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MLB CANCELS 93 MORE GAMES, GAP NARROWS IN BARGAINING
NEW YORK (AP) Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred canceled 93 more games Wednesday, appearing to close the remaining chance to play a full 162-game schedule and threatening locked out players with loss of salary and service time.
After the sides narrowed many economic differences and became bogged down over management’s attempt to gain an international amateur draft, MLB announced two additional series had been canceled through April 13. That raised the total to 184 games wiped out from the 2,430-game regular season, or 7.6%.
“Because of the logistical realities of the calendar, another two series are being removed from the schedule, meaning that opening day is postponed until April 14,” Manfred said.
The union’s latest counteroffer was hand delivered by chief negotiator Bruce Meyer to MLB’s office after he walked three blocks through a wintry mix from union headquarters.
While the gaps slimmed on the luxury tax, pre-arbitration bonus pool and minimum salary, management continued to press for its long-held goal of an international amateur draft. Players have repeatedly rejected the proposal since it was made on July 28.
“The owners’ decision to cancel additional games is completely unnecessary,” the union said in a statement. “After making a set of comprehensive proposals to the league earlier this afternoon and being told substantive responses were forthcoming, players have yet to hear back.”
MLB said it would not make a new counteroffer to players unless the union first chose one of three options: agreeing to the international draft in exchange for the elimination of direct amateur draft pick compensation for qualified free agents; keeping compensation in exchange for MLB dropping the international draft proposal; or dropping compensation while giving players until Nov. 15 to accept an international draft starting in 2024 while giving MLB the right to re-open the labor contract after the 2024 season if players fail to accept the draft.
On the 98th day of baseball’s first work stoppage since 1995, the last alternative would leave open the possibility of another labor conflict in less than three years between parties that regard each other with disdain.
Players rejected all three options and instead proposed to drop compensation for this year, have the sides agree to a draft by Nov. 15 or then revert to compensation for the 2022-23 offseason.
“In a last-ditch effort to preserve a 162-game season, this week we have made good-faith proposals that address the specific concerns voiced by the MLBPA and would have allowed the players to return to the field immediately,” Manfred said. “The clubs went to extraordinary lengths to meet the substantial demands of the MLBPA. On the key economic issues that have posed stumbling blocks, the clubs proposed ways to bridge gaps to preserve a full schedule. Regrettably, after our second late-night bargaining session in a week, we remain without a deal.”
Opening day was to have been March 31 but has been wiped out by baseball’s ninth work stoppage, its first since 1995.
If April 14 games are canceled and players do not receive credit for service time in the eventual settlement, free-agent eligibility would be pushed back for many players, including Shohei Ohtani from 2023 to 2024, Pete Alonso from 2024 to 2025, Jake Cronenworth from 2025 to 2026 and Jonathan India from 2026 to 2027.
Players dropped their threshold for the luxury tax to $232 million this year, with increases to $235 million in 2023, $240 million in 2024 and $245 million in 2025 and $250 million in 2026.
Players had been at $238 million to $263 million in their previous proposal of a week earlier. They were within 2.5% of management’s starting figure of $230 million in Tuesday’s proposal. Players were within 3.2% of MLB’s $242 million for 2026.
Management’s desire for an additional fourth tax threshold at $60 million above the first threshold is among the contentious points remaining.
Players dropped to $65 million from $80 million for their proposed bonus pool for pre-arbitration-eligible players, a day after MLB raised its offer from $30 million to $40 million. The union is asking for $5 million annual increases, while management’s offer is the same for all five years.
The union dropped its proposed minimum salary to $710,000 from $725,000, a figure rising to $780,000 by 2026. Management is at $700,000 this year, rising to $770,000. The union’s proposals on the tax threshold and bonus pool were first reported by The Athletic.
In the proposal for an international draft, teams would rotate picking in different quadrants of the first round over a four-year period, A slotting system would be installed similar to what the union agreed to starting in 2012 for the amateur draft covering residents of the U.S., Puerto Rico and Canada.
The international draft proposal includes hard slots that could not be negotiated by individuals. MLB estimates $17 million in additional spending for the drafted international players above the $166.3 million spent by the 30 teams in 2021, plus an additional $6 million on non-drafted players. The draft would start in 2024.
International players would lose the right to pick which team they sign with. The age for the draft would be in the year a player turns 16.
BRIAN FLORES WANTS LAWSUIT AGAINST NFL HEARD IN COURT
(AP) — Brian Flores wants the NFL to reject the Miami Dolphins’ request for an arbitration hearing regarding his class-action lawsuit against the team and the league alleging racist hiring practices.
Flores’ lawyer sent a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Wednesday, urging him to turn down Miami’s request and have the case settled in court.
“Arbitration is not transparent,” attorney Douglas H. Wigdor wrote in his letter. “Indeed, arbitration is by its very nature a secretive process that takes place behind closed doors and outside of the public eye. The lack of transparency in arbitration only serves to continue the status quo-which in this case, is one that you have conceded must be fairly evaluated and potentially overhauled. That cannot happen in arbitration. In addition to being secret and confidential, it is a well-accepted fact that arbitration presents a barrier to justice for victims of discrimination and other misconduct.”
Flores, hired as a senior defensive assistant for the Pittsburgh Steelers last month, filed his lawsuit against the NFL, Dolphins, New York Giants and Denver Broncos following his dismissal by Miami. Flores led the Dolphins to consecutive winning seasons before he was fired in January.
“The claims that we filed involve important issues of systemic race discrimination and the integrity of NFL football games,” Flores said in a statement provided by his lawyer. “Unfortunately, the Dolphins and their attorneys, Quinn Emanuel and Paul Weiss, are trying to push the claims against the Dolphins into secret arbitration proceedings that lack transparency. There are currently ongoing legislative efforts to end forced arbitration for claims of race discrimination, which I fully support. I would hope that the NFL and Dolphins would also support those efforts. Commissioner Goodell now has a choice to make. Will he allow this case and future race discrimination claims to play out in a transparent and public legal process, or continue along the same unacceptable path?”
Flores’ lawsuit alleges the league has discriminated against him and other Black coaches for racial reasons, denying them positions as head coaches, offensive and defensive coordinators and quarterbacks coaches, as well as general managers. Flores also claims Miami offered him $100,000 per loss during his first season with the team in 2019 in an effort to receive a top draft pick.
The NFL has maintained the lawsuit is “without merit,” although Goodell said before the Super Bowl that “all of the allegations, whether they were based on racism or discrimination or the integrity of our game, all of those to me were very disturbing.”
The Dolphins requested the arbitration hearing last month.
“We also are hopeful that, upon reading this letter and reflecting further, the Dolphins will reconsider their position and withdraw their arbitration request so that Mr. Flores’ claims of race discrimination and other unlawful conduct can be heard in a fair and transparent manner, in front of a judge and a jury of his peers,” Wigdor wrote to Goodell. “If the NFL is truly committed to `ending racism,’ as it has repeatedly claimed, the league will reject Miami’s request for arbitration. Race discrimination cannot be eradicated behind closed doors and the integrity of the game depends on transparency.”
ARIZONA CARDINALS RELEASE VETERAN LINEBACKER JORDAN HICKS
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) The Arizona Cardinals released linebacker Jordan Hicks on Wednesday, freeing up salary-cap space.
The team will gain $6.5 million in cap room by cutting Hicks, who spent the last three years with the Cardinals after playing for Philadelphia from 2015-18.
Hicks had requested a trade a year ago, but was kept by Arizona and eventually beat out first-round draft pick Zaven Collins at inside LB. Hicks had a very solid season in which he made 116 tackles, a career-best four sacks, seven tackles for loss, had five pass breakups and two fumble recoveries.
There’s expected to be strong free agent interest in Hicks, 29, who was a third-round draft pick by the Eagles in 2015.
“Jordan Hicks did a great job this year, especially under the circumstances he was in,” Cardinals general manager Steve Keim said at the NFL scouting combine.
“Jordan was a guy that knew the defense inside and out. We benefited from that because of the complexity of some of the things that we were doing. But moving forward, there’s no doubt that we have to get those young kids involved more.”
Arizona also tendered contract offers to exclusive rights free agents wide receiver Antoine Wesley and running back Jonathan Ward.
BADGERS’ DAVIS EXPECTS TO PLAY THIS WEEK DESPITE ‘DIRTY’ HIT
MADISON, Wis. (AP) Wisconsin star Johnny Davis says he expects to play in the Big Ten Tournament after getting knocked out of the Badgers’ regular-season finale on a hit he described as “dirty and uncalled for.”
“The plan is to see how tomorrow goes and Friday goes, but the plan is to play and be there for my team,” the Big Ten player of the year said Wednesday.
The 12th-ranked Badgers (24-6, 15-5 Big Ten) are the No. 2 seed in the tournament that started Wednesday in Indianapolis. They will face either No. 7 seed Michigan State (20-11, 11-9) or 10th-seeded Maryland (15-16, 7-13) on Friday in the quarterfinals.
Davis was stumbling as he drove into the lane early in the second half of a 74-73 loss to Nebraska (10-21, 4-16) on Sunday. Davis regained his footing as he arrived at the basket, but the right arm of Nebraska’s Trey McGowens hit him in the face, causing the 6-foot-5 guard to fall awkwardly and hurt an ankle.
McGowens received a flagrant-2 foul that resulted in an automatic ejection.
“At first I thought I tripped on my own feet,” Davis said. “Now I see McGowens came behind me and clipped my heel. I don’t know if that was intentional or not, but bringing the elbow down (on his face), that was a very dirty and uncalled-for play. When you play a team that’s got nothing to lose like that, that stuff tends to happen.
“I’m fine from it. It’s in the past. But like I said, it’s very uncalled for. There’s no need for that in the sport of basketball.”
After the game, Nebraska coach Fred Hoiberg said he hadn’t yet watched a replay of the play that knocked out Davis but added that “I can tell you this about Trey McGowens, he’s one of the greatest kids I’ve ever been around.”
Wisconsin coach Greg Gard said Wednesday that Davis has practiced on a limited basis this week.
“Knowing him, I think we know how competitive he is,” Gard said. “We’re optimistic he’ll be ready to go by Friday.”
Davis is averaging 20 points and 8.1 rebounds. The sophomore is regarded as a likely lottery pick if he chooses to turn pro after this season.
SYRACUSE STAR BOEHEIM SUSPENDED AFTER PUNCH DURING ACC GAME
NEW YORK (AP) Syracuse star Buddy Boeheim was suspended for the Orange’s Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament game against Duke after he punched a Florida State player in the stomach Wednesday during a second-round victory.
The ACC announced the one-game suspension for a “flagrant act” about four hours after ninth-seeded Syracuse beat eighth-seeded Florida State 96-57 to advance to the quarterfinals Thursday at Barclays Center.
The senior, the son of Orange coach Jim Boeheim, earlier released a statement acknowledging he was wrong.
“In the heat of today’s game, after some shoving in the lane, I swung my arm while turning to go back up court. It was wrong to act out in frustration,” Boeheim said in a statement posted on Syracuse basketball’s Twitter account. “I apologized to Wyatt Wilkes multiple times in the handshake line. He said not to worry about it, but I know it was wrong.”
If the Orange (16-16) lose to Duke, Boeheim is likely to have played his last college game. He has indicated several times this season he did not intend to take advantage of the extra year of eligibility the NCAA granted athletes for competing during the pandemic-altered 2020-21 season.
Syracuse is not in contention for an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament and the NIT also seems unlikely if the Orange fall below .500 with a loss to Duke.
Boeheim was not called for a foul on the play, which happened after Syracuse made a basket.
“I saw the play, the kid pushed him twice,” Jim Boeheim said. “I think it was inadvertent. It wasn’t much of a punch.”
Jim Boeheim dismissed the idea of his son possibly being suspended when asked about it. He said if officials had noticed the play a flagrant 1 foul might have been called on Buddy Boeheim. The coach did concede Buddy Boeheim had retaliated for being pushed.
Buddy Boeheim leads the ACC in scoring at 19.3 points per game.
Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton diffused the situation during his postgame news conference, praising the younger Boeheim’s character.
“I don’t want anything to take away from how well they played and what type of fine young man he is,” Hamilton said. “The game is physical. We expect guys to go out and bang and be aggressive. If something inadvertently happens sometimes we want to categorize it in one way or another.”
“I’ve lost my composure sometimes. I’ve made some mistakes.”
Wilkes doubled over and squatted for a moment after being struck about midway through the first half. He continued to play.
The two players were seen speaking to each other after the game, with Boeheim walking away smiling.
“I pride myself in respecting the game and our opponent,” Boeheim said. “I will not react that away again.”
The situation was reminiscent of another infamous moment in ACC history, involving a high-profile player.
In 2005, Wake Forest’s Chris Paul hit North Carolina State’s Julius Hodge below the belt during the team’s regular-season finale. No foul was called, but Wake Forest suspended Paul after consulting with the ACC for its first conference tournament game.
Boeheim has become one of the most prolific 3-point shooters in the country while playing for his Hall of Fame coach father. For his career, Boeheim has averaged 14.6 points per game and made 306 3s.
Boeheim helped the Orange reach the NCAA Sweet 16 last year with some sharp shooting to back up his “Buddy Buckets” moniker. This year he was named first-team all-ACC.
Syracuse lost both meetings against No. 7 Duke this season, the first by 20 points on the road and then by 25 points at home.
USC SIGNS ANDY ENFIELD TO 6-YEAR CONTRACT EXTENSION
LOS ANGELES (AP) Andy Enfield’s success in turning around Southern California’s basketball program has earned him a six-year contract extension.
Athletic director Mike Bohn announced the extension through the 2027-28 season on Wednesday, a day before the 21st-ranked Trojans open play in the Pac-12 Tournament. The team is 25-6 overall, having set a record for regular-season victories.
“My family and I are very happy to be part of the Trojan Family,” Enfield said in a statement. “I feel great about the future of USC basketball in the Pac-12 and nationally.”
In his ninth season, Enfield’s overall record is 182-116. He was named Pac-12 coach of the year last season, when USC was 25-8 and advanced to the Elite Eight for just the second time in 67 years.
Enfield’s recent five-game winning streak over crosstown rival UCLA was USC’s longest versus the Bruins since 1943.
“Andy has continued to meet and exceed every expectation we have set for him,” said Bohn, who has been Enfield’s boss for three years. “We are excited about the trajectory of our men’s basketball program with regards to results, recruiting, and the development of the young men on our team. We are committed to continuing to enhance and strengthen our program as we move ahead, and we are looking forward to the immediate opportunity to make another March Madness run.”
USC has had players selected in the first round of the NBA draft the last three years, including Evan Mobley last year.
ANTETOKOUNMPO SCORES 43 POINTS, BUCKS HOLD OFF HAWKS 124-115
MILWAUKEE (AP) Giannis Antetokounmpo had 43 points and 12 rebounds and the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Atlanta Hawks 124-115 on Wednesday night for their sixth straight victory.
Defending champion Milwaukee edged a half-game ahead of idle Philadelphia for second place in the Eastern Conference and moved within two games of first-place Miami, which lost at home to NBA-leading Phoenix.
Bobby Portis added 23 points and 15 rebounds, and Khris Middleton had 23 points and eight assists to help Milwaukee beat Atlanta for the first time in three tries this season.
Trae Young led Atlanta with 27 points and 11 assists, including 22 points in the second half, and De’Andre Hunter had 17 points.
Antetokounmpo slashed to the basket repeatedly and dunked or scored from close range as he made 15 of 22 field goals and 12 of 17 at the free throw line. He scored 82 points in a 24-hour span after getting 39 in a victory at Oklahoma City on Tuesday night.
“The things he does are not normal,” Portis said. “It’s fun to be his teammate and fun to play alongside him.”
Middleton made several perfect lobs to Antetokounmpo for easy baskets early in the game, helping his teammate get off to a great start with 17 points in the first quarter.
“I see him work every day but also I’ve seen the growth and the greatness,” Middleton said. “When it’s front of your eyes every day you get used to it, but not in a bad way. You just realize how good he is and you expect so much of him.”
Portis and Middleton took over in the second quarter, combining for 27 of Milwaukee’s 31 points.
The Bucks took a 68-54 halftime lead but the Hawks rallied behind the play of Young and pulled within five points late in the fourth quarter.
Middleton and Jrue Holiday sank 3-point shots to help the Bucks keep their lead, and Milwaukee’s defense stiffened as Portis blocked a shot by Bogdan Bogdanovic and Middleton drew an offensive foul on Hunter.
Portis’ rejection came with the Bucks leading by eight points, after Antetokounmpo scored on a drive to give Milwaukee a 120-112 lead.
“The block by Bobby stands out to me,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said.. “That’s what we need. We need stops down the stretch. There are going to be a lot of close games in the East. It’s great to see it come defensively.”
Hawks coach Nate McMillan was enraged at the offensive foul call on Hunter and picked up two technical fouls in a row to be ejected with 1:22 remaining.
“I thought De’Andre’s play was the same play that Giannis had done a couple of times in this game, and the result was a foul on De’Andre,” McMillan said. “I thought Giannis twice on a couple of our guys drove through them.”
Middleton made both free throws stemming from the technicals and Antetokounmpo rebounded a miss and scored to give the Bucks a 124-112 lead.
The Bucks continued their strong run since the all-star break. They lost to Brooklyn in the first game after the break but have rebounded to win the next six, including victories over Miami, Chicago and Phoenix. Now they head west for a four-game trip, opening at Golden State on Saturday night.
“I think we were confident as a team before but I think we’re building a lot of good habits,” Antetokounmpo said. “We’re playing together. We are figuring out how to play down the stretch. We’re figuring out how to box out and get rebounds, to get the ball to Jrue or Khris to make plays.
“We’re feeling good as a team.”
Hawks: Kevin Huerter returned from a left shoulder injury suffered in a March 4 game at Washington. Huerter was in the starting lineup and finished with 16 points. Forward John Collins played for the third straight game after missing seven games with a strained foot. He scored just two points and was 0 for 9 from the field in 19 minutes.
Bucks: George Hill (neck soreness), Pat Connaughton (right finger surgery), Lindell Wigginton (right ankle sprain) and Lopez were out. Grayson Allen (left hip) returned from a one-game absence and contributed 11 points and five rebounds in 28 minutes.
Hawks: Host Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night.
Bucks: At Golden State on Saturday night.
BOOKER HAS 23 POINTS IN RETURN, SUNS ROLL PAST HEAT 111-90
MIAMI (AP) Not that there was any doubt about this, but the Phoenix Suns are going to the playoffs.
The Suns didn’t leave any doubt in a matchup of conference leaders, either.
Devin Booker scored 23 points, Mikal Bridges added 21 and the Suns shook off a slow start to beat the Miami Heat 111-90 on Wednesday night – becoming the first team this season to clinch a postseason berth.
“I told the guys it was one of the best defensive performances I’ve ever seen,” Suns coach Monty Williams said. “I’ve been around for a little bit.”
Booker, returning from a four-game absence for virus-related issues – he said he was asymptomatic and didn’t have any problems – flirted with a triple-double, finishing with nine assists and eight rebounds.
His first trip to the playoffs last season ended with a loss in the NBA Finals. He’s looking for a bit more this time.
“We know what we’re working for,” Booker said.
Phoenix improved the NBA’s best record to 53-13, and the reigning Western Conference champion Suns have now beaten all other 29 teams this season – the first time they’ve done that since 2006-07.
The Suns also avenged a 23-point loss to Miami in January.
“I’m sure they remembered that,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “They wanted to really make a statement tonight. They just outplayed us.”
Coming off a victory Tuesday night at Orlando, Phoenix improved its NBA-best road mark to 25-6. The Suns have an 8 1/2-game lead over Memphis and are nine games ahead of Golden State and East-leading Miami.
Deandre Ayton had 19 points on 9-for-10 shooting and 10 rebounds for the Suns, who got 11 points and 15 rebounds from JaVale McGee, and 11 points apiece from Jae Crowder and Cameron Payne.
Duncan Robinson scored 22 points for Miami, which lost for just the third time in its last 15 games.
“They were first to the ball a lot,” Robinson said about the Suns. “They were the aggressor. … Unacceptable.”
Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro each scored 17 for the Heat, which played without Jimmy Butler (sinus congestion) and lost key reserve Caleb Martin midway through the second quarter to a hyperextended left knee. The Heat expect to know more Thursday.
The Suns were down by 11 early, took a two-point lead at the half and then outscored Miami 34-19 in the third quarter to blow matters open. Booker capped the quarter with a long 3-pointer, the Heat went 1 for 8 in the quarter from beyond the arc and it was 91-74 going into the final 12 minutes.
“He was ready,” Bridges said about Booker’s return.
Miami came out flying, scoring 25 points in the first 6 minutes – a burst fueled by five 3-pointers. The Heat were 9 for 12 from the floor in that stretch, 5 for 6 from 3-point range and finished the burst by making seven consecutive shots.
That’s when Phoenix’s defense showed up. The Heat were 5 for 27 on 3s the rest of the way. An 18-7 run by the Suns pushed the margin to 80-65 late in the third and the lead eventually swelled to 27 in the fourth.
“We wanted to make a statement here,” Booker said.
Suns: Phoenix outrebounded Miami 55-38. … The Suns need to go 10-6 in their final 16 games to post the best regular-season record in franchise history. The Suns were 62-20 in 1992-93 and 2004-05. … Crowder got introduced last among Phoenix’s starters, a tribute Miami often gives former Heat players to ensure they get a proper and warm welcome. The fans obliged. … Phoenix improved to 5-3 without Chris Paul (fractured thumb).
Heat: It was the 21st game Butler has missed this season; Miami is 13-8 without its highest-paid player. … Victor Oladipo, in his second game back after 11 months away recovering from leg surgery, had four points in 16 minutes. Don’t expect changes to Oladipo’s minutes allotment anytime soon, Spoelstra said. “I’m going to give that same answer for a while,” he said. … Miami fell to 4-14 when scoring 102 points or less. When the Heat score 103 or more, they’re 40-9.
Phoenix allowed 25 points in the first six minutes, a season worst for that span. The Suns then allowed two points in the next six minutes, a season best for that span. And the tone was set for the rest of the evening.
The Suns missed eight shots – on one possession. Crowder missed a 3-pointer with 9:39 left in the second quarter, Aaron Holiday then missed a layup and McGee missed two putbacks and a tip-in try before the ball was batted out of bounds by Miami. Landry Shamet tried a corner 3, had it blocked, got the rebound, then tried a layup and got that blocked out of bounds. Finally, Crowder was way off on another 3-point try, and Miami finally secured possession.
Suns: Host Toronto on Friday night.
Heat: Host Cleveland on Friday night.
TATUM STAYS HOT, SCORES 44 AS CELTICS BEAT HORNETS 115-101
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Jayson Tatum scored 16 of his 44 points in the fourth quarter, and the Boston Celtics defeated the Charlotte Hornets 115-101 on Wednesday night for their fourth straight win.
Tatum, coming off a 54-point performance against the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday, made 16 of 24 shots from the field and 6 of 9 from beyond the 3-point arc. He also made all six free throws.
He was also effective on defense, helping limit the red hot Terry Rozier to just 14 points on 5-of-17 shooting.
The Celtics are looking like a championship contender, having won 15 of their past 17 games as they continue their rise up the Eastern Conference standings.
“Defense, defense, defense – that’s been the key,” Tatum said.
Jaylen Brown had 15 points, while Robert Williams chipped in with 11 points and 11 rebounds and Al Horford added 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Celtics (40-27), who were in control most of the game.
Miles Bridges and P.J. Washington each had 17 points to lead the Hornets, who fell to 1-12 on the second night of back-to-back games.
It was the second straight night the Hornets have been victimized by a star player on their home court. They allowed Brooklyn’s Kyrie Irving to score 50 points in a 132-121 loss on Tuesday night.
“He made six highly contested 3s,” Hornets coach James Borrego said of Tatum. “We double-teamed him, we trapped him. He is a hell of a player and is playing as well as anyone right now.”
Tatum began to got hot at the end of the third quarter, helping Boston build an 87-78 lead.
Tatum opened the fourth quarter with a fall-away 3 from the right corner and a long 3 from right wing as the lead increased to 18 points. A few minutes later he canned another 3 from the other wing, even as his body was shifting to the left.
The Hornets mostly played zone against the Celtics in an effort to contain Tatum, but it didn’t work.
“Not be stagnant and shoot a lot of threes, because that’s kind of what they want you to do,” Tatum said of the key to beating the zone. “You have to move the ball and get to the middle.”
Charlotte has not participated in a playoff series since the 2015-16 season and this year’s hopes are beginning to look bleak as they’re ninth in the Eastern Conference standings, a half-game ahead of the Atlanta Hawks and one game up on the Washington Wizards.
There is the possibility that Gordon Hayward could return in the next few weeks, which would certainly help take the scoring load off of Rozier, Ball and Bridges.
MOVING THE BALL
The Celtics finished with 30 assists, with Marcus Smart and Derrick White combining for 17 assists and only one turnover.
“They are doing a great job of finding guys and passing up good shots to get great ones for others,” Celtics coach Ime Udoka said. “That is what it is going to take moving forward. You can’t rely on one guy or two guys to score all of the points. We want to have an unselfish team that plays a good appealing brand of basketball, and I think we’re doing that.”
