BASEBALL STATE FINALS (ALL 4 GAMES CAN BE HEARD ON INDIANASRN.ORG, FREE!!!!
FRIDAY, JUNE 16
CLASS 2A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP | 5:30 PM ET / 4:30 PM CT
ILLIANA CHRISTIAN (24-9) VS. COVENANT CHRISTIAN (16-15)
CLASS 3A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP | 8 PM ET / 7 PM CT
ANDREAN (28-6-1) VS. SILVER CREEK (25-7)
SATURDAY, JUNE 17
CLASS 1A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP | 4:30 PM ET / 3:30 PM CT
LAFAYETTE CENTRAL CATHOLIC (24-11) VS. BARR-REEVE (29-3)
CLASS 4A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP | 8 PM ET / 7 PM CT
PENN (21-8) VS. CENTER GROVE (29-3)
INDIANA BOYS GOLF
STATE FINALS: ROUND ONE TEE TIMES: TUESDAY HTTPS://WWW.IHSAA.ORG/SITES/DEFAULT/FILES/DOCUMENTS/2022-23%20BOYS%20STATE%20PAIRINGS.PDF
COLLEGE BASEBALL SUPER REGIONALS
SOUTHERN MISS 5, TENNESSEE 3
WAKE FOREST 22, ALABAMA 5 (WAKE FOREST ADVANCES TO CWS)
VIRGINIA 12, DUKE 2 (VIRGINIA ADVANCES TO CWS)
TENNESSEE 8, SOUTHERN MISS 4
LSU 8 KENTUCKY 3 (LSU ADVANCES TO CWS)
ORAL ROBERTS 11 OREGON 6 (ORAL ROBERTS ADVANCES TO CWS)
STANFORD 8 TEXAS 3
SOUTHERN MISS VS. TENNESSEE 6:00 ESPN2
TEXAS VS. STANFORD 8:00 ESPN
MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL SCOREBOARD
ARIZONA 7 DETROIT 5
MIAMI 6 CHICAGO WHITE SOX 5
OAKLAND 8 MILWAUKEE 6
CLEVELAND 5 HOUSTON 0
BALTIMORE 11 KANSAS CITY 3
TORONTO 7 MINNESOTA 6
TAMPA BAY 7 TEXAS 3
LA ANGELS 9 SEATTLE 4
BOSTON 3 NY YANKEES 2 (10)
WASHINGTON 6 ATLANTA 2
PHILADELPHIA 7 LA DODGERS 3
PITTSBURGH 2 NY METS 1
CINCINNATI 4 ST. LOUIS 3
COLORADO 5 SAN DIEGO 4
SAN FRANCISCO 13 CHICAGO CUBS 3
MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL
OMAHA AT INDIANAPOLIS CANCELED
FT. WAYNE 1 QUAD CITIES 0
LANSING AT SOUTH BEND CANCELED
MERCURY 85 FEVER 82
MYSTICS 71 STORM 65
SUN 89 DREAM 77
ACES 93 SKY 80
LIBERTY 102 WINGS 93
BIRMINGHAM 38 HOUSTON 15
NEW ORLEANS 31 MEMPHIS 3
MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER
ST. LOUIS 1 LA 1
TOP NATIONAL HEADLINES
NOVAK DJOKOVIC WINS HIS 23RD GRAND SLAM TITLE BY BEATING CASPER RUUD IN THE FRENCH OPEN FINAL
PARIS (AP) Novak Djokovic made clear for years this was his goal. What drove him. What inspired him. The biggest titles from his sport’s biggest stages were Djokovic’s main aim and now he finally stands alone – ahead of Rafael Nadal, ahead of Roger Federer, ahead of every man who ever has swung a racket.
If Djokovic could wait this long to hold this record, he certainly could wait for the half-hour or so it took to straighten out his strokes in the French Open final. And so, after a bit of a shaky start in thick, humid air and under foreboding charcoal clouds Sunday, he imposed himself. The opponent at Court Philippe Chatrier, Casper Ruud, never really stood a serious chance after that.
Djokovic earned his men’s-record 23rd Grand Slam singles championship, breaking a tie with Nadal and moving three in front of the retired Federer, with a 7-6 (1), 6-3, 7-5 victory over Ruud that was not in doubt for most of its 3 hours, 13 minutes.
Djokovic, a 36-year-old from Serbia, puts this one alongside the French Open titles he earned in 2016 and 2021, making him the only man with at least three from each major event. He won his very first at the 2008 Australian Open and now possesses a total of 10 trophies from there, seven from Wimbledon and three from the U.S. Open.
“I knew that going into the tournament, going into the match, especially, today, that there is history on the line, but I try to focus my attention and my thoughts into preparing for this match in the best way possible to win, like any other match,” Djokovic said, wearing a red jacket with “23” stitched on the chest. “Of course I would lie if I say that I didn’t think about the finish line that is right there and that one more match is needed to win a trophy – a historic one.”
Also worth noting: He again is halfway to a calendar-year Grand Slam – winning all four majors in one season – something no man has achieved since Rod Laver in 1969. Djokovic came close to pulling off that feat in 2021, when he won the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon and made it all the way to the title match at the U.S. Open before losing to Daniil Medvedev.
Djokovic will resume that pursuit at Wimbledon, which begins on the grass of the All England Club on July 3.
“He has this software in his head that he can switch (on) when a Grand Slam comes,” said his coach, Goran Ivanisevic. “The day we arrived here, he was better, he was more motivated, he was more hungry. Every day, he played better and better.”
Entering the 2011 season, this is how the Slam count looked: 16 for Federer, nine for Nadal, one for Djokovic. The climb began with a trio that year and accelerated lately: He has clutched the trophy at 11 of the last 20 Slams, a remarkable run made even more so when considering that he did not participate in two majors during that span because he did not get vaccinated against COVID-19. Djokovic was deported in January 2021 before the Australian Open, and he was not allowed to fly to the United States ahead of last year’s U.S. Open under a rule that since has been lifted.
Getting to 23 not only sets the mark for men, but it also lets Djokovic equal Serena Williams, who wrapped up her career last year, for the most by anyone in the Open era, which began in 1968. Margaret Court won some of her all-time record of 24 Slam trophies in the amateur era.
At 20 days past his 36th birthday, Djokovic is the oldest singles champion at Roland Garros, considered the most grueling of the majors because of the lengthy, grinding points required by the red clay, which is slower than the grass or hard courts underfoot elsewhere.
Nadal’s 22nd major arrived in Paris a year ago, two days after he turned 36. He has been sidelined since January by a hip injury and had arthroscopic surgery on June 2.
Djokovic’s triumph on Sunday means he will return to No. 1 in the ATP rankings on Monday, replacing Carlos Alcaraz. Djokovic already has spent more weeks at the top spot than any player – man or woman – since the inception of computerized tennis rankings a half-century ago.
It was Djokovic who eliminated Alcaraz in the semifinals on Thursday, wearing him down over two thrilling sets until the 20-year-old Spaniard’s body cramped up badly. Alcaraz continued to play, but the scores of the last two sets of the four-set match told the story: 6-1, 6-1.
This was the third Slam final in the past five events for Ruud, a 24-year-old from Norway, but he is now 0-3. He lost to Nadal at the French Open a year ago and to Alcaraz at the U.S. Open last September.
Perhaps due to an awareness of all that was at stake, Djokovic, in his 34th major final, was the one who got off to a shaky start.
“Maybe feeling a bit nervous, little stressed,” Ruud said about his opponent.
But by the end the end of the first set, Djokovic was downright Djokovic-esque, as he was while taking 12 of the last 13 points of the match, most accompanied by spectators’ thunderous chants of his two-syllable nickname, “No-le! No-le! No-le!”
When one last miscue from Ruud landed out, Djokovic dropped onto his back with limbs spread wide.
“He kind of pressures you, in a way, to go for more risks, and that’s tough,” Ruud said. “He just stepped up, like he knows how to do.”
At first, though, Djokovic kept missing forehands – into the net, wide, long – then made a different sort of mistake, shanking an overhead from near the net way beyond the opposite baseline to get broken and trail 2-0.
For whatever reason, that shot always has been Djokovic’s “bête noire,” and he missed another overhead later in the set.
Soon, Ruud led 4-1, thanks in part to Djokovic’s troubles. By then, Djokovic accumulated 13 unforced errors, while Ruud made just four.
And then everything changed.
After finishing the first set with 18 unforced errors, Djokovic recalibrated himself, with merely 14 over the last two sets combined.
Then it was Ruud’s turn to flub an overhead, rocking back and depositing his into the net to end a 29-stroke point. Djokovic’s first service break made it 4-3, and he shook his right fist.
“A bit devastating,” Ruud called it.
They went to a tiebreaker, truly Djokovic’s dominion. When the import rises, along with the tension, he simply excels. Has forever, it seems.
“He sort of just goes into this mode,” Ruud said, “where he just becomes like a wall.”
During the first-to-7 segment, Djokovic contributed four winners and zero unforced errors.
That made his career mark in tiebreakers 308-162, a winning percentage of .655. In 2023, he is 15-4, including 6-0 in Paris – there were 55 points played across that half-dozen, and Djokovic’s sum total of unforced errors was zero.
Read that again: zero.
“He just steps up,” Ruud said. “Either he plays ridiculous defense or he plays beautiful winners. Just doesn’t do any mistakes.”
That set alone lasted 1 hour, 21 minutes, chock full of extended exchanges, the sort of points about which entire stories could be written. There were those that lasted 20, 25, 29 strokes. One was won by Ruud with the help of a back-to-the-net, between-the-legs shot. On another, Djokovic tumbled behind the baseline, smudging his red shirt, blue shorts and skin with the rust-colored clay.
Djokovic’s scrambling and stretching and bending and twisting on defense shows up on the scoreboard, for sure. But all of the long points also sap an opponent’s energy and will.
“It’s just annoying for me,” Ruud said, “but it’s very, very impressive.”
When Djokovic broke to lead 3-0 in the second set, his powers now on full display, he jabbed his right index finger against his temple over and over and over. He wheeled to face his nearby box in the stands, where the group included Ivanisevic, Djokovic’s wife and two children, his parents, his agent and even seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady.
The retired Brady is widely viewed as the NFL’s “Greatest Of All Time” – or “GOAT,” for short – and there has been a debate in the tennis world for quite some time over which among Djokovic, Nadal or Federer deserves that sobriquet.
If the barometer is Grand Slam championships, no one can argue against Djokovic’s status at the moment.
“I leave those kind of discussions of ‘who is the greatest?’ to someone else. I have, of course, huge faith and confidence and belief (in) myself and for everything that I am and who I am and what I am capable of doing,” Djokovic said at his news conference, the Coupes des Mousquetaires at arm’s length, and his son and daughter in the room. “So this trophy obviously is another confirmation of the quality of tennis that I’m still able to produce, I feel.”
NUGGETS TRY TO AVOID LETDOWN WITH 1 WIN TO GO FOR TEAM’S FIRST TITLE
DENVER (AP) — Everything from the history books to the way they’ve played through most of the postseason suggests the Denver Nuggets are on the verge of capturing their first NBA title in 47 years in the league.
The goal now for Denver is to not let up against the Miami Heat on Monday in what will be the first title-clinching opportunity in franchise history.
“My biggest concern going into any close-out game is human nature and fighting against that,” coach Michael Malone said Sunday after practice. “Most teams, when you’re up 3-1, they come up for air.”
