Celtics run past Heat 93-80, move a win from NBA Finals

MIAMI (AP) The Boston Celtics know the formula. They believe their defense, as has been the case time and again in these playoffs, will eventually wear down teams.

Hard to argue.

Jaylen Brown scored 25 points, Jayson Tatum added 22 and the Celtics are now one win from the NBA Finals. They ran away after halftime to beat the Miami Heat 93-80 on Wednesday night and take a 3-2 lead in the Eastern Conference title series.

“I think the mental stress and strain we put on some teams with our defense has worked and carried us through the playoffs at times,” Celtics coach Ime Udoka said.

Al Horford had 16 points and Derrick White added 14 for the Celtics. Tatum finished with 12 rebounds and nine assists.

Bam Adebayo scored 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Heat, who shot 32% in the game – after shooting 33% in Boston’s 20-point win in Game 4. Gabe Vincent added 15, Jimmy Butler had 13 and Duncan Robinson scored 11 for Miami.

The Heat were 7 for 45 from 3-point range. They played without the injured Tyler Herro (groin), and several Miami players were questionable entering the day for a variety of ailments.

“We are not going to make any kind of deflection or any kind of excuse,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “Boston beat us tonight. And let’s be clear about that. There’s guys that are far from 100% on both sides.”

Game 6 is in Boston on Friday night, where a pair of trophies bearing the names of Celtics legends will be waiting. The Bob Cousy trophy goes to the East champs, the Larry Bird trophy to the East finals MVP, and the Celtics are one win from hoisting them.

“We’ve got an opportunity to do something with this group that’s special,” Brown said. “Let’s not take that for granted.”

This series has seen massive momentum swings – a 44-14 Miami run in Game 1, a 60-21 Boston run in Game 2, a 46-20 Miami run to open Game 3 followed by a 57-33 Boston run in the same game, and a 26-4 spurt by the Celtics to open Game 4.

The Game 5 run was just as big.

The score over a 6 1/2-minute stretch of the second half: Celtics 24, Heat 2. The turnaround was 59-58 Boston to 83-60 Boston.

“In the first half it was tough because we weren’t hitting shots and we were turning the ball over,” Horford said. “But the key for us was continuing to do what we do defending, and then on offense playing how we play. And eventually we were able to get it going.”

Boston outscored Miami 32-16 in the third quarter, holding the Heat to 17% shooting. The margin was only 11 at that point – but a 14-2 spurt was how Boston opened the fourth quarter, Brown capping the flurry by making three 3-pointers in a span of 2 1/2 minutes, and the lead was out to 23.

Brown then sealed matters with a down-the-lane dunk with 5:19 left, the lead was 18 at that point and the countdown was on for Boston.

“We’re still lining up,” Adebayo said. “We’ve still got to play these games. We still want to win.”

The Celtics haven’t reached the NBA Finals since 2010. There have been four East finals trips since then, with two losses to Miami and two to Cleveland. There were also two chances like the one that awaits Friday – Game 6 in 2012 against the Heat and Game 7 in 2018 against the Cavaliers – when the Celtics had a chance to claim the conference title simply by winning a game on their home floor.

They lost both, LeBron James serving as the official thwarter both times, with 45 points to save Miami in the 2012 game and 35 to lift Cleveland in the 2018 clincher.

He won’t be in the Celtics’ way this time.

Miami will need somebody to provide some semblance of an impersonation.

“We know what we’re capable of,” Butler insisted.

Offense was in short supply in the first half. Miami led 19-17 after one and 42-37 at the break. Tatum was 1 for 9 at intermission, Butler 2 for 8, and the teams combined to shoot 37.8% from the field and 21.6% from 3-point range.

Miami, somehow, got colder to start the second half. The Celtics did not.

The Heat missed their first nine shots from the field after the break, not getting anything to fall until Butler fended off contact and scored on a drive that got Miami within 49-48 with 6:53 left in the third.

But soon, the Celtics had control. Of the game. And the series.

“If you want to break through and punch a ticket to the finals, you’re going to have to do some ridiculously tough stuff,” Spoelstra said.


Celtics: Boston is now 42-7 this season when holding teams to 105 points or less. … Marcus Smart tested his sprained ankle pregame, declared himself good to go and had only five points but the Celtics outscored the Heat by 13 points in his nearly 24 minutes. … White and Robert Williams III were a combined 7 for 8 in the first half, while the rest of their teammates were a combined 6 for 26.

Heat: Max Strus was 0 for 9, Kyle Lowry was 0 for 6, and the Heat starting guards are a combined 1 for 28 in their last two games. The 0-for-15 on Wednesday was the worst playoff showing for a starting backcourt since the NBA began tracking starters in 1970. … It was the third-lowest point total of the season for the Heat (78 vs. Boston on Nov. 4, 79 vs. Philadelphia on May 6).


Game 6 will be the 140th playoff game for Horford. Nobody has been in more postseason contests without appearing in the NBA Finals – something that he and the Celtics could change with one more win over Miami.


It was the 14th time in the last 19 games during these playoffs where the final margin was at least 10 points.

Bozak caps rally with OT goal, Blues beat Avs 5-4 in Game 5

DENVER (AP) Tyler Bozak and the St. Louis Blues experienced just about every emotion imaginable over the course of a win-or-season-ends game in which they fell behind by three goals.

Ultimately, they landed on this improbable one – elation.

Bozak scored 3:38 into overtime and the Blues fended off elimination in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals, overcoming a pair of deficits in a 5-4 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday night.

Bozak, a fourth-line center, unleashed a shot from near the blueline that got past Darcy Kuemper, capping a remarkable comeback for St. Louis.

“It was an amazing hockey game,” Bozak said. “I’m sure everyone that was watching thought the same thing.”

Robert Thomas had two goals, including the tying tally with 56 seconds left in regulation, for a resilient Blues team. It’s the latest game-tying goal for the Blues when facing elimination, according to NHL Stats. Vladimir Tarasenko and Justin Faulk also scored, Nick Leddy had four assists and Pavel Buchnevich had two.

They never doubted – even down 3-0 late in the second period and 4-3 late in the third.

“You’ve got nothing to lose, you might as well throw it all out there,” Thomas said. “That was our mentality.”

The comeback offset a hat trick from Nathan MacKinnon, who looked like he might have just turned in a signature moment with goal No. 3. He went end-to-end, working his way around Blues defenseman Leddy with nifty stick work and lifting a shot over goaltender Ville Husso for a 4-3 lead. It was his second career postseason hat trick.

Hats hit the ice.

“Doesn’t matter,” MacKinnon said of his feat. “Looking to get a win.”

Thomas tied it up with Husso on the bench for an extra skater, setting the stage for Bozak, who played college hockey down the road at the University of Denver.

To think, he didn’t play much down the stretch of the third period, with the Blues rolling out just three lines. When he got his chance in OT, he made the most of it.

“There’s definitely no such thing as a bad shot,” Bozak said. “So just tried to get it through the traffic and it went in. So that’s awesome.”

Game 6 is Friday in St. Louis.

The Blues have rallied from a 3-1 deficit to take a playoff series twice in their history – 1999 against Phoenix and 1991 versus Detroit.

They’re looking to write another chapter.

“This team’s come from behind quite a bit this year in games so they don’t give up,” Blues coach Craig Berube said.

Captain Gabriel Landeskog also scored and Bowen Byram had two assists for the Avalanche, who were on the verge of advancing to the Western Conference final for the first time since 2002.

Instead, they have to wait – and wonder. The second-round has proven to be a big hurdle for the Avalanche. They’ve been eliminated at this stage in each of the last three postseasons.

“You sulk for three minutes and you move on. Simple as that,” Landeskog said. “It’s playoff hockey. It’s not supposed to be easy.”

Husso made 30 saves for St. Louis. He took over in Game 3 when Jordan Binnington was injured following a collision between Nazem Kadri and Blues defenseman Calle Rosen that caused Kadri to crash into Binnington.

Afterward, Kadri received racist death threats on social media, which led to increased security to protect him. He responded in Game 4 with a hat trick. On Wednesday, fans along the boards held up signs that read “Stand with Naz.”

Kuemper stopped 25 shots.

MacKinnon came out flying in the first period, taking five shots and scoring twice to give the Colorado an early 2-0 lead. Those were the first two goals of the series for MacKinnon, who has seven in the postseason.

The speedy MacKinnon also had an assist to give him 82 career playoff points. He became the fourth player in franchise history with 80 or more postseason points, joining the company of Sakic (188), Peter Forsberg (159) and Peter Stastny (81).

After Landeskog made it 3-0 just over 4 minutes into the second period, Tarasenko knocked in his first goal of the series 10 1/2 minutes later to jumpstart the Blues.

“We got on our heels a little bit,” said MacKinnon, whose team is 4-0 on the road in these playoffs. “We wanted it so bad, I guess. … Win the third, go to the conference finals, whatever. It’s one period. Got to keep our game going, stay aggressive. That’s what we’ll do.”


Berube opened his pregame talk with reporters Wednesday by condemning the racist threats made toward Kadri.

“In no way is it acceptable by the St. Louis Blues or anybody else, for him to go through that,” Berube said. “Being a Native American myself, I’ve heard it all. I’ve been around it. It’s not a good thing.”

Votto homers, triples, shouts at reliever as Reds beat Cubs

CINCINNATI (AP) Joey Votto homered and tripled, then shouted at Cubs reliever Rowan Wick during a tense ending to the Cincinnati Reds’ 4-3 win over Chicago on Wednesday night.

Votto had a solo homer in the second inning off Kyle Hendricks (2-5) and a two-run triple in the third as Cincinnati snapped a two-game skid.

Wick brushed back the 16-year veteran in the eighth, then walked him. Votto barked at Wick as he made his way to first base, and he also had words for Chicago’s dugout.

Wick said he didn’t appreciate the way Votto flipped his bat following the walk.

“I’ll be honest, it was a nice bat flip,” Wick said. “I understand he’s been in the league a long time and he can do whatever he wants when he walks. I wasn’t happy with the pitches that I threw. I got a little frustrated. Feel like he kind of blew it out of the water more than it needed to be.”

Wick, who like Votto is from Canada, said he has no history with his countrymate.

“I don’t even know if he knows we’re both Canadian,” Wick said.

There’s been no love lost between Votto and the Cubs over the years.

“Sometimes it can be overextended and taken too far, but generally speaking, I enjoy that part,” Votto said. “If someone says something to me, no problem, I’ll give it back.”

An inning later, Reds reliever Hunter Strickland plunked Patrick Wisdom. Cubs manager David Ross was ejected by plate umpire Dan Merzel after leaving the dugout to protest. Wisdom scored on Nico Hoerner’s pinch-hit single.

“Joey (Votto) walking toward Wick, them hitting Wisdom, two umpires wanting to discuss whether they thought it was intentional or not, and nobody doing that, I just wanted to know why,” Ross said. “Pretty commonplace when there’s a lot of jawing going on, that the umpires get together. They usually err on the side of warning.”

“I don’t want to comment on what David Ross said,” Reds manager David Bell said. “Let the game be played on the field. That’s where it’s meant to be played.”

Votto insisted that Strickland, who earned his first save of the season, wasn’t intentionally throwing at Wisdom with the Reds leading 4-2 with one out in the ninth.

“No, you don’t put the tying run at the plate with one out,” Votto said. “That was absolutely unintentional. We are trying to win a baseball game. We don’t get paid for retribution.”

Luis Castillo (1-2) needed 32 pitches to get through a two-run first for Cincinnati, but he allowed only two hits over his final four innings. He walked one and had a season-high six strikeouts.

Castillo was making only his fourth start after beginning the season on the injured list with a right shoulder strain that caused him to miss all of spring training,

“Luis made a really nice adjustment,” Bell said.

Chicago’s Ian Happ doubled in two runs in the fifth inning a day after ending a 10-game hitting streak against Cincinnati.

Votto ended a 24-game homerless streak Sunday at Toronto, the longest drought of his career. The triple Wednesday was his first since July 6, 2021 at Kansas City and only the 22nd in his career. Votto hadn’t tripled at Great American Ball Park since Aug. 22, 2016. The 38-year-old is the oldest Red to triple since Jeff Conine on April 6, 2007,

Hendricks pitched four innings for his shortest start since April 13. He allowed four earned runs and threw 68 pitches.

Willson Contreras pinch-hit for Chicago in the ninth and was robbed of extra bases by a leaping grab from center fielder Nick Senzel. Contreras had missed the previous four games with a strained right hamstring.

The four-game series between the two NL Central rivals concludes on Thursday afternoon.

“We’ll see what happens tomorrow,” Wick said.


Cubs: C Yan Gomes was placed on the 10-day injured list with a left oblique strain.

Reds: Next steps for treatment are being assessed for LHP Justin Wilson, who likely will be out for a while. Wilson has been on the IL since April 27 with a left flexor mass strain. … RHP Ross Detwiler is on the bereavement list and is due back on Friday.


LHP Justin Steele (1-4, 3.82) is the 11th left-hander in Cubs history to strike out nine or more batters in consecutive starts, and he will look to extend that streak in Thursday’s series finale. Rookie RHP Hunter Greene (1-6, 5.49) will make his 11th start for Cincinnati.

Burger’s homer off Hill lifts White Sox over Red Sox

CHICAGO (AP) Jake Burger hit a three-run homer off Rich Hill, Lucas Giolito overcame a shaky first inning and the Chicago White Sox beat the Red Sox 3-1 Wednesday night to end Boston’s six-game winning streak.

The White Sox won for the fourth time in six games and moved over .500 to 22-21.

Burger, recalled Tuesday from Triple-A Charlotte after Luis Robert was placed on the COVID-19 injured list, hit an 0-2 breaking pitch in the fifth inning that traveled an estimated 444 feet.

“It was definitely reactionary,” Burger said. “Rich was throwing well all night. The pitch before that was very similar, and I swung over it. Fortunately, he came back with it, and I got one over the plate that was a little higher than the one previous.”

Giolito (3-1) threw 27 pitches in the first but still allowed fewer than two runs for the fourth time this season.

“I really lacked rhythm and tempo in my delivery, especially out of the wind-up early,” Giolito said. “It led to really, really poor fastball command, at times not really knowing where my fastball was going.

“Luckily I was able to make good pitches with runners on bases early and limit the damage.”

Hill (1-2) held the White Sox hitless through four innings but lost his lead quickly. Jose Abreu led off the fifth with an opposite-field double to right, and AJ Pollock reached on a throwing error by third baseman Rafael Devers that preceded Burger’s homer.

Liam Hendriks got the final four outs to earn his 14th save in 17 tries.

Hill extended his streak of allowing four earned runs or fewer to 79 starts, the longest active stretch in the majors.

He had no margin for error, as the Red Sox were 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position. Boston averaged nine runs per game during their winning streak but stranded 12 runners Wednesday.

Alex Verdugo’s two-out single scored J.D. Martinez in the first, but the Red Sox failed to add more despite putting runners in scoring position in each of the first four innings against Giolito.

“He had to grind to get six innings,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. “He’s a good pitcher. We’re very pleased where we’re at.”

Giolito retired his final seven batters, capped by a diving catch by right fielder Andrew Vaughn that robbed Christian Vazquez of a hit to end the sixth.