White, who was acquired in a trade from the San Antonio Spurs on Feb. 10, said his goal has been just to fit in with his new Boston teammates and “try not to mess it up.”
Hornets All-Star point guard LaMelo Ball struggled with his father LaVar Ball looking on from courtside seats, committing six turnovers in the game’s first 14 minutes before being benched for the remainder of the second quarter for Isaiah Thomas.
Ball later returned and finished with 15 points and eight rebounds.
Tatum received a hug from LaVar Ball as he left the floor.
Celtics: Host Pistons on Friday night.
Hornets: Visit Pelicans on Friday night.
TIGER WOODS INDUCTED INTO HALL WITH HARD WORK AND BIG PAYOFF
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (AP) The greatest of his generation, Tiger Woods took his place among the best of all time Wednesday night when he was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame and shared a life story of a passion to play and a work ethic that made him feel like he earned it.
Woods didn’t touch on any of his 82 victories on the PGA Tour or his 15 majors, or the eight surgeries he endured along the way.
He spoke of his parents taking out a second mortgage that allowed him to play the junior circuit in California, choking up when he mentioned his late father who told him he would have to earn everything he wanted.
“If you don’t go out there and put in the work, you don’t go out and put in the effort, one, you’re not going to get the results,” Woods said. “But two, and more importantly, you don’t deserve it. You need to earn it. So that defined my upbringing. That defined my career.”
He was introduced by Sam, his 14-year-old daughter who said her father preaches to her and 13-year-old brother Charlie the same message he learned from his late later.
“Train hard, fight easy.”
Woods was the headliner in an induction class that included retired PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem, three-time U.S. Women’s Open champion Susie Maxwell Berning and the late Marion Hollins, a visionary who became the first woman to develop prominent golf courses.
The show was so geared around Woods that it featured three short video presentations that were titled “GOAT,” the popular acronym for “greatest of all time.”
There was little doubt Woods belonged in the Hall of Fame.
He was on a slate of candidates two years ago, all of them introduced one at a time with a list of their accomplishment – except for Woods. There was no need to bring up what he achieved, who he influenced and the enormous impact he had on his sport in attracting new fans, spiking television ratings and increasing prize money.
The Players Championship prize fund this week is $20 million, and that’s not lost on the players in the field. The entire purse was $3.5 million in 1997 when Woods made his debut. The winner this week gets $3.6 million.
“I think every pro out here owes a debt of gratitude to Tiger because this sport wouldn’t be where it is today without his impact,” Patrick Cantlay, who won the $15 million prize last year as FedEx Cup champion, said earlier this week.
Woods, the first player of Black and Asian heritage to win a major at the 1997 Masters when he was 21, also spoke of the discrimination he felt as a youth. He told one story about going to a country club to play a tournament, and he wasn’t allowed in the clubhouse like the other juniors because of the color of his skin.
“So I was denied access into the clubhouses. That’s fine. Put my shoes on here in the parking lot,” he said. “I asked two questions only, that was it. Where was the first tee, and what was the course record? Not complicated.”
The room at PGA Tour headquarters, which only held about 500 people, burst into applause.
The ceremony was moved from the World Golf Village, which held previous ceremonies in Florida, to the new PGA Tour headquarters located about a mile away from where Woods first rose to fame.
Sure, there was the appearance on the Mike Douglas Show when he was a 2-year-old prodigy, and the three straight U.S. Junior Amateur titles. It was on the island green on the par-3 17th hole at the TPC Sawgrass in the 1994 U.S. Amateur when Woods first delivered the uppercut that would define his celebration.
That was the first of an unprecedented three straight U.S. Amateur titles, and it only got better.
His record is so strong that Woods had three Hall of Fame careers in one. After four full years as a pro, he already had the career Grand Slam and 24 victories on the PGA Tour. The first major was the 1997 Masters, which he won by 12, one of 20 records.
When he was 30, he already had 46 wins on tour and 10 majors, including a sweep of the majors, a feat no one had ever accomplished.
Woods now has a record-tying 82 wins on the PGA Tour, along with 15 majors, three behind the gold standard set by Jack Nicklaus.
More than his wins was his influence.
Woods never wanted to be looked upon as a golfer but rather an athlete. He wasn’t the first to find the gym, but his devotion to strength and fitness created a template for others to follow.
“Tiger changed people’s perception of golf from a game to a sport,” Padraig Harrington said.
Woods’ popularity, his showmanship, was so great that Finchem was able to turn that into television contracts that sent purses soaring.
Finchem also created the World Golf Championships events, and a Presidents Cup to give the burgeoning group of international players from outside Europe a chance to compete in team matches. And he kept the PGA Tour strong with sponsors during the recession of 2008.
Maxwell Berning won only 11 times on the LPGA Tour, but she played in an era when juggling family and golf led to short careers.
She won the U.S. Women’s Open three times – only five others have won at least three – in a six-year span. She also won the Women’s Western Open, a major in her era. She noted she earned a total of $16,000 from her three Women’s Open titles.
“I was wondering if you’d like to swap checks,” Berning said to Woods.
Hollins financed and developed a golf course for women in New York and was the brains behind two fabled golf courses in California – Cypress Point and Pasatiempo. Hollins, who died in 1944 at age 51, was a visionary in golf course architecture, a confidante of Alister Mackenzie and a U.S. Women’s Amateur champion.
Renee Powell was honored with the inaugural Charlie Sifford Award for her spirit in advancing diversity in golf, while the Lifetime Achievement recognition went to Peter Ueberroth and the late Richard Ferris, both part of the ownership group at Pebble Beach.
The induction brought the Hall of Fame to 164 members.
UNVACCINATED DJOKOVIC SAYS HE IS OUT OF INDIAN WELLS, MIAMI
(AP) — Novak Djokovic said that he will not be able to compete at the hard-court tennis tournaments in Indian Wells, California, or Miami because he is unvaccinated and can’t travel to the United States.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion tweeted Wednesday that the Centers for Disease Control “confirmed the regulations won’t be changing so I won’t be able to play in the U.S.”
Djokovic, who recently dropped to No. 2 in the ATP rankings, has played in only one tournament so far in 2022 because he has not received any shots to protect against COVID-19. He was deported from Australia in January and was not allowed to try to defend his title at Melbourne Park.
Rafael Nadal wound up winning the Australian Open for his 21st major trophy, breaking a tie with Djokovic and Roger Federer for the most claimed by a man in the history of tennis.
Djokovic is a 34-year-old from Serbia who said in April 2020, as the coronavirus pandemic raged, that he was opposed to needing to be vaccinated to travel. In June of that year, with professional tennis on hiatus, he organized a series of exhibition matches in Serbia and Croatia with no rules requiring social distancing or masking – a tour that was called off after some players, including Djokovic, got COVID-19.
His name was put in the draw for the BNP Paribas Open in California on Tuesday, even though his status was up in the air because the U.S. has been requiring foreign visitors to be vaccinated to enter the country. In addition, the tournament had previously announced that everyone on-site at Indian Wells would need to be fully inoculated.
“While I was automatically listed in the (at)BNPPARIBASOPEN and (at)MiamiOpen draw,” Djokovic wrote Wednesday, “I knew it would be unlikely I’d be able to travel.”
Indian Wells is under way this week; the Miami Open starts on March 21.
It has been a turbulent start to 2022 for Djokovic, who went through detention and a court case during an 11-day saga in Australia before he was sent home. During the legal back-and-forth, Djokovic said he wasn’t vaccinated and thought he should get a medical exemption to rules requiring the shots because, he said, he tested positive for COVID-19 again in December. He also said he attended an in-person interview with a reporter despite having that result.
In February, Djokovic said in an interview that he would not get vaccinated, even if he needs to be in order to participate in events such as the French Open or Wimbledon.
On the last day of last month, Djokovic dropped out of the No. 1 ranking for the first time in two years, sliding to No. 2 behind Daniil Medvedev. Djokovic’s 361 total weeks atop the ATP are a record, as are his seven times finishing a season at No. 1.
And on March 1, Djokovic announced that he and coach Marian Vajda were splitting up after 15 years together.
In his lone on-court action of the year, Djokovic lost to Jiri Vesely in the quarterfinals of the Dubai Championships.
TOP INDIANA SPORTS NEWS/RELEASES
AP SOURCE: COLTS AGREE TO TRADE CARSON WENTZ TO COMMANDERS
(AP) — The Indianapolis Colts are moving on from Carson Wentz after one season, sending him to a team he’s familiar with from his days in the NFC East.
The Colts agreed to trade Wentz to the Washington Commanders, according to a person with direct knowledge of the situation. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Wednesday because the deal cannot be finalized until the start of the new league year next week.
It was not immediately clear what the Commanders gave up in their latest attempt to get a franchise quarterback. ESPN reported two third-round picks were involved.
Wentz, 29, has three years remaining on his contract with salary cap hits of $28.3, $26.2 and $27.2 million consecutively. The 2016 second overall pick of the Philadelphia Eagles spent just the 2021 season with Indianapolis, with the team going 9-8 and missing the playoffs.
This will be the sixth consecutive year the Colts will have a different opening day starter, though Jacoby Brissett took over when Andrew Luck missed the entire season in 2017 and again in 2019 when Luck abruptly announced his retirement in August.
While coach Frank Reich urged the Colts to acquire his former Eagles pupil 13 months ago and continued to support Wentz throughout the season and offseason, general manager Chris Ballard was less committed. In January, after Indy lost its final two games to miss the playoffs, he said he wanted to have a quarterback who could play 10 to 12 years, while acknowledging it doesn’t always work that way.
Last week, he told reporters at the NFL scouting combine he needed a quarterback he believed could be a long-term solution – before quickly explaining that didn’t mean he didn’t believe in Wentz.
Ron Rivera evidently does believe in Wentz. The move to acquire a former face of an NFC East rival is the once-storied franchise’s latest attempt to shore up a quarterback situation that has been in flux for decades.
Washington has started 12 different QBs since acquiring veteran Alex Smith from Kansas City in 2018. That includes Smith, who broke his right leg 10 games into his tenure there.
Adding Wentz likely relegates previous starter Taylor Heinicke to a competition with Rivera favorite Kyle Allen for the backup job.
Wentz has played against Washington eight times, going 5-3 with 2,223 yards passing, 17 touchdowns and six interceptions.
FISHER LIKELY WON’T BE BACK AS COLTS LEFT TACKLE
The Indianapolis Colts are not expected to bring Eric Fisher back at left tackle. Fisher was signed last May to replace Anthony Castonzo.
Fisher is on a one-year, $8.38 million contract with incentives that pushed it to $9.4 million, Fisher is a free agent once again.
Fisher gave up nine sacks, according to Sports Info Solutions, a number that tied for the fifth-most allowed in the NFL.
INDIANAPOLIS WANTS TO GET DL TYQUAN LEWIS BACK
Former 2nd round pick Tyquan Lewis may be returning to the Colts. Lewis was in the middle of his best season when he tore his patellar tendon while returning an interception in the second game against the Titans.
Playing defensive end on early downs and defensive tackle in passing situations, Lewis had 14 tackles, 2.5 sacks and 18 pressures in 311 snaps before the injury.
NOTES: INDIANA OPENS BIG TEN TOURNAMENT AGAINST MICHIGAN
(INDIANA MEDIA RELEASE)
Indiana University is in its 122nd season of competition in men’s basketball and will open play in the 2022 Big Ten Tournament against the eighth seeded Michigan Wolverines. The Hoosiers will be looking to end a nine-game losing streak to the Wolverines after Michigan won the lone matchup by a score of 80-62 on Jan. 23 in Bloomington.
The streak began in the 2016 Big Ten Tournament Quarterfinals in Indianapolis when the Wolverines knocked off top seed IU, 72-69. Since that game, IU has won six straight in Gainbridge Fieldhouse, including a 64-56 win over Notre Dame in December.
2022 Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament Second Round
Thursday, March 10 • 11:30 a.m. ET
Gainbridge Fieldhouse (20,000) • Indianapolis, Ind.
TV: BTN (Kevin Kugler and Stephen Bardo)
Radio: IU Radio Network (Don Fischer, Errek Suhr, Joe Smith) | TuneIn App
Series History: Indiana leads 107-65
Last Meeting: MICH 80, IU 62 (Jan. 23, 2022 in Bloomington)
ON THE SIDELINES
IU Hall of Famer, All-American, Big Ten MVP and Indiana native Mike Woodson is the first Hoosier graduate to lead the program at the start of the season since Lou Watson in 1965. Woodson brings nine years of NBA head coaching experience (Atlanta Hawks and New York Knicks) back to his alma mater and worked for seven franchises as an assistant coach and won an NBA title in 2004 with the Detroit Pistons. He played 11 seasons in the NBA as a player and is the fifth all-time leading scorer in program history with 2,061 points.
Wolverines Coach Juwan Howard is in his third year at U-M.
DEFENSE LEADS THE HOOSIERS
The Hoosiers are the top-rated defensive team in the Big Ten according to KenPom (20th nationally). IU is first in the Big Ten in field goal percentage defense (39.0%) and first in conference games only (41.3%). They lead the league in defensive rebounds (27.5) and are second in blocked shots (5.0).
ALL-AMERICAN TRAYCE JACKSON-DAVIS
Junior/sophomore forward Trayce Jackson-Davis is averaging 17.4 points (7th in B1G), 8.2 rebounds (5th), shooting 57.8% from the floor (3rd) and contributing 71 blocked shots (2nd).
He has had nine double-doubles this season and 31 in his career with IU posting a 23-8 record in those games. He notched four straight double-doubles for the first time in his career after he had 23 points and 12 boards at Nebraska on Jan. 17.
Jackson-Davis now has scored 1,471 points as a Hoosier, rating 18th all-time in IU lore.
He was named second-team All-Big Ten by the coaches, media and AP this season and was a member of the league’s All-Defensive team. He was a third-team choice his freshman season and a first (media) and second-team pick (coaches) a season ago.
THOMPSON MAKING A NAME FOR HIMSELF
Redshirt Sr./Jr. Race Thompson has averaged 13.2 points and 8.3 rebounds in the last 10 games while shooting 36.8% from long distance and 55.4% from the field in that time. He ranks ninth in the Big Ten in rebounding (7.9).
He is second on the team in scoring (11.8ppg), steals (32), blocks (21) and FG percentage (55.6%). He and Big Ten Player of the Year Johnny Davis lead the Big Ten in most games recording at least eight points and six rebounds with 17 (credit Zach Osterman, Indy Star).
Thompson was named honorable mention All-Big Ten by the media and was IU’s Big Ten Sportsmanship Award winner.
X MARKS THE SPOT
Sr./Jr. Xavier Johnson has averaged 19.0 points and 6.4 assists in his last five outings. He has shot 45.0% from long range and made 28 of his last 32 free throws.
He had back-to-back 24-point games against Maryland and at Minnesota and was nearly perfect against the Terps when he made 7-of-7 field goals, 3-of-3 from long distance and made 7-of-8 free throws. He also added six assists. At Purdue, Johnson led IU with 19 points and a career-high 12 assists, the second most by a Hoosier since the 1996-97 season.
Johnson was named honorable mention All-Big Ten by the media.
ODDS AND TRENDS
The Hoosiers 10-of-13 shooting (76.9%) from long range against Penn State (Jan. 26) was their third best shooting effort from distance since 1996-97 (USF, 1998 and Kent State, 2002).
In the last 16 games, IU has dropped its turnovers over 5.0 per game at 10.0 per contest.
IU has held at least a four-point lead in 11 of its 12 losses. The only game where they did not lead was against Michigan (Jan. 23).
INDIANA WRESTLING SENDS TWO QUALIFIERS TO 2022 NCAA WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIPS
BLOOMINGTON, Ind –––– Indiana Wrestling will have two Hoosier wrestlers participating in the 2022 NCAA Wrestling Championships from March 17-19 in Detroit, Mich.
Indiana’s competing wrestlers include graduate student Brock Hudkins (133) and redshirt sophomore Donnell Washington (184).
The NCAA Wrestling Championships Selection Show unveiled the brackets and seeding for each weight class on Wednesday night. Hudkins received the No. 13 seed in the 133-lb. bracket and Washington was slotted at No. 26 for the 184-lb. bracket.
Hudkins earned his bid through automatic qualification in the Big Ten Wrestling Championships by finishing in the top ten at the 133-lb. weight class. Washington earned an at-large bid from the NCAA selection committee.
This will be Hudkins’ third career appearance as an NCAA Qualifier and Washington’s second.
In their first round matchups, Hudkins will open with No. 20 Chance Rich of Cal-State Bakersfield and Washington will face No. 7 Kaleb Romero of Ohio State.
Session I of the NCAA Championships will begin at noon on March 17 with Session II following later in the day at 7 p.m.
There will be a total of 330 wrestlers competing at the NCAA Championships, including 33 wrestlers at each of the 10 weight classes.
HOOSIERS RUN WIN STREAK TO FOUR GAMES
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The Indiana baseball program moved its winning streak to four games with a 11-2 victory over Purdue Fort Wayne on Wednesday (March 9) evening at Bart Kaufman Field.
A second inning run for Indiana (6-6) got the scoring started and IU added two in the fourth and one in the fifth to build a 4-0 lead. Purdue Fort Wayne (0-12) got on the board with a single run in the sixth inning, but IU added three more in the bottom half of the inning and four more in the seventh inning to build an 11-1 lead. The Mastodons added one more in the eighth to account for the final margin.
The offense continued to put up runs with its fifth double-digit run output in the last eight games. IU out-hit PFW 14-5, with five of those hits going for extra bases, walked six times and reached via hit-by-pitch twice. On the mound, the Hoosiers struck out 10 batters to mark its seventh double-digit strikeout game of the season.
Redshirt-junior Matthew Ellis hit a pair of home runs and drove in three RBIs. It is the second multi-home run game of the season for the left-handed hitter and his fourth multi-RBI game of the season. Freshman Josh Pyne hit a home run for the second straight game and drove in three RBIs. Redshirt-sophomore Morgan Colopy and freshman Brock Tibbitts each chipped in three hits and scored three runs.
Redshirt-sophomore starting pitcher Jack Walker (1-0) earned his first career victory in his first career start with three scoreless innings of work. He allowed two hits, walked two and struck out one. Freshman Ryan Kraft tossed the next three innings and allowed one run with three strikeouts over three innings.
Redshirt-sophomore David Platt made his season debut with one scoreless inning and a pair of strikeouts. The right-hander was appearing in a game for the first time since March 11, 2020, marking 728 days between appearances.
For Purdue Fort Wayne, Brian Erbe and Jack Lang accounted for the lone RBIs and Braedon Blackford reached base three times for the Mastodons. Rex Sills (0-1) took the loss with one run allowed in two innings of work in the start. All seven PFW pitchers that appeared in the game allowed at least one run.
Josh Pyne lined an RBI single into right field driving in Morgan Colopy for the first run of the game.
Indiana 1, Purdue Fort Wayne 0
Pyne hit a two-run home run over the left field wall, his second home run in as many games.
Indiana 3, Purdue Fort Wayne 0
Tyler Doanes walked with one out and Bobby Whalen doubled into left-center field to bring him around to score.
Indiana 4, Purdue Fort Wayne 0
Brian Erbe’s RBI single scored Braedon Blackford, who walked to lead off the inning..
Indiana 4, Purdue Fort Wayne 1
Colopy walked to start the inning, moved to second on a Brock Tibbitts single and third on a flyout by Pyne. An errant pick off attempt allowed him to score and moved Tibbitts to second. After Tibbitts moved to third on a wild pitch, Carter Mathison walked and Peter Serruto plated the second run of the inning with a sacrifice bunt. Mathison eventually stole third base and scored on a wild pitch.
Indiana 7, Purdue Fort Wayne 1
Matthew Ellis hit a two-run home run to straight-away center field after Whalen started the inning with a walk. A Colopy single and Tibbitts hit-by-pitch came before the first out was recorded. Mathison followed with an RBI via an error that scored both Colopy and Tibbitts.
Indiana 11, Purdue Fort Wayne 1
Reliever Ty Bothwell struck out three batters in the inning, but a pair of hit-by-pitches and two walks pushed PFW’s second run across.
Indiana 11, Purdue Fort Wayne 2
Ellis hits a solo home run for his second of the game deep to right field.
Indiana 12, Purdue Fort Wayne 2
Indiana will then hit the road for a three-game series at Troy with first pitch of the series opener thrown at 7 p.m. on Friday, March 11.
NO. 9 PURDUE BEGINS POSTSEASON JOURNEY FRIDAY
 Purdue (25-6) vs. TBD
Friday, March 11 | 9 p.m. ET | Gainbridge Fieldhouse
BTN (Brandon Gaudin, Robbie Hummel, Andy Katz)
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — It’s time for the postseason for the No. 9-ranked Purdue Boilermakers and it will be the last team to play in this weekend’s Big Ten Tournament. The Boilermakers will tip off at approximately 9 p.m. ET, on Friday against either sixth-seeded Ohio State, 11th-seeded Penn State or 14th-seeded Minnesota. Purdue is aiming for its first semifinals appearance since the 2018 tournament in New York City.
Purdue owns a 3-0 record against its three possible opponents, defeating Ohio State at home and Penn State and Minnesota on the road.
The contest will be televised on BTN with Brandon Gaudin, Robbie Hummel and Andy Katz on the call. On the radio waves, Rob Blackman and Bobby Riddell will be courtside on the 22-station Purdue Radio Network and online on the Varsity Sports Network (app). Live stats will be provided on BigTenStats.com and updates will be provided on Purdue’s official Twitter account (@BoilerBall).
THE NOTES TO KNOW
1) Purdue is looking to become the seventh team to win two Big Ten Tournament titles, having won a previous title in Indy in 2009.
2) Matt Painter coached in his 600th career game last Saturday (570 at Purdue; 30 at Southern Illinois). He ranks fifth on the Big Ten’s all-time games coached list (570) behind Tom Izzo (928), Bob Knight (901), Gene Keady (782) and Lou Henson (647).
3) Purdue clinched a Big Ten Tournment double-bye for the seventh time in seven tournaments under the current format. Purdue hasn’t played on a Thursday in the Big Ten Tournament since the 2014 season.
4) Purdue is 12-6 in quad-1 and quad-2 games and if Rutgers moves up one spot to 75, the Boilers would be without at quad-2, 3 or 4 loss.
5) Purdue led the Big Ten in field goal percentage for the first time during the Matt Painter era, shooting 47.6 percent in league play.
6) Purdue is 23-0 in games it scores 70 or more points. In games held under 70 points, Purdue is 2-6.
7) Purdue has won at least 12 league games for the seventh time in the last eight years. During that span, just three other programs have done it at least five times (Wisconsin – 6; Maryland, Michigan State – 5).
8) Purdue owned the Big Ten’s best home record in 2017 (8-1), 2019 (10-0), 2021 (8-1) and will again in 2022 (9-1).
9) Purdue’s 81 Big Ten wins since the 2016-17 season are the fourth-most conference wins for a power-conference team during that span.
10) Purdue is 7-3 all-time in the Big Ten Tournament when it is the three-seed (title – 2009; finals in 1998, 2018).
11) Purdue’s six first-team All-Big Ten honorees since the 2015-16 season are the most in the Big Ten (Iowa – 5).
IN THE BIG TEN TOURNAMENT
• Purdue is looking for its second Big Ten Tournament title when it heads to Indianapolis this weekend as the No. 3 seed. This marks the fifth time that Purdue has been a No. 3 seed, winning the title as the 3-seed in 2009 and reaching the finals in the inaugural event in 1998 and again in 2018. Purdue is 5-1 in its last two tournaments as a 3-seed and seven of its 14 wins have been as a 3-seed.
• Most of Purdue’s success in event has come in Indianapolis, posting a 7-10 record. The Boilermakers are 7-6 in the city in their last seven Big Ten Tournaments, winning the title over Ohio State in the 2009 Big Ten Tournament, 65-61. It is Purdue’s only win in five tries against Ohio State in the Tournament.
• Purdue’s four title-game appearances are the fifth most in the Big Ten (Ohio State – 9; Wisconsin, Michigan State – 7; Illinois – 7).
• Purdue (2009) and Michigan State (2014) are the only 3-seeds to win the Big Ten Tournament. Six more 3-seeds have been runner-up, including Purdue twice.
NCAA WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIP BRACKETS RELEASED
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The NCAA unveiled the full seeds and brackets for the 2022 wrestling championships Wednesday, revealing the national seeds and first-round opponents for the seven Purdue qualifiers in Detroit. The Boilermakers have a pair of top-15 seeds in senior Devin Schroder and junior Thomas Penola, marking the third straight top-10 seed for Schroder and the highest career seed for Penola.
At 19-4 overall and the No. 9 seed at 125 pounds, Schroder becomes just the third wrestler in program history to earn a top-10 national seed three times, joining Bob Marshall (1960-62), Ryan Lange (2002-04) and Chris Fleeger (2002-03, 2006). Schroder is scheduled to face No. 24 seed Sam Latona of Virginia Tech in the opening round. A 2021 All-American, Latona is 12-7 on the year and finished second at the ACC Championships. It will be the first-ever meeting between Schroder and Latona.
