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Late Surge Sends Monticello Past St. Thomas More

The Monticello Sages broke a 2-all tie with three runs in the top of the sixth inning, sending them past Champaign St. Thomas More, 6-2, Thursday afternoon in Okaw Valley boys baseball action from Champaign.

 

Logan Hislope paced Monticello with a 2-for-4 afternoon including an RBI and a run scored.

Luke Stokowski finished 1-for-2 with a double and two RBIs.

 

Nathan Graham scored twice for the Sages and Jacob Burton and Austin Wiggins recorded RBIs.

Garrett Myers went the distance on the mound for the Sages, finishing in seven innings allowing two runs on eight hits, issuing a walk and struck out five.

 

The win is the sixth straight for Monticello as they improve to 13-5 on the year.

 

The Sages are at Tri-Valley today in Downs and play Olympia at the Normal Corn Crib on Saturday afternoon. 

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Bears Trade Up, Take Georgia LB; Rams Take Goff No. 1; Packers Take UCLA DT

The Chicago Bears took Georgia outside linebacker Leonard Floyd with the ninth overall pick in Thursday's draft after trading up two spots in a deal with Tampa Bay.

The 6-foot-6, 244-pound Floyd is long and elusive off the edge and could put up bigger numbers in Chicago than he did in college. He led the Bulldogs in sacks for the third straight year with 4 1/2 and tied for the team lead with 10 1/2 tackles for loss last season.

 

The way they struggled to make plays on defense last season, it was hardly a stretch to think the Bears would address that in the first round. Chicago finished last in the NFC North at 6-10.

 

>>Rams Take Goff No. 1

 

The Los Angeles Rams have selected California quarterback Jared Goff with the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft, and the No. 2 selection for the Philadelphia Eagles is North Dakota State quarterback Carson Wentz.

 

It's the second straight year that two QBs were the first names off the board. It's the seventh time in the modern era of the draft since 1967.

 

The 6-foot-4 Goff started every game during his three seasons at California and set school records with 977 completions, 12,220 yards passing and 96 touchdown passes. The Rams traded with Tennessee to get the pick.

 

Wentz led the Bison to their fifth consecutive FCS championship in January. He passed for 1,651 yards and 17 touchdowns during his senior year that was shortened by a broken right wrist.

 

Philadelphia acquired the No. 2 selection in a trade with Cleveland last Wednesday. It's the first opening-round quarterback for the Eagles since they grabbed Donovan McNabb with the No. 2 pick in the 1999 draft.

 

>>Packers Take UCLA Defensive Tackle

 

The Green Bay Packers took Kenny Clark, a defensive-tackle out of UCLA with the 27th pick in Thursday night's NFL Draft.

Playing alongside Miles Jack, Clark was a hassle at UCLA. Scouts say he plays with agility and a high motor, creating issues for blockers.

 

The Packers learned last month, veteran lineman BJ Raji would be taking an indifinite leave from football, so the Packers drafting Clark is of little surprise.

 

The Packers passed on the troubled defensive lineman, Robert Nkemdiche out of Ole Miss, who wound up with the Arizona Cardinals two picks later. 

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Arrieta, Cubs Win Again; Sox, Cardinals Lose

>>Arrieta Wins 16th Straight As Cubs Beat Brewers

 

Jake Arrieta's bid for a second straight no-hitter ended after five pitches and the Cubs ace went on to win his 16th straight decision, leading Chicago over the Milwaukee Brewers 7-2 Thursday.

 

Arrieta (5-0) allowed one run, three hits and four walks in five innings - the first run he allowed at Wrigley Field since July 25. Alex Presley's fifth-inning RBI double ended Arrieta's home scoreless streak at 52 2/3 innings, four outs shy of Ray Herbert's major league record set with the Chicago White Sox in 1962-63.

 

Arrieta's streak of consecutive winning decisions is the longest since Jose Contreras of the White Sox won 17 in a row from August 2005 to July 2006, according to STATS. Chicago has won in Arrieta's last 18 starts, a team record.

 

Ben Zobrist hit a two-run single in the first off Taylor Jungmann (0-4), who gave up five runs, six hits and three walks in 3 2/3 innings as his ERA rose to 9.15. He also hit Bryant with two pitches.

 

David Ross hit solo home run onto Waveland Avenue in the second, and Anthony Rizzo and Tommy La Stella added RBI doubles in the third for a 5-0 lead.

 

Villar had three hits and stole three bases as the Brewers lost to the Cubs for the 14th time in 15 games thanks to suspect pitching.

 

Jon Lester (2-1, 1.98) faces Atlanta RHP Aaron Blair (0-1, 5.06) at Wrigley to begin a three-game series matching the NL teams with the best and worst records.

 

>>D'backs Blank Cardinals

 

Rubby De La Rosa picked up the pace between pitches and tossed a gem, striking out a career-high 10 and allowing two hits over seven innings as Arizona beat the St. Louis Cardinals 3-0.

 

Chris Herrmann and Brandon Drury homered, and the Diamondbacks earned a split of the four-game series.

 

Herrmann's two-run home run - after Drury's blooper fell between center fielder Stephen Piscotty and shortstop Aledmys Diaz for a hustle double - gave the Diamondbacks a 2-0 lead in the second inning. Drury lined a 2-1 pitch from Michael Wacha (2-1) into the seats in left field for a solo shot in the fourth.

 

Wacha (2-1) lasted seven innings and pitched effectively except for the homers and a wild pitch. He struck out nine with two walks (one intentional) and allowed three runs and five hits.

The home runs were the first two he allowed this season.

 

Daniel Hudson and Brad Ziegler each threw a scoreless inning, with Ziegler earning his fifth save. Jean Segura stole his 100th career base in the eighth inning.

 

Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a second-inning single. The Cardinals' two hits were their fewest in a game since last August.

 

Mike Leake (0-2) is set for his fifth start of the season when he goes against the Washington Nationals.

 

>>Machado's Five RBIs Leads Orioles Past White Sox

 

Manny Machado had a grand slam and a career-high five RBIs, leading the Orioles over the White Sox 10-2 Thursday night and stopping Chicago's six-game winning streak.

 

Chris Davis and Mark Trumbo hit consecutive third-inning homers for the Orioles, whose 8-1 record at Camden Yards is the best home mark in the major leagues.

 

Machado stopped an 0-for-17 slide with an RBI double in a four-run third inning against John Danks (0-4) and homered in the sixth off Jake Petricka. Machado is batting .333 with a team-high seven homers.

 

Mychal Givens (2-0) pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings to win in relief of Tyler Wilson, who allowed two runs and four hits in 4 2/3 innings.

 

Danks gave up six runs and nine hits in six-plus innings.

 

After Todd Frazier's two-run homer in the first, Adam Jones hit an RBI double in the bottom half. Baltimore burst ahead 5-2 in the third on Machado's double, Davis' two-run homer and Trumbo's solo shot.

 

Before Machado's slam, which landed in the Orioles' bullpen, second baseman Brett Lawrie could not handle a sharp grounder by Nolan Reimold, an error that allowed J.J. Hardy to score from second.

 

Carlos Rodon (1-2) is to make his fifth start on Friday. He pitched a scoreless inning in his only other appearance at Camden Yards on April 29 last year.

 

Mike Wright (1-2) has a 6.23 ERA in three starts and 17 1/3 innings this season. He starts Friday for Baltimore against Chicago.

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Bryant Hurts Ankle Thursday; Montero To DL, Sox Place Robertson on Bereavement List

>>Bryant Sprains Right Ankle Running Bases

 

Kris Bryant of the Chicago Cubs hurt his right ankle while running the bases.

 

The 2015 NL Rookie of the Year was replaced in left field by Javier Baez to start the fifth inning Thursday against Milwaukee.

Chicago said Bryant rolled his ankle running the bases in the third. He singled and scored from first on Anthony Rizzo's double.

 

Bryant was hit by a pitch for a second time an inning later and stranded at second before exiting the game.

 

Bryant is hitting .289 with four home runs.

 

>>Cubs C Montero Goes on DL

 

Chicago Cubs catcher Miguel Montero is headed to the 15-day disabled list with lower back tightness.

 

Catcher Tim Federowicz was traveling from Triple-A Iowa on Thursday to take Montero's roster spot.

 

Montero was a late scratch from Tuesday's game against Milwaukee and hasn't played since Sunday. The move is retroactive to Monday and Cubs manager Joe Maddon expects Montero to turn within two weeks.

 

The Cubs decided on the veteran Federowicz over prospect Willson Contreras, who will remain at Iowa.

 

Maddon said David Ross would catch the next two days, with Federowicz likely starting Saturday against Atlanta.

 

>>White Sox Closer Robertson Goes on Bereavement List

 

Chicago White Sox closer David Robertson will miss at least three games after being placed on the bereavement list before Thursday's series opener at Baltimore Orioles.

 

Robertson leads the AL with eight saves. He has an 0.87 ERA with 13 strikeouts and a .152 (5-33) opponents' batting average.

 

Chicago recalled infielder Carlos Sanchez from Triple-A Charlotte. Sanchez batted .224 with five homers, 31 RBI and 40 runs scored in 120 games with the White Sox last season. He was first among AL rookies with 23 doubles.

 

"They just told me they want me to play every day," said Sanchez, who batted .309 with three home runs and nine RBI in 20 games with Charlotte. "They don't want to keep me here just to be on the bench. They want me to play every day to keep developing my game."

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Blues Open Second Round Against Dallas Tonight

The Dallas Stars survived a frenzied finish for a 5-4 win in its Game 6 clincher at Minnesota after taking a 4-0 lead into the third period last Sunday.

 

The St. Louis Blues are in the second round for the first time in four seasons after a seven-game thriller against the Chicago Blackhawks, the defending Stanley Cup champion.

 

St. Louis won four of the five regular-season matchups, though two of the victories were in overtime and a third came in a shootout. Each team also posted a 3-0 victory.

 

Dallas and St. Louis both routinely used two goalies in the regular season, and all four goalies won at least 23 games. The Stars have kept that pattern in the postseason, switching goalies after both first-round losses. But the Blues have gone exclusively with Brian Elliott, who had at least 30 saves in six games against Chicago.

 

Dallas All-Star center Tyler Seguin still isn't skating after missing the last 10 regular-season games and playing only Game 2 against Minnesota. Seguin had his left Achilles tendon cut by a skate March 17, and apparently suffered a different but related lower-body injury when getting back in a game after missing a month.

 

Left wing Jaden Schwartz led the Blues with seven points (three goals, four assists). St. Louis star forward Vladimir Tarasenko will be closely watched after his ice time was down against Chicago; he appeared to confront Hitchcock at one point, though the coach shrugged it off and said simply that Tarasenko plays a demanding game.

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Blue Ridge Routes Ridgeview

The Blue Ridge Knights took advantage of seven errors by Ridgeview en route to a 20-0, five inning route of the Mustangs in Heart of Illinois boys baseball action Wednesday from Colfax.

 

Thomas Hardesty paced the offense in a 3-for-3 day, including a double and two RBIs and he scored twice.

 

Cory Jayne drove in three and scored twice and freshman Jacob Mozinga had a bases clearing, 3-run double. Ben Williamson, Isaac Trotter, Calvin Florey and Dylan Lytel each had a pair of RBIs.

 

Jayne picked up the win on the mound. In five innings, he allowed a hit, issued five walks and struck out ten.

 

The Knights are 17-8 on the year and 10-1 in Heart of Illinois action. They'll host Hartsburg-Emden this afternoon in Farmer City. 

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Tuscola Blanks Clinton

Andrew Erickson was terrific on the mound for Tuscola and helped his own cause as the Warriors blanked the Clinton Maroons 4-0 in Central Illinois Conference boys baseball action.

 

Erickson threw six strong innings allowing no runs on two hits, issuing two walks and struck out three. Cole Thomas finished the game with a scoreless inning of relief.

 

Erickson helped his own cause with an RBI double and Nick Bates finished 2-for-3 with a double.

 

Travis Osgood was excellent on the mound for the Maroons despite not getting any run support. He went the distance allowing four runs, three earned, on eight hits with three walks and three strikeouts.

 

Jacob Overton finished 1-for-3 with a double and Mac Hickman was 1-for-3.

 

The Maroons are 3-16 overall and 0-9 in CIC play. 

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White Sox, Cardinals Win; Cubs/Brewers Washed Out

>>Quintana Brilliant As Sox Win Sixth Straight

 

Dioner Navarro hit a go-ahead, two-run triple in the seventh inning, and the Chicago White Sox beat the Toronto Blue Jays 4-0 Wednesday night for their sixth straight win.

 

Jose Quintana (3-1) struck out a season-high 10 in six innings for Chicago, which at 16-6 is 10 games above .500 for the first time since Sept. 25, 2012. Quintana allowed five hits and walked three, improving to 4-0 with a 0.68 ERA in four starts at Toronto. He has won consecutive starts and lowered his ERA to 1.47, passing teammate Chris Sale for fourth-best in the AL.

 

Zach Duke, Nate Jones and David Robertson pitched an inning each, finishing Chicago's major league-leading fifth shutout.

 

>>Wainwright, Piscotty Lead Cardinals Over D'backs

 

Adam Wainwright pitched into the sixth inning for his first win and hit a three-run triple in St. Louis' biggest inning of the season, lifting the Cardinals to an 11-4 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday night.

 

The Cardinals knocked around Patrick Corbin (1-3) and finished with 14 hits, four by Stephen Piscotty.

 

Aledmys Diaz homered, scored three runs and had two RBIs for the Cardinals, who have won four of five. Piscotty, Matt Carpenter and Matt Holiday also drove in two runs each.

 

Wainwright (1-3) gave up homers to Brandon Drury and Paul Goldschmidt but ended his worst start since 2012 behind the Cardinals' big run support. He allowed four runs on seven hits and struck out five in 5 1/3 innings.

 

Wainwright also knows how to handle a bat and came through with the game's biggest hit, lining his second career triple during the Cardinals' five-run fifth.

 

Jean Segura went 2 for 5 for his 11th multihit game, most in the majors.

 

Matt Holliday was back in the lineup after leaving Tuesday's game with leg cramps.

 

Michael Wacha is 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA in his last three starts headed into Thursday's series finale.

 

Rubby De La Rosa has allowed one hit by a right-hander in their last 19 at-bats against him headed into Thursday's start against the Cardinals.

 

>>Cubs, Brewers Rained Out

 

Jake Arrieta will have to wait for his chance to match Johnny Vander Meer.

Arrieta's first start since his no-hitter against Cincinnati last week was pushed back when the Chicago Cubs' game against the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday night was postponed because of rain.

 

A makeup date was not announced.

 

Arrieta's start was pushed back to Thursday's series finale.

 

Vander Meer is the only pitcher to throw no-hitters in consecutive starts, beating the Boston Braves and Brooklyn for Cincinnati in June 1938.

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Warriors Eliminate Rockets Without Steph Curry

Klay Thompson scored 27 points with seven 3-pointers as the Warriors rolled into the second round of the playoffs without their injured superstar, thoroughly embarrassing the Houston Rockets 114-81 on Wednesday night in Game 5.

Draymond Green added 15 points, nine rebounds and eight assists for the Warriors, who will face the winner of the Clippers-Trail Blazers series. Portland leads 3-2.

 

Without the MVP, Curry's fellow Splash Brother set the tone from the opening tip. Thompson became the first player in NBA history to make at least seven 3s in consecutive playoff games, while Shaun Livingston scored 16 points for his third double-digit performance in three games while starting in Curry's place this series.

 

James Harden scored 25 of Houston's 37 first-half points on the way to 35 points, but the Rockets had no chance with a one-man show against the deep defending champions.

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Monticello Wins Marathon With St. Thomas More

Garrett Myers sac-fly in the bottom of the 11th inning Tuesday afternoon sent the Monticello Sages home with a walk-off, 1-0 victory over Champaign St. Thomas More in boys Okaw Valley Conference baseball action.

The Sages mustered just three hits on the afternoon and committed four errors but were able to keep the Sabres off the board in the marathon.

 

Tyler Jones got the start on the mound and went seven shutout innings, allwing four hits, walked two, and struck out 14.

 

Cam Wittig picked up the win with four scoreless innings of relief. He allowed three hits, two walks and struck out seven.

 

The Sages are 12-5 overall.

 

They will head to Champaign Thursday to take on St. Thomas More in the return game of the confernece home-and-home set up.

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Williamson Leads Blue Ridge Past Heyworth

Ben Williamson went the distance on the hill and drove in three runs, including a home run, as the Blue Ridge Knights routed Heyworth 11-1 in Heart of Illinois baseball action Tuesday.

Williamson went five innings allowing a run that was unearned on on two hits and struck out eight to just two walks.

 

He finished 3-for-4 with three RBIs, including the home run and scored a run.

 

Alec Lyle blasted a home run for Blue Ridge as well. He finished 2-for-3 with a run scored.

 

Isaac Trotter, Cory Jayne and Calvin Florey each added a pair of hits. Jayne and Dylan Lytel had a pair of RBIs apiece for the Knights who improve to 16-8 overall and 9-1 in HOI baseball action.

The Knights take on Ridgeview today in Colfax.

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Illini Pitcher Cody Sedlock National Pitcher of the Week

Cody Sedlock was named the National Pitcher of the Week by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers of America, becoming the first pitcher in Illinois history to earn a national pitcher of the week award.

Sedlock struck out 14 Ohio State batters Friday night in 10.2 innings, the longest outing in Division I this season, in one of the most dominant performances in Fighting Illini history.

 

Sedlock, who also took home Big Ten Pitcher of the Week honors, helped the Illini win 1-0 in 15 innings.

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Cubs, Cards, Sox Win

>>Cubs Hold Off Brewers

 

Addison Russell's two-out, two-run triple in the sixth inning snapped a tie and the Chicago Cubs held off the Milwaukee Brewers 4-3 Thursday night to secure their best 20-game start since 1907.

Anthony Rizzo added an RBI single in the seventh and Adam Warren (2-0) struck out three in two scoreless innings as the Cubs improved to 15-5, surpassing the 1969 club's 14-6 start. The 1907 World Series-winning team began 16-4.

 

Ryan Braun's pinch-hit, two-run double off Pedro Strop in the eighth got the Brewers within a run. But Hector Rondon pitched a scoreless ninth for his fourth save.

