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)
STATE FINALS PREVIEW: https://www.ihsaa.org/sites/default/files/documents/2022-23%20Baseball%20Preview.pdf
INDIANA BOYS GOLF STATE FINALS
1 GUERIN CATHOLIC 589
2 WESTFIELD 591
3 HAMILTON SE 600
4 BLOOMINGTON SOUTH 607
5 EVANSVILLE NORTH 612
6. ZIONSVILLE 614; 7. NOBLESVILLE 618; 8. (TIE) LEO, VALPARAISO 626 10. (TIE) TIPTON, CENTER GROVE 629; 12. COLUMBUS NORTH 631; 13. HOMESTEAD 636; 14. FLOYD CENTRAL 642; 15. CHESTERTON 650; 16. PENN 662; 17. EVANSVILLE MEMORIAL 667; 18. NORTHRIDGE 683
COLLEGE BASEBALL WORLD SERIES
FRIDAY (CENTRAL TIME)
1:00 ORAL ROBERTS VS. TCU
6:00 VIRGINIA VS. FLORIDA
1:00 STANFORD VS. WAKE FOREST
6:00 TENNESSEE VS. LSU
1:00 GAME 5
6:00 GAME 6
1:00 GAME 7
6:00 GAME 8
1:00 GAME 9
6:00 GAME 10
1:00 GAME 11
6:00 GAME 12
TBD BRACKET 1 (IF NECESSARY)
TBD BRACKET 2 (IF NECESSARY)
SATURDAY JUNE 24
6:00 FINALS GAME 1
SUNDAY JUNE 25
2:00 FINALS GAME 2
MONDAY JUNE 26
6:00 FINALS GAME 3 (IF NECESSARY)
MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL SCOREBOARD
MINNESOTA 4 MILWAUKEE 2
ATLANTA 10 DETROIT 7
ATLANTA 6 DETROIT 5
BOSTON 6 COLORADO 3
NY METS 4 NY YANKEES 3 (10)
CINCINNATI 7 KANSAS CITY 4
HOUSTON 5 WASHINGTON 4
MIAMI 4 SEATTLE 1
SAN DIEGO 5 CLEVELAND 0
CHICAGO WHITE SOX 8 LA DODGERS 4
TORONTO 3 BALTIMORE 1
TEXAS 6 LA ANGELS 3
TAMPA BAY 6 OAKLAND 3
SAN FRANCISCO 8 ST. LOUIS 5 (10)
CHICAGO CUBS 10 PITTSBURGH 6
PHILADELPHIA 4 ARIZONA 3 (10)
MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL
IOWA 8 INDIANAPOLIS 1
FORT WAYNE 4 DAYTON 2
CEDAR RAPIDS 7 SOUTH BEND 2
SPARKS 79 WINGS 61
MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER
HOUSTON 1 LAFC 0
TOP NATIONAL HEADLINES
PRO LEAGUES BALANCE PROFIT, INTEGRITY RISKS IN LEGAL BETTING ERA
When Calvin Ridley was suspended for betting on NFL games in 2022, it was largely dismissed as an isolated incident among the four biggest North American professional leagues in the era of legalized sports gambling.
He served a yearlong suspension, penned a lengthy apology calling it “an isolated lapse in judgement,” and was reinstated in March.
But in April when three players were disciplined for betting on NFL games and two more for placing wagers on non-league games, followed this month by an investigation into another player, a spotlight shone not just on the NFL but U.S. sports betting as a whole. While none of the players’ actions were related to attempts to fix games, the incidents have driven a public conversation about the integrity of pro sports as legalized sports betting takes a greater hold in this country.
“Leagues are dancing with the devil,” said Declan Hill, a professor at the University of New Haven who consults for Interpol and pioneered the first online anti-match-fixing education course. “Here’s what happens. There’ll be one play that’s kind of weird and dubious and sports fans will start to go, ‘Was that legitimate?’ And then there’ll be another one. And another one and another one. And after a few years, the sports leagues will have a problem. Because their fundamental credibility is being debated by their fans.”
The discussion comes at a time when athletes in the U.S. are closer to gambling than ever before.
Images of players are being used in sportsbook advertisements. Sportsbook ads have prominent placement in stadiums and arenas, including some with on-site betting. Major League Baseball — long the most gambling-averse of the U.S. leagues — now permits its players to be ambassadors for gambling companies.
It’s the backdrop for legal sports betting in the U.S. that’s generating huge revenue, with Americans wagering more than $220 billion during the five years since the Supreme Court cleared the way for states to offer sports betting. The NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL are among the biggest winners, turning official data that is the lifeblood of in-game betting into profits by selling it to technology companies that distribute it to sportsbooks. Leagues have partnered with those same tech companies to help them watch for fraud.
The potential pitfalls of gambling were highlighted by Switzerland-based Sportradar, which has data and monitoring agreements with the NBA, MLB and the NHL. In its second annual report “Betting Corruption and Match-Fixing” released in March, the company said that while data for 2022 gleaned from its Universal Fraud Detection System showed that more than 99% of sporting events are free from betting corruption, it “remains a constant and growing threat across the world of sport.”
Sportradar’s systems flagged more than 1,200 suspicious games in 12 different sports spanning 92 countries last year. The highest number of suspicious games (775) were in soccer.
Soccer had the most suspicious gambling games of any sport
Sportradar’s systems flagged more than 1,200 suspicious games in 12 different sports spanning 92 countries last year.
Soccer is the most bet on sport globally ($792 billion last year). Among individual leagues, the NFL ($150 million) was behind only UEFA Champions League ($245 million) and English Premier League ($220 million) last year. The NBA also made the top 10 ($76 million).
Sportradar Integrity Services managing director Andreas Krannich noted fixing efforts are found mostly in lower-tier sports and leagues, but said they are constantly in a race to update tools “to try to catch up or to stay ahead of the criminals.”
“We are not naive. We know that as long as there’s human beings there will be always corruption. It’s the same in sport,” Krannich said.
Though technology companies’ monitoring methods vary, there are similarities. All use systems that scan the betting market for irregularities, such as abnormal amounts wagered on events. The companies then alert their clients (leagues and sportsbooks) of possible manipulation.
The NFL has contracted with London-based Genius Sports since 2021. The NBA extended its agreement with Sportradar in 2021. The NHL and MLB also incorporate Sportradar into their protection measures. Genius Sports, StatsPerform and Swish Analytics also have deals to be U.S. distributors of MLB’s data.
Most contracts include provisions that allow the tech companies to sell things like odds and real-time stats that can be turned into in-game betting products, but there are exceptions. U.S. Integrity (used by MLB, the NBA and several sportsbooks) is independent and doesn’t make betting products for sportsbooks.
“I can see there’s an inherent conflict of interest in that we’re asking them to help monitor the integrity and they’re making money from the sportsbooks,” said Kenny Gersh, MLB’s executive vice president for media and business development. “That said, they understand the bigger picture and that if there is an integrity issue or a violation at one random sportsbook, it’s going to infect and sort of crater their entire business.”
A staple of state gambling laws is a requirement for sports betting operators to employ monitors and alert regulators to issues or face fines or license revocation.
But there is nothing that forces the leagues to share with the public the information they receive from monitoring companies.
Experts believe that is a missed opportunity to reassure bettors.
“My biggest issue with the integrity monitoring industry is that they work for the leagues — that’s who pays their bills and that’s who they work for,” said John Holden, an Oklahoma State associate professor who holds a Ph.D. in sports law and corruption of sport. “Their job is not necessarily to work for the public.”
In each instance where monitoring is believed to have helped tip off the NFL, the league said no inside information or games were compromised. But NFL spokesman Alex Riethmiller acknowledged companies like Genius Sports “serve an important role in our efforts to protect the integrity of the game.”
“Because they are integrated with the vast majority of the betting market, they are well-positioned to help the NFL monitor for unusual activity and report concerns across the industry, enabling critical information-sharing,” Riethmiller said.
What’s clear is the monitoring companies’ deals with the leagues are lucrative.
In its fourth-quarter earnings call in March, Genius Sports reported 2022 brought in $209 million in revenue from its betting technology, content and services division — helping double U.S. revenue from 2021.
CEO Mark Locke said during the call that Genius was being paid “1.5% to 2% on NFL pre-match gaming revenue” by sportsbooks.
The Big 4 all have rules prohibiting league employees and players from betting on their own games. But none of the four bar their players from betting on other sports.
The leagues aid the monitoring companies by providing lists of players and other personnel restricted from betting on their respective sports, while putting their players and personnel through annual training.
“I do think it’s something moving forward that we’re gonna have to spend more time educating ourselves and all of our guys on because I think we know the downside or the dark side of it,” Cleveland Cavaliers coach J.B. Bickerstaff said in January after Ohio became the 33rd state to legalize betting.
The ultimate fear is that gambling by players and league personnel could make them susceptible to sharing inside information that could aid match fixers.
That potential was on display in 2015 when cheating allegations rocked the daily fantasy sports industry after a DraftKings employee was accused of using insider knowledge to win $350,000 in a contest offered by competitor FanDuel.
With an online reach that now covers more than 40% of the U.S., FanDuel’s online sportsbook general manager Karol Corcoran said safeguarding integrity remains “front and center” for every new state launch it makes.
“We’re in an ecosystem with customers, we’re the operators, with the leagues, with our data providers,” he said. “It’s important for all of us that we build together a sustainable industry. And being very careful about integrity is part of that.”
Still, because the legal market in the U.S. is regulated state by state, the information collected by state gambling commissions isn’t fed to a central law enforcement agency. The FBI is available to assist, but its focus is on policing the illegal market. And in instances it has investigated match-fixing attempts, it was tipped off by human intelligence rather than monitoring companies.
“The algorithms are pretty sensitive. But they aren’t catching everything,” Holden said. “We’re still seeing a lot of the big cases be broken because someone talked, or the league’s investigator found something suspicious as opposed to just there was a red flag because too much money got placed.”
That is another flaw in a system Holden believes is mostly a good force in watching over the legal market, that unlike the unregulated one has anti-money laundering rules.
But the threat from criminal elements remains real, he said, especially with top match-fixers also working to remain ahead of the detection systems.
“Are we likely to see some attempted fixed games in the near future? Yes, I do think that’s possible,” Holden said.
Hill suggests a four-pronged approach to secure the long-term health of the U.S. market:
Separating bookmakers and sports leagues to create “blue water” between them; creating an independent monitoring agency funded by sportsbooks to avoid conflicts of interest; increasing conversations about addiction and problem gambling even more than the biggest U.S. leagues’ recent move to form a coalition calling for responsible sports betting advertising; and eradicating the practice of tanking.
Without those changes, he believes it leaves the leagues more susceptible to scandal.
“Sports leagues — doesn’t matter if they’re in the NFL, European soccer, ATP tennis — depend on the credibility of their product,” Hill said. “So once that credibility starts to get doubted by a section of your fans, you’re on a slow path to death.”
DIGGS RETURNS TO PRACTICE WITH BILLS COACH MCDERMOTT SAYING RECEIVER’S CONCERNS ARE RESOLVED
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Stefon Diggs was back on the field practicing on Wednesday, and Bills coach Sean McDermott said whatever lingering issues from last season that raised concern and confusion over the absence of Buffalo’s top receiver a day earlier have been resolved.
To begin with, McDermott said Diggs didn’t skip the team’s mandatory session on Tuesday, but was in fact excused. As for the issues that led to Diggs’ concerns in questioning his role in the offense, the coach said the team and the receiver are “in a real good spot.”
McDermott made an unscheduled appearance with reporters after practice to address questions raised regarding Diggs’ status, by clarifying and expanding on the limited comments he made in helping create the stir a day earlier when saying he was “very concerned” with the receiver leaving the team’s facility and missing a mandatory practice.
In laying out a timeline, McDermott said he and team officials spent Monday and Tuesday having conversations with Diggs to address the receiver’s concerns. The team and player then agreed to take a break from talks, with McDermott saying he excused Diggs from practicing and then picked up the conversations later in the day.
“Sometimes you’ve got to have conversations, you need communication and I appreciate Stef being willing to communicate,” McDermott said. “And you guys need to understand, Stef’s a valuable member of this football team. He’s one of our captains and a leader. … And I love him.”
Though Diggs has yet to address reporters or share his concerns publicly, he was a welcome sight wearing his No. 14 white practice jersey and shorts in making his offseason practice debut. Diggs previously skipped the team’s previous voluntary workout sessions, which opened in mid-April.
Diggs was limited to participating in only the stretching and individual portions of practice, while watching team sessions from the sideline, some of them alongside offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey. During a stretching session, Diggs reached over and shook hands with quarterback Josh Allen.
McDermott said Diggs’ limited practice time was by design in “ramping him up” toward the start of training camp. The Bills are scheduled to hold a third and final mandatory practice on Thursday before reporting to camp in suburban Rochester late next month.
While McDermott didn’t divulge the details of his conversations with Diggs, Allen shed light on the issues a day earlier. The quarterback said Diggs’ concerns are unresolved issues stemming from last season, which include getting the receiver more involved in the offense and having more game-planning input as among the player’s concerns.
“I think that there are some things that could have gone better last year and didn’t,” Allen said. “I think as an organization, maybe not communicating the right way with everything.”
Diggs is entering his fourth season in Buffalo, and last summer was rewarded with a four-year, $96 million contract that kicks in this season.
Since being acquired in a trade with Minnesota in March 2020, the 29-year-old has been one of the NFL’s most productive receivers by combining for 365 catches for 4,189 yards and 29 touchdowns — one fewer than he had in Minnesota — in his three seasons in Buffalo.
Diggs’ production hit a lull in the latter portion of last season, when he went through a three-game stretch in which he had 10 catches for 123 yards and no touchdowns. Otherwise, his 108 catches and 1,429 yards ranked second on the single-season Bills list, and he matched a team record with 11 touchdowns receiving.
Diggs has posted various notes on social media hinting at his unhappiness over the past few months. He was particularly upset over how the Bills season ended with a dud in a 27-10 loss to Cincinnati in the divisional round of the playoffs in January.
It was an outing in which Diggs was caught by TV cameras making animated raised-arm gestures at Allen on the sideline.
His frustrations spilled over afterward, when he immediately bolted from the locker room before McDermott addressed the team, leading to teammate Isaiah McKenzie chasing down Diggs and convincing him to return.
Bills center Mitch Morse was unaware of the issues bothering Diggs, while pleased — and not surprised — the two sides talked it out.
“They’re doing the thing that they’re supposed to do, which is to have possibly uncomfortable conversations, have some candidness, which can be hard at times, but in the end you appreciate it,” Morse said. “I want Stef and everyone to be the happiest version of themselves. He is one of the best teammates I’ve been around.”
DEREK CARR LAMENTS TOUGH ENDING WITH RAIDERS BUT HOPES HARD LESSONS HELPED
METAIRIE, La. (AP) — Saints quarterback Derek Carr apologetically said he failed to give the Las Vegas Raiders the best version of himself last season and is focused on not letting that happen again with his new team.
“They just didn’t get my best and that drove me crazy at the end of the year because I felt so spread out in so many different ways,” Carr said during minicamp this week. “I just didn’t feel like myself and I feel bad for the (Raiders) coaches and players.”
Carr’s self-described regression in 2022 wasn’t a matter of effort or desire, he said. Rather, it came down to his approach to a mix of professional and personal challenges which he regrets, but from which he also grew.
The professional challenges last season included learning a new offense under then-new coach Josh McDaniels. Carr also alluded to unspecified personal matters that he preferred remain private. The Raiders were the only team for which Carr had played until they released him last winter.
Since arriving in New Orleans, Carr said, he has tried to maintain a “simple” focus on his team and football.
“I’ve tried my best to get back to that. Hopefully it leads to some success,” Carr said. “It’s going to be a great lesson for me to learn to help some guys down the road when they go through a coaching change or a shift in whatever they’re doing.”
The Saints are hoping Carr will be the answer to inconsistent offensive production that has plagued them during consecutive non-playoff campaigns since Drew Brees’ retirement after the 2020 season.
Carr passed for 3,544 yards and 24 touchdowns but also threw 14 interceptions in 2022 — below the standard he’d set in four consecutive 4,000-plus yard seasons from 2018 to 2021.
Saints head coach Dennis Allen said that when New Orleans was courting Carr in free agency, “We talked about last year and how he probably didn’t have as good a season as he may have wanted or anticipated.”
“All I can say is that when I watch him now, there’s a clear focus on being the best version of himself for this football team,” Allen added.
During his four best years statistically, Carr played mostly under coach Jon Gruden. But Gruden resigned during the 2021 season after some of the coach’s emails, which included racist, homophobic and misogynistic language, were leaked publicly.
Carr said the coach’s departure was frustrating for him.
“He’s family to me,” Carr said. “When all that stuff happened, it was hard.”
While Carr didn’t condone the language that led to Gruden’s resignation, he said those emails were not indicative of the person he knew the coach to be.
So Carr was gratified when the Saints invited Gruden to a pair of voluntary practices in late May. Gruden met with coaches and Carr, discussing recollections of what Carr did well and how his strengths might suit the Saints’ offense.
“I’m thankful to be here and thankful I got to see him,” Carr said. “If anybody knows me, knows things about me that I don’t know, he would.”
Meanwhile, Carr said he’s trying to accelerate his transition by constantly communicating with teammates and coaches.
“I’m trying to ask every question possible,” Carr said. “Even if I kind of know the answer, I just ask it again to make sure.”
There have been signs of developing chemistry. During an 11-on-11 drill Wednesday, Carr hit Chris Olave on a long scoring pass and sprinted downfield with his arm raised triumphantly.
