3W 2
Boston24.33342 – 40 – 02 – 10 – 00 – 02 – 4L 3
TeamWLPctGBHomeRoadEastCentralWestLast 10Streak
Cleveland52.7140 – 05 – 20 – 00 – 05 – 25 – 2W 1
Minnesota42.6670.50 – 04 – 20 – 03 – 00 – 04 – 2L 2
Chi White Sox33.5001.51 – 12 – 20 – 00 – 02 – 23 – 3W 1
Detroit24.3332.50 – 02 – 40 – 30 – 02 – 12 – 4L 1
Kansas City15.1673.51 – 50 – 01 – 20 – 30 – 01 – 5L 2
TeamWLPctGBHomeRoadEastCentralWestLast 10Streak
LA Angels42.6670 – 04 – 20 – 00 – 04 – 24 – 2W 1
Texas42.6674 – 20 – 01 – 20 – 00 – 04 – 2W 1
Houston34.4291.53 – 40 – 00 – 03 – 40 – 03 – 4W 1
Oakland24.33322 – 40 – 00 – 01 – 21 – 22 – 4L 1
Seattle25.2862.52 – 50 – 00 – 01 – 31 – 22 – 5L 1
National League
TeamWLPctGBHomeRoadEastCentralWestLast 10Streak
Atlanta51.8330 – 05 – 12 – 13 – 00 – 05 – 1W 3
Miami34.4292.53 – 40 – 01 – 30 – 00 – 03 – 4W 2
NY Mets34.4292.50 – 03 – 43 – 10 – 30 – 03 – 4L 3
Philadelphia15.16740 – 01 – 50 – 00 – 00 – 01 – 5L 1
Washington15.16741 – 50 – 01 – 20 – 00 – 01 – 5L 3
TeamWLPctGBHomeRoadEastCentralWestLast 10Streak
Milwaukee51.8333 – 02 – 13 – 02 – 10 – 05 – 1W 5
Pittsburgh42.66710 – 04 – 20 – 01 – 20 – 04 – 2W 3
Cincinnati32.6001.53 – 20 – 00 – 03 – 20 – 03 – 2L 1
Chi Cubs23.4002.51 – 21 – 10 – 02 – 30 – 02 – 3W 1
St. Louis24.33332 – 40 – 00 – 30 – 00 – 02 – 4L 3
TeamWLPctGBHomeRoadEastCentralWestLast 10Streak
LA Dodgers42.6674 – 20 – 00 – 00 – 04 – 24 – 2W 2
Arizona33.50010 – 03 – 30 – 00 – 03 – 33 – 3W 1
San Diego33.50013 – 30 – 00 – 00 – 03 – 33 – 3L 1
San Francisco23.4001.50 – 02 – 30 – 00 – 00 – 02 – 3L 1
Colorado24.33320 – 02 – 40 – 00 – 02 – 42 – 4L 4


Eastern Conference
 WLPctConf GBHomeRoadDivConfLast 10Streak
1 xyz-Milwaukee5822.72532-826-1411-535-168-23 W
2 x-Boston5525.6883.030-925-1610-532-187-31 W
3 x-Philadelphia5227.6585.529-1123-169-632-175-51 W
4 x-Cleveland5030.6258.031-919-2113-333-177-32 W
5 x-New York4733.58811.023-1724-168-832-197-35 W
Brooklyn4436.55014.022-1722-197-829-215-51 W
Miami4237.53215.526-1416-239-522-276-42 W
Atlanta4139.51317.024-1617-238-826-246-43 W
Toronto4040.50018.026-1414-264-1125-256-41 L
10 Chicago3842.47520.021-1917-236-926-255-52 L
11 Orlando3445.43023.520-2014-257-820-296-41 L
12 Indiana3446.42524.020-2014-267-823-272-82 L
13 Washington3446.42524.018-2116-257-820-312-84 L
14 Charlotte2654.32532.013-2713-277-914-374-63 L
15 Detroit1664.20042.09-327-321-137-430-1011 L
Western Conference
 WLPctConf GBHomeRoadDivConfLast 10Streak
1 xyz-Denver5227.65833-719-2010-533-166-41 L
2 xy-Memphis5030.6252.535-615-2413-330-217-31 L
3 xy-Sacramento4832.6004.523-1725-159-632-185-51 L
4 x-Phoenix4435.5578.027-1217-239-529-207-36 W
LA Clippers4238.52510.522-1820-208-725-255-51 W
Golden State4238.52510.533-89-306-928-226-41 W
LA Lakers4139.51311.521-1820-215-1025-257-31 L
New Orleans4139.51311.526-1415-2511-529-228-21 W
Minnesota4040.50012.521-1919-218-827-235-51 W
10 Oklahoma City3842.47514.523-1715-258-723-274-63 L
11 Dallas3842.47514.523-1615-269-628-233-71 W
12 Utah3643.45616.022-1714-265-923-263-73 L
13 Portland3346.41819.017-2316-237-923-262-81 L
14 San Antonio2059.25332.013-267-332-138-412-81 L
15 Houston2060.25032.514-276-334-1212-402-81 W

