Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard confirmed Monday that the club will consider making a move for Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson.

“Anytime a special player is available, which he is, you’ve got to do the work,” Ballard said, according to ESPN’s Stephen Holder. “I’m not gonna get into deep discussions on where it’s at or what we’re doing or what we might do. But what I’ll tell you is he’s a really good player, really special player. But you never know how any of this will work out.”

The Ravens placed the nonexclusive franchise tag on Jackson on March 7. Baltimore can trade the former NFL MVP to another club if he signs the tender.

The quarterback position is Indianapolis’ biggest issue this year. The Colts recently added Gardner Minshew, but the veteran is expected to compete for the backup role with the likes of Sam Ehlinger and Nick Foles.

“If you don’t feel like you have one that can absolutely change the franchise in terms of leading you every year, I think you’re always going to feel some pressure to get that player right,” Ballard added.

Another option for Indy is to go with a quarterback in next month’s NFL draft. The Colts own the No. 4 pick.

Ballard said Indianapolis considered trading up to No. 1 but suggested he wasn’t sold on who the team would be moving up for. The Carolina Panthers ultimately acquired the top selection from the Chicago Bears.

“I didn’t want to make a blind decision without all the information,” Ballard said of a potential trade. “I know people might not understand that, but I think just history kind of tells you that when you do that, you better know what you’re getting.”

The Colts have started four different Week 1 quarterbacks in as many seasons since Andrew Luck retired in August 2019, including Carson Wentz in 2021 and Matt Ryan in 2022.

Ryan was acquired via trade during the 2022 offseason to replace Wentz but didn’t live up to the hype as the club missed the playoffs for the second straight year. Indy cut Ryan on March 14.

The Colts finished last season 4-12-1, down from 9-8 in 2021.



In a Monday night matchup between two teams clinging on to postseason hopes, a short-staffed Indiana Pacers squad couldn’t slow down the team in town from the Lone Star State.

The Dallas Mavericks (37-39) used a pair of big runs in the second and third quarters to create a 25-point buffer going into the final frame, and the duo of Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving combined for 41 total points, in a 127-104 win over the Pacers (33-42) at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.

Going into the game, Indiana was 3.5 games back from the 10th place Chicago Bulls, who were scheduled to play the Los Angeles Clippers late on Monday night, in the Eastern Conference. Just six games remain on the Pacers’ schedule.

Indiana’s top three scorers this season did not take the floor due to injuries an illness.

The Pacers played without Tyrese Haliburton (right ankle) and Myles Turner (sore left ankle and lower back) – who were both ruled out due to injury management before the tip – and Buddy Hield (non-COVID illness) and Chris Duarte (left ankle soreness), who were announced out earlier in afternoon.

Doncic finished with 25 points, seven rebounds and six assists in 28 minutes of play and Irving had 16 points, six assists and three boards. Jaden Hardy had a big night off the bench for the Mavericks, scoring 20 points.

For the Pacers, rookie Bennedict Mathurin led the charge with 26 points while fellow first-year man Andrew Nembhard scored 17 points to go with five rebounds and five assists. Off the bench, T.J. McConnell had 15 points for the Blue & Gold.

By making two 3-pointers in the game, Mathurin tied the Pacers franchise rookie record for 3-pointers made in a season (94) set by Duarte during the 2021-2022 campaign.

Overall, the Mavericks were 47-for-83 (18-for-37 3-point) from the field and the Pacers shot 39-for-93 (8-for-28 3-point). Dallas’ bench outscored Indiana’s reserves 58-33.

“We needed to compete better in this game,” Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said. “The first quarter was OK. The second quarter, they just got going – and they’ve got some real firepower. We just needed to have more resistance. It’s tough.”

In the first six minutes of action, the Pacers used 5-0 and 6-0 scoring bursts to establish an early 11-7 lead. With five minutes left in the first quarter, the Pacers collected five offensive rebounds in nine seconds before Isaiah Jackson was able to get the ball to go through the hoop and put the Pacers up 19-14.

Sparked by a 3-pointer from Tim Hardaway Jr., the Mavericks responded with a 9-2 run to retake the lead at 23-21 with two minutes on the clock.

After tying three times, an Irving fadeaway jump shot  gave the Mavericks a 29-27 advantage at the end of the first frame.

The Pacers held Doncic to just two points on 1-for-5 shooting in the first 12 minutes, but Irving carried the load for both of them, scoring 11 points on 5-for-5 shooting.

Dallas came out on fire to start the second quarter, as the visitors went on a 14-2 scoring spree, on 3-pointers by Irving and Hardy, and and-one conversion by JaVale McGee, to lead 43-29 with 8:28 left in the first half.

Indiana’s offense finally got going midway through the second quarter, as the team was able to narrow the score to 51-39 thanks to an 8-0 run.

Doncic then got going for Dallas, scoring seven straight points to boost the lead to 55-37, before the Mavericks took a 12-point advantage into the locker room at 59-47.

Out of the break, Jalen Smith hit a 3-pointer for Indiana before Dallas scored eight unanswered points on 3-pointers by Reggie Bullock. A basket by Doncic and a second trey by Bullock then pushed the lead to 72-52 with 7:53 left in the third quarter.

The Pacers went on a 10-3 run midway through the third quarter, as Mathurin drilled back-to-back 3-pointers, and Jordan Nwora and Nembhard each got treys to fall, to make it 86-72 with 2:48 on the clock.

But the Mavericks answered again.

A 10-0 Dallas run, with seven points coming from Doncic in the final 1:44 of the third quarter, put the Mavericks ahead 99-74 going into the fourth quarter.

Indiana never got within reach in the last quarter, as the Mavericks led by as many as 31 points in the final frame. Dallas emptied its bench midway through the period.

The Pacers will host the No. 1 team in the East, the Milwaukee Bucks, on Wednesday.

“This is all valuable, even the painful stuff,” Carlisle said. “And a lot of times the painful stuff is the stuff that stimulates growth.”

Stat of the Night

Mathurin finished with two 3-pointers, tying the Pacers franchise rookie record (94)  for makes from deep in a season. He is currently tied with Duarte, who set the record last season.

Inside the Numbers

– Indiana outrebounded Dallas 43-33, including 14-4 in offensive boards.

—  Both teams had 13 turnovers.

– The Mavericks outscored the Pacers 48-40 in the paint.

– There were four lead changes and five ties in the game.

– Jackson pulled down a season-high 12 rebounds and career-high nine boards.

You Can Quote Me On That

“There’s the system, and there’s individual defense and there’s a gameplan. We had some game plan stuff going tonight that is unique because Luka is such a unique player. First half, some of it was effective and then some of it wasn’t. We’ve got to kind of look at those three buckets and make evaluations. So we’ll do that and look to get better.” — Carlisle on the defense

“It’s not about whether Benn Mathurin can go out and score points. He’s got to learn about the responsibility of being a starter, guarding a top player and carrying a scoring load – and what it means to do both. The first 65 games of the season weren’t like that, he was coming off the bench playing against a lot of second unit guys. This is different, and this is a great opportunity for him. Tonight, he did some good things … and there’s gonna be some things that we need to help him correct. But the aggression is there. A lot of his reads were much better. We’ve got to build on the good things and correct for the others.” — Carlisle on Mathurin growing

“When you get beat by 25 to 30, it doesn’t feel like there’s a lot of value. But guys are learning and they’re finding out what it’s about. I used the term in the pregame, ‘you’re sitting at the grownups table’ when you get put in this position, and when you learn what it’s like to carry this kind of load. Some young players, they thrive for that — they crave that.” — Carlisle on young players developing

“I love him. I think he’s a guy that should have been a top 10 pick in the draft, and every night he keeps proving me right about that. He doesn’t get satisfied by a couple of good performances. He’s a student of the game. He loves to play, he loves to compete. He values the opportunity to help teammates. Those are things that make Indiana basketball unique, and that’s why he fits in perfectly here.” – Carlisle on Nembhard

“He’s one of the very, very best players in the world, and he proved that again tonight. He does it in a way that makes the game look easy. And that’s one of the many things that makes him a special player.” — Carlisle on Doncic

“I consider myself a scorer and I’m just looking forward to helping my teammates. (Trying) to make the game a little bit easier for them and trying to improve every single day.” – Mathurin on some of his goals in the final six games

“It definitely affects the locker room. Buddy is a guy who talks a lot and has a lot of energy. Not having him tonight took off a lot of energy. It’s great having guys like that on the team. It basically shows that he’s willing to work, come to work every single day and be 100%.” Mathurin on Hield being out

“They have a lot of talent over there. We tried different gameplans to get it out of their hands and mix it up a little. They had a lot of guys that could fill it up” — Nembhard on the loss

“I think this is a good learning experience for guys. A good opportunity for guys to get better.”  Nembhard on other players having bigger roles with key players out.


– Hield didn’t suit up for the Blue & Gold due to a non-COVID illness. Since being drafted in 2016, Hield has now missed just five games total in his NBA career. One of those games was due to being traded to the Pacers during the 2021-2022 season.

– Doncic was not initially expected to play against the Pacers, as he was issued his 16th technical foul of the season on Sunday at the Charlotte Hornets. On Monday, however, the league rescinded the tech which resulted in him not having to serve a one-game suspension.

– Pacers coach Rick Carlisle was the head coach of the Mavericks from 2008 to 2021. He led the team to a championship in 2011.

Broadcast Information (TV and Radio Listings >>)

TV: Bally Sports Indiana – Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Jeremiah Johnson (sideline reporter/host)

Radio: 93.5/107.5 The Fan – Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Eddie Gill (analyst), Pat Boylan (sideline reporter/host)


The Pacers continue their homestand by welcoming Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on Wednesday, March 29 at 7:00 PM ET.



BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The Indiana baseball program will put a 14-game home winning streak on the line when it hosts Kent State on Tuesday (March 28) at Bart Kaufman Field. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.

After a weekend sweep of Ohio State, Indiana (17-7) enters the week on a seven-game winning streak overall and has yet to drop a game at home this season. Kent State (16-7) dropped three of four games last week after entering the week with a 13-game winning streak.

Quick Hitter

Indiana and Kent State will meet for just the fifth time in program history and second time at Bart Kaufman Field. Indiana is 3-1 all-time in the series, but the Golden Flashes won the last tilt in 2019.

The Hoosiers have won the first 15 games at home, including a 14-game winning streak in 2023. It marks the longest home winning streak in Bart Kaufman Field history and the longest to start a home season since 19 straight home wins in 1987.

Sophomore Carter Mathison has played in 83 career games and has 75 career RBIs over that span to go along with 22 home runs.

Sophomore Luke Sinnard struck out 13 Morehead State batters on March 17 to earn his third win of the season and earn national honors for his outing.

Senior Hunter Jessee carried a 34-game reached base streak between the 2022 and 2023 seasons, which marked a career long for the left-handed hitter and the second longest such streak since at least 2005.

While senior Phillip Glasser saw his 12-game hitting streak come to an end, he moved his reached base to 24 games over the weekend. Of his 24 starts in 2023, 15 of those have seen multiple hits

After its first Big Ten series sweep since 2021, sophomore Brock Tibbitts and freshman Devin Taylor were honored by the Big Ten with Player and Co-Freshman of the Week accolades, respectively.

Head coach Jeff Mercer became the eighth IU skipper to reach 100 victories in the cream and crimson with a series finale win at Auburn on February 19, 2023.

Scouting the Opponent

Kent State is 16-7 overall and 4-2 in Mid-American Conference play after a 1-2 weekend at Central Michigan that included a pair of one-run games.

Aidan Longwell paces the offense with a team best .406 average and a MAC-best 40 RBIs. He enters the week with a 20-game hitting streak.

Timely hitting from Brody Williams helped KSU to a series-opening win over CMU on Friday, as he hit a game-tying home run in the extra inning victory.

The pitching staff has limited opponents to just a .209 batting average against and owns a 1.27 WHIP and 4.17 ERA on the season.

Of the 23 games, just five have been decided by two-or-fewer runs, but the pitching staff has allowed six-or-fewer runs on 16 occasions.

The Golden Flashes enter the week with a 4-1 record in midweek games, with its last midweek an 8-3 loss at Pittsburgh.

Inside the Series

Indiana and Kent State have met just four times in program history, with Indiana the victor in three of those four meetings.

The first meeting was a 13-inning contest that went the way of the Hoosiers, 3-2, before a pair of neutral site wins for Indiana.

Kent State won the last meeting during the 2019 campaign, with a 9-8 decision on March 27 at Bart Kaufman Field.




Purdue (10-12, 1-2 B1G) at Indiana State (11-11, 3-0 MVC)

Tuesday, March 28 at 5 p.m. ET / ESPN+

Bob Warn Field / Terre Haute, Indiana


All-Time: ISU leads 44-30-2

All-Time in Terre Haute: ISU leads 21-15-1

2022: ISU 10, Purdue 6 – 10 Innings (April 6 in West Lafayette)

Last Meeting in Terre Haute: ISU 4, Purdue 3 (March 2019)

Purdue’s Last Win vs. ISU: Purdue 3, ISU 1 – 10 Innings (April 2018 in Terre Haute)

First Meeting: Purdue 7, ISU 0 (April 1902 in West Lafayette)

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue baseball continues midweek play with its first visit to Terre Haute since 2019, squaring off with Indiana State on Tuesday for the front end of another in-season home and home.

First pitch at Bob Warn Field is slated for 5 p.m. ET. Purdue’s midweek trip to Terre Haute last season was canceled due to thunderstorms.

Tuesday’s game marks the end of a stretch in which Purdue will have played 21 of its first 23 games away from Alexander Field. It also marks the beginning of a stretch in which the Boilermakers will play 26 of their final 33 regular-season games in the state of Indiana. Beginning Friday and the Big Ten home opener vs. Northwestern, Purdue is slated to play 19 of 25 at home through May 8 and 22 of 32 at Alexander through the end of the regular season.

Indiana State returns the trip Tuesday, April 11 for the opener of a six-game homestand for the Boilermakers. The road team has won nine of the last 11 games in the series dating back to 2015. The last five meetings have featured three-one run games and two additional extra-innings affairs, including ISU’s 10-inning victory at Alexander Field last year. The Sycamores rallied back from a 6-2 deficit entering the seventh inning.

Friday in East Lansing, Purdue overcame a four-run deficit of its own for the first time since an 11-inning win vs. Longwood in the finale of the eight-game North Carolina road trip last season. The Boilermakers did it in conference play for the first time since the 2021 season finale vs. Minnesota.

With an RBI single and hit by pitch in Friday’s comeback win at Michigan State, Evan Albrecht officially began the season with a 20-game on-base streak (23 dating back to the 2022 home finale). He became only the fourth Boilermaker since 2001 to post at least a pair of 20-game streaks during a career.


Single Season Only

• Skyler Hunter – 21 in 2017, 24 in 2018, 24 in 2019

• Brandon Haveman – 23 in 2008, 20 in 2008, 20 in 2009

• Nick Dalesandro – 22 in 2017, 20 in 2018

• Evan Albrecht – 25 in 2022, 20 in 2023

Albrecht’s streak was snapped in game 1 of the doubleheader Sunday in East Lansing. Mike Bolton Jr. has an opportunity to be the next Boilermaker to join the 20-game list. He opened the 2022 season with a 20-game on-base streak and is currently riding a 14-game streak. Bolton reached base safely twice and scored a run in all three games at Michigan State. He’s batting .375 (15-for-40) with a .490 on-base percentage during his active streak.

Albrecht batted a team-best .419 in midweek play last season – .075 points higher than any Boilermaker – while posting three of his 11 three-hit games in the Tuesday/Wednesday non-conference action. He’s picked up where left off early this year, going 6-for-8 with two doubles, no strikeouts and four runs scored over Purdue’s first two midweek games. He enjoyed three-hit games vs. both Northern Illinois and UIC.

Indiana State is 9-3 since starting the season 2-8, with each of its three most recent defeats coming at the hands of Big Ten teams. The Sycamores scored four in the 10th to spoil Illinois’ March 15 home opener, a sixth-straight win at the time. But Michigan State swept a March 19 doubleheader in Terre Haute and Indiana used an 11-run seventh inning to break a 4-4 tie, turning the tide in a March 21 game in Bloomington.

Indiana State opened Missouri Valley Conference play with a home sweep of Valparaiso over the weekend, surrendering only five runs in the series.

The paths of Purdue and ISU crossed earlier this month at Lambert’s Café – famous for its “Throwed Rolls” – in Sikeston, Missouri. The team buses arrived nearly simultaneously at the restaurant for lunch as Purdue was traveling from West Lafayette to Oxford, Mississippi and the Sycamores were en route from Cape Girardeau, Missouri to Memphis.



Butler pitcher Mackenzie Griman has been selected as the BIG EAST Softball Pitcher of the Week, and utility player, Ella White, received Honor Roll recognition, based on their respective performances in last weekend’s series sweep of Providence.

Griman picked up two wins against the Friars, pitching two complete games with a combined 1.08 ERA. In 13.0 total innings, she allowed only three runs (two earned) on 11 hits and five walks while striking out eight.

The honor is the first such recognition for the senior in her career.

White hit three home runs, a triple, and a double in the three-game series, tallying 10 RBI. For the series, she went 5-for-11 (.455) while also drawing two walks, and she scored five runs herself.

The Bulldogs return to action this week, traveling to Bloomington on Tuesday for a game with the Indiana Hoosiers, and then traveling to Omaha, Neb., for a BIG EAST series with Creighton.



INDIANAPOLIS – The Butler baseball team will travel to South Bend on Tuesday to face the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Frank Eck Stadium. The Bulldogs went 3-3 last week and were perfect at home (2-0).


Butler at Notre Dame – 5 PM

Scouting Notre Dame

The Fighting Irish are 12-9 overall and 3-1 at home. Head Coach Shawn Stiffler joined the program in July of 2022 after a successful stint at VCU. Stiffler recently guided ND to a historic series win over No. 2 Louisville. Notre Dame won 4-3 and 5-4, before taking a 2-1 loss in the getaway game. It was the first-ever home series win over Louisville in Notre Dame history.

Carter Putz and Zack Prajzner are two players to keep an eye on in the Irish lineup. Putz leads the team with a .289 batting average. He has two doubles and four home runs on the year to lead the team with 16 RBI. Prajzner also has 22 hits in 21 games for Notre Dame. He leads the team in doubles (7) and runs scored (17).

On the mound, Notre Dame could start David Lally Jr., Radek Birkholz, or Matt Bedford. Lally Jr. started the midweek matchup last week against Valpo with the Irish winning 8-4. Lally Jr. tossed the first 2.1 innings in that game and the win would go to Sammy Cooper. Cooper has eight appearances this season and is 2-0 with a save. Carter Bosch and Will Mercer are also productive out of the bullpen. Each arm has pitched 10 innings this year and has two saves.

Last Meeting vs. Notre Dame

The Fighting Irish hosted Butler last year on April 5. BU scored two runs in the top of the first inning, but were defeated by the final score of 5-2. Jack Findlay earned the win while Alex Voss was hit with the loss. Findlay and Jackson Dennies each threw multiple innings against Butler in the game. Those two student-athletes are now weekend starters for Notre Dame.

Small Ball

Butler and Notre Dame seem to share a philosophy when it comes to generating runs. Notre Dame currently has 12 sacrifice bunts, one more than BU with 11. The Irish rank 48th in the NCAA in sac bunts and lead the ACC. TJ Williams is the individual team leader with four. The Bulldogs rank 60th in the NCAA and rank second in the BIG EAST. Billy Wurch ranks 21st in the NCAA with a team-best five sac bunts.

Last Week

The Bulldogs went 3-3 last week with wins over Northwestern (3-2), Eastern Michigan (9-7), and Cincinnati (8-5). Jake DeFries, Carter Dorighi and Joey Urban started in all six games and all hit over .300 for the Bulldogs. Kollyn All and Kyle Van Liere hit home runs last week while Urban and Billy Wurch recorded triples. On the mound, Jon Vore, Nick Miketinac and Dawson Taylor all picked up wins. Aaron Barokas led the team with two saves and Lukas Galdoni led the team with two starts.

Hitting Streaks

Joey Urban, Kyle Van Liere and Garret Gray all have three-game hitting streaks heading into the Notre Dame game.

Fantastic Freshman

Joey Urban leads the team in batting average (.286), slugging percentage (.538), runs scored (16), hits (26), RBI (17), doubles (5), triples (3), home runs (4), and total bases (49).

Get Two

The Bulldogs have had a player hit a double in four-straight games. They have hit seven total during that stretch to give them 25 on the season. BU opened the 2023 campaign with 13 doubles over the team’s first eight games.