 

With a 16 mph wind blowing in and the wind chill 34 degrees at first pitch, runs were at a premium, Third baseman Aaron Hill's fielding error to begin the sixth led to two unearned runs off Jimmy Nelson (3-2) in the Brewers' fourth loss in five games.

 

>>Chris Sale Majors First Five Game Winner, Sox Roll

 

Chris Sale won again, pitching eight sharp innings and leading the Chicago White Sox over the Toronto Blue Jays 10-1 Tuesday night for their fifth straight win.

Sale (5-0) has won all of his starts this season and leads the majors in victories. The lefty ace has a 1.66 ERA.

 

Sale carried a one-hitter into the seventh inning, retiring 13 straight batters before Edwin Encarnacion homered. Sale gave up four hits in eight innings, striking out six and walking two.

Dioner Navarro hit a two-run homer and Avisail Garcia and Adam Eaton added solo shots for Chicago.

 

The three home runs, 15 hits and 10 runs were all season highs for the White Sox.

 

R.A. Dickey (1-3) allowed six runs and eight hits in six innings. The knuckleballer is winless in his last four outings and dropped to 2-6 in 12 career games against Chicago.

 

>>Big Fifth Inning Propels Cardinals Past Dbacks

 

Carlos Martinez gave up three hits in eight scoreless innings, Brandon Moss and Stephen Piscotty homered and the Cardinals beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 8-2 on Tuesday night to square the four-game series at one win apiece.

Martinez (4-0) won for the fourth time in four starts. The 24-year-old right-hander held the Diamondbacks without a hit until David Peralta's one-out single in the fourth.

 

Moss had four hits, including a three-run homer in the fifth inning. Piscotty added a two-run shot in the seventh.

 

Former Cardinal Shelby Miller (0-2) threw four scoreless innings before St. Louis broke through for five runs in the fifth. He finished with five innings, allowing five runs and five hits. He struck out six and walked four.

 

Jake Lamb and Yasmany Tomas homered for Arizona off reliever Tyler Lyons in the ninth.

Matt Holliday was out of the lineup as a precaution after leaving Monday night's game with a right leg cramp.

 

Adam Wainwright (0-3, 7.25 ERA) takes the mound for St. Louis still looking for his first win of the season.

 

Patrick Corbin (1-2, 3.51) makes his fifth start of the season for Arizona, in the third game of the four-game series.

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Arrieta Calls PED Rumors "Flattering"

Jake Arrieta says it is "flattering" that "some of the best players in the game" are spreading rumors that Arrieta is using performance-enhancing drugs.

 

The National League Cy Young Award winner and Chicago Cubs ace didn't name names Tuesday but says his teammates have heard rumors from other players that the right-hander has used PEDs to fuel his emergence with the Cubs. As manager Joe Maddon says "we've all become suspicious" in baseball.

 

Arrieta went from hyped prospect to disappointing big leaguer while with the Orioles but has transformed into one of the game's best pitchers since a trade to Chicago in 2013. He has two no-hitters in his last 11 regular season starts, including last week against Cincinnati.

 

Arrieta says he's thrown up to 98 mph for years and has "always been in good shape," adding that he "just (stunk) early in my career."

 

Arrieta is a strong supporter of the drug-testing policy adopted in conjunction with the players' union. He says he's in good shape because of genetics and because "I eat plants and I eat lean proteins."

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Blues, Blackhawks Game 7 Audience Best Ever For NBCSN 1st Round

Game 7 of the Blackhawks-Blues series drew the largest TV audience for a first-round NHL playoff game on NBCSN.

 

St. Louis' 3-2 win Monday to eliminate the defending Stanley Cup champions averaged 1.35 million viewers.

 

The telecast on CSN Chicago earned a 19.1 rating, a record for the regional sports network. That means 19.1 percent of homes with televisions in the Chicago area were tuned to the broadcast.

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Raptors Storm Back To Top Pacers, Take 3-2 Series Lead

DeMar DeRozan scored 34 points and the Raptors held on for a 102-99 victory over the Indiana Pacers and a 3-2 lead in their first-round series Tuesday night when Solomon Hill's 3-pointer was ruled after the buzzer.

 

The Raptors overcame 39 points from Paul George and a 13-point deficit in the fourth quarter, getting 14 points from Kyle Lowry.

 

Bismack Biyombo had 10 points and 16 rebounds for the second-seeded Raptors, who can clinch the first seven-game playoff series victory in franchise history by beating the Pacers in Indiana on Friday night.

 

Jonas Valanciunas scored 11 and rookie Norman Powell had 10 for Toronto.

 

The Pacers made 13 of 29 from 3-point range but struggled from all over the floor in the fourth, making four of 15 shots and scoring just nine points in the period.

 

Trailing 90-77 to begin the fourth, the Raptors tied the game with a 15-2 run. Powell stole the ball from Monta Ellis and made a fast-break dunk to knot it at 92-all with 6:31 remaining, sending the sellout crowd of 19,800 into a frenzy.

 

Solomon Hill's 3 with 15.9 seconds cut it to 100-99, but DeRozan answered with a pair of free throws.

 

Indiana had the ball under Toronto's basket with 2.7 seconds left. Ellis inbounded to George, who fed Solomon Hill, and Pacers players threw their arms up in celebration when his shot from the left side went through the net. But video replay confirmed that the shot came too late.

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PGA Tour Notes

>>McIlroy To Skip Bridgestone, Play in French Open

 

The last two golfers to win the WGC Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club in Ohio are Irishman Shane Lowry and Ulsterman Rory McIlroy. One (McIlroy) will not play Bridgestone this year, and the other (Lowry) could follow suit.

 

So what's so special about the French Open? Well, there are two main things. The first is that it's good prep for the British Open, which comes two weeks later.

"I feel that playing in the 100th Open de France at Le Golf National will be the best way to get ready for The Open, which is just two weeks after the French Open," McIlroy told the European Tour.

 

The second is that the European Tour (of which McIlroy is a member) is no longer sanctioning the Bridgestone Invitational and is instead counting the French Open as two events (which is important to players like McIlroy and Lowry who need to play five non-majors and WGC events to maintain European Tour status).

 

>>Tiger Back on the Course

 

Tiger Woods opened up Bluejack National in Houston on Monday with some swings.

 

There had previously been reports that Woods has been playing holes in Florida over the past few weeks. Tim Rosaforte of Golf Channel said last week that Woods has been "involved in a series of four-to-five-hour practice sessions at Medalist Golf Club … including the playing of some holes," while Notah Begay noted Tiger was on the “back half of his progression” when it comes to his recovery from back surgery.

 

But Woods himself said his outing in Houston -- where he opened up his first domestic golf course design and showed off his swing for a crowd of people -- was the very first time he's played any holes since last August.

 

"I'm definitely a little tired but I feel pretty good," Woods told ESPN after the event. "I haven't been out here playing like this. I hadn't played any holes until today. I know people have said I've played holes back at Medalist, but I haven't. This is actually the first time I've played holes since Wyndham. It's been awhile."

 

Even Woods is surprised he's in this position after appearing a dead man walking at the Hero World Challenge in December.

 

Despite registering for the U.S. Open, Woods has no set date for a return. The lack of holes played (unless he's flat out not telling the truth) would suggest we won't be seeing him all that soon.

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Blues Top Blackhawks in Thrilling Game 7

Troy Brouwer described the go-ahead score in the third period of a 3-2 Game 7 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday night as ''the ugliest goal I've ever scored and probably the timeliest goal I've ever scored.''

The 30-year-old forward showed plenty of poise when his first shot clanked off the post midway through the third period. The second effort off the backhand produced the goal that put a long-frustrated franchise over the top against the defending Stanley Cup champions.

 

Chicago just missed a chance to tie it when Brent Seabrook's shot went off both posts with about 3:30 left. Coach Joel Quenneville came close to challenging the play.

 

Jori Lehtera scored his first career playoff goal and rookie defenseman Colton Parayko also scored for the Blues, who avoided another inglorious finish. They led 2-0 early, their second two-goal cushion in two games, before the Blackhawks tied it in the second period.

 

Marian Hossa scored his third goal of the series and Andrew Shaw got his fourth on a power play for the Blackhawks. Patrick Kane was dangerous all night but was scoreless, and was minus-3.

 

Brouwer scored from close range off a feed from Robby Fabbri. The first shot went off the right post and he nudged the second past Corey Crawford.

 

It is the first time the Blues advanced past the first round since 2012, when they beat San Jose in five games but then lost four straight to Los Angeles. St. Louis plays Dallas in the next round.

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St. Teresa Topples Maroons in Boys Baseball Action

The Decatur St. Teresa Bulldogs scored three runs in each of the third, fourth and fifth innings, propelling them past the Clinton Maroons 10-4, in Central Illinois Conference boys baseball action from Clinton High School Monday afternoon.

 

Mac Hickman threw four innings, allowing six runs, two earned on seven hits, issuing four walks and striking out six.

 

Travis Osgood finished the final three. He allowed four runs, three earned on two hits, issuing four walks and striking out one.

 

Nolan Hickman paced the Maroons offense, finishing 2-for-3 with a double. Wesley Conn added a double and Jacob Overton had a triple.

 

The Maroons are now 3-15 overall and are 0-8 in CIC play.

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Sox Beat Blue Jays; Diamondbacks Clobber Cardinals

Todd Frazier doubled home the go-ahead run in a five-run seventh inning and the Chicago White Sox rallied to beat the Toronto Blue Jays 7-5 on Monday night.

Frazier went 2 for 3 with three RBIs, Jimmy Rollins had three hits, and Adam Eaton had two hits and two RBIs as the White Sox overcame a four-run deficit to win their fourth straight.

 

Zach Putnam (1-0) pitched 1 1-3 innings for the win. Dan Jennings got one out, Matt Albers worked the eighth and David Robertson finished for his eighth save.

 

Troy Tulowitzki made the final out when he was hit by Michael Saunders' infield hopper while running from first to second.

 

Brett Cecil (0-4) took the loss.

 

>>Diamondbacks Club Cardinals

 

Jean Segura recorded four hits Monday night in the Arizona Diamondbacks' 12-7 win over the St. Louis Cardinals.

One of the four hits was a go-ahead three-run home run in the sixth inning that came during a historic turn at bat for the Diamondbacks.

 

Segura's blast highlighted Arizona's nine-run sixth inning and made ace Zack Greinke a winner despite allowing seven runs. The Cardinals bullpen was rocked in the sixth after starter Jaime Garcia was removed with two runners on base.

 

Greinke (2-2) lasted 6 2/3 innings and gave up 11 hits. He's surrendered 21 runs in five starts and has a 6.16 earned run average.

 

Kevin Siegrist entered with one out and served up Segura's fourth home run of the season, a line drive into the left field seats. Siegrist then put two runners on and was taken out in favor of Seth Maness, who surrendered Yasmany Tomas' RBI double, Welington Castillo's two-run single and another RBI single for Chris Owings.

 

Rookie Jeremy Hazelbaker, a mid-game injury replacement, hit a two-run home run in his first at-bat of the game for St. Louis. Hazelbaker took Greinke deep with two outs in the top of the fifth inning to give the Cardinals a 5-2 lead.

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Brady's Suspension Reinstated

The Second Circuit United States Court of Appeals dropped the hammer back on Tom Brady and the Patriots Monday morning, reinstating the four-game suspension levied by the NFL against Brady from the Deflategate investigation.

Brady is suspended the first four games of the 2016 NFL season as a result.

 

The Patriots play the Cardinals, Dolphins, Texans and Bills during the first four weeks of the 2016 NFL season. Just like last year, the Pats are scheduled to kick things off in primetime. Unlike last year, the Pats aren't defending a Super Bowl.

 

Brady will have to forfeit his salary for the first four games of the 2016 season. If Brady's suspension hadn't been overturned before to last season, he would have given up $2.1 million. Now, under his new deal, he'll lose just $235,000.

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Thunder Close Out Mavericks

Russell Westbrook had 36 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists, and the Thunder beat the Mavericks 118-104 on Monday night to win the first-round playoff series 4-1 and advance to the Western Conference semifinals.

Westbrook was 13 of 23 from the field and 7 of 8 on free throws. Kevin Durant scored 33 points and Steven Adams added 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Thunder, who will play the San Antonio Spurs in a series that begins Saturday.

 

Oklahoma City shot 50.6 percent from the field and outrebounded the Mavericks 42-35.

The Thunder lost Game 2 85-84 at home, then won three straight, including two on the road.

Dirk Nowitzki scored 24 points.

 

Dwight Powell scored 16 points, Justin Anderson had 14 and Zaza Pachulia added 12 points, nine assists and seven rebounds for the Mavericks, who were hampered by injuries throughout the series.

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Lady Maroons Down St. T

The Clinton Lady Maroons picked up their 20th win of the season Monday with an 18-0 drubbing of St. Teresa. 

 

In a game heard on WHOW, Clinton used a six run first inning to jump out to an insurmountable lead. Senior Alexis Estes was dominant once again for Clinton as she pitched four scoreless innings for a one hit shutout. She struck out 11 Bulldogs en route to improving her record to 17-2 on the season. 

 

St. T's freshman pitcher, Kaitlin Vohrees, struggled to find the strike zone. She walked 16 batters, gave up 7 hits, and only struck out one in the loss. 

 

Several Lady Maroons had a good day at the plate.  They were led by the Stephan York Country Financial Player of the Game senior Haley Steward.  She was 2 for 2 at the plate with a 3-run double and a 2-run triple. 

 

Junior Jillian Miller was 2 for 3 with a triple and 2 RBIs. Junior Rodjanay Dupont-Barlow was also 1 for 1 with a 3-run triple and 3 walks. 

 

The Lady Maroons improve to 20-3 on the season, and 7-0 in the Central Illinois Conference. St. T is now 1-24 on the season.  

 

Join WHOW next Tuesdsy for our next Maroons Game of the Week as Clinton hosts Meridian in varsity baseball action.  

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Central A & M Too Much For Clinton (Friday)

The Central A & M Raiders did all the damage early Friday and the Clinton Maroons could not recover in a 7-1 Central Illinois Conference boys baseball loss.

Central A & M put runs on the board in three of the first four frames and took advantage three Maroons errors.

 

Nolan Hickman hit a solo home run for the Maroons in the second. Hickman's home run was one of three hits for Clinton.

 

Hickman went six innings on the mound, allowing 10 runs, seven earned. He allowed ten hits and issued to walks to two strikeouts.

 

The Maroons drop to 3-12 overall and are 0-7 in CIC play.

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Maroons Drop Two at Salt Fork Round Robin (Saturday)

Bloomington Central Catholic used an eight-run fourth inning to ten-run the Clinton Maroons 13-3 Saturday from the Salt Fork Round Robin.

Jacob Overton paced the Maroons offense with a 2-for-3 start to the day and Wesley Conn finished with a 2-run base hit.

 

The Maroons jumped out to a 4-2 lead after two innings but Salt Fork answered with four straight runs in the third and fourth innings.

 

A Maroons rally in the sixth produced a run but that would be all Clinton could muster as they dropped the second game of the day 6-5.

 

Overton once again paced the offense with a 2-for-4 game including a three run home run in the second inning. Mac Hickman and Cody Wherry each added RBIs for the Maroons.

 

After the weekend set, the Maroons are 3-14 overall. 

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Blue Ridge Sweeps Weekend Twin Bill With Fisher

The Blue Ridge Knights scored 19-runs in the first four innings in a 19-0 route of Fisher in Heart of Illinois Conference boys baseball action from Saturday.

 

Ben Williamson paced the Knights bats finishing 3-for-5 with three RBIs and three runs scored.

Isaac Trotter finished 3-for-5 with three RBIs and a run. Calvin Florey and Thomas Hardesty each finished 2-for-4. Hardesty drove in three and Florey two. Hardesty also scored three times.

 

Cory Jayne finished 3-for-5 with a pair of RBIs.

 

Every Knights starter recorded a hit.

 

Jayne also went five innings on the mound allowing three runs, two earned, on five hits, issuing three walks and striking out five.

 

The game was considered the makeup of a conference game for both squads, with the win, Blue Ridge is now 8-1 in the HOI.

 

In the second game, a three-run sixth inning lifted the Knights past Fisher, 5-2.

 

Dylan Lytel broke a 2-2 with a 2-run double and Alec Lyle brought him in with an RBI single.

 

Caleb Trotter picked up the win with six innings or two-run ball. He walked three and struck out three and allowed just two hits.

 

Williamson pitched the seventh for the save.

 

The Knights are 15-8 overall. 

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Illini Win Series Finale Against Ohio State, Win Series

Freshmen led the Illinois baseball team to a series-clinching 5-3 win Sunday over Ohio State at Illinois Field. Cole Bellair threw 7.1 innings to earn the victory and Jack Yalowitz hit a three-run double in the seventh.

Bellair (2-2) scattered five hits, while allowing one run and striking out four. Only one base runner reached scoring position against Bellair, as the Buckeyes scored their lone run off the right-hander on a solo homer from Ronnie Dawson in the sixth. Bellair threw 90 pitches, 57 for strikes, to drop his season ERA to 2.79.

 

Yalowitz broke open the game with his double that one-hopped the right field wall in the seventh that plated Pat McInerney, who had singled, and Trent Hammond and Zack Kolakowski, who walked. Kolakowski started at short stop in place of Adam Walton, who snapped a streak of 134 straight starts at short dating back to 2014.

 

The Fighting Illini have the week off before Minnesota comes to Champaign for a three-games series Friday-Sunday. 

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1-0 Shutout Helps ISU Avoid Weekend Sweep

Jacob Hendren and a pair of Illinois State relievers combined on a three-hit shutout of Southern Illinois Sunday to help the Redbirds avoid a series sweep at the hands of the Salukis. Illinois State won Sunday's pitchers' duel by a 1-0 score.

Hendren tossed seven shutout innings. He allowed three hits and three walks, while striking out three.

 

Hendren pitched a 1-2-3 seventh inning before giving way to Jake Sale in the eighth inning. Sale induced a groundout and a two fly balls to keep the Redbirds ahead. Jack Landwehr got the ball for Illinois State in the ninth inning, and sat the Salukis down in order, recording the final out via strikeout to earn his third save of the season.

 

Daniel Dwyer and Danny Jackson collected two hits apiece for Illinois State, accounting for four of the Redbirds' five hits. Miller tallied the only other base hit.