Eight teams in each conference qualify for the playoffs. 

X – Clinched Playoff Spot,  Y – Clinched Division,  Z – Clinched Conference


Eastern Conference
1 xyz-Boston Bruins77601251255628616631-4-329-8-29-1-0
2 x-Carolina Hurricanes77501891094625119827-10-323-8-66-3-1
3 x-New Jersey Devils78492181064727121722-13-427-8-45-4-1
4 x-New York Rangers784621111034226721023-12-423-9-77-2-1
5 x-Toronto Maple Leafs774621101024526221326-8-620-13-46-3-1
6 x-Tampa Bay Lightning7845276964227023727-7-518-20-15-5-0
Florida Panthers7840317873827426122-12-418-19-36-4-0
New York Islanders7839309873822721422-13-317-17-65-4-1
Pittsburgh Penguins78383010863724925422-12-516-18-54-6-0
10 Buffalo Sabres7637327813627127815-20-422-12-34-4-2
11 Ottawa Senators7837347813524625422-14-315-20-44-3-3
12 Detroit Red Wings7735339793223125219-15-416-18-55-5-0
13 Washington Capitals7734349773224024317-15-617-19-32-6-2
14 Philadelphia Flyers77293513712720925717-17-512-18-85-3-2
15 Montreal Canadiens7830426662521928916-20-314-22-33-7-0
16 Columbus Blue Jackets7724458562320530715-21-29-24-63-6-1
Western Conference
1 x-Vegas Golden Knights78482281044325922323-15-125-7-76-2-2
2 x-Colorado Avalanche7646246984025621021-13-525-11-18-2-0
3 x-Edmonton Oilers79472391034731225622-12-625-11-39-0-1
4 x-Los Angeles Kings784523101003926724525-10-420-13-66-3-1
5 x-Dallas Stars77422114983926721319-10-923-11-55-4-1
6 x-Minnesota Wild77442310983723220924-11-420-12-66-2-2
Seattle Kraken7743268944327224318-16-425-10-46-3-1
Winnipeg Jets7843323894223421824-13-219-19-15-5-0
Calgary Flames79372715893525324519-16-418-11-116-3-1
10 Nashville Predators7739308863421622720-14-419-16-45-5-0
11 St. Louis Blues7836357793325528817-16-619-19-16-2-2
12 Vancouver Canucks7734367752926228717-20-217-16-55-3-2
13 Arizona Coyotes78273813672421628220-14-47-24-92-6-2
14 San Jose Sharks7722391660212262958-20-1114-19-53-3-4
15 Chicago Blackhawks7725466562319028014-22-311-24-32-8-0
16 Anaheim Ducks78234510562019632012-23-311-22-71-9-0

Eight teams in each conference qualify for the divisional playoff format.  The top three teams from each division make up the first six spots.   The two remaining teams with the highest points, regardless of division, qualify for the final two wild card spots.  

X – Clinched Playoff Spot, Y – Clinched Division, Z – Clinched Conference


1970      President Richard Nixon, delayed at the White House until his Supreme Court nominee Harold Carswell wins a test vote in the Senate, cannot throw the ceremonial first pitch in the Senators’ home opener at RFK Stadium. David Eisenhower, Ike’s grandson, substitutes for his father-in-law, tossing the traditional pitch before Washington’s 5-0 loss to the Tigers.

