INDIANA HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL
INDINNA HIGH SCHOOL SOFTBALL
NBA PLAYOFF SCHEDULE
2023 AT&T NBA PLAY-IN TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE
FRIDAY, APRIL 14
GAME 5 —CHICAGO @ MIAMI | 7 ET (TNT)
GAME 6 — OKLAHOMA CITY @ MINNESOTA | 9:30 ET (ESPN)
2023 NBA PLAYOFFS FIRST ROUND SCHEDULE
MILWAUKEE BUCKS (1) VS. TBD (8)
GAME 1: TBD VS. BUCKS | SUN., APRIL 16 | 5:30 ET (TNT)
GAME 2: TBD VS. BUCKS | WED., APRIL 19 | 9 ET (NBA TV)
GAME 3: BUCKS VS. TBD | SAT., APRIL 22 | 7:30 ET (ESPN)
GAME 4: BUCKS VS. TBD | MON., APRIL 24 | TBD
*GAME 5: TBD VS. BUCKS | WED., APRIL 26 | TBD
*GAME 6: BUCKS VS. TBD | FRI, APRIL 28 | TBD
*GAME 7: TBD VS. BUCKS | SUN., APRIL 20 | TBD
BOSTON CELTICS (2) VS. ATLANTA HAWKS (7)
GAME 1: HAWKS VS. CELTICS | SAT., APRIL 15 | 3:30 ET (ESPN)
GAME 2: HAWKS VS. CELTICS | TUES., APRIL 18 | 7 ET (NBA TV)
GAME 3: CELTICS VS. HAWKS | FRI., APRIL 21 | 7 ET (ESPN)
GAME 4: CELTICS VS. HAWKS | SUN, APRIL 23 | 7 ET (TNT)
*GAME 5: HAWKS VS. CELTICS | TUES., APRIL 25 | TBD
*GAME 6: CELTICS VS. HAWKS | THURS., APRIL 27 | TBD
*GAME 7: HAWKS VS. CELTICS | SAT., APRIL 29 | TBD
PHILADELPHIA 76ERS (3) VS. BROOKLYN NETS (6)
GAME 1: NETS VS. 76ERS | SAT., APRIL 15 | 1 ET (ESPN)
GAME 2: NETS VS. 76ERS | MON., APRIL 17 | 7:30 ET (TNT)
GAME 3: 76ERS VS. NETS | THURS., APRIL 20 | 7:30 ET (TNT)
GAME 4: 76ERS VS. NETS | SAT., APRIL 22 | 1 ET (TNT)
*GAME 5: NETS VS. 76ERS | MON., APRIL 24 | TBD
*GAME 6: 76ERS VS. NETS | THURS., APRIL 27 | TBD
*GAME 7: NETS VS. 76ERS | SAT., APRIL 29 | TBD
CLEVELAND CAVALIERS (4) VS. NEW YORK KNICKS (5)
GAME 1: KNICKS VS. CAVALIERS | SAT., APRIL 15 | 6 ET (ESPN)
GAME 2: KNICKS VS. CAVALIERS | TUES., APRIL 18 | 7:30 ET (TNT)
GAME 3: CAVALIERS VS. KNICKS | FRI., APRIL 21 | 8:30 ET (ABC)
GAME 4: CAVALIERS VS. KNICKS | SUN., APRIL 23 | 1 ET (ABC)
*GAME 5: KNICKS VS. CAVALIERS | TBD
*GAME 6: CAVALIERS VS. KNICKS | TBD
*GAME 7: KNICKS VS. CAVALIERS | TBD
DENVER NUGGETS (1) VS. TBD (8)
GAME 1: TBD VS. NUGGETS | MON., APRIL 16 | 10 ET (TNT)
GAME 2: TBD VS. NUGGETS | WED., APRIL 19 | 10 ET (TNT)
GAME 3: NUGGETS VS. TBD | FRI., APRIL 21 | 9:30 ET (ESPN)
GAME 4: NUGGETS VS. TBD | SUN., APRIL 23 | 9:30 ET (TNT)
*GAME 5: TBD VS. NUGGETS | TUES., APRIL 25 | TBD
*GAME 6: NUGGETS VS. TBD | THURS., APRIL 27 | TBD
*GAME 7: TBD VS. NUGGETS | SAT., APRIL 29 | TBD
MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES (2) VS. L.A. LAKERS (7)
GAME 1: LAKERS VS. GRIZZLIES | SUN., APRIL 16 | 3 ET (ABC)
GAME 2: LAKERS VS. GRIZZLIES | WED., APRIL 19 | 7:30 ET (TNT)
GAME 3: GRIZZLIES VS. LAKERS | SAT., APRIL 22 | 10 ET (ESPN)
GAME 4: GRIZZLIES VS. LAKERS | MON. APRIL 24 | TBD
*GAME 5: LAKERS VS. GRIZZLIES | WED., APRIL 26 | TBD
*GAME 6: GRIZZLIES VS. LAKERS | FRI., APRIL 28 | TBD
*GAME 7: LAKERS VS. GRIZZLIES | SUN., APRIL 30 | TBD
SACRAMENTO KINGS (3) VS. GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS (6)
GAME 1: WARRIORS VS. KINGS | SAT., APRIL 15 | 8:30 ET (ABC)
GAME 2: WARRIORS VS. KINGS | MON., APRIL 17 | 10 ET (TNT)
GAME 3: KINGS VS. WARRIORS | THURS., APRIL 20 | 10 ET (TNT)
GAME 4: KINGS VS. WARRIORS | SUN., APRIL 23 | TBD
*GAME 5: WARRIORS VS. KINGS | WED., APRIL 26 | TBD
*GAME 6: KINGS VS. WARRIORS | FRI., APRIL 28 | TBD
*GAME 7: WARRIORS VS. KINGS | SUN., APRIL 30 | TBD
GAME 1: CLIPPERS VS. SUNS | SUN., APRIL 16 | 8 ET (TNT)
GAME 2: CLIPPERS VS. SUNS | TUES., APRIL 18 | 10 ET (TNT)
GAME 3: SUNS VS. CLIPPERS | THURS., APRIL 20 | 10:30 ET (NBA TV)
GAME 4: SUNS VS. CLIPPERS | SAT., APRIL 22 | 3:30 ET (TNT)
*GAME 5: CLIPPERS VS. SUNS | TUES., APRIL 25 | TBD
*GAME 6: SUNS VS. CLIPPERS | THURS., APRIL 27 | TBD
*GAME 7: CLIPPERS VS. SUNS | SAT., APRIL 20 29 | TBD (TNT)
* IF NECCESSARY
BUFFALO 4 OTTAWA 3
COLUMBUS 3 PITTSBURGH 2
CAROLINA 6 FLORIDA 4
BOSTON 5 MONTRÉAL 4
TORONTO 3 NY RANGERS 2
TAMPA BAY 5 DETROIT 0
NEW JERSEY 5 WASHINGTON 4
COLORADO 4 WINNIPEG 2
DALLAS 1 ST. LOUIS 0
NASHVILLE 4 MINNESOTA 3
PHILADELPHIA 5 CHICAGO 4
EDMONTON 5 SAN JOSE 2
LOS ANGELES 5 ANAHEIM 3
VANCOUVER 5 ARIZONA 4
VEGAS 3 SEATTLE 1
MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL SCOREBOARD
BALTIMORE 8 OAKLAND 7
TAMPA BAY 9 BOSTON 3
MINNESOTA 11 NY YANKEES 2
DETROIT 3 TORONTO 1
CINCINNATI 6 PHILADELPHIA 2
PITTSBURGH 5 ST. LOUIS 0
MILWAUKEE 4 SAN DIEGO 3 (10)
MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL
ST. PAUL 3 INDIANAPOLIS 2
TOP NATIONAL HEADLINES
AP SOURCES: SNYDER AGREES TO $6.05B SALE OF NFL’S COMMANDERS
(AP) — Dan Snyder has a deal in place to sell the NFL’s Washington Commanders for the biggest price paid for a North American professional sports team.
A group led by Josh Harris and Mitchell Rales that includes Magic Johnson has an agreement in principle to buy the team for a record $6.05 billion, two people with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press on Thursday.
The people confirmed the deal was a fully financed, nonexclusive agreement that was not yet signed. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal hasn’t been finalized.
Another person told The AP a deal hasn’t been sent to the NFL for approval yet. The league declined to comment.
Once the deal is approved, Harris would own controlling stakes in teams in three of the four major North American pro sports leagues. He and David Blitzer have owned the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers since 2011 and the NHL’s New Jersey Devils since 2013.
Harris has owned a piece of the Pittsburgh Steelers, which he needs to sell before getting the Commanders.
The price for the Commanders tops the previous record of $4.65 billion set when Walmart heir Rob Walton’s group bought the Denver Broncos last year. Johnson, the basketball Hall of Famer who also owns part of Major League Baseball’s Los Angeles Dodgers, was also part of Harris’ bid for the Broncos.
Rales, co-founder of the Danaher Corp. and a Maryland resident, and Johnson were relatively late additions to the group. Rales and Harris grew up in Bethesda in the Washington suburbs and give the team local ownership roots.
The sale of the Commanders is pending the execution of a contract and then approval from the rest of the league’s owners, which could happen as soon as their next meeting in Minnesota in May but may take longer. It would need 24 of 32 votes to pass, which is not expected to be a problem after the Broncos sale was unanimously approved and given that Snyder was beginning to fall out of favor with the group.
Snyder bought his boyhood favorite team in 1999 for $750 million and despite mounting criticism repeatedly said he’d never sell. That changed after multiple investigations by the league and Congress into Washington’s workplace misconduct and potential improprieties. The congressional investigation found Snyder played a role in a toxic culture.
Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay in October became the first to suggest there was “merit to remove” Snyder, a nearly unprecedented move that would have also taken a three-quarters majority to happen. Instead, two weeks later, Snyder and wife Tanya hired Bank of America Securities to explore a possible sale of the team.
It quickly became apparent the Snyders, who bought out the previous minority owners in 2021, were not looking to maintain a controlling interest. Canadian investor Steve Apostolopoulos and Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta were among the other bidders after early interest from Washington-area businessman Todd Boehly and mortgage executive Mat Ishbia, who instead paid $4 billion for the NBA’s Phoenix Suns and WNBA’s Mercury.
The group led by Apostolopoulos was the only other one to submit a fully financed bid.
Lawyers representing over 40 former team employees hailed the news of an agreement in principle, saying it “marks the end of a long, difficult chapter” for their clients and fans. Lisa Banks and Debra Katz welcomed the new owners and said they “hope a new chapter can truly begin” within the organization.
Harris and Rales will soon assume control of a once-storied franchise that has fallen far from its 1980s and early ’90s glory days, when Washington won the Super Bowl three times. With Snyder in charge, the team made the playoffs just six times in 24 seasons, only twice won a postseason game and went 166-226-2 overall.
The new owners will inherit coach Ron Rivera, who has run Washington’s football operations for three seasons, none with a winning record, including an NFC East title at 7-9 in 2020 followed by a first-round loss.
Their biggest immediate challenge for the long-term future of the organization is a new stadium to replace FedEx Field, the rushed-to-completion home of the team since 1997 in Landover, Maryland, that has not aged well. Virginia abandoned a stadium bill last spring given the number of off-field controversies swirling around the team.
Getting fans back is a major priority after Washington ranked last in the league in attendance in 2022 and were second-last in 2021. The team rebranded last year as the Commanders after dropping the name Redskins in the summer of 2020 and going by the Washington Football Team for two seasons.
It was not immediately clear what latitude Harris and Rales might have to make their own changes to the team name, logo or other aspects of design, or if they have any interest in changing course when they take over.
FIRST QB HELMET DESIGNED TO HELP REDUCE CONCUSSIONS APPROVED
The first quarterback-specific helmet designed to help reduce concussions has been approved for use by the NFL and NFLPA, the AP has learned.
The helmet, manufactured by Vicis, reduces severity of helmet-to-ground impacts, which league data says account for approximately half of quarterback concussions, including the one suffered by Miami’s Tua Tagovailoa last season when his head slammed violently against the turf during a Thursday night game against Cincinnati.
“We’ve now analyzed with our engineers and with the Players Association more than a 1,000 concussions on field, we have a pretty good database of how these injuries occur,” NFL executive Jeff Miller told the AP about the helmet-to-ground impacts. “This helmet performs better in laboratory testing than any helmets we have ever seen for those sorts of impacts.”
The helmet performed 7% better than the most popular helmet worn by quarterbacks last season, the league said in a memo sent to team executives on Thursday.
Jason Neubauer, an executive for Vicis, said the company began designing its Zero2 Matrix QB helmet in early 2022.
“The unique thing is that it has a deformal outer shell, which means when you take an impact in any location on that helmet, it will deform or basically dent in that location to absorb the impact,” Neubauer said. “What that means for us, as designers or engineers, as we’re looking to optimize it for different types of impacts, we’re able to change unique locations to try to optimize the impact mitigation in any one area.”
It’s unknown how many quarterbacks will switch to the new QB-specific helmet. The league and the players’ union share information from the helmet studies with teams so players make informed decisions on helmet choice. The only other position-specific helmet already approved is the Vicis Zero2-R Trench for offensive and defensive linemen.
The memo sent to teams also includes the results of the 2023 helmet laboratory testing study. Miller told the AP seven helmets the league highly recommended in 2020 have now been downgraded to prohibited as a result of new testing.
“That’s a great sign,” Miller said. “Hopefully we can continue to stimulate that either with position-specific helmets designed for each position group or for a general all-purpose helmet to be able to say to players: ‘Work with us, be willing to change helmets because better and better products are coming online every year.’”
BECKHAM SAYS HE HAS NO ASSURANCES ON JACKSON’S STATUS
OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) Odell Beckham Jr. can’t make any promises about Lamar Jackson’s future, although his preference is obvious.
“The goal was to come here and have that possibility to play with him,” Beckham said. “I didn’t get any assurances for anything. Life’s uncertain. I think we don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow, the next day. We only know what’s happened in the past.”
The Ravens acquired Beckham on a one-year deal worth up to $18 million including $15 million guaranteed. That agreement led to some obvious questions: Was this a sign that Beckham knew Jackson would be the quarterback in Baltimore this season? Or would the addition of the star wide receiver make it easier for the Ravens to keep their franchise quarterback?
There was even a screenshot on Instagram that appeared to be Jackson and Beckham on a video call.
“I don’t know if he called me, I called him or whatever,” Beckham said Thursday at his introductory news conference with the Ravens. “He just was excited about it, excited about the opportunity, the possibility.”
Right now that’s still a possibility and not a certainty. The Ravens used the franchise tag on Jackson, who then announced that he’d requested a trade in early March. Unlike at their pre-draft news conference earlier this month, the Ravens didn’t try to shut down questions about Jackson on Thursday.
“I have not talked to Lamar since the signing (of Beckham). There’s been interaction along the way,” general manager Eric DeCosta said. “Lamar’s in our plans. We love Lamar. Our feelings about Lamar have not changed one bit since the end of the season. We’re hopeful still that we’ll get a long-term deal done. He’s the right player for this team to lead us to where we want to be.”
As for whether Jackson wants to return – in light of his trade request – DeCosta said there has been communication since then.
“It would probably be not smart on my part to talk about those details, because Lamar and I have decided together that we weren’t going to discuss that stuff personally,” DeCosta said. “In saying that, as I said, we only think of Lamar as the quarterback of this team, and we’re hopeful to get a deal done.”
Signing Beckham represents a change for the Ravens this offseason. Baltimore used first-round draft picks on receivers Marquise Brown in 2019 and Rashod Bateman in 2021, but the Ravens traded Brown last year and didn’t bring in any significant veterans to replace him. Then Bateman was limited to six games by foot problems, and Baltimore was left with a substandard group of wideouts by the end of the season.
Now the Ravens have aggressively tried to fix that by bringing in Beckham.
“We’ve tried in the past. This isn’t the first time we’ve tried to do that,” DeCosta said. “Sometimes you succeed, sometimes you don’t.”
The 30-year-old Beckham did not play last season following ACL surgery. He began his career with the New York Giants and most recently played for the Los Angeles Rams, which led to a question about going from those two massive markets to Baltimore.
“Well, I was in Cleveland.” Beckham said, referencing his 2019-21 stint with the Browns. “Not the biggest of cities.”
When Beckham was in Cleveland, he worked with offensive coordinator Todd Monken, whom Baltimore recently hired to fill that role.
Beckham also talked a bit about Jackson’s situation from a player’s perspective.
“I’ve been in contract negotiation. I’ve been on the side where you’ve worked your entire life for one, first, to get to the NFL. Then the second-most important thing is to take care of your family and get your contract. It’s a very thin line when it’s your heart that’s involved and you are a personable person and you feel like you’ve done so much and you deserve this, and then the business side gets in the way,” he said.
“It’s just the nature of the business that we’re in. It’s very tough. It’s no written script for it, or how to handle it or how to deal with it. But I could definitely tell that he was excited about the opportunity to be able to get to work, if that does present itself. Obviously, he’s who I would love to play with.”
BUCCANEERS GM SAYS NO INTENTION TO TRADE LB DEVIN WHITE
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) The Buccaneers have no intentions of trading star linebacker Devin White, Tampa Bay general manager Jason Licht said Thursday.
Last month, the 25-year-old who helped Tampa Bay win the Super Bowl in his second season posted cryptic messages on social media that suggested he may have played his last game with the Bucs. ESPN and NFL Network reported this week that White has requested a trade.
White is seeking a long-term contract and entering the final year of the deal he signed as the fifth overall selection in the 2019 draft. The Bucs picked up the fifth-year option that’ll pays him $11.7 million in the upcoming season.
“First of all, we all have all the respect in the world for Devin. He’s done some great things for us as a player and we look forward to more from him in the future,” Licht said during the team’s annual pre-draft media availability.
“He’s on our team. We are looking forward to this season. We’re gearing up for the season with the draft right now, free agency, and we’re looking forward to him being part of this team,” Licht added. “If he has the kind of year we all think he’s capable of, we can hopefully put this to rest and everybody’s happy.”
White, a team captain, became an immediate starter as a rookie and had a career-best nine sacks in 2020. That same year, he had a breakout postseason in helping Tom Brady lead the Bucs to the second Super Bowl title in franchise history.
He had another solid season in 2022 with 124 tackles, 5½ sacks and 16 quarterback hits, but also drew some criticism on social media in October for what was perceived as a lack of hustle on a key play during a nationally televised prime-time loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
Licht was asked if he envisioned the possibility of White holding out from training camp or maybe not playing under his current contract if the linebacker remains frustrated by a lack of progress toward a new deal.
“I can’t look into the future,” Licht said. “Like I said, we have the utmost respect for Devin. That’s part of the business world of … this job that I don’t like. He’s a competitor, he’s a player. Everybody holds him in high regard.”
NFL DRAFT-TOP OFFENSIVE TACKLES
This group offers a solid collection of edge blockers with the size, length and movement skills to challenge elite pass rushers in isolated matchups. Johnson is an exceptional athlete with the size, strength and power to maul defenders in the run game and pass protection. He finishes blocks violently, showcasing an edginess that sets the tone for the rest of the front. Skoronski is a polished all-around blocker with superb technique and outstanding movement skills. The Northwestern standout excels at latching on and finishing blocks in space. Jones is a power player with the knock-back power to mash and maul defenders in the ground attack. In addition, he displays balance, body control and lateral quickness to shadow shifty pass rushers off the edge. At 6-5 and 333 pounds, Wright is a big edge blocker with heavy hands and a nasty temperament. The Tennessee product mauls opponents at the point of attack while flashing enough balance and body control to be effective as a road grader or pass protector on the quarterback’s front side. Harrison is a raw player with intriguing tools and talent. The extra-long bookend flashes impressive movement skills in action, but needs some skill refinement to become a solid pro starter.
PARIS JOHNSON JR. OHIO STATE
Ohio State fought off many schools to keep the top-10 overall recruit in his home state after he was named the Anthony Munoz Offensive Lineman of the Year out of Princeton High School in Cincinnati. He played in five games as a reserve his true freshman season, including the national title game against Alabama. Johnson started at right guard in all 13 games of his sophomore season, garnering second-team All-Big Ten notice for his efforts. He moved to left tackle for 2022, playing well enough in 13 starts at his new spot to receive second-team Associated Press All-American and first-team All-Big Ten accolades.
Long, athletic tackle in need of additional technique work but possessing the traits to become a long-time starter on the left side. Johnson is still filling out his frame and he should get stronger. He’s much better as a move blocker than man blocker but he can bridge that gap with more coaching. He’s loose and quick in pass protection but will need to add core strength and get better with inside hands to prevent edge defenders from bypassing his anchor. Johnson’s athletic tools and position versatility are advantageous but the going could be a little bumpy early on before he settles in.
- Versatility to play guard or tackle.
- Rhythmic diagonal slides in pass sets.
- Shuffles feet and rides rusher around the arc.
- Inside hand thumps and gathers counter moves.
- Athletic talent to make recoveries at a variety of angles.
- Opens hips and accelerates to find back side cut-off angles.
- Fluid with accurate radar to strike as pull blocker.
- Decent timing/consistency working to linebacker on combo blocks.
- Not much pop on contact.
- Below average securing the first block on combo blocks.
- Bends at the waist and lacks ideal leverage as run blocker.
- Has a wide-hand hitch in his pass punch.
- Very average body control through rush contact.
- Power displaces his anchor.
- Forward lean makes him susceptible to spin moves.
PETER SKORONSKI NORTHWESTERN
Skoronski earned four-star and top-five center prospect grades nationally at Maine South High School in Illinois. When Wildcats star left tackle Rashawn Slater opted out of the 2020 season, the true freshman stepped into that spot for all nine games and earned second-team All-Big Ten Conference honors. The grandson of former Green Bay Packers team captain Bob Skoronski was a second-team pick in 2021, as well, starting all 12 games on the blindside. He was named the league’s top offensive lineman and a first-team all-conference selection in 2022, again starting all 12 contests at the left tackle spot.
Skoronski spent his college years manning the quarterback’s blindside at tackle, but the body type and skill set are begging for a move to guard, where he can play his best football as a pro. He’s broad across his upper and lower body, but he has short arms. Skoronski plays with a deft blend of technique, feel and power as a run blocker and is capable of thriving in any run-blocking scheme. His lack of length can be a problem against stab-and-charge bull rushers and edge speed, but a move inside would mitigate those concerns. If Skoronski can get his protection anchor sorted out, he has the run-blocking talent to become an instant starter and a top-flight guard.
- Sets out with explosive kick-slide into his diagonal sets.
- Uses proactive hands to attack first.
- Excellent footwork and hand usage to counter and collect twists.
- Arches back and unlocks hips to access his rush anchor.
- Comes off the snap with low pads and explosive lift into contact.
- Races out of stance and into position for reach-block success.
- Base stays wide and balanced throughout the rep.
- Clear understanding of positioning and angles at the point of attack.
- Textbook leg drive on double teams and kick-out blocks.
- Washes down run defenders looking to shoot gaps.
- Throws punch a tick late and from outside angles.
- Needs to alter his pass sets and hand attacks to become less predictable.
- Beaten by long-arm rush moves and driven into the pocket.
- Average adjustments to second-level movements.
- Can be beaten by side-stepping defender at point of attack.
BRODERICK JONES GEORGIA
Jones redshirted his first season with the Bulldogs, playing in two games as a reserve. Jones played behind Jamaree Salyer at left tackle for the first 11 games of Georgia’s nation title-winning season in 2021 but started at left tackle in the final four contests to help the team hoist the trophy, earning a spot on the SEC All-Freshman Team for his efforts. He started all 15 games at left tackle for Georgia in 2022, helping the team win back-to-back titles.
Ultra-athletic tackle prospect with the size, length and potential to develop into a plus starter on the left side. Jones’ frame and technique both are in the developmental phase. His entry into block fits can be a little disjointed. He needs to improve his punch accuracy and timing to make the most of his length in pass protection. Jones is very talented at working into space and landing a block to help spring the running game. He has the nimble feet to mirror or recover against the rush. Jones isn’t a finished product, but the physical and athletic gifts allow for a projection as a good, long-time starter.
- Former high school basketball player with premium athletic qualities.
- Drives hands into defender with upward strike.
- Rips outside hand through pads to corral and move opponent.
- Should be able to make all the blocks for zone and power.
- Body control to adjust to moving targets.
- Has length necessary to improve punch timing.
- Recognizes twist attempts quickly.
- Possesses loose hips and quick feet for recoveries.
- Less than two full seasons of starting experience at left tackle.
- Needs to keep his chin tucked and back flat in protection.
- Punch comes from outside angles and is slow to stick the rusher.
- Gives early ground when challenged by power rush.
- Doesn’t fit up run blocks in one, fluid motion.
- Will need to improve play strength as a pro.
- Tends to duck head and lose sight into first contact.
DARNELL WRIGHT TENNESSEE
Wright was a top-10 overall recruit in the 2019 class and a first-team USA Today All-American as a senior at Huntington High school in West Virginia. He was named to the SEC All-Freshman Team in 2019, starting in seven games (five at right tackle, two at right guard) while playing in 11 contests. Wright started nine of 10 appearances at right tackle as a sophomore and then switched to left tackle for 2021, starting all 13 games. He went back to the right side for his senior year, earning first-team All-SEC honors for his play in 13 starts.