The Red Sox loaded the bases with two outs in the seventh against Aaron Bummer and Kendall Graveman, but Verdugo grounded to second.

White Sox reliever Joe Kelly struck out two in the eighth but walked slowly off the field due to left hamstring tightness. He will be evaluated Thursday morning.

The start of the game was delayed by 30 minutes because of rain.


Red Sox: RHP Josh Winckowski likely will start the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader against the Orioles, Cora said. Winckowski is 1-1 with a 3.13 ERA in seven starts at Worchester. RHP Nathan Eovaldi will start the first game.


White Sox: RHP Lance Lynn (right knee surgery) will need at least three rehab starts at Charlotte before he rejoins the White Sox. “We’re going to have a lot of people eyeballing him because there’s nothing worse than getting excited, getting him back and then losing him,” White Sox manager Tony La Russa said. … Eloy Jimenez (right hamstring tendon surgery) will split time between the outfield and designated hitter when he starts his rehab assignment at Charlotte this weekend.


Red Sox: RHP Michael Wacha (3-0, 1.76) will face the White Sox on Thursday. Wacha allowed two runs in 4 2/3 innings in a 7-3 win over the Mariners on May 20.

White Sox: LHP Dallas Keuchel (2-4, 6.60) will face the Red Sox on Thursday. Keuchel allowed six runs in four innings in a 7-5 loss to the Yankees on May 21.

Candelario’s homer in 10th lifts Tigers in 4-2 win vs. Twins

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) The basics of hitting and scoring have been a persistent difficulty for Detroit this season.

With a few big swings, one of the least productive lineups in baseball helped the Tigers avoid another sweep in Minnesota.

Jeimer Candelario hit the tiebreaking two-run homer in the 10th inning after Harold Castro went deep twice earlier, and the Tigers came back to beat the Twins 4-2 on Wednesday.

“It’s always nice to have a happy flight. I’m doing everything I can to contribute and help the team win. I know it’s going to turn in our favor,” said Candelario, who knocked a first-pitch fastball from Trevor Megill (0-1) into the grass berm behind center field.

The ball went just beyond the reach of Gilberto Celestino’s glove to drive in the automatic runner and give the Tigers their first lead of the series, and Celestino was upset he couldn’t catch it.

“He took that pretty personal,” said regular Twins center fielder Byron Buxton, who took a turn as designated hitter and mentor to Celestino. “I just kind of had to calm him down a little bit.”

The Twins, who had their six-game winning streak stopped, loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom half. Michael Fulmer struck out Carlos Correa before yielding to Andrew Chafin, who struck out Max Kepler and retired Gary Sanchez on a foul pop for his first save this season.

Castro hit solo home runs in the sixth and eighth innings, after going deep only nine times in his first 799 major league at-bats. His first homer, off Twins starter Dylan Bundy, stopped a 16-inning scoreless streak for the Tigers, who have only 25 home runs in 43 games for the fewest in baseball.

After a 54-minute delay to let the rain pass through, Bundy threw his first of 85 pitches and lasted until there were two outs in the sixth. Bundy had six strikeouts and allowed five hits and one walk, a step forward in his second appearance since being sidelined by COVID-19.

Trevor Larnach hit a two-run homer for the Twins in the fourth inning to spoil an otherwise-stellar fill-in start by Rony Garcia that was pieced together by his fellow relievers. Garcia finished the fourth, with three hits and two walks allowed. He had five strikeouts.

“Bullpen games are exciting, because you get to use a lot of guys, but they’re also costly because we have another 12 games until we have our next day off,” manager A.J. Hinch said.

The myriad injuries in the rotation made this bullpen game necessary for the Tigers, but it also served as another showcase of their greatest strength. With the starting pitching depleted and the hitting badly lagging, the relievers entered the game with a collective 2.98 ERA for the second-best mark in baseball. Wily Peralta, Joe Jimenez, Gregory Soto and Alex Lange (1-1) kept the Twins off the board after Garcia departed.

The Tigers improved to 8-15 this month, their 54 runs in May by far a major league low. Their OPS of .584 is also the worst in baseball this month.


Derek Hill tried to hustle the Tigers to their first run, when he legged out an infield single to deep shortstop, stole second base and advanced to third on a groundout.

When Bundy’s curveball bounced in the dirt and skipped to the right of the catcher Sanchez, Hill aggressively raced home. Sanchez whirled around and attempted to apply the tag as Hill contorted his body to try to dodge the glove and touch the plate while inadvertently tripping home plate umpire Charlie Ramos in the process. The close call was out, upheld by the replay review after a challenge by the Tigers.

“We’re just trying to score runs. We are not in the luxury of being able to be perfect and have roles in the bullpen and sit back and wait for the big hit. This has not been an easy stretch,” Hinch said.


Tigers: RF Robbie Grossman, who’s in a 4-for-55 slump with 20 strikeouts and only seven walks over his last 15 games, was on the bench. “He deserves a mental break,” Hinch said. Grossman entered in the ninth for defense.

Twins: 2B Jorge Polanco rested for the second straight game because of soreness in his right ankle, which he cleanup surgery on after the 2019 and 2020 seasons. The cautionary handling of Polanco’s condition could include an additional day off, manager Rocco Baldelli conceded. “Nothing more than mild concern,” Baldelli said.


Tigers: LHP Tarik Skubal (3-2, 2.22 ERA) takes the mound on Thursday night to begin a four-game series at home against Cleveland, after getting an extra day between starts to rest a bruised shin. RHP Aaron Civale (2-3, 7.84 ERA) pitches for the Guardians.

Twins: LHP Devin Smeltzer (1-0, 1.74 ERA) starts a four-game series on Thursday night against Kansas City, after being called up from Triple-A to sub for Joe Ryan, who went on the COVID-19 list. LHP Daniel Lynch (2-3, 4.01 ERA) takes the mound for the Royals.

Oakland continues Seattle’s slide with 4-2 win over Mariners

SEATTLE (AP) Seth Brown and Elvis Andrus both homered off reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Robbie Ray, and the Oakland Athletics beat Seattle 4-2 on Wednesday, dropping the Mariners into last place in the AL West.

Oakland took two of three in the series and leapfrogged the Mariners in the division standings. While it’s still only 45 games into the season, Seattle (18-27) has lost eight of 10 and is quickly trending toward irrelevance in a season that started with expectations of ending the longest playoff drought in the major leagues.

Ray tied his season high with 10 strikeouts, but allowed a home run for the fifth straight start. Brown was the first to get to Ray with a solo shot in the fourth inning. Brown entered the day with one hit all season against left-handed pitchers, but doubled off Ray in his first at-bat and followed the next time up with his third home run.

Andrus added a two-run homer in the sixth, his first of the season. Andrus hit a towering fly ball that off the bat appeared to be a standard fly out but didn’t stop carrying until left-fielder Jesse Winker ran out of room at the wall.

Luis Barrera added a two-out RBI single in the ninth inning.

Ray (4-5) pitched out of trouble with key strikeouts in the second and fifth innings with runners at third base. He’s struck out at least eight in four straight starts, but is the first Seattle pitcher this season with 10 home runs allowed.

Oakland’s Paul Blackburn continued his strong start to the season despite control issues. Blackburn (5-0) allowed one hit over 5 1/3 innings before giving way to the Oakland bullpen. Blackburn’s day was cut short due to walks, giving up a career-high five, but lowered his ERA to 1.70.

Dany Jimenez was the last of four relievers pitching the ninth for his 10th save.

J.P. Crawford had Seattle’s only hit off Blackburn with a single in the second inning. Luis Torrens had a two-out RBI single in the seventh inning that scored Dylan Moore, and Ty France singled and scored on Zach Jackson’s wild pitch with two outs in the eighth.


Athletics: OF Ramon Laureano was set to make his return after getting hit on the hand last weekend against the Angles, but was a late scratch. Laureano was in the original starting lineup in right field but Oakland made a late switch and Barrera started in his place.


Athletics: RHP Frankie Montas (2-4, 3.55) will start the opener of a four-game series in Texas. Montas left his last start after 1 2/3 innings after getting hit on the hand by a line drive. Montas has lost three straight decisions.

Mariners: After a day off, Seattle opens a three-game series with Houston on Friday. RHP Chris Flexen (1-6, 4.98) will start the opener. After pitching well but getting little run support to open the season, Flexen has struggled allowing 14 earned runs in his past three starts.

Suwinski, VanMeter hit 3-run HRs, Pirates beat Rockies 10-5

PITTSBURGH (AP) Jack Suwinski doesn’t step into the batter’s box trying to hit home runs. The Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder is hitting them anyway.

The 23-year-old flipped a full-count pitch just over the rail above the Clemente Wall at PNC Park in the sixth inning on Wednesday to erase a three-run deficit, the spark the Pirates used to rally for a 10-5 victory over Colorado.

A month into a call-up from Double-A to the major leagues born out of convenience more than anything else, Suwkinski has five home runs and leads National League rookies.

“He’s got some thump, man. The kid can hit,” said Pittsburgh second baseman Josh VanMeter, whose three-run homer in the seventh gave the Pirates some breathing room. “His numbers in Double-A before he got here were stupid.”

Still, it’s a massive jump from the Eastern League to the majors, one Suwinski has navigated by trying to keep his head down. While he’s still hitting just .188 on the season, he’s found a flair for the dramatic.

The Chicago-area native homered at Wrigley Field last week in front of his family, provided a small measure of solace in a bizarre 18-4 loss to St. Louis on Sunday by drilling one off Yadier Molina – that’s not a typo – and turned what looked like Pittsburgh’s fifth loss during a six-game homestand into its 10th comeback win on the season with one swing.

“It’s definitely been a pretty crazy month, that’s for sure,” Suwinski said. “It’s been great though, just the adjustment and learning and a lot of time to talk to some of the guys that are here and being able to learn from them.”

Suwinski’s learned so much that his No. 65 – a number typically reserved for relief pitchers or September call-ups – might be sticking around for a while. He showcased his maturity while stepping into the box against Colorado reliever Carlos Estevez with two on in the sixth.

The nine-pitch battle ended with Suwinski sending a 97 mph fastball just over the seats to set the stage for Pittsburgh’s biggest offensive outburst of the season.

“This kid doesn’t get rattled very easily,” Pirates manager Derek Shelton said. “It was nice to see him get rewarded with the fruits of his labor.”

Ben Gamel gave the Pirates their first lead in the seventh with an RBI single off Justin Lawrence (1-1) and VanMeter followed two batters later with his third home run of the year as Pittsburgh posted a season high in runs.

“You know, I think we’ve got a lot of good hitters,” VanMeter said. “I (just) think we have a lot of unproven hitters. You know, that’s just kind of like the nature of the beast.”

Dylan Peters (4-2) retired the last two batters in the seventh for the victory.

C.J. Cron hit his 12th home run for the Rockies to pull him into a tie for the National League lead with Los Angeles Dodgers star Mookie Betts. Randal Grichuk went 2 for 4 with a double and three RBIs for Colorado, which has lost 13 of 18 following a 15-10 start.


Rockies starter Ryan Feltner pitched five solid innings, allowing two runs, three hits and two walks and seven strikeouts. Feltner’s bid for his first major-league victory disappeared when the bullpen struggled to Pittsburgh’s scuffling offense in check.

Still, Colorado manager Bud Black was pleased with what he saw from the team’s fourth-round pick in the 2018 amateur draft, particuarly after getting knocked around a bit in his previous start this season, a loss to Philadelphia last month.

“He’s still finding his way, he is,” Black said. “There’s a learning curve here. A minor-league game is really different from a major-league game. But he has a good head on his shoulders and I think he’s going to be fine in the long run.”


ROCKIES: Placed OF Kris Bryant on the 10-day injured list retroactive to Monday with back soreness. This is Bryant’s second stint on the IL this season due to back issues. He missed nearly a month after initially tweaking the back in late April. He returned for two games against the New York Mets last weekend before behind held out of the lineup on for the first two games in Pittsburgh as a precaution.

Pirates: OF Jake Marisnick (thumb surgery) appears to be ahead of schedule in his rehab. Marisnick was cleared to resume baseball activities on Monday. … SS Kevin Newman (groin) hit a setback with his left hamstring while on a rehab assignment at Triple-A Indianapolis. There is no timetable for Newman’s return.


Rockies: Begin a four-game series against the Nationals in Washington on Thursday.

Pirates: Head west for a six-game trip that starts on Friday in San Diego.

Longoria, Giants tee off on Mets rookie Szapucki in 9-3 rout

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Evan Longoria homered twice and Joc Pederson hit his fourth in two games as the San Francisco Giants went deep four times in the first two innings off rookie Thomas Szapucki and routed the New York Mets 9-3 Wednesday.

Mike Yastrzemski also homered off Szapucki, a 25-year-old left-hander making his first major league start and second appearance after the Mets summoned him from the minors due to a string of injuries.

New York lost two of three in San Francisco, the Mets’ second series loss in their first 14 series this season. New York had won its previous 14 games following a loss, the third-longest such streak in major league history behind the 1934 New York Giants (16) and 1911 Philadelphia Athletics (15).

The Mets also lost consecutive games for the first time since April 10 and 11. New York overcame an 8-2 deficit Tuesday to take leads of 11-8 and 12-11 before losing 13-12. That was the Mets’ first loss in the 181 games in their history in which they scored 12 runs or more.

Szapucki, who had been at Triple-A Syracuse, got the start because of injuries to Jacob deGrom, Max Scherzer and Tylor Megill. Szapucki allowed nine runs, seven hits and three walks in 1 1/3 innings, leaving him with a 60.75 ERA this season and a 27.00 ERA in his career. His only previous big league appearance was last June 30, when he gave up six runs and seven hits over 3 2/3 innings during a relief appearance in a 20-2 loss at Atlanta.

Following Chris Bassitt’s poor outing Tuesday, Mets pitchers allowed eight runs in consecutive games for the fourth time after Jonathan Niese and Bartolo Colon in 2015, Dillon Gee and Niese in 2011 and Rick Reed, Al Leiter and Bobby J. Jones in 1999.

Mets left fielder Jeff McNeil, slid face first into the low fence in left field foul territory after catching Donovan Walton’s third-inning fly. McNeil bruised his left knee when hitting the wall, left for a pinch hitter in the fourth and said he anticipates playing Friday.

Longoria, limited this season by a right hand injury, had four RBIs with his first two home runs of the season. He put the Giants ahead with a three-run homer in the first and followed Yastrzemski in the second with the Giants’ second back-to-back homers this year, boosting the lead to 9-0.

Former Met Wilmer Flores had an RBI double in the second, driving in the Giants’ only run that didn’t score on a homer.

Pederson, who hit three homers and had eight RBIs on Tuesday, made it 5-0 in the second with his 11th home run this season. Pederson was given a rare start against a left-hander.

“That was just strictly self-preservation on my part,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler said before the game. “I’m all good with trying to get the platoon advantage wherever possible but I also want to survive the day.”

Jakob Junis (2-1) gave up two runs and three hits in six innings, throwing just 16 fastballs among 86 pitches.

Francisco Lindor doubled and homered off Junis. He is 20 for 39 (.513) against him with six home runs.