1971      Giants’ center fielder Willie Mays, a month shy of his fortieth birthday, homers on Opening Day and will hit home runs in the next three games to tie a major league record. The ‘Say Hey Kid’ will hit 15 round-trippers before the All-Star break, collecting only three more to finish the year thanks to receiving an abundance of base-on-balls, 30 more walks this season than he had at any time in his career.

1973      Richard Nixon becomes the first president to throw the ceremonial first pitch on Opening Day in a contest held outside Washington, D.C. The Commander in Chief does the honors before Nolan Ryan, and the Angels beat the Royals at Anaheim Stadium, 3-2.

1973      Orlando Cepeda, who was specifically signed to fill the newly created position of the designated hitter, goes 0-for-6 when the Red Sox pound out 20 hits in a 15-5 rout of the Yankees at Fenway Park on Opening Day. The future Hall of Famer misses out on a place in baseball history when the first inning is extended by a misjudged bloop hit and two walks, giving Ron Blomberg, batting sixth for the Bronx Bombers, the opportunity to be the first player to come to the plate as the DH.

1973      The Yankees become the last American League team to abandon their flannel uniforms in favor of polyester. The team’s new look on the road features white piping around the words New York on the front and the numbers on the back.

1973      On Opening Day at Three Rivers Stadium in front of a record crowd of 51,695, the Pirates retire Roberto Clemente’s uniform number 21 posthumously. The Pittsburgh right fielder died in a plane crash on New Year’s Eve, attempting to bring relief aid to earthquake-stricken Managua, Nicaragua.

1973      At Fenway Park, Ron Blomberg of the Yankees becomes the first designated hitter in major league history. In the historic plate appearance, Boomer draws a first-inning bases-loaded walk on a 3-1 pitch off Luis Tiant and will become the first DH to get a hit when he singles in the third frame of the 15-5 Red Sox rout of the Bronx Bombers.

1973      At the Oakland Coliseum, Tony Oliva becomes the first designated hitter ever to homer. The Twins DH’s first-inning two-run round-tripper off future Hall of Famer Catfish Hunter helps the team defeat the A’s, 8-3.

1974      The Bronx Bombers begin their two-year stint at Shea Stadium, where the team will compile a 172-150 (.534) record during the renovations to the Stadium, with a 6-1 victory over Cleveland. The ‘other’ NY fans cheer loudly when the scoreboard posts the Mets’ 5-4 loss in Philadelphia.

1974      At Veterans Stadium, Phillies’ third baseman Mike Schmidt hits a ninth-inning two-run home run off Tug McGraw to beat the Mets on Opening Day, 5-4. The walk-off homer is the first of the league-leading 36 dingers the third baseman will hit this season.

1977      For the second time in nine years, a new franchise makes its major league debut in Seattle. Frank Tanana and the Angels blank the Mariners, 7-0, in the first regular-season game at the Kingdome.

1982      A freak massive spring snowstorm brings subfreezing temperatures, high winds, and foot or more precipitation across the northeast. The blizzard-like conditions cause the postponement of home openers for the Yankees, Tigers, White Sox, Brewers, Indians, Phillies, and Pirates.

1984      After he commits a two-out error in the bottom of the eighth inning to allow the eventual winning run to score in the Yankees’ 7-6 loss to the Rangers at Arlington Stadium, the team sends shortstop Bobby Meacham to the minors after the fourth game of the season on the orders of owner George Steinbrenner. The move, which stuns manager Yogi Berra, will be a precursor to the ‘Boss’ firing him next season after the team drops ten of its first sixteen decisions.

1988      The Blue Jays’ reluctant designated hitter, George Bell, follows up his three home run Opening Day performance by going 5-for-5 (three singles and two doubles), leading Toronto over the Royals, 11-4. Considered a defensive liability, last year’s American League MVP will return to left field full time.

1988      Pat Borders becomes the first player in American League history to drive in five runs in his major league debut when he collects two singles and a triple in the Blue Jays’ 11-4 victory over Kansas City at Royals Stadium. The 24-year-old rookie catcher joins Walter Mueller (1922 Pirates) and Joe Cunningham (1954 Cardinals), who both accomplished the feat in the Senior Circuit.

