Local Sports

Monticello Rolls Prairie Central in Boy's Baseball Action

Jared Lockmiller drove in three runs and Andrew Rudolph had three hits as the Monticello Sages boy's baseball team rolled to a five-inning 16-0 win over Prairie Central in Illini Prairie Conference baseball action Thursday from Fairbury.

 

Tristan Foran, Jake Edmondson, and Joey Sprinkle drove in two runs apiece helping in the offensive onslaught. Dawlton Chupp threw 4 1/3 scoreless innings allowing just two hits, three walks, and struck out seven. Jack Buckalew struck out one in 2/3 of a scoreless inning of relief.

 

The Sages improve to 2-1 overall and will host St. Joseph-Ogden Saturday for an Illini Prairie Conference matchup. Game time is 10 am and can be heard on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

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Monticello Rallies Past Prairie Central in Girl's Softball Action

Lizzie Stiverson's RBI triple in the top of the eighth inning brought home Avery Oberheim to cap off a come from behind extra innings 6-5 win over Prairie Central in Illini Prairie Conference girl's softball action from Fairbury Thursday.

 

Hannah Uebinger led the Lady Sages offense driving in two runs. Oberheim, Mackenzie Daniels and Leah Neef drove in runs for Monticello.

 

Oberheim picked up the win in circle in relief of Macy Hicks. Hicks allowed four runs in 5 2/3 innings.

She allowed six hits and stuck out two to zero walks. Oberheim finished 2 1/3 innings allowing a run on two hits, with no walks and two strikeouts. 

 

The Lady Sages host St. Joseph-Ogden for Illini Prairie Conference action tomorrow morning at 10 am.

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Mt. Pulaski Rolls Hart-Em

AJ Bailey and Landon Smith combined to no-hit Hartsburg-Emden as Mt. Pulaski rolled to a 15-0 win in Tomahawk Conference baseball action Thursday from Mt. Pulaski High School.

 

Bailey struck out eight in three innings and Smith struck out the side in an inning of relief.

 

Smith drove in four runs as part of a 2-for-2 afternoon at the plate. Drew Martin hit a solo home run and scored twice. Clay Aylesworth finished 3-for-3 with two runs batted in and two runs scored. Evan Cooper finished 2-for-2 with two RBIs and two runs scored. 

 

The Hilltoppers improve to 5-0 and will travel to Fisher tomorrow morning at 10 am.

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Central Illinois Outdoors Shifts to Bow Hunting

Get the bow ready for the summer.

 

Central Illinois Outdoors host Jared White will talk summer bow hunting prep and will be joined by DeWitt County Sheriff Mike Walker for this week's 'Celebrity Sportsman' segment. Additionally, this week's 'Catch of the Week' features another crazy wildlife moment caught on camera.

 

 

Hear this week's show:

 

Saturday at 10a on 870 WTIM - Taylorville

 

Sunday at 8a on 1520 WHOW - Clinton

 

Sunday at 8a on 106.5FM - Bloomington/Normal

 

Sunday at 8a on 96.5TheWinner-Taylorville

 

Monday podcast here at the CIO website!

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White Sox Roll to Doubleheader Sweep of Tigers

As heard on WHOW, Carlos Rodon struck out a career-high 12 in six innings and the Chicago White Sox beat Detroit 3-1 Thursday in a doubleheader opener, the Tigers' 11th loss in 13 games.

 

Rodon (4-0) made his first home start since pitching a no-hitter against Cleveland on April 14. He allowed two hits and walked one, and his ERA rose from 0.48 to 0.72.

 

Rodon gave up a run in the fourth, just his second earned run allowed this season, when Robbie Grossman singled leading off, stole second and came home on Jonathan Schoop's two-out double.

 

Rodon struck out seven of his first nine batters, including five straight. He has 30 strikeouts in 25 innings this season.

 

Liam Hendriks got three straight outs for his fifth save in seven chances, finishing the opening game of a doubleheader of seven-inning games under pandemic rules. The doubleheader was caused by a rainout Wednesday.

 

Chicago has won five of six.

 

Casey Mize (1-3) lost his third straight start, giving up three runs, four hits and three walks in six innings. Detroit has lost six of seven, dropping to a major league worst 8-17.

 

Chicago's first three batters reached on the fifth on a single and two walks. Billy Hamilton hit a tying groundout, and Leury Garcia hit the next pitch for a two-run single.

 

Luis Robert was recalled from the COVID-19 injured list before the game and LHP Garrett Crochet (upper back strain) was placed on 10-day injured list, a move retroactive to Monday. Robert, who did not play in the first game, had reported flu-like symptoms Monday.

 

Dylan Cease struck out a season-best nine in his first career shutout, Yoan Moncada and Yermin Mercedes homered, and the Chicago White Sox completed a doubleheader sweep of the slumping Detroit Tigers with an 11-0 win Thursday night.

 

Jose Abreu and Leury Garcia each drove in two to help doom the AL-worst Tigers to their 12th loss in 14 games. Chicago has won six of seven.

 

Tigers starter Matthew Boyd (2-3) left after facing seven batters because of left knee tendonitis. With the score 0-0, the 30-year-old left-hander walked Yasmani Grandal leading off the second and gave up a double to Andrew Vaughn on his 36th pitch, a drive to the gap in left-center.

 

Boyd signaled to the dugout with a 1-1 count to Leury Garcia, and manager A.J. Hinch and an athletic trainer went to the mound. Boyd then left the game.

 

Michael Fulmer came on and surrendered three RBI singles, including Abreu's two-run hit.

 

Cease (1-0), who hadn't made it through five innings in his first four starts, cruised from there. He retired his final 17 batters and finished with three hits and no walks allowed in a seven-inning game. Detroit batters struck out 21 times and managed just one extra-base hit in the twinbill.

 

Moncada hit a three-run homer and Mercedes added a solo shot in the seven-run seventh off reliever Alex Lange. Garcia had a two-run single off Derek Holland to open the scoring in the inning.

Garcia finished the day 4 for 6 with five RBIs.

 

Dallas Keuchel (1-0, 4.32) starts Friday at home against Cleveland RHP Shane Bieber (2-2, 2.48).

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Clinton High School Football Coach Resigns

Regional Radio News has learned Clinton High School football coach Chris Ridgeway has resigned.

 

Athletic Director Matt Koeppel confirmed Ridgeway's resignation indicating Ridgeway's travel and time away from family as reasons he stepped down.

 

 

The process to find a replacement is underway. Koeppel hopes to make contact with coaches he knows but wants to find someone that will bring energy to the program and invest in the student-athletes and the community.

 

 

The hiring process will face a unique challenge because the football season wrapped up so late due to being postponed due to COVID and with summer workouts starting in early June, Koeppel says he's not going to rush to find a candidate with the quick turnaround.

 

 

If a replacement is not found before the June 2 start of summer weight lifting, Koeppel indicates he has been given a program for the kids to follow. 

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Sox, Tigers Rained Out; Will Play Thursday Doubleheader

The Detroit Tigers and Chicago White Sox had their game Wednesday night postponed by rain and will make it up as part of a straight doubleheader Thursday.

 

Detroit took the first game of the series 5-2 on Tuesday. The Tigers overcame five errors to snap a five-game losing streak.

 

The doubleheader will be the second of four scheduled for the White Sox this season. It will also be the Tigers' second.

 

Detroit right-hander Casey Mize and Chicago left-hander Carlos Rodon were pushed back to pitch in the first game Thursday while left-hander Matthew Boyd and right-hander Dylan Cease will start in the second game.

 

Chicago will try to reverse its luck against Detroit after losing their first matchup of the season. The White Sox are 21-8 against the Tigers dating to 2019.

 

Today's doubleheader can be heard on WHOW. Game 1 of the doubleheader is 4:10 with pregame at 3:30 pm. Game 2 is scheduled for a 7:10 pm first pitch.

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GIRL'S SOFTBALL: Blue Ridge Routs Broadlands-Heritage

Avery Place pitched four scoreless inning and drove in seven runs leading the Blue Ridge Lady Knights past Broadlands-Heritage 18-0 in non-conference girl's softball action Wednesday afternoon from Farmer City.

 

Place finished 4-for-4 with a pair of doubles and allowed just three hits in circle, striking out nine and walking zero. 

 

Ashlyn Voyles added a grand slam in the bottom of the third inning. Farrah Michaels, Jasmine Bennet, and Lexi Young each recorded multiple hits for the Lady Knights.

 

The Lady Knights will host Okaw Valley tomorrow afternoon at 4:30 pm.

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Phillies Beat Cardinals

Andrew McCutchen returned to the lineup and drove in the go-ahead run, helping the Philadelphia Phillies beat the St. Louis Cardinals 5-3 Wednesday night after Bryce Harper was hit in the face by a pitch.

 

Harper left the game in the sixth inning after getting hit in his left cheek on a 96.9 mph fastball from left-handed reliever Genesis Cabrera (0-1).

 

Matt Joyce came in to run for Harper, who is in the third year of a $330 million, 13-year deal.

 

Cabrera hit the next batter, Didi Gregorius, with a 94 mph fastball. Girardi came out of the dugout to complain to plate umpire Chris Segal and was ejected.

 

The Phillies added their final run in the seventh on a sacrifice fly by Gregorius.

 

Brad Miller's two-run homer to right field with two outs in the fifth tied it at 3. Phillies backup catcher Andrew Knapp had an RBI single to scored Gregorius in the second for the first Philadelphia run.

 

Paul Goldschmidt hit a solo homer with two outs in the third. St. Louis took a 2-1 lead in the second when Tyler O'Neill, who went 3 for 4, hit a two-run homer.

 

Brandon Kintzler (1-0) threw 1 2/3 innings to get the win in relief.

 

Hector Neris pitched the ninth, picking up his fifth save.

 

Cardinals starter Johan Oviedo made his first start of the season and his second appearance. He pitched five innings, striking out seven and allowed three hits and three runs.

 

The Phillies gave Vince Velasquez his second start of the season, filling in for Matt Moore, who is recovering after being in COVID-19 protocol. He pitched 4 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on five hits, including two home runs.

 

Aaron Nola (2-1, 2.84) threw a two-hit shutout in his earlier start this season against St. Louis, went seven solid innings in his last start, a 7-5 win over Colorado.

 

Kwang Hyun Kim (1-0, 4.15) will make his third start of the season. In his last start, Kim hurled 5 2/3 innings and allowing one run on five hits and eight strikeouts against Cincinnati. He did not walk a batter.

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Braves Shut Out Cubs Again

Marcell Ozuna homered in a four-run first inning, Huascar Ynoa pitched 5 1/3 strong innings and the Atlanta Braves went deep five times to beat the Chicago Cubs 10-0 on Wednesday night for their third straight victory.

 

Ynoa added his first career homer in the fourth as Atlanta shut out the Cubs for the second straight night. Chicago has lost five in a row.

 

Freddie Freeman went 4 for 5 and hit his seventh homer in the sixth.

 

The Braves' bats have woken up since they scuffled for just one hit while getting swept by Arizona in a doubleheader last Sunday.

 

In the first, Freeman singled before Ozuna's second homer sailed 453 feet into the seats in left-center. Ozzie Albies followed with a double, and Austin Riley hit his third homer over the left-field fence.

 

Atlanta went up 6-0 in the second when Ynoa and Ronald Acuna Jr. singled and scored on Freeman's double. Acuna scored on a headfirst slide after hesitating at third on the relay throw.

 

The first three homers came off Kyle Hendricks (1-3), who gave up seven runs and 11 hits in 3 2/3 innings. Hendricks' ERA rose by nearly two runs per game to 7.54. He has allowed 10 homers in 22 2/3 innings this season.

 

Hendricks has given up seven first-inning homers, the second most of any season in his career. He allowed 10 homers in the first inning of 2018 - in 33 starts. He surrendered a career-high four homers in the first against the Braves during a 13-4 loss on April 17 at Wrigley Field and is 0-3 with a 12.00 ERA with nine homers allowed in his last three starts against Atlanta.

 

Cubs starters have a 7.91 ERA in the team's 14 losses.

 

Ynoa (2-1) gave up four hits and two walks with nine strikeouts. He pitched around Jake Marisnick's triple in the second and singles by Anthony Rizzo and Matt Duffy in the third. He left in the sixth after giving up a walk to Duffy and a single to Kris Bryant.

 

The Braves led 8-0 in the fifth on Guillermo Heredia's RBI double. Albies homered in the sixth to make it 10-0.

 

Rizzo made his second career appearance on the mound, getting two outs in the seventh, including a strikeout of Freeman. Duffy, the starting third baseman, recorded the final out. Infielder Eric Sogard pitched the eighth.

 

The Braves will allow 100% capacity at Truist Park beginning May 7 against Philadelphia. Protective measures will stay in place that includes wearing a mask unless actively eating or drinking.

 

Adbert Alzolay (0-2, 5.40 ERA) will face the Braves for the second time in his career. Bryse Wilson (1-1, 5.00) starts for Atlanta.

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Knicks Topple Bulls

Julius Randle scored 34 points and the Knicks beat the Chicago Bulls 113-94 on Wednesday night for their 10th win in 11 games.

 

RJ Barrett added 22 points as New York bounced back from its loss Monday that snapped a nine-game winning streak. Immanuel Quickley and Reggie Bullock each scored 13 points as the Knicks regained sole possession of fourth place in the Eastern Conference.

 

Nikola Vucevic had 26 points and 18 rebounds for Chicago. Lauri Markkanen added 14 points, while Colby White and Garrett Temple each had 12.

 

The Knicks outscored the Bulls 37-19 in the fourth quarter after leading just 76-75 through three.

New York took a 30-12 lead on Barrett's drive with 2:11 remaining in the first quarter. The Bulls used a 16-9 run to pull within 52-48 at halftime.

 

A 9-0 run gave the Bulls their first lead of the game at 59-58 on Tomas Satoransky's layup with 7:20 left in the third quarter. The Knicks followed with their own 9-0 run and Randle's short jumper for the final basket of the period put them back in the lead and ignited an 11-0 run that stretched into the final quarter.

 

The Knicks boosted their lead to 91-77 on Quickley's floater with 7:39 remaining. After Chicago pulled within nine, the Knicks went on a 20-9 streak punctuated by Randle's 3-pointer with just over a minute left as New York took its biggest lead at 113-93.

 

Thaddeus Young added 10 points for the Bulls, who had won four of their previous six games.

 

Leading scorer Zach LaVine (27.5 ppg) missed his eighth consecutive game due to health and safety protocols. . No one has played in all 62 games for Chicago this season, but Patrick Williams has started all but one.

 

Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau was the Bulls' coach for five seasons (2010-15) and is the third-winningest coach in franchise history (255).

 

The Knicks are in position to make the playoffs for the first time since the 2012-13 season, while the Bulls are headed toward a fourth straight year without a spot in the postseason.

 

The Bulls host Milwaukee on Friday.

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Blues Rally Past Wild

Robert Thomas tracked down a skipping puck and snapped it into the top of the net with 23 seconds left, capping a three-goal third-period rally by the Blues for a 4-3 victory on Wednesday night to stop the Wild's seven-game winning streak.

 

Mike Hoffman's second power-play goal of the game, both assisted by David Perron, brought the Blues within one early in the third period following a hooking call on Matt Dumba. Jordan Kyrou tied the game about four minutes later after a turnover by Dumba.

 

Then came the most costly of all the defensive breakdowns by the Wild, when Jonas Brodin was caught flat-footed and beaten by some slick stick work by Thomas for the third-latest go-ahead regulation goal in the NHL this season.

 

Marcus Foligno had a goal and an assist, Brodin and Joel Eriksson Ek also scored and Jordan Greenway had two assists for the Wild, who wasted a prime opportunity to creep closer to the division lead behind Vegas and Colorado. Both the Golden Knights and Avalanche played later.

 

Cam Talbot, who stopped 28 shots for the Wild, had his five-start winning streak snapped.

 

Jordan Binnington had 25 stops for the Blues to improve to 5-1 in six career starts against the Wild, the only loss coming here in a 2-0 decision on March 25 to Talbot.

 

The Blues were the last team to beat the Wild, too, a 3-2 win in overtime on April 10 when Hoffman tied the game with 42 seconds remaining in regulation. Hoffman, who has seven goals and four assists in his last seven games, was moved to the first power-play unit.

 

The rematches here are Thursday and Saturday. Then the Blues return home for a two-game set against Anaheim starting Monday when the Wild play the first of two straight games versus Vegas.

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Meridian Ten-Run's Clinton

The Meridian Hawks ran past the Clinton Maroons in five innings 11-0 in Central Illinois Conference boys baseball matchup at Meridian.

 

Clinton's Josh Carter allowed six runs, but only two were earned as the Maroons defense committed five errors. Carter struck out two, walked three, and allowed two hits. Jaxon White finished the final 2/3 of an inning allowing five unearned runs and two hits with two walks.

 

Mitchel Ripple pitched five perfect innings for the Hawks with six strikeouts to no walks. 

 

Roy Ralston, Alexander Boehm, and Dillon Patterson each hit doubles for Meridian. Boehm drove in three runs and Patterson drove in two.

 

The Maroons are 0-1 while Meridian improves to 1-2. 

 

Clinton will host Meridian Thursday afternoon in the home-and-home format for CIC play in the 2021 baseball season. 

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Lady Maroons Falls to Meridian

Heidi Humble finished 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles and Brooke Reeves recorded two hits for Clinton, however, Meridian was too much in a season-opening 14-4 loss in Central Illinois Conference girls softball action from Meridian on Tuesday afternoon.

 

Humble led the way for Clinton and Kianna Easton finished 1-for-3.

 

Clinton will host Meridian Thursday in the home-and-home format for CIC play in the 2021 softball season.

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Monticello Powers Past Broadlands-Heritage

Joey Sprinkle and Luke Teschke went deep as Monticello surged past Broadlands-Heritage 15-10 in non-conference baseball action Tuesday in Broadlands.

 

The Sages roared out of the gates scoring six unanswered runs after an inning-and-a-half but Broadlands scored five runs in the bottom of the second inning.

 

The Sages then went on to tack on nine runs to open up a 15-5 lead after five-and-a-half and as Andrew Rudolph finished off the game on the mound for the win despite allowing four runs in the bottom half of the seventh.

 

Sprinkle finished 1-for-3 with his home run and a walk. He scored twice. Teschke was 1-for-4. Tristan Foran finished 2-for-4 with a walk, an RBI and two runs scored. He was the only Sage to record multiple hits as Monticello drew nine walks. Jared Lockmiller scored twice for Monticello, finishing 0-for-3 with two walks.

Hunter Williams and Jake Edmondson drove in runs as well.

Monticello travels to Prairie Central Thursday to open Illini Prairie Conference action.

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Blue Ridge Rolls Decatur St. Teresa

The Blue Ridge Lady Knights rolled past Decatur St. Teresa 10-2 in non-conference girls softball action on Tuesday from Farmer City.

 

Sydnee Evans evened her season record to 1-1, pitching 5 innings, giving up 1 earned run and striking out 8. Avery Place pitched the final two innings, striking out 3. 

 

Lily Summers was 2-2 with 3 RBI, Cassie Zimmerman had a key two-run RBI double, and Lexi Young doubled twice for the Lady Knights. 

 

Blue Ridge will host Broadlands-Heritage this afternoon weather permitting. They'll host Okaw Valley on Friday. 

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Mt. Pulaski Rolls Tri-City

Sophomore Evan Cooper reached base four times, drove in three runs and pitched three one-hit innings leading Mt. Pulaski to a 15-0, three-inning win over Tri-City in non-conference high school baseball action on Tuesday on the road.

 

Cooper finished 2-for-2 with two singles, three runs batted in, scored twice and walked twice. Cooper also finished with three scoreless innings on the mound allowing just two base runners on a double and a hit batsman. He struck out eight picking up the win. 

 

Grant Davis finished 3-for-4 with four runs batted in and scored twice. Gavin Smith finished 2-for-3 with two runs scored, Landon Smith drove in two and scored twice finishing 2-for-2. AJ Bailey scored twice and drove in a run for the Hilltoppers. Drew Martin, Garrett Fitzpatrick, and Clay Aylesworth drove in a run as well.

 

The Hilltoppers welcome Warrensburg-Latham to town this afternoon - weather permitting. They'll host Hartsburg-Emden on Thursday. 

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ISU Blanks SIU-E

Jack Anderson fired a seven-inning one-hitter with four strikeouts in a 12-0 win over SIUE on Tuesday at Duffy Bass Field. 

 

The seven-inning one-hitter is the first for the Redbirds since Steve Heilenbach threw one on 5/1/2013 against Webster. 

 

Anderson conceded a second-inning single and a pair of walks but induced two double plays to face one above the minimum, seeing 22 SIUE batters for Illinois State (17-22, 7-5 Missouri Valley Conference). His seven innings pitched are a career-high. 

 

Seniors Jordan Libman and Joe Butler and Juniors Aidan Huggins and junior Jeremy Gaines each recorded multiple RBIs to lead the Redbird offense. Huggins blasted a 422-foot home run to left field. 

Libman opened the scoring with an RBI single before a 422-foot home run by Huggins to put ISU up, 3-0. 

 

The Cougars (19-17 overall, 9-9 OVC) walked 10 Redbird batters. 

 

The 'Birds are on a four-game winning streak, their longest of 2021.

 

Illinois State is scheduled to travel to Valparaiso for a four-game conference series over April 30-May 2. 

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Tigers Stifle Sox

Miguel Cabrera and Niko Goodrum homered, Jose Urena went seven innings for his first win in two years, and the Detroit Tigers overcame a season-high five errors to beat the Chicago White Sox 5-2 on Tuesday night.

 

Owners of the worst record in the majors, the Tigers matched their highest error total since they committed five against the White Sox in Chicago on Aug. 31, 2014. Third baseman Jeimer Candelario allowed a run to score in the first when he missed a throw and helped bring home another in the third with a throwing error as Chicago grabbed a 2-1 lead. But despite the struggles on defense, Detroit opened a nine-game trip on a winning note after losing 10 of 11.

 

Cabrera hit a long solo drive in the first for his 489th home run. Goodrum put the Tigers on top 4-2 in the seventh with a two-run shot against Lucas Giolito (1-2) after Wilson Ramos lined a tying double on the previous pitch. Jonathan Schoop made it 5-2 in the eighth when he went deep against Matt Foster.

 

Urena (1-3) earned his first win since he beat San Diego with the Miami Marlins on June 1, 2019. The right-hander pitched seven innings for the third straight start, giving up two runs - one earned - and seven hits.

 

Jose Cisnero struck out Billy Hamilton and Leury Garcia with two on to end the eighth. Gregory Soto worked the ninth for his third save and Detroit stopped a nine-game losing streak against Chicago.

 

The White Sox placed outfielder Luis Robert on the injured list as a precaution after he reported feeling flu-like symptoms, then saw their season-high four-game win streak end. They were 0 for 13 with runners in scoring position and grounded into four double plays.

 

Giolito lost his second consecutive start, allowing four runs and five hits in 6 2/3 innings. He struck out seven and walked three.