Right tackle prospect who used his size and power to overcome athletic limitations and spotty technique on the collegiate level. The tape can be a little uneven for Wright with poor block finishes followed up by aggressive pancakes. He played with much better body control and footwork in 2022, though. Wright is capable of staying at right tackle at the next level provided he’s given protection help from time to time. While he was often a positional blocker at Tennessee, he’s a very talented drive blocker when allowed to fire out. There will be inconsistent outings, but Wright should develop into a decent starting tackle with the potential to kick inside if necessary.
- Big-bodied tackle who carries his weight well.
- Bulldozer vibes when working double teams and combo blocks.
- Able to stand his ground through one-on-one power swaps.
- Jolts linebackers out of positioning with push.
- Adequate foot slide to catch inside movement.
- Uses length for forceful redirection in protection.
- Feet appeared much calmer in 2022.
- Stops speed-to-power attempts consistently.
- Gets very little bend in his two-point stance.
- More bear-hugger than technician at point of attack.
- Below average hand resets and finish as run blocker.
- Might need a shallow pocket to hold up in pass pro.
- More of a catcher than puncher.
- Shows confusion against twist.
ANTON HARRISON OKLAHOMA
Harrison was a four-star recruit and was a top-200 prospect nationally for his play at Archbishop Carroll High School in Washington, D.C. He signed with Oklahoma for the 2020 season, playing in nine games as a reserve lineman his true freshman season. Harrison started 12 of 13 games played at left tackle as a sophomore in 2022 before starting 12 more contests in 2022 — one at right tackle and the other 11 on the left side. The 2022 first-team All-Big 12 Conference selection opted out of the Cheez-It Bowl to prepare for the draft.
Collegiate left tackle with good size and length, but average athletic traits. Harrison is self-aware and does a nice job of utilizing his strengths to mask his weaknesses. He has a feel for pocket depth and uses his length and an inside-out approach to get the job done, but NFL speed could have him scrambling without help. Harrison lacks the pop and drive of a plus run blocker and is better at neutralizing opponents with proper positioning. There are some limitations athletically and it won’t always look fluid, but Harrison has the demeanor and football savvy to get the job done as a starter in time.
- Hands remain punch-ready in protection.
- Patient not to overset or overextend at the top of the rush.
- Fires his hands with some pepper on them.
- Finds full arm extension to maintain feel for rusher.
- Will find work when uncovered.
- Instinctive in his positional run blocking.
- Adequate fluidity climbing to linebackers.
- Activates hands to discard opponent’s punch.
- Has trouble locating initial hands in run game.
- Average foot chop with elevated pads as drive blocker.
- Fails to knock opponents back at first contact.
- Might not have slide quickness for desired diagonal sets.
- Connection between feet and hands is disjointed.
- Can be rocked backward by speed-to-power rush.
- Below average agility to recover when beaten.
FINAL NBA PLAY-IN MATCHUPS: BULLS AT HEAT, THUNDER AT WOLVES
MIAMI (AP) — It was October 19, the night the season started for most NBA teams. Chicago went to Miami, Oklahoma City went to Minnesota.
Nearly six months later, here they are again: Chicago at Miami, Oklahoma City at Minnesota.
This time, the season is about to end for two teams.
The NBA’s play-in tournament wraps up Friday night with a pair of elimination games — the Bulls at the Heat for the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference, followed by the Thunder at the Timberwolves for the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference. The winners go on, the losers go home.
“We’ve had a lot of ups and downs this season,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “Nothing about this season has been easy.”
Chicago and Oklahoma City have already won road games to stay alive, at Toronto and New Orleans, respectively. They became the first No. 10 seeds to win on the road in the three-year history of the play-in tournament — and if they do it again Friday, they’re going to the postseason.
“We know going there, it’s another great road test against a team that’s seasoned and is coming off a loss and will look to rebound and play to their identity and their style,” Bulls coach Billy Donovan said. “We have a lot to get ready for.”
The Bulls were 3-0 against Miami in the regular season. Minnesota took three of four from the Thunder in the season series.
“This is a new opportunity, a new challenge in front of us,” Donovan said.
NO. 10 CHICAGO (40-42, 1-0) AT NO. 7 MIAMI (44-38, 0-1)
Friday, 7 p.m., TNT
Season series: Bulls, 3-0
How they got here: Miami lost to Atlanta 116-105 on Tuesday, Chicago defeated Toronto 109-105 on Wednesday.
Previous play-in appearances: Both teams made their play-in debuts this week.
At stake: Winner plays Milwaukee in Game 1 on Sunday; loser’s season is over.
Outlook: Miami is trying to avoid becoming the first team to go 0-2 at home in a play-in tournament. … Chicago had the NBA’s best scoring defense after the All-Star break, and Miami had the NBA’s lowest scoring offense all season. … The matchup pits Heat guard Kyle Lowry against Bulls guard DeMar DeRozan, longtime teammates and backcourt standouts in Toronto. … Other ties that bind: Heat star Jimmy Butler faces his former team, Heat forward Udonis Haslem ( in perhaps the last game of his career ) facing his college coach in Donovan, and Bulls guard Patrick Beverley facing a team that he nearly made back during Miami’s Big 3 era in the early 2010s; he was an end-of-camp cut.
X-factor: Chicago held Miami to 34% shooting on 3-pointers in the three regular-season meetings. Heat are 19-24 this season when shooting no better than that from beyond the arc.
NO. 10 OKLAHOMA CITY (40-42, 1-0) AT NO. 8 MINNESOTA (42-40, 0-1)
Friday, 9:30 p.m., ESPN
Season series: Timberwolves, 3-1
How they got here: Minnesota wasted a 15-point lead and lost to the Los Angeles Lakers 108-102 in overtime on Tuesday, Oklahoma City won at New Orleans 123-118 on Wednesday.
Previous play-in appearances: Both teams made the play-in for the first time this season.
At stake: Winner plays Denver in Game 1 on Sunday; loser’s season is over.
Outlook: Minnesota had the upper hand in much of the season series, holding leads of 14 points in one game, 16 in another and 22 in a third. The Thunder’s biggest lead in any of the four games was 12, and didn’t lead by more than six points in any of the other three games. … Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had games of 35, 33 and 32 points against the Wolves, while Anthony Edwards had the high game for Minnesota in the season series with a 30-point contest. … The Wolves were 2-0 with Karl-Anthony Towns in the lineup against the Thunder. … Minnesota is trying for back-to-back playoff appearances for the first time since 2003 and 2004. The Thunder haven’t made the playoffs since 2020.
X-factor: Minnesota center Rudy Gobert returns after his one-game suspension for the altercation with teammate Kyle Anderson. He’s surely going to face pressure; how he responds might be critical.
GRIZZLIES GUARD JA MORANT FILES COUNTERSUIT AGAINST TEEN
Grizzlies point guard Ja Morant has filed a countersuit against the Memphis teenager suing the two-time All-Star, accusing the teen of slander, battery and assault over a pickup basketball game at Morant’s home last July.
The lawsuit filed Wednesday night in Shelby County Circuit Court accuses Joshua Holloway, whose lawsuit was amended March 28 after he turned 18, of damaging Morant’s reputation and putting him at risk of losing millions of dollars both in his contract and in potential endorsement deals.
Morant declined to comment Thursday when asked about his countersuit after practice. The Grizzlies are the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference preparing to host LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers starting Sunday.
The guard signed a five-year, $193 million contract last July that includes a $38 million bonus for making the All-NBA team this season. The NBA suspended Morant eight games in March for “conduct detrimental to the league” for displaying a firearm at a suburban Denver club on March 4.
Morant’s countersuit notes the lawsuit was reported nationally despite being under seal until the amended version was filed March 28 and that the lawsuit potentially jeopardizes the guard’s relationships with sponsors including some “unconsummated deals in progress.”
In the countersuit, Morant also accuses the teen of lying to police, in the original lawsuit and then changing his story in the amended version.
Morant says in the countersuit he punched Holloway once after being hit in the face with a basketball during a July 26 pickup game at his home after the teen approached the Grizzlies guard with “balled up” fists.
Holloway’s attorneys did not immediately respond to an email from The Associated Press requesting comment on Morant’s countersuit.
Holloway’s amended lawsuit accuses “one or both” Morant and his friend Davonte Pack of punching him even after he went to the ground and that Morant pointed to a gun at his hip as the teen left. According to the teen’s lawsuit, Holloway’s mother called police when he arrived home that night.
“These statements were false, and Counter-Defendant had actual knowledge of their falsehood or had reckless disregard for the truth,” according to Morant’s countersuit.
The countersuit cites witnesses estimating the altercation lasted 10 seconds before Morant’s father escorted Holloway out as the Grizzlies guard stayed on the court. On his way out, the countersuit alleges Holloway yelled he would return to “light (Mr. Morant’s) house up like a firework show.”
Morant also says he later received a threat on Snapchat appearing to be from Holloway, prompting him and his family to report the teen’s threats to the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department on Aug. 8. Eight witnesses filed affidavits, and the local district attorney declined to file any charges Oct. 27.
THE LOSING IS DONE, NBA TEAMS NOW AWAIT 7-FOOT-3 WEMBANYAMA
Gregg Popovich placed his left thumb on the inside of his right wrist, paused for a couple of moments and then confirmed that, yes, he has a pulse.
It was also an indication when asked that yes, he is thinking about Victor Wembanyama.
There are very specific rules that teams must follow right now when it comes to mentioning the name of the 7-foot-3 French phenom with big-man height and elite guard skills who will be the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft. Essentially, since the 19-year-old is not officially in the draft yet, they can’t mention him.
So they don’t. And they don’t have to, either. Everyone knows what the teams who’ll be in the NBA lottery next month are hoping to have happen when those 14 ping-pong balls go into a hopper and determine the future for Wembanyama and the team that’s lucky enough to draft him.
“If I have a pulse and I’m in basketball, I’m probably going to think about the ping-pong balls or the lottery, I guess. I can do that, right? It’s not against the rules,” said Popovich, the San Antonio coach and all-time NBA wins leader. “I can’t talk about any players or anything, I guess. But I’m alive. I have ears, and I see TV. There’s a lottery, yes. I’ve thought about it. Duh.”
“Duh” also would be the appropriate answer when the lottery winner gets asked what they’ll do with the No. 1 pick. There is no debate. Wembanyama is the pick. A team that was really bad this season is probably going to get really good really fast.
They were woeful for Wemby. Now they’re waiting for Wemby.
“He’s a freak,” soon-to-be Hall of Fame inductee Dirk Nowitzki said. “I mean, unbelievable. You always think you’ve seen it all during your life and your career and history of the league, and then somebody else comes along. Kevin Durant comes along, a 7-foot-2 two-guard. Now we have a 7-foot-4 two-guard. … This kid is unbelievable.”
Playing for the Boulogne-Levallois Metropolitans 92, Wembanyama leads the French league with averages of 21.3 points. 9.9 rebounds and 3.1 blocks. He makes going viral an everyday thing; his latest break-the-Internet moment was when he took a 3-pointer, missed it short, followed the shot and slammed it home in one motion, completely unbothered by the players who were in his way.
“Yeah, I’ve seen him,” Houston forward Jabari Smith Jr. said. “Yeah, he’s a problem.”
The teams with the three worst records this season — Detroit, Houston and San Antonio — have the best odds of winning the lottery, 14% apiece. Detroit got here by having its worst season in more than 40 years. Houston has now had back-to-back seasons of 60 losses. San Antonio had its third-worst season ever.
They were never in the playoff race, though never drew any public scorn from the NBA office for trying to tank with hopes of improving draft odds, either — unlike Dallas, which faces a league investigation now for giving up on its play-in tournament chances with two games remaining. The team that wins the lottery will say it was all worth it. The others will feel at least some pang of disappointment, whether they say it or not.
“Talent-wise, I think he’s something that we’ve never seen before,” said Tony Parker, the former Spurs guard who’ll be going into the Hall of Fame later this year — and owned the team that Wembanyama played for in France last season.
It’s not just Wembanyama who will be coveted at this draft, though he is far and away the top prospect. This shapes up as a loaded draft at the top with G League Ignite standout Scoot Henderson and Alabama’s Brandon Miller expected to be the second and third picks in some order. It’s conceivable that in any other year, they would be vying to be picked first.
“Looks good to me,” Indiana coach Rick Carlisle said of the top of the draft class. “I don’t know what’s legal or not legal to say. The very top of (the draft) is very impactful.”
Most experts would agree that Henderson and Miller are more than consolation picks. Teams that lands one of them should also get better, and that’s why no team is betting it all on the lottery.
“I’m not really worried about where the ball drops,” Detroit general manager Troy Weaver said. “Would I celebrate with everybody? Absolutely, but I don’t walk around like that.”
Wembanyama — who keeps a relatively low public profile, rarely doing even postgame interviews despite worldwide interest in his every move — knows he captured the league’s attention long ago. LeBron James respectfully called him an alien last fall, Durant raves about Wembanyama’s game and French center Rudy Gobert said he knew at least three years ago that the teenager would be an enormous star.
Even Giannis Antetokounmpo marvels at Wembanyama, predicting he could be “one of the best to play this game.”
“We’ve got to get ready for this kid,” Antetokounmpo said.
“It’s cool to see Giannis saying this stuff,” Wembanyama said when he sat down with the NBA’s social media team a few weeks ago and was shown the clip of Antetokounmpo’s comments. “He’s probably like my favorite player.”
Paolo Banchero was the No. 1 pick last year. He entered the league with massive expectations and delivered; he’s the frontrunner to win rookie of the year after a strong opening season with the Orlando Magic. And he knows what Wembanyama will go through — on some level, anyway.
“His hype is a lot bigger than my hype,” said Banchero, who led Duke to the Final Four in his only year in college. “He’s going to have it probably worse than I did, but I’d tell him to just enjoy it. I’m sure he’s dreamed of this for a while and a lot comes with it, but it’s also a lot that you gain from it, a lot of good things as well. I’d tell him embrace it all and shoot, have fun. It’s going to be a dream come true for him.”
A dream come true for the lucky team, too. And answers start coming soon. The draft lottery is May 16, the same day that Wembanyama’s French season is scheduled to end. The draft is June 22. Summer league starts in early July; anticipation of Wembanyama playing in Las Vegas again after two ballyhooed games there this past fall is already building. He intends to play in the Basketball World Cup for France starting in August. And then his rookie season starts in October.
For one team, all the losing this season will be quickly forgotten, based on how four ping-pong balls land.
“This can be his league,” Nowitzki said, “for a long, long time.”
ARIZONA’S AZUOLAS TUBELIS TO ENTER NBA DRAFT
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Arizona’s second-team All-American forward Azuolas Tubelis will enter the 2023 NBA draft.
Tubelis told ESPN of his plans on Thursday and he is not expected to return to the Wildcats.
The Lithuanian big man had a breakout season in 2022-23, earning second-team All-America honors from The Associated Press after averaging 19.8 points and 9.1 rebounds per game while shooting 57% from the floor.
Arizona won a second straight Pac-12 championship this season to earn a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament, but lost to No. 15 seed Princeton in the first round.
A 6-foot-11 forward with good touch, Tubelis is projected as a likely second-round NBA draft pick.
Arizona also lost point guard Kerr Kriisa from last season’s team after he entered the transfer portal and signed with West Virginia.
GOBERT, WOLVES GET PAST PUNCH; BIG MAN STILL HAS BACK INJURY
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Rudy Gobert rejoined the Minnesota Timberwolves Thursday after a team-imposed suspension for their first play-in game, but lingering back trouble has compromised his status for the second one.
Gobert was dismissed from the arena Sunday after throwing a punch at teammate Kyle Anderson in an argument in the huddle during a timeout in the second quarter of Minnesota’s final regular-season game. The Wolves kept him home as punishment when they traveled to Los Angeles and lost 108-102 in overtime to the Lakers Tuesday after blowing a 15-point lead.
Speaking to reporters Thursday for the first time since the public fight, Gobert said he probably wouldn’t have been healthy enough to play the Lakers anyway. He’s aiming to return Friday when the Wolves host Oklahoma City in their last chance to make the playoffs, but there’s no guarantee.
“Still pretty sore, still not moving like I would like to be able to move, but small progress every day,” said Gobert, the three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year award winner.
The Wolves said the air had long been cleared before Gobert rejoined them on the floor Thursday.
“We both apologized to each other and you move on. That’s life,” Gobert said. “It’s different when you have millions of people all watching videos and have an opinion on things that happened, but that we can’t control. What we can control is the respect that we have for each other and our relationship.”
Anderson’s sentiment was the same in interviews after the game Sunday and Tuesday before the Wolves faced the Lakers.
“I still love Kyle. He’s still my brother. I tell people, ‘Sometimes you fight with your family. Sometimes you fight with people that you have a lot of love and respect for,’” Gobert said. “It’s life. No one is perfect. Mistakes happen and then you grow and you move on.”
After the Wolves paid a steep price — in players and first-round draft picks — to acquire Gobert in a trade with Utah last summer, the 7-foot-1 native of France has had a frustrating debut in Minnesota. He’s struggled to fit in as a second big man in the offense with Karl-Anthony Towns and get on the same page with the guards.
The Wolves will be without at least one starter, Jaden McDaniels, because of a broken hand that occurred after he punched a wall in the tunnel near the bench out of frustration during the same game when Gobert struck Anderson in the upper chest. One of their top reserves, Naz Reid, is out with a broken wrist.
“Obviously our goal was to be at the top of the West,” Gobert said. “But you have adversity, you have things that doesn’t go how you want them to go, and it’s part of life.”
Gobert’s back trouble had him listed as questionable for that game against New Orleans on Sunday when he lost his cool. Coach Chris Finch said he looked “a little tight” in practice Thursday.
“We’ll keep working on it,” Finch said.
Will Gobert play?
“I hope so. I really can’t say,” Finch said. “But we haven’t ruled him out.”
AMARI BAILEY LEAVING UCLA AFTER 1 SEASON TO ENTER NBA DRAFT
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Amari Bailey has joined the exodus of UCLA players to the NBA draft.
He announced his plans Thursday on his Instagram account.
The freshman guard from Chicago started 28 of 30 games in his lone season in Westwood. He averaged 11.2 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists and was named to the Pac-12 All-Freshman team. He also made the All-Pac-12 Tournament team.
“Since I was 3 years old, basketball has been my first and only love,” Bailey wrote. “I have decided to bet on myself and turn my dreams into reality and enter the 2023 NBA Draft.”
Bailey scored 19 points and hit a go-ahead 3-pointer in the final 20 seconds of UCLA’s 79-76 loss to Gonzaga in the Sweet 16 last month.
“Amari improved immensely this season as a basketball player,” coach Mick Cronin said in a statement. “One area in which Amari most improved was becoming an elite defensive player. His on-the-ball pressure became a huge weapon for our team.”
Bailey joins teammates Tyger Campbell, Jaime Jaquez Jr. and Jaylen Clark in declaring for the draft. Campbell and Jaquez are seniors.
Clark, a junior, did not indicate whether he would hire an agent ahead of the June 22 draft or retain his remaining eligibility. ___
ADAMA SANOGO LEAVING UCONN FOR NBA DRAFT
STORRS, Conn. (AP) — UConn center Adama Sanogo announced Thursday he will leave the national champions and make himself eligible for the NBA draft.
The 6-foot-9 junior from Mali, who was named Most Outstanding Player at this year’s Final Four, made his decision public in an Instagram post, thanking his family and coaches for their support.
“I am so excited for the next stop on my journey and proud to announce that I will declare for the 2023 NBA Draft and will stay focused on the process and giving myself every chance possible to hear my name called,” he wrote. “I will always cherish my time at UConn and will always be my home away from home.”
Sanogo averaged 17.8 points and eight rebounds in helping UConn to a 31-8 record and a fifth national title. He improved on those stats during the Huskies’ NCAA Tournament run, averaging 19.7 points and 10 rebounds over those six games.
But Sanogo is considered undersized for a post and will have to convince NBA teams that his skill set will translate to the league.
He is the second Husky to declare for the draft. Sophomore guard Jordan Hawkins made a similar announcement last Friday.
NETS’ STARLESS ROSTER IN NBA PLAYOFFS WITH NO DURANT, IRVING
NEW YORK (AP) — When the Brooklyn Nets traded Kyrie Irving and then Kevin Durant, the drama that had engulfed the team went with them — along with any realistic title hopes for this season.
Not that all hope is lost.
Yes, teams that win rings almost always have superstars, and the Nets no longer do. Not after dealing Irving to Dallas, then days later sending Durant to the Suns.
But with the duo, Brooklyn didn’t win even one playoff game last season, so maybe the Nets can do better without them when they face the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round.
“Well, they say you have to have stars to win a championship. They don’t say you have to have stars to win a series,” 76ers coach Doc Rivers said. “There’s a big difference.”
The No. 3-seeded 76ers have all the star power in this series. Joel Embiid led the league in scoring for the second straight season and could win his first MVP award sometime this spring. James Harden won three scoring titles and an MVP award in Houston and topped the league in assists this season.
Nobody on the Nets is near that level, the biggest reason why their odds to reach the NBA Finals are even worse than three of the four teams who were behind them in the Eastern Conference play-in tournament, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
“You look at teams 7, 8, 9, 10, they have an All-Star, or multiple All-Stars on their team,” Nets coach Jacque Vaughn said, “and this sixth seed, the Brooklyn Nets, we did it in a very competitive and collective way as a group, as a team.”
They wasn’t the way the Nets set out to do it.
They were all-in on the superstar route, with Durant and Irving coming in the summer of 2019 and Harden joining them for a brief 13-month stint in early 2021. They got plenty of headlines – though often negative ones – but never got close to a title.
With the Big Three-ring circus gone, Durant and Irving weren’t missed much in the regular season. Mikal Bridges and Cam Johnson, who came in the deal for Durant, and Spencer Dinwiddie and Dorian Finney-Smith, acquired from Dallas, stepped into the starting lineup and helped the Nets to 45 wins and the No. 6 seed. Both of those are better than Brooklyn managed last season with its high-scoring headliners before being swept by Boston in the first round.
Bridges had three 40-point games and averaged 27.2 points in 26 games — scoring stats that even rival Durant — after joining the Nets before playing just four scoreless seconds in the finale, appearing only to extend his consecutive games played streak to 392.
But the playoffs are different, a time when the best players have to make the biggest plays. Irving hit one of the most significant shots in NBA history with his 3-pointer that was the winning basket for Cleveland in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals. Durant was the MVP of the next two NBA Finals while playing for Golden State.
The Nets are aware of what they’re missing going into the postseason. Players like Durant and Irving would get a benefit of the doubt from officials that Embiid and Harden probably will but the Nets might not.
“I’m not going to lie to you. Reputation does matter,” Dinwiddie said. “I’ve spoken about this a lot, right? That last six-minute stretch, things on the margin like bang-bang calls, things like that, we’re not going to get them.
“But at the same time, reputations are typically made in the playoffs, right? So if Mikal keeps playing at the level he is, he’ll be considered a star at the end of this thing, especially if we can advance or do anything special.”
Rivers mentioned the 2004 Detroit Pistons, a team that was considered superstar-less but easily toppled the Lakers of Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant in the NBA Finals.
These Nets probably can’t match those Pistons. But perhaps they can surpass the Nets of 2022.
“The playoffs is what makes you a star and so there probably will be three or four guys — when this whole season of playoffs are over, there’s going to be some new stars that we don’t even know yet,” Rivers said. “Let’s hope we don’t create any.”
MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL NEWS
MLB ROUNDUP: RAYS TIE MODERN RECORD AT 13-0
Harold Ramirez’s three-run double fueled a seven-run fifth inning as the host Tampa Bay Rays tied a modern-era major league record with their 13th straight win to start the season, bashing the Boston Red Sox 9-3 Thursday in St. Petersburg, Fla.
The 13 wins tied the record held by the 1987 Milwaukee Brewers and 1982 Atlanta Braves and also set a Rays mark for consecutive wins overall. Tampa Bay has outscored opponents 101-30 through the streak.
Ramirez went 3-for-4 with two doubles, three RBIs and a run. Brandon Lowe had two hits, including a home run, and Yandy Diaz also went deep for the Rays.
Rays starter Jeffrey Springs was removed after three-plus innings due to ulnar neuritis in his left arm. He struck out five and allowed one run on a homer by Red Sox outfielder Rob Refsnyder. Kevin Kelly (1-0) tossed 2 2/3 innings of one-run relief for his first major league win.
Brewers 4, Padres 3 (10 innings)
Rowdy Tellez hit a two-run homer in the first inning and broke a tie in the top of the 10th with a sacrifice fly to lead Milwaukee to a win in San Diego.
Christian Yelich started the 10th at second as the ghost runner. After Willy Adames drew a leadoff walk from Luis Garcia (0-2), both runners advanced on a double steal. Tellez then hit a deep fly to right. Devin Williams (2-0) earned the win after striking out the side in the bottom of the ninth. Joel Payamps earned his first major league save.
Trent Grisham tied the game with a two-run homer off Matt Bush with two outs in the bottom of the eighth.
Orioles 8, Athletics 7
Adley Rutschman homered to lead off the bottom of the ninth inning, giving host Baltimore a walk-off victory over Oakland.
Rutschman hit Trevor May’s second pitch over the fence in right-center field for his fourth home run of the season. It was Rutschman’s only hit of the game. Ryan Mountcastle also hit a home run and Ryan O’Hearn drove in three runs in his Orioles debut.
Brent Rooker homered twice and drove in five runs for the Athletics.