1992      On Opening Day in front of a packed house at Seattle’s Kingdome, the Rangers score nine runs in the top of the eighth inning, beating the Mariners, 12-10. Texas had been trailing 8-3 before the late-inning barrage.

1993      Blue Jay right-hander Jack Morris sets a major league record when he makes his 14th consecutive Opening Day start, taking the loss when the Mariners beat the team, 8-1, at the Kingdome. The 37-year-old has an 8-6 record in his first-day assignments that started in 1980 with the Tigers (10 seasons) and the Twins (1 season).

1997      The Cardinals, after a 3-2 loss to Houston at the Astrodome, remain winless after the first six games of the season. The losing streak marks the Redbirds’ worst start in the 106-year history of the franchise.

2001      In the home opener at Veterans Stadium, Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Bunning’s number 14 jersey is retired. Kentucky’s Republican U.S. senator, who compiled a 224-184 record in his 17-year career pitching for the Tigers, Phillies, Pirates, and Dodgers, joins Richie Ashburn (1), Robin Roberts (36), Steve Carlton (32), and Mike Schmidt (20) as the fifth player to have his number retired by the Phillies.

2001      After a disappointing 0-4 start on the road, the Brewers get into the winner’s circle in front of President George W. Bush when the team beats the Reds, 5-4, in the major league debut of Miller Park. Richie Sexson’s 435-foot home run in the eighth inning breaks a 4-4 deadlock, giving Milwaukee its first win.

2001      The Phillies placed the letter “P” on their Wall of Fame in tribute to Pete Alexander, who averaged 27 wins during his first seven seasons with the Phillies. The Hall of Fame right-hander won 28 games as a freshman in 1911, which remains the modern rookie record.

2001      After winning on Opening Day, the Devils Rays lose their third consecutive game, giving up precisely 11 runs in each defeat. Following the 11-8 and 11-0 losses to the Blue Jays at Tropicana Field, Tampa Bay drops an 11-4 decision on the road at Fenway Park to the Red Sox.

2001      After President George W. Bush throws the ceremonial first pitch at Miller Park, the Brewers open their new home with a 5-4 win over the Reds, thanks to Richie Sexson’s eighth-inning solo homer and David Weathers tossing a perfect ninth for the save. The move from County Stadium, initially scheduled for last season, was delayed following a construction accident that claimed the lives of three ironworkers, Jeffrey Wischer, William DeGrave, and Jerome Starr.

2004      Nearly 8,000 fans select Still, We Believe: The Boston Red Sox Movie in an online poll as the title of a documentary about the 2003 season. Other choices offered by the team and Boston Globe websites included This Is the Year, The Ecstasy and the Agony and Always the Bridesmaid, in addition to a fan’s wry suggestion of I Know What You Did Last Summer, I Wish I Didn’t Know What You Did Last Fall.

2004      Adrian Beltre becomes the 36th player in baseball history to hit 100 home runs before the age of 25. The Dodger third baseman joins Cal Ripken Jr. and Lou Gehrig to have precisely 100 homers on their 25th birthday.

2004      On Opening Day at Bank One Ballpark, Diamondbacks’ outfielder Luis Gonzalez and Rockies’ second baseman Luis Gonzalez homered, making it only the second time in major league history players with the same first and last names homered in the same game. The first occurrence happened when Ken Griffey Jr., and his dad, Ken Griffey, playing for the Mariners, hit back-to-back homers off Angels’ hurler Kirk McCaskill in 1990.

2004      David Aardsma surpasses Hank Aaron in an unlikely category. ‘Hammerin’ Hank’ will no longer be the first player named alphabetically in baseball history books when the Giants hurler makes his major-league debut against the Astros.

2005      At Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park, the Nationals beat the Phillies, 7-3, winning their first game representing Washington, D.C. The historic victory features the team’s center fielder Brad Wilkerson completing the cycle for the second time in his career.