 

Carlos Rodon (3-0, 0.47 ERA) looks to extend a sizzling start for the White Sox that includes a no-hitter against Cleveland. Detroit RHP Casey Mize (1-2, 5.23) has lost back-to-back starts, allowing 11 runs over 9 2/3 innings against Oakland and Kansas City. Hear tonight's action on WHOW with pregame at 6:30 pm and first pitch at 7:10 pm.

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Braves Blank Cubs

Ian Anderson allowed one hit in seven innings, Ronald Acuna Jr. hit a long home run and the Atlanta Braves beat the skidding Chicago Cubs 5-0 on Tuesday night.

 

Anderson (2-0) won his second consecutive start, after throwing 6 2/3 shutout innings in a 4-1 win at Yankee Stadium last Wednesday. He walked only one Cubs batter and struck out eight.

 

Chicago held out Javier Baez and Kris Bryant with injuries in its fourth consecutive loss.

 

A rookie making his 11th career start and fifth this season, Anderson lowered his ERA to 2.48. Cubs manager David Ross was impressed by the right-hander in his first game against Chicago.

 

A.J. Minter pitched a perfect eighth. Nico Hoerner's one-out single off Jacob Webb in the ninth was Chicago's second hit, but Webb struck out Willson Contreras and David Bote to end the game.

 

With one out in the fifth, Acuna pulled a belt-high fastball from Trevor Williams (2-2) for the longest of his eight homers this season. The drive traveled 481 feet and landed near the top of the seats in left-center field.

 

Williams then walked Freddie Freeman, who scored on Ozzie Albies' double off the right-field wall for a 2-0 lead.

 

Albies added another double off Brandon Workman leading off the eighth and scored on Dansby Swanson's single. Hoerner's error at shortstop on Austin Riley's grounder set up pinch-hitter Pablo Sandoval's run-scoring single up the middle.

 

Workman walked Acuna to load the bases and also walked Freeman, forcing in the third run of the inning.

 

Jake Marisnick led off the third with a single for Chicago's only hit off Anderson, but Marisnick was stranded at second base. The only other baserunner against Anderson came on Jason Heyward's walk with one out in the fifth.

 

Williams allowed two runs and six hits in five innings. He had two walks and eight strikeouts, matching his career high.

 

Braves rookie RHP Huascar Ynoa (1-1, 3.68 ERA) looks for his second consecutive win when he faces Cubs RHP Kyle Hendricks (1-2, 5.68) on Wednesday night. Ynoa gave up six runs in four innings of a 13-4 loss at Chicago on April 17 before earning his first win against Arizona last Friday.

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Cardinals Roll Phillies

Carlos Martinez pitched two-hit ball into the eighth inning for his first win as a starter since 2018, leading the St. Louis Cardinals over the Philadelphia Phillies 5-2 on Tuesday night.

 

Paul Goldschmidt and Tommy Edman hit two-run doubles. Nolan Arenado doubled twice and made a dazzling catch as St. Louis won for the fourth time in five games.

 

Martinez (1-4) allowed two runs, one of them earned, in 7 1/3 innings. He had been 0-9 in his last 12 starts - his previous win came on Sept. 1, 2019, the year he spent as the Cardinals' closer.

 

Martinez struck out four and walked two. Alex Reyes picked up his sixth save.

 

Martinez set down 13 successive batters before issuing a one-out walk to pinch-hitter Matt Joyce in the eighth.

 

Arenado turned in the defensive play of the night with a running catch of a foul pop off the bat of Bryce Harper to end the third. Overshifted, Arenado went a long way to make the grab right in front of the stands at a full sprint.

 

Zach Eflin (1-1) gave up five runs on nine hits over 6 2/3 innings. He struck out eight and did not walk a batter. Eflin has gone at last six innings in all five starts.

 

Edman's double put St. Louis ahead 3-1 in the second. Goldschmidt pushed the lead to 5-2 with a double in the seventh.

 

The Cardinals played without catcher Yadier Molina, who was placed on the 10-day injured list before the game with a sore tendon in his right foot.

 

Knizner started at catcher and had two singles.

 

St. Louis RHP Johan Oviedo (0-0) will start in the third game of the four-game set on Wednesday. He will make his first start of the season and his second appearance. The Phillies did not announce a starter before Tuesday night's game.

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Trailblazers Roll Pacers

Anfernee Simons made his first nine 3-pointers, finished with 27 points and helped the Portland Trail Blazers snap a season-high, five-game losing streak with a 133-112 rout at Indiana.

 

Simons fell two 3s short of Damian Lillard's franchise record and became the first NBA player to open a game with nine consecutive 3s since Klay Thompson made 10 straight on Jan. 21, 2019. Simons wound up 9 of 10 from beyond the arc and 9 of 13 overall.

 

Lillard added 23 points and the Blazers shot a season-best 57.1% from beyond the arc.

 

Malcolm Brogdon and Oshae Brissett each finished with 18 points for the short-handed Pacers, who had a three-game winning streak end.

 

With the Trail Blazers going 20 of 35 from 3-point range, Indiana never really had a chance.

 

Portland broke open the game in the second quarter by taking advantage of a 13-5 discrepancy in offensive rebounds and, of course-, the long-range shooting.

 

The second of Lillard's four 3s broke a 50-all tie and spurred 21-5 run that gave the Trail Blazers a 71-55 lead late in the first half. A flagrant foul against CJ McCollum in the final minute allowed the Pacers to claw their way back within 11 and a technical foul on Lillard after the first half ended got Indiana within 73-63 before the start of the second half.

 

But Portland prevented the Pacers from making a serious challenge and used its second 3-point barrage to close the third quarter with a 113-78 lead.

 

McCollum had 20 points and four assists. Lillard had six assists. Robert Covington finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds, Enes Kantner had 12 points and 14 rebounds. Jusuf Nurkic had 11 points and 10 rebounds. Carmelo Anthony scored 13 points. Portland has 10 games this season with 20 or more 3s.

 

Brissett also had 10 rebounds, his third double-double signing a three-year contract with Indiana. Caris LeVert finished with 16 points and Doug McDermott had 13. 

 

Indiana went 10 of 30 on 3s and was outrebounded 57-37. 

 

Indiana was missing five players: Domantas Sabonis (back), Myles Turner (right foot), T.J. Warren (left foot) as well as backups Goga Bitadze (left ankle) and Jeremy Lamb (left knee).

 

The Pacers hope to rebounds Thursday when Brooklyn visits Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

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Lightning Outlast Blackhawks

Alex Killorn had a power-play goal and scored into an empty net, and the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 7-4 on Tuesday night to clinch a playoff berth for the fourth straight season.

 

Brayden Point stuffed in his team-leading 21st goal and added two assists. Erik Cernak, Yanni Gourde, Alex Barre-Boulet, and Blake Coleman also scored for defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay, which kept pace with first-place Carolina and second-place Florida at the top of the tight Central Division.

 

The Lightning scored three straight goals in the second period to put this one away against sloppy Chicago. Tampa Bay finished 7-0-1 against the Blackhawks in the pandemic-shortened season.

Andrei Vasilevskiy made 36 saves to earn his league-leading 29th win, despite allowing a couple of soft goals early. Point has four goals and six assists in six games.

 

Brandon Hagel, Dominik Kubalik, Wyatt Kalynuk and Duncan Keith had goals for the fading Blackhawks, who remained seven points behind Nashville in the race for fourth place, and the final playoff spot, in the Central Division with seven games left.

 

Kevin Lankinen yielded three goals on 11 shots in a first period filled with sloppy play and ugly goals at both ends, and was replaced by Malcolm Subban to start the second. The switch by Chicago coach Jeremy Colliton didn't energize his team, and Subban allowed four goals on 19 shots the rest of the way.

 

The Blackhawks host Florida on Thursday in the first of a two-game series.

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Late Rally Sends Monticello Past Warrensburg-Latham

The Monticello Lady Sages scored six runs in the top of the sixth inning then scored three runs in the top of the seventh inning to rally past Warrensburg-Latham 15-11 in non-conference girls softball action from Warrebsurg on Monday.

 

MacKenzie Daniels led the way offensively for the Lady Sages driving in five runs. Lizzie Stiverson and Avery Oberheim drove in three runs apiece. Samantha Boman finished 3-for-4 with two runs batted in. 

 

Macy Hicks scattered 11 runs and 16 hits in seven innings pitched for the win. She struck out ten and walked zero batters. 

 

The Lady Cardinals hit four home runs.

 

The Lady Sages head to Fairbury for a game with Prairie Central Thursday afternoon. Hear Monticello girls softball action next Monday afternoon when the Lady Sages host Olympia at 4:30 pm. 

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Phillies Edge Cardinals

Zack Wheeler took a one-hit shutout into the ninth inning and Rhys Hoskins homered twice as the Philadelphia Phillies beat the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1 on Monday night.

 

Hoskins' seventh career multi-homer game and second this season helped the Phillies improve to 3-1 against St. Louis.

 

Wheeler (2-2) struck out nine and edged Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright in a classic pitchers' duel that took just 2 hours, 22 minutes.

 

Wheeler retired his first 14 batters until Paul DeJong's opposite-field single to right ended the streak in the fifth.

 

The right-hander helped himself with some quick thinking in the sixth. After a walk to Justin Williams opened the inning, Wainwright popped up a bunt.

 

Instead of catching it on the fly, Wheeler allowed the ball to fall at his feet. He picked it up and started a 1-6-4 double play to end the threat.

 

Wheeler was lifted after issuing a leadoff walk to Matt Carpenter in the ninth on his 114th pitch. Hector Neris got the save, but not before Carpenter scored on a groundout by Dylan Carlson.

 

The performance stopped a string of three rough outings by Wheeler in which he gave up 10 earned runs over 16 2/3 innings.

 

Wainwright (0-3) tossed a complete game on 107 pitches, allowing six hits and striking out eight. His only costly mistakes came to Hoskins in the seventh and ninth as the Cardinals' winning streak was snapped at three.

 

The Phillies will start RHP Zach Eflin (1-0, 2.77 ERA) against RHP Carlos Martinez (0-4, 6.00) in the second of a four-game series Tuesday night. Eflin allowed two runs over seven innings in a 9-2 win against St. Louis on April 16. Martinez gave up six runs in the second inning of that game, but faced the minimum over his last three innings.

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Bulls Get By Heat

Nikola Vucevic scored 24 points, Daniel Theis added 23 and the Bulls pulled away in the final minutes to beat the Miami Heat 110-102.

 

Chicago moved within a game of Washington for 10th place in the East and the last berth in the play-in tournament. The Wizards lost earlier Monday to San Antonio.

 

Coby White added 17 points for the Bulls, who finished the game on a 36-20 run and outrebounded Miami 51-34. Theis had 12 rebounds and Vucevic 11 for Chicago.

 

Jimmy Butler scored 33 points and Bam Adebayo added 23 for Miami, which missed a chance to move into the No. 6 spot in the East and give coach Erik Spoelstra his 600th career regular-season win. Trevor Ariza added 18 points for the Heat.

 

The Heat remained No. 7, a half-game behind Boston for the final guaranteed playoff spot in the East, plus lost a chance to close within a game of No. 5 Atlanta. Miami was without Kendrick Nunn (neck) and Tyler Herro (foot), who missed the game with injuries, then lost Duncan Robinson to illness in the second half.

 

And without three of their best shooters, the Heat were 7 for 36 from 3-point range.

 

Chicago beat Miami for the first time in three tries this season, and Theis had 10 points and seven rebounds in the fourth quarter alone - playing all 12 minutes.

 

It was tied with 5:01 left, and the ending was all Bulls. Chicago held Miami to 2 for 12 shooting in that span, finishing the game on a 13-5 run.

 

Lauri Markkanen had 12 points for Chicago, while Garrett Temple and Thaddeus Young each scored 10.

 

Former Bulls center, three-time NBA champion and longtime radio color commentator Bill Wennington turned 58 on Monday.

 

The Bulls visit New York on Wednesday.

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Braves Outslug Cubs

Atlanta scored four runs in the very first inning, Freddie Freeman added a three-run homer and Atlanta overcame a grand slam by Kris Bryant to beat the Chicago Cubs 8-7 Monday night.

 

The Braves were coming off two shutout losses to Arizona the previous afternoon - managing just a single hit over 14 innings. Madison Bumgarner held Atlanta without a hit in his seven-inning victory, though it did not qualify as an official no-hitter.

 

The Braves pounded Zach Davies for four runs and five hits in the very first inning. Travis d'Arnaud's two-run single was the biggest blow.

 

The Cubs tied it on Bryant's sixth career grand slam, a shot off Charlie Morton (2-1) that landed in the Chicago bullpen with two outs in the third.

 

But Freeman broke a 5-all tie with a mammoth, two-out shot of his own, driving one deep into the right-field seats against Brandon Workman (0-2).

 

Morton scraped out the win, despite surrendering five runs in 5 1/3 innings.

 

Willson Contreras hit a two-run homer off Tyler Matzek in the seventh, but three other Braves relievers combined to preserve the win. Will Smith worked around a walk in the ninth for his fifth save.

 

The Braves will send RH Ian Anderson (1-0, 3.27 ERA) to the mound in the second game of the series against Cubs RH Trevor Williams (2-1, 4.66).

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Blues Blast Avalanche

David Perron had a goal and two assists as the St. Louis Blues beat the Colorado Avalanche 4-1 on Monday night.

 

Vladimir Tarasenko, Brayden Schenn, and Robert Thomas also scored, and Jordan Binnington made 30 saves as St. Louis won its second straight game against the Avalanche. Colorado won the season series 5-3.

 

Nathan MacKinnon scored for Colorado, and Jonas Johansson had 16 saves. The Avalanche remain four points behind West Division-leading Vegas. Colorado has played one fewer game.

 

Tarasenko scored his fourth goal of the season on a power play 9:25 into the first period to put St. Louis up 1-0.

 

Schenn scored his 13th goal of the season when he one-timed a feed from Ryan O'Reilly with 6:26 remaining in the period to give St. Louis a 2-0 lead. Schenn had not scored in his previous 18 games.

 

Perron deflected a Justin Faulk shot from the point 7:02 into the second period for his 14th goal of the season to put St. Louis up 3-0.

 

MacKinnon broke up the shutout with his 19th goal of the season on a feed from Landeskog on a power play 8:24 into the second period. The goal extends MacKinnon's points streak to 14 games.

Thomas gave St. Louis a 4-1 lead with his second goal of the season and first goal since Feb. 6 with 9:07 remaining in the second period.

 

St. Louis D Steven Santini was recalled from the taxi squad and made his Blues debut. St. Louis dressed 11 forwards and seven defensemen. Blues D Vince Dunn and Colton Parayko were scratched with upper body injuries sustained in Saturday's game.

 

The Blues are at Minnesota on Wednesday night in the first of three straight games against the Wild.

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Illinois State Rolls Evansville

Sunday starter Sean Sinisko fired seven scoreless innings with six strikeouts to lead the Illinois State baseball team to a 3-1 game and series win over Evansville on Sunday at Duffy Bass Field. 

 

Sophomore Derek Salata inherited two runners in the 9th inning but induced a pop-up before fanning two Purples Aces to record the save for Illinois State (16-22 overall, 7-5 Missouri Valley Conference).

 

Freshman Ryan Cermak recorded a key RBI triple to go with a highlight-reel, run-saving catch.

 

The Purple Aces (20-18 overall, 5-10 MVC) outhit ISU, 8-5.

 

Cermak tripled to right-center to plate fourth-year junior Jack Butler in the 4th inning.

 

ISU added on with an RBI by freshman Luke Cheng before an RBI single by senior Jordan Libman in the bottom of the 6th.

 

UE threatened in the 9th inning but Salata left runners stranded on second and third after retiring three-straight Purple Aces to close the game.

 

Jack Butler extended his hitting streak to 16 games.

 

Illinois State is scheduled to face SIUE on Tuesday at 5:00 p.m. CT.

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Illini Throw Sunday No-Hitter, Complete Weekend Sweep of Purdue

The Illinois baseball team threw the 11th no-hitter in its 142-year program history and first ever on the road Sunday afternoon at Alexander Field in a 1-0 victory over Purdue in West Lafayette, IN. The combination of Riley Gowens, Ryan O'Hara and Cole Kirschsieper were the trio that etched their names in the record book. The no-hitter was the first since "Boo" Champagne vs. Bradley on April 24, 1985.

 

Gowens (7.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 6 SO) was dominant in his start on Sunday. 

 

O'Hara came in to pitch the eighth inning and started the inning off by hitting Mike Bolton Jr. He would advance to third base after a sac bunt and a wild pitch. With one out, O'Hara got Miles Simington to strike out swinging, but the ball got away and had to be thrown to first base. As Ryan Hampe threw the ball, Bolton Jr. broke for home. Kellen Sarver received the throw and fired it back home to O'Hara where Bolton Jr. was called out on a close play at the plate to end the inning.

 

Heading into the ninth of a scoreless game the Illini had only managed three hits. Branden Comia led off the inning with a single through the right side. Comia would advance to second on a passed ball. Justin Janas followed with an infield single to move Comia over to third. Sarver then came up with the go-ahead, RBI sac bunt to bring home Comia for the only run of the ballgame.

 

In the bottom of the ninth, Kirschsieper entered the game. Purdue (10-18) had a chance with runners on first and second one out after a walk and fielding error. Kirschsieper would go on to strike out the final two batters of the game to secure the no-hitter and series sweep.

 

Illinois (13-14) will return to action next weekend in their third and final pod of the season. The Illini will go to Evanston, Illinois, and play two games against Michigan and two against Northwestern.

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Sox Double Up Rangers

As heard on WHOW, Michael Kopech struck out a career-high 10 in just five innings, Jose Abreu homered and drove in three runs and the Chicago White Sox beat the Texas Rangers 8-4 Sunday for their season-high fourth straight win.

 

Kopech (2-0), making his second spot start in a week while pitching out of the bullpen, continued to impress after missing the 2019 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery and the 2020 season for personal reasons.

 

Kopech, who resides about 100 miles from Dallas in Tyler, Texas, overpowered Rangers hitters with his 97 mph fastball.

 

The 24-year-old right-hander allowed one run, on a homer by David Dahl, and four hits without allowing a walk in a career-high 87 pitches.

 

Closer Liam Hendricks and relievers Aaron Bummer and Codi Heuer were not available due to a recent heavy workload. 

 

Kopech filled in for ace Lucas Giolito, who cut his finger while opening a bottle. Giolito had his start pushed back to Tuesday against the Tigers.

 

Despite Kopech's impressive showing, it remains unclear when Kopech will find a full-time role in the Chicago rotation.

 

Abreu hit a two-run homer, the fifth of the year for the reigning AL MVP, in the first off Kohei Arihara (2-2). Arihara, who entered the game with a streak of 12 1-3 scoreless innings, labored through the first inning throwing 40 pitches.

 

Adam Eaton hit an RBI triple and scored on Abreu's sacrifice fly in the second.

 

One night after getting the game-winning hit, Nick Madrigal hit a two-run triple in the third and later scored on Eaton's safety squeeze bunt to make it 8-1.

 

Zack Collins added a career-high three hits as Chicago completed a three-game sweep.

 

Lucas Giolito (1-1, 5.79 ERA) who was pushed back from his scheduled start Sunday, due to a cut on his middle finger is scheduled to start Tuesday against the Tigers. He was injured trying to open a bottle.

 

He allowed eight runs - seven earned - in a career-low one inning Monday against Boston.

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Cardinals Hold Off Reds

Tyler O'Neill homered twice and Jack Flaherty tossed seven sharp innings as the St. Louis Cardinals beat Cincinnati 5-2 Sunday, the Reds' seventh straight loss.

 

O'Neill, who came off the injured list on Friday after missing 13 games with a right groin strain, hit solo home runs in the second and fifth innings.

 

O'Neill had been 0 for 4 since being activated until breaking loose. The two-homer game was the second of his career - he connected for pair of two-run homers in a 7-0 win over Pittsburgh on June 15, 2019.

 

Cincinnati manager David Bell was ejected in the sixth inning. He became upset after Jonathan India was hit on the helmet by a pitch from Flaherty. India stayed in the game to run the bases but was removed after the inning.

 

Both dugouts were warned. Bell said after the contest that India was OK.

 

Flaherty (4-0) retired the first 10 batters and allowed just three hits in a 95-pitch stint. He struck out six and did not walk a batter.

 

Alex Reyes earned his fifth save. He got Tucker Barnhart to ground out with the bases loaded to end the game

 

O'Neill entered the game 0 for 13 lifetime against Cincinnati starting pitcher Luis Castillo (1-2).

Dylan Carlson added three hits and drove in a run. Paul Goldschmidt had two RBIs.

 

Castillo gave up four runs on six hits over five innings. He struck out three and walked one.

 

Tyler Naquin added a pinch-hit, RBI single in the Reds eighth.

 

The Reds have managed just 29 runs during the losing skid.

 

Yadier Molina missed his second successive game with a sore tendon in his right foot. St. Louis manager Mike Shildt says he could have played on Sunday, but the team is taking a cautious approach.

 

Adam Wainwright (0-2, 5.03) will face Philadelphia RHP Zack Wheeler (1-2, 3.80) on Monday in the first of a four-game set in St. Louis. Wainwright is 7-3 with a 3.10 ERA in 14 lifetime starts against the Phillies.

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Brewers Continue Dominance Over Cubs

Brandon Woodruff outdueled Jake Arrieta with six dominant innings, and the NL Central-leading Brewers beat the Cubs 6-0 on Sunday.

 

Woodruff (2-0) allowed two hits, struck out eight and walked two in his first win in 11 career appearances against Chicago. The 6-foot-4 right-hander has permitted one run and six hits in 19 innings covering three starts against the Cubs this year.

 

Luis Urias hit a two-run single during Milwaukee's five-run ninth, helping the Brewers close out a 5-1 road trip. They also improved to 6-3 against the Cubs with 10 games left in their season series against the reigning NL Central champions.

 

Chicago finished with four hits, wasting a solid performance by Arrieta on a cold, windy day at Wrigley Field. The game-time temperature was 44 degrees, and the crowd of 10,343 bundled up in jackets, hooded sweatshirts and blankets.

 

Arrieta kept the Cubs in the game with six innings of two-hit ball. The right-hander struck out eight and walked three.

 

Milwaukee got its first run on Travis Shaw's bases-loaded walk in the first. Arrieta retired 15 in a row after the Brewers' first four batters reached safely.

 

The Brewers put runners on second and third with no outs in the sixth, but Arrieta (3-2) escaped by striking out Shaw, Keston Hiura and Billy McKinney.

 

Woodruff retired his first nine batters. Ian Happ walked and David Bote singled in the fourth for Chicago's first baserunners, but Anthony Rizzo struck out and the Brewers turned an inning-ending double play when Kris Bryant struck out and Happ was caught stealing third.

 

Rizzo also struck out for the final out of the sixth, leaving a runner on third.

 

An MRI on OF Christian Yelich (lower back strain) showed no major issues. The 2018 NL MVP hasn't played since April 11.

 

Zach Davies (1-2, 8.80 ERA) faces Atlanta RHP Charlie Morton (1-1, 3.91 ERA) on Monday in the opener of a four-game series at the Braves.