Penola posted a 22-7 in his second season at 197 pounds, earning the No. 11 seed in the national field. Coming off a fifth-place finish at the Big Ten Championships, he’ll face North Dakota State’s No. 22 seed Owen Pentz. Pentz finished 17-7 on the year and placed sixth at the Big 12 Championships. Penola and Pentz have never crossed paths before.
Junior Kendall Coleman was named the No. 19 seed at 157 pounds after posting a 14-8 record and finishing sixth at the Big Ten Championships this past weekend. Coleman draws No. 14 seed Jake Keating of Virginia in the opening round, who posted a 15-5 record this season and took third at the ACC Championships. While Coleman has never faced Keating, sophomore teammate Cooper Noehre wrested the Cavalier at this year’s Matmen Open, suffering an 11-4 loss in the Round of 12.
Senior Parker Filius advances to his third straight national tournament at 141 pounds, earning the No. 20 seed after posting a 21-11 record on the season. Filius took eighth at the Big Ten Championships earning wins over former All-Americans Stevan Micic of Michigan and Chad Red of Nebraska. Filius will face No. 13 seed Ian Parker of Iowa State, who posted a 12-3 record this year and despite earning the top seed at the Big 12 Championships, finished fifth. Filius and Parker did not meet in the dual between the Boilermakers and Cyclones in December as Parker didn’t weigh in for the event.
The No. 25 seed at 174 pounds, sophomore Gerrit Nijenhuis posted a 17-12 record on the year and just missed the podium at the Big Ten Championships. He’ll face a familiar opponent in No. 8 seed Michael O’Malley of Drexel, who posted a 22-2 record this season and won the EIWA Championship title. Nijenhuis and O’Malley met in the first match of the season with O’Malley earning a win by fall.
Freshman Matt Ramos earned the No. 26 seed at 133 pounds after a seventh-place showing at the Big Ten Championships and an 18-8 record on the year. Ramos is the second Purdue freshman in as many years to qualify for nationals at 133 pounds, aiming to become the first Boilermaker rookie to earn All-America honors since Cashé Quiroga in 2010. Ramos will match up with No. 7 seed Lucas Byrd of Illinois who finished 21-3 this season and placed fourth at the Big Ten Championships. Byrd topped Ramos 5-0 in the dual between Purdue and Illinois on Jan. 21.
Senior Max Lyon was named the No. 30 seed at 184 pounds, earning an at-large bid after a 12-13 regular season. A four-time national qualifier at the weight, Lyon will face third-seeded Trent Hidlay of North Carolina State, who heads to Detroit at 17-0 and fresh off an ACC Championship. Lyon and Hidlay have never faced each other on the mat.
The Boilermakers take at least seven wrestlers to the national tournament for the fifth straight season under head coach Tony Ersland, the longest streak of its kind in Purdue history. The action is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. ET on Thursday at Little Caesar’s Arena.
2022 NCAA Championships
Detroit, Michigan * Little Caesar’s Arena
125: #9 Devin Schroder (R-Senior)
First Round: #24 Sam Latona (Virginia Tech)
133: #26 Matt Ramos (R-Freshman)
First Round: #7 Lucas Byrd (Illinois)
141: #20 Parker Filius (R-Senior)
First Round: #13 Ian Parker (Iowa State)
157: #19 Kendall Coleman (R-Junior)
First Round: #14 Jake Keating (Virginia)
174: #25 Gerrit Nijenhuis (Sophomore)
First Round: #8 Michael O’Malley (Drexel)
184: #30 Max Lyon (R-Senior)
First Round: #3 Trent Hidlay (North Carolina State)
197: #11 Thomas Penola (R-Junior)
First Round: #22 Owen Pentz (North Dakota State)
Numbers represent national seeds
UNBEATEN BOILERMAKERS OPEN AT HOME VS. BELLARMINE
WEEKEND SERIES INFORMATION
Bellarmine (2-12) at No. 21 Purdue (12-0)
Thursday to Sunday, March 10 to 13 / Watch on B1G+
Alexander Field / West Lafayette, Indiana
Series Opener: Thursday, March 10 at 4 p.m. ET
Middle Game: Date & Time TBD by Weather
Series Finale: Sunday, March 13 at TBD
Series History: First Meetings
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS
Thursday: Jackson Smeltz (R-Jr, LHP) vs. TBA for Bellarmine
Game 2: Troy Wansing (Fr, LHP) vs. TBA for Bellarmine
Game 3: Wyatt Wendell (R-Jr, RHP) vs. TBA for Bellarmine
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue baseball opens its program-record 28-game home schedule with its earliest home opener ever, hosting first-time foe Bellarmine for a weekend series that begins Thursday afternoon.
The home opener at Alexander Field was moved to Thursday at 4 p.m. ET to maximize favorable weather conditions. With snow in the forecast for Friday followed by temperatures in the mid-20s Saturday, a Sunday doubleheader to conclude the three-game series is a possibility. Temps on Sunday are forecasted to climb into the 50s.
Fans with tickets for Friday can use those tickets for Thursday’s home opener or exchange them for any other game this weekend. In the event of additional schedule changes or cancellations, tickets can be exchanged for general admission seats for any future home game (excluding the April 8-10 series vs. Indiana).
At 12-0 and nationally ranked by Collegiate Baseball (No. 21) and the College Baseball Hall of Fame (No. 23) this week, Purdue is one of three undefeated teams left at the NCAA Division I level – joining Virginia and Clemson. The Boilermakers and Tigers have both won 13 consecutive games for the longest active win streaks in the nation as of March 9. The program’s longest single-season win streak is 13 games and the longest multi-season streak is 16 consecutive wins, a record that has stood for more than 100 years.
Despite not playing at home yet, Purdue took advantage of being the home team in 11 of its first 12 games, winning five times in its final at-bat – a group of victories that included four walk-offs and a tiebreaking eighth-inning run in the season opener. Now the Boilermakers will aim to extend their program-record start by continuing their winning ways at home. Victories have not come easy at home since the move to Alexander Field for the 2013 season. Purdue was just 4-9 at home last year and has posted only two winning records at home (15-5 in 2018, 13-10 in 2019) since Alexander opened.
Jackson Smeltz leads the Big Ten with 28 strikeouts through 16 1/3 innings, racking up 21 Ks in 12 1/3 innings over his two starts on the 10-day road trip in North Carolina. The lefty joined Purdue’s all-time strikeouts leader Matt Bischoff (in 2010) as the only Boilermakers since 2001 with 10-plus Ks in consecutive outings. Smeltz was excellent at Alexander last year, registering 10 strikeouts vs. three hits allowed over 8 2/3 shutouts innings across five appearances.
Big Ten RBI leader Cam Thompson hit a grand slam in Purdue’s 2021 home opener as one of six Boilermakers to make their Alexander Field debuts that day.
Based in Louisville, Bellarmine made the move to the NCAA Division I level and joined the Atlantic Sun Conference in time for the 2020-21 school year. The Knights won their home opener Wednesday vs. Morehead State, ending a 10-game losing skid. But they’ve been very competitive against highly regarded opponents like Virginia (lost 1-0), Kentucky (lost 3-2) and Southeast Missouri State (lost 8-7 in 11 innings) early this season.
NOTABLE ACTIVE STREAKS
• Landon Weins – 10 consecutive scoreless innings (over his 4 appearances in 2022)
• Cam Thompson – 12-game on-base, 7-game hit & 5-game RBI streaks
• CJ Valdez – 9-game hit streak (every game he has played)
• Mike Bolton Jr. – 13-game on-base streak (dating back to 2021 season finale)
• Troy Viola – 10-game on-base streak
LEADING THE BIG TEN
• Jackson Smeltz – Wins (3) & Strikeouts (28)
• Mike Bolton Jr. – Triples (2) & Stolen Bases (8)
• Cam Thompson – RBI (19) & HBP (6)
• Curtis Washington Jr. – Runs Scored (16)
PITCHING BREAKDOWN ON THE NORTH CAROLINA TRIP
• Starters: 40 2/3 IP, 27 H, 9 ER, 10 BB, 51 K, 1.99 ERA, 5.98 H/9, 11.29 K/9
• Bullpen: 37 1/3 IP, 40 H, 12 ER, 23 BB, 34 K, 2.89 ERA, 9.64 H/9, 8.20 K/9
EARLIEST HOME OPENERS IN PURDUE HISTORY
• 2019: March 12 vs. Milwaukee – L, 6-1
• 1996: March 13 vs. Saint Joseph’s (Ind.) – L, 7-0
• 1992: March 16 vs. Ball State* – W, 9-0
• 1991: March 16 Saint Joseph’s (Ind.)* – L, 2-1
• 1994: March 17 vs. Saint Joseph’s (Ind.) – W, 3-0
• 1990: March 17 vs. Saint Joseph’s (Ind.) – L, 5-3
• 2015: March 18 vs. Valparaiso – W, 2-0
• 1998: March 18 vs. Valparaiso – W, 5-4
• 1993: March 18 vs. Saint Joseph’s (Ind.) – W, 8-0
Harris and Lukosius Combine for 56 in Butler MBB’s OT Tournament Win Over Xavier
Butler’s Chuck Harris and Simas Lukosius combined for 56 points as the Bulldogs took an 89-82 overtime win over Xavier Wednesday night in the first round of the 2022 BIG EAST Tournament at Madison Square Garden.
Twelve of Lukosius’s output came in the overtime session as he propelled the Bulldogs to victory after Harris, Bo Hodges and Aaron Thompson fouled out.
With the win, Butler advances to Thursday’s quarterfinals and a noon tip against top-seeded Providence. It’s also the second consecutive season that Butler has ended Xavier’s season in overtime in the first round of the BIG EAST Tournament.
Bryce Nze posted his fourth double-double of the season with 15 points and 15 rebounds. Both are season-highs and the 15 rebounds are the most for Nze in a Butler uniform.
In a game where neither team led by more than six through regulation, Xavier held that six-point lead with 52 seconds remaining in regulation. A Harris bucket trimmed the lead to four before the Musketeers missed four consecutive free throws sandwiched around an offensive rebound. Two Harris free throws then cut the lead to 66-64 with 29 seconds remaining. Thompson then drew an offensive foul on Xavier and Harris’s eighth straight Bulldog point tied the game.
Paul Scruggs then scored in the lane for Xavier to give the Musketeers a 68-66 lead with eight seconds to go. Thinking Xavier was up three, he then fouled Lukosius with four seconds to play. The freshman calmly made both free throws to send the game to the extra session.
Butler never trailed in overtime and at one time led by 11.
The Bulldogs went 25-for-32 from the free throw line as Lukosius made 11 of his 13 attempts. Butler committed only eight turnovers in the 45 minutes.
Xavier scored 54 of their points in the paint, but the Bulldogs’ defense forced them into a 3-for-15 performance from three-point range. Xavier missed 16 of their 29 free throw attempts.
Jack Nunge led Xavier with 24 points.
WOMEN’S BASKETBALL COMPLETES COMEBACK VS. NORTHERN ILLINOIS; ADVANCES TO MAC TOURNAMENT SEMIFINALS
CLEVELAND – The No. 5 seed Ball State women’s basketball team pulled the 60-54 comeback win over No. 4 Northern Illinois Wednesday afternoon at Rocket Mortgage Field House to advance to the 2022 Mid-American Conference Tournament semifinals for the first time since the 2015 season.
It also marks the first time the Cardinals have won a tournament contest in Cleveland since the 2014 season. Ball State was the fifth seed that year and advanced all the way to the championships.
It was an all-around team performance today by the Cardinals, headed by All-MAC Third Team recipient and MAC Freshman Team honoree Ally Becki, who had 15 points while going 3-of-6 from the 3-point line. Behind Becki was All-MAC Honorable Mention Team member senior Thelma Dis Agustsdottir and junior Sydney Freeman who tallied 10 points apiece.
Ball State’s defense gave Northern Illinois fits in the second, third and fourth quarters. The Cardinals scored 19 points off the Huskies 19 miscues overall. After falling behind early in the first quarter of play, the Cardinals managed to outscore the Huskies 49-30 for the remainder of the game.
The Huskies dominated the first quarter of play with a 24-11 scoring spree to start today’s game. The Cardinals battled back and turned up their half court pressure defense, and started hitting their shots from behind the arc in the second quarter of play to get within single digits. Junior Estel Puiggros nailed one from behind the arc to bring Ball State within eight (29-21) with 6:01 left. NIU managed to go back up by 10 (34-24) over BSU at intermission.
The Cardinals were quiet, but they began to make their comeback after the break. Ball State played scrappy, and its defense intensified, causing some Northern Illinois miscues that allowed the Cardinals to come within four (44-40) heading into the final 10 minutes of play.
It was a back-and-forth affair in the fourth quarter after Ball State took its first lead of the contest at exactly the 8:29 mark after a free throw from graduate student Chyna Latimer. Latimer then hit another layup with 4:16 on the clock to put BSU up 51-48, a lead that the Cardinals would not relinquish down stretch.
The fifth-seeded Ball State women’s basketball team will continue its journey for a Mid-American Conference Tournament title when it faces top-seeded Toledo Friday at 10 a.m. ET in game 1 of the semifinals.
SPARKS NAMED MAC FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR, SELLERS JOINS ALL-FRESHMEN TEAM
CLEVELAND – The Mid-American Conference announced its yearly postseason accolades on Wednesday. Ball State’s Payton Sparks was named the MAC Freshman of the Year and was named to the All-MAC Third Team as well as the MAC All-Freshman Team. Jaylin Sellers joined Sparks on the MAC All-Freshman Team.
Sparks has a team-best 13.3 points per game and 8.3 rebounds per contest. Sparks has tallied 398 points this season and is currently third as a freshman in all-time scoring, behind Bonzi Wells (474) and Ray McCallum (463). Sparks has attempted 192 free throws this season, which is tied for 14th in the NCAA and leads the MAC. He has attempted more free throws than any other freshman in the NCAA. Sparks is second on the team with 15 blocks. He recorded 11 double-doubles on the season to lead all freshmen and finished second in the MAC. Sparks finished the regular season with 23 games scoring double figures and 12 games with double-digit rebounds. Sparks’ 8.27 rebounds per game is fourth in the MAC, while his 13.27 points per game are 18th in the conference.
Sellers picked up an All-Freshman Team nod after a strong conference portion of the season. He has collected double-digit points in six games on the year. He has produced double-digit points in three of the last four, including a career-best 16 points in the season finale at Western Michigan. He has accumulated 200 points. Sellers is averaging 6.7 points per game, 1.8 rebounds per game, 23 steals, 16 assists, and six blocks.
This is the 14th time the MAC has seen a team where two or more freshmen have made the MAC All-Freshman Team. For just the second time, Ball State has seen multiple players make the all-freshman team with Sparks’ and Sellers’ nod this season. The last time BSU was represented by more than one freshman on the all-freshman team was in 1991 when David Broz, Tod Jones, and Jeermal Sylvester were all named to the MAC All-Freshman Team. That was the only time a school has been represented by three players. Teams that have been represented by multiple players on the MAC All-Freshman Team have gone on to have postseason success. After the BSU trio cracked the MAC All-Freshman Team, in 1993 Ball State went on to win a MAC Tournament title. Ohio’s Jason Preston and Ben Vander Plas were the last two in 2019 and the Bobcats went on to win the MAC title last season.
From the Coach – Head Coach James Whitford
“I want to congratulate Payton Sparks on receiving the well-deserved MAC Freshman of the Year award, and Jaylin Sellers for the equally deserving spot on the MAC All-Freshman Team. From the moment these two stepped on campus, their work ethic and determination has set them apart from the traditional college players. They have earned the respect of their peers in the Mid-American Conference, while representing themselves, our program, and the entire university in a first-class manner everywhere they go.”
2021-22 MAC Men’s Basketball Postseason Awards
Coach of the Year: Rob Senderoff, Kent State
Player of the Year: Sincere Carry, R-Jr., G, Kent State
Freshman of the Year: Payton Sparks, Fr., C, Ball State
Defensive Player of the Year: Enrique Freeman, So., F, Akron
Sixth Man of the Year: Justyn Hamilton, R-Sr., F, Kent State
All-MAC First Team
Jeenathan Williams, Sr., F, Buffalo
Sincere Carry, R-Jr., G, Kent State
Mark Sears, So., G, Ohio
Ben Vander Plas, R-Sr., F, Ohio
Ryan Rollins, So., G, Toledo
All-MAC Second Team
Ali Ali, So., F, Akron
Enrique Freeman, So., F, Akron
Josh Mballa, Sr., F, Buffalo
Ronaldo Segu, Sr., G, Buffalo
JT Shumate, Jr., F, Toledo
All-MAC Third Team
Payton Sparks, Fr., C, Ball State
Daeqwon Plowden, 5th-Sr., G/F, Bowling Green
Jason Carter, 5th-Sr., F, Ohio
Setric Millner Jr., Jr., F, Toledo
Lamar Norman Jr., Jr., G, Western Michigan
Xavier Castaneda, Jr., G, Akron
Kevin Miller, Fr., G, Central Michigan
Malique Jacobs, R-Jr., F, Kent State
Dae Dae Grant, Jr., G, Miami
Keshawn Williams, So., G, Northern Illinois
Payton Sparks, C, Ball State
Jaylin Sellers, G, Ball State
Kevin Miller, G, Central Michigan
Mo Njie, C, Eastern Michigan
Ra’Heim Moss, G, Toledo
Enrique Freeman, So., F, Akron
Daeqwon Plowden, 5th-Sr., G/F, Bowling Green
Josh Mballa, Sr., F, Buffalo
Malique Jacobs, R-Jr., F, Kent State
Sincere Carry, R-Jr., G, Kent State
B1G SEMIFINAL PREVIEW: PLAYOFFS CONTINUE FOR #8 IRISH AT #4 MICHIGAN
WHO: #8/8 Notre Dame (27-10-0) at #4/4 Michigan (27-9-1)
WHEN: Saturday, March 12 at 6:30 p.m. ET
WHERE: Compton Family Ice Arena
LISTEN: 94.3 FM | UND.com
SETTING THE STAGE
No. 3 seed Notre Dame will play a Big Ten Tournament semifinal game at No. 2 seed Michigan at 6:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, March 12 at Yost Ice Arena (Ann Arbor, Michigan).
It will mark Notre Dame’s third appearance in the Big Ten semifinals in five seasons since joining the league.
The Irish won semifinal games in 2018 and 2019 en route to claiming back-to-back Big Ten Tournament Championships.
On March 9 Head Coach Jeff Jackson was named as one of three finalists for the Big Ten’s Coach of the Year award, which will be announced on March 15.
Notre Dame was the only team to sweep Michigan this season (did so twice), most recently defeating the Wolverines on Feb. 25-26 to close out the regular season.
In the game one win, Notre Dame handed the Wolverines their first regulation loss since Dec. 11.
Graduate student goaltender Matthew Galajda stopped 59 of the 61 shots he faced in that series versus the Wolverines for a .967 save percentage and a 1.00 goals against average en route to being named the Big Ten’s Second Star of the Week for a second consecutive week.
The Irish last went 5-0-0 against Michigan in 2012-13, besting the Wolverines four times during the regular season and then posting a 3-1 win in the final CCHA Championship game at Joe Louis Arena (March 24, 2013).
Notre Dame is 8-2-0 in its last 10 meetings with Michigan and carries a seven-game winning streak at Yost Arena into Saturday’s semifinal (last loss at Yost was 2-1 on Nov. 9, 2018 when the current senior class played their first game at Michigan).
Galajda has started each of the past eight games for the Irish, posting a 7-1-0 record to go along with a .944 save percentage and a 1.77 goals-against average.
Notre Dame is tied for third in the country with 27 wins (27-10-0), trailing only Minnesota State (33-5-0) and Quinnipiac (28-5-3) and tied with Michigan (27-9-1).
The Fighting Irish are 10-4-0 on the road this season, 19-1-0 when scoring first and 23-1-0 when scoring at least three goals.
Nick Leivermann has a five-game point streak (0-6-6).
Graham Slaggert has a three-game point streak (2-3-5), while Landon Slaggert (1-1-2) and Trevor Janicke (2-1-3) have two game point streaks as that line of Slaggert/Slaggert/Janicke accounted for 10 points in the quarterfinal series against the Badgers.
Notre Dame is 6-2-0 in overtime this season, with the OT game-winning goals coming from Cam Burke (at Michigan Tech), Ryder Rolston (at Michigan), Max Ellis (at Michigan and at Penn State), Spencer Stastney (at Ohio State) and Landon Slaggert (vs. Minnesota).
STASTNEY’S STARRING ROLE
In the 20 games since the Irish returned from break on Jan. 1, senior defenseman Spencer Stastney has five goals and 13 assists for 18 points, notching at least one point in 14 of the 20 games.
Stastney is now tied as Notre Dame’s second leading scorer with a career-high 27 points on seven goals and 20 assists.
Stastney’s previous career highs were five goals (2020-21), 17 assists (2019-20) and 20 points (2019-20).
Stastney is the only defenseman in the country with multiple shorthanded goals this season (2).
Stastney is averaging 0.56 assists per game, which ranks eighth in the Big Ten.
Stastney has also blocked 62 shots, which ranks third in the Big Ten.
IRISH – WOLVERINES SERIES HISTORY
All-time, Michigan leads the series 82-69-5, but Notre Dame leads the series 13-8-0 since joining the Big Ten.
Notre Dame recognizes the first official meeting as a 3-2 overtime win by the Fighting Irish on Jan. 17, 1922 at the Weinberg Coliseum in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
The Irish and Wolverines met each season from 1991-92 to 2012-13.
During the 2012-13 season, Notre Dame went 5-0-0 against the Wolverines, including a 3-1 victory in the championship game of the final CCHA tournament.
In Notre Dame’s inaugural season in the Big Ten (2017-18), the Irish and Wolverines met five times, with the Irish claiming three victories, including a last second win at the 2018 NCAA Frozen Four.
As time ran down in the 2018 NCAA Frozen Four semifinal (April 5), Cam Morrison slid the puck back to Jake Evans in the slot, who shot it five-hole for the game-winner with five seconds remaining – sending Notre Dame to the national championship.
Notre Dame and Michigan’s other Frozen Four meeting came at the 2008 Frozen Four (Denver, Colorado) when the Irish posted a 5-4 overtime win to advance to the NCAA championship game for the first time in program history.
Calle Ridderwall scored the game-winning goal in that contest at the 5:44 mark of overtime.
The teams also played at Notre Dame Stadium on January 5, 2019, as the two teams utilized the same ice as the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins of the NHL for the 2019 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic.
The Let’s Take This Outside game featured the largest crowd to attend a home hockey game for the Irish (23,422) but Michigan claimed the 4-2 win over the Irish.
Head Coach Jeff Jackson is 39-34-8 all-time against Michigan (including his time at Lake Superior State), while he is 12-6-0 all-time against the Wolverines in the playoffs.
NOTRE DAME vs. MICHIGAN IN 2021-22
Notre Dame went 4-0-0 against the Wolverines during the 2021-22 regular season, including a recent home sweep by scores of 4-1 (Feb. 25) and 2-1 (Feb. 26) to close out the regular season, costing Michigan a chance at the Big Ten title.
In game one of that series, the Wolverines scored first but Graham Slaggert, Jesse Lansdell and Jack Adams scored next before Spencer Stastney iced the win with an empty netter.
In game two, Trevor Janicke scored at 16:52 of the third to break a 1-1 tie and lift the Irish to the victory.
Matthew Galajda played both games and stopped 59 of the 61 shots he faced for a .967 save percentage and a 1.00 goals against average en route to being named the Big Ten’s Second Star of the Week for a second consecutive week.
The Irish became the first team to defeat Michigan in regulation since Dec. 11 and the only team to sweep the Wolverines this season (did so twice).
Earlier this season, Notre Dame swept a series at Yost Ice Arena with a pair of overtime wins, including 3-2 in game one (Nov. 19) and 5-4 in game two (Nov. 20) to extend their winning streak at Yost to seven games.
Ryan Bischel played both games in the Notre Dame net, making 28 saves in game one and 37 in game two.
Ryder Rolston had a pair of goals in the game one win, including the overtime winner.
Then Max Ellis had a hat trick, including the overtime winner, in game two to become the first visiting player to record a hat trick at Yost Ice Arena in 15 years (2006).
B1G TOURNAMENT TALK
Notre Dame has reached the Big Ten tournament semifinals for the third time in five seasons since joining the league.
In 2018, Notre Dame defeated Penn State 3-2 in the semifinals to advance to the championship game – a 3-2 overtime win against Ohio State.
In 2019 the Irish downed Minnesota in the semifinals on Michael Graham’s overtime tally, sending the Irish to the title game where they would defeat Penn State 3-2 to claim the championship.
All told, Notre Dame is now 9-4-0 in Big Ten Tournament games (9-3-0 in games played under the current format and 2-0-0 in semifinal games).
As the top seed, Minnesota hosts fifth-seeded Penn State in the other semifinal game this weekend.
The top remaining seed will then host the championship game on March 19.