San Francisco’s Darin Ruf struck out four times – all in the first six innings


The Mets’ Aug. 7 home game against Atlanta was moved from 1:40 p.m. to 4:10 p.m. after a game against the Braves postponed by the lockout was rescheduled as part of a day-night doubleheader on Aug. 6.


Mets: Optioned RHP Steve Nogosek to Triple-A Syracuse to open a roster spot for Szapucki, who was recalled from the Triple-A farm team. New York acquired OF Daniel Johnson from Cleveland for cash and assigned him to Syracuse.


Giants: Walton was recalled from Triple-A Sacramento to give Brandon Crawford a day off. Walton went 1 for 3.


Mets: RHP Carlos Carrasco (4-1, 3.50) starts Friday night’s homestand opener against Philadelphia.

Giants: LHP Carlos Rodon (4-3, 3.43) is to be on the mound Friday at Cincinanti for the start of a 10-game trip.

Nationals end skid against Dodgers, win 1-0 in series finale

WASHINGTON (AP) Erick Fedde and three relievers combined on a six-hitter, Cesar Hernandez had an RBI single and the Washington Nationals beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 1-0 Wednesday to avoid a series sweep.

Washington snapped a nine-game skid against Los Angeles. The Nationals had not defeated the Dodgers since Game 5 of the NL Division Series in 2019.

Tanner Rainey stranded two in the ninth inning for his fourth save in six tries, getting fly balls from Cody Bellinger and Will Smith to end it. It was Rainey’s first save since April 19.

“The ball was hit a little bit harder than I was hoping for,” Rainey said of the final out. “But when I saw (Juan) Soto running back and saw him turn around and camp under it a little bit, there was a lot of relief there.”

Los Angeles lost for only the second time in 11 games, but the Dodgers still own the best record in the National League at 29-14. Los Angeles, which had outscored Washington 19-5 in the first two games of the series, was shut out in the regular season for the first time since Aug. 29.

NL home run leader Mookie Betts was out of the lineup for a planned day off, but he struck out as a pinch hitter to lead off the eighth. That snapped Betts’ 12-game streak with a run scored, which was tied with Rafael Furcal (2010) for the Dodgers’ longest such stretch since they moved to Los Angeles and trailed only Zack Wheat’s 13-game run in 1925 in franchise history.

“We talked about an off day and I wanted to stay true to that,” Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts said. “I do believe in the shorter- and the longer-term, he’s going to stay healthy and it’s going to allow him to be more productive the rest of the way.”

Fedde (3-3) pitched six innings, allowing four hits and a walk while striking out six. Carl Edwards Jr. pitched the seventh, Kyle Finnegan escaped a two-on, one-out jam in the eighth and Rainey did the same in the ninth.

“It’s great when you can hand the ball over and watch three more zeroes go up on the board and hold the lead,” Fedde said. “We haven’t had a lot of opportunities to do that this year.”

The Nationals manufactured a run in the sixth off Julio Urias when Victor Robles walked, Alcides Escobar followed with a bunt single and Hernandez singled to left to bring in Robles.

Urias (3-4) allowed a run and four hits in six innings, striking out three. He lost for the third time in four starts.

Los Angeles shortstop Trea Turner extended his hitting streak to 17 games with an eighth-inning single.


Dodgers: Bellinger (illness) was out of the lineup for the second day in a row but pinch hit in the seventh and remained in the game in center. … LHP Andrew Heaney (shoulder) will throw another bullpen Thursday in Arizona.

Nationals: RHP Joe Ross felt tightness in his elbow during a rehabilitation start Tuesday at Double-A Harrisburg and will have an MRI. Ross, who is recovering from surgery to remove a bone spur in his right elbow, threw three shutout innings. “It’s concerning, because it’s his elbow again,” manager Dave Martinez said. “But I don’t want to jump to any conclusions.” … INF Ehire Adrianza (quad strain) was 1 for 4 with a run Wednesday in his second rehab game at Harrisburg.


Roberts spent much of his pregame media session discussing Wednesday’s school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, that left 19 children and two teachers dead.

“I’m just more sickened by it and I’m still trying to put my thoughts together in some sense of trying to rationalize it, because I can’t,” he said.


Dodgers: RHP Mitch White (1-0, 6.17 ERA), who earned a win in relief May 17 against the Diamondbacks, makes his second start of the season as Los Angeles begins a four-game series at Arizona.

Nationals: LHP Patrick Corbin (0-7, 6.60), who gave up five runs in eight innings at Colorado on May 4, faces the Rockies again Thursday in the opener of a four-game series as Washington’s homestand continues.

Tellez, Brewers beat Darvish, Padres 2-1 to take 2 of 3

SAN DIEGO (AP) Rowdy Tellez doubled off Yu Darvish to bring in the tying run in the seventh inning and Tyrone Taylor followed with a sacrifice fly for the Milwaukee Brewers, who beat the San Diego Padres 2-1 Wednesday to take two of three.

Darvish (4-2) was brilliant in holding Milwaukee to one hit through six innings, but the Brewers finally broke through in the seventh with two hits, a walk and the sacrifice fly.

Former Padres player Luis Urias drew a leadoff walk and took third on Andrew McCutchen’s single, sliding headfirst and touching the base just ahead of Manny Machado’s tag. The Padres challenged, but the play was upheld. Tellez then doubled and Taylor hit his sac fly to chase Darvish.

That outburst made a winner of former Padres pitcher Luis Perdomo (1-0) and got left-hander Aaron Ashby off the hook for what would have been a loss against one of his uncle’s former teams. Devin Williams pitched the ninth for his fourth save.

The Padres scratched out an unearned run against Ashby, whose uncle, Andy, watched from the second row near the Padres dugout and stood and applauded when his nephew was removed with two outs in the sixth. Andy Ashby pitched for the Padres from 1993-99 and again briefly in 2004.

Aaron Ashby allowed four hits while striking out five and walking three.

Austin Nola walked leading off the fifth and Jake Cronenworth hit a one-out single. Third baseman Jace Peterson booted Manny Machado’s grounder for an error to load the bases, and Jurickson Profar’s grounder brought in Nola.

Darvish allowed two runs and three hits in 6 2/3 innings, struck out seven and walked two.


Brewers second baseman Kolten Wong made a brilliant play on Machado’s grounder in the seventh. He dove to his right to snag the ball and in the same motion flipped it with his glove back to Urias, the shortstop, to force Cronenworth.


Brewers: LHP Eric Lauer (4-1, 2.16) is scheduled to start Thursday night in the opener of a four-game series at St. Louis, which will counter with RHP Adam Wainwright (5-3, 2.87).

Padres: LHP Sean Manaea (2-3, 4.04) is scheduled to start Friday night in the opener of a three-game series against Pittsburgh, which is set to go with Jose Quintana (1-2, 2.43).

Sears wins 1st MLB start, depleted Yanks blank Orioles 2-0

NEW YORK (AP) All of a sudden, some of the biggest stars on the New York Yankees are absent.

Their lesser-known replacements are ready to keep the engine humming.

JP Sears pitched five poised innings to win his first career start and the no-name relievers left in New York’s banged-up bullpen finished a five-hitter as the Yankees blanked the Baltimore Orioles 2-0 on Wednesday night.

“It’s been a tough couple of days for us, just some people going down and things,” New York manager Aaron Boone said. “Really excited to see those guys step in and play a key role and help us get another series victory.”

Aaron Judge doubled and scored on a single by Miguel Andujar – his first RBI in the big leagues this season. Andujar was recalled from the minors Monday when Josh Donaldson went on the COVID-19 injured list.

New York added a second run in the fourth on a wild throw by rookie catcher Adley Rutschman. Gleyber Torres scored from third when the top-rated prospect, called up last weekend, committed his first error in the majors trying to nab Andujar stealing second.

Fill-in closer Clay Holmes struck out Jorge Mateo with runners at the corners to end it.

“Lot of guys, young guys stepping up right now, which is awesome to see,” Holmes said.

Before the game, the ailing Yankees placed slugger Giancarlo Stanton (right ankle inflammation) and reliever Jonathan Loaisiga (right shoulder inflammation) on the injured list. The team has lost eight mostly prominent players to injuries or COVID-19 protocols in recent days.

But still, New York shut down the struggling Orioles on Star Wars night at Yankee Stadium to win a second consecutive game following its first three-game slide of the year. Judge and the Yankees took two of three in the series and boast the best record in baseball at 31-13 heading into their first matchup this season with AL East rival Tampa Bay.

Sears (2-0) worked around a leadoff walk and an error in the first inning, then pitched out of trouble again in the second. The 26-year-old lefty, recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre before the game, allowed three hits and two walks while striking out five in a spot start after last Friday’s rainout forced a doubleheader Sunday.

“I definitely felt more comfortable as I went,” Sears said. “The stuff was sharper each inning I was out there.”

With his parents and girlfriend cheering from the stands, Sears averaged 93.7 mph with his fastball and mixed 55 heaters and 24 sliders with five changeups. He threw just four pitches in a 1-2-3 fourth.

“It was awesome. I had my family here and 15 friends,” said Sears, optioned back to Triple-A after the game. “I got to see them all and it makes it even better because they were here and I look forward to the next one, whenever that is.”

Rookie right-hander Ron Marinaccio struck out three in two perfect innings. Lucas Luetge got two outs in the eighth and Miguel Castro fanned Austin Hays with a runner on to end the inning.

Holmes, subbing for injured All-Star closer Aroldis Chapman, gave up two hits in the ninth before securing his fifth save. Holmes threw 14 of 15 pitches for strikes and extended his scoreless streak to 23 innings.

“You’re seeing a really complete and polished stud,” Boone said.

New York’s normally imposing bullpen is also missing injured setup men Chad Green and Zack Britton.

“In the meantime, we’re going to have to have guys step up and I think we realize that and we look forward to the challenge,” Holmes said. “I think we’ve pushed each other and we make each other better, and it’s fun to see guys come through.”


Orioles starter Tyler Wells (1-4) permitted two runs and five hits in five innings without a walk.

“His stuff was good,” said Rutschman, who had two hits. “He was able to locate his pitches, move his fastball around. I think he looked really good.”

Wells got help from right fielder Anthony Santander, who saved a run with a diving grab to rob Judge of a hit in the fifth.


Orioles: LHP Alexander Wells (elbow inflammation) was transferred to the 60-day injured list when Baltimore claimed RHP Chris Vallimont off waivers from the Minnesota Twins. Vallimont was optioned to Double-A Bowie.

Yankees: Joey Gallo was reinstated from the COVID-19 injured list and started at DH. Donaldson remained on the COVID-19 list, and All-Star infielder DJ LeMahieu sat out for the second consecutive night because of left wrist discomfort. LeMahieu was feeling better after a cortisone shot Tuesday and the team hopes to have him back in a day or two.


After the game, the Yankees also optioned OF Estevan Florial back to Triple-A. LHP Manny Banuelos was in the clubhouse ready to go on the road trip as a member of the taxi squad.


Orioles: Following an off day, Baltimore begins a five-game series at Fenway Park on Friday night. RHP Kyle Bradish (1-3, 5.74 ERA) is scheduled to make his sixth career start – and second against Boston.

Yankees: Open a four-game series Thursday night at Tampa Bay with LHP Nestor Cortes (3-1, 1.80 ERA) on the mound. Tampa Bay went 11-8 against the Yankees last year, outscoring them 98-50 on the way to its second consecutive division title.

Back soreness sends Rockies OF Kris Bryant back to IL

PITTSBURGH (AP) Colorado Rockies outfielder Kris Bryant’s balky back has him on the injured list for the second time this season.

The Rockies placed Bryant on the 10-day injured list Wednesday. The move is retroactive to Monday, when Colorado initially held Bryant out of the lineup with what the club called back soreness. Bryant sat out Tuesday’s extra-inning victory over the Pirates and with symptoms lingering, put him on the IL.

Bryant, signed to a seven-year, $182-million deal with Colorado in March, spent nearly a month on the injured list after initially tweaking the back in late April.

He returned to the lineup last weekend against the New York Mets before complaining of soreness.

Bryant is hitting .270 with no home runs and four RBIs in 17 games this season for Colorado.

The Rockies called up right-handed pitcher Ryan Feltner from Triple-A Albuquerque on Wednesday to take Bryant’s roster spot and gave Feltner his fourth career start as they wrapped up a three-game set in Pittsburgh.

Watson on field with Browns as legal storm swirls around QB

BEREA, Ohio (AP) Deshaun Watson was impossible to miss in his orange jersey, pants and helmet – the one with “Watson” taped on the front just in case anyone wasn’t sure.

As he showed off his right arm with tight spirals, engaged in friendly trash talk, smiled and laughed while interacting with new teammates, the Browns quarterback didn’t look a bit distracted by the storm swirling around him.

Hours after two of the massage therapists accusing him of sexual misconduct gave graphic descriptions to a national TV audience of sessions they say scarred them, Watson continued a career that could still be put on hold.

Watson, who signed a fully-guaranteed $230 million contract with Cleveland in March, practiced on Wednesday as the NFL moved closer to ending an independent investigation into whether he violated its personal-conduct policy.

The 26-year-old Watson didn’t speak to reporters, but did make a brief appearance in front of the media following the workout to present linebacker Anthony Walker Jr. with a gift – presumably for giving up No. 4 to accommodate the QB.

“Appreciate you,” Watson told Walker.

“Appreciate that,” Walker said, placing a small, square box with the Rolex logo at his feet while opting not to open it in public.

It’s been another eventful 24 hours for Watson and the Browns, who have received some criticism for signing the three-time Pro Bowler to the richest contract in league history while he’s engulfed in legal issues.

On Tuesday night, Ashley Solis and Kyla Hayes, two of the 22 women fighting Watson with civil lawsuits alleging he sexually assaulted or harassed them while he played for Houston, appeared on HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” to recount their experiences with him.

Their emotional and at times disturbing stories personalized the matter for many people. Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said he didn’t watch the episode.

“I read about it,” Stefanski said when asked why he chose not to view it. “We did a lot of work on that as we’ve talked about. We did a lot of work on Deshaun the person and there’s legal proceedings ongoing. There’s an investigation ongoing, so I won’t comment much further than that.

“We understand with respect to that, it’s something that we’re going to be dealing with as these proceedings go on.”

Until the league renders a decision whether to suspend Watson, or the sides come to a monetary settlement, his tangled situation will hover over the Browns. On Tuesday, Commissioner Roger Goodell said the league is “nearing the end” of its investigation but gave no timetable for a decision on possible discipline for Watson, who could be facing a multi-game suspension.

And while it would be understandable if Watson let the scrutiny or constant attention affect him, his teammates say the opposite has been true.

“He does a good job coming in every day and leaving outside, outside and coming in and focusing on football while he’s here,” said Walker, who played against Watson twice a season when he was with Indianapolis. “I can’t speak on anything else, but I know when he’s here, he’s locked in and happy to be back on the field, and we’re happy to have him as our quarterback.

“He’s confident, looks good throwing the ball, and I know what he does on game day.”

Watson has been slowly building bonds and trust with the Browns. Last week, he treated more than two dozen offensive teammates to a trip to the Bahamas.