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Pacers Roll Magic

Malcolm Brogdon scored 24 points and the Indiana Pacers used a big third quarter to rout short-handed Orlando 131-112 on Sunday night in a game marred by Magic rookie Devin Cannady's gruesome ankle injury.

 

Cannady suffered an open fracture of his right ankle in the first quarter when he landed awkwardly while trying to contest Edmond Sumner's layup. Magic center Mo Bamba was so shaken by the sight of the injury that he took his jersey off and placed it over Cannady's badly broken and bleeding ankle.

 

The former Princeton star was set for surgery Sunday night. He was part of the Lakeland Magic's G League title team this year.

 

Playing less than 24 hours after rallying to beat Detroit, the Pacers had a 41-20 edge in the third quarter to cruise to their third straight victory.

 

Indiana remained a game behind Charlotte for eighth place in the Eastern Conference - two games ahead of No. 10 Washington.

 

Sumner added 21 points for Indiana, Justin Holiday hit six 3-pointers and had 20 points, and Caris LeVert had 18 points and six assists. The Pacers shot 54.9% and hit 15 3s.

 

Dwayne Bacon led Orlando with 20 points, and Wendell Carter Jr. added 10 points and 13 rebounds.

 

The Pacers beat Magic for the third time this season and sixth overall.

 

Indiana was again without starters Domantas Sabonis (back strain) and Myles Turner (foot) and reserves Jeremy Lamb (knee) and Goga Bitadze (ankle) again. Sabonis, who has had 40 double-doubles and six triple-doubles, has missed the last four games and hasn't played since April 18. The Pacers are 5-2 without Sabonis.

 

The Pacers host Portland on Tuesday night.

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Aussie Pair Takes Zurich Classic

Cameron Smith’s aggressiveness on the TPC Louisiana’s water-lined 16th hole appeared to doom his team’s chances of winning the Zurich Classic when his 294-yard drive bounced off an embankment near the green and into the water.

 

Smith’s teammate, fellow Australian Marc Leishman, then flipped the script with a deft chip.

 

Leishman made birdie after a penalty drop in the rough, about 23 feet from the pin, pulling him and Smith into a tie with the South African duo of Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel that wasn’t broken until the Aussies won the first playoff hole Sunday.

 

Smith and Leishman ended it with a par on their second trip up the par-5 18th after Oosthuizen pushed his tee shot into the water and narrowly missed an 11-foot putt for par.

 

The Australians forced the playoff by shooting a 2-under 70 in alternate-shot play at the PGA Tour’s lone regular-season team event for a four-round 268. Oosthuizen and Schwartzel began the round with a one-stroke lead, but shot a 71 with three pars and two bogeys.

 

It’s Smith’s third career victory and second at the Zurich, which he won with Jonas Blixt in 2017, the first year New Orleans’ PGA Tour stop switched from a traditional individual format to an event featuring 80 two-man teams. That first victory also came in a playoff.

 

It was Smith’s best result since tying for second at the pandemic-delayed 2020 Masters last November. It’s also was his sixth top 10 since the current tour season started.

 

It was Leishman’s sixth career victory, his best result since tying for fifth at the Masters this month and his first win since the 2020 Farmers Insurance Open.

 

The climactic finish capped off a compelling duel between two teams that teed off together in the final grouping and took turns holding leads that never grew to more than two strokes.

 

Smith made birdie putts of 9 feet on the par-5 seventh and 7 feet on the par-3 ninth to pull his team even atop the leaderboard. The Aussies went in front on 10, when Schwartzel’s approach landed in the bunker and his team two-putted for bogey.

 

Smith and Leishman took a two-shot lead on the par-5 11th, where Leishman drove 307 yards into the fairway and Smith sent the team’s second shot 265 yards to the green, setting up a birdie.

 

But they gave a stroke back on 13 when Leishman’s drive went into the TPC Louisiana’s trademark, towering old-growth cypress three that stands alone like a monolith in the fairway. That forced the team to take a drop that led to a bogey.

 

The South Africans moved back into the lead on 15, where Schwartzel followed up Oosthuizen’s 205-yard approach shot with a nearly 15-foot putt for birdie, while Smith, whose approach had fallen short of the green, narrowly missed a 13-foot putt for par.

 

After the eventful 16th left both teams at 21 under, they each bogeyed the par-3 17th and parred the par-5 18th to finish regulation at 20 under.

 

Peter Uihlein and Richy Werenski shot a 67, with six birdies and one bogey, to shoot up the leaderboard from 18th to third.

 

Billy Horschel and former LSU player Sam Burns shot a 69 to tie for fourth with Brandt Snedeker-Keith Mitchell and Brendan Steele-Kegan Bradley.

 

Ryan Palmer and Jon Rahm, the defending champions from 2019, closed with a 70 to finish seventh at 17 under.

 

Smith and Leishman each earned $1.07 million for the victory — a result that also forced Smith to address a promise he’d made to cut his mullet hair style when he won a tournament.

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Keselowski Takes Overtime Win at Talladega

Brad Keselowski’s overtime victory made him the ninth driver to win through 10 NASCAR Cup races this season and avenged an embarrassing Team Penske gaffe in the season-opening Daytona 500, winning again at Talladega Superspeedway Sunday afternoon. 

 

He and teammate Joey Logano triggered a last-lap crash as Keselowski tried to pass Logano for the victory.

 

Keselowski led just one lap, the last one, in a race that featured 35 lead changes among 27 drivers.

Logano was involved in an airborne wreck and called on NASCAR to change the dangerous racing conditions at Daytona and Talladega.

 

Ryan Newman escaped serious injury racing for the win on the final lap of the 2020 Daytona 500.

 

The victory, Keselowski’s sixth at Talladega, came after team owner Roger Penske pulled the three Team Penske drivers and affiliate Matt DiBenedetto onto a call this week to discuss his expectations on how they should race Sunday. Penske refused to accept another Daytona disaster when Logano or Keselowski should have won the race but instead of working together the two triggered a fiery crash that also collected a third Penske car.

 

All three Penske drivers have now claimed spots in the 16-driver playoff field.

 

William Byron was second, Daytona 500 winner McDowell — the beneficiary of that February blunder — took third and Kevin Harvick a season-high fourth.

 

DiBenedetto, who led 28 laps, finished fifth but gave away the win with a late lane change that allowed Keselowski to surge to the front.

 

Ford drivers took four of the top five spots.

 

Kaz Grala finished a career-best sixth and was followed by Tyler Reddick and Austin Dillon in a trio of Chevrolets.

 

Ford drivers took spots nine through 13 and the highest finishing Toyota driver was Christopher Bell in 17th.

 

Keselowski tied Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Gordon with six wins each at Talladega. But it was his first since the fall race in 2017.

 

The series heads to Kansas Speedway, where Denny Hamlin has won the last two races.

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Monticello Blanks St. Joseph-Ogden

Monticello spread the football around and sent its seniors out with a memorable victory with 43-0 win over St. Joseph-Ogden Saturday afternoon in Illini Prairie Conference football action to wrap up the 2021 pandemic shortened football season. 

 

Joey Sprinkle hit seniors Chris Brown, Hayden Graham, and Jason Brown for touchdowns and connect with Tristan Foran as a part of a four-touchdown performance to wrap up his season which saw tremendous improvements.

 

Sprinkle finished 10-for-18 with 128 yards through the air and had 35 yards rushing on four carries. 

 

Chris Brown finished with 68 yards and a touchdown on the ground and two receptions for 14 yards with a five-yard score.

 

Jason Brown caught a 30-yard touchdown pass to put Monticello up 8-0 in the first quarter. Graham hauled in a 45-yard score early in the third quarter to make the score 29-0. He finished 70 receiving yards on four receptions.

 

Senior Kolton Knuffman (kuh-nuff-man) finished with eight carries and 31 yards with a leaping 1-yard touchdown run to make the score 43-0 in the fourth quarter.

 

Additionally, senior Hunter Williams caught two passes for 15 yards and senior Bryant Spencer hauled in two catches for 14 yards.
 

Monticello finishes the pandemic season 6-0. This was the Sages' third shutout in its last four games. 

 

Junior Keaton Nolan carried it 22 times for 61 yards as the Spartans finish their season 2-4 and was without several key contributors.

 

Monticello Coach Cully Welter now turns his attention to the track and field squad. 

 

Hear Monticello baseball action on 95.9 FM WEZC starting next Saturday when the Sages host St. Joseph-Ogden for Illini Prairie baseball action. Gametime is 10 am. Also, hear action at dewittdailynews.com.

 

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Maroons End Season with Loss to A&M

As heard on WHOW, the Clinton Maroons fell to the Central A&M Raiders by a score of 49-0 on Friday night. Junior quarterback Ethan Boyer was 5 of 16 passing for 42 yards. He had 11 carries for 46 yards. Senior Zeke Hickman had 11 carries for 48 yards. Senior Lineman Cordell Workman was the B-Rok Designs Player of the Game.

 

For A&M, junior quarterback James Paradee threw 7 of 10 passing for 101 yards and a touchdown. He ran the ball for 9 carries for 59 yards and three touchdowns.

 

The Maroons end the season 2-4 and A&M finishes 6-0.

 

Tune in Thursday, April 29, as the Lady Maroons host Meridian for softball action. You can hear the game live on the Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM/106.5 FM WHOW, online at dewittdailynews.com, on the WHOW mobile app, and on Amazon Alexa. First pitch is set for 4:30 pm.

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Clinton Hosts Central A&M to Wrap Up Pandemic Altered 2021 Football Season

The Clinton Maroons will go for their third straight win and wrap up its 2021 spring football season Friday night on a high note hosting Central A&M in Central Illinois Conference high school football.

 

The Maroons come in winners of two straight, its most recent win a 26-6 victory at Sullivan last Friday night. The Maroons defeated Meridian the week prior for its first win this year but faces a tall task as the Raiders in the latest AP High School football rankings check-in at No. 4 in Class 1A.

 

The Raiders rolled Shelbyville 59-38 last Friday.

 

Hear tonight's action on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM/106.5 FM WHOW, at dewittdailynews.com, at the WHOW mobile app, and at Amazon Alexa. Game time is 7 pm.

 

Central Illinois Conference action tonight:

 

Meridian vs. Decatur St. Teresa
Shelbyville vs. Tuscola
Sullivan-Okaw Valley vs. Warrensburg-Latham

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Monticello Hosts St. Joseph-Ogden Saturday to Wrap Up 2021 Pandemic Altered Football Season

The surprising Monticello Sages have a chance to wrap up an undefeated season hosting St. Joseph-Ogden Saturday afternoon in Illini Prairie Conference football action.

 

Monticello - perhaps the biggest surprise in the Illini Prairie Conference who has defeated the likes of Bloomington Central Catholic, state-ranked Prairie Central, and Mattoon - enters play 5-0 and off a 42-12 win over Olympia on the road last Friday night.

 

Chris Brown, who struggled to start the season, has found the end zone ten times in the last two weeks. He has scored nine offensive touchdowns and recorded a pick-six in a victory over Mattoon two Saturday's ago. 

 

Junior quarterback Joey Sprinkle has come on strong in recent weeks, he finished 7-for-9 last week with 150 yars and two touchdown passes.

 

Game time Saturday is 2 pm and can be heard on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com. 

 

Illini Prairie Conference action:

 

Bloomington Central Catholic vs. Prairie Central
Olympia vs. Pontiac 
Tolono Unity vs. Rantoul 

 

Week 6 football action this week:

 

8-Man Football

 

Milford vs. Decatur LSA

 

Apollo

 

Effingham vs. Lincoln 
Taylorville vs. Mahomet-Seymour

 

Central State Eight

 

Chatham-Glenwood vs. Rochester
Decatur Eisenhower vs. Decatur MacArthur
Normal U-High vs. Jacksonville 
Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin vs. Springfield
Springfield Southeast vs. Springfield Lanphier at Memorial Stadium (Sat.)

 

Lincoln Prairie

 

Arcola vs. Villa Grove-Heritage
Argenta-Oreana vs. Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond
Cerro Gordo-Bement vs. Toledo-Cumberland
Sangamon Valley vs. Oakland Tri-County

 

Mid-Illini

 

Dunlap vs. Canton
Morton vs. Limestone
Pekin vs. East Peoria at Eastside Center
Washington vs. Metamora

 

Non-Conference football

 

Champaign St. Thomas More vs. Danville Schlarman (Sat.)
Mt. Zion at Illinois Valley Central
Paxton-Buckley-Loda vs. Oblong 
Peoria Heights vs. Blue Ridge

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Illinois Visits Purdue in College Baseball

The Illinois baseball team will make a trip this weekend to West Lafayette, Indiana, for three games with Purdue. The teams just finished a two-game set at Illinois Field on Sunday and Monday.

 

Monday's contest lasted four hours and one minute. 

 

Illinois (10-14) is coming off a weekend where they finished 2-2. Sophomore 1B/DH Kellen Sarver had a strong weekend for the Illini, finishing 9-for-16 (.563/.500/.813), with a double, home run, five RBIs and three runs scored. His home run on Saturday against Michigan State was his first since June 1, 2019 vs. Jacksonville State. Sophomore C Ryan Hampe also added seven RBIs over the weekend.

 

Two other guys that have pieced together solid stretches are SS Branden Comia and RF Cam McDonald. Comia is hitting .466/.556/.690 (27-for-58), with seven doubles, two home runs, 14 RBIs and 19 runs scored and eight walks over his last 16 games. McDonald has batted 404/.491/.638 (19-for-47), with five doubles, two homers, 13 RBIs, 12 runs and eight walks over a 13-game span.

 

RHP Andrew Hoffmann will get the ball to start the series on Friday. The Illini will then go with LHP Nathan Lavender on Saturday, before RHP Riley Gowens will close out the series on Sunday afternoon.

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Illinois State Hosts Evansville for Four-Game Set

The Illinois State baseball team is set to return to Missouri Valley Conference action after traveling to Milwaukee last weekend as it hosts Evansville for a four-game series starting tonight and wrapping up Sunday with a Saturday double-header. 

 

Colton Johnson gets the ball today and Jordan Lussier starts game one Saturday with no starter announced for game two. Sean Sinisko gets the ball Sunday.

 

Illinois State fell in three tight games at Milwaukee before winning the final game of the series, 10-2.

 

Despite going 1-3 over the weekend, the Redbirds outscored the Panthers 14-6. ISU pitchers gave up just 7 earned runs in 31 IP while limiting MKE to a .204 batting average. The Redbird bullpen conceded just a pair of hits over 13 innings. They did not allow an earned run.

 

Evansville is 19-15 overall and 4-7 in the MVC while the Redbirds are 13-21 overall and 4-4 in The Valley.

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Bulls Beat Hornets

Nikola Vucevic scored 18 points and matched a season-high with 16 rebounds, Coby White and Thaddeus Young scored 18 apiece, and the Chicago Bulls beat the struggling Charlotte Hornets 108-91 on Thursday night.

 

The Bulls built a 14-point halftime lead and put this one out of reach in the third quarter on the way to their third win in four games.

 

They are 6-10 since a shakeup at the trade deadline that landed Vucevic from Orlando, struggling to find some consistency and remain in the running for the play-in tournament that will determine the seventh and eighth seeds in the Eastern Conference.

 

Held to a season-low nine points in a lopsided loss at Cleveland the previous night, the two-time All-Star center asserted himself in a big way. He shot 8 of 13 and had six assists.

 

White hit four 3-pointers while playing turnover-free ball, and Young was 8 of 10 from the field.

 

Devonte' Graham led Charlotte with 16 points. Miles Bridges scored 13 as the Hornets lost for the sixth time in seven games.

 

The Bulls got off to a better start this time after falling into a big hole early on Cavaliers and grabbed a 58-44 halftime lead.

 

They scored the game's first 10 points, with Vucevic hitting a jumper and a 3, and the final six of the second quarter, a layup by the big man bumping the lead to 14.

 

It was 65-56 in the third when the Bulls went on a 13-0 run. A layup by Vucevic and two free throws by Daniel Theis made it 78-56 with 4:16 left in the quarter.

 

The Bulls visit Miami on Saturday.

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Cubs Outlast Mets in 10 Innings

Jason Heyward had a game-ending, pinch-hit single in the 10th after Dan Winkler stranded the bases loaded in the top of the inning, and the Chicago Cubs beat the New York Mets 4-3 Thursday night to complete a three-game sweep.

 

Kris Bryant had two hits and two RBIs and Willson Contreras also drove in a run as Chicago beat the Mets for the seventh straight time dating to June 2019.

 

Pete Alonso homered for New York, which got a stellar outing from the bullpen until Edwin Diaz let in the automatic runner in the 10th.

 

Javier Baez, who made the last out in the ninth, started the 10th on second. Diaz (1-1) hit Matt Duffy with the first pitch to put two runners on, and David Bote sacrificed them to second and third. Pinch-hitter Eric Sogard was intentionally walked to load the bases.

 

Heyward then hit for Winkler and hit a sharp grounder into right field.

 

Winkler (1-0) walked consecutive batters to load the bases with one out in the 10th, but he got Dominic Smith to hit into an inning-ending double play.

 

The Cubs jumped on top with a three-run third. Contreras had an RBI single off the leg of starter Joey Lucchesi and Bryant added a two-run double.

 

Alonso's two-run blast in the fourth trimmed the lead to 3-2. Michael Conforto nearly went back-to-back, but his drive to center hit off the top of the basket, and he settled for a double.

 

The Mets tied in the seventh on a pinch-hit double by J.D. Davis, scoring Jonathan Villar from first base.

 

Sean Reid-Foley relieved Lucchesi with three perfect innings, striking out four, and the Mets bullpen held Chicago to two hits and no runs over six innings before the 10th.

 

Joc Pederson was placed on the 10-day injured list before the game with left wrist tendinitis. INF Nico Hoerner was recalled from the team's alternate site to fill the roster spot.

 

Kyle Hendricks (0-2, 6.92 ERA) pitches the opener of a three-game home series against Milwaukee on Friday looking to bounce back after giving up seven runs and four homers in the first inning last week against Atlanta. LHP Brett Anderson starts for the Brewers.

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Avalanche Double Up Blues As St. Louis Finally Returns to Action

Andre Burakovsky scored twice and Brandon Saad and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare added goals as the Colorado Avalanche clinched a playoff berth with a 4-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Thursday night.

 

Colorado improved to 18-1-2 in its last 21 games. The Avalanche are 8-1-0 in April after finishing a league-best 12-2-3 in March, setting franchise records for wins and points in a month. The Avalanche are 5-1-0 against the Blues this season.

 

The Avalanche returned to the ice for the first time since April 14, when they beat the Blues 4-3. They had three games postponed due to COVID-19 protocols.

 

Since March 5, the Blues have posted a 5-11-4 record. The fifth-place Blues are one point behind the Coyotes for the final playoff spot in the West Division. Arizona has played three more games.

 

Colorado goalie Devan Dubnyk recorded 23 saves. Dubnyk arrived in a trade with the San Jose Sharks before the NHL deadline. Dubnyk has won three of his last four starts against the Blues, dating to his time with the Sharks.

 

Jaden Schwartz scored both goals for St. Louis. Jordan Binnington had 25 saves.

 

Burakovsky gave Colorado a 2-1 lead with a power-play goal at 6:45 of the second period. After the puck bounced off the boards, Burakovsky tapped in the puck past Binnington, Cale Makar and Nathan MacKinnon each assisted. MacKinnon extended his point streak to 12 games and has the longest active streak in the NHL.

 

Burakovsky added his second goal, the eventual winner, at 11:29 of the third period, scoring from the right faceoff circle.

 

The Blues cut the lead to 3-2 when Schwartz scored at 13:43.

 

The Avalanche added an empty net goal by Bellemare at 18:29.

 

Each team scored in the first period.

 

The Blues took a 1-0 on a power-play goal by Schwartz at 3:18. Schwartz one-timed the puck by Dubnyk for his first goal in 18 games.

 

St. Louis F Robert Thomas (upper-body injury) remained out and has missed four games since he got hurt April 9 against Minnesota. He did take part in the morning skate and is expected to play Saturday.

Avalanch Double Up Blues As St. Louis Finally Returns to Action

The Avalanche and Blues meet again Saturday afternoon.

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Zurich Classic Sees Low Scores at Top of Leaderboard

Brice Garnett and Scott Stallings birdied eight of their last 11 holes, Viktor Hovland and Kris Ventura birdied nine of their final 12, and both teams shot 10-under 62 in Zurich Classic to share the first-round lead Thursday.

 

Ventura made a 36-foot birdie putt from the fringe on 15 and a 19-footer on 16 for his seventh and final birdie of the day in the best-ball format played on the first and third rounds. Players will alternate shots in the second and final rounds.

 

Garnett hit approach shots within 7 feet on the first, second, fourth and fifth holes and made all four birdie putts after his team made the turn following a back-nine start. Stallings’ birdie putt from nearly 18 feet on the eighth hole pulled his team into a tie atop the leaderboard.

 

Hovland started the Norwegian tandem’s run up the leaderboard by landing a shot from the bunker left of the green within 4 feet to birdie the par-5 seventh.

 

Ventura birdied Nos. 8, 9 and 11 — highlighted by his 9-foot putt on the par-3 ninth - before Hovland put a 194-yard approach on 12 within 2 feet to set up another birdie. Hovland also birdied the par-5 18th.

 

Seven teams shot 63, including two-time Zurich champion Billy Horschel and his teammate, Louisiana native and former LSU player Sam Burns.

 

Tony Finau and Cameron Champ, who had a back-nine start in the same group as Horschel and Burns, birdied the seventh and eighth holes to join the third-place teams.

 

Cameron Smith, who won the Zurich during its first year as a team event in 2017, made a 38-foot eagle putt on the par-5 second hole to help him and fellow Australian Marc Leishman post a 63. Smith also had six of his team’s seven birdies.

 

Louis Oosthuizen nearly put his approach shot in the water on 18, but then chipped in from a steep embankment for birdie to pull himself and his teammate, fellow South African Charl Schwartzel, into a tie for third.

 

Also at 63 were the teams of Brendan Steele and Keegan Bradley; Sebastian Cappelen and Mark Hubbard; and Kyle Stanley and Kyoung-Hoon Lee.

 

Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay — the only team with two players ranked in the world’s top 10 — finished among a handful of teams at 64, including the tandem of Bubba Watson and Scottie Scheffler.

 

A cool breeze from the north that had numerous players wearing long sleeves — uncommon in late April in south Louisiana — also had a chilling effect on the anticipated risk-taking that can occur in the best-ball format. That was particularly the case on the 403-yard 13th hole, where players elected to aim for the fairway to the right of a massive cypress tree rather go straight at the green over a waste bunker to the left of the tree.

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Cubs Blast Mets

Javy Baez hit a grand slam and the Chicago Cubs took advantage of a season-high four errors by the New York Mets in a 16-4 romp on a chilly Wednesday night at Wrigley Field.

 

Baez, who struck out four times Tuesday, scored three runs in this one and hit his sixth career slam off reliever Trevor Hildenberger in the sixth inning to make it 14-4. The flashy shortstop became the first player to go 0 for 4 with four strikeouts in one game and then hit a grand slam in the next since Gorman Thomas did it for Milwaukee in the first two games of the 1978 season, according to STATS.