Twins 11, Yankees 2
Michael A. Taylor, rookie Edouard Julien and Carlos Correa hit consecutive home runs to cap a nine-run first-inning explosion as Minnesota rolled to a rout of host New York.
The Twins already held a 5-0 lead when Taylor hit his first of two home runs to make it 7-0 and chase Yankees rookie Jhony Brito (2-1). Julien, who had started the inning with his first career hit, greeted reliever Colten Brewer with a blast into the first row of the left field seats. Correa made it 9-0 with a drive to the right-center field seats, his first homer of the season. Minnesota starter Joe Ryan (3-0) allowed one run and three hits while striking out 10 in seven innings.
Anthony Rizzo hit two solo homers to provide the Yankees’ runs. Utilityman Isiah Kiner-Falefa took the mound in the ninth and threw a scoreless inning for New York.
Reds 6, Phillies 2
Spencer Steer, Tyler Stephenson and Wil Myers had two-out, run-scoring singles in a three-run third inning as Cincinnati beat visiting Philadelphia in the opener of a four-game series.
Nick Lodolo (2-0) worked around trouble in the first two innings, scattered eight hits and allowed two runs over five innings. The Reds snapped a three-game skid and earned just their second win in eight games.
Kyle Schwarber hit his fourth home run of the season for the Phillies, and Bryson Stott extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a two-out bunt single in the ninth that put runners at first and second. Reds manager David Bell then called on Alexis Diaz, who struck out Trea Turner to end the game.
Tigers 3, Blue Jays 1
Zach McKinstry hit a go-ahead RBI double in the fifth inning and visiting Detroit went on to defeat Toronto.
Jake Rogers also had an RBI double as the Tigers salvaged the final game of the three-game set and ended a six-game losing streak. Toronto right-hander Chris Bassitt (1-2) allowed two runs, four hits and three walks while striking out seven in six innings.
Detroit right-hander Spencer Turnbull (1-2) gave up one run, six hits and one walk in five innings. He struck out six.
Pirates 5, Cardinals 0
Vince Velasquez and three relievers combined on a six-hitter as visiting Pittsburgh blanked St. Louis.
Velasquez (1-2) pitched six shutout innings while allowing just three hits and two walks. He struck out six batters. Connor Joe and Rodolfo Castro hit back-to-back homers in the eighth inning to pace the Pirates’ offense.
Cardinals starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery (2-1) allowed two runs on six hits over 6 1/3 innings. He struck out five and walked two. St. Louis rookie outfielder Jordan Walker saw his 12-game, career-opening hitting streak come to an end.
HARPER WORKING OUT AT 1B TO HASTEN RETURN FROM SURGERY
CINCINNATI (AP) — Philadelphia’s Bryce Harper is working out at first base in an attempt to speed his recovery from Tommy John surgery.
“I’m not sure how long it will take,” manager Rob Thomson said before Thursday’s game against Cincinnati.
Harper, usually an outfielder, approached Phillies president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski with the idea, The Athletic reported.
Thomson expects the 30-year-old to work out daily at first base, usually with infield coach Bobby Dickerson. Harper has two big league appearances at first base in 11 seasons, the last in 2021.
“He was out there today,” Thomson said. “He looked fine. Bobby’s a great coach. He’s athletic. He wants to do it.”
Harper, a two-time National League MVP, was operated on last Nov. 23 and Philadelphia projects him returning at first as a designated hitter. Harper last week began taking on-field batting practice.
First baseman Rhys Hoskins will miss the season after tearing his left ACL during a spring training game on March 23. Darick Hall. who started five of the first six games at first, had surgery Wednesday to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb and is projected to be sidelined for two months.
“His surgery went well,” Thomson said. “He’ll rehab in Philadelphia and then we’ll send him to Clearwater.”
VEGAS CLAIMS PACIFIC DIVISION CROWN WITH 3-1 WIN OVER KRAKEN
SEATTLE (AP) Alec Martinez broke a tie midway through the second period and the Vegas Golden Knights won their third Pacific Division title with a 3-1 victory over the Seattle Kraken in the regular-season finale Thursday night.
Vegas finished 51-22-9 with 111 points, tying the franchise record for victories and holding off the late surge from Edmonton to win the division title and clinch home-ice advantage in the Western Conference.
Vegas will face Winnipeg in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Martinez’s goal at 12:37 of the second period came during a delayed penalty against Seattle. Martinez swatted a rebound past Seattle goalie Philipp Grubauer for his third goal of the season and undoubtedly the most important.
Reilly Smith also scored for Vegas on what technically was its first shot of the game but didn’t touch his stick blade. Vince Dunn’s pass from behind the Seattle goal bounced off Smith’s skate and slipped past Grubauer. The goal came nearly 10 minutes into the first period.
Chandler Stephenson added an empty-net goal, deflecting the puck from his own zone with 38 seconds left.
Jaden Schwartz scored his 21st of the season for Seattle’s only goal on a night the Kraken dominated chances but couldn’t convert. Matty Beniers and Adam Larsson both hit posts and Daniel Sprong was stuffed on a breakaway by Laurent Brossoit, who made 31 saves.
Seattle (46-28-8, 100 points) entered the finale still with an outside shot of catching Los Angeles and finishing third in the Pacific Division. But the Kings held up their end beating Anaheim and the Kraken had to settle for the top wild card berth in the Western Conference.
Seattle will have to wait until Friday night to learn its playoff opponent. The Kraken will face either Colorado or Dallas depending on the outcome of Friday’s game between the Avalanche and Predators in Nashville.
MR. 82 AGAIN
Phil Kessel appeared in his 1,064th consecutive game and played in 82 games for the 11th time in his career.
Brayden McNabb and William Karlsson also appeared in all 82 games this season for Vegas. Ivan Barbashev also appeared in his 82nd game but the first 59 of those came with St. Louis.
Larsson was one of five players to appear in all 82 games for the Kraken and is the only one to play in every game in the first two seasons of the franchise. Will Borgen, Jordan Eberle, Brandon Tanev and Alex Wennberg also appeared in every game.
Jack Eichel and Shea Theodore both returned for Vegas. Eichel had missed two straight while Theodore had missed the previous seven.
Golden Knights: Will face Winnipeg in the opening round. Vegas was 3-0-0 against the Jets this season.
Kraken: Seattle will wait to see the result of Colorado’s game at Nashville on Friday that will determine its opponent in the first round of the playoffs.
OILERS CLOSE WITH 9TH STRAIGHT WIN, 5-2 OVER SHARKS
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) Mattias Janmark scored twice, Leon Draisaitl had a goal and two assists and the Edmonton Oilers closed the regular season with a franchise-record ninth straight victory, 5-2 over the San Jose Sharks on Thursday night.
Evan Bouchard and Evander Kane also scored and Stuart Skinner made 27 saves. The Oilers were 14-0-1 in their last 15 to finish 50-23-9. They will open the playoff against the Los Angeles Kings.
“We feel good about our game heading into the most important time of the year,” said Oilers captain Connor McDavid, the NHL champion in goals (64), assists (89) and points (153).
“Even if there wasn’t stuff on the line we wanted to finish strong. “It was a good regular season, individually and for the team, now is the fun time.
Skinner up his 29th victory in net, surpassing Grant Fuhr (1981-82) for the franchise record for wins in a rookie season.
“It means a lot to be recognized in the same sentence as Grant Fuhr,” Skinner said. “Growing up in Edmonton, all you heard about is how fantastic of a goalie he is and how competitive he was. He’s a Hall of Fame goalie, one of the best goalies to play the game, so it’s a really cool moment.”
Noah Gregor and Steven Lorentz scored for San Jose. They lost their last six to finish 22-44-16.
“You look at our record and can jump to a lot of conclusions, but I loved coaching this group and I thought they came to work every day and were a fun group to coach,” Sharks coach David Quinn said. “They worked hard and were coachable. At the end of the day, we just weren’t good enough and we know that and we are going to get better.:
Janmark opened the scoring 4:16 into the opening period when he cut in on net with a backhander that pinballed past James Reimer.
Edmonton’s power play struck 6:56 into the first. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins feathered a pass through the crease to Draisaitl, who slammed home his 52nd goal. McDavid picked up an assist on the play to extend his points streak to 16 games.
Gregor put the Sharks on the board midway through the first when he lifted a rebound over Skinner for his 10th of the season.
Bouchard restored the Oilers’ two-goal edge 5:02 into the second period.
Janmark made it 4-1 with six minutes left in the middle frame. It was Edmonton’s league-leading 18th short-handed goal of the season.
San Jose hung around with a power-play goal with just over a minute to play in the second when Lorentz tipped home a Tomas Hertl shot for his 10th.
Draisaitl made another pretty pass with 4:05 remaining in the third period to set up Kane’s 16th.
Oilers: Vs. Los Angeles Kings in first round of playoffs.
Sharks: End of season.
HURRICANES BEAT PANTHERS 6-4 TO WIN METROPOLITAN DIVISION
SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) Brent Burns scored twice and the Carolina Hurricanes scored four times in the third period to beat the Florida Panthers 6-4 on Thursday night to win the Metropolitan Division.
Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Jesper Fast, Shayne Gostisbehere and Sebastian Aho also scored for the Hurricanes, who began the night one point ahead of New Jersey atop the division. Frederick Andersen finished with 31 saves.
Carolina will open the first-round of the Stanley Cup playoffs against the New York Islanders.
“I loved how the guys went about their business. The end was a little weird, but it was one hell of an effort,” said Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour, whose team has won its division the past three seasons. “The guys in that room are as honest as they come and that’s how we have to get it done. We just come to play. I am proud of them. In the division we’re in, it says a lot but it is not what we came to do. We have bigger things we want to accomplish.”
Aleksander Barkov, Ryan Lomberg, Anthony Duclair and Carter Verhaeghe scored for Florida, which began the night one point behind the Islnders for the top wild card in the Eastern Conference. Alex Lyon had 30 saves.
The Panthers will face league-best Boston in the first round of the playoffs.
Florida, which had scored two early goals in the third to tie the score and came within a goal in the final 90 seconds.
“We had a lot of fight but made mistakes which will not be allowed or acceptable in the playoffs,” the Panthers’ Matthew Tkachuk said. “We had to be patient in a game like that and it got away from us in a few shifts. They capitalized, a good team and the top team in their division. But the fight in the third shows how we fought all year, especially in the second half.”
The Panthers came into the night on a seven-game point streak (6-0-1) but found themselves down 2-0 going into the third period.
Burns opened the scoring 8:21 into the first period with a long shot from inside the blue line before Kotkaniemi gave Carolina a 2-0 lead 1:12 into the second.
The Panthers came out fast in the third period, with Barkov scoring at 1:14 with Lomberg tying things at 2 just over two minutes later.
The Hurricanes quickly took their two-goal lead back as Burns scored at 6:07 with Fast putting a rebound past Lyon at 6:28.
After an empty net goal from Gostisbehere with 2:40 remaining, the Panthers scored a pair of quick goals (again, with the net empty) as Duclair got his second of the season and Verhaeghe recorded his 42nd.
With a minute left, however, Aho put the finishing touches with Carolina’s second empty-net goal of the night.
“We knew the game would have a playoff feel because there was a lot on the line,” Gostisbehere said. “It became a little more interesting at the end, but it shows the character of this group. You don’t want come into the third up 2-0 and quickly it is 2-2, but we regrouped, got our stuff together and finished up strong.”
The Panthers signed two of their top prospects this week. C Mackie Samoskevich, their first-round selection in 2021, left the University of Michigan after his sophomore season and joined Florida’s AHL team in Charlotte. D Mike Benning, the MVP of the 2022 Frozen Four with the University of Denver, signed his entry-level contract and joined the Panthers on Thursday. Benning took part in Florida’s morning skate but did not play against the Hurricanes.
Hurricanes: Against the New York Islanders in the first round of the playoffs.
Panthers: Against Boston in the first round of the playoffs.
BLACKHAWKS SAY TOEWS WILL NOT RETURN TO TEAM NEXT SEASON
CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews will not return to the team next year, ending a wildly successful run that included three Stanley Cup championships in 15 seasons.
General manager Kyle Davidson said Thursday that the team will not re-sign its longtime center, who turns 35 on April 29.
“I think words fail to adequately summarize everything that Jonathan’s done for the organization, the amazing memories that he provided,” Davidson said. “He’ll be a Blackhawk forever.”
Chicago hosts Philadelphia in its season finale on Thursday night. Toews won his first championship when the Blackhawks beat the Flyers in the 2010 Stanley Cup Final.
Long known for his two-way play and leadership, Toews has 14 goals and 16 assists in 52 games this year. He has 371 goals and 511 assists in 1,066 regular-season games — all with Chicago.
Once nicknamed “Captain Serious” — a reputation that faded away as he showed more of his personality over the years — Toews could decide to retire after missing a chunk of this season with what he described as symptoms of long COVID-19 and chronic immune response syndrome. He also missed the 2020-21 season because of those same health issues.
“I don’t really have an answer right now,” he said on Monday. “I’m just trying to enjoy the last few days of the season here with this group and not thinking that far ahead.”
Davidson said he thinks Toews is going to play next season. “But that’s a conversation for him,” the GM said.
Toews was selected by Chicago with the No. 3 pick in the 2006 draft, one of the first markers in the team’s rise to the top of the NHL. He was just 20 years old when he became the 34th captain in team history in July 2008.
He was part of a core group that helped Chicago put together the best stretch in franchise history, winning the Stanley Cup in 2010, 2013 and 2015. The Blackhawks also made it to the Western Conference finals in 2014, losing to the Los Angeles Kings in an epic seven-game series.
But the franchise has fallen on hard times of late. It is among the worst teams in the NHL this year, in the mix for the No. 1 overall pick in the draft and a chance to take Connor Bedard.
Toews’ departure comes in the wake of a February trade that shipped star forward Patrick Kane to the New York Rangers.
“I don’t know if it’s necessarily putting the past behind us. It’s moreso clearing the deck to some extent to allow the organic growth for young players into leadership roles,” Davidson said. “Offer this new era of Blackhawks player the same opportunity that Toews, Kane, (Duncan) Keith, (Brent) Seabrook, they were all offered when they came in the league.”
Following a series of conversations, Davidson said he told Toews of the decision while the team was in Seattle last week. The GM also said he had talked to CEO Danny Wirtz, the son of Blackhawks chairman Rocky Wirtz, about the move.
“Danny and Rocky spoke with Jonathan, not about this, just to kind of reminisce about what was lived and experienced and just to show that respect and share in the memories that were made together,” Davidson said. “So, when you’re moving on from someone like Jonathan Toews, they have to be involved. They have to be, given the status and stature of the player.”
USA WOMEN’S HOCKEY
US SHUTS DOWN GERMANY TO ADVANCE TO WOMEN’S WORLD SEMIS
BRAMPTON, Ontario (AP) — Aerin Frankel stopped 18 shots and the United States shut out Germany 3-0 in the women’s world hockey championship quarterfinals Thursday.
Amanda Kessel, Hannah Bilka and Abbey Murphy each scored a goal as the Americans booked a spot in the semifinal.
German goaltender Sandra Abstreiter made 49 saves in Germany’s smallest margin of defeat to the Americans ever.
The Americans are looking to win the tournament for the first time since 2019 after losses to Canada in 2021 and 2022. The 2020 women’s world hockey championship was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The United States has nine women’s worlds titles to Canada’s 12.
Germany’s best result at the tournament is a fourth-place finish in 2017.
CZECHIA 2, FINLAND 1
Katerina Mrazova had two points, including the game-winning goal, as Czechia defeated Finland to advance to the semifinals.
Czech goaltender Blanka Skodova turned away 41 of 42 shots. Finnish netminder Anni Keisala made 20 saves in the outing.
Finland forward Viivi Vainikka opened the scoring at 15:18 of the first period, but Czechia replied with unanswered second-period goals from Natalie Mlynkova and Mrazova.
It’s the fourth straight time the Czechs and Finns have played in the women’s world hockey championship quarterfinal, and the second consecutive time Czechia has knocked Finland out of the tournament.
TOP INDIANA RELEASES/NEWS
IHSAA CONSIDERING CHANGES MAY 1
The Indiana high school athletic Association will have several proposals to decide on during its annual board of directors meeting May 1.
One of the proposals would classify four – class sports in basketball, baseball, softball and volleyball with fixed enrollments. That would eliminate dividing the four classes equally.
The proposal would go into effect for the 2024 – 25 school year.
One of the pushback’s will be the enrollment between the largest 4A schools and the smallest 4A schools. To give you an example, Carmel has 5,327 students and South Bend Riley has only 1,030 students.
If the proposals do pass, the IHSAA says adjustments could be made in the future.
Another change could be in the success factor. Currently the minimum number two stay up in a class after moving up due to tournament success factor was lowered from three points to two points for a two – year classification period. Two schools including Yorktown and Barr Reeve are asking that the point total move back to a higher number.
The problem may be changing the success factor is the potential change to the four – class system.
The Indiana high school athletic Association is also working with the sports medicine advisory committee that could reduce the number of practices prior to an event or game from 10 to just eight.
Another proposal that is being discussed is transfers that happened during the season. Currently any athlete may move during the season and get immediate eligibility only if both schools agree there is a legitimate change of residence or hardship status.
Currently the Indiana high school athletic Association is looking to set a timeframe for transfers to be eligible during the season.
There is also a proposal to reduce baseball and softball games from 28 to 26 during the regular season.
INDIANAPOLIS INDIANS BASEBALL
INDIANAPOLIS – Seeking their first home win of the season, the Indianapolis Indians came up short in a 3-2 loss to the St. Paul Saints on Thursday night at Victory Field. The setback was Indy’s sixth straight at the Vic, the longest home winless streak to start a season since dropping its first seven home contests in 1972.
Tied 2-2 in the eighth inning, St. Paul (7-4) cashed in a leadoff walk on a one-out double by Ryan LaMarre. Mark Contreras drew the free pass, took second on a Carmen Mlodzinski (L, 0-1) wild pitch and swiped third base ahead of LaMarre’s game-winning two-bagger.
Contreras spotted the Saints a 2-0 advantage in the third inning with a two-out single that scored Tony Wolters and Elliot Soto. Wolters and Soto reached base to start the frame on a hit by pitch and walk.
Indianapolis (5-7) tallied single runs in the third and fourth innings to draw even. Chris Owings laced a double to open Indy’s half of the third and later scored on a Tucupita Marcano groundout. Nick Gonzales and Miguel Andújar tag-teamed with one away in the fourth, stringing together a triple and double.
Cam Alldred got the nod for the Indians and yielded two earned runs on three hits and one walk with six strikeouts over 4.0 innings in a no-decision. Hunter Stratton and Daniel Zamora combined for three shutout innings in relief.
Austin Schulfer (W, 1-0) recorded five outs to earn the win, and José De León (S, 1) induced a double play lineout off the bat of Cal Mitchell to pitch around a leadoff walk and two-out single.
Indianapolis will look to snap its winless home stretch on Friday at 7:05 PM ET at Victory Field. RHP Aaron Sanchez (0-0, 6.14) will take the mound for the Saints, while Indy has yet to name a starter.
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – No. 24 Indiana softball (31-12, 9-2 B1G) hosts the Nebraska Cornhuskers (27-13, 7-4 B1G) at Andy Mohr Field this weekend for another Big Ten matchup.
|Date||Opponent||Time (ET)||IUHoosiers Radio||TV|
|April 14||Nebraska||6:00 p.m.||Listen||B1G+|
|April 15||Nebraska||2:00 p.m.||Listen||B1G+|
|April 16||Nebraska||12:00 p.m.||Listen||B1G+|
LAST TIME OUT
- No. 24 Indiana split the midweek games against ACC opponents picking up a 10-5 win against Louisville at Andy Mohr Field before dropping the contest against Notre Dame, 9-1.
- Sophomore Sarah Stone totaled five RBI on two hits and scored one run in the win over the Cards while teammate Taylor Minnick recorded three hits with one double and two RBI against Louisville and Notre Dame.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENT
- Nebraska (27-13, 7-4 B1G) picked up a series win with two shutout victories last weekend. The Huskers shutout the Terps 3-0. Maryland evened out the series with a 2-0 win in game two before bouncing back in game three with a 4-0 victory.
- Nebraska is among the top performers in the Big Ten offensively. The Huskers are ranked in the top five in seven categories: batting average (.323), runs (205), hits (333), doubles (65), home runs (44), RBI (192) and slugging percentage (.515).
- Freshman Infielder Katelyn Caneda ranks fourth in the Big Ten with a .405 batting average and has tallied 45 hits including seven doubles, one triple, two home runs and 27 RBI. Junior Billie Andrews is batting .344 on the season with 45 hits with 11 home runs and 32 runs scored.
- Senior pitcher Courtney Wallace is 17-8 in the circle. She has pitched 141.2 innings and 90 strikeouts. Junior pitcher Sarah Harness backs up Wallace with a record of 9-4 from the mound totaling 74.2 innings and 77 strikeouts.
- Nebraska holds a 11-9 advantage in the series.
- Indiana dropped the series in 2022, 2-1. They started the series with a, 5-0, shutout victory before falling to the Huskers in the final two games, 7-2, 5-4.
- The Hoosiers had a historic run winning 23 straight games setting a new program record for the longest win streak.
- Indiana is ranked No. 24 on April 10, 2023, in the D1 Softball poll.
SWEEP, SWEEP – HOOSIERS ARE CLEANIN’ UP
- Indiana won its first three series going 9-0 to start conference play sweeping No. 22 Maryland, Purdue and Ohio State.
- Freshman duo Taryn Kern and Avery Parker are one of two programs in the NCAA that have over 30 RBIs. Kern has 49 on the season while Parker has batted in 33.
OUT OF THE PARK(ER)
- Freshman Avery Parker has the team’s fourth highest batting average this season with a .367 totaling 40 hits.
- She is ranked in the top-10 in seven Big Ten categories: batting average, slugging percentage, OBS, OPS, runs scored, RBI and home runs.
- The Westfield, Ind., native has hit nine doubles, one triple and nine home runs on the season for 33 RBI.
- She was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week after she hit a .500 as the Hoosiers won 21 straight games setting a new program record and picked up wins against Butler and series sweeps against Purdue and Ohio State.
- She held a 1.636 OPS with eight hits with two doubles and two home runs. Parker totaled seven RBI and scored eight runs on the week. Parker was perfect from the field and behind the plate with a 1.000 fielding percentage.
- Sophomore Taylor Minnick is ranked top-five in the Big Ten in six categories: RBI (42), OBS (.532), OPS (1.282), doubles (12), slugging percentage (.750) and batting average (.417).
- Minnick hit .500 on the week as the Hoosiers defeated Butler and swept Purdue and Ohio State as they made program history with 21 straight wins.
- She totaled eight hits, two doubles, two home runs, six runs, eight free passes and seven RBI on the week.
- The Bloomington, Ind., native hit a team high .750 against Ohio State with a 1.750 slugging percentage and a 2.555 OPS. She hit two home runs, four RBI with six hits and five runs scored against the Buckeyes.
TARYN IT UP
- The San Jose, Calif., native leads the Big Ten in seven categories, slugging percentage (1.000), OBS (.597), OPS (1.597), RBI (50), home runs (17) and walks (32) and hit by pitch (14).
- The IU freshman is second in conference in batting average (.430) and runs scored (46).
- Kern hit her 17th career bomb against Minnesota to break the single-season home run record that was set by IU Hall of Famer and Olympian Michelle Venturella in 1994.
- The 17th long ball on the season puts Kern at the top of the NCAA leaderboard in home runs.
- Against Purdue, Kern collected two hits for two home runs with three RBI and two runs scored. The freshman also totaled four free passes and had a stellar performance in the field with five assists and six putouts.
TEAM 50 IN THE BOOKS
- Team 50 is etching itself in the record book and is on pace to set season records in five categories: runs scored, hits, doubles, stolen bases, home runs, RBI and batting average.
- Indiana has already set new single-season records for most home runs (57) and RBI (283).
RECORD TRACKER (Current Standing)
1. 278 (1994)
Home Runs (57)
1. 56 (2022)
Runs Scored (290)
1. 328 (1994)
2. 282 (2015)
1. 466 (1994)
2. 462 (1987)
1. 95 (1994)
2. 88 (2004)
3. 82 (2022)
4. 75 (2012)
Stolen Bases (89)
1. 141 (2019)
2. 120 (1987)
3. 114 (2022)
4. 112 (2018)
5. 96 (2020)
6. 91 (1988)
7. 89 (1986)
Batting average (.329)
1. .293 (1997)
COPELAND IN THE CIRCLE
- Sophomore pitcher Brianna Copeland is 15-1 inside the circle this season.
- The Pelham, Ala., native holds a 2.83 ERA with 106.1 innings pitched and 105 strikeouts.
- Offensively, Copeland is batting .331 on the season with 40 hits. She has 19 extra base hits and 33 RBI on the season.
HOOSIER BATS ON FIRE
- Indiana leads the Big Ten in batting with a .327 average on the season. The cream and crimson have totaled 354 hits, 76 doubles, eight triples, and 57 home runs.
- They have tallied 283 RBI along with 145 free passes and 69 hit by the pitch.
THE NEXT 60 FEET
- Indiana leads the conference with 92 stolen bases.
- IU’s eight stolen bases against IUPUI is the most in a game from a Big Ten school this season.
- Nationally, IU is tied 17th in stolen bases.
- The Hoosiers tallied 16 stolen bases at the Lady Bison Classic.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – With five straight winning weekends entering the fourth weekend of Big Ten play, the Indiana baseball program will travel to Illinois for a three-game series at Illinois Field. The series kicks off at 8 p.m. ET on Friday (April 14) on the Big Ten Network.
