INDIANA HS BASEBALL
HAMMOND MORTON 13 THORNTON NORTH 2
CROWN POINT 3 HANOVER CENTRAL 1
HOBART 12 WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP 3
SOUTH CENTRAL 10 WHEELER 0
PENN 1 LAPORTE 0
BOONE GROVE 9 PORTAGE 5
NORTH POSEY 5 SOUTH KNOX 4
DUPONT MANUAL 4 JEFFERSONVILLE 0
EVANSVILLE MATER DEI 5 UNION COUNTY 3
LAKELAND 4 CONCORD 3
GOSHEN 5 FAIRFIELD 1
NORTHRIDGE 18 WEST NOBLE 0
DEARFIELD 3 HAMILTON SOUTHEASTERN 0
HOMESTEAD 6 FORT WAYNE LUERS 5
JASPER 14 BOONVILLE 1
HAGERSTOWN 10 CONNERSVILLE 5
KANKAKEE VALLEY 11 GRIFFITH 1
MISHAWAKA 14 JIMTOWN 6
SHENANDOAH 5 SOUTHWOOD 4
LAKE CENTRAL 15 GIBSON SOUTHERN 5
SHERIDAN 11 INDIANAPOLIS KINGS 1
HERITAGE 19 NEW HAVEN 0
IRVINGTON PREP 11 LIBERTY CHRISTIAN 1
RITTER 15 TRADERS POINT CHRISTIAN 2
GUERIN CATHOLIC 11 FRANKTON 1
RONCALLI 7 HERITAGE CHRISTIAN 0
WESTVIEW 7 ELKHART 6
CHRUBUSCO 10 WHITKO 8
FORT WAYNE CARROLL 12 COLUMBIA CITY 0
FORT WAYNE SNIDER 13 FORT WAYNE BLACKHAWK 1
MISHAWAKA MARIAN 7 NORTHWOOD 2
PRINCETON 3 MOUNT CARMEL 2
LEO 16 FORT WAYNE WAYNE 9
NORTHFIELD 9 FORT WAYNE SOUTH 1
NORTHEASTERN 11 TRI-VILLAGE 0
CENTRAL NOBLE 6 BREMEN 4
CARMEL 10 ZIONSVILLE 6
TERRE HAUTE NORTH 6 RIVERTON PARKE 3
INDIANA HIGH SCHOOL SOFTBALL
WEST LIMESTONE 11 HIGHLAND 5
HIGHLAND 3 LAUDERDALE COUNTY 1
WEST CHICAGO 15 DEKALB 7
MOUNT JULIET 17 DEKALB 0
KANKAKEE TRINITY 15 HERITAGE CHRISTIAN 1
KANKAKEE VALLEY 11 KOUTS 1
JIMTOWN 4 CONCORD 2
MILAN 17 OLDENBURG ACADEMY 0
PIKE CENTRAL 5 SOUTH KNOX 0
HAMMOND NOLL 23 HAMMOND CENTRAL 4
LAKELAND 10 NORTHRIDGE 9
COLUMBUS EAST 17 EDINBURGH 6
EVANSVILLE NORTH 5 BOONVILLE 1
ELIZABETHTON 11 NORTH DAVIESS 5
SOUTH BEND CLAY 13 MICHIGAN CITY 2
JEFFERSONVILLE 12 BORDEN 0
CENTER GROVE 9 WHITELAND 2
COLUMBIA CITY 7 WHITKO 1
WAWASEE 8 WEST NOBLE 3
SOUTH CENTRAL 11 GLENN 4
SOUTH BEND ST. JOSEPH 11 MISHAWAKA 0
EDGEWOOD 13 BLOOMINGTON NORTH 12
FLOYD CENTRAL 8 CORYDON CENTRAL 0
WOODLAN 5 FORT WAYNE DWENGER 1
SHELBYVILLE 10 SEYMOUR 0
CHRUBUSCO 18 FORT WAYNE SNIDER 0
NORTH VERMILLION 8 SOUTH PUTNAM 7
PENN 9 PORTAGE 1
TRINITY LUTHERAN 13 SOUTH DECATUR 0
CASEY WESTFIELD 5 TERRE HAUTE SOUTH 3
HERITAGE CHRISTIAN 18 SHERIDAN 7
NORTH POSEY 2 HENDERSON COUNTY 1
GREENSBURG 10 JAC CEN DEL 0
TRI VILLAGE 4 NORTHEASTERN 3
HERITAGE 4 FORT WAYNE NORTHRUP 0
EASTSIDE 8 FORT WAYNE CONCORDIA 1
NORTH CENTRAL 14 EMINENCE 4
AVON 9 NOBLESVILLE 5
ZIONSVILLE 6 MOUNT VERNON 3
WESTFIELD 10 FRANKLIN CENTRAL 6
HANCOCK COUNTY 15 TELL CITY 0
JASPER 17 EVANSVILLE CENTRAL 7
MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
SATURDAY APRIL 1
FLORIDA ATLANTIC VS. SAN DIEGO STATE 6:09PM (CBS)
UCONN VS. MIAMI 8:49PM (CBS)
MONDAY APRIL 3 9:30PM
WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL-FINAL 4
FRIDAY MARCH 31
LSU VS. VIRGINIA TECH 7:00PM ESPN
IOWA VS. SOUTH CAROLINA 9:00 ESPN
WASHINGTON 130 BOSTON 111
ATLANTA 120 CLEVELAND 118
TORONTO 106 MIAMI 92
CHARLOTTE 137 OKLAHOMA CITY 134
MEMPHIS 113 ORLANDO 108
GOLDEN STATE 120 NEW ORLEANS 109
NASHVILLE 2 BOSTON 1
TAMPA BAY 4 CAROLINA 0
DETROIT 7 PITTSBURGH 4
NY RANGERS 6 COLUMBUS 2
PHILADELPHIA 3 MONTRÉAL 2
ST. LOUIS 6 VANCOUVER 5
DALLAS 4 CHICAGO 1
CALGARY 2 LOS ANGELES 1
EDMONTON 7 VEGAS 4
SAN JOSE 3 WINNIPEG 0
MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL SCOREBOARD
TEXAS 5 KANSAS CITY 3
CHICAGO CUBS 8 CHICAGO WHITE SOX 5
MILWAUKEE 8 COLORADO 1
ARIZONA 3 CLEVELAND 1
LA ANGELS 13 LA DODGERS 5
WASHINGTON 3 NY YANKEES 0
PHILADELPHIA 6 TORONTO 5
ATLANTA 7 BOSTON 5
MINNESOTA 7 PITTSBURGH 5
TOP INDIANA (RELEASES)
INDIANA BOYS BASKETBALL
Zionsville guard Logan Imes and Ben Davis forward Zane Doughty have asked for their release from Penn State and Valpo respectively.
Imes averaged 16.9 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.1 assists as a senior for Zionsville. Doughty averaged 13.5 points, 9.2 rebounds and 2.8 blocks, helping Ben Davis to the 4A title.
PARTICIPANTS ANNOUNCED FOR 2023 RAYMOND JAMES HOF CLASSIC
(New Castle) – With a star-studded field on both the girls’ and boys’ sides, two great days of basketball are on tap for the 2023 Raymond James Hall of Fame Classic on Friday, December 29 and Saturday, December 30 at the New Castle Fieldhouse.
The prestigious event, spotlighting the best in Indiana high school basketball, will be held for the 40th time for girls and it will be the 47th edition for the boys.
2023 Girls’ Raymond James Hall of Fame Classic
New Castle Fieldhouse – Friday, December 29, 2023
11:00 a.m. (ET) Columbia City vs Indian Creek
to follow Lake Central vs Jennings County
6:00 p.m. Consolation Game
to follow Championship Game
2023 Boys’ Raymond James Hall of Fame Classic
New Castle Fieldhouse – Saturday, December 30, 2023
11:00 a.m. (ET) Kokomo vs Crispus Attucks
to follow Brownstown Central vs Brownsburg
6:00 p.m. Consolation Game
to follow Championship Game
Selecting from the best teams in the state, the girls’ tournament has included 20 teams that went on to win a state championship (including 2023 4A State Champion) that season, including 13 class champions and eight class runner-up teams in the past 20 years.
On the boys’ side, 19 participating teams have gone on to win their state championship (including the 2023 3A and 4A State Champions) with six more finishing as state runner-up that season.
Tickets for the tournaments will be available through participating schools and the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in the 2023-24 school year.
INDIANA MEN’S BASKETBALL
Sophomore Tamar Bates has entered the transfer portal. Bates averaged 6.3 points on 38.9% on 3-pointers.
Bates is the second Hoosiers player to enter the portal, joining sophomore center Logan Duncomb.
INDIANA WOMEN’S BASKETBALL
TERI MOREN SELECTED AS ASSISTANT COACH FOR 2023 USA WOMEN’S BASKETBALL U19 WORLD CUP TEAM
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Indiana women’s basketball head coach Teri Moren has been named a court coach for the upcoming 2023 USA Basketball Women’s U19 World Cup Team.
Coaching selections for the U19 Women’s National Team were made by the USA Basketball Women’s Junior National Team Committee and all selections were approved by the USA Basketball Board of Directors.
Moren joins head coach Joni Taylor (Texas A&M University) and assistant DeLisha Milton-Jones (Old Dominion University). Last year, the trio led the 2022 USA Women’s U18 National Team to the gold medal at the FIBA U18 Women’s Americas Championship in Buenos Aires. Taylor, Milton-Jones and Moren will lead the USA at the 2023 FIBA U19 Women’s World Cup in Madrid, Spain, from July 15-23.
In her ninth season at the helm, Moren squad to a multitude of new program first and record setting numbers in the 2022-23 season. She guided the Hoosiers to a school record 28 wins with a 28-4 overall record and a first-place finish in the Big Ten. They claimed their first regular season title in 40 years, with a mark of 16-2 mark. On Jan. 18 in a win at Illinois, Moren became the program’s all-time winningest coach with 189 career victories. She holds a current record of 199-92 (.683) in her nine seasons leading the program and eclipsed the 200 win mark at IU in the victory over Tennessee Tech in the NCAA First Round. Moren was also named the 2023 Big Ten Coach of the Year, her second league honor and a finalist for the 2023 Werner Ladder Naismith Coach of the Year.
HOOSIERS METHODICAL IN WIN OVER KENT STATE
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – In its first true night game at Bart Kaufman Field, the Indiana baseball team did what it needed to do in a 4-3 victory over Kent State on Tuesday (March 28) evening. Seven different pitchers backed up timely hitting to run the home winning streak to 16 straight games.
With 15-straight home wins to open the season and a win in its last home contest of 2022, the Hoosiers have run its home winning streak to 16 games. It is the second-longest home winning streak since at least 1985 for Indiana and ranks No. 3 nationally among active streaks.
On Tuesday, Indiana (18-7) got single runs in the first, second, fourth and seventh innings to account for its scoring, while Kent State (16-8) tied the game with a single run in the top of the second and cut it to a one-run game with two in the eighth inning but couldn’t inch even.
Senior Phillip Glasser posted his 15th multi-hit game of the season with a 3-for-5 effort at the plate, one RBI and one run scored. Sophomore Brock Tibbitt chipped in a pair of hits, the first RBI of the game and scored the eventual game winning run.
In all, seven of nine starters collected hits and eight of nine starters reached base in the game. Senior Hunter Jessee doubled, walked, and scored a pair of runs against Kent State. Redshirt junior Bobby Whalen and sophomore Josh Pyne each posted hits and walked in the game.
Of the seven pitchers that spent time on the mound, four connected scoreless outings with just two throwing multiple innings. Freshman Ethan Phillips (1-0) picked up his first collegiate win with two innings of one-run work in the start. Freshman Cooper Katskee allowed one run over a hitless two innings of work, and freshman Brayden Risedorph (1) struck out two in a clean ninth inning to earn his first career save.
Michael McNamara had the big hit for Kent State with a two-RBI single in the eighth inning, while four other Golden Flashes collected base hits in the game. Justin Miknis was on base three times with a single and two walks. Benny Roebuck (1-1) took the loss with two runs allowed over two innings in a start.
A pair of hits started the game with Phillip Glasser and Josh Pyne each collecting base hits. Devon Taylor loaded the bases with a walk and Brock Tibbitts pushed the first run across with a sacrifice fly.
Indiana 1, Kent State 0
A leadoff walk to Justin Miknis was followed by a hit batter and base hit to load the bases with no outs. After a strikeout, Mack Timbrook grounded out to score Miknis from third.
Indiana 1, Kent State 1
Back-to-back doubles from Hunter Jessee and Glasser gave IU the lead back.
Indiana 2, Kent State 1
An error allowed the fourth run of the game to come across, as IU loaded the bases with two outs. A single, double and walk put runners aboard and Taylor’s ground ball to third base allowed an unearned run to cross.
Indiana 3, Kent State 1
After the first two batters were retired, Tibbitts singled and moved to second on a Matthew Ellis base hit. Tyler Cerny singled to left field to score Tibbitts.
Indiana 4, Kent State 1
A pair of walks started the inning, before two strikeouts. After a third walk loaded the bases, Michael McNamara singled to center field to score a pair of runs.
Indiana 4, Kent State 3
Indiana heads to Penn State for its first Big Ten road series of the season, with the series slated to get underway on Friday, March 31. The game can be seen on B1G+ and heard on the Indiana Sports Radio Network.
INDIANA RUN-RULES BUTLER FOR 16TH STRAIGHT VICTORY
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana softball (23-9, 3-0 B1G) run-ruled the Butler Bulldogs, 9-1, in their 16th straight victory at Andy Mohr Field on Tuesday night.
INDIANA 9, BUTLER 1
• It all started with the defense as the Hoosiers went three up, three down in the top of the first before they came out swinging to score five runs in the bottom of the first.
• Sophomore Taylor Minnick hit a two RBI single through the right side to score Bassett and pinch runner Tatum Hayes, 2-0.
• Sophomore Brianna Copeland hit an RBI single up the middle to score freshman pinch runner Cassidy Kettleman, followed by another RBI single to center field to score Copeland.
• Junior Brooke Benson earned an RBI on a sac fly to put the Hoosiers up, 5-0, to end the inning.
• In the second, the Hoosiers got it done on defense as Copeland fanned through the first three batters with back-to-back strikeouts.
• Freshman Taryn Kern hit a leadoff home run to right field in the bottom of the inning to push the lead, 6-0.
• Butler scored on a sac fly in the top of the fourth to cut the lead, 6-1.
• The Hoosiers piled on three more runs in the bottom of the inning for the run-rule. Copeland, and freshman Avery Parker each had an RBI hit with freshman pinch runner Elle Smith scoring on a rundown.
• Indiana extends their win streak to 16 games for the second longest streak in program history. The Hoosiers need two more wins to tie the program record (18).
• Kern hit her 12th home run of the season. She also went 2-for-2 at bat with a walk, scoring two runs.
• Minnick and Parker went 2-for-3 at bat each scoring one run and totaling two RBI.
• Copeland added another win from inside the circle. She is now 11-0 on the season.
Indiana will travel to West Lafayette, Ind., tomorrow for a doubleheader with archrival Purdue. The first game is set for 3:00 p.m. ET live on BTN.
PURDUE MEN’S BASKETBALL
EDEY NAMED NABC NATIONAL PLAYER OF THE YEAR; WINS PETE NEWELL BIG MAN OF THE YEAR AWARD
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue junior center Zach Edey’s record-breaking haul continued on Tuesday when the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) voted him their National Player of the Year, the organization announced on Tuesday morning.
Edey has now won two National Player of the Year accolades, previously being named the Sporting News’ National Player of the Year. The Wooden Award, Naismith Award, Associated Press Player of the Year and Oscar Robertson Trophy (USBWA) will all be announced at a later day.
Edey becomes the first Canadian native to win National Player of the Year honors and is the first Boilermaker since Glenn Robinson in 1994 to win National Player of the Year accolades.
In addition, the organization also announced Edey as the recipient of the Pete Newell Big Man of the Year Award, given to the nation’s top post player. Edey is the third Boilermaker to receive this award, joining JaJuan Johnson (2011) and the late Caleb Swanigan (2017) as Purdue recipients. Purdue and Duke are the only institutions to have three Pete Newell Big Man of the Year award winners.
Edey earned NABC Player of the Year honors after one of the most-dominating seasons in college basketball history. He was named a consensus first-team All-American, the second straight season that Purdue has had a consensus All-American (Jaden Ivey, 2022), after averaging 22.3 points, 12.9 rebounds, 2.1 blocks and 1.5 assists per game.
He became the first player in NCAA history (since blocks became an official NCAA stat) to record at least 750 points, 400 rebounds, 70 blocks and 50 assists in a season, ranking sixth nationally in scoring, second in rebounds, 19th in blocked shots and 21st in field goal percentage (.607), the only player in the NCAA database to rank in the top 25 of all four categories in the same season.
He finished the season ranking sixth on Purdue’s single-season chart for points (757), first in rebounds (438), fifth in field goals made (290), 14th in field goal percentage (.607), first in dunks (76) and second in double-doubles (27).
He has scored in double-figures in 51 straight games, the longest streak in the country, and fourth-longest streak in school history.
For his career in 99 games, he has 1,533 points, the most for a player through his junior season in school history, with 847 rebounds, 148 blocks and 106 assists.
He finished the year with eight games of at least 30 points and 10 rebounds, the most for a major-college player in the last 20 years, and his 11 games of at least 25 points and 10 rebounds are the most for a Big Ten player in the last 20 years by four games over Luka Garza (Iowa; 7). The 438 rebounds are the fourth most by a player in Big Ten history behind three seasons by Ohio State great Jerry Lucas (1960-62).
Edey became just the second player in Big Ten history to lead the league in scoring, rebounding and field goal percentage and is one of just nine players (Blake Griffin, Ike Diogu, Antawn Jamison, Tim Duncan, Shaquille O’Neal, Bill Walton, Lew Alcindor, Gary Bradds) to lead a major-college conference in all three categories in NCAA history. Griffin was the last to do so in 2009.
Edey also earned Big Ten Player of the Year accolades after helping Purdue to a Big Ten regular-season title, a No. 1 national ranking for seven weeks and the Big Ten Tournament title. He has been named a finalist for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award, given to the nation’s top center.
Earlier this season, Edey joined an exclusive list of Boilermakers to win the Big Ten Player of the Year, joining the late Caleb Swanigan (2017), JaJuan Johnson (2011), Glenn Robinson (1994) and Steve Scheffler (1990) as winners of the league’s top honor.
Edey was also named a semifinalist for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year award and earned a spot on the Big Ten’s All-Defensive team.
PURDUE MEN’S GOLF
BOILERMAKERS FINISH 4TH AT BULLS BAY
Purdue’s 834 tied for the fourth-best tournament score in school history and was the second-best score in relation to par (-30) in school history.
It marked the second time in school history that Purdue posted three tournament rounds of 830 or better.
Purdue has posted five straight team rounds of even-par or better (2nd and 3rd rounds at Puerto Rico Classic; all three rounds at the Hootie at Bulls Bay).
Purdue’s 274 in the first round was the 9th-lowest round in school history.
Herman Sekne finished third with a 15-under par 201 (69-65-67), good for the second-lowest, 54-hole tournament score in school history.
Sekne shot a round in the 60s in all three rounds, just the third Boilermaker to do that in school history. He now has four straight rounds in the 60s.
Sekne’s nine rounds in the 60s this season are already tied for the third most in a season in school history. His 11 career top-10 finishes are tied for the ninth most in a career in school history.
Sekne’s season stroke average is now 70.11 and his career average is 71.78, a full stroke better than second on the career list (Austin Eoff).
Nick Dentino’s 205 (67-72-66) tournament score was the ninth-best score in school history.
AWENDAW, S.C. – The Purdue men’s golf team wrapped up a strong weekend with a fourth-place showing at the Hootie at Bulls Bay at Bulls Bay Golf Club in Awendaw, South Carolina.
The Boilermakers totaled a 30-under par 834 (274-280-280) to finish 10 shots behind champion East Tennessee State (-40) and just three shots behind New Mexico (-33) and two behind North Carolina State (-32). Missouri finished fifth at 26-under par 838.
Herman Sekne continued his All-America season with a third-place showing at 15-under par 201 (69-65-67). Sekne was even-par on his round through 12 holes, but birdied five of his last six holes for his ninth round in the 60s this season. Sekne now has five top-10 showings in his six events played this year.
Nick Dentino finished tied for sixth at 11-under par 205 (67-72-66). He posted a career-low 18-hole score (66) and career-low tournament score (205) by five shots. It was his first top-10 showing since the first tournament he played as a freshman in September 2019.
Andrew Farraye finished tied for 37th at 2-under par 214 (72-72-70), while Kent Hsiao was tied for 45th at even-par 216 (67-72-77). Peyton Snoeberger was tied for 62nd at 3-over par 219 (71-71-77).
Playing as an individual, Nels Surtani placed tied for 30th at 3-under par 213 (75-70-68).
Purdue will have a quick turnaround, traveling to Naples, Florida, for the Calusa Cup, beginning Sunday at Calusa Pines Golf Club.
INDIANA STATE RIDES EARLY RBI DOUBLES PAST BOILERS
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Four RBI doubles over the first three innings helped Indiana State race out to an early lead and the Sycamores rode the two-baggers to an 8-2 win vs. Purdue baseball Tuesday.
Jake Jarvis connected for his sixth home run of the season, a towering blast over the evergreen trees past the right field wall in the fourth inning. But the Boilermakers (10-13) were unable to do much else with their other seven hits off spot starter Lane Miller, who worked eight-plus innings and threw 100 pitches in his season debut. Jarvis accounted for three of Purdue’s 10 hits.
Luis Hernandez delivered RBI doubles in each of his first two at-bats for the Sycamores (12-11), driving in the first runs of the first and third innings. Keegan Watson and Miguel Rivera also connected for RBI doubles in consecutive frames, including a two-out, two-run liner down the left field line from Rivera after a throwing error on the back half of an attempted 5-3 double play kept the inning alive.
Jackson Dannelley worked 3 1/3 innings of one-hit ball, striking out three while matching his longest outing of the season. The only run he was charged with was unearned.
Avery Cook rolled up an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play ball with the first pitch he threw after entering the game in the sixth inning.
Camden Melvin and Couper Cornblum both finished with a pair of hits for Purdue. The Boilermakers had to shuffle the lineup after batting practice due to minor injuries to regulars Jo Stevens (third base) and Mike Bolton Jr. (left field). Melvin took advantage of the start and recorded two hits for the second time in the last three days. Cornblum extended his on-base streak to 10 consecutive games.
Stevens delivered a pinch-hit RBI single with the bases loaded in the ninth inning to account for the final margin.
Purdue is back in action Friday when it hosts Northwestern in its Big Ten home opener.
NOTRE DAME TOPS BUTLER 4-0
SOUTH BEND – Notre Dame limited Butler to two hits on Tuesday night to defeat the Bulldogs 4-0. The Irish scored two runs in the first and two more in the sixth to find the win column for the 13th time this year.
A throwing error helped Notre Dame score the first run of the ballgame and a sac fly would put the home team in front 2-0 early. The Irish doubled their lead with a two-RBI single in the sixth. Neri found room down the right field line to score both Zyska and Putz.
Notre Dame had five different players come up with a single hit. Dennis and Tyrell accounted for eight of the nine innings on the mound. Dennies didn’t give up a hit or a walk in his start. He struck out six, but the win went to Tyrell (4-1).
The Bulldogs used the bullpen throughout the contest. Vore was hit with the loss by giving up the two runs early (1-2). As a staff, the ‘Dawgs struck out nine Notre Dame batters in eight innings limiting ND to just three earned runs on five hits.
Butler will return to action on Saturday, April 1 with a doubleheader at Eastern Illinois. BU will turn around and host the Panthers on Sunday at 2 PM.