Malone’s mission to keep the Nuggets thinking about hoops, not that trophy, could be helped by the fact that Miami’s only win in this series came a week ago in Denver. Also, the Heat have won seven road games during the postseason and are 2-0 when they’ve faced elimination — against Chicago in the play-in tournament and at Boston in Game 7 of the conference finals.
When the teams left Denver a week ago, the series was tied at 1 and Malone was grilling the Nuggets over effort after a 111-108 loss. Now that it’s 3-1, after two double-digit wins in Miami, it’s clear Nikola Jokic and Co., received the message.
On Sunday, the coach tapped into his own team’s recent history — the Nuggets overcame 3-1 deficits twice to win two series in the bubble in 2020 — to emphasize that this series isn’t over yet.
“We’ve been down 3-1. We’ve come back and won. We know anything is possible,” Malone said.
Nobody needed to convince the Heat of that.
Coach Erik Spoelstra called his team “a very stubborn and defiant group.” And when asked about the confidence the Heat players had in each other, even after putting themselves in what has historically been a near-impossible situation, Jimmy Butler said: “At an all-time high.”
Only one of 36 teams that have fallen behind 3-1 in the history of the finals has come back to hoist the Larry O’Brien Trophy. That was the 2016 Cavaliers, led by LeBron James, who trailed Golden State 3-1 before running off three straight, including the finale in Oakland in a game that goes down as one of the best in finals history.
The 1993 Suns and 1998 Jazz were down 3-1 and both managed to win Game 5 in Chicago. In both instances, Michael Jordan and the Bulls wrapped up the series in Game 6s on the road.
Among the few hints revealed about Xs and Os during these day-before news conferences was the effectiveness of Denver’s improving D around the 3-point line. Malone tore into his team after Miami made 17 3-pointers in Game 2, many of them unguarded after the Heat exploited confusion in the Nuggets’ switching defense.
Miami made 11 3s in Game 3 (when the Nuggets got triple-doubles from both Jokic and Jamal Murray) then only eight in Game 4 (when Aaron Gordon showed off the team’s depth by leading the team with 27 points).
“You have to have an aggressive mindset to be an effective defensive team,” Malone said. “But if you don’t have communication and discipline to go along with that, I think you’re going to be missing some really key components.”
Spoelstra said Denver’s shift in defense — having players fight through picks instead of switching on the perimeter — did, in fact, make a difference. Still, he insisted, it’s nothing Miami hasn’t seen a hundred times by now.
“That’s what the deal is,” Spoelstra said. “They are trying to take away certain things. We are trying to get to certain things. (It’s about) how can you get to it and how can you get to it on your terms.”
Spoelstra offered no clues regarding the recurring mystery in this series — whether 20-point-a-game scorer Tyler Herro might be returning from a broken hand.
“No new update,” Spoelstra said. “He’s doing another contact workout today. I probably won’t have anything for you tomorrow morning.”
Even with all their focus on unfinished business on the court, the Nuggets front office spent the weekend looking toward the future. ESPN reported an under-the-radar trade involving draft picks, in which Denver gave up a protected 2029 first-rounder in exchange for one of Oklahoma City’s first-rounders in 2024.
It was a subtle acknowledgment that the Nuggets, with Jokic, Murray, Gordon and Michael Porter Jr., all signed to big contracts, are looking at adding affordable talent sooner rather than later in an effort to keep their current championship window open.
Never in their history — which dates back to the founding of the ABA in 1967, then their move to the NBA nine years after that — has anyone on the Nuggets been caught thinking about multiple titles, let alone one.
“It’s just nice to see us be a big family and understand what it takes to win,” Murray said. “But yeah, it’s been a journey, a lot of fun. We have got more work to do.”
DOWN 3-1 IN NBA FINALS, HEAT LOOKING FOR INSPIRATION ANY PLACE THEY CAN FIND IT AGAINST NUGGETS
DENVER (AP) — The Miami Heat are searching for inspiration anywhere they can find it, including a tennis great’s record-setting win at the French Open and even their mascot’s quick rebound from a few punches to the face.
Jimmy Butler and the Heat might be down 3-1 in the NBA Finals against the Nuggets heading into Game 5 on Monday night in Denver, but they hardly consider themselves out.
“(Our belief) is at an all-time high,” said Butler, whose team is hoping to avoid watching the Nuggets celebrate their first NBA title. “It always has been all year. It always will be.”
From Day 1, the Heat have demonstrated their scrappiness. At first, it was in scrimmages against each other in training camp and later in earning the No. 8 seed into the postseason through a second chance in the play-in tournament. They knocked out Giannis Antetokounmpo and Milwaukee in the first round, then the New York Knicks, and rebounded in Game 7 in Boston after squandering 3-0 lead in the Eastern Conference finals.
Bottom line: They’re used to doing things the hard way.
“They love the ultimate challenges and the ultimate competition,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “The narratives are not going to decide it. Whatever the analytics are about 3-1, that ain’t going to decide it. It’s going to be decided between those four lines, whose game can get to whose game and ultimately win at the end. That’s what our guys love.”
A little motivation goes a long way, too. They drew encouragement from Serbian great Novak Djokovic earning his men’s-record 23rd Grand Slam singles championship Sunday with a victory over Casper Ruud.
The Heat are trying to channel the inner belief Djokovic displayed as they face another Serbian standout in Nuggets big man Nikola Jokic.
“(Djokovic) has talked about that mental side of the game,” said Spoelstra, who had no update on the availability of Tyler Herro, the sharpshooting guard sidelined by a hand injury. “We have a very stubborn and defiant group, and I think it’s good to have a little bit of defiance from time-to-time.”
For tenacity, the Heat don’t need to look any farther than their mascot, Burnie, who took two punches from former UFC champion Conor McGregor in a skit that led to the person in the costume seeking medical attention. Burnie could be back on the court, though, should the Heat force a Game 6 in Miami on Thursday.
“That’s the Miami Heat toughness that we’re talking about,” Spoesltra said of the mascot’s return. “He should have been allowed to take the first swing. We won’t reveal who that is, but yeah, he can take a punch and get back up.”
The Nuggets have the Heat down on the canvas, with no desire to let them back up. Still, they realize it won’t be easy.
Closeout games rarely are.
“Obviously, they’ve been doubted the whole year and they made it this far for a reason,” said Nuggets guard/forward Bruce Brown, whose team is 9-1 at home, with the lone blemish in Game 2 against Miami. “It’s going to be crazy. It’s going to be loud. The fans are going to be here probably early. But I can’t wait. I feed off their energy, so hopefully it’s going to be a big night.”
The Nuggets have history on their side. Of the 36 teams that have fallen behind 3-1 in the NBA Finals, the lone one to come back to win the title was the 2016 Cleveland team led by LeBron James against Golden State.
On that Cavaliers squad was Kevin Love, the 34-year-old Heat forward who’s been preaching that anything can happen.
“You really just have to take it one possession at a time,” Love said. “It’s just one possession, one quarter, half-to-half. Just get it done by any means necessary and figure the rest out.”
Butler couldn’t agree more. Just don’t mention moral victories and how much they’ve accomplished.
It’s ring or bust.
“All the odds, 8-seed — nah, none of that matters,” Butler said. “It’s just two really good basketball teams. One has to get one win, and one has to get three. Let’s just hope that the other that has to get three, gets three.”
KEVIN LOVE CELEBRATES BABY’S BIRTH, WILL PLAY IN GAME 5 OF NBA FINALS
Kevin Love missed Miami’s team flight to Denver for Game 5 of the NBA Finals. He had the best possible excuse.
Love and his wife, Kate Bock, became parents on Saturday. Love flew to Denver on his own, arriving in time for the team’s film session and media responsibilities on Sunday.
Game 5 is Monday, with the Nuggets leading the Heat 3-1 in the series. Love plans to play.
“Definitely need to get some rest now, get some sleep,” Love said in Denver during the media session Sunday afternoon. “Everybody’s happy and healthy.”
The Heat will try to become the second team in history to successfully rally from a 3-1 deficit in the NBA Finals. The other was the 2016 Cleveland Cavaliers — a team that Love also played for.
Even in this era of more scoring — the 114.7 points per game average by teams in the regular season was the highest in the NBA in 53 years — make no mistake: Defense still wins.
Especially in the NBA Finals.
Miami is 0-3 in these finals when scoring fewer than 100 points, continuing a trend. Teams that haven’t scored at least 100 points have now lost 14 consecutive games in the NBA Finals, including all four losses for Boston against Golden State last season.
The last team to score fewer than 100 and win a finals game was Cleveland, which beat Golden State 93-89 in Game 7 of the 2016 finals.
No player has ever led the NBA in total points, rebounds and assists in the same postseason.
Denver’s Nikola Jokic might be the first. That is, unless Miami’s Jimmy Butler outscores him by a mere two points throughout the rest of these NBA Finals.
Jokic has NBA-highs of 572 points, 253 rebounds and 186 assists in these playoffs. The total rebound lead is pretty much clinched; Miami’s Bam Adebayo is 38 rebounds behind Jokic. Same goes for the total assist lead; Nuggets teammate Jamal Murray is 52 behind Jokic.
But the points race is very much up for grabs. Butler has 571 points so far in the playoffs, just one back of Jokic. It should be noted that Butler’s scoring total doesn’t include 52 points from the play-in games; the NBA does not include those in official “postseason” totals.
LOT OF GAMES, PART 1
If he plays in Game 5 — and there’s no reason to think that he won’t — Miami’s Max Strus will be appearing in his 105th game of the season.
It’s been a long time since a player got into that many contests.
The last season in which somebody appeared in 105 games was 2009-10, when five members of the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics — Derek Fisher, Lamar Odom, Shannon Brown and Jordan Farmar for the Lakers, Rajon Rondo for the Celtics — all played in that many contests.
If the Heat-Nuggets series goes to Game 6 and Strus plays, he’ll be the first to appear in 106 games since Boston’s Paul Pierce in 2007-08.
And if this title series goes the distance and Strus gets to 107 games played, he’ll be the first to do that since Detroit’s Tayshaun Prince in 2004-05. Prince didn’t miss a single game that season; Strus has missed two games this season.
Game 5 will be a milestone game for Denver’s Bruce Brown and Miami’s Bam Adebayo as well. Both are set to play in their 100th game of the season.
The only other player who reached 100 games this year was Boston’s Derrick White, who got into 102.
LOT OF GAMES, PART 2
Game 5 will be Miami’s 107th game of the season, tying for the second-most in NBA history.
Boston played a record 108 games in 2007-08. New York played 107 games in 1993-94, and Detroit also played 107 in 2004-05.
Miami’s total is aided a bit by the two play-in games that the Heat had to endure just to get into the postseason. The previous franchise record for most games played in a season was 105, done during Heat championship years of 2005-06 and 2012-13.
Game 5 will be Denver’s 102nd game of the season, tying Boston for the second-most in the league.
Miami’s Jimmy Butler, on being down 3-1: “We didn’t come this far to stop playing now. No matter what the odds are, the analytics, when we get out there we’ve just got to compete. We’ve got to win one, and then we’ve got to win another one, and then we’ve got to win another one.”
Denver’s Nikola Jokic, on Toronto hiring fellow Serbian Darko Rajakovic as coach: “I think it’s a lot of respect for him and his work. I think he deserves it. He’s seen a lot, he’s been through a lot, and I think he deserves it. He’s going to do a great job there.”