Get Out of Here

The Bulldogs hit multiple home runs in a single game for the first time this season at Cincinnati. Kollyn All pushed Butler past the Bearcats with a solo home run in the fifth, followed by a game-winner in the eighth. All’s three-run home run came on the first pitch of the at-bat and broke a 5-5 tie.

Up Next

Butler will play a three-game series against Eastern Illinois this weekend. The two teams will come together in Charleston on Saturday for a doubleheader that begins at Noon. The series will shift to Indianapolis on Sunday with BU hosting EIU at 2 PM. That contest will stream live on



The Butler softball team travels to Bloomington, Ind., on Tuesday, Mar. 28, for a midweek clash with the Indiana Hoosiers. The Bulldogs (12-18, 6-0 BIG EAST) are on an eight-game winning streak as they are coming off a three-game sweep of Providence. The Hoosiers (22-9, 3-0 Big Ten) most recently swept Maryland.

Bulldog Bits                                                                     

Kaylee Gross is 16-for-26 (.615) in the past eight games, with three hits in three of them.

Paige Dorsett is 13-for-26 (.500) in the past eight games with at least one hit in each.

Mackenzie Griman has complete-game victories in her most recent four appearances.

(vs. Providence)

Ella White hit 3 home runs in the three-game series, amassing 10 RBI. She batted .455, going 5-for-11, and also tallied a triple and a double.

Paige Dorsett was 5-for-11 in the three-game series with a home run and 2 doubles. She totaled 6 RBI.

White and Dorsett each tallied 5 RBI in game two of the series, a career high for each player.

Kieli Ryan’s hit her first career home run in game three of the series.

Monique Hoosen hit 2 home runs over the three games and now has 7 this season. With 20 for her career, she now sits in sixth on Butler’s all-time list.

Kaylee Gross was 7-for-11 (.636) over the three games, notching her fifth double of the season. She was 5-for-5 stealing bases and now has 12 for the season.

Sydney Carter was 6-for-9 (.667) over the three games, producing her first career triple and her fourth double of the season. She also notched her first two stolen bases of the season.

Mackenzie Griman pitched two complete games against Providence, winning both with an overall ERA of 1.08.

Sydney Cammon picked up her second win of season in game two of the series.

SCOUTING INDIANA (22-9, 3-0 Big Ten)

Series: Indiana leads, 11-3-1                                 

last game- The teams played a doubleheader in Bloomington in 2018. Butler won the first, 4-1, and Indiana won the second, 7-2.

Indiana most recently swept Maryland in a three-game Big Ten series. The Hoosiers also have wins over Pitt, Purdue Fort Wayne, IUPUI, and Memphis and have lost to No. 4 Arkansas, No. 12 Alabama, No. 15 Arizona, No. 21 Auburn, No. 22 Louisiana, Wisconsin, and UConn.

INDIANA vs. (opponents)

runs:     213-126

hits:       256-208

RBI:       201-115

SB:          66-24

ERA:     3.77-7.54

Batting Leaders:

Kinsey Mitchell (.450) 27 H, 7 SB

Taryn Kern (.434) 33 H, 11 HR, 35 RBI

Taylor Minnick (.397) 9 2B, 29 RBI

Pitching Leaders:

Brianna Copeland (10-0) 2.08 ERA, 70 K

Heather Johnson (7-6) 4.07 ERA, 36 K

Macy Montgomery (5-3) 4.32 ERA, 27 K



» THIS WEEK IN BALL STATE GYMNASTICS: For just the second time in program history, Ball State gymnastics will compete as a team at an NCAA Regional when it battles NC State Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET / 2 p.m. CT in the first round of the NCAA Norman Regional hosted by top-seeded Oklahoma at the Lloyd Nobel Center.

» FOLLOWING THE FIRST ROUND: The winner of Wednesday’s first round advances to the second session of Thursday’s second round to face the host Sooners, No. 16 Ohio State, and Arkansas … Action for the quad meet is set for 8 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. CT, with the top two teams advancing to Saturday’s regional final against the top two teams from Thursday’s first session featuring No. 8 Alabama, No. 9 Kentucky, Illinois, and Iowa.

» PARTYING LIKE IT’S 1999: Ball State finished the 2023 regular season with a NQS score of 196.395 to lock up an NCAA Regional team berth for just the second time in program history … Ball State’s only other NCAA team regional berth came in 1999 when the Cardinals placed fourth among six teams at the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional … Ball State earned a team score of 193.375 in the event, topping both Auburn (193.300) and Kentucky (191.825) … Stanford (194.675) took the top spot, followed by Louisiana State (194.600) and Central Michigan (193.550) … Leading the way individually for the Cardinals that day were Jamie Swisher with a 9.625 on vault, Courtney Harless with a 9.700 on bars, and Laura Szczepanski with a 9.750 on beam, a 9.875 on floor, and a 38.800 in the all-around.

» NCAA INDIVIDUAL QUALIFIERS: In addition to the team’s NCAA Regional berth, five Cardinals earned individual bids into Thursday’s second round were Ball State to lose Wednesday … Suki Pfister and Victoria Henry qualified on vault, Grace Sumner earned a spot on beam, and Megan Teter was selected for bars and floor … In addition, junior Hannah Ruthberg was one of four student-athletes to qualify as an individual all-around competitor.


–    Ball State junior Suki Pfister made history last Thursday afternoon, becoming the first gymnast in program history to earn regular-season all-America honors as announced by the Women’s Collegiate Gymnastics Association (WCGA) … By finishing the regular season tied for 14th nationally with a National Qualifying Score (NQS) of 9.915 on vault, Pfister earned a spot on the WCGA All-America Second Team.

– The Mid-American Conference Specialist of the Year the last two seasons, Pfister has registered six vault scores of 9.900-or-higher this season … Her best vaults came versus Central Michigan (Feb. 26) and Western Michigan (March 12) when she tied her career-best score of 9.950 … Pfister has also won the vault competition in seven of Ball State’s 12 meets, including four of six league competitions.


–    For the second straight season, junior Suki Pfister was named the MAC Specialist of the Year after leading the league and tying for 14th nationally with a vault NQS of 9.915 … In addition, Pfister earned a spot on the All-MAC First Team for the second consecutive season.

– Junior Victoria Henry was also awarded for her effort on vault this season, earning Second Team All-MAC honors after finishing the regular season ranked second in the league and 38th nationally with a NQS of 9.885 … Henry, who also earned Second Team All-MAC honors as a freshman in 2021, went on to win the vault competition with a career-best 9.950 at the 2023 MAC Championships to raise her NQS to 9.895 which is currently tied for 35th nationally.

– After helping guide the Cardinals to nine of the top 10 team scores in program history this season, as well as a share of the league’s regular season championship, head coach Joanna Saleem was named the 2023 MAC Coach of the Year … It is the second career MAC Coach of the Year honor for Saleem, who was also tabbed the league’s top coach in 2021.

– For their efforts at the 2023 MAC Championship junior Victoria Henry, junior Hannah Ruthberg, and senior Megan Teter were named to the MAC All-Tournament Team … In addition to winning the vault competition, Henry would tie for fourth on floor with a score of 9.900 and tie for eighth in the all-around at 39.075 … Ruthberg turned in another solid all-around performance, placing fifth overall with a score of 39.300 … The effort, which included a 9.850 on bars, 9.825s on vault and floor, and a 9.800 on beam, ties as the eighth-best all-around score in program history … Teter also had a strong day for the Cardinals, including tying for second on bars with a 9.925 and closing the meet with a 9.900 on floor to tie for fourth and help catapult Ball State into second place.


–    Ball State’s score of 196.900 versus Western Michigan (March 12) marked the second time this season the Cardinals have broken the program record for team score, the first was a 196.550 at the Tennessee Collegiate Classic (Jan. 20).

–    Of the top 10 team scores in program history, nine have come this season.

–    Ball State broke the vault team score record with 49.250 at the Tennessee Collegiate Classic and tied the mark at Bowling Green (March 3) … In fact, BSU has posted the four best team vault scores in program history this season.

– The Cardinals have also registered the top four beam team scores in program history this season, led by a program record of 49.350 at the Tennessee Collegiate Classic.


– Ball State tallied a program record seven individual scores of 9.900-or-higher at the Tennessee Collegiate Classic (Jan. 20) … The previous best was three scores of 9.900-or-higher in the same meet set March 5, 2017, versus Western Michigan and tied Feb. 6, 2021, in a quad at Eastern Michigan and March 3, 2021, in a home quad.

– Senior Megan Teter set the program record on bars with a 9.950 at the Tennessee Collegiate Classic and has four career bars routines of 9.900-or-higher.

– Junior Suki Pfister tied the program record on floor with her 9.950 at the Tennessee Collegiate Classic … She has also tallied two scores of 9.950 on vault this season, and three over her career, with the latest coming versus Western Michigan (March 12).

– Four Cardinals have tied the program record on beam so far this season, starting with seniors Taylor Waldo and Grace Evans scoring 9.925s at the Tennessee Collegiate Classic … Waldo and sophomore Grace Sumner earned 9.925s on beam during the Ball State Quad (Jan. 29), while Waldo and fifth-year senior Lauren Volpe landed 9.925s versus Northern Illinois (Feb. 12).

– Ball State has also seen the all-around program record topped this season, with junior Victoria Henry scoring a 39.400 versus Central Michigan (Feb. 26) … She started the day with a 9.875 on vault, followed by a 9.775 on bars, and a career best 9.850 on beam … Henry then closed the meet on floor, earning the event win with a 9.900.

– Junior Hannah Ruthberg would follow with a 39.400 of her own in the quad meet at Missouri (March 10) … Her performance was highlighted by a career-best 9.900 on beam and included 9.850s on vault and bars, as well as a 9.800 on floor.


– In the program’s 10 years under current head coach Joanna Saleem, Ball State has tallied the 25 best team scores in program history … In fact, of Ball State’s 29 scores of 195.450-or-higher, 27 have been set by Saleem’s squads.

– Saleem’s squads own the event records on vault (49.250), beam (49.350), and floor (49.500), along with the second-best score in program history on bars (49.250).

– All 34 entries on the vault record book are held by Saleem’s teams, as are 19 of 24 scores on beam, 19 of 25 scores on floor, and 19 of 26 scores on bars.


– Ball State’s best event so far this season has been vault, with the Cardinals ranking first in the MAC and tied for 23rd nationally with an NQS score of 49.170.

– Ball State’s program-record vault score of 49.250 at the Tennessee Collegiate Classic (Jan. 20), and later tied at Bowling Green (March 3), is the second-best in the MAC this season and ties as the 33rd-best team high score in the nation.


– Suki Pfister has picked up right where she left off last season, ranking first in the MAC and tied for 14th nationally with a vault NQS score of 9.915.

– Pfister has been one of the nation’s most consistent vaulters, tying for 14th nationally with an average vault score of 9.887 … All 12 of her vaults have come in at 9.800-or-higher.

– No other student-athlete in the MAC has an NQS higher then 9.885, with teammates Victoria Henry (9.885) and Hannah Ruthberg (9.835) ranking second and sixth in the league, respectively.


– Suki Pfister has also turned in nine brilliant performances (9.800-or-better) on floor this season, including tying the program record with a score of 9.950 at the Tennessee Collegiate Classic (Jan. 20).

– Pfister’s score of 9.950 also ties as the second-best in the league on floor so far this season, while her NQS of 9.875 is 11th in the MAC.

– Last time out, Pfister placed third overall on floor at the MAC Championship (March 18) with a score of 9.925.


– In addition to ranking second in the MAC on vault, Victoria Henry has competed in the all-around in all 12 meets so far this season, the first 12 all-around performances of her collegiate career … Her best outing came versus Central Michigan (Feb. 27) when she set the program standard with a score of 39.400.

– Henry’s record-setting all-around started with a 9.875 on vault, followed by a 9.775 on bars, and a career best 9.850 on beam … Henry then closed the meet on floor, earning the event win with a 9.900.

– Henry tallied the fourth-highest all-around score in program history at the Tennessee Collegiate Classic (Jan. 20), counting a 9.925 on floor, a 9.875 on vault, and 9.775s on bars and beam for a score of 39.350.

– She followed with the sixth-best score in program history in the Jan. 22 dual win over Eastern Michigan, earning a 39.325 … The effort included 9.875s on bars and floor, a 9.825 on vault, and a 9.750 on beam.

– Overall, Henry has three of the top seven all-around scores in program history … In fact, she has earned five of the top 30 all-around scores so far this season.


– Hannah Ruthberg has continued her all-around assault on the record book as well, tying the program record with a 39.400 at the Missouri Quad (March 10) … The effort included a career-best 9.900 on beam, 9.850s on vault and bars, and a 9.800 on floor.

– She would go on to tie the eighth-best score in program history on the way to a fifth-place all-around finish at the MAC Championship (March 18), scoring a 39.300 … The effort included a 9.850 on bars, 9.825s on vault and floor, and a 9.800 on beam.

– Ruthberg also has a pair of 39.275s this season, with the first coming at the Ball State Quad (Jan. 29) and the second at Bowling Green (March 3) … Those scores tie as the 10th-best in program history.


– Overall, the Cardinals have counted 160 scores of 9.800-or-higher this season … 52 of those performance have come on floor, including a 9.950 from Suki Pfister and 9.925s from Victoria Henry, Zoe Middleton, and Megan Teter.

– Ball State has added 40 scores of 9.800-or-better on vault, paced by a pair of 9.950s, a 9.925, and a trifecta of 9.900s by Suki Pfister … Victoria Henry also has a 9.950 and a pair 9.925s on vault this season.

– The Cardinals also boast 35 scores of 9.800-or-better on bars and 33 on beam so far … Megan Teter’s program record score of 9.950 leads the team on bars, while Taylor Waldo, Grace Evans, Grace Sumner, and Lauren Volpe have all tied the program record on beam at 9.925 … In fact, Waldo has hit the mark three times this season, most recently in the dual win over Northern Illinois (Feb. 12).


– Freshman Zoe Middleton found an immediate home in the Ball State lineup, competing in three events in each of the first 12 meets of the season … Her best meet to date came versus Northern Illinois (Feb. 12) when she scored a 9.925 on floor, a 9.800 on vault, and a 9.800 on bars … She also scored a 9.800 on vault at the Tennessee Collegiate Classic (Jan. 20) and a career-best 9.825 on bars in each of the last three meets.

– Of Middleton’s 36 routines this season, 34 of her scores have counted towards Ball State’s team total.

– Middleton also scored a 9.800 in an exhibition on beam versus Northern Illinois (Nov. 12) … If that score would have been in competition, she would have had an all-around score of 39.325 which would have tied as the sixth-best mark in program history.


– Florida native Karah Vargo made her collegiate debut in her home state, scoring a 9.650 on vault at the Florida Quad Meet (Jan. 6).

– Leah White made her first appearance in the competitive lineup on vault at the Rutgers January Quad (Jan. 14) and has competed on the apparatus ever since with a career-best 9.775 coming at Eastern Michigan (Jan. 22), versus Northern Illinois (Feb. 12) and against Western Michigan (March 12).


– Ball State’s lone fifth-year senior, Lauren Volpe registered a career-best beam score of 9.925 in the win over Northern Illinois (Feb. 12) to tie the program record … The effort helped the Cardinals finish the meet with the second-best team beam score in program history at 49.300.

– In fact, Volpe is one of three current Ball State gymnasts to have a countable score in all six of the top team beam marks in program history, including the program record mark of 49.350 set at the Tennessee Collegiate Classic (Jan. 20), along with junior Hannah Ruthberg and sophomore Grace Sumner.


– Grace Evans enters the NCAA Norman Regional First Round tied atop the beam record book with her score of 9.925 set at the Tennessee Collegiate Classic (Jan. 20) … She has 10 scores of 9.800-or-better this season, including a season-best 9.875 on bars versus Western Michigan (March 12) … She also hit for scores of 9.850 on bars and 9.800 on beam at the MAC Championship (March 18).

– Megan Teter set the bars record at 9.950 and earned a career-best vault score of 9.825 at the Tennessee Collegiate Classic (Jan. 20) … Overall, Teter has seven scores of 9.900-or-better this season, including tying for second on bars at the MAC Championship with a 9.925.

– Taylor Waldo has been strong on beam all season, tying the program record three times at 9.925, most recently versus Northern Illinois (Feb. 12) … Waldo also tied her career best on floor versus Western Michigan with a 9.875 and has earned 10 scores of 9.800-or-better this season.


– After a strong freshman campaign in 2022, Grace Sumner has not missed a beat this season, including tying the program record on beam with her 9.925 at the Ball State Quad (Jan. 29) … In addition, she scored a career-best bars routine of 9.850 versus Northern Illinois (Feb. 12).

– Overall, Sumner has tallied 13 scores of 9.800-or-better this season, including a 9.925 and a pair of 9.900s on beam.



» THIS WEEK IN BALL STATE SOFTBALL: Midweek #MACtion softball style starts this week with the league’s current top two teams battling it out at the Softball Field at First Merchants Ballpark Complex when Ball State welcomes Northern Illinois for a three-game set … The teams will play a 1 p.m. doubleheader Tuesday and a 1 p.m. single game Wednesday … From there, Ball State will travel to Ohio for a 1 p.m. doubleheader Saturday and a Noon single game Sunday.

» A QUICK LOOK AT THE CARDINALS: Ball State enters the week with a 14-12 (4-1 MAC) record after sweeping Central Michigan at home last weekend … The Cardinals picked up an 8-4 win in the opener Saturday, before earning a pair of walk-off wins Sunday by scores of 2-1 (8) and 10-2 (6) … Ball State currently boast two of the nations’ top 30 hitters with senior Haley Wynn ranking 15th among all NCAA Division I batters with a .468 average, while senior Amaia Daniel is 30th with her .442 mark … In the circle, sophomore Angelina Russo leads the Ball State pitching staff with her 3.48 ERA and .218 batting average against.

» THE OVERALL RECORD: Ball State enters the midweek series versus Northern Illinois with a 1135-1128-4 (.502) overall record dating back to the 1975 season … The Cardinals have tallied 30-or-more wins in 16 seasons, most recently a 37-18 mark under current head coach Lacy Schurr in 2021 … Of the 16 seasons with 30-or-more wins, 11 have come in the past 15 seasons.


– The Huskies are coming off an impressive weekend of their own, sweeping defending MAC regular season and tournament champion Miami in Oxford … NIU earned a 3-2 win on Saturday, while sweeping a Sunday twinbill by scores of 7-6 and 7-2.

– Kelly Walinski leads the NIU offense with a .362 batting average, while Caitlyn Shumaker is batting .338 with a team-high 17 RBI … As a team, the Huskies are batting .261.

– Danielle Stewart leads the NIU pitching staff with a 2.55 ERA over 68.2 innings of work … She is holding opposing batters to a .206 average and has a team-leading 51 strikeouts to go along with a 6-5 overall record.

– Last season, the Cardinals took two of three games in DeKalb, starting with a 13-5 (5) victory on April 5 … BSU won the first game of an April 6 doubleheader by a score of 11-0 (5), before dropping the nightcap 13-9 … Northern Illinois holds a 19-12 edge in games played in Muncie after the teams split a May 4, 2021 doubleheader … NIU won the opener, 7-2, while Ball State took the nightcap, 5-4.


» GONE WITH THE WYNN: Senior infielder Haley Wynn opened the year with a bang, smashing a solo home run to center field for Ball State’s first hit of the 2023 season in the team’s 5-3 victory over Samford (Feb. 17) … In addition, she has added back-to-back two home run games starting with three-run blast and solo homer in the 15-9 victory over Kent State (March 17) and followed by a pair of solo shots in Saturday’s 8-4 victory over Central Michigan.

» MORE ON WYNN: Haley Wynn has only picked up speed after her season-opening performance, as she currently leads the Mid-American Conference and ranks 15th nationally with a .468 batting average … She has reached base safely in 25 of Ball State’s 26 games, including a career-best 12 game hitting streak … Wynn also leads the squad with 26 runs scored, with her 1.00 runs-per-game average ranking 40th nationally.

» DRIVING THEM HOME: Amaia Daniel enters the NIU series with 20 RBI so far this season … With her final of four RBIs in Ball State’s 14-4 (6) victory over Bellarmine (Feb. 25), Daniel became just the 16th player in program history to reach 100 career RBI … The moment came on a bases loaded sacrifice fly in the sixth inning to make the score 12-4 … She is currently 13th in program history with 109 career RBI and needs five more to reach 12th.

» MORE ON DANIEL: Amaia Daniel, who has reached base safely in 23 of Ball State’s 26 games this season, enters Tuesday’s doubleheader ranked ninth in program history with a .426 career on base percentage … She is also tied for 11th in career runs scored (112), tied for 11th in career doubles (38), and 16th in career home runs (16) … On defense, she has helped turn 42 career double plays, which is the second-most in program history.