2006      In a 10-6 loss to the Tigers at Ameriquest Field, Texas knuckleballer R.A. Dickey, in his only appearance of the season, ties a post-1900 major-league record shared by five other major leaguers when he gives up six home runs, five of which are solo shots. St. Louis Maroons’ right-hander Charlie Sweeney is the only hurler to allow more round-trippers in a game, giving up seven gopher balls in an 1886 contest against the Detroit Wolverines.

2009      In front of a sold-out crowd at the Metrodome, Ken Griffey, Jr. hits a record-tying eighth Opening Day home run in his first game back with the Mariners since being traded before the start of the 2000 season. The “Kid’s” historic home run, a sixth-inning blast off Francisco Liriano, ties him with Hall of Famer Frank Robinson, who established the mark playing for the Indians in 1975 during his first at-bat as major league baseball’s first black manager.

2009      In Florida’s 12-6 victory over the Nationals at Dolphin Stadium, Emilio Bonifacio hits an inside-the-park home run, the first on Opening Day since Red Sox outfielder Carl Yastrzemski accomplished the feat in 1968. The Marlins’ third baseman’s round-tripper, one of his four hits, is his career’s first big-league homer.

2009      Arizona switch-hitter Felipe Lopez becomes the first player to homer from both sides of the plate on Opening Day after going deep in the top of the fourth inning off Glendon Rusch after connecting off Colorado starter Aaron Cook to lead off the game. An inning later, the Diamondback second baseman’s unique feat is matched by Tony Clark, making the pair the first set of teammates to homer from both sides of the plate on the first day of the season.

2012      Adam Dunn ties a major league record, hitting his eighth Opening Day home run, a leadoff sixth-inning shot off Texas starter Colby Lewis in Chicago’s 3-2 loss in Arlington. The White Sox’ DH, who hit two homers in the first game of the season twice while with Cincinnati in 2005 and 2007, equals the mark established by Frank Robinson and Ken Griffey Jr. as the only other players with eight round-trippers in openers.

2015      On Opening Day, the Rays retire number No. 66 in honor of their late senior baseball adviser Don Zimmer, who passed away in June at the age of 83. ‘Popeye,’ a player, coach, and manager with a dozen different teams, wore the number in his final season with the organization to represent the number of years he worked in professional baseball.

2015      The Mets start 41-year-old Bartolo Colon on Opening Day, much to the chagrin of many fans who hoped one of their young guns, Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom, would get the coveted assignment. The oldest pitcher ever to get the nod on Opening Day in franchise history doesn’t disappoint when he gives up one run on three hits, besting Washington’s $210-million ace Max Scherzer in the team’s 3-1 victory at Nationals Park.

2016      Trevor Story becomes the first major leaguer to hit a home run in each of his first three major league games when he goes deep in the first inning of the Rockies’ 4-3 victory over the Diamondbacks at Chase Park. The 23-year-old shortstop is also the first rookie to have the round-trippers account for each of his first big league four hits.

2016      The Padres, with their 7-0 loss at Petco Park, become the first team to be shut out in the first three games of the regular season, surpassing the dubious mark set by the Browns, who opened the 1943 campaign with 26 straight scoreless innings. San Diego also dropped their first two decisions of the three-game series against the Dodgers, 15-0 and 3-0.

2019      In Minnesota’s 10-4 loss to the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park, Jorge Polanco hits for the franchise’s 15th cycle, including the four before moving in 1961 from Washington, DC. The Twins’ shortstop completes the feat with a seventh-inning double, the fourth of the five hits he collects.

2021      Oakland’s begins the season 0-6 when the team drops a 5-1 decision to Dodgers, matching the 1916 Philadelphia A’s, who posted a 36-117 mark that season for the worse record in franchise history. The club has been outscored 50-13 in their first half dozen games, losing all six at least four runs and four times by at least seven runs.



“Charlie was a tremendous left-handed hitter who could also bunt, steal a hundred bases a year, and cover center field as well as anyone before him or since…he was like Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth and Tris Speaker rolled into one.” – Buck O’Neil

As a youth, Oscar Charleston was a batboy for his hometown Indianapolis ABC’s. At the age of 15, he enlisted in the military and was sent to the Phillipines, where he played baseball with the 24th Negro Infantry. In 1915, still a teenager, Charleston returned to Indianapolis and quickly became a star center fielder for the ABC’s.