— Denver is one point from tying its franchise record for most points in a season, including playoffs. The 1984-85 Nuggets scored 11,671; this Nuggets team has 11,670. (Miami has already broken its franchise record for points in a season. The Heat are up to 11,587 entering Game 5.)
— The league’s 30 teams are shooting a combined 78.3% from the foul line this season, including all games. It will be an NBA record, topping the 77.8% rate from two seasons ago. That 0.5% margin might not look like much, but the Heat and Nuggets would have to shoot a combined 0-for-344 from the line to fall below the record pace.
— A good omen for Miami: Road teams are 11-5 all-time in NBA Finals games played on June 12.
— A good omen for Denver: The Heat are 0-3 all-time in NBA Finals games played on June 12.
AS NUGGETS NEAR TITLE, MURRAY HAS BECOME ALL-AROUND POINT GUARD MALONE LONG ENVISIONED
DENVER (AP) — Even back when Jamal Murray was racking up 50-point games in the NBA bubble, Denver coach Michael Malone marveled as much over his Canadian point guard’s pinpoint passes as his magnificent moves and fadeaway baskets.
“Well, I’ve long said that Jamal is not just a scorer,” declared Malone, who early on even had to convince Murray himself. “That’s been my challenge to him.”
Murray averaged 3.4 assists in his first season as Denver’s starting point guard in 2017-18. That number jumped to 4.8 the next season and stayed there for two more years.
After missing the 2021-22 season while recovering from knee surgery, Murray averaged a career-high 6.2 assists in his return to the lineup this season.
That number has climbed to 7.1 in the playoffs, thanks to the 10, 10, 10 and 12 assists Murray has posted against the Heat in becoming the first player in history to reach double-digit assist totals in each of his first four games in the NBA Finals.
Murray’s whopping 42 assists are one more than Nikola Jokic has in this series, which Denver leads 3-1 and can close out Monday night at Ball Arena, securing the first championship in franchise history.
Just as impressive as Murray’s dozen assists in Game 4 were his zero turnovers against Miami’s relentless double-team pressure.
“That’s a point god right there,” Nuggets forward Aaron Gordon said. “Twelve assists, no turnovers, not forcing, hitting big shots, timely shots, and really just being a floor general out there, being steady, rock solid, even when they’re trapping, giving him different looks.
“He’s making the right play, and that’s what we need from him night in and night out.”
Never had Murray been a better orchestrator of Malone’s offense.
“It just felt like they were blitzing every pick-and-roll, just basically trying to limit my shot attempts, and I just wasn’t fighting it,” Murray said after that game. “We’ve got a squad. We’ve got a lot of guys that can come and impact the game, a lot of guys playing with confidence, so I’m not going to fight it. Make an easy pass, and that’s why I’ve got four other guys out there.
“You don’t have to fight it. I’m not on a team where I’ve got to force it or hold the ball too long. I’ll gladly give up if we’re winning games.”
Malone may have said it a lot, but he couldn’t have said it better.
Together, Murray and Jokic are averaging a combined 53.4 points, 19.8 rebounds and 20.8 assists in the finals, making them an almost impossible pick-and-roll duo to decipher, much less defuse.
“That should be an affront to him, that people just look at him as a scorer,” Malone said Sunday, “because ever since he became a starting point guard, he is charged with the responsibility of running this team, making every one of his teammates better, on top of being an aggressive scorer looking for his shot, on top of being a rebounder at his size and physicality, as well as being an engaged defender.”
And while Jokic’s popularity has exploded this summer, the Nuggets are hoping Murray will finally get his due as a distributor.
“The challenge is always for you to be an All-Star and All-NBA player, and for you to be the guy that is, along with Nikola, putting this team on your back, it requires commitment and effort all across the board,” Malone said.
“I know that he’s capable of making his teammates better. He’s shown that in the past. I think it’s just constantly striving to become the best version of yourself. Jamal is really committed to trying to be the best version. That’s allowing him to be a historical player and allowing him to have that in his first four finals games is just incredible.”
Murray’s offensive game hasn’t suffered from his increased assist totals, either. He’s averaging 26.7 points in these playoffs, up from his 20-point average in the regular season as he worked his way back from a knee injury that sidelined him for the Nuggets’ two previous playoff appearances.
“I’m just happy to be in this position, knowing that everything I did to rehab was solid,” Murray said.
MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL
MLB ROUNDUP: ANDREW MCCUTCHEN GETS 2,000TH, PIRATES WIN
Tucupita Marcano hit a go-ahead RBI single in the fourth inning and Andrew McCutchen reached 2,000 career hits as the Pittsburgh Pirates topped the visiting New York Mets 2-1 on Sunday.
Jack Suwinski added a solo homer for the Pirates, who entered play having lost three of their last four games. They also moved one game ahead of Milwaukee for first place in the National League Central.
Pittsburgh starter Mitch Keller (8-2) pitched seven innings, allowing one run and a season-low two hits, with seven strikeouts and two walks. He has won five of his past seven starts. David Bednar pitched the ninth for his 14th save.
Jeff McNeil hit a solo homer for the Mets, who have lost eight of their past nine games. Starter Carlos Carrasco (2-3) gave up two runs and six hits in 4 2/3 innings, with one strikeout and three walks.
Marlins 6, White Sox 5
Jorge Soler homered twice and Bryan De La Cruz delivered a clutch two-out double to drive in the go-ahead runs as Miami rallied for a three-run ninth inning to beat host Chicago.
The White Sox had led comfortably 5-1 after Luis Robert Jr. hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh. But the Marlins chipped away with solo homers from Soler and Garrett Cooper in the eighth to cut the lead to 5-3.
Bryan Hoeing (1-1) was credited with the win in relief, while A.J. Puk notched his seventh save with a 1-2-3 ninth. Kendall Graveman (1-3), who surrendered all three Miami runs in the ninth, took the loss.
Athletics 8, Brewers 6
Seth Brown hit a game-altering three-run homer in the fourth inning and Brent Rooker followed with a solo shot as Oakland ran its winning streak to five games by beating host Milwaukee.
Esteury Ruiz doubled in two important insurance runs in the ninth as Oakland swept the three-game series, their first sweep of the season and their first five-game winning streak since 2021. Left-hander JP Sears (1-3) picked up his first win since last Sept. 20. In five innings, he allowed two runs on six hits and a hit batter and struck out five.
Trailing 8-3 with two outs and nobody on base in the ninth, the Brewers got a hit and three walks against Oakland closer Trevor May. Left-hander Sam Long came on to give up a bloop single for two runs to Abraham Toro, but he got Blake Perkins on a slow grounder for his second save of the season.
Rockies 5, Padres 4
Nolan Jones hit a walk-off home run into the second deck in the bottom of the ninth inning, and Colorado beat San Diego after a rain delay in Denver.
Coco Montes homered among his two hits in his major league debut, and Ezequiel Tovar and Ryan McMahon also went deep for Colorado. Jake Cronenworth homered and Fernando Tatis Jr. had two hits for San Diego, which got a strong start from Blake Snell (one run allowed, 12 strikeouts in seven innings).
The Rockies trailed 4-3 entering the ninth, and with a heavy rain falling McMahon led off with his 10th homer, a shot off Tom Cosgrove. The game then went into am 85-minute delay. After play resumed ,Brent Honeywell (2-4) got the first two batters before Jones smacked a 472-foot homer. It was his fourth of the season.
Red Sox 3, Yankees 2 (10 innings)
Enrique Hernandez hit the tiebreaking RBI single with one out in the 10th inning as Boston rallied for a victory over New York in the Bronx.
After Kenley Jansen retired the Yankees in order in the ninth, Hernandez scorched a single through the drawn-in infield to left field off Ron Marinaccio (2-3) to score automatic runner Adam Duvall, who ran for Justin Turner and took third on a grounder by Triston Casas ahead of the tiebreaking hit.
Hernandez also factored in Boston tying the game in the eighth when he opened the inning with a single. He eventually came around to score on a slow grounder. In the 10th, Chris Martin stranded automatic runner DJ LeMahieu at third by striking out rookie Anthony Volpe to secure his first save with Boston.
Angels 9, Mariners 4
Zach Neto homered twice, Shohei Ohtani had three hits and Los Angeles beat Seattle in the rubber game of their three-game series in Anaheim, Calif.
Matt Thaiss contributed two hits and three RBIs to an Angels offense that scored in five of their eight innings and totaled 13 hits. Los Angeles leadoff hitter Taylor Ward hit the second pitch of the game from Mariners starter Logan Gilbert into the left-field bullpen for a home run. Angels starter Griffin Canning (5-2) gave up four runs (three earned) on seven hits in five innings. He struck out seven and did not walk a batter.
The Mariners got a two-run homer from Teoscar Hernandez and a solo shot from Mike Ford. Gilbert gave up seven runs (six earned) on eight hits, struck out two and didn’t issue a walk in three-plus innings.
Diamondbacks 7, Tigers 5
Corbin Carroll had three hits and scored twice, including the go-ahead run during a four-run, ninth-inning rally, to lift visiting Arizona over reeling Detroit.
Christian Walker doubled twice, scored a run and knocked in another for the Diamondbacks, who have won five straight and 11 of 13. Kevin Ginkel (3-0) pitched two innings of scoreless relief for the win, and Scott McGough collected his second save. Zach McKinstry hit a two-run homer for the Tigers, who have lost nine in a row.
Arizona’s Emmanuel Rivera singled with one out in the ninth against Jason Foley (2-2), and Ketel Marte drew a walk. Carroll then ripped a single to bring in Rivera and trim the deficit to 5-4. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. flied out before Walker smacked a 1-2 pitch for a double. Marte scored on the double and Carroll came home when left fielder Kerry Carpenter bobbled the ball. Geraldo Perdomo then knocked in Walker with a single.
Guardians 5, Astros 0
Shane Bieber tossed seven shutout innings, Andres Gimenez and Josh Bell each homered and Cleveland beat visiting Houston to take the rubber match of the series.
Bieber (5-3) matched a season high with nine strikeouts and allowed three hits with one walk. Cleveland outhit the Astros 11-4 and won for the sixth time in its last eight games.
The Guardians claimed an early lead when Bell doubled off Brandon Bielak (3-3) to begin the second inning and Gimenez followed with a two-run homer to right-center field. Bell scored three runs and had three hits, including a leadoff homer in the fourth inning. The 426-foot blast to center field was Bell’s fifth of the season.
Nationals 6, Braves 2
Jeimer Candelario and Dominic Smith both homered during a five-run sixth inning, and Washington went on to defeat host Atlanta and end its season-long six-game losing streak.
Washington snapped Atlanta’s seven-game winning streak and salvaged a game in their three-game set. The Braves grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first inning on Matt Olson’s 18th homer, a two-run shot that traveled 421 feet and landed on top of the Chop House restaurant in right field.
Atlanta’s Bryce Elder (4-1) entered the game as the league’s ERA leader, but he allowed a season-high five runs on eight hits, with one strikeout and one walk. Elder saw his ERA rise from 2.26 to 2.69. Washington starter Trevor Williams (3-4) worked five innings and allowed two runs on seven hits, one walk and six strikeouts.