 

Illinois State returns to action Tuesday in its annual "Stuff the Duff" game at Duffy Bass Field. The Redbirds host Purdue at 6 p.m.

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Cubs, Cards, Sox All Win; Sox Avila To DL

>>White Sox Beat Rangers, Latos Brilliant Again

 

Mat Latos pitched six solid innings for his fourth consecutive win, and the Chicago White Sox beat the Texas Rangers 4-1 on Sunday.

 

Latos (4-0), who signed a $3 million, one-year deal with Chicago in February, was charged with one run and seven hits. The 6-foot-6 right-hander has allowed two earned runs in 24 1/3 innings while matching his win total from all of last season.

 

David Robertson, who blew a save opportunity on Saturday for this first time this season, struck out the side in the ninth for his seventh save.

 

>>Cubs Blast Reds

 

Anthony Rizzo drove in four runs with his 10th career two-homer game, Jason Hammel pitched six scoreless innings and the Chicago Cubs routed the Cincinnati Reds 9-0 on Sunday to improve to 14-5 for the first time in 47 years.

 

Tommy La Stella hit two doubles and his first homer of the season and Jason Heyward had four hits and 3 RBIs as the Cubs rebounded from their worst loss of the season, 13-5, on Saturday.

Despite that loss, Chicago outscored Cincinnati 38-14 in the four-game series, which started Thursday with Jake Arrieta's 16-0 no-hitter.

 

The Cubs have won six of their seven games against the Reds this season and nine of their last 10 over the last two seasons. Chicago's record over 19 games is its best since the 1969 team started 14-5.

 

Hammel (3-0) allowed three hits with two walks and a season-high seven strikeouts.

Cincinnati's Alfredo Simon (0-2) allowed nine hits and eight runs with one walk and three strikeouts in 2 2/3 innings.

 

>>Cardinals Bats Come Alive Again For Series Finale Win

 

Jedd Gyorko homered, tripled and singled, and rookie Aledmys Diaz had a homer among his three hits as the Cardinals rallied to beat the Padres 8-5 on Sunday to take two of three.

Gyorko had two chances to complete the cycle but flied out to left and grounded out to third in his final at-bats. Randal Grichuk had three hits and three RBIs for St. Louis.

 

In the last two games, San Diego's bullpen allowed 15 runs, all earned, on 18 hits in eight innings, with four homers, four walks and five strikeouts. The Cardinals won 11-2 Saturday night, scoring 10 runs in the final three innings.

 

Kevin Siegrest (3-0) pitched the seventh for the win. Trevor Rosenthal pitched the ninth for his fifth save in as many chances.

 

Diaz had his first five-hit game Saturday night while Gyorko had a three-run homer.

 

Cardinals starter Mike Leake, who went to high school in northern San Diego County, helped his own cause and gave the Cardinals a 3-2 lead when he singled in Gyorko with one out in the fourth. Gyorko was aboard on a leadoff triple to right.

 

Leake allowed five runs, three earned, on seven hits in five innings. He struck out four and walked two.

 

St. Louis continues its seven-game trip through the NL West when it opens a four-game series Monday night at Arizona.

 

>>White Sox Avila To DL

 

The White Sox have placed catcher Alex Avila on the 15-day disabled list because of an injured right hamstring. Chicago recalled Kevan Smith from Triple-A Charlotte on Sunday before the series finale against the Texas Rangers.

 

Avila is batting .214 in 10 games. He was injured running the bases in the sixth inning Saturday.

Dioner Navarro replaced Avila in Saturday's game and will become the No. 1 catcher, with Smith the backup. Smith was batting .345 with two homers and six RBIs for Charlotte in eight games. He has thrown out five of 11 base stealers.

 

White Sox manager Robin Ventura calls this a "good opportunity" for Smith. He says Smith won't play as much as Navarro, "but he will play."

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Blues, Blackhawks Gamd 7 Tonight

The St. Louis Blues had no Game 7 predictions late Saturday night. They were too busy fending off questions about their impending collapse.

 

While the Chicago Blackhawks are doing what they always seem to do, the Blues are suddenly facing a familiar first-round flop, one they will try to avoid when they head back to St. Louis for Monday night's series finale.

 

"It's going to be fun here to win it in Chicago."

 

That Game 6 prophecy of sorts from Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo suddenly sounds more like a Chicago rallying call.

It tanked hard Saturday night when the defending Stanley Cup champions scored five unanswered goals for a 6-3 win at United Center to force a winner-take-all finish.

 

Dale Weise capped a three-goal second period with the eventual winner, and Andrew Shaw scored in his return from a one-game suspension for hurling a gay slur at officials in Game 4. Those tallies helped the Blackhawks rally from a 3-1 deficit - just like they could in this series with one more victory.

 

While St. Louis has bested Chicago in the first and third periods, the middle 20 minutes has resulted in a 10-3 Blackhawks scoring edge.

 

The Blues have been knocked out in the opening round in each of the last three seasons, including a 2014 six-game series against the Blackhawks that they led 2-0.

 

"It's going to change eventually, so why not do it tomorrow?" Stastny said. "I think in here, we have that mentality that what happened in the past happened in the past. I think we all believe in each other."

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Warriors Inch Closer To Clsing Out Houston

Stephen Curry sat on the bench with his head in his hands, facing another injury that could derail Golden State's playoff run.

 

Despite the Curry injury, the Warriors used a huge third quarter to pull away from the Houston Rockets and cruise to a 121-94 victory on Sunday that gave them a 3-1 lead in the first-round playoff series.

Klay Thompson made four of his seven 3s in the third as the Warriors made a franchise playoff-record eight in that quarter en route to an NBA playoff-record 21.

 

Curry slid awkwardly to the court while defending on the last play before halftime and immediately grabbed his knee. He got up and looked to have trouble putting weight on it before jogging with a limp to the locker room. He came out with the team after halftime, but sat on the bench for most of the warmup time. After talking with coaches, he returned to the locker room.

Curry returned after missing two games with a sprained right ankle, but did not play in the second half after spraining his right knee on the final play of the second quarter. He'll have an MRI on Monday.

 

Andre Iguodala added a season-high 22 points and Green finished with 18.

 

Dwight Howard led Houston with 19 points and 15 rebounds. James Harden had 18 points, 10 assists and seven steals.

 

Golden State used a 41-point third quarter to take control of the game. The Warriors bested the NBA record they shared for 3s in a playoff game - set last year against these Rockets - when Brandon Rush made one from the top of the key with about 2 1/2 minutes left.

 

Golden State hosts Game 5 on Wednesday.

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Charley Hoffman Wins in Dramatic Fashion At Texas Open

Charley Hoffman made a 10-foot birdie putt on the final hole to win the Valero Texas Open on Sunday for his fourth PGA Tour victory.

 

The 39-year-old Hoffman closed with a 3-under 69 at TPC San Antonio for a one-stroke victory against Patrick Reed. Hoffman finished at 12-under 276 and earned $1,116,000.

Playing alongside Hoffman, Reed also birdied the par-5 18th for a 69. He missed birdie putts inside 8 feet on the par-3 16th and par-4 17th.

 

Reed, who was born in San Antonio, put the pressure on Hoffman with a tap-in birdie at the 18th after reaching the fringe on the 595-yard hole in two. His shot to the green came from the left-hand rough, and had to clear an oak tree and creek in front of the green.

 

Hoffman followed by hitting his third shot from a greenside bunker to set up his birdie.

Chad Collins was a career-best third at 10 under after a 69. He birdied four of the last five holes.

 

Third-round leader Ricky Barnes, looking for his first PGA Tour win in 222 tries, stumbled to a 74 to drop into a tie for fourth at 9 under with Kevin Chappell (68), Billy Horschel (70), Ryan Palmer (69) and Martin Piller (70). It was a career best for Piller, the husband of LPGA Tour player Gerina Piller.

 

Brendan Steele, the 2011 winner who led the first two rounds, had a 75 to tie for 13th at 7 under.

 

Hoffman also won the 2007 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic, 2010 Deutsche Bank Championship and 2015 OHL Classic at Mayakoba.

 

The PGA Tour Shifts to the Zourich Classic in New Orleans this weekend. 

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Duke's Jefferson Awarded Extra Year of Eligibility

Since losing to Oregon in the NCAA Tournament, there has been little in the way of bad news for Duke basketball. Brandon Ingram's departure to the NBA Draft was expected and treated like a celebration. A few days after Ingram's announcement, fellow All-ACC star Grayson Allen chose the pursuit of a national title over an early exit.

Now senior forward Amile Jefferson, sidelined by a foot injury for all but nine games of the 2015-16 season, has received the waiver necessary to play one year in Durham.

 

Before his injury, Jefferson averaged 11.4 points and 10.3 rebounds as a starting power forward. But the double-double averages don't properly highlight his value to Duke's program. This is a player with 115 games of experience, including 68 starts, who knows exactly what Mike Krzyzewski wants from his team and what's necessary to win a national title.

 

Duke now has four of its top five scorers returning from 2016 to join a freshman class that ranks No. 2 in the country and is headlined by Harry Giles and Jayson Tatum -- two players that potentially could be the top two picks in the 2017 NBA Draft.

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Illini's Black Receives Probation

Illinois basketball player Leron Black has pleaded guilty to misdemeanor aggravated assault after threatening a bouncer at a campus bar and has been sentenced to a year of probation.

Champaign County State's Attorney Julia Rietz said Thursday plea that Black was a candidate for probation because he took responsibility for the crime and had no prior record. The 20-year-old Black avoided jail time and the felony assault charge he faced after his Feb. 19 arrest.

 

Coach John Groce suspended Black after the arrest. Team spokesman Derrick Burson said Black's status has not changed.

 

Black is one of three Illini players arrested this year.

 

Juniors Jaylon Tate and Kendrick Nunn have both pleaded not guilty to domestic assault charges stemming from separate incidents in March.

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Cal LB Transferring To Illinois

Cal linebacker Hardy Nickerson Jr. plans to transfer for his final season to play for his father at Illinois.

Cal announced the younger Nickerson's plans to move as a graduate transfer in a news release Thursday.

 

Hardy Nickerson was hired last month by new Illinois coach Lovie Smith as defensive coordinator.

In the release, Nickerson called the move a "once in a lifetime opportunity to play my final year of college football for my father."

 

Cal coach Sonny Dykes said he hates to lose Nickerson, but wishes him well.

 

Nickerson led Cal last season with 112 tackles.

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Arrietea Throws No-Hitter, Cubs Dominate Reds; Sox Fall To Angels

Cubs ace Jake Arrieta blanked the Reds at the Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati on Thursday for the second no-hitter of his career as the Cubs routed the Reds 16-0.

Arrieta threw 119 pitches in the masterpiece. He struck out six and walked four.

 

He tossed a no-no at Dodger Stadium on Aug. 30 of last season.

 

Kris Bryant homered twice, including a grand slam, and drove in six runs. Arrieta contributed a pair of singles and a walk as the Cubs pulled away.

 

Anthony Rizzo and David Ross added home runs as well and Addison Russell was the only Cubs starter not to reach base as the Cubs pounded out 18 hits and drew six walks.

 

>>Trout Leads Angels Past Sox

 

Mike Trout hit a two-run homer and reached base four times, helping back Jered Weaver as the Los Angeles Angels beat the Chicago White Sox 3-2 Thursday to close a 10-game trip.

Melky Cabrera's solo homer in the seventh was the lone run off Weaver (1-1), who allowed three hits in seven innings despite velocity that topped out at 85 mph.

 

Trout connected on a fastball from John Danks (0-3), driving the ball 419 feet to left-center with two outs in the fifth - he has been 0 for 8 with four strikeouts against Danks. Trout also singled and walked twice.

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Blackhawks Stay Alive With Double-OT Win

Patrick Kane scored on a backhander early in the second overtime and the Chicago Blackhawks avoided first-round elimination with a 4-3 victory over the St. Louis Blues early Friday.

The game winner was the first goal in the series by the defending Stanley Cup winners' stars, Kane and Jonathan Toews. Both assisted on Artemi Panarin's goal in the final second of the second period for a 3-1 lead.

 

Kane, who led the NHL in scoring with 106 points, circled the net to corral his own shot that slowly slid wide, and poked it past Brian Elliott at 3:07 to send a standing-room crowd of 19,956 home unhappy.

 

David Backes tied it on a deflection that slipped past Corey Crawford with 5:10 to play. Rookie Robby Fabbri and Jaden Schwartz also scored for St. Louis.

 

Marian Hossa and Artem Anisimov also scored for Chicago, which will host Game 6 on Saturday.

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Raptors Win Second Straight, Take 2-1 Lead Over Pacers

DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry scored 21 points each to help Toronto rout Indiana 101-85 and take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series while reclaiming the home-court advantage they squandered six days earlier.

In the first two games, DeRozan and Lowry were a combined 15 of 63 from the field and just 1 of 17 from 3-point range but DeRozan made his first three shots, scored 12 points in the first quarter and went 7 of 19 from the field and 7 of 9 at the free throw line.

 

Lowry finished 8 of 21 from the field, was 4 of 10 from 3 and scored 12 points in the fourth quarter.

 

Indiana, which was led by Paul George with 25 points, 10 rebounds and six assists, spent the rest of the game futilely playing catch-up. The Pacers couldn't get closer than 12 points during the final 33 minutes of a downright embarrassing night.

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NFL, College Football Notes

>>Scout Calls Cardale Jones 'A Poor Man's JaMarcus Russell'

 

There are insults and then there is calling someone a "poor man's JaMarcus Russell," which is perhaps the most insulting thing ever said about another human being.

 

And someone said it about Cardale Jones, the former Ohio State quarterback who enters the draft as one of the most upside-filled and intriuging prospects out there.

 

From Bob McGinn's annual pre-draft positional breakdown at the Milawaukee Journal-Sentinel:

"Kind of reminds me of a poor man's JaMarcus Russell," said another scout. "At least JaMarcus had some touch. This guy just throws the ball. His mechanics are all over the place."

 

Added a third scout: "Strong arm. Big, big body. Not the brightest cookie in the world. I worry about him when he gets money in his pocket. I just don't know if it's all there mentally."

 

It's not always negative:

 

"You can't pass a talent like that," said one scout. "If you're going to bet on one, bet on a guy with all the talent if he shows you enough want-to."

 

People utilizing anonymous opinions to burn him by calling him similar to Russell -- one of the all-time busts in NFL history and clearly not a nice comparison -- is pretty shoddy.

 

>>Michigan Introducing New Technology At Practices

 

Your favorite college football teams might be wearing devices that look like iPhones on their arms during practice this fall. But this isn't schools taking the fashion of your everyday gym-goer and bringing it to the football field, it's just the latest bit of technology to improve a team's efficiency on the practice field.

According to the Detroit Free Press, Michigan is in the process of checking out such technology during the offseason. Earlier this week, officials from GoRout.com were in Ann Arbor to meet with the coaching staff for a second time about using their devices on the practice field.

 

"Every college football program in the country has certain bottlenecks when it comes to practice," GoRout.com CEO Mike Rolih told the Free Press.

 

According to the other comments from Rolih to the Free Press, the devices will be particularly helpful in allowing the scout team to quickly learn and execute the plays necessary to mimic the upcoming opposition. Coaches will be able to upload the plays into the devices instead of running around with big play cards and players will be able to move faster on the practice field.

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Cards Beat Cubs, Avoid Sweep; Sale Leads Sox Past Angels

>>Cardinals Beat Cubs To Avoid Sweep

 

Matt Holliday homered, Carlos Martinez threw seven strong innings and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Chicago Cubs 5-3 on Wednesday to avoid a three-game sweep to their NL Central rival.

 

The Cardinals scored twice in each of the first two innings against Kyle Hendricks (1-2). Chicago, the first team in the majors to 11 wins, had won three of its previous four.

 

Anthony Rizzo hit his fourth homer of the season in the fourth and added an RBI single in the eighth for Chicago. Rizzo was robbed of a home run in the first by Randal Grichuk, who reached over the wall in center.

 

Martinez (3-0) allowed a run on three hits. Trevor Rosenthal got his fourth save by striking out the side in the ninth. It was his 100th career save.

 

The game was delayed 3 hours, 21 minutes by rain in the middle of the seventh.

 

>>Sale Leads ChiSox Over Angels

 

Chris Sale became the major leagues' first four-game winner, allowing two hits in seven innings to lead the Chicago White Sox over the Los Angeles Angels 2-1 Wednesday.

 

Sale (4-0) allowed a pair of singles by Mike Trout and an unearned run. He left after hitting Kole Calhoun with a pitch leading off the eighth.

 

Two years ago, Sale won his first five decisions.

 

David Robertson got four outs for his sixth save in as many attempts, allowing Trout's third hit and completing a fourth-hitter.

 

Chicago improved to 10-5. Last season, the White Sox began 10-14 and didn't reach double digits in victories until May 26.

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Thibodeau To Coach Wolves

The Minnesota Timberwolves announced the hiring of ex-Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau on Wednesday. Thibodeau will serve as the coach and president of team operations. He will be joined by San Antonio Spurs assistant general manager Scott Layden, who will take over as the Minnesota GM.

Thibodeau and Layden worked together with the New York Knicks in the late 1990s and early 2000s, when the former was an assistant coach and the latter ran the front office. This, obviously, would be a bit of a role reversal. Milt Newton, who was the Timberwolves' general manager, "could remain on in a position that reports to Thibodeau and Layden if he so chooses," according to Jerry Zgoda of the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

 

While Thibodeau has no front-office experience, it is unsurprising he would be interested in this dual role. He famously clashed with the front office while coaching the Bulls, and this would take that potential problem out of the equation.

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Blackhawks' Shaw Suspended For Slur During Game 4

The NHL has suspended Chicago Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw for one game for his use of a homophobic slur after receiving a penalty in the third period of Game 4 of the team's first-round series with the St. Louis Blues. He has also been fined $5,000 for his "inappropriate gesture" -- two middle fingers -- directed at the referee. The league also announced that Shaw will be required to undergo sensitivity training.

As a result of his suspension, Shaw will miss Thursday's Game 5 with the Blackhawks facing elimination at the hands of the Blues, who lead the first round series 3-1.