JACKSON NAMED FINALIST FOR BIG TEN COACH OF THE YEAR
ROSEMONT, Ill. – University of Notre Dame head coach Jeff Jackson has been named one of three finalists for Big Ten Hockey’s Coach of the Year award.
The league announced the top-three finalists for its individual awards on Wednesday (March 9), including Jackson, Minnesota’s Bob Motzko and Ohio State’s Steve Rohlik for Coach of the Year honors. The winners will be announced on Big Ten Network’s B1G Today at noon ET on Tuesday, March 15.
Jackson guided the eighth-ranked Irish to a third-place finish in the Big Ten standings and helped Notre Dame to a Big Ten Tournament Quarterfinal series win over Wisconsin, two games to one (March 4-6) to advance to the Big Ten Tournament Semifinals for the third time in five seasons since joining the league.
Jackson, who has led his teams to seven Frozen Four appearances as a head coach, added four graduate transfers as well as a sophomore transfer and five freshmen to his core of returners for the 2021-22 campaign. Blending that group, Jackson saw his team post a 27-10-0 record thus far and the team is poised to make the NCAA Tournament field as well. The Irish closed out the regular season by sweeping then second-ranked Michigan (Feb. 25-26) to secure third place as Notre Dame became the only team to sweep Michigan this season (did so twice).
The Fighting Irish roster features seven players with at least 20 points and a goalie tandem that boasts two of the top-13 save percentages in the country. Notre Dame’s scoring offense ranks eighth in the NCAA with a 3.35 goals per game average, while its defense ranks sixth with a 2.09 goals against per game as the Irish are one of only three teams to rank in the top 10 in both categories. Notre Dame has the nation’s second-best penalty kill (90.30%) while also adding seven shorthanded goals, which also ranks tied for second in the NCAA.
Jackson now has 557 career wins, which ranks second among active NCAA Division I head coaches, spanning six seasons at Lake Superior State and 17 seasons at Notre Dame. Jackson’s win total also ranks 10th all-time for wins at the NCAA Division I level.
With the most recent being the 2019 Big Ten Tournament title, Notre Dame has won eight conference championships in program history, each under Jackson (three regular-season). Notre Dame has made each of the last five NCAA Tournaments, the longest streak in program history, and eight of the last 11 NCAA Tournaments overall.
Jackson continues to develop NHL talent on a consistent basis. This season, Former Irish forward Alex Steeves (2018-21) made his NHL debut for the Toronto Maple Leafs on Dec. 7 against Columbus (and former Notre Dame teammate Andrew Peeke) in a 5-4 Toronto win.
Steeves, who earned Second Team All-Big Ten honors in 2020-21, became the 25th former Irish player under head coach Jeff Jackson to reach the NHL. Former Irish captain Steven Fogarty made his Boston debut late in January to become the 14th former Fighting Irish player to appear in the NHL this season.
Notre Dame has advanced to this weekend’s single elimination Big Ten Tournament semifinals and, as the No. 3 seed, the Irish will play at No. 2-seeded Michigan on Saturday, March 12, in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Puck drop is set for 6:30 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on Big Ten Network.
NOTRE DAME QUALIFIES THREE MEN AND FOUR RELAYS FOR NCAA MEET
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — The Notre Dame men’s swim team earned three individual selections and four relay teams for the NCAA Championships on March 23-26 from the McAuley Aquatic Center in Atlanta, Georgia.
Senior Josh Bottelberghe, sophomore Tyler Christianson and Chris Guiliano will represent the Irish at the national meet. Qualifying outright with five times, the Irish are eligible for seven individual swims. In addition, the Irish 200 Medley, 200 Free, 400 Medley and 400 Free Relays were selected for the championships. In addition to the three individual qualifiers, Kaden Smesko, Cason Wilburn, Luke Uttley and Stephan Lukashev will compete in the relays for the Irish.
Bottelberghe will be making his third trip to NCAA’s and has qualified in each of the last four years (2020 was cancelled due to COVID-19). Christianson and Wilburn both joined Bottelberghe at the national meet last season.
SWIMMER: QUALIFYING EVENT (QUALIFYING TIME)
Bottelberghe: 100 Breast (51.61) and 200 Breast (1:52.44)
Christianson: 100 Breast (54.24) and 200 Breast (1:52.90)
Guiliano: 50 Free (19.17), 100 Free (42.34) and 200 Free (1:35.95)
200 Free Relay: (1:16:98): Guiliano, Wilburn, Lukashev and Bottelberghe
400 Free Relay: (2:51:68): Guiliano, Wilburn, Uttley and Lukashev
200 Medley Relay: (1:23:81): Smesko, Bottelberghe, Wilburn and Guiliano
400 Medley Relay: (3:06:28): Smesko, Bottelberghe, Wilburn and Guiliano
All four of the relay qualifying times occurred at the 2022 ACC Championships, which were also held at McAuley Aquatic Center, in February. The 200 and 400 medley relay times at ACC’s both set school records while the 200 free relay was :01 shy of tying the school record.
Both of Bottelberghe’s qualifying times were also school records that were set during the season. He broke the 200 breaststroke school record at the Ohio State Invitational back in November. The 100 breaststroke time came in the finals at the ACC Championships. Bottelberghe broke the school record and finished second in the finals and earned a silver medal.
Guiliano had two school record breaking times earn him qualification to the NCAA meet. Both of his school record qualifying times came in relay legs at the ACC Championships. He broke the school record in the 50 freestyle in the first leg of the 200 freestyle relay squad that finished sixth. It was the second time that day that Guiliano set the record in the 500 freestyle. At the final day of ACC’s, he set the school record in the 100 freestyle in the opening leg of the 400 medley relay that also finished sixth. His 200 freestyle time came at the Ohio State Invitational when he finished fifth in the finals.
Christianson earned his 200 breaststroke qualifying this past weekend at the Boiler-Make-It Qualification Meet. His 100 breaststroke time was set at the Tim Welsh Classic and he finished second in the event.
IRISH CLAIM THIRD PLACE AT LAMKIN SAN DIEGO CLASSIC
The University of Notre Dame men’s golf team finished third in the 2022 Lampkin San Diego Classic at the San Diego Country Club in Chula Vista, California, on Monday and Tuesday of this week. The Irish entered the competition No. 16 in the Golfstat rankings and would finish the classic behind first-place No. 25 LSU and second-place No. 8 Washington.
Notre Dame was led by senior Andrew O’Leary who carded a 67-71-71 (209, -7) to finish in a tie for sixth place. The effort is the best of the 2021-22 fall/spring season for O’Leary and is his best individual finish since finishing fourth at last season’s Spartan Collegiate.
Junior Palmer Jackson was just behind O’Leary with a 67-69-74 (210, -6) in a tie for ninth place. Senior Davis Chatfield rounded out Notre Dame’s top-15 finishers with a 72-69-71 (212, -4).
Notre Dame’s next competition will be the Shenkel Invitational March 18-20 at Forest Heights Country Club in Statesboro, Georgia.
SYCAMORES OPEN HOOPS IN THE HEARTLAND AGAINST EVANSVILLE
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Indiana State opens play at Hoops in the Heartland Thursday evening when it takes on in-state foe Evansville in the first game of the day at the TaxSlayer Center. Tipoff between the Sycamores and Purple Aces is set for 5 p.m. and will be carried live on ESPN+ and 105.5 The Legend.
Indiana State junior guard Del’Janae Williams and freshman forward Arianna Smith were recognized Wednesday by the Missouri Valley Conference following the completion of the regular season. Williams earned Honorable Mention All-Missouri Valley Conference honors and also landed on the MVC All-Defensive Team, while Smith made the MVC All-Freshman Team.
Williams finished the season as Indiana State’s leader in points (12.6), assists (2.7) and steals (2.0), ranking inside the top 15 in the Valley in all three categories.
Smith averaged 6.9 points and 4.5 rebounds this season, numbers that have improved during conference play to 7.5 points and 4.9 boards. She is averaging 10.6 points per game over the last five games.
Last Time Out
Del’Janae Williams had 17 points Saturday afternoon, including a game-high 3 3-pointers, but visiting Drake shot over 60 percent from the floor in the second half to defeat Indiana State, 86-71, inside the Hulman Center.
Natalia Lalic and Arianna Smith scored 12 points apiece, while Marie Hunter had nine points and a team-high five assists in her final home game.
Indiana State got off to a hot start for a second straight game, leading by as many as 18 midway through the second quarter. Despite a strong start to the third quarter, the Sycamores couldn’t keep pace with Drake over the final 20 minutes, as the Bulldogs had 56 points in the second half to win their fifth straight.
A Closer Look at Evansville
Evansville enters the tournament seeded ninth after finishing the regular season at 8-21 overall and 2-16 in conference play.
The Purple Aces feature a pair of all-conference honorees in Abby Feit (First Team) and JeNaiya Davis (Honorable Mention). Feit averages 14.8 points and 8.9 rebounds per game, while Davis leads the team in scoring at 15.3 points per contest. Myia Clark (12.3) is also averaging double-figures for the Aces.
Davis had a game-high 20 when these teams last met in Evansville, while Clark had 19 and Anna Newman had 10. Those three combined for 49 of Evansville’s 58 points in that game.
Series History Against Evansville
Indiana State has a 41-20 lead in the all-time series, and has won the only neutral-site meeting between the schools. The Sycamores and Purple Aces split the season series this season, with each team winning on its home court.
Del’Janae Williams had a game-high 21 points, along with five rebounds, five assists and five steals in Indiana State’s 69-51 win over Evansville in Terre Haute. Williams led the Sycamores with 15 points in ISU’s 58-56 loss in Evansville, a game where the Sycamores led by as many as 18.
Indiana State has found balance in the starting lineup over the past two weeks. The Sycamore starting five of Mya Glanton, Marie Hunter, Natalia Lalic, Arianna Smith and Del’Janae Williams has scored at least six points apiece in three of the last four games, including both games last week against Northern Iowa and Drake.
Out of the Gates
Indiana State has jumped out to double-digit leads in the first half of each of its last two games. The Sycamores shot 50 percent or better from the floor in the opening 20 minutes against both Drake and Northern Iowa, while forcing both opponents into 12 or more turnovers in the first half.
Despite jumping out to large leads, Indiana State didn’t have a marquee first-half scorer in either game, with five different Sycamores scoring five or more points in the opening half against both Northern Iowa and Drake.
Back on Track
After being held scoreless in Indiana State’s final road game of the season at Missouri State, junior guard Del’Janae Williams responded with a pair of double-figure outings to close the regular season.
Williams led the Sycamores in scoring in both games last week, finishing as one of three Indiana State players with 10 points against Northern Iowa before closing the regular season with 17 against Drake. She knocked down four 3-pointers across the two games, while also adding five assists, five rebounds, four steals and a block in the two contests.
Indiana State’s offense doesn’t necessarily have a marquee scorer, but that plays to the benefit of the Sycamores. Nine different players have led the Sycamores in scoring in a game this season, with Del’Janae Williams having a team-high 10 games as the Sycamores’ leading scorer.
The winner of Thursday’s game will play in the first quarterfinal Friday afternoon at 1 p.m. against top-seeded Southern Illinois.
WILLIAMS, SMITH EARN MISSOURI VALLEY CONFERENCE POSTSEASON HONORS
ST. LOUIS – Indiana State junior guard Del’Janae Williams and freshman forward Arianna Smith were recognized Wednesday by the Missouri Valley Conference following the completion of the regular season.
Williams earned Honorable Mention All-Missouri Valley Conference honors and also landed on the MVC All-Defensive Team, while Smith made the MVC All-Freshman Team.
Williams led Indiana State in scoring (12.6 points per game), assists (2.7 per game) and steals (2.0 per game) while also ranking second on the team with 39 3-pointers. She had 17 double-figure scoring games this season, including five 20-point games with a career-high 27 in a 20-point win over Bradley. The Detroit, Michigan, native earned MVC Player of the Week honors for the first time in her career in January after back-to-back 20-plus point games in Sycamore wins over Evansville and Valparaiso.
In addition to her offensive prowess, Williams has been a lockdown defender for the Sycamores this season. Her 58 steals this season rank third in the Valley and she is the only player in the conference to record seven steals in a game this season, having done so against both Chicago State and Western Michigan. She also finished the season with seven blocks, a mark that ranked second on the team this season.
Smith cracked the Sycamore starting lineup midway through the season and has been an impact player in the frontcourt for Indiana State. The Columbus, Ohio, native averaged 6.9 points and 4.5 rebounds per game and finished the season as one of five Indiana State players averaging at least one steal per game. Smith’s scoring output improved in conference play to 7.5 points per game, and she averaged 10.6 points per game over the final five games of the regular season.
Five of Smith’s six double-figure scoring games came during conference play, including each of the last three games. She scored a career-high 15 at both Valparaiso and Missouri State, notching her first career double-double against the Beacons as part of a 20-point Indiana State win. In addition, Smith has expanded her range throughout the season, hitting 3-pointers in two of the last three games.
Williams becomes the first all-defensive team selection for Indiana State since the 2018-19 season and the first all-conference selection for the Sycamores since the 2017-18 season, with Ashli O’Neal the last Indiana State player to feature on either team. The postseason honors are the second and third conference awards in Williams’ career, after she previously earned all-freshman team honors following the 2019-20 season.
Smith is the first all-freshman team selection for Indiana State since 2019-20, when Williams earned a spot on the league’s all-freshman team. It’s the first conference recognition for Smith in her career.
SYCAMORES CONTINUE SEASON-OPENING ROAD TRIP AT WRIGHT STATE
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – It is not a 1,000-plus mile trip this time, but the Sycamores are back on the road this weekend as Indiana State makes the trek to Dayton, Ohio and Wright State University for a three-game series at Nischwitz Stadium.
The series has already shifted due to forecasted cold temperatures over the weekend. ISU and Wright State will face off on Thursday, Friday, and Sunday now as announced by both programs on Tuesday morning. Live stats will be available for all three games courtesy of the Wright State, while all three games will also be carried on WWSU 106.9 FM.
Indiana State went 1-2 over this past weekend’s LeClair Classic hosted by East Carolina University as the Sycamores fell to both host ECU and then-No. 21 Maryland, while topping Michigan in Sunday’s finale. ISU improved to 6-4 overall in the 2022 season with the win over the Wolverines as the Sycamores’ resume now includes victories over BYU, Marshall, Merrimack, Minnesota (twice), and Michigan.
East Carolina topped the Sycamores in the opening game of the LeClair Classic as the Pirates took advantage of pair of RBI bunt singles to take the 5-4 win. The Sycamores utilized Matt Jachec’s strong performance on the mound to keep the game close, while Josue Urdaneta, Sean Ross, Luis Hernandez, and Randall Diaz all posted multi-hit games in the loss.
Hernandez connected on his first home run in the 2022 season to lead the Sycamores in the Saturday contest against No. 21 Maryland. Urdaneta posted his second three-hit game of the weekend in the 12-6 loss, while Grant Magill added two runs scored in the first-ever matchup between the Sycamores and the Terrapins.
The Sycamores salvaged the weekend on Sunday afternoon as Indiana State held off a late Michigan rally thanks to a Randall Diaz three-RBI game. The Sycamores went ahead 4-0 in the second inning behind a Diaz two-run double, while Seth Gergely, Sean Ross, and Diego Gines added RBI in the win. Luke Patzner picked up his first win of the 2022 season in relief, while Connor Fenlong added his third save of the year in the 6-5 win over the Wolverines.
Scouting Wright State
Wright State enters the weekend with a 2-8 record in the 2022 season as the Raiders welcome the Sycamores to Nischwitz Stadium for the first time in each of their program’s respective histories. All nine of the previous contests came in Terre Haute, including the last matchup between the programs back in 1997.
The Raiders are the defending Horizon League champions after posting a 35-13 record in the 2021 season, including a 28-4 record in conference play. Wright State advanced to the Knoxville Regional last season and were picked the preseason favorites after receiving 42 points and all six first-place votes in the conference’s preseason poll. The Raiders welcomed back First Team selections Sammy Sass and Alec Sayre, while Second Team honoree Zane Harris and All-Freshman selection Jake Shirk also return to the diamond.
Wright State has put together one of the toughest schedules in the NCAA so far this season with the Raiders traveling to then-No. 11 Georgia Tech and then-No. 3 Oklahoma State, while also taking on Oral Roberts and Virginia Tech. The Raiders picked up their first win of the season this past Friday against the Hokies behind a four-RBI game from Andrew Patrick, while topping Dayton on Tuesday night, 14-0.
Infielder Gehrig Anglin has been the Wright State player to watch entering the week as the redshirt junior has powered the Raider offense on the season. Anglin posted four of WSU’s seven home runs entering the week, while posting hits in seven of the first 10 games. The three-year letter-winner has been among the team’s active leaders over the last three seasons before his early season surge.
Indiana State is 8-1 all-time against Wright State dating back to the inaugural contest in 1979. The Raiders picked up the 7-3 win in the series opener back on May 4, 1979, but the Sycamores have rattled off eight consecutive wins to firmly control the series. The last time the two teams met was in 1997 with ISU picking up back-to-back wins over the Raiders on April 5 and 6.
Leading the Valley
Indiana State’s offense continues to fire on all cylinders through the first 10 games of the season as the Sycamores entered the week as the Missouri Valley Conference’s top offense in regards to batting average. ISU is the lone MVC team to hit at an above .300 clip on the year, while Indiana State’s 116 hits are tied for the conference lead with Missouri State (11 games). The Sycamores are 28th overall in the NCAA rankings in batting average on the year (.314), while also leading the way in on-base percentage (.411). The Sycamores have posted double-digit hits in six of their last eight games, including a season-best 22 hits on February 26 against Minnesota. The Sycamores also have two games with at least nine hits, while posting an extra-base hit in all 10 contests on the year.
The Sycamores have been one of the worst teams in the NCAA to dodge a baseball in the 2022 season, but it has worked out to Indiana State’s credit this year in providing 21 extra runners to the base paths. The Sycamores rank 31st in the NCAA in hit-by-pitches, while Jordan Schaffer (7) entered the week sitting in the top-10 in the NCAA individually in the category. The Sycamores have had multiple batters get hit by a pitch in seven of the 10 games this season, including a season-best five on February 25 against Merrimack. Schaffer was plunked a career-high three times against Ohio State on February 19, while Mike Sears (3) and Josue Urdaneta (2) have also been hit by multiple pitches this season.
We Don’t Give Up Free Bases
The Indiana State pitching staff has been one of the nation’s best at not hurting themselves this year as the Sycamores lead the Missouri Valley in both strikeout-to-walk ratio (2.69) and walks allowed per nine innings (3.58) through the first 10 games of the season. Right-hander Matt Jachec is individually ranked in both categories to pace the Sycamores on the season after surrendering his first walk of 2022 in the fourth inning against ECU. He currently leads the Sycamores in both categories with a 8.50 K:BB ratio and a 0.95 walks allowed per nine innings stretch. Overall, the Sycamores pitching staff has allowed three or fewer walks in six different games, while posting double-digit strikeouts on four separate occasions.
Can’t Be Caught
Indiana State remains one of the few teams to stay perfect on the base paths in the 2022 season as the Sycamores enter the weekend 10-for-10 in stolen base attempts on the year. ISU has recorded at least one stolen base in seven games, including three steals against East Carolina and two thefts against No. 21 Maryland. Tyler Nelson leads six Indiana State players with a steal as the sophomore outfielder is 3-for-3 on the base paths, while Jordan Schaffer and Josue Urdaneta have two steals apiece to lead the way.
Double-Digit Hitting Streak
Ten games into the season and Josue Urdaneta has showed few signs of slowing down as the redshirt sophomore switch-hitter leads the Missouri Valley hitters in the 2022 season. Urdaneta’s .435 batting average makes him one of six MVC to hit above .400 on the season, while his seven multi-hit contests also put him among the league leaders. The Maracaibo, Venezuela native is the conference’s leading hitter with 20 hits coming into the week, while his .480 on-base percentage puts him firmly in the MVC top-10 on the year. Urdaneta is coming off one of his strongest weekends of the season with a .615 batting average (8-fo-13) against East Carolina, No. 21 Maryland, and Michigan.
On-Base Streak Hits 20
Indiana State’s Jordan Schaffer has put together one of the longest on-base streaks in his collegiate career as the redshirt senior saw his streak reach 22 games through the LeClair Classic. Schaffer hit safely in his first seven games in the 2022 season to set a new personal-best with hits in 19 consecutive games, before seeing the streak come to an end on Friday against East Carolina. However, a walk drawn in the seventh inning extended his on-base stretch to keep ISU’s longest active streak alive. He bounced back with hits in both Saturday and Sunday’s contests against Maryland and Michigan to start a new hitting streak and keep a stretch moving where he has hit safely in 38 of his last 40 games. Schaffer currently is hitting .333 on the season with two doubles and a home run at the top of the Indiana State lineup.
Keeping it Close
The Sycamores have three players with active double-digit on-base streaks as Diego Gines joins Urdaneta and Schaffer with a 14 game on-base streak, including reaching safely in all 10 games in the 2022 season. The redshirt sophomore hit safely in each of the first seven games at the heart of the Indiana State lineup before seeing his stretch come to an end on Friday against East Carolina. However, he drew a walk against the Pirates and received three more freebies on Saturday against No. 21 Maryland, before connecting on a single against Michigan in the ninth inning to keep his streak alive. Gines is currently hitting a robust .324 on the season with a team-high four doubles, while also drawing a team-high nine walks on the year.
Hitting the Triple
The Sycamores are looking to add to their triple totals heading into the weekend as Indiana State’s lineup features just two players who have reached third base from the plate in the 2022 season. Sean Ross became the first Sycamore to connect on a triple during the second week of the season against Minnesota, while Luis Hernandez became the second ISU player to connect with a leadoff three-bagger in the second inning against Michigan. The Sycamores are tied for third overall in the Missouri Valley with two triple on the season trailing just Valparaiso (5) and Missouri State (4) on the year.
Homer Streak Ends
Indiana State’s home run streak came to an end this past Sunday against Michigan as the Sycamores failed to leave the ballpark for just the third time in 2022, ending a seven-game stretch with at least one big fly. The seven-game streak was one shy of Indiana State’s longest streak in the 2021 season when ISU went eight consecutive games with a home run from May 21 – June 4.
Indiana State’s first home run in 2022 came off Mike Sears’ bat as the redshirt senior homered in back-to-back contest against Marshall and Ohio State on February 20. Since then, the Sycamores put together a stretch of seven consecutive games with a home run, including a two-homer contest against Merrimack on February 25. Seven different players have combined for the eight Indiana State home runs on the year with Randall Diaz (East Carolina) and Luis Hernandez (Maryland) both connecting on their first blasts this past weekend.
Doubling It Up
The balanced offensive approach has continued when it comes to doubles in the 2022 season with 11 different players recording at least one two-bagger, while five players have multiple doubles through the first 10 games. Diego Gines leads the way with four doubles on the year, including starting off the season with doubles in four of the first five games. Sean Ross, Jordan Schaffer, Randall Diaz, and Parker Stinson also have multiple doubles on the year with Indiana State posting at least one double in nine of the 10 games on the year.
Jachec Leading the Way
Indiana State’s rotation has found another ace as redshirt sophomore Matt Jachec currently sits among the Missouri Valley leaders through his first three starts of the 2022 season. The Hampshire, Ill. native is currently in the top-10 in multiple individual categories on the season including ERA (2.84), opponent batting average (.257), strikeouts looking (6), wins (2), and walks allowed (2). He went the first 16.2 innings before surrendering his first walk in the 2022 season, while going at least five innings in each of his starts. Jachec picked up wins over BYU and Minnesota in his first two starts, while taking the loss this past weekend against East Carolina.
The Strikeout King
Graduate transfer Jack Parisi possesses one of the most dangerous arsenals in the NCAA this season as he enters the weekend the active career NCAA Division I strikeout leader by 21 over Georgetown’s Nolan McCarthy. Parisi has posted 293 career strikeouts, including 24 with the Sycamores over his three starts in the 2022 season. The Fort Wayne, Ind. native posted a season-best 13 whiffs against Merrimack on February 25, while 19 of his 24 strikeouts on the year have been in the swing-and-miss category. His 24 strikeouts leads the Sycamores pitching staff on the season and puts him second overall in the MVC trailing just Valparaiso’s Colin Fields (25) through his first three starts.
Saving the Game
Redshirt junior Connor Fenlong remains one of the top relievers in the Missouri Valley this season as the Gouverneur, N.Y. native has made six appearances, while posting three saves on the year. Named one of the top D1Baseball MLB Draft Prospects in the 2022 season, Fenlong has posted three saves on the year over his 7.2 innings and will be expected to lead the bullpen this weekend against the Raiders.
‘DONS TO MEET BILLIKENS IN ST. LOUIS
FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The Mastodons will play at Saint Louis this week in a series adjusted due to anticipated chilly weather conditions this weekend. Note the new schedule below.
Game Day Information
What: Purdue Fort Wayne (0-12) at Saint Louis (5-6)
Thursday, March 10 | 4 PM ET
Sunday, March 13 | 1 PM ET | doubleheader
Where: Billiken Sports Center | St. Louis, Mo.