» SPEAKING OF DOUBLE PLAYS: Ball State’s defense has registered 10 double plays over its first 26 games of the season and currently ranks second in the MAC and 49th nationally with a 0.38 double plays-per-game average … First baseman Samantha-Jo Mata has had a hand in eight double plays, while Amaia Daniel at shortstop has factored in seven.

» ON THE BASE PATHS: Ball State picked up right where it left off last season, stealing a total of 33 bases over the first 26 games of the season … The Cardinals currently rank second in the MAC and 89th nationally with a 1.27 steals-per-game average … Junior Remington Ross leads the way, going a perfect 10-for-10 in stolen base attempts … With the mark, Ross remains first in program history with a .970 (32-for-33) stolen base percentage … In addition, her 32 career stolen bases are 18th in program history.

» NEAR PERFECTION: Sophomore pitcher Angelina Russo, who threw the first perfect game in program history last season, added to her lore in the 10-1 (5) victory over Lindenwood (Feb. 19), collecting just the 18th recorded no-hitter in program history dating back to the 1980 season … The 2022 MAC Freshman Pitcher of the Year and a MAC All-Freshman Team selection, Russo retired 15 of the 17 batters she faced against the Lions with a walk and an error being the lone blemishes … She also struck out three batters on her way to her second win of the weekend.

» WELCOME BACK MCKAYLA: After missing the last 18 games of the 2022 season due to injury, minus a pair of pinch running appearances in the Akron series, redshirt sophomore McKayla Timmons has reached base safely in 18 of the 24 games she has played for the Cardinals this season … In fact, she ranks third on the team with a .369 batting average and leads the squad with 24 RBI … She has also smashed five two-run home runs this season, including her walk-off blast to cap the CMU series Sunday … Timmons, who smashed four home runs in her debut season in 2022, enters the week ranked fourth among active Ball State players with nine career home runs.

» WELCOME TO THE #BALLSTATESB BOMB SQUAD: Redshirt freshman McKenna Mulholland made sure her first collegiate hit was a memorable one, as she blasted a solo home run in her first collegiate at bat to open the bottom of the second inning in the 10-1 (5) win over Lindenwood (Feb. 19) … Sophomore Kaitlyn Gibson added her first collegiate round tripper in the 14-8 setback at No. 16 Georgia (March 3) … Overall, nine active Cardinals have at least one career home run heading into Saturday’s doubleheader versus Central Michigan.

» CLUTCH AT BAT FOR MATHEWS: Junior Kaitlyn Mathews provided perhaps the biggest hit of the CMU series when she blasted her second home run of the season to tie the score of Sunday’s opener, a 2-1 (8) BSU win … The home run came with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning on a 1-1 pitch and was just short of hitting the scoreboard in left-center field.

» FRANCYS HEATING UP: Junior transfer Francys King turned in the best performance of her Ball State career in Sunday’s 2-1 (8) win over Central Michigan, throwing the first 7.0 innings and limiting the Chippewas to four hits and one unearned run … She struck out five of the first six batters she faced and ended the game with a season-high six strikeouts … She also limited CMU to a .174 average for the game … King only had five strikeouts over her first eight appearances, or 25.2 innings of work, this season.



MUNCIE, Ind. – The Ball State baseball team returns to the friendly confines of the Ball Diamond at First Merchants Ballpark on Tuesday for a non-conference matchup with Southern Indiana. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.

The Cardinals are coming off a series sweep over the Eastern Michigan Eagles. Ball State enters with a 17-6 overall record. Southern Indiana has a 7-17 record. The Cardinals are currently ranked No. 26 by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper and are receiving votes in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Poll.

Gold Glove Peltier

At the conclusion of last season, Ryan Peltier was honored as the best defensive third baseman in the NCAA and received an ABCA/Rawlings Gold Glove. After being named the MAC Defensive Player of the Year and earning a spot on the All-MAC Second Team for back-to-back seasons, Peltier was awarded the first Gold Glove in BSU history. He was a 2023 Preseason All-American honoree from Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.

Peltier leads the Cardinals with a .427 batting average. He has pelted a team-best seven homers and has a team-high 25 RBIs. His seven home runs are tied for 106th in the NCAA and tied for fifth in the conference. He has a slugging percentage of .775, which is 46th in the country and first in the MAC. Peltier has scored 33 runs, which is tied for 13th in the NCAA and is first the MAC.

What Can Brown Do for You?

Ryan Brown was named the No. 49 prospect in college baseball by D1 Baseball. Brown was the only Mid-American Conference player selected to the top-100 list. He was also tabbed as one of the top mid-major prospects for the 2023 season. Brown also landed on the 2023 MLB Draft: Rising Righthanded Pitchers watch list. Last season, Brown earned recognition as a Collegiate Baseball Newspaper Freshman All-American along with the MAC Freshman Pitcher of the Year. He also earned a spot on the All-MAC Second Team.

Brown is currently leading the nation with 17.22 strikeouts per nine innings. He is tied for 31st in the NCAA with 44 strikeouts, which is second in the MAC. He has 4-1 record on the year and has thrown 23 innings. Opponents are hitting just .167 against him for the season.

Scouting the Cardinals

Decker Scheffler is second on the squad with a .386 batting average. He has 16 RBIs, 16 runs scored, three doubles, two homers, and two triples. Scheffler is tied for the 103rd toughest player to strikeout in the NCAA and is tied for fourth in the MAC. Adam Tellier is third on the squad with a .360 average. He has 24 runs scored, 12 walks, 12 RBIs, seven doubles, three triples, and one home run. His three triples are tied for 19th in the NCAA and leads the MAC. Matthew Rivera is fourth on the team with a .333 batting average. He has 18 RBIs, 12 runs scored, six doubles, and four home runs. He has a slugging percentage of .686. Justin Conant is fifth on the squad with a .318 average. He has 12 runs scored, nine RBIs, three doubles, one triple, and one home run. Nick Gregory might only be hitting .213, but he leads the team with 19 walks. He has scored 20 runs and driven in seven runs.

The Cardinal pitching staff is led by Trennor O’Donnell with a 1.82 ERA, which is tied for 30th in the NCAA and leads the MAC. He has 39 strikeouts in 34 2/3 innings of work. Tanner Knapp as added 23 1/3 innings in eight relief appearances for the Cardinals. Knapp has 22 strikeouts on the year. Logan Schulfer is third on the staff with 26 strikeouts in 17 2/3 innings. Ty Johnson and Jacob Hartlaub both have over 20 strikeouts with 25 and 24, respectively. Casey Bargo is expected to get the start for the Cardinals against the Screaming Eagles. He has five strikeouts in six innings of work.

Ball State vs. Southern Indiana: The Series

Ball State and Southern Indiana will meet for the first time ever on Tuesday. 

Scouting the Screaming Eagles

Caleb Niehaus leads USI with a .326 batting average and is the only player above .300. He is second on the team with 19 RBIs. He has scored 15 runs with two doubles, two triples, and two home runs. Evan Kahre is second on the team with a .292 average. He has a team-best 20 runs scored. He has added nine RBIs, five doubles, three triples, and one home run. Tucker Ebest has a team-high four home runs. Tyler Hutson leads the team with 25 strikeouts and has a 5.40 ERA in 30 innings of work. Gavin Morris has a team-best 1.80 ERA in 20 innings. Roy Holcomb is expected to make his season debut in the start on Tuesday.



SOUTH BEND, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team picked up their seventh victory of the season with a 21-7 win over Brown Monday evening at Arlotta Stadium.

Three individuals combined for hat tricks in the win while an additional seven women scored as the Irish recorded their second-highest point total of the season.


The Irish jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead behind goals from Choma, Denes and Schlageter, forcing Brown to use a timeout seven minutes into play.

The Irish extended their lead to five goals late in the opening quarter but the Bears got one back as ND held the 5-1 lead through 15 minutes of play.

Brown answered with three goals in the top half of the second quarter but goals from Ahern and Choma kept the Irish on top.

Wolak scored her second of the game off the free position with 5:56 to go in the opening half to register career goal 100 for the senior. The Ridgewood, N.J. native scored her second hat trick in three days to round out the first half.

At the end of the half, Notre Dame led Brown 10-5.

The Irish came out firing in the second half, firing 11 goals into the back of the net to clinch victory against the Bears, 21-7.


With her second tally of the afternoon, Wolak tallied her 100th career goal and now sits at 181 career points in an Irish uniform.


Three Irish attackers tallied hat tricks in the victory as the team’s leading scorers Choma, Ahern and Wolak scored at least three goals. Ahern led the Irish with five goals while dishing out an assist for six points.

Ten individuals tallied at least one goal as the Irish posted a 21-7 victory in their first ever meeting with the Bears.

Ahern and Wolak led the team with six points on the evening while Choma (five), Denes (four), Shanahan (two) and Maichin (two) all boasted multiple point outings.

Denes won 11 draws in the circle, finishing just shy of her career best.

Callahan spent all 60 minutes in net, tallying five saves in the game.


Notre Dame continues their home stand Saturday when ACC rival UNC visits Arlotta April 1 at noon ET.



SOUTH BEND, Ind. — The Notre Dame Fighting Irish (12-9) are back at home for another midweek matchup as they take on the Butler Bulldogs (5-18) on Tuesday, March 28. The Irish will resume ACC play this weekend against North Carolina at Frank Eck.

Another Midweek Matchup at Frank Eck

The Irish are 3-for-3 in their midweek matchups so far this season, with two neutral site wins over Saint Joseph’s in Holly Springs and the win over Valpo in the 2023 home opener last week.

Notre Dame leads the overall series against Butler 68-15, while securing 37 of the wins at home in South Bend.

The Irish have won the last 13 matchups, with the most recent coming last season at home with a 5-4 victory on April 5, 2022.

This will be the 83rd matchup between the Irish and the Bulldogs, but just the third time playing each other in the last 20 years. The Irish have played Butler at home in 2012, 2022, and will do so again on Tuesday.

Irish Make History in Series Win Over No. 2 Louisville

The Notre Dame Fighting (12-9) Irish defeated the No. 2 Louisville Cardinals (19-4) in a historic fashion, taking the first game of the series on Friday, March 24 and the first game of the doubleheader on Sunday, March 26.

The 5-4 win on Sunday afternoon clinched the first-ever home series win over Louisville in program history. After falling 2-1 in the second game of the doubleheader, the Irish are now 4-5 in conference.

In game one, Notre Dame trailed 2-0 heading into the fifth.

The Irish held Louisville scoreless in the top of the inning, while the Irish offense really started to get hot in the bottom of the frame. The Irish led off with singles from DM Jefferson and TJ Williams, and a sac bunt from Jack Penney would put runners on second and third for Notre Dame.

Zack Prajzner scored both as he doubled down the left field line to add two Irish runs to the board and make it an even 2-2 ballgame. Zyska followed with a double of his own as he sent it to the wall in the left field gap to score Prajzner and take the lead 3-2.

The Cardinals would score another run in the top of the sixth to tie it up at 3-3.

The Irish immediately responded as Estevan Moreno ripped a home run to deep left, his second of the season, to put the Irish back on top at 4-3 and lead them to eventual 4-3 victory to take game one.

In Saturday’s doubleheader, the Cardinals would put their first run of the day on the board on the first pitch of the game as they opened up with a home run to right field to take an early 1-0 lead. And after leading off the top of the fifth with another home run, Louisville led 3-0.

Notre Dame wasn’t going anywhere, as the Irish bats started to get hot in the fifth. Notre Dame would score all five of their runs in the bottom of the inning. The Irish’s five runs would come off of just three three hits, all of which were home runs. Jack Penney would hit the first homer, followed by back-to-back home runs from Carter Putz and Brooks Coetzee.

The five-run inning lifted the Irish to a 5-4 win to clinch the series win over the Cardinals.

Notre Dame Opens up at Home Against Valparaiso

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish took down the Beacons in the 106th matchup between Valpo and Notre Dame as the Irish lead the overall series 86-21 with the very first game taking place on May 14, 1918.

The Irish defeated Valpo in a 8-4 victory in their home opener on Tuesday, March 21 at Frank Eck.

Both graduate students, Zack Prajzner and Jack Zyska both recorded their first home runs of the season in Tuesday’s win. Prajzner’s homer to left field came in the bottom of the third and Zyska followed with his left field home run in the bottom of the fourth.

David Lally Jr. made his second career start on the mound, throwing 2.1 innings before he was relieved in the third inning by Carter Bosch.  Bosch recorded a season-high six strikeouts across 3.2 innings and gave up no runs while allowing only two hits. Sammy Cooper came in to close in the top of the seventh, taking home his second win of the season.

Irish Resume Conference Play at No. 4 Wake Forest

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish finished the series 2-1 at no. 4 Wake Forest last weekend after falling in both doubleheader games on Saturday, but taking home Sunday’s game in a 3-1 victory.

The Irish are now 9-8 on the year and 2-4 in the ACC after the road series.

Due to Friday’s game being postponed for inclement weather, the Irish and Demon Deacons played a doubleheader on Saturday, March 18.

Wake Forest took game one 4-1 and game two 12-3.

Jackson Dennies started on the mound for the Irish in game one, finishing the day with three strikeouts while allowing two runs and five hits across 3.2 innings pitched.

Aidan Tyrell came in relief with two outs in the bottom of the fourth, throwing 3.1 innings, recording four strikeouts, and giving up just one run and one hit.

Trailing 1-0 heading into the top of the third, Danny Neri led off for the Irish with a double down the left field line and advanced to third on a sac bunt from TJ Williams. Estevan Moreno followed with his first hit of the day as he singled through the left side to score Neri for Notre Dame’s only run of the game

The Irish struggled to score in game two on Saturday. Trailing 12-1 heading into the top of the ninth, Connor Hincks singled to center field for his first career hit and was sent home on a two-run home run from Tony Lindwedel. Lindwedel’s first career home run would close the gap to 12-3 as Wake Forest took home the second game of the series.

Wake Forest was undefeated 14-0 at home so far this season until Notre Dame took game three with a score of 3-1.

The Irish offense sparked in the top of the second with a double to right center from Carter Putz, who scored after Jack Zyska hit a single to left field.

The Irish posted an early 1-0 lead, while Findlay continued to shut down the Demon Deacons from the mound as he closed the first two innings with three strikeouts.

DM Jefferson started the third with a lead-off single to center field and advanced to second on a passed ball with TJ Williams up to bat. Jefferson was able to score and tack on another run for the Irish as an RBI single from Brooks Coetzee brought Jefferson home for the 2-0 lead.

Coetzee led off the sixth with a double to right center field, which was followed by a walk from Putz. With runners on first and second and Jack Penney up to bat, Coetzee was able to steal third on a wild pitch. Penney reached on a fielder’s choice, recording an RBI as Coetzee ran home to give the Irish a 3-0 edge heading into the bottom of the sixth.

Findlay recorded his 10th strikeout of the day before he was relieved by Blake Hely with two outs in the sixth. Findlay absolutely dominated from the mound, throwing 10 strikes across 5.2 innings and allowing just two hits and no runs.

Midweek matchup in Holly Springs

The Irish took down the Hawks on Tuesday, March 14, and Wednesday, March 15, in their first midweek matchup of the year.

Notre Dame defeated Saint Joseph’s 6-3 on Tuesday and 10-9 on Wednesday at Ting Stadium in Holly Springs, NC..

Matt Bedford made his first start of the year in game one and freshman David Lally Jr. made his first career start on the mound in game two.

Carter Putz recorded his second home run of the year in game one with a 440’ rocket to right field in the game one win.

The Irish took game two in a close 10-9 win, finishing the game with a bases loaded walk-off HBP as Coetzee was hit by the pitch for the fourth time that game for the walk-off win.

Putz, Penney, and Neri each recorded their third home runs of the year in game two against Saint Joseph’s.

Conference Play Opens Up at Georgia Tech

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish start the 2023 conference season 1-2 in the ACC after falling in games one and two, but taking home game three against the Yellow Jackets on the road.

The Irish fell in a close one on Friday night (March 10) at Russ Chandler Stadium. While the Irish trailed 2-0 early, a strong fifth inning that included five singles allowed Notre Dame to put four runs on the board to take the lead 4-3. However, the bottom of the seventh inning would lift the Yellow Jackets to the 7-4 victory in game one.

Due to Sunday’s weather, a double header was played on Saturday where the Yellow Jackets took the first game of the day 15-2.

While the Irish struggled to find the strike zone, the Yellow Jackets were hot from the plate, bringing in nine runs in the first three innings.

The Fighting Irish scored their first run of the day in the top of the third after Estevan Moreno singled up the middle and was sent home from an RBI double down the right field line from Jack Penney.

The Yellow Jackets would tack on another two runs in the bottom of the fourth to extend the lead 11-1 and wouldn’t score again until the bottom of the seventh.

Freshman Caden Spivey made his debut on the mound in the bottom of the fourth, striking out his very first batter faced. Spivey allowed only one hit and gave up no runs in his two innings pitched.

Norte Dame wasn’t going anywhere though, as they came out strong to start the second game of the day and went on to take the final game 17-4. The Irish finished with 16 hits, their best offensive outing of the season.

Zack Prajzner started the Irish offense with a double to left field, followed by a base hit from Brooks Coetzee. Nick Juaire reached first after being hit by a pitch and it was bases loaded for the Irish. Jack Zyska was walked in his first at bat of the game, which scored Prajzner and put Notre Dame on the board 1-0.

Jack Penney stepped up to the plate with bases loaded and two outs and crushed a ball down the right field line for a grand slam. Penney’s second home run of the season scored Coetzee, Juaire, and Zyska to give the Irish the 5-0 advantage after one.

Leading 5-2 heading into the third, Carter Putz led off and started the inning with his first home run of the season with a 418’ homer to deep center field. Juaire followed with a base hit to left field and scored on an RBI double from Penny, his fifth RBI of the game.

Jackson Dennies started on the mound for the Irish, pitching 2.2 innings, throwing three strikeouts, and giving up three runs.

Dennies would give up one run in the bottom of the third before he was relieved by Aidan Tyrell, who finished with a game-high five strikeouts. Tyrell allowed no runs and only gave two hits across four innings pitched.

Vinny Martinez kept the offense going with a 434’ rocket out to left field, his first home run of the season with the Irish in the top of the seventh. Notre Dame tacked on another five runs in the seventh to take home the 17-4 victory.



SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Prior to hosting Pittsburgh for this year’s Strikeout Cancer Weekend, the Fighting Irish softball team will battle with the IUPUI Jaguars Tuesday evening, and the UIC Flames Wednesday in a pair of midweek games. The Irish are currently 4-0 in midweek competition this season, and are 18-8-1 overall on the year.

Both games are set for a 5 p.m. first pitch at Melissa Cook Stadium, with live stats available and digital streams on the ACC Network Extra.

The Irish enter the weekend after going 2-1-1 last week, with both wins coming via the mercy rule. Carlli Kloss owns the team’s top batting average at .348, scoring a team-best 22 runs and 14 extra-base hits. Lexi Orozco, Joley Mitchell and Payton Tidd have all reached the 20 RBI plateau as Orozco and Karina Gaskins lead the team with seven home runs.

The three primary Irish pitchers have evenly appeared in 16 games each. Payton Tidd has started a team-best 11 games, throwing 82.1 innings and earning a 10-4 record. Micaela Kastor leads the team with a 1.62 ERA in 43.1 innings. She also limits opponents to a .208 average against. Shannon Becker has thrown in 50.1 innings, striking out 37 on the year.

IUPUI enters the weekend with a 6-16 overall record, winning their last two games in Horizon League action against Cleveland State. The Jaguars also split a two-game set with the Oakland Golden Grizzlies, a team the Irish defeated in Florida earlier this season.

The team hits for a .233 average, led by Jaida Speth’s .386 mark. Speth has started all 22 games, connecting on nine extra-base hits and scored seven runs. Kennedy Cowan leads the team with four home runs, driving in eight and scoring 11 runs.

The pitching staff owns a .447 ERA, led by Madison Bryant’s 3.53 ERA in nine appearances, all nine starts. She’s thrown four complete games, logging 45.2 innings. Carly Metcalf also has started all nine games she’s appeared in this season, tossing 42.2 innings. Alexa Holman and Isabella Waggner have been uses as the primary relievers, owning eight and six relief appearances, respectively.

The Flames enter this week having yet to find the win column during the 2023 season. Falling in all three games against Northern Iowa at home last weekend.

UIC owns a .177 average as a team, led by a .245 average from Carlee Jo Clark. Clark has five extra-base hits of her 13. Hailey Cowing has two-thirds of the Flame home runs, driving in seven runs this season.