Phillies 7, Dodgers 3
Nick Castellanos homered, singled and drove in two runs, Bryson Stott hit a triple, single and knocked in two runs and host Philadelphia defeated Los Angeles.
Trea Turner ripped three hits and scored three runs, while Bryce Harper added two hits, two walks and an RBI. Phillies starter Taijuan Walker (6-3) tossed five shutout innings and allowed two hits with five strikeouts and two walks.
Freddie Freeman hit a home run and singled for the Dodgers. Jason Heyward also homered as Los Angeles lost for the sixth time in eight games. The Dodgers threw a bullpen game, and Caleb Ferguson (3-3) gave up three hits and one run in the first inning.
Orioles 11, Royals 3
Gunnar Henderson went 3-for-5 with a three-run home run and two runs as host Baltimore completed a three-game sweep of Kansas City.
Ramon Urias went 4-for-5 with two doubles, two RBIs and two runs, while Ryan O’Hearn went 3-for-3 with a solo homer and four runs for Baltimore, which has won four straight games. Kyle Gibson (8-3) allowed three runs on seven hits with four strikeouts and no walks over 6 1/3 innings.
Salvador Perez went 2-for-4 with a two-run homer, a double and two runs for the Royals, who have dropped nine of their past 10 games, including six straight. Mike Mayers (1-2), who followed opener Carlos Hernandez, took the loss. He gave up four runs on seven hits with a strikeout and three walks in five innings.
Rays 7, Rangers 3
Wander Franco ripped a three-run homer and Shane McClanahan became the first pitcher in the majors to reach 10 wins as Tampa Bay beat Texas in the rubber match of a three-game series in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Franco went 2-for-4 while Harold Ramirez added three hits and an RBI for the Rays, who have won eight of their last nine. McClanahan (10-1) recorded his 10th quality start of the season by allowing three runs on four hits in seven innings. He walked one and struck out five.
Texas struck for all three of its runs in the third, getting a solo shot from Robbie Grossman before Marcus Semien added an RBI double and Corey Seager followed with a run-scoring single. But McClanahan settled down from there, tossing four perfect frames to close his outing.
Blue Jays 7, Twins 6
Cavan Biggio hit the go-ahead three-run home run in the eighth inning and Toronto defeated visiting Minnesota.
Matt Chapman hit a two-run homer for the Blue Jays, who overcame a 6-1 deficit to salvage the final game of the three-game series after dropping the first two. Toronto right-hander Kevin Gausman allowed six runs, seven hits and four walks in 4 2/3 innings before the bullpen locked down the victory.
Minnesota right-hander Louie Varland allowed four runs, six hits and two walks in 4 2/3 innings. He struck out six. Donovan Solano hit a solo shot for Minnesota, which scored four runs in the first inning. Alex Kirilloff hit an RBI double to right, Trevor Larnach hit a two-run single off the right-field wall and Royce Lewis drove in a run on an infield hit.
Reds 4, Cardinals 3
Dynamic rookie Elly De La Cruz reached base four times, scored twice and drove in a run as resurgent Cincinnati defeated host St. Louis.
De La Cruz went 2-for-3 with two walks and a stolen base for the Reds, who won for the fifth time in their last seven games. Ian Gibaut (6-1) recorded five outs to earn the victory and Alexis Diaz pitched the ninth inning to earn his 15th save.
Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright allowed three runs on eight hits in 5 2/3 innings. Jordan Hicks (1-4) took the loss after giving up a run in one inning. Nolan Arenado had an RBI triple for St. Louis.
Giants 13, Cubs 3
Joc Pederson and Thairo Estrada each homered twice, shortstop Brandon Crawford made his major league pitching debut and San Francisco rebounded from a near-no-hit defeat by shellacking visiting Chicago.
The Giants erupted for 15 hits, seven for extra bases, and their fourth-most runs of the year to salvage one win in the three-game set. Pederson finished 4-for-4 with four RBIs and four runs for the Giants, while Estrada scored three times and drove in four runs. Blake Sabol chipped in with a pair of RBI singles and Michael Conforto added a two-run single.
Nico Hoerner had two hits for the Cubs, who completed a 4-6 California swing. In the ninth they faced Crawford, who allowed a walk and a single to the first two batters he faced before getting a fielder’s choice, flyout and popout in foul territory.
BILLS’ VON MILLER SAYS ‘KNEE IS ALL HEALED UP’ FROM ACL INJURY
When the Buffalo Bills open training camp in late July, star pass rusher Von Miller expects to take the field, although it would be only about eight months after suffering a torn right ACL.
The two-time Super Bowl winner said he has “good information from my doctor and my knee is all healed up. It’s all about me and how confident I can be (over) the next three months,” he told the Buffalo News.
Miller sustained the injury last Nov. 24 against the Detroit Lions. He said earlier this month that he expects to play in the season opener on Sept. 11 against the New York Jets and offseason acquisition Aaron Rodgers.
Should Miller have to begin the season on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list, he would not be eligible to return until Week 5 against Jacksonville.
Miller recorded eight sacks and 21 tackles while forcing one fumble in 11 games (all starts) last season, his first after signing a six-year, $120 million contract.
The eight-time Pro Bowl selection and three-time All-Pro has totaled 123.5 sacks, 561 tackles, 27 forced fumbles and nine fumble recoveries in 161 career games (all starts) with the Denver Broncos, Los Angeles Rams and Bills.
He was part of Super Bowl-winning teams in both Denver and Los Angeles.
RB SAQUON BARKLEY UNSURE DEAL GETS DONE WITH GIANTS
Two-time Pro Bowl running back Saquon Barkley wasn’t willing to offer an opinion Sunday about his future with the New York Giants, who have designated him with a franchise tag this offseason.
Barkley, who has 4,249 rushing yards, 1,820 receiving yards and 37 total touchdowns over five seasons, has not signed the franchise tag, allowing for the possibility that he does not play this season.
Barkley wants a long-term contract, and the deadline for teams to sign tagged players to longer deals is July 17. He said the idea of skipping the season “comes up in conversation if something doesn’t get done” by the deadline.
“At the end of the day, it’s all about respect,” Barkley said. “That is really what it is.”
A more immediate consequence of not being under contract is that Barkley won’t be attending the team’s mandatory minicamp on Tuesday and Wednesday.
“I think they’re open to talking. I’m open to talking,” Barkley said. “If you really break it down and look at it as a whole, there is no rush. There is still time on the table to get to July 17. July 17 is not tomorrow. It’s not in a week.
“Maybe that is the naive way to look at it, I could be completely wrong. … Hopefully. I trust in the Giants that we could get something done.”
Multiple media outlets reported earlier this year that Barkley, the second overall pick in the 2018 draft, turned down multi-year offers starting at $12.5 million per season during last season, then incrementally higher offers of $13 million and later $13 million plus incentives that could be worth another $1 million.
The New York Daily News has reported that Barkley wants $16 million per season, similar to what 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey earns.
GOLDEN KNIGHTS TRY NOT TO THINK OF STANLEY CUP RETURNING TO VEGAS ON VERGE OF TITLE
Chandler Stephenson knows what this is like.
Five years ago, he and his Washington Capitals teammates went into Las Vegas and won the Stanley Cup, beating the Golden Knights in Game 5 of the final. Now he’s on the Golden Knights, who leave Florida on the verge of winning their first championship.
“It’s a different game than the other ones: There’s a lot more emotion, a lot more everything,” Stephenson said. “It’s one win away from a lot of dreams for a lot of guys.”
A dream they’re trying not to think about — at least not yet.
Vegas can hoist the Stanley Cup as soon as Tuesday by beating the Panthers on home ice. But the immediate task for players and coaches is not to dwell on how close they are.
Veteran defenseman Alex Pietrangelo, who captained the St. Louis Blues to their first title in franchise history four years ago, said it’s possible to overthink things in this situation.
His approach now?
“Try and get your brain away from it,” Pietrangelo said. “Get some rest, spend some time with our families and get ready to go back to work.”
The work so far has been nearly immaculate. Vegas has clearly been the better team in the final against Florida, and absent a late comeback in Game 3 might have been flying home Sunday with the Cup.
But the job isn’t done yet, and coach Bruce Cassidy knows all too well what it’s like to be one win away. His Boston Bruins lost to Pietrangelo’s Blues in seven games in 2019, so he’s not satisfied with getting to this point, no matter how well his team has played thus far.
“We’ll hit the ice and we’ll work on some things we feel we can do better from the previous four games and keep our rhythm up and get our touches in and heart rate up, etc., and prepare for the last one,” Cassidy said Sunday. “I think our preparation this time will be similar to what we’ve done with every other game. We know it’s a close-out game. I don’t have to tell the players that. They know what’s at stake.”
At stake, the dream Stephenson and a few of his teammates have lived out. Pietrangelo, Ivan Barbashev, Alec Martinez and backup goaltender Jonathan Quick have lifted the Cup before, while the rest of their teammates who have played this postseason have not.
Many have been on long runs — the six original Knights players who lost to Stephenson and the Capitals in 2018 — plus guys such as captain Mark Stone, who reached Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final in 2017 with Ottawa. Stone does not expect to alter his approach after it has worked so well so far.
“We understand the magnitude of the process, but we’re going to go home and take the game as if it’s one game for us,” Stone said after winning Game 4 Saturday. “We ain’t changing anything. We’ll make minor adjustments to our game, for sure, but we want to continue to play our brand of hockey and be ready to go.”
The Panthers have to do something to change the tide of the series. They scored twice to cut into a three-goal deficit in Game 4, but their comeback bid fell short to put them on the brink of elimination.
Florida erased a 3-1 series deficit in the first round against Boston, which set NHL records for the most wins and points in a regular season. That experience becomes valuable now as the Panthers try to become the first team to win the final after falling behind 3-1 since 1942.
“You draw on your routine from the last time, your last experience with it,” coach Paul Maurice said. “There is in some ways an advantage to the team at times that’s down 3-1 in terms of the freedom mentally that it can play with. At the same time, you’re down 3-1 for a reason, so clearly the other team has been good. But we have some experience with this, and we’ll draw on it.”
The Golden Knights also have recent experience to draw from. They led Dallas 3-0 in the West final and got pushed to a Game 6 before finishing off the Stars with their best performance of the season.
Replicating that would mean a Stanley Cup celebration on The Las Vegas Strip — one that everyone around the team is attempting not to dwell on.
“We do have to block some of that out,” Cassidy said. “Stay in the moment and prepare like we have every other game and then once you’re able to get it done, then you’re able to have your fun with the fanbase and everyone else around.”
STATUS OF TKACHUK IS BIGGEST QUESTION FACING PANTHERS DOWN 3-1 IN STANLEY CUP FINAL
(AP) — Matthew Tkachuk disappeared from Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final for more than 10 minutes. He didn’t want to say what caused the absence or what it would take to sit out.
“Obviously, you want to be out there playing,” Tkachuk said.
The biggest question facing the Florida Panthers on the brink of elimination is whether they’ll have Tkachuk in Game 5 on Tuesday against the Vegas Golden Knights, who are looking to hoist the Stanley Cup on home ice. Tkachuk missed more than 10 minutes of the third period Saturday night before returning for the conclusion of a comeback bid that fell short.
Asked Sunday about the status of Tkachuk and other banged-up players, including winger Anthony Duclair, coach Paul Maurice said they’d get treatment before flying and then again after landing in Las Vegas.