Running back Nick Chubb has been impressed with how quickly Watson has taken control.

“He’s a great guy to be around,” Chubb said. “We all love him. He’s a natural leader. He’s been here since OTAs started. He took his own trip. I think those things bring in trust and bonding for our team.”

Like many of his teammates, second-year cornerback Greg Newsome II is still getting to know Watson. Newsome was asked if Watson has addressed his ongoing legal situation with the team.

“Nah,” Newsome said, “and I don’t think that’s any of our business. His job in here is to play football and when he comes in here his job is football, not to tell us about his personal matters. He leaves those outside.”

NOTES: All-Pro DE Myles Garrett and Pro Bowl G Joel Bitonio were among the few players not attending the voluntary workouts. … Following practice, a few Browns played “knockout” on a portable basketball hoop Stefanski once had at his home in Minnesota. “Just to watch these guys compete, it’s just such a pillar of what we are trying to do here,” Stefanski said.

NFL to appeal ruling in Gruden lawsuit over leaked emails

LAS VEGAS (AP) The NFL said Wednesday it will appeal a ruling denying a request to move former Las Vegas Raiders coach Jon Gruden’s lawsuit against the league from a public courtroom into closed-door arbitration. Gruden’s lawsuit accuses the NFL of leaking his racist, sexist and homophobic emails to force him to resign last October.

“Neither the NFL nor the Commissioner (Roger Goodell) leaked Coach Gruden’s offensive emails,” the league said in a statement issued after Clark County District Court Judge Nancy Allf rejected league bids to dismiss Gruden’s claim outright or to order out-of-court talks that could be overseen by Goodell.

The judge pointed to Gruden’s allegation that the league intentionally leaked only his documents. She said that could show evidence of “specific intent,” or an act designed to cause a particular result.

The judge’s ruling in the case that Gruden filed last November marked the first public skirmish in what could become a long legal battle pitting the coach who departed the Raiders with more than six seasons remaining on his record 10-year, $100 million contract against Goodell.

Attorneys for both sides declined to comment following a 90-minute hearing before Allf.

Gruden emerged from the courtroom declaring “Go Raiders” and told reporters as he walked to an elevator that he was “just going to let the process take care of itself.”

Goodell did not attend the hearing. The civil case alleges contract interference and conspiracy by the league and seeks monetary damages for Gruden.

“The court’s denial of our motion to dismiss is not a determination on the merits of Coach Gruden’s lawsuit,” said the NFL statement provided by spokesman Brian McCarthy.

The NFL has a responsibility to act, league attorney Kannon Shanmugam argued in court, in cases involving “conduct detrimental to the best interest of the league or professional football.”

Gruden attorney Adam Hosmer-Henner told the judge that putting the case in the hands of Goodell, a named defendant in the lawsuit, would pose an “unconscionable” conflict-of-interest.

Hosmer-Henner said also that Gruden’s contract with the Raiders – including a clause requiring arbitration to resolve disputes – became void when he resigned. Gruden had no contract with the league, the attorney said.

Gruden accuses the NFL and Goodell of destroying his career and scuttling endorsement contracts by releasing emails that no one disputes Gruden sent – and that Shanmugam told the judge contained “racist, misogynistic and homophobic” language unfit for repetition in a public courtroom. Some also reportedly derided Goodell.

Attorneys said the electronic messages came from among some 650,000 obtained by the league almost a year ago during a probe of the workplace culture of the Washington NFL franchise now called the Commanders.

The messages were reportedly sent from 2011 to 2018 by Gruden to several people including former Washington team owner Bruce Allen while Gruden was an announcer at ESPN.

Gruden coached in the NFL from 1990 to 2008, including head coaching stints with the Oakland Raiders and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He was hired by the Raiders again in 2018, the team’s first year in Las Vegas.

Hosmer-Henner did not challenge the validity and content of the emails. But he complained that neither Gruden’s lawyers nor the judge had seen the actual messages, and the public only heard accounts about them in the media.

“What is going to be an issue is (the league) … leaking those emails to the press, selectively, and then demanding that Mr. Gruden be fired by the Raiders,” the attorney said.

Gruden coached the Raiders on Oct. 10, two days after the Wall Street Journal reported he had used a racist term to describe NFL union chief DeMaurice Smith. Gruden resigned the following day, shortly after The New York Times revealed additional offensive emails.

“They pressured the Raiders to fire him,” Hosmer-Henner told the judge. “And when the Raiders didn’t, and he coached through that weekend, (the league) continued to threaten that more documents would be leaked.”

Raiders owner Mark Davis said in late October that the team reached a settlement with Gruden over the final six-plus years of his contract. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

No Lamar Jackson at voluntary Ravens practice

OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) Practice this week for the Baltimore Ravens looked a bit like it did at the end of last season.

Several significant absences – including quarterback Lamar Jackson.

Wednesday was the first day reporters were invited to observe one of the Ravens’ organized team activities. Jackson wasn’t there, and although OTAs are voluntary, when the franchise quarterback isn’t around, it’s at the very least noteworthy.

“It’s not for me to speak for somebody else on that,” coach John Harbaugh said. “It’s up to him to speak for himself.”

In other words, there would be no public reaction from the head coach about Jackson’s absence. On Tuesday, Jackson retweeted a Ravens tweet about the first day of OTAs, saying he couldn’t wait to get back.

“I think as long as guys are working, no matter where they are, I think that’s the biggest key,” cornerback Marlon Humphrey said. “I spoke with Lamar early in the offseason. He said he’ll be coming in, so we’ll look real excited to get him out here.”

The Ravens will also hold OTAs open to the media each of the next two Wednesdays, followed by mandatory minicamp June 14-16.

Jackson missed the last four games last season because of ankle problems. Baltimore dropped six in a row to finish 8-9. Injuries were a constant problem; Humphrey missed the last four games as well with a torn pectoral muscle.

After last season, Harbaugh said the team couldn’t afford to write off all those injuries as a fluke. Instead, the Ravens would look at ways to prevent that from happening again.

“I think they’re making an effort to do certain things – make extra warmups, stretch more, just the schedule throughout the day,” tight end Mark Andrews said. “Just being mindful of how we’re feeling, where we’re at in the year. There’s a long season ahead, there’s a long year ahead.”

The Ravens were without cornerback Marcus Peters and running backs J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards all of last season because of knee injuries. They weren’t at practice Wednesday. Humphrey, however, was back, much to Harbaugh’s delight.

“It’s a big deal. I’d sit up here and try to play it cool on that, but it wouldn’t be real,” Harbaugh said. “It’s exciting to see Marlon out there. He’s practicing, he’s been going full speed for quite a while now. Marcus is in great shape, he’s coming along really well. We’ve seen him, he’s been back in the building rehabbing, so excited to see him in training camp.”

The spotlight will remain on Jackson, however, whether he’s at practice or not. He’s entering this coming season on his fifth-year option and hasn’t signed an extension. Baltimore also traded its top receiver from last year, Marquise Brown, at Brown’s request.

Jackson showed last season he still has MVP potential. He was on pace to surpass his career high for yards passing if not for his injury. But he also set a career high for interceptions.

Whenever Jackson does arrive to practice with the Ravens, his presence will clearly be welcome.

“I’ve talked with him. I know how hard he’s working. He’s extremely motivated, extremely hungry, so there’s no worries over there,” Andrews said. “I know what he’s doing. We’re all working to do our job here, and getting ready for him.”

Steelers stay in-house, tab Omar Khan as new general manager

PITTSBURGH (AP) The Pittsburgh Steelers stayed in-house to find Kevin Colbert’s replacement, promoting longtime executive Omar Khan to be the team’s next general manager on Wednesday.

Khan signed a four-year deal to succeed Colbert, who is retiring at the end of the month following a hugely successful run that included two Super Bowl victories and an appearance in a third.

The 45-year-old Khan has spent more than two decades with the Steelers, joining the club in 2001 as a football operations coordinator. He’s served in several different capacities for the team throughout his tenure, most recently as vice president of football and business administration, which required him to be heavily involved in helping the club navigate its always tenuous salary cap situation.

“Omar has been an integral part of our Football Operations Department during his 21 years with the team and that experience will serve him well in his new position,” Steelers president Art Rooney II said in a statement.

Khan takes over a club in transition following quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s retirement in January and the wildly popular Colbert’s decision to step away, although he has hinted at staying on in some unofficial capacity with the club.

One of Colbert’s final moves was to select quarterback Kenny Pickett with the 20th overall pick in last month’s draft. There are other pieces in place, namely reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year T.J. Watt, who signed a long-term deal last summer.

The Steelers are coming off a 9-7-1 season that ended with a blowout loss to Kansas City in the opening round of the playoffs.

Khan beat out a field that included Steelers scouting director Brandon Hunt, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vice president of player personnel John Spytek, former Buffalo Bills general manager Doug Whaley and Tennessee Titans vice president of player personnel Ryan Cowden.

Philadelphia Eagles vice president of player personnel Andy Weidl, who is a native of the Pittsburgh suburbs, also interviewed for the job. Weidl is expected to join Khan’s staff in Pittsburgh.

“I am ready for this challenge and grateful to continue the success we have had on the field during my first 21 years,” Khan said in a statement. “I look forward to completing our football operations staff and working tirelessly to build another championship football team for Steelers Nation and our community.”

Nadal gets 300th Grand Slam match win

Rafael Nadal reached 300 career Grand Slam match victories by beating Corentin Moutet 6-3, 6-1, 6-4 in the second round at Roland Garros.

The only real blip for 13-time French Open champion Nadal on Wednesday night in Court Philippe Chatrier came near the end, when he was broken by the 139th-ranked Frenchman while serving for the match at 5-3.

But Nadal broke right back to improve to 107-3 at Roland Garros.

Only Roger Federer, with 369, and Novak Djokovic, who collected his 325th earlier Wednesday, are ahead of Nadal on the men’s list for career wins at major tournaments.

Nadal has the most Grand Slam trophies for a man with 21. Federer and Djokovic both have 20.

Carlos Alcaraz saves match point to remain in French Open

PARIS (AP) This was the sort of point in the sort of contest that, if 19-year-old Carlos Alcaraz eventually reaches the heights so many believe he will, the lucky folks on hand at Court Simonne Mathieu on Wednesday night just might regale dinner guests for years with tales that begin, “We were there when … .”

Not, mind you, the match point Alcaraz saved in his second-round French Open marathon against Albert Ramos-Vinolas, a fellow Spaniard who is 15 years his elder. That one, necessary as it was, of course, to the eventual 6-1, 6-7 (7), 5-7, 7-6 (2), 6-4 outcome in the No. 6-seeded Alcaraz’s favor, was rather mundane: a three-stroke exchange that ended with Ramos-Vinolas pushing a nervous-looking forehand into the net while serving for the win at 5-4 in the fourth set.

No, instead, let’s examine what happened on a break point at 4-all in the fifth, with Alcaraz leading, Ramos-Vinolas serving, the crowd holding its breath and the stadium clock already reading 4 hours, 31 minutes. On the sixth of what would become 15 strokes, Alcaraz tried one of his feathery drop shots. Ramos-Vinolas got to it and responded by sending the ball off the baseline, forcing Alcaraz to race to his left to flick a no-look backhand lob.

Ramos-Vinolas replied with an overhead to that corner, sending Alcaraz well wide of the doubles alley for another defensive backhand lob. Vinolas-Ramos guided this one to the opposite corner, pushing Alcaraz to his forehand side, so he sprinted, then slid almost into the splits, to retrieve that one. Yet another lob produced yet another overhead, again back to Alcaraz’s left, and this time he came up with a down-the-line backhand passing shot that Ramos-Vinola volleyed into the net.

Some in the crowd were on their feet during that series of exchanges; all were by the end. Ramos-Vinola chucked his racket into the net. Alcaraz raised his arms and index fingers to the sky – a gesture for “No. 1,” a spot expected of him one day, perhaps soon – while in the stands, his coach, 2003 French Open champion Juan Carlos Ferrero, pointed to his temples. Alcaraz wouldn’t cede another point.

“It’s great that the people talk about you, think that I’m going to be No. 1 in the world, but of course it’s a little bit of pressure on me,” Alcaraz said. “But I try not to think about it.”

He had trailed by two sets to one. He had been a point from defeat. He had been down 3-0 in the fifth set. He made 74 unforced errors. He accumulated 31 break points but frittered away 23 of them. None of that mattered. On a day he was not at his best – never quite able to show off all of the shot-making that carried him to a tour-high four titles and a 30-3 record in 2022, and that earlier this month made him the first player ever to beat Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic at the same clay-court tournament – he thought and hustled his way through the finish line.

“At the end of the third set, I thought I was going to lose,” Alcaraz said. “I knew I had to change something or I would lose.”

The day also included straight-set victories for defending champion Djokovic and 13-time champion Nadal, along with a comeback from a two-set hole for No. 3 seed Alexander Zverev, who like Alcaraz needed to save a match point.

There were losses for reigning U.S. Open champion Emma Raducanu – the 19-year-old’s French Open debut ended against Aliaksandra Sasnovich with a 3-6, 6-1, 6-1 defeat – and No. 4 seed Maria Sakkari, while Olympic gold medalist Belinda Bencic beat 2019 U.S. Open champion Bianca Andreescu 6-2, 6-4. Seeded Americans Coco Gauff, Amanda Anisimova – who defeated Naomi Osaka in the first round – Sebastian Korda and John Isner advanced. So did past Grand Slam champs Angelique Kerber, Victoria Azarenka and Sloane Stephens.

Most attention, however, was on Alcaraz, just as it has been for much of 2022 as everyone searches for the Next Big Thing to supplant the Big Three in men’s tennis.

The guy some call “Carlitos” – and who refers to himself as “Charlie” – is skilled. He is tenacious. He is young; in April, in fact, he became the youngest man to break into the top 10 of the ATP rankings since Nadal did it in 2005.

This is just the sixth Grand Slam tournament for Alcaraz, whose best showing was the U.S. Open quarterfinals last September. It was the 42nd Slam for the 44th-ranked Ramos-Vinolas, who also has one quarterfinal appearance to his name.

Alcaraz improved to 18-1 on clay this season, another reason his name is in the discussion, along with Djokovic’s and Nadal’s chiefly, about who could leave Roland Garros with the title. That lone loss came at the Monte Carlo Masters last month against Korda – who happens to be Alcaraz’s next opponent.

Alcaraz said he will re-watch that match to see how to try to reverse the result. Good as he might already be, his oft-stated desire to keep improving bodes well for what might come down the road.

He called the back-and-forth struggle against Ramos-Vinolas “a lesson.”

“I need to learn from these types of matches,” Alcaraz said, “these types of situations.”


WNBA’s Fever fire Stanley, promote Knox as interim coach

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana Fever fired coach Marianne Stanley on Wednesday with the team off to a 2-7 start in her third season and promoted assistant Carlos Knox to interim coach.

Stanley, 68, brought a Hall of Fame resume to the Fever bench, but her teams won just 14 games in a little more than two seasons.

“With this new group of players, it is time for our organization to go in a different direction,” interim general manager Lin Dunn said in a statement. “This was a difficult decision, and we wish Marianne the very best in the future.”