 

David Bote drove in four runs as the Cubs won their second straight after losing six of eight. Matt Duffy added three RBIs and Willson Contreras had two hits and scored twice.

 

Chicago scored its most runs since putting up 16 against Pittsburgh on Sept. 15, 2019. The fact that they scored 10 without the longball before Baez connected was a positive sign for manager David Ross.

 

Francisco Lindor hit his first homer for New York, and Pete Alonso launched a mammoth shot onto Waveland Avenue. But the Mets have lost the first two games of the three-game series.

 

Lindor connected against Zach Davies in the first. J.D. Davis made it 2-0 with an RBI double in the third, but things turned around in a big way in the fourth.

 

The Mets committed three errors in a seven-run fourth to match their highest total in an inning since April 16, 2019, at Philadelphia. The Cubs sent 10 batters to the plate and chased David Peterson (1-2) on the way to their most lopsided win of the season.

 

Anthony Rizzo drove in the first Chicago run with a single, and things unraveled for the Mets from there. The Cubs loaded the bases when Davis booted Baez's grounder to third for his third error in two games and tied it when Duffy walked. Bote gave Chicago a 4-2 lead with a two-run single to shallow right, and the runners advanced when right fielder Michael Conforto's throw home bounced past the catcher.

 

Jake Marisnick drove in a run with a grounder. Pinch-hitter Eric Sogard, batting for Davies, lined an RBI single. And the Cubs got another run when Lindor threw wildly from shortstop to first on Ian Happ's infield single, allowing Sogard to score from second. Happ got caught for the third out trying to get back to the bag after rounding first.

 

Davies gave up two runs and five hits, and Alec Mills (1-0) worked three scoreless innings.

 

Peterson allowed six runs - three earned - and four hits in 3 1/3 innings.

 

Trevor Williams (2-1, 5.02 ERA) looks to win his second straight start, while LHP Joey Lucchesi (0-1, 5.40) gets the ball for the Mets with two-time NL Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom pushed back to Friday at home against Washington. Williams is 3-1 with a 2.08 ERA in four starts against New York. Lucchesi worked three innings in New York's 7-2 loss at Colorado during a doubleheader on Saturday.

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Sox Game Snowed Out in Cleveland

The Cleveland Indians have postponed Wednesday night's game against the Chicago White Sox because of snow, cold weather and a soggy field.

 

Up to 4 inches of snow fell overnight in the Cleveland area, and there was still snow covering the infield tarp at Progressive Field when then game was called about five hours before the scheduled 6:10 p.m. first pitch.

 

The AL Central teams will make up the postponement during Chicago's next visit to Cleveland by playing a doubleheader on May 31 - two 7-inning games starting at 3:10 p.m.

 

Behind two home runs from reigning AL MVP Jose Abreu, the White Sox won Tuesday night's game 8-5 in frigid conditions.

 

The Indians begin a four-game series at home on Thursday against the New York Yankees.

 

Chicago is off Thursday before opening a three-game home series on Friday against the Texas Rangers.

 

Hear Sox action on WHOW this weekend on Sasturday with pregame at 5:30 pm and first pitch at 6:10 pm. Then on Sunday, pregame is at 12:30 pm and first pitch at 1:10 pm. 

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Nats Blank Cardinals in Pitchers Duel

Max Scherzer overcame a windy, cold day that resulted in forearm soreness to retired 12 his last 13 batters and struck out nine in six innings to move up to No. 21 on the career K's leaderboard, helping the Washington Nationals edge the St. Louis Cardinals 1-0 Wednesday.

 

Scherzer struck out Dylan Carlson swinging through a 93 mph fastball with his 109th and final pitch. The righty's strikeout of Justin Williams to end the fourth gave Scherzer 2,814 for his career, moving him one ahead of Hall of Famer Mike Mussina. Next up: Mickey Lolich, whose 2,832 strikeouts rank 20th in MLB history.

 

Scherzer ended up allowing four hits and one walk and lowering his ERA to 1.80.

 

Alex Avila drove in the game's lone run in the second off Carlos Martinez (0-4) with one of his two doubles - his first hits as a member of the Nationals.

 

Carlos Martinez allowed four hits in six innings in his longest outing since going seven on July 7, 2018.

 

For the second game in a row, Nationals righty Tanner Rainey entered in relief in the seventh to protect a 1-0 lead.

 

In the eighth, Daniel Hudson gave up a hit and walked two batters to load the bases with two outs, but got Carpenter - who is now batting .081 - to fly out to right.

 

Brad Hand worked the ninth for his third save this season. It's his 24th successful save chance in a row, the longest active streak in the majors.

 

The Cardinals open a three-game series at home Friday against the Reds, with St. Louis LHP Kwang Hyun Kim (0-0, 9.00 ERA) on the mound.

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Cavs Topple Bulls

Collin Sexton scored 30 points, Darius Garland added 25 and the Cleveland Cavaliers never trailed in a 121-105 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night, snapping a five-game home losing streak.

 

Kevin Love posted 15 points and nine rebounds for the Cavaliers, who built their largest lead of the season at 94-61 in the third quarter on their way to their first win at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in a month. Sexton also had a game-high seven assists.

 

Lauri Markkanen scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half and Thaddeus Young had 14 points and eight rebounds for Chicago. The Bulls fell a half-game out of the final play-in tournament spot in the East, while Cleveland moved within 3 1/2 games.

 

Coby White had 14 points and six assists, and Tomas Satoransky scored 13 points off the bench for Chicago. Zach LaVine - the sixth-leading scorer in the NBA at 27.5 points - missed his fourth straight game because of the league's health and safety protocols.

 

The Bulls pulled as close as 112-97 on Denzel Valentine's layup with 5:33 remaining, but the Cavaliers scored the next five points to end the threat. Larry Nance Jr. and Isaiah Hartenstein finished with 10 points apiece for Cleveland, which forced 20 turnovers.

 

Love's third 3-pointer of the opening half gave the Cavaliers a 47-22 advantage midway through the second quarter. Chicago had seven turnovers, six field goals and no free throw attempts in the first.

The Bulls host the Charlotte Hornets on Thursday. Chicago is 11-18 at United Center and has the second-most home losses in the East.

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Short-Handed Pacers Top Thunder

Malcolm Brogdon had 29 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists, and Caris LeVert scored 28 points as the severely short-handed Pacers snapped a three-game losing streak with a 122-116 victory over reeling Oklahoma City - despite playing without anyone taller than 6-foot-7.

 

Indiana was missing three starters - two-time All-Star forward Domantas Sabonis, center Myles Turner and forward T.J. Warren - and four backups. But Brogdon and LeVert delivered in a game they needed to.

 

Darius Bazley matched his career high with 26 points and Svi Mykhailiuk had 20 points to lead the Thunder. Oklahoma City has lost 12 in a row overall, seven straight on the road and is still seeking its first April victory.

 

Indiana took control early, finishing the first quarter on a 16-6 run to make it 34-28 and extended the margin to 13 late in the second quarter. Oklahoma City never led again.

 

Oklahoma City fought back in the second half.

 

The Thunder pulled to 73-72 on Moses Brown's three-point play with 6:59 left in the third - only to watch Indiana answer with a 13-4 spurt. And when they closed to 105-104 midway through the fourth, LeVert broke the game open with a five-point flurry to make it 110-104.

 

Oklahoma City got one more chance after Brogdon threw the ball away and Theo Maledon's 3-pointer with 24.5 seconds left got the Thunder within 118-116. But Brogdon closed it out by making four free throws.

 

Brown finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Mykhailiuk also had nine rebounds, four assists and two blocks. Kenrich Williams had 15 points off the bench. 

 

In addition to Sabonis (lower back), Turner (right foot), Warren (left foot), the Pacers played without Goga Bitazde (left ankle), Jeremy Lamb (left knee) and Doug McDermott (left ankle). JaKarr Sampson sat out, too, after league officials suspended him for one game for headbutting Patty Mills during Monday's loss to San Antonio.

 

The Pacers can complete a three-game sweep of Detroit by winning Saturday at home.

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Blackhawks Top Preds in Overtime

Brandon Hagel scored 3:00 into overtime, and the Chicago Blackhawks rallied to beat the Nashville Predators 5-4 on Wednesday night.

 

Hagel also had two assists as Chicago beat Nashville for the first time in seven games this season. Pius Suter and Vinnie Hinostroza each had a goal and an assist, and Malcolm Subban made 35 saves.

The Blackhawks trailed 4-1 after Luke Kunin scored 58 seconds into the third. But Hagel closed it out for Chicago when he beat Juuse Saros for his seventh of the season.

 

The unlikely victory boosted Chicago's slim playoff hopes in the Central Division. Nashville holds the fourth and last playoff spot with 52 points. Dallas is fifth with 50 points, and Chicago has 49 points.

 

Mikael Granlund had a goal and an assist for the Predators, who face the Blackhawks again on Friday night. Eeli Tolvanen and Colton Sissons also scored, and Saros finished with 25 stops.

 

Chicago scored three times in 2:51 to erase Nashville's lead in the third.

 

Rookie Wyatt Kalynuk took a perfect pass from Patrick Kane and beat Saros from the left slot to make it 4-2 midway through the period. Hinostroza cut the gap to 4-3 with a drive from the slot at 11:13.

 

Nashville called timeout, but failed to stop Chicago's momentum. Chicago's Dominik Kubalik made it 4-all at 12:55, converting Suter's pass from behind the net.

 

It was a complete turnaround from most of the first 49 minutes.

 

The Blackhawks and Predators conclude their season series in Chicago on Friday night.

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Indy 500 to Host 135,000

The Indianapolis 500 is set to be the largest sporting event in the world since the start of the pandemic with 135,000 spectators permitted to attend “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” next month.

 

Indianapolis Motor Speedway said Wednesday it worked with the Marion County Public Health Department to determine that 40% of venue capacity can attend the May 30 race on Memorial Day weekend. The speedway is the largest sporting facility in the world with more than 250,000 grandstand seats and the ability to host close to 400,000 on race day throughout the entire property.

 

The attendance figure was determined after Indianapolis hosted the NCAA men’s basketball tournament through March and into April with limited attendance. The NCAA allowed 8,000 fans at Lucas Oil Stadium for the April 5 men’s championship game.

 

The Alabama spring football game last weekend hosted 47,218 fans, nearly 10,000 more than a recent Texas Rangers baseball game; an Australian Rules cricket match in Melbourne drew 51,723 in March.

 

Roger Penske, in his second year as owner of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, had hoped for full attendance, but IndyCar and speedway officials are taking pride in the upcoming milestone.

 

The speedway will be open to spectators every day cars are on the track beginning with the May 15 road course event. The viewing mounds in the infield will be closed, and general admission infield tickets will not be made available.

 

The infield’s raucous “Snake Pit” will be closed and all the traditional concerts will not be held, including on Carb Day and Legends Day. There will be suite seating and the Pagoda will be open to those with tickets, but the midway will be closed.

 

Grandstand seating will be socially distanced; fans will have an option to return their tickets for an account credit.

 

Face coverings will be required on track property and temperature checks will be given at the entrances. IMS will also extend its vaccination clinics through the end of May with the ability for spectators to receive a vaccination on speedway grounds throughout the month.

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Cubs Roll Mets

Jake Arrieta pitched five effective innings Tuesday and Craig Kimbrel escaped a jam in the ninth, sending the Cubs to a 3-1 victory over the Mets.

 

Arrieta (3-1) allowed one run and three hits, struck out four, and walked three. Wearing short sleeves on a cool, clear evening - the game-time temperature was 36 degrees - he also contributed to two runs at the plate.

 

Eric Sogard had two hits, scored twice, and drove in a run to help Chicago rebound from Sunday's 13-4 loss to Atlanta. Sogard was inserted into the lineup when David Bote was scratched with an upset stomach.

 

The Cubs had just four hits and struck out 12 times, including four for Javier Baez. Hampered by early offensive trouble, the reigning NL Central champions have won just three of their last nine games.

 

J.D. Davis homered for New York, but also committed two throwing errors at third base - including one that brought home Chicago's first run. The Mets had won five of six.

 

Taijuan Walker (0-1) matched his career-high with six walks in 3 2/3 innings, then was ejected by John Libka when he expressed frustration with the umpire's strike zone on his way out of the game. Walker was charged with two earned runs and two hits.

 

After Arrieta departed, Rex Brothers, Brandon Workman, and Andrew Chafin combined for three innings before Kimbrel worked a shaky ninth for his fourth save.

 

With one out and the bases loaded, Kimbrel struck out Brandon Nimmo and retired Francisco Lindor on a bouncer to first.

 

Sogard used his legs to get Chicago on the board in the third. He reached on a leadoff walk and advanced on Arrieta's sacrifice on an 0-2 pitch from Walker.

 

Willson Contreras hit a two-out grounder to Davis at third, and he skipped his throw across the diamond. Sogard kept running and scored without a throw when the ball got away from first baseman Pete Alonso.

 

The Cubs tacked on two more after Walker retired the first two batters in the fourth. Heyward singled, swiped second with a slick slide and scored on Sogard's liner to center. Three consecutive walks, including one to Arrieta, produced another run and chased Walker.

 

The Mets challenged Heyward's first steal of the season, but the close call was upheld.

 

Mets left-hander David Peterson (1-1, 6.30 ERA) and Cubs right-hander Zach Davies (1-2, 10.32) pitch Wednesday night. Peterson is coming off a sharp performance against Philadelphia, striking out 10 over six innings in a 5-1 victory. Davies has dropped his last two starts, allowing 11 runs in 5 2/3 innings.

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White Sox Outslug Cleveland Baseball Team

As heard on WHOW, Carlos Rodon followed up his no-hitter - and near-perfect game - last week against Cleveland by hanging on for five innings and Jose Abreu homered twice, leading the Chicago White Sox to an 8-5 victory on Tuesday night.

 

Rodon (3-0), pitching in short sleeves despite temperatures dropping into the 30s and snow on the way, worked around five walks, giving up a homer and throwing 110 pitches - four fewer than in his gem on April 14.

 

The left-hander gave up two runs and three hits. Rodon joined Eddie Cicotte (1917) as the only pitchers in club history to face the same team in his next start after throwing a no-hitter. He was the first to do it since the Angels' Jered Weaver in 2012.

 

Abreu hit solo homers in the fourth (a 458-footer) and seventh innings.

 

Tim Anderson connected for a two-run homer off Zach Plesac (1-3) and Yasmani Grandal's two-run shot in the seventh put the White Sox ahead 7-2.

 

Jordan Luplow homered for the Indians, who scored twice in the ninth and stranded 13. Luplow also set an early tone against Rodon by drawing a nine-pitch walk to start the game.

 

The Indians made Rodon work harder, but still didn't do enough to beat him.

 

They had him in trouble in the fourth, loading the bases with none out on an error, catcher's interference and walk.

 

Rodon struck out two, and could have been in bigger trouble when Cesar Hernandez ripped an RBI single. But Josh Naylor, who was on second, got thrown out at the plate when he ran through third-base coach Mike Sarbaugh's stop sign.

 

During the game, MLB announced that White Sox outfielder Adam Eaton has been suspended one game for triggering a benches-clearing incident against the Indians last week - the day after Rodon's no-no.

 

Eaton thought Indians shortstop Andres Gimenez pushed him off the bag on a force out in the first inning. He shoved Gimenez, setting off some more pushing.

 

Hernandez and Indians first baseman Jake Bauers were fined undisclosed amounts.

 

The weather forecast doesn't look promising, but the Indians will start RHP Aaron Civale (3-0, 2.18 ERA). La Russa remains undecided on his starter for Wednesday. Hear tonight's action on WHOW with pregame at 4:30 pm and scheduled first pitch at 5:10 pm. 

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Nationals Down Cardinals

Washington's Yan Gomes drew a four-pitch walk from Giovanny Gallegos to force in the go-ahead run in an odd eighth inning that also featured St. Louis deploying a five-man infield, and the Nationals came back to edge the Cardinals 3-2 on Tuesday night.

 

Gallegos (2-1) walked a batter, then hit one, before Turner's RBI single to right on an 0-2 count tied the game.

 

One out and one intentional walk later, Gallegos faced Starlin Castro with the bases full, and Cardinals manager Mike Shildt removed an outfielder he had just inserted in the middle of the inning in favor of an extra infielder, Edmundo Sosa. That left the Cards with only a pair of corner outfielders - the sort of setup rarely seen at all, but more likely to be deployed in the ninth or later.

 

Daniel Hudson (2-0) threw a perfect eighth for the win, and Brad Hand pitched the ninth for his second save in two chances with Washington.

 

It was the Cardinals' first one-run game all season; every other club in the majors already had participated in at least two.

 

Both starting pitchers performed well, but neither factored in the decision.

 

Washington's Patrick Corbin tossed six scoreless innings, removed with a 1-0 lead despite having thrown merely 76 pitches. He came in with a 21.32 ERA this season but cut that roughly in half.

 

St. Louis' Adam Wainwright struck out 10 while allowing one run in seven innings and left with a 2-1 lead. The only blemish: Josh Bell, who was batting .115, hit his first homer for the Nationals on a first-pitch curveball in the sixth.

 

Wainwright finished with a flourish, too, striking out his last four batters, including pinch-hitter Yadiel Hernandez looking at a curveball to close the seventh.

 

The series wraps up Wednesday afternoon with Washington sending three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (0-1, 2.37 ERA) to the mound to face Cardinals RHP Carlos Martinez (0-3, 7.80). Scherzer is 2-6 with a 3.31 ERA in 11 career starts against St. Louis.

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Purdue Rolls Illinois Monday

The Illinois baseball team fell 20-6 to Purdue in the finale of their pod at Illinois Field.

 

The Illini scored a pair of runs in the fourth inning courtesy of a Kellen Sarver 2-run single. Illinois would get four more in the seventh inning. An RBI groundout from Taylor Jackson and a Branden Comia walk scored the first two runs of the inning, before Justin Janas added a 2-run single with the bases loaded.

 

RHP Aidan Maldonado (1.0 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 1 BB, 0 SO) started the game and suffered the loss for the Illini. LHP Ryan O'Hara and RHP Clayton Johnson each had scoreless relief appearances.

 

Illinois (10-14) will travel to West Lafayette, Indiana, next weekend to play three games against Purdue.

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Red Sox Roll White Sox

Kike Hernandez led off with a replay-aided home run and Bobby Dalbec worked a 14-pitch walk in a six-run first inning, helping the Red Sox beat the Chicago White Sox 11-4 on Monday in the first Patriots' Day game played apart from the Boston Marathon.

 

The Marathon was moved to Oct. 11 because of Massachusetts limits on crowds during the novel coronavirus pandemic. The Patriots' Day game, with a start shortly after 11 a.m., has been played by the Red Sox since 1959. It drew a limited crowd of 4,738.

 

Lucas Giolito (1-1) was removed with two on and no outs in the second. He allowed eight runs - seven earned - and eight hits as his ERA more than doubled from 2.55 to 5.79.

 

Nathan Eovaldi (3-1) matched his career-high with 10 strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings, allowing four runs and nine hits with no walks.

 

J.D. Martinez had two RBIs with a solo homer and single, and Alex Verdugo hit a solo homer for Boston, which split the four-game series. The Red Sox had lost three of four games following a nine-game winning streak.

 

Adam Eaton drove in three runs and had two doubles for Chicago (8-9), which has not moved above .500 this season.

 

The Red Sox wore white uniforms with red letters that read ''Boston'' across the front, which they've worn on Patriots' Day since the first game back after the Marathon bombings in 2013.

 

Boston's first six batters got hits.

 

Hernandez hit a drive off the ledge just above the Green Monster. Following a 55-second video review, he took off on his home run trot after waiting at first base.

 

Rafael Devers, Marwin Gonzalez and Franchy Cordero each had an RBI single.

 

Dalbec fouled off eight pitches after he had two strikes before drawing the walk.

 

Carlos Rodon (2-0, 0.00 ERA), who threw a no-hitter at home in his previous start against the Indians, is slated to face them on the road Tuesday. RHP Zach Plesac (1-1, 5.27) is scheduled for Cleveland. Hear tonight's action on WHOW with pregame at 4:30 pm and first pitch at 5:10 pm.

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Cardinals Pound Nationals

Paul DeJong hit two of the Cardinals' five homers, including a grand slam, Tommy Edman and Paul Goldschmidt went deep back-to-back and St. Louis offered Jack Flaherty his usual strong run support in a 12-5 victory Monday night over Ross and the Nationals.

 

Five days after Ross befuddled the Cardinals with a steady set of sinkers and sliders in Washington's 6-0 win, St. Louis figured it needed to try something different.

 

DeJong got the offense going by clanging a solo shot off the left-field foul pole in the second inning on a 95 mph sinker for the first run allowed by Ross (1-1) in three games this season after he sat out 2020 because of COVID-19 concerns.

 

DeJong ended Ross' evening with another drive to left, this one off a high fastball after Dylan Carlson was walked intentionally to load the bases, making it 10-2 in the fifth.

 

Edman, who hit a 3-0 pitch, and Goldschmidt homered in the third off Ross, whose season ERA went from 0.00 to 5.87 after he gave up 10 runs in 4 1/3 innings. Justin Williams added a shot off Ross' replacement, Kyle Finnegan.

 

Matt Carpenter, who came in batting .069 and was dropped to seventh in the order, provided an RBI single in the fourth as the Cardinals built a 6-0 lead with the help of Flaherty's sacrifice bunt.

 

Flaherty (3-0) is used to that sort of cushion. The Cardinals are averaging 11 runs in his four starts this season - and 3.25 runs in the 12 games started by other pitchers.

 

He is now 14-0 when St. Louis scores at least five runs in one of his starts.

 

Nationals lefty Patrick Corbin (0-2, 21.32 ERA) and Cardinals righty Adam Wainwright (0-2, 7.11) have been struggling heading into their pitching matchup Tuesday night.

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Bulls Hold Off Celtics

Nikola Vucevic had 29 points and nine rebounds, and Chicago held off the Boston Celtics 102-96 on Monday night.

 

Coby White added 19 points and seven assists to help the Bulls snap Boston's season-high six-game winning streak. Chicago has won its last two since a five-game skid to nudge in front of Toronto for 10th place in the Eastern Conference standings. Both wins have come without guard Zach LaVine, who remained in the health and safety protocols for the third straight game.

 

Boston led by 12 in second quarter but struggled to execute down the stretch and finished with 17 turnovers.

 

Jaylen Brown had 23 points. Jayson Tatum posted the first triple-double of his career with 14 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists. But he was just 3-of-17 from field.

 

The Celtics played without Kemba Walker (non-COVID-19-related illness), Marcus Smart (non-COVID-19-related illness), Evan Fournier (health and safety protocols) and Robert Williams (sore left knee).

 

The Bulls missed their first five shots of the game and fell into an early hole.

 

They got back in the game in the third quarter, closing the period a 24-10 run and taking a 74-66 lead to the fourth.

 

Boston didn't go away, and Brown tied the game at 90 with a 3-pointer with 3:25 remaining.

But Chicago then pushed back in front 96-90, taking advantage of a pair of Celtics' empty possessions.

 

Tremont Waters got Boston within 96-94 on a layup with 16.5 seconds left. The Celtics fouled and White pushed the lead back up to 98-94 with a pair of free throws.