The combination of Clark, Miranda Gomez and Christina Toniolo combine for a 6.18 ERA this season. Toniolo has appeared in 20 games, starting 14 and throwing 77.2 innings. Gomez has 16 appearances, 13 in relief. She adds a 6.78 ERA in 32.0 innings of work. Clark has appeared in 17 games, with 11 starts. She adds 53.1 innings and has given up a team-most 10 home runs.



TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Indiana State is back in non-conference play on Tuesday afternoon as the Sycamores welcome Purdue to Bob Warn Field for a midweek contest. First pitch between the Sycamores and the Boilermakers is set for 5 p.m. ET.

The game is set to be streamed live via ESPN+, while live stats will also be provided on

Game Day Giveaway: An ISU Forest t-shirt will be given to the first 80 Forest members that come to Tuesday’s game.

Game Day Promo: $2 Hot Dogs will be on sale at the concession stand while supplies last.

$20 Tuesdays Ticket Promo: The Sycamores are selling a $20 Tuesdays, four-game ticket package this season. The ticket package will feature one chairback seat ticket to each of the four following games: Purdue (Mar. 28), Indiana (Apr. 4), Illinois (May 2), and Ball State (May 9). Call 812-237-8972 for more information.

The Sycamores continue to sit among the nation’s best in terms of RPI heading into the week. ISU clocks in at 27 overall to pace the Missouri Valley for the third consecutive week. Evansville is the only other MVC team to sit among the top-100 with the Purple Aces sitting 37th overall.

Indiana State also continues to boast one of the top strength of schedules in the country through the first 22 games. The Sycamores boast the top non-conference strength of schedule in the NCAA Division I sitting ahead of Florida State (2), Charlotte (3), Florida A&M (4), and Pepperdine (5). Factoring in Missouri Valley games, the Sycamores have the third-toughest schedule in the country trailing only Florida State (1) and UCLA (2). Oregon (4) and Arkansas (5) round out the overall top five in the country.

The Sycamores have proven they will face anyone with two teams currently sitting in the top 10 in the country in RPI with Kentucky (1) and Vanderbilt (9) leading the way. Other opponents in the top-35 include Miami (17), Missouri (21), Indiana (25), and Illinois (35).

Indiana State looks to build off the momentum from their conference opening weekend as the Sycamores began MVC play with a 3-0 record for just the fifth time in program history and first since 2016. Indiana State hit .316 from the plate as a team with 10 extra-base hits over the three-game stretch. From the mound, the ISU pitching staff combined for a 1.67 ERA with a 23:6 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 27.0 innings.

Seth Gergely and Mike Sears were the leaders at the plate over the weekend. Gergely hit a team-best .600 from the plate with two home runs, six RBI, and five runs scored. Both of Gergely’s home runs were three-run shots in Saturday’s 10-1 opening win of the series. Sears hit .455 from the plate with three home runs, including a two-homer game in Sunday’s 7-2 win. Grant Magill also posted a .571 average including a three-hit game on Saturday.

Matt Jachec (8.0 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 8 K) and Connor Fenlong (7.0 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 5 K) both posted quality starts for the Sycamores as the duo provided a strong 1-2 punch atop the rotation. Jared Spencer made two appearances and picked up his first save of 2023 to headline the bullpen. Cameron Holycross, Brennyn Cutts, Cam Edmonson, and Kyle Cortner also posted scoreless outings out of the bullpen over the weekend.

Gergely continues to lead the Sycamores hitting efforts on the year. The redshirt senior enters the week on a six-game hitting streak on the way to improving his batting average to a robust .348. He is second on the team in both doubles (5), home runs (3), and RBI (16), while leading the Sycamores with eight stolen bases. Luis Hernandez (.278) and Mike Sears (.275) are also among the team’s hitting leaders with Hernandez pacing ISU in doubles (6), while Sears is the team’s home run (7) and RBI (21) leader.

Fifteen different Indiana State pitchers have seen time on the mound this year with the Sycamores boasting a team 5.58 ERA and a 206:95 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Four different ISU pitchers have posted two wins in 2023, while Matt Jachec (35) and Jared Spencer (28) are the team’s strikeout leaders. Cameron Holycross (0.66 ERA) and Spencer (3.12 ERA) are among the team’s ERA leaders on the year.

The Sycamores continue to be elite defensively. Indiana State entered the week fourth in the NCAA and first in the MVC in fielding percentage. The Sycamores are fielding at a .987 clip on the season with four players posting perfect 1.000 percentages with at least 20 chances.

Scouting the Opposition

Purdue Boilermakers

Purdue enters the midweek contest with a 10-12 overall record on the year following their weekend series loss at Michigan State. The Boilermakers took the first game in the series at East Lansing, Mich., 5-4, but fell in both games of Sunday’s doubleheader by scores of 5-4 and 12-6. Purdue fell to 1-7 on the road in 2023 following the series loss.

Evan Albrecht (.392) and Paul Toetz (.354) lead a Purdue offense that is explosive at the plate with a team batting average of .286 through their first 22 games. Albrecht is the team leader with 31 hits and six doubles on the year, while Toetz has a team-high eight home runs and 33 RBI. Jake Jarvis (.304) is also among the team’s power threats with five home runs and 19 RBI. Couper Cornblum is the team’s stolen base leader with 13 in 14 attempts.

The Purdue pitching staff has posted a team 5.11 ERA on the season with 14 different arms making appearances on the mound in 2023. Calvin Schapira (1-1, 3.86 ERA) is among the Purdue names to watch for Tuesday’s contest, while six different Boilermakers have made starts on the mound. The Boilermakers have posted a 160:103 strikeout-to-walk ratio on the year and allowed opponents to hit .260 from the plate.

Purdue was not ranked among the six teams picked in the Big Ten preseason poll. Albrecht, Mike Bolton Jr. (OF), and Cam Thompson (1B/OF) were all selected to the preseason Big Ten All-Conference team. Albrecht and Bolton teamed up for 50 stolen bases last season, helping Purdue lead the Big Ten (116) in 2022 while eclipsing a program record that had stood since 2000. Thompson was the team’s primary run producer in the heart of the lineup, leading the way with a 13 home runs and 56 RBI while producing a 1.031 OPS.

Purdue’s 2023 schedule features several Missouri Valley teams with the Boilermakers already traveling to Evansville (Mar. 17-19) and hosting UIC (Mar. 21). In addition to the home-and-home series with Indiana State, the Boilermakers will host Evansville (Apr. 4) and Valparaiso (Apr. 25) this season. So far in 2023 Purdue is 1-2 against MVC schools with a pair of losses to the Purple Aces, while topping the Flames.

Indiana State – Purdue History

Indiana State leads the all-time series against the Boilermakers with a 44-31-2 overall mark dating back to the teams’ inaugural contest back on April 26, 1902. Purdue won the initial game played in West Lafayette, 7-0. ISU’s first win in the series came back in 1963 with an 8-3 win in Terre Haute on April 13. The Sycamores are 21-16-1 all-time in Terre Haute against the Boilermakers. ISU has also won its last four games against Purdue dating back to April 18, 2018.

Last Season against Purdue

Indiana State won its lone matchup against Purdue in the 2022 season to move to 44-31-2 all-time against the Boilermakers. The Sycamores scored eight unanswered runs after the sixth inning, including four in the go-ahead 10th frame to top the Boilermakers at Alexander Field. Seth Gergely was the key with the go-ahead RBI double in the 10th, while Joey Hurth went the final two innings in taking the win.

Sycamores against the Big Ten

The Sycamores have already lined up against Iowa, Illinois, Michigan State, and Indiana in the 2023 season. Indiana State is 1-4 against the conference on the season with their lone win coming on March 14 in extra-innings against Illinois, 7-3 (10). ISU fell in the season opener to Iowa in extra innings, 6-2 (11) and dropped both games in their weekend series at home against Michigan State (8-2 & 10-7). In their most recent contest against the Big Ten at Indiana (Mar. 21), the Hoosiers utilized an 11-run seventh inning to top the Sycamores 15-5. ISU has scheduled games against Indiana (Apr. 4), Purdue (Apr. 11), and Illinois (May 2) left this season. ISU went 5-5 against the Big Ten last season with wins over Minnesota (twice), Illinois, Purdue, and Michigan.



FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The ‘Dons will play their first home non-league game of the season on Tuesday (March 28) when Bowling Green comes to Mastodon Field.

Game Day Information

Who: Purdue Fort Wayne (6-18) vs. Bowling Green (8-13)

When: Tuesday, March 28 | 3 PM

Where: Fort Wayne, Ind. | Mastodon Field

Weather: 50 degrees, partly cloudy

Series History: Bowling Green leads 13-5. The two teams played last week at Bowling Green with the Falcons winning 8-6. Caileb Johnson and Brooks Sailors each hit a home run in the game.

Scouting the Falcons: Kyle Gurney leads the team in hitting at .306. The Falcons took 2-of-3 from Miami (Ohio) in league play this last weekend. They won five straight games before falling in the series finale. They have 11 total home runs over the last five games.

Last Week Today: 

– Cade Nelis slashed .583/.688/.833 last week in four games. He had seven hits and scored three times. He had 10 assists and five putouts with no errors in four games at second base.

– JD Deany earned a save in game one vs. Northern Kentucky and the win in game two vs. Northern Kentucky. He threw five shutout innings in the win over NKU in game two. On the entire week he allowed just one run with 12 strikeouts in 8.0 innings of work.

Mac Attack: Mac Ayres hasn’t allowed a run in his last four outings. This is a span of 11.0 innings, including 5.1 shutout innings vs. Northern Kentucky on March 24.

Masto-Slams: The ‘Dons hit grand slams in back-to-back games against Northern Kentucky. On March 24 Ben Higgins hit a grand slam and then in game one on March 26 Jarrett Bickel hit a game-tying grand slam in the seventh inning of a 9-5 win.

Hey Batter Batter (of the Week): Braedon Blackford hit .429 and slugged 1.357 with four home runs in 14 at bats over four games played in Winston-Salem, N.C. (March 3-5). He also recorded one double, seven RBIs, five runs scored, two walks and 19 total bases to earn the Horizon League Batter of the Week honor. The Peoria, Ill. native began a doubleheader against Cornell going 3-for-4 with two home runs and a double to drive in two runs and score three times in a 6-3 victory. He ended the week driving in five more runs against Ball State as he blasted two more long balls and finished the day going 3-for-4 with two runs scored and a walk. He now has three career multi-home run games for the ‘Dons. Last season he had two against Cal Baptist on Feb. 26, 2022.

Record Within Striking Distance: The 2023 season is Justin Miller’s fifth as a Mastodon. Miller owns 189 career strikeouts, the second most in program history for a career. He will look to pass Jason Horvath (2001-04) for the most in program history this season. Horvath recorded 210 strikeouts.

D1Baseball Top 30: Braedon Blackford was named a Top 30 Hitter of the day for his two-run home run game vs. Cornell. He was ranked No. 11. JD Deany was selected as a Top 30 pitcher for his five shutout innings vs. Cornell.

Home Run Time: Braedon Blackford owns a Horizon League-best seven home runs. He is fourth in the league in slugging (.600).

Save X4: Four different Mastodons have recorded a save this season. Brody Fine, Mac Ayres, JD Deany and Justin Miller own saves for the ‘Dons.

‘Dons Dig The Long Ball: Eight different Mastodons have hit a home run this season.

Get On Base: Braedon Blackford has a current 15-game on-base streak.

Turn It!: The Mastodons are 20th in the nation double in plays turned with 21 this season.

Multi-verse: 12 different Mastodons have had a multi-hit game this season.

Up Next: The ‘Dons will travel to Youngstown State this weekend for three games to continue Horizon League play.



PAWLEY’S ISLAND, S.C. – Finishing the opening round of the Golfweek/AGT Intercollegiate with a 1-under 71, Masatoyo Kato shot the low round of the day for the University of Evansville men’s golf team.

Kato’s 1-under-par effort has him in a tie for 12th place with the first of three rounds in the books at True Blue Golf Club.  Carson Parker finished the day with a 1-over 73 to rank second for the Purple Aces and in a tie for 31st place on the leaderboard.

Third on the squad was Caleb Wassmer.  His 4-over 76 has him tied for 67th.  He was followed by Isaac Rohleder and Daniil Romashkin.  Rohleder totaled a 77 in the first 18 holes while Romashkin was one behind him with a 78.  Individual Henry Kiel carded an 81 in the first round.

Evansville is in 13th place in the team standings with a 297.  UE is just four strokes outside of the top 10.  Valparaiso and Delaware had the top scores of the day, each posting a 285 to pace third-place Troy by two shots.

Jared Nelson from the University of Connecticut leads the individual standing.  He completed the opening round with a 4-under 68.

Round two will take place on Tuesday morning.



PAWLEY’S ISLAND, S.C. – Magdalena Borisova recorded a 3-over 74 to lead the University of Evansville women’s golf team in Monday’s opening round of the Golfweek/AGT Intercollegiate.

Borisova’s opening round at Caledonia Golf & Fish Club has her in a tie for 27th place.  Her score of 74 is also just five behind a tie for the top spot.  Mallory Russell and Allison Enchelmayer recorded scores of 75 on Monday.  The duo is tied for 32nd with their 4-over-par round.

Just behind them was Kate Petrova.  She carded a 5-over 76 in the opening 18 holes and is tied for 40th.  Carly Frazier completed the day with an 83.

Solid efforts across the board by the Purple Aces have them in sixth place out of 17 teams with a 300.  UE is just two strokes outside the top five with East Carolina ranking 5th with a 298.  With four players inside the top 12, James Madison leads the team standings with a 285.  They are five in front of UNC Asheville with UNC Greensboro and UIC ranking in a third-place tie with a 292.

Madyson Gold (UNCA), Ava Romfo (UNCG) and Oda Sofie Kilsti (ECU) pace the individual standings with scores of 69, two under par.

Action continues on Tuesday with the second round of 18.



EVANSVILLE, Ind. – University of Evansville fifth-year outfielder Eric Roberts (Hamilton, Ohio/Hamilton) was named the Missouri Valley Conference Baseball Player of the Week on Monday, after belting four home runs in four UE victories last week.

Roberts slugged 1.111 on the week, while launching four home runs, scoring seven runs, and driving in 10 more to help UE to a 4-0 week at SIUE and Missouri State.  Roberts homered in three of UE’s four contests, including going 2-for-3 with two home runs and five RBI in the Purple Aces’ 7-4 series finale victory at Missouri State.  In the three-game Valley set against the Bears, Roberts hit .462 (6-for-13) with a double, three home runs, five runs scored and nine RBI to help UE sweep the defending MVC Tournament champions.

Roberts also hit a lead-off home run at SIUE last Wednesday to give UE a lead it would never lose in an 11-7 victory over the Cougars.  Roberts also went 2-for-2 in the stolen base department, and currently leads the MVC in home runs (nine), RBI (32) and stolen bases (10).

Evansville will return home to German American Bank Field at Charles H. Braun Stadium this week for four games.  UE will bring a 16-7 overall record into Wednesday night’s 6 p.m. home contest against Southeast Missouri State.  The Purple Aces have won nine games in a row and 16 out of 18 overall.  The current nine-game winning streak is tied for the fourth-longest active winning streak in the country, and UE will be shooting for 10-straight wins on Wednesday night.  UE has not won 10-straight games since the 2006 team won the final 10 regular-season games to win the 2006 MVC regular-season title.



GULF SHORES, Ala. – University of Southern Indiana Men’s Golf finished their second tournament of the spring with a 13th place finish at the Craft Farms Intercollegiate in Gulf Shores, Alabama.

The Screaming Eagles finished the tournament with a team score of 902 (+38) after shooting 305-306-291 on the two-day tournament. USI also recorded the fourth most pars on the tournament with 161.

Sophomore Jason Bannister (Laguna Niguel, California) lead the Eagles, finishing tied for 17th after shooting a 219 (+3) with a 72-77-70. Bannister was one of nine golfers to finish with an even 3.00 score on par threes, the fourth lowest in the tournament.

Senior Zach Williams (Mt. Vernon, Illinois) and freshman Carter Goebel (Breese, Illinois) rounded out the top-50 finishers for USI. Williams finished tied for 46th after finishing with a 226 (+10) and shooting 76-74-76. Goebel finished tied for 49th after finishing the tournament with a 227 (+11) and shooting a 76-78-73.

Junior Bryce Kirchner (North Vernon, Indiana) was next on the leaderboards for the Eagles, finishing 62nd after ending the tournament with a 231 (+15) and shooting an 81-78 on day one while finishing the tournament with an even 72 on Monday. Junior Trevor Laub (Edwardsville, Illinois) finished out the competitors for USI, finishing with a 238 (+22) and shooting 83-77-78 on the tournament.

Williams and Bannister finished the tournament with 36 total pars made on the tournament, the fifth most out of all golfers. Goebel finished right behind the two with 35 total pars made.

Up Next for USI:

The Eagles are right back to action on April 3-4 when they travel to Louisville, Kentucky to compete in the Ernie Denham Classic at Standard Country Club.



EVANSVILLE, Ind. – University of Southern Indiana Volleyball has officially the hiring of Jeffrey Aucoin M’22 as the next head coach of the Screaming Eagles. Aucoin will be the 13th head coach in program history and the second in the NCAA Division I era.

“First, I would like to thank President Ronald Rochon, Director of Athletics Jon Mark Hall, Assistant Director of Athletics Mandi Fulton, and all the members of the search committee,” says Aucoin. “It is an honor to lead this program at a critical time in the program’s history. From the moment I stepped on campus, I could feel the pride and authenticity of the USI family. They exuded the energy, commitment, and compassion to deliver a first-class student-athlete experience.  I cannot wait to work with the team, engage with the alumni, and immerse our family in the USI and Evansville communities. Go Screaming Eagles!”

“We are truly excited to have Jeff on board and part of our USI community,” says USI Athletic Director Jon Mark Hall. “This is a critical time for all of our programs as we continue through our transition in Division I and we are excited that Jeff will be here to lead our volleyball students through this transition. Jeff is student-athlete centered and understands the demands placed on student-athletes in today’s environment. His holistic approach to leading a program came across very clearly during the interview process.”

Aucoin comes to USI after a 10-year stint with Harvard University as the recruiting coordinator and assistant women’s volleyball coach. During his time with the Crimson women’s volleyball program, Aucoin helped guide the team to back-to-back Ivy League championships and their first NCAA tournament appearance in school history. He was able to achieve a top-40 recruiting class and coached 25 All-Ivy League selections, three AVCA All-Region selections, and two Ivy League Rookie of the Year athletes.

Aucoin spent three seasons with the Crimson men’s volleyball program as an assistant coach. During his time with the program, he guided the team to their all-time highest AVCA national ranking at No.13 and coached eight All-EIVA selections.

Aucoin graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology focusing on sports studies. He also was a four-year member of the New Hampshire men’s club volleyball team and was named NCVF tournament MVP after leading the Wildcats to the 2011 NCVF Division I-AA National Championship. In 2013, Aucoin earned his master’s degree in physical education and sport from Ball State University where he was a MIVA Academic All-Conference selection as a member of the Cardinals’ NCAA Division I varsity men’s volleyball team. He would continue his academic pursuit and receive an MBA at the University of Southern Indiana in May 2022.

Aucoin and the Eagles will hit the court for USI’s second season in DI play after finishing 2022 with a 1-28 overall record, going 1-17 in the Ohio Valley Conference and missing out on the post-season tournament.

Making a return to the squad is junior Leah Anderson (Bloomington, Illinois) who tallied second-team All-OVC honors last season after racking up the sixth-most kills in the league with 347 and nabbed a team-high 316 digs and 28 aces to pair with 53 blocks. She also became the 15th player to reach the 1,000-kill plateau and the 13th player to earn 1,000 career digs, making her the fifth player in program history to reach both milestones. Anderson finished the 2022 campaign third in service aces with 167, seventh in kills with 1,231, and 10th in digs with 1,106 all-time.



ROMEOVILLE, Ill.— The No. 9-ranked UIndy softball team completed the rare two-day doubleheader sweep of Lewis University Monday afternoon. After rain and poor field conditions halted yesterday’s second game, the teams picked up right where they left off, with the Greyhounds ultimately holding on for a 3-2 victory.

The Hounds are now 4-0 in GLVC play and have won 11 consecutive games overall.


UIndy crafted a slim 2-1 lead before play was suspended yesterday in the top of the fifth. Some 24 hours later, the Hounds added an insurance run in the top of the sixth, one that came in handy after Lewis managed a late rally in the bottom of the seventh.

Game-2 starter Kaitlyn Brown returned to the circle Monday and got four straight outs before giving up a one-out double in the sixth. Head Coach Melissa Frost went to her ace, giving the ball to junior Kenzee Smith.