 

NHL senior vice president of hockey operations Colin Campbell, who is responsible for ruling on abuse of officials and other such matters, issued the following statement along with the announcement of the supplemental discipline:

 

“While Mr. Shaw was apologetic and remorseful for both the offensive comments and the inappropriate gesture directed at the on-ice officials, he must be held accountable for his actions. The emotion of the moment cannot and will not be a mitigating factor for the conduct that is expected of an NHL player.”


This is believed to be the first suspension of a player for comments made on the ice since 2011.

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Eagles Trade For No. 2 Pick

It's official: The Eagles have agreed to a trade with the Browns to move up to the No. 2 pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. The expectation is that they'll take one of the top two quarterbacks, either Jared Goff or Carson Wentz.

The Eagles get: The No. 2 pick in 2016 and a 2017 fourth-round pick.

 

The Browns get: The No. 8 pick in 2016, the No. 77 pick (third round) in 2016, the No. 100 pick (fourth round) in 2016, a 2017 first-rounder and a 2018 second-rounder.

 

Here's Eagles general manager Howie Roseman:

 

"By making the initial trade with Miami earlier this offseason and with this trade today with Cleveland, we feel that we have put ourselves in the best possible position to draft an impact player. We will now focus our energy on the next step."

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9-Run Second Inning Propels Monticello Past Maroa-Forsyth

The Monticello Sages used a nine-run second inning to overcome a fast start by the Maroa-Forsyth Trojans and win 11-5 in Okaw Valley Conference baseball game Tuesday from Monticello.

 

Trailing 4-0, the Sages rallied for nine runs in the second and would tack on a few more insurance runs in the third and sixth innings.

 

Jacob Burton finished 2-for-3 out of the lead off spot for Monticello with three RBIs.

 

Mitche Rhoades and Luke Stokowski each added two hits and two RBIs apeice finishing 2-for-4. Stokowski also scored twice.

 

Austin Wiggins added a pair of RBIs for the Sages.

 

After a slow start, Tyler Jones went four innings allowing five runs, all earned, on eight hits, issuing a walk and striking out six.

 

Nick Hopper went three shutout innings to close things out for Monticello. He allowed just a hit, a walk and struck out out.

 

Monticello moves to 10-5 overall. 

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Illinois RB Brown Tears ACL Again, To Miss Another Season

Illinois running back Dre Brown says he has torn the ACL in his left knee and will miss a second straight season.

Brown announced on Twitter that he injured it during practice Monday.

 

Brown said he is not sure if he will be able to play again as he begins what he called "a long process with a lot of question marks."

 

The injury comes almost exactly a year after he tore his right ACL. He missed his freshman season.

 

Brown was expected to be a primary backup for sophomore Ke'Shawn Vaughn.

 

Team spokesman Kent Brown said coach Lovie Smith was not available for comment.

 

Earlier this month, Illini receiver Mike Dudek suffered his second ACL tear in the span of a year.

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Cubs Beat Cardinals; Sox Win

Jason Hammel worked six sharp innings and had both RBIs for the Chicago Cubs in a 2-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday night.

 

The Cardinals stranded two runners against the Cubs bullpen in the seventh and eighth. Yadier Molina was at second base when Hector Rondon struck out pinch hitter Jedd Gyorko to earn his third save in three chances.

 

Chicago leads the majors at 11-3 and goes for a three-game sweep Wednesday over the defending NL Central champions. They last swept St. Louis in three games on the road Sept. 13-15, 2010.

 

>>Latos Brilliant Again As Sox Blank Angels

 

Mat Latos didn't allow a hit until the fifth inning, Todd Frazier and Jose Abreu hit solo home runs and the Chicago White Sox beat the Los Angeles Angels 5-0 on Tuesday night to snap a three-game losing streak.

Latos (3-0) allowed two hits over 6 1/3 innings and lowered his ERA to 0.49 through three starts.

 

Frazier went deep to left in the second and Abreu homered to center in the fifth off fastballs by Matt Shoemaker (1-2) in the Angels' fourth loss in five games.

 

Andrelton Simmons doubled to extend his hitting streak to a career-high 12 games and end Latos' night after 101 pitches. Adam Eaton then threw out Simmons at the plate when he tried to score off C.J. Cron's one-out single to right.

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Schwarber Undergoes Reconstructive Knee Surgery

Chicago Cubs young slugger Kyle Schwarber, out for the season with a left knee injury, has undergone reconstructive surgery to repair torn ligaments.

The 23-year-old Schwarber was hurt in an outfield collision with center fielder Dexter Fowler on April 7. The surgery was done in Dallas by Cowboys orthopedic surgeon Dr. Daniel Cooper, an expert in multiple ligament repair.

 

General manager Jed Hoyer anticipates Schwarber will join the team later this week while rehabbing.

 

Schwarber had 16 homers and 43 RBIs in 69 games for the Cubs last year, and five more in the postseason.

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Blues Take Commanding 3-1 Series Lead Over Blackhawks; Blackhawks Shaw Appears To Use Gay Slur in Loss To Blues

Vladimir Tarasenko scored on two dazzling wrist shots, Brian Elliott made 39 saves and St. Louis beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3 on Tuesday night to open a commanding 3-1 lead in their first-round playoff series.

Jaden Schwartz scored a tiebreaking power-play goal in the third period for the second straight game as St. Louis moved one step closer to advancing to the second round for the first time since 2012.

 

Duncan Keith had two goals for Chicago, which dropped consecutive home playoff games for the first time since 2012. Andrew Shaw had a goal and two assists, and Corey Crawford finished with 16 saves after getting into a fight with Blues rookie Robby Fabbri during a wild second period.

 

Game 5 is Thursday night in St. Louis.

 

>>Blackhawks Shaw Appears To Use Gay Slur in Loss To Blues

 

A prominent gay rights group affiliated with the NHL says it plans to reach out to the league after Chicago Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw appeared to use a gay slur during a 4-3 playoff loss to the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday night.

 

Shaw was sent off for interference at 17:56 of the third period. While sitting in the penalty box, it looked as if Shaw directed a gay slur toward someone on the ice, and the You Can Play Project said it planned to reach out to the NHL "to assist in an appropriate response."

 

Shaw says he doesn't remember what he said.

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Lackey Leads Cubs Past Cards in St. Louis Return; Santiago, Angels Blank Sox

>>Lackey Leads Cubs Past Cardinals

 

John Lackey struck out 11 in seven innings of four-hit ball against his former team and had an RBI single, leading the Chicago Cubs over the St. Louis Cardinals 5-0 Monday night.

 

Jayson Heyward, playing at Busch Stadium for the first time since leaving to sign with Chicago, was 0 for 4 at the plate, made two nice catches in right field and was booed throughout.

 

Dexter Fowler homered for the second time in three days for the Cubs, a major league-best 10-3 and off to their best start since 1970. Chicago has won 15 of its last 16 regular-season road games, going 6-1 this year.

 

>>Santiago, Angels Blank White Sox

 

Hector Santiago matched a career high with 10 strikeouts over seven crisp innings, and the Los Angeles Angels roughed up Carlos Rodon on their way to a 7-0 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Monday night.

 

Kole Calhoun, Andrelton Simmons and Geovany Soto hit consecutive RBI singles during a five-run first, matching the Angels' season high for runs in an entire game. Mike Trout scored on a throwing error by first baseman Jose Abreu, and Johnny Giavotella capped the opening outburst with another RBI single.

 

Rodon (1-2) got only one out before he was replaced by Jake Petricka. The No. 3 pick in the 2014 amateur draft allowed six hits and walked two in the shortest of his 29 major league appearances.

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Raptors Even Series With Pacers

Jonas Valanciunas had 23 points and 15 rebounds, Kyle Lowry had 18 points, nine assists and seven rebounds and Toronto beat the Indiana Pacers 98-87 on Monday night. That snapped their postseason losing streak at seven games and evened the series 1-1.

 

The Raptors had not won a playoff game since a 115-113 home victory over Brooklyn on April 30, 2014.

 

Paul George scored 28 points and Monta Ellis had 15 for the Pacers, who host Game 3 on Thursday night.

 

Corey Joseph scored 16 points, Patrick Patterson added 14 and DeRozan had 10 for the Raptors.

Game 3 is Thursday night in Indiana.

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Caps Blast Flyers, Take 3-0 Series Lead

Alex Ovechkin scored twice, Braden Holtby had 31 saves and the Washington Capitals moved one game closer to a sweep in their first-round playoff series with a 6-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday night.

Ovechkin snapped a tie game with his 38th career postseason goal and Holtby made the lead stand with his third straight sensational effort in the series. The Capitals scored five power-play goals, including four in a third period marked by the behavior of Philadelphia's disgruntled home fans.

 

Philadelphia fans showed the wrong kind of spirit late in the game when they tossed wristbands used as part of a pregame lights show on the ice as Washington turned this one into a rout.

Flyers public address announcer Lou Nolan scolded fans and warned the Flyers would be hit with a penalty if they kept littering the ice with bracelets and other garbage.

 

Sure enough, the wristbands kept coming, and the Flyers were whistled for a bench minor for delay of game. Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov was even smacked by a flying bracelet sitting in the penalty box. Nolan said, ''way to go,'' and the fans cheered as if they were proud of the penalty.

 

''I know they're upset in that situation but that can't happen,'' Simmonds said.

 

John Carlson, Ovechkin and Jay Beagle made it 6-1 with power-play goals in the third. The Capitals have eight in the series.

 

The Capitals lead a series 3-0 for the first time in franchise history. Game 4 is Wednesday night in Philadelphia.

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Maroons Drop Tough One To Sullivan

Two runs in the top of the 6th inning proved to be the difference at the Sullivan Redskins beat the Clinton Maroons, 6-5 in a back and forth Central Illinois Conference boys baseball game from Monday afternoon at Clinton High School.

 

Leading 5-4 to start the frame, Mac Hickman who was terrific on the mound, issued a lead off single to start the inning, later walking the lead run and both runners would score after a pair of errors in the inning.

 

Despite a great performance on the mound, six Maroon errors were detrimental in Hickman's performance. Of the six runs to cross the plate for Sullivan, just one was earned as Hickman went the distance striking out ten, walking three and allowing four hits.

 

At the dish, Hickman went 2-for-4.

 

Christian Hunt delivered a 2-run single in the bottom of the fifth inning that put the Maroons in front for the first time on the day. Hunt finished 1-for-4.

 

Wesley Conn was also 2-for-3 and Travis Osgood and Dillon Walsh each recorded run scoring hits.

 

The Maroons drop to 3-11 overall and are 0-6 in CIC play. The Redskins move to 11-6 on the year and are 4-2 in conference action. 

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Illini Sweep St. Louis

The Illinois baseball team swept Saint Louis with a 6-2 win Sunday at Illinois Field. Jason Goldstein had three hits and Cole Bellair earned his first career win on the mound.

 

Illinois (17-16) scored two runs in the third, sixth and seventh innings and outhit Saint Louis 10-8. Adam Walton and Trent Hammond both had two hits for the second straight day, while Michael Hurwitz extended his hitting streak to nine games. Hurwitz has 19 hits during the streak.

 

Bellair (1-2) struck out a career-best six. He allowed two runs on five hits in 6.1 innings. Nick Blackburn (1.1 IP, 0 R) picked up his eighth save, after Charlie Naso (0.2 IP, 0 R) and J.D. Nielsen (0.2 IP, 0 R) bridged the gap.

 

Following Tuesday's game against Eastern Illinois in Mattoon, Illinois, the Illini have six straight home games. Ohio State visits April 22-24 and Minnesota comes to Champaign April 29-May 1.

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Blues Rally To Beat Blackhawks, Take 2-1 Series Lead

Jaden Schwartz scored at 13:32 of the third period with Patrick Kane in the penalty box for high-sticking, and the St. Louis Blues beat the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 on Sunday for a 2-1 lead in their first-round playoff series.

Patrik Berglund also scored in the third as St. Louis rallied for the win after a difficult 3-2 loss in Game 2 that included two key coach's challenges that went against the Blues. Brian Elliott made 44 saves, keeping St. Louis in the game during Chicago's strong second period.

 

Kane, the NHL's leading scorer this season and one of the favorites for league MVP, got four minutes for a high stick on defenseman Alex Pietrangelo, and St. Louis made the most of the chance to go in front.

 

Vladimir Tarasenko passed down low to David Backes, who sent it right to Schwartz in the slot. He beat Crawford low on the glove side for his third career playoff goal and a 3-2 lead with 6:38 left.

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Redbirds Drop Sunday Rubber Match With Indiana State

The Illinois State baseball team gave up the go-ahead run in the bottom of the eighth inning and dropped the rubber game in its three-game series at Indiana State, 3-2, Sunday at Bob Warn Field.

 

Trailing 1-0, the Redbirds manufactured a run in the third inning after Derek Parola led off with a double. Jared Hendren bunted Parola over to third and Daniel Dwyer brought in the game's first run with a groundout to second base.

 

Trailing 2-1 in the seventh inning, Jean Ramirez brought Illinois State even with the Sycamores with a solo homer to left field. Ramirez's home run broke up Ward's streak of consecutive batters retired.

 

Both starters settled in after the third inning. Jacob Hendren retired seven-straight batters and Indiana State starter Tyler Ward sat down 12-straight Redbird hitters.

 

Hendren went seven innings, while giving up just two earned runs on six hits. Vogrin took the loss for the Redbirds.

 

Ramirez went 1-for-3 with a home run and Parola was 1-for-3 with a double.

 

The Redbirds will look to rebound with a Tuesday matchup at SIUE.

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Cardinals Win; Cubs, Sox Lose

Eric Fryer had three hits, including a go-ahead double with two outs in the eighth inning during Sunday's 4-3 win over the Cincinnati Reds 4-3.

 

A backup to All-Star catcher Yadier Molina, Fryer got his first start this season and is 6 for 6 at the plate. Fryer also threw out Brandon Phillips attempting to steal in the sixth.

 

Michael Wacha gave up one earned run and seven hits.

 

Matt Carpenter and Jedd Gyorko hit solo homers for St. Louis, which has won three of last four. Ten of the Cardinals' 21 homers this season were hit in the three-game series against the Reds, who have lost five of six.

 

Mike Leake (0-1) is slated to start the open of a three-game series against the visiting Chicago Cubs.

 

>>Arenado's Two Homers Lift Rockies Over Cubs

 

Nolan Arenado hit two home runs, Tyler Chatwood threw seven shutout innings and the Colorado Rockies beat the Chicago Cubs 2-0 on Sunday.

Chatwood, Miguel Castro and Jake McGee combined to hold the Cubs to three hits. McGee struck out Kris Bryant with two runners on base to end it for his third save.

 

The Rockies took two of three for their first series win at Wrigley Field since 2011. The Cubs were trying to reach 10 wins in the first 12 games for the first time since 1969.

 

>>Moore Leads Rays Past White Sox

 

Matt Moore struck out 10 over 6 1-3 innings, Brandon Guyer tied a career high with four hits and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Chicago White Sox 3-2 on Sunday.

 

Moore (1-0) allowed two runs and five hits, and improved to 4-1 in five career starts against the White Sox. After Enny Romero worked a perfect inning, Alex Colome got the final five outs for the Rays' first save this season.

 

Jose Quintana (1-1) gave up three runs, seven hits and had six strikeouts in six innings for Chicago, which has lost two straight after winning five in a row. The left-hander entered with a four-game winning streak dating to last season.

 

Tampa Bay second baseman Logan Forsythe (bruised left hip and lower leg) and center fielder Kevin Kiermaier (head bruise) were both back in the lineup after missing Saturday's game. They were hurt when they collided chasing a pop fly in shallow right center during Friday night's game.

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Bears WR White Fully Healthy

It's no big deal to hear about Jay Cutler inviting his Bears teammates to his offseason home in Nashville to run some routes. What is a big deal is the presence of Kevin White, who missed his entire rookie season with a shin injury.

In a recent feature on White, the Chicago Tribune's Rich Campbell provided a detailed look at how White has recovered from surgery. In that article was an interesting nugget about White joining the Bears' receiving crew in Nashville.

 

"When the Bears report to Halas Hall on Monday for strength and conditioning workouts, the asterisk next to Kevin White's name will be gone. No limitations. Those loathsome days of being singled out as physically unable to perform are done."

 

"Finally, White can revert his energy back toward the big question that surrounded his jump to the pros last spring -- his ability to run a variety of routes."

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Branden Grace Wins RBC Heritage

Branden Grace shot a 5-under 66 to overtake Luke Donald and win the RBC Heritage on Sunday for his first PGA Tour title and 11th worldwide victory.


Three shots behind Donald entering the day, Grace moved to the top with four birdies on his first six holes. The South African pulled three shots in front of Donald after birdies on the 12th and 13 holes.

 

Grace finished at 9-under 275, two shots ahead of Donald and Russell Knox. Donald shot a 71, and Knox had a 67.

 

Grace earned $1,062,000 and a PGA Tour exemption through the 2017-18 season.

 

Bryson DeChambeau, the former SMU star who won the NCAA and U.S. Amateur last year, tied for fourth in his first event since turning pro, four shots behind Grace after a 68. Kevin Na was tied with DeChambeau after a 69.

 

Top-ranked Jason Day rebounded from a season-worst 79 on Saturday with a 68 to tie for 23rd at 1 under. 

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Blue Ridge Routes Cornerstone Christian Academy

The Blue Ridge Knights made quick work of Bloomington Cornerstone Christian Academy Thursday afternoon in a 5-inning 16-0 route in non-conference boys baseball action.

Thomas Hardest led the Knights offense, finishing 3-for-4 with three RBIs. Alec Lyle and Drew Wells contributed two hits apiece, and Dylan Lytel drove in three. Lyle, Calvin Florey and Damien Cordes added a pair of RBIs.

 

Hardesty was the pitcher of record for Blue Ridge, going three shutout innings, allowing four hits on a walk with four strikeouts. Caleb Trotter and Lytel closed things out with a scoreless inning of relief apiece, each striking out two.

 

Blue Ridge is 10-6 overall and returns to action next week. 

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Rantoul Doubles-Up Monticello

A pair of runs in the sixth inning broke a 2-all tie lifting Rantoul past Monticello 4-2 in Okaw Valley boys baseball action.

 

Jacob Burton and Austin Wiggins finished 2-for-3 to pace the Sages offense. Burton scored and drove in a run and Luke Stokowski recorded the other Monticello RBI as the Sages drop to 7-5 overall and 3-3 in Okaw Valley play.