NO. 24 HOOSIERS END BUTLER SOFTBALL’S EIGHT-GAME WINNING STREAK
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The Butler softball team saw its eight-game winning streak come to a halt at the hands of No. 24 Indiana, losing by the final score of 9-1. The Hoosiers (23-9, 3-0 Big Ten) never trailed in the midweek non-conference matchup and forced an early ending to game after only five innings. The Bulldogs (12-19, 6-0 BIG EAST) were able to put one run across in the fourth but could not hold back the offense of the ranked, in-state opponent.
How It Happened
The No. 24 Hoosiers scored five runs in the first inning on four hits and an error and never looked back. After adding one run on a home run in the second, Indiana held a 6-0 lead through three complete innings.
In the top of the fourth, Ella White drew a walk, and a Paige Dorsett double put Bulldogs on second and third. Monique Hoosen then drew a walk to load the bases. After a force out at home that left the bases loaded, Ellie Boyer hit a fly ball to center field that allowed pinch runner, Emily Todor, to tag home. Butler still trailed, 6-1.
After the Bulldogs made a pitching change in the middle of the fourth, the Hoosiers added three more runs on three hits and extended the lead to 9-1.
In the top of the fifth, Butler put one on base but could not score to extend the game.
Sydney Cammon (2-5) started in the circle for Butler and took the loss. In 3.0 innings, she allowed six runs on six hits and one walk while striking out two. Mackenzie Griman (1.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, BB) provide relief in the fourth inning.
Paige Dorsett’s double was her sixth of the season and the eighth of her career.
Dorsett is 14-for-28 (.500) in the past nine games with at least one hit in each.
Butler travels to Omaha, Neb., for a BIG EAST series with Creighton from Friday, Mar. 31, through Sunday, Apr. 2.
BUTLER MEN’S GOLF
BULLDOGS FINISH SECOND AT DON BENBOW SPRING INVITATIONAL
The Bulldogs posted a second-place finish at the Don Benbow Spring Invitational, which Butler hosted on its home course – Highland Golf and Country Club in Indianapolis – Monday and Tuesday.
Butler posted a 54-hole total of 844 (+4), including a four-over 284 in Tuesday’s final round. Ball State captured the team title with a score of 818 (-22) as the Cardinals had the top four finishers on the individual leaderboard. The Bulldogs carded rounds of 286 and a six-under 274 in dreary conditions Monday.
The field included 11 teams and 88 players.
Connor McNeely and Raymond Sullivan led the Bulldogs at one-under 209 over the 54 holes. That placed them among a group that tied for sixth individually. Sullivan had the best Tuesday round for Butler, carding a 68 on the par-70, 6,551-yard course.
McNeely’s tournament was highlighted by a second-round 65 Monday that included six birdies.
Ball State’s Carter Smith captured medalist honors at 199 (-11) with rounds of 66, 65 and 68. He was three shots better than teammate Evan Bone (202); Bone was playing as an individual.
The tournament is named in honor of the late Don Benbow, who was inducted into the Butler Athletics Hall of Fame for his contributions as a standout football student-athlete, golf and football coach, and his time at Butler as an athletics administrator.
The Bulldogs return to action April 8-9 at the Hoosier Collegiate Invitational hosted by Indiana University in Bloomington.
Carter Smith, Ball State – 66-65-68—199 (-11)
Evan Bone, Ball State – 67-68-67—202 (-8)
Ali Khan, Ball State – 68-67-69—204 (-6)
Kash Bellar, Ball State – 70-69-67—206 (-4)
Todd Duncan, West Virginia – 69-68-70—207 (-3)
Ball State – 276-266-276—818 (-22)
Butler – 286-274-284—844 (+4)
Indian Hills CC – 283-278-287—848 (+8)
T6. Connor McNeely, 209 (-1)
T6. Raymond Sullivan, 209 (-1)
T18. Will Horne, 213 (+3)
T23. Kenny Leseur, 214 (+4) – playing as an individual
T28. Daniel Tanaka, 215 (+5)
T28. Henry Quinn, 215 (+5) – playing as an individual
T36. Derek Tabor, 217 (+7) – playing as an individual
T42. Damon Dickey, 218 (+8)
T42. Jack Wilcox, 218 (+8) – playing as an individual
T47. Leo Zurovac, 219 (+9) – playing as an individual
IUPUI MEN’S GOLF
JAGS FINISH STRONG AT BUTLER’S DON BENBOW INVITATIONAL
INDIANAPOLIS – The IUPUI men’s golf team moved up a spot on the final day of this week’s Don Benbow Invitational, carding a final round, 1-over 281 at Highland Golf and Country Club to finish off a fifth-place finish at 855 (286-288-281). On a day in which scores were higher than the previous day, the Jaguars tied for the second lowest round on the course to finish among the top half of the field and one shot out of fourth-place.
Junior Kevin Tillery led the surge on Tuesday with a 3-under 67 and sophomore Sam McWilliams shot even par 70. Morgan Tournemire closed at 1-over 71 and both Taylor Gardner and Preston Nanthavong shot 3-over 73. Both McWilliams and Tillery finished the tournament tied for 22nd among the 88-player field at 4-over 214 for the week.
On Tuesday, Tillery made a team-high five birdies and just two bogeys on way to his 67. He made birdie on two of his final four holes of the day, including his final of the tournament. McWilliams got back to even with back-to-back birdies on his 10th and 11th holes of the day and then finishes with seven straight pars to close at 70. The entire lineup was solid throughout the day as the Jags combined on 12 birdies and 16 bogeys with no big numbers to be found.
Sophomore Colten Girgis led the ‘B’ team entry with a final round 72 and was the Jaguars’ top performer for the week, finishing tied for 15th at 2-over 212 (68-72-72). Noah Kirsch shot 3-over 73 and played his final eight holes to 1-under while both Josh Yoder and Harry Ward carded rounds of 76. Brock Aten opened his day with back-to-back birdies but ultimately finished at 79.
All five Jaguars on the ‘A’ squad had at least one round of par or better this week, as did two members of the ‘B’ team. Girgis had a team-high 39 pars for the tournament and Nanthavong and Tillery had 38 apiece. Tournemire and McWilliams had a team-high eight birdies each while five other Jaguars made seven. The ‘A’ team also topped the field in par-3 scoring for the week, playing them to 5-over as a group.
Ball State won the team title at 818, bettering second-place Butler by 26 shots. BSU’s Carter Smith earned medalist honors at 11-under 199 for the week while teammate Evan Bone was runner-up at 202 while playing as an individual.
IUPUI will return to action on Apr. 8-9 when the Jaguars compete in the Hoosier Collegiate at Indiana’s Pfau Course.
BALL STATE BASEBALL
CJ HORN WALKS IT OFF AGAINST SOUTHERN INDIANA
MUNCIE, Ind. – The Ball State baseball team was back at home for a midweek matchup with Southern Indiana on Tuesday. CJ Horn was the hero with a walk-off homer in the home half of the 11th to give the Cardinals the 7-6 victory.
The Cardinals extended their winning streak to nine game and moved to 18-6 on the year. The Screaming Eagles fell to 7-18.
Jack Ellis put the Screaming Eagles on the board in the top of the second with an RBI ground-rule double down the right field line.
Adam Tellier doubled to right center to lead off the bottom of the third. Ryan Peltier followed with an RBI single to right field as Tellier scored.
Southern Indiana regained the lead in the top of the fourth with a run on three hits.
Dylan Grego reached on a throwing error by the third baseman to get things started with two outs in the bottom of the fourth. Nick Gregory drew a walk to put runners on first and second. Tellier singled in the whole at shortstop and loaded the bases. Peltier was hit by a pitch and tied the game as Grego scored. Decker Scheffler was hit by a pitch and gave the Cardinals a 3-2 lead as Gregory scored.
The Screaming Eagles retook the lead in the top of the seventh with two runs two hits and one Cardinal error. USI held a 4-3 lead after seven innings of play.
Scheffler recorded a one-out single to right field to start momentum for Ball State. Blake Bevis singled up the middle to give BSU runners on first and second with one out. Logan Flood lined a one-hopper off the second baseman, who was trying to slide and make the play, which allowed Scheffler to score from second for an RBI. The Cardinals forced extra innings.
Southern Indiana scored two runs in the top of the 10th and took a 6-4 lead into the bottom of the 10th.
Justin Conant led off the bottom of the 10th with a walk. Jalen Martinez doubled to center field and scored Conant from first. Scheffler flied out to right field and moved Martinez to third. Tellier stole second and on a wild pitch Martinez scored to tie it at 6-6.
Horn ended the game with a walk-off home run to left field to give the Cardinals the 7-6 victory.
Casey Bargo got the start on the mound for the Cardinals and went 3 1/3 innings. He gave up two earned runs and had one strikeout. Ty Weatherly pitched 4 2/3 innings in relief and had six strikeouts. He gave up two runs, one earned. Brady Owens added an inning in relief with one strikeout. Owen Quinn, Will Jacobson, and Graham Kelham all went 2/3 of an inning. Kelham picked up the win and earned his first collegiate victory.
Flood led the Cardinals with a 3-for-5 day at the plate, including a double. Peltier led the team with two RBIs. Tellier finished the day with two hits.
The Screaming Eagles used eight different pitchers. Zach Sliger got the loss and fell to 0-1 on the season. Drew Taylor and Jack Ellis both produced 2-for-3 days for USI.
The Cardinals return to the road for a Mid-American Conference matchup with the Akron Zips. First pitch on Friday, March 31, is slated for 3:05 p.m.
BALL STATE MEN’S GOLF
MEN’S GOLF SETS NEW PROGRAM RECORD DURING THEIR BUTLER INVITE TOURNAMENT WIN
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The Ball State men’s golf team finished the Don Benbow Butler Invitational with a first-place finish and a new 54-hole program record for a team score of 818 and sweeping the top-four spots on the individual standings list. The Cardinals had a complete performance from start to finish to collect their second tournament win of the 2023 season.
The Cardinals broke the program record of 824 for low-54 holes, set in 2005, with their final team score of 818. Ball State separated themselves from the competition by nearly 30 strokes, finishing round three at 818 (276-266-276—818) while their closest opponent, Butler, had a final tally of 844. The Cardinals finished in first as a team and had all top-four finishes in the individual standings.
Carter Smith continued his momentum from day one as he led the Cardinals in the final round of the Butler Invite, breaking the 54-hole Ball State program record of 201 set by Patrick Wilkes-Krier in 2006, with his final tally of 199. Smith finished at 2-under today (66-65-68—199), securing first place after a stand-out performance.
Evan Bone competed as an individual and finished round three at 3-under, taking second place overall in the individual standings. Bone had a consistent performance throughout each round (67-68-67—202).
Ali Khan tallied a third-place finish, finishing at 1-under after round three (68-67-69—204). Khan recorded three birdies in the final round to land his third-place finish.
Kash Bellar had his best round today, finishing at 3-under (70-69-67—206) and securing a fourth-place finish. Bellar notched seven birdies in round three.
Joey Ranieri finished tied for 18th after his impressive comeback round yesterday (76-65-72—213). Ranieri scored at 2-over today tallying two birdies today. Griffin Hare finished at 4-over in round three and tied for 34tth after three rounds of play (72-70-74—216).
Colin Nasser finished tied for 51st scoring 75-72-74—221. Also competing as individuals were Drew Todd and Carson Orr. Todd finished three rounds tied for 60th (77-70-77—224), and Orr finished in 82nd (73-77-84—234).
“What a dominating performance this week by our squad. To win by 26 strokes as a team and have the top four places on the individual leaderboard is everything you want while competing,” said head coach Mike Fleck. “It was a record setting week with the low 18-hole team round, low 54-hole team score and Carter Smith setting the 54-hole individual scoring record…. very impressive seeing all the low scoring while getting win #2 this spring. We will enjoy this one and then get right back to work preparing for a busy April stretch. Very proud of my guys this week!”
The Cardinals are set to compete next when they travel to #1 ranked Vanderbilt at the Mason Rudolph Championship on April 10-12 in Franklin, Tennessee.
Final Team Standings:
Ball State (276-266-276—818)
2. Butler (844)
3. Indian Hills CC (848)
4. Cleveland State (854)
5. IUPUI (855)
6. Purdue Fort Wayne (857)
7. Youngstown State (860)
8. IUPUI (871)
T-9. Green Bay (892)
T-9. Detroit Mercy (892)
11. Franklin College (906)
BALL STATE SOFTBALL
SOFTBALL’S LEAGUE LEADERS SPLIT TUESDAY DOUBLEHEADER
MUNCIE, Ind. – – In a battle between the Mid-American Conference’s top two teams, the Ball State softball team opened Tuesday’s doubleheader versus Northern Illinois with a 2-1 victory, only to suffer a 14-10 setback in the nightcap.
In the opener, the Cardinals (15-13, 5-2 MAC) used a squeeze bunt by junior center fielder Remington Ross with runners at first and third to score the game’s first run in the bottom of the second. Moments later, a wild pitch allowed redshirt junior first baseman Samantha-Jo Mata to cross the plate for what proved to be the game-winning run.
On the flip side, it was another brilliant outing for sophomore pitcher Angelina Russo who limited the Huskies (14-13, 5-2 MAC) to just three hits and one earned run to improve to 6-4 on the year. She also struck out six batters in the contest.
Both teams traded blows early in the second game, with NIU jumping out to a five-run lead after the top of the first. However, BSU countered with five runs of its own in the bottom of the inning, including a three-run double by redshirt freshman designated player Aislinn Morris.
The score was tied 7-7 after four innings, but a seven-run fifth gave NIU a 14-7 edge and the momentum. Ball State would get three of the runs back in the bottom of the frame but fell short of the come-from-behind win.
Junior left fielder Kaitlyn Mathews led off the second inning of the opener with her first career triple, eventually coming around to score.
Senior shortstop Amaia Daniel was walked twice and hit by a pitch in the opener, while adding a single and a walk in the nightcap to extend her streak of reaching base safely to 14 games, the second longest on the team so far this season.
Seven Cardinals combined for 11 hits in the nightcap, led by three from redshirt sophomore catcher McKayla Timmons. It is the third three-hit game of Timmons’ career.
Friday’s win over NIU marked the 10th career MAC win for Russo … She went 8-6 in league play last season and is currently 2-1 this season.
SCORING SUMMARY – GAME 1: Ball State 2 – Northern Illinois 1
B2 | With runners at first and third, Ross dropped a bunt single to the pitcher to bring home Mathews and move Mata to third. (1-0)
B2 | A wild pitch moments later allowed Mata to cross the plate for what proved to be the game-winning run. (2-0)
T3 | NIU scored its first run of the game on a BSU throwing error on a double steal of second and third following a strikeout. (2-1)
SCORING SUMMARY – GAME 2: Ball State 10 – Northern Illinois 14
T1 | Northern Illinois used a double steal to swipe second and home, with the trail runner advancing to third. (1-0)
T1 | An RBI single up the middle by Kelly Walinski gave the guests a two-run edge. (2-0)
T1 | Sam Mallinder followed with the first of back-to-back RBI doubles. (3-0)
T1 | Ally Rodriguez added the second straight RBI double. (4-0)
T1 | Another double steal of second and home extended NIU’s lead to five. (5-0)
B1 | Ball State started to chip away at the Huskies’ lead with a bases loaded sac fly from Timmons. (5-1)
B1 | A bases loaded walk to McKenna Mulholland brough home redshirt senior second baseman Jazmyne Armendariz. (5-2)
B1 | Morris cleared the bases with a three-run double to left field. (5-5)
T3 | A two-run double from Caitlyn Shumaker helps Northern Illinois retake the lead. (7-5)
B3 | A two-out triple by senior third baseman Haley Wynn plated Ross who reached on a fielder’s choice one batter earlier. (7-6)
B4 | A sac bunt by Mathews moved freshman pinch runner Ashlee Lovett to second, setting up an RBI single up the middle from Mata. (7-7)
T5 | A wild pitch allowed pinch runner Brianna Pechman to score from third. (8-7)
T5 | Danielle Stewart reached on a fielder’s choice which also allowed Rodriguez to score from third. (9-7)
T5 | Fiona Crane sliced an RBI single into left field. (10-7)
T5 | A two-run double from Walinksi pushed the guests ahead by five. (12-7)
T5 | A two-run home run by Kiley Connor gave the Huskies a seven-run edge. (14-7)
B5 | Wynn opened the inning with a single and scored two batters later on a double from Armendariz. (14-8)
B5 | After a single from Timmons, Mathews blasted an RBI double to center field. (14-9)
B5 | An NIU error with bases loaded allowed Timmons to cross the plate, cutting the lead to four. (14-10)
The Cardinals and Huskies will play the rubber game of their three-game series Wednesday at 1 p.m. back at the Softball Field at First Merchants Ballpark Complex. The contest will be broadcast live on ESPN+ and produced by Ball State Sports Link.
NOTRE DAME SOFTBALL
IRISH EARN RUN-RULE VICTORY OVER IUPUI
SOUTH BEND, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame softball team earned a 15-0 five inning victory over the visiting IUPUI Jaguars Tuesday night at Melissa Cook Stadium. The Irish jumped all over the Jaguars with a nine-run first inning and cruised to its fourth shutout victory of the season. The Fighting Irish improve to 19-8-1 on the season with the victory.
Payton Tidd, Shannon Becker and Micaela Kastor combined for the win in the circle. Tidd started, throwing 2.0 innings, allowing three hits and striking out two. Shannon Becker earned the win in relief, throwing 2.0 innings without allowing a hit and striking out a pair. Kastor worked a clean fifth, sitting the Jaguars down in order.
The Irish offense had just two multi-hit efforts in the contest, led by Karina Gaskins and Anna Holloway. Eight of nine starters recorded a hit in the game, with three pinch hit base knocks. Mac Vasquez and Rachel Allen came in off the bench, each hitting a home run. It was Vasquez’s first of her career, Allen’s fourth, third of the season.
How It Happened.
The Irish didn’t waste any time, scoring nine runs in the first. Notre Dame rallied for seven hits in the frame, batting around and seeing Joley Mitchell score two runs in the inning. Carlli Kloss added a two RBI triple in the frame.
The second inning saw the Irish score just one run. A double from Leea Hanks started the inning as she moved up on an infield single from Holloway. A wild pitch allowed Holloway to take second, and the throw got into the outfield, allowing Hanks to score.
Vasquez made the splash in the third inning. After a double off the wall from Cassidy Grimm, Vasquez lifted it to deep center field to extend the lead to 12-0.
A two-out rally in the fourth added three more runs. A single from Holloway and a Mikayla LaPlaca pinch hit hit batter put two on. Allen homered to centerfield to extend the lead to 15-0.
Notre Dame is back in action this Friday as it hosts Pitt in a three-game series. This weekend is also the program’s Strikeout Cancer weekend. Join the team at Melissa Cook Stadium all weekend for events throughout games.
NOTRE DAME BASEBALL
IRISH WIN 4-0 OVER BUTLER
SOUTH BEND, Ind. – The Notre Dame Fighting Irish advanced to 13-9 on the season after taking down the Butler Bulldogs (5-19) on Tuesday, March 28. The Irish finished with their first shut out of the season as they took home the win 4-0 at Frank Eck.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Jackson Dennies started on the mound for Notre Dame, closing the top of the first with his first two strikeouts of the day. The Irish were able to take the lead early as they put their first two runs on the board in the bottom of the inning. Jack Penney started off the inning with a walk, followed by a base hit from Zack Prajzner that sent Penney to third. With Jack Zyska up to the plate, Prajzner stole second and with a throwing error by the Butler catcher in the attempt to catch him stealing, Penney scored. The second run would come on a sac fly from Zyska, as Prajzner scored to post an early 2-0 Irish lead.
Still leading 2-0, Aidan Tyrell relieved Dennies, who finished the day with a perfect 4.0 innings pitched, striking out six batters and giving up no runs, no hits, and no walks. Tyrell closed the top of the fifth with two strikeouts as the Irish held the Bulldogs scoreless for another inning.
The Irish led 2-0 heading into the bottom of the sixth. Starting off with two HBP and a walk, it was bases loaded for Notre Dame with Danny Neri up to the plate. Neri recorded a base hit and two RBI as he sent home Carter Putz and Zyska to extend the lead 4-0.
Tyrell pitched 4.0 innings, struck out four batters, and allowed just two hits before Caden Spivey relieved him to start the ninth inning. The Irish finished the inning going three up, three down as Spivey struck out the final batter to give the Irish the 4-0 win at home.
Notre Dame resumes conference play as they host UNC at Frank Eck for a three-game series starting Friday.
INDIANA STATE SOFTBALL
SYCAMORES SET FOR WEDNESDAY DOUBLEHEADER AT ILLINOIS
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Indiana State softball will travel to the University of Illinois on Wednesday for a doubleheader set to begin at 5 p.m. ET at Eichelberger Field.
The Sycamores (17-12) are coming off of a three-game series sweep at Drake to improve to 6-0 to league action which is the best MVC start in program history. The Illini (18-12) began Big Ten play last weekend, getting swept by Rutgers in a three-game set.
Illinois and Indiana State last met in 2022 with the Illini winning 5-0 at Eichelberger Field.
Scouting the Illini
The Illinois offense is led by senior Kelly Ryono who is currently batting .371 with a team-high 36 hits which includes four doubles, a triple and five home runs. Her 26 RBI are also a team-high. Stevie Meade and Avrey Steiner are tied for second with 30 hits apiece and both own an average over .300 on the season. Steiner leads the Illini with seven steals.
In the circle, Sydney Sickels is the ace for the Illini with a 2.28 ERA in 83 innings. She owns a 7-4 record in 18 appearances and has struckout a team-high 84 hitters. Tori McQueen is second on Illinois with a 3.02 ERA. She has compiled a 3-2 record across 41.2 innings, striking out 30 batters. Addy Jarvis has been the teams closer, recording three saves on the season.
The Illini are coached by Tyra Perry who is in her eighth season as head coach. She has won over 600 games in 22 seasons as a Division I head coach. Perry has led Illinois to four NCAA tournaments during her tenure.
Strong Start for the Sycamores
Indiana State has swept both UIC and Drake to begin Missouri Valley Conference action, putting the Sycamores at 6-0 in league play which is the best MVC start in program history.
Isabella Henning and Kennedy Shade are tops in the conference in batting average, sitting at .440 and .429, respectively. Henning leads the team with 37 hits while Shade is second with 30. After a 12-for-23 week for Annie Tokarek, she has raised her average to .296 and leads the team with 24 RBI. Olivia Patton has hit safely in six of the last seven games, currently batting .280 with 26 hits which is third-most on the team.
Lexi Benko is fourth in the MVC with a 1.76 ERA, sporting an 8-3 record with 53 strikeouts in 71.2 innings of work. Cassi Newbanks is 4-5 with a 2.78 ERA, logging 45.1 innings on the season. Lauren Sackett leads the Sycamore pitching staff with four saves and is tied for the team lead with 53 strikeouts while having a 3-3 record. Hailey Griffin is 2-0 on the year with a 2.69 ERA to go along with a pair of saves. Lyndsi Adamson has made four appearances on the season, logging 11.2 innings.
The Sycamores will head to Carbondale, Illinois to continue MVC action at Southern Illinois with a three-game series beginning on Friday, March 31 at 5 p.m. ET.
INDIANA STATE BASEBALL
MILLER DOMINANT IN 2023 DEBUT AS SYCAMORES TOP PURDUE, 8-2
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Lane Miller went eight strong innings in his 2023 debut and Luis Hernandez connected on a pair of RBI doubles as Indiana State topped visiting Purdue on Tuesday night at Bob Warn Field, 8-2.
Miller (1-0), making the second start of his collegiate career, needed 100 pitches to go into the ninth inning against Purdue (10-13) in his first appearance of the season. The redshirt senior surrendered eight hits and two runs while striking out five in a dominant display on the mound.