Live Stats: GM 1 | GM 2 | GM 3
Weather: Thursday, high of 46 | Sunday, high of 60
Series History: Saint Louis leads 1-0 with a 5-2 win over the ‘Dons on March 14, 2008 in Bradenton, Florida
Purdue Fort Wayne:
Game One: RHP Bryce Martens (15.95 ERA, 0-2)
Game Two: RHP Mitchell Spencer (4.50 ERA, 0-1)
Game Three: LHP Justin Miller (7.98 ERA, 0-3)
Game One: RHP Colton Hutt (6.30 ERA, 0-1)
Game Two: LHP Trevor Harris (3.38 ERA, 1-2)
Game Three: RHP Logan Schmitt (7.80, 2-1)
Scouting the Billikens: Saint Louis owns wins this season over Bowling Green, Western Illinois and three over Northern Colorado. Saint Louis is led offensively by Kyle Fitzgerald’s 1.232 OPS. He owns 23 total bases on the season. Starting pitcher Trevor Harris has a 3.38 ERA in 16.0 innings.
New Faces: The 2022 Mastodon roster features 15 returners from last season and 18 newcomers.
Have A Day!: Braedon Blackford hit three home runs in a doubleheader against California Baptist (Feb. 26).
#3 is Streaking: Braedon Blackford owns a 10-game on-base streak. He has eight walks on the season.
Lang Time: Jack Lang is tied for sixth in the Horizon League in hits with 13.
Homer Time: Six different Mastodons have a home run this season. This total includes four Mastodons who are in their first season with the ‘Dons: Braedon Blackford (3), Cade Fitzpatrick (1), Ben Higgins (1) and Isaiah Hart (1).
Call It A Career: Jack Lang returns for 2022 after starting all 46 games last year. He has played in 164 games with 156 starts in his career. Should he hold down a starting spot for every scheduled game, he would finish with 208 games played and 196 starts. Both totals would rank second in program history. Only Shane Trevino (2012-16) would own more games played (234) and started (228) as a Mastodon.
Look At Me, I Can Be…: Garett Lake is the only Mastodon to play every game at the same position for the ‘Dons. He has started in center in every game for the ‘Dons this year.
Miller Time: Justin Miller owns 142 career strikeouts, 10th best in program history.
Put HOF On The Signature: Former Mastodon Brad Smock was inducted in to the Mastodon Hall of Fame in February. Smock was a Mastodon mainstay for the ‘Dons in their final years of Division II. The catcher ranks fourth in program history in runs scored (124), fifth in hits (191), fifth in total bases (273) and sixth in at-bats (626).
Up Next: The ‘Dons welcome Dayton to Mastodon Field for the 2022 home opener on Wednesday, March 16th. It will be a 3 p.m. first pitch.
‘DONS DROP GAME AT INDIANA 12-2
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The Mastodon baseball team fell 12-2 at Indiana on Wednesday (March 9). The Purdue Fort Wayne offense worked seven walks and five hits. The ‘Dons had chances with base runners in seven of the nine innings. However, the ‘Dons finished the game with 12 runners left on base.
The Mastodons were trailing 4-0 in the sixth inning when they made it a 4-1 game. Brian Erbe singled in Braedon Blackford from third. Unfortunately for the ‘Dons, it didn’t stay 4-1 for very long. The Hoosiers scored three in their half of the sixth and four in the seventh to open up the contest.
The Mastodons’ second run came in the eighth. The ‘Dons loaded the bases and Jack Lang worked a walk to score Karter Hann.
» Blackford notched three walks to move his on-base streak to 10 games.
» Lang and Jarrett Bickel both had a double and a walk.
» Rex Stills earned his first career start and went 2.0 innings, allowing one run. He took the loss and is 0-1.
» Indiana’s Matthew Ellis went 2-for-5 with two home runs and three RBIs.
» Jack Walker (1-0) threw three scoreless innings to get the win.
» The ‘Dons play a single game on Thursday (March 10) at Saint Louis.
MASTODON SOFTBALL OPENS HORIZON LEAGUE SEASON AT HOME ON THURSDAY
FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The Purdue Fort Wayne softball team will open Horizon League play with UIC on Thursday and Friday (March 10-11) at the Purdue Fort Wayne Softball Field.
NOTE: These games were originally scheduled for Friday and Saturday, but have moved up to Thursday and Friday to avoid potential weather in the Fort Wayne area.
Game Day Information
Who: UIC (3-12) at (Purdue Fort Wayne (1-14)
When: March 10-11
Where: Fort Wayne, Ind.
Live Stats: Link
Schedule of Games
Thursday, March 10: DH starting at noon
Friday, March 11: Single game starting at noon
UIC has an 8-0 advantage over the Mastodons in the series history, dating back to 2003. The two teams met four times last year, all in Chicago. The Mastodons have never played a home game against the Flames.
Know Your Foes
UIC was 3-12 in their pre-league schedule, but played a very tough slate. The Flames played two games against No. 24 South Florida, both of which went the full seven innings, three against Stanford, a pair against San Diego State and one vs. BYU. The Flames’ wins are Cal Poly, Middle Tennessee and Army. Tara McElligott is batting .317 to lead UIC while slugging .561. UIC has a team ERA of 2.71, led by Christina Toniolo with a 1.38.
Taryn It Up
Taryn Jenkins is leading the Mastodons with a .292 batting average. Brooke Wintlend has the team’s best slugging percentage of .524.
Let’s Look at the Lineup
>> In all 10 games, Alise Hale has started at second base and third in the batting order
>> Alise Hale has started all 15 games at second base
>> Taryn Jenkins has batted leadoff the most times this season with five
>> Gracie Brinkerhoff has the most starts in the circle with six
The following Mastodons have an active streak of games where they get on base
>> Alise Hale – 3
>> Taryn Jenkins – 3
>> Alyson Quinlan – 2
Five current Mastodons were named NFCA All-America Scholar Athletes in 2021: Shaina Eyre, Ashley Haas, Alise Hale, Jadelyn Johnson and Emma McMillan. Hale is a two-time honoree. All five student-athletes were required to maintain a 3.5 cumulative GPA or better over the year to earn the award.
Breath of Fresh Eyre
Shaina Eyre is in the top-10 in program history in wins with 17. Next on the list are Kerrie Quickery and Missy Czaja, who both had 19 wins in the pre-Division I era. Eyre is also fourth in program history and 42nd in the NCAA among active players in career pitching appearances with 98.
Our New Hall of Famer
On February 13, Courtney Cronin (2009-12) was inducted in the Mastodon Athletics Hall of Fame. Cronin was a game changer in the circle and at the plate. The 2010 Summit League Pitcher of the Year led the ‘Dons to a pair of second-place finishes in the Summit League regular season. She paced the Mastodons to its best record in program history in 2012, as the Mastodons went 45-14, and won 17 games in league play. Cronin’s awards were numerous, including eight Pitcher of the Week awards, one Offensive Player of the Week award, four All-League honors, and two Academic All-District First Team selections. Her nine Player of the Week honors stand as the second-most in Summit League history. Her 63 career wins is eighth most in Summit League history while her 1.81 career ERA ranks 15th in league history. At the plate, she finished fifth in program history with 98 RBIs and sixth in home runs (21).
Last Time Out
The ‘Dons went 0-5 at the Thundering Herd Round Robin.
Next Time Up
The Mastodons will head to Cleveland State for three games on March 18-19.
ACES OPEN POSTSEASON ON THURSDAY AFTERNOON AGAINST NO. 8 SEED INDIANA STATE
EVANSVILLE – Following its best regular season in five years, the University of Evansville women’s basketball team opens the postseason in Hoops in the Heartland against No. 8 seed Indiana State at 4 PM on Thursday afternoon inside the TaxSlayer Center in Moline, Ill.
Previewing the Matchup: No. 8 Indiana State
Evansville and Indiana State are meeting for the 63rd time in series history with the Sycamores owning a 42-20 advantage in the all-time series.
The Aces and Sycamores have only ever met once in postseason play, last meeting in the tournament in 2006 when top-seeded Indiana State topped No. 4 seed Evansville, 81-65 in the semifinals.
Evansville has a history of success as the No. 9 seed in the MVC Tournament. Since the tournament expanded to 10 teams, the Aces have twice been the nine seed prior to this season, including 2009, when Evansville became the lowest-seeded team to ever win the MVC Tournament.
The nine seed is the best for the Aces since the 2016-17 season after earning the 10 seed for four-straight seasons from 2017-18 to 2020-21.
Head coach Robyn Scherr-Wells enters Hoops in the Heartland with plenty of success in conference tournaments in her coaching career. Scherr-Wells is 9-2 all-time in conference tournaments, capturing the tournament championship in both the WHAC and CCAC a combined three times.
Playing with Pace
One of the hallmarks of head coach Robyn Scherr-Wells system at UE has been playing fast.
Installing a new system, Scherr-Wells has achieved her goal of getting the Aces to play fast as Evansville enters postseason play 35th in the nation with 74.4 possessions per 40 minutes
O Captain! My Captain!
A leader for the Aces for four seasons, senior Anna Newman has blossomed in her final season.
The team captain has commanded the court and operated head coach Robyn Scherr-Wells’ new offense, leading to 92 assists on the season, a team-high, and 3.4 assists per game, the fifth-best average in the MVC.
Newcomer Guard Duo
A pair of impactful transfers have transformed Evansville’s backcourt and the team as a whole.
Senior Myia Clark and junior Je’Naiya Davis are averaging a combined 27.6 points on the season with Davis finishing the regular season in fourth in the league in scoring and Clark finishing in 12th.
WOMEN’S BASKETBALL TRIO HAULS IN POSTSEASON MVC AWARDS
ST. LOUIS, Mo. – In recognition of their regular season efforts, three members of the University of Evansville women’s basketball team were honored with postseason awards from the Missouri Valley Conference, it was announced in a release from the conference office on Wednesday morning.
For the first time since 2016-17, the Aces had a player selected to the MVC First Team as junior Abby Feit captured top honors. Joining Feit with all-conference recognition was junior Je’Naiya Davis, who was named honorable mention all-conference. Davis earned another honor, along with fellow backcourt mate Myia Clark, as both were named to the MVC all-newcomer team.
“I’m very proud of Abby, Je’Naiya, and Myia and the seasons they had. They have been instrumental in the growth of our program and it is wonderful that they have earned these honors,” said Aces head women’s basketball coach Robyn Scherr-Wells. “I’m grateful that the growth of our program has been recognized as these three wouldn’t be in this position if it weren’t for the competitive play of our entire team.”
Recognized in The Valley’s postseason awards in all three of her collegiate seasons, Feit put on another impressive show in the 2021-22 campaign. Feit finished the regular season averaging 14.8 points and 8.9 rebounds per contest, both top five in the MVC in their respective categories. The Normal, Ill. native led the Aces in minutes, field goal percentage, three-pointers made, rebounds, and blocks. The first-team honor adds to an already full trophy cabinet for the junior, who was named league freshman of the year in 2020 and received honorable mention all-conference recognition a season ago.
Entering the fold for her first season in white and purple, Davis made her mark early often for the Aces. Davis concluded the regular season as Evansville’s leading scorer, averaging 15.3 points per game, good enough to place her in fourth in the MVC. Davis has scored in double-figures 19 times this season, including five performances of 20-or-more points. Early this season against Purdue Fort Wayne, Davis poured-in 35 points, the most ever scored by an Ace in regulation.
Joining Davis on the all-newcomer team, senior Myia Clark made an immediate impact for the Aces. Clark joined Davis and Feit in averaging double figures on the season, placing all three inside the top 12 in The Valley in scoring. A member of Evansville’s high-scoring trio, Clark had three games of 20+ points on the season. The Schaumburg, Ill. native also recorded the second-most rebounds on the team, averaging 4.6 per game.
Evansville opens the postseason on Thursday afternoon in Hoops in the Heartland as the No. 9 seed, taking on eighth-seeded Indiana State at 4 PM inside the TaxSlayer Center in Moline, Ill.
FREDERICK, BROWN, WHITE EARN MVC POSTSEASON HONORS
A trio of Valpo women’s basketball players received postseason recognition from the Missouri Valley Conference Wednesday as the MVC unveiled its All-Conference Teams, highlighted by the selection of Shay Frederick (Greenville, Wis./Hortonville) as a First Team All-MVC choice for the second consecutive season. Olivia Brown (East Grand Rapids, Mich./East Grand Rapids [St. Bonaventure]) represented Valpo on the All-Newcomer Team, while Grace White (Redby, Minn./Red Lake [Denver]) claimed a spot on the All-Defensive Team.
Frederick picks up First Team All-MVC honors for a second straight year as she currently leads the Valley in assists with 4.9/game, on pace to lead the conference in the category for a second straight season. She paced Valpo in scoring both overall (12.1 points/game) and in MVC-only play (12.7 points/game). Beyond leading the Valley in assists, she also ranks second in the conference in free throw percentage, third in assist/turnover ratio and eighth in 3-pointers/game.
Brown made a big impact on the Beacons in her first season with the program, earning a spot on the All-Newcomer Team. Joining the starting lineup at the start of MVC play, Brown averaged 9.5 points/game on 51.6% shooting from the field in the 18 conference games, scoring in double figures on six occasions. She ranked second in the Valley in 3-point percentage in conference-only play, fourth in field goal percentage and ninth in 3-pointers/game.
White received All-Defensive Team recognition for her work both on the perimeter and near the basket on the defensive end. She has racked up 65 total steals on the year, just outside the program’s single-season top-10 chart. With 2.2 steals/game, White currently leads the MVC, aiming to have a Valpo player lead the Valley in steals for a third straight season. She also ranks among the top-15 in the conference in blocked shots as well.
Frederick is the first Valpo player to earn All-MVC accolades multiple times since Valpo joined the Valley, and is the first player since Tamra Braun (2004-05; 2005-06, Mid-Continent Conference) to twice be named a First Team All-Conference honoree. Brown is Valpo’s first All-Newcomer Team selection in the MVC, while White gives Valpo a representative on the All-Defensive Team for a third straight season.
The conference’s specialty awards will be unveiled Thursday evening between the first two games of Hoops in the Heartland.
BASEBALL ATTEMPTS TO CONTINUE BEST START SINCE 1999 AT OVC FAVORITE SEMO
Valparaiso (5-3, 0-0 MVC)
at SEMO (10-1, 0-0 OVC)
Capaha Field (2,000) | Cape Girardeau, Mo.
Friday, March 11, 3 p.m. – Trent Turzenski (R)
Saturday, March 12, 2 p.m. – Colin Fields (R)
Sunday, March 13, 1 p.m. – Jake Miller (L)
Next Up in Valpo Baseball: The Valparaiso University baseball team will look to continue its hot start to the season this weekend with a trip to Cape Girardeau, Mo. to take on Southeast Missouri. Continuing the team’s recent success will be no easy task as defending Ohio Valley Conference champion SEMO is off to a red-hot start that includes a series win over Missouri Valley Conference favorite DBU and a sweep of MVC member Bradley.
Last Time Out: Valpo enjoyed a series win at Omaha last weekend, taking two of three before the finale of what was slated to be a four-game set was canceled due to weather. The two teams split a doubleheader on Friday with Valpo prevailing 4-2 in the opener before dropping the nightcap 9-2. Kaleb Hannahs homered and doubled in Game 1, while Kyle Schmack doubled twice. In Saturday’s contest, Valpo earned a 7-5 win in a seesaw affair that at one point saw the lead change hands in five consecutive half innings. Adam Brauch delivered a clutch, two-run double in the top of the seventh that gave the Beacons the lead for good.
Following the Beacons: Links to live audio and stats courtesy of SEMO Athletics are available on ValpoAtheltics.com.
Head Coach Brian Schmack: Brian Schmack (157-238), the 17th head baseball coach in Valparaiso University history, is in his ninth season in charge of the program. Entering the 2022 campaign, he has served as the head coach for 387 games at Valpo, the fourth-most in program history with Tracy Woodson third at 397. This year, he moves into sole possession of third in program history for number of seasons coached with nine, surpassing Donald Warnke (1946-1953). Entering the season, Schmack’s win total of 152 ranks fourth in program history after he surpassed Rick Ferchen (1982-1987, 147) during the 2021 campaign. Also in 2021, Schmack joined Paul Twenge (1988-2006), Emory G. Bauer (1954-1981) and Tracy Woodson (2007-2013) as the only head coaches to reach the 150-win threshold. The former big-league pitcher led Valpo to 25 wins in his inaugural campaign in 2014, a school record for victories by a first-year skipper. Schmack, a member of the 2003 Detroit Tigers, served as pitching coach/associate head coach at Valpo for seven seasons prior to his promotion.
Talking Schmack: Head coach Brian Schmack will move into third in program history in career games coached this weekend. He enters the weekend having skippered 395 Valpo games. Schmack’s predecessor, Tracy Woodson, was at the helm for 397 contests. Soon, Schmack will become the third head coach in program history to work 400 games, joining Paul Twenge (1988-2006, 1011) and Emory G. Bauer (1954-1981, 606).
Series Notes: These two teams have hooked up eight times over the years, most recently in 2010. Valpo owns a 2-6 mark in the all-time set. The 2010 series saw Valpo drop all three, but two of the games were close with SEMO winning 5-3 and 8-7. Prior to that, the two teams played twice as part of a multi-team event in Panama City, Fla. in March 1984. Valpo is hoping to snap a four-game head-to-head skid and earn its first win over the Redhawks since March 8, 1984, a 2-1 victory.
Strong Start: The start of the season is never easy for Valpo, a cold-weather team that begins the calendar each year with a lengthy string of road games, mostly against warm-weather competition. This year, Valpo has withstood those early-season challenges to put together the program’s best record through eight games since 1999. That season, Valpo also started 5-3, but had the benefit of starting the season with five neutral-site games in Florida. This year, the Beacons have played exclusively true road games. Entering this weekend at SEMO, Valpo has won five of its last six games, a stretch that included the program’s first four-game winning streak since late in the 2019 season against Southern Illinois and Chicago State. This year’s four-game winning streak was the program’s longest that came in all true road games since March 2014 (two at Texas A&M CC, one at Chicago State, one at UIC).
Close Calls Continuing: Last season, Valpo competed in 15 one-run games, posting a 7-8 mark in such contests. The team had 10 affairs decided by the slimmest of margins in Missouri Valley Conference play alone. This year, the trend of close games has continued. Five of Valpo’s first eight games have been decided by two runs or fewer, with the Beacons holding a 4-1 mark in those outings.
Nailing It Down: In related news to the number of close games Valpo has played, closer Bobby Nowak has already racked up four saves this season. As of March 8, Nowak is one of 10 players in the nation with four or more saves. He’s tied for the fourth most nationally as just three players have five or more. Nowak has already surpassed the team’s highest save total from all of last season, which was three apiece by Easton Rhodehouse and Jon Tieman.
Strikeouts Upon Strikeouts: The Valpo pitching staff racked up 17 strikeouts in the March 5 game at Omaha, the program’s highest single-game total since April 12, 2011 vs. Chicago State. Colin Fields had 10 of the strikeouts in that contest, the fifth double-figure strikeout game of his collegiate career. The righty has fanned seven or more in all three of his starts this season. Entering this weekend’s series at SEMO, Fields is the Missouri Valley Conference leader in strikeouts with 25, one ahead of Indiana State’s Jack Parisi. Furthermore, Fields ranks 35th nationally with the 25 strikeouts. Fields is up to 175 career strikeouts, 25 away from becoming just the 12th pitcher in program history to reach 200.
A Hot Start for Hannahs: As of March 8, Kaleb Hannahs ranks second in the Missouri Valley Conference in batting average at .433 behind only Indiana State’s Josue Urdaneta (.435). The Valpo sophomore also ranks second in the league with a .500 on-base percentage, trailing only Missouri State’s Drake Baldwin (.510). He holds the outright league lead and ranks 52nd nationally in slugging percentage at .800.
In the Other Dugout: SEMO
Defending Ohio Valley Conference champions who reached the NCAA Regionals during a 30-win season in 2021.
Preseason favorite to win the OVC with Murray State projected second.
Senior shortstop Tyler Wilber was named the OVC Preseason Player of the Year. Jevon Mason was also named to the preseason All-OVC team.
Will play six of the eight Missouri Valley Conference teams this season.
Started the season by winning two of three at No. 22 DBU with both wins coming in extra innings.
Swept a home series with Bradley last weekend and will continue the stretch of taking on MVC competition this coming week at Indiana State (March 15-16) and at Missouri State (March 18-20). SEMO also plays at Southern Illinois on April 26.
Given that OVC members Murray State and Belmont will join the Missouri Valley Conference next season, SEMO will actually play eight 2023 MVC members this season.
Triple the Triples: In Game 1 of the Feb. 25 doubleheader at Alabama A&M, Valpo had three triples in a single game for the first time since May 21, 2016 vs. Youngstown State. Angel DiFederico was responsible for two of them, while Alex Ryan had the other. DiFederico entered the day with one triple in 41 career games, a total that he tripled in a single seven-inning contest. Furthermore, DiFederico became the first Valpo player with a multiple-triple game since Andy Burns on April 6, 2013 vs. UIC. In addition, he became just the fourth player nationally with a two-triple game this season.
Going the Distance: Trent Turzenski delivered a seven-inning complete game in Game 1 of Valpo’s road doubleheader sweep at Alabama A&M on Feb. 25, earning the win in a 9-2 triumph for the Beacons. Turzenski became the first Valpo hurler to toss a complete game since, well, himself on May 22 of last season, an eight-inning effort against Missouri State. He scattered just five hits and two walks while striking out seven and permitting only two earned runs in the game against the Bulldogs. He did not allow any runs over the final five frames. Opponents hit just .208 against Turzenski in the contest.
A Look Back at 2021
For the first time since joining the prestigious Missouri Valley Conference prior to the 2018 season, Valpo won two games in the league tournament last year.
The two victories helped the Beacons finish as one of the final four teams standing in the event, joining a pair of NCAA Regional qualifiers in Indiana State and DBU plus a Southern Illinois team that enjoyed a 40-win season.
Valpo finished the 2021 season with its highest league winning percentage since joining The Valley.
The team enjoyed a quality stretch of baseball from April 23 to May 8, going 8-4 in MVC play and incurring a one-run loss to No. 8 Notre Dame.
Valpo started the league slate with an 0-8 record after playing the top two teams in the league on the road, but played nearly .500 ball the rest of the way.
Compared to the most recently-completed season of 2019, the team improved its batting average, slugging percentage, on-base percentage and fielding percentage in addition to increasing its number of home runs, doubles, hits and runs scored.
The team stole 33 bases, its highest total since 2017.
Pitchers racked up 410 strikeouts, the team’s highest total since 2010 (421). The staff also issued fewer walks and permitted fewer home runs than the 2019 campaign.
Valpo posted a .969 fielding percentage, the third-best in program history. The team’s top three fielding percentages have all come since 2017.
The team played in 15 one-run games including 10 in MVC action. The 15 one-run games were the team’s most in a single season since 2018 and the 10 in league play marked the program’s most since playing 16 one-run games in Horizon League action in 2012.
On May 1 vs. Illinois State, Valpo had seven doubles in a single game, the most by any MVC team all season. The squad totaled 42 bases in that game, also the most by an MVC team all season. The May 1 game against the Redbirds saw the two teams combine for the most runs scored (30), hits (35), doubles (9), home runs (9) and strikeouts (25) for any MVC game all season. The 17 runs marked the team’s highest run total since 2018, the 18 hits were the program’s highest total since 2018, the 42 total bases were the team’s highest since 2006 and the five home runs were the most by Valpo in a single game since 2006.
Valpo accomplished the rare feat of two walk-off wins in the same day during the April 23 doubleheader sweep of SIU. Jonathan Temple hit a walk-off homer in the opener and Riley Dent had a walk-off single in Game 2 for Valpo’s 10th walk-off victory of the Brian Schmack Era. Temple’s walk-off home run, which came in the first game on the program’s new field turf, was Valpo’s first since Zack Leone on March 30, 2018 vs. Bradley.
Home Sweet Home
Although Valpo starts the season with its usual long stretch of road games by playing the first 17 contest of the year away from home, there is plenty of home baseball to look forward to this spring.
Valpo has 20 Emory G. Bauer Field games on the docket. If all 20 are played, it will mark the first time Valpo has played 20 times on its home field since 2016.
Furthermore, over the last five seasons, Valpo hasn’t had more than 15 home games completed in a single year.
The chance to play at home with regularity is good news for Brian Schmack’s squad, as the team went 7-6 at home last season to finish with a winning home record for the fifth time in the last six seasons and the 12th time in the last 14 campaigns.
Emory G. Bauer Field Upgrades
Valpo debuted its new infield during the 2021 season as the program now has synthetic turf on the infield and down the foul lines.
The field renovation project was made possible by lead gifts from Valpo alumni Lynn Scheutzow ’74 Young and Carl Young ’73 and the Deetjen family. The Young and Deetjen families both had sons who played baseball at Valpo.
Upgrades have continued in 2022 as the team will debut a new press box, a new scoreboard and have ESPN3/+ broadcast streaming capabilities for the first time.