“He’s a guy you look forward to playing with,” Olave said. “He just uplifts everybody. He brings everybody’s confidence up. And having him behind center is huge.”
The Saints made signing Carr a priority in free agency because the coaching staff saw him as a good fit for their “West Coast” style offense.
“I don’t think it’s a huge overhaul,” offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael said of Carr’s integration. “But there’s obviously some new concepts that we’re experimenting with.”
With the ability to distribute the ball among players such as Olave, receiver Michael Thomas and versatile running back Alvin Kamara, Carr said his decision-making could be more consequential than his arm talent.
Those decisions, Carr noted, will be influenced in part by the strength of New Orleans’ defense, which, under Allen as both a coordinator and head coach, has been statistically among the NFL’s best in recent years.
“These guys have played really good defense,” Carr said. “They make it really hard at practice.
“That’s only going to make it a lot more fun when the games come,” Carr continued. “You don’t have to force every pass.”
Notes: Saints veteran defensive end Cameron Jordan did not participate in practice Wednesday but Allen said with a grin that the reason was “old age,” not an injury
BUCS QBS BAKER MAYFIELD, KYLE TRASK TO BATTLE INTO TRAINING CAMP
With training camp just around the corner, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are still trying to determine who will fill Tom Brady’s shoes under center.
After three seasons with the Buccaneers, Brady officially announced his retirement back in February. It looked as if Kyle Trask was going to take over starting quarterback duties after sitting behind Brady in 2022, but Tampa Bay proceeded to sign veteran Baker Mayfield to a one-year deal worth up to $8.5 million in March.
Three months later, the Buccaneers still haven’t named a starter.
“Some time during camp or right after camp, there will be a decision made,” Tampa Bay coach Todd Bowles said. “It’s still a quarterback competition right now — I’m not going to award (anybody) in shorts and t-shirts.”
Mayfield, 28, will be looking to revive his career after struggling last season with the Carolina Panthers and Los Angeles Rams. He completed 60 percent of his passes for 2,163 yards with 10 touchdowns and eight interceptions.
In six starts with the Panthers and four with the Rams, Mayfield combined to go just 2-8-0.
The 25-year-old Trask, on the other hand, appeared in just one game last season, completing 3 of 9 passes for 23 yards.
Although the Buccaneers are without a starter just under three months from the regular season kicking off, Bowles isn’t worried about the state of his offense.
“In any competition, there’s waiting involved — you have to see who wins out and wins the competition,” Bowles said. “So, we’re good.”
Regardless of who gets named starter, Bowles assured that they will be ready. He said that both Mayfield and Trask have been getting sufficient reps this offseason.
Whoever locks down the job will be working with a new offensive coordinator in Dave Canales, who spent a total of 13 seasons with the Seahawks under Pete Carroll. He most recently served as a quarterbacks coach but was also a wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator during his time in Seattle.
OHIO HOUSE VOTES TO MANDATE DEFIBRILLATORS IN SCHOOLS, SPORTS VENUES AFTER COLLAPSE OF BILLS’ HAMLIN
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Automatic external defibrillators, or AEDs, could be placed in nearly every school or sports and recreation venue in Ohio under a proposal that cleared the Republican-dominated House Wednesday with overwhelming bipartisan support.
The legislation, sparked by the sudden cardiac arrest of Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin in January on the field during a football game in Cincinnati, would require that all public schools, municipally-owned sports and recreation locations such as gymnasiums and swimming pools, and some private schools have on-site AEDs.
It cleared the chamber on an 84-6 vote.
Current Ohio law allows school districts to require AEDs on site, but it’s an elective decision that’s left to individual districts.
State Rep. Adam Bird of New Richmond, one of the bill’s sponsors, said he’s confident many districts already have AEDs, but making it a requirement can help further protect students.
Under the bill, employees would be required to undergo special training on how to use AEDs and recognize the signs of cardiac arrest. Informational sessions for students on sudden cardiac arrest would be required before the start of any athletic season.
The measure also calls for the Ohio Department of Health to develop a model emergency action plan for schools, centers and sports groups to adopt on the use of AEDs.
Hamlin went into cardiac arrest, fell flat and had to be resuscitated on the field after making what appeared to be a routine tackle during a game against the Cincinnati Bengals that was being broadcast to a national prime-time audience on Jan. 2.
More than two dozen supporters showed up to testify on the bill in committee hearings, including medical groups, emergency responders and those whose lives were saved by having access to an AED during a cardiac episode. All supported the possible new requirement as a way to save lives that may otherwise end too soon.
The proposal now heads to the Senate for consideration.
ORIGINAL GOLDEN KNIGHTS KEY PART OF VEGAS’ STANLEY CUP RUN
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Bruce Cassidy has been the Golden Knights’ coach for only a year, but he knows full well the history of the Misfits.
So in the game that would win the Stanley Cup for Vegas, Cassidy started five of the original Knights and sent the sixth one in for the second shift Tuesday night in a 9-3 victory over the Florida Panthers.
“They’re the original guys, right?” Cassidy said. “They’re the foundation of this hockey team. The first building blocks started with them. They’ve been here since the beginning. They lost in a final like I did. I know how that feels, so very happy for them.”
Cassidy lost in Game 7 of the 2019 final to the St. Louis Blues when he coached the Boston Bruins.
The half-dozen Knights were on the 2017-18 team that dubbed itself the Golden Misfits because it was a collection of players from all over the NHL.
The original Knights fell in five games to the Washington Capitals in the final. This time, they were an integral part of the championship team that knocked off the Panthers in five games.
Jonathan Marchessault, one of the players who watched the Capitals party on the T-Mobile Arena ice, won the Conn Smythe Trophy for playoff MVP.
“We waited a long time for that moment to come back,” Marchessault said. “We wanted to make sure we cashed in this time.”
Captain Mark Stone, as is tradition, was the first to skate with the Stanley Cup. Then he handed the 37-pound trophy to Reilly Smith, and soon after it was passed it to Marchessault and then to William Karlsson and then to Brayden McNabb and then to Shea Theodore and finally to William Carrier.
All, except Stone, are original Knights.
“I don’t think we thought about that or planned that,” Carrier said. “It was just off the call, guys calling out to one another, not well planned. The guys have been here, they’ve been battling. It’s been a lot of hockey the last six years, a lot of practices, so it’s a credit to this group of six guys that are still here. It means a lot.”
Those six have not only won the Stanley Cup, but played in the final twice, and made the NHL semifinals at least four times.
Not a bad resume from players mostly left unprotected from other teams.
McNabb said the thought of winning the Stanley Cup wasn’t even on his mind when the team was formed. Vegas picked him up in the expansion draft from the Los Angeles Kings.
“I was just hoping to make the team,” McNabb said.
McNabb started with Theodore on the blue line against the Panthers, and the Karlsson, Marchessault and Smith made up the Misfit line. Carrier, a forward, entered on the game’s second shift.
“I’m not going to lie, it was pretty cool,” Karlsson said. “It was nice to throw it back to old school group, starting one shift, with that original group.”
And they produced.
Smith scored a goal and assisted on another Tuesday, Theodore finished with three assists, and McNabb, Marchessault and Karlsson each had an assist. Only Carrier was left off the scoresheet, but he had a plus-one rating.
Owner Bill Foley had high hopes for this group from the beginning, proclaiming it his goal that the Knights would win the cup in six years.
They did just that, the Misfits still an important part of the team, even if the roster has gone undergone major changes in the years since that inaugural season.
“That was a magical year (in 2018),” Karlsson said. ’We were close, but unfortunately it didn’t go our way. But that team will always have a special place in my heart, and I’m happy there’s six of us here still, and to kind of get to win it for (the original team) is incredible.”
HENRI ‘POCKET ROCKET’ RICHARD, 11-TIME WINNER OF STANLEY CUP, DIAGNOSED WITH CTE AFTER DEATH IN 2020
Henri Richard’s family says the late Hockey Hall of Famer has been diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the degenerative brain disease linked to concussions.
“I hope my father’s brain donation and diagnosis will lead to more prevention efforts, research, and eventually a CTE treatment,” Denis Richard, Henri’s son, said on Wednesday, a day after the clinching game of the Stanley Cup Final. “I want people to understand this is a disease that impacts athletes far beyond football.”
Richard, who died in 2020 at the age of 84, was diagnosed with CTE by Dr. Stephen Saikali at Université Laval in Québec City. The disease, which can only be diagnosed posthumously, can cause memory loss, depression and violent mood swings in athletes, combat veterans and others who sustain repeated head trauma.
The Concussion Legacy Foundation said 16 of 17 NHL players studied have now been diagnosed with CTE, including Steve Montador, Ralph Backstrom, Bob Probert, and Hall of Famer Stan Mikita.
“Henri Richard was not an enforcer and CTE still ravaged his brain,” said Tim Fleiszer, a former Canadian Football League player who is CLF Canada’s executive director. “It is far past time for all of us in the Canadian sports community to acknowledge the long-term effects of repetitive impacts on the brain.”
Nicknamed the “Pocket Rocket” after following his brother, fellow Hall of Famer Maurice “Rocket” Richard into the sport, Henri Richard won the Stanley Cup 11 times in a 20-year career — the most in NHL history. He scored 358 goals with 688 assists for the Montreal Canadiens from 1955-75.
Teammate and fellow Hall of Famer Ken Dryden said Richard “fits none of the easy stereotypes” from an era when players didn’t wear helmets and fighting was common.
“Like Stan Mikita and Ralph Backstrom, he was a great skater, and physical, but he had a playmaker’s mind, and played that way. But all those hits to the head,” Dryden said. “We have to understand, whatever the sport, a hit to the head is not a good thing.”
LSU’S SKENES CLOSING IN ON STRIKEOUT RECORD AS TIGERS HEAD TO COLLEGE WORLD SERIES
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — When LSU clinched its first trip to the College World Series in six years, it gave 6-foot-6, 247-pound right-hander Paul Skenes a chance to break a major strikeout record that has stood for more than three decades.
Skenes — who’ll likely make his next start Saturday night against Tennessee in Omaha, Nebraska — is 15 strikeouts from eclipsing former LSU star Ben McDonald’s 1989 SEC mark of 202.
“Obviously, that’s in the back of my mind,” said Skenes, who has averaged just more than 11 strikeouts per appearance this season. “But the fact that I get to pitch again with this team, with these boys on the biggest stage, that’s the coolest opportunity that I could have asked for.”
The NCAA record is 234, set by Hawaii’s Derek Tatsuno in 1979, when he pitched 174 1/3 innings — 22 innings more than McDonald’s 152 1/3 and 67 1/3 more than Skenes’ current count of 107 innings.
If LSU wins at least twice in the CWS’s eight-team, double-elimination format, Skenes should get at least two starts.
“I’m hoping for three,” Skenes said with a smile, referring to the maximum number of appearances he could make if LSU advances to the best-of-three championship series.
“Things are pretty good if he pitches three more times,” LSU coach Jay Johnson said. “And because of him, we’ll have a chance to do that.”
Then again, it’s not beyond Skenes’ ability to strike out 15 in one game. With a fastball that routinely clocks 101 mph, complemented by a sharp-breaking slider and deceptive changeup, Skenes has averaged a nation-leading 15.8 strikeouts per nine innings this season, giving him a current total of 188.
Skenes struck out nine in 7 2/3 innings last Saturday night in a 14-0 victory over Kentucky in Game 1 of the Baton Rouge super regional. Afterward, Wildcats coach Nick Mingione summed up the LSU fireballer’s performance this way: “No. 1, he was up to 102 miles an hour, and No. 2, he threw more off-speed pitches than he did fastballs. Let that sink in.”
Even if Skenes falls short, he’s turned in one of the most dominant seasons in NCAA history, given the stricter pitch-count limits imposed upon star pitchers now, particularly those with the potential for a lucrative MLB future.
“It would be nice for him to have an opportunity to go two more times,” said former LSU coach Skip Bertman, who coached McDonald and also won five national titles as Tigers coach. “He’s a once-in-a-generation pitcher — like McDonald.”
Skenes’ earned-run average this season is 1.77 and he’s walked just 18 batters.
“The 12 to 13 strikeouts a game, three to four hits, zero or one run up on the board, and being able to count on that at the level we play at and the schedule that we play — maybe somebody’s done it before. I haven’t really seen that,” LSU coach Jay Johnson said. “Stephen Strasburg is the only competitor as far as just execution and talent and domination that I’ve seen” that compares.
Strasburg averaged 16.1 strikeouts per 9 innings over 109 innings — 195 strikeouts total — in 2009 at San Diego State. That summer, the Washington Nationals picked Strasburg first overall in the Major League Baseball draft.
Skenes is projected to be taken in the top two picks, perhaps behind only his LSU teammate centerfielder Dylan Crews, who is hitting .434 this season (.579 in the NCAA tournament).
Unlike Crews, who was a bona fide MLB prospect since high school, Skenes wasn’t sure pro baseball was in his future when he began college at Air Force. He was a two-way player before he transferred to LSU after last season, looking to specialize in pitching and elevate his draft status.
In the process, Johnson said, he’s elevated LSU’s season with more than just his physical attributes.
“He is the most special human being on the planet,” Johnson said. “He’s going to be an ace, a Cy Young winner some day, potential Hall-of-Famer. The character piece matches that talent and you never see that.
“His maturity level in terms of how he prepares, you can’t do it any better from the time an outing is over until the time the next outing starts,” Johnson said, referring to Skenes’ recovery regimen, his video scouting and his throwing between starts. “It’s as elite as you could ask for.”
Skenes also has been able to adjust his in-game approach when he finds he’s not executing certain types of pitches as well as he’d like on a given day, Johnson said.
“He’s dominated no matter what he has or hasn’t brought to the table in a particular outing,” Johnson said. “That’s a mark of a great pitcher.”
TCU TURNAROUND: HORNED FROGS IN 6TH CWS AFTER WINNING 11 IN ROW, 19 OF 21
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — As freshman Karson Bowen bounced toward home plate and then into the TCU dugout after his go-ahead grand slam, head coach Kirk Saarloos saw something the Horned Frogs really needed at that time.
“Relief is the thing I saw,” Saarloos said.
Only a couple of days after being swept in a three-game series at West Virginia in late April to extend their season-long losing streak to five games — “Definitely a pretty low point,” record-setting slugger Brayden Taylor said — the Frogs trailed in the eighth inning at home against Dallas Baptist before Bowen’s big blast.
“He came running off the field with a huge smile on his face, and the excitement of the dugout, it was kind of like almost relief and kind of just the joy,” Saarloos said. “I think, honestly, that’s kind of where it flipped, a grand slam on a Tuesday night in the eighth inning against DBU.”
The Frogs (42-22) are now going to College World Series for the sixth time, their first since four consecutive trips to Omaha from 2014-17. They have won 19 of 21 games since the start of May, with an 11-game winning streak that includes sweeping through the Big 12 Tournament, the Fayetteville Regional and an unexpected home super regional against Indiana State.
“We needed all the pieces to connect. And once they did, we knew we would start rolling like we are,” junior center fielder Elijah Nunez said. “We never lost confidence. We knew what team we were … And now we’re here.”
TCU plays the opening game in this year’s CWS on Friday against Oral Roberts (51-12), which has won 23 of its last 24 games.
“All the credit goes to our players, because they got into a position of ‘Man, it’s not fun losing.’ They kind of looked at one another and held each other accountable, but stayed together,” Saarloos said. “It’s very easy to fracture and go different ways when things aren’t going great.”
Saarloos, a former MLB pitcher, went to the College World Series twice while playing at Cal State Fullerton (1999 and 2001). He was part of the Frogs’ four consecutive trips after becoming their pitching coach in 2013, and now goes in only his second season as head coach since succeeding Jim Schlossnagle, who left for Texas A&M.
Nunez and third baseman Taylor, who has 23 homers this season and is TCU’s career leader with 48, are third-year starters in an everyday lineup bolstered by freshmen like catcher Bowen (team-best .355 batting average, six homers, 46 RBIs) and shortstop Anthony Silva (.340-7-47), and key transfers first baseman Cole Fontenelle (.347-13-52), second baseman Tre Richardson (.315-6-59) and right fielder Austin Davis (.280-9-55).
Freshman right-hander Kole Klecker (10-4, 3.84 ERA) leads the Big 12 in wins, and freshman lefty Ben Abeldt (3-3, 3.72 ERA) has a team-high 29 appearances.
Right after beating Dallas Baptist, the Frogs lost the first two games in a home series against Texas to fall to 23-20. But they have been on a roll since a 15-7 win in the finale against the Longhorns on May 1.
“I think that we were just sick and tired of playing the way that we were,” Taylor said. “We just decided to go out there, start having more fun, start playing baseball the way we know how.”
TCU’s regular season ended with a 4-3 win at Kansas State when Nunez made an incredible leaping catch to take away a game-tying homer on the final play of the game. He also caught the final out of the super regional clincher against Indiana State.
In between those catches by Nunez, the Frogs scored 48 runs in the Big 12 Tournament to outscore their four opponents by a combined 33 runs. They had 44 runs in three games at the Fayetteville Regional, including a 20-5 win over host Arkansas when Baylor transfer Richardson hit grand slams in each of the first two innings as part of a three-homer game when he tied the the NCAA Tournament record with 11 RBIs. He had homered only twice before that.
The Frogs got the super regional at home when nationally seeded Indiana State opted out of hosting, with the Special Olympics of Indiana, an annual event on its campus, being held at the same time. TCU donated about $15,000 from concession sales to that nonprofit organization and Frogs fans helped donate at least an an additional $35,000.