Hernandez doubled home runs in the first and third innings, while Miguel Rivera and Keegan Watson also added two RBI in the game as Indiana State (12-11) picked up its fifth consecutive win over the Boilermakers. Randal Diaz added a two-hit game and Josue Urdaneta scored a pair of runs to provide Miller all the support he would need in the contest.
Miller posted career-highs in innings (8.0+) and strikeouts (5) in making his first appearance on the mound since May 14, 2022, at Southern Illinois. The win also marked Miller’s first victory in the Sycamore Blue & White over 16 career appearances.
Cam Edmonson entered the game in the ninth allowing two hits and striking out three to close out the contest.
Jake Jarvis went 3-for-4 with a home run to lead the Purdue offense as the Boilermakers connected on 10 hits in the loss. Camden Melvin and Couper Cornblum added multi-hit games at the plate.
Calvin Schapira (1-2) took the loss on the mound allowing five hits and five runs (three earned) over 2.0 innings. Jackson Dannelley went 3.1 innings in a relief stint, while Avery Cook, Cal Lambert, and Davis Pratt also saw time on the mound on Tuesday.
How They Scored
Luis Hernandez drove in the first Indiana State run of the game with an RBI double to centerfield scoring Randal Diaz as the Sycamores jumped ahead 1-0 early in the bottom of the first.
Keegan Watson made it a 2-0 game in the bottom of the second with a double to right center scoring Mike Sears.
ISU plated four runs in the bottom of the third to go ahead 6-0 as Hernandez and Miguel Rivera both doubled, while Keegan Watson brought home a run on a fielder’s choice to give the Sycamores the lead through three innings.
Jake Jarvis put Purdue’s first run on the board in the top of the fourth with a solo home run to right field putting the score at 6-1.
Jorge Pereira put ISU ahead 7-1 in the bottom of the seventh with an RBI sacrifice fly to right field scoring Josue Urdaneta.
Seth Gergely singled through a drawn-in infield in the bottom of the eighth inning scoring Parker Stinson to give the Sycamores an 8-1 lead.
Purdue’s Jo Stevens drove in the final run of the game with an RBI single through the right side of the infield scoring Paul Toetz to put the final margin at 8-2.
News & Notes
Indiana State picked up its fifth consecutive win over Purdue dating back to the 2018 season as the Sycamores improved to 45-31-2 all-time against the Boilermakers.
ISU added its second win against a Big Ten opponent in 2023 after previously winning at Illinois back on March 15, 7-3 (10 inn.).
The Sycamores moved to 4-2 at Bob Warn Field with the win and extended their home winning streak to four games. It marks ISU’s longest home winning streak since the 2021 season when the Sycamores took four games against Valparaiso (Apr. 16-18, 2021) and the opener against Southern Illinois (May 14, 2021).
ISU entered the Tuesday game boasting the toughest non-conference schedule in the NCAA Division I and improved to 9-11 in out-of-conference competition on the season with the win.
Lane Miller’s 8.0 inning start marked ISU’s third quality start in the last four games and tied for the third-longest start by a Sycamore pitcher in the 2023 season.
ISU’s starting pitchers closed out the home stand with a dominant four-game showing featuring 24.1 innings pitched, a 3-0 record, a 2.24 ERA, and a 20:2 strikeout-to-walk ratio over the four games against Valparaiso and Purdue.
Mike Sears extended his career best on-base streak to 19 consecutive games following his third inning intentional walk.
Luis Hernandez extended his on-base streak to 16 games following his 2-for-3 day at the plate.
Keegan Watson ran his on-base streak to 11 consecutive games following his 2-for-3 day at the plate.
Seth Gergely and Watson both extended their team-leading hitting streaks to seven games on Tuesday night.
Watson was hit by a pitch in the bottom of the sixth inning giving Indiana State a Missouri Valley-leading 48 on the season. An ISU batter has been hit by a pitch in 21 of the 23 games played in 2023.
Sights, Sounds, and a Dominant Pitching Performance
The sights, the sounds, and a Lane Miller pitching ??
Sycamores top the Boilermakers to run the winning streak to four on Tuesday night#MarchOn pic.twitter.com/ccrNIECoND
— Indiana State Baseball (@IndStBaseball) March 29, 2023
Indiana State returns to conference play this weekend as the Sycamores head to conference newcomer UIC for a three-game series held in Chicago, Ill. at Curtis Granderson Stadium over March 31-April 2. First pitch in Friday’s opener is set for 5 p.m. ET. All three games will be streamed live via ESPN+ and 105.5 The Legend.
PURDUE FT. WAYNE MEN’S GOLF
KASEY LILLY EXTENDS PROGRAM RECORD WITH 13TH TOP 10
INDIANAPOLIS – Kasey Lilly took eighth at the Don Benbow Butler Spring Invitational on Tuesday (March 28). This extended his program-leading record to 13 top-10 finishes in his career.
Lilly’s eighth-place finish started with a par and birdie in round three. Then after a bogey on hole four, he had six bogey-free holes with birdies on holes seven and eight. He rattled off five pars in a row from 14-18 to finish his day 1-over. His 67-72-71-210 is among the top-10 in program history.
Hunter Mefford tied for 28th with a 67-71-77-215. He had five pars in a row from hole two to six then again on 14 to 18. Nick Holder tied with Mefford after a 70-69-76-215 outing. He started Tuesday with three pars and two birdies. He finished with those two birdies and 10 pars.
Burke Pitz took sole possession of 50th after a third round that saw nothing worse than a bogey. He started with seven pars in a row, finishing with 14 to shoot 72-74-74-220. He had 42 pars in his three rounds, the most of any player in the field.
Jadden Ousley was six shots back of Pitz to tie for 66th with a 76-76-74-226. In round three, Ousley had 14 pars, nine of which were in the nine-hole stretch from hole seven to 15.
Reece Compton (71-69-75-215, T-28th), Jarred Bowser (74-75-76-225, T-64th) and Jacob Deakyne (80-74-76-230, 75th).
Purdue Fort Wayne took sixth as a team with a 276-286-295-857. Ball State won the event with an 818, while Cardinal Carter Smith took the medalist honor with a 199.
The Mastodons’ next tournament is on April 10-11 in Batavia, Ohio, with Northern Kentucky’s The Jewell.
PURDUE FT. WAYNE SOFTBALL
BEACONS AND TITANS VISIT MASTODON SOFTBALL THIS WEEK
FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The Purdue Fort Wayne softball team will welcome the Valparaiso Beacons and Detroit Mercy Titans to the Purdue Fort Wayne Softball Field this week.
Game Day Information (Wednesday)
Who: Valparaiso Beacons
When: Wednesday, March 29 | 3:30 PM
Where: Fort Wayne, Ind. | Purdue Fort Wayne Softball Field
Live Stats: Link
Game Day Information (Friday)
Who: Detroit Mercy Titans
When: Friday, March 31 | 3:30 PM
Where: Fort Wayne, Ind. | Purdue Fort Wayne Softball Field
Live Stats: Link
Game Day Information (Saturday)
Who: Detroit Mercy Titans
When: Saturday, April 1 | Doubleheader starting at 1 PM
Where: Fort Wayne, Ind. | Purdue Fort Wayne Softball Field
Live Stats: Link
Know Your Foes
• Valparaiso is 3-21 with wins over Western Illinois, Bellarmine and Eastern Illinois. The Beacons have lost their last 12, including their first six to start Missouri Valley play.Kimberli Rodas has a team-best .286 batting average.
• Detroit Mercy is 3-17 and 2-3 to start Horizon League play. The Titans beat Robert Morris and Youngstown State once each. Their one non-league win was over North Carolina A&T. Jaiden Lara is leading the team with a .275 batting average.
• Valparaiso leads the all-time series 25-14. The last time the Mastodons won at home against the Beacons was 2010. The series dates back to 1987, which saw the two teams play four games.
• The series between the Mastodons and Detroit Mercy is even at 13 wins apiece. The Mastodons are 6-7 at home and 1-2 against the Titans in league play.
Purdue Fort Wayne is leading the Horizon League with 0.50 home runs per game.
Purdue Fort Wayne beat Green Bay 2-1 in a non-league game at the Hoosier Classic. The Phoenix were picked to finish fourth in the Horizon League.
1-2-3, Eyes on Me
Grace Hollopeter, Taryn Jenkins and Alanah Jones have the second-most and fourth-most home runs in the Horizon League with four, three and three, respectively.
Alanah Jones is second in the Horizon League with 70 strikeouts this season. This mark is also top-150 nationally.
Graced By Her Presence
Grace Hollopeter was named Horizon League Player of the Week on February 21. The freshman finished the week with seven hits with a .368 batting average and a 1.053 slugging percentage. Hollopeter had nine RBI behind four home runs, three of which were 2-run shots. In the first game against Rhode Island, Hollopeter had two two-run home runs in her first two at bats, the second of which was on the first pitch she saw. Defensively, she was a perfect 1.000 in the field with eight putouts.
Last Time Out
Purdue Fort Wayne beat Western Michigan 4-0 on Friday (March 24). Taryn Jenkins had a two-run home run in the second inning to give the ‘Dons the 4-0 lead.
Next Time Up
The Mastodons will hit the road for a rematch against Western Michigan on Tuesday (April 4).
PURDUE FT. WAYNE BASEBALL
BLACKFORD HOMERS IN SETBACK TO BGSU
FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Braedon Blackford added to his league-leading home run total on Tuesday (March 28) but it came in a losing effort as the Purdue Fort Wayne baseball team fell to Bowling Green 7-4.
Blackford hit a three-run home run in the third inning to make it a 4-3 score in favor of the Falcons. Blackford’s home run knocked in Dylan Stewart and Jacob Walker. He now has eight home runs on the season.
The ‘Dons tied it up at four in the fifth when Stewart scored on an error by the Falcons which would have ended the inning. Bowling Green took the lead for good with a two-spot in the sixth and then an insurance run in the seventh. The Mastodons’ best chance to tie it came in the ninth but they left the tying run at the plate to end the game.
Kevin Fee is 1-2 after suffering the loss. He struck out five in 2.2 innings of work. Rigo Ramos went 5.0 innings for the win. He is 1-1. Jacob Turner threw the ninth for the save.
Nathan Rose had two hits for the Falcons. Cade Nelis, Stewart and Tyler Nelson each had a double for the ‘Dons.
Bowling Green improves to 9-13. The ‘Dons fall to 6-19. Purdue Fort Wayne is at Youngstown State this weekend.
BASEBALL OPENS HOMESTAND WEDNESDAY AGAINST SEMO
EVANSVILLE, Ind. – The University of Evansville baseball team will put its nine-game winning streak on the line on Wednesday night, as the Purple Aces will return home to German American Bank Field at Charles H. Braun Stadium to host preseason Ohio Valley Conference favorite Southeast Missouri State. First-pitch is set for 6 p.m. and the game can be heard live in the Tri-State area and on-line on 107.1 FM-WJPS and the Old National Bank/Purple Aces Sports Network.
Evansville will enter Wednesday night’s game at 16-7 overall after sweeping its Missouri Valley Conference-opening series at Missouri State over the weekend. The Purple Aces have won nine-straight contests, and 16 out of 18 games overall. UE’s nine-game winning streak entered the week as the fourth-longest active winning streak in Division I baseball, and it moved up one spot on Tuesday afternoon, as Central Connecticut State saw its 10-game streak snapped with a 5-2 loss to Northeastern.
Wednesday night will mark the second time in which UE and SEMO have met this year, as the Purple Aces picked up a 14-8 victory at SEMO on March 1. Six different Purple Aces had multi-hit games that day, and junior catcher Brendan Hord and fifth-year outfielder Danny Borgstrom both had home runs, with Borgstrom launching a grand slam in the win.
Fifth-year first baseman Chase Hug continues to lead the UE offense this year, as he will bring a .422 batting average and .579 on-base percentage into Wednesday night’s contest. Hug ranks in the nation’s top 35 in both categories. Fellow fifth-year outfielder Eric Roberts was named the MVC Player of the Week on Monday, and Roberts currently leads the Valley in home runs (nine), stolen bases (10), runs scored (27) and RBI (32).
Southeast Missouri State will bring a 12-14 overall record into Wednesday’s contest after winning two out of three games at SIU-Edwardsville to open Ohio Valley Conference play. The Redhawks are the preseason favorite to win the OVC, after SEMO won the 2022 OVC Tournament title and participated in the NCAA Regional Tournament. Senior infielder Jevon Mason currently leads the Redhawk attack with a .322 batting average, while senior outfielder Carlos Aranda leads SEMO with six home runs and 20 RBI. Aranda had a grand slam and drove in five runs in the first meeting between the two schools.
Freshman LHP Willard Peterson (0-0, 0.00 ERA) is expected to make his second start of the year for Evansville on Wednesday night. He is expected to be opposed by SEMO LHP Ethan Osborne (2-3, 8.03 ERA).
LATE RALLIES HELP LINDENWOOD SWEEP SOFTBALL DOUBLEHEADER
ST. CHARLES, Mo. – A pair of late rallies saw Lindenwood pick up two victories over the University of Evansville softball team on Tuesday afternoon at the Lou Brock Complex.
Trailing by a 5-0 margin, Lindenwood scored seven runs in the final four innings to pick up a 7-6 win in the first game of the doubleheader.
Evansville struck first with a pair of runs in the second inning. Jess Willsey reached on a 1-out single and Jenna Nink followed with a triple to right center to score Willsey for the first run of the game. After Sydney Kalonihea was hit by a pitch, Taylor Howe laced a 2-out single to left, bringing in Nink for the second run of the frame.
One inning later, the lead doubled for UE as two more runs would score. Zoe Frossard drew a walk with one out and Willsey followed with a triple to add another run. Later in the inning, Willsey made it a 4-0 game when she scored on a stolen base attempt by Dori Brown. Alexa Davis was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the fifth to extend the lead to 5-0.
Lindenwood stormed back in the bottom half of the 5th, scoring three times. UE got one of those runs back in the sixth thanks to the second RBI triple of the afternoon by Jenna Nink. Just when it looked like momentum was back on Evansville’s side, the Lions added three more tallies to tie the game in the bottom of the frame. An error by the Aces, coupled with three walks, saw Lindenwood knot the score at 6-6.
In the eighth, the Lions saw their first two batters reach before Irelynn West had the game-winning hit. Theresa Snaidauf led Lindenwood with a 2-4 game with two runs scored. West had three RBI in the game. Willsey went 3-5 with three runs and an RBI for UE. Mikayla Jolly made the start for the Aces, allowing one hit in three innings. Elle Jarrett gave up five runs, four earned, in 2 1/3 innings while Sydney Weatherford saw one run score while walking three in 2/3 inning. Erin Kleffman tossed the seventh and eighth and allowed the final run.
Game 2 – Lindenwood 4, UE 3
With Evansville holding a 3-1 lead, Lindenwood scored three runs in the fifth inning before finishing with a 4-3 win in the second game of the doubleheader. The Lions took a 1-0 lead in the opening frame before the Aces countered with three runs in the second.
Jess Willsey led the inning off with a home run before Hannah Hood laced a double down the left field line. Marah Wood followed up with an RBI single to score Hood. With two outs, Wood scored on a Taylor Howe sacrifice fly. After picking up three hits in the frame, the Aces recorded just two more over the final five innings as the Lions staged another late rally.
Two hits and an error in the bottom of the fifth saw Lindenwood retake the lead before completing the 1-run victory. Hood recorded two of the Aces’ five hits in the game while the Lions totaled four. Megan Brenton made the start, allowing one run on two hits in four innings of work. Paige McAllister tossed the final two frames and gave up three runs, one being earned. This weekend, the Aces are back home for a 3-game set versus Belmont.
EVANSVILLE MEN’S GOLF
ROMASHKIN POSTS LOW ROUND OF THE DAY FOR UE MEN
PAWLEY’S ISLAND, S.C. – Freshman Daniil Romashkin recorded a 1-over 73 to pace the University of Evansville men’s golf team in the second round of the Golfweek/AGT Intercollegiate.
Romashkin made the largest jump of the day for the Purple Aces, following up his opening-round 78 with a 73 on Tuesday at True Blue Golf Club. He heads into Wednesday’s final round with a 151, which is third for the UE squad and tied for 71st overall.
With two rounds in the books, the low score of UE belongs to Carson Parker. After shooting a 73 in the first 18 holes, Parker recorded a solid 75 in the second round. His 148 is 52nd on the leaderboard. Behind him is Masatoyo Kato. A 1-under 71 in the first round was the low score of the event for UE. Kato carded a 79 on Tuesday to rank in a tie for 62nd with a 150.
Third on the team is Romashkin with a 151 with Isaac Rohleder and Caleb Wassmer following. Rohleder opened play with a 77 before improving in Tuesday’s round, notching a 75. His 152 is tied for 78th. Wassmer tallied a 76 on the first day while recording a 79 in the second 18. He has a 155. Individual Henry Kiel was the third Aces player to improve from their opening day score.
Kiel finished Monday’s action with an 81 before dropping his score by five strokes on Tuesday to a 76.
Troy University holds a healthy 9-stroke lead with 18 holes remaining. With a 563, the Trojans pace Delaware, who has a 572. Jared Nelson of UConn continues to lead the individual standings. After pacing the tournament with a 4-under 68 on Monday, Nelson carded a 3-under 69 in round two. His 137 is two strokes in front of a second-place tie.
The third and final round is set to take place on Wednesday morning.
EVANSVILLE WOMEN’S GOLF
PETROVA JUMPS INTO TOP 20 IN SECOND ROUND
PAWLEY’S ISLAND, S.C. – Tuesday’s second round of the Golfweek/AGT Intercollegiate saw Kate Petrova rise into the top 20 to lead the University of Evansville women’s golf team.
Petrova had the low round of the tournament thus far for the Purple Aces, shooting an even 71 on Tuesday. Her 2-round tally of 147 has her in 16th with one round remaining at Caledonia Golf & Fish Club.
Magdalena Borisova continued her consistent play, following up her opening round score of 74 with a 4-over 75 in the second 18. She has a score of 149 and is tied for 22nd. Mallory Russell was the third UE player to complete both rounds with scores in the 70’s. After registering a 75 in the first round, she completed the second day with a 78. Russell’s tally of 153 is tied for 40th.
Next up was Allison Enchelmayer. The senior opened the event with a 75 before shooting an 81 in the second round. She enters Wednesday’s final round with a 156, which is tied for 55th. Carly Frazier rounded out the contingent for UE. Following an 83 on Monday, Frazier wrapped up Tuesday’s round with an 86.
Evansville is in a tie for 10th place with Marshall University with scores of 605. The duo is just one stroke behind Morehead State and trails 8th-place Coastal Carolina by three. James Madison added to its lead in the team standings. JMU posted a 285 on Monday before a 286 on day two gave them a 571. They are 16 shots ahead of UNC Asheville.
Kate Owens of JMU and Dasa Urbankova from UIC are tied for the individual lead. Both head into the last round with 2-round scores of 140. They are just one in front of a third-place tie. The final round of 18 is set for Wednesday morning.
SOUTHERN INDIANA WOMEN’S GOLF
IMPRESSIVE OPENING ROUND PUSHES EAGLES TO SIXTH PLACE
BATAVIA, Ohio – University of Southern Indiana Women’s Golf shot an opening day score of 306 (+22) to position itself into a sixth-place finish at The Julie at the Elks Run Golf Course Tuesday afternoon. The Screaming Eagles’ two-round score of 624 (+56) is the best this season.
USI used a team effort to place within the top five of The Julie after the first round of action. Sophomore Baileigh Schneider (Huntingburg, Indiana) had another big first-round performance, shooting a 72 (+1) to sit in a tie for sixth and mark the lowest round score this season. Junior Katelyn Sayyalinh (Rockford, Illinois) also provided key strokes for the Eagles, sitting in a tie for 10th with a 74 (+3). USI ended the round in fifth with a 306 (+22).
The second round saw the Eagles perform a 318 (+34) to drop one spot in the standings. Schneider continued her hot stretch by adding a 76 (+5) to her score to finish the tournament six over par and in a tie for ninth place, the best finish in her collegiate career. Sayyalinh had a two-day score of 156 (+14) to place in a tie for 27th while junior Halle Gutwein (DeMotte, Indiana) tallied 157 (+15) to tie for 30th.
University of Wisconsin Green Bay won The Julie after a two-day total of 592 (+24) while Youngstown State University’s Madison Smithco and University of Indianapolis’ Cathi Graf shared a tie for first after shooting for par in two rounds.
NEXT UP FOR THE EAGLES:
The Eagles finish the regular season with a trip to Murray, Kentucky to compete in the Jim Weaver Invitational hosted by Murray State University at the Miller Memorial Golf Course on April 3-4.
SOUTHERN INDIANA MEN’S SOCCER
MEN’S SOCCER TO BEGIN OHIO VALLEY CONFERENCE PLAY NEXT FALL
EVANSVILLE, Ind. – University of Southern Indiana Men’s Soccer will be joining the Ohio Valley Conference for the upcoming season league officials announced Tuesday. This will be the first season for men’s soccer in the OVC, the conference will consist of four current members as well as four affiliate members.
The Screaming Eagles will join current OVC members Eastern Illinois University, Lindenwood University, and Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville in the inaugural season. EIU and Lindenwood joined USI in the Summit League last season while SIUE competed in the Missouri Valley Conference.
SIUE was the most successful of the four teams last season, finishing 5-9-2, finishing sixth in the MVC. Lindenwood finished with the most wins of the three Summit League schools, 3-11-1, while USI finished above both in the final standings with a record of 2-12-3. EIU finished last season 1-12-3.
The four affiliate members that will be joining the OVC will include Chicago State University, Houston Christian University, University of Incarnate Word, and Liberty University.
HCU was the most successful of the four new members, finishing ninth in the Western Athletic Conference with a 5-8-6 record. Liberty finished last season 3-6-6 and finished seventh in the Atlantic Sun Conference. UIW finished last season with a 2-13-1 record as an independent. CSU ended last season fifth in the Mid-American Conference with a 1-13-3 record.
USI finished last season with a 1-3-1 record against the new OVC field. The Eagles recorded their first NCAA Division I win since 1994 against EIU while also earning a draw with CSU. USI fell to Lindenwood twice and SIUE once.
SOUTHERN INDIANA BASEBALL
USI LOSES HEARTBREAKER TO BALL STATE IN 11 INNINGS
MUNCIE, Ind. – University of Southern Indiana Baseball lost a heartbreaker in 11 innings to Ball State University, 7-6, Tuesday afternoon in Muncie, Indiana. USI watched its record go to 7-18, while Ball State goes to 18-6.
USI junior first baseman Jack Ellis (Jeffersonville, Indiana) put the Eagles up in the second inning with a RBI-double for the 1-0 lead. Ball State tied the game, 1-1, in the bottom half of the third before junior centerfielder Ren Tachioka (Japan) drove in USI’s second run of the game in the fourth for the 2-1 lead.
The Cardinals responded with a two-spot in the bottom of the fourth for the 3-2 margin and would hold that lead until the top of the seventh. USI regained the lead for a third time when junior designated hitter Tucker Ebest (Austin, Texas) doubled in a pair of runs for a 4-3 advantage.
The Eagles held the 4-3 lead until the bottom of the ninth when the Cardinals scratched a run across to tie the score, 4-4, on a USI error and force extra frames.
USI had the advantage early in the extra innings by taking command 6-4. USI junior rightfielder Steven Molinet (Elberfeld, Indiana) gave the Eagles back the lead for the fourth time with a RBI-double, while Ellis put USI up two, 6-4, with a sacrifice fly.
Ball State, however, was not done and tied the score, 6-6, in the bottom of the 10th, scoring the tying run on a wild pitch and set the stage in the 11th. The Eagles stranded a pair of runners on in the top of the 11th before the Cardinals got the game-winning solo home run in the bottom of the frame.