 

Two free throws by Tatum but it to 98-96. But after White was fouled again, he calmly sank two more free throws.

 

Boston shot 20-of-39 from the field in the opening 24 minutes and led 48-42 lead at halftime.

 

Vucevic scored 17 in the first half to keep the Bulls within striking distance.

 

Daniel Theis, who was dealt by Boston at the trade deadline, finished with six points, six rebounds and four assists in his first matchup against his former team. . Chicago scored 16 points of Boston turnovers.

 

The Bulls are at Cleveland Wednesday.

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Spurs Down Struggling Pacers

Derrick White and Jakob Poeltl took advantage of their early mismatches by delivering a quick knockout punch and leading the San Antonio Spurs to a 109-94 victory over short-handed Indiana on Monday night.

 

White scored 16 of his 25 points in the first quarter, while Poeltl finished with 16 points and seven rebounds in the Spurs' second straight win.

 

Malcolm Brogdon and Caris LeVert each scored 18 to lead Indiana, which has lost three in a row.

But this time, the Pacers were without two-time All-Star Domantas Sabonis (sore lower back) and defensive player of the year candidate Myles Turner (right foot) as well as T.J. Warren, who will miss the rest of the season with a stress fracture in his left foot. Turner's replacement, Goga Bitadze, also didn't finish the game because of a sprained left ankle.

 

White's 3-pointer capped a 15-4 run to close the first quarter, which gave the Spurs a 36-21 lead they never surrendered. LeVert scored six straight late in the second quarter to cut the deficit to 47-38. But San Antonio still led 55-44 at halftime and sealed the victory by extending the lead to 21 in the third quarter.

 

The game was marred by a fourth-quarter shoving match that resulted in technical fouls on the two instigators - Indiana's JaKarr Sampson and Patty Mills - as well as Spurs forward Rudy Gay. Sampson was ejected following the brief fracas.

 

DeMar DeRozan finished with 18 points and needs five more to pass Earl Monroe (17,454 points) for No. 87 on the NBA's career scoring list.

 

The Pacers announced Monday that Turner is out indefinitely because of a partial tear in the plantar plate of his right foot. He has missed 10 games this season and yet started Monday ranked second in the league with 159 blocks, trailing only Rudy Gobert of Utah. Turner's streak of 64 consecutive games with a block ended during Indiana's recent road trip. Turner has a league-leading 12 games with five or more blocks this season.

 

The Pacers host Oklahoma City on Wednesday in the second game of a three-game homestand.

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Preds Topple Blackhawks

Luke Kunin and Calle Jarnkrok each scored a goal and added an assist to lead Nashville over Chicago 5-2 on Monday night.

 

Matt Duchene, Mattias Ekholm and Tanner Jeannot also scored and Mikael Granlund had two assists for the Predators, who snapped a two-game skid.

 

Alex DeBrincat and David Kampf scored for Chicago, which has lost two of three.

 

Nashville has won all six meetings between the teams so far this season as they battle for fourth place in the Central Division. Dallas, which defeated Detroit in a shootout Monday, also is involved in a tight three-way race for the division's final playoff spot.

 

Duchene scored the game's first goal at 6:22 of the opening period.

 

From above the left faceoff circle, Matt Benning threw the puck toward the slot, where it first tipped off Erik Haula's stick and then Duchene's before getting by Chicago goaltender Kevin Lankinen low to the glove side just inside the post.

 

Haula's assist was the 100th of his NHL career.

 

DeBrincat tied it at 15:14 of the first.

 

With Chicago on a power play, Nashville goaltender Juuse Saros stopped Patrick Kane's shot from the right side. The rebound landed on the stick of Pius Suter, who was standing just outside the crease, where he slid a quick backhand pass to DeBrincat on the left side and he beat Saros with a one-timer on the short side.

 

DeBrincat has at least one point in five straight games. His 23 goals on the season lead the Blackhawks.

 

Saros finished with 30 saves.

 

Nashville opened the second with a couple of quick goals 51 seconds apart. Jarnkrok struck at 4:48 off a nice pass from Granlund from behind the Chicago net. Ekholm followed at 5:39 with a wrist shot from the left circle on a partial breakaway.

 

Kampf brought the Blackhawks within a goal at 11:52 of the second when he found a loose puck in the slot and rifled it by Saros for his first goal of the season.

 

But then Jeannot and Kunin scored 18 seconds apart in the first minute of the third to break the game open for Nashville. Kunin's goal spelled the end of the night for Lankinen, who was replaced by Malcolm Subban after stopping 17 of the 22 shots he faced.

 

Subban made eight saves in relief.

 

Blackhawks forward Brandon Hagel missed the game after being placed on the NHL's COVID-19 list due to pending test results.

 

Hagel has six goals and 10 assists in 42 games played this season.

 

Adam Gaudette made his Blackhawks debut after being acquired from the Vancouver Canucks in a trade last Monday. Gaudette picked up an assist on Kampf's second-period goal.

 

The teams head to Chicago to play Wednesday and Friday. Those two games will conclude their season series.

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Illinois State Rolls Wisconsin-Milwaukee Sunday

The Illinois State baseball team won 10-2 at Milwaukee to snap a four-game skid and close the series on Sunday at Franklin Field.  

 

Junior Tyson Hays was 3-for-4 with a double, RBI, and walk to lead Illinois State (13-21 overall, 4-4 MVC).

 

Freshman Ryan Cermak recorded a triple, two RBIs, and two runs scored and sophomore Hayden Jones had two hits and three runs scored. Junior Jack Butler added a hit and three RBIs.

 

Milwaukee (15-16 overall, 12-8 Horizon) was out-hit by Illinois State in all four games of the series.

 

Illinois State is scheduled to return to Missouri Valley Conference action with a four-game series against Evansville at Duffy Bass Field this weekend.

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Illini Drop Sunday Matchup With Purdue

The Illinois baseball team dropped Sunday's game to Purdue, 6-4 at Illinois Field. 

 

Purdue picked up two runs in the top of the ninth inning. Xavier Watson hit his first career homer in the fifth, a solo shot out to left field. Then, Cam McDonald hit a game-tying, 2-run homer to right field with two outs in the bottom of the eighth.

 

Purdue (9-15) would respond in the ninth though with a go-ahead, 2-run double from Miles Simington off Jack Crowder.

 

After consecutive games with 13+ runs and 15+ hits, the offense hit a snag. The Illini were only able to score four runs and record four hits in the game.

 

The Illini took two straight from Michigan State Friday and Saturday over the weekend and will wrap up their pod today against Purdue at 3 p.m. CT. Aidan Maldonado will get his first start of the season.

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White Sox Roll to Double Header Split Over Red Sox

Tim Anderson homered on the game's first pitch, Dallas Keuchel pitched five solid innings and the Chicago White Sox beat the Boston Red Sox 3-2 on Sunday in the opener of a split-admission doubleheader.

 

Yasmani Grandal had an RBI double and Yoan Moncada drove in a run with a single for the White Sox, who had lost three straight.

 

It was just the second loss in the last 12 for the Red Sox, who wore their yellow-and-blue City Series uniforms for the second straight game.

 

Kike Hernandez homered around the right-field foul pole for Boston, which entered the day with a majors' most seven come-from-behind victories.

 

Anderson sent Tanner Houck's 96.8 mph fastball in Boston's bullpen.

 

The doubleheader was scheduled after Friday's game was postponed due to snow and rain. The second game is slated to start at 5:05 p.m.

 

Keuchel (1-0) gave up two runs and six hits, breezing through the first seven batters before Bobby Dalbec doubled high off the Green Monster. Liam Hendriks got the final three outs for his second save, striking out Dalbec with a runner on first for the final out.

 

Making his fifth major league start, Houck (0-2) gave up three runs and six hits over 4 1/3 innings.

Red Sox right fielder Hunter Renfroe made a nice over-the-shoulder running grab on the track and had an RBI single.

 

Yermin Mercedes opened Chicago's three-run fourth inning with a long homer, and the White Sox completed a sweep of their split-admission doubleheader against the Boston Red Sox on Sunday with a 5-1 victory.

 

Nick Madrigal had two hits.

 

J.D. Martinez had an RBI single for Boston's lone run in the second game.

 

Back wearing their traditional white uniforms with red letters and numbers in the nightcap, the Red Sox lost for the third time in four games after their nine-game winning streak.

 

Matt Foster (1-1) got five outs in scoreless relief for the win. Liam Hendriks got the final three outs in both games.

 

Chicago's bullpen went a combined six innings of scoreless relief in the two games. The Red Sox were held to four hits in the nightcap.

 

The teams play the series finale Monday morning in Boston's annual Patriots' Day Game with a scheduled 11:05 a.m. first pitch at Fenway Park. Lucas Giolito (1-0, 2.55 ERA) is slated to go for the White Sox against Nathan Eovaldi (2-1, 2.08).

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Braves Pound Cubs

Ronald Acuna's abdominal strain cast a shadow over Atlanta's 13-4 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Sunday night, even after the Braves bashed four homers in the first inning against Kyle Hendricks.

 

Freddie Freeman, Travis d'Arnaud, Ehire Adrianza and Guillermo Heredia connected during Atlanta's fast start, and Heredia added his first career grand slam in the sixth for his first multihomer game. But the Braves' big concern after the win was the status of Acuna, who departed in the fourth after he got banged up during a tough trip around the bases.

 

Heredia finished with a career-high six RBIs, and d'Arnaud drove in three runs. Bryse Wilson (1-0) pitched five innings of three-run ball in his first appearance of the season.

 

Anthony Rizzo hit two solo drives for Chicago, which lost for the sixth time in eight games. It was Rizzo's first multihomer game since Aug. 29 at Cincinnati and No. 19 for his career.

 

The Cubs bashed six homers during Saturday's 13-4 victory, but it was the Braves showing off their power in the rubber game of the weekend set.

 

Freeman kicked it off with a one-out solo drive that cleared the bleachers in right for his fifth homer, traveling an estimated 421 feet. D'Arnaud connected for a two-run shot, Adrianza belted a solo homer and Heredia capped Atlanta's six-run first with another two-run drive.

 

The Braves hit four homers in the first inning for the first time since May 28, 2003, against Cincinnati. The Cubs allowed four homers in an inning for the first time since the seventh on July 4, 2010, against the Reds.

 

Hendricks (0-2) was tagged for seven runs and seven hits in four innings in his first start since April 7. The right-hander was slated to pitch Tuesday at Milwaukee, but he was scratched because of an illness.

 

Following a day off, RHP Jake Arrieta (2-1, 3.18 ERA) starts Tuesday night in the opener of a three-game series against the New York Mets. RHP Taijuan Walker (0-0, 2.61 ERA) goes for the visiting Mets.

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Phillies Blank Cardinals

Aaron Nola struck out 10 and threw a two-hitter for his first nine-inning shutout in the majors, leading the Philadelphia Phillies to a 2-0 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday.

 

Bryce Harper homered and had three hits for the Phillies.

 

Nola threw a pair of doubleheader-shortened complete games last season, including a shutout. But he never pitched into the ninth inning over his first 142 career starts.

 

First baseman Rhys Hoskins tossed Nola the ball and saluted the righty after the final out. Nola (1-1) threw 109 pitches and did little more than give a small fist bump when he completed the milestone.

 

Nola pitched like the ace the Phillies need if they want to get back to the playoffs for the first time since 2011. Nola allowed only two singles and retired 13 straight going into the eighth. He did not walk a batter.

 

Nolan needed to become a stopper -- and he came up big a day after the Cardinals' 9-4 win, shutting down for a day the critics that say he's not a true ace in a division loaded with stars like Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom.

 

Jon Gant struck out five and walked five in five innings. Alec Bohm touched him for a sacrifice fly in the fifth inning for a 2-0 lead.

 

Yadier Molina led off the second with a single and that was the Cardinals' only hit until Paul DeJong singled to open the eighth. Nola struck out Austin Dean to end the eighth and earned a rousing ovation from 10,876 fans at Citizens Bank Park. It was Nola's 10th strikeout, his 17th career double-digit game.

 

The Cardinals fell to 7-8 with a team batting average of .221.

 

The Cardinals send RHP Jack Flaherty (2-0, 4.11 ERA) to the mound Monday against Washington. The Nationals have not named a starter. Flaherty has allowed four hits and struck out 12 over his last 11 innings.

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Hawks Get By Pacers

Trae Young scored 34 points, Clint Capela had 25 points and 24 rebounds and the Atlanta Hawks beat the Indiana Pacers 129-117 on Sunday.

 

Bogdan Bogdanovic and Kevin Huerter each chipped in 23 points and Young had 11 assists for the Hawks, who have won eight of 10 and are 17-6 under interim coach Nate McMillan. Atlanta has won nine of 11 at home.

 

Malcolm Brogdon finished with 29 points and Domantas Sabonis and T.J. McConnell scored 18 apiece for Indiana, which had won five of seven on the road.

 

The Hawks, who led by 20 in the first quarter, let the Pacers cut the lead to three in the second but went back up by 10 on Bogdanovic's 3 with 6:03 to go in the third.

 

Indiana was far from done, however, and pulled within one on T.J. McConnell's fast-break layup at the 2:21 mark of the third. Miles Turner's layup made it 89-88 before Huerter answered with a 3 in the final minute of the period.

 

Capela's putback pushed the lead to eight with 9 minutes remaining before Sabonis' hook shot forced a 105-all tie with 5:09 to go. After Bogdanovic hit a 3 to make it 115-109 at the 3:19 mark, Capela made it an eight-point lead less than a minute later. That essentially ended the game as the Hawks pushed the lead back to double digits in the final minute.

 

The Pacers, who began the day in ninth place in the Eastern Conference standings, missed their first 10 attempts beyond the arc before Aaron Holiday hit one to cut the lead to 43-35.

 

The Hawks made it 30-10 on two free throws by Young at the 3:19 mark of the first. They ended the period up 12 points, but Indiana pulled within three on Jeremy Lamb's layup with 5:07 left in the second.

 

Atlanta made it 60-50 at the 1:28 mark on Capela's fast-break layup. Capela had 16 points and 10 rebounds at the break and finished with his second 20-20 game this season and 10th of his career.

The Pacers host San Antonio tonight.

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Alex Bowman Rallies With Late Caution To Take Richmond

Alex Bowman won for the third time in his career Sunday and denied Hamlin a win in a race he had dominated to become the eighth winner in nine Cup races this season. He dedicated the victory to crew member William “Rowdy” Harrell and his wife, Blakley Harrell, who were killed in a November car crash in Florida while on their honeymoon.

 

Bowman, who came from nowhere with 10 laps to go at Richmond Raceway to put the No. 48 Chevrolet in victory lane for the first time in nearly four years.

 

Bowman’s victory in the No. 48 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports came on the same day the former driver of the car, seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson, made his debut in the IndyCar Series in Alabama. It was the first victory for the No. 48 since June 4, 2017.

 

Bowman overcame a penalty on lap 247 for a loose tire on pit road to rally for the win.

 

For Hamlin, it was the third defeat in three races.

 

At the dirt race at Bristol Motor Speedway he didn’t do enough to move Joey Logano out of his way to earn the win, and last week at Martinsville Speedway he was caught late by Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Martin Truex Jr.

 

In Richmond, Hamlin raced with the hashtag #fedexstrong on the back of his car and on his pit wall to honor the eight people who were fatally shot at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis on Thursday. He again had the dominant car and led 207 of the 400 laps. He’s led 483 laps the last two weeks.

 

Hamlin won the first two stages and notched his eighth top-five finish in nine starts this season.

Last week, he led 276 laps at Martinsville Speedway, but lost the lead to Truex with 15 laps to go.

Hamlin did hang on Sunday to finish second, followed by Logano, Christopher Bell and Truex, who led 107 laps and overcame a penalty for speeding on pit road. Kyle Busch finished eighth, the second week in a row that all four JGR drivers finished in the top 10.

 

Kevin Harvick raced in the top 10 for much of the race but his day was ruined about 20 laps from the end when a blown tire sent him into the Turn 1 wall. He finished 24th.

 

A week after the race at Martinsville featured plenty of paint-trading and 15 cautions for 102 laps, this race saw only five yellow flags, and only two for incidents on the track. 

 

Brad Keselowski, the winner of the only race at Richmond last year, gambled during the second stage by staying on the track when the leaders pitted on lap 184. It gave him a huge lead, but with 50 laps left in the stage, he had no chance to hold off the leaders and wound up going a lap down just before the stage ended. He finished 14th.

 

After three straight races on short tracks, the series heads to the largest track in NASCAR — 2.66-mile Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama.

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Monticello Surges Past Olympia

Chris Brown found the end zone six times and Monticello used a big surge to beat Olympia 42-12 Friday night in Illini Prairie Conference football action at Olympia High School.

 

Leading 14-12 late in the second quarter, Monticello closed out the first half with a touchdown drive where Brown scored from 7-yards out on a well-executed quarterback option to open up a 21-12 halftime lead. 

 

The Sages needed just three plays out of the intermission to get to the end zone capped by a 32-yard run by Brown again to make it 28-12. 

 

Brown would find the end zone twice more before the quarter was out and the Sages surged to a 42-12 lead. 

 

Brown finished with 146 yards rushing and four touchdowns and added 88 yards with two scores in the air.

 

Junior quarterback Joey Sprinkle was very efficient, finishing 7-for-9 for 150 yards and two touchdowns as well as 55 yards rushing.

 

With Friday’s four touchdowns, Brown has found the end zone 10 times in the last two weeks after a slow start to the season.

 

Hayden Graham had two receptions for 57 yards.

 

Monticello improved to 5-0 on the season while the Spartans drop to 3-2 overall.

 

The Sages finish the abbreviated football season Saturday afternoon hosting St. Joseph-Ogden for a 2 pm kick. Hear all the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

 

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Maroons Upset Sullivan on Senior Night

In a game heard on WHOW, The Clinton Maroons defeated the Sullivan Redskins by a score of 26-6 on Friday night. The Maroons were led by junior quarterback Ethan Boyer, who in his second start was 10 of 17 passing for 200 yards and 2 touchdowns. Boyer went 7 for 54 yards rushing and a touchdown. Zeke Hickman had 13 carries for 98 yards, and 3 catches for 61 yards. B-Rok Designs Player of the Game Aiden Schlesinger had 3 catches for 52 yards. 

 

The Redskins were led by Luke Vanderbaugh who was 8 of 24 passing for 45 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He went 8 for 77 yards rushing.

 

Tune in Friday, April 23, as the Maroons host the Central A&M Raiders. You can hear the game live on the Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM/106.5 FM WHOW, online at dewittdailynews.com, and on the WHOW mobile app.

 

 

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Maroons Travel to Sullivan

The Clinton Maroons will look to build on a win last week over Meridian when they travel to Sullivan tonight for a Central Illinois Conference high school football matchup.

 

Coach Chris Ridgeway credits the defense in its win 28-26 win. He believes there were several key moments and players that made big plays - including a stand on a two-point conversion late in the game that kept Meridian from tying the game.

 

 

Coach Ridgeway says Sullivan is fast and play a lot of man defense. He calls it a matchup of conflicting styles.

 

Hear tonight's action at 7 pm on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM/106.5 FM WHOW and at dewittdailynews.com, at the WHOW Mobile app and at Amazon Alexa.

 

Central Illinois

 

Clinton vs. Sullivan-Okaw Valley

Decatur St. Teresa vs. Warrensburg-Latham

Central A & M vs. Shelbyville

Tuscola vs. Meridian

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Monticello Travels to Olympia

The Monticello Sages hit the road tonight for an Illini Prairie Conference matchup with Olympia in high school football action.

 

The Sages have rolled to a 4-0 start to the season with its most recent win a 43-0 rout of Mattoon last Saturday is the second straight shutout for Monticello, following their 40-0 win over Rantoul two weeks ago.

 

This game comes with a bit of COVID-related drama. Both the freshman and JV contests between the two teams have been canceled. Barring any more developments in the Olympia program, administrators are confident the game will be played.

 

Administrators expect to know by mid-afternoon today (Friday) about the status of this game, however, in the event it cannot get played, Monticello administrators are working on finding a backup matchup for this week. 

 

Keep it tuned to Regional Radio News for the latest in any developments on this situation.

Hear action from Olympia High School on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com. 

Illini Prairie

 

Bloomington Central Catholic vs. St. Joseph-Ogden

 

8-Man Football 

 

Flanagan-Cornell-Woodland vs. Milford (Sat.)
Champaign St. Thomas More vs. Edwardsville Metro-East Lutheran (Sat.)

 

Apollo

 

Charleston vs. Taylorville - Sat.
Lincoln vs. Mattoon
Mt. Zion vs. Effingham

 

Lincoln Prairie

 

Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond vs. Sangamon Valley
Cerro Gordo-Bement vs. Arcola
Toledo-Cumberland vs. Argenta-Oreana
Villa Grove-Heritage vs. Oakland Tri-County

 

Mid-Illini

 

Limestone vs. Dunlap
Canton vs. Washington 
East Peoria vs. Morton 
Metamora vs. Pekin 

 

Sangamo


Williamsville vs. Maroa-Forsyth

 

Non-conference

 

Mahomet-Seymour vs. Tolono Unity
Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin (JV) vs. Carlinville (Sat.)

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Central Illinois Outdoors Takes Aim at Bow Fishing

The growing popularity of bow fishing takes center stage this week on Central Illinois Outdoors with Jared White.

 

White has a series of guests that will discuss bow fishing in central Illinois, the equipment you need, and updates on fishing in central Illinois, and the 'Catch of the Week' features a young Illinois youth's first turkey hunt with an entertaining accompanying story.

 

 

Hear this week's show:

 

Saturday at 10a on 870 WTIM - Taylorville

Sunday at 8a on 1520 WHOW - Clinton

Sunday at 8a on 106.5FM - Bloomington/Normal

Sunday at 8a on 96.5TheWinner-Taylorville

 

Then on Monday catch the podcast at centralillinoisoutdoors.com. 

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Cleveland Baseball Team Doubles-Up White Sox

Slumping Jose Ramirez connected for a go-ahead, two-run homer off Lance Lynn in the sixth inning and the Cleveland Indians bounced back from being no-hit, beating the Chicago White Sox 4-2 Thursday.

 

After Carlos Rodon just missed a perfect game in pitching a no-hitter Wednesday night, there was a different kind of tension this time as the benches emptied in the bottom of the first.

 

Adam Eaton singled and tried to advance when Indians right fielder Josh Naylor threw to third, hoping to get lead runner Tim Anderson. Eaton arrived ahead of the throw back to second, but was called out when his hand came off the bag while shortstop Andres Gimenez stood his ground and held the tag.

 

Eaton grabbed Gimenez's leg, began barking and then pushed Gimenez in the chest with two hands. Indians starter Aaron Civale plunked Eaton with a pitch in the upper arm in the third.

 

Eaton said he had stopped at second and that Gimenez lifted arm off the bag. Eaton complained to second base umpire Bill Miller to no avail.

 

Civale (3-0) allowed only a run - in the first - and five hits through six innings in his third straight strong start. The 25-year-old right-hander struck out four, walked two and lowered his ERA to 2.18.