Tkachuk was clearly not 100% late in Game 4, when in the aftermath of a loss that put Florida down 3-1 in the series he didn’t want to divulge when he was injured. But it would have taken a lot to keep Tkachuk – Florida’s emotional leader and top playoff scorer – off the ice.
“Matthew’s been a grinder his whole life, and he was again,” Maurice said. “We were just looking and hoping to get into a situation where he could use what he had to give us.”
Looking to become the first team to climb out of a 3-1 hole in the final since before World War II ended, the Panthers could use something out of Tkachuk. The key is trying to figure out how the 25-year-old can help.
“(It is) Just situational right,” Maurice said. “There are players that will play just power play. There are guys that will stay on for offensive-zone draws. There’s different styles of center and winger that you can play with to kind of put them in a position to be good at what they can be good at.”
Tkachuk, who’s tied for the playoff lead in points with 24, refused to say when he was injured. He skated more than three minutes after returning to Game 4 and still sounds defiant about getting on the ice no matter what’s bothering him.
“Obviously, you want to be out there playing,” he said. “Just was able to go out there at the end and tried to make some magic happen late.”
Tkachuk and the Panthers were unable to make that magic happen, forcing them into a win-or-go-home situation in Game 5 and beyond. They erased the same deficit against Boston in the first round, but this looks like more of an uphill climb given the grind and attrition they’ve gone through to get to this point.
“I don’t know what is going to come from this,” Tkachuk said. “I mean, we’re excited that we have an opportunity that we’re comfortable in, like we had in the Boston series, so you never know.”
WAKE FOREST, VIRGINIA WIN SUPER REGIONALS TO JOIN FLORIDA, TCU IN COLLEGE WORLD SERIES FIELD
(AP) — Wake Forest is headed to the College World Series for the first time since it won the national championship in 1955, and the Demon Deacons will bring the hottest offense in the country.
Virginia also clinched a spot in the CWS on Sunday, and the two Atlantic Coast Conference clubs join Florida and TCU in the eight-team field that begins play Friday in Omaha, Nebraska.
Oral Roberts visited Oregon in the third game of their best-of-three super regional Sunday night. Texas was at Stanford and Kentucky at LSU in Game 2s. The Tennessee-Southern Mississippi matchup is tied at a game apiece and will be decided Monday.
Wake Forest is the first No. 1 national seed to make it to the CWS since 2018. The Deacons tied the NCAA Tournament record with nine home runs in their super regional-clinching 22-5 win over Alabama, and they are the first team since LSU in 1997 to have won four tournament games by double digits.
“We’ve had high expectations all year – No. 2 ranked, No. 1 ranked,” coach Tom Walter said. “The higher the expectations got, the more these guys showed up.”
Projected first-round draft pick Brock Wilken, who had no homers in the Deacons’ first four tournament games, went deep three times. Nick Kurtz and Wilken hit back-to-back homers in the first inning, and Wilken connected again for the first of three third-inning homers that put Wake Forest up 10-3. Wilken’s homer in the ninth gave him 30 for the season and an ACC-record 70 in his career.
Virginia beat Duke 12-2 to earn its sixth trip to the CWS, all since 2009 under coach Brian O’Connor. The Cavaliers outscored their ACC rival 26-6 in the second and third games. It was the fourth time Virginia has come back to win a super regional after losing the opening game.
The Cavaliers took control of Game 3 with a five-run second inning. Griff O’Ferrall went 4 for 5, Kyle Teel drove in four runs and Brian Edgington struck out a season-high 11 in the second complete game of his career.
Chase Dollander pitched eight strong innings as Tennessee won 8-4 at Southern Miss to force a Game 3 on Monday. Blake Burke’s 479-foot homer to right highlighted a six-run fourth inning that gave the Volunteers the lead.
Wake Forest will play Texas or No. 8 Stanford in its CWS opener, and No. 7 Virginia will be matched against No. 2 Florida.
Walter said making it to Omaha is a culmination of hard work that started with former athletic director Ron Wellman’s vision for the program and willingness to spend the money required to build a state-of-the-art baseball training facility that includes a pitching lab. Walter also noted the support of former associate AD Mike Buddie and current AD John Currie, among others.
“It’s a big day for us,” Walter said. “We’re going to celebrate this one for 36 hours and then we’re going to get back to work because we’ve got even bigger goals.”
BELOVED ESPN DIRECTOR, 42, DIES AT NCAA BASEBALL TOURNAMENT
An ESPN director died Saturday after suffering a medical emergency while working the NCAA Baseball Super Regional tournament in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, the outlet announced Sunday.
Kyle Brown, 42, was a 16-year employee at the network.
ESPN’s statement described the father of four as a “deeply admired” and “highly accomplished” member of their production team who had captured two Sports Emmy Awards during his career.
Brown, who played baseball as a pitcher at Ohio State, worked in a number of sports, including baseball, basketball, Monday Night Football and college football, the statement said.
Brown is survived by wife Megan; their four children, 14-year-old Makayla, 11-year-old Carson, 9-year-old Camden, and 6-year-old Madyn, and a beloved dog Rookie.
“He will be truly missed,” the statement also said, adding the network’s appreciation and understanding during a difficult time for their team.
Sunday’s NCAA baseball coverage featured a tribute to Kyle Brown from ESPN reporter Kris Budden.
MARTIN TRUEX JR. SURGES TO 4TH CAREER SONOMA RACEWAY VICTORY
SONOMA, Calif. (AP) — Martin Truex Jr. won at Sonoma Raceway for the fourth time in his career Sunday, passing Chase Elliott for the lead after a final-stage restart and holding off Kyle Busch for his second NASCAR Cup Series victory of the season.
The 42-year-old Truex confidently drove his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota to another victory on the hilly road course at the base of Northern California wine country, where he also won in 2013, 2018 and 2019. Only Jeff Gordon has more victories (five) at Sonoma than Truex, who earned the 33rd win of his Cup career and his second in the last six races after winning at Dover.
Elliott finished fifth in his return from a one-race suspension for deliberately wrecking Hamlin at Charlotte. Elliott, who has missed seven races this season, twice held the lead in the final stage before Truex blew past him on fresher tires. Truex has seven top-10 finishes in his last nine races.
“Hats off to my team,” said Truex, who finished 26th at Sonoma last year. “To be so bad last year, and to come back and do that with basically the same car, is incredible. … My team is doing everything right.”
Joey Logano was third behind Busch, with Chris Buescher in fourth.
Truex and Busch, who was 2.979 seconds behind in his Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet, had the 11th 1-2 finish of their long Cup careers.
“Not too bad,” said Busch, who won last week’s Cup race outside St. Louis. “Just wish we had a little bit more. I was just trying to keep him honest there at the end.”
Truex appeared to be cruising toward victory before pole-sitter Denny Hamlin spun after he made contact with the wall with 19 laps to go. Hamlin’s car slid sideways across the start-finish line.
Elliott led coming out of the caution with 15 laps left, but Truex surged up on fresh tires and reclaimed the lead for good.
“This is why you go through years like you did last year,” Truex said. “You just never give up and keep going.”
Tyler Reddick started second in his bid to win for the fourth time in the Cup Series’ last six road course races, but the Northern California-born driver steadily slipped down the standings. He got back up to second in the final stage before his pit stop, but he blew a tire with 14 laps left.
Defending champion Daniel Suárez also struggled to make headway after starting in ninth, ultimately finishing 22nd.
Hamlin led the first 32 laps from the pole before Truex passed him in the second stage. The race was caution-free until the 49th lap, when Busch took the lead by not pitting before Truex reclaimed it on fresh tires with 42 laps to go.
After a one-week break, the Cup Series begins its 10-race sprint to the playoffs June 25 at Nashville Superspeedway.
NICK TAYLOR WINS CANADIAN OPEN, FIRST CANADIAN CHAMPION SINCE 1954
TORONTO (AP) Nick Taylor tossed his putter into the air and jumped into the arms of caddie Dave Markle after he made a 72-foot eagle putt to become the first Canadian in 69 years to win his national open, and he doesn’t remember any of it.
“I blacked out when that ball went in with Dave. So I’m curious to watch that, what we did,” Taylor said.
Few who witnessed it will ever forget.
Taylor delivered a signature moment in Canadian sports when his uphill, left-to-right-breaking putt – the longest made putt of his PGA Tour career – hit the flagstick and dropped on the fourth hole of a playoff against Tommy Fleetwood for the RBC Canadian Open title.
“It’s a tournament that we’ve circled on our calendar since probably junior golf,” Taylor said. “To kind of break that curse, if you want to call it, is – I’m pretty speechless. I don’t think it’s going to sink in for quite some time what happened today.”
Fellow Canadian players Mike Weir, Corey Conners and Adam Hadwin were among those who ran onto the green to congratulate him. Hadwin, Taylor’s close friend, was tackled by a security guard while spraying champagne from a bottle.
The last player from Canada to win the Canadian Open was Pat Fletcher in 1954 at Point Grey in Vancouver. Fletcher was born in England; Carl Keffer had been the only Canadian-born champion, winning in 1909 and 1914. Weir lost a playoff to Vijay Singh in 2004.
“I’ve looked up to Mike Weir and watched him play golf for so long, and for him to be there was special,” Taylor said.
With galleries cheering his every move and even serenading him with “O Canada” on one tee box, Taylor curled in an 11-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to finish at 17-under 271 at Oakdale, walking backwards with his fist raised as the ball dropped into the cup. He shot a 6-under 66 on Sunday.
“It was the most incredible atmosphere I’ve ever been a part of and it’s not even close. I think even walking the first tee today, walking to the first green, there’s ovations on every single tee and green,” Taylor said. “When Tommy would miss and they would cheer, I kind of felt bad for him. But I knew just how pumped they were and they were trying to put every ounce of energy into it to help me pull it through.”
Fleetwood needed a birdie on the reachable par 5 to win in regulation, but he missed his tee shot right, laid up into an awkward lie in the right rough and two-putted for par to force the playoff in rainy conditions.
The players traded birdies on their first time playing No. 18 in the playoff. They both parred 18 and the par-3 ninth before heading back to 18.
Taylor’s tee shot found a divot in the fairway, but he hit his second shot 221 yards to the front of the green, while Fleetwood laid up after his drive found a fairway bunker. Fleetwood hit his third shot to 12 feet, but didn’t need to putt after Taylor’s eagle putt hit the flagstick and dropped.
Taylor expected Fleetwood to make his putt and focused on getting his lengthy try to the hole.
“The speed is all I was thinking about,” Taylor said. “For that to drop is – it was a huge surprise but an amazing one.”
Fans swarmed toward the green, and Hadwin – who like Taylor grew up in Abbotsford, British Columbia – got leveled amid the chaos. He said had so much adrenaline that the tackle didn’t faze him.
“It’s incredible. I mean, what do you say to one of the greatest moments of Canadian golf history?” Hadwin said. “I think we all predicted that this was going to happen.
“I’m not sure that any one of us predicted a 72-foot eagle putt … to get it done, but what a way to go.”
The 35-year-old Taylor, who was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, won for the third time on the PGA Tour. He shot 75 in Thursday’s opening round but rallied with a 67 on Friday to make the cut, then shot 63 on Saturday to begin the final round three shots behind leader C.T. Pan.
“I was on the 7th hole, I remember, the first day, my 16th hole, with 10 feet for par. And made that. And birdied 8 and parred the last to kind of like somewhat be in the cut sight,” Taylor said. “So to be standing there and then sitting here today is pretty remarkable, to be honest.”