On the mound, junior right-hander Zach Sliger (Franklin, Kentucky) took the loss for the Eagles. Sliger (0-1) allowed one run on one hit and struck out two in an inning of work after entering to get the Eagles out of the 10th.
On a staff day on the mound, the Eagles received strong relief pitching performances from junior right-hander Trent Robinson (Louisville, Kentucky), who allowed a single run in three innings of work; junior right-hander Corey Anderson (Linton, Indiana), who posted two-plus scoreless innings; and junior right-hander Matthew Moore (Newburgh, Indiana), who struck out four and allowed an unearned run in three innings of action.
Up Next for the Eagles:
The Eagles resume Ohio Valley Conference action with a visit to Lindenwood University for a three-game series this weekend. The first pitch Friday, Saturday, and Sunday is slated for 1 p.m. each day in St. Charles, Missouri.
USI, which started OVC play 0-3, trails in the all-time series with Lindenwood, 4-1, since the 2020 season when the Lions joined the Great Lakes Valley Conference. All five of the previous contests were played in St. Charles.
Lindenwood, currently, is 3-21 overall and also began its OVC schedule with three-straight losses at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. The Lion host the University of Missouri for a 3 p.m. contest Wednesday prior to welcoming USI this weekend.
FOUR GAMES ON TAP FOR SOFTBALL THIS WEEK
Valparaiso (3-21, 0-6 MVC)
March 29 – at Purdue Fort Wayne (6-18, 0-2 Horizon) – 2:30 p.m. CT
March 31 – Missouri State (16-15, 6-2 MVC) – 3 p.m. | April 1 – Missouri State – 2 p.m. | April 2 – Missouri State – noon
Next Up in Valpo Softball: The Valpo softball team faces four games this week, taking a step away from conference play on Wednesday afternoon to play at Purdue Fort Wayne before returning home for a three-game series this weekend against Missouri State.
Previously: Valpo opened the home slate last weekend against Illinois State, dropping three games to the Redbirds.
Looking Ahead: Valpo is scheduled to play nine straight games away from home following the Missouri State series. The Beacons play a single game at UIC next Tuesday, April 4, and then head down to Murray State for a three-game series April 7-9.
Following Valpo Softball: No video streams will be available for this week’s games. Live stats will be available for all four games.
Head Coach Meaggan Pettipiece: Meaggan Pettipiece was hired in September 2022 as head coach of the Valpo softball program. Pettipiece brings over a decade of experience as a collegiate head coach, most recently the last three seasons at the Division I level at Akron. Prior to her time at Akron, Pettipiece spent three seasons as an assistant coach at Kent State and was head coach at Northwood for 10 years. Pettipiece, who owns 253 career coaching victories, was an All-American on the diamond and helped California University of Pennsylvania to a D-II national title in 1998 collegiately before playing internationally for Team Canada, including at the 2000 Summer Olympics.
Series Notes: Purdue Fort Wayne – A series that dates back to 1987, Valpo owns a 25-14 advantage over the Mastodons. Valpo has won the last three meetings, including a 5-4 victory at the Valpo Softball Complex last season. Regi Hecker went 3-for-4 with a two-RBI single in the sixth inning, accounting for the game-winning runs.
Missouri State – The Bears are 9-4 all-time against Valpo, with 11 of those 13 games coming since Valpo joined the MVC. MSU swept the season series last season in Springfield by scores of 8-0, 3-2 and 8-0.
Scouting the Opposition: Purdue Fort Wayne – The Mastodons enter Wednesday’s game at 6-18 overall and with an 0-2 record in Horizon League play. Grace Hollopeter (.309, 12 R, 4 HR) and Taryn Jenkins (.303, 14 RBI) lead the Purdue Fort Wayne offense, while Alanah Jones has pitched over half the innings in the circle and is 4-8 with a 5.06 ERA.
Missouri State – The Bears are 16-15 overall this year, but own a 6-2 mark in MVC play and carry a seven-game winning streak into Valpo. Olivia Krehbiel hits a team-best .304, while McKenzie Vaughan has connected on seven home runs. Six different Bears have seen action in the circle, led by 69 innings of work from Gracie Johnston (8-5, 2.94 ERA) and a 1.73 ERA in 36.1 innings from Mackenzie Chacon.
What’s Back: Valpo returns 10 of 18 letterwinners from last season’s squad for the 2023 campaign. In all, 40.4% of Valpo’s plate appearances are back for this season and 63.6% of last season’s inning pitched return as well.
Who’s New: This year’s 16-player roster includes six newcomers donning the Brown and Gold for the first time. A quintet of freshmen – Kaia Garnica, Kimberli Rodas, Lexi Szostak, Lyna Vasquez and Cadence Augustine – are joined by Kent State transfer Autumn Acord. While Garnica has been sidelined due to injury, the other five all made their Valpo debuts at the DePaul Dome Tournament opening weekend.
Rodas Stays Hot: Freshman infielder Kim Rodas has not blinked yet in her introduction to Missouri Valley Conference play. Rodas reached base in all three games last weekend against Illinois State, going 2-for-5 with four walks. Included in the series was a three-walk game in Friday’s nightcap, tying Valpo’s single-game high this season and tying for third-most by a Valpo player in a single game in program history. Rodas has posted a six-game on-base streak to kick off MVC play and is slashing .556/.733/.667 through two weekends. She leads all MVC players in on-base percentage in conference-only play.
Johnson Reaches: Rodas wasn’t the only Beacon player to reach base five times over the course of Friday’s twinbill against Illinois State, as junior infielder Alexis Johnson matched that number. Johnson went 1-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI in the opener, and turned around to go 2-for-2 with a walk, a hit batter and three RBIs in the nightcap. It was the third multi-hit game of the season for Johnson, while her three RBIs were a new career high.
Easy as One, Two, Three: Fifth-year infielder Taylor Herschbach picked up three of Valpo’s seven hits in the Friday nightcap against Illinois State, finishing 3-for-4. It was her fifth career game with at least three hits and her first since April 11, 2021 at UNI.
Taking Free Passes: Led by Rodas’ three walks in Friday’s second game against the Redbirds, Valpo tallied six free passes as a team to tie its single-game high this season. That effort came after drawing four walks in the opener against ISU, led by two walks by Autumn Acord. The Beacons have drawn four or more walks in 13 of their 24 games this season.
VALPO MEN’S GOLF
MEN’S GOLF TIED FOR TEAM LEAD AFTER ONE ROUND AT GOLFWEEK
The Valparaiso University men’s golf team is tied for the team lead through 18 holes at the three-round Golfweek/AGT Intercollegiate, which began on Monday at the par-72, 6989-yard True Blue Golf Club in Pawleys Island, S.C. Senior Caleb VanArragon (Blaine, Minn. / Blaine) had the squad’s top score of the day.
How It Happened
As a team, the Beacons posted a 285 (-3) to share the top spot with Delaware following the first of three days in South Carolina. Valpo is part of an 18-team field this week.
VanArragon stroked a 69 (-3), one of three participants involved in a tie for second in the field. He is one stroke behind Connecticut’s Jared Nelson in the battle for medalist honors.
Sophomore Anthony Delisanti (Sanborn, N.Y. / Niagara Wheatfield) is close behind, one stroke in back of VanArragon with a 70 (-2). He sits at t-5 in the 96-player field through one day of action.
Golfing as an individual, Padraic Sim (Spanish Fort, Ala. / Spanish Fort [Oregon]) made his Valpo debut, carding an even par at 72 to finish the day tied for 19th on the player leaderboard.
Valpo also received a solid round from Yianni Kostouros (Crown Point, Ind. / Crown Point [Ball State]), who stroked a 73 (+1) to sit at t-31.
Inside the Round
The Beacons lead the tournament field in par-3 scoring at 3.00 and rank third on par 4s and fourth on par 5s.
The Brown & Gold have drained 66 pars, tied for the most in the tournament, while producing 13 birdies.
Sim has the best par-4 scoring average in the field at 3.75, while VanArragon is tied for the top spot in par-5 scoring at 4.40.
Delisanti reached par on 16 occasions, tied for the tournament lead. Sim paced the squad with five birdies.
Thoughts from Head Coach Dave Gring
“Our scoring was consistent across the entire team, which is always important. We needed some more guys under par, but the team made a lot of pars and we hit the ball well from tee to green. Each one of our players was right around 70 percent in both hitting fairways and greens in regulation, so we were really pleased with our ball-striking.”
“We know that we left a lot of shots out there today, and we’re going to need to make more birdies tomorrow. Thirteen birdies are not enough on this course and we simply need to hit the ball closer to the hole. We made right around 33 percent of our birdie putts from five to 12 feet, so we have to take better advantage of those birdies tomorrow. I was pleased with our Par-3 scoring as we played this first round at even par.”
“The team is playing with a lot of confidence and we are excited to get after it again tomorrow.”
Valpo will compete in Round 2 of the 54-hole event on Tuesday at True Blue GC in Pawleys Island, S.C. A link to live scoring via GolfStat is available on ValpoAthletics.com.
VALPO WALKS OFF MILWAUKEE IN HOME OPENER
After starting the season with 17 consecutive road games, the Valparaiso University baseball team reaped the benefit of the last at-bats in Tuesday’s home opener at Emory G. Bauer Field. Junior Kaleb Hannahs (West Terre Haute, Ind. / West Vigo) ripped a walk-off double to deep right with nobody out in the bottom of the 11th, allowing Alex Ryan (Lake Mills, Wis. / Lakeside Lutheran) to easily score from second to send the Beacons to a 7-6 victory over visiting Milwaukee.
How It Happened
The Panthers started the scoring with two doubles in the top of the second, but Valpo quickly responded when Brady Renfro (Antigo, Wis. / Antigo) led off the bottom of the inning with a game-tying home run.
Milwaukee produced a run in the top of the fourth to regain the lead, but Valpo grabbed its first advantage of the day in the bottom of the inning as Alex Thurston (Fowler, Ind. / Benton Central) picked up an RBI on a ground ball to short and Hannahs clubbed a go-ahead double to right center, allowing the hosts to snatch a 3-2 lead.
The seesaw affair continued in the top of the fifth, when Nate DeYoung hit a two-run homer to put Milwaukee back in front at 4-3.
Valpo leveled the score on a Ryan Maka (Oak Forest, Ill. / Oak Forest) sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fifth. The throw home in an effort to cut down Kyle Schmack (Wanatah, Ind. / South Central) got away, causing the runner from first to try to advance, but he was thrown out at second for the final out of the inning.
The bottom of the sixth started modestly for the Beacons, whose first two batters were retired. Thurston tripled, Hannahs drew a walk and then Nolan Tucker (Cedar Lake, Ind. / Hanover Central) sent a double down the left-field line to put Valpo ahead 5-4.
Schmack chopped a single to the left side of the infield to plate Hannahs, but Tucker was cut down trying to score from second on the play as the ball was bobbled with two infielders crossing into each other.
The Panthers tied the game with a pair of two-out, run-scoring singles in the eighth, causing head coach Brian Schmack to summon Bobby Nowak (Cedar Lake, Ind. / Hanover Central [Kankakee]) to get the final out.
Nowak kept rolling from there, eventually heaving 3 1/3 shutout innings while yielding one hit and walking two. He struck out seven and was the winning pitcher to improve to 2-0.
Valpo did not score in the eighth, ninth or 10th, but an infield single by Thurston set up the walk-off double by Hannahs in the bottom of the 11th.
Inside the Game
Hannahs collected three hits, while Tucker, Schmack and Thurston also enjoyed multi-hit outputs. Hannahs reached base five times in the victory.
Renfro’s home run was his third of the season and his 14th in a Valpo uniform.
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.
Hannahs became just the second MVC player with a three-double game this year, joining Missouri State’s Taeg Gollert (Feb. 18 vs. Cal Poly).
Valpo had five doubles, the team’s highest single-game total since April 16, 2022 at Illinois State.
Thurston’s triple was his first of the season and the sixth of his career.
Over his last three outings, Nowak has thrown 5 1/3 innings and allowed no runs on one hit while striking out nine. He allowed two runs on March 12 at No. 22 Southern Miss, but has not permitted any runs in his other seven outings this season.
This was Valpo’s first walk-off win since April 23, 2021, when the Beacons 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.
This was Valpo’s first extra-game since Feb. 25 of this season at UT Martin, a 5-4, 10-inning win. 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 last one-run affair before Tuesday was also decided by the exact score of 7-6 on March 4 at Little Rock.
Valpo (8-10) is scheduled to start a three-game weekend series against Murray State at 3 p.m. on Friday at Emory G. Bauer Field. The game will air on ESPN+. Check back to ValpoAthletics.com or follow @ValpoBaseball on Twitter for any weather-related schedule changes.
U OF I BASEBALL
GREYHOUNDS BREAK SKID, TAKE MID-WEEK VICTORY AGAINST FINDLAY
FINDLAY, Ohio – In a mid-week contest with the Findlay Oilers, the University of Indianapolis Greyhounds earned their first victory in ten games by a score of 14-8. The dub moves the Hounds to 12-9 on the season, while it moves Findlay to 12-10.
Brandon DeWitt and Caleb Vaughn were the offensive leaders for the Hounds, with DeWitt nabbing four ribbies and Vaughn three. Vaughn utilized his speed as well, swiping his 18th bag of the season, moving him into third in the GLVC.
HOW IT HAPPENED
After a scoreless first, the Oilers struck the first blow, roughing up young Caden Wilburn. The freshman who pitched against the Oilers in his first career start, kept his composure, limiting the scoring to just one run.
It was not until the top of the fourth where the Hounds answered back, and they did it big. Nick Lukac got started with a double off the left field wall scoring the Hounds first run of the day. Keeping the party rolling was Will Spear with an opposite-field single to take the lead.
It was with two outs where the Hounds did their damage. Brandon DeWitt smoked a ball up the gut scoring both Jared Bujdos and Lukac to make it 4-1. Right after, Drew Donaldson worked a quality walk before Vaughn added his own two-out, two-RBI single to make it 6-1.
The Oilers added two runs in the bottom of the fourth and three in the sixth, but the Hounds went blow for blow, snagging one in the fifth, taking advantage of some sloppy defense. The Hounds kept cruising, scoring two in the eighth via a Vaughn double and a Denton Shepler RBI groundout.
The final offensive showcase came in the ninth for the Hounds, rewarding the bullpen for shutdown innings. Reid Rector got it started with a double off the wall, his third two-bagger of the year. Adam Rakestraw took Rector’s spot on the basepath, just in time for Spear to nab his second RBI of the day via a hard hit ball up the left field line.
In a fit of Déjà vu, DeWitt smoked another ball towards the pitcher, scoring both Easton Good and Spear. Drew Donaldson, who had a quiet day up until this point, made his presence known, hitting a ball over the centerfielders head for a double.
The Oilers attempted a bottom of the ninth comeback, but Nolen Wolf limited the damage, allowing two in his third appearance of the year.
The Hounds return to conference play this weekend against UMSL, starting on Friday. It will be the first meeting between the Hounds and the Tritons since 2021. The teams split with the Hounds taking the first two of the series.
U OF I WOMEN’S GOLF
HOUNDS TAKE SECOND AT DI TOURNAMENT
BATAVIA, Ohio—The UIndy women’s golf team earned the runner-up spot at The Julie, hosted by Northern Kentucky University at Elks Run Golf Club in Batavia, Ohio Monday and Tuesday. The 11-team field featured nine Division I teams, with only Green Bay topping the Greyhounds on the team leaderboard.
Hounds ultimately finished two strokes back of GB at the end of the 36-hole event. Head coach Brent Nicoson knows his team will need to improve as the postseason nears.
“We are close to playing some solid golf,” said the veteran coach, “but for the third tournament in a row, we made too many mistakes and had too many big numbers to win tournaments. That’s something we have to clean up or we will continue to watch other teams lift trophies.”
Seven Hounds made the trip to the Cincinnati-area course, with individual competitor Catharina Graf (68-74) leading the way. The senior finished at even par over 36 holes, tying for medalist honors before falling in a sudden-death playoff to Youngstown State’s Madison Smithco.
Graduate-student Elyse Stasil (+2) was the low scorer in the UIndy lineup. She carded scores of 71-73 on the par-71 course, good for a share third place.
“The play of Elyse and Cathi was a definite bright spot,” added Nicoson. “Elyse is having a great senior season and continues to lead us. Cathi had a tough start to the spring and she bounced back in a big way. I’m extremely proud of her.”
Senior Katelyn Skinner joined her teammates in the top five. She posted back-to-back 73s to settle at +4 and tie for fifth..
Ava Ray (+10, T-16), Alice Webb (+11, T9) and Anci Dy (+12, T22) all finished in the top 25. Freshman Macey Brown made her spring debut, tying for 30th as an individual.
The Greyhounds return to the Buckeye State next week for the annual NC4K Classic. Hosted by Ohio Dominican University, the event is slated for April 3-4 at Jefferson Golf & Country Club in Blacklick, Ohio.
U OF I MEN’S GOLF
MEN’S GOLF BATTLES REGION FOES AT FINDLAY SPRING INVITE
LEXINGTON, Ky.—Amongst an nearly-all Midwest Region field, the UIndy men’s golf team placed 15th at the Findlay Spring Invitational, held at the University Club of Kentucky in Lexington, Ky., Monday and Tuesday. Junior Bryce Robertson paced the team with a top-25 finish.
Robertson (+3) and Cam Carroll (+4) were the clear leaders for the Hounds. A native of Fishers, Ind., Robertson started his week with a one-under 71 before ultimately placing 21st, while Carroll went 73-74-73 to tie for 22nd.
Jacob Nickell also carded a first-round 71 before falling back to +9. Ethan Stanley finished at +14 and Kyle Strakis at +26.
Meanwhile back home, junior Noah Wolfe competed as an individual at Butler’s Don Benbow Invitational. He carded scores of 77-77-83 to finish at +27 at the par-70 Highland Golf and Country Club in Indy.
UIndy has just two more tournaments before the GLVC Championships, starting with a trip to Wheeling, W.V., for the West Liberty Invitational April 3-4.
U OF I SOFTBALL
SOFTBALL CLIMBS THREE SPOTS IN LATEST COACHES POLL
LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Winners of 11 straight, the UIndy softball team jumped three spots to No. 6 in this week’s NFCA Division II Coaches Poll, released Tuesday. The Greyhounds have spent 24 of the last 31 weeks in the top 10 dating back to March of 2021.
NFCA DII COACHES POLL
|RK||TEAM (1st-place votes)||PTS||REC||PREV|
|1.||North Georgia (16)||400||34-1||1|
|7.||Grand Valley State||295||20-3||6|
|16.||West Texas A&M||152||29-4||20|
|19.||Cal State San Marcos||124||18-9||15|
|23.||Cal State Dominguez Hills||37||18-9||22|
Others receiving votes: Nova Southeastern (19), Carson-Newman (15), Wilmington (15), Oklahoma Christian (7), West Alabama (3).
MARIAN’S SWEEP OF BETHEL EXTEND WIN STREAK TO 18
MISHAWAKA, Ind. – After sweeping Bethel in Tuesday’s doubleheader, the Marian softball team has increased their win streak to 18. The two conference wins improves the Knights’ record to 8-0 in Crossroads League play and 19-1 overall.
Game 1 | Marian 7-0 Bethel
Marian scored early after an RBI single by Sierra Norman that would send Savannah Harweger home after leading the game off with a single to take the early 1-0 lead in inning one.
After Olivia Stunkel worked a quick three up three down, while striking out two, the Knights padded on the runs in the top of the third. Harweger led off with a homerun to start the scoring tear before Grace Meyer picked up the RBI single, and Hayley Greene hit the two-run bomb to left center to extend the Knights’ lead to 5-0. Stunkel continued to do work as she struck out two and allowed only one hit in the bottom of third.
The Knights padded on two more runs in the fifth inning as Abby Madere kicked the inning off with a double before Brooke Knox hit her first career homerun to give Marian the 7-0 advantage. Abigail McPherson came in at the bottom of the fifth to finish off the Pilots, as she struck out one and allowed no hits in her first inning pitched.
Marian recorded no hits in the final two innings, but McPherson pitched solid in the final two innings by allowing only one hit.
Stunkel picked up her ninth win in the circle in four innings pitched, as the sophomore pitcher struck out six and only allowed two hits. In the Knights 11 hits, Harweger led with three, including one homerun and a double. Madere had two hits, picking up a double, while Knox and Greene each hit a homerun. Green and Knox each led the RBI category with two.
Game 2 | Marian 10-1 Bethel | 6 Innings
Scoring for the Knights came later in game two, as Harweger registered the only hit through the first two innings. However, Caroline Roop began the hits for the Knights as she singled to lead off the top of the third before Anna Pritchett and Harweger each got on base. With bases loaded, Jenna Minnix hit the sacrifice fly to right field to score Roop for Marian’s first run. Marian gathered two more runs in the inning with Pritchett and Meyer scoring on the Pilots’ errors.
Marian left a runner on base to close out the action in the fourth inning, before erupting for seven runs in the top of the fifth. The Knights’ first of seven runs came after Norman hit the RBI before advancing to second on the throw. Madere had an RBI double with runners in scoring position, while Knox followed with the RBI single to extend the lead to 6-0. Marian tacked on four more runs with Harweger scoring two on her double, and Minnix hitting the single to score two.
Bethel managed to score their first run of the game on an RBI single, but with the dominating 10-1 lead at hand, the Pilots could not put anything else together and the game would finish after six innings with the Knights picking up the 10-1 victory.
Sydney Wilson pitched a solid five innings to improve to 8-0, as she struck out five, allowing two hits, and a run. Harweger and Minnix led with two hits, while also picking up two RBI. Harweger and Madere each recorded a double, with Madere also earning an RBI.
The Knights will return home on Thursday for a doubleheader with Huntington, with the first game beginning at 3 p.m.
MARIAN WOMEN’S GOLF
WOMEN’S GOLF SETS MARIAN 54-HOLE RECORD AT MUSIC CITY CLASSIC
Old Hickory, Tenn. – The Marian women’s golf team turned in one of their best tournament performances of the season on March 27 and 28 at the Music City Classic hosted by Cumberland University, as the Knights set the Marian 54-hole record in their seventh-place finish. The event hosted by Cumberland featured several teams ranked in the NAIA Top-25, with Marian scoring wins over No. 7 Indiana Wesleyan, No. 10 Loyola, No. 11 Cumberland, No. 16 Truett McConnell, No. 17 Lindsey Wilson, and No. 19 UNOH.
No. 2 Dalton State won the tournament with an 887 score over three rounds, while No. 4 Keiser finished second and No. 5 Cumberlands finished third. No. 6 Southeastern finished fourth in the field, followed by NCAA DI Belmont and NAIA No. 13 Milligan.
The Knights new 54-hole record breaks the previous mark set during the fall seasons at the Players Club Invitational, as the Knights carded a 921, trimming their record by 14 strokes. Marian’s record-setting round was led by Keara Eder, who finished the tournament with back to back rounds of even par golf, carded a 79+72+72=223 to place sixth overall. Eder’s performance landed the freshman on the all-tournament team, with the top-six players in the field earning the honor.
Marian’s second finisher on the leaderboard was Ava Hedrick who shot a 75+78+78=231, finishing in a tie for 30th overall. Hedrick was followed by Mackendzie Dresbaugh on the Knights’ leaderboard, as Dresbaugh finished in a tie for 41st with her 79+77+78=234 score. Elizabeth Hedrick finished fourth for Marian and completed the team score of 921, as she shot an 81+77+77=235, placing 49th overall. Sidney Parmer shot a 79+85+79=243 during the three-round tournament.
Eder led the tournament in par-four scoring, shooting even par over the 54 holes to lead the field. A. Hedrick led the tournament in par-five scoring as she finished three strokes under on those holes. Eder would finish the tournament with 34 pars made and seven birdies, leading Marian in both category.