The first two games of the series will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network, as Indiana (23-10, 7-2 B1G) and Illinois (14-15, 3-6 B1G) were two of the preseason contenders for the Big Ten. The Hoosiers won a 16-13 decision over Ball State in a midweek contest and enter the weekend on a three-game winning streak. Illinois dropped a series at Northwestern last weekend, before a 16-5 midweek win at Illinois State.
GAME NOTES: https://static.iuhoosiers.com/custompages/PDF/BB/2023/23-04-14-at_Illinois_Notes.pdf
Friday, April 14, 2023 | 8 p.m. ET
IU: Seti Manase, RHP, Jr.
UI: Riley Gowens, RHP, R-Jr.
TV: Big Ten Network
Live Audio: bit.ly/IUAudio
Live Stats: bit.ly/3AfJQKF
Saturday, April 15, 2023 | 6 p.m. ET
IU: Luke Sinnard, RHP, So.
UI: Jake Swartz, RHP, Fr.
TV: Big Ten Network
Live Audio: bit.ly/IUAudio
Live Stats: bit.ly/3AfJQKF
Sunday, April 16, 2023 | 2 p.m. ET
UI: Jack Wenninger, RHP, Jr.
Live Video: bit.ly/3oasJHf
Live Audio: bit.ly/IUAudio
Live Stats: bit.ly/3AfJQKF
- Friday’s meeting between Indiana and Illinois will be the 209th meeting all time between the two programs. Indiana will look to continue the trend of two straight series wins over the Fighting Illini.
MORE ON PAGE 3
- The Hoosiers have won 18 of 19 home games in 2023, including 15-straight to open the season. That marks the longest home winning streak in Bart Kaufman Field history and the second-longest streak in program history.
MORE ON PAGE 3
- Freshman Devin Taylor began his 22-game reached base streak in his first career start at Texas (2/25) and had 27 hits, 19 walks and four hit-by-pitch in that span for a .500 on-base percentage.
- Sophomore Luke Sinnardstruck out 12 Iowa batters over six scoreless innings for his second career double-digit strikeout game of the season.
MORE ON PAGE 8
- Senior Hunter Jessee carried a 34-game reached base streak between the 2022 and 2023 seasons, which marked a career long for the left-handed hitter and the second longest such streak since at least 2005.
MORE ON PAGE 7
- Senior Phillip Glasserenters the weekend with a 33-game reached base and has 16 multi-hit games in that span.
MORE ON PAGE 6
- Glasser is also among the top-50 active hitters in a bevy of categories, including No. 6 with 239 career hits.
MORE ON PAGE 6
- After its first Big Ten series sweep since 2021, sophomore Brock Tibbittsand freshman Devin Taylorwere honored by the Big Ten with Player and Co-Freshman of the Week accolades, respectively.
MORE ON PAGE 8
- Head coach Jeff Mercerbecame the eighth IU skipper to reach 100 victories in the cream and crimson with a series finale win at Auburn on February 19, 2023.
FULL BIO ON PAGE 18
Scouting the Opponent
- Illinois enters with a 14-15 record overall and a 3-6 mark in Big Ten play. The Fighting Illini have faced Nebraska, Michigan and Northwestern to start conference play and posted a 1-2 record in each of the three series.
- Ryan Moreman and Cam McDonald lead the team a multitude of categories, as Moreman owns a team-best .219 average, 25 runs scored and 30 RBIs. McDonald has a team-best 40 hits and nine doubles to go along with 25 RBIs and 24 runs scored.
- As an offense, Illinois ranks No. 3 in the Big Ten and tied for No. 47 nationally with 46 home runs.
- Riley Gowens is among a group of Big Ten pitchers with a conference-best eight starts and sits No. 2 in the conference and No. 43 nationally in strikeout-to-walk ratio (5.30).
- In 256 innings of work as a pitching staff, Illinois walks just 3.80 batter per nine innings to rank No. 2 in the B1G and No. 49 nationally. However, the staff has hit 53 batters – the second most in the Big Ten.
Inside the Series
- With the 209th meeting all-time on tap for Friday (April 14) in Champaign, Illinois, the Fighting Illini hold the edge in the all-time series 120-87-1.
- In terms of home field advantage, of the 99 previous meetings at Illinois, the Fighting Illini hod a 65-34 edge. Illinois is 50-49-1 all-time at Indiana and the two teams have split four neutral site meetings.
- The line tie in the series came in 1945, a 6-6 tie at Indiana on April 28.
- Of the 208 previous meetings, 57 of those have been decided by one run. Only 15 of them have been won by double figures.
- In 2022, Indiana won the regular season series 2-1 with wins in the Friday and Sunday games. The two teams also met at the Big Ten Tournament, an 8-1 victory for the Hoosiers.
- Over the last 10 seasons (2014-present), Indiana and Illinois have met in seven of those. Indiana has won the series on four occasions.
- The last sweep in the series was Illinois at home in 2011.
PURDUE MEN’S GOLF
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – With weather expected to move in Sunday, the Purdue Men’s Golf Invitational will be moved up a day, now being contested Friday afternoon and Saturday.
Purdue will welcome 12 other teams to Ackerman-Allen Golf Course with the teams playing 18 holes on Friday afternoon and then 36 holes on Saturday. Action gets underway at 2 p.m. ET (shotgun start) and then at 9 a.m. ET, on Saturday (shotgun start).
The event is the final regular-season tournament for the Boilermakers, welcoming four other teams ranked in the top 75 to West Lafayette. The Boilermakers are looking for their first team title since 2011, while another team in the field, Kent State, was the 2021 champion. No. 11-ranked Oklahoma is making their fourth appearance in the event, finishing third in 2019. The Sooners reached match play as the No. 2 seed, at the NCAA Championships a year ago, losing to eventual runner-up Arizona State in the quarterfinals.
THE FIELD (Golfstat Rankings / as of March 24, 2023)
72 Kent State
111 Illinois State
145 Ball State
159 Western Kentucky
181 Southern Illinois
190 Loyola Chicago
217 Eastern Michigan
LAST TIME OUT
Purdue is coming off an eighth-place showing at the Calusa Cup – a tournament that featured four of the top-five ranked teams in the country. The Boilermakers were led by Herman Sekne with a T-20th finish, while Kent Hsiao placed tied for 22nd.
- Purdue has finished in the top five of five of its eight tournaments played this season. Purdue is on track to make NCAA Regionals for the eighth time in nine regionals under head coach Rob Bradley. The Boilermakers are comfortably in the NCAA Regional field right now, at 38th nationally in the Golfstat national rankings.
- Purdue’s best team round average is the final round, over four shots better than the second round and five shots better than round one.
- Six different players have shot a round in the 60s this season.
- Just 10 of Purdue’s 23 rounds have been even- or under par this year, with just two rounds in the 270s. A year ago, Purdue had 17 of its 30 rounds at even- or under-par.
- Herman Sekne / Junior / Oslo, Norway
- Named Big Ten Golfer of the Week for the sixth time after finishing 3rd at the Hootie at Bulls Bay. His six weekly awards are tied for the fifth most in Big Ten history.
- Ranks fifth in the International rankings for the elite Arnold Palmer Cup.
- Recorded 11th career top-10 showing with a third-place finish at the Hootie at Bulls Bay.
- Has 33 even- or under-par rounds among his 72 career rounds played.
- Has 10 top-10 finishes in his last 15 events dating to last season.
- Ranks first in career stroke average by almost a full stroke (71.89). Austin Eoff is second at 72.82 strokes.
- Won the Rich Harvest Farms Intercollegiate and Boilermaker Fall Invitational in back-to-back tournaments as a sophomore, the latter by a whopping seven shots.
- One-of-two golfers (Cole Bradley) to have three career tournaments of 205 or better. He’s played in 24 career events. He is the only one with four events of 205 or better.
- Finished T-16th at the elite World Amateur Team Championship in early September, helping Norway to a fourth-place team finish.
- Played in the elite Jones Cup Invitational during the winter, finishing 14th.
- Has risen to 57th in the World Amateur Golf Rankings (WAGR) and 31st in the NCAA individual rankings.
- Peyton Snoeberger / Senior / Williamsport, Indiana
- Finished T-12th at the Purdue Fall Invite, shooting 3-over par 219 (74-73-72).
- Third on the team in third-round scoring (71.43).
- Big final round of even-par 70 at Marquette to help Purdue to a fifth-place team finish.
- Strong performance at Inverness, finishing T-12 as an individual at 3-over par 216. It marked his third top-15 performance in his last four events (T-14 at Purdue Fall Invite; T-11 at Boilermaker Invite; T-53 at Badger Invite; T-12 at Inverness).
- Coming off an outstanding summer, where he qualified for the Round of 32 match play at the U.S. Amateur and was second at the Indiana Open.
- Placed in the top 15 at both the Purdue Fall Invitational and Boilermaker Invitational last season.
- Three of his seven rounds a year ago were even- or under-par.
- Nels Surtani / Junior / Indianapolis, Indiana
- Has played in eight events this season, owning a 72.91 stroke average, sharing the team lead with 11 rounds of even-par or better.
- Played the final 36 holes in the Hootie at Bulls Bay in 6-under par 138 (70-68), finishing tied for 30th after a tough first round.
- Owns three top-20 showings in his seven events, with a T-7th finish at Inverness.
- Second on the team with three rounds in the 60s.
- Andrew Farraye / Senior / St. Augustine, Florida
- Has played in six events this season, owning a 73.29 stroke average with six rounds of par or better.
- Worked his way back into the lineup in the winter qualifying.
- Owns 10 career rounds in the 60s and 10 top-20 finishes.
- Nick Dentino / Senior / Carmel, Indiana
- Recorded his second career top-10 finish at the Hootie at Bulls Bay, posting a T-6th showing with a career-best score of 205 (-11).
- Marked his first top-10 finish since the first event of his freshman season in Sept. 2019 Finished as the runner-up at the Island Resort Intercollegiate.
- Ranks 14th on Purdue’s career stroke average chart (73.73).
- Recorded back-to-back top-20 showings to start the season at the Badger Invitational (T-16) and Inverness Intercollegiate (T-15).
Friday: Mostly sunny, 79 degrees, Calm winds
Saturday: Mostly sunny, 80 degrees, SSW winds 5-15 MPH.
Will be available on Golfstat.com.
Penn State (18-11, 1-5 B1G) at Purdue (14-17, 5-4 B1G)
Friday to Sunday, April 14-16 / Watch B1G+
Alexander Field / West Lafayette, Indiana
Series Opener: Friday, April 14 at 6 p.m. ET
Middle Game: Saturday, April 15 at 2 p.m. ET
Series Finale: Sunday, April 16 at 1 p.m. ET
Friday: Kids where your jersey for Little League Night – $2 group tickets for teams (also available on gameday)
Saturday: Coaster Giveaway Set 2 (of 4)
Sunday: Bark in the Park dog day; Heroes Day – $1 tickets for service personnel; kids run the bases postgame
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS
Friday: Khal Stephen (So, RHP) vs. PSU’s Jaden Henline (Jr, RHP)
Saturday: Jonathan Blackwell (Jr, LHP) vs. TBA for PSU
Sunday: Kyle Iwinski (Jr, RHP) vs. TBA for PSU
All-Time: Purdue leads 53-35
All-Time in West Lafayette: Purdue leads 28-14
2022: Penn State won 2 of 3 in University Park
Last Meeting in West Lafayette: Purdue 7, Penn State 4 (May 2021)
Last Series in West Lafayette: Purdue swept a 2-game set (March 2019)
Purdue’s Last 3-Game Series Win vs. PSU in West Lafayette: Purdue won 2 of 3 (March 2012)
First Meeting: Purdue 4, PSU 2 (March 1983 in Lakeland, Fla.)
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue baseball’s six-game homestand and home-heavy stretch of 15 of 18 games at Alexander Field continues with a visit from Penn State as the teams square off as part of Jackie Robinson Day weekend for the second year in a row.
First pitch at Alexander Field is set for Friday at 6 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. The stellar spring weather featuring high temperatures in the 80s is forecasted to continue through Saturday evening.
Weather has impacted the weekend each of the last three times Purdue and Penn State have squared off at Alexander dating back to the final weekend of the 2015 season. Since 2018, the Nittany Lions have actually played more games vs. Minnesota at Alexander (four) than it has against Purdue (three).
The Boilermakers have won three consecutive series openers in Big Ten play for the first time since the first three weekends (all sweeps) of the program’s memorable 21-2 stretch in the second half of the 2018 campaign. Since 1991, Purdue teams have won three straight Big Ten series openers 13 times. Only one of those teams (2002) finished worse than .500 in league play.
WEEKEND #4 OF BIG TEN PLAY
• Penn State (1-5) at Purdue (5-4)
• Northwestern (3-3) at Nebraska (4-2)
• Indiana (7-2) at Illinois (3-6)
• Maryland (4-2) at Ohio State (2-7)
• Michigan (6-3) at Rutgers (2-4)
• Iowa (2-4) at Minnesota (3-3)
• Western Illinois at Michigan State (6-3)
This weekend sets up as a crucial series for both teams. Any of the four home weekends in conference play is significant for all Big Ten teams. For Penn State, the overall record is solid at 18-11 as winners of four straight, but PSU has lost five of its first six Big Ten games while playing Michigan and Indiana. Both the Boilermakers and Nittany Lions know the second half of their league schedules are daunting and very similar – at Maryland, vs. Rutgers, at Indiana, vs. Nebraska for Purdue; vs. Iowa, at Rutgers, at Nebraska, vs. Maryland for Penn State. If both teams are to qualify for the Big Ten Tournament like they each did last season, they’ll earn it against four of the league’s preseason favorites over their final 12 conference games.
Similar to Purdue, the Nittany Lions have eight neutral-site wins but have struggled in true road games (1-6). That lone win came on Opening Day at the University of Miami. But the Boilermakers went into last weekend’s series at Minnesota with just one true road win and went on to post 17 consecutive scoreless innings to begin the series, winning two of three.
Penn State scored 10 unanswered runs Tuesday to beat a 23-10 West Virginia team in Central Pennsylvania, rallying back from a 6-1 deficit.
• Connor Caskenette – 10-game on-base streak; 7-game on-base streak in Big Ten play
• Jo Stevens – 8-game on-base streak in Big Ten play
• Evan Albrecht – 7-game on-base streak at Alexander Field
• Jake Parr – 5-game hit streak
• Jonathan Blackwell – Pitched at least 5 innings in 8 consecutive starts
• Khal Stephen – 7 strikeouts in 3 consecutive starts
TOP 10 IN THE BIG TEN ENTERING THE WEEKEND
• Mike Bolton Jr. – T-2nd in Steals (15), T-3rd in Triples (3), T-4th in Sac Bunts (4), T-5th in HBP (10)
• Couper Cornblum – T-2nd in Steals (15)
• Paul Toetz – T-3rd in RBI (39), T-5th in HR (8), T-10th in Triples (2)
• Jake Parr – T-3rd in Triples (3)
• Evan Albrecht – T-4th in Sac Bunts (4), T-7th in Steals (11), 10th in Batting Average (.355)
• Jonathan Blackwell – 5th in Innings (43 2/3), 10th in ERA (3.50)
• Jake Jarvis – 7th in Slugging (.643), 9th in OPS (1.092)
PURDUE’S ALL-TIME TOP 5 IN STOLEN BASES
1.) Dave Scheitlin (1988-91) – 70
2.) Jeff Allison (1984-87) – 69
3.) Mike Bolton Jr. (2020-Pr) – 61
4.) Chris Walker (1997-00) – 60
5.) Chris Detrick (1978-81) – 57
PITCHERS TO WATCH FOR PENN STATE
• While the starting pitching has carried the load for Purdue over the first three weekends of Big Ten play, Penn State is relying on five pitchers that have combined to work 165 of the 256 innings (64%) over the first 29 games with starter/reliever roles being less defined. Jaden Henline (3.15 ERA, .227 B/Avg in 34 1/3 IP) is confirmed as the series-opening starter and has made each of his three starts over the last three weekends. Steven Miller (37 K vs 8 BB in 30 IP) is PSU’s most-used reliever but has started a game. Daniel Ouderkirk leads the team with 49 strikeouts in 33 1/3 innings and has yet to pitch in relief. Travis Luensmann (2.70 ERA, .181 B/Avg in 36 2/3 IP) has five wins and a save in his eight appearances, including five starts. Jordan Morales (4.99 ERA, .248 B/Avg in 30 2/3 IP) is the lone lefty of the quintet. The Boilermakers faced all but Ouderkirk, a grad transfer from West Virginia, in Central Pennsylvania last year.
ROTATION HELPS PURDUE WIN 3 STRAIGHT SERIES OPENERS, POST 18 CONSECUTIVE SCORELESS INNINGS
• The weekend rotation is a big reason why the Boilermakers have been able to open Big Ten play at 5-4 despite a 6-12 rough patch overall dating back to March 10.
• Khal Stephen and Jonathan Blackwell both kept Minnesota off the scoreboard in their outings last weekend in Minneapolis. Purdue won the series opener 3-0 and blanked the Gophers until the eighth inning in game 2. From the ninth inning April 4 vs. Evansville through the eighth inning April 8 at Minnesota, Purdue enjoyed a streak of 18 consecutive scoreless innings. It was the program’s longest streak since a stretch of 22 straight vs. Valparaiso and Penn State in March 2019. The 22 zeros posted by Boilermaker pitchers on the weekend were the team’s most in a Big Ten road series since March 2018 at Penn State (23), which also featured the last road shutout in league play.
• Stephen, Blackwell and Kyle Iwinski teamed up to surrender just five runs on 14 hits over 19 1/3 innings vs. Northwestern in the first home weekend at Alexander Field. The trio’s 14 strikeouts vs. two walks was among the most impressive accomplishments. They posted a combined 15 zeros and Purdue had 19 scoreless innings for the series.
• Blackwell has worked at least five innings in each of his first eight starts as a Boilermaker. That’s a rare feat that had not been achieved by a Purdue pitcher since 2017 and done only twice before (Gareth Stroh in 2017, Jordan Minch in 2014) in the program’s Alexander Field era (since 2013). Coincidentally, each of the last three pitchers to do it have been lefties.
ADDING UP THE ZEROS
• Last Weekend at Minnesota: 22 Zeros in 26 Innings Pitched
It was Purdue’s Best Showing…
• In a 3-Game Series Since: 24 Zeros in 33 Innings Pitched vs. Longwood in March 2022
• In a Non-Extra Innings Weekend Since: 24 Zeros in 27 Innings Pitched while Winning Campbell’s Tourney in Feb. 2020
• In a Big Ten Series Since: 23 Zeros in 27 Innings Pitched vs. Michigan in May 2018
• In a Big Ten Road Series Since: 23 Zeros at Penn State in March 2018
Purdue’s Also Had 20+ Zeros Recently Against (3-Game Series)…
• 21 Zeros in 30 Innings Pitched vs. Illinois State in March 2022 (1 Game in Normal, 2 in West Lafayette)
• 21 Zeros in 26 Innings Pitched at Northwestern in March 2019
• 24 Zeros in 27 Innings Pitched vs. Rutgers in April 2018
PURDUE TRACK AND FIELD
GAINESVILLE, Fla. And LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Trips to Florida and Louisville are up next for the Purdue track & field team, as the Boilermakers will compete at the Tom Jones Memorial Invitational in Gainesville, Florida, and the Jim Freeman Louisville Invitational in Louisville, Kentucky, from April 14-15.
Purdue’s sprinters and throwers will compete in Florida on Friday and Saturday, while the Boilermaker distance runners, jumpers and select sprinters and throwers are headed to Louisville on Saturday.
Fans can follow along with live results (Florida | Louisville) and the meet schedule (Florida | Louisville) from each meet. The Tom Jones Memorial will feature a live stream on SECN+ (Friday | Saturday). Direct links to follow each meet are available on the schedule page at PurdueSports.com/TrackField, and additional updates can be found by following and connecting with the team on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
The Tom Jones Memorial begins for the Boilermakers with two events on Friday, April 14, the discus at 2 p.m. ET, and the 200-meter at 5:50 p.m. On Saturday, April 15, Purdue’s day commences with the shot put and men’s hammer throw at 12 p.m., and the team’s first event on the track is the men’s 4×100 relay at 1:10 p.m. The meet concludes with the 4×400 relay at 5:10 p.m.
The Jim Freeman Louisville Invite starts off for Purdue with the men’s pole vault at 12 p.m. ET on Saturday. The team’s opening running event is the 1,500m at 1:50 p.m., and the day concludes with the women’s triple jump at 4 p.m. and the 200m at 4:10 p.m.
Eighteen Boilermakers, 11 men and seven women, are competing at the Gators’ James G. Pressly Stadium at Percy Beard Track. A total of 39 teams will compete at the Tom Jones Memorial Invitational, including host-Florida and Big Ten squads Iowa, Ohio State and Rutgers.
At Louisville’s Cardinal Track Stadium, Purdue will be represented by 24 student-athletes, 15 women and nine men. Along with the host-Cardinals and Boilermakers, Big Ten foes Indiana and Michigan are among the six total teams competing at the Jim Freeman Louisville Invitational.
PURDUE IN THE NATIONAL RANKINGS
Three Boilermakers and two relays appear in the top-25 in the third weekly national TFRI individual rankings, as announced by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). The women’s 4×400 relay, with the fifth-fastest time in school history, is No. 15, followed by the women’s 4×100 at No. 17. Freshman Bryanna Craig is ranked No. 19 nationally in the heptathlon.
A pair of fifth-years also are in the top-25 with top-10 marks in Boilermaker history, courtesy of Justin Becker and Johnny Vanos. Becker is No. 22 in the country and No. 7 in school history in the 200m, while Vanos is No. 6 in Boilermaker history and No. 25 nationally in the hammer throw.
As a team, five events appear in the top-25 of the season’s second #EventSquad rankings. The men’s 100m is No. 15 and the men’s hammer throw is 17th, while the women’s 200m is No. 18. The women’s pole vault and men’s 5,000m enter the national rankings at No. 18 and No. 25, respectively.
LOOKING BACK TO 2022
The Boilermakers return to both Florida and Louisville for the second time in as many years. At the Florida Relays from April 1-2, Purdue notched a pair of second-place finishes to highlight the weekend. Two weeks later, on April 16, a top-10 time in the 1,500m and 15 personal-best marks were recorded at the Louisville Invitational.
LAST TIME OUT: TWO TOP-10 TIMES SET AT ILLINOIS
A pair of top-10 times and two victories propelled Purdue at the Fighting Illini Challenge on April 8 in Champaign, Illinois. On a windy, cool and sun-soaked day, junior Alex Frey and sophomore Nathan Walker etched their name in the Boilermaker record book in the 1,500-meter with the ninth- and 10th-fastest times in school history. Senior Kerris Roberts and junior K’Ja Talley added wins in the 200m and 400m hurdles, respectively.
Frey and Walker posted two of the Boilermakers’ 15 personal-best marks on Saturday, while another four season-bests were achieved. Four made their outdoor collegiate debuts, another four made their outdoor season debuts and five competed in their events for the first time in the Old Gold and Black.
Recap all the action, including full results, at PurdueSports.com/TrackField.
NEXT UP: INDIANA AND VIRGINIA ON TAP
In the penultimate weekend of the regular season, the Boilermakers travel to two meets next weekend, the Indiana Invitational in Bloomington, Indiana, and the Virginia Challenge in Charlottesville, Virginia. Both are two-day events, from April 21-22.
INDIANAPOLIS – The 2023 Butler football schedule is packed with powerful matchups this season. The Bulldogs will play 11 games with six of them at home including the matchup on Oct. 28 against Valparaiso for the Hoosier Helmet on Homecoming Weekend. Week 1 will send Butler to Montana on Sept. 2 and PFL action will get started Sept. 23 at Stetson.
Across the Rockies – Season Opener
Sept. 2 – Butler at Montana
The Bulldogs will kick-off the 2023 season in the Treasure State as they take on one of the top programs in the FCS. The Montana Grizzlies wrapped up their 36th winning season in the past 37 years in 2022 that ended with a trip to the Football Championship Subdivision Playoffs. The game will mark the first-ever meeting between the two programs.
Time for the Trojans – Home Opener
Sept. 9 – Taylor at Butler
The Trojans will travel to the Sellick Bowl for the Bulldogs home opener. Butler won the last matchup 45-10 and is 9-1 all-time against Taylor. Head Coach Mike Uremovich is 1-0 at Butler in home openers.
Under the Lights
Sept. 16 – Wabash at Butler
Butler will host Wabash under the lights in their only night game of the season. This marks the first time the two teams will face off since 1976!
Hold Down the Hatters – PFL Opener
Sept. 23 – Butler at Stetson
The Bulldogs will open the Pioneer Football League schedule on the road against Stetson. This will be their first matchup since 2019 when the Hatters won on a game-winning field goal 30-27.
Sept. 30 – Presbyterian at Butler
Presbyterian will arrive at the Sellick Bowl for the first time. The Blue Hose joined the PFL in 2021 and finished last season with a 1-10 record.
Twin City Takeover
Oct. 7 – Butler at St. Thomas
Butler will open the month of October in St. Paul, Minn. to compete against the reigning Pioneer Football League Champions. The Tommies went undefeated (8-0) to win the PFL regular season crown last year. St. Thomas was not the automatic PFL qualifier for the postseason however because the Tommies are still transitioning to Division I athletics.