An error put the potential tying run at second base, but Smith settled down to retire the next two batters and escape unscathed. She later surrendered an RBI double with no outs in the seventh before striking out the next two hitters and coaxing a game-ending groundout to secure the win.

Brown (5 1/3 IP, 1 R) earned the victory to move to 5-0 on the season, while Smith picked up her second save of the year.

UIndy’s aforementioned insurance policy came on an RBI double by Emily O’Connor in the top of the sixth. The junior third baseman delivered the game winner as well, which actually came the day before. With two outs and no one on in the fourth, she snapped a 1-1 tie with a solo blast to straight-away center.

Lexy Rees and Maddy Stout scored a run apiece, with Stout adding a pair of walks and Megan Nichols a sac fly.


UIndy has a quick turnaround before they hop on the bus once more. The Hounds will head to Columbus, Ohio on Wednesday for a day trip to Ohio Dominican University. First pitch of the doubleheader is scheduled for 2 p.m. ET.



INDIANAPOLIS – UIndy senior attacker Anna Ziemba has been named as the Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) Offensive Players of the Week in women’s lacrosse, it was announced by the league office Monday.


Anna Ziemba, #4 UIndy

Sr. | A | Cazenovia, N.Y.

Major: Biology

Team Result: 18-5 W vs. Northern Michigan (3/24) | 22-8 W vs. Lewis (3/26)

Recorded 13 points on 12 goals and one assist in two wins

Took 22 shots with 18 on goal, posting a .818 shots-on-goal percentage

Scored seven goals against Lewis, all in the first half

Added four ground balls and four caused turnovers

Earns second career Offensive Player of the Week Award (3/27/23, 3/6/23)

Last Greyhounds’ Offensive Player of the Week: Anna Ziemba (3/6/23)


INDIANAPOLIS – The UIndy women’s lacrosse team (10-1, 1-0 GLVC) remains at No. 4 in the latest ILWomen/IWLCA Division II rankings, officials announced on Monday.

The Hounds hold the fourth spot once again after earning 500 points in the poll. West Chester claims the top spot while Pace, Regis (CO), and Florida Southern sit in second, third, and fifth, respectively.

In the USA Lacrosse Magazine rankings, the Greyhounds are in third.

UIndy will prepare for a tall test on Saturday as the team will travel to Greensburg, Penn., to battle top-ranked West Chester at 4 p.m. ET on the campus of Seton Hill University. 



BALTIMORE, Md. – The UIndy men’s lacrosse team held steady in the latest USILA national poll that was released on Monday, coming in at No. 6 for the second straight week.

The poll position also marks the 27th consecutive week in which UIndy has been ranked inside the USILA top 10.

The Greyhounds recently upped their modest winning streak to three, opening GLVC play this past Saturday with a thrilling 13-12 victory at Lewis.

UIndy is 7-1 overall this spring and returns home this Saturday for the first time in 34 days for a 12 p.m. league faceoff with Davenport.



JACKSON, Mich. – The Crossroads League Athletes of the Week were announced on Monday, recognizing the league’s top individual performances from March 20 through 26. For the third consecutive week the Marian softball team has headlined the weekly awards, with Marian sweeping as Sierra Norman was crowned as the Player of the Week, while Olivia Stunkel has earned her third consecutive CL Pitcher of the Week honor.

Sierra Norman highlighted the offense in Marian’s 4-0 week, dominating at the plate as she batted .538 and slugged 1.385, crushing five extra base hits. Norman went yard three times throughout the week including a pair of home runs in game two of the Knights’ doubleheader win against Goshen, pushing her to the Crossroads League lead. Norman is now second in RBI following her 9 RBI’s on the week, while also scoring six times in four games. The junior first baseman also walked and doubled twice, holding a .600 on-base percentage for the week.

Olivia Stunkel was crowned as the Crossroads League Pitcher of the Week for the third consecutive week, as the sophomore ace threw lights out in wins over Goshen and St. Francis. On the week Stunkel was a perfect 2-0, carried a 1.75 ERA, and struckout 11 batters while allowing just five base hits. Stunkel tossed 6.1 no-hit innings in her complete game win over Goshen, and yielded three hits and one earned run in five innings on Sunday against St. Francis.

Marian will continue their Crossroads League slate on Tuesday afternoon, traveling to Bethel for a 3 p.m. doubleheader.



JACKSON, Mich. – For the first time in his collegiate career, Ashwin Bhat of the Marian men’s tennis team has been named the Crossroads League Tennis Player of the Week, as announced by the conference earlier today. Bhat’s honor is the second for the team this spring season.

Bhat led Marian past RV Campbellsville on Sunday as the Knights took down the Tigers 6-1. The junior scored wins at No. 4 singles and No. 2 doubles for Marian.

Marian will have a pair of matches this week with a match on Friday at Holy Cross, before hosting Indiana Tech on Sunday.






























Lamar Jackson said Monday he has requested a trade from the Baltimore Ravens, saying the team “has not been interested in meeting my value.”

In a series of tweets, the star quarterback said he requested a trade as of March 2. On March 7, the Ravens put the nonexclusive franchise tag on Jackson and said they were still hopeful they could reach a long-term deal with him.

“As of March 2nd I requested a trade from the Ravens organization for which the Ravens has not been interested in meeting my value,” Jackson said on Twitter. “Any and everyone that’s has met me or been around me know I love the game of football and my dream is to help a team win the super bowl.”

Jackson may not need a trade to join a new team. The nonexclusive franchise tag allows him to negotiate with other clubs. However, it also gives Baltimore a chance to match any agreement he makes. The decision to make the trade request public may be an attempt to deter the Ravens from matching another team’s offer — or an attempt to spur more interest among other teams by declaring that he wants out of Baltimore.

If Jackson makes a deal with another team and the Ravens don’t match, that team would owe Baltimore two first-round draft picks.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh spoke extensively about Jackson on Monday at the league’s owners meetings in Phoenix.

“I haven’t seen the tweet. That’s an ongoing process,” Harbaugh said. “I’m following it very closely, just like everybody else is here, and looking forward to a resolution. I’m excited, thinking about Lamar all the time, thinking about him as our quarterback. We’re building our offense around that idea.”

Jackson was the 2019 NFL MVP. His passing and running ability make him one of the game’s biggest stars. At age 25, he already is one of six quarterbacks in NFL history with 10,000 yards passing and 4,000 rushing.

Jackson has been hurt at the end of the past two seasons, and the Ravens haven’t reached the AFC championship game with him. If he remains with Baltimore, he’ll have a new coordinator. The Ravens hired Georgia’s Todd Monken for that position after the end of last season.

Harbaugh said he anticipates Jackson being Baltimore’s quarterback at the start of next season.

“You’ve got to plan for all the contingencies for sure,” Harbaugh said. “But I’m pretty fired up about Lamar Jackson. I mean, Lamar Jackson is a great player. Lamar came back in great shape last year. He’s fired up to play. That’s the Lamar that I’m looking forward to seeing. Can’t wait to get back on the grass and go to work, and I’m confident that’s going to happen.”

Harbaugh tried to stay upbeat about the prospects of Jackson’s return. If Jackson does come back and play this season on Baltimore’s $32.4 million franchise tag, it could certainly be an awkward situation, and the coach will have his work cut out for him trying to soothe any hard feelings.

“Nothing’s changed in terms of the relationships, how we feel about Lamar, how we want to build our team,” Harbaugh said.

Jackson does not have an agent. In a memo sent to teams last week and obtained by The Associated Press, the NFL management council said a person who is not an NFLPA-certified agent may be contacting clubs and attempting to persuade them to negotiate with Jackson. The memo reminded teams that, under the collective bargaining agreement, if a player is representing himself, an offer sheet can only be negotiated with that player.

Jackson said on Twitter the person in question never tried to negotiate for him.


New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh isn’t worried that a trade for Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers hasn’t happened yet.

“I’m a positive thinker. I’m sure eventually they’ll figure something out,” Saleh said Monday when asked if he has any doubt a Rodgers trade will happen, according to SNY TV.

Rodgers told “The Pat McAfee Show” that he wants to play for the Jets next season. The two sides have engaged in trade talks but haven’t reached an agreement on compensation.

“It takes two to tango,” Saleh said, per SNY TV. He added: “It’s a process, we respect the process, and whenever it gets done, it’ll get done.”

Quarterback play was an issue for the Jets last season, with Zach Wilson, Mike White, and Joe Flacco all getting at least four starts each. Wilson started nine games but struggled to move the ball consistently. Of 34 quarterbacks who threw at least 200 passes in 2022, he ranked last in QBR.

Despite Wilson’s struggles, Saleh confirmed the former second overall pick will be the Jets’ backup quarterback next season.

“He’s our No. 2,” Saleh said, according to SNY TV.

He added: “I really still think Zach has a future in this league to be a really good quarterback, I really do. He has the work ethic, he has the mindset, and he’s coming in here to attack it. But we’re counting on him to be a fixture here for a while.”


San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch said Monday that Brock Purdy is in the driver’s seat to be the team’s starting quarterback over Trey Lance heading into the 2023 season.

“Brock has earned the right with the way he played that he’s probably the leader in the clubhouse at that,” Lynch said, according to ESPN’s Nick Wagoner. “I’ll let (coach) Kyle (Shanahan) make those kinds of decisions, but I know when we talk, Brock has probably earned that right to be the guy. If we were to line up, he’d probably take that first snap.”

Purdy began last season as San Francisco’s third-string quarterback after entering the NFL as the last pick in the 2022 draft. However, he stepped up and helped the 49ers reach the NFC title game as the NFC’s No. 2 seed after both Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo went down with season-ending injuries.

Lance, the club’s starter in the season opener, suffered an ankle ailment in Week 2, while Garoppolo was sidelined in Week 13. Garoppolo signed with the Las Vegas Raiders this offseason.

Lance, whom the 49ers drafted third overall in 2021, has started only four games since entering the league. He was Garoppolo’s backup for most of his rookie campaign.

San Francisco also added veteran quarterback Sam Darnold in free agency this year.

“We’ve always said we don’t care where you were drafted, if you were drafted, that’s always been our stance,” Lynch said. “… We’re still very excited about Trey but I think the way Brock played, he probably has earned that right to be the guy. But it’s certainly a competition, we’ll always have that.”

Purdy is battling an injury of his own, though, as he suffered a complete tear of the UCL in his throwing elbow in the NFC title game. The 23-year-old underwent surgery this offseason and is expected to begin throwing again in 12 weeks.

“Like a lot of those things, timelines are just guidelines,” Lynch said. “Every person is different. There probably is some amount of time in talking to the docs that you want to make sure you get to that point before he’s out there but our hope is he’s ready to go in training camp.”

Purdy posted a 7-1 record as a starter last season, including the playoffs. He finished those eight starts with 14 touchdown passes and two TDs on the ground against three interceptions.



Bryce Young, QB, Alabama

We’ll probably go back and forth on this one until draft day. As things currently stand, Young has just as strong a case to be the No. 1 pick as anyone else. Even with the size concerns, which make him an all-time outlier at the position, he’s still the best quarterback in this draft. The Panthers get the potential superstar they were seeking when they traded up with the Bears.

C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State

While the Panthers sent a whopping 14 people to Stroud’s pro day at Ohio State, the Texans only had three in attendance. That shouldn’t make people think Houston would pass on the Buckeyes star, though. If Young goes first, Stroud is the clear choice to take over the Texans’ offense.

Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida

Moving up one spot is unconventional but perhaps necessary for the Colts to prevent another team from jumping them for Richardson. Sending a mid-round pick to the Cardinals is a small price to pay to ensure that you land this year’s most captivating quarterback. Richardson, one of the most athletic quarterback prospects in draft history, could flourish in a similar offense to the one Shane Steichen ran with Jalen Hurts in Philadelphia.

Will Anderson, EDGE, Alabama

The Cardinals take advantage of being the only team in the top four that doesn’t need a quarterback. Trading down one spot still allows them to take the top defensive player on the board: Alabama’s Anderson. Arizona ranked 23rd in sacks per game last season, a problem Anderson should fix after posting a whopping 34.5 in three seasons with the Crimson Tide.

Tyree Wilson, EDGE, Texas Tech

Jalen Carter would garner significant consideration here, but the Seahawks making a free-agent splash with Dre’Mont Jones takes care of the three-technique spot for the foreseeable future. Wilson’s freak athleticism on the edge would be another major addition to a new-look defensive front.

Jalen Carter, DL, Georgia

The Lions take advantage of Carter falling due to off-the-field issues to grab the Georgia star at No. 6. Detroit was 28th in the league last year in points allowed, but pairing Carter with Aidan Hutchinson gives the Lions one of the most exciting defensive line duos in football.

Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon

Signing Jimmy Garoppolo will help the Raiders avoid forcing a quarterback pick if their top-ranked signal-callers are already off the board. The defense still needs all the help it can get, and the supremely athletic Gonzalez would finally give that group a potential lockdown cornerback.

Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois

The Falcons were 29th in the league in passer rating allowed last season and need a ton of help in the secondary to fix that. Enter Witherspoon, who instantly brings physicality and solid ball skills to the position. The Illini star is also arguably the best run-stopping corner in the draft.

Paris Johnson Jr., OT, Ohio State

The Bears being unwilling to meet the price tags of top free agents on the offensive line and instead choosing to do their spending elsewhere makes it appear likely that this becomes their focus early in the draft. Adding Johnson as a cornerstone left tackle would be a major step in improving the protection for Justin Fields.

Will Levis, QB, Kentucky

The Lions read the draft board and move up to grab the quarterback of the future in Levis. There are plenty of questions surrounding the Kentucky star’s ability to start on Day 1, but that won’t be an issue with Jared Goff still clearly QB1 in Motown. Levis will be able to sit for a season and get acclimated to the professional game behind the veteran passer. Dan Campbell will love the 6-foot-4, 230-pounder’s toughness to match his impressive arm talent.

Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State

Quarterback could have been an option for Tennessee if Levis made it to this spot, but addressing a dreadful passing attack should be a priority either way. Smith-Njigba’s route-running ability could be a strong complement to the physicality of 2022 first-rounder Treylon Burks in the Titans’ receiving corps.

Lukas Van Ness, EDGE, Iowa

After grabbing Stroud at No. 2 to reset the offense, the Texans grab a game-breaker on defense with Van Ness. The Iowa star posted 13.5 sacks in two seasons – despite not starting – and also blocked two kicks in his final collegiate campaign. Van Ness’ ability to play both inside and out makes him an attractive pick at No. 12.

Peter Skoronski, OT, Northwestern

The Packers have their sights set on this pick to complete the seemingly inevitable Aaron Rodgers trade, but we don’t see the Jets budging on that. Landing the Hall of Fame quarterback for some combination of mid-round selections and/or future conditional picks and using No. 13 to make a major upgrade at offensive tackle would be a perfect scenario for New York.

Myles Murphy, EDGE, Clemson

The Patriots need receiver help, but No. 14 seems too high for Bill Belichick to reach for someone with Smith-Njigba off the board. New England is very likely to trade back from this pick, but a twitchy edge-rusher with big upside like Murphy could make them stay.

Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame

We know the Packers aren’t big on drafting receivers in the first round. But what about an elite tight end prospect who can also be a plus contributor as an in-line blocker in the run game? Adding a weapon like Mayer would be key for Jordan Love’s development as he steps into the starting role with Rodgers on the way out.

Dalton Kincaid, TE, Utah

The Commanders will be looking to make life as easy as possible for new starting quarterback Sam Howell. Adding Kincaid to a list of pass-catchers that includes Terry McLaurin, Curtis Samuel, and Jahan Dotson is a good way to do that. Kincaid starred in his final season at Utah, highlighted by an outrageous 16-catch, 234-yard performance versus USC.

Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State

This is going to be one of the more popular mid-first-round connections you’re going to see throughout the draft cycle, and for good reason. The Steelers desperately need help in the secondary, Porter is a potential stud at the next level, and his father was a star pass-rusher in Pittsburgh before later coaching on Mike Tomlin’s staff.

Nolan Smith, EDGE, Georgia

The Eagles trade back from No. 10 and opt to beef up the defensive line with Smith out of Georgia. Smith missed the end of the Bulldogs’ second straight national title-winning season but absolutely dominated the combine. He threw down a ridiculous 4.39 40-yard dash at 238 pounds while also posting 41.5 inches in the vertical jump and 10-foot-8 in the broad jump.

Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia

The tackle spot opposite Tristan Wirfs is far and away the Bucs’ most glaring need heading into the draft. Whether Wirfs settles in at left or right tackle going forward, Jones is an appealing bookend option to give the offensive line a second young cornerstone.

Jordan Addison, WR, USC

With Geno Smith back in the fold, the Seahawks can keep the quarterback happy by adding an electric weapon in Addison. The 2021 Biletnikoff winner as college football’s best receiver is a smooth route-runner who offers a ton of after-the-catch ability. The trio of Addison, DK Metcalf, and Tyler Lockett could prove to be a handful for opposing defensive units in 2023.

Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas

This is a fun spot for the consensus No. 1 running back and one of the best overall players in this draft. Austin Ekeler requesting a trade creates a massive need at the position, but the reality is that the Chargers needed to find a way to get better at running between the tackles regardless. Robinson helps them do exactly that, along with everything else you could possibly want from a running back.

Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU

For the third time in the last five drafts, the Ravens go with a wide receiver in the first round. Johnston’s ceiling might be the highest of any pass-catcher in the draft, as the 6-foot-3 TCU star showed off a 40.5-inch vertical at the combine. That’s exactly the type of big-play weapon the Baltimore offense has been lacking.

Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College

The Vikings moving on from Adam Thielen creates a major void opposite Justin Jefferson, and there hasn’t been any urgency to fill it to this point in free agency. Flowers would be an outstanding fit alongside one of the game’s premier receivers.

Brian Branch, DB, Alabama

The Jaguars sent their cornerbacks coach to Branch’s pro day for an individual workout, fueling speculation that he’s the target at No. 24. The Alabama star has outstanding instincts on the field and showed he’s comfortable at numerous positions while with the Crimson Tide.

Deonte Banks, CB, Maryland

The Giants have been one of the NFL’s busiest teams this offseason, making important additions at wide receiver, tight end, and linebacker. Defensive back still stands out as an area of need, though, and Banks, whose stock is on the rise after an impressive combine performance, would fit in nicely.

Calijah Kancey, DL, Pitt

An undersized defensive tackle from Pitt with explosive quickness on the line? No, he’s not Aaron Donald, but Kancey is a very solid value for the Cowboys at No. 26. Kancey’s 4.67 40-yard dash at the combine was the fastest by a defensive tackle since 2006. That’s the type of eye-popping athleticism that will be very appealing to Jerry Jones.

Mazi Smith, DL, Michigan

There have been some rumblings about the Bills being in on DeAndre Hopkins, so we’re going to go out on a limb and assume they find a way to fill a need at receiver in the coming weeks. Such a move would clear the way for the Bills to focus on the interior defensive line in the first round. Smith has every-down potential.

Darnell Washington, TE, Georgia

Playing Washington as an in-line tight end is essentially adding a sixth offensive lineman to the fold. Given the Bengals’ issues in protecting Joe Burrow, that could be a very attractive proposition. The 6-foot-7, 270-pounder is an absolute mauler in the run game but also flashed outstanding athleticism in limited targets while at Georgia.

Bryan Bresee, DL, Clemson

The Saints’ defensive line lost several key pieces in free agency. If winning now is the idea, as their other moves indicate, those spots have to be filled with pro-ready players. Bresee fits the bill.

Kelee Ringo, CB, Georgia

For the second straight year, five different Georgia players are taken in the opening round of the NFL draft. The Eagles took Jordan Davis in the first round last year and already grabbed Smith earlier in the night in our mock. Ringo makes it a trio of first-round Bulldogs the last two years for Philly, with the talented corner bringing solid physicality and athleticism to the position for the NFC champs.

Darnell Wright, OT, Tennessee

The Chiefs let Orlando Brown walk in free agency and signed Jawaan Taylor as his replacement at left tackle. Drafting Wright to play on the opposite side would round out a fantastic front five.


SEATTLE (AP) Virginia Tech coach Kenny Brooks stood at the stop of the ladder about to trim the final strands from the net when the familiar thumping beat started blaring through the speakers of the arena.

The Hokies’ first Final Four berth deserved a little Metallica and a little “Enter Sandman.”

Elizabeth Kitley scored 25 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, Georgia Amoore added 24 points and top-seeded Virginia Tech advanced to the Final Four with an 84-74 win over No. 3 seed Ohio State in the Seattle 3 Regional final on Monday night.

For the seventh time in the past 10 Final Fours there will be a first-time participant and it’s the champions of the ACC, adding another accomplishment to the best season in school history.