Taylor is the fourth Canadian to win on tour this season, joining Conners, Mackenzie Hughes and Adam Svensson.
Two-time defending champion Rory McIlroy, two shots back of Pan entering the final round, closed with a 72 and finished in a tie for ninth, five shots back.
Fleetwood, a two-time Ryder Cup player from England and a six-time winner on the European tour, remains winless on the PGA Tour.
“I played great today, even though I missed some chances, if you like, on those playoff holes,” Fleetwood said. “Yeah, it was close. I just have to take the positives from it and start practicing tomorrow. I got a major next week. So can’t dwell on it too much.”
Tyrrell Hatton (64), Aaron Rai (69) and Pan (70) finished one shot out of the playoff.
ASHLEIGH BUHAI CLOSES WITH 65 TO WIN SHOPRITE LPGA CLASSIC
GALLOWAY, N.J. (AP) — As she entered her 30s, Ashleigh Buhai was frustrated with consistently contending but never winning on the LPGA Tour. There was nothing wrong with her swing, so she began working with a mental coach.
Now at the cusp of 35 on a tour dominated by players a decade or more younger, the South African is playing the best golf of her career.
Buhai seized the lead early with four birdies in her first five holes, got up and down for one last birdie for a 6-under 65 and held off Hyo Joo Kim for a one-shot victory in the ShopRite LPGA Classic on Sunday.
“I was touted to be — I had a really good amateur career and was going to be the next best thing out of South Africa, but that’s — golf is just not like that all the time,” Buhai said. “I kept plugging away. I have a good support system around me, which I think is the most important thing.”
It was the fourth win worldwide over the past 10 months for Buhai, who finished at 14-under 199 in the 54-hole event on the Bay Course at Seaview. Buhai won the Women’s British Open last August for her first major and first LPGA Tour win, and since has added titles in Australia and South Africa. She entered the week ranked 16th in the world.
At 34 years, 11 months, Buhai is the oldest winner this year on the LPGA Tour.
“It’s huge. My goal this year was to win in the U.S. I hadn’t won here yet,” Buhai said. “I’m very proud of myself for ticking it off.”
Buhai recalled a visit from longtime swing coach Doug Wood in October 2021 as the start of her turnaround. Wood couldn’t find any issues with her mechanics and put her in touch with mental coach Duncan McCarthy.
“I think I’ve also got to a point where I’m older in my career. Felt I should have achieved more by then and the pressure I was putting on myself. Again, I’m 34, so wanting to have a family,” Buhai said. “These things sit in the back of our minds that nobody really knows about and you don’t realize what havoc it plays back there. COVID, not being able to go back to South Africa, see my friends and family was also really tough.
“So we kind of tapped into all that, really got Ashleigh, the person, feeling better again.”
Playing in the penultimate pairing, Buhai began the day three shots behind leader Dani Holmqvist. By the time she rolled in a long birdie from off the back of the green on the par-4 fifth hole, she led by one over Kim.
“Obviously I got off to such a good start, and the putt on 5 was a hallelujah,” Buhai said. “Those things need to happen for you to win, obviously.”
Kim, in the final pairing, birdied the par-3 17th to give herself a chance, but she needed to eagle the par-5 18th to match Buhai and could only manage birdie. She shot 68.
Rookie Yan Liu closed with a 67 and finished third, three shots back. Her previous best finish was a tie for 21st last week at the Mizuho Americas Open in Jersey City.
“Last week I talk with my family and my coach, and he just tell me, ‘You don’t need to watch cut line. You need to try to win,’” the 25-year-old from China said.
Holmqvist went bogey-birdie-bogey-birdie-bogey on Nos. 2-6, closed with a 1-over 72 and finished in a tie for fourth, four shots back. The 35-year-old Swede is winless on the LPGA Tour.
Nanna Koerstz Madsen (65) matched Holmqvist at 10 under.
“It’s been a while since I’ve been up there, so just really happy,” Koerstz Madsen said. “I just really wanted to finish well and not finish with something stupid, so was happy to close out with a birdie.”
TOP INDIANA RELEASES
INDIANAPOLIS – The Indianapolis Indians have announced that Sunday afternoon’s homestand finale vs. the Omaha Storm Chasers has been canceled due to field conditions and approaching inclement weather. Per the International League’s rules regarding the 2023 postseason structure, the game will not be made up as it was scheduled in the first half of the 2023 regular season and the two teams do not meet again until the second half.
Additionally, due to scheduling conflicts, Sunday’s originally scheduled Trading Card Experience and appearance by mascots from the Kansas City Royals, Omaha Storm Chasers, Altoona Curve and Fort Wayne TinCaps will not be made up. The Knot Hole Kids Club Catch on the Field will be made up on Sunday, June 25.
The Indians end their 11-game homestand with a 5-6 record and are set to begin a six-game road trip against the Iowa Cubs on Tuesday night. They return home to Victory Field on Tuesday, June 20 for a six-game series vs. the Columbus Clippers.
**Rain Check Policy
Fans with tickets for Sunday’s game can exchange them for any future 2023 regular season game by contacting the Victory Field Box Office at (317) 269-3545 or [Tickets@IndyIndians.com**](mailto:Tickets@IndyIndians.com), or contacting their ticket representative. A breakdown of each ticket type exchange is listed below:
Club Tickets – Good for new Box Seat Tickets
Loge Tickets – Good for new Box Seat Tickets
Landing Tickets – Good for new Landing Tickets
Box Tickets – Good for new Box, Reserved or Lawn Tickets
Reserved Tickets – Good for Reserved or Lawn Tickets
Lawn Tickets – Good for Lawn Tickets
INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Fever (2-6) were defeated by the Phoenix Mercury on Sunday night at Gainbridge Fieldhouse after a fourth quarter rally paved the way for an 85-82 Mercury victory.
Fever forward NaLyssa Smith, Indiana’s leading scorer and rebounder on the night, notched her fifth double-double of the season with a career-high 29 points on 11-of-19 shooting while pulling down 12 rebounds.
Fever guards Erica Wheeler and Kelsey Mitchell both recorded double figures in the scoring column as well, netting 17 and 12 points respectively. With her first of two assists on the night, Mitchell took sole possession of fourth place for most assists all-time in franchise history with 472 career assists in a Fever uniform. The Fever guard surpassed Katie Douglas with 470 assists, and is now trailing Wheeler in third place with 587.
Mitchell also ended the night in second place in franchise history for most made field goals, also passing Douglas. She ended the game with 903 for her career and trails only Tamika Catchings on the Fever all-time ranks.
The Mercury caught fire to begin the game, leading the Fever after a 15-6 scoring run within the first four minutes of the game. A collective scoring effort from six Fever players helped Indiana shrink the deficit to end the quarter, 26-20. Smith guided Indiana’s scoring attack as she contributed seven points on 3-of-6 shooting in the first ten minutes.
Midway through the second quarter, a pair of completed free throws from Smith gave Indiana its first lead of the game after 16 minutes of play. Indiana’s defense held the Mercury shooting 35.3 percent (6-of-17) and a 17-point offensive output in the second quarter. The Fever remained within reach of the lead going into the locker room with Phoenix ahead, 43-42.
Indiana opened the second half with a 14-4 scoring run allowing the Fever to take the lead that would quickly extend and hold throughout the entirety of the third quarter. Wheeler, whose mid-range jumper gave Indiana the lead to start the quarter, shot 5-of-6 from the floor as she pitched in 10 of her 17 points in the third quarter alone. Indiana’s 12-of-17 shooting clip and strong defensive production held the Mercury to 16 points and propelled them into the fourth quarter leading Phoenix, 67-59.
Phoenix began the last fourth quarter on a 10-0 run in the first 1:56 and held Indiana to 6-of-16 shooting to close the game out. Indiana held on until the final buzzer as the fourth quarter featured five lead changes in front of the Gainbridge Fieldhouse crowd. The Mercury ultimately held on after outscoring Indiana, 26-15, in the final frame and shot 4-of-6 from 3-point range. Smith recorded 12 of Indiana’s final 15 points.
For Phoenix, all five starters scored in double figures, highlighted by center Brittney Griner’s 29 points on 9-of-13 shooting. Griner’s scoring effort was supported by Diana Taurasi’s 18 points, Sophie Cunningham’s 13 points, Michaela Onyenwere’s 11 points and 12 rebounds, as well as Sug Sutton’s 10 points and seven assists. Griner and Taurasi shot a perfect 7-of-7 from the floor collectively in the first quarter, and Cunningham led the fourth quarter scoring attack while totaling 11 points in the final frame.
Indiana ended the night converting a season-high 21 second chance points on 11 offensive rebounds.
The Fever come back to Gainbridge Fieldhouse on Tuesday to take on the Washington Mystics at 7 p.m. ET. Tuesday’s game will be broadcast on Bally Sports Indiana.
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||48||20||.706||–||31 – 7||17 – 13||16 – 9||12 – 1||6 – 3||8 – 2||W 1|
|Baltimore||41||24||.631||5.5||20 – 12||21 – 12||11 – 7||14 – 5||8 – 6||6 – 4||W 4|
|NY Yankees||38||29||.567||9.5||21 – 17||17 – 12||11 – 12||8 – 8||8 – 5||4 – 6||L 1|
|Toronto||37||30||.552||10.5||19 – 13||18 – 17||6 – 15||11 – 5||8 – 5||7 – 3||W 1|
|Boston||33||33||.500||14||17 – 16||16 – 17||10 – 11||8 – 4||5 – 5||4 – 6||W 1|
|Minnesota||33||33||.500||–||18 – 14||15 – 19||8 – 11||12 – 8||5 – 4||4 – 6||L 1|
|Cleveland||31||34||.477||1.5||16 – 17||15 – 17||7 – 8||8 – 11||10 – 6||6 – 4||W 1|
|Chi White Sox||29||38||.433||4.5||17 – 17||12 – 21||4 – 12||15 – 11||4 – 6||6 – 4||L 2|
|Detroit||26||37||.413||5.5||14 – 16||12 – 21||2 – 14||9 – 7||4 – 5||1 – 9||L 9|
|Kansas City||18||47||.277||14.5||9 – 23||9 – 24||2 – 8||5 – 12||3 – 9||1 – 9||L 6|
|Texas||41||23||.641||–||21 – 9||20 – 14||7 – 6||7 – 2||14 – 5||6 – 4||L 1|
|Houston||37||29||.561||5||18 – 14||19 – 15||5 – 5||8 – 11||13 – 6||4 – 6||L 1|
|LA Angels||36||31||.537||6.5||20 – 14||16 – 17||8 – 9||7 – 5||12 – 11||6 – 4||W 1|
|Seattle||31||33||.484||10||17 – 15||14 – 18||3 – 6||5 – 5||12 – 10||3 – 7||L 1|
|Oakland||17||50||.254||25.5||7 – 24||10 – 26||1 – 9||3 – 3||4 – 23||5 – 5||W 5|
|Atlanta||40||25||.615||–||20 – 15||20 – 10||17 – 6||6 – 0||6 – 7||8 – 2||L 1|
|Miami||37||29||.561||3.5||21 – 13||16 – 16||8 – 12||5 – 4||9 – 10||8 – 2||W 2|
|Philadelphia||32||33||.492||8||19 – 11||13 – 22||5 – 8||6 – 4||8 – 11||7 – 3||W 1|
|NY Mets||31||35||.470||9.5||15 – 12||16 – 23||12 – 11||3 – 9||8 – 8||2 – 8||L 1|
|Washington||26||38||.406||13.5||12 – 21||14 – 17||7 – 12||4 – 3||7 – 11||3 – 7||W 1|
|Pittsburgh||34||30||.531||–||18 – 16||16 – 14||4 – 2||10 – 4||9 – 6||7 – 3||W 1|
|Milwaukee||34||32||.515||1||18 – 16||16 – 16||3 – 0||8 – 5||7 – 13||5 – 5||L 4|
|Cincinnati||31||35||.470||4||17 – 18||14 – 17||7 – 9||11 – 12||4 – 5||5 – 5||W 2|
|Chi Cubs||28||37||.431||6.5||15 – 16||13 – 21||6 – 10||3 – 8||9 – 8||4 – 6||L 1|
|St. Louis||27||39||.409||8||13 – 18||14 – 21||0 – 3||10 – 13||7 – 10||3 – 7||L 2|
|Arizona||40||25||.615||–||20 – 14||20 – 11||9 – 8||6 – 3||16 – 9||8 – 2||W 5|
|LA Dodgers||37||29||.561||3.5||20 – 10||17 – 19||9 – 6||12 – 11||12 – 7||3 – 7||L 1|
|San Francisco||33||32||.508||7||18 – 17||15 – 15||9 – 7||10 – 7||5 – 7||5 – 5||W 1|
|San Diego||31||34||.477||9||15 – 18||16 – 16||9 – 7||6 – 8||11 – 10||6 – 4||L 1|
|Colorado||27||40||.403||14||16 – 19||11 – 21||11 – 10||8 – 7||4 – 15||3 – 7||W 1|
TODAY IN BASEBALL HISTORY
1839 Due to an erroneous eyewitness account, Abner Doubleday gets credit for establishing the first baseball game played in America. Although it is doubtful the West Point cadet was ever there or ever watched a contest, the Hall of Fame, which opened a century later in Cooperstown, celebrates the origin of our national pastime in this small upstate New York town.