‘Dawgs vs. ‘Cats
Oct. 14 – Davidson at Butler
The Wildcats will clash against the Bulldogs at the Sellick Bowl this season. Davidson has won the last four meetings vs. Butler and claimed two PFL titles during that stretch.
Bulldogs in Dayton
Oct. 21 – Butler at Dayton
Butler snapped the longest scoring streak in Division I football (501 games) last year by defeating Dayton at the Sellick Bowl 31-0. The Bulldogs had three sacks in the victory and came up with an impressive interception in the end zone to keep the Flyers off the scoreboard. It was Butler’s first win over Dayton since 2013!
Oct. 28 – Valparaiso at Butler
The battle for the Hoosier Helmet against in-state rival Valparaiso will be during Homecoming Weekend this year. The Bulldogs will look to hold onto the trophy after knocking off the Beacons on a game-winning field goal last year 26-25.
Fly Bulldogs Fly
Nov. 4 – Butler at Morehead State
The Eagles will host Butler in the final road game of the regular season. The last time these two teams met, the Bulldogs racked up 56 points for their largest margin of victory of the season.
Battle of the Bulldogs
Nov. 18 – Drake at Butler
Butler will finish the regular season with the “Battle of the Bulldogs” game at the Sellick Bowl against Drake. Butler is still searching for their first win over their Iowa-foe since 2015.
Nov. 25 – NCAA FCS Playoffs
The Bulldogs will look to return to the FCS Playoffs for the first time since 2013 when then head coach Jeff Voris led the team to a PFL Championship.
April 15 – Spring Game
The 2023 Spring Game will be held on April 15 at 11:30 am. Fans are welcome to attend the action at the Sellick Bowl.
BUTLER MEN’S BASKETBALL
Augusto Cassia, 6-8 forward from Brazil who trains at the NBA Global Academy in Australia, has signed a national letter of intent to join the Butler men’s basketball program.
Cassia will have four seasons of eligibility with the Bulldogs, beginning with the 2023-24 season.
“Augusto has a maturity that comes from living and training all over the world at a young age,” said Butler coach Thad Matta. “On the court, his athleticism and size provide him with good versatility in the paint and on the perimeter. We’re excited to get him on campus and integrated into our program.”
In 2016, the NBA opened its first academy offering elite year-round athletic and academic training. In addition to currently training at the NBA Global Academy in Canberra, Australia, Cassia previously trained at the NBA Academy Latin America in San Luis Potosi, Mexico.
Cassia represented Brazil at the 2019 South American U17 championship, averaging 6.8 points and 5.0 rebounds per game in four games. He has also played for Corinthians, a professional team in Brazil.
INDIANAPOLIS – Butler will host Villanova at Bulldog Park this weekend. Game one of the three-game series will stream on FloSports.com at 3 PM. Saturday’s single game will begin at 2 PM and the Sunday matchup has been pushed up to a Noon start.
Friday, April 14 – 3 PM
Saturday, April 15 – 2 PM
Sunday, April 16 – 12 PM
TBD vs. RHP Cade Udell
LHP Cory Bosecker vs. RHP Devin Rivera
RHP Lukas Galdoni vs. RHP Cole Vanderslice
The Wildcats are 6-25 this year with wins over North Florida, Rider, Iona, Lehigh, Georgetown and most recently Creighton. They erupted for 15 runs in their win over the Hoyas and found the win column at Creighton in the getaway game in extra innings. Sal Fusco made the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll on Monday for his appearance against the Bluejays. The right-hander closed out the final 3.2 innings in Omaha to keep his team in front. Fusco didn’t allow a run and limited CU to just one hit while adding three strikeouts. It was Villanova’s first win over Creighton since 2014. Fusco is one of three Nova arms to enter the weekend with a 1-4 record on the mound. Devin Rivera and Chic DeGaetano are also likely to touch the rubber this weekend. Rivera has a 6.41 ERA over eight starts. He has struck out 25 batters in 39.1 innings and has only issued 17 walks. DeGaetano has 35 strikeouts in 32.1 innings of action. At the plate, Craig Larsen and Jack O’Reilly are the top two hitters in the lineup. Larsen has 32 hits in 30 starts and leads the club with 10 doubles. O’Reilly gives Nova a home run threat (5). He is a .250 hitter with 15 RBI. The order from top to bottom is a patient bunch that ranks second in the BIG EAST in base on balls. Seven Wildcats have walked at least 10 times this season.
Recent History vs. the Wildcats
The Bulldogs are 15-9 against Villanova since joining the BIG EAST Conference. BU has won the weekend series six times in eight tries. Villanova has never swept Butler, but the Bulldogs swept the Wildcats in 2018.
BIG EAST Standings
Xavier 3-0, 21-12
UConn 2-1, 24-8
Creighton 2-1, 14-12
Seton Hall 2-1, 15-15
Georgetown 3-3, 17-15
Villanova 2-4, 6-24
St. John’s 1-2, 17-12
Butler 0-3, 7-24
Upcoming BIG EAST Schedule
Villanova at Butler
Seton Hall at St. John’s
UConn at Xavier
Creighton at Georgetown
BIG EAST Breakdown
Over the first three conference games of the season, Joey Urban is leading the team with a .333 batting average. Carter Dorighi is also batting over .300 and is tied for the team-lead alongside Kollyn All with three RBI. Butler hit seven home runs in the three-game series at Xavier. Six different players hit a round-tripper in Cincinnati and All led the way with two.
BIG EAST Home Openers
Butler hosted Georgetown in the 2022 BIG EAST home opener. The Hoyas took two of three from BU to signal the start of conference action. The year prior, Butler won two of three vs. Villanova.
– Kollyn All has hit a home run in three of Butler’s last four games
– All is now tied with Joey Urban for the team lead in home runs with five
– All is the only Bulldog this year to homer twice in one game (at Cincinnati / March 26)
– Urban leads the team in batting average, at-bats, runs, hits, doubles, triples, RBIs and total bases
– Carter Dorighi leads the team in walks (14) and stolen bases (6)
– Urban and Dorighi are the only Bulldogs to start in all 31 games this year
– Xavier Carter has three multi-hit games in April
– Cade Vota has walked four times in his last three games played
– Cory Bosecker leads BU in starts, innings pitched, and strikeouts
– Aaron Barokas has two wins on the mound and a team-best two saves
– Nick Miketinac and Dawson Taylor share the team lead in appearances with 11 each
– Lukas Galdoni threw 55 pitches in his start at Xavier (3.0 IP)
– Cade Thune got the start at Michigan; it was his first action since March 10
– The Bulldogs are 2-2 at home this season
– Scott Jones returned to action on Tuesday, marking his first action since March 12
Kollyn All hit a two-run home run at Michigan on Tuesday to push his reached base streak to seven games. The longest reached base streak by a Bulldog this season covered nine games (Xavier Carter).
Butler has two midweek games on the upcoming schedule. The Bulldogs will host Northern Kentucky on Tuesday at 4 PM and travel to Purdue on Wednesday for a 6:30 night game. Action in West Lafayette will stream on B1G+.
Game Information – Butler at UConn
DATE: Friday, Apr. 14 – Sunday, Apr. 16
LOCATION: Storrs, Conn. / Burrill Family Field
LIVE STATS: uconnhuskies.com Gm1 | Gm2 | Gm3
LIVE VIDEO: UConn+ Gm1 | Gm2 | Gm3
The Butler softball team will be in Storrs, Conn., this weekend to battle UConn, which sits atop the BIG EAST standings. The Bulldogs (15-24, 9-3 BIG EAST) went 1-2 last weekend against Villanova, dropping out of the league’s top spot for the first time this season. In a midweek contest at Southern Indiana on Wednesday, Butler lost 4-1. The Huskies (25-11, 12-3 BIG EAST) swept St. John’s in their most recent BIG EAST series before losing a nonconference game at Boston College on Tuesday.
(as of 4/9/23)
- Kieli Ryan has thrown out 11 runners attempting to steal. She sits atop the BIG EAST and is 13th nationally in that category. With 8 doubles, she ranks fifth in the conference in doubles per game. She is the only player in the conference who has picked off two baserunners.
- Monique Hoosen leads the BIG EAST (44th nationally) with 10 home runs. Her slugging percentage (.629) ranks seventh in the conference.
- Paige Dorsett ranks eleventh in the BIG EAST with a .600 slugging percentage.
- Olivia Moxley is one of only four players in the BIG EAST with two triples this season.
- Kaylee Gross is third in the conference with 5 sacrifice bunts.
- With 10 home runs this season, Monique Hoosen is now tied for fourth on Butler’s all-time single-season list. With 23 in her career, she is now tied for third on Butler’s all-time list for career home runs.
SCOUTING UCONN (25-11, 12-3 BIG EAST)
Series: UConn leads, 8-1
- In the 2022 series, in Indianapolis, Butler won game one, 6-2, but UConn took games two (5-0) and three (3-0), as well as a game in the BIG EAST Tournament (4-1).
- The Huskies swept the 2021 series at UConn and also won a game in the conference tournament.
- 2023 BIG EAST series: vs. Seton Hall W, 2-1 | vs. Providence W, 2-1 | vs. Georgetown W, 2-1 |
vs. Villanova W, 3-0 | vs. St. John’s W, 3-0
- notable win: Indiana (5-0)
UCONN vs. (opponents) Butler
runs: 180-104 150
hits: 273-179 258
RBI: 171-94 137
SB: 91-34 30
ERA: 3.71-6.37 5.26
- Aziah James (.358) 39 H, 7 2B, 25 RBI, 26 SB
- Lexi Hastings (.357) 35 H, 4 HR, 21 RBI, 27 SB
- Grace Jenkins (.324) 35 H, 9 2B, 5 HR, 29 RBI
- Jana Sanden (.308) 33 H, 8 2B, 6 HR, 27 RBI
- Payton Kinney (9-5) 2.51 ERA, 80 K
- Hope Jenkins (11-2) 3.78 ERA, 84 K
- Meghan O’Neil (4-4) 4.85 ERA, 42 K
IUPUI WOMEN’S GOLF
CARMEL, Ind. – The IUPUI women’s golf team will host its Lady Jaguar Invitational this weekend at Plum Creek Golf Club in Carmel, welcoming an 11-team field to Central Indiana.
Eastern Michigan won last year’s event at 585 with the Jaguars finishing second at 601. EMU’s Anna Watson collected medalist honors at 6-under 138 while Kara Blair and Shelby Busker paced the Jaguars at 6-over 150, tying for fifth overall. Annaliese Fox and Nerea Lancho just missed top-10 finishes.
This year’s squad has been led by Fox, who has a team-best 77.09 stroke average and three top-10 finishes. Lancho is second on the team at 77.74 and has a team-high two rounds of par or better. Madeleine Pape (78.00), Kara Blair (79.65) and Shelby Busker (79.83) also enter the tournament with scoring averages under 80.
Blair recently surpassed 100 career rounds, having played 104 career rounds with a 78.72 lifetime average.
QUOTABLE: “It’s always fun to host a tournament and be able to play close to home in front of a lot of friends and family. We get a chance to let all nine ladies play, so I know they’re all eager to go out and play well. The field is good and the course is in really good shape, so it should be a nice weekend before conference,” head coach Jamie Broce said.
FORMAT: Scoring will be 5-count-4 this weekend with a single round on both Saturday (Apr. 15) and Sunday (Apr. 16). Tee times are slated to begin at 9:00 a.m. each day.
THE COURSE: Plum Creek is a Pete Dye design and site of the 2008 and 2009 Horizon League Championships. This week, the course will play par 72 and 6,180 yards this week.
THE FIELD: IUPUI is among 11 teams competing this week, joined by Ball State, Cleveland State, Detroit Mercy, Eastern Michigan, Green Bay, Marian, Northern Kentucky, Purdue Fort Wayne, Western Illinois and Western Michigan.
RANKINGS: IUPUI is currently ranked No. 213 according to Golfstat and No. 225 by Golfweek.
No. 1 – Kara Blair (79.65 average / 20 rounds)
No. 2 – Shelby Busker (79.83 average / 23 rounds / 1 top-10 finish)
No. 3 – Annaliese Fox (77.09 average / 23 rounds / 3 top-10 finishes)
No. 4 – Reagan Sohn (81.62 average / 13 rounds)
No. 5 – Madeleine Pape (78.00 average / 18 rounds)
Ind. – Yanah Rolston (80.46 average / 13 rounds / 1 top-10 finish)
Ind. – Nerea Lancho (77.74 average / 23 rounds / 3 top-10 finishes)
Ind. – Ally Stuckey (82.45 average / 11 rounds)
Ind. – Keisha Bennett (81.80 average / 5 rounds)
LAST TIME OUT: IUPUI finished eighth of 10 teams at the Dolores Black Falcon Invitational at Stone Ridge Golf Club on Apr. 7-8. The Jaguars shot rounds of 313 and 320, finishing at 633 for the 36 holes. Blair led the way at 156 (78-78) and both Busker and Fox closed at 159.
NEXT UP: IUPUI will compete in the Horizon League Championships in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla., on Apr. 23-25 at Mission Inn Resort with the team champion earning the league’s automatic qualifier to the NCAA Tournament.
INDIANAPOLIS – The IUPUI softball team kicks off an eight-game homestand when they host Youngstown State this weekend for a three-game series. The Jags will face the Penguins in a doubleheader on Friday, April 14 with the first pitch on game one scheduled for 2:00 PM. The two teams will close out the series with one game on Saturday, April 15 at 12:00 PM.
IUPUI enters the weekend 10-23 overall and 6-7 in the Horizon League while Youngstown State holds a 19-17 overall record and 7-3 in conference.
Jaida Speth holds the third highest batting average in the league with .395 while Kendal Calvert follows in fifth with a batting average of .347. Freshman Kennedy Cowan knocked her fifth homer of the season on Tuesday against Northern Kentucky to tie for the top spot in the league. She also holds the third highest slugging percentage with .559.
Madison Bryant leads IUPUI in the circle with 108 strikeouts and an opposing batting average of just .234. Freshman Alexa Holman holds a 4-3 record in 16 appearances for the Jags.
The Penguins’ offense comes in at the top of the league with Ashlyn Bishop (.500) and Sara Fressler (.402) holding the top spots in batting average. Fressler holds the highest on base percentage with a .516 percentage. Devan Ryan holds a 1.99 ERA, the second lowest in the Horizon League while Sophie Howell holds the third lowest at 2.38.
IUPUI and Youngstown State have met 32 times with the Jags holding an 18-14 record over the Penguins. The last matchup was on April 3, 2022, when Madison Bryant threw her first no-hitter to earn the 1-0 win.
First pitch of game one of the doubleheader is scheduled for 2:00 PM on Friday, April 14 with game two following. The series will wrap up with one game on Saturday, April 15 at noon.
BALL STATE BASEBALL
MUNCIE, Ind. – The Ball State baseball team returns to the road for a Mid-American Conference clash with rival Central Michigan on Friday. The Cardinals and Chippewas are scheduled for one game on Friday, one game on Saturday, and the final game on Sunday, but the schedule could change because of weather.
Ball State is coming off a 16-13 loss on the road to Indiana on Tuesday and enter the weekend with a 23-9 overall record and a 10-2 conference mark. Central Michigan comes into the series with an overall record of 18-13 and are 7-5 in league play.
Gold Glove Peltier
At the conclusion of last season, Ryan Peltier was honored as the best defensive third baseman in the NCAA and received an ABCA/Rawlings Gold Glove. After being named the MAC Defensive Player of the Year and earning a spot on the All-MAC Second Team for back-to-back seasons, Peltier was awarded the first Gold Glove in BSU history. He was a 2023 Preseason All-American honoree from Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.
Peltier is second on the team with a .408 batting average, which is tied for 36th in the NCAA and best in the MAC. He has pelted a team-best seven homers and has a team-high 29 RBIs. He has a slugging percentage of .696, which is tied for 94th in the country and second in the MAC. Peltier has scored 45 runs, which is tied for fourth in the NCAA and is first the MAC. He leads the team in doubles with 13 and he has added one triple. His 13 doubles are tied for 30th in the NCAA and are tied for third in the conference.
What Can Brown Do for You?
Ryan Brown was named the No. 49 prospect in college baseball by D1 Baseball. Brown was the only Mid-American Conference player selected to the top-100 list. He was also tabbed as one of the top mid-major prospects for the 2023 season. Brown also landed on the 2023 MLB Draft: Rising Righthanded Pitchers watch list. Last season, Brown earned recognition as a Collegiate Baseball Newspaper Freshman All-American along with the MAC Freshman Pitcher of the Year. He also earned a spot on the All-MAC Second Team.
Brown is currently tied for 94th in the NCAA and tied for fifth in the MAC with 51 strikeouts. He his 4-1 on the year and has thrown 26 1/3 innings. Opponents are hitting just .169 against him for the season.
Don’t Mess with Tex
Trennor O’Donnell leads the team with a 2.51 ERA. His ERA is the 52nd best in the country and leads in the MAC. His 47 strikeouts are tied for 144th in the NCAA. He has a 2-1 record and has thrown 43 innings. Opponents are hitting just .228 against him.
Scouting the Cardinals
Decker Scheffler is second on the squad with .387 batting average, which is tied for 70th in the NCAA and third in the MAC. He has 28 RBIs, 24 runs scored, six doubles, four homers, and three triples. His three triples are tied for 42nd in the country and tied for first in the conference. Scheffler is tied for the 90th as toughest player to strikeout in the NCAA and is third in the MAC. Adam Tellier is third on the team with a .349 average. He has 32 runs scored, 19 RBIs, 18 walks, nine doubles, three triples, and two home runs. His three triples are tied for 42nd in the NCAA and are tied for first in the MAC. Nick Gregory might only be hitting .214, but he leads the team with 29 walks. His 29 walks are tied for 43rd in the NCAA and are the most in the MAC. He has scored 26 runs and driven in eight runs.
Logan Schulfer is third on the team with 37 strikeouts. He as a 2-1 record with a 6.04 ERA in 25 1/3 innings. Ty Johnson is fourth on the team with 33 strikeouts in 26 2/3 innings of work. He has a 3-2 record with a 4.72 ERA. Ty Weatherly has 32 strikeouts on the season. He has a 6.82 ERA in 30 1/3 innings of work and a 1-1 record. Tanner Knapp has 30 strikeouts in 31 innings. He is 1-1 on the season with a 6.68 ERA. Jacob Hartlaub is the remaining pitcher with more that 20 strikeouts, with 24. He has a 3-2 record.
Ball State vs. Central Michigan: The Series
Ball State and Central Michigan will meet for the 172nd time on Friday. CMU holds a 104-67 series advantage over BSU. The Cardinals won five of the seven meetings last season. Ball State is 30-48 at Central Michigan. The Cardinals are 35-27 against the Chippewas under Head Coach Rich Maloney.
Scouting the Chippewas
Luke Sefcik is the reigning MAC Co-Player of the week after he hit .625 with six RBIs. For the season, he is hitting .351 with 17 RBIs and 16 runs scored. Jacob Donahue has a .337 batting average with 25 runs scored, 18 RBIs, and five doubles. Garrett Navarra leads the team with eight triples and is batting .301. He has 21 RBIs, 17 runs scored, two home runs, and one triple. Robby Morgan IV leads the squad with five home runs.
Ryan Palmbald leads the pitching staff with a 2.70 ERA and has a team-best 42 strikeouts. He has a 1-4 record on the season. Adam Mrakitsch is second on the staff with a 4.28 ERA. He has 41 strikeouts and a 4-2 record in 48 1/3 innings. Navarra has 41 strikeouts and a 4.38 ERA. He is 2-2 on the season. Keegan Batka is 4-2 with a 4.85 ERA. He has 36 strikeouts.
1. Ball State – 23-9, 10-2
2. Kent State – 22-10, 9-3
3. Ohio – 13-16, 11-4
4. Central Michigan – 13-16, 7-5
5. Western Michigan – 9-21, 6-6
6. Toledo – 15-16, 6-9
7. Akron – 13-19, 6-9
8. Bowling Green – 11-17, 6-9
9. Miami – 9-25, 6-9
10. Eastern Michigan – 14-15, 5-10
11. Northern Illinois – 7-23, 4-8
BALL STATE MEN’S VOLLEYBALL
MUNCIE, Ind. – The Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association regular season champion Ball State men’s volleyball team had four players earn All-MIVA First and Second Team honors.
Graduate senior outside hitter Kaleb Jenness was tabbed to the All-MIVA First Team for the fourth-straight season along with sophomore outside attacker Tinaishe Ndavazocheva who also received First Team honors as well, which is a first for Ndavazocheva. Graduate senior middle attacker Felix Egharevba was selected to the All-MIVA Second Team for his third-straight season while teammate senior setter David Flores also earned the same award for the first time in his career.
Jenness, was tabbed preseason All-MIVA prior to the start of the season. Jenness currently ranks 15th in the nation in kills per set (3.72). He leads the Cardinals in kills (327), digs (138) and points (369.5). Jenness has turned in a double-digit performances 19 times this season including a season best 21-kills at Loyola Chicago (2/16) and UC San Diego (3/5). Jenness recently earned MIVA Player of the Week honors on April 11. Currently Jenness ranks second all-time in kills at Ball State with 1,185.
Ndavazocheva has turned in quite the rookie season for the Cardinals. He earned MIVA Offensive Player of the Week honors and Off the Block National Honors on Feb. 7. He turned in a career high 27 kills against Lewis (2/9) and has had 19 double digit kill performances this season. Ndavazocheva currently ranks second on the team in kills (299) and in points (343.5).
A force to be reckoned with on defense, Egharevba has been tabbed to the All-MIVA Second Team for the third time in his career. Egharevba leads the Cardinals with 90 blocks which includes 10 block solos and 80 block assists. He ranks 16th nationally in blocks per set (1.011). This season, Egharevba has turned in one double digit block performance with 10 against UC San Diego (3/5). Egharevba has 319 total blocks for his career at Ball State which is good for ninth all-time.
For the first time in his career, Flores has earned a postseason All-MIVA honor after being named to the Second Team. Flores recently was tabbed the Off the Block Setter of the Week along with earning MIVA Defensive Player of the Week honors for his performance last weekend against Loyola Chicago and Purdue Fort Wayne. Flores dished out a season best 53 assists against BYU (2/2/23) and currently ranks eighth in the nation in assists per set (10.17).
The Ball State men’s volleyball team enters this year’s 2023 MIVA Tournament as the No. 1 seed and will host NO. 8 Quincy in quarterfinal round in Worthen Arena on Saturday, April 15 at 6 pm ET.
BALL STATE MEN’S BASKETBALL
MUNCIE, Ind. – Head Coach Michael Lewis and the Ball State men’s basketball team announced the additions of Jalin Anderson, Davion Bailey, and Ethan Brittain-Watts to the 2023 recruiting class on Thursday.
“With these three signees and as we continue to move forward in our recruiting, we’re excited for the opportunity to get bigger, longer, and more athletic on the perimeter as we continue to build this program into a championship program.” said Coach Lewis.
Jackson, Tennessee | Dream City Christian | Loyola Marymount | Guard
Anderson is a transfer from Loyola Marymount and will have two years of eligibility remaining. Last season, Anderson scored 15 points and was a key factor in LMU’s win at Gonzaga that snapped a 76-game home winning streak. He produced a career-high 20 points twice, once at Pacific and the other at Colorado State. He drained a career-high five 3-pointers at BYU, where he finished with 19 points. He brought down a career-high seven rebounds and dished out a season-high eight assists against Life Pacific. For the season, he finished second on the squad with 2.2 assists per game. He ended the season averaging 10 points per game.
In his first season at LMU, he earned a spot on the WCC All-Freshman team. During his freshman campaign, he was second on the team with 3.4 steals per contest. He scored a season-best 16 points at Pepperdine. He scored in double digits in seven games during his freshman campaign. He finished ninth in the conference with 3.53 assists per game and was eighth in the league with an assist to turnover ratio of 1.48.
Head Coach Michael Lewis on Jalin
“Jalin has had a good three years at Loyola Marymount in the West Coast Conference. The way that he played in high-level games and his production at that level equates to someone that can make a big impact on our program. He’s a stronger athletic guard that can facilitate not only for himself, but for his teammates around him.”
Jalin on why he chose Ball State
“I truly believe in the entire coaching staff and their ability in developing me on and off the court. They have all the resources I need to elevate my game on the court and elevate me as a person off the court. I believe I will be able to have an immediate impact for our team, our fans, and our community. This is my opportunity to show I am something special.”
Indianapolis, Indiana | Pike High School | Southeastern Community College | Guard
Bailey is a junior college transfer with two years of eligibility remaining. He was named a NJCAA All-Region First Team selection after last season. He led Southeastern Community College to its first Juco National Tournament appearance since 2011. He led the Blackhawks with 14.7 points per game. He produced a team-best 2.9 assists per contest. He notched seven games with 20 or more points, including a season-high 27 points against Northwest Florida State College. He finished the season shooting 41.1 percent from 3-point range.
As a freshman, he averaged 11.4 points per game, which was second on the team. He shot 42.1 percent from 3-point range. He recorded a career-high 34 points against Highland CC, made a career-high seven 3-pointers, and shot 12-of-16 from the field. He added a 24-point performance against Sauk Valley CC while shooting 61.5 percent from the field and 71.4 percent from behind the arc. He finished his career at Southeastern averaging 13.2 points per game and shot 41.6 percent from 3-point range.