“You take a disappointing thing for their program and you turn it into a positive in terms of what the reason of why they had to come here, of doing something for 51 years in the Special Olympics,” Saarloos said. “It’s just phenomenal.”
FLORIDA HEADS TO COLLEGE WORLD SERIES WITH DEEPEST PITCHING STAFF SINCE LONE NATIONAL TITLE
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Florida coach Kevin O’Sullivan sifted through his desk this week in search of decade-old notebooks from previous trips to the College World Series.
The pages contain countless reminders about how to handle days, maybe even weeks, in Omaha, Nebraska. Build in downtime. Make sure everyone has fun. Gather the team together at the end of each night.
Solid tips, for sure. But the most important pointer didn’t need to be jotted down anywhere: bring pitching, lots of pitching. It shouldn’t be an issue for Sully and the Gators this time around.
Second-seeded Florida (50-15) has its most talented collection of arms since winning the program’s lone national title in 2017, a staff so deep that O’Sullivan could face daunting decisions about when to use standout sophomore Jac Caglianone and highly touted freshman Cade Fisher.
“There’s no perfect or complete team. Everybody’s got strengths, everybody’s got weaknesses,” O’Sullivan said. “We had to work awfully hard to figure out our bullpen and get our starting pitching going.
“Certainly, we’re pitching at a high level at the right time.”
It’s been nearly flawless the last two weeks, raising outside expectations and making the Gators one of the favorites to reach the best-of-three championship series. Florida opens bracket play against No. 7 seed Virginia (50-13) on Friday night.
Fourth-year junior and ace Brandon Sproat (8-3, 4.69 ERA) will get the ball to start against the Cavaliers. He’s pitched at least six innings in four of his last five starts, giving the Gators a chance almost every time out.
No. 2 starter Hurston Waldrep (9-3, 4.15 ERA) might be even better. Florida has won Waldrep’s last five starts, including consecutive gems against Connecticut and South Carolina in NCAA play. The Southern Miss transfer, a junior expected to be a first-round pick in next month’s MLB draft, struck out 12 in seven innings against the Huskies and fanned a career-high 13 in eight innings against the Gamecocks.
“That was the best stuff he’s had all year,” catcher BT Riopelle said. “He put his complete arsenal on display from pitch one. That kid is going to make a lot of money, but hopefully he can make himself some more money in Omaha.”
Sproat and Waldrep give Florida as good a 1-2 tandem as anyone remaining in NCAA play. But what makes this team better than most during O’Sullivan’s 16 seasons in Gainesville is its depth on the mound.
Caglianone (7-3), one of the best two-way players in the country, threw six shutout innings in regional play. Brandon Neely, a weekend starter last season who reluctantly agreed to take on the closer role this year, was a first-team All-Southeastern Conference selection thanks to 13 saves and 64 strikeouts in 46 2/3 innings.
“When I first approached him about closing, he really wanted no part of it,” O’Sullivan said. “But I promised him one thing. I said, ‘You came in as a starter and you’re going to leave this program as a starter.’ So I’m going to move him back to the starting rotation next year.”
Left-hander Philip Abner (3-0) and righty Ryan Slater (10-1) have become dependable relievers, and Fisher (6-0) has been as good as anyone down the stretch. He’s allowed one earned run since the end of April, and O’Sullivan is confident he can seamlessly slide into the rotation if Caglianone is needed in relief.
“From a pure ability standpoint, I’ve got three starters that have mid-90s stuff or better with good secondary pitches,” he said. “That’s why I never panicked. We did not have one weekend really until the SEC Tournament that all three starters pitched up to their capability. … That the most encouraging thing about the whole thing.
“I knew at some point we were going to get it all figured out.”
The Gators have of late, allowing 12 earned runs in seven NCAA Tournament games. Combine that with an offense that has hit 129 home runs this season, including a school-record 31 by Caglianone, and beating these Gators in any ballpark should be considered a formidable feat.
Florida’s 2017 squad was much more one-dimensional. Led by MLB-bound right-handers Alex Faedo, Brady Singer and Jackson Kowar, the Gators allowed five runs in five victories in Omaha — dominant pitching that helped hide offensive woes.
O’Sullivan pored over his notes from that one, his seventh trip to Omaha with the Gators. No. 8 has a chance to be equally great because O’Sullivan has pitching prowess to go along with an offense that ranks fourth in the nation in homers (129) and 11th in runs scored (521).
“We have a lot of confidence in this team,” shortstop Josh Rivera said. “We know that if we play our brand of baseball, it’s going to be a tough time for anybody.”
MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL
MLB ROUNDUP: DOWN TO LAST STRIKE, GIANTS STUN CARDS
Mike Yastrzemski drove in three runs as the visiting San Francisco Giants rallied past the St. Louis Cardinals 8-5 in 10 innings on Wednesday to complete a three-game sweep.
Yastrzemski hit an RBI single in the seventh inning, then socked a two-run homer with two outs and two strikes in the ninth to tie the game 5-5 and force extra innings. Thairo Estrada, Wilmer Flores and LaMonte Wade Jr. hit RBI singles in the 10th as the Giants won for the seventh time in nine games.
San Francisco relievers Jakob Junis, Taylor Rogers, Ryan Walker and Tyler Rogers (1-4) combined to blank the Cardinals for six innings before Camilo Doval handled the 10th for his 18th save.
Tommy Edman hit a grand slam for the Cardinals, who lost for the 12th time in 15 games. Steven Matz (0-7) allowed three runs in the 10th inning.
Mets 4, Yankees 3 (10 innings)
Brandon Nimmo hit a game-ending double with one out in the 10th inning as the New York Mets rallied for a victory over the visiting New York Yankees.
The Mets won for the second time in their past 11 games and overcame committing two seventh-inning errors before allowing Isiah Kiner-Falefa’s straight steal of home plate.
After Mets reliever Dominic Leone (1-2) retired Josh Donaldson with two on to end the top of the 11th, Mark Vientos struck out against the Yankees’ Albert Abreu (2-2) in the bottom of the frame before Nick Ramirez took over on the mound. Nimmo won it by hitting an 0-1 pitch off the top of the right field wall, touching off a wild celebration.
Braves 10, Tigers 7 (Game 1)
Michael Harris II had four hits, including a homer, while scoring three runs and driving in four as visiting Atlanta defeated Detroit in the first game of a doubleheader.
Ronald Acuna Jr. supplied three hits, including a homer, and drove in three runs for the Braves. Orlando Arcia contributed two hits, two runs and two RBIs. Spencer Strider (7-2) gave up five runs, including three homers, in five innings but still collected the win.
Miguel Cabrera hit his first homer in 34 games this season, a two-run shot. Eric Haase and Spencer Torkelson also homered for Detroit. Tigers starter Reese Olson (0-2) gave up seven runs (six earned) in 3 1/3 innings.
Braves 6, Tigers 5 (Game 2)
Ozzie Albies, Ronald Acuna Jr. and Eddie Rosario hit solo homers and scored two runs apiece as visiting Atlanta completed a doubleheader sweep by edging Detroit.
Orlando Arcia had two hits and drove in two runs for Atlanta, which has won nine of its last 11. Reliever Collin McHugh (3-0) set down all nine batters he faced to earn the win. Joe Jimenez retired all five he faced, and A.J. Minter got the last out for his 10th save.
Jake Rogers hit a three-run homer for the Tigers, who have lost 11 of their past 12 games. Andy Ibanez and Matt Vierling also homered. Detroit starter Michael Lorenzen (2-4) gave up all six Braves runs and nine hits in six innings.
Cubs 10, Pirates 6
Mike Tauchman and Dansby Swanson each had three hits, and they combined for three RBIs during Chicago’s six-run sixth inning that erased a four-run deficit and propelled the Cubs to a win over visiting Pittsburgh.
Chicago managed one run and stranded six runners through four innings against Pittsburgh starter Osvaldo Bido, who was making his major league debut. Reliever Roansy Contreras (3-6) retired the side in order in the fifth, but he fell apart in the sixth with Pittsburgh ahead 5-1. Starting with a bases-loaded walk via a pitch-clock violation, Contreras was charged with all five runs in the inning.
Drew Smyly (6-4) allowed five runs and nine hits, including three homers, but made it through six innings for Chicago, which won for the fourth time in five games. Chicago has totaled 21 runs to win the first two games of the three-game set.
Twins 4, Brewers 2
Carlos Correa drove in two runs and Bailey Ober recorded a quality start to lead Minnesota to a win against Milwaukee in Minneapolis to clinch a two-game series sweep.
The Twins handed Milwaukee its sixth consecutive loss. The Brewers took an early lead as Brian Anderson and Luis Urias hit back-to-back solo home runs in the top of the second.
Ober (4-3) and the back end of the Twins’ bullpen shut down Milwaukee from there. Ober finished six innings, allowing six hits and two runs while striking out seven. Colin Rea (3-4) was tagged with the loss.
Blue Jays 3, Orioles 1
Jose Berrios took a no-hitter into the seventh inning, George Springer homered and Toronto beat host Baltimore.
Berrios (7-4) allowed three hits in 7 2/3 innings and struck out five while walking one as he improved to 10-0 in his career against the Orioles. Adley Rutschman broke up Berrios’ no-hit bid with a line-drive single to center leading off the seventh.
Kyle Bradish (2-3) nearly matched Berrios, allowing one run on four hits over seven innings. Toronto’s Jordan Romano allowed singles by Ryan O’Hearn, Austin Hays and Aaron Hicks with two outs in the ninth to make it 3-1, then struck out Adam Frazier to complete his 19th save.
Astros 5, Nationals 4
Jose Abreu recorded two extra-base hits and three RBIs and scored with two outs in the ninth inning as host Houston edged Washington.
The Astros answered the Nationals’ three-run rally in the top of the ninth by loading the bases with one out in the bottom of the frame against Hunter Harvey (2-3). The Washington reliever got Jake Meyers to tap a grounder to shortstop C.J. Abrams, who erased Kyle Tucker at home.
However, when Nationals catcher Keibert Ruiz attempted to erase Meyers at first, his throw clipped Meyers in the helmet and ricocheted into right field, allowing Abreu to score the winning tally.
Rangers 6, Angels 3
Marcus Semien and Corey Seager hit back-to-back home runs, the bullpen did its part and Texas went on to beat Los Angeles in Arlington, Texas.
The Rangers took control of the game with two outs in the seventh. Semien broke a 1-1 tie by turning on a 1-1 changeup from Angels reliever Jimmy Herget (1-3) and hitting a two-run shot off the left field foul pole. Seager then sent a first-pitch slider from Herget over the right-center-field fence to make it a 4-1 game.
Angels star Shohei Ohtani hit a two-run homer in the ninth off Rangers reliever Will Smith to make it a 6-3 game, but Smith subsequently retired Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon to end the game.
Reds 7, Royals 4
Matt McLain hit one of four home runs for Cincinnati in a victory over host Kansas City that secured a three-game sweep.
McLain’s three-run blast highlighted a five-run fifth inning during which the Reds hit three homers. With one out in the frame, Stuart Fairchild went deep. One out later, McLain and Jonathan India delivered back-to-back home runs for a 7-1 lead. The pair combined for four hits and five RBIs.
Spencer Steer homered for Cincinnati in the second. The Royals got four hits from Edward Olivares and three hits from Bobby Witt Jr.
REDS PROSPECT ELLY DE LA CRUZ STILL SOARING AFTER INCREDIBLE BIG LEAGUE DEBUT
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — There may have been 30 people inside Kauffman Stadium on Tuesday with a view of the field, including a couple of workers who were busy hosing off seats hours before the game, yet all would occasionally turn to see where the ball landed when they heard the crack of the bat.
Inside the cage, hat flipped backward a la Ken Griffey Jr. and with a left-handed swing nearly as sweet, was the hottest thing to hit baseball in quite some time. Elly De La Cruz pounded ropes into the stadium’s massive alleys and soared shots that rattled around in the outfield seats or splashed into the stadium fountains.
An hour later, De La Cruz finally walked toward the visiting dugout with a few of his Cincinnati Reds teammates.
It was 2:58 p.m. First pitch was still more than four hours away.
Rarely do players widely considered baseball’s top prospect exceed expectations from Day 1. But even rarer is a talent like De La Cruz, the 21-year-old switch-hitting infielder whose first week in the major was the stuff of legend.
In his first big league series, De La Cruz annihilated a 92 mph fastball from Noah Syndergaard, the ball landing some 458 feet away and one row from leaving Great American Ball Park entirely. In the same game against the Dodgers, the 6-foot-5 phenom went from home to third on a triple faster than anyone this season. He’s even thrown a 96.6 mph laser to first base for an out.
De La Cruz is only the second player since at least 1900 to have a single, double, triple, homer and stolen base within their first three games, according to Elias Sports Bureau. The other was Bill Bruton of the Milwaukee Braves in 1953.
“Yeah,” Reds manager David Bell acknowledged, “there’s things that he’s done on the field that are extremely impressive. There’s no question about that. The fun part has been a lot of what he’s been able to do so far had led to helping us be able to win.”
That’s something that hasn’t happened around Cincinnati lately.
The Big Red Machine rusted away decades ago, and while there have been moments of unexpected joy — that 1990 World Series title bookended by losing seasons — heartbreak has been the norm. The Reds lost 100 games last season, their most since 1982, and have had losing records seven of the past eight full seasons; their only playoff trip during that span came during the COVID-19-shortened 2020 season, when they went 31-29 and were swept in the wild-card round.
There have been talents over the years that have had Cincinnati buzzing, and Joey Votto and Johnny Cueto are among those that panned out. Just as many never lived up to the hype: Brandon Larson, Christopher Gruler and Ryan Wagner among them.
Perhaps that fine line between success and failure is why De La Cruz was back at the ballpark so early Tuesday.
He had gone 0 for 5 in a series opener against the Kansas City Royals, striking out twice and looking lost and confused, but already he was building his confidence back. With shades riding high on his ball cap, yet never wiggling his head was so still, he continually pounded balls to all parts of the field as a handful of teammates watched.
“There’s definitely adjustment. There’s a transition,” Bell said. “He wants to make sure he’s doing the right thing around the clubhouse. This is all very new. Again, I keep going back to the ease of the transition. A lot of that has to do with how well he was prepared by people throughout our organization, and just in general, not being afraid to ask questions.”
De La Cruz has been with the Reds since 2018, when he signed as an international free agent at 16 years old. He made his pro debut the following year in the Dominican Summer League, but he didn’t play at all in 2020 when the minor league season was canceled by the pandemic. He was still playing rookie ball two years ago before finally graduating to the Class-A level.
By that point, though, his ability had become apparent.
De La Cruz split time last year between Class-A Dayton and Double-A Chattanooga, where he impressed enough to represent the Reds in the All-Star Futures Game. When autumn rolled around, the club put him on their 40-man roster to protect him from the Rule 5 draft, then watched him impress again this past spring training before sending him to Triple-A Louisville.
He hit .298 with 12 homers, 36 RBIs and 11 stolen bases there before an injury to Nick Senzel opened a spot in Cincinnati.
“I’ve had a lot of Dominican guys reach out to me, congratulate me, tell me to keep going — ‘This is just the start,’” said De La Cruz, whose large family of five brothers and three sisters has been following his journey in the Dominican Republic.
The Diamondbacks’ Ketel Marte and the Pirates’ Oneil Cruz are among those that have reached out to him.
“They both congratulated me and told me to keep going,” De La Cruz said.
Unlike so many Reds prospects over the years, who had weighty expectations placed entirely on their shoulders, De La Cruz doesn’t have to go it alone. Matt McLain is in the top five in All-Star voting, fellow infielder Spencer Steer gets regular playing time and another rookie, Andrew Abbott, has barged his way into the starting rotation.
They form a young core that is fun to watch. It’s versatile, dynamic and portends big things for the future.
Kind of like De La Cruz, who is at the center of it all.
“What can I say? I’m just here trying to give my team a chance to win,” he said, “and put in my best effort out there.”
ASTROS PITCHER MCCULLERS TO MISS REMAINDER OF SEASON FOLLOWING SURGERY
HOUSTON (AP) Houston Astros pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. will miss the remainder of the season after undergoing surgery Tuesday night to repair the flexor tendon in his right forearm and remove a bone spur, Astros General Manager Dana Brown announced Wednesday.
McCullers, 29, is expected to return to pitching during the 2024 season, the team said in a release.
The right-hander has not pitched this season after aggravating the tendon while throwing a bullpen session in West Palm Beach, Florida, in February at the start of Spring Training. He initially injured the flexor tendon while pitching in Game 4 of the 2021 AL Division Series against the White Sox.
“After the injury happened in February, Lance worked his tail off to get back on the mound,” Brown said in the release. “This guy is a warrior and did everything in his power to get back. But each time he built himself up to an increased pitch total off the mound, the pain would come back. It’s unfortunate, but we look forward to him being back on the mound next season.”
McCullers missed most of last season, returning to start eight games last season, going 4-2 with a 2.27 ERA. He went 0-1 in three starts in the postseason last year, allowing 11 runs in 15 1/3 innings, including seven runs in 4 1/3 innings against the Phillies in Game 3 of the World Series.
McCullers is 49-32 with a 3.48 ERA for his career. He also missed the 2019 season following Tommy John surgery.
METS’ DREW SMITH SUSPENDED 10 GAMES FOR BANNED STICKY STUFF AT SUBWAY SERIES
NEW YORK (AP) New York Mets pitcher Drew Smith was suspended for 10 games by Major League Baseball on Wednesday, the fifth pitcher and second on his team penalized for using banned sticky stuff.