Thoughts from Head Coach Brian Schmack on the New Turf:“In the time that we’ve been able to use the turf, it has given our players an opportunity to take ground balls and work to hone their skills whenever they choose. We’ve had fewer disruptions to our game and practice schedules due to rain and field conditions. As soon as the rain stops, we’re out there playing or practicing. Another tremendous benefit is freeing up our players to not have to stay after to do field work or arrive early in the morning to pull the tarp. Instead, they are able to focus on the game. The turf creates a cleaner game with fewer bad hops, and that’s been awesome to see. Our players can’t get enough of it.”
Who’s Back, Who’s Gone, Who’s New?
Valpo features 11 returning position players and 22 total returners who saw action during the 2021 season. A total of 25 players are back counting three who sat out all of last year.
Three of the top four ERAs on the team have departed, including longtime pitching staff mainstays Jon Tieman and Easton Rhodehouse. Rhodehouse (11, fifth) and Tieman (10, t-sixth) both finished in the top 10 on the program’s all-time saves list, while Tieman also ranked among the program’s career strikeout leaders (244, seventh).
However, 38 of the 51 games started by Valpo pitchers last season were by hurlers who return this season, while six of the nine position players who started the 2021 finale are back in 2022. The outfield was hit the hardest by graduation with the departure of veterans Steven Fitzsimmons and Riley Dent.
The 2022 Valpo roster includes seven true freshmen and three transfers for a total of 10 newcomers.
In an era where transferring has become commonplace in intercollegiate athletics, no players left the program to transfer to other college baseball programs following the 2021 season, attesting the program’s tight-knit culture.
Hannahs Honored for Freshman Feats
Sophomore Kaleb Hannahs carries a 20-game on-base streak with him into the start of the 2022 season.
He was named the 2021 MVC Freshman of the Year, an All-MVC Second Team honoree, the Valparaiso University co-Male Newcomer of the Year (ARC Awards) and a Freshman All-American by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.
Hannahs became the first Valpo player to collect MVC Freshman of the Year honors, and joined Jon Tieman (2017) and Spencer Mahoney (2012) as the three Valpo players who have earned Freshman All-American status from Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.
The third baseman led the team in batting average (.296), hits (55) and on-base percentage (.389). He became the first rookie to pace the squad in hitting since Spencer Mahoney in 2012.
SOFTBALL CLOSES PRE-CONFERENCE PLAY AT BLUEGRASS CHALLENGE
Valparaiso (7-6, 0-0 MVC)
Bluegrass Challenge (Louisville/Lexington, Ky.)
March 10 – vs. Central Michigan (9-6) – 1:30 p.m. CT | at Louisville (11-8) – 6:30 p.m. CT
March 11 – vs. Eastern Kentucky (3-15) – 2 p.m. CT | at #9/12 Kentucky (16-2) – 4:30 p.m. CT
March 13 – vs. Buffalo (7-7) – 11 a.m. CT
Next Up in Valpo Softball: The Valpo softball team closes out the pre-conference slate this weekend with five games at the Bluegrass Challenge. In an amended tournament schedule due to weather, the Beacons will start off with games against Central Michigan and Louisville at Louisville on Thursday. They will then head to Kentucky, taking on the Wildcats and Eastern Kentucky on Friday before closing the weekend versus Buffalo on Sunday.
Previously: Valpo split four games last weekend at the Hoosier Classic, beating Western Illinois twice and falling to host Indiana twice. Kayla Skapyak led Valpo at the plate, going 5-for-9 over the four games and stealing three bases, while Easton Seib and Madison Wathen both had complete-game victories in the circle.
Looking Ahead: MVC play kicks off next weekend for Valpo with a trip to Indiana State. The three-game series opens with a doubleheader against the Sycamores on Saturday, March 19.
Following Valpo Softball: Four of this weekend’s five games will have video streams – Louisville (ACC Network Extra), Eastern Kentucky (ESPN3), Kentucky (SEC Network +) and Buffalo (ESPN3). Links for all the live coverage can be found at ValpoAthletics.com.
Head Coach Amanda Eberhart: Amanda Eberhart was hired as head coach of the Valpo softball program in July of 2021. She brings seven years of head coaching experience at the Division I level, most recently spending the last three years as the head coach at Omaha and previously leading the IUPUI program for four seasons. Eberhart, who owns 138 career victories as a head coach, also has eight seasons of experience on staffs at Big Ten programs.
Series Records: Central Michigan – CMU leads series 6-2. Last meeting: March 28, 2018 – CMU won 8-3 at CMU.
Louisville – Louisville leads series 2-0. Last meeting: March 13, 2021 – Louisville won 8-0 at Louisville.
Eastern Kentucky – EKU leads series 3-1. Last meeting: Feb. 17, 2018 – EKU won 16-3 in Charleston, S.C.
Kentucky – UK leads series 2-1. Last meeting: May 19, 2012 – UK won 5-4 in Louisville, Ky. (NCAA Tournament)
Buffalo – Valpo leads series 2-0. Last meeting: March 10, 2019 – Valpo won 2-0 in Nashville, Tenn.
What’s Back: Valpo returns 14 of 19 letterwinners from last season’s squad for the 2022 campaign. In all, 77.6% of Valpo’s plate appearances are back for this season and 89.8% of last season’s inning pitched return as well.
Who’s New: After redshirting due to injury last season, Kylie Millhorn looks for her first collegiate action this spring. In addition, four true freshmen – Addi Weaver, Cheyenne Nietz, Kaiah Fenters and Lauren Sena – round out Valpo’s 19-player roster.
The Long and Winding Road: This weekend’s games continue a long and winding road for the Beacons before they finally get the chance to play at the Valpo Softball Complex. This is the last of four weekends of action on the road prior to the start of conference play. Then, Valpo’s first two weekends of MVC play are on the road at Indiana State and at Missouri State, with a non-conference game at Western Michigan thrown in there as well. All told, Valpo’s first 25 games of the year are scheduled away from home, as the home opener comes on April 2 – matching last year for the latest home opener since the 2003 season.
Skap Attack: Sophomore Kayla Skapyak hit a team-best .556 and stole three bases in as many attempts at the Hoosier Classic, picking up at least one hit in all four games. She went 2-for-3 and scored the eventual game-winning run in Valpo’s 2-1 win over Western Illinois to open the tournament. With five steals on the year, Skapyak is currently tied for fourth among MVC players.
Slugging Away: Junior Ryan Milkowski has been the Beacons’ biggest power threat at the plate through three weekends of play this season. Milkowski is hitting .314, with six of her 11 hits going for extra bases. She ranks ninth in the MVC with a .571 slugging percentage and also paces Valpo with nine RBIs on the year.
Wathen With the Win: Sophomore Madison Wathen tossed her second complete game of the season in Valpo’s run-rule win over Western Illinois in her lone start last weekend, giving up just one run on four hits in five innings of work. She is now 3-0 on the season, the only pitcher in the Valley with multiple wins who has not taken a loss so far this season, and ranks fifth in the conference with a 1.97 ERA.
Reeling Off Wins: Valpo won each of its first four games at the Charleston Invitational en route to posting the tournament’s best record, going 4-1 over the course of the weekend. Combined with the tournament-closing win over Western Michigan on opening weekend, the Beacons won five in a row – the program’s longest winning streak since a six-game winning streak late in the 2018 season. Valpo’s first three wins at Charleston were all by a single run, the first time since late 2013 the program has won three in a row, all by one run.
Rally After Rally: Three of Valpo’s four wins at Charleston were of the comeback variety. The Beacons overcame two-run deficits in both their second victory over the hosts and their win over Holy Cross. Most notably, Valpo trailed 5-0 to Lipscomb before rallying for the 7-6 victory – the program’s largest comeback since turning a 5-0 deficit into a 7-5 win over Indiana State in April 2019.
Seib Stands Out: Junior Easton Seib was named the MVC Pitcher of the Week on Feb. 22 after a stellar weekend at Charleston. Seib went a perfect 3-0 in her three appearances, posting a 0.95 ERA and scattering 16 hits over 14.2 innings of work, striking out seven and walking just two. Seib’s weekend was highlighted by her first career shutout in the 1-0 win over Charleston, where she surrendered just four hits and did not allow a runner past second base until two outs in the seventh. Seib, who also earned a pair of wins in relief, became just the second Valpo pitcher to be named MVC Pitcher of the Week since joining the conference.
SEVEN HOUNDS GARNER ALL-REGION NOD FROM USTFCCCA
NEW ORLEANS– The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced its annual all-region honorees for the 2021-22 indoor track & field season, with seven different Greyhounds combining for accolades in 11 separate events. Berenice Cleyet-Merle (800, mile, 3K, DMR), Ellie Lengerich (high jump, DMR), Ben Nagel (800), Zoe Pentecost (weight throw), Makala Pfefferkorn (triple jump), Eline Pinter (DMR), Emily Sonderman (DMR) all made the exclusive All-Midwest Region list.
The top five individuals in each event from each region earned all-region distinction, in addition to each of the members of the regions’ top three relay teams. The eight regions include the Atlantic, Central, East, Midwest, South, South Central, Southeast and West.
The 2021-22 indoor season concludes this weekend with the NCAA DII Indoor Track & Field Championships, set for March 11-12 in Pittsburg, Kan. Seven student-athletes will be representing UIndy at the national meet. Look for more information in the coming days right here at UIndyAthletics.com.
GAMEDAY GUIDE: MARIAN WOMEN’S BASKETBALL TO HOST NAIA OPENING ROUND
INDIANAPOLIS – The battle for the 2022 NAIA National Championship begins this Friday at the Marian PE Center as the Marian women’s basketball team will host the NAIA Opening Round Indianapolis Bracket. Marian is a No. 2 seed in the bracket competing in the Liston Quadrant of the NAIA Tournament, and will face the No. 15 seed Olivet Nazarene Tigers in their first game.
Saturday March 12 | 6 p.m. ET | Winner Game One vs Winner Game Two | Watch
WHERE TO WATCH
All games of the NAIA Opening Round played at Marian University will be streamed on the ISC Sports Network and Comcast Channel 81. Each game will be pay per view, at a cost of $9.99 per game. Live stats will be available at both the official home for Marian Unviersity basketball stats marianstats.com and naiastats.com. Updates from Marian’s game can be found on MUKnights.com and on Twitter @MUKnights. Updates following each game will be posted to NAIA.org and the @MUKnights Twitter page.
Tickets are on now for the NAIA Opening Round hosted by Marian University, and can be purchased here. Tickets will cost $10 per session for general admission, and childern ages 6 and under are free. Marian University faculty and staff tickets will be free including one guest and children, and the first 100 tickets for Marian students are free as well. Alumni and MClub members will receive a concessions voucher. For all inquiries on comp tickets and vouchers, contact Jen Waning (email@example.com), Carolyn Swartz (firstname.lastname@example.org), or Ethan Hemer (email@example.com).
MARIAN vs OLIVET NAZARENE
In the Liston quadrant, Marian is the No. 2 seed and will take on No. 15 seed Olivet Nazarene as they begin the NAIA Tournament. Marian enters the national tournament as an automatic-qualifier claiming the Crossroads League Regular Season Championship with a 17-1 league record. Marian is 27-4 overall, and comes in after reaching the Crossroads League Tournament Championship game.
Olivet Nazarene is an at-large team in the field, coming in with a 20-11 overall record. The Tigers went 16-6 in the CCAC this season, posting the fifth-best mark in their league. The Tigers lost in their tournament semifinals 107-69 to St. Xavier, coming in winners of five of their last eight games. This will be the first meeting between Marian and Olivet Nazarene since 2017, when Marian defeated Olivet 105-92 in the first game on their path to becoming 2017 NAIA National Champions.
Marian is 4-0 all-time against Olivet in program history, and in the series history have played the highest scoring game in NAIA women’s basketball history.
RIO GRANDE vs COLUMBIA
On the other half of the bracket, the No. 7 seed is Rio Grande, who earned an automatic bid as champions of the River States Conference Tournament and Regular Season. The Red Storm is 31-2 this season, and enter the NAIA Tournament on a nine-game winning streak.
Rio Grande’s opponent will be the No. 10 seed Columbia College. Columbia is 26-6 on the season, and are also on a nine-game winning streak. The Cougars pulled off the upset in the AMC Tournament, defeating Lyon College to claim an automatic bid.
The Knights have never played either Rio Grande or Columbia.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
The winner of the opening round will advance to the final site in Sioux City, Iowa, where play for the NAIA National Championship begins on March 17.
Marian will take on Olivet Nazarene at 5 p.m. on March 11, with Columbia and Rio Grande tipping off 30 minutes following the conclusion of Marian’s game. The championship game is set for 6 p.m. on Saturday March 12.
GAMEDAY GUIDE: MEN’S BASKETBALL HEADED TO OMAHA FOR NAIA OPENING ROUND
INDIANAPOLIS – On Friday and Saturday the NAIA Opening Round tips off in Omaha, Nebraska, where the Marian men’s basketball team will be the top team and a No. 4 seed in the NAIA Tournament. In their first game Marian will take on No. 13 Freed-Hardeman, squaring off with the Lions in the first game of the men’s regional.
Saturday March 12 | 8:30 p.m. ET | Winner Game One vs Winner Game Two | Watch
WHERE TO WATCH
All games of the NAIA Opening Round Omaha Bracket will be streamed Striv.TV, the official streaming link set up through the Omaha Sports Commission. The cost for streaming is $15 per day. Live stats for the games can be found here. Updates will be made throughout the game on the Marian Athletics social pages, @MUKnights on Twitter and @MUKnights on Instagram. Updated bracket and schedules will also be posted to the NAIA website after the game.
Tickets for the Omaha Opening Round can be purchased here. Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for students. Children ages two and under are free of admission but must sit in a lap if they do not have a dedicated seat.
MARIAN vs FREED-HARDEMAN
Marian enters the NAIA Opening Round with a record of 25-5, placing second in the Crossroads League Regular Season standings while finishing as the Crossroads League Tournament Runner-Up. Marian has won 11 of their last 12 games entering the national tournament.
The Knights opponent in the Duer Quadrant will be Freed-Hardeman, who enter with an overall record of 19-12 coming out of the Mid-South Conference. The Lions earned an at-large to the NAIA Tournament, and last played in the Mid-South Tournament Quarterfinals, falling 81-64 to Georgetown. The meeting in the NAIA Opening Round will be the first in program history between the two schools.
CONCORDIA vs IU-NORTHWEST
Earning the No. 5 seed in the quadrant is Concordia (Neb.), who enters the postseason with a 25-6 overall record. The Bulldogs went 15-5 in the Great Plains Conference, and were co-champions of the league in the regular season. The Bulldogs confirmed their spot in the field by winning the Great Plains Conference Tournament Championship on Tuesday night this week.
Concordia will matchup against the No. 12 seed IU-Northwest, who enters with a 23-7 record. The Redhawks went 17-5 in their Chicagoland Conference play, securing an at-large bid to the tournament.
Marian is 8-1 all-time against IU-Northwest last meeting in 2018, while the Knights have never played Concorida.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
The winner of each side of the bracket will meet on Saturday evening in the opening round championship, which is set to tip at 8:30 p.m. ET. The winner of the Omaha Bracket will join the final 16 teams in the field in Kansas City, Mo., with the final site of the NAIA National Championship beginning on March 17.
RECAP | GRIZZLIES DROP MID-WEEK MATCHUP WITH BETHEL
FRANKLIN, Ind. – The Franklin College women’s lacrosse team welcomed NAIA in-state for Bethel to Faught Stadium for a Wednesday (Mar. 9) matchup.
The Grizzlies (1-3) fell behind the Pilots (2-2) early as Bethel rattled off a big first quarter on their way to a 21-3 win. Sophomre Bella Frye scored twice for the Grizzlies and Baleigh Riddle added to her team-leading goal total for Franklin in the second quarter.
Riddle finished the night with a team-leading six shot attempts with all landing on target. Victoria Simmons handed out an assist on Riddle’s goal to give her points in all four games. Riley Rice finished the night with seven saves and a team-leading three ground balls collected.
Franklin’s homestand is set to continue on Saturday (Mar. 12) afternoon, when the Grizzlies host Adrian University. The opening draw from Faught Stadium is set for 1:00 p.m.
TRINE TRACK AND FIELD NOTCHES A PAIR OF REGIONAL ACCOLADES
NEW ORLEANS, La. – The United States Track and Field & Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) has announced their Regional Awards for the 2022 NCAA DIII Indoor Track and Field season.
Evie Miller [Fort Wayne, Ind. / Homestead] was named Great Lakes Region Women’s Track Athlete of the Year following her performances in four different distance events this season. Miller will compete at the 2022 NCAA DIII Indoor National Championships in the mile run and 3000-meter run and was named All-Region in the 800-meter run, mile run, 3000-meter run and 5000-meter run. She is second nationally in the mile run and fifth in the 3000-meter run.
Assistant Coach Seth Ware was tabbed Great Lakes Region Assistant Coach of the Year as well. In his fourth season as assistant for Thunder track and field, Ware coached student-athletes who scored 85 of Trine’s 208 men’s points on their way to three-peating as Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) champions. Six of his athletes are ranked in the top-10 regionally, topped by Jake Gladieux [Oregon, Ohio / Whitmer], who rates No. 9 nationally.
Friday, March 11 marks the first day of events at the NCAA DIII Indoor National Championships where Miller, Gladieux and Valerie Obear [Fishers, Ind. / Hamilton Southeastern] will compete.
LAUREN THOMAS RESIGNS TO RETURN TO HER ALMA MATER
Greencastle, Ind. – Lauren Thomas, DePauw head field hockey coach since 2018, is resigning to become the head coach at her alma mater, Elmira College.
Thomas came to DePauw in April 2018 and directed the Tigers to a 24-30 record including a spot in the 2019 North Coast Athletic Conference Tournament. All four of her DePauw squads earned the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) National Academic Team Award with team GPAs of at least a 3.30 for the first semester each season. Additionally, her student-athletes were recognized with 32 NFHCA National Academic Squad honors.
She coached players who earned all-North Coast Athletic Conference honors 11 times and NFHCA all-region accolades four times.
Thomas, a 2014 Elmira graduate, served as an assistant at DePauw the next fall before beginning a three-season stint as assistant field hockey coach at Ohio Wesleyan.
“We’re grateful to Lauren for her work with our student-athletes and wish her the best as she returns to Elmira,” director of athletics Stevie Baker-Watson said.
A national search for Thomas’ replacement is underway.
LATE GAME ERROR DOOMS COSTLY FOR HANOVER AT SPALDING
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Late game errors doom costly for Panthers as they fall to non-conference opponent Spalding. Hanover dropped the contest 9-1.
Junior Jacob Dupps (Louisville, Ky.) paced the Panthers at the dish going 1-for-2 with an RBI.
After falling behind 1-0, Hanover responded with Dupps providing the timely hit. The junior singled plating senior Charlie Burton (Columbus, Ind.) to tie the score at 1-1 in the third inning.
However, the Eagles continued to soar adding three runs in the bottom half of the third inning and one in the fourth inning to push the difference to 5-1.
They would tack on three runs in the fifth and one in the eighth inning to secure the 9-1 victory.
Sophomore Wyatt Prather (Indianapolis, Ind.) got the start for the Blue and Red in the contest throwing three complete innings with two strikeouts.
Hanover returns to action on Sunday, March 13 when they take on DePauw at St. X High School. Game time is set for 12:00 PM.
LAST SECOND GOAL STUNS PANTHERS
HANOVER, Ind. – Fourth quarter slump dooms costly for the Panthers as they dropped a heartbreaker on Wednesday afternoon to Lake Forest. Hanover fell in the matchup 11-10.
The Panthers were paced by freshman Owen Parker (O’Fallon, Mo.) and senior Josh Perkins (San Diego, Calif.) with three goals apiece. In frame, senior Sean O’Meara (Lexington, Ky.) played a strong game with 11 saves.
In just his fifth career start, Parker brought the intensity for the Panthers finding the back of the net off an assist by sophomore Zach Stone (Elizabethtown, Ky.). He followed it up with a face-off win that he took straight to net finding Perkins for another Panther goal, 2-0.
Hanover tacked on one final strike in the first quarter with Owen delivering the blow.
However, the Foresters claimed their first lead of the contest just minutes into the second frame delivering back-to-back strikes.
But Hanover killed the momentum with Perkins responding on a Stone assist that surged an HC run. Sophomore Nick Adams (Greenwood, Ind.) delt the final blow of the half giving Hanover the 5-4 lead.
The outburst continued in the second half with senior Dirk Meinhart (Elizabethtown, Ky.) making his way into the score’s column. Perkins would pick-up the hat trick at the 10:19 mark propelling HC to the 7-4 advantage.
The Foresters refused to stop hunting as they cut the difference to one goal when Parker turned in a hat trick, 8-6.
Hanover rallied behind him with freshman Owen Cuniffe (ndianapolis, Ind.) adding another Panther goal giving HC the 10-6 advantage. However, Lake Forest came forging back netting the final five goals to claim the come from behind victory.
Hanover returns to action on Monday, March 14 when they welcome Wilmington. Game time is set for 3:30 PM.
BASEBALL STREAK ENDS WITH LOSS TO MADONNA
KOKOMO, Ind. – The Indiana University Kokomo baseball team saw its four-game winning streak come to an end on Tuesday afternoon as the Cougars came up just short against the Madonna Crusaders, losing 5-4 at Kokomo Municipal Stadium.
Madonna got to IU Kokomo starter, Mason Whiteley early as the Crusaders plated four runs in the top of the second to take a 4-0 lead.
Pat Mills led off the bottom of the third with a ground-rule double down the right field line. Mills advanced to third after Noah Hurlock reached on an error by the Madonna shortstop. Jack Leverenz picked up an RBI on a fielder’s choice to make it a 4-1 game. After a sacrifice bunt by Luke Hanson, Jarod Gillespie drove in Leverenz with a single through the left side to cut the IUK deficit in half.
A leadoff double by the Crusaders in the fifth came around to score to extend the Madonna lead to 5-1.
Gillespie drove in his second run of the game in the bottom of the fifth with a single to centerfield, scoring Leverenz who reached on an error and moved into scoring position with a stolen base.
Hurlock reached on a one-out single in the home half of the seventh and would give way to pinch runner Thomas Obergfell. Obergfell moved into scoring position after a Leverenz walk. Gillespie lifted a ball down the left field line that the Madonna fielder misplayed, allowing Obergfell to score, making it a 5-4 game.
The Cougars got the tying run into scoring position in the eighth when Bryce Lenz singled and stole second. A groundout and flyout would end the inning.
Leverenz reached on a single in the Cougars’ final at-bat but would be stranded at second base to end the game.
Pitching Key Moments
Whiteley took the loss, tossing 1.1 innings, allowing four runs on four hits.
Connor Hurt had the longest outing of the day for the Cougars, going 3.2 innings, allowing one run on three hits.
Dylan Steele threw one inning, allowing no runs on no hits.
Brandon Bultemeier tossed two inning and allowed two hits.
Brandon Clarke fanned three batters in one inning of work.
By the Numbers
Gillespie and Lenz each finished with two hits while Gillespie drove in two runs.
The Cougars offense struck out just three times.
The Cougars will return to River States Conference action this week as they travel to Rio Grande to take on the Red Storm. The series has been moved from Friday/Saturday to Thursday/Friday due to the threat of inclement weather over the weekend.
TITANS SPLIT HOME DEBUT WITH GOSHEN
SOUTH BEND, Ind. – IU South Bend earned their first home win of the season, as the Titans split a doubleheader with Goshen (Ind.) at Dick Pfeil Field on Wednesday, dropping game one 6-1 before earning a 7-4 victory in game two.
Freshman pitcher Abby Yarnell earned the win in the circle, pitching all seven innings of the nightcap. Yarnell surrendered four runs on eight hits while striking out two to secure her first collegiate win. At the plate, Yarnell went 2-for-4 with an RBI and three runs scored to help give the Titans (7-5) a split in the doubleheader.
In the first game of the day, a five-run 3rd inning was enough for Goshen (8-4) to take the win. IU South Bend were held to just three base hits, with the team’s only run coming in the bottom of the 7th on Yarnell’s RBI single to right, scoring Maddy Edwards.
The Titans responded in game two, scoring runs in the 1st and 2nd innings to take an early lead. After a pair of walks, Shelby Baker hit a two-out RBI single to bring home Maddie Leisher. In the bottom of the 2nd, Savanna Schmitz recorded an RBI groundout, before Jozie Ramer hit a two-out triple to left, scoring Edwards for a 3-0 lead.
Goshen would come back with two runs in the top of the 4th on a two-run home run, but in the 5th inning the Titans would rebuild their lead on Yarnell’s RBI double that scored Baker, and an RBI groundout from Emily Cave. The Maple Leafs again posted a pair of runs in the top of the 6th, but Danielle Gebhart would put the game away with a pinch-hit two-RBI single, pushing the home team’s lead back to 7-4.
The Titans now prepare for a ten-game swing in Florida, beginning on Sunday, March 13. IUSB will face West Virginia Tech from the PFX Spring Games in Kissimmee, Fla, with first pitch scheduled for 10:00 a.m.