 

Nick Wittgren and James Karinchak followed with a scoreless inning each. Emmanuel Clase allowed an unearned run in the ninth, but got his his third save.

 

Lynn (1-1) permitted his first two earned runs this season on five hits through six innings, while striking out 10 and walking none. The right-hander had tossed his second career shutout in his previous outing, fanning 11 last week against Kansas City.

 

Gimenez drove in an insurance run with a ground out in the seventh. The Indians added an unearned run in the eighth when reigning AL MVP Jose Abreu made a fielding and throwing error on Ramirez's grounder.

 

Anderson returned to the White Sox lineup and had two hits. The 2019 AL batting champ suffered a left hamstring injury on April 4 in Anaheim.

 

Anderson led off the game with a single and came around to score Chicago's first run on Yoan Moncada's RBI hit.

 

Dylan Cease (0-0, 3.86) starts against Nick Pivetta (2-0, 3.27) at Boston on Friday.

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Cubs P Tapera, Manager Ross Suspended

Chicago Cubs pitcher Ryan Tepera was suspended for three games on Thursday by Major League Baseball, which concluded he intentionally threw at Milwaukee’s Brandon Woodruff this week.

 

Tepera appealed the penalty handed down by MLB senior vice president for on-field operations Michael Hill. Tepera, who also was fined, will not have to serve any discipline while the appeal is pending before MLB special adviser John McHale Jr.

 

Cubs manager David Ross was suspended for one game and fined because of Tepera’s actions.

Managers immediately serve discipline, and Ross will sit out the Cubs’ series opener against Atlanta on Friday.

 

Chicago’s Willson Contreras was hit by a pitch from Woodruff leading off the fourth inning on Tuesday night. Tepera threw a pitch behind Woodruff in the fifth.

 

Contreras hit a go-ahead, two-run homer off Brent Suter in the eighth, and the Cubs went on to win 3-2.

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Red Wings Roll Blackhawks

Jakub Vrana scored in his Detroit debut, and Troy Stecher added two goals for the Red Wings in a 4-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday night.

 

Vrana and Richard Panik played for the first time since the Red Wings acquired them in a trade Monday with Washington. Vrana put Detroit up 2-1 with a breakaway goal in the second period.

 

Duncan Keith scored the only goal for Chicago, which remained four points behind Nashville for the fourth spot in the Central Division.

 

Michael Rasmussen scored into an empty net for the Red Wings, who have a three-game winning streak for the first time this season.

 

Chicago hit the post twice in rapid succession during one first-period sequence, and Keith eventually gave the Blackhawks a 1-0 lead, taking a cross-ice pass from Alex DeBrincat and scoring from the left circle.

 

Stecher tied it in the second when his seemingly harmless shot from behind the right circle hit Kevin Lankinen's blocker and bounced over the goalie and in.

 

Vrana then put the Red Wings ahead immediately after serving a bench minor for too many men on the ice. When he came out of the box, he took a pass from Gustav Lindstrom and was in alone for his 12th goal of the season.

 

Thomas Greiss had 24 saves for the Red Wings.

 

The Blackhawks complete the two-game set in Detroit on Saturday.

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Michael Jordan Will Present Kobe Bryant for Hall of Fame Induction

Michael Jordan will present Kobe Bryant for induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame next month.

 

Hall officials revealed the full list of presenters Thursday. Members of a Hall class are asked to choose who they would like to accompany them to the stage and present them before their acceptance speech; when the inductee is being enshrined posthumously, as in Bryant’s case, family members are asked to make the decision on presenter.

 

Jordan tearfully spoke for more than 11 minutes at the memorial for Bryant and his daughter Gianna in Los Angeles in February 2020.

 

The enshrinement ceremony is May 15 in Uncasville, Connecticut.

 

Jordan will also present Baylor women’s basketball coach Kim Mulkey, another member of the 2020 class. Tim Duncan will be presented by his longtime San Antonio Spurs teammate David Robinson, and Kevin Garnett will be presented by Isiah Thomas.

 

Duncan, Garnett and Bryant combined for 48 All-Star selections during their careers.

 

Four-time Olympic gold medalist and 10-time WNBA All-Star Tamika Catchings will be presented by Alonzo Mourning and Dawn Staley; former Bentley women’s coach and winner of more than 1,000 games Barbara Stevens will be presented by Geno Auriemma and Muffet McGraw; the late three-time Final Four coach Eddie Sutton will be presented by John Calipari, Bill Self and Sidney Moncrief; two-time NBA champion coach Rudy Tomjanovich will be presented by Calvin Murphy and Hakeem Olajuwon; and the late longtime FIBA executive Patrick Baumann will be presented by Russ Granik and Vlade Divac.

 

The enshrinement ceremony was originally scheduled for August 2020 and was postponed by the pandemic.

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NASCAR Wraps Up Short Track Stetch at Richmond

Richmond Raceway first hosted the NASCAR Cup Series in 1953, and on Sunday the three-quarter-mile oval will host its 129th Cup race. 

 

The green flag drops on the 2021 Toyota Owners 400 at 3 p.m. ET and Martin Truex Jr. will be on the pole using NASCAR's competition-based formula to determine the 2021 NASCAR at Richmond starting grid. Truex is coming off a win last week at Martinsville and won both of the 2019 races in Richmond.

 

Truex Jr. passed teammate Denny Hamlin with 15 laps to go at Martinsville and became the first repeat winner in the series this year. Hamlin led 276 laps at Martinsville and leads all drivers with 487 through eight races.

 

Consistent but winless Hamlin remains the points leader, 76 over Truex thanks to seven top-five finishes in eight races. Joey Logano is third, 77 points behind, followed by Kyle Larson and Ryan Blaney. 

 

Truex won both races on the 0.75-mile oval in 2019. Kyle Busch leads active drivers with six wins at Richmond.

 

Truex is the 7-2 favorite in the latest 2021 Toyota Owners odds from William Hill Sportsbook. But plenty of other superstars have had success on this famed short track, with Brad Keselowski (5-1), Denny Hamlin (5-1), Kyle Busch (10-1) and Kevin Harvick (10-1) all near the top of the NASCAR at Richmond 2021 odds board.

 

The Gander Mountain Truck Series tried to return after a 14-year absence last spring, but the race was moved to the fall because of the pandemic and Grant Enfinger won after starting fifth.

 

John Hunter Nemechek, who drives for Kyle Busch, is the series points leader with four top 10 finishes in five races.

 

Ben Rhodes, the winner of the season’s first two events, is just six points back and 2020 champion Sheldon Creed is next with three-time series champion Matt Crafton fourth. 

 

Enfinger’s victory last year was one of four for him in the season, second to Creed in the series.

Toyotas have won all five races so far.

 

The ToyotaCare 250 is Saturday afternoon at 12:30 pm local time. 

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Young Cameron Smith Rolls to Round 1 Lead at RBC Heritage

Cameron Smith birdied the difficult 17th and 18th holes at Harbour Town to shoot a 9-under 62, his career low on the PGA Tour, and take a one-shot lead over Stewart Cink at the RBC Heritage on Thursday.

 

Cink finished his 63 around lunchtime and no one appeared likely to beat that score in overcast, breezier afternoon conditions. Yet Smith played his best down the challenging stretch.

 

The Australian chipped in for birdie on the par-3 17th, then stuck his approach to the lighthouse finishing hole within 5 feet to take the lead. Smith surpassed his previous low of 63, accomplished three times on tour.

 

The 47-year-old Cink shot his lowest score in 75 career rounds at Harbour Town.

 

Collin Morikawa, who will defend his PGA Championship title up the South Carolina coast next month, shot 65 along with Matt Wallace. Charles Howell III, Billy Horschel and Harold Varner III shot 66.

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High School Sports Programs Balancing Another Overlap of Sports Seasons

Nearly a month removed from the overlap of the abbreviated high school winter sports season and pandemic postponed spring high school sports season; coaches, athletes, and administrators are balancing the overlap of the spring and summer sports seasons.

 

Hall of Fame football coach at Monticello High School, Cully Welter indicates this is definitely a challenge as many programs share not only athletes but coaches. He also points out, it puts a lot of stress on the kids as Monticello encourages youth to play as many sports as possible.

 

 

The IHSA indicated out of their April board of directors meeting they are planning for a regular sports season in 2021-22 with state competitions. They also announced a 'summer' sports state series will happen and announced the sites for those series' this week as well.

 

Unlike the winter and 'spring' sports seasons, there will be an overlap in competitions for 'spring' and 'summer' sports starting next week.

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Nats Blank Cardinals

Joe Ross pitched six sharp innings and the Washington Nationals threw their first regular-season shutout at Busch Stadium, blanking the St. Louis Cardinals 6-0 Wednesday.

 

Ross (1-0) improved to 3-0 in four career starts against the Cardinals. He allowed four hits, struck out five and walked one. He also singled and scored a run.

 

Ross opted out of the 2020 season due to health concerns and underwent Tommy John surgery in 2017.

 

Four relievers combined to hold St. Louis hitless the rest of the way.

 

The Nationals, who started play in Washington in 2005, had pitched a shutout at St. Louis in the 2019 NL Championship Series opener, but never in the regular season.

 

Ryan Zimmerman hit his first homer of the season, a two-run drive in the third off Adam Wainwright (0-2). Zimmerman's 271st career home run hit the top of the wall and bounced into the left-center fielder bleacher seats.

 

The shutout came less than 24 hours after the Cardinals scored 14 runs in a 14-3 win Tuesday.

 

Wainwright pitched five innings, allowing seven hits and four runs - three earned - with seven strikeouts and two walks. At 39 and in his 16th season, Wainwright is the oldest active player in the National League and fourth in Major League Baseball.

 

Cardinals SS Paul DeJong and CF Dylan Carlson get their first break from starting this season by getting the game off. Edmundo Sosa played short and Thomas patrolled center field. Carlson pinch-hit in the seventh and drew a walk.

 

After an off day Thursday, RHP Carlos Martinez (0-2, 6.30) will be making his first start against the Phillies since June 22, 2017, and just his second career start at Citizen's Bank Park in Philadelphia. The Phillies have not announced a starter for the game. 

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Carlos Rodon Fires No-Hitter for Sox

As heard on WHOW, Carrlos Rodon threw the second no-hitter of the young baseball season Wednesday night, losing his bid for a perfect game on a hit batter with one out in the ninth inning, and the Chicago White Sox cruised to an 8-0 victory over the Cleveland Indians.

 

The 28-year-old pitcher got some help from AL MVP Jose Abreu, who picked up Josh Naylor's slow bouncer leading off the ninth and got his toe on first base in the nick of time. The pandemic-limited crowd of 7,148, bundled up on a cool, crisp night, had to endure a quick replay review when the Indians challenged, but the call was upheld.

 

Rodon then plunked Roberto Perez on the back foot with an 0-2 slider - the only runner he allowed. An incredulous Rodon looked on almost in bewilderment as Perez made his way to first, asking the veteran catcher if the ball actually hit him.

 

Rodon regained his composure in time to strike out Yu Chang looking and retire Jordan Luplow on a sharp grounder to third baseman Yoan Moncada, starting a joyous celebration. Rodon held out his arms as Moncada jumped toward him and backup catcher Zack Collins joined the impromptu party.

 

Sidelined by a string of injuries throughout his career, Rodon was out of a job for a while last winter

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Back in December, the White Sox declined to offer him a 2021 contract. The No. 3 pick in the 2014 amateur draft re-signed with the team as a free agent, agreeing to a one-year deal for $3 million on Feb. 1.

 

Looks like a pretty good call at the moment. Rodon (2-0) won a spot in the rotation in spring training and pitched five scoreless innings in his first start of the season. He was supposed to pitch Monday against Cleveland, but was scratched because of an upset stomach.

 

It was the first no-hitter for the White Sox since Lucas Giolito pitched one Aug. 25 last year against Pittsburgh and No. 20 in franchise history, second-most among major league teams behind the Dodgers (23).

 

Rodon was helped by a six-run first inning that included another long homer by rookie Yermin Mercedes, one of baseball's biggest surprises early in the season.

 

With one out and runners on the corners, Mercedes turned on Zach Plesac's fastball and drove it an estimated 431 feet to left for his third homer. He went 3 for 5 to run his batting average to .500 (19 for 38).

 

Leury Garcia hit an RBI double and scored on Nick Madrigal's single before Francona pulled Plesac (1-2) with two outs. It was the shortest start of his career.

 

Aaron Civale and Lance Lynn pitch in the series finale Thursday afternoon. Civale (2-0, 2.45 ERA) tossed 7 2/3 innings of three-hit ball in Cleveland's 11-3 victory over Detroit on Saturday. Lynn (1-0, 0.00) is coming off his second career shutout, striking out 11 during a 6-0 victory over Kansas City in Chicago's home opener last week.

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Pacers Ground Rockets

Caris LeVert scored 27 points, Domantas Sabonis added 22 and Malcolm Brogdon fell just short of a triple-double as the Indiana Pacers beat the Houston Rockets 132-124 on Wednesday night.

 

LeVert was involved in the blockbuster January trade that sent James Harden from Houston to Brooklyn and Victor Oladipo from Indiana to Houston. While Oladipo struggled during his brief tenure in Houston, LeVert has starred with the Pacers, scoring at least 20 points in five of his last seven games.

 

Sabonis was dominant in the paint, making 10 of 18 shots from the field while also grabbing 11 rebounds and adding seven assists.

 

Brogdon fell one assist shy of his second career triple-double and his first since his rookie season in 2016-2017. He had 23 points, nine assists and 14 rebounds, one shy of his career-high.

 

Indiana has won five of its last seven games and is 5-3 in April following a 6-8 record in March.

 

Houston has lost four straight and nine of 10.

 

The Rockets were led by John Wall's 31 points and nine assists. Christian Wood had 25 points and 13 rebounds, and Kelly Olynyk added 25 points, including 14 in the third quarter.

 

The Pacers will play their next two games in the early afternoon, first in Utah on Friday and then in Atlanta on Saturday. 

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Magic Topple Bulls

James Ennis scored 22 points, Wendell Carter Jr. added 19 points and 12 rebounds, and the Orlando Magic snapped a six-game losing streak by beating the Chicago Bulls 115-106 on Wednesday night despite big performances by Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic.

 

The Magic outscored Chicago by 20 in the third quarter to turn a one-point lead into a 93-72 advantage and hung on after Chicago cut it to 104-98. Carter scored on a tip-in and Michael Carter-Williams dunked after stealing a pass from LaVine to make it a 10-point game with 3:12 remaining.

 

LaVine scored 30. Vucevic had 29 points and 11 rebounds in his first game against the Magic since they dealt the two-time All-Star to Chicago at the deadline. But the Bulls fell to 3-8 since the trade.

 

Ennis shot 5 of 6 from 3-point range. He also scored 12 points in the third.

 

Carter, acquired in the Vucevic trade, came up big in his first game against the team that drafted him with the No. 7 overall pick in 2018. 

 

Gary Harris and Carter-Williams scored 15 apiece for the Magic.

 

LaVine scored 21 in the fourth quarter. Daniel Theis finished with 16 points, but the Bulls dropped their fourth in a row.

 

The Bulls host Memphis on Friday.

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Brewers Blank Cubs

Corbin Burnes struck out 10 in six dominant innings and also delivered a bases-loaded single for his first two career RBIs as the Milwaukee Brewers defeated the Chicago Cubs 7-0 on Wednesday.

 

The 26-year-old right-hander has knocked home twice as many runs (two) as he has allowed (one) through his first three outings of the year.

 

Burnes (1-1) has 30 strikeouts while allowing only four hits and nowalks in 18 1/3 innings. He gave up two hits Wednesday.

 

Burnes' performance helped the Brewers take two of three in the series and gain a measure of revenge one day after an emotionally charged 3-2 loss to the Cubs.

 

Milwaukee had given up a go-ahead, two-run homer to Willson Contreras on Tuesday after hitting him with a pitch earlier in the game. Cubs reliever Ryan Tepera threw a pitch behind Brewers starter Brandon Woodruff, who had thrown the pitch that hit Contreras.

 

Wednesday's game saw no trouble in response. Milwaukee's Keston Hiura was hit by a pitch in the fourth inning, without incident.

 

Travis Shaw scored one of Milwaukee's two runs in the first inning and delivered a solo shot in the third off Jake Arrieta (2-1), who struck out five and gave up three runs in five innings.

 

The Cubs have Thursday off before opening a home series with Atlanta on Friday.

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Avalanche Outlast Blues

Mikko Rantanen and J.T. Compher each had a goal and an assist and the Colorado Avalanche won their fourth straight with a 4-3 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday night.

 

Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Brandon Saad also scored, and Liam O'Brien had a pair of assists for Colorado, which improved to 17-1-2 since March 10, setting a mark for the best 20-game stretch in franchise history.

 

Devan Dubnyk made 31 saves in his Avalanche debut after being acquired from San Jose on Saturday.

 

Mike Hoffman had two goals and an assist, Vince Dunn scored, and Jordan Binnington made 24 saves for the Blues, who had their three-game winning streak snapped.

 

St. Louis remained one point ahead of Arizona with two games in hand in the race for the final playoff spot in the West Division.

 

The Avalanche took control with a dominant second period.

 

Compher broke a 1-1 tie at the 2:52 mark, swatting in a rebound of an O'Brien tip that trickled through Binnington's pads. Connor Timmins, called up from the AHL prior to the game, got his first NHL point with an assist on the goal.

 

Rantanen's slap shot from the point found its way through traffic to make it 3-1 Avalanche at 5:17. Nathan MacKinnon got the secondary assist to extend his scoring streak to 11 games.

 

Saad blasted a one-timer with 8:43 left in the second to give Colorado a three-goal lead.

 

The three-goal outburst in the second allowed the Avalanche to withstand a late comeback bid by the Blues.

 

Hoffman banked the puck in off Dubnyk's back to cut it to 4-2 early in the third period. Hoffman scored again on the power play with 3:16 left to cut the deficit to one.

 

Bellemare gave the Avalanche a 1-0 lead midway through the first period, scoring off a drop pass from O'Brien, who won the puck in the left circle.

 

Dunn tied the game with a power-play goal on a tip from a Tyler Bozak feed with 4:40 left in the first. Dunn has nine points in his last 11 games.

 

The Blues travel to Arizona on Saturday night.

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NASCAR Driver Wallace Urging Vaccinations

NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace is partnering with Novant Health to address the hesitancy to get vaccinated for COVID-19.

 

Wallace, the only Black driver in NASCAR, received his COVID vaccine on Tuesday at his race team’s shop in North Carolina. He says it’s important to learn about the vaccine and for him to do his part. He’s encouraging others to get their shot “and help get us all safely back to normal.”

 

There are significant hesitancy rates across communities, particularly among minority populations. Novant Health says its vaccination rate for Asian and Black patients at a community event is three times that of the general North Carolina vaccination rate.

 

Wallace’s racing team 23XI Racing is co-owned by Michael Jordan and Cup driver Denny Hamlin.

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Cleveland Blanks White Sox

As heard on WHOW, Shane Bieber pitched three-hit ball over nine innings for Cleveland while Lucas Giolito nearly matched him before the Indians broke through in the 10th to beat the Chicago White Sox 2-0 on Tuesday night.

 

Bieber (1-1) struck out 11 and has fanned 35 in his first three starts of the season for the second straight year. Nolan Ryan set the record with 37 in 1973 and Gerrit Cole had 36 in 2018.

 

Giolito also allowed only three hits and fanned eight. He was pulled after issuing his second walk to begin the eighth inning. Bieber walked one.

 

Garrett Crochet (0-2) came on in the 10th for Chicago and catcher Yasmani Grandal interfered with Josh Naylor leading off, putting runners on the corners.

 

After pinch-hitter Yu Chang flied out, Roberto Perez drove in a run with an RBI single. Pinch-hitter Amed Rosario added an RBI double.

 

James Karinchak worked the 10th for his first save, retiring Jake Lamb on a game-ending fly to the right-field warning track.

 

Eddie Rosario had two of Cleveland's three hits against Giolito - a double in the second and an infield single in the fourth.

 

The four-game series continues with LHP Carlos Rodon (1-0, 0.00 ERA) pitching for Chicago after being scratched from Monday's start because of an upset stomach and RHP Zach Plesac (1-1, 1.38) getting the ball for Cleveland. With Rodon ill, Dallas Keuchel pitched into the sixth inning Monday after having his turn moved up two days.

 

Hear tooday's action on WHOW with the pregame at 6:30 pm and first pitch at 7:10 pm. 

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Monticello Holds Steady At No. 4 in 3A

The Monticello Sages remained steady at No. 4 in the latest Class 3A state high school football rankings.

 

In fact, the rest of 3A remained the same 1-9 with Williamsville, Princeton and Wilmington receiving votes in the top-3. Byron checked in at No. 5. The Illini Prairie Conference was also represented with Tolono Unity at No. 8. Farmington was new to this week's rankings at No. 10.

 

Maroa-Forsyth remains No. 1 in Class 2A, though Quincy Notre Dame received six first-place votes to the Trojans' two. 

 

Decatur St. Teresa is No. 4 in 2A. Downs Tri-Valley received votes but did not appear in the rankings.

 

In Class 1A, Central A&M is No. 4 

 

Rochester is No. 1 in Class 4A. Effingham comes in at No. 4 and Mt. Zion moved up to No. 8 in this week's poll. Prairie Central received votes but did not appear in the top 10. 

 

Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin is No. 1 in 5A after its big win over Rochester on Friday. 

 

Peoria Central holds at No. 7 in this week's 6A poll. Chatham-Glenwood and Normal West received votes but did not make the top-10.

 

This week, the No. 4 Sages head to Olympia. Hear the action starting at 7 pm on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com. 

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Cubs End Slide, Edge Brewers

Willson Contreras delivered a two-run homer in the eighth inning and enjoyed his trip around the bases as the Chicago Cubs rallied past Milwaukee 3-2 Tuesday night, ending a three-game skid and snapping the Brewers' three-game winning streak.

 

Contreras' blast came after he was hit by a pitch from a Brewer for the third time this season.

Contreras hit a towering drive to left-center off Brent Suter (0-1). The long drive delighted the large contingent of Cubs fans at Milwaukee's American Family Field.

 

After leaving the batter's box, Contreras turned himself around and flipped his bat back toward the Cubs dugout before beginning his trot.

 

Brewers starter Brandon Woodruff hit Contreras in the fourth inning. Contreras also was hit by pitches from Milwaukee's Devin Williams and Brad Boxberger during the Cubs-Brewers series at Wrigley Field.

 

This latest incident led to a heated moment between these two NL Central rivals, who are facing off nine times this month.

 

When Woodruff was at the plate in the fifth inning, Cubs reliever Ryan Tepera threw behind him. Woodruff and Tepera exchanged words afterward.

 

Milwaukee collected just three hits. The Brewers' only runs came on Luis Urias' two-run homer in the second off Alec Mills, who was pressed into duty because scheduled starter Kyle Hendricks wasn't feeling well.

 

Christian Yelich missed a second straight game with a sore back. Manager Craig Counsell said it's ''not out of the question'' that the 2018 NL MVP could return for Wednesday afternoon's game. 