Not much went right in Stanley’s tenure. Indiana won just six games each of the two previous seasons. This season only the 1-5 New York Liberty have fewer wins.

Stanley was in the final year of her contract. Knox was a star college player at IUPUI and played for the Indiana Pacers from 1998-99. He was named an assistant on Stanley’s staff in 2021.

Stanley has spent 45 years in coaching, including 22 years at the college level with Old Dominion, Pennsylvania, Southern California, Stanford and California. She is set to be enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Sept. 10.

“I want to thank the Simon family and the Fever organization for the opportunity to lead this team over the past 2 1/2 years,” Stanley said. “I look forward to the next chapter in my basketball journey, as well as being able to spend more time with my family.”

Indians Open Doubleheader with Dominant Offensive Victory

ST. PAUL, Minn. – A season-high 16 runs and Mason Martin’s fifth homer in a six-game span lifted the Indianapolis Indians to a Game 1 win over St. Paul in Wednesday night’s doubleheader, 16-10. The Saints emerged victorious in a back-and-forth Game 2, 5-3.

Martin drove in a season-high five RBI, and his seventh-inning shot extended his home run streak to three consecutive games. Ji-Hwan Bae and Bligh Madris each recorded a team-leading three hits in the win, with two of Madris’ knocks coming for extra bases.

Already with a 1-0 lead in Game 1 following an RBI double off the bat of Madris in the second inning, the Indians (23-20) sent 12 batters to the plate and scored eight runs on seven hits in the fourth to take a lofty 9-0 lead. Bae led off with a single and with one out, back-to-back walks loaded the bases. Four RBI singles from Indy’s next five batters – Cole Tucker, Jamie Ritchie, Hoy Park and Travis Swaggerty – plated the first five runs of the frame.

Bae then came to the plate for the second time in the inning and roped an RBI double down the right-field line to score another. Martin capped the scoring with a two-run single to plate his first of five RBI in the 7.0-inning contest.

A bases-clearing double off the bat of Jermaine Palacios with two outs in the bottom of the fourth inning capped off a four-run frame that cut into Indy’s lead, 9-4. The scoring was far from over, however, and Madris plated two with a solo home run and RBI single in the fifth and sixth innings, respectively.

The floodgates opened in the seventh for both teams, with 11 total runs scored in the frame. In the top half, back-to-back run-scoring singles by Oneil Cruz and Swaggerty with two outs extended the lead to 13-4. Martin then launched a three-run shot out to right field to cap the scoring for Indianapolis.

The Saints (17-26) sent 11 batters to the plate and scored six runs – all unearned – on three hits, two walks and two errors by Cruz in the seventh to attempt a comeback.

Jerad Eickhoff did not surrender a hit until the third inning and held the Saints scoreless until the fourth. Aaron Fletcher (W, 1-0) entered in the fifth and gave up just two hits over a pair of scoreless innings.

Five of the Indians’ runs came against Saints starter Jordan Balazovic (L, 0-2) until he was pulled with one out in the fourth inning. Four runs were charged to Tyler Viza, who recorded just one out, before Daniel Gossett entered and was charged with seven runs over 3.0 innings.

In Game 2, Indianapolis took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first on an error before St. Paul scored one run in the fourth and fifth innings to take a 2-1 lead. Bases-loaded walks to Jason Delay and Josh Bissonette in the sixth swung the game back in Indy’s favor, but a pair of home runs in the sixth – one off Cam Vieaux and one off Cristofer Melendez (L, 2-2) – lifted the Saints to their first victory of the series. Jharel Cotton (W, 1-1) closed out the game for St. Paul.

The Indians and Saints will face off again on Thursday night at 8:07 PM ET at CHS Field. RHP Osvaldo Bido (0-1, 3.64) will take the mound against RHP Mario Sanchez (2-1, 4.63)

NCAA East Preliminary Round Day Two Start Time Moved Up Due to Weather

BLOOMINGTON, Ind.  – The NCAA has adjusted the 2022 East Preliminary Round schedule for Thursday, May 26 due to weather in the Bloomington area.

The women’s hammer throw and javelin will remain as scheduled. The hammer is set for 10 a.m. while they will contend the javelin at 2 p.m.

All other events will be moved up four hours.

Updated Schedule

Women’s 110m Hurdles (First Round) – 2 p.m.

Women’s 1500m (First Round) – 2:30 p.m.

Women’s 100m (First Round) – 3 p.m.

Women’s 400m (First Round) – 3:25 p.m.

Women’s 800m (First Round) – 3:50 p.m.

Women’s 400m Hurdles (First Round) – 4:20 p.m.

Women’s 200m (First Round) – 4:45 p.m.

Women’s 10000m (First Round) – 5:10 p.m.

Women’s Hammer Throw (First Round) – 10 a.m.

Women’s Javelin (First Round) – 2 p.m.

Women’s Long Jump (First Round) – 2 p.m.

Women’s Pole Vault (First Round) – 2:30 p.m.

Women’s Shot Put (First Round) – 5 p.m.

Holt, Drees Named Second Team All-BIG EAST

NEW YORK – Travis Holt and Derek Drees were selected to the 2022 All-BIG EAST Second Team on Wednesday afternoon. Holt earned the recognition as a shortstop and Drees earned the honor as a weapon out of the Butler bullpen.

Holt led Butler in hits (71), doubles (13), total bases (99) and stolen bases (20) in 2022. He hit .309 overall and .298 in BIG EAST contests. A starter in all 56 games, Holt had 23 multi-hit games as a graduate student and recorded multiple RBI’s in a single-game on four occasions. He scored 37 runs, drove in 21 runs and hit his fifth and final home run of the year to help the Bulldogs defeat the Pirates on May 21.

Holt hit home runs in back-to-back games in mid-March to collect his first two round trippers of the season. His first homer was recorded at Bulldog Park in the final game of a series against Western Illinois. The next day, Holt would hit another at Illinois. 18 extra base hits helped him post a .430 slugging percentage. Holt also walked 22 times to bump his on-base percentage to .377.

As a shortstop, Holt was great for Butler defensively. He held a .948 fielding percentage during the regular season and only committed one error over 21 BIG EAST games (.989). For the season, Holt made 76 puts outs while assisting on 145 outs.

The Bulldogs were at their best defensively with Drees on the mound. The redshirt senior appeared in 17 games, making two starts. He posted a 4-3 record with a 1.27 ERA. Drees came out of the bullpen to record a team-high four saves for BU. Opponents only hit .205 against him.

Drees recorded 46 strikeouts over 35.1 innings of action. He limited the opposition to just five earned runs! In BIG EAST action, Drees recorded three wins and held a 1.80 ERA. He struck out 21 batters over 20 full innings of work.

Saves for Drees came at Jackson State, vs. Western Illinois, vs. Eastern Michigan and vs. Eastern Illinois. He made starts at St. John’s and at home vs. UConn and recorded wins against Northwestern, Villanova, Georgetown and Seton Hall.

The redshirt senior struck out a season-high eight batters at Bulldog Park on April 15 against Georgetown. He threw a season-high 85 pitches that day, covering a season-high five innings of action.

2022 BIG EAST Baseball Regular Season Awards

Co-Players of the Year

Luke Franzoni, Xavier, Sr., 1B

Alan Roden, Creighton, So., 1B

Pitcher of the Year

Dylan Tebrake, Creighton, Jr., RHP

Freshman of the Year

Owen Carapellotti, Georgetown, Fr., C ^

Coaching Staff of the Year

Georgetown, Head coach Edwin Thompson

All-BIG EAST First Team

^ Austin Peterson, UConn, R-Jr., SP

^ Dylan Tebrake, Creighton, Jr., SP

^ Nolan McCarthy, Georgetown, Grad, SP

Pat Gallagher, UConn, R-So., SP

Jack Lynch, Xavier, Jr., RP

Matt Donlan, UConn, R-Jr., C

Luke Franzoni, Xavier, Sr., 1B

Ethan Stern, Georgetown, Grad, 2B

Kevin Michaels, St. John’s, R-So., SS

Jared Cushing, Xavier, Jr. 3B

Korey Morton, UConn, So., DH

^ Erik Stock, UConn, Sr., OF

^ Jared Wegner, Creighton, Jr., OF

Chris Rotondo, Villanova, Sr., OF

All-BIG EAST Second Team

Alan Roden, Creighton, So., 1B

Jake Hyde, Georgetown, So., OF

Travis Holt, Butler, Grad, SS

Casey Dana, UConn, Grad, OF

Tommy Steier, Creighton, Jr. RP

David Smith, UConn, So., 2B

Andrew Meggs, Creighton, Jr., 2B

Jeff Holtz, Xavier, Sr., DH

Derek Drees, Butler, R-Sr., SP

Enzo Stefanoni, UConn, Grad, SP

Tate Ballestero, St. John’s, R-So., 3B

Joey Castellanos, Villanova, Sr., 3B

Tyler Arella, Villanova, Sr., SP

Jack Housinger, Xavier, Sr., SS

^ denotes unanimous selection


CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The No. 4 seed Notre Dame baseball team begins the 2022 ACC Championship on Thursday for their first day of pool play from Truist Field in Charlotte. The Irish are set to face the No. 9 seed Florida State Seminoles on Thursday at 3 p.m. ET. The matchup against the Seminoles will be available on ESPN3 in the South Bend Area and on Bally Sports Channels regionally. The Irish conclude pool play with the No. 5 seed Virginia on Friday at 11 a.m. ET. That game will be aired on Bally Sports Channels and available locally in the South Bend Area on Marquee Sports Network.


.736        The Irish are 78-28 (.736) since the start of the 2020 season. That winning percentage ranks fourth in the NCAA over the past three seasons, trailing Tennessee, Arkansas and UC Santa Barbara.

.981        Notre Dame is 10th in the NCAA and first in the ACC in fielding percentage with a .981 mark this season. The Irish have committed 33 errors in 1,232 putout opportunities this season.

1              The Irish swept #5 Florida State on the road from April 1-3 (2-0 (12), 5-4, 9-7). It was the first time the Irish have swept a Top-5 team on the road in program history.

1.27        Notre Dame is 14th in the NCAA and second in the ACC with a 1.27 WHIP this season. They have surrendered 343 hits and 177 walks in 410.2 innings pitched.

3              Heading into the conference tournament, Notre Dame ranks in the top-25 in scoring (25th), ERA (21st) and Fielding Percentage (10th). They are one of three teams nationally that rank in the top-25 in all three categories (Tennessee & Virginia Tech).

4.03        The Irish rank 21st nationally and are second in the ACC in team ERA with 4.03. They have given up 184 earned runs in 410.2 innings this season.

6              The Irish are one of six teams nationally to be ranked in every D1Baseball poll this season. They are the only ACC team that has been ranked in every poll this year.

7.52        The Irish are eighth in the NCAA and first in the ACC with 7.52 hits allowed per nine innings. They have given up 343 hits in 410.2 innings pitched this season.

10.9        The Irish rank fifth in the NCAA and second in the ACC in strikeouts per nine innings with 10.9. The Irish pitching staff has struck out 496 batters in 410.2 innings this season.

11           The Irish scored 11 runs in the sixth inning against Boston College, the most in a single inning this season. It was the most runs in an inning since April 24, 2021, when the Irish scored 12 runs in the eighth inning against Boston College.

12.0        John Michael Bertrand (7.2 IP), Ryan McLinskey (1.2 IP), Aidan Tyrell (1.0) and Alex Rao (1.2 IP) combined to shutout #5 Florida State in 12.0 innings in the 2-0 Irish win on April 1. It was the first time in program history that the Seminoles had been shutout in an extra inning game.

12           John Michael Bertrand set a career high with 12 strikeouts against #5 Florida State on April 1. It was the most strikeouts in a game for an Irish pitcher since Cameron Brown struck out 12 against Florida State on March 23, 2019.

18           The Irish struck out 18 batters in the 2-0 win over #5 Florida State on April 1. It was the most strikeouts in a game for the Irish pitching staff since May 16, 2008, when they struck out 18 against South Florida.

22           The Irish allowed three runs or less for the 23rd time this season in the 5-0 win over No. 9 Miami on May 20. They are 23-0 this season and 49-2 overall under Jarrett in games they allow three runs or less.

42           The Irish scored 42 runs in their series sweep of Wake Forest on April 22-24. It set the program record for most runs in an ACC series since joining the conference in 2014. It was the most runs in a three-game conference series since 1993 when the Irish scored 48 runs in a sweep of Dayton when they were members of the Midwestern Collegiate Conference.

62           Outfielder Spencer Myers has 62 steals in his Irish career and ranks seventh all-time in program history for career steals. He trails Dan Bautch by six for sixth place in program history.

Irish Battle Cavaliers and Seminoles in Pool Play

The Irish earned the No. 4 seed heading into the 2022 ACC Championship, the second-straight year they have earned a top-four seed.

They lead Pool D and are joined with No. 5 Virginia and No. 9 Florida State.

The Irish did not play the Cavaliers this season but they swept a series on the road over Florida State back in April.

It was the first time in program history that the Irish swept a road series against a Top-5 team.

Last season, Notre Dame was 3-1 against Virginia as they swept the Cavaliers in Charlottesville but they fell to Virginia at the 2021 ACC Championship.

This is the sixth time the Irish have qualified for the ACC Championship and they look to advance to the semifinals for the first time in program history.

The Irish come into the tournament with a 33-13 record and finished 16-11 in ACC play.

This past week, they went 2-2 after a midweek road win over Northwestern and dropped two of three games against #9 Miami in Coral Gables.

Florida State enters the tournament with a 32-22 record and finished ACC play with a 15-15 mark.

They went 0-4 over the final week of the season after a midweek road loss to Florida and they got swept in their weekend series by North Carolina.

Virginia finished the season with a 38-15 record and were 17-13 in ACC play. They went 1-2 in their final week after dropping a series on the road against No. 10 Louisville.

The Irish are 1-1 all-time against Virginia at the ACC Championship and are 0-1 against the Seminoles in the tournament.

Bertrand and Cole Earn All-ACC Honors

The Irish had two players selected to the All-Conference teams as John Michael Bertrand was named to the first team and Ryan Cole was named to the third team.

It is the second-straight season Bertrand has earned first team All-ACC honors.

He is the first Irish pitcher to earn first team all-conference honors in back-to-back seasons since 1999-01 when Aaron Heilman did it in three-straight seasons back in the BIG EAST.

Heading into the conference tournament, Bertrand leads the Irish in wins (7), innings pitched (82.1), strikeouts (86) and ERA among starters (2.68).

He finished the regular season third in the ACC in ERA, fifth in innings pitched, sixth in wins and batting average against (.218) and seventh in strikeouts.

His strikeout and wins total for the season are already career-best marks for Bertrand.

Cole leads the team in steals (18) and ranks second in home runs (9) and hits (53).

His 18 steals ranks fourth in the ACC and is already a career-best mark for him.

Cole is the first Irish outfielder to earn all-conference honors since 2018 when Eric Gilgenbach and Matt Vierling were named to the all-conference teams.

Irish Shut Out #9 Miami

The Irish had another stellar pitching performance in the 5-0 win over #9 Miami to even the series on May 20.