#19 TITANS OPEN NAIA TOURNAMENT WITH KANSAS WESLEYAN
No. 8 #19 IU South Bend vs. No. 9 Kansas Wesleyan
NAIA Men’s Basketball National Championship
Friday, Mar. 11 | 9:00 p.m. ET
Hartman Arena | Park City, Kan.
Game Notes | Live Stats | Streaming Video ($9.99)
Listen Live (via RRSN.com) | Ticket Info Kansas Wesleyan
• No. 19 IU South Bend makes their third straight NAIA Tournament appearance on Friday night, when they face Kansas Wesleyan in the Opening Round of the 2022 NAIA Men’s Basketball National Championship.
• The Titans have earned the No. 8 seed in the Liston Quadrant; Kansas Wesleyan will play as the No. 9 seed.
• Dylan Allen leads the team with 14.3 points per game, while Donyell Meredith is averaging 14.1 points per game. Three Titans are averaging double figures this season, with Miles Tracy scoring 12.3 points per game.
• The Titans are averaging 82.7 points per game, good for 18th-most in the NAIA. Kansas Wesleyan has the 52nd-ranked offense, averaging 79.4 points per game.
• The IUSB defense ranks 19th in the NAIA, averaging 65.7 points allowed per game, their lowest average since 2012-13 (56.6 ppg). Kansas Wesleyan ranks 54th, allowing 69.3 points per game.
• IU South Bend finished the first half of the season with an 11-3 record, the program’s best-ever mark in the fall semester.
• The Titans have three active players who are part of the program’s 1,000-point club. Dylan Allen is the 20th player in IUSB history to score 1,000 career points, and entering play on Friday, has collected 1,626 points. Allen now sits 2nd on the IUSB all-time scoring list.
• Allen is also the Titans’ all-time winningest player, having played in 82 victories since his freshman season of 2017-18.
• With his appearance against St. Ambrose on Saturday, Allen broke the program’s all-time record for games played, now at 132 games.
• Donyell Meredith became the 21st Titan to reach 1,000 career points, on his first field goal in the win over St. Ambrose on Senior Day on Feb. 19. Meredith now has 1,049 career points, and is 18th on the all-time IUSB scoring list.
• Miles Tracy matched his career high with 23 points in the loss to Lincoln during the CCAC Tournament, and became the program’s 22nd player to reach 1,000 career points.
• The Titans are in their third straight NAIA Tournament, after previously never qualified in program history.
• Friday marks the first-ever meeting between the Titans and Coyotes.
• IUSB is 1-1 all-time in the NAIA Tournament, with a win over Rio Grande (Ohio) and loss to Indiana Wesleyan last season.
• The Titans qualifies for the tournament in 2020, but did not play their first-round game before the event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
About Kansas Wesleyan
• The Coyotes enter the tournament with a 22-10 overall record, having won five of their last six before falling to Oklahoma Wesleyan in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament semifinals.
• Kentucky Wesleyan have gone 0-4 this season against teams ranked in the NAIA Coaches Poll.
• Jun Murdock is the team’s scoring leader, with 14.0 points per game. Murdock was an All-KCAC First Team selection, and scored a season-high 30 points in two games – in losses to Bethany (Kan.) on Jan. 5, and at Saint Mary (Kan.) on Feb. 3.
• A.J. Range earned All-KCAC Second Team honors and is the Coyotes’ second-leading scorer with 12.0 points per game.
• Head coach Anthony Monson is in his sixth season as head coach at Kansas Wesleyan, and making his first trip to the NAIA Tournament as part of the Coyotes’ staff.
• Friday’s game will be the first NAIA Tournament appearance for Kansas Wesleyan since 2007, and just the third in program history, the first coming in 1950.
Last Time Out
• Junior forward Miles Tracy led No. 19 IU South Bend with 23 points – reaching 1,000 for his career in the process – but the Titans were upset in the semifinal round of the CCAC Tournament by Lincoln, 67-64 on Feb. 25.
• Tracy’s 23 points matches his career high and moves him up the all-time IUSB scoring list as the 22nd player in program history to reach 1,000 points. Dylan Allen finished with 11 as the only other player for the Titans to finish in double figures. Donyell Meredith was closing in on a double-double, with 10 rebounds and eight points on the night.
• The visiting Lynx jumped out to an early lead, going up by as much as 12 before the Titans closed on a 9-1 run going into the halftime break. Micah Poole gave IUSB their first lead of the game on his layup with 41 seconds remaining, as the Titans went into the locker room leading 29-28.
• Lincoln responded at the start of the second half, opening on a 9-2 run to reclaim the lead. The Lynx matched their first-half lead of 12 points, 54-42 with 7:44 remaining, but the Titans would close the gap over the next three minutes, as Tracy scored 12 straight points for IUSB during a 12-2 run.
• Both sides would trade baskets down the stretch, but a three-pointer from Lincoln with 33 seconds left pushed the visitors lead to 65-60. Tracy and Meredith each scored to close the gap again, but ran out of time on the comeback as a potential game-tying shot was off the mark in the final seconds.
IUSB in the Polls
• The Titans were ranked No. 19 in the final NAIA Coaches’ Poll of the regular season, released on Wednesday, moving up one spot from their rank two weeks prior.
• The No. 19 spot in the NAIA is the highest national ranking in program history for IUSB. The Titans set previous all-time highs when they were ranked Nos. 20, 22, 24, and 25 earlier this season.
• IUSB earned their first-ever national ranking earlier this season, when they debuted at the No. 25 spot in the Coaches’ Preseason Poll on Oct. 27.
• The Titans were picked first in the CCAC preseason poll on Oct. 25, ahead of Olivet Nazarene and Saint Xavier, who were ranked 2nd and 3rd, respectively.
Student Activities Center
• Home of IUSB basketball and volleyball, the Student Activities Center is celebrating its 20th season as the Titans’ home court.
• The Titans are exactly .500, with an all-time record at the SAC of 133-133 (.500).
• In 2019-20, IU South Bend recorded a all-time high of 14 wins in the Student Activities Center, going 14-2 at home. This season, the Titans went 13-2 at the SAC.
• IU South Bend was well-represented among the 2022 All-CCAC Men’s Basketball Team awards, as the league announced its all-conference awards on Mar. 1
• Four players earned All-CCAC honors, as Dylan Allen was named to the All-CCAC First Team and Sergio Diaz was named the CCAC Defensive Player of the Year. Donyell Meredith and Miles Tracy both picked up All-CCAC Second Team honors.
• The 16 hosts sites for the NAIA Opening Round was announced on Thursday. Each host site will will feature four teams, and the winner from each site advances to the round of 16 at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Mo.
Locations Host Institutions
Alexandria, La. LSU Alexandria (La.)
Bourbonnais, Ill. Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)
Caldwell, Idaho College of Idaho
Crestview Hills, Ky. Thomas More (Ky.)
Helena, Mont. Carroll (Mont.)
Lakeland, Fla. Southeastern (Fla.)
Marion, Ind. Indiana Wesleyan
Montgomery, Ala. Faulkner (Ala.)
New Orleans, La. Loyola (La.)
Omaha, Neb. Omaha Sports Commission
Oskaloosa, Iowa William Penn (Iowa)
Park City, Kan. Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference
Rocklin, Calif. William Jessup (Calif.)
Talladega, Ala. Talladega (Ala.)
Waxahachie, Texas SAGU (Texas)
Wichita, Kan. Visit Wichita/Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference
• With a win, the Titans will face either Oklahoma Wesleyan or St. Katherine’s (Calif.) in the second round on Saturday, Mar. 12.
• Tipoff with a spot in the final 16 and a trip to Kansas City, Mo. is scheduled for 4:00 pm ET.
WARRIOR TRIO GARNERS USTFCCCA NATIONAL AWARDS
NEW ORLEANS – The Indiana Tech women’s indoor track & field team had three individuals, senior Destiny Copeland, head coach Doug Edgar and assistant coach Austin Roark, honored by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) as the national Women’s Field, Coach and Assistant Coach of the Year winners, respectively, as the association released its 2022 NAIA National Awards Wednesday.
Copeland won two national titles at the 2022 NAIA National Championships last week in Brookings, South Dakota, finishing atop the podium in the long jump (5.94m/19-6) and triple jump (12.19m/40-0) to help the Warriors repeat as national champions.
Edgar was named the USTFCCCA NAIA National Coach of the Year for the third time in his respective career as he guided the Tech women to their third national title on the indoor circuit with 127 points, the most since 2014, while his program won seven individual titles.
Roark garnered the top assistant coach in the nation for the third time as his group of jumpers scored 47 points at the national championships, which would have been good enough for third place as a team, and swept the horizontal disciplines.
WARRIORS SWEPT BY BOBCATS AT TIGERTOWN
LAKELAND, Fla. – The Indiana Tech baseball team dropped a pair of contests to No. 17-ranked St. Thomas University, 17-7 and 7-1, at Tiger Town Tuesday afternoon.
The Bobcats jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the Warriors in the first before tacking on six runs in the third and fourth innings to make it a 15-0 game, with the hosts taking advantage of four Tech errors over those three frames. Micah O’Donnell prevented the shutout with a single up the middle to score a pair of runners.
Mike Snyder put the Warriors ahead in the third inning of game two with an RBI single, but St. Thomas tied it up one inning later before going up 3-1 in the fifth following a double by Ezequiel Valdex that drove in two runners. The Bobcats took advantage in the sixth with four runs on three hits and an error to push the lead to 7-1 and completed the sweep.
Tech (5-9) returns to action Thursday as they take on Northwestern College (Iowa) and Southeastern University in a split doubleheader at Ted A. Broer Stadium at SEU. First pitch is set for 11 a.m. and 7 p.m., respectively.
BASINGER HIRED AS GRACE’S DIRECTOR OF ATHLETIC OPERATIONS
WINONA LAKE, Ind. – Grace Athletics has made a new addition to its staff, hiring Adam Basinger as the Director of Athletic Operations.
Basinger is a familiar face at Grace, having graduated as a Lancer in 2011 and assisting Grace in recent years with various facility projects. He played soccer for the Lancers during his undergraduate career, served as a student worker in the sports information department and also worked as a groundskeeper on Grace’s athletic fields.
In his new role, Basinger will assist the Lancers’ administration in a variety of ways. He will primarily oversee the care and enhancement of Grace’s outdoor facilities at the Miller Athletic Complex. He will also serve alongside Grace’s Director of Athletics Chad Briscoe and Assistant AD/SID Josh Neuhart, fulfilling roles in game management, administration and sports information.
“I would like to thank Dr. Teevan, Coach Briscoe and Grace’s administration for trusting me with this opportunity to serve in the athletic department at Grace College. I am truly honored to return to my alma mater and play a small part in the culture and community that makes Grace so special,” Basinger said. “This is a unique position that allows for many avenues to impact the student-athletes, support the coaches, enhance the campus facilities and engage in the community. I am excited to serve and hope to continue raising the bar in the years to come.”
Basinger comes to Grace from Indianapolis where he worked as the Field Operations Manager for the Indianapolis Indians, the Triple-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates. He served for seven years with the Indians’ award-winning field operations crew.
The Indians play their home games at Victory Field, a 13,750-seat ballpark located in downtown Indianapolis. The ballpark has received numerous national awards as one of the best minor league ballparks in the United States.
He has a wealth of grounds experience. Prior to working with the Indians, Basinger served for three years at the Triple-A Omaha Storm Chasers. Before that, he worked for the Fort Wayne TinCaps at their nationally recognized Parkview Field.
“We are very excited for Adam to join our staff in this new role that touches so many important parts of our department,” Briscoe said. “His background in grounds and professional baseball will continue to move our athletic programs forward and immediately impact all of our athletic fields. As a Grace alum, Adam has a deep understanding of our culture and consistently demonstrates servant leadership in his work. We look forward to his impact on our athletic department in his new role.”
SMWC STUNS #1 CLINTON COLLEGE IN 76-66 WIN
PETERSBURG, Va. – The SMWC Women’s Basketball team stunned the top ranked Clinton College today with a 76-66 victory. The game wasn’t as close as the score would suggest as the Pomeroys flipped the script from their first game and built a first half lead that they wouldn’t surrender. The win puts them one away from the Championship as they prepare to face #3 D’Youville.
Both teams went back and first through the first quarter until a 10-0 run by the Pomeroys gave them a 20-9 lead with 2:45 remaining. SMWC would hold on to that lead, even growing it to 14 off strong play in the paint and much better rebounding than we saw against B&S-Syracuse. Clinton struggled to get any of their shots to go in and the Pomeroys capitalized on the other end of the floor with good ball movement and creating open looks. SMWC would balloon their lead to 18 as they finish the first half up 42-24.
SMWC was in this situation a couple days ago when they found themselves down 21 at the half so not letting Clinton get the momentum back was key. Two quick buckets under the basket by Destiny Thomas kept that momentum on their side, but some tough fouls would bring that 22-point lead back to 16. Excellent free throw shooting would keep Clinton at bay as the Pomeroys just looked cleaner throughout the game. More foul trouble in the 4th quarter would start to give Clinton an avenue to success but even a 10-point lead with under a minute to play was too much for them. Abby Worley was nearly lights out at the free throw line to wrap this one up and give the Pomeroys a chance at the title.
By the Numbers
Abby Worley led the team with 15 points while adding 4 rebounds and 5 assists. She was followed in scoring by Brooklyn Jones (13), Allyson Hardiek (11), Destiny Thomas (10) to round out the team’s double-digit scorers.
Avalee Jeffers topped the team with 9 rebounds while Worley and Thomas added 5 assists apiece.
The team shot 47.5% from the field while holding Clinton to 31.6% shooting and 12.0% from deep.
The Pomeroys had to overcome some turnovers issues, 23 to Clinton’s 14, but their excellent team play and defense sealed the win.
After securing a shot at the national title, the team will face #3 D’Youville College at 12:30 pm ET. Stay up-to-date with all the action as @SMWCAthletics live tweets the action.
LEAFS EXTEND WIN STREAK TO EIGHT GAMES BEFORE LOSS IN GAME TWO AT IU-SOUTH BEND
SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Goshen softball set the second-longest win streak in program history on Wednesday night in South Bend – winning game one 6-1. The eight-game win streak is the longest for the Maple Leafs since 2001. IU-South Bend won game two and ended the run with a 7-4 victory.
Mia Pawelski and Alyssa McDonald continued to be the stars for Goshen. The Leafs had a five-run fifth-inning in game one – Alisyn Catenacci walked to bring home Goshen’s first run with the bases loaded. Next, McDonald hit a shot to the gap in right-center – a triple that cleared the bases. Pawelski contributed with her bat on a double over the center fielder’s head, scoring McDonald and giving Goshen a 5-0 lead.
Another run came in the seventh when McDonald singled to score Koteles. IU-South Bend had one run in the seventh, but it was too little, too late. Goshen won 6-1.
Pawelski pitched all seven innings, allowing one earned run and just three hits. She struck out eight and forced 12 flyouts and one groundout. Pawelski has settled in during her last three starts. She has given up just one earned run in her last 19.0 innings.
McDonald was 2-4 with a run, a stolen base, and four RBIs. Ri Koteles went 2-2 with two walks and two runs scored. Catenacci, Edith Vega, and Grace Schmitt scored the remaining Goshen runs.
Goshen’s winning streak is the second-longest in program history, following a 14-game run in March and April 2001. They surpassed the seven-game win streak that the 2021 team set.
The Titans had a much quicker offensive response in game two. A single in the first scored a run, and then the home team added two more in the second – one coming from a triple by Jozie Ramer.
With Vega on base, Koteles hit a big two-run home run in the fourth to cut IU-South Bend’s lead to 3-2. The Titans put up two more runs in the fifth, and it was 5-2.
Koteles singled in the sixth, and Vega scored another run. Koteles advanced to second base on the throw. Later in the inning, Carissa Fillingame grounded out, but it scored Olivia Gibson, pinch-running for Koteles. GC pulled within one run again but left a runner at third when the inning concluded. The Titans had a two-run single off the bat of Danielle Gebhart that extended the lead to 7-4. The Maple Leafs had three straight groundouts in the seventh that ended the game and the eight-game win streak.
Koteles was 2-3 with the home run and three RBIs. Vega went 2-4 with two runs and a stolen base. Kamille Badibanga hit a double, and Shea VanScoter, McDonald, and Catenacci each had a single. Through 40 at-bats this season, McDonald has not struck out yet.
Amanda Hartman allowed five earned runs in 4.2 innings. Grace Schmitt allowed two in the last inning and a third. Goshen walked eight batters while IU-South Bend didn’t walk any. Abigail Yarnell earned the win for the Titans, throwing a complete seven innings.
The Maple Leafs play at Oakland City on Saturday, March 12, at 1:00 pm EST in a doubleheader. Goshen plays at Brescia on Sunday, with games starting at 2:00 pm EST.
TRAILBLAZERS TAKE ADVANTAGE OF FREE BASES IN ROAD WIN OVER VOLUNTEER STATE
GALLATIN, Tenn. – The Vincennes University Trailblazers picked up a big win over an NJCAA Division-I baseball team Wednesday afternoon as the Blazers took advantage of seven walks to come away with a 4-1 win at Volunteer State.
VU wasted little time getting on the scoreboard as lead-off hitter freshman Ethan Burdette (Linton, Ind.) reached base on a bunt single and sophomore Colin Long (Evansville, Ind.) followed him with a walk.
An RBI single by freshman Colton Evans (Henderson, Ky.) drove in Burdette as Long scored on a throwing error later in the inning to give Vincennes an early 2-0 lead.
The Pioneers looked to answer back by getting a run back in the second inning to cut the deficit in half but ran themselves out of an inning as the Trailblazers got the final out of the inning on a double steal attempt at the plate.
The score remained locked at 2-1 throughout the middle innings as the VU pitching held the Pioneer batters at bay.
Vincennes extended their lead in the seventh with an RBI single by Colin Long drove in sophomore Josiah Sizemore (Cambridge City, Ind.) who led off the inning with a walk.
VU earned an additional insurance run in the eighth when sophomore Connor VanLannen (Clinton, Ind.) came around to score on a throwing error by Volunteer State after getting on base with a lead-off walk to give the Blazers a 4-1 lead.
Sophomore Luke Osborn (Perryville, Ind.) took the mound to get the final out of the eighth and looked to close the door in the ninth.
The first three Pioneer batters reached base in the bottom of the ninth, loading the bases for Volunteer State with no outs.
Osborn bounced back to strike out the following batter and get the next batter to ground into a game-ending double play to give the Blazers the 4-1 win and VU’s first road win of the season.
“We just took advantage of their mistakes,” VU Head Baseball Coach Chris Barney said. “We found a way to capitalize when they gave us extra outs or free bases and our guys really stepped up. Whether it was Ethan starting the game with a bunt hit and getting to second on a bad throw and then Colton steps up with a big hit to score a run. Those are the kinds of things that have plagued us all year and today it plagued the other team, so we are excited about that and we took advantage of it.”
Sophomore Kestler Harbuck (Brooksville, Fla.) took the mound to start the game for Vincennes and came away with his first winning decision with a five-inning outing, giving up one run on four hits and striking out three.
Sophomore Braedon Nichols (Sullivan, Ind.) threw two no-hit innings of relief while punching out three.
Osborn came away with the four-out save, giving up one hit and striking out one batter.
“Our whole pitching staff today did a great job,” Barney added. “Kestler gave us a great, quality start, going five innings and giving up one run. Then Braedon Nichols came in and threw two really good innings in relief. Then you have Eli Steimel (Sullivan, Ind.) who came in when we had a good lefty-righty matchup and got two outs out of that. Finally, Luke Osborn finished it out for the save. He obviously got into a little bit of a jam in the ninth by his own creation but got himself out of it with a strikeout and a double play. So, he worked himself into it and he worked himself out of it.”
“That was the other big thing today,” Barney said. “Our guys didn’t give up any big innings and were able to get themselves out of jams. Kestler got out of a bases loaded jam in the first inning without giving up a run, so he did a great job there and at the end of the game Luke did a great job of stepping up and getting out of the jam. That was a big difference in the game today.”
Vincennes will be in action next week as the Trailblazers hit the road to take on Rose-Hulman in Terre Haute, Ind. Wednesday, March 16. First pitch Wednesday is set for 6 p.m. eastern.
VU had three games scheduled to finish out the week that all were cancelled, with Thursday’s home game against Oakland City being cancelled due to a change in OCU’s schedule and a weekend series against Schoolcraft College in Detroit was cancelled due to inclement weather this weekend.
“We are going to give the guys a little break here for a couple of days and then we are going to get back after it on Sunday,” Barney said. “There’s nothing we can do about the weather and unfortunately we lost the Oakland City game because they had a conference game get rescheduled because of the weather. Then obviously with the weather coming in, traveling from Vincennes to Detroit or vice versa won’t be the safest thing to do on Saturday, so for that reason we are not going to be able to make that trip either way.”
“That’s just sort of where we are at,” Barney said. “We just have to be ready when we come back Sunday, maybe we can find a game for Tuesday and if not we will play on Wednesday and then open up the MWAC Conference play on the weekend against Spoon River.”
TRAILBLAZER BASKETBALL STARTS 2022 RECRUITING CLASS WITH MADISONVILLE POINT GUARD
VINCENNES, Ind. – The Vincennes University Trailblazers picked up an early signing Tuesday afternoon in the form of Madisonville—North Hopkins point guard Kale Gaither.
Gaither is a 5-foot-10 point guard who helped lead the Maroons to a 23-8 record this season, a Region Semi-Final appearance and the 2021-22 District 7 Championship.
Gaither helped guide his team to this Championship by averaging 25 points, five assists and five rebounds per game, including scoring 34 points in Madisonville’s 79-55 District Championship win over Hopkins County Central.
Gaither has been a starter at the varsity level since his eighth-grade season and is considered to be one of the top point guards coming out of the state of Kentucky this season.
Gaither transferred to Madisonville-North Hopkins High School before the 2020-21 season to play for head coach Jon Newton.
“I’ve driven down to watch Kale play three times this year,” VU Hall of Fame Head Coach Todd Franklin said. “He definitely brings an element, pure basketball wise, that we did not have this year. In terms of speed, quickness, change of gear and the ability to attack the basket. Now he’s got to fit into college and do all the things that you have to do, make the transitions of life and it’s hard to guess how guys are actually going to do it. But from a straight basketball standpoint, his speed, quickness and ability to make plays, utilizing ball screens and creating easy buckets for others because he comes at you in a dynamic way, we sorely lacked that this past year.”
“We’ve been searching for it, to make sure that we have it this year,” Franklin added. “Because we’ve always had that during our record-setting run of trips to Hutch and we felt like that was an area that we just didn’t have and I think Kale certainly brings that to the table. I think his numbers bare that out, he averages 25 points and five assists a game and that’s just what he is. He’s not as big as some guards that we’ve had here over the years but he has some length to him, so I think he will be able to adapt.”
“He shoots pretty well. Like a lot of quick guys, it’s just able getting reps at it because he’s always been able to get by guys. He does shoot the ball well and he does shoot the ball well with range. He will allow us to push the ball, which we want to do, we just couldn’t. He’s a guy that can blow by a press and turn it into an advantage for you. He brings a lot of those things to the table, so we are excited about him.”
Gaither had been drawing interest from many different Junior College across the country and several local Region 24 schools this season, receiving offers from Moberly Area, East Mississippi Community College and Southwestern Illinois College before choosing to sign with Vincennes University.
“I don’t recruit against anybody,” Franklin said. “I never worry about it, that’s never been a thing for us. If I think a guy can play and no one else is looking at him, it doesn’t bother me. If everybody’s looking at a guy, it doesn’t bother me. We just present who we are and we try to get guys that match. Kale has gotten a lot of attention and it has grown over time, but that doesn’t play into anything that we do.”
“We are more focused on ‘do you fit here’,” Franklin added. “Do I think you fit here. Obviously now, one thing is that I’ve had more time where I can get out there. One of the things about the season we just had, while there are a lot of things about that that we don’t like, when you win all the time and play until the last day, one of the bad things is that I don’t get to get out and see with my eyes and be on the road. Unless you are within two hours, it’s impossible because I’m at practice and can’t get there in time.”
“My eyes have been pretty good over the years. It’s just about can I get my eyes out there. It’s not for a lack of wanting to get out there, it’s just the logistics of it. But with us not being what we’ve been for a variety of reasons I’m able to get out there and I’ve seen Kale three times. The bigger thing for me is the evaluation, not who you are recruiting against.”
“But I’m excited about Kale, we just hope that he fits into college and makes the transition. Like everybody else, we will have him here this summer. He seems excited about it and obviously he picked to come here, with a variety of options. So, when we talk about recruiting against, the one good thing is this is a young man who decided this is what he was looking for. Hopefully he means that when he’s here and continues to be that way. If he does, if he comes in here and works, stays focused on the task and listens to us a little bit and really competes, I think he can be a good player. I think he could be a really good player. I think he will compete and I think he’s got the competitive nature in him.”