The penalty was announced by MLB senior vice president for on-field operations Michael Hill, one day after Smith entered in the seventh inning of a Subway Series game against the Yankees at Citi Field and was ejected without throwing a pitch.
Smith has the right to appeal the discipline to John McHale Jr., a special assistant to baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred.
“They said both of my hands were too sticky,” Smith said following the Mets’ 7-6 loss. “Really surprised, because I haven’t done anything different all year. Sweat and rosin. I don’t know what else to say. Nothing changed. It’s just, I think the process is so arbitrary. It can change from one crew to the other and I think that’s the main issue.”
Smith was stopped for a routine check as he reached the infield. Within moments, several umpires and teammates were huddled around the right-hander, and Mets manager Buck Showalter came out of the dugout to join the discussion.
Smith held out his pitching hand and pleaded his case, but he was ejected by first base umpire Bill Miller, the crew chief. New York will be a player short during the suspension.
“Drew Smith was ejected because he had sticky hands,” Miller told a pool reporter. “I don’t know what’s on his hand, all I know it was sticky – sticky to the touch. It stuck to my hands when I touched it. Not only his pitching hand, but his glove hand as well.”
Miller said Smith’s hand was the stickiest he’s felt this season, and that the other three umpires agreed.
“I think if something’s sticky, it’s illegal,” Miller said. “They cannot manipulate the rosin. They can’t use foreign substance. I don’t know what was on his hand. But his hand was sticky to the touch, where my hand stuck to his hand.”
Mets pitcher Max Scherzer, who started Tuesday night, served a 10-game suspension after being ejected April 19 at Dodger Stadium. Scherzer claimed it was simply a mix of sweat and rosin, nothing illegal.
New York Yankees pitcher Domingo Germán was ejected from a May 16 game in Toronto for using a foreign substance on the mound and suspended 10 games by Major League Baseball the following day.
After MLB began cracking down on foreign substances in June 2021, Seattle’s Hector Santiago and Arizona’s Caleb Smith served suspensions for illegal sticky substances.
SCHEFFLER AT US OPEN, LOOKING TO SOLVE PUTTING PROBLEMS
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Scottie Scheffler took one long, smooth stroke, then looked down the line and watched the ball roll toward the hole on the practice green.
He was using his wedge.
That was a drill. The state of his game on the greens — more of an emergency.
The player listed No. 1 in the latest world golf ranking is sitting at No. 148 in the PGA Tour in putting this year. With the U.S. Open starting Thursday, Scheffler finds himself experimenting with different putters and also trying to give himself a little more credit for putts he hits well that just don’t go in.
There have been a lot of them lately.
“If I hit a really good 6-iron, sometimes it’s going to go to 2 feet and sometimes it’s going to go to 15 feet, and it’s like, ‘well, … it doesn’t make a huge difference,‘” said Scheffler, who is trying to become the only No. 1 to win the U.S. Open other than Tiger Woods, who last accomplished that in 2008. “But if I have a 6-footer and I hit a really good putt and one time it goes in and one time it doesn’t, everyone is like ‘Oh, why did he miss that putt?’”
But missing those putts comes at a price. Analytics, to say nothing of leaderboards, spell it out.
Scheffler leads the PGA Tour in scoring average and strokes gained on approach shots. Numbers from one analytics guru showed that through May, he was the only player to gain 15 or more strokes from tee to green this year; he’s done it four times.
He leads the tour in hitting greens in regulation, a stat that, by itself, can hamper putting statistics because players normally get closer when they’re scrambling and chipping from mere feet away than flying wedges in from 100 yards.
Still, he is 90 notches worse on the putting list than he was last year, and Scheffler isn’t hiding from reality. In an interview in late May, when he tied for third at the Charles Schwab Challenge, he said his struggles started at the Masters, where he was trying to defend his title but never got comfortable on the greens. He finished 10th.
It kept on going like that, to the point where he said “I felt like I was putting toward a moving cup.” At the Memorial earlier this month, he missed a playoff by a single shot despite gaining an unheard-of 20 shots against the field from tee to green. He lost 8.5 strokes putting.
“Obviously, had an off week there, or I probably would’ve won that one,” he said in his pre-Open interview Tuesday.
Golf’s equipment junkies have been watching his practice sessions intently. Scheffler has been testing a putter not that different from what he regularly uses. It’s just wider and has some different weighting options.
“Sometimes you’ve just got to bring another putter around there to make the original one scared,” Scheffler said.
He was only half joking.
Throughout history, players have been known to change putters on a whim, sometimes with great results. When Jack Nicklaus first saw the prototype of the putter he would use to win the 1986 Masters, he asked the designer if it was a joke. Sergio Garcia, who often struggles on the greens, made his 12-foot winner in a playoff at Augusta National in 2017 with a flat stick he’d been using for less than a month.
Scheffler, who has two wins, a runner-up and 12 top-10 finishes this season despite his trouble on the greens, concedes he would never be so cavalier in switching out a driver or an iron.
“Putting is just so different than the rest of the game, so when it comes to putters, it’s all personal,” Scheffler said.
Still, he is searching and testing and not really showing his cards.
“You guys can find out Thursday,” he said.
JOHNNY MILLER HONORED BY USGA ON 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF WINNING US OPEN WITH FINAL-ROUND 63
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Johnny Miller was back behind a microphone on Wednesday and the subject was himself.
Specifically, the 1973 U.S. Open championship that he clinched with a final-round 63 at Oakmont that remains one of the greatest rounds in major championship history.
Miller was honored with the 2023 Bob Jones Award, the USGA’s highest honor given in recognition of distinguished sportsmanship in golf. The award coincides with the 50th anniversary of Miller’s memorable round, which he began six shots off the lead and trailing 11 players, including Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Lee Trevino.
Miller can still spin a yarn some four years after retiring following a 30-year run as NBC’s unfiltered lead analyst.
“The secret of a 63 is the fact that I shot it on Sunday and it was enough to win the U.S. Open. There will be guys that will shoot 61 or 62, but can they do it on Sunday to win?” Miller said at the Los Angeles Country Club, which is hosting this year’s U.S. Open. “That’s what makes the round what it is.”
Miller’s 63 has been matched but never bettered. And it’s not just his final round that stands out to Miller, who at the time was a shaggy-haired 26-year-old from San Francisco.
“It wouldn’t have done any good if I finished second,” Miller said. “It would have been a nice round, but the fact that to win it and to beat Arnold Palmer in his backyard — I played with him on Thursday and Friday. For me to play in front of Arnold Palmer’s gallery in 1973 at Oakmont in his backyard was not easy to do. It’s not like they stuck around to watch my putt after Arnie made a 15-foot birdie putt and I had a 10-footer. The whole gallery is gone. It was hard playing in front of his gallery. His gallery was nuts. That was not a normal gallery.
“That part of it, the fact that I got through the Arnold Palmer part was a big relief to get through that and still be in contention.”
There was something else that Miller said was “amazing” about the week.
“I had a lady that came up to me on Monday after the round. She was on the 18th green, and she says: ‘You’re going to win the U.S. Open; I’m never wrong. You don’t have to worry; you’re going to win.’ She was there on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and then Saturday when I shot 76. I never saw her again after that.
“I was a little bit down on the fact that — not because she wasn’t there, but I was starting to believe her, that I was going to win. I went to the practice tee on Sunday and I was not very hopeful at all. I wasn’t even a little bit hopeful that I had a chance because I saw the guys that were in front of me on the leaderboard.”
Then he birdied the first four holes “and I knew that I was in the running. The hair on the back of my neck sort of stood up when I said that to myself: ‘You’ve got a chance to win.’ That made the adrenaline just start pumping. It was a fun round. It was almost a perfect ball-striking round.”
Miller hit all 18 greens in regulation. He said John Schlee later told him that Palmer reacted with a profanity when he looked at the leaderboard after he got to the No. 12 tee.
“He thought he was leading. He was not leading anymore. He was one behind me after thinking he had the championship in his backyard in his back pocket,” Miller said. “Actually when I finished on 18, something told me I had won, and I never really worried about whether those guys were going to catch me. I could feel that I had won the U.S. Open.
“Even though I had to wait about an hour and I don’t know how many minutes, you probably know, someone told me I had won. It’s pretty cool.”
LACC’S NORTH COURSE PRESENTS NEW CHALLENGE TO U.S. OPEN FIELD
When the Los Angeles Country Club’s North Course makes its major championship debut this week, golfers will find all the standard U.S. Open fare — elevation changes, tall fescue, fast greens.
The course will also offer something the best golfers in the world are far less accustomed to seeing in a major: a par-3 that can play as little as 78 yards, shorter than some holes at your local pitch-and-putt.
Defending U.S. Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick is one of several golfers intrigued by the par-3 15th hole at LACC.
“I would argue that at 78 yards, stood there with a lob wedge in your hand, you’re going to be a little bit more intimidated than (if you) stood there with a 3-wood in your hand,” the Englishman said. “I would probably say that’s pretty truthful amongst everyone in the field. I imagine that the target is going to be very small and you’re going to have to hit a good shot.”
Originally designed by George C. Thomas Jr., who also worked on nearby Riviera Country Club, the North Course was restored in 2010 by Gil Hanse, Jim Wagner and Geoff Shackelford. The course will play as a par-70 with three par-5s and five par-3s.
No. 15 is listed at 133 yards — the par-3 11th, by contrast, is a hefty 290 — but the USGA has the ability to change tee boxes and pin locations to shorten it to 78. The green slopes from back left to front right and has three bunkers twisting around it.
One of the few players in the field to have played LACC is Los Angeles native Collin Morikawa, who saw the 15th hole at 78 yards as an amateur during the 2017 Walker Cup. He said some of his peers have asked him about the hole this week.
“You almost had to practice teeing up with a 60-degree lob wedge like an inch off the ground, which you never do, and just trying to … hit it perfect, because you had (hit it) with height, with spin,” Morikawa said. “It’s only going to be that much more important this week if they do move it up. I’m sure they will.”
Max Homa recalled attending that Walker Cup as a spectator and enjoyed “watching everybody kind of make a mess of this little dinky hole.”
Now ranked No. 7 in the world, Homa owns the course record with a 61 he shot during the 2013 Pac-12 Championship. He doesn’t see anyone threatening that while playing a USGA layout.
“Bogeys are OK,” Homa said. “I’m going to remind myself of that because I don’t do that so well. … It’s a hard golf course. You’re going to hit some good shots that go in some really weird spots, but if you keep hitting good shots, you’re going to make some birdies and make up some ground.”
Jon Rahm of Spain called LACC’s fairways “deceptively wide.” Many drives will roll downhill or slope off to a side, where Bermuda rough (rare for a U.S. Open) or one of the barrancas that wind throughout the property await.
“It’s a design that I like. It makes you think,” Rahm said. “It’s very intricate green complexes. You’ve got to play the angles a little bit, and especially if you miss the greens, you’re going to find yourself in some interesting spots to get up and down.”
MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER
DYNAMO POST SECOND STRAIGHT SHUTOUT OF LOS ANGELES FC
The Houston Dynamo recorded their second shutout victory in five days over Los Angeles FC after Wednesday’s 1-0 result in Los Angeles.
After a dominant 4-0 win in Houston on Saturday, the Dynamo (7-7-3, 24 points) triumphed in the rematch thanks to Micael’s 23rd-minute goal and another solid defensive performance.
It was the Dynamo’s first road win (1-6-2) of the season, while 10-man Los Angeles FC suffered their first home loss (5-1-2).
A Hector Herrera free kick from just outside the box set up Houston’s goal. Herrera’s ball first found Erik Sviatchenko, and while goalkeeper John McCarthy dove to knock the shot aside, the ball was still loose near the corner of the Los Angeles net.
That created the opportunity for Micael to deposit the close-range rebound for his first MLS goal. Playing in his 10th regular-season game in two seasons with Houston, Micael has increasingly become a regular in the Dynamo’s starting 11 in the last several weeks.
Los Angeles FC (7-3-5, 26 points) is 0-2-1 in their last three regular-season games, without a single goal scored. It marks the first time in LAFC’s six MLS seasons that the team has gone scoreless over three straight league games.
Houston goalkeeper Steve Clark made only one save in his seventh shutout of the season, stopping a tricky shot from Mateusz Bogusz late in first-half extra time.
This was Los Angeles FC’s only on-target effort of their 14 total shots. Despite the volume, Los Angeles was short on true quality scoring chances for much of the game.
LAFC’s chances at the equalizer were further hampered when Kwadwo Opoku was issued a straight red card in the 79th minute. Opoku made an awkward cleats-up slide into Dynamo midfielder Artur, resulting in Opoku’s ejection from the game.
LAFC was playing without two important regulars, as leading scorer Denis Bouanga (10 goals) and starting midfielder Jose Cifuentes were both away on international duty.
WIMBLEDON PRIZE MONEY UP MORE THAN 11%, WINNERS OF SINGLES TO GET $3M EACH
LONDON (AP) — The total prize money at Wimbledon this year will rise by more than 11%, with the winners of the singles each getting 2.35 million pounds ($3 million).
The total prize fund at the championships will be 44.7 million pounds ($56.5 million), the All England Club said Wednesday. That is an increase of 17.1% compared to 2019, the last Wimbledon before the pandemic.
The earnings for the winners of the singles competitions are back to the levels they were in 2019. The prize for the singles champions had dipped to 1.7 million pounds in 2021, after the tournament was canceled in 2020, and was 2 million last year.
Officials said a priority was placed on supporting players in the early rounds. Those who lose in the first round will earn 55,000 pounds ($69,500), a 10% increase from last year.
TOP INDIANA RELEASES
INDIANA HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL
PLAYERS TO WATCH IN THIS WEEKENDS INDIANA HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL STATE FINALS
LAFAYETTE CENTRAL CATHOLIC
SS EVAN DIENHART .352BA 35R
P BEN MAZUR 7-0 1.07ERA 78K .342BA 26RBI
2B OWEN MUNN .330BA 34R
1B RTAN SCHUMER .371BA 5HR 37RBI
P KEATON BROOKS 6-2 2.60ERA 50K
P SETH WAGLER 8-1 0.82ERA 64K 8BB .427BA 29RBI
1B COLTON STOLL .419BA
DH JACOB PAUW .411BA 3HR 29RBI 7-0 2.45ERA 42K
RF DONNIE MILLER .343BA 31RBI
CF ETHAN GRABER .453BA 2HR 22RBI
2B LEVI LESTER .607BA 22RBI
LF TYLER GRABER .379BA 4HR 24RBI
P KEVIN CORCORAN JR. 8-2 1.01ERA 108K 17BB .456BA 31RBI
2B TYLER BALKEMA .429BA 24RBI
SS ISAAC VANDERWOUDE .395BA 7HR 36RBI
1B CODY DEJONG .348BA 20RBI
RF TANNER POST .392BA
DH MATT BULTEMA .341BA 27RBI
CF BRAD NARDI .462BA 22RBI 30R
C NOLAN JONES .458BA 2HR 23RBI
P ETHAN KIMMERLE 5-3 2.40ERA 67K 14BB .405BA 27RBI
SS MASON BARTH .433BA 3HR 33RBI 31R
3B JACK VOGT .396BA 2HR 20RBI
1B BRYCE HARDER 30RBI
CF MOISES VAZQUEZ .330BA 5HR 25RBI
RF TYLER PELLER .371 5HR 30RBI
P GARRETT BENKO 9-1 2.43ERA 72K
2B NOAH CHASE .343BA
DH JAMES KIRK .351BA 5HR 37RBI
P IVAN MATALSKI 5-1 1.42ERA 51K
CF DANE DEWEESE .359BA 2HR 25RBI
2B SPENCER DURHAM .355BA 18RBI
SS JACE BURTON .358BA 24RBI
P PRESTON BURTON 10-2 2.02ERA 46K 9CG
SS DREW CULBERTSON .438BA 8HR 34RBI 132B 46R
3B NOAH COY .370BA 27RBI 37R
RF EVAN ZAPP .378BA 3HR 35RBI
CF GARRISON BARILE .333BA 29RBI 32R
P JACOB MURPHY 9-1 0.79ERA 70K 3SVS
P BEN MURPHY 5-0 1.28ERA
P CADEN CORNETT 4-1 2.15ERA 45K
OF COOPER HUMS .413BA 7TRIPLES
OF EVAN TUESLEY .333BA 5HR 32 RBI 15 DOUBLES
2B COLTON HUDNALL .333BA
OF HUNTER MORRETT .355BA
3B RJ CROMARTIE .326BA 25RBI
SS CAM DOMBROWSKI .347BA
P ADAM LEHMANN 10-2 1.18ERA 113K
P IAN HERNANDEZ 5-2 1.57ERA 35K
P DAWSON FRENCH 5-2 1.19ERA 47K
P MASON CAMPBELL 4-0 0.60ERA 35K
DES MOINES, Iowa – Miguel Andújar extended hitting streak to a career-high tying 17 games, but a six-run outburst led the Iowa Cubs past the Indianapolis Indians on Wednesday afternoon at Principal Park, 8-1.
Andújar went 3-for-3 with an RBI, finishing his day a homer shy of the cycle. His eighth-inning sacrifice fly was within feet of clearing the fence for the cycle. His 17-game hitting streak is the longest streak by an Indians batter and the tied for the second-longest active streak in all of professional baseball.
Iowa (35-28) surged for six runs on six hits in the third inning off Indians reliever J.C. Flowers (L, 1-1). The inning featured four RBI singles and a sacrifice fly by major league rehabber Cody Bellinger.