A powerful hitter who could hit to all fields and bunt, Charleston was also extremely fast on the base paths and in center field. He played a very shallow center, almost behind second base, and his great speed and instincts helped him outrun many batted balls. He had a powerful arm. Coupled with this great natural ability was an aggressive demeanor and will to win.

His finest season was likely 1925 when he hit .427 for the Harrisburg Giants to go with 20 homers and 97 RBI. He won batting titles in the Eastern Colored League in 1924 and 1925.

From the mid-1920s on, he was a player-manager for several clubs. In 1933, he joined the Pittsburgh Crawfords and would manage the 1935 Crawfords club that many consider the finest Negro League team of all time, featuring four future Hall of Famers including himself: Cool Papa Bell, Josh Gibson and Judy Johnson. Charleston hit three home runs in leading the Crawfords to victory in the seven-game championship in 1935 against the New York Cubans.

He played nine seasons of winter ball in Cuba, amassing statistics quite similar to his big league achievements. In the 1940s, Charleston scouted for Branch Rickey, making recommendations on the best players to consider for the job of integrating the major leagues. He managed as late as 1954, when he led the Indianapolis Clowns to a league championship.

Charleston passed away on Oct. 5, 1954. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1976.


A 20-win season remains the standard for big league pitchers.

But in 1904, Jack Chesbro doubled that number by himself when he won a modern era record 41 games during one of the finest seasons of any pitcher in the history of the game. It was the crowning season of a pitcher whose career numbers added up to a place in Cooperstown.

Born on June 5, 1874 in North Adams, Mass., Chesbro began playing baseball on sandlot teams and earned the nickname “Happy Jack” because of his pleasant disposition. His professional career began in Albany, N.Y., of the New York State League in 1895. At a time when dozens of leagues existed, Chesbro bounced around and even spent time in 1896 as a semi-pro in Cooperstown, N.Y.

In July of 1899, Chesbro was sold to the Pittsburgh Pirates. He won 21 games and led the league in shutouts with six in 1901 as Pittsburgh captured the National League pennant.

In 1902, Chesbro changed his approach and began throwing a then-legal spitball. He described the spitball as the “most effective ball that possibly could be used.” With his new pitch, Chesbro led the league in wins with 28 and shutouts with eight and the Pirates won the pennant again.

“I can make the spitball drop two inches or a foot and a half,” said Chesbro.

Before the 1903 season, Chesbro jumped to the American League and joined the newly formed New York Highlanders. He went 21-15 with a 2.77 ERA in his first season with the club. But it was in his second year that Chesbro had a season for the ages.

En route to his 41 victories, Chesbro also led the league in winning percentage (.774), games (55), games started (52), complete games (48) and innings pitched (454.2).

Going into the last two games of the season to be played on Oct. 10, Chesbro’s Highlanders trailed the Boston Red Sox by 1.5 games in the pennant race. He took the mound in Game 1 with confidence and an impressive season behind him.

“I’ll pitch and I’ll win,” said Chesbro before the game. “I’ll trim ‘em Monday if it costs an arm.”

But Boston’s Bill Dinneen pitched well, and the score was tied 2-2 in the top of the ninth with the Red Sox’s Lou Criger on third base and Fred Parent at the plate and an 0-2 count.

“It was a passed ball,” said Highlanders manager Clark Griffith of the spitball from Chesbro, officially scored as a wild pitch. “(Catcher Red) Kleinow let the pitch get away from him.”

New York won the second game, but lost the pennant by a game and a half. Chesbro spent six more seasons in New York with some success, but was slowed by an ankle injury. He pitched his final game in 1909, a loss for Boston.

Chesbro went 198-132 with a 2.68 ERA in 11 major league seasons. He pitched 2,896.2 innings in 392 games with 260 complete games and 35 shutouts. He struck out 1,265 batters and walked only 690.

Chesbro passed away Nov. 6, 1931. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1946.