 

Garrett Myers went 5 2/3 on the mound for Monticello, allowing four runs, two earned on nine hits with no walks and ten strikeouts.

 

Wittig closed things out with an 1 1/3  allowing a pair of hits and a strikeout.

 

The Sages play in a tournament Saturday at Decatur MacArthur.

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Latos, Garcia Lead Sox Past Winless Twins

The Minnesota Twins dropped to 0-9 for the worst start by any major league team in 13 years, falling to Avisail Garcia, Mat Latos and the Chicago White Sox 3-1 Thursday.

The Twins have scored only 14 runs this season. According to STATS research, the last big league team to lose its first nine games was Detroit in 2003, when the Tigers finished 43-119.

The Atlanta Braves, also 0-8 this year, played later in the day at Washington.

 

Latos (2-0) gave up one run and three hits in six innings as the White Sox won their fourth in a row. Garcia homered and doubled.

 

Ervin Santana (0-1) allowed three runs in seven innings.

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Cubs Sweep Reds

Jason Hammel pitched six scoreless innings, drove home one run and scored another to lead the Chicago Cubs to an 8-1 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday night for their best start since 1969.

The Cubs swept the three-game series and improved to 8-1 for the first time in 47 years. They won 11 of 12 to start the '69 season en route to a second-place finish.

 

Dexter Fowler and Addison Russell had three hits each for Chicago, and Kris Bryant hit his second home run.

 

Hammel (1-0) allowed four hits, walked four and struck out three on 88 pitches in chilly weather.

Raisel Iglesias (1-1) allowed three runs on six hits and two walks over five innings.

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Garcia Brilliant As Cardinals Blank Brewers

Jaime Garcia pitched a one-hitter, allowing only Domingo Santana's lined single into right field with two outs in the sixth inning, and struck out 13 in the St. Louis Cardinals' 7-0 victory on Thursday.

 

Randal Grichuk and Jeremy Hazelbaker hit two-run homers. Grichuk's drive in the third off Wily Peralta (0-3), which boosted the lead to 5-0, barely eluded the glove of center field Keon Broxton.

 

Wily Peralta gave up five runs and seven hits in five innings, throwing just 55 of his 96 pitches for strikes.

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Caps Blank Flyers in Game 1 of Stanley Cup Playoff Matchup

Three successful penalty kills kept the Philadelphia Flyers off the scoreboard, and  John Carlson scored on the power play and the Capitals locked down defensively to shut out the Flyers 2-0 Thursday night in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series.

Braden Holtby stopped all 19 shots he faced for his third career shutout in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

 

Just 19 seconds after Flyers defenseman Brandon Manning went to the box for sending the puck over the glass, Carlson's shot from the point deflected off penalty killer Chris Vandevelde and bounced in past Steve Mason at 16:21 of the second.

 

Mason was phenomenal in stopping 29 of the 31 shots he faced, but what Backstrom called a ''weird shot'' from Carlson turned out to be the game-winner.

 

Capitals F T.J. Oshie was in the lineup after leaving practice Wednesday with an undisclosed injury.

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Luke Donald, Brandon Grace Share 1st Round Lead At RBC Heritage

Missing the Masters made Luke Donald's blood boil. The former world No. 1 channeled that anger to shoot his best round since January, a 5-under 66 at the RBC Heritage that left the Englishman tied with Branden Grace for the first-round lead Thursday.


The two were a stroke ahead of four players, including the world's current top-ranked player in Jason Day.

 

Day caught Donald and Grace at the top heading to Harbour Town Golf Links' closing, lighthouse hole. But he took an unplayable lie in a bunker when his ball bored into the sand and made his lone bogey to fall back.

 

Donald had been a major tournament mainstay since first playing Augusta National in 2005. However, he has fallen badly the past couple of seasons (he's 95th in the world ranking) and was forced to watch the Masters at home instead of playing for a green jacket.

 

Donald got going quickly with birdies on the second and third holes. He moved to 3 under with a birdie on No. 6. After his lone bogey on the par-4 eighth, Donald posted three more birdies on the back nine to break par for the 23rd time in his past 29 rounds at Harbour Town. He has had five top-three finishes the last seven tournaments here.

 

Most of the Masters' main characters took the week off, including new dad and major champion Danny Willett of England and Jordan Speith, whose unexpected collapse over the final nine holes after holding a five-shot lead opened the door for Willett.

 

Day, who tied for 10th at Augusta National, is the lone top-10 player competing.

 

Day tied for the lead with a birdie on the par-5 15th and had a chance to move on top by himself a hole later, but slid a 14-footer past the cup. The Australians' tee shot to the final hole was perfect and his approach seemed destined to strike the putting surface - until it didn't.

His ball buried into the sand by the bunker's front edge. Day looked a bit bewildered by the gaffe, then retrieved the ball and hit it close enough to hold off more damage.

 

Bryson DeChambeau, last year's NCAA and U.S. Amateur champion, played his first event as a pro at Harbour Town and opened with a 70.

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Tubby Smith Named Memphis Head Coach

Memphis has reached an agreement in principle to hire Texas Tech's Tubby Smith as its next coach, a source told CBS Sports early Thursday.

 

A formal announcement is expected soon.

Smith, 64, was offered the Memphis job Wednesday morning, a source told CBS Sports. But sources said Texas Tech quickly counter-offered with a huge raise and extension, which caused Smith to at least think everything through. Ultimately, though, he realized it's much easier to win consistently at Memphis than it is at Texas Tech, a source said. So the likely future Hall of Famer agreed to fill the opening previously held by Josh Pastner.

 

Pastner left Memphis last week to coach Georgia Tech.

 

Smith spent three seasons at Texas Tech. He's guided five different schools to the NCAA Tournament -- most notably Kentucky. He won a national title at UK in 1998.

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NBA Declares 7-foot, five star Maker Eligible For Draft

The NBA has made its decision regarding Thon Maker.

 

The NBA has decided that Maker is indeed eligible for the 2016 NBA Draft, CBS Sports has learned through the league office. It determined that the 19-year-old Maker graduated high school in 2015 and did a preparatory year in 2016, making him one year removed from high school and thus eligible for the draft by league rules.

ESPN was first to report this news.

 

Maker had been considering attending college, but after learning that he could be eligible for the draft decided to declare and attempt to try his luck with the NBA last weekend. The NBA has now answered his call, and will allow him to avail himself within the NBA Draft process.

 

Maker is going to be an interesting prospect to track through the pre-draft process. The hype Maker received throughout high school as one of the top players in his class due to fun mixtapes does not necessarily translate to him having as high a draft stock as many would expect.

 

There are some pretty major concerns regarding Maker's body and basketball IQ.

Maker is going to be a major question mark entering workouts. Simply put, Maker may have the most volatile stock of any NBA Draft prospect in the last decade. 

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Blue Ridge Pounds Lexington

A 12-run fourth inning outburst by the Blue Ridge Knights offense sent them flying by Lexington 15-2 Wednesday afternoon in Farmer City in Heart of Illinois boys baseball action.

 

Ben Williamson paced the Knights bats finishing 3-for-4 with three RBIs and three runs scored. Isaac Trotter was also 3-for-4 with a pair of RBIs and a run.

 

Cory Jayne hit a solo home run as a part of a 2-for-3 day and scored three times.

 

Damian Cordes finished with a pair of runs for the Knights, though he was the only starter to not record a hit.

 

Alec Lyle pitched all five innings, allowing two runs, one earned on three hits, issuing two walks and striking out four.

 

The Knights are now 9-6 overall and 3-1 in HOI play. Blue Ridge is in Bloomington this afternoon to take on Cornerstone Christian Academy. 

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Blues Beat Blackhawks in OT to Take Game 1

David Backes scored at 9:04 of overtime on a shot that deflected off a Chicago Blackhawks defenseman, and the St. Louis Blues took the series opener 1-0 over the defending Stanley Cup champions on Wednesday night.

Backes' shot got past Corey Crawford after bouncing off Trevor Van Riemsdyk's skate.

 

Defensemen Jay Bouwmeester and Alex Pietrangelo assisted on the winner.

 

Brian Elliott earned his first career playoff shutout. Elliott, who led the NHL with a .930 save percentage, made 35 saves to thwart a lineup led by scoring champion Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews. He made just his second playoff start in three seasons off an impressive finish, going 11-1 in his final 14 starts.

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Cubs Blow Out Reds; Sox Blank Winless Twins; Cardinals Lose Late

>>Cubs Blow Out Reds

 

John Lackey pitched into the seventh inning, Kris Bryant hit his first homer of the season and the Chicago Cubs matched the best eight-game start in franchise history with a 9-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday night.

Miguel Montero had two of Chicago's 10 walks and scored three times as the Cubs improved to 7-1 for the first time since 1985 and just the 11th time overall. Jason Heyward drove in two runs with a two-out single in the third and robbed Scott Schebler of a hit with a diving grab in right-center in the fourth.

 

Lackey (2-0) allowed two runs and six hits in 6 2/3 innings. He struck out seven and walked three, rebounding nicely from a shaky start at Arizona last Thursday.

 

Lackey also contributed at the plate, chasing Alfredo Simon (0-1) with a two-out RBI single in Chicago's five-run first.

 

>>Rodon's Brilliance Sends White Sox Past Winless Twins

 

Carlos Rodon worked his way out of trouble several times to complete six scoreless innings, Jerry Sands hit a two-run home run and the Chicago White Sox kept the Minnesota Twins winless with a 3-0 victory on Wednesday night.

 

At 0-8, the Twins have been outscored 33-13 this season.

 

The only other winless team in the majors is Atlanta, also 0-8. The Twins beat the Braves in that epic seven-game World Series in 1991 - some 25th anniversary this season is turning out to be for the two teams.

 

Rodon (1-1) needed 107 pitches to make it as far as he did. He walked five, including the leadoff man twice, but the Twins left the bases loaded in the sixth after filling them with one out. David Robertson pitched a perfect ninth inning for his fourth save in as many attempts.

 

Phil Hughes (0-2) gave up the one-out homer to straightaway center field to Sands in the seventh.

 

>>Santana's Late HR Lifts Milwaukee Past St. Louis

 

Milwaukee outfielder Domingo Santana was thinking fastball when he ripped a go-ahead, two-run homer in the ninth inning that lifted the Milwaukee Brewers past the St. Louis Cardinals 6-4 on Wednesday night.

 

Santana pounded a 98-mph pitch from closer Trevor Rosenthal (0-1) with two out.

 

Kirk Nieuwenhuis started the two-out rally with a walk. All of the Brewers' runs came with two away.

 

Jeremy Jeffress pitched the ninth for his fourth save. He has not allowed a run in five relief appearances this season.

 

St. Louis' Brandon Moss tied the game 4-4 with a leadoff, pinch-hit homer in the eighth off reliever Michael Blazek (1-0). It was the Cardinals' fourth pinch-hit homer this season, matching their total from last year.

 

Lucroy had three hits and drove in two runs for the Brewers, and Chris Carter had a run-scoring double.

Randal Grichuk had a two-run double in the first for the Cardinals, who ended a four-game winning streak.

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Bulls End Season With Win; Historic Night in NBA

>>Bulls Come Back To Beat 76ers, End Season 42-40

 

Nikola Mirotic scored 32 points, Justin Holliday added a career-high 29, and the Chicago Bulls closed a disappointing season with a 115-105 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night.

Mirotic hit seven 3-pointers. Holiday made five from long range, matching a personal best. Jimmy Butler added 10 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists.

 

The Bulls wiped out an early 24-point deficit and led by as much as 19 to close out a less-than-golden 50th season on a winning note.

 

That's little consolation for a team that expected to challenge LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers for supremacy in the Eastern Conference. Instead, they missed the playoffs for the first time since 2008 at 42-40.

 

Robert Covington led Philadelphia with 27 points, hitting six 3s. The 76ers finished an NBA-worst 10-72.

 

>>Warriors Make History with  73rd Win

 

Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors took their last shot at Michael Jordan and history and they swished it - for 73.

 

Down to their final chance at the record, the Warriors became the first 73-win team Wednesday night by beating the Memphis Grizzlies 125-104, breaking what many considered an unmatchable mark set 20 years ago by Jordan's Chicago Bulls - oh, and Golden State coach Steve Kerr, too.

 

Curry achieved yet one more shooting milestone, becoming the first player to make 400 3-pointers in a season by knocking down 10 from long range on the way to 46 points and 402 total 3s.

 

Draymond Green had 11 points, nine rebounds and seven assists as defending champion Golden State (73-9) topped the Jordan-led 1995-96 Bulls who went 72-10.

 

Klay Thompson added 16 points with four 3s of his own before Curry rested the fourth quarter and Thompson most of it.

 

Zach Randolph scored 24 points to lead Memphis, which lost its fourth in a row to end the season.

 

>>Kobe Scores 60 In Final Game

 

Kobe Bryant scored 60 incredible points. He carried a miserable Los Angeles Lakers team to an improbable comeback victory.

 

And with sweat and confetti all over his gold uniform for the final time, he expressed humble thanks to his fans and family for their loving support over two decades.

 

''What else can I say?'' Bryant asked. ''Mamba out.''

 

Bryant utterly dominated his final game Wednesday night, wrapping up 20 NBA seasons with one last offensive showcase in the Lakers' 101-96 victory over the Utah Jazz.

 

He scored 23 points in the fourth quarter, posting his first 50-point game since February 2009 and rallying the Lakers from a 15-point deficit to win the final game of the worst season in franchise history.

 

Kobe became the oldest player to score 50 points in an NBA game with his highest-scoring performance since getting 61 against New York in 2009.

 

Bryant surpassed his previous career high of 47 shots, taken in a loss to Boston on Nov. 7, 2002.

 

Trey Lyles scored 18 points and Gordon Hayward had 17 for the Jazz, who were eliminated from playoff contention shortly before tipoff by Houston's win over the Sacramento Kings.

 

Los Angeles has missed the playoffs in three straight seasons, the longest drought in franchise history.

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HS BOYS BASEBALL: Warrensburg-Latham Tops Clinton

The Warrensburg-Latham Cardinals boys baseball team opened a 10-1 lead on the Clinton Maroons Tuesday afternoon at Clinton High School and rolled in Okaw Valley baseball action 11-3.

 

The Cardinals scored in each of the first four frames off Maroons starter Wesley Conn and Christian Hunt in relief, and the Maroons bats came alive late, but it was too little, too late.

 

Garrett Shea and Jordan Scrimpsher tallied three RBIs apiece for the Cardinals and Jordan Napier added a pair of RBIs as the Maroons committed five errors.

 

Shea finished 2-for-4 with a triple and Scrimpsher was 3-for-5 with a double. Jacob Napier was 3-for-5 with two runs batted in and a double. Austin Hardin was 3-for-4 and Collin Swallow was 2-for-4 from the plate and pitched six innings on the mound for his fourth win of the season.

 

The Maroons were lead by Jacob Overton, who was 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs. Trenton Fryman also finished 2-for-4 with an RBI and Conn added a double.

 

The Maroons 3-9 overall and 0-4 in the Central Illinois Conference.

 

Warrensburg-Latham improves to 12-3 and is 3-1  CIC play.

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Jones, Hislope Lead Sages Past Rantoul

Tyler Jones was brilliant in a near complete game and Logan Hislope drove in a pair of runs in leading the Monticello Sages past Rantoul, 5-1 Tuesday in Okaw Valley boys baseball action.

Jones went 6.1 innings allowing a run on two hits but issued five walks and struck out five. Nick Hopper got the final two outs.

 

Hislope was 1-for-3 with a double and two RBIs. Jacob Burton reached base three times via walks and Luke Stokowski, Garrett Myers, and Jones each tallied RBIs. No Monticello hitter tallied more than four hits, though the Sages drew six walks as a team.

 

The Sages are now 7-4 overall and are 4-2 in the Okaw Valley Conference.

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Jayne Brilliant As Blue Ridge Gets By Dee-Mack in 8 Innings

Cory Jayne was brilliant on the mound and a run in the bottom of the eighth inning sent the Blue Ridge Knights past Dee-Mack 2-1 in Heart of Illinois baseball action Tuesday afternoon.

Jayne went the distance on the mound allowing a run on five hits, issuing two walks with seven strikeouts.

 

Alec Lyle drove in Ben Williamson for the game-winning hit in the bottom of the 8th.

 

Lyle finished 1-for-3 with the RBI and Caleb Trotter drove in the other Blue Ridge run Tuesday.

 

The Knights 8-6 overall and are 2-1 in HOI play.

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Illini Beat Illinois State

Jason Goldstein had four RBIs and Andrew Mamlic pitched 6.0 strong innings as the Illinois baseball team beat Illinois State, 7-1, Tuesday night at Illinois Field. Illinois swept the season series against ISU, 2-0.

 

Goldstein had three hits and a double and Michael Hurwitz, Dan Rowbottom and Doran Turchin added two hits apiece.  Illinois went 6 for 14 with runners in scoring position.

 

Illinois State (8-23) hit the ball hard through five innings coming up with nine hits. The Redbirds were hitting 7-for-11 with two outs after the fifth inning, but were 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position. All 10 of Illinois State's hits were singles.

 

Hendren (1-7) took the loss for the Redbirds after going two innings and giving up two runs. Andrew Mamlic (2-6) earned his second win of the season with six innings of work and just one earned run.

 

Owen Miller, 3-for-4, led three Redbirds with multi-hit games. Joe Kelch and Hutchinson both collected a pair of hits in the loss.

 

The Redbirds will hit the road this weekend to Terre Haute, Indiana for their first road Missouri Valley Conference series against Indiana State.

 

Illinois hosts Saint Louis this weekend for three games Friday-Sunday at Illinois Field.

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University of Illinois Settles With Female Athletes, Beckman

The University of Illinois has announced a pair of settlements involving former female basketball players who sued the school and its former football coach, Tim Beckman.

 

Campus officials said Tuesday that the seven former players will receive a one-time payment of $375,000 to split among them. The University of Illinois Board of Trustees must approve the settlement. The women sued in 2015, claiming basketball coaches created a racially hostile environment. The women, through their attorney Terry Ekl, said in a statement that they're happy "no other student athlete may have to experience what we have."

 

The school also said Beckman would receive a one-time payment of $250,000, which doesn't need approval from trustees. Allegations of player abuse led the school to fire Beckman a week before last season started.