Playing in its first regional final, Virginia Tech (31-4) won its 15th straight game and will head to the Final Four having not lost in more than two months. The Hokies will face LSU in the national semifinals on Friday in Dallas.

“We’re not just going to the Final Four. We’re in the Final Four. That’s something that means the world to me,” Brooks said.

Kitley, the Hokies 6-foot-6 center and leading scorer this season, took over on the interior in the second half. She scored the first seven points of the fourth quarter and her three-point play gave Virginia Tech a 70-60 lead.

Amoore hit her fourth 3-pointer of the game to push the lead to 13. Ohio State pulled within six in the final minute, but the Hokies were nearly perfect at the foul line down the stretch.

After the final buzzer sounded, “Enter Sandman” blasted throughout Climate Pledge Arena for the first time, setting off an even louder party for the Hokies fans in attendance.

And it played again as Brooks stood on the ladder above the celebration.

“I don’t know if you envision it more than you dream it. Obviously this is not easy and one day I will sit back and realize how hard it was for us to get here and realize we are one of four teams standing,” Brooks said.

Amoore shook off the scare of a potential injury in the first half to scored 16 points in the second half. She had a career-high 29 in the regional semifinal win over Tennessee. Cayla King added 12 points, all in the first half for the Hokies.

“This group, we all come from different places, but this year we came together because we all wanted the same thing,” Kitley said. “It’s so nice to be at this spot but we know that we don’t want to be done either yet because we have so much fun playing together.”

Taylor Mikesell led Ohio State (28-8) with 25 points, but 19 of those came in the first half. Mikesell didn’t score the first 16 minutes of the second half before hitting a 3-pointer with 3:35 remaining.

Jacy Sheldon scored 19 and Big Ten freshman of the year Cotie McMahon added 18. But the pressure defense that Ohio State used to befuddle UConn into 25 turnovers in the regional semifinal was easily handled by Amoore and the Hokies in the opening minutes and mostly abandoned by the Buckeyes.

“I felt we were a little tired coming into it. We put so much energy into Saturday’s game and we didn’t quite have the same energy in the press,” Ohio State coach Kevin McGuff said. “And when you don’t have it, it’s tough because you can really get but up on the back end and give up easy baskets.”

Ohio State was looking to join its Big Ten Conference partner Iowa in reaching the Final Four for the first time in 30 years. The Buckeyes stayed with Virginia Tech shot-for-shot through a highly entertaining and high scoring first half.

But the shots that dropped in the first 20 minutes stopped falling in the second half. Ohio State shot 64% in the first half, including five 3-pointer from Mikesell, but that dropped to just 28% in the second half.

“We got the stops we wanted. We didn’t make the most of them on offense,” Sheldon said. “We didn’t execute the way we wanted to. So props to them. They played a great game.”


Brooks is the third Black male coach to take a team to the women’s Final Four and second since the field expanded to 64 teams in 1994. Winthrop McGriff with Cheyney in 1984 and Quentin Hillsman with Syracuse in 2016 were the others. Brooks is in his seventh season in Blacksburg.

“I do know that when I was trying to make a name for myself, there wasn’t very many people that were doing it or advocating for people that looked like me. In this profession, I think that we belong. I think that there’s a place for Black males to come in and be a positive influence,” Brooks said before the Sweet 16.


GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) Dawn Staley knows what’s next for unbeaten South Carolina – a matchup the whole women’s college basketball world is eager to see.

But for now, the coach wants to revel in her extraordinary Gamecocks and their amazing achievements.

Aliyah Boston had 22 points and 10 rebounds and top-seeded South Carolina used its smothering defense to stop Maryland 86-75 Monday night and reach its third straight Final Four.

Do-it-all star Caitlin Clark and the Hawkeyes await in the national semifinals in Dallas on Friday, a game featuring two of the biggest stars in the sport. That can wait a bit. Her players deserve that, Staley said.

“I just want to enjoy this and just give our players an opportunity to be talked about,” Staley said. “The joy that I feel for this team to be able to be where they are, I’m just really happy.”

Staley’s team improved to 36-0 this season with its 42nd straight victory dating to last year’s NCAA title run. The Gamecocks are now two games away from repeating as champions and completing the 10th undefeated season in the women’s game.

The Gamecocks hugged and jumped when it was over. It’s the fifth Final Four since 2015, all under Staley. She’ll try for her third national title next week.

“Not a lot of teams can say they’re able to do this,” Boston said. “So for us to be able to do it feels really good, and it’s such a blessing we won’t ever take for granted.”

Zia Cooke finished with 18 points and Brea Beal 16 for the Gamecocks.

Boston, the 6-foot-5 senior, made 10 of 14 shots. The three-time All-American added five assists, two blocked shots and was named the Greenville 1 Regional’s most outstanding player.

Staley ran around the court thanking players, coaches and supporters. She hugged the pep band director and cheered on the musicians with a glowing smile.

Maryland (28-7) was routed at home, 81-56, by the Gamecocks last Nov. 11, but played without injured All-American Diamond Miller.

With a healthy Miller and an offense averaging nearly 80 points a game, the Terrapins were ready to take on the big, imposing Gamecocks. Maryland pushed the pace early, disrupting South Carolina’s No. 1 defense and was ahead 21-15 as an edgy, pro-Gamecock crowd wasn’t sure what it was watching.

South Carolina didn’t panic. Cooke shook off an 0-for-3 start to score nine points. Boston was her steady self with 12 points in the half as the Gamecocks outscored the Terps 23-9 in the second quarter to lead 38-30 at halftime.

“I thought the game was lost in the second quarter,” Maryland coach Brenda Frese said. “Their size, their depth, they wear you out.”

Maryland got two quick baskets after the break to cut South Carolina’s lead to 48-42. But the Gamecocks answered with a 14-3 burst to take control for good.

Miller led the Terps, looking for their first trip to the Final Four since 2015, with 24 points. Miller picked up a technical foul late in the game and thought it was an unevenly called game. “I’m not going to say the refs lost us the game,” she said. “I mean, they outrebounded us as we kind of expected.”

Maryland shot 50% for the game, yet couldn’t hold up down low against the Gamecocks. South Carolina outrebounded the Terps 48-26 and 25-7 on the offensive glass.


Maryland: Terps have seven seniors, including Miller and four other starters. But Shyanne Sellers is a rising sophomore and likely focal point for Maryland the next couple of seasons. Expect Frese to work hard in the offseason to scour the portal for additions who can augment Maryland’s young roster.

South Carolina: These are certainly the glory days for Gamecocks women’s basketball. Maryland gave Iowa a glimpse into what may rattle the Gamecocks, although they quickly adjusted to gain control. But tightening up to prevent easy layups the Terps got early will certainly be a focus at South Carolina’s practices this week.


Turns out, LSU coach Kim Mulkey knew what she was talking about. She declared Sunday night after her team won the Greenville 2 Region to reach the Final Four that the Southeastern Conference would have half the field next week.

“The champion, South Carolina is going. I’m just telling you flat out. I’m getting ahead of myself, OK, but you write it. They’re going,” she said.

The Tigers and Gamecocks could play for a championship should both advance.


Staley joined UConn’s Geno Auriemma, Stanford’s Tara VanDerveer and Mulkey as active coaches with five or more trips to the Final Four. Staley’s first visit came in 2015, then she led the Gamecocks to a title in 2017. The Gamecocks have been the past three, losing to Stanford in the semifinals in 2021 before winning it all last year in Minneapolis.


VILLANOVA, Pa. (AP) — Villanova star and AP All-American Maddy Siegrist will not return for a fifth season and has declared for the WNBA draft.

Siegrist led Villanova to a 30-7 overall record and the Sweet 16 for the second time ever this season. She led the country in scoring at 29.2 points per game and averaged 9.2 rebounds. She’s the two-time Big East Player of the Year.

Siegrist played four seasons and is the career leading scorer in Villanova basketball history for both men and women with 2,896 points. She also became the career leading scorer in Big East history for men and women with 1,693 points, in regular-season conference games only.

“I can’t thank Villanova enough for welcoming me into the greatest community on Earth,” Siegrist said. “From the first day I stepped on campus, I knew this would be my forever home. My college basketball career was everything that I dreamed of and more. However, when I look back on my career it is the people at Villanova and the relationships that I made that I am going to cherish forever.”

The NCAA granted athletes affected by the COVID-19 pandemic an extra season of eligibility. Siegrist decided the time was right to jump to the WNBA.

The Wildcats lost to Miami in the Sweet 16, meaning Siegrist had until Monday’s deadline to decide if she would return for another season or declare for the draft. Players on teams still alive in the NCAA Tournament have 48 hours after their final game to make a decision. The WNBA draft is April 10.

Siegrist scored 20 or more points in all 37 games this season, including 17 games of 30 points or more. The 37 consecutive 20-point game stretch is the longest streak by any women’s or men’s Division I player this century. She scored a career-best 50 points against Seton Hall on Feb. 11 on 20-of-26 shooting.

“The statistical numbers that she recorded are going to be there forever which is so special when you see what Maddy accomplished throughout her amazing career,” Villanova coach Denise Dillon said.

“With that said, when you leave your mark on people as Maddy has there is nothing greater. I think that is by far the greatest accomplishment as a student-athlete where you can be recognized as being an authentic person as opposed to just a great athlete. Maddy will continue to impact the world in whatever she does.”



AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas has reached an agreement with Rodney Terry to be the Longhorns’ full-time head basketball coach, taking the interim tag off his title after he led the program to the Elite Eight following the midseason firing of Chris Beard, a person with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press.

Texas was knocked out of the NCAA Tournament by Miami on Sunday, ending its longest postseason run since 2008. Terry and Texas officials reached the agreement Monday, according to a person with knowledge of the deal who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

Financial terms of the deal were not immediately available.

Terry took over the Longhorns as acting head coach when Beard was first suspended on Dec. 12 after a felony domestic violence arrest. Terry was giving the title of interim head coach when Beard was fired Jan. 5.

Texas won the Big 12 Tournament championship and questions about Terry’s future with the program were amplified as the Longhorns kept winning in the postseason. Texas fans wondered what more he needed to prove and Longhorns players publicly advocated for him to get the job.

“It was all about this team. I’ve enjoyed every single day of this journey with this group,” Terry said in Sunday’s postgame news conference as his voice cracked and he held back tears. “It was never about me. It was always about these guys. I love these guys.”

Texas athletic director Chris Del Conte had praised Terry’s job handling the team in crisis and gave him a raise, though only through April. He’d also noted Terry inherited a veteran, senior-heavy roster and strong staff of assistants built by Beard.

That lineup could have disintegrated into chaos after Beard’s arrest. Instead, Terry marched the program to a second-place regular season finish in the Big 12 and a No. 2-seed in the NCAA Tournament.

The Longhorns went 22-8 under Terry, and their march to the Elite Eight was the program’s first beyond the NCAA Tournament’s first weekend in 15 years.

Terry is the second Black head coach in program history, joining Shaka Smart, who coached Texas from 2015-2021.

Terry, 54, had a previous stint as an assistant at Texas under Rick Barnes from 2002-2011. He also was head coach at Fresno State and UTEP. He left UTEP after three seasons to join Beard’s staff in 2022. He is 185-164 as a head coach.

Former Texas player T.J. Ford, who led the Longhorns to 2003 Final Four and was that season’s Naismith national player of the year, praised the move to keep Terry.

“I’m very excited that the right decision was made to continue this great culture,” Ford tweeted.

The dormant Texas program had all the signs of renewal under Beard, as he mined the transfer portal to build a roster to compete in the rugged Big 12. He had done the same at Texas Tech, where he led the Red Raiders to the 2019 national championship game.

Beard was arrested after his fiancée called 911 and told police he choked, bit and hit her during a confrontation at his home. She later recanted that she was choked, but Texas still fired Beard as university lawyers called him “unfit” to lead the program.

The Travis County district attorney eventually dismissed the felony charge, saying they could not prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt, and because of her wishes not to prosecute.

Beard has since been hired at Mississippi.


(AP) — North Carolina guard Caleb Love says he will enter his name into the transfer portal after three seasons with the Tar Heels.

The 6-foot-4 Love announced his decision with a social media post Monday. He had big moments during an unexpected run to last year’s national championship game though he also wrestled with inconsistency for most of his college career.

At his best, Love has game-changing scoring potential and is fearless in taking a big shot. That included scoring 28 points with a huge late 3-pointer to help the Tar Heels beat Duke in the Final Four for the first NCAA Tournament meeting between the rivals and the final game for Blue Devils Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski.

This season he led the team by averaging 16.7 points. but his shooting percentages all dipped after showing gains in 2022. He never shot 40% from the field for a season and twice failed to shoot 30% on 3s.

UNC returns Armando Bacot, the program’s career leading rebounder and an Associated Press third-team All-American, and guard R.J. Davis at the core of an expected roster revamp. That comes after the Tar Heels became the first team to go from No. 1 in the AP preseason poll to missing the NCAA Tournament since it expanded to 64 teams in 1985.




Nikola Jokic had 25 points, 17 rebounds and 12 assists for his 29th triple-double of the season, leading the host Denver Nuggets to a 116-111 victory over the short-handed Philadelphia 76ers on Monday night.

Jamal Murray added 19 points, Bruce Brown scored 18, Michael Porter Jr. supplied 15 and Aaron Gordon 12 for Denver. The Nuggets have won four straight.

Tyrese Maxey scored 29 points, Paul Reed and Tobias Harris had 16 points apiece and Jalen McDaniels finished with 14 for Philadelphia. Joel Embiid (calf) and James Harden (Achilles) didn’t play for the Sixers, who have lost three straight but nearly rallied to win it late in the game.

Denver led by 20 in the fourth quarter before the 76ers’ bench led a 16-2 run that sliced the deficit to 112-107 with 1:23 left. Philadelphia’s Montrezl Harrell dunked to make it 114-111 with 28.9 seconds left, but Jeff Green hit two free throws with 13.3 seconds left to seal it.


Immanuel Quickley scored a career-high 40 points and New York snapped a three-game skid with a victory over visiting Houston.

Quickley finished 14 of 18 from the field and drilled five 3-pointers to lead the Knicks. Julius Randle added 26 points while RJ Barrett scored 19 to co-author the runaway win over the Rockets, who fell to 0-4 on their current five-game road trip.

Kevin Porter Jr. led Houston with 26 points while Jalen Green added 19 points and Kenyon Martin Jr. 18. Rookie Jabari Smith Jr. had a double-double of 14 points and 11 rebounds plus six assists.


Khris Middleton poured in 34 points and Milwaukee continued its dominance over host Detroit.

Milwaukee has won 17 of the last 18 meetings against its Central Division rival and swept the four-game season series. Detroit has lost its last six games and 17 of its last 18 outings. Brook Lopez had 24 points and 14 rebounds, while Jevon Carter supplied 22 points for the Bucks.

Jaden Ivey led the Pistons with 32 points, eight rebounds and eight assists. Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo missed the game with right knee soreness, and Jrue Holiday took the night off due to personal reasons.


Luka Doncic scored 25 points and Jaden Hardy added 20 off the bench as Dallas snapped a four-game losing streak with a rout of short-handed Indiana in Indianapolis.

Kyrie Irving had 16 points and Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 13 for Dallas, which shot 56.6 percent from the field and 18 of 37 (48.6 percent) from 3-point range. Indiana trailed by as many as 31 and lost its third straight despite rookie Bennedict Mathurin’s 26 points.

Indiana played without guards Buddy Hield (non-COVID illness) and Chris Duarte (sore left ankle), as well as All-Star point guard Tyrese Haliburton and center Myles Turner (injury management). Dallas outscored the Pacers 40-27 in the third quarter and carried a commanding 25-point lead into the final period.

SUNS 117, JAZZ 103

Devin Booker scored 24 points and Phoenix dominated the fourth quarter to finish off a victory over Utah in Salt Lake City.

Deandre Ayton added 14 points with eight rebounds, Chris Paul dished out 10 assists with nine points, and three reserves scored in double figures — Terrence Ross (13 points), Cameron Payne (12) and Bismack Biyombo (11) — to help the Suns keep momentum from a win over Philadelphia on Saturday.

The Jazz, paced by Lauri Markkanen’s 25 points and nine rebounds, erased a double-digit deficit and even took a lead late in the third quarter before falling apart in the fourth en route to their fourth loss in a row. Utah was outscored 33-22 in the final 12 minutes at home after playing well in the middle quarters to turn the game competitive.


Brandon Ingram scored 29 points on 12-of-19 shooting and New Orleans stretched its winning streak to five games with a romp over host Portland.

CJ McCollum added 17 points and eight assists and Trey Murphy III had 16 points as the Pelicans sit in eighth place in the Western Conference, but are within two games of fourth. Keon Johnson matched his career high of 20 points for the Trail Blazers, who lost for the third straight game.

Jonas Valanciunas capped a 9-0 run with a tip-in as New Orleans pushed the lead to 30 at 71-41 with 7:16 left in the third quarter. The Pelicans led 89-55 entering the final stanza. Murphy converted a three-point play to make it a 35-point margin with 7:38 left in the game as New Orleans cruised to the finish.


Jaden McDaniels helped make up for the absence of Karl-Anthony Towns with a team-high 20 points, and Minnesota won by holding host Sacramento to a season-low five 3-pointers.

Even with Towns given the game off to rest on the second night of a back-to-back, all five Minnesota starters scored in double figures, propelling the Timberwolves to a fourth consecutive win.

De’Aaron Fox had a game-high 29 points, Domantas Sabonis scored 24 and Harrison Barnes added 19 for the Kings, who lost for the third time in their past five outings.


Nicolas Batum scored 24 points and Kawhi Leonard added 22 points, seven rebounds and six assists as Los Angeles moved closer to securing a top-six spot in the Western Conference with a victory over visiting Chicago.

Eric Gordon added 22 points as the Clippers won for the third time in their past five games. The win came without Paul George (knee), Marcus Morris Sr. (illness) and Norman Powell (shoulder).

Zach LaVine scored 23 points and DeMar DeRozan added 21 for the Bulls, who entered with five victories in their past six games. Chicago went 2-1 on a West Coast trip.



Baseball has transformed in the 145 days since Dusty Baker and the Houston Astros sealed the franchise’s second title in six seasons.

As New York Mets owner Steve Cohen dominated an offseason that saw billions spent, the sport braced for a new world that includes pitch clocks, bigger bases, limits on defensive shifts and pickoff throws, and an overarching attempt to reverse decades of lengthening games and the Analytics Era domination of the Three True Outcomes — strikeouts, walks and home runs.

“Late-inning relievers more than anyone will have to figure some things out and make some adjustments,” Minnesota Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. “Left-handed hitters, it’s going to help them, period.”

Last year’s average game time was 3 hours, 4 minutes after the introduction of the PitchCom electronic device to signal pitches, down from a record 3:10 in 2021. MLB’s average was 2:46 in 2005 and 2:33 in 1981. A pitch clock of 15 seconds with no runners on base and 20 seconds with runners is designed to cut game times considerably.

Higher pitch velocity and increased shifts led to the major league batting average dropping to .243, its lowest since 1968. The only seasons with lower averages were the record bottom of .237 in 1968 along with 1967 and the dead-ball era seasons of 1884, 1888 and 1908.

Over the objections of players, the sport’s 11-man competition committee adopted a rule that two infielders are required to be on either side of second and all infielders to be within the outer boundary of the infield when the pitcher is on the rubber. Bases were increased from 15-inch squares to 18-by-18, which shorten the distance by 4 1/2 inches and may lead to increased stolen bases.

In spring training through Sunday, games time averaged 2:35 in a drop from 3:01. Runs fell from 10.6 per game to 10.2 and batting average from .259 to .256, but batting average on balls in play rose to .325 from .314 for lefty hitters while remaining .311 for righties.

No player will be watched more closely this season than Shohei Ohtani, a two-way megastar in the final year under contract with the Los Angeles Angels. He and three-time MVP teammate Mike Trout nave have played in a postseason game together. Ohtani has made it clear he wants to win. A taste of October might be needed to persuade the Japanese sensation to remain with the franchise.

Other storylines to watch include Aaron Judge’s ascent to Yankee captaincy — the first since Derek Jeter — after his 62-homer season; Fernando Tatis Jr., set to return from a drug suspension on April 20, teaming with Manny Machado to try leading the Padres to their first World Series title; and can Carlos Correa remain healthy with Minnesota after San Francisco and the Mets backed out of deals with the All-Star shortstop?

Five areas to focus on as the 2023 season starts Thursday:


Batting average for left-handed hitters was .236 last year, down from .254 in 2016, when lefties were one point below the big league average.

An early focus will be on which left-handed hitters benefit most from the new shift restrictions. Among those who could be helped are Corey Seager, Kyle Schwarber, Anthony Rizzo, Cody Bellinger, Rowdy Tellez and Yordan Álvarez.