Marian will look to ride their momentum at the Midway Eagle Invitational on April 3 and 4, playing in Lexington, Kentucky, at the University Club of Kentucky.
SMALL COLLEGE ATHLETIC SITES:
INDIANA WESLEYAN ATHLETICS: https://iwuwildcats.com/
EARLHAM ATHLETICS: https://goearlham.com/
WABASH ATHLETICS: https://sports.wabash.edu/
FRANKLIN ATHLETICS: https://franklingrizzlies.com/
ROSE-HULMAN ATHLETICS: https://athletics.rose-hulman.edu/
ANDERSON ATHLETICS: https://athletics.anderson.edu/landing/index
TRINE ATHLETICS: https://trinethunder.com/landing/index
BETHEL ATHLETICS: https://bupilots.com/
DEPAUW ATHLETICS: https://depauwtigers.com/
HANOVER ATHLETICS: https://athletics.hanover.edu/
MANCHESTER ATHLETICS: https://muspartans.com/
HUNTINGTON ATHLETICS: https://www.huathletics.com/
OAKLAND CITY ATHLETICS: https://gomightyoaks.com/index.aspx
ST. FRANCIS ATHLETICS: https://www.saintfranciscougars.com/landing/index
IU KOKOMO ATHLETICS: https://iukcougars.com/
IU EAST ATHLETICS: https://www.iueredwolves.com/
IU SOUTH BEND ATHLETICS: https://iusbtitans.com/
PURDUE NORTHWEST ATHLETICS: https://pnwathletics.com/
INDIANA TECH ATHLETICS: https://indianatechwarriors.com/index.aspx
GRACE COLLEGE ATHLETICS: https://gclancers.com/
ST. MARY OF THE WOODS ATHLETICS: https://smwcathletics.com/
GOSHEN COLLEGE ATHLETICS: https://goleafs.net/
HOLY CROSS ATHLETICS: https://www.hcsaints.com/index.php
TAYLOR ATHLETICS: https://www.taylortrojans.com/
VINCENNES ATHLETICS: https://govutrailblazers.com/landing/index
TOP NATIONAL NEWS
MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
AUBURN’S TOP ’22 HOOPS SIGNEE, TRAORE, PLANS TO TRANSFER
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Auburn’s top signee from last year, center Yohan Traore, plans to transfer.
The five-star recruit from France, who played a limited role as a freshman, announced his plans in an Instagram post on Tuesday.
The 6-foot-10 Traore initially committed to LSU but landed at Auburn after the firing of coach Will Wade a little more than a year ago. He was rated the No. 24 overall recruit and No. 5 center according to the 247Sports composite rankings.
Traore averaged 2.1 points and 1.4 rebounds after arriving from Dream City Christian School in Arizona.
Traore was a member of the U15 and U16 French National Team.
He played nine minutes in Auburn’s opening NCAA Tournament game against Iowa. Traore failed to score and didn’t play in the s econd-round loss to Houston.
NBA ROUNDUP: NUGGETS HOLD OFF SIXERS FOR 4TH STRAIGHT WIN
Nikola Jokic had 25 points, 17 rebounds and 12 assists for his 29th triple-double of the season, leading the host Denver Nuggets to a 116-111 victory over the short-handed Philadelphia 76ers on Monday night.
Jamal Murray added 19 points, Bruce Brown scored 18, Michael Porter Jr. supplied 15 and Aaron Gordon 12 for Denver. The Nuggets have won four straight.
Tyrese Maxey scored 29 points, Paul Reed and Tobias Harris had 16 points apiece and Jalen McDaniels finished with 14 for Philadelphia. Joel Embiid (calf) and James Harden (Achilles) didn’t play for the Sixers, who have lost three straight but nearly rallied to win it late in the game.
Denver led by 20 in the fourth quarter before the 76ers’ bench led a 16-2 run that sliced the deficit to 112-107 with 1:23 left. Philadelphia’s Montrezl Harrell dunked to make it 114-111 with 28.9 seconds left, but Jeff Green hit two free throws with 13.3 seconds left to seal it.
KNICKS 137, ROCKETS 115
Immanuel Quickley scored a career-high 40 points and New York snapped a three-game skid with a victory over visiting Houston.
Quickley finished 14 of 18 from the field and drilled five 3-pointers to lead the Knicks. Julius Randle added 26 points while RJ Barrett scored 19 to co-author the runaway win over the Rockets, who fell to 0-4 on their current five-game road trip.
Kevin Porter Jr. led Houston with 26 points while Jalen Green added 19 points and Kenyon Martin Jr. 18. Rookie Jabari Smith Jr. had a double-double of 14 points and 11 rebounds plus six assists.
BUCKS 126, PISTONS 117
Khris Middleton poured in 34 points and Milwaukee continued its dominance over host Detroit.
Milwaukee has won 17 of the last 18 meetings against its Central Division rival and swept the four-game season series. Detroit has lost its last six games and 17 of its last 18 outings. Brook Lopez had 24 points and 14 rebounds, while Jevon Carter supplied 22 points for the Bucks.
Jaden Ivey led the Pistons with 32 points, eight rebounds and eight assists. Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo missed the game with right knee soreness, and Jrue Holiday took the night off due to personal reasons.
MAVERICKS 127, PACERS 104
Luka Doncic scored 25 points and Jaden Hardy added 20 off the bench as Dallas snapped a four-game losing streak with a rout of short-handed Indiana in Indianapolis.
Kyrie Irving had 16 points and Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 13 for Dallas, which shot 56.6 percent from the field and 18 of 37 (48.6 percent) from 3-point range. Indiana trailed by as many as 31 and lost its third straight despite rookie Bennedict Mathurin’s 26 points.
Indiana played without guards Buddy Hield (non-COVID illness) and Chris Duarte (sore left ankle), as well as All-Star point guard Tyrese Haliburton and center Myles Turner (injury management). Dallas outscored the Pacers 40-27 in the third quarter and carried a commanding 25-point lead into the final period.
SUNS 117, JAZZ 103
Devin Booker scored 24 points and Phoenix dominated the fourth quarter to finish off a victory over Utah in Salt Lake City.
Deandre Ayton added 14 points with eight rebounds, Chris Paul dished out 10 assists with nine points, and three reserves scored in double figures — Terrence Ross (13 points), Cameron Payne (12) and Bismack Biyombo (11) — to help the Suns keep momentum from a win over Philadelphia on Saturday.
The Jazz, paced by Lauri Markkanen’s 25 points and nine rebounds, erased a double-digit deficit and even took a lead late in the third quarter before falling apart in the fourth en route to their fourth loss in a row. Utah was outscored 33-22 in the final 12 minutes at home after playing well in the middle quarters to turn the game competitive.
PELICANS 124, TRAIL BLAZERS 90
Brandon Ingram scored 29 points on 12-of-19 shooting and New Orleans stretched its winning streak to five games with a romp over host Portland.
CJ McCollum added 17 points and eight assists and Trey Murphy III had 16 points as the Pelicans sit in eighth place in the Western Conference, but are within two games of fourth. Keon Johnson matched his career high of 20 points for the Trail Blazers, who lost for the third straight game.
Jonas Valanciunas capped a 9-0 run with a tip-in as New Orleans pushed the lead to 30 at 71-41 with 7:16 left in the third quarter. The Pelicans led 89-55 entering the final stanza. Murphy converted a three-point play to make it a 35-point margin with 7:38 left in the game as New Orleans cruised to the finish.
TIMBERWOLVES 119, KINGS 115
Jaden McDaniels helped make up for the absence of Karl-Anthony Towns with a team-high 20 points, and Minnesota won by holding host Sacramento to a season-low five 3-pointers.
Even with Towns given the game off to rest on the second night of a back-to-back, all five Minnesota starters scored in double figures, propelling the Timberwolves to a fourth consecutive win.
De’Aaron Fox had a game-high 29 points, Domantas Sabonis scored 24 and Harrison Barnes added 19 for the Kings, who lost for the third time in their past five outings.
CLIPPERS 124, BULLS 112
Nicolas Batum scored 24 points and Kawhi Leonard added 22 points, seven rebounds and six assists as Los Angeles moved closer to securing a top-six spot in the Western Conference with a victory over visiting Chicago.
Eric Gordon added 22 points as the Clippers won for the third time in their past five games. The win came without Paul George (knee), Marcus Morris Sr. (illness) and Norman Powell (shoulder).
Zach LaVine scored 23 points and DeMar DeRozan added 21 for the Bulls, who entered with five victories in their past six games. Chicago went 2-1 on a West Coast trip.
NETS’ SIMMONS WON’T PLAY AGAIN THIS SEASON BECAUSE OF BACK
NEW YORK (AP) — Ben Simmons won’t play again this season because of a nerve injury in his back, ending his disappointing first full season with the Brooklyn Nets after just 42 games.
Simmons saw multiple specialists this week who determined that he should be shut down for the season because of a nerve impingement and begin a rehabilitation program. Coach Jacque Vaughn said Tuesday a full recovery was expected.
It’s the second straight year that Simmons was unable to play because of a back injury. He had surgery in the offseason to repair a disk problem, but was bothered this season by a sore left knee before his back problems returned.
Simmons finishes with averages of 6.9 points, 6.3 rebounds and 6.1 assists.
The No. 1 pick in the 2016 draft didn’t play after the All-Star break in February. The 26-year-old had fallen out of the starting lineup before that, unable to regain the form that earned his three All-Star selections in Philadelphia.
He was traded to the Nets last February after initially refusing to play for the 76ers in the 2021-22 season, citing mental health concerns. His back problems then surfaced as he worked to get himself prepared to play for the Nets.
Simmons is making $35.4 million this season, and is due $78.2 million more over the next two seasons.
REPORT: POLICE INVESTIGATE BRADLEY BEAL AFTER SPAT WITH FAN
Florida police are probing a postgame incident between Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal and a fan last week in Orlando, ESPN reported Tuesday.
The Orlando Police Department is investigating Beal for battery but no charges have been filed, according to police documents obtained by ESPN.
According to those records, a group of fans approached the Wizards’ players near the tunnel as they left the court following the Magic’s 122-112 win on March 21.
“You made me lose $1,300, you (expletive),” a man reportedly yelled at Beal, apparently accusing him of contributing to a gambling loss.
Responding to the heckling, Beal allegedly swatted another fan’s hat off his head and “made contact” with the man’s head, according to police.
Beal, 29, has been inactive for all three of the Wizards’ games since that night due to knee soreness. He scored 16 points on 4-of-15 shooting against Orlando before fouling out.
The three-time All-Star is averaging 23.2 points, 5.4 assists and 3.9 rebounds in 50 games (all starts) this season, the guard’s 12th campaign with Washington.
AP SOURCES: TWO GROUPS FORMALLY SUBMIT BIDS FOR COMMANDERS
PHOENIX (AP) — Dan Snyder’s departure from the NFL is moving closer to reality.
A group led by Josh Harris and Mitchell Rales and another group led by Canadian billionaire Steve Apostolopoulos have formally submitted fully financed bids for the NFL’s Washington Commanders, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.
Two people confirmed the bid from Harris. Both spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Tuesday because details of the bid have not been publicly announced.
The Harris/Rales group includes basketball Hall of Famer Magic Johnson. Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta also has been in the running.
ESPN reported both bids came in at Snyder’s $6 billion asking price. Snyder had yet to accept an offer when the league’s finance committee met Monday so his future wasn’t openly discussed.
“The information is very little to none in terms of the 31 of us (owners), and probably even the league office right now,” Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay said.
That quickly changed in less than 24 hours.
Harris, who owns the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers and NHL’s New Jersey Devils, brought on Rales, a billionaire who also grew up in Maryland, just outside Washington, earlier this year. Johnson, who has ownership experience with Major League Baseball’s Los Angeles Dodgers and others, later joined the group.
Apostolopoulos is a Toronto native who went to Harvard and is the founder of a private equity venture company.
Three-quarters of the owners would need to approve the sale. A vote could take place at the league meetings in May in Minnesota if Snyder accepts an offer soon, though it’s more likely the process will take longer to finalize with both groups involving several owners.
Last fall, with multiple investigations ongoing into the team’s workplace culture and finances, Snyder and his wife Tanya hired a firm to explore selling part or all of the team. That decision came two weeks after Irsay said there was “merit to remove” Snyder, which would take an unprecedented vote of 24 of the other 31 owners.
Selling the team would avoid going down that road, though Snyder has angered some of his colleagues by demanding that owners and the league indemnify him against future legal liability and costs if he sells the team, a person told the AP.
“There would be no reason for us to give any sort of unusual indemnification,” Irsay said.
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Snyder’s situation has changed their relationship.
“I think that it’s a little more formal, but I think it’s that way because of the various issues that are involved here,” Jones said. “It’s not ‘lovey-dovey,’ but it’s not really strained in any way.”
Snyder and the team are still under investigation by former U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White, who was retained by the league to look into various aspects of the organization stemming from a congressional review into workplace misconduct that also included a referral to the Federal Trade Commission for potential business improprieties.
A spokesperson declined to comment when asked if Snyder had refused to speak with White, saying it’s a confidential matter between the club and the league.
The sale allows Snyder to avoid speaking to White, but NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell previously said the findings of White’s report will be made public at the conclusion of her investigation. One person said the report will still be released even if Snyder sells the Commanders.
In a statement responding to news of bids being submitted for the Commanders, lawyers for more than 40 former team employees said their clients want an assurance from the league that the report will be released.
Attorneys Lisa Banks and Debra Katz said, “Allowing him to sell the team at what will certainly be a large premium without full accountability for his misconduct would be a travesty of justice.”
Dozens of former employees detailing incidents of sexual harassment from their time with Washington beginning in the summer of 2020 prompted the first league investigation by Beth Wilkinson, which led to a $10 million fine and Snyder stepping away from day-to-day operations for a period of time. A lack of a written report sparked the investigation by the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform, which found Snyder played a role in the organization’s toxic workplace culture.
NO REPLAY BOOTH REVIEWS FOR ROUGHING THE PASSER IN NFL GAMES
PHOENIX (AP) — There will be no assist from the replay booth when it comes to the NFL’s roughing the passer rule.
The league’s 32 teams declined to adopt a proposal from the Los Angeles Rams that would have allowed coaches to ask for a replay booth review of the often-controversial call. It was one of several potential changes discussed at the league’s annual meetings on Tuesday.
Rich McKay — the NFL’s Competition Committee chairman — said the league’s brief 2019 experiment that allowed replay booth review of pass interference calls weighed heavily in the process. The rule was reversed in 2020 and highlighted the tricky nature of reviewing judgment calls on the field.
“There are a lot of issues that go into it,” said McKay, who is also the Atlanta Falcons CEO. “It is a dramatic and almost drastic change of officiating, taking it from the field, up to the booth.
“It wasn’t a long discussion and then we voted and it did not pass.”
The list of changes on Tuesday was relatively minor. Among them: Tightening rules on helmet blows by eliminating the “butt, ram, spear” language that McKay said allowed several players to escape fines.
Also, most NFL players now have a new choice when selecting their jersey number — zero.
All players — excluding offensive and defensive linemen — can now select No. 0 if they choose.
Offensive linemen are still limited to the numbers between 50 and 79 while defensive linemen can select any number from 50 to 79 or 90 to 99.
New Jaguars receiver Calvin Ridley announced he would be among those who would wear No. 0 next season.
One of the more interesting rules suggestions was tabled. The Eagles had submitted a proposal that would permit a team to maintain possession of the ball after a score by substituting one offensive play — a fourth-and-20 attempt from the kicking team’s 20-yard line — in lieu of an onside kickoff attempt.
“There’s not an appetite, yet, to have the onside kick go away,” McKay said. “I think what people would rather talk about is ways to get the rate of recovery up.”
McKay said that historically, onside kicks have about a 13-14% success rate, but that number was down to 4% during the 2022 season.
Also of note: The use of the guardian cap — a padded addition that fits over a regular football helmet — will be expanded during the preseason to include running backs and fullbacks. Last season, offensive and defensive linemen, linebackers and tight ends used the cap.
The cap’s use will also be expanded to the regular season during practices that include contact.
Jeff Miller — the NFL’s Executive Vice President of Communications — said concussions were down 52% for the position groups that used the cap last season when compared to the previous three-year average of the same groups.
LAFLEUR PREACHES PATIENCE
Green Bay Packers coach Matt LaFleur is preaching patience as he prepares for the likelihood of having Jordan Love rather than Aaron Rodgers as his starting quarterback.
Rodgers, 39, has indicated he intends to play for the New York Jets in 2023. Although Rodgers remains under contract with Green Bay, the Packers and Jets are negotiating on a potential trade that would send the four-time MVP to New York.
That would cause the Packers to turn to Love, who has made just one career start since the Packers traded up to select him out of Utah State with the 26th overall pick in the 2020 draft. LaFleur cited Love’s inexperience Tuesday while telling reporters that “we’ve all got to kind of temper our expectations for him.”
“Certainly I think we’re fooling ourselves if we think he’s going to go out there and perform at a level to the likes of what Aaron Rodgers (has done),” LaFleur said. “This guy is a once-in-a-lifetime, a generational talent. And I don’t think it necessarily started that way when he first started, you know. But he progressed into that. Like I said, it’s going to be a progression.
“Hopefully we can surround him with enough people to help him perform at the best of his ability, and then we’ve got to do a great job as a coaching staff.”
ANALYSIS: RAVENS ARE LAMAR JACKSON’S BEST, ONLY OPTION
PHOENIX (AP) — Lamar Jackson’s frustration over contract negotiations reached a boiling point when he announced Monday that he has requested a trade from the Baltimore Ravens.
Staying in Baltimore might be his best and only option.
“We made a decision to go with Lamar Jackson five years ago,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said Monday at the NFL owners meetings in Phoenix soon after reporters informed him that Jackson revealed he asked for a trade on March 2. “Why? Because we love him. We love the way he plays. We love his mindset. We love his charisma, his style. The way he is in the locker room. Everything about him, we love him. I love him personally. I love being the coach of the team he’s playing for. That’s what you do. You build a team around your players, and that’s what I’m excited to do.”
If the two sides can’t agree on a long-term deal by July 17, Jackson could play this season on the $32.4 million franchise tag.
The 2019 NFL MVP hasn’t generated any interest in free agency after the Ravens placed the nonexclusive franchise tag on him. Some teams immediately said they wouldn’t pursue Jackson. The Washington Commanders joined that list Monday.
“There are a ton of talented players that could help us that we don’t end up talking to for various reasons, and Lamar falls into that category,” Commanders general manager Martin Mayhew said.
NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith has suggested owners are colluding against Jackson.
“I have never witnessed teams being so quick to publicly announce their lack of interest in an MVP quarterback, who is in his prime and who is also going to get an injury guarantee, regardless of his contract,” Smith wrote on the union’s website. “The fact that right behind Jackson await quarterbacks like Joe Burrow, Jalen Hurts and Justin Herbert, who have performed at extremely high levels under their rookie deals.
“A fully guaranteed contact in Jackson’s instance means that all quarterbacks on expiring rookie contracts will (and should anyway) demand them in the next cycle. Make no mistake, what is occurring right now is their effort to block the same cycle that ushered in fully guaranteed contracts in other sports.”
But Jackson’s situation is more complex.
A team that signs him to an offer sheet would lose two first-round picks if Baltimore declined to match the deal. Jackson missed 10 games over the past two seasons because of injuries, so teams could view him as a risk and would prefer building around a young quarterback playing on a rookie contract.
The major sticking point between Jackson and the Ravens is the guaranteed money.
Jackson saw Deshaun Watson get a fully guaranteed $230 million, five-year deal from the Cleveland Browns last season and wants one, too.
Jackson has a point. He’s accomplished more than Watson and doesn’t have the baggage. The Browns gave Watson that deal despite a looming suspension for sexual misconduct only after he said he wasn’t interested in playing for Cleveland.
The Browns couldn’t have persuaded Watson to agree to a trade without promising a fully guaranteed contract, so the hapless franchise made a desperate decision.
Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti publicly criticized the Browns for doing it and other owners quietly bemoaned the deal.
“I don’t know that he should’ve been the first guy to get a fully guaranteed contract. To me, that’s something that is groundbreaking, and it’ll make negotiations harder with others,” Bisciotti said last year.
No team has done it since.
Russell Wilson and Kyler Murray signed lucrative contracts last season with partial guarantees. Derek Carr, Daniel Jones and Geno Smith are other QBs who signed big deals this offseason with partial guarantees.
Kirk Cousins previously got a fully guaranteed deal from the Minnesota Vikings in 2018 but it was only worth $84 million over three years. The Ravens already offered Jackson far more. He said he turned down a $133 million, three-year contract that was fully guaranteed.
Another factor is Jackson is acting as his own agent. That can be tricky in contract negotiations of this magnitude, though Harbaugh made a point to praise Jackson’s negotiating ability.
POLICE: AARON HERNANDEZ’S BROTHER ARRESTED IN ESPN INCIDENT
BRISTOL, Conn. (AP) — The brother of the late New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez is facing criminal and motor vehicle charges in Connecticut, accused of throwing a brick onto the ESPN headquarters campus and eluding police during brief pursuits in other towns.
Dennis John Hernandez, 36, who also has been known as D.J. and Jonathan, was given a misdemeanor summons for breach of peace Thursday by Bristol police in connection with the ESPN incident, according to a police report.
Hernandez, who played quarterback and wide receiver at UConn in the mid-2000s, went to ESPN in a car, possibly an Uber, and threw a bag containing a brick and a note onto the property, police said. He then left.
The note said: “To all media outlets, It’s about time you all realeyes the affect media has on all family members. Since you’re a world wide leader maybe you could lead how media and messages are delivered brick by brick. Clean it up! Yours truly, Dennis J. Hernandez,” according to police.
Hernandez did not immediately respond to an email from The Associated Press seeking comment. No lawyers for him are listed in court records. Hernandez grew up in Bristol and recently had lived in Riverview, Florida.
His younger brother, Aaron Hernandez, a tight end for the Patriots, killed himself in 2017 in a prison cell while serving a murder sentence.
Earlier Thursday, Bristol police said they received an anonymous complaint from someone who said they were concerned about Dennis Hernandez because he said he wanted to destroy property at the state Capitol and at ESPN.
An ESPN spokesperson said the company was cooperating with police and declined further comment.
Also Thursday, Cheshire police charged Hernandez with reckless driving, engaging police in pursuit and other motor vehicle charges in connection with events on March 8, court records show.
Police said Hernandez eluded Southington and Cheshire police during chases but was later caught in Bristol. Bristol police said Hernandez was having a mental health problem and was taken to a hospital for an evaluation.
Police said Hernandez told them he had been driving around Connecticut that day trying to get arrested “because he no longer wanted to stay at his mom’s house.”
MLB FREE AGENT WATCH: OHTANI LEADS POSSIBLE 2023-24 CLASS
CHICAGO (AP) — The number will follow Shohei Ohtani until it is over. No, not Ohtani’s home runs or strikeouts or any of his magnificent numbers from the field. Nothing like that.
It’s all about how much. As in how much will his next contract be worth.
Ohtani is among several players going into their final seasons before they are eligible for free agency. There is still time for signatures and press conferences before opening day, but history shows a new contract becomes less likely once the real games begin.
There is no real precedent for placing a value on Ohtani’s remarkable skills, especially after baseball’s epic offseason spending spree. And that doesn’t factor in the potential business opportunities that go along with the majors’ only truly global star.
Ohtani hit .273 with 34 homers and 95 RBIs last season in his fifth year with the Los Angeles Angels. The 2021 AL MVP also went 15-9 with a 2.33 ERA in 28 starts on the mound.
He prepared for this season by leading Japan to the World Baseball Classic championship, striking out fellow Angels star Mike Trout for the final out in a 3-2 victory over the United States in the final.
Ohtani, who turns 29 in July, could set multiple records with his next contract, likely in the neighborhood of a $45 million average annual value and quite possibly reaching $500 million in total.