Off the field…

American justice prevailed as Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker aka “Bonnie and Clyde” were ambushed and killed instantly by a posse of lawmen led by Texas Ranger Frank Hamer near Sailes, Bienville Parish, Louisiana on May 23rd. Together the pair committed thirteen murders, numerous kidnappings, and several burglaries and robberies requiring the FBI and other law enforcement agencies to engage in the largest manhunt the United States had seen up to that time. Another famous bank robber and cold-blooded killer who terrorized the Midwest during the early ’30s, John Dillinger was also shot and killed by FBI agents outside of a Chicago movie theater in July.

The Securities and Exchange Commission agency of the U.S. government was created by the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and was charged with protecting the interests of the public and investors in connection with the public issuance and sale of corporate securities. The Federal Communications Commission was also established to regulate interstate and foreign communications in the public interest.

In the American League…

Washington Senators reserve catcher Moe Berg set an American League record on April 21st, after playing in his one-hundred seventeenth consecutive errorless game (dating back to 1931).

New York Yankees icon Lou Gehrig hit two home runs (one a grand slam) and a pair of doubles on May 10th, to tie the Major League record with four long hits and seven runs (in only five innings of play) to top the Chicago White Sox, 13-3.

The amazingly inconsistent St. Louis Browns shocked everyone on June 3rd after tying an American League record for most consecutive hits (nine in the sixth-inning — all with two outs) to beat the first place Cleveland Indians 12-8.

In the National League…

On April 29th, the Pittsburgh Pirates became the last remaining major league city to play a home outing on a Sunday (beating the Cincinnati Reds 9-5) after the state’s “Blue Law” (prohibiting games on Sundays) was repealed.

St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Dazzy Vance notched the two-thousandth strikeout of his career during his last complete game, a 4-2 victory over the Boston Braves, on July 22nd.

Reggie Grabowski of the Philadelphia Phillies, set an unwanted National League record after surrendering eleven hits (and runs) in the ninth inning against the New York Giants for a humiliating 21-4 loss on August 4th.

Around the League…

Baseball Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis, who was granted absolute power in 1920 after the Black Sox scandal had tainted the game, denied participant Shoeless Joe Jackson’s appeal for reinstatement in January.

Due to declining attendance, both the St. Louis Cardinals and St. Louis Browns discontinued radio broadcasts from Sportsman’s Park in an effort to promote ticket sales with the hometown fans. All games had been aired since 1926, but only on weekdays for the last two years.

As a novelty concept (that would eventually catch on), fans were tasked with voting in the participants for the second annual All-Star Game, which was to be played on July 10th at the Polo Grounds in New York. Bill Terry of the New York Giants was the top vote-getter in the Midsummer Classic balloting.

Negro League ace Satchel Paige tossed a 4-0 no-hitter on July 4th against the Homestead Grays in Pittsburgh, and then drove to Chicago to shut out the Chicago American Giants 1-0 (in twelve innings) giving him two shutouts (in two different cities) on the same day.




Bobby Beathard was a highly-regarded personnel administrator during his 33-year career which included stints with the Kansas City Chiefs (1966-67), Atlanta Falcons (1968-1971), Miami Dolphins (1972-77), Washington Redskins (1978-1988) and San Diego Chargers (1990-99).

Beathard, a longtime general manager and personnel administrator, played an integral role in the success of each of these franchises. He began his career as a part-time scout for the Kansas City Chiefs in 1963, but left to scout for the American Football League before returning to the Chiefs in 1966 when the team played in Super Bowl I. In 1972, Beathard was named director of player personnel for the Miami Dolphins before the Washington Redskins hired him as general manager in 1978.

His visionary thinking soon became a template for the NFL where first-round draft picks were weapons to be used in trades. His keen sense for talent was apparent on each team, but especially in 1982 when the Redskins Super Bowl-winning team included 27 free agents signed by Beathard since he joined the team. In his 11 years in Washington, the Redskins had only three first-round picks. The team went to the Super Bowl three times and won twice.

Collectively, his teams won 10 division titles, seven league/conference championships and four Super Bowls – Super Bowls VII and VIII with Miami and Super Bowls XVII and XXII with Washington.

Beathard was hired as general manager of the Chargers in 1990 and immediately brought hope to a city hungry for a winner. In just his third season in San Diego, the organization won its first AFC Western Division championship in more than a decade and by 1994, the team made its first Super Bowl appearance.