Teams still are allowed to position outfielders as they wish, so some managers may experiment with moving the left fielder into short right with certain lefties at the plate.


Cohen inspired the character of Bobby Axelrod, who returns to Showtime’s “Billions” in Season 7. Season 3 of the Mets under Cohen should be as interesting as the television drama.

New York raised its payroll to a projected $370 million and is set to shatter the record, set by the 2015 Los Angeles Dodgers at $291 million, while also paying a luxury tax on track to be $116 million. The Mets added Justin Verlander, José Quintana, Kodai Senga, David Robertson and Omar Narváez while losing Jacob deGrom to Texas and re-signing Edwin Díaz, Brandon Nimmo, Jeff McNeil and Adam Ottavino to big deals. Díaz already is out for the season following a knee injury during the World Baseball Classic.

“$300 million, which is still a lot of money, didn’t get us like it used to,” Cohen said.


Verlander left the champion Astros for the Mets after winning his third Cy Young Award.

Others on new teams include deGrom (Texas), Trea Turner (Phillies), Xander Bogaerts (Padres), Carlos Rodón (Yankees), Dansby Swanson (Cubs) and Willson Contreras (St. Louis).

“The goal is to make 30-plus starts and I truly believe that I will be able to do that,” said deGrom, limited by injuries to 26 starts during the past two years.


Bruce Bochy (Texas), Matt Quatraro (Kansas City), Pedro Grifol (Chicago White Sox) and Skip Schumaker (Miami) are the four new managers among the 30 teams, while interim tags were removed for Rob Thomson (Philadelphia), Phil Nevin (Los Angeles Angels) and John Schneider (Toronto).

“You do realize how much you miss it and how much fun so many different parts of the game bring to you,” said the 67-year-old Bochy, who led the San Francisco Giants to three World Series titles and left after 2019, his 25th season as a big league manager.


Shortstop Anthony Volpe, just 21, made the Yankees’ opening day roster after playing 22 games at Triple-A. He joins a rookie class that includes Arizona outfielder Corbin Carroll, St. Louis outfielder Jordan Walker, Baltimore infielder Gunnar Henderson, White Sox outfielder Oscar Colás, Cleveland catcher Bo Naylor and Colorado infielder Ezequiel Tovar, plus a pair of Japanese imports: Boston outfielder Masataka Yoshida and the Mets’ Senga.

“I don’t even know what lies ahead but Thursday I just want to go out and play, and have fun,” Volpe said.


CHICAGO (AP) — Baseball begins again on Thursday with opening day. For some players and managers, it’s also their first regular-season game with a new team.

Here is a closer look at a couple people in new places who could have a big impact this year:

—1B José Abreu, Houston Astros: Abreu has been one of baseball’s most consistent performers since his big league debut in 2014. He had at least 25 homers and 100 RBIs in six of his first nine seasons. The three-time All-Star hit .317 with 19 homers and 60 RBIs during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, winning the AL MVP award.

After beginning his major league career with the Chicago White Sox, Abreu finalized a $58.5 million, three-year contract with the World Series champions in November. The addition of Abreu — with his steady presence in the lineup and clubhouse — became even more significant when Houston second baseman Jose Altuve broke his right thumb during the World Baseball Classic.

—SS Xander Bogaerts, San Diego Padres: One of the biggest surprises of free agency was Bogaerts’ $280 million, 11-year contract with San Diego in December. But Bogaerts’ deal strengthens the Padres’ star-studded lineup and the team’s infield defense.

The 30-year-old Bogaerts won two World Series titles while spending his first 10 years with Boston. He hit .307 with 15 homers and 73 RBIs in his final season with the Red Sox. With Bogaerts in the fold, the Padres could have four players with shortstop experience in their starting infield — perfect timing with baseball’s new limits on defensive shifting.

—OF Daulton Varsho, Toronto Blue Jays: Varsho was acquired in a December trade after he set career highs with 27 homers, 74 RBIs and 16 steals in 151 games with Arizona last year. He was selected by the Diamondbacks in the second round of the 2017 draft and spent his first three seasons with the team.

The 26-year-old Varsho should help balance Toronto’s heavily right-handed lineup, which also includes Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, Matt Chapman and George Springer. He also is a versatile defensive upgrade in the outfield who can even fill in at catcher in a pinch.

—SS Trea Turner, Philadelphia Phillies: Turner’s $300 million, 11-year contract with the NL champions sure seems like an ideal match of player and team. Turner brings his speed and athleticism to a Philadelphia lineup that — at full strength — includes sluggers Bryce Harper, Kyle Schwarber and J.T. Realmuto.

Turner, a World Series winner with Washington in 2019, hit .298 with 21 homers and a career-high 100 RBIs for the Los Angeles Dodgers last year. He also swiped 27 bags in 2022, and the bigger bases and new limits on pickoffs could make him an even more dangerous baserunner this season.

—Manager Pedro Grifol, Chicago White Sox: There is lots of talent on the White Sox, who have ace right-hander Dylan Cease atop their rotation and All-Star shortstop Tim Anderson in their lineup. But the team flopped to an 81-81 record last year and missed the playoffs after making the previous two postseasons.

Enter Grifol, who was hired in November after Tony La Russa stepped down late last season because of health issues. Grifol, a former minor league catcher, spent the previous 10 seasons in a variety of coaching roles with Kansas City. He was widely praised during spring training for his attention to detail and the pace of the team’s workouts, but there is pressure to get the club turned around this year.

—C Sean Murphy, Atlanta Braves: Murphy was acquired in a three-team trade in December in Atlanta’s biggest offseason move. The Braves, winners of five consecutive NL East titles, then signed the catcher to a $73 million, six-year contract, counting on his continued development behind the plate.

The 28-year-old Murphy set career highs with a .250 batting average, 18 homers and 66 RBIs in 148 games with Oakland last season. He also is known for his defense, winning a Gold Glove in 2021. Murphy and Travis d’Arnaud should give Atlanta one of baseball’s best catching tandems.


Chicago Cubs second baseman Nico Hoerner agreed to a three-year, $35 million contract extension, ESPN reported Monday night.

Hoerner originally was set to enter free agency following the 2025 season but will now test the open market after the 2026 campaign. He is currently making $2.5 million in his first year of arbitration and will make about $15 million over the next two years before getting roughly $20 million in 2026, per ESPN.

With the extension, Chicago has its middle infield locked down for the foreseeable future after the Cubs signed shortstop Dansby Swanson to a seven-year, $177 million deal this offseason.

Hoerner, 25, hit .281 with 10 home runs and 55 RBIs in 135 games last season, his fourth with the Cubs. He also had 22 doubles and five triples to go along with 20 stolen bases.

In 247 career games, all with Chicago, Hoerner has a .277 average with a .333 on-base percentage, a .385 slugging percentage, 13 homers and 101 RBIs. The Cubs selected Hoerner with the 24th overall pick of the 2018 draft out of Stanford.


The Detroit Tigers acquired infielder Zach McKinstry from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for minor league right-hander Carlos Guzman on Monday.

McKinstry, who turns 28 next month, batted .199 with five home runs, 14 RBIs and career highs in triples (three) and stolen bases (seven) in 57 games for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Cubs last season.

McKinstry played 21 games at third base, 19 at second base and nine at shortstop for the Cubs in 2022 after they acquired him from the Los Angeles Dodgers in July.

In 121 career games with the Dodgers (2020-22) and Cubs, McKinstry is a .208 hitter with 12 home runs, 16 doubles and 41 runs.

Guzman, 24, pitched in two games at Double-A Erie last season but spent most his time at High-A West Michigan, with a 4.16 ERA over 25 games (23 starts).



Michael Toglia went 4-for-4 with two doubles, a homer and three RBIs to highlight the Colorado Rockies’ 12-8 win over the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday in Phoenix.

Toglia, playing right field, also scored four runs as the visiting Rockies pounded 18 hits.

Harold Castro went 3-for-3 with two RBIs, Mike Moustakas went 3-for-4 with two runs, Ezequiel Tovar went 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs, Charlie Blackmon went 2-for-3 with one RBI, and Yonathan Daza drove in two runs.

The Brewers collected 12 hits, including two home runs from William Contreras, who was 2-for-3 with six RBIs and two runs. Brian Anderson also went deep.


Matt Olson hit his eighth home run of the spring and Eddie Rosario and Sean Murphy also went deep as Atlanta cruised past Boston in North Port, Fla.

Rosario was 2-for-3 with a three-run homer, and Michael Harris II was 2-for-3 with a double. Eight Braves pitchers combined on a four-hitter.

Niko Goodrum and Yu Chang doubled for the Red Sox.


Jose Miranda went 3-for-4 with two doubles and one RBI, and Donovan Solano and Hernan Perez homered as Minnesota doubled up Pittsburgh in Fort Myers, Fla.

Right-hander Joe Ryan started for the Twins and went 3 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing three hits and no walks with four strikeouts.

Maikol Escotto slammed a three-run homer 404 feet in the ninth inning for Pittsburgh.


Eric Wagaman went 2-for-2 with a homer and three RBIs to lead host New York past Tampa Bay in Tampa, Fla.

Rafael Ortega hit a solo shot for the Yankees, while Josh Donaldson went 2-for-2 with a double.

Christian Bethancourt homered for the Rays, and Josh Lowe had two hits including a double.


Jacob Buchberger and Chandler Redmond each slammed three-run homers to power St. Louis past Baltimore in Sarasota, Fla.

Nolan Gorman also went deep for the Cardinals.

Ryan O’Hearn homered for the Orioles, who were outhit 13-4.


Trea Turner and Leandro Pineda homered in Philadelphia’s victory over host Toronto in Dunedin, Fla.

Bryson Stott added a two-run single in the first inning.

Nathan Lukes went 2-for-3 with a double, RBI and run for the Blue Jays.


Xander Bogaerts hit a two-run double in the third inning as San Diego doubled up host Seattle in Peoria, Ariz.

Right-hander Seth Lugo started for the Padres and allowed five hits, two runs and one walk with three strikeouts in six innings.

The Mariners totaled five hits, all singles, along with three walks while striking out nine times.


The White Sox scored five runs in the top of the ninth inning, including Romy Gonzalez’s three-run homer, to tie their Chicago rival in Mesa, Ariz.

The Cubs had led 4-0 after the first inning and 6-0 after four, with Dansby Swanson going deep in the second.

The White Sox notched a single run in the sixth, then scored five times in the ninth on a single, walk, fielder’s choice, Gonzalez’s homer, a single, a double and DJ Gladney’s two-out, two-run single.


Texas struck for a pair of runs in both the seventh and eighth innings to forge a tie with Kansas City in Arlington, Texas.

Michael Massey hit a two-run homer and Hunter Dozier added a solo shot in the fourth inning as the Royals jumped out to a 4-0 lead. But a two-run double from Josh H. Smith and RBI singles from Robbie Grossman and Jonah Heim allowed the Rangers to avoid the loss.

Texas starter Nathan Eovaldi gave up four runs on seven hits in five innings while walking one and striking out six. Kansas City relievers Dylan Coleman and Jose Cuas gave up two runs apiece.


Mike Trout hit a two-run homer and Taylor Ward ripped a solo blast as the Los Angeles Angels edged the Los Angeles Dodgers in Anaheim, Calif.

Ward also walked with the bases loaded in the sixth inning to bring home a key insurance run. Cesar Valdez earned the save with a 1-2-3 ninth inning.

The Dodgers scored all four of their runs via the long ball, getting solo home runs from Mookie Betts, Miguel Rojas, Chris Taylor and Luke Williams.


Arizona scored all seven of its runs in its final two at-bats to sneak by Cleveland in Phoenix.

Josh Naylor, Amed Rosario and Milan Tolentino each had run-scoring singles to help the Guardians take a commanding 6-0 lead, but the Diamondbacks stormed back, moving ahead on Jordan Lawlar’s two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning.

Carlos Vargas, Miguel Castro and Scott McGough each provided a scoreless inning of relief to allow the Diamondbacks to make their comeback after starter Madison Bumgarner was tagged for four runs (two earned) on five hits in five innings.


Ramon Laureano hit a three-run homer and Seth Brown and Jesus Aguilar added two RBIs apiece as Oakland doubled up host San Francisco.

A’s right-hander James Kaprielian went 5 1/3 innings, allowing two runs and five hits to go along with two walks and six strikeouts to earn the win.

Ford Proctor went 2-for-2 with two doubles and three RBIs for the Giants, who also got a pair of hits from Joc Pederson.




Matt Boldy scored his second hat trick in nine days as the Minnesota Wild defeated the Seattle Kraken 5-1 Monday night in St. Paul, Minn.

Jake Middleton and Ryan Hartman also scored and Marcus Johansson, Jared Spurgeon and Joel Eriksson Ek had two assists apiece for the Central Division-leading Wild, who improved to 15-1-4 in their past 20 games and pulled within three points of Western Conference-leading Vegas. Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury made 35 saves.

Jaden Schwartz scored for the Kraken, who lead the West’s wild-card race. Goalie Philipp Grubauer stopped 9 of 13 shots before being pulled early in the third after Boldy scored to make it 4-0. Martin Jones stopped 6 of 7 shots the rest of the way as Seattle had an eight-game road point streak snapped (7-0-1).

Boldy completed the hat trick 50 seconds into the third. Eriksson Ek stole a clearance attempt and passed to Boldy for a one-timer from the slot. Boldy also had three goals in a 5-3 victory against Washington on March 19.


Brendan Gallagher’s 200th career goal tied things up just before the midway point of the third period, and Montreal eventually won in a shootout against host Buffalo.

With the Canadiens down 3-2, Gallagher leveled things when he rang the post via his milestone goal with 11:25 remaining in regulation. Jordan Harris and Alex Belzile also had goals, and Michael Pezzetta’s score in the sixth round of the shootout was the difference for the Canadiens.

Lukas Rousek scored on his first NHL shot and added an assist in his league debut for the Sabres. JJ Peterka and Riley Stillman also scored, while Eric Comrie made 38 saves for Buffalo, which played without star Tage Thompson (upper-body injury).


Brady Tkachuk had a goal and an assist, Mads Sogaard made 32 saves and Ottawa scored three power-play goals to beat visiting Florida.

The win moved the Senators closer in their pursuit of an Eastern Conference wild-card spot. The Pittsburgh Penguins, who were idle on Monday, are in the second wild-card slot with 82 points, while the Panthers are just behind them despite being on a season-high, four-game losing streak.

Ottawa’s Alex DeBrincat, Tim Stutzle and Erik Brannstrom all scored on the power play, with each score coming near the end of each period. After its 3-for-4 performance on Monday, the Senators’ streaking power-play unit is 10-for-28 over the past eight games. Gustav Forsling scored both of the Panthers’ goals.


Kyle Palmieri scored twice against his former team for New York, which earned a pivotal victory by beating New Jersey in Elmont, N.Y.

Pierre Engvall scored in the first period and Bo Horvat and Zach Parise each scored empty-netters late in the third for the Islanders, who stopped a two-game losing streak and lengthened their lead in the Eastern Conference wild-card race. Islanders goalie Ilya Sorokin made 30 saves.

Erik Haula scored in the second period for the Devils, who lost for the sixth time in eight games (2-4-2) and missed a chance to move within one point of the idle first-place Carolina Hurricanes in the Metropolitan Division. New Jersey goalie Vitek Vanecek recorded 31 saves.


Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored a third-period tiebreaking goal, Leon Draisaitl netted the 300th of his career and Edmonton prevailed in Tempe, Ariz.

By scoring in his 630th game, Draisaitl used the fourth-fewest games to reach 300 goals among active players. Evan Bouchard had a goal and an assist, and Zach Hyman and Darnell Nurse scored for the Oilers. Jack Campbell made 29 saves for the win.

Arizona got two goals apiece from Matias Maccelli and Barrett Hayton. Lawson Crouse dealt three assists and Jack McBain and Nick Schmaltz each had two.


Nathan MacKinnon and Bowen Byram each had a goal and an assist as visiting Colorado cruised past Anaheim for its third consecutive win.

Valeri Nichushkin, Jack Johnson and Samuel Girard also scored goals and Cale Makar added two assists for Colorado, which is one point behind first-place Minnesota in the Central Division ahead of a Wednesday game vs. the Wild in Denver. Jonas Johansson stopped 29 of 30 shots.

Derek Grant scored for Anaheim, which took its fifth straight loss. John Gibson made 39 saves for the Ducks, who finished an eight-game homestand with just a 1-6-1 record to fall to 12-22-3 at the Honda Center this season.



Eastern Conference
 WLPctConf GBHomeRoadDivConfLast 10Streak
1 x-Milwaukee5421.72030-724-149-531-157-31 W
2 x-Boston5223.6932.028-924-149-430-167-33 W
3 x-Philadelphia4926.6535.026-1123-157-630-166-43 L
Cleveland4828.6326.530-818-2012-331-158-24 W
New York4333.56611.521-1722-168-828-194-61 W
Brooklyn4035.53314.019-1621-197-827-213-71 L
Miami4035.53314.025-1415-219-521-256-41 L
Atlanta3738.49317.021-1616-227-823-235-51 L
Toronto3738.49317.025-1412-244-922-235-52 W
10 Chicago3639.48018.020-1716-226-825-237-31 L
11 Washington3342.44021.017-1916-237-619-272-81 L
12 Indiana3343.43421.519-1814-257-623-244-63 L
13 Orlando3243.42722.019-1913-246-818-285-53 W
14 Charlotte2551.32929.513-2412-277-914-345-52 W
15 Detroit1659.21338.09-307-291-137-401-96 L
Western Conference
 WLPctConf GBHomeRoadDivConfLast 10Streak
1 xy-Denver5124.68032-619-1810-532-135-54 W
2 xy-Memphis4727.6353.532-515-2213-228-199-16 W
Sacramento4530.6006.023-1622-149-629-166-41 L
Phoenix4035.53311.024-1216-239-525-204-62 W
LA Clippers4036.52611.521-1819-187-723-237-31 W
Minnesota3937.51312.521-1718-208-727-205-54 W
Golden State3937.51312.530-89-296-925-215-51 L
New Orleans3837.50713.024-1314-2410-526-207-35 W
LA Lakers3738.49314.021-1816-205-922-246-41 L
10 Oklahoma City3738.49314.022-1515-238-723-256-41 W
11 Dallas3739.48714.522-1615-239-627-233-71 W
12 Utah3540.46716.022-1613-245-922-254-64 L
13 Portland3243.42719.017-2115-226-922-231-93 L
14 San Antonio1956.25332.013-256-312-137-383-74 L
15 Houston1858.23733.512-266-324-1211-393-76 L

Eight teams in each conference qualify for the playoffs. 

X – Clinched Playoff Spot,  Y – Clinched Division,  Z – Clinched Conference


Eastern Conference
1 xy-Boston Bruins73571151195427515730-3-327-8-28-2-0
2 x-Carolina Hurricanes72471691034324118825-9-322-7-65-4-1
3 x-New Jersey Devils74462081004425720620-13-426-7-44-4-2
4 x-Toronto Maple Leafs7344209974325120325-7-519-13-46-3-1
5 x-New York Rangers73432010963924719821-12-422-8-68-1-1
Tampa Bay Lightning7442266903925323025-7-517-19-14-5-1
New York Islanders7538289853822420622-13-316-15-66-3-1
Pittsburgh Penguins73362710823523523620-11-516-16-54-5-1
Florida Panthers7436317793425725621-12-415-19-35-4-1
10 Buffalo Sabres7335317773426127114-20-421-11-33-4-3
11 Ottawa Senators7436335773423624021-13-315-20-23-6-1
12 Washington Capitals7434328763223623117-14-517-18-33-5-2
13 Detroit Red Wings7231329712820923817-15-414-17-53-7-0
14 Philadelphia Flyers72283212682619523616-16-512-16-75-4-1
15 Montreal Canadiens7430386662521527316-17-314-21-34-5-1
16 Columbus Blue Jackets7223427532219628514-20-29-22-53-6-1
Western Conference
Vegas Golden Knights7346216984224220522-14-124-7-58-2-0
Minnesota Wild7443229953622419924-11-319-11-67-1-2
Los Angeles Kings73432010963725823625-9-418-11-68-0-2
Colorado Avalanche7344236943824520120-12-524-11-19-1-0
Edmonton Oilers7442239934229125020-12-622-11-38-1-1
Dallas Stars73392014923625120418-10-921-10-55-4-1
Seattle Kraken7340258884025423616-15-424-10-44-4-2
Winnipeg Jets7441303854022120922-12-219-18-15-5-0
Calgary Flames74332615813123523117-15-416-11-115-3-2
10 Nashville Predators7236288803120421618-14-418-14-45-4-1
11 Vancouver Canucks7334345732925026717-18-117-16-48-2-0
12 St. Louis Blues7333346723023626815-16-518-18-16-3-1
13 Arizona Coyotes75273513672421126220-12-47-23-94-3-3
14 Anaheim Ducks74234110562019030212-22-311-19-72-6-2
15 Chicago Blackhawks7324436542217926214-19-310-24-32-7-1
16 San Jose Sharks7319391553182092866-20-1013-19-51-6-3

Eight teams in each conference qualify for the divisional playoff format.  The top three teams from each division make up the first six spots.   The two remaining teams with the highest points, regardless of division, qualify for the final two wild card spots.  