If the Angels drop out of contention in the rough-and-tumble AL West, Ohtani likely becomes the top name on the trade market this summer. If the Angels are in the mix for the playoffs, the pressure builds on the team to get something done before possibly losing Ohtani in free agency for nothing more than a compensatory draft pick.
So yeah, definitely high stakes with Ohtani and the Angels.
Here is a closer look at five more players eligible for free agency after this season:
RHP AARON NOLA, PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES
Nola, who turns 30 in June, went 11-13 with a 3.25 ERA in 32 starts for Philadelphia last year. He also had a career-best 235 strikeouts in 205 innings for the NL champions.
Nola was selected by the Phillies with the seventh overall pick in the 2014 amateur draft. There were extension talks during spring training, but it didn’t work out.
“We are very open-minded to trying to sign him at the end of the season,” President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski said. “We’re hopeful that he’ll remain a Phillie for a long time.”
3B MATT CHAPMAN, TORONTO BLUE JAYS
Chapman hit 36 homers and drove in 91 runs for Oakland in 2019. He hasn’t been able to duplicate that production, but the three-time Gold Glover finished with 27 homers and 76 RBIs in 155 games last year in his first season with Toronto.
Chapman turns 30 on April 28. Long one of the game’s top fielding third basemen, he is represented by Scott Boras, who generally takes his clients to free agency.
OF TEOSCAR HERNÁNDEZ, SEATTLE MARINERS
Hernández was acquired in a November trade with Toronto. He hit .267 with 25 homers and 77 RBIs in his final year with the Blue Jays. He was terrific in 2021, batting .296 with 32 homers, 116 RBIs and a .870 OPS.
The change of scenery could help the 30-year-old Hernández set himself up for a big payday. He is a .357 hitter with three homers and seven RBIs in 16 games at Seattle’s T-Mobile Park.
OF IAN HAPP, CHICAGO CUBS
The switch-hitting Happ is coming off perhaps his best big league season, setting career highs with a .271 batting average, 72 RBIs and 42 doubles in 158 games. He also won his first Gold Glove and made the NL All-Star team for the first time.
Chicago had struggled to re-sign its own players in recent years, but it agreed to a $35 million, three-year contract with infielder Nico Hoerner on Monday. The 28-year-old Happ, a first-round pick in the 2015 amateur draft, is on the executive subcommittee for the players’ union.
LHP JULIO URÍAS, LOS ANGELES DODGERS
Urías, who turns 27 in August, likely will have plenty of suitors if he reaches free agency. He went 17-7 with an NL-low 2.16 ERA in 31 starts for the NL West champions in 2022, finishing third in NL Cy Young Award balloting. That’s after he went 20-3 with a 2.96 ERA in the previous season.
Urías also is a Boras client, but the Dodgers have one of the majors’ biggest payrolls. Los Angeles also could make a run at Ohtani, which could factor into its discussions with Urías’ camp.
AP SOURCE: GUARDIANS NEARING DEAL WITH ALL-STAR 2B GIMÉNEZ
CLEVELAND (AP) — Andrés Giménez became an All-Star last season. He is about to get paid like one.
The smooth-fielding second baseman has agreed to terms on a long-term contract with the Cleveland Guardians, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press on Tuesday.
Giménez, who batted .297 and won a Gold Glove for the AL Central champions last season, could sign the deal within days, according to the person who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the contract won’t be finalized until he passes a physical.
The Guardians also are nearing a deal with reliever Trevor Stephan, the person said.
ESPN reported that Giménez has agreed to a seven-year, $106.5 million package that includes a club option for an eighth year. It’s the largest pre-arbitration deal ever given to a second baseman.
Gimenez signed a one-year deal worth $739,400 earlier this month.
A year ago, Cleveland announced All-Star third baseman José Ramírez’s seven-year, $141 million new contract on the eve of opening day. Now, they’re on the verge of locking up Giménez as they embark on 2023.
The Guardians also gave multiyear deals to closer Emmanuel Clase and center fielder Myles Straw last spring before baseball’s youngest team went 92-70 and won the division going away.
The 24-year-old Giménez has quickly developed into one of the league’s best all-around middle infielders. He hit 17 homers, drove in 69 runs and stole 20 bases last season and was one of four Gold Glove winners for Cleveland.
Giménez came to the Guardians in 2021 as part of the trade that sent shortstop Francisco Lindor to the New York Mets. He arrived along with shortstop Amed Rosario, and the two have allowed the Guardians to remain among the league’s top teams despite parting with another All-Star player.
Cleveland also has discussed extensions with Rosario and outfielder Steven Kwan, who was one of baseball’s top rookies in 2022. Rosario told reporters in Arizona on Sunday that his agent had been in talks with the club.
Stephan was an invaluable piece of Cleveland’s strong bullpen last season. The right-hander went 6-5 with a 2.69 ERA and three saves in 66 games.
The Guardians are leaving their spring training complex Tuesday for Seattle, where they’ll open the season on Thursday night against the Mariners.
SPRING TRAINING ROUNDUP: PHILLIES CLOSE SPRING WITH WALK-OFF WIN
Darick Hall scored Cameron Cannon on a walk-off double to lift the Philadelphia Phillies over the visiting Toronto Blue Jays 6-5 on the final day of spring training Tuesday in Clearwater, Fla.
Hall also hit a go-ahead RBI single to cap a four-run fourth for the Phillies, but Karl Ellison tied it 5-5 in the seventh with an RBI double for the Blue Jays.
Edmundo Sosa hit two sacrifice flies for Philadelphia. Phillies starter Bailey Falter lasted just 1 2/3 innings, giving up four runs on four hits and three walks without a strikeout.
Bo Bichette hit a two-run home run for the Blue Jays. Toronto starter Jose Berrios gave up four runs on three hits and three walks over 4 2/3 innings. He struck out four.
NATIONALS 3, YANKEES 0
Alex Call went 2-for-3 with a solo homer, a walk and two runs and host Washington held New York to three hits in an exhibition win.
Nationals starter Trevor Williams gave up one hit and two walks over four spotless innings and MacKenzie Gore followed with four strikeouts over 3 2/3 innings, also with a hit and two walks.
The Yankees mustered only three singles, though one came from Anthony Volpe, their No. 1 prospect who was named their Opening Day shortstop Sunday. Volpe also made a leaping grab in the field.
BRAVES 7, RED SOX 5
Orlando Arcia homered and Michael Harris II rang up three RBIs on a fielder’s choice and an infield single to lead visiting Atlanta past Boston in Fort Myers, Fla.
Ozzie Albies added an RBI double for the Braves. Masataka Yoshida, Triston Casas and Connor Wong went yard for the Red Sox.
Braves starter Charlie Morton last just 2 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on four hits and two walks.
TWINS 7, PIRATES 5
Anthony Prato hit an RBI triple and Seth Gray added a 415-foot three-run home run in the eighth inning to rally Minnesota past host Pittsburgh in Bradenton, Fla.
Canaan Smith-Njigba hit a three-run homer for the Pirates, finishing the spring with three homers and 14 RBIs.
Twins starter Tyler Mahle surrendered just one run on one hit through four innings while fanning three. Pirates starter Johan Oviedo struck out seven in five innings.
RANGERS 5, ROYALS 3
Martin Perez and Jon Gray combined for 12 strikeouts and just five hits over nine innings as Texas edged Kansas City in Arlington, Texas.
Rangers starter Perez fanned five over the first five innings and Gray came on to strike out seven over the final four. Ezequiel Duran stole home for the Rangers, while Hunter Dozier and Michael Massey hit solo shots for the Royals.
Kansas City jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead, but Texas responded with five unanswered runs before Jeison Guzman’s RBI single in the ninth forged the final score.
BREWERS 8, ROCKIES 1
Luke Voit and Jesse Winker hit two-run home runs for visiting Milwaukee to blow past Colorado in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Brewers starter Freddy Peralta struck out five batters and yielded four hits and a walk over 4 2/3 innings. Coco Montes’ sacrifice fly supplied the Rockies’ lone run.
Colorado starter Ryan Feltner was tagged for four runs on six hits in 4 1/3 innings. He allowed Voit and Winker’s home runs.
CUBS 8, WHITE SOX 5
Luis Vazquez mashed a two-run home run to spark the host Cubs’ rally past the White Sox in Mesa, Ariz.
Owen Caissie followed Vazquez with a go-ahead two-run single. Romy Gonzalez hit his sixth homer of the spring for the White Sox and Andrew Vaughn added a solo shot.
Cubs starter Drew Smyly was roughed up, giving up five runs (four earned) on 10 hits in four innings. The White Sox mustered just three hits of the Cubs’ relievers, though.
DIAMONDBACKS 3, GUARDIANS 1
Geraldo Perdomo had two RBIs on a bases-loaded walk and a go-ahead sacrifice fly for host Arizona to beat Cleveland in Phoenix.
Diamondbacks starter Ryne Nelson and five relievers combined to hold the Guardians to five hits while fanning nine without a walk.
Amed Rosario’s sacrifice fly brought in the Guardians’ only run.
ANGELS 13, DODGERS 5
Hunter Renfroe and Luis Rengifo hit back-to-back homers in the third inning as the Los Angeles Angels routed the Los Angeles Dodgers in Anaheim, Calif. It was the fourth homer of the spring for each player.
Rengifo, Jordyn Adams and Zach Neto each had two hits for the Angels, and Neto scored three runs.
J.D. Martinez went 3-for-4 and Freddie Freeman added two hits for the Dodgers.
RAYS, CHASING CONTINUED SUCCESS, OPEN AGAINST TIGERS
Despite standing pat most of the offseason, the Tampa Bay Rays have the same hopes as they prepare to open their 26th season: Win plenty of baseball games and make the postseason.
Coming off a 2022 campaign that saw manager Kevin Cash’s squad go 86-76 in the ultra-competitive American League East, the Rays will face the Detroit Tigers in the opener on Thursday afternoon at St. Petersburg, Fla.
Third-place finishers last season, Tampa Bay earned the final AL wild-card spot but posted its worst winning percentage since 2017, primarily due to injuries.
Brandon Lowe, the Rays’ best slugger with 39 homers and 99 RBIs in 2021, went deep only eight times and drove in just 25 runs in 65 games last year.
Wander Franco, Tampa Bay’s dynamic young shortstop, played just 83 games and had six homers and 33 RBIs while batting .277. Due to constant leg injuries, he stole only eight bases.
A dominant force in 2019, hard-throwing Tyler Glasnow is currently nursing a left oblique strain after missing much of the 2021 and 2022 seasons following Tommy John surgery. Barring any setbacks, a May season debut is likely.
Shane McClanahan received his second straight Opening Day nod from Cash. The left-hander posted Cy Young Award numbers for most of 2022 (12-8, 2.54 ERA) before being derailed by a late-season shoulder injury.
“You’re always on the quest for seeing just how good you can be,” McClanahan said. “There always absolutely is room for improvement. … There’s obviously goals and achievements, but there’s no real, like, set limit or boundary to how good you can be.”
In three career starts against the Tigers, the 25-year-old is 1-2 with a 2.95 ERA. He has 17 strikeouts in 18 1/3 innings against Detroit.
Cash decided to add Josh Fleming, who struggled last season (2-5, 6.43 ERA), to the roster as the team’s fifth starter in Glasnow’s absence.
Fleming will be the third southpaw in the Rays’ rotation — joining McClanahan and Jeffrey Springs.
“(Fleming’s) a guy that really competes,” Cash stated.
Newcomer Zach Eflin basically replaces Corey Kluber, who signed with the Boston Red Sox, and the rotation is rounded out by Drew Rasmussen.
The Tigers went 66-96 last season, but there is renewed excitement as the organization has new leadership under president of baseball operations Scott Harris, who previously was an executive with the Chicago Cubs and the San Francisco Giants.
Detroit manager A.J. Hinch spent the final weekend of the Grapefruit League trying to organize his roster, primarily the pitching staff.
One rotation spot appears to be secured by Matthew Boyd, a two-time Opening Day starter for the Tigers.
The left-hander was non-tendered after the 2021 campaign due to flexor tendon surgery on his arm. He made 10 relief appearances for the Seattle Mariners last year, going 2-0 with a 1.35 ERA.
Detroit scratched Boyd on Saturday to give other hurlers an opportunity to make their case for landing a roster spot.
“Matt’s done everything that we really wanted him to do physically to get ready for the season,” Hinch said. “We need to take a look at a few people. We’re trying to prioritize how to do that while also getting ready for the season.”
Eduardo Rodriguez, who went 5-5 with a 4.05 ERA in 17 starts last year, will get the Opening Day start for the second year in a row. The lefty is 2-5 with a 5.59 ERA in 14 career appearances, all starts, against the Rays.
“It’s just another game, and I just focus on doing my job,” Rodriguez said of pitching the opener. “Just throw the ball where I want to, enjoy it and just play the game. I never think about it like, it’s ‘this’ game or it’s ‘that’ game. ‘We need this game.’ Nothing like that.”
With 507 home runs in a surefire Hall of Fame career spanning 20 years, Miguel Cabrera will play in his 2,700th game Thursday to begin his final season.
BREWERS, CUBS READY FOR FRESH START
The Milwaukee Brewers hope to leave behind a disappointing 2022 finish and return to the postseason.
The Chicago Cubs, meanwhile, added some established contributors to their young talent, sparking optimism for 2023.
The quest for both begins Thursday, when Milwaukee ace Corbin Burnes aims to put his personal issues with the Brewers aside while facing the Cubs in Chicago.
On Aug. 1, the Brewers led the NL Central by three games when traded star closer Josh Hader. They then went 29-31 to finish 86-76 and miss the postseason for the first time since 2017.
“Each year is its own year,” star Christian Yelich, who hit a combined .243 the past three seasons, told the Brewers’ official website. “We have a great opportunity in front of us, and we’ll see what we can do with it.”
There certainly is reason to believe Milwaukee can return to prominence. Shortstop Willy Adames wants more after setting career highs for homers (31) and RBIs (98) last season, while Rowdy Tellez also recorded personal bests with 35 home runs and 89 RBIs. In addition, All-Star catcher William Contreras (20 homers in 97 games last year) was a major acquisition from the Atlanta Braves.
Milwaukee also boasts one of the majors’ best rotations after opponents hit .229 last year, the third-lowest figure in the National League.
Following his Cy Young Award-winning 2021 season, Burnes went 12-8 with a 2.94 ERA last year while setting career highs in starts (33), innings (202) and strikeouts (NL-best 243). However, after losing his arbitration case, Burnes admitted he harbors hard feelings toward the Brewers, although he won’t carry that over to his pitching.
“When I’m out on the field, I’m going to do what I do. That hasn’t changed,” the right-hander said, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Despite going 0-1 in three starts versus the Cubs in 2022, Burnes posted a 2.37 ERA in those games.
Chicago finished 74-88 last year, its second straight losing campaign. However, the Cubs went 10-9 against Milwaukee, including 6-4 at home.
Star catcher Willson Conteras joined the rival St. Louis Cardinals, but 28-year-old All-Star outfielder Ian Happ returns after setting career bests in RBIs (72), doubles (42) and batting (.271) while also winning his first Gold Glove. Meanwhile, 25-year-old second baseman Nico Hoerner posted 10 homers and 55 RBIs.
He will make up half of Chicago’s middle infield with Gold Glove shortstop Dansby Swanson, who signed a seven-year, $177 million deal. Meanwhile, 2019 NL MVP Cody Bellinger looks for a revival after batting a combined .203 for the Los Angeles Dodgers over the past three seasons.
Veteran newcomers Eric Hosmer, Trey Mancini, Tucker Barnhart, Jameson Taillon, Brad Boxberger and Michael Fulmer will all try to help Chicago contend for a postseason spot. However, second-year outfielder Seiya Suzuki (14 homers, .262 average in 2022) is expected to open on the injured list with a strained oblique.
“Whether the hardware is here, the championship things are here, the Gold Gloves, winning players all around. We still have to go out and prove it in 2023,” Cubs manager David Ross said, according to MLB.com.
Chicago’s Marcus Stroman takes the ball after going 6-7 with a 3.50 ERA in 25 starts last season. The right-hander allowed two runs over 20 innings to win his final three home starts.
Stroman was 1-0 with a 1.37 ERA in three starts vs. Milwaukee last season.
JACOB DEGROM DEBUTS FOR RANGERS VS. AARON NOLA, PHILLIES
A top-tier pitching matchup headlines the season opener between the visiting Philadelphia Phillies and the Texas Rangers on Thursday in Arlington, Texas.
The Phillies will turn to right-hander Aaron Nola, while the rebuilding Rangers will start their new ace, right-hander Jacob deGrom, who signed a five-year, $185 million contract during the offseason.
Nola, who went 11-13 with a 3.25 ERA over 32 starts last season, is making his sixth straight Opening Day start for the defending National League champion Phillies. His six straight Opening Day starts rank third in team history, behind Hall of Famers Robin Roberts (12 in 1950-61) and Steve Carlton (10 in 1977-1986).
This is a huge season for Nola, who turns 30 in June. He’s entering the final year of a five-year, $56.75 million deal and could be among the sport’s most coveted free agents at season’s end. Nola and the Phillies recently halted talks regarding a contract extension, with the sides agreeing to resume them next offseason.
“Sometimes it comes to that; we’ll talk at the end of the season,” Nola said. “I’m focused on this year. We want to win, so we’re just so focused on having a good season and having fun with these guys.
“We definitely tried to get it done, but it just didn’t work out right now. Doesn’t mean it’s over, by any means. We’ll talk at the end of the season and see what happens.”
deGrom, a two-time Cy Young Award winner, is making his fourth Opening Day start, but his first with the Rangers, who have had 14 different Opening Day starters since 2010.
“You want to set the tone for the season and get things going,” deGrom said. “It does feel different even though you try not to make it feel different. You want to go out there, like I said, set the tone and have success.”
deGrom, a four-time All-Star who turns 35 in June, went 5-4 with a 3.08 ERA in just 11 starts last year with the Mets. His last two seasons have been derailed by injuries; he has made just 26 starts. He also already has dealt with an injury this spring, as tightness in his left side limited him during camp.
When deGrom has been healthy, he has been dominant. He posted a 1.94 ERA with an average of 12 strikeouts per nine innings from 2018 to 2021.
In his final spring start Saturday against the San Diego Padres, deGrom pitched 3 2/3 shutout innings, allowing two hits to go along with six strikeouts and two walks.
deGrom is 9-1 with a 2.18 ERA, 136 strikeouts and 27 walks in 20 appearances against the Phillies. Nola has never faced the Rangers, who beat the Phillies in all four meetings last year, outscoring them 19-7.
The Rangers went 68-94 and finished fourth in the American League West, well behind World Series champion Houston, which cruised to its fifth division title in six years by going 106-56.
The Phillies finished third in the National League East with a mark of 87-75 — their most victories since recording 102 in 2011. They earned the final wild-card spot in the National League playoffs and made their first World Series appearance since 2009, falling to the Astros in six games.
NEW-LOOK RED SOX, UPSTART ORIOLES FACE OFF TO OPEN 2022
A pair of veteran pitchers will debut for new teams Thursday when the Boston Red Sox host the Baltimore Orioles in an Opening Day matchup.
Two-time Cy Young winner Corey Kluber is set for his first home start at Fenway Park, having joined the Red Sox in the offseason — as his fifth team in as many seasons and third straight within the American League East alone.
Kluber, 36, was 10-10 with a 4.34 ERA in 31 starts for Tampa Bay last season. The right-hander sported a 3.53 ERA and won four of his seven starts as a Fenway visitor and is 6-4 in 16 career starts against Baltimore.
“Plenty of guys in this clubhouse could’ve taken the ball on Opening Day,” Kluber said. “The way I look at it is, regardless if you pitch the first day, the fifth day, it really only matters that first time through the order and then everything kind of gets messed up anyways. … I’ve done it (five times) before, and I try to make it as normal as possible.”
Kluber will oppose 35-year-old Baltimore righty Kyle Gibson, who went 10-8 with a 5.05 ERA in 31 starts in helping Philadelphia to the National League pennant in 2022.
In addition to Kluber and returning a healthy Chris Sale, Boston added several key pieces in the likes of World Baseball Classic champion Masataka Yoshida, veteran infielder Justin Turner, outfielder Adam Duvall and reliever Kenley Jansen.
After finishing 2022 in the division cellar at 78-84, the Red Sox currently have 10 players on the 40-man roster who were not previously in the organization.
Despite losing star shortstop Xander Bogaerts to San Diego, the roster gained 6.1 WAR over this offseason, tied for the fifth-largest improvement in MLB, according to FanGraphs.
“What I like is that we have veteran guys. They don’t care what happened here last year or in ’18 (a year after a World Series championship),” Red Sox manager Alex Cora told the Boston Globe. “Each one of them, they have reasons to prove people wrong. … This group knows what we can do, but the world doesn’t.”
The re-signing of Rafael Devers was surely the team’s biggest offseason move. The 26-year-old third baseman, whose 246 extra-base hits since 2019 lead the majors, signed a 10-year extension in January.
At 83-79, Baltimore finished directly above Boston in the division and remains built around young stars like catcher Adley Rutschman and infielder Gunnar Henderson, who rose through the game’s No. 1 farm system, according to MLB Pipeline’s rankings.
The organizational depth was evidenced by No. 2 prospect Grayson Rodriguez being optioned to Triple-A Norfolk on Monday after the pitcher seemingly emerged as a favorite to make the team early in spring training.
“We’re more talented than ever before since I’ve been here,” O’s manager Brandon Hyde said. “Even the guys that don’t break with us, upper-level minor league guys, there’s a lot of excitement about the talent that we have.”
Other Baltimore newcomers include left-handed starter Cole Irvin, infielder Adam Frazier and catcher James McCann.
Gibson, who has a 1.57 ERA in 28 2/3 career innings at Fenway, was the Opening Day starter for Texas during a 2021 season in which he was an All-Star.
“Hopefully, (with) that first time that I’ve done it, you can get some of the extra nerves out, but I have a little bit of anxiety and nerves every start,” Gibson said. “So you figure out how to use that and you figure out how to use that adrenaline in the right way.”
BRAVES, NATS OPEN SEASON OFF DRASTICALLY DIFFERENT 2022 CAMPAIGNS
The Atlanta Braves have won the past five NL East titles and posted 101 victories last year. Their goal as they embark on a new season: more of the same.
The Washington Nationals want pretty much nothing to do with the recent past, but a new season brings renewed excitement.
The Braves and Nationals open their 2023 schedules Thursday afternoon in Washington.
Having standouts Ronald Acuna Jr. and Ozzie Albies healthy could be a boost for the Braves. Austin Riley emerged as one of the game’s top hitters, hitting .288 over the past two seasons combined with 71 home runs and 72 doubles and was inked to a 10-year extension last August.
There are new twists for the Braves, perhaps with shortstop Dansby Swanson’s departure. Orlando Arcia, who previously played for Milwaukee before parts of two seasons with the Braves, will man that spot in the infield to begin the season.
“He has been an everyday shortstop on a division-winning team,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said of Arcia’s time with the Brewers.
The tandem behind the plate is slightly different for Atlanta as well, with the addition of catcher Sean Murphy to pair with veteran Travis d’Arnaud.
“You need depth,” Snitker said. “I feel good about the depth that we have in the organization.”
The Nationals have secured their depth in a different manner. Out of playoff contention in the three years since winning the 2019 World Series, they’ve dealt away some of their established players to secure younger prospects.
It’s unclear how soon there will be a payoff.
“We’re young, but we can compete,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. “That’s going to be the message. Losing 100 games is not acceptable.”
The Nationals were a majors-worst 55-107 last season, a whopping 46 games behind the Braves in the NL East.