Austin Temple logged his longest start against an ACC opponent after pitching 6.0 innings of scoreless work and he allowed just one hit and five strikeouts.

The one hit ties a season-best for Temple in a start. He allowed just one hit against Minnesota back in March.

Matt Bedford, Will Mercer and Alex Rao took care of the final nine outs to secure the win for the Irish. It was the first time Miami had been shut out this season.

At the plate, Notre Dame hit three home runs for the sixth time this season to supply the offense.

Jack Zyska launched his ninth home run of the season in the second, Jack Brannigan hit his seventh home run in the fifth and Jack Penney launched his second home run of the season in the eighth.

It was the third time this season the Irish have shut out an opponent and the 23rd time they have allowed three runs or less.

Among the Nation’s Best

Since the start of the 2020 season, the Irish have been one of the most consistent teams over the past three seasons.

Notre Dame is 78-28, good for a .736 winning percentage over that period.

That ranks fourth overall in the NCAA, trailing only Tennessee, Arkansas and UC Santa Barbara.

Jachec’s brilliance leads Sycamores to tournament-opening win over Valparaiso

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Matt Jachec carried a perfect game into the ninth inning, while Keegan Watson and Luis Hernandez both homered as No. 5 Indiana State topped No. 8 Valparaiso in an elimination game in the first round of the 2022 Missouri Valley Baseball Championship.

Up Next: With the win, Indiana State advances to the double-elimination portion of the bracket and will face No. 2 Evansville this evening at Hammons Field. First pitch between the Sycamores and the Purple Aces is projected to start at approximately 10:30 p.m. ET. The game will be carried live on ESPN+ and 105.5 The Legend.

Jachec (9-2) showcased why he was selected to the All-MVC First Team as the redshirt sophomore right-hander turned in arguably his most dominant performance of the 2022 season. The Hampshire, Ill. native needed just 82 pitches to get through the first eight innings, before his 83rd pitch was driven out to right field for a Jeremy Drudge single snapping the perfect game. Jachec finished the contest tying his season high with 10 strikeouts.

The Sycamores (26-20-1) turned the ball over Joey Hurth who closed out the contest getting a double play and a groundout to Randall Diaz at first base to close out the 8-0 win.

Watson and Hernandez both homered in the bottom of the fourth inning, while Josue Urdaneta scored twice to lead the Sycamores’ offense in the opening win. Urdaneta, Diaz, and Hernandez all doubles as five of ISU’s eight hits in the contest went for extra bases.

Drudge connected on Valparaiso’s (16-32) lone hit in the contest with his ninth-inning single. Colin Fields (4-7) took the loss after allowing five runs (four earned) over 4.0 innings of work.

How They Scored

Indiana State took advantage of a Valparaiso error in the bottom of the first inning and Randall Diaz made the Beacons pay with an RBI single to right field scoring Josue Urdaneta and giving ISU the 1-0 lead.

The Sycamores added four runs in the bottom of the fourth with Keegan Watson’s three-run home run clipping the right field foul pole, while Luis Hernandez drilled a solo shot to left centerfield to give ISU the 5-0 advantage.

Josue Urdaneta connected on the run-scoring double off the right field wall scoring Joe Kido in the bottom of the fifth and the redshirt sophomore came around to score on a passed ball to give the Sycamores the 7-0 lead.

Luis Hernandez kept up the hot bat on the day with an RBI double down the left field line scoring Keegan Watson and putting the Sycamores ahead 8-0 after the sixth inning.

News & Notes

Matt Jachec posted his one of his longest outings in the 2022 season going 8.0+-innings in picking up his ninth win of the season.

Jachec added his second double-digit strikeout effort of 2022 with 10 strikeouts, equaling his season high set at Bradley on May 7.

Jachec added his team-leading seventh quality start of 2022 and ISU improved to 11-3 overall on the year when the redshirt-sophomore drew the start on the mound.

It marked Jachec’s team-leading 14th game pitching at least 5.2 innings.

Jachec also topped Valparaiso for the second time in the 2022 season after previously defeating Valpo back on April 9.

Keegan Watson homered for the third time in the last four games and picked up his seventh multi-RBI game following his three-run home run in the fourth.

Luis Hernandez added his fourth home run of the 2022 season and first since May 7 against Bradley in the fourth inning.

Randall Diaz connected on his 16th multi-hit game of the season in the win.

Keegan Watson added his seventh multi-hit game, while Luis Hernandez recorded his ninth multi-hit game of the year.

Indiana State has won its last 19 games against Valparaiso dating back to the 2007 season.

Wednesday’s win was the first postseason contest between ISU and the Beacons in their respective histories.

Indiana State’s win on Wednesday continued the Sycamores’ streak of winning at least one tournament game every season dating back to 2014.

Up Next

No. 5 Indiana State advances into the double-elimination portion of the 2022 MVC Baseball Championships with the win. The Sycamores will take on No. 2 Evansville this evening at Hammons Field in Springfield, Mo. with first pitch projected to be approximately 10:30 p.m. ET. The game will be carried live on ESPN+ and 105.5 The Legend.

Baseball’s Postseason Ends With 6-0 Loss to Penguins

DAYTON, Ohio – The Purdue Fort Wayne baseball team fell 6-0 to Youngstown State in the 2022 Horizon League Baseball Championship on Wednesday (May 25) afternoon at Nischwitz Stadium on Wright State’s campus.

On Tuesday, Youngstown State’s Matt Brosky earned the 2022 Horizon League Pitcher of the Year Award. On Wednesday against the Mastodons he showed why he won that award. Brosky struck out 10 batters in a complete game shutout.  

JD Deany matched Brosky for the first four innings. Then in the fifth Youngstown State used a pair of two-out RBI singles to go up 2-0. Youngstown State added one in the sixth, two in the eighth and one in the ninth. Five different Penguins recorded an RBI in the game.

Deany took the loss and is now 4-3. He went 5.2 innings with six strikeouts.

Jarrett Bickel, Cade Fitzpatrick and Karter Hann recorded hits for the ‘Dons.

The Mastodons conclude the 2022 season 18-36. Youngstown State improves to 20-34. They will continue Championship play on Thursday.


INDIANAPOLIS – IUPUI head men’s soccer coach Sid van Druenen announced the additions of 10 student-athletes for the 2022 campaign on Wednesday (May 25). The Jaguars’ new head coach has been filling out the team’s roster since taking over the reins of the program earlier this spring.

Of his initial 10 additions, three are transfers as he added Lukas Haacka (Notre Dame College), Medard Mikobi (Xavier) and Bryson Najarian (Wright State). He’s also added three starters from Noblesville High School’s 2021 IHSAA 3A State Championship team. Below is a rundown of each of the 10 individuals and more additions will be announced in the near future.

Dom Breidenbach – Lebanon, Ohio / Moeller

5-11 I Defender I Cincinnati United Premier

Awards & Honors

-Earned four varsity letters in soccer and swimming

-Was an All-Conference, All-District, All-Region and All-Academic performer at Moeller (Ohio) High School

-Named to the National Honor Society and earned academic First Honors each year of his career

van Druenen on Breidenbach:

“Dominic is a strong attacking-minded left back with a great mentality and physical presence. He plays consistently in one of hte best ’04 teams in the Midwest and is a proven winner.”

Pablo Gill – Las Rozas, Spain / Lake Travis (Tex.)

6-0 I Midfielder I Capital City SC

Awards & Honors

-Helped Lake Travis to a Texas 6A State Championship in Spring 2022, including scoring on a PK in the 4-3 win over Plano

-Played with Ballistic United U12-U17 in Northern California before relocating to Austin, Texas in July 2021

-Born and raised in Spain where he played with Las Rozas Futbol Club for six years and the Spanish Soccer Federation for two years

-Also played for Capital City SC Cap City 03B Sky South upon moving to Texas in Summer 2021

van Druenen on Gill:

“Pablo is a very creative and mobile holding midfielder with great passing range. He is originally from Spain and was one of the best players on the Texas state champions this spring.”

Lukas Hackaa – Stockholm, Sweden / Atleticagymnasiet

5-8 I Midfielder I Notre Dame (Ohio) College

Awards & Honors

-Played the past two seasons at Notre Dame (Ohio) College, totaling 10 goals, eight assists and five game-winners in 25 games (21 starts)

-Earned multiple honors as a sophomore in 2021, being named First Team All-Ohio Collegiate Soccer Association (OSCA), Third Team United Soccer Coaches All-Atlantic Region, First Team Division II Conference Commissioner’s Association All-Region and Academic All-District honors

-Led NDC in assists (8) and game-winners (3) in 2021, helping them to a 9-5-2 overall record and 8-4-2 league mark

van Druenen on Hackaa:

“Hackaa, an attacking midfielder from Sweden, comes off a very strong 2021 season in NCAA D2 and I expect him to have an immediate impact as a player to watch this fall.”

Spencer Holland – Noblesville, Ind. / Noblesville

5-7 I Forward I Indiana Fire

Awards & Honors

-Two-time First Team All-State and All-Great Lakes Region honoree

-Helped Noblesville to a 3A state title, 20-1-1 mark and had a goal and an assist in the state championship win over Carmel

-Was a Second Team All-State performer as a sophomore in 2019 and a three-time All-Hoosier Crossroads Conference honoree

-Had 19 goals and nine assists his senior year

-Member of DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America) in 2020 and 2021

van Druenen on Holland:

“Holland is a local forward with lots of pace, energy and high work rate. He has scored goals everywhere he has played and I expect that to continue to college.”

Brady Horn – Noblesville, Ind. / Noblesville

6-1 I Defender I FC Pride

Awards & Honors

-Was a two-time All-State, First Team All-District and First Team All-Hoosier Crossroads Conference honoree

-Helped Noblesville to a 3A state title, 20-1-1 mark and had a goal in the state championship win over Carmel

-Helped Noblesville to 16 shutouts during the 2021 season while also scoring four goals from his defensive position

-Was a two-time IHSAA All-Academic honoree

-Will receive the Jaguars Award of Excellence at IUPUI

van Druenen on Horn:

“Horn, also a local player, is an intelligent, vocal center back that is strong on the ball, possesses great leadership skills and can become a key element in our backline.”

Gabe Ingle – Noblesville, Ind. / Noblesville

5-10 I Goalkeeper I Indiana Fire

Awards & Honors

-Was a two-time All-State, All-District and All-Hoosier Crossroads Conference honoree

-Helped Noblesville to a 3A state title, 20-1-1 mark and had six saves in the state championship win over Carmel

-Recorded 16 shutouts his senior year with a 0.48 goals against average as the team’s Defensive MVP

-Named to the 2021 Central Indiana All-USA Super Team

-Helped his Indiana Fire Club tea mto the 2021 Indiana State Cup title and Midwest Regional Championship

van Druenen on Ingle:

“Ingle, a talented local goalkeeper is a great shot stopper, leader and soccer player. He will increase the level of our keeper group immediately.”

Caleb McComas – Centerville, Ohio / Centerville

6-0 I Midfielder I Ohio Galaxies

Awards & Honors

-Two-time First Team All-Conference, All-Area and All-County honoree at Centerville (Ohio) High School

-Helped Centerville to a state second place finish along with regional, sectional and conference titles

-Was an honors student

-Played club soccer for the Ohio Galaxies

van Druenen on McComas:

“McComas is a player I have known for a while and he is a true winner. He is a center midfielder that does not shy away from a tackle, has a high soccer IQ and can score goals.”

Medard Mikobi – Fort Wayne, Ind. / Carmel

5-11 I Defender / Midfielder I Xavier

Awards & Honors

-Joined the IUPUI program at the start of the spring semester after playing Fall 2021 at Xavier

-Appeared in eight games with a start against St. John’s (Sept. 18) in which he played a season-high 46 minutes

-Had 16 goals and two assists as a senior at Carmel High School, having helped the Greyhounds to a sectional title in 2019

-Played for the Indiana Fire Academy and Chicago Fire MLS reserve team

-Also played for the U18 US Futsal National Team in 2018 and 2019, competing in both Colombia and Argentina

van Druenen on Mikobi:

“Medard, a holding midfielder, is a Xavier transfer. He’s a good passer and a strong physical presence. I expect him to have immediate impact and become one of our key players in the fall.”

Bryson Najarian – Beavercreek, Ohio / Archbishop Alter

5-11 I Goalkeeper I Wright State University

Awards & Honors

-Played the past two seasons at Wright State, making three appearances in goal with a personal best three saves at Akron on Aug. 26

-Named First Team All-GCL, First Team All-Dayton South and second team All-State while at Archbishop Alter (Ohio) High School

-Played club soccer for Cincinnati United Premier 2001 and was awarded Golden Glove and Best 11 at the 2017 USYS Nationals

van Druenen on Najarian:

“Bryson is a transfer goalkeeper with experience playing in D1 games. I expect him to challenge for the start spot as he is a very good all around goalkeeper.”

Ethan Vermillion – Frankfort, Ky. / Frankfort

5-10 I Midfielder I Kings Hammer Academy

Awards & Honors

-Earned four varsity letters in soccer and three in cross country in high school

-Two-time All-State honoree at Frankfort (Ky.) High School, including earning first team honors in 2021

-Was a two-time Regional All-Tournament and District All-Tournament and was 2021 Capital City Classic MVP

-Member of the National Honor Society and BETA

van Druenen on Vermillion:

“Vermillion is an attacking mid from Kentucky. He’s very raw, but extremely talented and creative with a high soccer IQ.”

2022 IUPUI Men’s Soccer Recruiting Class (as of 5/25/2022)

Name    Pos.       Ht.          Hometown         High School        Club / Previous Team

Dom Breidenbach            D             5-11       Lebanon, Ohio   Moeller Cincinnati United Premier

Pablo Gill             MF         6-0          Las Rozas, Spain                Lake Travis (Texas)          Capital City SC

Lukas Hackaa     MF         5-8          Stockholm, Sweden        Atleticagymnasiet            Notre Dame (Ohio) College

Spencer Holland               F              5-7          Noblesville, Ind. Noblesville          Indiana Fire

Brady Horn         D             6-1          Noblesville, Ind. Noblesville          FC Pride

Gabe Ingle          GK          5-10       Noblesville, Ind. Noblesville          Indiana Fire

Caleb McComas MF         6-0          Centerville, Ohio              Centerville          Ohio Galaxies

Medard Mikobi D/MF    5-11       Fort Wayne, Ind.              Carmel  Xavier University

Bryson Najarian GK          5-11       Beavercreek, Ohio           Archbishop Alter              Wright State University

Ethan Vermillion               MF         5-10       Frankfort, Ky.     Frankfort             Kings Hammer Academy

Baseball Season Comes to a Close on Wednesday in Springfield

The Valparaiso University baseball team fell 8-0 to Indiana State in an elimination game on Wednesday to open the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament at Hammons Field in Springfield, Mo., bringing the 2022 season to a close. Seniors Keegan Bates (Plainfield, Ill. /Plainfield North) and Zach Fricke (Arlington Heights, Ill. / Buffalo Grove) each tossed scoreless innings in their final collegiate game, but it was Jeremy Drudge (Plymouth, Ind. / Plymouth) who had the most impactful senior moment, as his single in the top of the ninth broke up a perfect-game bid by Indiana State’s Matt Jachec.