X – Clinched Playoff Spot, Y – Clinched Division, Z – Clinched Conference


1913      The Browns trade Buzzy Wares to the Montgomery Rebels in exchange for the rent-free use of the minor league’s team stadium during spring training. The Southern Association Class-A team will return the 26-year-old infielder to St. Louis later in the season.

1970      Commissioner Bowie Kuhn announces the return of the All-Star selection to the fans. The over-exposure of the Midsummer Classic, two games each season between 1959-1962, and the lack of fan input prompted the MLB Promotion Corporation to modernize the game’s marketing by restoring fan balloting for the starting eight position players.

1977      Upset about losing his second base job to Bump Wills, Ranger Lenny Randle attacks and fractures his manager Frank Lucchesi’s cheekbone. The Ranger skipper may have triggered the episode just before the team’s exhibition game against Minnesota by once again calling the usually even-tempered infielder a punk.

1978      Dick Allen’s fifteen-year career ends when the A’s release the aging superstar. The Wampum, Pennsylvania native finishes his stormy relationship with major league baseball with 351 HRs, 1,192 RBIs, and a .292 batting average.

1981      The White Sox trade southpaw Ken Kravec to the Cubs for Dennis Lamp, who will post a 25-21 (.543) record during his three seasons with the South Side club. With the departure of Kravec, the recently acquired Carlton Fisk has an opportunity to return to his iconic uniform #27 but chooses to stay with his new reverse digits of 72, which will be retired by Chicago in 1997.

1985      Sports Illustrated’s April 1st edition tricks the nation when author George Plimpton weaves a fictitious tale of The Curious Case Of Sidd Finch, a Mets rookie phenom who throws a 168 mph fastball. Staged photographs and quotes from current players help give the story a realistic edge.

1986      The Red Sox trade designated hitter Mike Easler to the Yankees for DH Don Baylor, who will provide valuable veteran leadership for the eventual AL champs while hitting only .238. Easler, known as the ‘Hit Man,’ will live up to his nickname, batting .302 in his only full season with the second-place Bronx Bombers.

1988      Four days shy of his 47th birthday, Phil Niekro’s 24-year Hall of Fame career comes to an end when the Yankees put him on waivers at the end of spring training. The right-handed knuckleballer, best known for his tenure with the Braves, compiled a 318-274 record and a 3.35 ERA while hurling for four teams, including the Yankees, Indians, and Blue Jays.

1999      At Havana’s Estadio Latinoamericano, the Orioles edge the Cuban National team, 3-2, thanks to Harold Baines’ eventual game-winning hit in the 11th inning. The contest marks the first time a U.S. team had played in Cuba since 1959, when the Dodgers played the Reds in two exhibition games on the island.

2003      The commissioner’s office announces teams will pay tribute to the U.S. Armed Forces during the seventh-inning stretch of all home openers by having ‘God Bless America’ performed. Although the song has been part of all games since the September 11th terrorist attacks, it will be heard only in major league ballparks at the home openers, Sunday, and holidays games.

2003      Three days before Opening Day, the YES Network claims Cablevision has nixed a proposed deal signed 17 days ago that would have provided televised Yankee games to nearly three million cable subscribers in the NYC metropolitan area. According to a YES Network press release, the giant cable company failed to sign a finalized version of the hand-written document that both parties exchanged on March 12 when Cablevision president James L. Dolan took exception to unacceptable alterations in the typewritten draft.

2006      The insurance claim filed by the Astros in January to get back approximately $15.6 million of Jeff Bagwell’s $17 million guaranteed contract is denied by the Connecticut General Life Insurance Company. The insurers cite no adverse change in the 37-year-old first baseman’s condition between the end of last season and the Jan. 31, 2006 policy.

2008      The decision to have manager Manny Acta catch the ceremonial first pitch from President Bush at the Nationals’ home opener is reported not to have been made by the White House. Traditionally, the honor goes to the game’s starting catcher, today being Paul Lo Duca, cited in the Mitchell Report on drug use in baseball, who watches his manager catch the toss from the Commander-in-Chief.

2008      The 24,663 fans at Chase Field give opposing Rockies left-hander Doug Davis an ovation as he walks off the mound after appearing in an exhibition game against the Diamondbacks. Before the game, Colorado announces the very popular 32-year-old hurler will have his thyroid removed after a biopsy revealed a lump in his throat to be cancerous.

2013      Mets GM Sandy Alderson announces an MRI has revealed 34-year-old Johan Santana has re-torn his surgically repaired left shoulder capsule and indicates additional surgery is a “strong possibility” for the left-hander. The Venezuelan southpaw, who missed the entire 2011 season due to the injury, will probably never pitch again for the team, finishing his six-year, $137.5 million contract with the team, a deal he signed upon his trade to the team in early 2008, on the disabled list.

2014      Mike Trout and the Angels come to terms on a $144.5 million, six-year deal, keeping the 22-year-old outfielder on the team through 2020. The five-tool phenom from Millville, N.J., the American League’s MVP runner-up in his first two seasons in the majors, was the unanimous choice for the AL Rookie of the Year award in 2012.

2017      In the first year of his presidency, Donald Trump has declined the Nationals’ invitation to throw out the ceremonial first pitch on Opening Day at Nationals Park, citing a scheduling conflict according to club officials. Since William Taft’s toss in 1910, every President has participated in the tradition at some point in their term in office, except for Jimmy Carter, who tossed the CFP before Game 7 of the 1979 Fall Classic.

2019      At Dodger Stadium, en route to a 12-5 victory over the Diamondbacks, Los Angeles slams eight home runs, surpassing the Opening Day record of six, previously shared by the 1998 Mets (vs. Expos) and 2018 White Sox (vs. Royals). The long ball barrage, which includes multiple dingers in three different innings, features round-trippers by Joc Peterson (2), Kike Hernandez (2), Austin Barnes, Corey Seaver, Max Muncy, and Cody Berlinger.



“I always felt if I had had a normal hand, I would have been a greater pitcher.” – Mordecai Brown

For any other pitcher, a right-hand mangled in a childhood accident might have derailed a career before it started.

But for Mordecai “Three-Fingered” Brown, the incident on a local farm became the genesis of a Hall of Fame career.

“It was a great ball, that downward curve of his,” said Ty Cobb, owner of the game’s best career batting average, of the curveball that evolved from Brown’s misshapen fingers. “I can’t talk about all of baseball, but I can say this: It was the most deceiving, the most devastating pitch I ever faced.”

Born Mordecai Peter Centennial Brown on Oct. 19, 1876 in Nyesville, Ind., Brown’s life changed when – as a five year old – he got his right index finger caught in a machine designed to separate grain from stalks and husks. The digit was sliced off, leaving only a stump. The next year, Brown damaged the hand again in a fall – breaking the remaining fingers. The bones healed, but the fingers were left at permanently odd angles.

Brown, however, showed baseball aptitude into his teen years and hooked on with semi-pro teams near his home. By 1901, Brown was dominating hitters with Terre Haute in the Three-I League. He surfaced in the big leagues with the Cardinals in 1903, but struggled to a 9-13 record while trying to harness his movement-laded pitches.

The Cubs acquired Brown following the 1903 season, and the next year – at the age of 27 – Brown found success with a 15-10 record and 1.86 earned-run average. Over the next seven seasons, Brown averaged almost 24 wins a season while leading the Cubs to the World Series title in 1907 and 1908. In 1906, Brown posted a 1.04 ERA for a Cubs team that won a record 116 games – the lowest National League figure of the modern era among qualifying pitchers.

In 1908, Brown won the replayed game against the Giants following the “Merkle Boner” game, giving the Cubs the pennant. In nine career World Series games, Brown was 5-4 with a 2.97 ERA.

He pitched for the Cubs through 1912 before moving to Cincinnati. Brown then jumped to the upstart Federal League in for the 1914 and 1915 seasons before ending his career back with the Cubs in 1916.

His final totals: 239-130, with a 2.06 ERA and 55 shutouts.

Brown passed away on Feb. 14, 1948. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1949.


In an era where every ticket sold meant that much more job security, Raymond Brown was the pitcher of choice in the Negro Leagues.

“He’s what they called their Sunday Pitcher,” said Negro Leagues historian James Riley. “They’d pitch their best on Sunday to draw a crowd, and nobody was better.”

Born Feb. 23, 1908 in Alger, Ohio, the 6-foot-1, 195-pound Brown developed a reputation while still an amateur as an all-around star on the diamond. After short stints with pro teams in Indianapolis and Detroit, Brown hooked on with Cumberland Posey’s Homestead Grays – a blossoming Negro Leagues powerhouse.

In 14 seasons with the Grays, Brown became one of the great stars of African-American baseball, leading the team to eight pennants in one nine-year span. His vast repertoire of pitches included sinkers, sliders and even knuckleballs, but his curve was his go-to offering.

“So confident was Ray in all of his pitches that he would throw a curve with a 3-0 count on the batter,” Riley said. “He had good control of all of his pitches.”

In 1938, the Pittsburgh Courier newspaper listed Brown as one of five Negro Leagues stars who would be certain major leaguers if allowed to play. The others: Cool Papa Bell, Josh Gibson, Buck Leonard and Satchel Paige. All have been enshrined in the Hall of Fame.

Brown, who became Posey’s son-in-law after marrying his daughter Ethel, threw a one-hitter in the 1944 Negro League World Series – leading the Grays to the title – and pitched a perfect game in 1945.

Brown also starred in winter league play during this era, posting an incredible 21-4 record with Santa Clara of the Cuban Winter League in 1936 while hitting .311 at the plate. He completed 23 of his 26 starts that season.

In the Negro Leagues, Brown appeared in two East-West All-Star Games, compiled a 3-2 record in seven Negro League World Series games and finished his Negro leagues career with a record of 122-45.

Brown pitched in the Mexican League and the Canadian Provincial League before retiring following the 1953 season.

Brown passed away on Feb. 8, 1965. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2006.



Off the field…

One of the most sensational court cases in twentieth-century America, the “Scopes Monkey Trial” went infinitely beyond the boundaries of law and the courtroom to question the social, intellectual, and cultural values of America. In 1925, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) announced that it was willing to financially support anyone challenging a recently enacted Tennessee law that prohibited the teaching of Darwinism in the state’s schools. John T. Scopes, a twenty-five year-old high-school science teacher in Dayton, Tennessee, who taught evolution in his school biology class, accepted the ACLU offer and agreed to stand as the defendant in a test case to challenge the law. At the conclusion of the hearings, Scopes’ attorney asked the jury to return a verdict of guilty in order that the case might be appealed to the Tennessee Supreme Court where, he hoped, the anti-Darwin law would be overturned. The jury, complying with his request, returned a verdict of guilty and fined Scopes $100.

In the American League…

Ty Cobb set another one of his many Major League records on May 5th after going six-for-six, (including three home runs) in a Detroit Tiger win over the St. Louis Browns. Cobb’s sixteen total bases topped the American League record previously set by Joe Hauser (fourteen) on August 2nd of 1924.

Boston Red Sox outfielder Ira Flagstead initiated three double plays on May 19th in an 8-2 loss to the St. Louis Browns breaking the record previously set by Tris Speaker in 1918. (All of Speaker’s were unassisted).

Rookie Ben Paschal of the New York Yankees hit two inside-the-park home runs, in an 11-6 win over the Chicago White Sox on September 22nd. Paschal totaled seven home runs in the month of September setting a franchise record (for rookies) that stood until 1998.

In the National League…

Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop Glenn Wright pulled off the impossible after completing a solo triple play at second base during a 10-9 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on May 7th. Wright ended the game after snagging a Jim Bottomley line drive while simultaneously stepping on the bag before Johnny Cooney could return. Then he tagged Rogers Hornsby who was attempting to retreat after coming down from first base.

Second baseman Milt Stock of the Brooklyn Dodgers set a modern National League record after tallying four hits in four consecutive games.

Marv Goodwin (one of the few remaining “spitball” pitchers) was killed in an accident during an Air Reserve training flight on October 21st. The former right-hander for the St. Louis Cardinals had recently joined the Cincinnati Reds at the end of the season and became the first active-player ever to be killed in a plane crash.

Around the League…

At the annual meeting of American League owners, a plan was adopted to alternate the site of future World Series openers by league rather than deciding it by a coin toss. Games 1, 2, 6, and 7 would be played in one park and 3, 4, and 5 would take place in the other.

On April 5th, New York Yankees icon Babe Ruth collapsed suddenly at a railroad station in Asheville, North Carolina. He later underwent an emergency operation for an ulcer at New York Hospital on April 17th and remained in bed until May 26th.

Baseball legend Christy Mathewson died of tuberculosis on October 7th at Saranac Lake, New York, at the age of forty-five. At the time of his death he was part owner and president of the Boston Braves franchise.




Doug Atkins originally went to the University of Tennessee on a basketball scholarship, but once Gen. Robert R. Neyland, the football coach, saw his combination of size and agility, he was recruited for the grid team. After he earned All-America honors, the Cleveland Browns selected him as their first choice in the 1953 National Football League Draft.

After two seasons in Cleveland, he was traded to the Chicago Bears and there he developed into one of history’s most awesome defensive performers. Exceptionally strong and agile, the 6-8, 257-pound Atkins earned legendary acclaim as a devastating pass rusher who would often leapfrog blockers to get at the passer. That was a skill that carried over from his collegiate days when he won the Southeastern Conference high jump title.

An All-NFL choice four times and a veteran of eight Pro Bowls, Atkins wound up his career with three successful seasons with the New Orleans Saints. For 17 years and 205 games, Doug wrecked absolute havoc on opposing linemen, quarterbacks, and ball carriers. Linemen who faced Atkins usually had just one thought in mind: “Don’t make him mad.” It was common knowledge among players that as tough as Doug was, he was even tougher when angered. An outspoken free spirit, Doug often clashed with the Bears’ fiery head coach George Halas. Atkins’ easy-going approach to practice particularly annoyed the coach.

But still, the two developed a mutual respect. Although their relationship was at times tumultuous, it lasted for 12 seasons and Atkins was a key part of the great Bears defense that won the league championship in 1963. However, in 1967 Atkins demanded to be traded and Halas sent his star lineman to the Saints, where he finished his career. After Atkins finally retired following the 1969 season, Halas openly admitted, “There never was a better defensive end.”


March 28, 1953 – The Sports world loses one of history’s greatest athletes as Jim Thorpe passes away at the age of 65 years old in Lomita, California. Thorpe most famously won Gold in the 1912 Olympic games only to be stripped of them due to playing a bit of minor league baseball in 1910 (See our January 26 post) They posthumously returned the Medals to Thorpe’s credit in 1983. (See our January 18 post) But his football prowess is what we most remember this legend for. (Visit our May 28 blog article on the subject) The Native American played famously for Pop Warner at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School and then when the early NFL formed Thorpe became the American Professional Football Association’s first president and as we know the APFA later changed its name to the NFL. As a pro football player Jim played for the Canton Bulldogs, Cleveland Indians, Oorang Indians, Rock Island Independents and the New York Giants.

March 28, 1963 – Sonny Werblin leads group that purchases the AFL’s New York Titans from original owner Harry Wismer. According to the Jets Insider web story Werblin and company promptly changed the team name to the New York Jets on April 15.

March 28, 1984 – The Colts relocated from Baltimore to Indianapolis in 1984. Reports say that franchise owner, Bob Irsay moved the Colts in the middle of the night after renovations were not made to Memorial Stadium in Baltimore as he thought they should be. A Baltimore Sun article by Jon Morgan in 1997 says that Mr. Irsay became a nemesis of then City mayor, William Donald Schaefer and when he later became Maryland’s governor, converted the outrage into the political will to build Camden Yards. Irsay had acquired the club in 1972, a year after they won Super Bowl V when he traded his rights to the LA Rams to former Colts owner Carroll Rosenbloom. The Colts had a new stadium in place in the RCA Dome which was originally called the Hoosier Dome, which is where they called home for 24 seasons in Indianapolis before Lucas Oil Stadium was built. Since in Indy the Colts have made 2 Super Bowl appearances and even won Super Bowl XLI with Tony Dungy as coach and Peyton Manning under center.

March 28, 2012 – Cornerback Stephon Gilmore, Defensive End Melvin Ingram & Wide Receiver Alshon Jeffery participated at South Carolina’s Pro Day in 2012. Gilmore was really impressive in the drills for the DB position and went tenth overall to Buffalo. Ingram left the green room as the 18th pick of the first round by San Diego. Allshon Jeffery’s 40-yard dash in the high 4.4 range helped dispel some myths of a receiver of his size struggling with speed and he was taken in the second round by the Bears per The trio of former Gamecocks have made the Pro Bowl for a collective 8 times.

March 28, 2017 – According to a representative of each of the NFL’s 32 teams attended the 2017 Florida State pro Day. One of the main reasons was to evaluate the talented Runningback Dalvin Cook who per the report had an “exceptional workout” per NFL Network analyst Gil Brandt. Brandt said, “In my mind, he’s the No. 2 RB prospect in the draft behind Leonard Fournette… he’s explosive & catches the ball well.” Cook was selected 41st overall (2nd Round) in 2017 NFL Draft and in just his rookie season he recorded 88.5 rush yards per gameg in 4 games .


12 – 22 – 13 – 23

March 28, 1942 – At the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship it was the Cardinal of Stanford University crushing Dartmouth, 53-38. Cardinal forward Howie Dallmar, Number 12 was named tournament Most Outstanding Player

March 28, 1944 – Utah defeated Dartmouth, 42-40 at the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship game. It marked the Utes’ first title as their forward Number 22, Arnie Ferrin is named tournament Most Outstanding Player.

March 28, 1972 – It was nearing the end of an era and a legendary basketball career when Number 13, Wilt Chamberlain suited up to play NBA basketball in what would be one of his last games. Chamberlain who was playing for the LA Lakers that season helped his club defeat the Chicago Bulls 95-80 in the first round of the NBA playoffs by scoring 10 points. The Lakers would move on to the finals that year but fall to the New York Knicks in 5 games in the championship series.

March 28, 1990 – Chicago Bulls Guard Michael Jordan, Number 23 poured in 69 points as the Bulls outlasted the Cleveland Cavaliers 117-113 in Overtime. It was a career high for Jordan and the fourth time he had scored over 60 points in one game.


NIT Semifinal: North Texas vs. Wisconsin7:00pmESPN
NIT Semifinal: UAB vs. Utah Valley9:30pmESPN2
NY Yankees vs Washington12:05pmMLBN
Chi.White Sox vs Chi. Cubs3:05pmMLBN
Boston at Washington7:00pmNBCS-BOS
Cleveland at Atlanta7:30pmBally Sports
Miami at Toronto7:30pmTNT
Orlando at Memphis8:00pmBally Sports
Charlotte at Oklahoma City8:00pmBally Sports
New Orleans at Golden State10:00pmTNT
Columbus at NY Rangers7:00pmMSG
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Montréal at Philadelphia7:00pmSportsnet
Nashville at Boston7:00pmNESN
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Tampa Bay at Carolina7:00pmBally Sports
Pittsburgh at Detroit7:00pmATTSN-PIT
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Vancouver at St. Louis8:00pmSportsnet
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Dallas at Chicago8:30pmNBCS-CHI
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Los Angeles at Calgary9:00pmSportsnet
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Edmonton at Vegas10:00pmESPN+
Winnipeg at San Jose10:30pmSportsnet
UEFA Euro Qualifying: Georgia vs Norway12:00pmFS2
UEFA Euro Qualifying: Turkey vs Croatia2:45pmFS1
CONCACAF Nations League: U.S. Virgin Islands vs Sint Maarten4:00pmParamount+
CONCACAF Nations League: Haiti vs Bermuda6:00pmParamount+
CONCACAF Nations League: Guyana vs Montserrat7:00pmParamount+
CONCACAF Nations League: Bonaire vs Turks and Caicos Islands7:00pmParamount+
CONCACAF Nations League: Canada vs Honduras8:00pmParamount+
CONCACAF Nations League: Costa Rica vs Panama10:00pmParamount+