Head Coach Michael Lewis on Davion
“Davion had an outstanding junior college career. He led his team to the national tournament. He’s a career 41.6 percent 3-point shooter. He adds the ability to stretch the floor on the offensive end. He provides athleticism and length on the defensive end. We’re really excited about what he adds to our program. He’s another Indiana kid coming back home.”
Davion on why he chose Ball State
“There’s no place like home and being able to play 45 minutes to an hour away from home is almost a dream come true. I believe in Coach Lewis and what he wants to do with this program. He wants to win now, not later, and that’s something I want to be a part of, and I can’t wait to fill the seats of Worthen Arena.”
Indianapolis, Indiana | Culver Academies | Boston | Guard
Brittain-Watts is graduate transfer from Boston and will have one year of eligibility. Last season for the Terriers, he recorded a career-best 19 points at Notre Dame and finished with a career-high five 3-pointers made. He tied his career high in points with 19 at Lafayette and recorded a game-high five assists. He shot 37.3 percent from 3-point range and led the team. He dished out a team-best 58 assists. He finished the season with 12 games in double figures. He shot 93.3 percent from the free-throw line and led the team.
During his freshman season at Boston, he earned a spot on the Patriot League All-Rookie Team. He played in 31 games and helped the Terriers win their first ever Patriot League Tournament title as BU earned their first NCAA berth since 2011. He produced eight points off the bench, including two 3-pointers, as he helped the Terriers earn their first win over an SEC opponent as the defeated South Carolina, 78-70. Brittain-Watts excelled off the court as well. He was a two-time Patriot League Academic Honor Roll honoree.
Head Coach Michael Lewis on Ethan
“We’re really excited about Ethan joining our program. He brings as ton of college experience as a grad transfer. He’s a combo guard that can create for himself as well as others. He’s a three-level scorer and he’s got an opportunity to finish up his college career back home.”
Ethan on why he chose Ball State
“It felt like home. There’s nothing like playing in Indiana, at home in front of family and friends, with all its history and how much basketball means to people here. I’m excited to play for Coach Lewis and be a part of the new era of Ball State basketball!”
BALL STATE MEN’S GOLF
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The Ball State men’s golf team travels to Purdue for the Boilermaker Invitational on Friday, April 14 and Saturday, April 15.
The Cardinals had a quick turnaround after their last tournament, the Mason Rudolph Championship, hosted by Vanderbilt on April 10-12. The Cardinals are looking to battle this weekend after competing against seven of the top-50 ranked teams in the country only a few days ago.
The Cardinals will be paired with Western Kentucky and Eastern Michigan for round one. Representing the Cardinals are Kash Bellar, Joey Ranieri, Ali Khan, Carter Smith, and Griffin Hare. Evan Bone will be competing as an individual.
The Boilermaker Invitational is slated to begin at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, April 14. The Cardinals will start on holes 8A, 8B, 9, 10A, and 10B.
Rounds two and three will be played on Saturday, April 15 beginning at 9:00 a.m.
Live scoring can be found on golfstat.com, or by clicking here.
NOTRE DAME SOFTBALL
SOUTH BEND, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame softball team is set to the No. 14/17 Virginia Tech Hokies in a three-game Atlantic Coast Conference series at Melissa Cook Stadium this weekend. The Fighting Irish and Hokies will play Friday night at 6 p.m., Saturday at 5 p.m. and wrap up Sunday at noon. Notre Dame enters the weekend at 25-11-1 on the season, and 7-7-1 in conference play. Virginia Tech is 31-10 overall and 11-4 in conference play.
The Irish enter the weekend having won back-to-back games and six of their last seven. In that stretch, Notre Dame has earned four wins by mercy rule and outscored opponents 53-17. Over the past 18 games, the Irish are 14-4-1 with nine run-rule victories in that time.
Carlli Kloss leads the Irish offense with a .383 average (49-for-128) with 18 extra base hits. Joley Mitchell adds a .361 average with seven home runs and 28 RBI. Karina Gaskins tied her home run total from her 2022 ACC Player of the Year campaign, hitting 13 this season. She’s tied with Lexi Orozco for 33 runs driven in this season.
Payton Tidd continues to be the Irish ace in the circle. The graduate student owns a team-high 17 games started, throwing six complete games. She’s tossed 110.0 innings in 22 appearances, striking out 88 hitters. She ranks fourth in the ACC in innings pitched, and 10th in the league in strikeouts. Micaela Kastor adds a 1.89 ERA and six wins in the circle. The freshman has thrown in 21 games with nine starts and two complete games. She also leads the team with three saves. In her 59.1 innings of work, she’s struck out 56 hitters and holds opponents to a .217 average against. Shannon Becker adds a team-high 23 appearances to go with seven wins. She’s worked in 68.2 innings, striking out 54 and picking up a save.
The Hokies enter the weekend off of a midweek loss to No. 6/7 Tennessee in Blacksburg. Overall, Virginia Tech has won six of its last seven and are 11-3 away from Tech Softball Park. This is the third ACC road series. Previously the Hokies swept Georgia Tech in Atlanta and took two of three at North Carolina.
Virginia Tech’s offense enters the weekend leading the nation with 77 home runs, averaging nearly two per game. Four individuals have hit double digit homers, with Jayme Bailey and Bre Peck leading the charge with 11 homers each. Emma Ritter and Addy Greene add 10 long ball apiece as Ritter leads the team with a .391 average and 14 stolen bases.
Sophomore Emma Lemley leads the team in the circle, throwing an ACC-best 150.2 innings this season. She’s appeared in 26 games, making 21 starts. She’s thrown a complete game in 20 of those 21 starts, with her lone non-complete game coming against Tennessee earlier this week. She limits opponents to a .211 average against, and has picked up two saves in five relief appearances. Lyndsey Grein adds 5 appearances, and 13 starts this season. Grein has thrown in 78.0 innings, striking out 69 hitters as opponents hit .274 against. Molly Jacobson adds a 4-2 mark in 11 appearances.
INDIANA STATE SOFTBALL
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Indiana State softball will continue MVC play with a road trip to Nashville for a three-game series against Belmont at E.S. Rose Park beginning on Friday, April 14 at 6 p.m. ET.
The Sycamores (19-20, 8-6) are coming off a 2-0 loss to Evansville on Tuesday while the Bruins (21-15, 7-6) fell to Murray State in extra innings in their most recent contest.
Indiana State and Belmont have met seven times prior, with ISU leading the all-time series 4-3. The two teams met most recently in 2020 with the Bruins defeating the Sycamores 13-5.
The Bruins are in their first season as a member of the Missouri Valley Conference and have found some success midway through Valley action, sitting at 7-6 in league play. Belmont is led by Laura Matthews who is in her third season at the helm.
Leading the Belmont offense is Kristen Green who enters the weekend batting .340 with three home runs and 16 runs driven in. Emily Cockrill is batting .314 and leads the Bruins with 38 hits including eight doubles which is a team high. Brenna Blume has a team-best five home runs and 22 RBI. Bale Ensio leads the team with 11 stolen bases in 14 attempts.
In the circle for the Bruins, Maya Johnson is 11-4 with a 1.91 ERA to go along with 191 strikeouts. Johnson is the lone Division I pitcher who has recorded two 20-strikeout games this season. Emma Summers has a 2.88 ERA in 90 innings of action, recording 80 strikeouts. Ellie Giles has logged 52.1 innings of work and has a 3.75 ERA with 33 punchouts.
Indiana State Leaders
Leading Indiana State and second in the Valley, Isabella Henning is currently batting .398 with a team-high 45 hits. She has 10 doubles and four home runs, driving in 19 runs as well as scoring a team-best 26 runs. Kennedy Shade also ranks among the leaders in the MVC, batting .340 with 33 hits including seven doubles and two home runs. Shade has scored 18 runs and also recorded 18 RBI. Annie Tokarek is leading ISU with 25 RBI and owns a .282 average at the plate. Second on the Sycamores in hits is Olivia Patton with 34, currently batting .274 on the season.
Lexi Benko leads the Sycamore pitching staff with a 2.43 ERA and 92.1 innings pitched. She has recorded four complete games and 64 strikeouts. Cassi Newbanks has a 2.96 ERA in 16 appearances, logging 52 innings of work so far this season. Leading ISU in saves, complete games and strikeouts, Lauren Sackett has a 3.25 ERA in 64.2 innings pitched. Sackett has five complete games, four saves and 88 strikeouts. Hailey Griffin is 3-1 with a pair of saves in 21 appearances, recording a 3.35 ERA.
The Sycamores will travel to Indianapolis on Wednesday, April 19 for a non-conference matchup with Butler at 4 p.m. ET.
INDIANA STATE BASEBALL
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Indiana State returns to Missouri Valley play this weekend as the Sycamores continue the five-game road trip with a three-game series at Belmont University. Friday night’s series opener at E.S. Rose Park is set for 5 p.m. ET, while Saturday (3 p.m.) and Sunday (2 p.m.) close out the weekend series.
Both Friday and Sunday’s games are scheduled to be streamed on ESPN+. All three games will be carried live on 105.5 The Legend. Live stats will also be provided on BelmontBruins.com.
Indiana State enters the weekend on a seven-game winning streak and winners of 11 of their last 12 dating back to the March 25-26 series sweep over Valparaiso. Over the stretch, the Sycamores topped Valpo (three times), Purdue (twice), UIC (twice), Indiana, and Illinois State (three times), improving their 2023 record to 19-12 overall.
Indiana State also enters the weekend with an 8-1 mark in Missouri Valley play following their series wins over Valparaiso, UIC, and Illinois State. The 8-1 record is ISU’s best start to conference play since the 1998 season (12-1), and just the third time in program history Indiana State has won its first three conference series (2023, 2012, and 1998).
The Sycamores are coming off a 4-1 midweek win at Purdue as the ISU pitching staff continued its recent dominance on the mound. Mike Sears homered and Grant Magill added a two-run single to highlight the ISU offense, but the pitchers shone against the Boilermakers to close out the 2023 series sweep over Purdue.
Seven Sycamores combined to allow one earned run and seven hits against Purdue with Jacob Pruitt earning his first win of 2023 in relief. Pruitt entered the game in the bottom of the first inning and went two innings striking out three in the victory. Cam Edmonson and Simon Gregersen both recorded 2.0-inning shutout relief outings on the day, while Cole Gilley, Zach Davidson, and Cutts also kept Purdue off the scoreboard on Tuesday night.
The Sycamore pitching staff has been lights-out over the seven-game winning streak. Twelve pitchers have combined to post a 2.11 ERA over the stretch with a 47:18 strikeout-to-walk ratio. The Sycamores added a pair of shutouts over Indiana and Illinois State over the stretch with eight pitchers posting perfect 0.00 ERAs over the last two weeks.
Indiana State boasts the best batting average (.305) and ERA (3.22) in Missouri Valley play through the first nine games of the conference this season. The Sycamores are also second in team home runs (16), slugging percentage (.505), and on-base percentage (.377) heading into the bulk of conference competition.
Seth Gergely and Mike Sears are both among the Missouri Valley leaders in conference play to date. Gergely is third in batting average (.444), first in hits (16), and runs scored (12), while Sears leads the MVC in slugging percentage (.906) and home runs (6).
Pitching-wise, four different Indiana State pitchers are tied for the conference lead with two wins apiece, while Matt Jachec and Connor Fenlong are both among the MVC leaders with 19.2 innings’ pitched. Jared Spencer has been strong out of the bullpen and sits among the conference leaders in overall appearance (5) and saves (2).
Indiana State enters the weekend leading the Missouri Valley teams in RPI as the Sycamores continue to sit among the national leaders through April 12. ISU moved up to 26 in the latest rankings as announced on WarrenNolan.com and remains one of three MVC teams in the top 100 with Southern Illinois (79) and Evansville (93).
The Sycamores boasted the nation’s toughest non-conference strength of schedule over the last month, but ISU was bumped from the top of the list this week in slipping to second overall behind Florida State. ISU has played or is scheduled to play against top-50 RPI opponents in Kentucky (1), Vanderbilt (7), Indiana (15), Miami (16), Missouri (21), Northeastern (35), and Michigan State (48). Additional top-100 opponents include Iowa (57), Florida Gulf Coast (58), SIU (79), Evansville (83), and Ball State (84).
Seth Gergely remains Indiana State’s top hitter coming into the weekend as the redshirt senior is hitting a team-best .333 on the season through the first 31 games. Luis Hernandez (.309) is also hitting above .300 on the season with a team-best eight doubles. Mike Sears (11) and Randal Diaz (6) have been the team’s power bats at the plate on the year, while Sears also boasts a team-best 28 RBI on the season.
Hernandez enters the weekend on a 24-game on-base streak surpassing Mike Sears (23) for the longest streak in 2023. The sophomore tied for the fourth-longest on-base streak in the Mitch Hannahs coaching era and boasts the longest streak since Romero Harris reached in 31 consecutive games in 2018.
Last weekend, Sears and Gergely reached double-digits in two different statistical categories in 2023. Sears became the first Sycamore to post 10 home runs in a single season since Max Wright connected on 16 in 2021. Gergely was the first Sycamore to reach 10 stolen bases in a single season since Jordan Schaffer swiped 11 also in the 2021 season.
Sixteen different Indiana State pitchers have seen time on the mound this year with the Sycamores boasting a team 4.83 ERA and a 270:120 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Matt Jachec, Connor Fenlong, Cameron Holycross, and Jared Spencer have all recorded three wins in the 2023 season to lead ISU’s staff, while Holycross (0.40 ERA) and Lane Miller (2.57 ERA) are the staff’s ERA leaders. Jachec (46) and Spencer (34) are the strikeout leaders.
The Sycamores continue to be elite defensively. Indiana State entered the week fifth in the NCAA and first in the MVC in fielding percentage. The Sycamores are fielding at a .985 clip on the season with three players posting perfect 1.000 percentages with at least 20 chances, while three others are fielding at .990 or higher.
Scouting the Opposition
Belmont enters the conference weekend with a 19-15 overall record on the year following their midweek win at Austin Peay. The Bruins also boast a 5-4 mark in Missouri Valley play on the year after falling in all three games at Southern Illinois last weekend. Belmont currently boasts a 13-7 home record at E.S. Rose Park including a 2-1 record in conference play.
Sam Kirkpatrick is the team’s hitting leader with a .317 batting average on the year with seven doubles, two home runs, and 18 RBI. Blake Barton is also among the team leaders with a .295 average with a team-high 12 doubles and two triples, while Mason Landers is the power threat with seven home runs and 26 RBI. As a team, Belmont is hitting .255 from the plate and has posted 42 stolen bases in 52 attempts.
Belmont’s pitching staff has posted a team 4.33 ERA on the season with 14 different arms making appearances on the mound in 2023. The Bruins’ starting rotation has been consistent throughout the year and is headlined by left-hander Andy Bean. The Friday night ace and 2022 Ohio Valley Pitcher of the Year has posted a 3-4 record and 3.48 ERA over a team-best 51.2 innings. Overall, Belmont has posted a 276:136 strikeout-to-walk ratio and is allowing opponents to hit .253 from the plate.
Belmont was slotted sixth overall in the Missouri Valley preseason baseball poll as voted on by the conference head coaches in the preseason. The Bruins received 53 total points and are coming off a season featuring Belmont matching the program record in regular season (37) and overall wins (39) while securing their first-ever OVC regular season championship.
Belmont’s 2023 non-conference schedule features one common opponent. The Bruins fell on the road at Vanderbilt on March 14, 15-6. Indiana State will take on the Commodores on Tuesday, April 18, in Nashville.
Indiana State – Belmont History
Indiana State is 2-0 all-time against Belmont dating back to the team’s inaugural contest back in the 2014 season. The Sycamores’ first win over the Bruins came back on February 22, 2014, as a part of the Mule Mix Classic in Nashville, Tenn. with ISU topping the Bruins, 4-2. Indiana State picked up their second win in the series back on February 25, 2018, as ISU closed out the SAF Dirt Classic with a 10-inning, 7-4 victory, over Belmont at E.S. Rose Park.
Power Output in Conference
Indiana State’s bats have connected in conference play as the Sycamores have powered out 16 of their 37 team home runs in Missouri Valley competition. The numbers were highlighted by nine home runs two weeks ago against UIC, and six blasts against Valparaiso.
Eight different Sycamores have homered in conference play highlighted by Sears’ six home runs, while both Diaz (3) and Seth Gergely (2) have also left the park multiple times in MVC action. Sears already has two two-homer games in conference play (Mar. 26 vs. Valparaiso & Apr. 2 at UIC), while Gergely added his first collegiate multi-homer game on March 25 against Valparaiso. ISU hit 45 home runs as a team in 2022 with 20 coming in conference action.
PURDUE FT. WAYNE SOFTBALL
FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The Purdue Fort Wayne softball team will play another Horizon League series this weekend with a visit to Robert Morris. The Mastodons will play on an altered schedule from originally announced in an attempt to avoid forecasted thunderstorms in the area on Saturday.
Game Day Information
Who: Robert Morris Colonials
When: Friday, April 14-Saturday April 15 | Doubleheader at 1 PM on Friday, Single game on Saturday at Noon
Where: Moon Township, Pa. | North Athletic Complex
Live Stats: Link
Watch: Game 1 | Game 2 | Game 3
Know Your Foe
Robert Morris is 16-17 and 6-4 in the Horizon League. The Colonials have swept one series, a 2-0, 5-0, 5-0 trio of games against Northern Kentucky, but have lost at least one in each of the other league series. The Colonials are coming off a one-win series against Youngstown State, which saw RMU win the middle game 11-3. Charlotte Grover is batting a team-best .272 and Dana Vatakis has a 2.71 ERA to lead the team. Her ERA of 1.21 in league play is third in the HL.
The Colonials lead the all-time series 8-3 and have a 6-1 edge over the ‘Dons since the two teams joined the Horizon League in 2020. The Mastodons’ last win came in 2021. None of the Mastodons on the team this year played in that contest.
Lucky 7’s For Solis
On the second day of the series against Cleveland State, Sonia Solis was 7-for-7 with seven RBIs. In the entire series, she was 9-for-11 with eight RBIs. This included a grand slam.
Notes From the Streak
In the Mastodons’ nine-game winning streak…
• Tori Countryman batted .550
• Taryn Jenkins batted .469, slugged .813 with 15 hits, five doubles and two home runs
• Grace Hollopeter batted .464
• Sonia Solis had 12 RBIs
• Gracie Brinkerhoff had a 0.71 ERA with 18 strikeouts
• Alanah Jones had 45 strikeouts in 26.2 innings pitched and a 1.43 ERA
• The Mastodons were 30-for-32 in stolen bases
Leading the League
Purdue Fort Wayne is leading the Horizon League with…
• 44 doubles
• 1.26 doubles per game
• 1.69 stolen bases per game
• 2.23 strikeout-to-walk ratio
Alanah Jones is leading the Horizon League with 118 strikeouts this season. This mark is also top-50 nationally. Her 7.4 strikeouts per seven innings is just outside the top-100 nationally.
Taryn Jenkins is in the top-50 in the country with 0.31 doubles per game, which leads the Horizon League. Her .589 slugging percentage is just outside the top-250 nationally.
Last Time Out
The Mastodons finished their series with Cleveland State with a 5-2 win over the Vikings. Sonia Solis was 3-for-3.
Next Time Up
The ‘Dons will return home for a doubleheader against Eastern Illinois on Wednesday (April 19).
PURDUE FT. WAYNE BASEBALL
FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The Milwaukee Panthers and Mastodons will battle this weekend at Mastodon Field.
Game Day Information
Who: Purdue Fort Wayne (8-26, 5-7 Horizon) vs. Milwaukee (14-15, 7-5 Horizon)
When: April 14-16 | 3 p.m. | 2 p.m. | 1 p.m.
Where: Fort Wayne, Ind. | Mastodon Field
Weather: Friday: 82, partly cloudy | Saturday: 80, partly cloudy | Sunday: 69, rain
Series History: Milwaukee leads 9-8. The ‘Dons took all five meetings from the Panthers last season.
Purdue Fort Wayne: RHP Mac Ayres (1-1), LHP Jacob Myer (0-3), RHP Owen Willard (0-2)
Milwaukee: LHP Riley Frey (4-3), RHP Luke Hansel (4-1), RHP Eliot Turnquist (2-2)
Scouting the Panthers: Milwaukee swept a three-game series from Wright State last week. Riley Frey owns a team-best 3.64 ERA over 47.0 innings. As a team, the Panthers are hitting .260.
Return of the SAC:Dylan Stewart is second in the league in sacrifice bunts with six.
Back in Black:Braedon Blackford owns a Horizon League-best 10 home runs. He is sixth in slugging (.560), sixth in runs (30) and sixth in RBIs (30).
Double-Digits:Braedon Blackford’s 10 home runs has him tied for seventh in program history for home runs in a season. The all-time single season record is Shaun VanDriessche’s 18 in 2010.
Cade Gets on Base:Cade Nelis is ninth in the league with a team-best .444 on-base percentage. He is fourth in the league in walks with 24. He enters the week with a current 15-game on-base streak.
Strong Up The Middle:Cade Nelis has only two errors on the season, for a .986 fielding percentage. The starting second baseman has turned 17 double plays.
Masto-Slams: The ‘Dons hit grand slams in back-to-back games against Northern Kentucky. On March 24 Ben Higgins hit a grand slam and then in game one on March 26 Jarrett Bickel hit a game-tying grand slam in the seventh inning of a 9-5 win.
Record Within Striking Distance: The 2023 season is Justin Miller’s fifth as a Mastodon. Miller owns 198 career strikeouts, the second most in program history for a career. He will look to pass Jason Horvath (2001-04) for the most in program history this season. Horvath recorded 210 strikeouts.
Save X4: Four different Mastodons have recorded a save this season. Brody Fine, Mac Ayres, JD Deany and Justin Miller own saves for the ‘Dons.
‘Dons Dig The Long Ball: Eight different Mastodons have hit a home run this season.
Turn It!: The Mastodons are 12th in the nation in double plays turned with 30 this season.
Multi-verse: 14 different Mastodons have had a multi-hit game this season.
Hey Batter Batter (of the Week): Braedon Blackford hit .429 and slugged 1.357 with four home runs in 14 at bats over four games played in Winston-Salem, N.C. (March 3-5). He also recorded one double, seven RBIs, five runs scored, two walks and 19 total bases to earn the Horizon League Batter of the Week honor.
Hey Batter Batter (of the Week) X2: Ben HIggins was named the Horizon League Batter of the Week on April 4 for his play the prior weekend. His play was highlighted by his thee home run performance at Youngstown State on March 31). Higgins was the first Mastodon to hit three big flys in a game since 2016.
D1Baseball Top 30:Braedon Blackford was named a Top 30 Hitter of the day for his two-run home run game vs. Cornell. He was ranked No. 11. JD Deany was selected as a Top 30 pitcher for his five shutout innings vs. Cornell. Ben Higgins was named the No. 3 hitter of the day by DIBaseball.com for his three dinger day against Youngstown State.
Up Next: The ‘Dons are at Michigan State next Wednesday (April 19) before hosting Wright State in league play.
EVANSVILLE, Ind. – The University of Evansville baseball team will travel west to Carbondale, Illinois this weekend for a key Missouri Valley Conference series against long-time rival Southern Illinois at SIU’s Itchy Jones Stadium, beginning on Friday night at 6 p.m. in a game that can be seen live on ESPN+.
The series will continue on Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. and conclude on Sunday with a 1 p.m. contest. Sunday’s 1 p.m. game can be seen live nationally on ESPNU. All three games can also be heard live in the Tri-State area on 107.1 FM-WJPS and the Old National Bank/Purple Aces Sports Network from Learfield.
|Evansville at Southern Illinois | Friday, April 14-Sunday April 16 | 6 PM, 2 PM & 1 PM CT|
|Site | Location||Itchy Jones Stadium | Carbondale, Ill.|
|Links||Friday, 6 PM: Live Stats | TV: ESPN+ (Watch Here) | Radio: Listen WJPS-107.1 FM|
Saturday, 2 PM: Live Stats | TV: ESPN3 (Watch Here) | Radio: Listen WJPS-107.1 FM
Sunday, 1 PM: Live Stats | TV: ESPNU (Watch Here) | Radio: Listen WJPS-107.1 FM
|Follow the Aces||Baseball Site | Twitter | Game Notes|
“We are excited to be able to showcase our program on ESPNU this weekend,” said UE head coach Wes Carroll. “We have grown a lot as a program and a University since our last ESPNU appearance in 2017, and I am excited to be able to show that growth on Sunday.
“This weekend is a huge weekend for us. They always talk about ‘Moving Day’ in golf tournaments, and this weekend can be that type of series for us in the Missouri Valley Conference.”
Evansville will enter the weekend series tied for third place in the Valley standings with a 19-13 overall record and 5-4 conference mark. The Purple Aces saw a nation’s-best eight-game road winning streak come to an end on Tuesday night, as UE fell at WKU, 6-2. Senior third baseman Brent Widder went 2-for-4 with a double and a home run to lead the way on Tuesday night for UE. Widder has been on fire of late, producing four multi-hit games over the last six contests, and he has hit .382 with four home runs and 10 RBI over UE’s last nine road games.