1880 At the Worcester Agriculture Fairgrounds, Lee Richmond pitches the first perfect game, beating Cleveland, 4-0. The 23-year-old rookie southpaw threw a no-hitter in a collegiate exhibition against the White Stockings last season.
1886 St. Louis Maroons right-hander Charlie Sweeney, who will give up only nine round-trippers in 93 innings of work this season, sets a major league record when he gives up seven home runs in the team’s 14-7 loss to the Wolverines at Detroit’s Recreation Park. Allowing six gopher balls is the post-1900 mark, a dubious distinction shared by six hurlers, including Ranger right-hander R.A. Dickey, who accomplished the feat in his only appearance in 2006.
1907 Eight different Highlanders commit eleven errors en route to a 16-4 loss to Detroit. Shortstop Kid Elberfeld contributes four fielding miscues in New York’s American League Park contest.
1928 Lou Gehrig collects fourteen total bases when he blasts two triples and two homers. The Yankee first baseman’s offensive output leads the Bronx Bombers to a 15-7 win over Chicago at Comiskey Park.
1939 The Baseball Hall of Fame, with much of its funding provided by the Singer Sewing Machine Company, is dedicated in Cooperstown, a site selected due to an erroneous report that claimed Abner Doubleday had invented the game in the small town. The players chosen from the first four Hall of Fame induction elections become the first members enshrined.
1939 In front of a record crowd of 23,864 fans at Ruppert Stadium, Lou Gehrig plays his last game in a Yankee uniform when he participates in an exhibition contest against the Kansas City Blues (AA), the team’s American Association farm club. The ‘Iron Horse,’ playing only three innings and batting eighth, grounds out weakly to second base in his only at-bat.
1940 In a trade that stuns the baseball world, the Dodgers obtain Ducky Medwick and pitcher Curt Davis from the Cardinals for outfielder Ernie Koy, pitcher Carl Doyle, two minor leaguers, and $125,000. The deal acquiring the 1937 Triple Crown winner, which GM Larry MacPhail engineers, signals the emergence of Brooklyn as a serious contender.
1941 The Braves break up the Waners’ brother act, sending Lloyd, known as ‘Little Poison,’ to the Reds for pitcher Johnny Hutchings. ‘Big Poison’ Paul, the older sibling, was signed as a free agent with the team after being released by the Dodgers last month.
1949 After piloting the team for 13 seasons, Charlie Grimm ends his tenure as the Cubs manager by splitting a doubleheader with the Braves. The 19,802 fans in Braves Field give the skipper, who will stay in the organization as Boston’s vice-president, a long-standing ovation when he takes his position in the third-base coaching box for the last time.
1954 Braves’ right-hander Jim Wilson beats future Hall of Famer Robin Roberts when he no-hits the Phillies, 2-0. The one-hour and forty-three-minute contest at County Stadium, the major league’s only no-no this season, is the first for the franchise since the team relocated from Boston following the 1952 season.
1954 The Indians (35-17) move into first place when Bob Feller gets his 2,500th career strikeout in the Tribe’s 4-3 victory over Boston at Fenway Park. ‘Rapid Robert’ will finish his 18-year major league career striking out 2,581 hitters, an average of more than six batters a game.
1957 Eddie Mathews hits his 200th career home run in the Braves’ 11-9 loss to Brooklyn at Ebbets Field. The Milwaukee third baseman is the second-youngest player to reach the plateau, 98 days older than Mel Ott, who accomplished the feat at 25 years and 144 days.
1957 At Connie Mack Stadium, Stan Musial breaks the National League record for endurance when he plays in his 823rd consecutive game, surpassing the previous mark established in 1937 by Pirates infielder Gus Suhr. The Cardinal first baseman, who started the streak on the last day of the 1951 season, celebrates the historic contest, enjoying a 2-for-4 day at the plate in the team’s 4-0 victory over the Phillies.
(Ed. Note: Stan the Man’s streak ends later in the season after playing 895 consecutive games -LP).
1959 Despite giving up a hit in the bottom of the sixth in the Giants’ 3-0 victory over Philadelphia, Mike McCormick receives credit for a no-hitter with the contest rained out, statistically erasing the hit. Due to a rule change in 1991 that mandates a game must last for at least nine innings for the hitless effort to be called an official no-hitter, the right-hander’s five-inning rain-shortened outing no longer appears in the record book as a no-no.
1962 In the Braves’ 15-2 rout of LA at County Stadium, the Aaron brothers both homer in the same game, with Tommies connecting in the bottom of the eighth after his older sibling Hank had hit one out in the second. The Milwaukee teammates will also accomplish the feat on July 12 and August 14.
1967 After catching the entire game and going 0-for-8, All-Star backstop Paul Casanova, in his ninth at-bat, ends the 22-inning contest when he singles to left field, scoring Hank Allen with the winning run in the Senators’ 6-5 victory over the White Sox at D.C. Stadium. The six-hour, 38-minute marathon, which ends at 2:43 in the morning, results in the American League adopting a curfew stating that no inning may begin an hour after midnight.
1970 Dock Ellis throws a 2-0 no-hitter against the Padres in San Diego during the first game of a twin bill. The former Pirates’ right-hander, who became an advocate of anti-drug programs, claims he was under the influence of LSD while tossing the most memorable game in his career.
1978 The Cubs sent 22-year-old rookie relief pitcher Ron Davis to the Yankees to complete a trade made two days ago, bringing Ken Holtzman to Chicago. The deal turns out better for New York when the reliever posts a 27-10 (.730) record during his four years in the Bronx, and the 33-year-old southpaw starter Holtzman, in his second stint in Windy City, compiles a 6-12 mark before retiring after two seasons of rejoining the team on the Northside.
1979 Tiger skipper Les Moss, hired early in the offseason to replace Ralph Houk, is terminated 53 games into his first season as a major league manager, having compiled a 27-26 record with the team. Detroit makes the unusual managerial move to hire an unexpectedly available Sparky Anderson, the fired Reds skipper who will spend 17 seasons in Detroit, compiling a 1331-1248 (.516) record and capturing a World Championship in 1984.
1979 The Mets enjoy the most productive inning in franchise history when ten runners cross the plate in the sixth fame of their 12-6 victory over the Reds at Shea Stadium. The highlight of the double-digit deluge is Doug Flynn’s three-run inside-the-park home run.
1981 With the owners and players unable to agree to free-agent player compensation, Major League Baseball experiences its first in-season work stoppage. The 50-day strike, which will end on July 31, results in 713 games (38% of the MLB schedule) not being played and the implementation of divisional playoffs to determine league championships.
1983 “I didn’t know what to say, so I just sort of mumbled, ‘Well, O.K.,’ ” – DALE MURPHY, responding to a fan’s request to hit a home run. When Dale Murphy visits Elizabeth Smith in the stands to give her a cap and a T-shirt, her nurse asks the Braves’ outfielder to hit a home run for the six-year-old girl, who lost both her hands and a leg when she stepped on a live power line. The reigning National League MVP obliges, hitting two homers and driving in all the runs in the team’s 3–2 victory over the Giants at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium.
1983 In a pregame ceremony, recently-elected Hall of Famers Charlie Gehringer and Hank Greenberg have their uniform numbers retired by the Tigers. The digits #2 and #5 will join Al Kaline’s #6 (1980) as the only numbers retired in franchise history.
1988 Mike Scott’s attempt for his second career no-hitter is spoiled with two outs in the ninth inning by Braves infielder Ken Oberkfell’s line-drive single down the right-field line. The right-hander, who settles for a 5-0 one-hitter, tossed a no-no in 1986, which clinched the National League West Division for the Astros.
1990 Cal Ripken plays in his 1,308th consecutive game, placing him second on the all-time list ahead of former Yankee and Red Sox shortstop Everett Scott (1918-1925). In 1995, the Oriole infielder will break Lou Gehrig’s consecutive game record, playing 2,131 straight games.
1996 Major League Baseball forces Marge Schott to relinquish her role as managing general partner of the Reds for two years due to her controversial comments about Hitler. In an interview last month with ESPN, the Cincinnati owner stated, “Everybody knows [Hitler] was good at the beginning, but he just went too far.”
1997 At the Ballpark in Texas, the Giants defeat the Rangers, 4-3, in the first interleague game in history played in the 126-year history of the sport. San Francisco outfielder Darryl Hamilton picks up the first-ever Interleague hit, and his teammate Glenallen Hill becomes the National League’s first regular season designated hitter.
2001 The pitching-poor Rangers trade backup backstop Doug Mirabelli to the Red Sox for Double-A Trenton right-handed pitcher Justin Duchscherer (6-3, 2.44). Mirabelli will help fill the void created last week when Boston’s starting catcher Jason Varitek broke his right elbow.
2002 In the third inning of the Padres’ 2-0 victory over Baltimore at Camden Yards, Brian Lawrence strikes out the side on nine pitches, with only one being a called strike. The 26-year-old right-hander becomes the 36th pitcher in baseball history to accomplish the feat when he whiffs Brook Fordyce, Jerry Hairston, and Melvin Mora, who all go down swinging.