The I-Cubs tacked on an insurance run in the sixth and seventh innings. Major league rehabber Edwin Rios singled in a run in the sixth and an RBI double by right fielder Darius Hill brought home Iowa’s eighth and final run of the game.
Indianapolis (29-34) broke the shutout in the eighth following a leadoff double off the right-center wall from catcher Henry Davis. Davis went on to score on Andújar’s deep sacrifice fly to right field.
Iowa’s starting pitcher Ben Brown (W, 3-3) silenced the Indians in 6.0 innings, surrendering six hits with 11 strikeouts.
The Indians and I-Cubs will continue their six-game series on Thursday night at 7:38 PM ET at Principal Park. Southpaw Kent Emanuel (4-2, 6.28) will take the mound for Indianapolis against Iowa’s right-hander Caleb Kilian (3-1, 4.94).
INDIANAPOLIS – The Pittsburgh Pirates today selected the contract of right-handed starting pitcher Osvaldo Bido, who will make his major league debut tonight as their starting pitcher at Chicago (NL). He will become the second player from the 2023 Indianapolis Indians to make his big league debut this season, following right-handed relief pitcher Cody Bolton.
Bido, 27, owns a 3-4 record, 4.55 ERA (28er/55.1ip) and 56 strikeouts in 12 games (10 starts) with Indianapolis this season. He currently ranks among International League qualifiers in average against (3rd, .224), WHIP (3rd, 1.30) and ERA (8th). His season has been highlighted by a pair of quality starts, including his most recent win on June 3 vs. Toledo when he fanned seven across 7.0 two-run innings.
On April 16 vs. St. Paul, Bido made his first appearance out of the bullpen and earned the win with nine strikeouts across 5.0 scoreless innings. His nine punchouts in the outing are the most by a relief pitcher in Victory Field history and were his most since fanning 10 in a start on Sept. 20, 2022.
Bido was signed by Pittsburgh as a non-drafted free agent on March 14, 2017 out of Los Hidalgos, Dominican Republic.
(INDIANA PACERS RELEASE)
Every year in the lead-up to the NBA Draft, certain players rise up draft boards after impressing at the NBA Draft Combine and in pre-draft workouts.
One of those players this year is Olivier-Maxence Prosper, a 20-year-old forward out of Marquette. Prosper initially declared for the draft while maintaining his collegiate eligibility, but opted to remain in the draft because of how well he has performed in pre-draft settings.
The Montreal native tested off the charts at the combine last month in Chicago, where his wingspan measured at 7-1 and he finished third among all prospects in max vertical (40.5 inches), and the shuttle run (3.0 seconds), and fourth in the lane agility drill (10.59 seconds).
Prosper — who goes by “O-Max” — backed up those numbers by dominating in the first five-on-five scrimmage at the combine. He scored 21 points in 22 minutes, going 5-for-11 from the field and 10-for-12 from the free throw line to go along with seven rebounds, two assists, one block, and one steal.
Prosper began his career at Clemson, where he averaged under 10 minutes a game as a freshman in 2020-21. He transferred to Marquette and started 25 of 32 games as a sophomore, averaging 6.6 points on 46.1 percent shooting and 3.3 rebounds. Prosper’s averages took a big jump last season to 12.5 points on 51.2 percent shooting and 4.7 assists and he played a key role on a deep Marquette team that captured the Big East regular-season and tournament titles.
But it’s become clear to teams in the pre-draft process that Prosper is capable of even more than he displayed during his time with the Golden Eagles.
“I think the biggest thing is just the way I play the game,” Prosper said following his pre-draft workout with the Pacers on Tuesday. “The way I compete, how hard I work out there, my energy on the floor, the way I play this game.
“And also I feel like I’m starting to show more how consistent of a shooter I am and also how improved my ball-handling is, something that I didn’t really show in college. That’s something that opened the eyes of a lot of NBA front offices.”
With his size and athleticism, Prosper projects as a versatile, two-way wing, one of the most coveted roles in the increasingly position-less NBA game. He can guard multiple positions and switch onto smaller, quicker guards. And offensively, Prosper has demonstrated an ability to take on more responsibility, though teams will want to see him continue to develop his outside shot (he shot a career-best 33.9 percent from beyond the arc last season).
Prosper is full of potential and figures to keep developing (he won’t turn 21 until July 3), but he also believes he can make an impact right away as a role player. Some of his best assets (defense, rebounding) are that things that can allow him to “come and bring a spark to a team” and “lift the energy on the floor up.”
The Pacers are looking for depth at the power forward position in particular and are also focused heavily on upgrading defensively after ranking 26th in the league in defensive rating in 2022-23. Prosper seemingly checks both boxes and could be available late in the first or early in the second rounds of the June 22 draft, where Indiana currently holds three picks in a seven-pick span (the 26th, 29th, and 32nd overall selections).
For his part, Prosper believes he could fit right in with the Pacers’ young roster.
“Just the vibe from the get-go, I feel like it’s a connected group coached by a great coach and just an organization that is destined to win a lot,” he said. “Especially with a really good core of young players that want to play for each other, that’s the type of organization that I want to play for.”
Prosper has followed the Pacers closely over the past year. He knows both fellow Canadians Bennedict Mathurin and Andrew Nembhard, who just completed their rookie seasons with the Blue & Gold, and is particularly close with Mathurin. The two Montreal natives started playing AAU basketball together as teenagers and both wound up attending the NBA Academy in Mexico City to finish high school.
“Me and Benn have a really good relationship,” Prosper said. “It’s just great to see what he’s doing here and the season he had this past year and the trajectory he’s on. I’ve always known that. We’ve always talked about the NBA stuff growing up, but now that we’re here, it’s just great to see. I’m proud of him and what he’s doing.”
Mathurin’s NBA dreams came true when the Pacers took him with the sixth overall pick last season. Next week, some team — whether it’s Indiana or somewhere else — will do the same for Prosper.
“It’s going to mean the world,” he said Tuesday. “You’ve worked so hard to get to this point. It’s a dream of mine since I can remember. It’s just about taking it all in and understanding what you’ve done. But it’s only the start…Hearing my name called is something that (I’ve) always dreamed of.
“But after that it’s what’s next, what are you going to do next?”
Jones Showing Value as Connector on Both Ends of the Floor
The other potential first-round pick in Tuesday’s workout group was Xavier guard Colby Jones. The 6-6 wing turned pro after a strong junior season, where he averaged 15 points, 5.7 rebounds, 4.4 assists, and 1.3 steals and was named second team All-Big East.
Jones is one of the most well-rounded players in this year’s draft class. He may not have one skill that jumps off the page, but he does everything well.
The Birmingham, Ala. native shot 37.8 percent from 3-point range last year and 50.9 percent from the field. He can get to the rim but also has a robust midrange game. He led the Musketeers in assists and is a versatile defender capable of guarding multiple positions.
Jones’ versatility was on full display during Xavier’s run to the Sweet Sixteen this March, as he stuffed the stat sheet in all three tournament games. He tallied 12 points, six rebounds, and four assists in an opening-round win over Kennesaw State, followed that up with 10 points, 14 boards, and seven assists two days later against Pitt, and had 15 points, seven rebounds, six assists, and two blocks in a season-ending loss to Texas.
Because of his diverse skillset, Jones could fit any number of roles initially for an NBA team. He hopes to make an early impact on the defensive end.
“I can guard multiple positions,” he said on Tuesday. “I can lock down multiple positions. And just my motor on defense, that never stops. That’s something I take pride in.”
Jones turned 21 on May 28. He has been frequently linked to the Pacers in various mock drafts, for whatever that’s worth. CBS Sports’ Kyle Boone has Indiana taking Jones with the 26th pick in his latest mock, while ESPN’s Jonathan Givony and Jeremy Woo have the Pacers picking him with the 29th selection.
For his part, Jones wouldn’t mind being drafted by a team just a two-hour drive from Cincinnati, where he played in college. He has some ties to the current Pacers roster in T.J. McConnell and Mathurin, who both played for current Xavier head coach Sean Miller when he was at Arizona.
Miller took over the Xavier program this year and guided them back to the tournament and Jones credited him a lot with his development.
“I loved playing for him,” Jones said. “Just the passion he has for the game, the love he has for the game, and the standard he held our team (to), it was great overall and I feel like I grew a lot under him.”
Much like Prosper, it’s starting to hit Jones that the draft is quickly approaching. It’s been a long past few months, but in a little over a week, his dream will become reality.
“All this is surreal,” he said. “This is a dream I had since I was a little kid. Just to be going through workouts, it’s a blessing. It’s a grind, but it’s what I asked for.”
Shooting and Defense Trademarks of Wing-Heavy Workout
The final four players at Thursday’s workout were Missouri guard D’Moi Hodge, San Jose State guard Omari Moore, Texas Tech forward Kevin Obanor, and Gonzaga guard Malachi Smith.
The 6-4 Hodge is known first and foremost as a tenacious defender. He was the Horizon League Defensive Player of the Year in 2022 at Cleveland State, where he ranked in the top 20 in the country in steals, averaging 2.2 per game. He transferred to Missouri for a grad year and was even more impactful on the defensive end, leading the SEC and ranking sixth in the nation with 2.6 steals per game.
On the offensive side, Hodge was a high-volume 3-point shooter who actually was more efficient against bigger competition. He averaged 15.4 points per game but shot just 33.7 percent from beyond the arc on nearly six attempts per game in his last season at Cleveland State, but averaged 14.7 points per night at Missouri and converted 40 percent of his 3-point attempts (taking over seven per contest).
“Playing at Cleveland State, I knew I could have played on another level,” Hodge said. “The Horizon League, mid-major was good, but I knew I had more to give. I feel like going to the SEC really showed what I can do. I feel like I did the exact same thing I did at Cleveland State at the SEC, but it’s just a higher level.”
The 24-year-old Hodge (he’ll turn 25 in December) is one of the oldest prospects in this year’s draft, but his defensive abilities combined with his shooting are the type of combination that could help him earn a roster spot.
Making the NBA would be a historic occasion for Hodge, who is from Tortola in the British Virgin Islands.
“I would be the first ever in the history of the B.V.I. to make it,” he said. “Just that alone, it carries a lot of weight. The draft is just nine days (away). It’s just showing that it’s not impossible. Coming from a small island that’s 22 square miles, everybody feels like it’s not possible to make it that far. So I feel like just showing them it’s possible is the biggest thing.”
Moore, a 6-6 guard, spent four years at San Jose State. He was named Mountain West Player of the Year last season as a senior, when he averaged 17.4 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 4.8 assists.
Offensively, Moore is at his best attacking the paint, something he thinks will continue to translate at the next level.
“It’s so much more space in the NBA,” Moore said. “In college they have (no defensive) three seconds and everybody can kind of pack in. So I think at the next level, I should be able to get downhill — it obviously won’t be easy — but be able to get downhill and create for others, for sure.”
Moore is a strong playmaker who led the Spartans in assists each of the last three seasons. He also could prove to be a versatile defender at the next level with his speed and nearly 6-10 wingspan.
Though he shot 42.9 percent from 3-point range on 77 attempts as a junior, Moore’s 3-point percentage dipped to 33.8 percent on a much higher volume (nearly 200 attempts) as a senior. He has focused a lot on refining his stroke and adjusting to the longer NBA 3-point line during the pre-draft process.
At the next level, Moore hopes his versatility and work ethic can get him on the floor.
“Just doing whatever the coach needs me to do,” Moore said. “Play defense, create for others, make open shots, all those kind of things. I feel like that’s something that I can kind of control — my effort. That’s something you can control as a rookie. So just coming in with a good attitude and giving 110 percent every day.”
Obanor is a familiar name for many college basketball fans in Indianapolis thanks to his standout performance in the 2021 NCAA Tournament held entirely in central Indiana.
Then in his third season at Oral Roberts, Obanor played a starring role in helping the Golden Eagles become just the second 15-seed in NCAA history to reach the Sweet Sixteen, recording three straight double-doubles.
The 6-8 forward went 5-for-12 from 3-point range and 7-for-7 from the free throw line on his way to a game-high 30 points and 11 rebounds in an overtime upset of second-seeded Ohio State. He then tallied 28 points, 11 boards, and four steals in the next round against Florida and had another double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds in a two-point loss to Arkansas in the Sweet Sixteen.
“It was a good experience, especially being at a mid-major to get that spotlight, especially in the tournament,” Obanor said of the magical run. “We’re the biggest sport in the world at the time (during) March Madness. To be able to play to the best of my abilities, it was a blessing.”
Obanor tested the draft waters after that year, but ultimately elected to return to school and transfer to Texas Tech. He spent the final two years of his college career in Lubbock, averaging 12 points and 5.9 rebounds over 69 games in the Big 12.
Obanor was an outstanding shooter at Oral Roberts, shooting 42.5 percent from beyond the arc over his three seasons there. His 3-point percentage dipped to .333 over his two seasons at Texas Tech, but his shooting and rebounding from a wing position still would be his most desirable skills for NBA teams.
He turned 24 on Monday, but believes his wealth of experience in college — from his tournament run at Oral Roberts to two years competing in the Big 12 — should allow him to contribute at the next level.
“They’re getting a good leader that brings good energy on and off the court,” Obanor said of the team that picks him.
Smith, a 6-4 guard, had a well-traveled college career. He was a role player as a freshman at Wright State in 2018-19 before transferring to Chattanooga. After sitting out a season due to NCAA transfer rules at the time, Smith blossomed in two seasons with the Mocs, averaging 18.6 points, 7.6 rebounds, 3.1 assists, and 1.6 steals over 60 games
Smith was named the Southern Conference Player of the Year in 2021-22, when he averaged just under 20 points per game to lead the league. He entered his name in the draft last year but withdrew before the deadline and ultimately transferred to Gonzaga.
He said on Monday that he believes spending the last year playing for one of the nation’s top programs made him better prepared for the draft this time around.
“I competed against a lot of great guys every day in practice,” Smith said. “Every day in practice is a battle, it’s a fight. And then obviously, playing (against) top competition every night, it kind of helped me get ready for this process now.”
After being the go-to option at Chattanooga, Smith willingly embraced a different role at Gonzaga. He came off the bench for all but one of his 37 games with the Bulldogs, averaging 8.7 points and 3.6 rebounds and shot 50 percent from 3-point range.
“I think I showed previously that I can score the ball at a high level, the ball (can) be in my hands,” Smith said. “But this year I showed that I can play a role and I can excel in that role. Being able to do both I think is a positive.”
Smith was a standout shooter throughout his college career, making 146 threes over four seasons at a 41-percent clip.
First year head coach Shane Steichen after Wednesday’s practice announced that the team would enjoy an early conclusion to minicamp after a productive few weeks of offseason work. Mini camp was scheduled to run through Thursday. This marks the last organized team activities until the players report to Grand Park in Westfield, Ind. in late July.
The quote: “I think the biggest thing that I was looking for was the chemistry and energy you know what I mean. Really just detailing up what we want to get done offensively and defensively and just attention to detail is a big part of what I believe in. I thought the guys did that. We had our ups and downs at moments but again bouncing back and not making the same mistake twice was big for those guys. I was pleased with where everyone was at.” – Head coach Shane Steichen
Context: Shane Steichen applauded the team’s development over recent weeks that culminated in the veteran minicamp at Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center. Immediately after a Super Bowl appearance with the Philadelphia Eagles, Steichen was named head coach in mid-February. He quickly got to work retaining the defensive staff led by coordinator Gus Bradley and assembled his offensive coaching staff which included veteran offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter.
Steichen served as offensive coordinator of the Philadelphia Eagles the last two seasons. During that time, Philly’s offense ranked first in the NFL in rushing yards per game (153.6), rushing yards (5,224) and rushing touchdowns (57) over that time frame.
While players will not have any required team activity until training camp, Steichen did say that quarterbacks Gardner Minshew II and Anthony Richardson have plans to work out together over the next five weeks with Colts pass catchers.
The quote: “Number one, hit the quick reset button. A lot of football, a lot of new terms, a lot of new schemes but then quickly turn that switch right back on and start preparing. What are you going to do? How are you going to gain that edge? What are you going to do to be 1% better than last year, 1% better from the previous day you were just on the field or just in the weight room? Because when August comes, it’s time to roll.” – Running back Jonathan Taylor
Context: The 2021 NFL rushing champ is eyeing a full return next month, despite being sidelined throughout the Colts OTA and minicamp period. When asked if he’d be ready for training camp, Jonathan Taylor said, “that’s definitely the goal.” The fourth year running back underwent ankle surgery in the offseason and has been progressing through his rehab.
Taylor’s 2022 campaign included 192 carries for 861 yards and four rushing touchdowns. The injury limited him to just 10 games last season, and he was placed on injured reserve in December.
The 24-year-old led all running backs in the NFL two seasons ago, boasting 1,811 yards and 18 touchdowns and was selected to his first Pro Bowl. That year, Taylor also broke Hall of Famer Edgerrin James’ franchise record for rushing yards in a single season.
The quote: “I think I need to step up this year and be more versatile, make more plays on different routes, be a better route runner and just catch the ball when it’s thrown to me.” – Wide receiver Alec Pierce
Context: After a rookie campaign in which he caught 41 receptions for 593 yards and two touchdowns, Alec Pierce is eager to be an even greater contributor within Steichen’s offense. The wide receiver was the Colts’ first pick of the 2022 NFL Draft selected 53rd overall.
Last season, Pierce enjoyed a breakout, 10-catch performance in a Thursday night victory over the Broncos and caught a game-winning touchdown from quarterback Matt Ryan against Jacksonville at Lucas Oil Stadium. The University of Cincinnati product also averaged a team-best 14.5 yards per catch in his rookie campaign.