“So, as long as he adapts to college, which is hard to predict, I think Kale can be a really good player for us and hopefully he can help whoever else we’ve got in here, as we’re going to recruit a ton of guys to come in and be ready to go. But if you look at it with him playing with Shilo, I think he’s going to get Shilo a lot of easier looks. Shilo had a really good year this year for a freshman, his numbers were really fabulous for a freshman and he did that without really getting easy buckets ever. Shilo had to battle all season and I think Kale can help provide some easier looks. We’ve got to get more guys that can do that, but those things will help and we expect Shilo to have a big year next year and I think a guy like Kale is a step toward helping with that as well.”
“I’m excited about the potential of Kale and I think Kale can be a good player, he’s just got to adapt to being in college. We will do everything we can to help with that, including bringing him in over the summer. So one good thing about getting him signed early is that we are able to facilitate that process and bring him in here, which I think is big. But it will only be as good as he turns out. He could be a good player. I’ve seen him enough to know that he could be a good player and I don’t doubt that ability wise and opportunity wise, he is going to have that chance.”
“We’re excited, but we’ll see how it turns out. It’s part of the process. It’s all day, every day. It’s on the phone, going out and watching. It’s going to practice. It’s talking to people about these guys to try to find out what kind of person these guys really are. But it’s all day and night and you keep moving until is over and when it’s over you hope that you’ve collected the right amount of guys and right guys that can do it for you. We always have until this past year but we’ve flipped the page on that and we’ve gone into a very determined mode of getting it right. I can tell everybody; I’m as determined right now as I’ve ever been. So you can place what that means, because I’ve been pretty successful over the years and right now I’m as determined to be good as I’ve ever been. We have every intention of being back and not just being back and good but being back on top. I’m not out here just to be good. I’m out here to be back on top and I think Kale can be a part of that.”
The Vincennes University Athletic Department is excited to welcome Kale to the 2022 Trailblazer recruiting class.
QUICK START PROPELS TAYLOR TO NON-LEAGUE SPLIT
OAKLAND CITY, Ind. – The Taylor softball team took the field for the first time in the month of March on Wednesday and came home from a road doubleheader with a split at Oakland City.
TU opened fast, jumping the Mighty Oaks (4-8) for five runs in the top of the first and cruising to a 7-1 victory in the opener. Taylor saw eight-straight batters reach safely in the early rally, with singles from Alexi Clay, Ashton Whitman, Aleyah Rastetter, Kristin Mihalic, Caitlyn Grim and Lexi Abruzzo fueling the onslaught.
Maddi Evans (2-2) hurled six shutout frames for the Trojans to protect the lead. Evans scattered six hits and three walks to record her second win of the season.
Evans also highlighted the lineup with three hits, two runs and a pair of stolen bases, while Mihalic also racked up three hits to go with three RBI and one double.
After piling up 15 hits in the opener, Taylor managed just five knocks in the 5-2 loss in the finale, scoring both runs in the third.
The 2-0 lead did not hold however, with the hosts punching back for three in the bottom half and tacking on two more in the fourth to complete the scoring.
Rastetter provided TU with its lone multi-hit performance, picking up two of Taylor’s five hits and swiping one base
Taylor (3-6) is set to open its home slate on Thursday, with a 2:00 pm start at Gudakunst Field against Midway (5-2).
TAYLOR ATHLETICS | TAYLOR BASEBALL RECEIVES VOTES IN FIRST TOP-25 POLL OF REGULAR SEASON
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The NAIA baseball coaches association released its first Top-25 poll of the 2022 regular season, in which the Trojans received 77 votes toward a national ranking.
Taylor received the second-most votes among 16 teams residing just outside the top-25, in recognition of a 13-7 start to the season.
The Trojans have been especially hot as of late, though, going 10-3 in their last 13 games while winning six of their last seven and averaging over nine runs per game in that most-recent stretch.
As a team, Taylor’s offense has been high-powered to say the least, currently leading the Crossroads League with 159 runs scored, 184 hits, and 47 doubles, while sharing the league-lead with 96 walks.
Several individual Trojans have been active in establishing those league-leading numbers, such as Nick Rusche, Camden Knepp, and Kaleb Kolpien, who sit one-two-and-three in the league for runs scored. Meanwhile, Kolpien leads the league with 34 hits, ranks second with a .529 on-base percentage and third with a .453 batting average.
In the run-producing category, TJ Bass and Conner Crawford have proven to be a most-dynamic duo as of late, the two pacing the league with the two highest RBI-totals, Bass with 35 and Crawford with 26. Furthermore, Bass sits fifth in the entire nation in RBI, while playing less games than each of the four guys above him.
As a staff, Taylor pitchers currently own the highest strikeout-total in the league with 167. Noah Huseman and Luke Shively lead the way for the Trojans in that way, the two sharing the league-lead with 34 strikeouts apiece. Both Huseman and Shively sit in the top-five among CL pitchers in earned-run average, meanwhile Shively leads the league with four wins.
Taylor (13-7, 3-1) will look to continue in its winning ways tomorrow, March 10th, when the Trojans host Huntington (4-8, 2-2) at Winterholter Field for a nine-seven doubleheader at 1:00 pm.
TODAY IN BASEBALL HISTORY
1941 The Dodgers announce their players will begin to wear helmets when batting. The safety headgear will not become mandatory in the National League until 1954, and the AL will follow suit four years later.
1951 J. Edgar Hoover, longtime director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, declines the baseball commissioner’s post. President Calvin Coolidge appointed him in 1924, and the nation’s top cop remained in the FBI until he died in 1972.
1963 In an exhibition game against the White Sox, 21-year-old rookie Pete Rose goes 2-for-2 in his first appearance in a Reds’ uniform. The future all-time major league leader in hits will be named the National League’s Rookie of the Year.
1966 The Orioles trade 22-year-old minor league outfielder Lou Piniella to the Indians for reserve catcher Camilo Carreon, who will play in only four contests for his new team before retiring at season’s end. The Tribe’s latest flycatcher will appear in more than 1,700 big-league games, but only six games for Cleveland, all in 1968, before being selected in the expansion draft by the Pilots, who later trade him to the Royals for John Gelnar and Steve Whitaker at the of 1969 season.
1967 Ted Davidson, who had five wins and four saves for the Reds last season, is gunned down in an alley as he leaves a local restaurant, telling police his estranged wife shot him once in the abdomen and twice in the chest. The judge dismisses the charge against Mary Ruth Davidson when the southpaw, who will return to the team in June, but without his same effectiveness, fails to appear in court on two occasions.
1992 The Pirates trade pitcher Neal Heaton (3-3, 4.33) to the Royals for outfielder Kirk Gibson (.236, 16 HR, 18 SB). After being released by the Bucs in May, the veteran flycatcher, who will turn down an offer to play for the Arena Football League’s Detroit Drive, ends his brief retirement, playing his last three years as a Tiger for his former manager Sparky Anderson.
1993 Sherry Davis becomes the first full-time female major league public address announcer when the Giants hire her to work at Candlestick Park. The legal secretary, chosen from five hundred contestants, won the job in an open audition.
1995 Former Chicago Bull superstar Michael Jordan, citing labor unrest as the reason, announces that he is leaving the White Sox organization to return to the Chicago Bulls. In his only season in professional baseball, the future NBA Hall of Famer batted .202, hit three home runs, drove in 51 runs, stole 30 bases, and made 11 errors playing the outfield for the Double-A Birmingham Barons last season.
2004 When asked by Senator John McCain to renegotiate the major league baseball’s contract concerning the use of controlled substances, Donald Fehr refuses to comply. Although the union boss condemns the use of steroids, he believes the players oppose random drug testing as a violation of privacy, an argument countered by the Arizona Republican as unacceptable, promising congressional action if the status quo remains in place.
2005 Singling off Brad Thompson in a Cardinal intrasquad game, former pitching prospect Rick Ankiel goes 1-for-2 in his debut as a position player. Historic wildness and injuries ended the 25-year-old’s once very-promising career on the mound.
2006 Jhonny Peralta (.292, 24, 78) agrees to a $13 million, five-year deal, which includes a club option for 2011. In his first full season, the Indians shortstop established himself as one of the top offensive players for his position.
2006 Shairon Martis throws the first-ever no-hitter in WBC history as the Netherlands routs Panama, 10-0. The 19 year-old Dutch hurler threw precisely 65 pitches, which is the Classic’s pitch limit, to accomplish the historic deed in a game called after seven innings because of the mercy rule, a ten-run lead after seven innings.
2009 At Puerto Rico’s Hiram Bithorn Stadium, the Netherlands World Baseball Classic team, made up of mostly unknown players, upsets a heavily-favored Dominican Republic club for the second time in four days, advancing to the next round. The Dominicans, considered to be an odds-on favorite, with a roster filled with major league All-Stars including David Ortiz (Red Sox), Hanley Ramirez (Marlins), and Miguel Tejada (Astros), are eliminated in the first round of the 16-team tournament.
2010 Nomar Garciaparra, announcing his retirement before the exhibition game against Tampa Bay, signs a ceremonial one-day contract with Boston, six years after rejecting the team’s four-year, $60 million offer that resulted in an acrimonious trade to the Cubs in 2004. The former Rookie of the Year and AL batting champion, who finishes his 14-year major league career with a .313 batting average, gets his wish to leave the game in a Red Sox uniform when he throws out the ceremonial first pitch to former teammate Jason Varitek.
2010 Justin Upton (.300, 26, 86) and the Diamondbacks come to terms on a $51.25 million, six-year contract, the second-largest deal in franchise history being slightly less than Randy Johnson’s $52.4 million pact in 1999. The 22-year-old outfielder, who was the team’s No. 1 pick in the 2005 draft, was selected to last season’s National League All-Star squad.
|COLLEGE BASKETBALL – MEN||TIME ET||TV|
|MAC QUARTERFINAL: TOLEDO VS. CENTRAL MICHIGAN||11:00AM||ESPN+|
|BIG TEN SECOND ROUND: MICHIGAN VS. INDIANA||11:30AM||BTN|
|ACC QUARTERFINAL: DUKE VS. FLORIDA STATE/SYRACUSE||12:00PM||ESPN/2|
|ATLANTIC 10 SECOND ROUND: FORDHAM VS. GEORGE MASON||12:00PM||USA|
|BIG EAST QUARTERFINAL: PROVIDENCE VS. XAVIER/BUTLER||12:00PM||FS1|
|SEC SECOND ROUND: TEXAS A&M VS. FLORIDA||12:00PM||SECN|
|BIG 12 QUARTERFINAL: TEXAS VS. TCU||12:30PM||ESPN/2|
|AMERICAN FIRST ROUND: CINCINNATI VS. ECU||1:00PM||ESPNU|
|MAC QUARTERFINAL: AKRON VS. BUFFALO||1:30PM||ESPN+|
|BIG SKY QUARTERFINAL: MONTANA STATE VS. SACRAMENTO STATE/IDAHO||2:00PM||ESPN+|
|BIG TEN SECOND ROUND: IOWA VS. NORTHWESTERN/NEBRASKA||2:00PM||BTN|
|BIG EAST QUARTERFINAL: CREIGHTON VS. MARQUETTE||2:30PM||FS1|
|ATLANTIC 10 SECOND ROUND: SAINT LOUIS VS. LA SALLE/SAINT JOSEPH’S||2:30PM||USA|
|SEC SECOND ROUND: LSU VS. OLE MISS/MISSOURI||2:30PM||SECN|
|BIG 12 QUARTERFINAL: KANSAS VS. KANSAS STATE/WEST VIRGINIA||3:00PM||ESPN/2|
|AMERICAN FIRST ROUND||3:00PM||ESPNU|
|MOUNTAIN WEST QUARTERFINAL: BOISE STATE VS. NEVADA/NEW MEXICO||3:00PM||CBSSN|
|PAC-12 QUARTERFINAL: ARIZONA VS. ARIZONA STATE/STANFORD||3:00PM||PAC12N|
|SWAC QUARTERFINAL: SOUTHERN VS. GRAMBLING STATE||3:00PM||ESPN+|
|BIG WEST QUARTERFINAL: LONG BEACH STATE VS. CSUN/CAL STATE BAKERSFIELD||3:00PM||ESPN+|
|MAC QUARTERFINAL: KENT STATE VS. MIAMI (OH)||4:00PM||ESPN+|
|BIG SKY QUARTERFINAL: WEBER STATE VS. MONTANA||4:30PM||ESPN+|
|MOUNTAIN WEST QUARTERFINAL: WYOMING VS. UNLV||5:30PM||CBSSN|
|BIG WEST QUARTERFINAL: UC IRVINE VS. UC SANTA BARBARA||5:30PM||ESPN+|
|ATLANTIC 10 SECOND ROUND: GEORGE WASHINGTON VS. UMASS||6:00PM||USA|
|SEC SECOND ROUND: SOUTH CAROLINA VS. MISSISSIPPI STATE||6:00PM||SECN|
|SOUTHLAND QUARTERFINAL: A&M-CORPUS CHRISTI VS. HOUSTON BAPTIST/UIW||6:00PM||ESPN+|
|MEAC QUARTERFINAL: MORGAN STATE VS. SOUTH CAROLINA STATE||6:00PM||ESPN+|
|BIG TEN SECOND ROUND: MICHIGAN STATE VS. MARYLAND||6:30PM||BTN|
|MAC QUARTERFINAL: OHIO VS. BALL STATE||6:30PM||ESPN+|
|BIG 12 QUARTERFINAL: BAYLOR VS. OKLAHOMA||7:00PM||ESPN/2|
|BIG EAST QUARTERFINAL: VILLANOVA VS. ST. JOHN’S/DEPAUL||7:00PM||FS1|
|AMERICAN FIRST ROUND||7:00PM||ESPNU|
|BIG SKY QUARTERFINAL: SOUTHERN UTAH VS. PORTLAND STATE/IDAHO STATE||7:30PM||ESPN+|
|MEAC QUARTERFINAL: NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL VS. MARYLAND EASTERN SHORE||8:00PM||ESPN+|
|ATLANTIC 10 SECOND ROUND: RICHMOND VS. RHODE ISLAND/DUQUESNE||8:30PM||USA|
|SEC SECOND ROUND: ALABAMA VS. VANDERBILT/GEORGIA||8:30PM||SECN|
|SOUTHLAND QUARTERFINAL: NEW ORLEANS VS. NORTHWESTERN STATE/MCNEESE||8:30PM||ESPN+|
|BIG TEN SECOND ROUND: OHIO STATE VS. PENN STATE/MINNESOTA||9:00PM||BTN|
|MOUNTAIN WEST QUARTERFINAL||9:00PM||CBSSN|
|PAC-12 QUARTERFINAL: UCLA VS. WASHINGTON STATE/CALIFORNIA||9:00PM||PAC12N|
|BIG WEST QUARTERFINAL: CAL STATE FULLERSON VS. UC DAVIS/CAL POLY||9:00PM||ESPN+|
|BIG 12 QUARTERFINAL: TEXAS TECH VS. IOWA STATE||9:30PM||ESPN/2|
|BIG EAST QUARTERFINAL: UCONN VS. SETON HALL/GEORGETOWN||9:30PM||FS1|
|SWAC QUARTERFINAL: FLORIDA A&M VS. ALABAMA A&M||9:30PM||ESPN+|
|MAAC QUARTERFINAL: MONMOUTH VS. NIAGARA||9:30PM||ESPN+|
|BIG SKY QUARTERFINAL: NORTHERN COLORADO VS. EASTERN WASHINGTON/NORTHERN ARIZONA||10:00PM||ESPN+|
|PAC-12 QUARTERFINAL: USC VS. WASHINGTON/UTAH||11:30PM||FS1|
|MOUNTAIN WEST QUARTERFINAL: SAN DIEGO STATE VS. FRESNO STATE/SAN JOSE STATE||11:30PM||CBSSN|
|PGA TOUR: PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP||12:00PM||GOLF|
|BROOKLYN AT PHILADELPHIA||7:30PM||TNT|
|GOLDEN STATE AT DENVER||10:00PM||TNT|
|VEGAS AT BUFFALO||7:00PM||ESPN+|
|MINNESOTA AT DETROIT||7:00PM||ESPN+|
|COLORADO AT CAROLINA||7:00PM||BALLY SPORTS|
|PHILADELPHIA AT FLORIDA||7:00PM||BALLY SPORTS|
|WINNEPEG AT NEW JERSEY||7:00PM||SPORTSNET|
|SEATTLE AT OTTAWA||7:00PM||ROOT SPORTS|
|CHICAGO AT BOSTON||7:00PM||NBCS-CHI|
|ARIZONA AT TORONTO||7:00PM||BALLY SPORTS|
|COLUMBUS AT NY ISLANDERS||7:30PM||BALLY SPORTS|
|ANAHEIM AT NASHVILLE||8:00PM||ESPN+|
|NY RANGERS AT ST. LOUIS||8:00PM||BALLY SPORTS|
|TAMPA BAY AT CALGARY||9:00PM||BALLY SPORTS|
|SAN JOSE AT LOS ANGELES||10:30PM||BALLY SPORTS|
|W||L||PCT||CONF GB||HOME||ROAD||DIV||CONF||LAST 10||STREAK|
|1 MIAMI||44||23||.657||—||23-8||21-15||11-2||28-13||7-3||1 L|
|2 MILWAUKEE||42||25||.627||2.0||24-12||18-13||9-3||26-18||7-3||6 W|
|3 PHILADELPHIA||40||24||.625||2.5||19-13||21-11||6-7||24-15||8-2||1 W|
|4 CHICAGO||40||26||.606||3.5||24-10||16-16||8-4||25-17||5-5||1 W|
|5 BOSTON||40||27||.597||4.0||23-11||17-16||9-6||29-16||8-2||4 W|
|6 CLEVELAND||38||27||.585||5.0||20-11||18-16||8-4||23-16||4-6||2 W|
|7 TORONTO||35||30||.538||8.0||17-15||18-15||7-5||23-19||4-6||1 W|
|8 BROOKLYN||33||33||.500||10.5||13-18||20-15||7-6||23-18||4-6||1 W|
|9 CHARLOTTE||32||35||.478||12.0||16-17||16-18||5-7||21-22||3-7||2 L|
|10 ATLANTA||31||34||.477||12.0||19-13||12-21||8-5||20-22||5-5||2 L|
|11 WASHINGTON||29||35||.453||13.5||17-17||12-18||6-7||22-21||4-6||1 L|
|12 NEW YORK||28||38||.424||15.5||13-19||15-19||4-9||14-25||3-7||3 W|
|13 INDIANA||22||45||.328||22.0||15-19||7-26||2-13||11-33||3-7||3 L|
|14 DETROIT||18||48||.273||25.5||11-22||7-26||5-8||14-26||6-4||1 L|
|15 ORLANDO||17||50||.254||27.0||7-23||10-27||2-11||10-32||4-6||1 W|
|W||L||PCT||CONF GB||HOME||ROAD||DIV||CONF||LAST 10||STREAK|
|1 X-PHOENIX||53||13||.803||—||28-7||25-6||6-4||30-9||7-3||2 W|
|2 MEMPHIS||45||22||.672||8.5||23-10||22-12||8-5||30-14||6-4||1 W|
|3 GOLDEN STATE||44||22||.667||9.0||27-7||17-15||10-3||27-16||3-7||1 W|
|4 UTAH||41||24||.631||11.5||23-10||18-14||13-1||27-14||7-3||1 W|
|5 DALLAS||40||26||.606||13.0||23-12||17-14||11-2||29-15||7-3||1 L|
|6 DENVER||40||26||.606||13.0||20-11||20-15||5-9||25-18||9-1||4 W|
|7 MINNESOTA||38||29||.567||15.5||22-12||16-17||11-4||26-18||8-2||6 W|
|8 LA CLIPPERS||35||33||.515||19.0||20-14||15-19||7-7||21-24||7-3||1 W|
|9 LA LAKERS||28||37||.431||24.5||19-16||9-21||3-10||16-25||2-8||2 L|
|10 NEW ORLEANS||27||39||.409||26.0||15-18||12-21||4-8||18-22||5-5||3 L|
|11 PORTLAND||25||40||.385||27.5||16-18||9-22||1-12||11-30||4-6||6 L|
|12 SAN ANTONIO||25||41||.379||28.0||12-20||13-21||4-7||15-22||4-6||1 L|
|13 SACRAMENTO||24||44||.353||30.0||15-20||9-24||5-7||17-27||2-8||3 L|
|14 OKLAHOMA CITY||20||46||.303||33.0||9-24||11-22||4-8||14-29||3-7||4 L|
|15 HOUSTON||17||49||.258||36.0||10-21||7-28||3-8||9-32||2-8||1 W|
EIGHT TEAMS IN EACH CONFERENCE QUALIFY FOR THE PLAYOFFS.
X – CLINCHED PLAYOFF SPOT, Y – CLINCHED DIVISION, Z – CLINCHED CONFERENCE
|1 CAROLINA HURRICANES||56||39||12||5||83||38||191||134||21-4-2||18-8-3||7-1-2|
|2 FLORIDA PANTHERS||57||39||13||5||83||37||237||167||25-6-0||14-7-5||7-3-0|
|3 TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING||56||37||13||6||80||35||196||162||19-5-4||18-8-2||7-3-0|
|4 TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS||57||37||16||4||78||35||213||171||20-7-1||17-9-3||5-4-1|
|5 NEW YORK RANGERS||57||36||16||5||77||32||171||144||19-5-3||17-11-2||6-3-1|
|6 PITTSBURGH PENGUINS||58||34||15||9||77||32||188||156||15-9-5||19-6-4||5-4-1|
|7 BOSTON BRUINS||57||34||18||5||73||32||173||155||16-10-2||18-8-3||7-2-1|
|8 WASHINGTON CAPITALS||59||31||18||10||72||29||193||166||14-11-5||17-7-5||5-4-1|
|9 COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS||57||28||26||3||59||25||190||210||15-12-3||13-14-0||5-3-2|
|10 DETROIT RED WINGS||57||24||27||6||54||21||165||212||16-12-3||8-15-3||4-6-0|
|11 NEW YORK ISLANDERS||53||21||24||8||50||20||137||152||11-12-4||10-12-4||4-4-2|
|12 NEW JERSEY DEVILS||57||21||31||5||47||20||176||205||13-13-3||8-18-2||5-5-0|
|13 PHILADELPHIA FLYERS||56||18||28||10||46||18||141||193||11-15-5||7-13-5||3-5-2|
|14 OTTAWA SENATORS||56||20||31||5||45||19||147||180||10-16-2||10-15-3||3-6-1|
|15 BUFFALO SABRES||58||18||32||8||44||16||154||209||9-16-4||9-16-4||2-8-0|
|16 MONTREAL CANADIENS||57||15||35||7||37||13||140||217||8-17-1||7-18-6||7-3-0|
|1 COLORADO AVALANCHE||58||41||12||5||87||38||230||168||23-3-3||18-9-2||6-3-1|
|2 CALGARY FLAMES||56||34||15||7||75||32||197||139||16-5-5||18-10-2||7-2-1|
|3 ST. LOUIS BLUES||56||32||17||7||71||30||195||155||19-7-2||13-10-5||5-3-2|
|4 LOS ANGELES KINGS||58||32||19||7||71||30||172||162||14-12-2||18-7-5||8-2-0|
|5 MINNESOTA WILD||55||33||19||3||69||29||208||179||17-6-1||16-13-2||3-7-0|
|6 VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS||58||32||22||4||68||28||185||169||16-13-3||16-9-1||4-5-1|
|7 NASHVILLE PREDATORS||56||32||20||4||68||30||176||156||16-10-0||16-10-4||4-6-0|
|8 DALLAS STARS||56||32||21||3||67||29||166||162||20-7-1||12-14-2||7-2-1|
|9 EDMONTON OILERS||58||31||23||4||66||28||189||186||15-12-0||16-11-4||4-5-1|
|10 VANCOUVER CANUCKS||58||29||23||6||64||26||169||168||13-10-3||16-13-3||8-2-0|
|11 ANAHEIM DUCKS||59||27||23||9||63||23||175||187||16-11-4||11-12-5||4-6-0|
|12 WINNIPEG JETS||57||25||22||10||60||24||174||178||15-11-2||10-11-8||4-4-2|
|13 SAN JOSE SHARKS||56||24||25||7||55||22||145||179||13-13-3||11-12-4||2-5-3|
|14 CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS||58||21||29||8||50||18||152||201||11-15-4||10-14-4||4-5-1|
|15 SEATTLE KRAKEN||59||17||37||5||39||16||152||213||10-17-3||7-20-2||1-8-1|
|16 ARIZONA COYOTES||56||17||35||4||38||16||141||203||9-20-1||8-15-3||6-4-0|
EIGHT TEAMS IN EACH CONFERENCE QUALIFY FOR THE DIVISIONAL PLAYOFF FORMAT. THE TOP THREE TEAMS FROM EACH DIVISION MAKE UP THE FIRST SIX SPOTS. THE TWO REMAINING TEAMS WITH THE HIGHEST POINTS, REGARDLESS OF DIVISION, QUALIFY FOR THE FINAL TWO WILD CARD SPOTS.
X – CLINCHED PLAYOFF SPOT, Y – CLINCHED DIVISION, Z – CLINCHED CONFERENCE