2004 In interleague action, Barry Bonds (675) of the Giants and Orioles first baseman Rafael Palmeiro (536 and 537 to pass Mickey Mantle) both homer in a 9-6 San Francisco victory at Camden Yards. The sluggers join Willie Mays and Ernie Banks (1970) and Mays and Hank Aaron (1971) as only the third pair in baseball history to have 500 career home runs and connect in the same game.
2005 Hee-Seop Choi homers in his first three at-bats in the Dodgers’ 4-3 victory over Minnesota. The southpaw-swinging first baseman’s solo shot in the sixth off Brad Radke, who gave up the infielder’s first two home runs, proves to be the difference in the Chavez Ravine contest.
2006 After hitting .625 (15-for-24), Joe Mauer is named the American League player of the week. The 23-year-old Twins catcher becomes one of the few big-league players to reach base four times in five consecutive games.
2007 Using a 102-mph fastball and an untouchable curveball, 24-year-old right-hander Justin Verlander strikes out a career-high 12 batters en route to throwing a no-hitter against Milwaukee. The 4-0 hitless gem, which features several outstanding defensive plays from his Tiger teammates, is the first no-no thrown at Detroit’s Comerica Park.
2010 During a 10-2 rout of Philadelphia at Fenway Park, Daniel Nava hits a grand slam on the first pitch he sees as a major leaguer. The 27-year-old Red Sox left fielder, recently called up from Triple-A Pawtucket, hits his bases-loaded round-tripper in the second inning off Joe Blanton, joining Kevin Kouzmanoff as the second player in big-league history to accomplish the feat.
2012 Alex Rodriguez ties Lou Gehrig’s 74-year-old major league record when he hits his 23rd career grand slam in a 6-4 victory over Atlanta at Turner Field. The Yankee third baseman’s historic homer over the left-field fence comes off an eighth-inning 3-2 pitch thrown by Jonny Venters, tying the game at 4-4.
2014 Max Scherzer hurls his first career complete game, throwing a three-hit shutout to beat Chicago at U.S. Cellular Field, 4-0. The Tiger right-hander’s stretch of 178 games is the longest any major league starter had gone without finishing a game since 1900.
McCoo Overcomes, Earns MVP
That was in reference to the June 12, 2004 – Arena AufSchalke, Gelsenkirchen – NFL Europe World Bowl XII which was won by the Berlin Thunder over the Frankfurt Galaxy. Former Penn State running back Eric McCoo had a big impact in the game as he prepared to head to the Philadelphia Eagles training camp later that summer. McCoo rushed for 167 yards on 28 carries and scored a 69 yard touchdown in the Berlin 30-24 victory to take the title. His brilliant performance earned hin the Most Valuable Player honors for the game. The humble McCoo gave credit for his success to the big men up front that blocked so well for him.
June 12, 2008 – Future Pro Football Hall of Fame tackle Jonathan Ogden retired from the Baltimore Ravens. Oogden was an 11 time Pro Bowl selection, made first team All-Pro 4 times and was All-Decade selection of the 2000’s. He played for 12 seasons on the Ravens and was enshrined in his first year eligible in 2013.
June 12, 2009- In the US all television broadcasts change from analog NTSC to digital ATSC transmissions. From then on TV football never looked so good!
June 12, 1901 – Dunsmuir, California – Harold Muller the two-way end of the University of California from 1920 through the 1922 season arrived into this life. The description of Harold in his bio on the FootballFoundation.org sounds like he was made in a football laboratory or chiseled from stone. He seemed to be built perfectly for football as the NFF says, “ Those huge, sledge-like hands could throw a football 60 yards on a line. The feet darted with deceptive swiftness. The legs were of Olympic high-jump spring. Harold “Brick” Muller was the mold of a marvelous athlete.” Muller’s soft hands could snatch a pass out of the air with ease and he did have legs of an Olympian because he competed, then captured an Olympic Silver Medal in the 1920 high jump. On the collegiate gridiron, Brick never suffered a loss as part of Cal’s “Wonder Teams” of coach Andy Smith. Harold Brick Muller’s collegiate football records are celebrated in the College Football Hall of Fame after his induction in 1951.
June 12, 1947 – Sandstone, Minnesota – Steve Kiner was an All-American linebacker from the University of Tennessee from 1967 to 1969 was born. The National Football Foundation has a nice write up bio on Kiner where they state that he made consensus All-America in 1968 and unanimous All-America in 1969 as linebacker. The 1968 team led by linebacker Kiner, set a school record by holding opponents to a very low average of just 93 yards per game running the ball. Kiner was named to Tennessee’s all-100 year team. Steve Kiner was selected to enter the College Football hall of Fame in 1999. Mr. Kiner went pro and played in the NFL for a total of nine seasons for the Dallas Cowboys, New England Patriots and the Houston Oilers.
June 12, 1979 – Sioux Falls, South Dakota – Dallas Clark the great tight end from the University of Iowa who played professionally with the Indianapolis Colts, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Baltimore Ravens was born.
June 12, 1980- Larry Foote NFL Inside Line Backer with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Detroit Lions and Arizona Cardinals. Foote earned two Superbowl RIngs while playing for the Steelers. He played his college ball at the University of Michigan.
June 12, 1984- Donny Avery NFL Wide Out that played for the Rams, Titans, Colts and Chiefs and even was a Fisrt Team All Pro and made a Pro Bowl appearance. He played in the NCAA with the University of Houston.
FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME
EARL “TUFFY” ABELL
Place of Birth: Portage, WI
Date of Birth: May 29, 1892
Place of Death: Pardeeville, WI
Date of Death: May 26, 1956
High School: Portage, WI (Portage HS)
They called him “Tuffy”, and Colgate’s Earl Abell lived up to the name with a vengeance. A colossal broad-shouldered, thick-necked hulk of a man well suited to play the reckless, bruising brand of football known in the Pioneer years of the game. Ellery Huntington, a teammate on the 1913 team, remembered Abell as being, “remarkably fast. He broke through like a streak to spill the play before it formed. Abell was fast enough to play end.” “Tuffy” was as versatile as he was huge, often handling Colgate kicking and punting chores. He once drop-kicked a field goal from the 41-yard line in a 1915 game against Yale. That same season, Abell captained the Colgate team and gained All-America recognition. The Maroon finished with five victories in six games. The 1915 team shut out five opponents and scored 107 points against R.P.I. During Earl’s playing career, Colgate won 21, lost six and tied two. Abell returned to Colgate as an assistant coach in 1925 and as a head coach in 1928. Abell ended his collegiate career coaching at the University of Virginia the following two seasons.
NUMBERS IN SPORTS
2 – 3 – 4
June 12, 18 – Worcester Ruby Legs pitcher Lee Richmond threw the first perfect game in MLB history in 1-0 win over Cleveland Blues at the Agricultural County Fair Grounds, Worcester
June 12, 1922 – St Louis Browns pitcher Hub Pruett struck out future Baseball Hall of Fame slugger Babe Ruth, who wore Number 3 a total of 3 consecutive times as St. Louis beats New York Yankees, 7 – 1 at Sportsman’s Park, St. Louis
June 12, 1928 – Number 4 of the New York Yankees future Baseball Hall of Fame first baseman Lou Gehrig collected 14 total bases with 2 triples and 2 home runs in a 15-7 win over Chicago White Sox
BASEBALL HALL OF FAME
Carl Yastrzemski replaced a legend in left field for the Boston Red Sox. By the time his 23-year career was over, Yastrzemski was a legend himself.
Yastrzemski replaced Ted Williams in Boston’s lineup in 1961, stepping into the spotlight as a much-heralded rookie with only two seasons of minor league experience. Raised in Bridgehampton, N.Y., on his family’s potato farm, Yastrzemski briefly attended Notre Dame on a basketball scholarship before signing a professional baseball contract for $100,000.
Originally a second baseman in the minors, Yaz moved to left field when Williams vacated the spot for the 1961 season. He drove in 80 runs in his rookie season, received support in the American League Most Valuable Player voting in 1962 and a year later made his first All-Star Game, won the first of his seven Gold Glove Awards for his work in left field and led the league with a .321 batting average.
By 1967, Yastrzemski had grown stronger via a dedicated weight lifting regime. That season, he produced one of the most memorable campaigns in history when he won the AL Triple Crown while leading the Impossible Dream Red Sox from ninth place in 1966 to the American League pennant. Yastrzemski also led the AL in runs, hits, on-base percentage, slugging percentage and total bases that year as Boston clinched the pennant on the final day of the season.
In his final 37 at-bats of the season – with the Red Sox’s season riding on virtually every one of them – Yastrzemski totaled 20 hits (for a .541 batting average) with thee home runs and 14 RBI. The Red Sox lost to the Cardinals in seven games in the World Series, but the season rekindled the fan base’s passion for the team that remains to this day. In an announcement that was a foregone conclusion, Yastrzemski was named the AL MVP.
Yastrzemski won his third batting title in 1968, finishing fast to hit .301 as the only AL player to reach the .300 mark in the Year of the Pitcher. In 1970, he nearly duplicated his 1967 season with a .329 batting average, 40 home runs, 102 RBI and a league-high 125 runs scored.
He continued to be productive well into his 30s, helping the Red Sox win another AL pennant in 1975 and then topping the 100-RBI mark in 1976 and 1977. In 1979, Yastrzemski became the first American League player to tally more than 3,000 hits and 400 home runs, reaching both milestones that season.
Yastrzemski spent his entire 23-year career in Boston, where he was an 18-time All-Star and seven-time Gold Glove Award winner. He retired following the 1983 season with 3,419 hits, 1,816 runs scored, 452 home runs, 1,844 RBI and 1,845 walks. He is one of three players in history – along with Barry Bonds and Babe Ruth – to total at least 1,800 runs scored, 1,800 RBI and 1,800 walks.
“I think about baseball when I wake up in the morning,” Yastrzemski said. “I think about it all day and I dream about it at night. The only time I don’t think about it is when I’m playing it.”
Yastrzemski was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1989.
|COLLEGE BASEBALL WORLD SERIES||TIME ET||TV|
|LSU vs. Kentucky||–||–|
|Southern Miss vs. Tennessee||–||–|
|Stanford vs. Texas||–||–|
|Wake Forest vs. Alabama||–||–|
|MLB REGULAR SEASON GAMES||TIME ET||TV|
|Atlanta at Detroit||6:40pm||Bally Sports|
|Colorado at Boston||7:10pm||ATTSN-RM|
|San Francisco at St. Louis||7:45pm||NBCS-BAY|
|LA Angels at Texas||8:05pm||MLBN|
|Cincinnati at Kansas City||8:10pm||MLBN|
|Miami at Seattle||9:40pm||Bally Sports|
|Philadelphia at Arizona||9:40pm||Bally Sports|
|Tampa Bay at Oakland||9:40pm||NBCS-CA|
|NBA PLAYOFFS||TIME ET||TV|
|NBA Finals Game 5: Miami at Denver||8:30pm||ABC|
|Friendly: Germany vs Ukraine||12:00pm||FS2|
|Argentina Primera División: Newell’s Old Boys vs Unión Santa Fe||1:00pm||Paramount+|
|Argentina Primera División: San Lorenzo vs Central Córdoba SdE||4:00pm||Paramount+|
|Argentina Primera División: Banfield vs River Plate||6:15pm||Paramount+|
|Argentina Primera División: Instituto vs Racing Club||8:45pm||Paramount+|
|Argentina Primera División: Vélez Sarsfield vs Argentinos Juniors||8:45pm||Paramount+|