April 6, 1901 – Meridian, Mississippi – The awesome Alabama halfback/quarterback from 1922 through the 1925 season, Pooley Hubert was born. Alabama Coach Wallace Wade commented that Pooley was, “undoubtedly one of the greatest football players of all time!” Pooley Hubert received the great honor of being selected for inclusion into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1964.

April 6, 1934 – Muskegon, Oklahoma – Aurealius Thomas the two-way star guard/linebacker of the Ohio State University arrived into this life. Thomas was not the largest interior lineman on the team weighing in at a smidge over 200 pounds also making him undersized for his play in the middle of the defense of the Buckeyes. But Aurealius great lateral footspeed as well as his excellent technique proved to outmatch nearly all of the opponents he faced on both sides of the ball therefore just after the 1957 season he was named as an All-American guard. His bio on the NFF website states that in his senior season of 1957, he averaged 52 minutes a game in playing time. He was always able to out- manoeuvre opponents who were bigger with those gifts of mobility and leverage. The National Football Foundation selected Aurealius Thomas for entrance into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1989. Soon after he graduated, Thomas joined Coach Woody Hayes’ staff and coached an assistant on the Woody Hayes staff at Ohio State. Then Aurealius moved on to coach East High School in Columbus for six seasons. His last team at East, in 1964, had a 9-0 record.


April 6, 1944 – Notre Dame’s quarterback of the 1962 to 1964 era, John Huarte celebrated his date of birth. Huarte has an amazing collegiate story. His sophomore season was somewhat of an unmemorable injury plagued year for the signal caller therefore he was used sparingly the next season in 1963. Then in 1964 his football fortunes changed according to the Football Foundation. Irish first-year head coach Ara Parseghian named Huarte the starting quarterback going into that 1964 season. Parseghian’s trust in Huarte paid huge dividends, as Huarte broke virtually every Notre Dame single-season passing record, won the Heisman Trophy and led the Irish to a 9-1 record. John Huarte’s collegiate football accomplishments and records are celebrated in the College Football Hall of Fame after his induction in 2005. John ended up becoming a 2nd round pick by the AFL’s New York Jets in 1965. Huarte stayed in the Pros as a backup quarterback with Boston, Philadelphia, Minnesota, Kansas City and Chicago from 1965-72.

April 6, 1965 – Chicago, Illinois – Sterling Sharpe the powerful wideout from the University of South Carolina from 1983 to 1987 was born. As a matter of fact he is most likely the best receiver to ever come out of the Gamecock program. The NFF states that Sharpe was a First-Team All-America selection in 1987 and set a variety of USC records. Sterling’s 74 single-season receptions, 169 career catches, 1106 receiving yards in one year and career receiving yards of 2,497 will be a tall task to ever unseat. The high water marks Sterling accomplished where he caught at least one reception in a record 34 consecutive games as well as tallying 10 games of 100-plus yards receiving show the legendary status of how good he truly was at South Carolina! The individual plays this man made are stories all to themselves like the 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown against Duke in 1985 and the many crucial catches he made. Sterling Sharpe was honored with induction into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2014 after the National Football Foundation tallied their votes. The Green Bay Packers used the seventh overall pick in the 1988 NFL Draft to have Sharpe join their franchise. In just 7 NFL seasons with the Pack Sterling was a five-time Pro Bowl selection and three-time first-team All-Pro! Sharpe led the NFL in receptions three times in the seasons 1989 and 1992-1993 as well as in receiving touchdowns both in 1992 and 1994 according to In just Hall of Famer Brett Favre’s first season with the Packers in 1992, Sharpe led the NFL in receptions with 108, 1461 receiving yards and 13 passes caught for touchdowns. We might just see his name added to a museum exhibit in Canton, Ohio someday to join his brother Shannon.


21 – 4 – 9

April 6, 1973 – The Pittsburgh Pirates officially retired Roberto Clemente’s Number 21 posthumously after he passed away in a plane crash.

April 6, 1979 – Baltimore Orioles manager Earl Weaver, Number 4 won his 1,000th game as a skipper, a 5-3 Orioles victory over the Chicago White Sox

April 6, 1980 – Legendary skater Gordie Howe, Number 9 completed his record 26th season in the NHL.