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Blues, Blackhawks Open First Round Matchup in Stanley Cup Playoffs

Apparently, Ken Hitchcock is talked out about the Chicago Blackhawks.

 

The St. Louis Blues coach cut his news conference short Tuesday a day ahead of the team's first-round playoff matchup against the team that has won three Stanley Cups the last six seasons, including last year.

 

Hitchcock said his team was at full strength for the first time all season and that it was nice to have choices heading into Game 1 at home on Wednesday night. And that was it.

''So, let's play,'' Hitchcock said, adding ''thanks'' as he left the interview room to stunned silence.

There hasn't been a repeat Stanley Cup champion since 1998, and the Blackhawks will be opening on the road against a team that won the season series 3-2.

 

The Blues finished second overall in the Western Conference with 107 points, four more than Chicago. They're the No. 3 playoff seed after overcoming long-term injuries to both goalies as well as forwards Patrik Berglund, Jaden Schwartz, Paul Stastny and Alexander Steen.

 

Now comes the hard part. The Blues have been eliminated in the first round three straight years, including 2014 when they were ahead 2-0 and then lost four straight to the Blackhawks.

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Pacers Drop Knicks

Paul George and George Hill each scored 19 points and the Pacers defeated the New York Knicks 102-90 on Tuesday night, clinching the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference.

After trailing New York at the end of the first and second quarters, Indiana outscored the Knicks 26-16 in the third.

 

Trailing 64-62, the Pacers finished the final seven minutes of the third quarter with a 17-6 run that gave Indiana a 79-70 lead heading into the final 12 minutes.

 

The Pacers led by as many as 14 points and never let the Knicks back in the game.

 

Derrick Williams scored 21 points and Jerian Grant added 18 points for the Knicks (32-50).

Indiana will end regular season at Milwaukee on Wednesday night.

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Marlins Spoil Dominant Outing by Syndergaard

Noah Syndergaard struck out 12 for the slumping Mets, one short of his career high, and left with the score tied at 1 after seven innings but the Miami Marlins edged the New York Mets 2-1 on Tuesday night in a much-anticipated pitching matchup that mostly lived up to its billing.

 

Miami ace Jose Fernandez recovered from a shaky start and went five innings in a game pitting two of baseball's most electric young arms.

 

Derek Dietrich had an RBI single in his first start of the season for the Marlins, and pinch-hitter Martin Prado delivered a go-ahead sacrifice fly in the eighth against Jerry Blevins. Dee Gordon stole second base and scored the tiebreaking run after leading off with a single on the 16th pitch from Jim Henderson (0-1).

 

Phelps (2-0) fanned three in two hitless innings, and A.J. Ramos got three outs for his second save.

 

The NL champion Mets (2-5) have dropped four straight - all at home to division foes.

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Clinton Lady Maroons Defeat Warrensburg

As heard on WHOW, the Clinton Lady Maroons defeated the Warrensburg Lady Cardinals by a score of 18-0 on Tuesday afternoon. The Lady Maroons were led by Country Financial representative Stephan York Maroons Player of the Game senior Alexis Estes. Estes was 2-4 with a grand slam, a double, and 4 RBIs. Estes pitched for five innings allowing three hits and striking out nine. Sophomore Aspen Taylor was 3-3 with two RBIs and a double. Senior Haley Steward was 2-3 with three RBIs.

Junior Emily Yeakley pitched for the Lady Cardinals. Yeakley allowed fourteen hits, eighteen runs, and walking four.

With the win the Lady Maroons improve to 8-3 in the season and 3-0 in the Central Illinois Conference. The Lady Cardinals fall to 9-7 and 0-3 in conference play.

Tune in as the Clinton Maroons take on Sullivan. You can hear the game live on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.

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Clinton Lady Maroons On WHOW This Afternoon

The Clinton Lady Maroons play host to Warrensburg-Latham Tuesday afternoon at 4:30 in Central Illinois Conference play.  Join us for live coverage of the game in our "Maroons Game of the Week" on 1520AM/92.3FM WHOW and streamed live at DeWittDailyNews.com.  

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Cubs, Cards, Sox Win

>>Russell's Home Run Caps Cubs Comeback After No-Hit Bid

 

Reds left-hander Brandon Finnegan pitched 6 2/3 hitless innings before allowing a single to David Ross, but Addison Russell hit a three-run home run while Chicago roughed up Cincinnati's bullpen in a 5-3 victory Monday night in the Cubs' home opener.

Ross' single started a two-run rally, with Jason Heyward cutting the Cubs' deficit to 3-2 with a bases-loaded single off Tony Cingrani.

 

In the eighth, Cingrani (0-1) walked Ben Zobrist with one out and hit Jorge Soler. Russell then drove Jumbo Diaz's first pitch out to left-center, whipping the packed crowd into a frenzy and sending the Cubs to their sixth victory in seven games, matching their best start since 1998.

 

Jon Lester pitched six innings, allowing three runs and five hits. Adam Warren (1-0) worked a scoreless eighth for his first win as a Cub, and Hector Rondon struck out the side in the ninth for his second save in as many chances.

 

>>Cardinals Clobber Brewers

 

Jeremy Hazelbaker went 4 for 4 with a triple, double and sacrifice fly in the Cardinals' home opener, a 10-1 rout of the Milwaukee Brewers.

 

Backed by a lineup that had 10 extra-base hits, Michael Wacha had a nine-run cushion in the third and allowed four hits in six scoreless innings, he struck out seven and walked one, and gave up just four singles. In his first start of the year, he allowed four runs in 4 1-3 innings at Pittsburgh.

 

Yadier Molina had three hits, two RBIs and an uncontested steal off starter Taylor Jungmann (0-1) in second. Randal Grichuk drove in his first run of the season with a double.

 

Matt Carpenter added two hits and two RBIs for the Cardinals.

 

Chris Carter hit his third homer and Ryan Braun had two hits for Milwaukee, which has lost two of three.

 

>>White Sox Beat Twins in Minnestota Home Opener

 

Austin Jackson hit a two-run, two-out single in the fourth inning one pitch after just missing a grand slam, lifting the Chicago White Sox to a 4-1 victory Monday that spoiled Minnesota's home opener and stuck the winless Twins with their seventh straight loss.

Jose Quintana (1-0) completed six smooth innings with one run allowed for the White Sox, who have won five of their first seven games. Todd Frazier sparked a second-inning rally with a leadoff single and later added an RBI double.

 

Twins starter Kyle Gibson (0-2) was charged with only one earned run over 5 2/3 innings, but he was in trouble often and threw a wild pitch that set up Frazier to score on a single by Brett Lawrie.

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Schwarber To 60-Day DL; Cubs Acquire LHP Soto From Indians

The Chicago Cubs have transferred slugger Kyle Schwarber to the 60-day disabled list from the 15-day DL because of a season-ending knee injury. They also acquired left-handed pitcher Giovanni Soto from the Cleveland Indians for cash.

The Cubs announced the moves before Monday's home opener against the Cincinnati Reds.

Schwarber tore ligaments in his left knee and severely sprained an ankle in an outfield collision with Dexter Fowler at Arizona last week. As a rookie last season, he hit 16 home runs and drove in 43 runs in 69 games.

 

Soto debuted with Cleveland last season and threw 3 1/3 scoreless innings over six relief appearances. The Cubs optioned him to Triple-A Iowa.

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Jimmy Butler Goes For 23 As Bulls Beat Pelicans

Jimmy Butler scored 12 of his 23 points in the last six minutes and the short-handed Chicago Bulls beat the injury-riddled New Orleans Pelicans 121-116 on Monday night.

Nikola Mirotic added 20 points and Cristiano Felicio matched his career high with 16 for the Bulls. Butler was the only regular in the starting lineup. Derrick Rose and Pau Gasol sat after Chicago was eliminated from the playoffs when Indiana won Sunday.

 

James Ennis had a career-high 29 points for the Pelicans, who have been without all five of their leading scorers for two weeks. Toney Douglas contributed 21 points, and Tim Frazier had 20 points and 11 assists.

 

With the score tied at 106, Butler took over down the stretch.
 

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Blackhawks' Kane For US-Born Player To Win Ross Trophy

Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane has won the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL's leading scorer. He is the first American-born player in NHL history to capture the Ross since it has been awarded, dating back to 1947-48.

Kane put together the best season of his career to win the scoring title. He registered 106 points, which included 46 goals and 60 assists, both of which were career highs. He is one of just four players to have eclipsed the 100-point mark over the last five full NHL seasons and had a 17-point advantage over the league's next closest top scorer -- reigning Ross winner Jamie Benn of the Dallas Stars (89 points).

 

Kane is also the first Blackhawk to win the Ross since Stan Mikita and Bobby Hull combined to win it five straight years from 1963-64 to 1967-68. Roy Conacher is the only other Blackhawks player to have claimed the award, doing so in 1948-49.

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Wet Field Cancels Maroons Game Monday

The Clinton Maroons varsity baseball game against Champaign Centennial Monday has been cancelled due to wet field conditions.  The game will not be made up.

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Iowa Takes Weekend Series From Illini

Illinois loaded the bases in the eighth and ninth innings Sunday but left with only one run in the final two frames of a 4-3 loss at Iowa. The Hawkeyes took two of three in the series after a doubleheader split on Saturday.

 

Illinois (13-16, 4-5 Big Ten) left 12 runners on base to drop its second straight Big Ten road series. The Illini had won nine straight conference series before falling in two of three at Nebraska last weekend.

 

Illinois, which had eight walks and one hit batter, were led by two hits and one RBI from Michael Hurwitz. Hurwitz went 8 for 14 (.571) with a double and two RBIs in the three-game series.


Joel Booker drove in all four runs for Iowa. He blasted a three-run home run with two outs in the fifth after his sac fly in the third tied the score at 1-1. Booker also scored the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning of Iowa's 4-3 win in the series opener Saturday.

 

Iowa (14-15, 5-4 Big Ten) starter Nick Gallagher earned the win by going 5.0 innings and allowing one run on four hits. Nick Daniels picked up the save by stranding the tying run on third base in both the eighth and ninth. Daniels came in from second base and blanked Illinois in the final 1.1 innings.

 

Cole Bellair (0-2) took the loss, as the Illini dropped to 0-9 in one-run games. Bellair allowed four runs on five hits and struck out two in 5.1 innings.

 

Illinois will play 10 of its next 11 games at Illinois Field, including a Tuesday non-conference matchup against Illinois State April 12. The Illini host Saint Louis for a three-game series next weekend. 

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ISU Rained Out Sunday, Lose 2 Straight To Dallas Baptist

Dallas Baptist starting pitcher Darick Hall provided all the support he needed by himself, as the Patriot starter launched a three-run home run in the top of the first inning Saturday to stake the visitors to an early lead they did not relent, en route to a 7-1 win over the Illinois State baseball team at Duffy Bass Field.

Hall went 2-for-4 with four RBIs from the plate, while doing his part from the mound as well. The right-hander allowed just one run on five hits, while striking out five over six innings, to earn the pitching win.

 

Sean Beesley was the only Redbird hitter to reach base twice, as the senior outfielder doubled and walked.

 

The Redbirds lost Friday 7-2 and Sunday's contest was canceled. Illinois State is 8-22 overall. 

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Cubs, Cards Win; Sox Rained Out

>>Soler, Arrieta Power Cubs Past Diamondbacks

 

Jake Arrieta homered and pitched seven innings, helping the Chicago Cubs finish off an impressive first week by beating the Arizona Diamondbacks 7-3 on Sunday.

 

Chicago is tied with Cincinnati for the best record in the NL at 5-1. The Cubs host the Reds in their home opener Monday night at Wrigley Field.

 

Arrieta (2-0) allowed three runs and eight hits, striking out six. The reigning NL Cy Young Award winner gave himself a boost with a two-out, two-run homer in the second inning off Shelby Miller (0-1).

 

Arrieta hit two home runs in 2015 and has three in his career.

 

>>Moss, Carpenter Power Cardinals Past Braves

 

Brandon Moss and Matt Carpenter hit three-run homers and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Braves 12-7 on Sunday to keep Atlanta as the only NL team without a win.

 

The Braves (0-5) also lost right-hander Dan Winkler, who suffered a fractured right elbow while throwing a pitch in the seventh. He left the mound in obvious pain after throwing behind Randal Grichuk.

 

The Cardinals completed the three-game sweep despite a poor start from Adam Wainwright, who allowed five runs in five innings. Wainwright matched his career high with five walks, including one intentional.

 

After rallying for a 7-6 lead in the eighth, the Cardinals put the game away with five runs in the ninth to score 12 runs for the second straight day. Aledmys Diaz hit a two-run double off Jose Ramirez in the ninth before Carpenter's three-run homer.

 

Nick Markakis hit three doubles, including a ground-rule shot in the sixth that gave Atlanta a 6-5 lead.

 

Williams Perez gave up four runs in 4 2/3 innings for Atlanta.

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White Sox, Indians Game Sunday Postponed Because of Rain; Eaton on Paternity List

The Chicago White Sox's game against the Cleveland Indians on Sunday has been postponed because of rain.

 

The game will be made up on May 23 as part of a doubleheader that will begin at 4:10 p.m. The second game will start at 7:10 p.m. or 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first game.

The Indians have had three games rained out so far this season. The White Sox and Indians split the first two games of their series. Cleveland won 7-1 on Friday before losing 7-3 on Saturday.

 

The White Sox play the Minnesota Twins on Monday in their home opener. The Indians are off on Monday before beginning a series against Tampa Bay.

 

The Chicago White Sox recalled right-handed pitcher Michael Ynoa from Double-A Birmingham and put outfielder Adam Eaton on the paternity list before their game against the Cleveland Indians on Sunday.

 

Eaton left the team on Saturday, when his wife Katie gave birth to their first child, Brayden. Manager Robin Ventura said he expects Eaton to join the White Sox on their trip to Minnesota on Sunday. The White Sox play the Twins in their home opener on Monday.

 

Eaton is off to a strong start at the plate, going 9 for 20 with a double, triple and two runs scored in five games.

 

Ynoa has yet to pitch in the majors and threw one scoreless inning in Double-A. He went 0-2 with a 2.61 ERA, six saves and 40 strikeouts in 38 innings with Class A Winston-Salem last season. The White Sox acquired Ynoa from Oakland in 2014.

 

"I'm still in shock," Ynoa said. "I'm happy to be here and thanks to the White Sox for giving me this opportunity."

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Pacers Beat Nets, Clinch Playoff Berth

Myles Turner had 28 points and 10 rebounds and the Indiana Pacers beat the Brooklyn Nets 129-105 to clinch a playoff berth.

 

Solomon Hill had 13 points and 12 rebounds for Indiana while George Hill had 18 points and Ian Mahinmi had 16. The Pacers led by as many as 42 points.

 

The Pacers could have clinched a playoff berth in Toronto on Friday night but lost by 13. That result left Indiana determined to take care of business Sunday.

 

Sean Kilpatrick had 26 points for the Nets, who lost their seventh consecutive game and 12th straight on the road. Markel Brown had 18 points and 11 rebounds.

 

The Pacers have two games left and can still finish as high as seventh in the Eastern Conference if they end up with the same record as the Detroit Pistons. Indiana is back in the postseason for the first time since 2013-14, when it was the No. 1 seed and lost in the Eastern Conference Finals to the Miami Heat in six games.

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Spieth Miscues Open Door For Masters Winner Danny Willett

Danny Willett was considering not even playing in this year's Masters as his wife was expecting their first child with the due date on April 10. Fortunately for him, and unfortunately for the rest of the field, his wife gave birth to their son less than two weeks ago, which made the decision for him. Willett was the last player in the 89-man field to officially accept his invitation -- as is evidenced by his caddie wearing No. 89 -- but the only number that matters on Sunday is 1.

 

The first-time father became a first-time major champion on Sunday as Willett posted a bogey-free 5-under 67 in the final round, one of only two bogey-free rounds and three 67s on the day.

Many will point to Jordan Spieth's implosion on the 12th hole as Boy Wonder gifting the green jacket away, but Willett earned this win. His second nine performance was spectacular as he made his steady climb up the leaderboard, putting him in perfect position to pounce on Spieth's mistakes.

 

Birdies on 13 and 14 moved Willett into the lead as Spieth dunked his repeat chances in the water on 12, and a dart on 16 allowed Willett to move to 5 under. He made a nervy downhill chip on 17 look routine to get a crucial par and then played the 18th to perfection with a 3 wood down the fairway and an iron to 15 feet to leave an easy two-putt.

 

Dustin Johnson had a strong final round, finishing T-4 at 1-under for the day and for the tournament.

 

Hideki Matsuyama came into Sunday in contention, but could not find the rhythm that had helped him remain among the leaders Saturday.

 

After a disastrous Saturday, where McIlroy completely fell off pace of his partner for the day, Spieth, Rory rebounded to shoot a 1-under and finish in a tie for 10th at 1-over par for the tournament. McIlroy is still searching for that Green Jacket that would complete the career grand slam.

 

Jason Day was three back to start the day but could never get anything going, playing with Dustin Johnson, as he too, tied for tenth at 1-over.

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Maroons Fall To Tuscola

The Clinton Maroons were shutout Thursday by CIC foe Tuscola 4 to 0. 


Tuscola's Nick Bates got it done on the hill on the way to a win. He tossed five innings of shutout ball. He struck out nine, walked six and surrendered just one hit.


Nolan Hickman gets pegged with the loss after striking out six, walking one, and allowing four runs, three of which came via a homerun off the bat of Warriors' third baseman Andrew Erickson in the first inning.


The Maroons fall to 2 and 7 on the season, and 0 and 3 in the CIC.


The Maroons will host North Mac, Tri-Valley, and Harvest Christian Academy in a four team tournament at Clinton High School on Saturday. The Maroons will start the morning at 9am Saturday morning against North Mac.

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Wet Conditions Lead To Change In Maroons Sports Thursday

Due to wet field conditions at Clinton High school, the Clinton Maroons scheduled home game against Tuscola has been moved.  The Maroons varsity will now travel to Tuscola today for a 4:30p game.  The game was to be heard on 1520AM/92.3FM WHOW, however due to the change the broadcast has been cancelled.  WHOW's next "Maroons Game of the Week" will be Tuesday, April 12, when the Lady Maroons host Warrensburg-Latham.
 