How It Happened

When the game finally got underway at 2:33 p.m. after a long rain delay, the Sycamores took a quick lead. It appeared to be a 1-2-3 frame for Colin Fields (Libertyville, Ill. / Libertyville), but an error extended the inning and Indiana State capitalized with a two-out single that plated an unearned run.

It stayed 1-0 through the bottom of the second, when Valpo turned an 8-6-3 double play on a fly ball to retire the side. The Beacons turned two again in the third, as a more traditional 6-4-3 twin-killing ended the frame.

The Sycamores scored four in the fourth, launching a solo homer and a three-run homer to build up a 5-0 lead.

Indiana State got two more in the fifth to extend the edge to 7-0, then an additional tally in the sixth made it 8-0. The Sycamores had a chance for more in the sixth, but Nolan Lebamoff (Fort Wayne, Ind. / Carroll [Kankakee CC]) notched back-to-back strikeouts to escape without further damage.

Fricke came on to pitch the seventh and worked a scoreless inning to keep it an eight-run game. Another senior had his moment in the sun in the eighth when Bates put a zero on the board with help from a double play.

Indiana State pitcher Matt Jachec threw a gem, going 24-up, 24-down through the first eight innings. But it was Drudge who made sure the Beacons didn’t end up on the wrong side of history, as he led off the top of the ninth with a pinch-hit single to right in his final collegiate plate appearance, breaking up the no-hitter and perfect game in the process.

Inside the Game

Fields added one strikeout on Wednesday to finish the season with 110 strikeouts, the fifth-most in single-season program history and most since Bryce Shafer finished with 121 in 2010.

Fields finished the season with 260 career strikeouts, fifth on Valpo’s all-time list.

Tucker finished the season with a .365 batting average, the highest average by a Valpo player since Ryan O’Gara hit .388 in 2010.

USI Softball facing Rogers State in NCAA II Softball Championship opener

EVANSVILLE, Ind.—University of Southern Indiana Softball landed the No. 4 seed in the NCAA Division II Softball Championship and will play No. 5-seeded Rogers State University in the opening round Thursday at 2:30 p.m. (CDT).

The Screaming Eagles (49-11) are ranked No. 10, nationally, while the Hillcats (53-10) are ranked No. 4, nationally.

USI and Rogers State are in the same bracket as top-ranked University of Texas at Tyler and No. 8-seeded California State University, Dominguez Hills.

The other half of the bracket features No. 2-seeded Adelphi University taking on No. 7-seeded University of North Georgia, while No. 3-seeded Auburn University at Montgomery will battle No. 6-seeded Seton Hill University.

USI is one of five No. 1 seeds to advance to the NCAA II Softball Championship and one of three from its half of the bracket. Texas-Tyler, Rogers State, Adelphi and Auburn-Montgomery also were No. 1 seeds in their respective regions.

The Eagles’ games will be aired live on NCAA.com, 95.7 The Spin and ESPN 97.7 The Ref, while live stats, audio and video links can be accessed at GoUSIEagles.com.

USI Softball Notes

• Eagles claim third regional crown. USI Softball won its third NCAA Division II Midwest Region title and first since winning the national championship in 2018. The Eagles win over Grand Valley State marked the second time USI has claimed the regional title on the USI Softball Field. The Eagles improved to 6-0 all-time in the NCAA II Super Regional with their wins.

• USI in the NCAA post-season. The Eagles, who are in the NCAA II Tournament for the first time since 2019 and the 10th time in program history, are 29-18 all-time in the NCAA II Tournament and 28-14 under Head Coach Sue Kunkle following their wins in the Super Regional.

• USI in the NCAA II Softball Championship. The Eagles are making their third appearance at the NCAA II Softball Championship. USI went 0-2 in its first trip in 2017 and 5-0 in its national championship run in 2018.

–2017: Lost to #2 seed Minnesota State-Mankato (eventual champions), 5-0, in opening round

–2017: Lost to #6 seed West Florida, 4-3, in elimination bracket following lengthy delay due to umpire replacement

–2018: Upset #1 seed North Georgia, 1-0, behind 3-hit shutout from Jennifer Leonhardt

–2018: Jennifer Leonhardt tossed USI’s first-ever post-season no-hitter as Eagles upset #4 seed Angelo State, 3-0.

–2018: After rain suspended play with USI trailing #6-seeded Saint Leo, 4-2, in the sixth, USI came back the following day to score runs in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings to punch its ticket to the NCAA II Championship round.

–2018: USI overpowered #2 seed Saint Anselm, winning the opening game of the best-of-three series, 4-0, before erupting for seven second-inning runs in game two to win 8-3.

• Eagles making history. USI has had a historic season in its march to the NCAA II Softball Championship. The Eagles have accomplished the following:

–Best start to GLVC play (16-0).

–Tied program record for consecutive wins (18).

–Set record for GLVC wins (26) in a single season.

–Set record for wins in a single season (49) … previous record was 48 (1998).

–First time in program history winning GLVC regular-season, GLVC Tournament and NCAA II Midwest Region titles in the same season.

–Set program records for triples (26), runs (346), RBI (320) and tied record for doubles (93).

–Best 40-game stretch in program history, having gone 37-3 entering NCAA II Championship.

• Record Watch. Individually, sophomore first baseman Lexi Fair (Greenwood, Indiana) broke Marleah Fossett’s record (21 in 2017) for hit-by-pitches (22) and is just two doubles to match Kristin Eickholt’s program record (21 in 2006). Sophomore outfielder Mackenzie Bedrick (Brownsburg, Indiana) needs five at-bats (Claire Johnson, 206 in 2018) and 12 hits (Trisha Poling, 87 in 1998) to match program records, while freshman outfielder Kennedy Nalley (Huntingburg, Indiana) is eight runs shy of Haley Hodge’s record (58 in 2016). Bedrick also is just 10 runs shy of that mark.

• Historic production. While Fair’s 54 RBI are tied for the second most in a single-season in program history, the Eagles run production across the board has been historic. USI has six players with at least 30 RBI and a seventh with 29 RBI. The six players with 30 or more RBI are the most in program history. USI also is just 12 hits shy of the 2017 team’s single-season record for hits (540).

• Last week’s leaders. Senior designated player Katie Back (Indianapolis, Indiana) hit .571 (4-7) with a pair of RBI during the NCAA II Super Regional. She drove in the game-winning run in USI’s come-from-behind win over Grand Valley State in game two, while her RBI-single in the fifth in game one broke a scoreless tie. In the circle, freshman pitcher Josie Newman (Indianapolis, Indiana) was 1-0 with a save and a 0.00 ERA, while junior pitcher Allie Goodin (Evansville, Indiana) was 1-0 with a 1.31 ERA in 10 2/3 innings of work.

• NCAA II Tournament leaders. Fair is hitting .450 (9-20) with two doubles, two home run and six RBI, while Back is hitting .444 with a double and two RBI. Bedrick is hitting .429 with a team-best eight runs scored, while Goodin and sophomore catcher Sammie Kihega (Greenfield, Indiana) have respectively driven in eight and seven runs. Goodin is 3-1 with a 0.58 ERA in the post-season, while Newman is 3-0 with two saves, a 1.52 ERA, 20 strikeouts and a .195 opponent batting average.

• Post-season leaders. Back is hitting .500 with two doubles and four RBI to lead USI in the post-season, while Bedrick is hitting .433 with 13 hits and 11 runs scored. Fair is hitting .414 with three doubles, three home runs and 12 RBI, while Goodin is hitting .407 with three doubles, four home runs and 10 RBI.

In the circle, Goodin is 5-1 with a 0.87 ERA, 19 strikeouts and a .220 opponent batting average in 40 1/3 innings of work to lead USI in the post-season. Newman is 3-0 with a pair of saves, 20 strikeouts and a .195 opponent batting average in 23 innings of work, freshman Hailey Gotshall (Lucerne, Indiana) is 1-0 with a .160 opponent batting average in 6 2/3 innings of work.

• Eagles offense heats up. After being held to just three hits in their first shutout loss since March 5 and just their second of the season, the Eagles’ offense erupted for a combined 31 runs off 47 hits in the final four games of the NCAA II Midwest Region #1 Tournament. The Eagles hit .409 as a team, racking up 13 doubles, two triples and eight home runs.

• USI wins fifth GLVC crown. The Eagles won the GLVC Tournament for the fifth time in program history when they defeated Indianapolis, 1-0, in the championship game Sunday. USI also won the GLVC Tournament in 1993, 1995, 1998 and 2018.

• Eagles move into Top 10. USI enters the NCAA II Softball Championship ranked No. 10 in the NFCA Division II Top 25 Coaches Poll, which was most recently published prior to the NCAA II Midwest #1 Tournament.

• Newman finalist for Freshman of Year honors. Newman is a finalist for the NFCA’s Freshman of the Year honor. She is the second USI freshman to be up for the award after Jennifer Leonhardt was a finalist for the NFCA Freshman of the Year honor in 2017.

• Kunkle named GLVC Coach of the Year. USI Head Coach Sue Kunkle was named the GLVC Coach of the Year for the third time after leading the Eagles to the GLVC regular-season championship. Kunkle, who directed the NFCA Division II National Coaching Staff of the Year in 2018 and NFCA Midwest Region Coaching Staff of the Year in 2017 and 2018, also was the GLVC Coach of the Year in 2006 and 2017.

• Six Eagles net All-GLVC honors. USI placed six players on the All-GLVC team in 2022, including Goodin, who collected first-team honors as a utility/pitcher. Back (designated player) and Fair were named to the second team, as was Newman, Kihega and Bedrick.

• Four Eagles net All-Region honors. Fair, Goodin and Newman all earned second-team D2CCA All-Midwest Region honors in a vote by the Midwest Region Sports Information Directors, while Goodin and Bedrick earned second-team NFCA All-Midwest Region accolades in a vote by the region’s coaches.

• Two Eagles net Academic honors. Back and Bedrick both earned CoSIDA Academic All-District IV honor after strong seasons at the plate and in the classroom. Both are now on the ballot for Academic All-America honors.

• Season leaders. Back leads USI with a .397 batting average to go along with 10 doubles, two home runs and 30 RBI, while Fair is hitting .390 with 19 doubles, three triples, 11 home runs and 54 RBI. She also has been hit a program-record 22 times.

In the circle, Newman is 17-3 with four saves, a 179 ERA, .174 opponent batting average and 185 strikeouts in 141 innings of work. Goodin is 16-3 with a 1.83 ERA and .226 opponent batting average in 126 2/3 innings of work, while Gotshall (8-0) and Back (6-1) have combined for a 14-1 record.

• Walk-off wins. The Eagles have had 11 walk-off victories this season, including six that have been in the seventh-inning or later and four that have been in extra innings. Six of the walk-off wins have given the Eagles victory via the eight-run rule.

• Eagles in extra innings. USI is 6-1 in extra-inning games this season, including 4-0 in GLVC play.

• Hitting streaks. Back, junior shortstop Jordan Rager (Fishers, Indiana) and freshman Olivia Howard (Fishers, Indiana) each have a hit in their previous two appearances. Bedrick and junior second baseman Rachel Martinez (Chicago, Illinois) each had a season-high 11 game hit streak earlier this season.

• Weekly honors. Both Fair and Newman have collected GLVC weekly honors this season. Fair earned GLVC Player of the Week honors for her efforts in USI’s doubleheader sweeps over Illinois Springfield, Truman State and Quincy earlier this season, while Newman was named GLVC Pitcher of the Week after recording a pair of shutouts, including a no-hitter, in USI’s doubleheader wins over Drury and Southwest Baptist.

• OUCH! Fair has been hit by a pitch a league-high 22 times this season. She ranks No. 1 on USI’s all-time single-season list for being hit by a pitch. Marleah Fossett and Mena Fulton were smacked by pitches a respective 21 and 17 times in 2017, while Caitlyn Bradley was hit 12 times in 2016. Fair, who was hit 10 times as a freshman in 2021, is No. 2 on USI’s all-time list behind Fulton (37).

• 15-plus Ks. Newman has three games under her belt with at least 15 strikeouts. She fanned 17 batters in USI’s game-two win over Quincy and struck out 16 in USI’s game-two win over Missouri-St. Louis. She also had 15 strikeouts in USI’s game-two win over McKendree.

TAYLOR ATHLETICS | Taylor’s 4×100 Competes before Weather Postpones Day-One

GULF SHORES, Ala. – On the first day of the 2022 NAIA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships, competition got cut short due to ongoing storms in Gulf Shores. Moments before TU’s 4×800-meter relay toed the line for prelims, the weather forced the meet be postponed for the night.

Prior to the weather delay, the Taylor women were able to run the 4×100-meter relay. TU’s 4×1 squad raced in an extremely competitive preliminary. The Trojan group of Patience Sakeuh, Ashley Hall, Eden Siples and Audrey Altum finished eighth in their heat, ending in 32nd place overall. The ladies clocked a combined time of 48.89 to cap off their 2022 relay campaign. 

The Trojans will be back on the track tomorrow for the second day of the NAIA National Championships. Once an updated schedule is announced, Taylor fans can stay up to date by visiting https://www.taylortrojans.com/2022-outdoor-track-field-championships.

TAYLOR ATHLETICS | Hesting Breaks School Record Prior to Day-Ending Storms

GULF SHORES, Ala. – The Taylor men kicked off the action at the 2022 NAIA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships. The Trojans competed in three events on Wednesday afternoon, before ongoing storms forced the meet to be postponed for the night. TU’s steeplechase prelims and 10,000-meter finals will be moved to another day.

Liam Hesting competed in his first event of the weekend, turning in a new Taylor school record in the hammer throw. The junior launched a massive toss, measuring a career-best 56.46-meters on his second attempt of prelims. Despite record-breaking efforts, Hesting did not advance to finals and finished 12th place in the national field.

Mitch De Jong closed out his collegiate career with a solid performance in the javelin throw. On his first throw of prelims, De Jong launched the spear 59.13-meters. That throw qualified the senior for finals, claiming the ninth-best throw of the day. With three more throws and a chance to move into the top-eight, De Jong was unable to beat his first throw and finished just shy of All-American status in ninth place.

The Taylor 4×100-meter relay squad cruised around the track, finishing fifth in their semi-finals heat. The sprint-group of Matthew Sakeuh, Cole Whitehead, Braden Bixler and Sammy Sommers logged a time of 41.90. The men did not advance to finals and ended in 21st place overall.

The Trojans will be back on the track tomorrow for the second day of the NAIA National Championships. Once an updated schedule is announced, Taylor fans can stay up to date by visiting https://www.taylortrojans.com/2022-outdoor-track-field-championships.


Kansas City, MO. The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) recently announced their 2022 Men’s Tennis All-American awards. Holy Cross College’s Perry Gregg was awarded First-Team NAIA All-American. He is the first men’s tennis player in program history to earn this honor. Gregg was also named the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year and Player of the Year.

Gregg finished the season with an 11-0 overall record in the No.1 singles. He also went 9-1 on the year in No. 1 doubles play. Gregg ended the year ranked No. 6 in NAIA men’s tennis singles. The freshman also garnered four CCAC Player of the Week distinctions.