 

The Cubs and Brewers finish their three-game series with a Wednesday matinee in Milwaukee. Scheduled starters are Jake Arrieta (2-0, 2.25 ERA) for the Cubs and Corbin Burnes (0-1, 0.73) for the Brewers.

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Cardinals Pound Nationals

Nolan Arenado, Paul Goldschmidt and Matt Carpenter all homered off Stephen Strasburg and the St. Louis Cardinals hammered the Washington Nationals 14-3 on Tuesday night.

 

Jack Flaherty (2-0) allowed one run on three hits with six strikeouts in five innings as St. Louis snapped a three-game losing streak.

 

Strasburg (0-1) was racked for eight runs - seven earned - on eight hits and five walks, two of them intentional. The 2019 World Series MVP was pulled after allowing all three batters he faced in the fifth to reach base, leading to a nine-run inning by the Cardinals.

 

The Cardinals sent 14 batters to the plate and added nine runs in the fifth off Strasburg and Luis Avilan without an extra-base hit.

 

Washington will send RHP Joe Ross (0-0, 0.00 ERA) to the mound to face St. Louis veteran RHP Adam Wainwright (0-1, 8.22) in the final game of the teams' three-game series Wednesday.

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Clippers Roll Pacers

Paul George continued to dominate his former team by scoring 36 points on Tuesday night and leading the Los Angeles Clippers to a 126-115 victory at Indiana.

 

The Clippers have won six straight.

 

George also had seven rebounds and eight assists and is 4-0 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse since being traded by the Pacers to Oklahoma City in July 2017. He has topped the 30-point mark in each of the Clippers' last four games, the last two without All-Star teammate Kawhi Leonard, who sat out with a sore right foot.

 

The Clippers have won six straight.

 

Indiana was led by Malcolm Brogdon's 29 points. Caris LeVert scored 26 as the Pacers snapped a three-game losing streak.

 

It sure didn't look as if the game would be lopsided after a topsy-turvy first half, which included a 15-point first quarter from George amid a chorus of boos as the Clippers led 67-65. And Los Angeles still was clinging to a 100-97 cushion after an equally entertaining third quarter.

 

But George made two of the first three baskets in the fourth quarter to spur 8-0 run and Indiana never recovered.

 

Marcus Morris Sr. had 22 points and seven rebounds. Ivica Zubac had 14 points and seven rebounds, while Nicolas Batum scored 14 points and Terance Mann had 12. 

 

Domantis Sabonis had 20 points and 13 rebounds, his 36th double-double this season. T.J. McConnell added 13 points off the bench.

 

The Pacers begin a three-game trip Wednesday at Houston.

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Sox Walk-Off Cleveland Baseball Team

As heard on WHOW, First baseman Yu Chang hit Yasmani Grandal with a throw while trying to force him at second base in the ninth inning, allowing Nick Madrigal to score the winning run as Chicago beat the Cleveland Indians 4-3 on Monday night.

 

Adam Eaton homered in his second straight game and rookie Yermin Mercedes got the winning rally started with one out in the ninth when he singled to shortstop against Emmanuel Clase (1-1).

 

Grandal walked to put runners on first and second before Nick Williams sent a slow grounder toward Chang, who chose to try to get Grandal at second rather than step on the bag for the second out. The throw hit Grandal in the helmet and the ball ricocheted toward the left side of the infield as Madrigal - running for Mercedes - raced home.

 

Eaton hit a three-run homer in the third against Triston McKenzie. Dallas Keuchel pitched into the sixth for the White Sox after Carlos Rodon was scratched because of an upset stomach. Codi Heuer (1-0) struck out a career-high four over 2 1/3 innings, and Chicago stopped Cleveland's four-game win streak.

 

Keuchel found out he was starting about two hours before the first pitch, then gave up three runs and three hits. The two-time All-Star, working on four days' rest, retired 12 in a row following Eddie Rosario's two-run homer in the second before exiting with the bases loaded and none out in the sixth.

 

Keuchel walked Chang leading off and gave up a single to Jordan Luplow before walking Cesar Hernandez.

 

Evan Marshall came in and struck out Jose Ramirez. Franmil Reyes tied it at 3 with a sacrifice fly before Rosario struck out.

 

The White Sox loaded the bases in the bottom half, only to come away empty-handed when Cal Quantrill struck out Mercedes and got Grandal to ground into a double play.

 

AL Cy Young Award winner Shane Bieber (0-1, 3.65 ERA) and Chicago RHP Lucas Giolito (1-0, 4.22) meet in a matchup of aces as the AL Central rivals continue their four-game series. Bieber is 2-2 with a 2.94 ERA in eight starts against the White Sox, while Giolito is 2-2 with a 2.62 ERA in seven outings versus Cleveland. Hear tonight's action on WHOW with the pregame show at 6:30 pm and first pitch at 7:10 pm.

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Brewers Double-Up Cubs

Pinch-hitter Luis Urias drove in three runs with a go-ahead double and the Milwaukee Brewers scored six times in the sixth inning to beat the Chicago Cubs 6-3 on Monday night.

 

Freddy Peralta (2-0) struck out 10 over six innings of two-hit ball for the victory. Milwaukee has won five of six, while the Cubs lost for the fifth time in six games.

 

After being shut out on one hit by Chicago starter Adbert Alzolay (0-2) through five innings, the Brewers loaded the bases to start the sixth. After the Cubs cut down a runner at the plate, Alzolay, who had retired 11 straight coming into the inning, gave way to reliever Andrew Chafin.

 

Urias, who entered 2 for 27 on the season, batted for Daniel Vogelbach and slapped a shot just inside the left-field line to clear the bases.

 

Urias later scored on a wild pitch to grow the lead to 4-1. Jackie Bradley Jr. knocked in another run with a triple and Keston Hiura added an RBI single as the Brewers sent 11 batters to the plate in the inning.

 

Peralta gave up just one run, a fourth-inning homer by Kris Bryant. The right-hander walked two and reached double digits in strikeouts for the fourth time in his career, the last coming in April 2019.

 

Josh Hader got two outs for his first save of the season. Hader came on after Javier Baez drove in a pair of runs with a one-out double.

 

The Cubs have had five hits or fewer in seven of their first 10 games.

 

Alzolay gave up five runs and three hits in 5 1/3 innings. He struck out six and walked one.

 

Chafin allowed three runs while getting just one out. He threw a wild pitch and hit a batter.

 

Kyle Hendricks (0-1, 3.00 ERA) tossed six scoreless innings against the Brewers last Wednesday, allowing four hits and one walk with six strikeouts. Hendricks in 9-6 with a 2.72 ERA in 25 career starts against Milwaukee.

 

Brandon Woodruff (0-0, 2.45) gave up one hit in seven shutout innings at Chicago on Wednesday. Opponents are batting .179 (7 for 39) against Woodruff this season.

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Cubs Place Three Relievers on COVID List

The Chicago Cubs will be without three relievers for the time being after bullpen coach Chris Young tested positive for COVID-19, according to Russell Dorsey of the Chicago Sun Times. Righties Jason Adam, Dan Winkler, and Brandon Workman have been placed on the COVID-related injured list. All three are isolating in Chicago, per NBC Sports Chicago's Maddie Lee, while the rest of the team is beginning a three-game series in Milwaukee against the Brewers.

 

In a series of corresponding moves, the Cubs have activated relievers Pedro Strop and Brad Wieck from the taxi squad and have promoted Justin Steele from the alternate site, according to Sahadev Sharma of The Athletic.

 

Young is the second Cubs coach to test positive in the past few days. First base coach Craig Driver's positive test was announced on Saturday, though it's unclear if the two positives are linked as the Cubs believed his case was an isolated incident based on their contact tracing and subsequent testing results.

 

The Cubs were the only team last season to not have a player test positive for COVID-19. The Cubs' positive tests come at a time when Major League Baseball is attempting to convince players to get vaccinated. Part of the incentives include a relaxing of the COVID-19 restrictions once at least 85 percent of a team's "Tier 1" individuals have been vaccinated. "Tier 1" includes the team's traveling party, or players, coaches, trainers, and other assorted staff. 

 

The Cubs, reportedly, have not yet hit the 85 percent threshold. 

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Nationals Rolls Cardinals

Kyle Schwarber doubled home a run in his delayed Nationals debut, Andrew Stevenson had a pinch-hit homer and Washington beat the St. Louis Cardinals 5-2 Monday night.

 

Schwarber, Josh Bell and Josh Harrison were in the starting lineup after being sidelined for Washington's first six games by a coronavirus outbreak that prompted the postponement of the team's season-opening series and left the club short-handed. The Nats ended a five-game skid, while the Cardinals lost their third straight.

 

Stevenson hit his first homer of the season into St. Louis' bullpen in right field leading off the seventh inning, putting Washington ahead 4-2. The solo shot was just his fourth homer in 221 career at-bats.

 

Kyle Finnegan (1-0) pitched 1 1/3 innings, giving up a run on one hit. He struck out two.

 

Schwarber, acquired in the offseason after the Chicago Cubs declined to offer him a contract, hit a 1-0 pitch from starter John Gant into right-center to drive in Juan Soto, who singled to start the sixth.

The Nationals added a run on the next pitch from reliever Giovanny Gallegos when Starlin Castro hit a sacrifice fly to foul territory in right, driving in Bell.

 

Gant (0-1) went five innings and gave up three runs. He allowed six hits, struck out four and walked three.

 

Washington had a chance to break the game open when the first four batters reached to start the eighth against reliever Andrew Miller, including Castro singling home Bell. Ryan Helsley struck out Yan Gomes, and pinch-hitter Ryan Zimmerman flied out to center fielder Dylan Carlson, who threw out Schwarber at home to end the inning.

 

Yadier Molina hit his second homer of the season in the sixth to pull the Cardinals to 3-2.

 

Matt Carpenter ended an 0-for-12 start to the season with a bunt single in the third and scored on Tommy Edman's hit, tying the game at 1. Carpenter has struggled at the plate since spring training, with just two hits in 37 at-bats, including 13 strikeouts.

 

Victor Robles led off the game with his second triple of the season and scored on Soto's one-out single to give the Nationals a 1-0 lead.

 

Jack Flaherty (1-0, 5.23 ERA) gets his third start of the season and is coming off a strong outing at Miami, where he gave up one hit and struck out six in six shutout innings. Stephen Strasburg (0-0, 0.00 ERA) starts Tuesday. He gave up one hit while striking out eight over six scoreless innings in a 2-0 loss during the second game of a doubleheader last Wednesday against Atlanta.

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Grizzlies Rally Late to Beat Bulls

Jonas Valanciunas had 26 points and 14 rebounds, leading a fourth-quarter burst that carried the Memphis Grizzlies to a 101-90 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Monday night.

 

Valanciunas, who had 32 points and 22 rebounds a night earlier in a loss to the Indiana Pacers, scored 10 in the fourth as Memphis used an 18-6 run to break open a close game.

 

Dillon Brooks finished with 17 points and Grayson Allen added 14. Morant had 13 points and 10 assists.

 

Zach LaVine scored 21 points, but he was just 5 for 14 from the field as the Bulls lost their third straight. Thaddeus Young scored 20 and Daniel Theis had 18. Nikola Vucevic finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds.

 

The teams stayed close through the first three quarters. Vucevic provided a bit of a buffer for the Bulls, scoring 12 in the period for a 74-70 lead entering the fourth.

 

The game was originally scheduled for Jan. 27, but called off due to health and safety protocols. That left both teams playing Monday on the second night of a back-to-back and coming off losses.

The game wrapped up a span where Chicago played nine of its last 10 on the road. 

 

The Bulls host Orlando on Wednesday.

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Blackhawks Stop Blue Jackets in Overtime

Brandon Hagel scored 1:25 into overtime, and the Chicago Blackhawks beat Columbus 4-3 on Monday night for their fifth consecutive win over the Blue Jackets.

 

Duncan Keith, Philipp Kurashev and Brett Connolly also scored for Chicago, and Patrick Kane had two assists. The Blackhawks won for the third time in four games to move within two points of idle Nashville for the fourth playoff spot in the Central Division.

 

Hagel got a pass from Kirby Dach and beat Joonas Korpisalo from the left circle for his sixth goal of the season.

 

Kevin Lankinen stopped 30 shots for his fifth win over Columbus this season.

 

Patrick Laine scored twice for Columbus, including a terrific, end-to-end rush in the third period.

 

Stefan Matteau also scored for Columbus after being recalled from the taxi squad Thursday.

 

The Blue Jackets also lost 4-3 to the Blackhawks on Saturday. They have dropped 10 of 12 overall.

 

Joonas Korpisalo stopped 30 shots and fell to 2-1-3 against the Blackhawks this season.

 

The Blackhawks are at Detroit on Thursday.

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Illinois Baseball Sunday Matchup With Indiana Postponed

Sunday's series finale against Indiana has been postponed due to rain. A makeup date has not yet been announced.

 

Illinois dropped a thrice delayed Saturday contest 8-0 to Indiana and was no-hit in the process. McCade Brown and Braydon Tucker combined for the no-hitter. 

 

Friday night, the Illini dropped the series opener to Indiana on Friday, 6-4. The game was interrupted by a 1-hour, 48-minute lightning delay in the top of the eighth inning.

 

The Illini will be back in action next weekend at Illinois Field when they host a pod against Michigan State and Purdue. Illinois will play two games against Michigan State on Friday and Saturday, then two games against Purdue on Sunday and Monday.

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Royals Edge Sox in Extras

Michael A. Taylor scored when Garrett Crochet misplayed Andrew Benintendi's bunt in the 10th inning, sending the Royals to a wild 4-3 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Sunday.

 

Taylor opened the 10th on second base and advanced on Nicky Lopez's sacrifice. After Whit Merrifield was walked intentionally, Benintendi bunted the ball right back to the mound.

 

It looked as if Crochet (0-1) had time to get Taylor at the plate, but he spiked his throw and catcher Zack Collins couldn't come up with it. It was Chicago's second error of the day and ninth overall in the first nine games.

 

Greg Holland (1-1) pitched two scoreless innings for the win, and Kyle Zimmer worked a perfect 10th for his first career save.

 

Kansas City grabbed a 2-1 lead on Benintendi's RBI single in the eighth. But Chicago went back in front on Adam Eaton's first career pinch-hit homer in the bottom half, a drive that hooked just inside the foul pole in right.

 

The Royals then tied it again when Carlos Santana led off the ninth with a drive to center off Liam Hendriks. It was Hendriks' first blown save since he signed a $54 million, three-year deal with Chicago in free agency.

 

The White Sox walked nine times, but they went 1 for 15 with runners in scoring position and left a season-high 12 runners on base.

 

White Sox SS Tim Anderson (strained left hamstring) remains on track to return this week, general manager Rick Hahn said. Anderson is eligible to come off the 10-day injured list on Thursday.

 

Carlos Rodon pitches Monday night in the opener of a four-game series against Cleveland. Rodon is coming off five impressive innings in a 6-0 victory at Seattle. RHP Triston McKenzie (0-0, 2.45 ERA) starts for the visiting Indians. Hear tonight's action on 92.3 FM/106.5 FM WHOW. 

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No. 25 Indiana State Rallies Past ISU Sunday, Takes 3 of 4 on Weekend

The Illinois State baseball team ended up falling in 10 innings, 8-7, against No. 25 Indiana State after holding a 6-0 advantage through six frames on Sunday at Duffy Bass Field. 

 

Freshman Sean Sinisko dominated the first six innings and finished with 7.2 innings pitched, allowing seven hits, one walk, and three earned runs. Sinisko struck out six.

 

Freshman Ryan Cermak had a double and triple to go with an RBI to lead the Illinois State (12-18 overall, 4-4 MVC) offensive attack.

 

Junior Aidan Huggins had three hits and sophomore Jake McCaw had a two-RBI double.

 

Indiana State (16-8 overall, 3-1 MVC) recorded 13 hits on the day.

 

Senior Jordan Libman single, McCaw double, and Cermak triple yielded four runs for the 'Birds in the bottom of the 1st.

 

In the 4th, junior Nick Gile doubled before a sacrifice bunt by freshman Luke Cheng pushed him to third. A Huggins bloop single scored Gile.

 

A Hays triple put the Redbirds up, 6-0, in the 6th inning.

 

The Sycamores recorded eight extra-base hits between the 7th and 9th innings to tie the game at 6-6.

 

Indiana State scored twice in the 10th inning to lead 8-6.

 

Sophomore Gunner Peterson recorded a pinch-hit RBI single in the bottom of the 10th to put runners at first and third with one out. The 'Birds grounded into a game-ending double play.

 

Illinois State will travel to Milwaukee for a four-game non-conference series from April 16-18.

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Pirates Pound Cubs

JT Brubaker pitched into the sixth inning and had the first three RBIs of his career to lead the Pittsburgh Pirates over the Chicago Cubs 7-1 on Sunday.

 

Brubaker (1-0) allowed one run and four hits in 5 1/3 innings with four strikeouts and one walk. His two-run single down the right-field line capped a three-run second inning and gave the Pirates a 3-1 lead.

 

Pittsburgh's Bryan Reynolds had the third four-hit game of his career.

 

Trevor Williams (1-1) was hit hard in his return to Pittsburgh, where he spent the first five seasons of his career before being released in November. He was tagged for five runs and 10 hits in 3 1/3 innings.

 

Javier Baez accounted for the Cubs' run with a second-inning homer. Chicago lost for the fourth time in five games and went 1 for 23 with runners in scoring position in losing two of three to Pittsburgh.

The Cubs have had five hits or fewer in six of their first nine games.

 

Home plate umpire and crew chief Greg Gibson warned both managers after Brubaker hit Kris Bryant on the left arm with a pitch in the fourth. An inning earlier, Contreras was clipped on the upper left arm.

 

Contreras was clearly agitated and admitted after the game he is frustrated after being hit three times already this year.

 

Cubs catching coach Mike Borzello was ejected for arguing the warning from the dugout.

 

There were no batters hit after the warning.

 

The Cubs continue their road trip Monday night at Milwaukee. RHP Adbert Alzolay (0-1, 7.20 ERA) pitches for Chicago against RHP Freddy Peralta (1-0, 0.00).

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Timberwolves Edge Bulls

Karl-Anthony Towns had 27 points and 12 rebounds, D'Angelo Russell scored 27 and the Minnesota Timberwolves beat the Chicago Bulls 121-117 on Sunday night.

 

Ricky Rubio connected on five of his six 3-point attempts and scored 17 points. Rookie Anthony Edwards added 15 points for Minnesota, which held on a game after allowing Boston to come back from 17 down in the second half in an overtime loss on Friday.

 

Two days after his first 50-point game, Zach LaVine scored 21 of his 30 points in the second half as Chicago tried to mount a comeback. LaVine was 13 of 28 from the field and 4 of 12 from 3-point territory.

 

Nikola Vucevic had 18 points and Daniel Theis scored 13, but the Bulls lost for the sixth time in nine games since acquiring the two players at the trade deadline.

 

Minnesota used a 21-8 run in the first quarter to take control. The Wolves took their first lead with 7:28 left in the first and never trailed the rest of the way.

 

The Bulls are at Memphis to play the Grizzlies on Monday night.

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Brewers Pound Cardinals

Avisail Garcia homered for the second day in a row, Travis Shaw and Manny Pina also connected and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the St. Louis Cardinals 9-3 on Sunday.

 

Garcia, who homered and drove in five runs in a 9-5 win Saturday, and Shaw hit early drives that helped the Brewers build a 7-0 lead in the second inning.

 

Brett Anderson (1-1) tossed five effective innings for Milwaukee, which has won four of five.

Austin Dean had a two-run double for the Cardinals, who have lost two in a row after a four-game winning streak.

 

Shaw went 5 for 10 in the series with four RBIs.

 

The Brewers won two out of three games against NL Central rivals Chicago and St. Louis. Their starting pitching shined in both series.

 

Milwaukee outfielder Christian Yelich left the game in the second inning with back soreness. He is considered day-to-day, according to manager Craig Counsell.

 

Daniel Ponce de Leon lasted just 1 1-3 innings and gave up six hits and seven runs.

 

John Gant (0-0, 0.00) will face Washington RHP Erick Fedde (0-1, 27.00) in the opening game of a three-game series on Monday in St. Louis. Gant has not allowed a home run in his last 39 1-3 innings, the longest current streak in the NL.

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Matsuyama Becomes First Man to Win The Masters

Staked to a four-shot lead, the nerves stayed with Hideki Matsuyama from the time he hit his opening tee shot into the trees to back-to-back birdies that led to a six-shot lead to a few nervous moments at the end when Xander Schauffele made a late run at him from the 85th Masters at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia. 

 

Only when he belted his drive down the 18th fairway and twirled the club in his hands could he feel this victory was in hand. He played so well for so long that three bogeys over the last four holes made this Masters look closer than it was.

 

He closed with a 1-over 73 for a one-shot victory over Masters rookie Will Zalatoris (70).

 

Schauffele ran off four straight birdies to get within two shots with three holes to play, only to hit 8-iron into the water on the par-3 16th for a triple bogey that ended his hopes. He shot a 72 with a triple bogey and a double bogey on his card and tied for third with Jordan Spieth (70).

 

So masterful was this performance that Matsuyama stretched his lead to six shots on the back nine until a few moments of drama. With a four-shot lead, he went for the green in two on the par-5 15th and it bounded hard off the back slope and into the pond on the 16th hole.

 

Matsuyama did well to walk away with bogey, and with Schauffele making a fourth straight birdie, the lead was down to two shots. And then it was over.

 

Schauffele was in the water. Matsuyama made a safe par on the 17th and ripped one down the middle of the 18th fairway. He made bogey from the bunker to finish at 10-under 278, soaking in the moment with a few thousand spectators on their feet to celebrate a career-changing moment.

 

Spieth has competed in Japan and has played alongside Matsuyama on his home turf. He could relate to having a four-shot lead, which Spieth had when he won the Masters in 2015. He can’t relate to the expectations of an entire country.

 

Matsuyama won for the 15th time worldwide, and it was his sixth PGA Tour title. He had gone 93 tournaments without winning, the longest drought for a Masters champion since 1987, and went to No. 14 in the world.

 

He becomes the second man from an Asian country to win a major. Y.E. Yang of South Korea won the 2009 PGA Championship at Hazeltine over Tiger Woods.

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Pacers Topple Grizzlies

Caris LeVert scored 34 points, Malcolm Brogdon and Domantas Sabonis fell just short of triple-doubles and the Indiana Pacers held on for a 132-125 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday night.

 

Brogdon had 29 points, matched his season-high with 11 assists and had nine rebounds. Sabonis finished with 18 points, 15 rebounds and nine assists, part of the Pacers grabbing a season-high 53 rebounds en route to their third straight victory.

 

Memphis center Jonas Valanciunas matched his career-high with 34 points and his season-high with 22 rebounds. Valanciunas had 16 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Memphis second-half rally.

 

Ja Morant added 23 points for Memphis.

 

Memphis got within a single point twice in the final 1:46 but could never overtake the Pacers in the closing minutes. Holding onto leads down the stretch has been a change for Indiana in recent games.

 

The Pacers have their first three-game winning streak since starting 3-0. They host the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday night.