Indiana Fever at Chicago Sky
Thursday, June 15, 2023
Wintrust Arena | 8 p.m. ET
Pat Boylan (play-by-play), Chris Denari (analyst)
The Indiana Fever (3-6) travel to Chicago on Thursday to face the Sky at 8 p.m. ET for the second matchup of the regular season.
On June 6 at Wintrust Arena, Indiana and Chicago (5-5) met with the Sky narrowly securing the win against the Fever in overtime, 108-103.
Six Fever players finished the night in double-figures, highlighted by Aliyah Boston’s career-high 25 points on 12-of-15 shooting and 11 rebounds. Fever guard Erica Wheeler ended the night with a double-double as she recorded a new franchise-best 12 assists with 12 points. Kristy Wallace contributed 16 points off the bench, Kelsey Mitchell had 14 points, NaLyssa Smith had 10 points, and Lexie Hull had a season-high 13 points.
Chicago was led by Marina Mabrey in the scoring attack against the Fever as she notched 29 points on the night, followed by Kahleah Copper (24), Dana Evans (20), and Alanna Smith (18). The Sky were outrebounded by the Fever, 35-25.
Indiana enters Thursday night with momentum after defeating the Washington Mystics, 87-66, Tuesday night at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. The first home win of the regular season was the franchise’s first double-digit win since 2021, and the first win by at least 20 points since 2019.
Boston made her stamp on the court and in the history books in the win against Washington. Boston contributed her third double-double of the season as she poured in a game-high 23 points on 11-of-14 shooting while recording season-high totals in rebounds (14) and assists (6). She becomes the youngest player in WNBA history to have a 20-10-5 game on at least 75 percent shooting, per ESPN Stats & Info, and the first rookie in WNBA history to lead all players in points, rebounds, and assists in a single game, per Elias Stats Bureau.
Boston currently leads the league in field goal percentage, shooting 67.1 percent from the floor. She has consistently led all 2023 rookies in rebounds (7.9 rpg), assists (2.6 apg), minutes played (28.4 mpg) and blocks (1.4 bpg).
Averaging 17.0 points per game this season, Fever guard Kelsey Mitchell also etched her name into Fever history against Washington as her 19 points on the night moved her into second on the all-time franchise scoring list. Mitchell, who enters the matchup in Chicago with 2,581 career-points, surpassed Katie Douglas with 2,564 points and now ranks behind only Tamika Catchings.
Indiana’s defense shined in the win as they held Washington to a 33.3 shooting percentage from the floor throughout the 40 minutes (22-of-66), and only 26.7 percent (4-of-15) in the third quarter alone. In addition, the Fever pulled down season-high totals in rebounds (46) and offensive rebounds (14). Queen Egbo tied a season-best in recording 10 rebounds in less than 10 minutes off the bench. She became only the second player in WNBA history to contribute at least 10 rebounds when in the game for less than 10 minutes, per Across the Timeline.
Since the Indiana-Chicago matchup June 6, the Sky followed up their overtime win with two consecutive road losses in Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
Chicago is led by seventh-year guard Copper and fifth-year guard Mabrey in scoring so far this season, as they average 17.2 and 16.1 points per game, respectively. Most recently, Mabrey poured in 20 points against the Aces and was followed in the scoring column by Copper, who had 18 points on the night. In addition, Sky guard Courtney Williams is averaging team-high totals in both rebounding (6.8 rpg) and assists (5.0).
Indiana Fever (3-6)
Guard – Kelsey Mitchell (17.0 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 2.1 apg)
Guard – Erica Wheeler (8.7 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 5.1 apg)
Guard – Lexie Hull (4.4 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 0.8 spg)
Forward – NaLyssa Smith (14.2 ppg, 9.9 rpg, 1.6 apg)
Center – Aliyah Boston (14.7 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 1.4 bpg)
Chicago Sky (5-5)
Guard – Kahleah Copper (17.2 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 2.0 apg)
Guard – Courtney Williams (8.4 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 5.0 apg)
Guard – Marina Mabrey (16.1 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 3.8 apg)
Forward – Alanna Smith (10.7 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 1.7 bpg)
Center – Elizabeth Williams (8.6 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 1.6 bpg)
Game Status Report
INDY ELEVEN W
St. Charles FC at Indy Eleven
Thursday, June 15, 2023 – 7:00 PM
Grand Park Sports Complex – Westfield, Ind.
In-game updates: @IndyElevenLive Twitter feed
Live stats: #INDvSTC MatchCenter at USLWLeague.com
2023 USL W League Records
Indy Eleven: 5W-0L-1D (+16GD) 16pts; 1st in Valley Division
St. Charles FC: 0W-4L-2D (-18 GD) 2pts; 5th in Valley Division
Setting the Scene
Indy Eleven is back for its second home match in a row when it hosts St. Charles FC. Indy still holds the top spot in the USL W League Valley Division with 16 points while St. Charles sits fifth in the division with two points.
Series vs. St. Charles FC
Thursday marks the second meeting between the two teams with the Girls in Blue walking away from St. Charles with an 8-0 win in the first match of the 2023 season.
May 10, 2023 | Away | W 8-0
Last Time Out
WESTFIELD, Ind. (Friday, June 9, 2023) – A pair of second half goals lifted Indy Eleven over Lexington SC, 2-0, on Friday night at the Grand Park Sports Campus. With the victory, Indy improves to 5-0-1 atop the USL W League’s Valley Division, while Lexington SC falls to 2-3-1.
Second half sub Katie Soderstrom broke the scoreless tie with her third goal of the season to put the Eleven ahead in the 60th minute. Soderstrom had a pair of chances just three minutes earlier that were denied by the Lexington keeper but connected on a through ball from Addie Chester into the lower right side of the net.
Indy’s leading scorer Maisie Whitsett did what she does best and doubled the Eleven’s lead with an 81st-minute header off a Soderstrom cross. It was Whitsett’s sixth goal of the season to give the Girls in Blue a 2-0 lead.
Indy also dominated the first half of play, led by Kanna Matsuhisa who had three of the Eleven’s four shots in the frame. The Girls in Blue had the upper hand for the final 10 minutes of the half as well, as Lexington’s Kelsey Kiesling was ejected in the 35th minute, and the visiting team was forced to finish the match a player down.
The Eleven outshot Lexington 19-4 in the match, including 15 in the second half, led by Soderstrom’s six. Emily Edwards earned her third shutout of the season in goal, making three saves.
IND – Katie Soderstrom (Chester) 60’
IND – Maisie Whitsett (Soderstrom) 81’
LEX – Lesley Kiesling (Ejection) 35’
INDY ELEVEN M
INDIANAPOLIS (Wednesday, June 14, 2023) – Indy Eleven announced Wednesday that it has transferred forward Juan Tejada to USL Championship side Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC. Per club policy, terms of the deal will not be disclosed.
Tejada appeared in 13 USL Championship matches for the Eleven during the 2023 season, making one start and logging 176 minutes. In 2022, Tejada made 15 appearances for the Boys in Blue after joining the club on July 21 from USLC side Tampa Bay, where he spent three-and-a-half seasons.
This is the second move to Colorado Springs this season for Indy, as Jonas Fjeldberg was transferred to the club on May 12. In a corresponding move, the Eleven acquired defender Macauley King.
The Boys in Blue are back in action on Saturday when they travel to face Birmingham Legion FC. Kick is slated for 7:30 p.m. on ESPN+.
Indy Eleven Roster as of 06-14-23
Goalkeepers (4): Cayden Crawford, Yannik Oettl, Tim Trilk, Hayden Vostal
Defenders (7): Younes Boudadi, Robby Dambrot, Adrian Diz Pe, Mechak Jerome, Macauley King, Gustavo Rissi, Jesus Vazquez
Midfielders (7): Jack Blake, Cam Lindley, Aodhan Quinn, Bryam Rebellon, Harrison Robledo, Diego Sanchez, Sebastian Velasquez
Forwards (7): Solomon Asante, Benji Chavarria, Grayson Elmquist, Sebastian Guenzatti, Luca Iaccino, Douglas Martinez, Roberto Molina
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana volleyball head coach Steve Aird revealed the program’s 33-match schedule for the 2023 season in correspondence with the unveiling of the full conference slate, as announced by the Big Ten office on Wednesday (June 14) afternoon.
The Hoosiers, coming off a 16-16 season in 2022 and an eighth-place finish in the Big Ten, will play 13 matches across four weekends in the non-conference and 20 games against Big Ten opponents.
IU will play 13 matches inside Wilkinson Hall including the first three matches of the season in late August at the Indiana Invitational against New Hampshire, Southern Indiana and Radford.
“Our program is excited about the quality of our preseason opponents. I felt it necessary to test us before the Big Ten schedule,” Aird said. “With the energy and excitement of the program and a majority of our team coming back, I wanted to play a challenging non-conference slate.”
After hosting the first weekend of the season, IU will play three-straight non-conference tournaments on the road at Long Beach State, Austin Peay and Miami (Fl.)/Florida International.
The Hoosiers will take on 2022 NCAA Tournament teams Washington (Sept. 2nd) and Miami (Fl.) (Sept. 15) as well as traditional powerhouses Long Beach State (Aug. 31) and UCLA (Sept. 1). UCLA is set to join the Big Ten beginning in the fall of 2024.
IU will play Southern Indiana, Radford, UCLA, Washington, Jacksonville and Lindenwood for the first time in program history as part of the non-conference slate.
This season will mark the first time playing 13 games in the non-conference since IU finished 11-2 in the preseason during the 2019 campaign.
The Hoosiers begin the traditional 20-game Big Ten conference schedule with a visit from Illinois on Wednesday, September 20th. IU has won its conference home opener in consecutive years after wins over Michigan State (2021) and Iowa (2022) in the past two seasons.
“As always, the Big Ten slate will challenge us for 20 games and 10-straight weeks,” Aird said. “We’re always excited to have exceptional teams come to our place. We hope the community and fans will help pack Wilkinson Hall with a home crowd that is a necessity in the nation’s toughest conference.”
IU’s first road contest in conference play will take the team to Madison, Wisc. for a date with the four-time defending Big Ten Champions, Wisconsin.
The first half of the conference slate is highlighted by a visit from traditional powerhouse Nebraska (Sept. 30), an east coast swing to Penn State (Oct. 6) and Maryland (Oct. 7) and consecutive Wednesday matches against in-state rival Purdue (Oct. 11: Away and Oct. 18: Home).
IU’s conference schedule features a stretch of four-straight road matches (Oct. 25th-Nov. 4th) before four-consecutive home matches (Nov. 10th-Nov. 18th). Thanksgiving week takes the Hoosiers through the state of Michigan to play the Spartans and Wolverines.
In total, IU will play 11 matches against NCAA Tournament teams from a year ago including nine in the Big Ten Conference. Senior day will be held against Wisconsin at the end of November.
Aird’s program is looking for the first berth to the NCAA Tournament since making the Sweet 16 in 2010. IU’s nine conference wins in 2022 were the most since that same 2010 season.
The Hoosiers return six starting rotation players including All-Big Ten setter Camryn Haworth and veteran middle blockers Kaley Rammelsberg and Savannah Kjolhede.
IU also welcomes the addition of Under Armour All-American libero Ramsey Gary and Cincinnati opposite hitter/middle blocker Avry Tatum.
The Big Ten is set to announce televised matches in the coming weeks with non-televised conference match start times to be set following that date.
2023 Indiana Volleyball Schedule
All match time are listed in Eastern Standard Time
Indiana Invitational (Bloomington, Ind.)
Friday, August 25th: vs. New Hampshire: 7:00 PM
Saturday, August 26th: vs. Southern Indiana: 10:00 AM
Saturday, August 26th: vs. Radford: 7:00 PM
Long Beach Invitational (Long Beach, Calif.)
Thursday, August 31st: at Long Beach State: 10:00 PM
Friday, September 1st: vs. UCLA: 8:00 PM
Saturday, September 2nd: vs. Washington: 8:00 PM
Stacheville Challenge (Clarksville, Tenn.)
Friday, September 8th: vs. Valpo: 1:00 PM ET
Friday, September 8th: vs. Lindenwood: 5:00 PM ET
Saturday, September 9th: vs. Austin Peay: 3:30 PM ET
305 Challenge (Miami, Fla.)
Friday, September 15th: vs. Stetson: 11:00 AM (at Miami)
Friday, September 15th: vs. Miami: 7:00 PM (at Miami)
Saturday, September 16th: vs. Jacksonville: 11:00 AM (at FIU)
Saturday, September 16th: vs. FIU: 7:00 PM (at FIU)
Big Ten Conference
Wednesday, September 20th: vs. Illinois
Sunday, September 24th: at Wisconsin
Friday, September 29th: vs. Iowa
Saturday, September 30th: vs. Nebraska
Friday, October 6th: at Penn State
Saturday, October 7th: at Maryland
Wednesday, October 11th: vs. Purdue
Saturday, October 14th: vs. Michigan
Wednesday, October 18th: at Purdue
Saturday, October 21st: vs. Ohio State
Wednesday, October 25th: at Illinois
Sunday, October 29th: at Northwestern
Friday, November 3rd: at Rutgers
Saturday, November 4th: at Ohio State
Friday, November 10th: vs. Rutgers
Sunday, November 12th: vs. Minnesota
Friday, November 17th: vs. Maryland
Saturday, November 18th: vs. Wisconsin
Friday, November 24th: at Michigan State
Saturday, November 25th: at Michigan
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Honors have started to roll in for the Indiana baseball program as the American Baseball Coaches Association tabbed four Hoosiers a part of the Midwest All-Region Team on Tuesday (June 13).
The quartet of senior Phillip Glasser, freshman Devin Taylor, sophomore Brock Tibbitts and sophomore Luke Sinnard were each honored as second-team All-Region selections from the ABCA. Head coach Jeff Mercer is a part of the ABCA NCAA Div. I All-America & Coach of the Year Committee, which coordinates the Midwest Region nomination and voting, along with selecting the organizations All-America teams.
Just the eighth Hoosier to score 70-plus runs in a season, Glasser also finished tied for No. 5 on the single season hits chart with 95 and equaled the longest reached base streak at Indiana since at least 2005 as he reached in 45 straight games to start the season. The 11th Hoosier all-time and first since 2012 to reach the 90-hit mark, Glasser reached base safely in 61 of 63 games with a hit in 49 of those. He posted 32 multi-hit games and 19 multi-run scored games on the season.
Big Ten Freshman of the Year, Taylor finished the season with the most RBIs (59) for an Indiana freshman in program history and finished No. 2 on the freshman home run charts with 16. Overall, he led all Big Ten freshmen in nine major stat categories, which included batting average (.315), OPS (1.080), home runs (16), RBIs (59), total bases (130) and walks (36) to earn first-team All-Big Ten honors. His 16 home runs are No. 3 all-time by a freshman in Big Ten history behind teammate and 2022 Freshman All-American Carter Mathison and Iowa’s Brad Carlson (21; 1999)
The sixth Hoosier in program history to reach 60 runs scored, 85 hits and 65 RBIs in a single season, Tibbitts earned second-team All-Big Ten in his sophomore campaign. His 68 RBIs are tied for No. 6 all-time at Indiana and he drove in at least one run in 35 games in 2023, with 22 games of both a run scored and RBI. He reached base safely in 58 of 63 games with a hit in 48 of those contests. His 20 multi-RBI games mark just the third time since 2005 a Hoosier hitter produced 20-plus multi-RBI games.
A second-team All-Big Ten pick, Sinnard made a start on the mound in each of the 16 weekends of the season and set the program record for strikeouts in a single season (114). His 114 punchouts were the most in the Big Ten in 2023, ranked No. 18 nationally and broke an 89-year-old IU record set by Vernon “Whitey” Wilshere in 1934 at 109 and equaled by Eric Arnett in 2009. He walked just 25 batters and ranked No. 2 in the conference with a 4.56 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He tied for a team-high with six victories and logged a team-best 86 1/3 innings of work.
By: Rachel Coe
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The Big Ten has announced its 2023 conference slate, finalizing Purdue’s opponent lineup for the upcoming 2023 season.
Combined with the squad’s seven non-conference home matches, fans will have 17 opportunities to watch Purdue in action at Holloway Gymnasium this fall.
The Boilermakers will begin Big Ten play on the east coast, opening at Maryland on Friday, September 22.
The first home match of conference action is slated for Friday, September 29 vs. Nebraska. In addition to serving as Purdue’s Big Ten home-opener, the match kicks off a four-match homestand, the longest stretch of matches the Boilermakers will host for the remainder of the year.
The Boilermakers are coming off its eighth consecutive NCAA tournament second round appearance and the program’s 14th 20-win season under Shondell’s reign.
This fall, Purdue’s loaded squad will feature seven newcomers, including the No. 3 recruiting class in the nation, the Big Ten Freshman of the Year Eva Hudson and All-Big Ten Second Team honorees Raven Colvin and Maddie Schermerhorn. On her way to becoming the first freshman in Purdue volleyball history to receive an All-America nod, Hudson led the Big Ten in both total kills and total points.
Newcomers include fifth year transfer setter Lorrin Poulter, setter Taylor Anderson, outside hitter and PrepVolleyball’s No. 1 ranked recruit Chloe Chicoine, opposite/right side Grace Heaney, defensive specialist Julia Kane, defensive specialist Rachel Williams and outside hitter Kenna Wollard.
Season tickets will not go on sale for the general public. Fans can join the Purdue volleyball season ticket wait list by calling the ticket office at 765-494-3194. Information on single-game tickets along with TV schedule will be announced at a later time.