Utility player Joey Meneses made unexpected headlines late last season for the Nationals, with a .324 batting average, 13 home runs and 34 RBIs in 56 games, but it’s unclear if he can repeat that. The Nationals are counting on new first baseman Dominic Smith.
Upgrading defensively has been a priority for the Nationals, but they need to shore up their lineup across the board. That could mean finding a spot for Meneses if his offense continues to warrant a place in the lineup.
“We love his bat in the lineup,” Martinez said. “Whether it’s DH, whether it’s giving (Smith) a day off at first or playing in left field, he’s going to do all three.”
Left-hander Max Fried will be Atlanta’s starting pitcher on Opening Day for the third year in a row. He had a 14-7 record and 2.48 ERA last year despite a first-game loss to the Cincinnati Reds.
Fried is 4-1 with a 5.70 ERA in games at Washington.
Left-hander Patrick Corbin (6-19, 6.31 ERA in 2022) will go to the mound for the Nationals. Those numbers from last season shouldn’t matter to him now.
“He has a lot of confidence,” Martinez said. “He knows he can do this. He has had success before. He wants to put everything in the last two years behind him.”
WITH AARON JUDGE STILL ON THEIR SIDE, YANKEES HOST GIANTS
For a few weeks during the offseason, an awkward possibility existed of Aaron Judge wearing the uniform of the San Francisco Giants and lining up along the visiting baseline while getting introduced to fans at Yankee Stadium.
Instead, Judge re-signed with the New York Yankees, and the slugger will be officially introduced as the 16th captain in team history Thursday afternoon in New York’s home opener against the Giants.
After hitting 62 homers to break Roger Maris’ single-season American League home run record, Judge spent a little over a month in free agency and the Giants were among the teams vying for his services. The Giants made such an effort to lure the California native that they reportedly offered him a $360 million contract.
After a phone call from managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner, Judge was retained by the Yankees on a nine-year, $360 million deal. And when Judge’s new contract was official, the Yankees also named him as the team’s first captain since Derek Jeter retired following the 2014 season.
Judge will take the field with a shortstop drawing comparisons to Jeter when top prospect Anthony Volpe makes his major league debut. Sportsbooks consider Volpe a favorite for AL Rookie of the Year and is expected to bat ninth after officially being told Sunday he was making the Opening Day roster.
The Yankees are unveiling Judge as captain and Volpe’s debut after getting swept in the American League Championship Series by the Houston Astros, when Judge made the final out. It ended a season where the Yankees dominated most of the first half and won 99 games to win their first division title since 2019.
“That’s why we play this game. We play to win, we play to be on top,” Judge said. “When you play in New York, that’s the one and only goal.”
After losing out on Judge, San Francisco hopes the additions of Michael Conforto and Mitch Haniger can help them rebound from a disappointing follow-up to their 107-win campaign. The Giants went 81-81 and scored 716 runs last year, down from the 804 they scored in 2021.
“I think it’s going to be fun,” San Francisco president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi said. “We tried to sign (Judge), but he’s the opposition now. I think, if anything, it provides a little extra motivation for us.”
Conforto signed a two-year, $36 million deal after missing last season recovering from right shoulder surgery. Conforto experienced mixed results in seven seasons with the Mets and hit .232 with 14 homers and 55 RBIs in 2021.
Haniger signed a three-year, $43.5 million contract with the Giants banking on similar production from his 39-homer season in 2021. Unlike Conforto, Haniger will likely miss the series against New York with a Grade 1 oblique strain that was diagnosed March 11.
Gerrit Cole will make his fourth straight Opening Day start for the Yankees. Cole pitched well in the postseason after going 13-8 with a 3.50 ERA in a regular season, where he led the majors with 257 strikeouts but also allowed an AL-worst 33 homers.
Cole is 5-1 with a 3.15 ERA in seven career starts against the Giants.
Logan Webb will start a season opener for the second straight season. Last year, Webb followed up an 11-3 showing in 2021 by going 15-9 with a 2.90 ERA while throwing a career-high 192 1/3 innings.
Webb heads into his first career start against the Yankees after going 4-1 with a 2.96 ERA in his final five starts of 2022.
BLACKHAWKS’ TOEWS RETURNS TO ICE, HINTS AT RETIREMENT
CHICAGO (AP) — Longtime Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews returned to the ice Tuesday but hinted his stellar NHL career could be winding down after 15 years.
Toews, 34, skated with teammates prior to Chicago’s game with the Dallas Stars. It was his first time practicing with them since a game in Edmonton on Jan. 28.
He made a statement through the team on Feb. 19 saying he would be stepping away because of the effects of Chronic Immune Response Syndrome and “long COVID.”
In meeting with reporters Tuesday, Toews stopped short of saying he hoped to play in any of last-place Chicago’s nine remaining games. His eight-year, $84 million contract is set to expire at the end of the season.
Toews said he’s feeling stronger, but isn’t sure if he’ll be able to play again for the Blackhawks or another team.
“Both if I’m being fully honest,” Toews said. “I feel like I’ve said it already, that I’ve gotten to the point where my health is more important.
“When you’re young and you’re playing for a Stanley Cup and everyone’s playing through something, that means something and it’s worthwhile. But I’m at that point where it feels like more damage is being done than is a good thing.”
Toews, the Blackhawks’ first-round draft pick (third overall) in 2006, joined the team in 2007 and was a pillar of Stanley Cup championship clubs in 2010, 2013 and 2015.
At the peak of his career, he was one of the NHL’s top two-way centers, winning the Selke Trophy as the league’s top defensive forward in 2013.
In 1,060 regular-season games, Toews has 371 goals and 509 assists. In 139 playoff games, he’s posted 45 goals and 74 assists, and he won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP in 2010.
Toews missed the entire 2020-21 season with Chronic Immune Response System, which caused debilitating inflammation and fatigue.
He appeared in 71 games in 2021-22, then started this season with renewed energy before slowing and eventually shutting himself down.
Entering this season, it looked as if Chicago might deal him, as it did fellow star Patrick Kane, before the March trade deadline. But Kane went to the New York Rangers and Toews to injured reserve.
Toews believed he was progressing before a relapse in January left him so sore and tired that he could barely “put on my skates or roll out of bed to come to the rink.”
Toews said his progress over the past month has been “pretty encouraging” and he’s delighted to be back among his teammates. He has no timetable beyond that.
“We’re just going to go day by day here,” Chicago coach Luke Richardson said. He deserves anything he wants to try to achieve here.”
Richardson hoped Toews “can take that next step later in the week and hopefully (he) gives us the green light to go in a game.”
But Toews emphasized his long-term health and ability to lead a “normal life” is most important. He wants to go out on a positive note and not hit the ice for a game playing through excessive pain and dysfunction.
“It’s definitely on my mind that this could be my last few weeks here as a Blackhawk in Chicago,” Toews said. “It’s definitely very important for me to go out there and enjoy the game and just kind of soak it in and just really appreciate everything I’ve been able to be part of here in Chicago.”
NHL ROUNDUP: MATT BOLDY’S HAT TRICK LEADS WILD OVER KRAKEN
Matt Boldy scored his second hat trick in nine days as the Minnesota Wild defeated the Seattle Kraken 5-1 Monday night in St. Paul, Minn.
Jake Middleton and Ryan Hartman also scored and Marcus Johansson, Jared Spurgeon and Joel Eriksson Ek had two assists apiece for the Central Division-leading Wild, who improved to 15-1-4 in their past 20 games and pulled within three points of Western Conference-leading Vegas. Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury made 35 saves.
Jaden Schwartz scored for the Kraken, who lead the West’s wild-card race. Goalie Philipp Grubauer stopped 9 of 13 shots before being pulled early in the third after Boldy scored to make it 4-0. Martin Jones stopped 6 of 7 shots the rest of the way as Seattle had an eight-game road point streak snapped (7-0-1).
Boldy completed the hat trick 50 seconds into the third. Eriksson Ek stole a clearance attempt and passed to Boldy for a one-timer from the slot. Boldy also had three goals in a 5-3 victory against Washington on March 19.
CANADIENS 4, SABRES 3 (SO)
Brendan Gallagher’s 200th career goal tied things up just before the midway point of the third period, and Montreal eventually won in a shootout against host Buffalo.
With the Canadiens down 3-2, Gallagher leveled things when he rang the post via his milestone goal with 11:25 remaining in regulation. Jordan Harris and Alex Belzile also had goals, and Michael Pezzetta’s score in the sixth round of the shootout was the difference for the Canadiens.
Lukas Rousek scored on his first NHL shot and added an assist in his league debut for the Sabres. JJ Peterka and Riley Stillman also scored, while Eric Comrie made 38 saves for Buffalo, which played without star Tage Thompson (upper-body injury).
SENATORS 5, PANTHERS 2
Brady Tkachuk had a goal and an assist, Mads Sogaard made 32 saves and Ottawa scored three power-play goals to beat visiting Florida.
The win moved the Senators closer in their pursuit of an Eastern Conference wild-card spot. The Pittsburgh Penguins, who were idle on Monday, are in the second wild-card slot with 82 points, while the Panthers are just behind them despite being on a season-high, four-game losing streak.
Ottawa’s Alex DeBrincat, Tim Stutzle and Erik Brannstrom all scored on the power play, with each score coming near the end of each period. After its 3-for-4 performance on Monday, the Senators’ streaking power-play unit is 10-for-28 over the past eight games. Gustav Forsling scored both of the Panthers’ goals.
ISLANDERS 5, DEVILS 1
Kyle Palmieri scored twice against his former team for New York, which earned a pivotal victory by beating New Jersey in Elmont, N.Y.
Pierre Engvall scored in the first period and Bo Horvat and Zach Parise each scored empty-netters late in the third for the Islanders, who stopped a two-game losing streak and lengthened their lead in the Eastern Conference wild-card race. Islanders goalie Ilya Sorokin made 30 saves.
Erik Haula scored in the second period for the Devils, who lost for the sixth time in eight games (2-4-2) and missed a chance to move within one point of the idle first-place Carolina Hurricanes in the Metropolitan Division. New Jersey goalie Vitek Vanecek recorded 31 saves.
OILERS 5, COYOTES 4
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored a third-period tiebreaking goal, Leon Draisaitl netted the 300th of his career and Edmonton prevailed in Tempe, Ariz.
By scoring in his 630th game, Draisaitl used the fourth-fewest games to reach 300 goals among active players. Evan Bouchard had a goal and an assist, and Zach Hyman and Darnell Nurse scored for the Oilers. Jack Campbell made 29 saves for the win.
Arizona got two goals apiece from Matias Maccelli and Barrett Hayton. Lawson Crouse dealt three assists and Jack McBain and Nick Schmaltz each had two.
AVALANCHE 5, DUCKS 1
Nathan MacKinnon and Bowen Byram each had a goal and an assist as visiting Colorado cruised past Anaheim for its third consecutive win.
Valeri Nichushkin, Jack Johnson and Samuel Girard also scored goals and Cale Makar added two assists for Colorado, which is one point behind first-place Minnesota in the Central Division ahead of a Wednesday game vs. the Wild in Denver. Jonas Johansson stopped 29 of 30 shots.
Derek Grant scored for Anaheim, which took its fifth straight loss. John Gibson made 39 saves for the Ducks, who finished an eight-game homestand with just a 1-6-1 record to fall to 12-22-3 at the Honda Center this season.
MEN’S GOLF NEWS
PGA TOUR FALL OFFERS SPOTS IN MASTERS AND $20 MILLION EVENTS
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A trip to the Masters and a chance to play in two $20 million tournaments are among the incentives for PGA Tour players to play this fall if they don’t reach the FedEx Cup playoffs.
The PGA Tour sent out a memo Monday that offered a few more details on the overhaul that starts in 2024, and Commissioner Jay Monahan is scheduled to be in San Antonio this week to answer any questions from players.
What previously was announced is the top 70 in the FedEx Cup advance to the postseason. The top 50 who reached the BMW Championship — the second playoff event — are locked in for all eight designated events that offer a $20 million prize fund.
The fall schedule, which hasn’t been announced, is open to everyone. The FedEx Cup points list that starts in January will continue into the fall, but only for those players who finish outside the top 50.
Winners still get an invitation to the Masters, and it gets them to Kapalua for the Sentry Tournament of Champions. The extended FedEx Cup points list will be used to determine the leading 10 players who will get into the two designated events after Hawaii (presumably Pebble Beach and Riviera).
After that, the 2024 FedEx Cup standings will be used to fill those 10 spots.
The tour also provided clarity on the five players who get into $20 million events under the “swing” category. Those will be determined by a separated points list of full-field tournaments between designated events.
Once that designated event is over, however, the “swing” category starts anew. Whatever points such a player earns in a designated event won’t count toward the next one.
Now officials have to figure out where to place the five other designated events after the West Coast swing to keep them properly spaced.
Also, anyone winning a PGA Tour event (except for opposite-field events) will be eligible for every designated event the rest of the year. Opposite-field event winners get 300 points, which likely would make them eligible through the current FedEx Cup standings or the swing category.
The memo said 750 points would be awarded to the winner of the four majors and The Players Championship, 700 points for the designated events and 500 points to everything else (except for opposite fields, which get 300).
Still to be determined are any restriction on who gets the four sponsor exemptions to the $20 million event, and when to reshuffle the ranking of new members coming from the Korn Ferry Tour (30 players), the European tour (10) and Q-school (5).
CBS AND LIV
The Masters will be the third major that brings together players from LIV Golf with players who stayed loyal to their tours. As far as CBS Sports is concerned, all are at Augusta National by invitation and trying to win a green jacket.
“Listen, we’re not going to cover up or hide anything,” Sean McManus, the chairman of CBS Sports, said in a conference call. “As I said, our job is to cover the golf tournament. We’re not going to show any different treatment of the golfers who play on the LIV tour than we do for the other golfers. And if there’s a pertinent point that we feel we should bring up on our coverage … we’re not going to put our heads in the sand.
“Having said that, unless it really affects the story that’s taking place on the golf course, we’re not going to out of our way to cover it,” he said. “But I’m not sure there’s anything we could add to the story as it already exists.”
NBC and Golf Channel had the U.S. Open and British Open, when LIV Golf was still just starting. Plus, the other two majors were held before LIV players first filed an antitrust lawsuit against the PGA Tour.
On the European tour, Rory McIlroy and Patrick Reed had an uncomfortable exchange on the driving range in Dubai, and then they came down to the wire before McIlroy won.
How appealing would it be to have a PGA Tour player and a LIV Golf player in contention?
“We’re not cheerleaders,” said Sellers Shy, the lead golf producer for CBS. “Whoever is on that leaderboard, then we’re covering them, because they’re invited to the Masters.”
LPGA IN MALAYSIA
The LPGA Tour is going back to Malaysia and restoring what could have been another gap in the Asia swing.
The Maybank Championship will be Oct. 26-29 at Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club, replacing the void created when the Taiwan Swinging Skirts LPGA was canceled. The Maybank Championship will have a 78-player field and a $3 million purse.
The Maybank Championship was a European Tour and Asian Tour event from 2016 through 2019 until being canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The LPGA Tour previously played the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia at Kuala Lumpur from 2010 until that ended in 2017.
“The LPGA and Maybank’s shared values around elevating and empowering women make this an important partnership for us in this region of the world,” LPGA Commissioner Mollie Marcoux Samaan said.
The Maybank Championship would allow for at least a three-week Asia swing in October that would now go from South Korea to Malaysia to Japan before the tour wraps up in Florida. Still on the schedule, the week before South Korea, is an event in Shanghai.
The LPGA lost one week of its three-week Asia swing earlier this year when the Blue Bay LPGA on Hainan Island in China was canceled.
MAYAKOBA TO CABO
LIV Golf took over at Mayakoba, and now the PGA Tour stop at the Mexican resort is moving to the first golf course Tiger Woods designed.
The World Wide Technology Championship will move this year to El Cardonal in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, a course by Woods’ design company that opened in 2014.
The tour had been at Mayakoba since 2007. LIV Golf opened its 2023 season at Mayakoba, forcing the tour to find another venue. The date of the tournament has not been decided, but it will be part of the fall schedule.
The question was meant as a joke. Jordan Spieth was asked to estimate the size of the book if caddie Michael Greller wrote down everything he said during a round.
“Big,” Spieth said, before adding as he walked away that he was trying to cut back. That’s been a theme in recent weeks.
Spieth is a dream for golf geeks the way he analyzes shots, before and after he hits them. Put a microphone on him and there would be no need for television commentary. But the goal in the pre-Masters run has been to talk less.
“I’ve been trying to work on just hitting and playing and not talking so much,” he said after his first match in the Dell Match Play. “It doesn’t necessarily affect how I play, but it is a lot less energy used up, it feels like, over the last couple weeks.”
The Match Play ended with Americans winning the last six tournaments. … Germany has produced four European tour winners in the last eight months — Maximilian Kieffer in the Czech Masters, Yannik Paul in the Mallorca Open, Marcel Siem in the Indian Open and Nick Bachem last week in South Africa. … Sam Burns joined Geoff Ogilvy (2006) and Jeff Maggert (1999) as the only players to win the Match Play on their first attempt. … U.S. Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick will be playing the Zurich Classic of New Orleans with his brother, Alex. … The field for the eight-team International Crown will be decided after the DIO Implant Open on the LPGA Tour. Danielle Kang has the fourth and final spot on the U.S. team at No. 15 in the world, five spots ahead of Jennifer Kupcho. The tight race is for Australia. Grace Kim is in the fourth and final spot. She is No. 177 in the world, while Sarah Kemp is at No. 178. The International Crown is May 4-7 at Harding Park in San Francisco.
STAT OF THE WEEK
Celine Boutier won the LPGA Drive On Championship and moved to No. 8 in the world. She is the first French player — male or female — to be in the top 10 of the world ranking.
“I also was thinking, ‘If I’m going to miss my flight, I’m going to make sure I win this thing.’ I’m not losing and missing my flight.” — Celine Boutier on her playoff win over Georgia Hall in the LPGA Drive On Championship.
|W||L||Pct||Conf GB||Home||Road||Div||Conf||Last 10||Streak|
|1 xy-Milwaukee||54||21||.720||—||30-7||24-14||9-5||31-15||7-3||1 W|
|2 x-Boston||52||24||.684||2.5||28-9||24-15||9-4||30-17||7-3||1 L|
|3 x-Philadelphia||49||26||.653||5.0||26-11||23-15||7-6||30-16||6-4||3 L|
|4 x-Cleveland||48||29||.623||7.0||30-8||18-21||12-3||31-16||7-3||1 L|
|5 New York||43||33||.566||11.5||21-17||22-16||8-8||28-19||4-6||1 W|
|6 Brooklyn||40||35||.533||14.0||19-16||21-19||7-8||27-21||3-7||1 L|
|7 Miami||40||36||.526||14.5||25-14||15-22||9-5||21-26||5-5||2 L|
|8 Atlanta||38||38||.500||16.5||22-16||16-22||7-8||24-23||5-5||1 W|
|9 Toronto||38||38||.500||16.5||26-14||12-24||4-9||23-23||6-4||3 W|
|10 Chicago||36||39||.480||18.0||20-17||16-22||6-8||25-23||7-3||1 L|
|11 Washington||34||42||.447||20.5||18-19||16-23||7-6||20-27||3-7||1 W|
|12 Indiana||33||43||.434||21.5||19-18||14-25||7-6||23-24||4-6||3 L|
|13 Orlando||32||44||.421||22.5||19-19||13-25||6-8||18-28||5-5||1 L|
|14 Charlotte||26||51||.338||29.0||13-24||13-27||7-9||14-34||5-5||3 W|
|15 Detroit||16||59||.213||38.0||9-30||7-29||1-13||7-40||1-9||6 L|
|W||L||Pct||Conf GB||Home||Road||Div||Conf||Last 10||Streak|
|1 xy-Denver||51||24||.680||—||32-6||19-18||10-5||32-13||5-5||4 W|
|2 xy-Memphis||48||27||.640||3.0||33-5||15-22||13-2||28-19||9-1||7 W|
|3 Sacramento||45||30||.600||6.0||23-16||22-14||9-6||29-16||6-4||1 L|
|4 Phoenix||40||35||.533||11.0||24-12||16-23||9-5||25-20||4-6||2 W|
|5 LA Clippers||40||36||.526||11.5||21-18||19-18||7-7||23-23||7-3||1 W|
|6 Golden State||40||37||.519||12.0||31-8||9-29||6-9||26-21||6-4||1 W|
|7 Minnesota||39||37||.513||12.5||21-17||18-20||8-7||27-20||5-5||4 W|
|8 New Orleans||38||38||.500||13.5||24-13||14-25||10-5||26-21||6-4||1 L|
|9 LA Lakers||37||38||.493||14.0||21-18||16-20||5-9||22-24||6-4||1 L|
|10 Oklahoma City||37||39||.487||14.5||22-16||15-23||8-7||23-25||6-4||1 L|
|11 Dallas||37||39||.487||14.5||22-16||15-23||9-6||27-23||3-7||1 W|
|12 Utah||35||40||.467||16.0||22-16||13-24||5-9||22-25||4-6||4 L|
|13 Portland||32||43||.427||19.0||17-21||15-22||6-9||22-23||1-9||3 L|
|14 San Antonio||19||56||.253||32.0||13-25||6-31||2-13||7-38||3-7||4 L|
|15 Houston||18||58||.237||33.5||12-26||6-32||4-12||11-39||3-7||6 L|
Eight teams in each conference qualify for the playoffs.
X – Clinched Playoff Spot, Y – Clinched Division, Z – Clinched Conference
|1 xy-Boston Bruins||74||57||12||5||119||54||276||159||30-4-3||27-8-2||7-3-0|
|2 x-Carolina Hurricanes||73||47||17||9||103||43||241||192||25-10-3||22-7-6||4-5-1|
|3 x-New Jersey Devils||74||46||20||8||100||44||257||206||20-13-4||26-7-4||4-4-2|
|4 x-New York Rangers||74||44||20||10||98||40||253||200||22-12-4||22-8-6||8-1-1|
|5 x-Toronto Maple Leafs||73||44||20||9||97||43||251||203||25-7-5||19-13-4||6-3-1|
|6 Tampa Bay Lightning||75||43||26||6||92||40||257||230||25-7-5||18-19-1||5-5-0|
|7 New York Islanders||75||38||28||9||85||38||224||206||22-13-3||16-15-6||6-3-1|
|8 Pittsburgh Penguins||74||36||28||10||82||35||239||243||20-11-5||16-17-5||4-6-0|
|9 Florida Panthers||74||36||31||7||79||34||257||256||21-12-4||15-19-3||5-4-1|
|10 Buffalo Sabres||73||35||31||7||77||34||261||271||14-20-4||21-11-3||3-4-3|
|11 Ottawa Senators||74||36||33||5||77||34||236||240||21-13-3||15-20-2||3-6-1|
|12 Washington Capitals||74||34||32||8||76||32||236||231||17-14-5||17-18-3||3-5-2|
|13 Detroit Red Wings||73||32||32||9||73||29||216||242||18-15-4||14-17-5||4-6-0|
|14 Philadelphia Flyers||73||29||32||12||70||27||198||238||17-16-5||12-16-7||5-4-1|
|15 Montreal Canadiens||75||30||39||6||66||25||217||276||16-17-3||14-22-3||4-6-0|
|16 Columbus Blue Jackets||73||23||43||7||53||22||198||291||14-20-2||9-23-5||3-6-1|
|1 Vegas Golden Knights||74||46||22||6||98||42||246||212||22-15-1||24-7-5||8-2-0|
|2 Minnesota Wild||74||43||22||9||95||36||224||199||24-11-3||19-11-6||7-1-2|
|3 Los Angeles Kings||74||43||21||10||96||37||259||238||25-9-4||18-12-6||7-1-2|
|4 Edmonton Oilers||75||43||23||9||95||43||298||254||20-12-6||23-11-3||8-1-1|
|5 Colorado Avalanche||73||44||23||6||94||38||245||201||20-12-5||24-11-1||9-1-0|
|6 Dallas Stars||74||40||20||14||94||37||255||205||18-10-9||22-10-5||6-3-1|
|7 Seattle Kraken||73||40||25||8||88||40||254||236||16-15-4||24-10-4||4-4-2|
|8 Winnipeg Jets||75||41||31||3||85||40||221||212||22-12-2||19-19-1||5-5-0|
|9 Calgary Flames||75||34||26||15||83||32||237||232||18-15-4||16-11-11||5-3-2|
|10 Nashville Predators||73||37||28||8||82||32||206||217||18-14-4||19-14-4||5-4-1|
|11 St. Louis Blues||74||34||34||6||74||31||242||273||16-16-5||18-18-1||6-3-1|
|12 Vancouver Canucks||74||34||34||6||74||29||255||273||17-18-1||17-16-5||7-2-1|
|13 Arizona Coyotes||75||27||35||13||67||24||211||262||20-12-4||7-23-9||4-3-3|
|14 Anaheim Ducks||74||23||41||10||56||20||190||302||12-22-3||11-19-7||2-6-2|
|15 San Jose Sharks||74||20||39||15||55||19||212||286||7-20-10||13-19-5||1-6-3|
|16 Chicago Blackhawks||74||24||44||6||54||22||180||266||14-20-3||10-24-3||2-7-1|
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
TODAY IN BASEBALL HISTORY
1933 After missing half of last season when he broke his leg, Cubs outfielder Kiki Cuyler breaks his other leg and will miss nearly three months. The 36-year-old future Hall of Famer has led the league in stolen bases four times and will finish with 328 career steals.