The change also will have effects on the Maroons upcoming schedule.  Instead of traveling to Tuscola on April 27th, Clinton will host the Warriors on that date.
 
JV Baseball has been cancelled for today and will be made up on April 29th at Tuscola.  The Maroons JV will host Tuscola on April 27th.
 
Today's Lady Maroons Softball games versus Tuscola have been postponed due to wet field conditions.  A make up date has not been set for those games.

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Gray Stifles Sox in Series Finale; Cards Swept By Pittsburgh; LHP Gonzales to Star

Sonny Gray pitched seven strong innings, Mark Canha homered and the Oakland Athletics beat the Chicago White Sox 2-1 Wednesday night.

 

Gray, scratched from the opening-day start because of a stomach flu, gave up a run on three hits, walking four and striking out five.

 

John Axford pitched a scoreless eighth and Ryan Madsen got the final three outs for his first save. Madsen's last four saves have come against the White Sox.

 

Chicago starter Carlos Rodon gave up two runs on seven hits over seven innings. He walked one and stuck out six.

 

Jed Lowrie also had an RBI for the A's and Jimmy Rollins drove in a run for Chicago.

Adam Eaton singled twice and walked, reaching base safely in 25 consecutive games dating to last Sept. 9.

 

>>Pirates Sweep Cardinals in Season Opening Series

 

Juan Nicasio pitched six dominant innings and Francisco Cevelli hit a two-run double as the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the St. Louis Cardinals 5-1 Wednesday night to sweep an opening three-game series between the teams with the best regular-season records in the major leagues last year.

 

Nicasio gave up one run and two hits while striking out seven and walking none.

Cervelli's two-run double capped a three-run fourth inning that pushed the Pirates' lead to 4-0 and ended the Cardinals' debut of Mike Leake (0-1), who allowed four runs and seven hits in 4 1/3 innings.

 

Mark Melancon retired the only batter he faced for his first save.

 

Andrew McCutchen and Starling Marte had two hits each for the Pirates and pinch-hitter Sean Rodriguez hit an RBI double in the sixth inning to cap the scoring.

 

St. Louis rookie Jeremy Hazlebaker hit his first career home run leading off the sixth.

The Redbirds open a three-game set with the Braves in Atlanta on Friday.

 

>>Cardinals Prospect Gonzales To Start Season On DL

 

LHP Marco Gonzales, a first-round draft pick in 2013, will begin the season on the disabled list at Triple-A Memphis with elbow discomfort.

 

He is expected to get a second opinion with a visit to orthopedist Dr. Neal ElAttrache on Thursday or Friday in Los Angeles.

 

Gonzales pitched in 11 games for the Cardinals over the last two seasons, six of which were starts, and was 4-2 with a 4.82 ERA.

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Blackhawks Recall Bickell

The banged-up Chicago Blackhawks have recalled forward Bryan Bickell from Rockford of the American Hockey League.

 

The 30-year-old Bickell has spent much of this season with the IceHogs after helping Chicago win the Stanley Cup last year. The rugged winger, who signed a $16 million, four-year deal in 2013, has 65 goals and 70 assists in 382 NHL games, all with the Blackhawks.

 

Forwards Andrew Shaw and Marian Hossa missed Chicago's 6-2 victory over Arizona on Tuesday night due to injuries, and center Artem Anisimov left in the second period after taking a big hit. The Blackhawks did not practice on Wednesday, so the next update on Anisimov's status likely will be Thursday morning's skate before their game against St. Louis.

 

Chicago also announced it had signed forward Tyler Motte to a three-year contract that begins at the start of next season. Motte, a fourth-round pick in the 2013 draft, had 32 goals and 24 assists in 38 games this season with the University of Michigan.

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Pacers Beat Cavs, Stay in Playoff Hunt

Paul George scored 29 points, C.J. Miles added 21 and Indiana made 16 3-pointers to pull away from Cleveland 123-109.

 

By winning their third in a row, Indiana stayed a half-game ahead of eighth-place Detroit in the conference standings and pulled three games ahead of idle Chicago, which is trying to fight its way out of the No. 9 slot and into one of the final two playoff spots.

 

Kyrie Irving led the Cavs with 26 points and six assists, while Kevin Love had 23 points and five rebounds.

 

Cleveland never seriously challenged after Indiana took control with a 14-0 second-quarter spurt that gave them a 55-41 lead.

 

Cleveland cut the deficit to nine at halftime and got within 83-74 in the third quarter before the Pacers went on a 13-4 run to extend the lead to 18. The Cavs couldn't get closer than 12 again.

The Cavs face Chicago Saturday and Indiana is at Toronto tomorrow night.

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The Masters Opens Today

After a historic run to capture his first green jacket, and join elite company as one of the youngest winners in history, Jordan Spieth will open his title defense at the Masters today.

 

The world's best converge on Augusta National Golf Club and several have been in Augusta, Georgia for over a week.

 

Standing in the way of Spieth's defense are of course big names like Jason Day, who has won his last two events, Adam Scott, who has two PGA tour wins already this year, Dustin Johnson has been in contention in a number of events this year and is starting to play well, specifically and most notably, with the putter.

 

Rory McIlroy will look to exorcise his demons at August, and get that coveted Green Jacket, that would further legitimze his career and get him closer to the career grand slam. McIlroy continues to get better at Augusta National, finishing T40 in 2012, T25 in 2013, T8 in 2014 and finishing fourth last year.

 

Green Jacket winner Zach Johnson, Two-time Masters champ Bubba Watson, three-time Masters champ Phil Mickelson, Henrik Stenson, Rickie Fowler, and a host of other golf stars open the season's first major this morning.

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Duke's Grayson Allen Staying; Kentucky's Ullis to Enter Draft

Villanova is still celebrating its win against North Carolina in one of the best NCAA Tournament title games of all time, but we're looking ahead to 2016-17 and there's only one thing coming to mind: Duke will be loaded.

The Blue Devils are No. 1 on [CBS'] early Top 25 (and one) for next season, officially returning four of the top five scorers from this year's 25-win team now that Grayson Allen has announced his decision to return to Durham for his junior year.

 

"I talked with my parents and prayed about this decision, and I had the feeling that it was right," Allen said.

 

Mike Kryzyzewski, unsurprisingly, is "thrilled" with the news, and thinks there is still some "untapped potential" for the All-ACC guard.

 

Allen averaged 21.6 points per game this season and ranked in the top 10 in the ACC in scoring (2nd), minutes played (3rd), 3-point percentage (41.7 percent, 4th), free throw percentage (83.7 percent, 5th), steals (1.31 per game, 8th) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.76, 10th).

 

After compiling one of the best seasons by a point guard in Kentucky history, Tyler Ulis announced Wednesday he will enter the NBA Draft.

 

Ullis said quote - "I’m ready to take on the challenge of playing at the next level and have declared for the NBA Draft. I will be hiring an agent."

 

After averaging 17.3 points and 7.0 assists as a sophomore, Ulis earned consensus first-team All-American honors, the 21st UK player to accomplish the feat. He won Southeastern Conference Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year, joining Anthony Davis as the only two players to do so. He rewrote record books, eclipsing John Wall’s single-season assist mark and rocketing up to No. 10 all-time in UK history after just two seasons. He had 14 20-point, five-assist games, a Kentucky record, and his three 20-point, 10-assist games are the most by any SEC player in the last 20 seasons.

 

Ulis scored or assisted on 42.6 percent of UK's field goals and played 92 percent of minutes possible last season.

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St. Joe-Ogden Blasts Monticello

A five-run third inning pushed St. Jospeh-Ogden past Monticello, 10-0 in Okaw Valley boys baseball action from Tuesday afternoon in Monticello.

Jacob Burton was the lone highlight for the Sages, finishing the afternoon 2-for-2 with a walk.

Logan Hislope finished 1-for-2 as well.

 

Monticello is 4-3 overall and 0-1 in Okaw action. The two teams meet up again Thursday afternoon in St. Joseph, weather permitting.

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Clinton Comeback Falls Short At Decatur St. Teresa

The Decatur St. Teresa Bulldogs scored three runs in the second and fourth innings, propelling them past Clinton 7-5 Tuesday afternoon in Decatur in boys Central Illinois Conference baseball action.

Dylan Overton finished 2-for-4 with a pair of runs scored for Clinton and Simon Brinkoetter finished 2-for-2 for St. T.

 

Wesley Conn was the pitcher of record for Clinton, pitching four innings, allowing all seven runs on six hits, issuing two walks and striking out three.

 

The Maroons are 2-6 overall and 0-2 in the Central Illinois Conference. 

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Cubs, Sox Win; Pirates Come Back on Cardinals

>>Cubs Blast Angels Again

 

Jon Lester pitched seven strong innings in his season debut and the Chicago Cubs got home runs from Anthony Rizzo, Dexter Fowler and Matt Szczur in a 6-1 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday night.

 

Lester (1-0) threw 93 pitches, allowing a run and four hits. The three-time All-Star, who broke Ken Holtzman's 1970 franchise record for strikeouts by a left-hander with 207 last season, fanned four and walked none in his 12th career start against the Angels.

 

Lester, who won two World Series rings with Boston, is in the second season of a $155 million, six-year contract. Last year, his first in the National League, he was 11-12 with a 3.34 ERA in 32 starts.

 

Angels starter Andrew Heaney (0-1) gave up four runs and seven hits over six innings with seven strikeouts and no walks.

 

>>Rollins Homer Sends White Sox Past A's

 

Jimmy Rollins hit a tiebreaking homer off closer Sean Doolittle with two outs in the ninth inning and the Chicago White Sox beat the Oakland Athletics 5-4 on Tuesday night.

A native of the Bay Area who was signed to a minor league deal by the White Sox in February, Rollins connected on a 2-2 pitch after Chicago's bullpen blew a two-run lead in the eighth.

 

Todd Frazier also homered for Chicago, a three-run shot in the fifth. Austin Jackson added an RBI infield single and Adam Eaton had three hits.

 

The White Sox are 2-0 on the road for the first time since 2011.

 

Nate Jones (1-0) pitched one inning for the win and David Robertson worked a scoreless ninth for his second save.

 

Yonder Alonso and Jed Lowrie drove in two runs apiece for the A's. Oakland has lost 13 of its last 18 against Chicago.

 

>>Pirates Need Extras To Complete Comeback on Cardinals

 

Jordy Mercer singled home Gregory Polanco from second base with one out in the 11th inning to lift the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 6-5 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday night.

Polanco drew a walk from Seth Maness (0-1) with one out and made it to second on Josh Harrison's infield single. Mercer slapped a single to right for his fourth career game-ending hit.

 

Mercer finished with two hits and has two RBI during Pittsburgh's 2-0 start. He hit just .197 with four RBIs in 18 games last April.

 

Kyle Lobstein (1-0) pitched two innings of relief for the win. Andrew McCutchen had three hits for Pittsburgh.

 

Harrison and David Freese had two hits each as the Pirates won despite struggling against the St. Louis bullpen. Six different Cardinals relievers combined to retire 18 straight before Maness' walk to Polanco set up the winning rally.

 

Jedd Gyorko hit his first home run for St. Louis, and Stephen Piscotty went 2 for 4 with two RBIs.

 

The Cardinals left 10 runners on in a 4-1 loss in the opener. They left just seven on base this time but went 1 for 12 with runners in scoring position.

 

Pittsburgh left-hander Jon Niese labored through five innings giving up five runs, four earned, and five hits with one walk and seven strikeouts. The defense behind him didn't help.

 

Polanco took a wide route on Piscotty's shot to the gap in the fifth that turned into a triple, and Piscotty scored as Mercer threw wide to first on a grounder to shortstop by Matt Holliday, putting the Cardinals up 5-3.

 

St. Louis starter Michael Wacha, who won his first seven decisions in 2015 en route to his first All-Star appearance, struggled with his curveball and Pittsburgh pounced. Wacha gave up five runs, four earned, in 4 1/3 innings, leaving after four straight Pirates reached.

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Blackhawks Turning Things Around Headed to Postseason

Andrew Ladd scored two power-play goals after Artem Anisimov was knocked out of the game by a questionable hit from Antoine Vermette, and the surging Chicago Blackhawks beat the Arizona Coyotes 6-2 on Tuesday night.

Anisimov was driven into the boards near Chicago's bench midway through the second, leading to a boarding penalty and game misconduct call on Vermette. Anisimov, a key part of the Blackhawks' high-scoring second line, looked woozy as he left the ice and headed to the locker room.

 

After Vermette and Anisimov left for the night, Ladd redirected Trevor van Riemsdyk's slap shot by Louis Domingue to make it 4-0 at 12:17. Then Ladd got a pass from Patrick Kane and stuffed it home from the front of the net for the Blackhawks' third power-play goal of the period.

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Grizzlies Top Bulls

Zach Randolph had 27 points and 10 rebounds, Vince Carter added 17 points and the Memphis Grizzlies snapped a six-game losing streak with a 108-92 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday night.

 

Memphis used a strong defense missing in recent games to turn back the Bulls, who had won three of four. Chicago never got the deficit under double digits in the fourth quarter of a loss that damaged its playoff hopes.

 

Matt Barnes scored 16 points for Memphis, and Jordan Farmar had 15.

 

Nikola Mirotic led Chicago with 20 points, going 6 of 9 from 3-point range. Pau Gasol had 17 points and 10 rebounds.

 

Derrick Rose had 12 points and eight assists, while Bobby Portis also finished with 12 points.

 

Chicago remained two games behind the Detroit Pistons for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

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Masters Pairings Released

The 2016 Masters will begin with the honorary group of Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus on the first tee Thursday morning at 7:40 a.m. ET. Once the trio is done with the ceremonial start to the tournament, the rest of the field, starting with recent field addition Jim Herman and Steven Bowditch, will begin pursuit of a green jacket.

 

The full list tee times and group pairings for Thursday were released by the Masters, highlighted by:

 

9:26 AM -- Zach Johnson, Rickie Fowler, Cheng Jin (A)

9:48 AM -- Jordan Spieth, Paul Casey, Bryson DeChambeau (A)

9:59 AM -- Justin Thomas, Emiliano Grillo, Dustin Johnson

10:43 AM -- Phil Mickelson, Marc Leishman, Henrik Stenson

11:05 AM -- Adam Scott, Kevin Kisner, Brooks Koepka

12:44 PM -- Bubba Watson, Branden Grace, Ian Poulter

106: PM -- Jason Day, Matt Kuchar, Ernie Els

2:01 PM -- Martin Kaymer, Bill Haas, Rory McIlroy

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Argenta-Oreana Bombards Maroons

The Argenta-Oreana bats were too much for the Clinton Maroons Monday afternoon as the Bombers blasted Clinton 13-3 in five innings.

 

Maroons starter Christian Hunt was tagged for nine runs, five were earned, on 11 hits and issued two walks to no strikeouts.

 

Austin Brown went the distance on the mound for Argenta-Oreana, allowing three runs on five hits, issuing no walks and striking out six.

 

Dylan Walsh had a double for the Maroons and Trenton Fyman, Christian Hunt and Jacob Overton tallied the lone RBIs for Clinton.

 

The Maroons drop to 2-5 overall.

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Paxton-Buckley-Loda Uses Big Fifth Inning To Get By Monticello

Six runs in the top of the fifth inning allowed Paxton-Buckley-Loda to rally past Monticello, 9-8, Monday afternoon in Monticello.

 

Jacob Burton, Logan Hislope and Nick Stokowski tallied a pair of hits apiece as the Sages took advantage of early miscues from PBL, however, the Panthers bats came alive in the fifth.

Cam Wittig got the start, going four innings, allowing three runs, one earned with four strikeouts and issued three walks.

 

Nick Hopper was the deciding pitcher, allowing six unearned runs, issuing three walks on three hits with no strikeouts.

 

The Sages drop to 4-2 overall. PBL remains undefeated at 6-0.

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Cubs, White Sox Win Season Openers

>>Cubs Blast Angels in Season Opener

 

Jake Arrieta yielded two hits over seven dominant innings, Miguel Montero homered and drove in three runs, and the Chicago Cubs opened a season of high expectations with a 9-0 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Monday night.

Anthony Rizzo and Jorge Soler drove in early runs and Villanova product Matt Szczur added a three-run double in the ninth for the Cubs, whose talent-laden roster is coming off a 97-win season and a trip to the NL Championship Series.

 

Chicago's anguished fans believe the team really might end its 108-year championship drought this season, and thousands chanted and cheered in Orange County to herald an auspicious start to the quest.

 

Garrett Richards (0-1) gave up three runs in five innings of six-hit ball in his first opening day start for Los Angeles.

 

>>Sale Leads Sox Past A's in Season Opener

 

Chris Sale struck out eight in a solid season debut to build off his franchise record last year, and the Chicago White Sox beat the Oakland Athletics 4-3 on Monday night.

 

Adam Eaton hit an RBI triple and Jimmy Rollins drove in a run during a four-run third inning in his first game with the White Sox playing back home in the East Bay.

 

What had been planned as a marquee matchup between two American League aces never happened. Oakland right-hander Sonny Gray was scratched because of food poisoning that sent him to the emergency room.

 

Sale didn't get his opening day start last season, when Jeff Samardzija took the ball after Sale was slowed by a broken right foot. Sale went on to finish 13-11 with a team-record 274 strikeouts.

 

>>A's Scratch Ace With Food Poisoning

 

Oakland ace Sonny Gray has been scratched from his opening day start because of food poisoning.

The Athletics say that Rich Hill will start Monday night against the Chicago White Sox in place of Gray.

Hill will be making his first career opening day start and is the 10th A's pitcher to start the opener in the past 11 years. The 36-year-old Hill has started just four games in the majors since 2009. He went 2-1 with a 1.55 ERA in four starts last September for Boston. He signed a $6 million, one-year deal with Oakland this offseason.

Gray went 14-7 with a 2.73 ERA last season.

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Deal Would Reduce Charges Against Illini's Black

Champaign County State's Attorney Julia Rietz says she and an attorney for Illinois basketball player Leron Black have agreed to a deal that would place him in a diversionary program and potentially see his felony aggravated assault charge reduced to a misdemeanor.

 

Rietz said Monday that under the deal Black would have 90 days pay a $200 fine and perform 25 hours of community service. If the 20-year-old sophomore does both he would be allowed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge and face a year of probation. Black was accused of pulling a knife on a campus-bar bouncer on Feb. 19.