BIG TEN SCHEDULE BREAKDOWN
HOME: Nebraska (9/29), Northwestern (10/1), Illinois (10/4), Iowa (10/7), Indiana (10/18), Minnesota (10/26), Penn State (11/5), Michigan State (11/12), Wisconsin (11/17), Maryland (11/18)
AWAY: Maryland (9/22), Rutgers (9/24), Indiana (10/11), Ohio State (10/15), Penn State (10/22), Illinois (10/28), Wisconsin (11/1), Minnesota (11/10), Michigan (11/24), Michigan State (11/25)
WEDNESDAY MATCHES: Illinois (10/4), Indiana (10/11), Indiana (10/18), Wisconsin (11/1)
THURSDAY MATCHES: Minnesota (10/26)
FRIDAY MATCHES: Maryland (9/22), Nebraska (9/29), Minnesota (11/10), Wisconsin (11/17), Michigan (11/24)
SATURDAY MATCHES: Iowa (10/7), Illinois (10/28), Maryland (11/18), Michigan State (11/25)
SUNDAY MATCHES: Rutgers (9/24), Northwestern (10/1), Ohio State (10/15), Penn State (10/22), Penn State (11/5), Michigan State (11/12)
PURDUE MEN’S GOLF
LOS ANGELES – For the second straight year, Purdue alum Adam Schenk (’14) will test his skill against the world’s top golfers at the 123rd U.S. Open, starting Thursday at the Los Angeles Country Club.
Schenk qualified in part to an outstanding season thus far in 2023, ranking 54th in the Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR) entering this week’s event. He qualified by ranking in the OWGR’s top 60 after The Memorial Tournament – where he recorded his second-straight top-10 finish with a 7th-place showing. He lost in a playoff the week before at the Charles Schwab Championship and also finished second in March at the Valspar Championship.
Schenk currently ranks 26th in the FedExCup standings, and with just eight weeks remaining on the 2023 schedule, has qualified for the season-ending FedExCup Playoffs for the fifth straight year. His highest previous finish in the playoffs was 71st in 2019.
This marks the second major that Schenk will play in during the 2023 season. He missed the cut at the PGA Championship in May, but has qualified to play in his first Open Championship in mid-July at Royal Liverpool in Hoylake, England.
This week marks his fourth career major, appearing in the 2023 PGA Championship at Oak Hill (missed cut), the 2022 PGA Championship at Southern Hills (T-41) and the 2022 U.S. Open at The Country Club (T-24). This season, he ranks 35th on the PGA Tour money list ($3,509,665).
Schenk will tee off round one at 3:37 p.m. ET, off hole 1 on Thursday and at 10:07 a.m. ET, off hole 10 on Friday. He is paired with Eric Cole and Thriston Lawrence.
This marks the fourth straight year that a Purdue alum has played in the U.S. Open. Schenk (2022) was preceded by Fernando Barco (’17) at Torrey Pines in 2021 (missed cut), and Tyler Duncan (’12) at Winged Foot in 2020 (T-34). Duncan also competed in the 2018 event at Shinnecock Hills (T-56) and 2015 at Chambers Bay (missed cut).
Schenk had an outstanding career at Purdue, helping Purdue to the 2014 National Championships in his senior season. He holds the school record for most-consecutive rounds at even- or under-par (13) and is seventh in career stroke average (73.35). He ranks third all-time in top-10 finishes (19).
INDIANAPOLIS – The IUPUI women’s cross country and track and field programs announced the additions of five student-athletes for the 2023-2024 season. Both Grace Bragg (Indianapolis, Ind./Cathedral) and Laura Masoni (Fishers, Ind./Fishers) will compete in both cross country and track while the trio of Journey Howard (New Albany, Ind./New Albany), Paige Laffoon (Attica, Ind./Seeger) and Shelby McGee (Catlin, Ill./Salt Fork) will compete in track and field. All four will have four seasons of eligibility, beginning this fall.
Bragg competed on Cathedral’s 4×400 and 4×800 relay teams this past season, helping both advance to the IHSAA State Finals. The 4×400 group finished tenth overall at 3:59.02 and the 4×800 quartet ran a time of 9:33.44. The 4×400 group won the Lawrence Central Sectional title while the 4×800 team won the Pike Regional title. She anchored the Irish’s sectional champion 4×400 relay team her junior year as well. Individually, she owns personal best times of 2:24 in the 800 and 1:00.20 in the 400. In cross country, she registered a personal best 5K time of 18:39.1 at the Noblesville Regional this past season, earning an 11th place finish and a semistate appearance. She was invited to compete in the NXR Midwest Regional Championships in Terre Haute following the high school season.
Howard advanced to the IHSAA State Finals each of the past three years, doing so in the 100m hurdles and 4×400 relay each season. In addition, she advanced to the state finals in the 300m hurdles as a sophomore in 2021. She earned sectional titles and regional runner-up finishes in the 100m hurdles each of the past two seasons, having run 14.99 at the Evansville Central Regional this past season. She jumped a personal best high jump mark of 5’4” her junior year at the Eastern Relays and clocked personal best 300m hurdles time of 46.31 her sophomore season.
Laffoon advanced to the IHSAA State Finals in the high jump this past season, marking her first career state finals appearance. She was sectional runner-up in both high jump and long jump this past season and later jumped a personal best 5’4” at both the Jefferson Regional and state championships. She had a personal best long jump of 17′ 8.5” at the Kendall Randle Invitational earlier this season and also competed with Seeger’s 4×100 and 4×400 relays at that meet. In addition to her prowess on the track, she was also an all-conference honoree in both volleyball and basketball at Seeger High School.
Masoni comes to IUPUI after having attending Indiana University this past season, but not competing. She participated in cross country, track and rowing at Fishers High School. Her personal best cross country time was a 20:01.9 effort at the Delta Regional during the 2019 season when she finished sixth overall, advancing to New Haven Semi-State.
McGee advanced to the IHSA 1A State Track & Field Championships in the 100m hurdles, 300m hurdles and triple jump this past season, marking the third straight year she advanced to the state finals. She finished eighth in the 100m hurdles and clocked a season-best time of 15.69 in the prelims earlier that day. Her junior year, she finished fourth at the state championships in both the 100m hurdles and triple jump after having placed seventh in the 100m hurdles and tenth in the triple jump her sophomore year. She was Vermillion County Champion in the 100m hurdles, 300m hurdles and 4×400 relay her junior year and then won Vermillion Valley Conference championships in the 100m hurdles, 300m hurdles and triple jump later that season. She also earned a Vermillion Valley Conference title in the 100m hurdles her senior year. She finished her high school career with personal best times of 15.33 in the 100m hurdles, 49.28 in the 300m hurdles and 35′ 4.5” in the triple jump.
The Jaguars return a strong core from a squad that finished fourth at the Horizon League Cross Country Championships last season. In addition, the squad boasts a strong group of young returners on the track and field side as well.
NOTRE DAME MEN’S BASKETBALL
SOUTH BEND, IN – Another Indiana kid comes home. Glenn & Stacey Murphy Head Men’s Basketball Coach Micah Shrewsberry announced the addition of transfer Tae Davis on Wednesday. The 6-7 forward out of Indianapolis arrives in South Bend after competing for one year at Seton Hall.
“Tae will be a great fit here at Notre Dame, on and off the court,” Shrewsberry explained. “He is a great kid who comes from a basketball family. His versatility and basketball IQ will allow us to use him in a lot of different ways offensively and defensively.”
“For me, it’s all about competing,” Davis said. “No matter who you are, you’re going to get a chance. Whatever they need me to do, they’re going to get. I will work for everything.”
Davis played in 32 games as a true freshman at Seton Hall where he averaged 2.8 points and 2.8 rebounds in 13.4 minutes per game. He scored 11 points against Monmouth in the season opener, becoming the first Pirate freshman since 2006 to score in double figures in his debut. Davis registered double-digit points one other time – 10 points and seven rebounds in the win over Drexel.
Davis attended Warren Central High and was ranked as a top-8 prospect in the state of Indiana according to 247 Sports. He ultimately finished his high school career with 1,178 points and 492 rebounds.
He averaged 22.0 points and 10.0 rebounds as a senior, and he was named to the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association “Supreme 15.” A year prior, Davis was named an Indiana All-Star after guiding Warren Central to a 19-7 record.
INDIANA STATE BASEBALL
DALLAS, Texas – Indiana State’s Connor Fenlong was named to the National Collegiate Baseball Writer’s Association (NCBWA) All-American team on Wednesday afternoon. The redshirt senior was selected to the organization’s Third Team marking his second All-American nod in the 2023 postseason.
Fenlong was previously named to the Collegiate Baseball News All-American team earlier this spring garnering a Second Team nod. His All-American recognition with the NCBWA marks the second time Fenlong was honored by the organization this season after being named the Dick Howser Trophy Pitcher of the Month for May.
Fenlong adds to his growing collection of postseason accolades in 2023. The Missouri Valley Pitcher of the Month was named to the ABCA/Rawlings All-Mideast Region First Team as announced by the organization Tuesday afternoon.
The Gouverneur, N.Y. native wrapped up one of the most dominant seasons in Indiana State history this past weekend finishing the year with an 11-3 overall record with a 3.45 ERA over 114.2 innings. Fenlong leads the NCAA with four complete game shutouts in 2023 and the redshirt senior went a span of 30.0 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run over the month of May.
In his first full season as a starting pitcher, Fenlong led the Missouri Valley in innings pitched (114.2) and wins (11), while sitting second in ERA (3.45), second in opponent batting average (.222), and sixth in strikeouts (76). He went at least six innings in 11 of his final 12 starts of the season including at least eight innings on five separate occasions.
He highlighted his year with complete game shutouts against Southern Illinois, Bradley, Murray State, and in the MVC Tournament against Belmont becoming the first pitcher in the MVC with at least four complete game shutouts since 1983.
Twenty-one different conferences and 18 conference championship squads represented among the 2023 honorees on the NCBWA Division I All-American teams. The three All-America squads are also made up of 12 conference players or co-players of the year, 14 conference pitchers of the year and two conference relief pitchers of the year.
Founded in 1962, the NCBWA is dedicated to the advancement of college baseball. Membership is open to writers, broadcasters and publicists of the sport. For more information about the NCBWA, visit the association’s official Web site, www.ncbwa.com.
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||49||22||.690||–||31 – 7||18 – 15||16 – 9||12 – 1||7 – 5||7 – 3||W 1|
|Baltimore||42||25||.627||5||21 – 13||21 – 12||12 – 8||14 – 5||8 – 6||6 – 4||L 1|
|NY Yankees||39||30||.565||9||21 – 17||18 – 13||11 – 12||8 – 8||8 – 5||5 – 5||L 1|
|Toronto||38||31||.551||10||19 – 13||19 – 18||7 – 16||11 – 5||8 – 5||6 – 4||W 1|
|Boston||34||35||.493||14||18 – 18||16 – 17||10 – 11||8 – 4||5 – 5||4 – 6||W 1|
|Minnesota||35||33||.515||–||20 – 14||15 – 19||8 – 11||12 – 8||5 – 4||4 – 6||W 2|
|Cleveland||31||36||.463||3.5||16 – 17||15 – 19||7 – 8||8 – 11||10 – 6||6 – 4||L 2|
|Chi White Sox||30||39||.435||5.5||17 – 17||13 – 22||4 – 12||15 – 11||4 – 6||6 – 4||W 1|
|Detroit||27||39||.409||7||15 – 18||12 – 21||2 – 14||9 – 7||4 – 5||1 – 9||L 2|
|Kansas City||18||50||.265||17||9 – 26||9 – 24||2 – 8||5 – 12||3 – 9||1 – 9||L 9|
|Texas||42||25||.627||–||22 – 11||20 – 14||7 – 6||7 – 2||15 – 7||5 – 5||W 1|
|Houston||39||29||.574||3.5||20 – 14||19 – 15||5 – 5||8 – 11||13 – 6||4 – 6||W 2|
|LA Angels||38||32||.543||5.5||20 – 14||18 – 18||8 – 9||7 – 5||14 – 12||8 – 2||L 1|
|Seattle||33||34||.493||9||19 – 16||14 – 18||3 – 6||5 – 5||12 – 10||4 – 6||L 1|
|Oakland||19||51||.271||24.5||9 – 25||10 – 26||3 – 10||3 – 3||4 – 23||7 – 3||L 1|
|Atlanta||42||26||.618||–||20 – 15||22 – 11||17 – 6||6 – 0||6 – 7||8 – 2||W 2|
|Miami||38||31||.551||4.5||21 – 13||17 – 18||8 – 12||5 – 4||9 – 10||7 – 3||W 1|
|Philadelphia||34||34||.500||8||19 – 11||15 – 23||5 – 8||6 – 4||10 – 12||8 – 2||W 2|
|NY Mets||32||36||.471||10||16 – 13||16 – 23||12 – 11||3 – 9||8 – 8||2 – 8||W 1|
|Washington||26||40||.394||15||12 – 21||14 – 19||7 – 12||4 – 3||7 – 11||2 – 8||L 2|
|Pittsburgh||34||32||.515||–||18 – 16||16 – 16||4 – 2||10 – 6||9 – 6||5 – 5||L 2|
|Milwaukee||34||34||.500||1||18 – 16||16 – 18||3 – 0||8 – 5||7 – 13||3 – 7||L 6|
|Cincinnati||34||35||.493||1.5||17 – 18||17 – 17||7 – 9||11 – 12||4 – 5||8 – 2||W 5|
|Chi Cubs||30||37||.448||4.5||17 – 16||13 – 21||6 – 10||5 – 8||9 – 8||5 – 5||W 2|
|St. Louis||27||42||.391||8.5||13 – 21||14 – 21||0 – 3||10 – 13||7 – 13||2 – 8||L 5|
|Arizona||41||27||.603||–||21 – 16||20 – 11||10 – 10||6 – 3||16 – 9||6 – 4||L 2|
|LA Dodgers||38||30||.559||3||21 – 11||17 – 19||9 – 6||12 – 11||12 – 7||3 – 7||L 1|
|San Francisco||36||32||.529||5||18 – 17||18 – 15||9 – 7||13 – 7||5 – 7||7 – 3||W 4|
|San Diego||33||34||.493||7.5||17 – 18||16 – 16||9 – 7||6 – 8||11 – 10||7 – 3||W 2|
|Colorado||29||41||.414||13||16 – 19||13 – 22||11 – 10||8 – 7||4 – 15||3 – 7||L 1|
TODAY IN BASEBALL HISTORY
1925 Entering the bottom of the eighth inning trailing the Indians, 15-4, the A’s cross the plate 13 times in the frame. Philadelphia will hold on to the lead in the top of the ninth to defeat Cleveland in an incredible 17-15 come-from-behind victory at Shibe Park.
1938 In the first night game played in New York City, Johnny Vander Meer pitches his second consecutive no-hitter, beating the Dodgers at Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field, 6-0. Four days ago, the Reds’ southpaw held the Braves hitless in a 3-0 victory at Crosley Field.
1940 In the Giants’ 12-1 rout of the Pirates at the Polo Grounds, Harry Danning hits for the cycle, becoming the last player to have an inside-the-park as part of this rare feat. The Giant catcher circles the bases when the 460-foot fly ball gets stuck behind the Eddie Grant Memorial, and Pittsburgh center fielder Vince DiMaggio cannot free it in time.
1948 The Tigers play their first home game under the lights, defeating the Philadelphia A’s, 4-1. Detroit played a night game at Bennett Park on September 24, 1896, but the results of George Vanderbeck’s Western League team exhibition against the Reds never made it into the books as an official game.
1949 Shortly after 1 a.m., Ruth Ann Steinhagen shoots Eddie Waitkus in the chest with a rifle at Chicago’s Edgewater Beach Hotel after luring him to her room with an urgent note delivered by the bellhop. The obsessed fan, who had become infatuated with the first baseman when he played in Chicago, apparently became agitated because the Cubs traded the All-Star infielder to the Phillies.
1951 The Cubs trade Andy Pfako along with Johnny Schmitz, Wayne Terwilliger, and Rube Walker to the Dodgers for Bruce Edwards, Joe Hatten, Eddie Miksis, and Gene Hermanski. The deal, which prevents the coveted ‘Handy Andy’ from going to the rival Giants, is the first of many to be made by Buzzy Bavasi, Brooklyn’s new general manager.
1952 The Cardinals, trailing 11-0 after three innings against Sal Maglie, overcome the double-digit deficit to defeat the Giants at the Polo Grounds, 14-12. The Redbirds score seven runs in the top of the fifth and another seven in the last three frames of the game to accomplish the biggest rally in National League history.
1955 After striking out against the Amarillo Gold Sox, 22-year-old Albuquerque Dukes outfielder Larry Segovia kicks a water fountain in the dugout, breaking a pipe that creates a 50-foot high cascade of water that soaks his teammates and nearby fans. The grounds crew shuts off the water, repairs the damages, and removes the puddles from the playing field, delaying the West Texas-New Mexico League contest.
1957 Red Schoendienst, who was unexpectedly traded to the Giants last season by Cardinals GM Frank Lane, is dealt a year and a day later by New York to Milwaukee for Ray Crone, Danny O’Connell, and Bobby Thomson. The nine-time All-Star, who hit .301 during his two partial seasons in the Big Apple, will play a vital role in the Braves’ World Championship, leading the league with 200 hits and finishing third in the NL MVP balloting.