1935 The reigning National League champion Cardinals release 44-year-old right-hander Dazzy Vance, who appeared in his first and only World Series this season. The future Hall of Fame hurler will return to the Dodgers, where he spent the most productive years of his career, finishing his major league 16-year tenure in the major leagues with a 197-140 (.585) record along with an ERA of 3.24.
1944 During a Pacific Coast League minor league exhibition game, Oakland lends Los Angels five players after some of their opponents suffer an assortment of injuries in a car accident. The ‘visiting’ team beats the hometown Oaks, 6-2.
1948 Thirty-four players participate in an unusually long exhibition game when the Yankees and the Red Sox take 17 innings to play to a 2-2 tie. The four-hour, two-minute contest features the Bronx Bombers scoring runs in the bottom of the ninth and tenth innings to keep the score knotted, but the team fails to push in the winning run in the final frame when Frank Crosetti attempts a two-out bunt to squeeze in a runner from third.
1954 The Cubs fire skipper Phil Cavarretta after telling reporters the team had little chance to finish in the first division. The 36-year-old player-manager, who compiled a 169-213 (.442) record during his three years at the helm, is the first to lose a managerial position during spring training.
1973 At the suggestion of A’s owner Charlie Finley, orange-colored balls are used in an 11-5 exhibition game loss to the Indians. Major League Baseball drops the novel concept after Cleveland outfielder George Hendrick, who hit three home runs in the contest, claims he had difficulty picking up the ball due to the lack of red seams on a white sphere.
1975 Mel Stottlemyre, suffering from a torn rotator cuff, is given his unconditional release by the Yankees. The team’s future pitching coach compiled a 164-139 record and a 2.97 ERA, tossing 152 complete games, including 40 shutouts
2000 The Expos and Labatt announce the C$100M sponsorship deal, negotiated two years ago, will go forward as planned. The Brewery has committed to paying C$40M over the next twenty years for the naming rights to Montreal’s proposed downtown ballpark and approximately another C$60M to be the team’s primary sponsor, the company’s role for the past 15 years.
2001 Todd Helton signs a nine-year, $141.5 million contract extension, making him the highest-paid player in Rockies’ history. Last season, the Colorado first baseman batted .372, hit 42 homers, and knocked in 147 runs.
2002 The Red Sox purchases Rickey Henderson’s contract from Pawtucket, placing the future Hall of Fame outfielder on their Opening Day roster. The ‘Man of Steal,’ who joined the exclusive 3,000-hit club on the final day of last season, will begin his 24th year in the majors, appearing with his eighth different club.
2002 Major League Baseball announces there will be a minute of silence at 9:11 at every major league team’s first-night game this season to remember September 11th’s tragic events. The performing of God Bless America will continue during the seventh-inning stretch of all contests.
2002 The Brewers announce that Miller Park’s retractable roof will be used only on a limited basis at the start of the season as engineers try to eliminate persistent noise coming from the year-old structure. According to the engineers who designed the building, the problem in the pivot system, located behind and above home plate in the so-called Uecker seats, is not a hazard.
2007 In a split-squad game between the Cubs and Diamondbacks at Mesa’s HoHoKam Park, Ria Cortesio, serving alternately as the first and third base umpire, becomes the first female ump to work a major league exhibition game since Pam Postema in 1989. The thirty-year-old Davenport (IA) native, who is starting her ninth year as an arbitrator and fifth in Double-A minor league ball, hopes to be the first woman umpire in major league history.
2008 In an exhibition game celebrating the club’s 50th anniversary of their move west from Brooklyn, the Dodgers lose to the Red Sox in front of 115,300 fans at the LA Coliseum. The crowd is the largest ever to watch a baseball game, surpassing the previous record when approximately 114,000 patrons attended an exhibition contest between the Australian national team and an American services team during the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne.
2009 The Yankees dedicate a permanent September 11th memorial at the entrance of George M. Steinbrenner Field, the team’s Spring Training home in Tampa (FL). The tribute to the victims and their families of the terrorist attacks of 2001 features a foundation in the shape of the Pentagon, which supports two towers made from steel from the World Trade Center placed on a grassy spot representing the heroes of United Flight 93, who perished in a field in Pennsylvania.
2009 John Franco throws out the ceremonial first pitch to a standing ovation from the crowd attending the collegiate matchup between St. John’s and Georgetown in the first baseball game ever played at Citi Field. Before tossing his signature pitch, a breaking ball in the dirt, the former Mets reliever takes the mound wearing the familiar blue and orange but then removes his jacket to reveal his alma mater’s colors, a Red Storm jersey with his number 45.
2009 On a damp and chilly afternoon, 22,397 patrons become the first fans to attend a baseball game at Citi Field, the Mets’ new home, when St. John’s University hosts Georgetown in a collegiate contest. The weather dampened the schools’ hope of breaking the NCAA attendance record of 40,106, set during a game between San Diego State and Houston played at Petco Park in 2004.
2009 Dontrelle Willis is placed on the 15-day disabled list by the Tigers. According to the 27-year-old southpaw, unsuccessful since winning 22 games with the Marlins in 2003, he has been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, believed by doctors to be easily treatable.
2010 Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig announces President Obama will throw out the first pitch before Washington’s game against the Phillies at Nationals Park on Opening Day, continuing a century-old tradition. In 1910, William Howard Taft became the first Commander-in-Chief to toss the ceremonial first pitch to start the season.
2013 The Giants and Buster Posey, the National League’s MVP, agree on an eight-year, $159 million extension that includes a full no-trade clause. The deal, keeping the 26-year-old backstop in a Giants’ uniform through 2021, is the second-richest contract ever given to a catcher, surpassed only by the Twins’ signing of Joe Mauer two seasons ago to an eight-year, $184 million pact.
2013 Tiger right-hander Justin Verlander agrees to a seven-year, $180 million contract, the richest deal for a pitcher in baseball history. The 2011 American League MVP and Cy Young Award winner, already signed through 2014 under a previous $80 million, five-year deal, decides not to test free agency in two years, stating that “the pull of Detroit was too much.”
2017 The Dodgers commemorate Kirk Gibson’s historic pinch-hit, walk-off home run in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series by offering a special ticket package to sit in the right-field pavilion seat, recently painted blue bearing his signature, where the ball landed. The team is donating two-thirds of the $300 price of the ducats, including a companion seat, two commemorative T-shirts, and food and drink, to the Kirk Gibson Foundation to raise money and awareness for Parkinson’s research, a neurological disease affecting the Fall Classic hero.
2018 Matt Davidson becomes the fourth major leaguer to hit three home runs on Opening Day, contributing to the White Sox’s 14-7 victory over the Royals at Kauffman Stadium. The White Sox slugging third baseman joins Dmitri Young (Tigers, 2005), Tuffy Rhodes (Cubs, 1994), and George Bell (Blue Jays, 1988) in accomplishing the feat on the first day of the season.
2018 This date marks the earliest start of the major league season in the game’s history, excluding international openers. The schedule calls for all the teams to play on Opening Day for the first time since April 10th, 1968, the last season before divisional play started in the American and National Leagues.
2018 On Opening Day, the late right-hander Roy Halladay’s number #32 is retired during an emotional on-field ceremony at Rogers Centre. In his 12 seasons with Toronto, the six-time American League All-Star, who died in a plane crash off the coast of Florida in November, compiled a 148-76 record with a 3.43 ERA before his trade to the Phillies in 2009 for minor league prospects.
2018 At Miami, Cubs’ leadoff hitter Ian Happ goes deep on the season’s first pitch, homering to right field off a Jose Urena fastball in the team’s 8-4 victory over the Marlins. The 23-year-old center fielder, playing in his first Opening Day contest, becomes the first player to accomplish the feat since Red Sox’s Dwight Evans took Tiger right-hander Jack Morris deep on the initial delivery of the 1986 campaign.
His American League statistics – 21 games, a .179 batting average – tell the most incomplete story possible of the player who was Willard Brown.
His Hall of Fame plaque, however, speaks volumes about the pioneer who was one of the Negro Leagues’ greatest power hitters.
“He was the most natural ballplayer I ever saw,” said Negro Leagues legend Buck O’Neil. “He’d steal second base standing up. He was a great talent.”
Born June 26, 1915 in Shreveport, La., “Home Run” Brown – named by future Hall of Famer Josh Gibson – began his big league career with the Kansas City Monarchs of Negro American League in 1937. Brown quickly became one of the league’s most formidable hitters, hitting a league-best 10 home runs in 1937 and leading the league in RBI in each of his first three seasons. He helped lead the Monarchs to five pennants between 1937 and 1942, also playing in the Mexican League in 1940, where he hit .354.
A speedy outfielder who usually played center field, the 5-foot-11, 200-pound Brown served in the Army for two years during World War II. He was among those sailing on 5,000 ships that crossed the English Channel during the D-Day Invasion of 1944.
In 1946, Brown returned to baseball and the Monarchs. The next season, Hank Thompson and Brown became the second and third Black players in American League history when they signed with the St. Louis Browns on July 17, 1947. The Browns, however, sent the duo straight to the majors. The adjustment proved difficult as Willard Brown played in just 21 games between July 19 and Aug. 21 before he was released.
During his time in the majors, however, Brown became the first African American to homer in the AL when he connected off of future Hall of Famer Hal Newhouser of the Tigers on Aug. 13. After his release, Brown returned to the Monarchs, then played two more years in Kansas City. The winter after he was released by St. Louis, Brown hit an astounding .432 with 27 homers in just 234 at-bats for Santurce of the Puerto Rican Winter League. He won two Triple Crowns in the PRWL.
Brown continued to play organized baseball through the 1958 season, hitting 35 home runs and driving in 120 runs in the Texas League in 1954 at the age of 39. He finished his big league career with a .347 batting average.
Brown passed away on Aug. 4, 1996. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2006.
The National League, created in 1876, helped solidify professional baseball in the United States.
Morgan Bulkeley was its first president.
Bulkeley, whose ancestors arrived on the Mayflower, was the son of Eliphalet Adams Bulkeley, a co-founder of Aetna Insurance. While children of privilege often avoided war, even paying others to take their place, Bulkeley enlisted with the New York National Guard in 1861, joining the Union Army as a private. Assigned to Civil War service under General George B. McClellan, he would see action in the Peninsula Campaign, a battle fought in Virginia over the spring and summer months of 1862. The mission of the campaign was lofty – to capture Richmond, the capital of the Confederacy.
Ultimately, with General Robert E. Lee taking over the Confederate forces, the mission was unsuccessful, but Private Bulkeley served for the remainder of the war and then rejoined the worlds of business, finance, insurance and politics.
In Hartford, Conn., he became the principal backer of the Hartford Dark Blues on the National Association. When the National League replaced the National Association in 1876, Hartford remained in the league as a charter member.
A drawing was held to determine the first president of the new league, and Bulkeley’s name emerged first. This sat well with William Hulbert and Albert Spalding of Chicago, who saw in him the integrity and character needed to drive the league’s acceptance.
But Bulkeley did not wish to devote his full energies to baseball and served only one season. Hulbert succeeded him, while Bulkeley continued his career heading Aetna and entered politics. He served four terms as Mayor of Hartford, and in 1888 was elected Governor of Connecticut.
In 1904, Bulkeley was elected to the U.S. Senate, served one term, and then returned to head Aetna until his death on Nov. 6, 1922.
He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1937.
BASEBALL YEAR IN REVIEW
1926 AMERICAN LEAGUE
Off the field…
U.S. troops were deployed to Nicaragua in May to help restore civil order after a revolt broke out against the new president Emiliano Chamorro. The resulting “Bryan-Chamorro Treaty” (terminated in 1970) granted the United States an option for a canal route through the country as well as the installation naval bases. For the majority of the century, Nicaragua’s politics had been dominated by the competition for power between the Liberals, who were centered in the city of León, and the Conservatives who were centered in Granada.
Controversial radio host Father Coughlin began broadcasting his right-wing addresses in which he criticized such diverse groups as U.S. bankers, trade unionists, and Communists. Later, he organized the National Union for Social Justice, which denounced President Roosevelt’s “New Deal” policies and advocated such measures as silver inflation as well as the nationalizing of banks, utilities, and many natural resources. Coughlin also published a magazine titled “Social Justice” in which he made increasingly anti-Semitic remarks directed especially at Jewish members of Wall Street.
In the American League…
After eleven seasons (ten-and-a-half years), New York Yankees first baseman Wally Pipp was replaced by an “up-and-coming” rookie from Columbia University named Lou Gehrig who would hold the position for 2,130 consecutive games.
Despite losing 11-7 to the Chicago White Sox at Sportsman’s Park III on April 22nd, the St. Louis Browns managed to tie an American League record with five double plays.
On April 13th, Washington Senators ace Walter Johnson and Philadelphia Athletics knuckleballer Eddie Rommel met for what is still considered to be the greatest opening-day pitchers’ duel in baseball history. After going head-to-head for fifteen grueling innings, Johnson emerged the 1-0 victor after fanning twelve batters.
In the National League…
The Cincinnati Reds used a Major League record-tying eight sacrifices on May 6th, in a 14-1 triumph over the visiting Philadelphia Phillies at Crosley Field.
The city of St. Louis declared May 22nd as “Rogers Hornsby Day” to honor the longtime player / manager. The Cardinals presented Hornsby with $1,000 in gold and a medal as the National League MVP for his performance in the 1925 season.
During a September 3rd outing against the Boston Braves, the New York Giants set a National League record after recording an astounding twelve runs in the fifth inning. The mid-game rally devastated the Braves who were unable to recover en route to an embarrassing 17-3 disaster.
Around the League…
The Major League Baseball Rules Committee finally agreed to allow the use of a resin bag by pitchers. The Committee also discussed the elimination of the intentional walk (forcing the pitcher to throw to the batter), as calling a “catcher balk” had not eliminated the practice as originally intended.
A ninteen year-old pitching phenomenon named Satchel Paige made his debut on May 1st in the Negro Southern League leading Chattanooga to a 5-4 triumph over Birmingham.
On May 8th, the bleachers along the left field line at Fenway Park were partially destroyed by a fire. Surprisingly, the Red Sox management opted not to replace the seats.
The Denver Broncos selected Steve Atwater out of Arkansas in the first round, 20th choice overall, of the 1989 NFL Draft. A hard-hitting and instinctive safety, Atwater played in 167 games during his 11-season career.
He made an immediate impact at free safety in his rookie season. Atwater recorded 129 total tackles (2nd most on the team) to help turn around a Denver defense that ranked 20th in points allowed the previous year to become the NFL’s stingiest unit in 1989 that allowed the fewest points in the league. The Broncos finished that season with the AFC’s best record at 11-5 and a berth in Super Bowl XXIV.
Atwater was voted to the first of eight Pro Bowls following the 1990 season and earned first-team All-Pro recognition for the first of two straight years (1991-92).
In 1997, he was an integral part of the Broncos’ championship season that was capped by the franchise’s first Super Bowl title. Atwater contributed 83 tackles (61 solo), one sack, two interceptions, eight passes defensed, and two fumble recoveries as Denver finished 12-4. His strong play continued throughout the postseason. He added 15 tackles (10 solo), one sack, a forced fumble, and five passes defensed in four playoff games.
Atwater played his final season with the Broncos in 1998 and he helped lead them to a second straight Super Bowl victory. That year he recorded one interception, seven passes defensed, and racked up 55 solo tackles 30 assisted tackles. He had four tackles, three assists and two passes defensed in Super Bowl XXXIII against the Atlanta Falcons.
In all, Atwater, recorded 24 interceptions which he returned for 408 yards and a touchdown, added five sacks, and registered more than 1,000 tackles. He was named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1990s.
March 29, 2004 – The NFL announces that the 2003 Regular-season paid attendance of 16,913,584 for an average of 66,328 per game were both all-time records.
March 29, 1977 the NFL adopted the 16-game regular season and four-game preseason schedule that began in the 1978 season. The new CBA passed in 2020 voted to adopt a 17-game regular season.
March 29, 1994 – Coach Jimmy Johnson resigns as head Coach of the Dallas Cowboys. Johnson left the Cowboys because of a feud with owner Jerry Jones. Johnson coached five seasons in Dallas and made the playoffs in each of his last three seasons and walked away from the Cowboys after winning back-to-back Super Bowls of Super Bowl XXVII and Super Bowl XXVIII. Johnson went on to be the head coach of the Miami Dolphins from 1996 to 1999 after taking a two-year hiatus. He later signed up to be a pre and post game commentator on the network coverage of NFL Football.
March 29, 1996 – Cleveland Browns choose new name, Baltimore Ravens. Owner Art Modell decided to move the franchise out of the City of Cleveland but one of the conditions of the move was that the Browns name, logo and records must stay in Cleveland and his new team would have to take on a new identity.
MARCH 29 HALL OF FAME BIRTHDAYS
The Defiance High School football season had just concluded another season in 1921 and Don, who was now a senior had just witnessed another year where he got to substitute in for one of his teammates at the end of a one sided game. The scrawny lad did his best but his size and speed were not to the measure of his peers. After graduation Don headed for South Bend, Indiana to attend Notre Dame. He decided despite the opinions of everyone he knew to try out for the varsity football team in his sophomore team. Even Irish Head Coach Knute Rockne looked at the 5-11, 160-pound sophomore with a bit of surprise that he would be trying out for his team. But Don through hard work, hustle and smart play was destined for greatness as the workhouse runner in the famed Four Horsemen backfield of Notre Dame’s immortal 1924 national championship team according to the NFF. Don Miller was born on March 29, 1902 in Defiance, Ohio and served as one of the halfbacks from the 1922 to the 1924 seasons. Miller’s legendary coach said this about him, “With his fleetness and daring, he quickly sized up as a halfback to cheer the heart of any coach,” Rockne later admitted. “Once in the open field, he was the most dangerous of the Four Horsemen. I would have to call him the greatest open-field runner I ever had.” Don Miller had a unique high stepping gait where his knees rose higher than a normal rusher and it made it difficult for defenders to tackle him. For the season of 1924, Miller averaged 7.1 yards per carry, and over his three-year career, Miller rushed for a 6.8-yard average. Miller was also the leading Notre Dame receiver in each of his three varsity years as well as a football All- America selection in 1923. The National Football Foundation selected Don Miller for entrance into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1970.
March 29, 1906 – Marion, South Dakota – University of Kansas outstanding halfback of the late 1920’s Jim Bausch was born.
March 29, 1925 – Emlen Tunnell was NFL safety who played on both the Giants and Packers teams was born in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania . The Pro Football Hall of Fame tells us that Emlen was known as that Giants “offense on defense.” Tunnell entered pro football as a free agent in 1948 after having spent time at the University of Toledo and Iowa as well as time in the Coast Guard. He broke his neck at Toledo and thus neither the Army or the Navy would accept him into their ranks because of the severity of the injury. However the Coast Guard did employ him as an Em so he was able to fulfil his angst to serve his country during war time. After his service to his country Emlen returned to Iowa and played some more ball. Most teams thought Tunnell would be playing a third season with the Hawkeyes so no one drafted the defender in the 1948 NFL Draft therefore Emlen went to the New York Giants and asked to join the team as a Free Agent. He played safety at the top of a 4-1-2 Umbrella defense where Emlen intercepted a then-record 79 passes in his 14 seasons with the Giants and the Green Bay Packers. Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrined Emlen Tunnell in 1967.
March 29, 1955 – Earl Campbell the powerful back of the Texas Longhorns from 1974 through 1977 was born. His nickname forever ties him to his hometown as Earl is still called “the Tyler Rose” as he pounded out big gains at the University of Texas. The NFF says he rushed for 4,443 yards. This was the fifth highest total of all time when he retired. His rushing covered 928 yards as a freshman, 1118 as a sophomore, 653 as a junior (he missed four games), and 1,744 as a senior. Campbell was All-America as a sophomore and senior, led the nation in rushing and scoring and won the Heisman Trophy in 1977. He had an amazing 21 times where he rushed over 100 yards and three over 200 yards rushing in games. The Houston Oilers during the 1978 NFL Draft wasted no time in turning their draft pick card with the first player selected to the Commissioner that had the name of Earl Campbell on it. Earl played 8 seasons with the Oilers and earned a rushing title, the distinction as an All-Pro and was selected to play in three Pro Bowls. The 1980 season as his best as he pounded out 1934 yards with 4 games over 200 yards. For his NFL career he amassed 9407 yards rushing and 74 TDs with another 806 yards on 121 receptions. Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrined Earl Campbell in 1991.
NUMBERS IN SPORTS
40 – 18 – 52
March 29, 1941 – At only the third NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship played, it was the Badgers of Wisconsin capturing the crown over Washington State, 39-34. The Badgers’ forward John Kotz, Number 40 was named as the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player.
March 29, 1973 – The Boston Celtics big man, Number 18, Dave Cowens claimed the NBA’s prestigious Most Valuable Player award.
March 29, 1982 – In a star studded NCAA Men’s Championship game final, it was the North Carolina Tarheels defeating the Georgetown Hoyas 63-62. Tarheels player Number 52, James Worthy was the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player amongst other future legends in Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing, Sleepy Floyd and coaches John Thompson and Dean Smith.
|NBA REGULAR SEASON GAMES||TIME ET||TV|
|Milwaukee at Indiana||7:00pm||Bally Sports|
|Dallas at Philadelphia||7:30pm||ESPN|
|Miami at New York||7:30pm||MSG|
|Houston at Brooklyn||7:30pm||YES|
|Utah at San Antonio||8:00pm||ATTSN-RM|
|Detroit at Oklahoma City||8:00pm||Bally Sports|
|LA Clippers at Memphis||8:00pm||Bally Sports|
|LA Lakers at Chicago||8:00pm||Spectrum|
|Minnesota at Phoenix||10:00pm||ESPN|
|Sacramento at Portland||10:00pm||Root Sports|
|NHL REGULAR SEASON GAMES||TIME ET||TV|
|Florida at Toronto||7:30pm||Bally Sports|
|NY Islanders at Washington||7:30pm||TNT|
|Minnesota at Colorado||10:00pm||TNT|
|UEFA Women’s Champions League: Barcelona vs Roma||12:45pm||DAZN|
|UEFA Women’s Champions League: Arsenal vs Bayern München||3:00pm||DAZN|