 

The deal must be approved by a judge. A hearing is set for April 21.

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Blues Rally Past Coyotes

Vladimir Tarasenko got his 37th goal midway through the third period for the go-ahead score, and the Blues scored five straight goals in a 5-2 victory over the Arizona Coyotes on Monday night to tie for first place in the Western Conference.

 

Checking line forward Kyle Brodziak scored twice, Troy Brouwer and Patrik Berglund also scored and Elliott, who didn't make the trip to Colorado for a 5-1 victory on Sunday, won his 10th consecutive decision.

 

The Blues ruled out captain David Backes and goalie Jake Allen for the rest of the regular season earlier in the day, both with lower-body injuries. Hitchcock said both would be re-evaluated on Monday before the playoffs. Backes' injury late in Sunday's victory came as a bit of a surprise.

 

Antoine Vermette scored his 16th goal and Anthony Duclair got his 20th for the Coyotes, who are out of the playoff race and have dropped three of four.

 

Brouwer started the comeback with a power-play goal in the second and Brodziak's short-handed goal tied it at 2 early in the third.

 

Tarasenko went nearly coast to coast before beating goalie Mike Smith unassisted with a quick shot from near the right faceoff dot at 10:42. The goal matched his career high set last season and gave him 17 points in his last 15 games.

 

Tarasenko assisted on a power-play goal by Berglund 2:18 later to put the Blues ahead by two and Brodziak made it a three-goal gap late. Berglund got his 10th goal with a one-timer.

The Blues and Stars each have 105 points, also tied for the Central Division lead, with two games to play. Dallas holds the tiebreaker with more regulation wins.

 

St. Louis scored five goals for the second straight night and plays at Chicago on Thursday. The regular season ends for the Blues at home Saturday against Washington, which is first overall in the NHL.

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Shaq, Yao Ming, Allen Iverson Among Group Elected To Hall of Fame

Allen Iverson, Shaquille O'Neal, Yao Ming, Sheryl Swoopes, Tom Izzo and Jerry Reinsdorf have been elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame.

 

The announcement was made Monday hours before the NCAA Tournament championship game between North Carolina and Villanova.

 

Iverson was named the NBA rookie of the year in 1996-97 and was an 11-time All-Star. O'Neal, the top overall pick in the 1992 draft, was the NBA MVP in 2000, a three-time NBA Finals MVP and 15-time All-Star. Yao, the top overall pick in 2002, was an eight-time All-Star.

 

Swoopes helped Texas Tech to a national title, won four titles with the Houston Comets, was a three-time WNBA MVP and won three Olympic gold medals.

 

Izzo, Michigan's State coach, won a national title in 2000 and has taken the Spartans to the Final Four seven times.

Reinsdorf has been the owner of the Chicago Bulls and White Sox for more than two decades.

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Jenkins Buzzer Beater Sends Villanova To NCAA Title

Villanova junior Kris Jenkins answered a double-clutch, game-tying 3-pointer by North Carolina's Marcus Paige with a buzzer-beating 3 of his own Monday night to lift the Wildcats to a 77-74 victory and the national championship.

 

One good shot deserved another.

And Jenkins wasn't about to be outdone.

 

The shot came on a play Villanova works on every day in practice: Jenkins inbounds the ball to Ryan Arcidiacono, he works it up court and forward Daniel Ochefu sets a pick near halfcourt to clutter things up, then Arcidiacono creates.

 

This time, the senior point guard made an underhanded flip to Jenkins, who spotted up a pace or two behind the arc and swished it with Carolina's Isaiah Hicks running at him.

 

Jenkins had to come up big after Paige collected a pass on the top right side of the arc and, with Arcidiacono running at him, double clutched and pumped it in to tie the game at 74 with 4.7 seconds left.

 

It completed a Carolina comeback from six points down with 1:52 left.

 

Jenkins finished with 14 points - the last three as memorable as any that have been scored in the history of this tournament.

 

This adds to the title Villanova won in 1985, when Rollie Massimino, who was on hand Monday night, coaxed a miracle out of his eighth-seeded underdogs for a victory over star-studded Georgetown.

 

Jenkins, who was adopted by the family of North Carolina guard Nate Britt when his mother moved to take a coaching job, now has a spot alongside - and probably above - Keith Smart, Lorenzo Charles, Christian Laettner and everyone else who ever made a late game-winner to win a big one in March Madness.

 

Paige finished with 21 and Joel Berry II had 20 for the Heels (33-7), the only No. 1 seed to make the Final Four. They came one agonizing shot short of giving Roy Williams his third national title.

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Masters Notes

 If it's not one thing with Jason Day, it's something else. Day struggled with a bad back at the Match Play Championship and suffered from flu-like symptoms which he said caused him to lose a startling amount of weight.

 

"I lost 11 pounds over the course of the Match Play,” Day told Golf Channel. “But other than that, I feel fine and worked hard during the break."

 

Day insists that he's fine, but the flu-like symptoms delayed his arrival at Augusta at the end of last week by a day. Still, Day wanted to get in before practice rounds really started rolling on Monday and Tuesday.

 

"You can get some good practice in before things start ramping up,” Day told Masters.com.

It was announced on Monday that fan favorite Fred Couples will miss the 2016 Masters with "acute back pain." Couples has played every Masters since 1994 and finished in the top 20 in five of his last six appearances.

 

Couples likely wasn't going to contend this year (he's 10 years older than the oldest Masters winner ever), but a spot on the weekend might have just opened up now that he's out of the mix.

 

Couples, of course, was the 1992 champion and has played in 31 of these things and he had a real chance to break the all-time record of 52 Masters played by Gary Player.

 

While there's no video of the shot to surface as of yet, it is reported Rory McIlroy aced the par-3 16th, Redbud.

 

Chris Wood paired with McIlroy had teed off, and according to Kyle Porter of CBSSports.com, Porter wrote, quote-"I'm not using hyperbole. The place shook. On Monday afternoon. During a practice round with two Europeans."

 

McIlroy drew one of his majestic irons high over the hole. It landed on a ridge about 15 feet from the cup. The patrons who had been sitting there all day tensed up because they knew there was a possibility, however slight, that McIlroy's ball could roll off the side of the ridge and back towards the cup.

It did.

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Maroons Go 1-1 At Weekend Round Robin

The Clinton Maroons boys baseball split a Saturday twin bill with Okaw Valley and Lexington as a part of the annual Clinton Round Robin tournament.

 

The Maroons lost the opener 5-2 despite strong efforts on the mound from Mac Hickman and Nolan Hickman.

Mac Hickman got the start, throwing four innings of 3-run ball, two runs were earned, allowing four hits with a walk and struck out seven.

 

Nolan Hickman finished the final three frames, allowing two unearned runs on a hit and struck out six to zero walks.

 

Christian Hunt was 2-for-3 with an RBI for the Maroons and Jacob Overton was 2-for-4.

 

In the second game, the Maroons offense woke up on a windy and chilly Saturday morning with a seven run first inning and a 14-run outburst in the third as they routed Lexington 23-4.

 

Travis Osgood picked up the win on the mound, but also had a 2 RBI double to pace the offense. Travis Fryman and Wesley Conn were both 2-for-2. Fryman tallied a pair of RBIs while Conn added three RBIs.

 

Dalton Smith was 2-for-4 with two RBIs as well.

 

After the weekend split, the Maroons are 2-4 overall.

 

Tune in Thursday afternoon for live Maroons baseball action on the Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.

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Nebraska Storms Back To Take Weekend Series Over Illini

The Illinois baseball team could not hold on to its 6-4 lead after four innings Sunday in a 9-7 loss at Nebraska's Hawks Field. The Huskers ended the Fighting Illini's streak of nine straight Big Ten series won with come-from-behind wins on Saturday and Sunday.

 

Nebraska (19-8, 5-1 Big Ten) scored four unanswered runs in the fifth and the sixth to take control of the game. Scott Schreiber led the comeback with a two-run homer in the fifth inning, before driving home another run in the sixth on a single.

Illinois (11-14, 3-3 Big Ten) swung the bats well early, but cooled off to go 2 for 13 between the fourth and eighth innings. Both of those hits were by Michael Hurwitz, who also delivered a two-RBI double as part of a four-run rally with two-outs in the fourth. 

 

Freshman Cole Bellair (0-1) was tagged with his first loss after going 5.0 innings and allowing seven runs on eight hits. He entered the game ranked No. 3 in the Big Ten in ERA (0.65), but struggled with his control and walked a career-high four batters.

 

The Huskers were led by Schreiber, who finished with four hits and four RBIs, and Ben Miller, who had three singles. Jake Meyers, Jesse Wilkening and Steven Reveles each had two hits for Nebraska.

 

Dan Rowbottom and Hurwitz each finished with three hits.

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Illinois State Drops Weekend Series to Xavier, Ends Losing Streak Saturday

Xavier scored four runs each in the third and fourth innings and the Illinois State baseball team was never able to recover Sunday as the visiting Musketeers earned an 11-5 win to take two out of three games in the series with the Redbirds.

Xavier's Andre Jernigan went 4-for-5 with two doubles, a home run and six RBIs to help the visitors to the win, as Illinois State failed to win one day after snapping a 10-game losing streak.

Daniel Dwyer led the Redbird bats with three hits and two RBIs. Jared Hendren, Hutchinson and Derek Parola added two hits each, as the Redbird Nos. 5 through 8 batters collected nine of the team's 12 hits.

 

Jacob Hendren allowed nine runs, six of which were earned, over 5.2 innings. He walked one and struck out four. Rhett Rapshus allowed three hits and one run before getting the final out of the sixth inning. Jeffrey Barton pitched the seventh and eighth innings, allowing one run on two hits. Lucas Hall pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning.

 

The Redbirds return to action Tuesday at Valparaiso with a game at 3 p.m.

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Liriano, Pirates Top Cardinals on Opening Day

Francisco Liriano tied a Pirates opening day record by striking out 10 and singled home the first run of the 2016 Major League Baseball season for good measure, sending Pittsburgh past the St. Louis Cardinals 4-1 on Sunday.

Liriano allowed just three hits and walked five in six shutout innings. His RBI hit in the second came off Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright.

 

David Freese, the 2011 World Series MVP for the Cardinals, had two hits against his former club in his debut with Pittsburgh. Francisco Cervelli and Gregory Polanco also had two hits apiece for the Pirates.

 

Wainwright gave up three runs in six innings, walking three and striking out three in his first regular season start since tearing his Achilles last April.

 

The Cardinals left 10 men on base, including two in the ninth against Mark Melancon, who led the majors in saves last year. Matt Carpenter hit an RBI single with two outs but Matt Adams, representing the tying run, flied out to end it.

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Butler Leads Bulls Past Bucks

Jimmy Butler scored 25 points on 10-of-11 shooting, Pau Gasol had 16 points and eight rebounds and the Chicago Bulls held off a second-half surge by the Milwaukee Bucks for a 102-98 win Sunday night.

 

Butler had six points and an assist in the final 3:45, when the Bucks had narrowed a 19-point deficit to one at 87-86.

 

Justin Holiday hit a tough jumper from the corner with 1:15 left and later grabbed a defensive rebound on a missed finger roll by Milwaukee's Giannis Antetokounmpo with 43.9 seconds to go.

 

The Bulls kept pace with Indiana for the eighth and final spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race. They were two games back of the Pacers when play started Sunday.

 

Antetokounmpo scored a career-high 34 points, while Jabari Parker added 24 for Milwaukee.

 

>>Pacers Beat Knicks, Remain Ahead of Chicago in Playoff Run

 

Paul George then made the tiebreaking jumper with 23.6 seconds left, and the Indiana Pacers beat the New York Knicks 92-87 on Sunday night to tie for seventh place in the Eastern Conference.

The Pacers blew an 18-point lead in the second half against a Knicks team missing its two best scorers, but recovered to join Detroit at 41-36 and stay two games ahead of ninth-place Chicago.

 

George finished with 20 points and nine rebounds, returning to the game midway through the fourth quarter after the Pacers had said he was questionable to play further because of a sore left ankle.

 

He had scored 12 points in the third quarter before checking out late in the period with the Pacers leading by 13.

 

Sasha Vujacic scored 21 points for the Knicks, who rested Carmelo Anthony and had fellow starters Kristaps Porzingis (sore right shoulder) and Jose Calderon (bruised right quadriceps) already out with injuries. Arron Afflalo added 15 points.

 

Rodney Stuckey had 17 for Indiana, which got a big break when instant replay wiped out Afflalo's apparent 3-pointer that would've cut it to one with 14 seconds left. But officials determined that Afflalo was out of bounds when he caught the pass before launching his shot and restored the Pacers' 91-87 advantage.

 

The Pacers host Cleveland on Wednesday.

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Blues, Blackhawks Win; Crawford Nears Return

Patrick Kane had three goals and an assist as the Chicago Blackhawks raced to a six-goal lead in the second period before hanging on for a 6-4 win over the Boston Bruins on Sunday.

 

Kane's scoring spree gave him 100 points for the first time in his nine-year career. The win was career No. 800 for Chicago coach Joel Quenneville.

 

Kane, the NHL's leading scorer, was clicking with linemates Artemi Panarin and Artem Anisimov early and often in the club's fourth win it its last five games. Panarin had a goal and three assists, while Anisimov added a goal and two assists.

 

Patrice Bergeron had two goals and an assist for the Bruins. He and David Pastrnak scored 11 seconds apart late in the second period. Bruins starting goalie Tuukka Rask was replaced early in the second after allowing a barrage of goals. Brad Marchand scored on a deflection midway through the third to cut it to 6-4, but Chicago hung on.

 

>>Blues Blast Avalanche

 

David Backes started the scoring in a three-goal first period, Anders Nilsson made 19 saves in relief of an injured Jake Allen, and the Blues beat the Avalanche 5-1 on Sunday night.

 

Magnus Paajarvi, Parayko and Pietrangelo also scored for the Blues. Troy Brouwer added an empty-netter with 2:55 remaining.

 

Allen was playing well, stopping 11 shots, before giving way to Nilsson, who lost the shutout with 4:14 remaining as Matt Duchene tipped in a shot by Mikkel Boedker.

 

It was Duchene's 30th goal of the season and he celebrated - his teammates even grabbed the puck for him - but it drew the ire of Roy.

 

The Blues were without forward Robby Fabbri (lower body) and defenseman Jay Bouwmeester (upper body), but defenseman Carl Gunnarsson (lower body) returned after not playing the last three games.

 

St. Louis pulled within two points of Dallas in a tightly packed division race. Chicago remains four points behind the Blues.

 

>>Crawford Eyes Return for Chicago

 

Injured Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford should be back for the playoffs, and could return before the end of the regular-season.

 

Coach Joel Quenneville said the team feels like "he's turned the corner and is heading in the right direction. Crawford has been out with an upper-body injury since March 16, and missed his ninth consecutive game on Sunday.

 

Chicago has four games left before the playoffs.

 

Before Sunday's game against the Bruins, Crawford skated and took practice shots from goaltending coach Jimmy Waite for the second straight day.

 

Crawford has a career-high 35 wins this season, along with 2.32 goals against average and .926 save percentage that rank him among league leaders.

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North Carolina, Villanova Meet For NCAA Tournament Title

North Carolina will look for its sixth NCAA championship when the Tar Heels meet the Villanova Wildcats, trying for their second, on Monday night.

 

The Tar Heels (33-6) last won it all in 2009 and Villanova's only title came in 1985.

 

Both teams advanced to the championship game with lopsided wins, but Villanova's was far more of a blowout than North Carolina's.

 

The top-seeded Tar Heels beat 10-seed Syracuse 83-66 on Saturday night in a national semifinal for their 10th straight win. That was after the Wildcats made easy work of Buddy Hield and Oklahoma, with a 95-51 trampling that was the biggest margin of victory in a national semifinal game.

 

Villanova (34-5) did it with 71.4 percent shooting led by Josh Hart, who scored 23 points on 10 of 12 shooting.

 

North Carolina has reached the title game for the 10th time and it will be just the third appearance for Villanova.

 

The two schools have some tournament history with the Tarheels beating Villanova in the tournament on the way to their titles in 1982, 2005 and 2009. They downed the Wildcats in the national semifinals in 2009 before beating Michigan State for the championship.

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Jim Herman Earns Masters Invite With Win At Shell Houston Open

Jim Herman is heading to the Masters after earning his first career PGA Tour victory at the Houston Open.

 

The 38-year-old ranked 191st in the world held off Henrik Stenson and Dustin Johnson on Sunday with a 68 to finish 15 under for the tournament. Herman never showed any nerves on Sunday playing from the front for the first time in a final round, with just one bogey on the card and a blemish free back nine 33.

 

Herman was extremely emotional after his win as one would expect considering the road he's taken to get to this point. What was most impressive about his play on Sunday was how composed he was throughout his round.

 

Herman saved his longest drive of the week for the 18th hole, which is guarded by water left and a bunker right, and he found the middle of the fairway with a 316 yard drive. He played tremendous golf down the stretch and took advantage of good breaks when they came his way, including a crucial chip-in birdie on the 16th after his approach stayed out of the bunker.

 

Henrik Stenson recorded his eighth second-place finish since his last PGA Tour victory and while he's certainly tired of being the runner-up, he has to be pleased with his form heading to Augusta. Stenson will carry plenty of momentum with him to the Masters after his final round 68, and that nuclear 3-wood of his should come in handy at Augusta National.

 

Dustin Johnson, like Stenson, should feel good about his all-around game going into Masters week. Despite an average day on the greens on Sunday, he led the field in strokes gained putting this week at 8.763, which is a dramatic improvement from where he ranks on the season at 92nd on Tour. Johnson's chances at the win on Sunday were derailed by a double bogey on the 11th, but his play, particularly on the greens, should have him confident about his chances at the Masters.

 

Jordan Spieth opened his final round with five birdies in the first seven holes and got himself to as low as 10 under on the tournament. However, a run of three birdies in four holes in the middle of his round effectively ended his chances on Sunday as he finished in T13. Spieth has had issues putting together four straight quality rounds over the past two months and this week was no different. After a 67 on Thursday, he stumbled to a 73 on Friday and then posted two solid 70s on the weekend.

Rickie Fowler was not talked about much this week, but he put together a very steady 69-70-70-70 (9 under) for a T10 finish. Fowler can carry positive thoughts with him to Augusta National as he searches for his first career major title.

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