1958 In a move that is perceived to be a prelude to a second deal with the Yankees, the A’s trade Woodie Held and Vic Power to the Indians for southpaw Dick Tomanek, utility player Preston Ward, and right fielder Roger Maris. Already under pressure for allowing Kansas City to become a farm club for the Bronx Bombers, owner Arnold Johnson is warned by American League president Will Harridge not to send the outfield slugger to New York for at least 18 months.
1958 Identical twins are split up by the Pirates when Eddie O’Brien stays with Pittsburgh, but his brother Johnny, along with third baseman Gene Freese, are traded to the Cardinals for infielder Dick Schofield. Eddie, who appeared in April for the Bucs as a defensive replacement, will finish his tenure with the team that signed him as a bonus baby in 1953 without playing another game this season.
1963 At Candlestick Park, Juan Marichal no-hits Houston, 1-0, to become the first Giants hurler since Carl Hubbell accomplished the feat in 1929 and the first since the franchise moved to San Francisco to throw a no-no. The 25-year-old Dominican native outduels Colt .45’s right-hander Dick Drott, who tosses a complete-game three-hitter, yielding the game’s only run in the eighth inning, giving up doubles to Chuck Hiller and Jimmy Davenport. (Ed. Note: Our thanks to Richard J. Drake, who attended the game as a nine-year-old with his grandfather, for reminding us about this outstanding achievement – LP).
1964 In a six-player transaction, Chicago deals unknown outfielder Lou Brock, who will become a fixture with the Redbirds for the next fifteen years, amassing 3,023 career hits, to St. Louis for right-hander Ernie Broglio. The trade, believed to be a steal for the Cubs, will become infamous when the former 20-game winner pitches poorly for his new team, posting a 7-19 record during his brief two and half seasons with the team, and the 24-year-old they gave up enjoys a Hall of Fame career.
1965 At Tiger Stadium, Denny McLain enters the game in the first inning in relief and strikes out the first seven batters he faces to set a major league record. The Detroit right-hander will whiff 14 batters during his 6.2 innings as a reliever in the team’s 6-5 victory over Boston.
1967 Jimmy Wynn becomes the first Astro to hit three homers in one game, becoming the first of only two Houston players to have accomplished the feat in the 34-year history of the Astrodome. In 1994, future Hall of Fame first baseman Jeff Bagwell matches the Toy Cannon’s long-ball performance.
1968 The Phillies fire manager Gene Mauch and replace him with Bob Skinner, skipper of the team’s farm club in San Diego. ‘The Little General,’ best remembered for being at the helm during the club’s infamous collapse in 1964, compiled a 646-684 (.486) record during his 8+year tenure with Philadelphia.
1969 The Mets acquire Donn Clendenon from the Expos for right-hander Steve Renko, infielder Kevin Collins, and two minor league prospects. The 33-year-old first baseman, who will be named the MVP of this season’s Fall Classic, plays a pivotal role in the team’s world championship, both on the field and in the clubhouse.
1969 En route to setting the National League record of playing in 1,117 consecutive games, Billy Williams hobbles to the plate as a pinch-hitter at Crosley Fieldafter fouling a pitch off his foot in yesterday’s contest. The appearance marks the first time “Sweet Swingin’ Billy” has not been in the starting lineup during the 878 games of the streak.
1976 In a ten-player trade between the Orioles and Yankees, both teams exchange four pitchers and a catcher. Baltimore sends moundsmen Ken Holtzman, Doyle Alexander, Jimmy Freeman, and Grant Jackson along with backstop Elrod Hendricks to New York for hurlers Tippy Martinez, Rudy May, Scott McGregor, and Dave Pagan, and catcher Rick Dempsey.
1976 Massive flooding in the Houston metropolitan area prevents the umpiring crew from reaching the Astrodome and causes the first ‘rainout’ in the enclosed ballpark’s history. The Pirates and Astros players, who had arrived early for practice, share their clubhouse meal on the field with the few die-hard fans who braved the elements, hoping to see a game.
1977 The Mets deal Tom Seaver, known as the Franchise, to the Reds for pitcher Pat Zachary, second baseman Doug Flynn, and minor leaguers Steve Henderson and Dan Norman. New York also trades Dave Kingman to the Angels for Bobby Valentine and a minor league player.
1983 The Cardinals trade former MVP Keith Hernandez to the Mets for a pair of right-handed hurlers, Neil Allen and Rick Ownbey. The righties will compile a 21-22 record for the Redbirds, and the Gold Glove first baseman will spend seven seasons in New York, batting .297, playing an instrumental role in the club’s World Championship in 1986.
1992 Red Sox reliever Jeff Reardon, pitching one scoreless inning to protect a 1-0 lead, breaks Rollie Fingers’ career save mark of 341. The Dalton, Massachusetts native, who will finish his 16-year major league tenure with 367 saves, will be surpassed as the all-time leader next season by Lee Smith.
1992 The NY-Penn Minor League Erie Sailors beat the Jamestown Expos in 13 innings at College Stadium, 6-5, marking the first-ever game played by a team representing the National League’s new expansion team, the Florida Marlins. John Lynch, who will leave baseball to become a safety for the NFL Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Denver Broncos, throws the first pitch of the franchise.
1993 At the Kingdome, Ken Griffey, Jr. hits his 100th career home run, leading off the eighth inning against Billy Brewer in the Mariners’ 6-1 victory over the Royals, becoming the sixth-youngest player to reach the milestone. The 23-year-old future Hall of Fame outfielder was only older than Mel Ott, Tony Conigliaro, Eddie Matthews, Johnny Bench, and Hank Aaron when he hit the century mark.
1996 With runners on first and second, in the first inning of their 6-2 victory over the Braves, the Dodgers turn their first triple play in forty-seven years. After making a running back-to-the-plate grab of Chipper Jones’s popup to short left, Juan Castro throws to second baseman Delino Deshields to double up Marquis Grissom, with the ball relayed to first baseman Eric Karos to get Mark Lemke.
1999 Brewers’ pitcher Jim Abbott, born without a right hand, gets the first hit in his 11-year career when he connects in the fourth inning for a rbi-single off Jon Lieber in the team’s 11-4 victory over the Cubs at County Stadium. The southpaw didn’t bat playing for the Angels and the Yankees due to the designated hitter rule in the American League.
1999 Baltimore’s first baseman Will Clark gets his 2,000th career hit, a 10th-inning single in the team’s 6-5 walk-off victory over the Royals at Camden Yards. The 35-year-old ‘Thrill’ will end his 15-year big league career next season with a .303 batting average, collecting 2,176 hits with the Giants, Rangers, Orioles, and Cardinals.
2003 Blue Jay rookie Reed Johnson becomes the fourth major leaguer to end a game with a walk-off homer after hitting a round-tripper to start the contest for his team. The 26-year-old right-fielder drilled Shawn Estes’ 3-2 pitch over the left-centerfield fence leading off in the bottom of the first frame and then ended the 4-4 stalemate with a tenth-inning solo shot off Cubs’ reliever Mark Guthrie.
2005 Joining Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Governor George Pataki, and team officials, George Steinbrenner announces plans for a new ballpark in the Bronx. The Yankee-financed $800-million facility, to be built north of the current stadium in Macombs Dam Park, will seat at least 51,800 and mirror ‘The House that Ruth Built,’ including limestone walls and the familiar copper frieze.
2009 Matt Dermody, a Norwalk (IA) High School senior, strikes out every South Tama High batter who steps to the plate in a game shortened to six innings due to the state’s mercy rule, invoked when a team leads by ten or more runs after five frames. The 6-foot-5 recently drafted southpaw (Pirates’ 26th round) will attend the University of Iowa, playing for the Hawkeyes, before signing with the Blue Jays in 2013.
2016 “I’m not trying to take anything away from Ichiro, he’s had a Hall of Fame career, but the next thing you know, they’ll be counting his high-school hits.” – PETE ROSE, as quoted in USA Today. Ichiro Suzuki’s ninth-inning double in the Marlins’ 6-3 loss to the Padres at Petco Park raises his professional hit total to 4,257, surpassing Pete Rose’s all-time major league mark. The 42-year-old outfielder’s total includes the 1,278 hits he collected for Orix in Japan’s Pacific League.
June 15, 1878 – The world’s first moving pictures are taken by 12 different cameras. The subject was a horse with rider at full gallop by photographer Eadweard Muybridge. The purpose was to see if all 4 of the horses hooves left the ground at any point in time during its run, as it could not be determined with the naked eye, and the photos proved that they did. This set in motion a series of inventions that eventually placed visual media into what we have today. Football eventually embraced these technologies and is very connected to film through much of its history.
FIRST RAINOUT EVER MAKES DOME HISTORY
June 15, 1976 – In a bit of irony the Astrodome, the premier domed stadium where the Houston Oilers called home for many seasons, postponed an Astro’s baseball game due to a rain out when the visiting team and the umpires could not get to the stadium because of flooded streets. The report says that more than seven inches of rain fell on the Houston area that day forcing the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates and the game umpires to shelter in place. One Astrodome official stated, “It wasn’t exactly a rain-out, it was more of a rain-in.” Needless to say it is one of the more weird stories of the iconic sports stadiums you may ever read!
June 15, 1889 – John Kilpatrick was an end out of Yale University that was selected to join the ranks of legends in the College Football Hall of Fame in 1955. The National Football Foundation shares that in 1910 the Princeton Tigers were a phenomenal football team and heavy favorites to beat Yale when the Bulldogs played the Tigers in the next-to-last game of the season. Princeton was unbeaten, untied, and unscored-upon. The course of that story ended in this game though. With the Tigers leading, 3-0, Yale quarterback Art Howe lofted a pass which John Kilpatrick hauled in at the Princeton 23 and promptly streaked down the field for the winning touchdown, worth five points in those days. The victory gave Yale one of the greatest upsets in its’ history and a final 6-2-2 record. However, it was the year before, 1909, that the Elis had their best season. Called the greatest defensive unit in Eli football, that club won all 10 games and held each of its opponents scoreless. Mr. Kilpatrick was such a great and talented athlete that he is also a member recognized in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Though born in Canada he served the U.S. in the Army during World War I and received the Distinguished Service Medal. After football and the war he became a business man in New York City highlighted by serving as the president of the Madison Square Garden Corporation.
FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME
Years: 1984-1985, 1987-1988
Place of Birth: West Covina, CA
Date of Birth: Nov 21, 1966
Jersey Number: 8
High School: Henryetta HS (Henryetta, OK)
After transferring from the University of Oklahoma, Troy Aikman made an immediate and indelible impact on UCLA football in only two seasons with the Bruins. A consensus First Team All-America pick in 1988, Aikman finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting and led UCLA to a No. 1 ranking during the season. The Davey O’Brien Award winner passed for 5,363 yards during his career and still holds school records for most completions in a single season (228) and completion percentage (64.8). He led the Bruins to victories in the 1987 Aloha Bowl and the 1989 Cotton Bowl and was named Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Year following his junior campaign. A native of West Covina, Calif., Aikman was chosen as the first overall pick in the 1989 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys. He went on to become one of the NFL’s most prolific passers, winning three Super Bowls and garnering Pro Bowl laurels six times. Spending his entire career with the Cowboys, Aikman was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006. As the founder and president of the Troy Aikman Foundation, he is committed to helping disadvantaged children fulfill their physical, psychological, social and economical needs. He also serves as a pro football analyst on Fox and resides in Dallas, where he is a successful businessman.
NUMBERS IN SPORTS
1 – 24 – 20 – 57 – 36 – 27 -11
June 15, 1902 – Talk about a dominant club playing someone way below their paygrade! Justin Clark of Corsicana, Texas minors hits 8 home runs in 1 game as the Corsicana Oil City’s slaughtered Texarkana 51 to 3. It may just be Minor League Baseball’s most lopsided baseball game! The game was originally scheduled to be played in front of the home Corsicana crowd but a Sunday blue law prevented the already scheduled game to be played there so it was moved to nearby Ennis, Texas where no Sunday law was in place. This new venue had a temporary fence set up at 210 feet from home Plate according to a post on The Sporting News Website.
June 15, 1928 – It was something that he was famous for, Philadelphia Athletics baseball star Ty Cobb, stole home plate for a record 54th time. This instance would be the final time the veteran would take this particular base unwarranted as he retired at the end of the season after an illustrious career in the MLB according to VintageDetroit.com. Pilfering home plate was a specialty for Cobb, who retired with a then-record 892 stolen bases in his 24 big-league seasons including one theft in a World Series game. The next closest player in home base robberies was Max Carey, who had 33 during his 20 seasons with Pittsburgh and Brooklyn. To put Cobb’s feat in perspective, consider that the two players who moved ahead of him in career steals, Rickey Henderson, Number 24 (most of his career) with 1,406 and Lou Brock, Number 20 (most of his career) taking 938, stole home only seven times between them.
June 15, 1938 – There were a few pieces of important sports history from this contest. During the first night game at Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field where fans got to see their home squad under the lights, The Cincinnati Reds defeated the Dodgers by the score of 6-0. Cincinnati’s Johnny Vander Meer, Number 57 tossed his unprecedented second consecutive no-hitter! Think about that for a moment. The man had two straight games pitched in the Major Leagues where no one reached base safely on a hit. The first game he did it was on June 11th at the friendly confines of Crosley Field in Cincinnati, where Vander Meer walked three while striking out four and allowing no hits against the Boston Bees. According to the Baseball Almanac, these two complete game shutout victories were also part of a nine game consecutive win streak by Johnny Vander Meer during the 1938 season. The lefthander known for his fastball, also went on to set a new National League record for consecutive hitless innings with twenty-one and two-thirds that still stands to this day!
June 15, 1953 – New York Yankees first baseman Johnny Mize, Number 36 became the 93rd MLB player to reach 2,000 career hits. The milestone accomplishment occurred in Mize’s final season in the Majors.
June 15, 1963 – San Francisco Giants ace and future Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Number 27, Juan Marichal no-hit the Houston Colt .45s, by the score of 1-0. Marichial recorded 243 wins in his 16 year career with 2303 Ks and a 2.89 ERA.
June 15, 1965 – Detroit Tigers hurler Denny McLain, Number 17 in relief strikes out first 7 batters faced & record 14 in 6 2/3 innings as the Tigers rolled to a 6-5 win over Boston Red Sox. Also in the contest Bill Freehan, Number 11 tied an MLB record for a catcher receiving 19 putouts.
BASEBALL HALL OF FAME
Though the career of Ross Youngs was ended prematurely, he made an impact on the baseball world during his 10 seasons in the big leagues.
Youngs made his major league debut in 1917 with the New York Giants. His first full season came in the following year when he was sixth in the league with a .302 batting average.
The left-handed hitter finished his career with a .322 lifetime average and batted over .300 for seven straight full seasons, reaching an average of better than .350 twice. He scored 100-plus runs on three occasions and led National League right fielders in assists five times.
Youngs had his best season in 1920 when he finished second in the NL batting race with a .351 average. At just 23 years old, he collected 204 hits, scored 92 runs, had 27 doubles, 14 triples and six home runs. He also notched 78 RBI and walked 75 times. He had a .427 on-base percentage and was third-best in the league with a .477 slugging mark. On May 11 of that season, Youngs had three triples in one game against Cincinnati, tying a major league record.
Youngs helped his team get to the World Series four years in a row, from 1921 to 1924, and the Giants won the Fall Classic twice – in 1921 and 1922. He became the first player to get two hits in one inning in a World Series game in 1921 with a triple and a double in the Giants’ eight-run seventh inning in Game 3 against the Yankees.
The outfielder’s career ended in 1926 when he was diagnosed with a kidney disorder. He passed away on Oct. 22, 1927, at the age of 30.
A plaque was installed at the Polo Grounds in 1928 to honor him.
“A brave untrammelled spirit of the diamond, who brought glory to himself and his team by his strong, aggressive, courageous play,” the plaque read. “He won the admiration of the nation’s fans, the love and esteem of his friends and teammates, and the respect of his opponents. He played the game.”
Giants manager John McGraw kept only two framed photos in his office at the Polo Grounds: One of Christy Mathewson and the other of Youngs.
“He was the greatest outfielder I ever saw on a ball field,” McGraw said of Youngs. “The game was never over with Youngs until the last man was out. He could do everything a ball player should do and do it better than most players. As an outfielder he had no superiors, and he was the easiest man to handle I ever knew. In all his years with the Giants, he never caused one minute’s trouble for myself or the club.
“On top of all this, a gamer ballplayer than Youngs never played ball.”
Youngs was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1972.
|LPGA: Meijer Classic||3:00pm||GOLF|
|MLB REGULAR SEASON GAMES||TIME ET||TV|
|Toronto at Baltimore||1:05pm||MLBN|
|Tampa Bay at Oakland||3:37pm||MLBN|
|Philadelphia at Arizona||3:40pm||MLBN|
|Detroit at Minnesota||7:10pm||Bally Sports|
|Colorado at Atlanta||7:20pm||ATTSN-RM|
|LA Angels at Texas||8:05pm||FS1|
|Pittsburgh at Chi. Cubs||8:05pm||ATTSN-PIT|
|Washington at Houston||8:10pm||MASN/2|
|Cleveland at San Diego||8:40pm||Bally Sports|
|Chi. White Sox at LA Dodgers||10:10pm||NBCS-CHI|
|UEFA Nations League: Spain vs Italy||2:45pm||FS1|
|CONCACAF Nations League: Panama vs Canada||7:00pm||Paramount+|
|CONCACAF Nations League: USA vs Mexico||10:00pm||Paramount+|
|Atlanta vs Connecticut||7:00pm||AMZN|
|Indiana vs Chicago||8:00pm||WNBA League Pass|
|Seattle vs Las Vegas||10:00pm||AMZN|