Behind Gregg, the Holy Cross College men’s tennis team finished with a program-best 13-8 overall record and 5-1 in league play. The Saints fell in the CCAC Tournament Final to Cardinal Stritch University, narrowly missing out on the NAIA National Tournament.


1916       In Boston, Giants outfielder Benny Kauff is picked off first base three times by Lefty Tyler. The center fielder’s miscues don’t hurt the team when New York reels off its 14th consecutive road victory, beating the Braves, 12-1.

1925       In Chicago, Tiger outfielder Ty Cobb becomes the first player to collect 1,000 career extra-base hits when he doubles in Detroit’s 8-1 win over the White Sox. The ‘Georgia Peach,’ who surpassed Honus Wagner’s record of 993 earlier in the season, will finish his 24-year major league career with 1,139.

1929       Coming off the bench, Giants’ Pat Crawford and Les Bell of the Braves blast grand slams in consecutive innings, marking the first time two pinch-hit four-run homers occur in the same game. Crawford goes yard off Socks Seibold in the sixth inning, and Bell takes Carl Hubbell long in the seventh in New York’s 15-8 victory over Boston in the Polo Grounds.

1930       During the nightcap of a twin bill, Joe Sewell strikes out twice against White Sox southpaw Pat Caraway in Cleveland’s 5-2 victory over Chicago. The Indians’ infielder will be fanned a total of only three times in his 353 at-bats this season.

1937       Appearing as pinch-hitters, Cleveland’s Billy Sullivan and Bruce Campbell both homer, marking the first time two batters on the same team hit pinch round-trippers in an American League game. The off-the-bench home run heroics prove to be the difference when the Indians beat Philadelphia at Shibe Park, 8-6.

1947       The largest crowd ever to attend a single game in baseball history occurs when 74,747 fans watch the Yankees beat Boston, 9-3, in a Monday evening tilt at the Bronx ballpark. The previous mark was set in 1932 at Cleveland’s spacious Municipal Stadium with a Sunday afternoon game attracting 73,592 patrons to witness Philadelphia’s 1-0 victory over the hometown Indians, a contest that takes only an hour and fifty minutes to complete.

1953       Six years after Jackie Robinson makes his major league debut, the Cardinals sign their first black player when Fresno State College slugger Len Tucker agrees to a $3,000 professional contract. The 23-year-old speedy outfielder plays exceptionally well in the minors for Peoria, Saskatoon, and Modesto but never gets called up to St. Louis.

1956       Reds starter John Klippstein, Hershell Freeman, and Joe Black combine to hurl 9.2 innings of hitless ball in a losing effort to Milwaukee. Frank Torre’s 11th inning walk-off single scoring Hank Aaron is the difference in the 2-1 defeat at County Stadium.

1957       Cubs rookie Dick Drott establishes a franchise record when he strikes out 15 batters en route to a complete-game victory over Milwaukee at Wrigley Field. The 20-year-old right-hander’s mark, accomplished in his seventh major league start, will be matched by Burt Hooton (1971) and Rick Sutcliffe (1984) and will remain the standard for a nine-inning game until Kerry Wood’s 20-K performance in 1998.

1959       At Comiskey Park, another of Bill Veeck’s stunts features the return of 3-feet 7 inch Eddie Gaedel along with three other little people. Arriving by helicopter, the quartet, dressed as Martians greets Nellie Fox and Luis Aparicio near second base, giving the diminutive infielders toy ray guns to help the keystone combo in their struggle with giant earthlings.

1959       Pirates’ hurler Harvey Haddix pitches 12 perfect innings but loses 1-0 to the Braves in the 13th inning. The heart-breaking winning run scores on a Don Hoak error, a sacrifice, a walk, and a two-bagger by Joe Adcock.

1959       The Yankees deal Jerry Lumpe, Tom Sturdivant, and right-hander Johnny Kucks to the A’s in exchange for Hector Lopez and Ralph Terry. In three years, Terry will become the second Bronx Bomber hurler to pitch a shutout in the seventh game of a World Series, with the departed Kucks being the first in franchise history to blank opponents in Game 7 of the Fall Classic.

1964       In front of a meager crowd of 2,503 fans at Wrigley Field, the visiting Mets set a franchise record for runs scored when the team pummels the Cubs, 19-1. New York’s 25-year-old first baseman Dick Smith, batting leadoff, becomes the first player in franchise history to get five hits in a game, nearly 20% of his season total of 21 when he collects a double, a triple, and three singles.

1976       Ken Brett’s no-hit bid ends with two outs in the ninth when White Sox third baseman Jorge Orta hopes Jerry Remy’s slow roller will go foul. The ball stays fair, and the no-hitter is lost, but the southpaw, who tosses ten innings of two-hit ball, gets the victory when the Pale Hose beat California in the 11th, 1-0.

1984       Pitching two-thirds of an inning of relief to finish the seventh inning, Paul Splittorff gets credit for the win when the Royals come back to beat the Red Sox at Fenway Park, 11-7. The decision marks the southpaw’s 166th and last victory of his 15-year career, all with Kansas City, the most in franchise history.

1990       Don Baylor, who will be the only Angel to win the American League Most Valuable Player Award [1979] until Mike Trout cops the honor in 2014, is inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame. The seasoned veteran averaged 23 home runs and 87 RBI while batting .262 in six seasons for the California team.

990         The Phillies retire Mike Schmidt’s uniform #20, honoring the third baseman who played his entire 18-year Hall of Fame career with Philadelphia. During his tenure with the team. At the time of his retirement in 1989, the 12-time All-Star was the Phillies’ all-time leader in games played, at-bats, plate appearances, runs scored, home runs, RBI, walks, and total bases.

1993       Carlos Martinez hits a fly ball to Jose Canseco that caroms off the Ranger outfielder’s head over the fence for a home run. The fourth inning solo homer will prove to be the difference when the Indians edge Texas at Cleveland Stadium, 7-6.

1996       Bobby Chouinard becomes the first player from Manila to appear in a major league game. The A’s hurler pitches five innings, giving up eight hits and five earned runs in a 6-1 loss to the Orioles at Camden Yards.

1997       Frank Thomas, Harold Baines, and Robin Ventura hit consecutive home runs in the eighth inning of the White Sox’ 12-1 win over Milwaukee. Chad Kreuter adds another round-tripper in the seven-run frame, making Chicago the 16th team in American League history to hit four homers in one inning.

1997       For the first time in twenty years, two inside-the-park homers are hit in the same inning when Sammy Sosa of the Cubs and the Pirates infielder Tony Womack both circle the bases for round-trippers five minutes apart in the sixth frame of the Cubs’ 2-1 victory at Three Rivers Stadium. Ranger teammates Bump Wills and Toby Harrah hit back-to-back inside-the-park home runs on consecutive pitches at Yankee Stadium in 1977.

2000       At Yankee Stadium, the game against Boston stops when a fan falls from the upper deck, remaining motionless for five minutes on the screen behind home plate. The 24-year-old man suddenly sits up, raises both arms high, and is promptly arrested on a disorderly conduct charge.

2002       Royals reliever Cory Bailey becomes the first pitcher in a dozen years to win both ends of a doubleheader when the team sweeps the Rangers at Kauffman Stadium, 7-5 and 9-8. In 1989, David Wells accomplished the feat for the Blue Jays in a twin bill against the Angels.

2004       In the Pirates’ 11-8 win over St. Louis at Busch Stadium, Daryle Ward hits for the cycle, collecting a two-run double in the first, a run-scoring triple in the fourth, a three-run homer in the fifth, and a single in the ninth. The Pirates’ first baseman and his dad Gary become the first father-son combination in major league history to hit for the cycle. The elder Ward accomplished the feat 24 years ago with Minnesota.

2006       Brandon Webb becomes the first Diamondback to start the season 8-0. The 27-year-old right-hander, who signed a $19.5 million, four-year contract in the offseason, beats the Reds at Great American Ball Park, 3-0, for his second consecutive shutout.

2006       Derek Jeter, with a dribbler up the third-base line for an infield single off KC’s Scott Elarton, becomes the eighth player in Yankee history to collect 2,000 career hits. The 31-year-old shortstop joins Yogi Berra, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Don Mattingly, Babe Ruth, and Bernie Williams in reaching the milestone.

2008       At Citizens Bank Park, Phillies’ second baseman Chase Utley homers and drives in six runs in the 20-5 rout of the Rockies. Philadelphia bats around three times, including two six-run innings, during their 19-hit attack against Colorado.

2011       Tossing a scoreless 19th inning in the Phillies’ 5-4 win over Cincinnati at Citizens Bank Park, Wilson Valdez becomes the first position player to record a major league victory since Brent Mayne accomplished the feat in 2000 with Colorado. The 33 year-old second baseman also became the first person to start as a fielder and then be credited with the win as a pitcher since Babe Ruth took the mound on October 1, 1921, after starting the game in left field.

2016       Hall of Famer Wade Boggs became the tenth Red Sox player to have his number retired. The third baseman’s #26 joins 1 (Bobby Doerr), 4 (Joe Cronin), 6 (Johnny Pesky), 8 (Carl Yastrzemski), 9 (Ted Williams), 14 (Jim Rice), 27 (Carlton Fisk), 45 (Pedro Martinez), and 42 (Jackie Robinson) on Fenway’s historic right-field facade.


READ MORE: https://sabr.org/bioproj/person/walter-johnson/


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Milwaukee at St. Louis7:45pmBally Sports
Boston at Chi. White Sox8:10pmNESN
Toronto at LA Angels9:38pmSportsnet
Bally Sports
LA Dodgers at Arizona9:40pmSportsnet
Bally Sports
Texas at Oakland9:40pmBally Sports
West Finals Game 5: Dallas at Golden State9:00pmTNT
East Semifinals Game 5: NY Rangers at Carolina7:00pmESPN
West Semifinals Game 5: Edmonton at Calgary9:30pmESPN
Copa Libertadores: Athletico-PR vs Caracas6:00pmbeIN Sports
Copa Libertadores: Libertad vs The Strongest6:00pmbeIN Sports
Copa Libertadores: Boca Juniors vs Deportivo Cali8:00pmbeIN Sports
Copa Libertadores: Corinthians vs Always Ready8:00pmbeIN Sports


DP World Tour: Dutch Open7:30amGOLF
Senior PGA Championship1:00pmGOLF
PGA: Charles Schwab Challenge4:00pmGOLF
San Francisco at Cincinnati6:40pmNBCS-BAY
Bally Sports
Colorado at Washington7:05pmMASN/2
NY Yankees at Tampa Bay7:10pmYES
Bally Sports
Baltimore at Boston7:10pmNESN
Cleveland at Detroit7:10pmBally Sports
Philadelphia at NY Mets7:10pmNBCS-PHI
Miami at Atlanta7:20pmBally Sports
Kansas City at Minnesota8:10pmMASN/2
Milwaukee at St. Louis8:15pmBally Sports
Toronto at LA Angels9:38pmSportsnet
Bally Sports
Houston at Seattle9:40pmATTSN-SW
Root Sports
LA Dodgers at Arizona9:40pmSportsnet
Bally Sports
Pittsburg at San Diego9:40pmATTSN-PIT
Bally Sports
Texas at Oakland9:40pmBally Sports
NASCAR Truck: North Carolina Education Lottery 2008:30pmFS1
East Finals Game 6: Miami at Boston8:30pmESPN
West Semifinals Game 6: Colorado at St. Louis8:00pmTNT
NWSL: Orlando Pride vs Washington Spirit7:00pmCBSSN
USL Championship: New York RB II vs Birmingham Legion7:00pmESPN+
USL Championship: Atlanta United II vs Orange County SC7:30pmESPN+
USL Championship: Las Vegas Lights vs El Paso Locomotive10:00pmESPN+


American League
TeamWLPctGBHomeRoadEastCentralWestLast 10Streak
NY Yankees3113.70517 – 714 – 617 – 812 – 42 – 16 – 4W 2
Tampa Bay2617.6054.515 – 911 – 88 – 44 – 510 – 76 – 4W 2
Toronto2320.5357.514 – 89 – 129 – 101 – 310 – 56 – 4W 1
Boston2023.46510.510 – 1010 – 135 – 115 – 79 – 47 – 3L 1
Baltimore1827.40013.512 – 116 – 168 – 144 – 63 – 44 – 6L 2
TeamWLPctGBHomeRoadEastCentralWestLast 10Streak
Minnesota2717.61415 – 912 – 86 – 514 – 47 – 68 – 2L 1
Chi White Sox2221.5124.510 – 1112 – 109 – 67 – 124 – 36 – 4W 1
Cleveland1822.45078 – 810 – 143 – 48 – 64 – 63 – 7L 2
Detroit1528.34911.59 – 136 – 156 – 65 – 91 – 85 – 5W 1
Kansas City1428.333128 – 156 – 131 – 59 – 121 – 52 – 8L 6
TeamWLPctGBHomeRoadEastCentralWestLast 10Streak
Houston2916.64414 – 615 – 103 – 69 – 114 – 76 – 4W 2
LA Angels2718.600215 – 912 – 95 – 46 – 212 – 115 – 5L 1
Texas1923.4528.510 – 129 – 113 – 62 – 110 – 136 – 4W 1
Oakland1927.41310.56 – 1413 – 137 – 75 – 95 – 84 – 6W 2
Seattle1827.4001110 – 98 – 183 – 116 – 45 – 72 – 8L 2
National League
TeamWLPctGBHomeRoadEastCentralWestLast 10Streak
NY Mets2917.63013 – 816 – 913 – 75 – 210 – 66 – 4L 2
Atlanta2123.477712 – 129 – 118 – 87 – 64 – 65 – 5W 2
Philadelphia2024.455811 – 139 – 115 – 111 – 210 – 73 – 7L 2
Miami1824.429910 – 128 – 1211 – 52 – 43 – 104 – 6L 2
Washington1530.33313.56 – 179 – 135 – 112 – 56 – 103 – 7W 1
TeamWLPctGBHomeRoadEastCentralWestLast 10Streak
Milwaukee2816.63614 – 614 – 109 – 615 – 72 – 27 – 3W 2
St. Louis2419.5583.511 – 913 – 104 – 69 – 46 – 56 – 4L 1
Chi Cubs1825.4199.57 – 1511 – 101 – 29 – 97 – 105 – 5L 1
Pittsburgh1825.4199.511 – 147 – 113 – 19 – 195 – 44 – 6W 1
Cincinnati1330.30214.56 – 117 – 192 – 28 – 110 – 134 – 6W 1
TeamWLPctGBHomeRoadEastCentralWestLast 10Streak
LA Dodgers2914.67415 – 514 – 97 – 68 – 210 – 58 – 2L 1
San Diego2816.6361.511 – 917 – 79 – 510 – 58 – 57 – 3L 2
San Francisco2419.558513 – 1111 – 89 – 74 – 47 – 74 – 6W 2
Arizona2322.511712 – 1111 – 119 – 76 – 55 – 95 – 5W 2
Colorado2023.465914 – 116 – 125 – 86 – 44 – 83 – 7L 1

X – Clinched Division,  Y – Clinched Playoff Spot