Southern Illinois, meanwhile, will enter this weekend’s series at 20-13 overall and 8-1 in the MVC, as the Salukis are off to their best Valley start in program history. SIU has won six games in a row and 12 out of 13 games overall after knocking off Southeast Missouri State, 8-5, on Tuesday at home. Defensively, the Salukis lead all of Division I baseball in double plays turned with 41 this year, while also leading the MVC in team batting average (.289), team slugging percentage (.482), home runs (48), and runs scored (234). Junior infielder Nathan Bandy leads SIU with a .374 batting average this year, while junior infielder Steven Loden provides the power with a team-leading 10 home runs and 34 RBI.
Evansville and SIU have met 184 times on the diamond, dating back to 1947, with the Salukis holding a 116-68 advantage over UE. SIU won last year’s season series, 3-1, including knocking Evansville out of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament, 8-5, last May. UE will send junior RHP Nick Smith (2-3, 4.89 ERA) to the mound in Friday’s series opener. He is expected to be opposed by SIU RHP Ben Chapman (3-0, 4.32 ERA). Smith beat SIU last April at home with six solid innings of work in a 6-2 UE victory.
EVANSVILLE MEN’S BASKETBALL
EVANSVILLE, Ind. – University of Evansville head men’s basketball coach David Ragland has announced that Craig Snow has been elevated to Associate Head Men’s Basketball Coach for the Purple Aces.
“Craig has been extremely helpful to our program as we continue to strive to create a competitive product with our group,” Ragland exclaimed. “His experience at this level has been instrumental to the growth of our players as well as our coaching staff.”
Snow completed his first season on staff at his alma mater. He remains one of the top 10 scorers in program history, completing his career with 1,530 points. A member of the 1998-99 Missouri Valley Conference Championship team, Snow led the Purple Aces in both scoring and rebounding in each of his final two seasons as a player.
An outstanding coaching career was highlighted by five seasons as the head coach at New Mexico Highlands as well as two tenures on the staff at New Mexico.
EVANSVILLE, Ind. – With victories in the last two weekend Missouri Valley Conference series, the University of Evansville softball team looks to build on the momentum with a 3-game road series at Murray State. Games will take place Friday through Sunday in Murray, Ky. ESPN3 and ESPN+ will have coverage of the three games.
|Evansville at Murray State|
|Game One||Friday, April 14 | 5:00 p.m. | Live Stats | ESPN+|
|Game Two||Satuday, April 15 | 2:00 p.m. | Live Stats | ESPN3|
|Game Three||Sunday, April 16 | 12:00 p.m. | Live Stats | ESPN+|
|UE Softball||Softball Home Page | Twitter | Game Notes|
Looking at the Match-up
– This weekend will mark the first time the Purple Aces and Racers will meet up as members of the MVC
– It will mark the first meeting between the squads since 2016 when they split a doubleheader in Murray; in 2015, the Racers took both ends of a doubleheader at Cooper Stadium
– Evansville took part in MSU’s non-conference Racer Classic in 2018 and 2022 but did not face the Racers in either season
Last Time Out
– Mikayla Jolly tossed five shutout innings while Alexa Davis hit a 2-run double in the sixth inning to seal a 2-0 win at Indiana State on Tuesday
– Jolly earned her fourth victory of 2023 while Erin Kleffman added two scoreless frames to earn her first save of the season
– With two outs in the top of the 6th, Davis drove in the only two runs of the game to give UE its first Valley road win of the season
Making a Statement
– Sydney Weatherford played a pivotal role in UE’s series win over Southern Illinois last weekend
– The sophomore earned two victories as she pitched a total of 10 innings and allowed three runs, two being earned
– With a season ERA of 2.68, Weatherford is 10th in the MVC; in conference games, she has recorded an ERA of just 1.24
– Over her last 40 1/3 innings of work, Weatherford has allowed just seven earned runs while lowering her season ERA to 2.68
– After allowing five runs in 2/3 inning against Indiana on March 11, her ERA rose to 5.33; in total, Weatherford gave up 17 earned runs in her first 22 1/3 innings of 2023
Leading the League
– In the weekend series versus Southern Illinois, Megan Brenton racked up two more saves to improve her conference-leading total to five
– Her ERA of 1.11 continues to pace the conference while her opponent batting average of .188 is 5th in the league
– Brenton registered the save in both wins over the Salukis, combining to toss four shutout frames while giving up two hits and one walk while striking out four batters
– In 50 2/3 innings of work in 2023, Brenton has allowed 12 runs, just eight of which have been earned
– Brenton has fanned 50 batters while walking 33
– One of Evansville’s biggest wins of 2023 saw Jess Willsey take over with her performance at the plate
– In game two against Southern Illinois, Willsey was a perfect 3-3 with four RBI in a 4-0 win for the Aces; the win came less than a day after SIU opened the series with a 17-1 victory
– Her season batting average of .274 has risen greatly over the last three weeks as she is batting .359 (14-39) since March 19
– Willsey is tied for 7th n the MVC with two triples and is tied for 8th with five homers
– Her RBI single against Belmont on April 2 proved to be the game-winner and on April 4 at Indiana State, she hit a solo home run in the 9th inning that temporarily gave UE the lead
– Willsey has five home runs on the season, which leads the UE squad
SOUTHERN INDIANA SOFTBALL
EVANSVILLE, Ind. – University of Southern Indiana Softball continues a four-game homestand this weekend, seeking to extend its current three-game winning streak in a three-game series against Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in Ohio Valley Conference action.
The series begins Friday with a doubleheader at 2 p.m., and Saturday’s game is scheduled for a 1 p.m. first pitch. Admission to all 2023 USI Softball home spring games is free, courtesy of The Women’s Hospital Deaconess.
Southern Indiana enters the OVC series with a 15-17 record and 8-6 in the conference season. SIUE is 15-21 with a 2-8 conference record. USI heads into the weekend in a tie for third place with the University of Tennessee at Martin, who is also 8-6 in OVC play. SIUE sits eighth in the league table.
USI is 5-2 at home this season, sweeping two games against Lindenwood, winning two of three against UT Martin, and grabbing a midweek victory against Butler University on Wednesday. USI’s only other home defeat came last week against Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI).
After capturing two straight wins to end its series at Eastern Illinois University last weekend, Southern Indiana pushed its winning streak to three with a 4-1 win against Butler on Wednesday. In the game, the freshman pitchers shined for USI. Freshman Raegan Gibson (Louisville, Kentucky) made her first career start, tossing four shutout innings toward her first career win. Following Gibson, freshman Kylie Eads (Indianapolis, Indiana) picked up her second save of the season after finishing the last three innings with one unearned run allowed. Offensively, junior first baseman Lexi Fair (Greenwood, Indiana) had a two-RBI double in the first inning that put USI ahead early. Junior outfielder Mackenzie Bedrick (Brownsburg, Indiana) had a two-hit game with an RBI and a run scored.
Overall, senior Allie Goodin (Evansville, Indiana) leads the Screaming Eagles with a .429 batting average, 13 doubles, and 25 RBIs. Her numbers rank among the top of the OVC, and her batting average and doubles total are top-35 in the nation. Fair leads the team with four home runs and is second in RBIs with 21. Bedrick is hitting .330, leading the team with 24 runs scored. Sophomore pitcher Josie Newman (Indianapolis, Indiana) leads the rotation in the pitching circle with a 12-7 record, 2.29 ERA, 118 strikeouts, and 12 complete games. She has earned OVC Pitcher of the Week three times this season.
Diving more into Goodin’s strong 2023 season, she has done most of her damage at the plate during the OVC season. In conference games, Goodin is hitting .510 with seven doubles, two home runs, and 18 RBIs. In conference-only action, Goodin leads the OVC in batting average and doubles and is second in RBIs, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage.
SIUE is coming off a tough 5-1 loss on Wednesday at Purdue University. The Cougars tied the game, 1-1, in the third inning after an early run by the Boilermakers. SIUE hung with the opposition from the Big Ten Conference, but Purdue orchestrated a four-run sixth inning to get the win. Before the Purdue matchup, SIUE won two straight games for a series win against Tennessee State University, coming on the heels of an 0-8 start to OVC play for the Cougars.
As a team, the Cougars are batting .256 with 45 doubles, 14 home runs, and 35 stolen bases. The pitching staff has a 3.36 ERA and 150 strikeouts, holding opposing batters to a .264 batting average. SIUE’s offense is highlighted by redshirt junior outfielder Lexi King and sophomore infielder Paige Rocha, who are both hitting above .400 this season. They have 19 and 18 RBIs, respectively, while Rocha leads the squad with five home runs. Rocha is the reigning OVC Player of the Week. Junior pitcher Kelsey Ray fronts the pitching staff with a 2.70 ERA and 77 strikeouts. She is 4-8 in 98.2 innings pitched.
Friday’s series opener will be the 75th meeting of all time between the two schools, dating back to the early 1980s and the days as NCAA Division II foes. SIUE has had the upper hand in the series’ history, leading 51-22-1. In fact, USI will be looking to snap a five-game skid against the Cougars, as USI’s last win against SIUE was a 3-2 victory in 2006. This weekend’s matchup will be the first meeting between the two programs since 2008.
All three games can be seen with a subscription to ESPN+. Additional coverage links are on the USI Softball schedule page on usiscreamingeagles.com.
SOUTHERN INDIANA BASEBALL
EVANSVILLE, Ind. — University of Southern Indiana Baseball hits the road for a three-game series in the Ohio Valley Conference when it visits the University of Tennessee at Martin in Martin, Tennessee. Game time for the opener Friday is set for 5 p.m., continues Saturday at 3 p.m., and concludes Sunday with a 1 p.m. first pitch.
Links to follow USI versus UT Martin this weekend can be found on the Eagles’ baseball schedule at USIScreamingEagles.com.
USI Baseball Notes:
Eagles out battled by Billikens to start the week: The USI Screaming Eagles were out battled by the Saint Louis University Billikens, 16-11, to start the week. SLU had 21 hits and capitalized on seven USI errors in its win. USI junior first baseman Tucker Ebest and senior designated hitter Daniel Lopez led the way with two RBI each.
Last week in USI Baseball: The Eagles lost the series with Southeast Missouri State University last week, dropping two of three. The Redhawks won games one (13-4) and three (14-2), while USI took the middle game (9-6).
Leading at the plate last week: Junior outfielder Gavin McLartyled USI last week at the plate, hitting .571 (4-7) with a run scored, a double, and five RBIs.
Leading hitters: Sophomore outfielder Drew Taylor leads USI this season with a .326 batting average (15-46). Sophomore shortstop Ricardo Van Grieken follows with a .324 average (23-71), while junior first baseman Tucker Ebesthas a team-best 28 RBIs and five home runs.
Eagles in the last 5: Junior outfielder Gavin McLarty is the hottest Eagles over the last five games, hitting .400 (4-10). McLarty also is tied with junior outfielder/infielder Jack Ellisfor the top spot on the team with six RBI.
McNew climbing the USI All-Time charts: Senior catcher/infielder Lucas McNew is sixth all-time at USI in home runs (21); tied seventh in RBIs (147) and 10th in doubles (45).
In OVC Play: In the nine games of OVC action, junior infielder Jack Ellisleads USI with a .348 average (8-23) with three doubles, a triple, a home run, and five RBIs. Junior outfielder Gavin McLartyhas knocked in a team-high eight RBIs.
USI at UTM this weekend: USI leads the all-time series with the University of Tennessee at Martin, 6-4, and has won three of the last four meetings, winning 9-5 at the USI Baseball Field in 1999.
UTM this spring: UT Martin is, currently, 9-25 this year and has lost five-straight, while posting a 4-5 mark in the OVC. The Skyhawks started this week with a 14-9 loss at home to Austin Peay State University.
INDIANAPOLIS – Predicted rainy weather for this upcoming Sunday has pushed the UIndy baseball weekend series with William Jewell to a pair of doubleheaders. The Greyhounds and Cardinals will square off on Friday for a noon first pitch from the south side.
UIndy and Jewell will now play a twin bill on Friday and Saturday, with both days beginning at 12 p.m.
Southpaw Brady Ware is coming off a historic performance last weekend, in which he tossed a no-hitter and hit for the cycle in a 14-0 win over Drury. The graduate student earned GLVC Pitcher of the Week and NCBWA National Pitcher of the Week for his effort and was also named the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Performance of the Week.
The Hounds have won five of their last six games, most recently coming off a 24-23, 11-inning marathon thriller on Tuesday.
MARIAN MEN’S TENNIS
St. Louis, Mo. – The Marian men’s tennis team came up short Thursday afternoon as they aimed for their third consecutive win, dropping a road contest at Missouri Baptist 4-3. Marian drops to 16-9 overall on the 2022-23 campaign with the defeat.
In doubles Marian fell on hard times, losing two of the three matches to drop the opening point of the day. Ashwin Bhat and Jones McNamar claimed Marian’s lone win in doubles on the top court, while at No. 2 and No. 3 the duos of Shadi Al Tori/Jake Giles and Mark Griffin/Jona Henze were defeated.
Into singles play the Knights were able to tie the match with the first completed result, as Griffin scored a 6-3, 6-2 win over Dragan Omcikus. McNamar was able to give Marian the lead with his 6-2, 6-2 win over Youssef Mokhles at No. 5 singles, but the match reverted back to a draw as No. 2 singles ended, with Dmitrii Voshchenkov falling to Luca Ebenriter 6-2, 6-3.
Missouri Baptist jumped back into the lead as Nico Sanchez defeated Al Tori in three sets, topping the freshman 4-6, 6-3, 1-0 (10-4). Trailing 3-2 in the match, Marian picked up their third point of the day to tie once again, with Henze claiming a three-set win in his match at No. 4. Henze won by a 6-2, 3-6, 1-0 (10-7) score. With the match tied 3-3, the final point hung in the balance at No. 3 singles, with Bhat playing Tim Tokmakov. After dropping the first set 7-5, the junior rallied to win 6-2, forcing a third-set tiebreaker. In the tiebreaker, the Marian product came up just short with Missouri Baptist scoring the winning point, as Tokmakov won the extra set 10-6.
Marian will look to rebound from the loss when they play Lindsey Wilson on Friday afternoon, with the match starting at 3 p.m. at the Marian Tennis Courts.
MARIAN WOMEN’S TENNIS
ST. LOUIS, Mo. – The Marian women’s tennis team picked up their third straight victory with the 7-0 sweep of Missouri Baptist Thursday afternoon.
The Knights wasted no time picking up the doubles point, as Betija Dusele and Katharina Bopst got the 6-0 win against Nina Vasiljkovic and Mia McIsaac at the No. 1 spot, before Tea Vrkic and Dana Savaranio came away with the 6-1 decision at No. 2 doubles against Faith Griese and Mariana Azevedo. Marian also won by forfeit at No. 3 doubles, as the team of Isadora Muller and Emma Chrome claimed the win.
Marian continued their dominant performance in singles action, giving up no more than two games in any of the matches. Savarino defeated Laura Barcaldo 6-1, 6-1 at the No. 5 spot, before Chrome made quick work of McIsaac at No. 3 singles 6-0, 6-0, and Muller took down Azevedo 6-0, 6-1 at No. 4 singles. Bopst finished next for the Knights with her 6-1, 6-2 win over Griese at the No. 2 spot, followed by Dusele’s 6-2, 6-1 win against Vasiljokovic at No. 1 singles. Joelle Leihbacher recorded the win by forfeit, as the Spartans did not have enough players.
Marian will be back in Indianapolis tomorrow afternoon at 3 p.m. when they host Lindsey Wilson.
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
|Tampa Bay||13||0||1.000||–||10 – 0||3 – 0||4 – 0||3 – 0||3 – 0||10 – 0||W 13|
|NY Yankees||8||5||.615||5||4 – 3||4 – 2||2 – 1||2 – 2||0 – 0||6 – 4||L 1|
|Toronto||8||5||.615||5||2 – 1||6 – 4||0 – 0||5 – 2||2 – 1||7 – 3||L 1|
|Baltimore||7||6||.538||6||4 – 3||3 – 3||2 – 4||0 – 0||5 – 2||6 – 4||W 1|
|Boston||5||8||.385||8||2 – 4||3 – 4||2 – 5||3 – 0||0 – 0||3 – 7||L 4|
|Minnesota||9||4||.692||–||4 – 2||5 – 2||1 – 0||5 – 1||2 – 1||6 – 4||W 3|
|Cleveland||7||6||.538||2||2 – 4||5 – 2||1 – 2||0 – 0||6 – 4||5 – 5||L 2|
|Chi White Sox||5||8||.385||4||1 – 2||4 – 6||0 – 0||1 – 2||2 – 2||4 – 6||L 2|
|Kansas City||4||9||.308||5||1 – 6||3 – 3||1 – 3||0 – 3||1 – 2||4 – 6||W 1|
|Detroit||3||9||.250||5.5||0 – 3||3 – 6||1 – 8||0 – 0||2 – 1||3 – 7||W 1|
|LA Angels||7||5||.583||–||3 – 3||4 – 2||1 – 2||0 – 0||4 – 2||6 – 4||W 2|
|Texas||7||5||.583||–||6 – 3||1 – 2||1 – 2||2 – 1||0 – 0||5 – 5||L 1|
|Houston||6||7||.462||1.5||3 – 4||3 – 3||0 – 0||4 – 6||0 – 0||4 – 6||W 1|
|Seattle||5||8||.385||2.5||2 – 5||3 – 3||0 – 0||3 – 4||1 – 2||4 – 6||W 1|
|Oakland||3||10||.231||4.5||2 – 4||1 – 6||1 – 6||1 – 2||1 – 2||2 – 8||L 1|
|Atlanta||9||4||.692||–||4 – 3||5 – 1||2 – 1||6 – 0||1 – 3||7 – 3||W 3|
|NY Mets||7||6||.538||2||4 – 2||3 – 4||5 – 2||0 – 3||2 – 1||5 – 5||W 1|
|Miami||6||7||.462||3||3 – 4||3 – 3||4 – 6||0 – 0||0 – 0||5 – 5||W 2|
|Philadelphia||4||9||.308||5||3 – 3||1 – 6||1 – 2||2 – 2||0 – 0||4 – 6||L 3|
|Washington||4||9||.308||5||1 – 5||3 – 4||1 – 2||0 – 0||2 – 2||3 – 7||L 2|
|Milwaukee||9||4||.692||–||5 – 1||4 – 3||3 – 0||4 – 2||2 – 2||7 – 3||W 1|
|Pittsburgh||8||5||.615||1||3 – 3||5 – 2||0 – 0||2 – 2||0 – 0||7 – 3||W 1|
|Chi Cubs||6||5||.545||2||5 – 4||1 – 1||0 – 0||2 – 3||0 – 0||5 – 5||L 1|
|Cincinnati||5||7||.417||3.5||4 – 2||1 – 5||2 – 5||3 – 2||0 – 0||4 – 6||W 1|
|St. Louis||5||8||.385||4||2 – 5||3 – 3||0 – 3||1 – 3||2 – 1||3 – 7||L 1|
|Arizona||8||5||.615||–||5 – 2||3 – 3||0 – 0||2 – 1||6 – 4||7 – 3||W 1|
|LA Dodgers||7||6||.538||1||4 – 2||3 – 4||0 – 0||0 – 0||7 – 6||5 – 5||W 1|
|San Diego||7||7||.500||1.5||3 – 4||4 – 3||4 – 3||0 – 1||3 – 3||5 – 5||L 2|
|San Francisco||5||7||.417||2.5||2 – 4||3 – 3||0 – 0||0 – 0||1 – 2||4 – 6||L 1|
|Colorado||5||8||.385||3||3 – 4||2 – 4||2 – 2||1 – 2||2 – 4||3 – 7||L 2|
|1 xyz-Boston Bruins||82||65||12||5||135||61||305||177||34-4-3||31-8-2||9-1-0|
|2 xy-Carolina Hurricanes||82||52||21||9||113||48||266||213||28-10-3||24-11-6||5-5-0|
|3 x-New Jersey Devils||82||52||22||8||112||50||291||226||24-13-4||28-9-4||7-3-0|
|4 x-Toronto Maple Leafs||82||50||21||11||111||49||279||222||27-8-6||23-13-5||7-1-2|
|5 x-New York Rangers||82||47||22||13||107||43||277||219||23-13-5||24-9-8||5-2-3|
|6 x-Tampa Bay Lightning||82||46||30||6||98||43||283||254||28-8-5||18-22-1||4-6-0|
|7 x-New York Islanders||82||42||31||9||93||41||243||222||25-13-3||17-18-6||5-4-1|
|8 x-Florida Panthers||82||42||32||8||92||40||290||273||23-13-5||19-19-3||6-3-1|
|9 Pittsburgh Penguins||82||40||31||11||91||39||262||264||23-13-5||17-18-6||5-4-1|
|10 Buffalo Sabres||81||41||33||7||89||38||291||298||17-20-4||24-13-3||7-2-1|
|11 Ottawa Senators||82||39||35||8||86||37||261||271||24-14-3||15-21-5||4-3-3|
|12 Detroit Red Wings||82||35||37||10||80||32||240||279||19-17-5||16-20-5||4-5-1|
|13 Washington Capitals||82||35||37||10||80||33||255||265||18-16-7||17-21-3||2-6-2|
|14 Philadelphia Flyers||82||31||38||13||75||29||222||277||18-18-5||13-20-8||3-6-1|
|15 Montreal Canadiens||82||31||45||6||68||26||232||307||17-21-3||14-24-3||3-7-0|
|16 Columbus Blue Jackets||81||25||47||9||59||24||212||325||16-22-2||9-25-7||2-6-2|
|1 xy-Vegas Golden Knights||82||51||22||9||111||46||272||229||25-15-1||26-7-8||6-1-3|
|2 x-Dallas Stars||82||47||21||14||108||43||285||218||22-10-9||25-11-5||8-2-0|
|3 x-Edmonton Oilers||82||50||23||9||109||50||325||260||23-12-6||27-11-3||9-0-1|
|4 x-Colorado Avalanche||81||50||24||7||107||44||276||223||22-13-6||28-11-1||8-1-1|
|5 x-Los Angeles Kings||82||47||25||10||104||41||280||257||26-11-4||21-14-6||5-5-0|
|6 x-Minnesota Wild||82||46||25||11||103||39||246||225||25-12-4||21-13-7||5-3-2|
|7 x-Seattle Kraken||82||46||28||8||100||46||289||256||20-17-4||26-11-4||6-4-0|
|8 x-Winnipeg Jets||82||46||33||3||95||45||247||225||26-13-2||20-20-1||6-4-0|
|9 Calgary Flames||82||38||27||17||93||36||260||252||20-16-5||18-11-12||6-2-2|
|10 Nashville Predators||81||42||31||8||92||36||226||234||22-14-4||20-17-4||6-4-0|
|11 Vancouver Canucks||82||38||37||7||83||32||276||298||19-20-2||19-17-5||5-3-2|
|12 St. Louis Blues||82||37||38||7||81||34||263||301||18-17-6||19-21-1||4-5-1|
|13 Arizona Coyotes||82||28||40||14||70||25||228||299||21-15-5||7-25-9||1-7-2|
|14 San Jose Sharks||82||22||44||16||60||21||234||321||8-22-11||14-22-5||3-6-1|
|15 Chicago Blackhawks||82||26||49||7||59||24||204||301||14-23-4||12-26-3||2-7-1|
|16 Anaheim Ducks||82||23||47||12||58||20||209||338||12-25-4||11-22-8||0-8-2|
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
1908 Pirates owner Barney Dreyfuss offers Honus Wagner a contract with a proposed salary of $6,000. The third baseman, who won his second consecutive NL batting crown last season, will eventually sign for $10,000, double his previous pay, to become the first major leaguer to make a five-figure salary.
1910 At American League Park in Washington, D.C., William Taft becomes the first president to throw out the ceremonial first pitch. The Chief Executive stays to see a great game when Senator legend Walter Johnson one-hits the A’s in the season opener, 3-0.
1911 Shortly after midnight, a tremendous fire breaks out, destroying much of the Polo Grounds, leaving the Giants without a place to play. The Highlanders invite the McGraw men to share Hilltop Park, an offer the displaced National League team accepts for six weeks until the completion of the temporary stands at their damaged ballpark.
1915 Herb Pennock’s bid to throw a no-hitter on Opening Day is spoiled when he gives up a scratch hit to Harry Hooper with two outs in the ninth inning. The A’s southpaw retires the next batter, preserving his 2-0 shutout of Boston at Shibe Park.
1917 White Sox hurler Eddie Cicotte, who will become better known as one of the eight players made permanently ineligible for professional baseball due to his alleged participation in the Black Sox scandal in the 1919 World Series, no-hits the Browns, 11-0. The 33-year-old Michigan native, called Knuckles by his teammates, will finish the season with a 28-12 record with a 1.53 ERA, leading the league in victories and earned run average.
1925 The Indians start the season beating the Browns, 21-4, to establish the major league mark for the most runs scored by one club on Opening Day. Cleveland tallies 12 times in the eighth inning with the help of five St. Louis errors.
1925 WGN broadcasts the first fully-live regular season baseball game, detailing Grover Alexander and the Cubs’ defeat of the Pirates on a chilly Opening Day, 8-2. Quin Ryan is behind the microphone doing play-by-play from a perch on the Wrigley Field roof.
1930 President Herbert Hoover, continuing the tradition started by William Taft in 1910, throws out the ceremonial first pitch before the Red Sox edge the hometown Senators, 4-3. Historically thought to be a southpaw, the Chief Executive does the honors right-handed six times during his one term in the White House, all four Opening Days at Griffith Stadium, and two games World Series games at Shibe Park in the 1929 and 1930.
1931 At Braves Field, Jack Quinn becomes the oldest pitcher to start an Opening Day game. The 47-year-old Robin right-hander gives up six runs on nine hits in six innings, taking the loss when Brooklyn bows to Boston, 7-4.
1936 At Sportsman’s Park, Eddie Morgan, appearing as a pinch-hitter in the Cardinals’ 12-7 loss to the Cubs, hits a home run in his first major league first at-bat. During his brief stint with St. Louis and Brooklyn, the 21-year-old rookie’s round-tripper will be his lone career homer.
1949 Bobo Newsom signs as a free agent with the Senators. The 41-year-old right-hander, who will not appear with the club until the 1952 season, becomes the first major leaguer to join the same team on five different occasions (1935-37, ’42, ’43, ’46-47, ’52).
1953 In their first game ever played in Milwaukee, the transplanted Braves beat the Cardinals at County Stadium, 3-2, thanks to Billy Bruton’s walk-off home run off Gerry Staley in the tenth inning. The 27-year-old rookie center fielder will not hit another home run this season.
1953 Bob Lemon nearly throws an Opening Day no-hitter against the White Sox, except for Minnie Minoso’s first-inning single spoiling the bid. The Indians’ hurler almost loses his shutout when fleet-footed outfielder Jim Rivera walks, steals second, and goes to third on a grounder, but he becomes the second out in the second frame attempting to swipe home.
1955 Elston Howard, named the American League’s MVP in 1963, becomes the first black to play for the Yankees. The former Monarchs’ catcher will appear in nine All-Star Games and 54 World Series games, compiling a .274 batting average during his 14-year playing career.
1960 Bill Mazeroski hits the first home run of the season at Forbes Field, going deep in the bottom of the second of the Pirates’ 13-0 rout of the Reds in the team’s home opener. The Bucs’ second baseman will also hit the last round-tripper of the season at the historic Pittsburgh ballpark, ending the season with a dramatic ninth-inning walk-off homer that beats in Yankees in Game 7 of the World Series.
1961 Frank Lary tosses a one-hitter on Opening Day, beating the White Sox at Tiger Stadium, 7-0. Chicago’s lone hit comes in the fifth inning when Jim Landis singles off the glove of shortstop Chico Fernandez.
1965 Willie Mays hits his 455th career home run, a third-inning two-run shot to left field off future Hall of Famer Jim Bunning, in the Giants’ 5-2 victory over the Phillies at Connie Mack Stadium. The round-tripper surpasses Yankees slugger Mickey Mantle’s current total, a lead the Say Hey Kid will not again relinquish to his rival center fielder.
1967 In the Yankees’ home opener, Red Sox southpaw Billy Rohr, making his major league debut, is one out from a no-hitter when Elston Howard singles hard to right field on a 3-2 curveball, ruining the 21-year-old rookie’s shot at immortality. A heartbroken six-year-old fan sitting near the Boston dugout named John has to be consoled by his mother, Jackie Kennedy, although his beloved team beats the Bronx Bombers, 3-0.
1968 Jim Bunning becomes the first pitcher since Cy Young to collect a thousand strikeouts in both leagues when he whiffs eight Dodgers during his first win for the Pirates, a 3-0 complete-game victory in Chavez Ravine. The 37-year-old right-hander, acquired from the Phillies in December, sent 1,406 American League batters back to the bench with a bat in their hands for nine seasons while pitching for the Tigers at the start of his Hall of Fame career.
1969 In the first regular-season contest not played in the United States, the Expos host their first home game, treating 29,184 fans on a cold day at Jarry Park to an 8-7 win over the defending National League champion Cardinals. Montreal moundsman Larry Jaster throws baseball’s first international pitch to left fielder Lou Brock, and Mack Jones provides the offense for the home team, driving in five runs and hitting the first home game homer in franchise history.
1976 At Wrigley Field, Dave Kingman launches a homer down the left-field line that hits a house 530 feet from home plate. The Cubs and the Northside home survive the right fielder’s blast, with Chicago defeating the Mets in the Wrigley Field contest, 6-5.
1978 The biggest Opening Day crowd ever, 45,777, attends the Wrigley Field opener against Pittsburgh. Although the team gives up an early 3-0 lead, the hometown fans will not go home disappointed when Larry Biittner, leading off in the bottom of the ninth inning, homers to give the Cubs a 4-3 walk-off victory.
1982 At Watt Powell Park, the home of the International League’s Charleston Charlies, Toledo’ Mud Hens’ pinch-hitter Randy Bush hits an eighth-inning home run in the team’s 4-3 victory over Charleston that travels over 200 miles. The Twins’ farmhand, not known for his power, hits a ball over the right-field wall that lands on a moving coal train.
1983 The Metrodome’s roof deflates due to the weight of heavy snow dumped during a late-season storm, canceling the game between the Twins and Angels. The postponement marks only the second time the putting off a contest occurs in a domed stadium due to weather, the first being a 1976 Astros match not played when massive flooding in the Houston metropolitan area prevented many fans and the umpiring crew from reaching the Astrodome.
1990 Cal Ripken begins a streak that leads to the major league record for the most errorless games  and total chances  by a shortstop. At the end of June, the O’s infielder will appear to have made an error, but official scorer Bill Steka changed his mind the next day, giving Birds’ center fielder Mike Devereaux the error.
1990 Kansas City beats the Blue Jays, 3-1, marking the first time two reigning Cy Young Award recipients contribute to the same victory. Brett Saberhagen picks up his first win of the season when the reigning NL Cy Young’s recipient, Mark Davis, a closer with 44 saves for the Padres last year, pitches a perfect ninth inning to pick up the save in the Royals Stadium contest.
1993 After establishing the all-time career major league record last night with his 358th save, Cardinal reliever Lee Smith breaks the National League mark, recording his 301st in the Senior Circuit when he tosses a perfect 15th frame in the Cardinals’ 2-1 victory at Dodger Stadium. The right-handed reliever will extend the big league mark to 478, pitching for the Cubs (1980-1987), Red Sox (1988-1990), Cardinals (1990-1993), Yankees (1993), Orioles (1994), Angels (1995-1996), Reds (1996), and Expos (1997).
1998 Diamondback third baseman Matt Williams knots the score at 4-4 when he hits the first-ever grand slam in franchise history. The fourth-inning blast off southpaw Kent Mercker has little consequence in the expansion team’s 15-5 loss to the Cardinals at Busch Stadium. (Our thanks to M. Blake for suggesting this entry.)
1999 Tampa Bays’ designated hitter Jose Canseco becomes the 28th player in major league history to hit 400 home runs when he takes Kelvim Escobar deep down the left-field line in the top of the third inning in the Devil Rays’ 7-6 loss to Toronto at the SkyDome. The controversial slugger will finish his 17-year career in 2001 with 462 round-trippers.
2001 The Reds beat Al Leiter and the Mets, 1-0, to establish the new National League mark for not being shut out by an opponent, scoring in their 175th consecutive game. Ironically, the record-breaking contest comes against the last team and pitcher to blank the franchise, a 5-0 defeat at Cinergy Field in a playoff game to determine the NL Wild Card.
2001 A total of eleven one-run games (six in AL and five in NL) breaks a 1967 record set on May 30th when there were ten combined one-run contests in the major leagues.
2002 Mascots from all the major league teams and Sandy the Seagull of the nearby farm team Brooklyn Cyclones attend a birthday party for Mr. Met at Shea Stadium. The Amazins’ 38-year-old bobble-headed good luck charm, believed to be the first live mascot in big-league history, appeared in the flesh, so to speak, in 1964 after being an illustration on the cover of scorecards the season before.
2002 In his major league debut, Mariner DH Ron Wright strikes out in the second inning, grounds into a triple play (1-6*-2-5-1*-4*) in the fourth frame, and completes his one-game career hitting into a twin killing (6-4-3) in the sixth in the team’s 9-6 loss to the Rangers. The 26-year-old’s three at-bats against Kenny Rogers account for six outs and ties the mark for the fewest number of plate appearances for any player hitting into a triple play, a feat accomplished in 1901 by Giants hurler Larry Hesterfer in his only big-league game.
2004 Aaron Miles becomes the fifth player in history to hit his first two career home runs from different sides of the plate in the same game, joining Johnny Lucadello (1940 Browns), U.L. Washington (1979 Royals), Bret Barberie (1991 Expos), and Brian Simmons (1998 White Sox). In a 14-4 defeat of the Diamondbacks at Coors Field, the Rockies’ switch-hitting second baseman hits a solo homer in the first inning, batting lefty off Elmer Dessens before going deep in the fifth with two on as a right-handed batter off southpaw Stephen Randolph.
2004 In the game played after teammate Mike Mussina earns his 200th career victory, Kevin Brown, obtained from the Dodgers for Jeff Weaver and two minor-leaguers in an off-season trade, reaches the same plateau, beating the Devil Rays, 5-1. The wins mark the first time in baseball history that members of the same pitching staff have won their 200th career victory in consecutive starts.
2006 At the Mets Team Store beginning today through the April 17 tax deadline, fans can have their taxes done for free by Gilman Ciocia. The Shea TAX-TEAM will also prepare an automatic extension for those not ready to file.
2017 Hank Aaron, who also did the traditional toss for the Braves in the first and last contests at Turner Field, throws the ceremonial first pitch, with former long-time manager Bobby Cox serving as the catcher, before SunTrust Park’s inaugural game. Atlanta outfielder Ender Inciarte records the first out, first hit, first run, and the first home run in the team’s 5-2 victory over the Padres at the new ballpark.
2017 The White Sox make history starting three fly-chasers with the same surname in the same game when left fielder Willy Garcia, center fielder Leury Garcia, and right fielder Avisail Garcia appear in the Target Field lineup. In the 1960s, the three Alou brothers, Felipe, Jesus, and Matty, patrolled the same outfield on three occasions, but the trio of siblings never started the contest simultaneously.
(Ed. Note: The outfielders combine to collect four in ten at-bats, contributing to the team’s 2-1 victory against the Twins.)
2021 When he crouches behind the plate in the Cardinals’ 6-0 loss to the Nationals at Busch Stadium, Yadier Molina becomes the first backstop to catch 2000 games with one team and the sixth overall to reach the milestone. The 39-year-old catcher, currently in his 18th major-league season, joins Ivan Rodriguez (2,427), Carlton Fisk (2,226), Bob Boone (2,225), Gary Carter (2,056), and Jason Kendall (2,025) in accomplishing the feat.
BASEBALL HALL OF FAME
Many major league players, at some point during their careers, have claimed they could call a game as well as the umpires.
In a 1935 game between the Chicago White Sox and St. Louis Browns, White Sox player Jocko Conlan got the rare chance to do just that – and then never looked back.
Conlan was a reserve outfielder during that fateful July day when umpire Red Ormsby was overcome by the heat. Since there were only two umpires assigned to the game, Conlan was asked to fill in.
Still wearing his White Sox uniform, Conlan worked the second game of the doubleheader and impressed players from both teams with his impartiality.
“I can remember thinking that I didn’t want to show any favoritism to my own team,” Conlan would later recall. “But when I called my teammate, Luke Appling, out at first on a close play, I not only had a helluva argument with Appling, but I also had to fight with my own manager.”
Conlan left the outfield the following year to pursue his new career as an umpire. In 1941, he debuted in the National League and began a long career as one of the game’s most colorful and respected umpires.
From 1941-65, Conlan officiated five World Series and six All-Star Games. He wore a fashionable polka dot bow tie and was the last NL umpire to wear a chest protector over his clothes. Besides his attire, Conlan was known for his ability to combine his cheerful personality with a stern sense of authority.
“He ran the ball game like it was supposed to be run,” said Hall of Fame manager Leo Durocher, who famously clashed with Conlan on several occasions. “He wanted players to hurry in and out of the dugout. He did it his way.”
Conlan officiated three different tiebreaking playoff series, including Bobby Thomson’s “Shot Heard ’Round The World” during the New York Giants’ triumph over the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1951. He was the home plate umpire when Gil Hodges hit four home runs in one game in 1950, as well as when Willie Mays equaled the feat in 1961.
Conlan retired after 25 years of service in 1964 before coming back to serve as a substitute umpire for 17 games in 1965. When he retired for good, National League president Warren Giles proclaimed: “I know of no one who has been more dedicated to his profession, more loyal to the game in which he has been such a big party, and I hate to see him hang up his spikes.”
In 1974, Conlan became the fourth umpire to be elected to the Hall of Fame.
“I lasted all these years in the game because I respected the ball players and demanded their respect, too,” Conlan said. “There have been some pretty good men in umpiring who were chased out. They let the game get them; I never did.”
Conlan passed away on April 16, 1989.
Tom Connolly officiated the first American League game in 1901 and saw the league’s evolution from upstart to respected equal of the National League during the next three decades.
Known for his calm and dignified demeanor, Connolly possessed a remarkable ability to control the game, so much so that he once went 10 consecutive seasons without ejecting a player during one of the toughest eras in baseball history.
“A well-groomed, alert umpire adds dignity to a ball game,” Connolly once explained. “And a good official is one who never attracts attention.”
An Irishman who played cricket as a boy, Connolly was fascinated by the new American game when his family immigrated to Natick, Mass. He immersed himself in the rules of baseball and worked as an umpire for YMCA games when he was discovered by major league umpire Tim Hurst in 1894.
Hurst set Connolly up with an umpiring job in the New England League, where Connolly worked for three seasons until he was promoted to the National League in 1898. In 1900, Connolly resigned mid-season when NL president Nicholas Young failed to stand behind his calls. The following spring, Connolly signed with the new American League and was the sole arbiter for the league’s first official contest on April 24, 1901.
Connolly was an authority figure during an era that featured rough-and-tumble play. Though he was normally even-tempered, Connolly showed he could stand up to the game’s toughest players – including when he called Ty Cobb out for stepping across home plate during a swing.
“You can go just so far with Tommy,” Cobb once said of Connolly. “Once you see his neck get red, it’s time to lay off.”
Standing 5-feet-7 inches tall and weighing 140 pounds, Connolly famously stood in front of Babe Ruth when the Bambino began to charge a heckler in the stands.
“You should be ashamed of yourself,” Connolly told Ruth, then promptly ejected him. It was the last time Ruth would be thrown out of a major league game.
Connolly’s reputation was rewarded with many high-profile assignments. He was the lone AL umpire chosen to work the first modern-day World Series in 1903, the first of eight Fall Classics that he would eventually officiate. Connolly went on to work the opening games at Comiskey Park, Shibe Park, Fenway Park and Yankee Stadium. He called balls and strikes for four no-hitters, including Addie Joss’s perfect game in 1908.
In 1931, AL president Will Harridge responded to complaints about the quality of officiating by appointing Connolly as the league’s first supervisor of umpires. For the next 23 years, Connolly scouted and trained new umpires and became known as the greatest authority on the rules of baseball.
When asked how he trained umpires, Connolly explained, “If they’re otherwise all right, what you have to teach them is poise. And another thing I tell ’em is not to have rabbit ears. Never mind the wrecking crew in the dugout. Just go about your job of calling ’em on the field.”
In 1953, Connolly joined the National League’s Bill Klem as the first two umpires to be elected to the Hall of Fame. It was a remarkable accomplishment for a man who had never seen a baseball game until he arrived in America at age 13.
“Although he may have lacked the color of a Bill Klem,” wrote The New York Times, “Mr. Connolly was perhaps the perfect umpire.”
Connolly passed away on April 28, 1961.
BASEBALL YEAR IN REVIEW
1943 AMERICAN LEAGUE
Off the field…
In Washington D.C., the Pentagon was completed making it the largest office building in the world. The revolutionary, five-sided building consisted of five concentric pentagons connected to each other by immense corridors covering an area of thirty-four acres and was intended to consolidate the various offices of the U.S. War Department and now the Department of Defense.
In January, U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill held a World War II meeting known as the “Casablanca Conference” in French Morocco to form a joint declaration that pledged that the war would only end with the unconditional surrender of the Axis Powers.
The withholding tax on wages was introduced in 1943 and was instrumental in increasing the number of taxpayers to sixty million and tax collections to $43 billion by 1945.
In the American League…
The Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Browns played four consecutive extra-inning games (May 31 and June 2) totaling forty-five innings. Both leagues combined to set a Major League record for overtime activity with ninety-one extra-innings in the American League and eighty in the National.
New York Yankees outfielder Roy Weatherly caught ten separate fly balls in a single game on April 28th and then went on to repeat the performance on June 12th. In doing so, he became the first outfielder in Major League history to record tenputouts in a game — twice in one season.
On August 24th, the miserable Philadelphia Athletics recorded their twentieth loss in a row tying the American League mark for consecutive defeats. Luckily they managed to avoid breaking the record by scoring eight runs on the home team Chicago White Sox in the bottom half of the double header.
In the National League…
Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Rip Sewell debuted a bizarre “softball-like” pitch that looped the ball eighteen to twenty feet high on its way down to the strike zone. The “gag-pitch” was almost impossible to judge from the batters box and was later coined as a “blooper” or “eephus ball”. Despite the complaints of many batters from around the league, the approach was ruled legal and Sewell went on to a 20+ win season.
New York Giants player-manager Mel Ott walked five times in a single game on June 17th against the Brooklyn Dodgers. Amazingly Ott had also received five passes in two other games (1929 and 1933) and went on to set a Major League record for seven consecutive walks over a two-day period.
The St. Louis Cardinals clinched the National League pennant thanks to the extraordinary play of second-year-man Stan Musial who hit .357 with two-hundred twenty hits, three-hundred forty-seven total bases, forty-eight doubles and twenty triples.
Around the League…
Baseball moguls Phil Wrigley and Branch Rickey established the All-American Girls Softball League as a “wartime sports backup” in case the government was forced to shut down Major League Baseball. The novelty league quickly became a very popular draw and later switched to hardball with a pitching distance of forty feet and bases set at sixty-eight feet apart.
Major League Baseball approved a new “official” ball that was comprised of reclaimed cork and balata, which were two suitable materials that were not needed in the war effort. Officials insisted that the ball would have the resiliency of the old version, but players later complained of an inability to drive the “overripe grapefruits” and pointed out the lack of home runs as a result.
Due to the wartime absence of sixty starters (including some of the games greatest players: Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams, Enos Slaughter and Johnny Mize) Major League Baseball started two weeks later than usual as teams scrambled to fill their line-up cards and owners scrambled to fill their ballpark stands.
The evening before the All-Star Game in Boston, a team of Armed Forces “all-stars” managed by Babe Ruth and featuring Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams played the visiting Braves in a war fund-raising effort. Ruth himself agreed to pinch-hit in the eighth and his team went on to win 9-8 thanks to a Ted Williams home run. The following night, the Americans went on to edge the Nationals 5-3 in the first Midsummer Classic to be played under the lights.
THE HALL OF FAME
Jerome Bettis was selected in the first round, 10th player overall, out of Notre Dame by the Los Angeles Rams in the 1993 NFL Draft. He finished second in the NFL in rushing during his rookie season after gaining 1,429 yards. Included in that total were his first career 100-yard and 200-yard rushing games, both of which came against the New Orleans Saints. His 212-yard day that season was a career-high. At the time he was only the eighth rookie in NFL history to rush for 200 yards in a game. His output that year marked the first of eight 1,000-yard seasons in his first nine years. He was named Rookie of the Year by numerable media outlets and was chosen as a first-team All-Pro and All-NFC.
Bettis led the Rams in rushing each of his three seasons with the club before he was traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers for a second- and fourth-round draft pick. He rebounded from a subpar year in 1995 with the Rams to earn Comeback Player of the Year and was again named first-team All-Pro in 1996, his first in the Steel City. Bettis gained 1,431 yards on 320 carries and scored 11 TDs for the division-winning Steelers.
The 5’11”, 243-pound runner continued to carry the load for Pittsburgh. He was the Steelers’ leading ground gainer eight times in 10 seasons. Bettis, a six-time Pro Bowler, retired following his lone Super Bowl appearance in the 2005 season (Super Bowl XL). The Steelers defeated the Seattle Seahawks, 21-10, in the game played in Bettis’s hometown of Detroit.
At the time of his retirement, Bettis ranked fifth all-time in rushing with 13,662 yards on 3,479 career carries. Nicknamed “The Bus” for his bruising running style, he also scored 91 rushing touchdowns. He eclipsed the 100-yard mark in a game 61 times during the regular season and three more times in playoff games.
In addition to his rushing totals, Bettis amassed 1,449 yards on 200 receptions and 3 TDs. His combined net yardage (15,113) was 19th best all-time at the time of his retirement. Bettis also completed three passes, all for touchdowns in his 13-season, 192-game career.
April 14, 1960 – A team naming. Back on March 20 the new Oakland AFL franchise held a “Name Your Football Team” contest that kicked off per the Raiders.com. Soon the franchise announced that the nickname “Senors” was the most popular answer. On April 14 the team announced that the nickname was being changed to the “Raiders.”
HALL OF FAME BIRTHDAYS FOR APRIL 14
April 14, 1876 – Libby, Minnesota – The standout end of Carlisle Indian Industrial School from 1896 to 1898 and with Minnesota from 1900 to 1903, Eddie Rogers was born. Eddie Rogers received the great honor of being selected for inclusion into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1968. There is more of Rogers by clicking his name.
April 14, 1900 – Stockton, Kansas – The starting quarterback of Washburn from 1919 to 1921 and later a halfback in 1921 with Yale, Mal Stevens recounted as his date of birth. The National Football Foundation’s website reports that legendary sports journalist Grantland Rice gave him his greatest football tribute, saying Stevens was “in 1923 one of the greatest running backs I ever saw.” The 1923 Yale team went 8-0 and out-scored its opponents 230-38. The stars were Stevens at halfback, Bill Mallory at fullback, and Century Milstead who was a transfer from Wabash at tackle. All three were elected to the College Football Hall of Fame. Stevens served Yale as assistant coach 1924-27 and head coach 1928-32, freshman coach in 1933. He was head coach at New York University 1938-41 and head coach of a pro team, the Brooklyn Dodgers of the All-America Conference or AAFC in 1946. He obtained his medical degree at Yale. During the years he coached at Yale and New York University, he taught orthopedic surgery at the same schools. He was 28 when he became Yale head coach in 1928, making him the youngest head coach in the nation at a major school. He was president of the American Football Coaches Association in 1931 and, at age 31, the youngest president in association history. The National Football Foundation selected the collegiate stats and stories of Mal Stevens for entrance into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1974.
NUMBERS IN SPORTS
32 – 4 – 15 – 30 – 24 – 11 – 33 – 53 – 1
April 14, 1917 – Chicago White Sox pitcher Ed Cicotte no-hits the St Louis Browns in an 11-0 romp.
April 14, 1955 – Number 32, Elston Howard became the first African-American to play for theNew York Yankees. The 26-year-old catcher/outfielder hit a single with an RBI in 8-4 loss to the Boston Red Sox in his debut.
April 14, 1964 – Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Sandy Koufax, Number 32 threw a game without allowing a walk in 4-0 Opening Day win over St. Louis Cardinals. The future Baseball Hall of Fame accomplished the feat 8 other times in his storied career.
|COLLEGE BASEBALL||TIME ET||TV|
|Maryland at Ohio State||5:00pm||BTN|
|Miami at North Carolina||6:00pm||ESPNU|
|Tennessee at Arkansas||8:00pm||SECN|
|Indiana at Illinois||8:00pm||BTN|
|PGA Tour: RBC Heritage||2:00pm||GOLF|
|LPGA: LOTTE Championship||7:00pm||GOLF|
|MLB REGULAR SEASON GAMES||TIME ET||TV|
|Arizona at Miami||6:40pm||Bally Sports|
|Philadelphia at Cincinnati||6:40pm||NBCS-PHI|
|San Francisco at Detroit||6:40pm||NBCS-BAY|
|Cleveland at Washington||7:05pm||MASN/2|
|Minnesota at NY Yankees||7:05pm||YES|
|Tampa Bay at Toronto||7:07pm||Sportsnet|
|LA Angels at Boston||7:10pm||NESN|
|Baltimore at Chi. White Sox||7:10pm||NBCS-CHI|
|Atlanta at Kansas City||8:10pm||MLBN|
|Texas at Houston||8:10pm||MLBN|
|Pittsburgh at St. Louis||8:15pm||ATTSN-PIT|
|Milwaukee at San Diego||9:40pm||Bally Sports|
|NY Mets at Oakland||9:40pm||SNY|
|Colorado at Seattle||10:10pm||ATTSN-RM|
|Chi. Cubs at LA Dodgers||10:10pm||MARQ|
|NASCAR Truck: Long John Silver’s 200||7:30pm||FS1|
|NBA PLAYOFFS||TIME ET||TV|
|East – TBA at Miami||7:00pm||TNT|
|West – TBA at Minnesota||9:30pm||ESPN|
|NHL REGULAR SEASON GAMES||TIME ET||TV|
|Buffalo at Columbus||7:30pm||Bally Sports|
|Colorado at Nashville||8:00pm||ALT|
|Serie A: Cremonese vs Empoli||12:30pm||Paramount+|
|Bundesliga: Schalke 04 vs Hertha BSC||2:30pm||ESPN+|
|Serie A: Spezia vs Lazio||2:45pm||Paramount+|
|La Liga: Rayo Vallecano vs Osasuna||3:00pm||ESPN+|
|Ligue 1: Toulouse vs Olympique Lyonnais||3:00pm||beIN Sports|
|Liga MX: Necaxa vs Puebla||9:05pm||TUDN|
|NWSL: Portland Thorns vs Houston Dash||10:30pm||CBSSN|