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Truex Pulls Away From Teammate, Field to Win at Martinsville

Martin Truex, Jr. won a stirring, laps-long duel for the lead with teammate Denny Hamlin in the rain-delayed NASCAR Cup Series race Sunday night, winning for the third time in the last four stops at the 0.526-mile oval — the oldest and shortest in the series.

 

Truex, who nudged Hamlin repeatedly in the turns and tried to get to his inside on the straightaways without success, finally made the pass with 15 laps to go, ducking underneath Hamlin coming out of the second turn. He sailed off to victory without another challenge as Hamlin and Chase Elliott battled the rest of the way for second.

 

Truex became the first repeat winner in NASCAR’s top series this season.

 

The race was rained out after 42 laps Saturday night, and was completed as the second part of a doubleheader that started with the completion of the rain-delayed Xfinity Series race from Friday night.

 

Elliott, who won here last fall on his way to winning the series championship, held off Hamlin for second. Hamlin was third, followed by William Byron and Kyle Larson.

 

The Gibbs team had all four of its drivers finish in the top 10 as Christopher Bell took seventh and Kyle Busch 10th, leaving team owner Joe Gibbs excited, and relieved.

 

Ryan Blaney, who won the first two stages, led 157 laps but dragged an air gun out of his pit after the final stop and was sent back to 19th in the field.

 

Blaney rallied to finish 11th, but earlier, he and Hamlin were dominant.

 

Blaney passed Hamlin for the lead on Lap 75 and cruised to victory in the 130-lap Stage 1, and Stage 2 played out much the same. Hamlin was fast early in the run, pulling comfortably ahead, but Blaney eventually ran him down to win that stage, too.

 

Hamlin’s third-place finish was his series best seventh top-five run in eight races.

 

The race featured several drastic changes in fortunes, perhaps none bigger than for Joey Logano. He was in danger of being lapped at the end of the first stage, but gambled with others midway through the race by staying on the track to gain position when most of the leaders pitted.

 

It worked because another caution flew shortly thereafter, allowing him to pit for the fresh tires most other teams already had and stayed near the front the rest of the way.

 

Logano finished sixth.

 

Misfortune was the case for Alex Bowman, Brad Keselowski and several others because of a major pileup on the backstretch involving more than a dozen cars on Lap 387. Bowman had gotten as high as second before getting caught up in the mess that ended his day, and Keselowski, a two-time winner at Martinsville, also had to call it a day after the wreck.

 

The series stays in Virginia, and on a short track, at Richmond Raceway next weekend.

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Monticello Rolls Mattoon

Chris Brown found the end zone four times and Monticello scored all its touchdowns off turnovers as they rolled past Mattoon 43-0 on a soggy Saturday afternoon in non-conference high school football action from Monticello High School. 

 

Chris Brown scored touchdowns with runs of 3, 35, and 10 yards and returned an interception for a touchdown. Brown, who has struggled to get going through the first three weeks of the season, finished with 71 yards on eight carries. 

 

Joey Sprinkle connected with Hayden Graham on a 55-yard touchdown on a receiver bubble screen pass. Graham finished with two catches for 67 yards and Sprinkled finished 4-for-11 with 74 yards and a touchdown and interception.

 

Monticello improves to 4-0 on the season and Mattoon drops to 1-3. 

 

The Sages travel to Olympia next Friday for an Illini Prairie Conference matchup at 7 pm. Hear the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

 

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Clinton Maroons defeat Meridian Hawks

As heard on WHOW, the Clinton Maroons defeated the Meridian Hawks by a score of 28-26 on Friday night. The Maroons were led by the B-Roc Designs Player of the Game Ethan Boyer who was 7 of 16 passing for 108 yards and a touchdown. He was also 6 rushing for 67 yards and a touchdown. Zeke Hickman was 15 rushing for 98 yards and a touchdown. Adam Kroger had 4 receiving for 69 yards and a touchdown.

 

The Hawks were led by Drew Horelbrink who was 10 for 22 passing for 106 yards and 4 touchdowns. Grant Meisenhelter was 10 rushing for 119 yards and had 2 receiving for 29 yards and a touchdown.

 

With the win, the Maroons improve to 1-3 overall. The Hawks fall to 1-3 overall.

 

Tune in Friday, April 16, as the Maroons take on Sullivan. You can hear the game live on the Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW, online at dewittdailynews.com, on the WHOW mobile app, and on Amazon Alexa.

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Monticello's Ben Cresap Makes Basketball First-Team All Illini Prairie

Monticello junior guard Ben Cresap was named to the Illini Prairie Conference's first-team all-conference team announced Friday morning.

 

Cresap helped the Sages to a 7-3 record and 5-3 mark in the conference averaging 15 points per game, 2.5 assists and 3.7 rebounds. 

 

Bloomington Central Catholic senior guard JT Welch, IVC senior guard Holt Geltmaker and Prairie Central senior guard Trey Bazzell were unanimous all-conference selections. St. Joseph-Ogden sophomore forward Ty Pence and IVC senior guard Mac Parmelee were also first team selections.

 

Monticello junior guard Dylan Ginalick highlighted the second-team along with BCC's Sam Tallen and Jadyn Ellison, IVC senior Kam Wollard, Champaign St. Thomas More junior Patrick Quarnstrom, Tolono Unity junior Blake Kimball, Prairie Central senior Rylie Vaughan and St. Joseph-Ogden junior Evan Ingram.

 

Monticello senior guard Jake Edmondson was joined on the third team all-conference list by Rantoul's Avontay Anderson, Pontiac sophomore Logan Barnett, Olympia senior Hunter Berges, St. Joe-Ogden junior Andrew Beyers, BCCs Drew Hinderer, STMs Averi Hughes and Dawson Magrini and Prairie Central senior Cooper Palmore.

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Clinton Hosts Meridian in High School Football Action

The Clinton Maroons will turn their attention this week to the Meridian Hawks in Central Illinois Conference football action tonight.

 

Through the halfway point of the abbreviated pandemic altered high school football season, the Maroons find themselves winless at 0-3. Coach Chris Ridgeway says while the results on the scoreboard on not what they'd hoped for, he's learning a lot about his team.

 

 

Meridian returns most of the team that beat the Maroons last season and Coach Ridgeway credits the Hawks for their athleticism and a disciplined group upfront. 

 

 

Game time tonight from Clinton High School is 7 pm. Hear the action on 92.3 FM/106.5 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com. 

 

CIC action tonight:

 

Shelbyville vs. Decatur St. Teresa

Sullivan-Okaw Valley vs. Central A & M

Warrensburg-Latham vs. Tuscola

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Central Illinois Outdoors This Weekend Highlights Wild Fishing Stories

Central Illinois Outdoors with Jared White has some wild tales from the water.

 

A massive catch on Clinton Lake and a visit from a Mt. Zion insurance agent that specializes in food plots for hunting. White also talks with the founder of a group that gets veterans into the outdoors.

 

 

Central Illinois Outdoors airs every:

 

Saturday at 10a on 870 WTIM - Taylorville

Sunday at 8a on 1520 WHOW - Clinton

Sunday at 8a on 106.5FM - Bloomington/Normal

Sunday at 8a on 96.5TheWinner-Taylorville

Monday podcast at the CIO website

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Monticello Hosts Mattoon

The fourth-ranked Monticello Sages will host non-conference opponent Mattoon this week in non-conference high school football action Saturday afternoon from Monticello High School.

 

The Sages rolled past Rantoul 40-0 last week improving to 3-0 on the season. 

 

The Green Wave are 1-2 on the year following last week's 28-0 loss to Effingham. 

 

Hear Saturday's action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com. Game time is 2 pm.

Illini Prairie Conference football action this week:

 

Illinois Valley Central vs. Prairie Central
Pontiac vs. Bloomington Central Catholic
St. Joseph-Ogden vs. Tolono Unity
Olympia vs. Rantoul

 

8-Man Football 

 

Flanagan-Cornell-Woodland vs. North Fulton
Decatur LSA vs. Edwardsville Metro-East Lutheran
Blue Ridge vs. Champaign St. Thomas More (Sat.)

 

Apollo

 

Charleston vs. Mahomet-Seymour
Taylorville vs. Effingham 
Lincoln vs. Mt. Zion 

 

Central State Eight

 

Decatur Eisenhower vs. Jacksonville 
Decatur MacArthur vs. Chatham-Glenwood
Rochester vs. Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin
Springfield vs. Springfield Southeast
Springfield Lanphier vs. Normal U-High at ISU Hancock Stadium

 

Heart of Illinois

 

El Paso-Gridley at Fieldcrest
Eureka vs. Tri-Valley
Ridgeview vs. Fisher
LeRoy vs. Heyworth 

 

Lincoln Prairie

 

Argenta-Oreana vs. Cerro Gordo-Bement
Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond vs. Arcola
Sangamon Valley vs. Villa Grove-Heritage
Oakland Tri-County vs. Toledo-Cumberland

 

Mid-Illini

 

Limestone vs. Canton
Dunlap vs. East Peoria 
Morton vs. Metamora 
Pekin vs. Washington

 

Sangamo

 

Maroa-Forsyth vs. North Mac

 

Non-Conference high school football:

 

Danville Schlarman vs. Peoria Heights

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White Sox Blank Royals

As heard on WHOW, Lance Lynn pitched a five-hitter for the first complete game and shutout in the major leagues this season, and the Chicago White Sox beat the Kansas City Royals 6-0 on a rainy Thursday.

 

Yermin Mercedes kept up his scorching start with a 485-foot homer and Yoan Moncada went deep.

Lynn (1-0) struck out 11 and walked none in his second shutout in 238 career starts, his first since a five-hitter against the New York Yankees on May 27, 2014.

 

Moncada hit a two-run homer in the first, and Mercedes followed with a long shot to left-center against Brad Keller to make it 3-0.

 

The White Sox will try to win their 18th straight game against a left-handed starter and tie a major league record set by Atlanta from 2004-05 when they meet Mike Minor (1-0, 6.00) on Saturday.

 

Chicago's streak dates to a loss to Detroit on Sept. 28, 2019, when lefty Tyler Alexander started for the Tigers but did not figure in the decision. RHP Dylan Cease (0-0, 5.79 ERA) pitches Saturday for Chicago.

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Cubs Double Up Bucs

Craig Kimbrel used every bit of his once elite stuff while finishing off the reeling Pittsburgh Pirates in a 4-2 win on Thursday to become the 12th pitcher in major league history with 350 career saves.

 

Kimbrel struck out Dustin Fowler and pinch-hitter Wilmer Difo with the bases loaded to end the eighth, then retired the Pirates in order for his first five-out save of his 12-year big league career.

 

Kimbrel's 22-pitch performance didn't exactly leave him gassed. The 32-year-old spent nearly an hour going through his usual postgame workout routine.

 

The Cubs broke out of an opening funk by pounding out 11 hits against Tyler Anderson (0-2) and four relievers. Javy Baez hit a go-ahead two-run shot for the Cubs in the sixth. Rizzo and Bryant also homered as Chicago raised its major league-worst team batting average from .143 to .157.

 

Jake Arrieta (2-0) survived a sometimes wobbly six innings to improve to 14-6 against the Pirates. Arrieta allowed two runs, seven hits and three walks and four strikeouts.

 

Zach Davies (1-0, 3.18 ERA) will go for his second victory over the Pirates in a week when the teams meet on Saturday.

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Cardinals Rally Late Past Brewers

Nolan Arenado hit a tiebreaking, two-run homer in the eighth inning of his home debut with the Cardinals, lifting St. Louis over the Milwaukee Brewers 3-1 Thursday as fans returned to Busch Stadium for the first time since 2019.

 

Arenado, a five-time All-Star acquired from Colorado on Feb. 1 after eight seasons with the Rockies, followed a walk to Austin Dean with the score 1-1. Arenado turned on a first-pitch 96.6 mph offering from Drew Rasmussen (0-1) and sent the ball 373 feet to left for his second homer this season.

 

Adam Wainwright allowed one run and five hits in five innings with six strikeouts and two walks.

 

Giovanny Gallegos (2-0) gave the Cardinals their third straight inning of hitless relief, following Ryan Helsley and Andrew Miller.

 

Alex Reyes finished the six-hitter for his third save, allowing a leadoff single to Omar Narvaez in the ninth and stranding him at third when Daniel Robertson hit a game-ending flyout.

 

Milwaukee's Corbin Burnes gave up one hit in six scoreless innings, struck out nine and walked none.

 

Paul Goldschmidt was held out of Thursday's game due to lower back tightness. The team said it was a precautionary measure.

 

Carlos Martinez (0-1, 7.20) will face RHP Adrian Houser (0-1, 3.60) in the second of the three-game series on Saturday. Martinez, who will be making his 125th career start, is 6-5 with a 2.23 ERA in 15 starts against the Brewers. Houser has allowed 11 runs in 17 1/3 innings against St. Louis.

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Stars Roll Blackhawks

Blake Comeau scored twice, Roope Hintz had a goal and three assists and the Dallas Stars beat the Chicago Blackhawks 5-1 on Thursday to end a two-game slide.

 

Jason Robertson and Miro Heiskanen also scored to help Dallas pull closer in the battle for the fourth place and the final playoff spot in the Central Division. The Stars (14-14-10) have 38 points, but have played just 38 games because a COVID-19 outbreak delayed their start this season.

 

Anton Khudobin made 38 saves for the game - and some tough ones in the first period when Chicago came out buzzing and took 16 shots.

 

Dominik Kubalik connected for the Blackhawks (18-18-5), who fell four points behind fourth-place Nashville as the Predators pounded Detroit. Chicago made a trade with Florida earlier Thursday to bolster its roster for a playoff push, but had to settle for a split in a two-game set with Dallas.

 

Kevin Lankinen blocked 29 shots. The Stars power play clicked on two of three chances.

 

The Blackhawks are at Columbus on Saturday for the first of a two-game set

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Bulls Topple Raptors

Nikola Vucevic and Zach LaVine each scored 22 points and the Chicago Bulls beat the Toronto Raptors 122-113 on Thursday night for their third straight victory.

 

LaVine also had 15 assists, and Lauri Markkanen came off the bench to score 18 points, making eight of 10 shots.

 

Chris Boucher scored a career-high 38 points and had 19 rebounds for the Raptors. They have lost 15 of 18.

 

Pascal Siakam added 27 points and eight rebounds for Toronto.

 

LaVine and Vucevic combined for 15 points on an early 19-3 run that gave the Bulls their first 10-point lead.

 

Raptors forward DeAndre Bembry sat out a one-game suspension for his part in an altercation during the first quarter of Tuesday night's game against the Lakers. Fred VanVleet was also given a one-game suspension that will be served when he is eligible to return from the injured list. 

 

The Bulls are at Atlanta on Friday night.

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Mariners Double Up White Sox

As heard on WHOW, Kyle Seager slapped an opposite-field, bases-clearing double for the big blow in Seattle's seven-run sixth inning, and the Mariners avoided a sweep with an 8-4 win over the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday.

 

Seager had three hits, and his two-out liner down the left-field line cleared the bases as the Mariners posted their highest-scoring inning of the young season. But Seager got his chance at hitting in the inning because France refused to relent.

 

France fell behind 0-2, fouled off four two-strike pitches and walked on the 11th pitch of the at-bat from Chicago's Matt Foster to keep the inning alive for Seager.

 

Taylor Trammell, J.P. Crawford and Jose Marmolejos all had RBI singles in the inning, and Mitch Haniger added a sacrifice fly.

 

Almost all of that damage came off Foster who took over after Dallas Keuchel allowed the first two batters of the inning to reach. Foster (0-1) recorded just two outs, and allowed five hits and five earned runs before getting lifted.

 

Keuchel allowed three runs, struck out three and walked three in his second start of the season.

Seattle starter Justin Dunn allowed only one hit, but couldn't finish the fifth inning due to control problems. Dunn walked eight in 4 2/3 innings, including a bases loaded walk to Yasmani Grandal that ended his day. Andrew Vaughn greeted Will Vest (1-0) with a two-run single, and Danny Mendick added an RBI single an inning later.

 

But that was all the White Sox could manage. Chicago failed to score after loading the bases with no outs in the seventh as Luis Robert lined into a double play that ended the threat.

 

Chicago placed SS Tim Anderson on the 10-day injured list but are hopeful he'll be able to return from his hamstring injury early next week. Manager Tony La Russa held out hope Anderson would be available for Thursday's home opener but the team decided to be safe and hold him out longer. Anderson will be eligible to come off the injured list April 15.

 

Lance Lynn (0-0) will make his second start as the White Sox return home to face the Royals. Lynn allowed two unearned runs in 4 2/3 innings in his first start against the Angels. Hear today's action on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM/106.5 FM WHOW at 2:30 pm.

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Brewers Rally Late to Beat Cubs

Lorenzo Cain hit his second homer of the game, a three-run shot in the 10th inning and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Chicago Cubs 4-2 on Wednesday.

 

Brewers starter Brandon Woodruff had a no-hit bid going until Ian Happ led off the seventh with a clean single. It was scoreless until then - after that, the ball began to fly.

 

Cain, who had missed three games with an oblique strain, hit a solo homer leading off the eighth. Joc Pederson tied it with his first home run - and first hit - for the Cubs, a drive in the bottom half off reliever Devin Williams.

 

After automatic runner Daniel Robertson moved to third on a single by pinch-hitter Daniel Vogelbach in the 10th, Cain drove a 1-1 pitch from Brandon Workman (0-1) to the center-field batter's eye on a warm afternoon at Wrigley Field.

 

Cain, a two-time All-Star who turns 35 next week, played five games last season before opting out Aug. 1 because of coronavirus concerns.

 

Jason Heyward singled in automatic runner Kris Bryant in the Cubs 10th off J.P Feyereisen. After two walks loaded the bases, Brad Boxberger came on to retire Happ on a fly to short left for the final out and his first save.

 

Woodruff permitted just one hit, struck out eight and walked none in seven innings.

 

Josh Hader (2-0) pitched a scoreless ninth for the win.

 

Christian Yelich had three hits, including a double, and walked for Milwaukee.

 

The Cubs finished with only three hits after getting just one in a 4-0 loss to the Brewers on Tuesday night.

 

Pederson was happy to get one of the them and have it be big. He's now 1 for 17 after signing a one-year deal with Chicago.

 

Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks nearly matched Woodruff through six scoreless innings. The Cubs ace allowed four hits, while walking none and fanning six.

 

Hendricks rebounded from a shaky opening-day start when he allowed three runs in three innings.

Willson Contreras got a scheduled maintenance day off and Tony Wolters started behind the plate. Contreras pinch-hit and walked in the 10th. Contreras was hit by a pitch in the helmet on Monday and in the upper body in the ninth inning on Tuesday, but manager David Ross said the plunkings had nothing to do with resting the catcher.

 

Corbin Burnes (0-1, 1.42) takes the mound against St. Louis RHP Adam Wainwright (0-1, 20.25) in the Cardinals' home opener on Thursday afternoon.

 

Jake Arrieta (1-0, 1.50) comes off a strong first start in his return to Chicago to face the Pittsburgh's Tyler Anderson (0-1, 5.40) on Thursday in the Pirates' home opener.

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Cardinals Blank Marlins

Yadier Molina hit a two-run homer and Dylan Carlson added a grand slam, leading the St. Louis Cardinals over Miami 7-0 Wednesday for a three-game sweep that dropped the Marlins to 1-5 for the first time since 2015.

 

Jack Flaherty (1-0) allowed one hit in six innings, a leadoff single by Corey Dickerson, who advanced on a walk before he was caught stealing. After another walk, Flaherty settled down. He allowed only two more runners, both on walks, and struck out six.

 

Genesis Cabrera and Jordan Hicks finished the three-hitter.

 

St. Louis allowed three runs against the Marlins after giving up 27 in the opening series.

 

Pablo Lopez (0-1) allowed two runs and three hits in 6 2/3 innings.

 

St. Louis had advanced just one runner to scoring position before the seventh.

 

Molina homered for a 2-0 lead in the seventh and drove in the go-ahead run in each game of the series. Matt Carpenter had drawn a out-two walk, ending a string of 10 batters retired by Lopez.

 

Carlson connected against Zach Pop in the ninth, homering for the second consecutive game. He has three hits this season, and all are home runs.

 

Miami went 1-for-22 with runners in scoring position in the series. Cardinals right fielder Justin Williams made the game's final out with a diving catch off Jon Berti's sinking line drive with Jesus Aguilar on second.

 

Paul Goldschmidt also had an RBI single for St. Louis.

 

Nolan Arenado singled in the fourth and has hit safely in his first six games as a Cardinal.

 

Kwang Hyun Kim (back stiffness) is expected to return with the team to St. Louis for the club's first homestand but there is no announced timetable to activate him from the injured list. Kwang pitched against minor leaguers Tuesday at the team's spring training facility in Jupiter, Florida.

 

Adam Wainwright (0-1, 20.25) will start the home opener against Milwaukee on Thursday. Wainwright allowed six runs and seven hits and was pulled after 2 2/3 innings at Cincinnati.

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Pacers Outlast Timberwolves

Aaron Holiday scored 22 points, brother Justin Holiday had 21 and the short-handed Indiana Pacers beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 141-137 on Wednesday night.

 

The Pacers were without All-Star forward Domantas Sabonis and three other injured starters, and had lost nine of 10 home games.

 

Karl-Anthony Towns led NBA-worst Minnesota with 32 points, 12 rebounds and six assists. Rookie Anthony Edwards had 27 points.

 

Aaron Holiday wrapped it up with two free throws with 8.3 seconds remaining.

 

Justin Holiday hit four 3-pointers in the final quarter, when the Timberwolves rallied to make it a one-possession game. T.J. McConnell made a key 3-pointer for a 138-132 lead with 24.9 seconds remaining. He finished with 19 points.

 

Aaron Holiday scored 14 points in the second quarter, and the Pacers outscored the Timberwolves 42-25 in the period for a 21-point halftime lead. The Pacers had a season-high 77 points at the break.

 

Caris LeVert added 18 points for the Pacers. They shot 59% from the field.

 

The Pacers are at Orlando on Friday night.

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Blues Down Vegas

Jordan Binnington made a season-high 50 saves to help the St. Louis Blues snap a seven-game skid a 3-1 win over the Vegas Golden Knights on Wednesday night.

 

Vladimir Tarasenko, Sammy Blais, and Jake Walman scored to help St. Louis end an 0-6-1 stretch. It also gave the Blues their first home victory since an overtime win Feb. 18 against San Jose.

 

Marc-Andre Fleury made 32 saves while losing his third straight start.

 

Tarasenko scored his third goal of the season 48 seconds into the contest to give St. Louis an early lead.

 

Blais scored 7:21 into the first when he roofed a feed from David Perron over Fleury's glove for his fourth goal of the season to make it 2-0. Blais had been a healthy scratch for St. Louis' previous three contests.

 

Walman scored his first NHL goal to add some insurance with 6:27 remaining in regulation to make it 3-0.

 

Nicoals Roy spoiled Binnington's bid for his ninth career shutout when he scored his second goal of the season with 4:16 to go.

 

Kyle Clifford and Ryan Reaves dropped the gloves midway through the first period. It was Clifford's team-leading fourth fight of the season.

 

The Blues host Minnesota on Friday night.

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The Masters Tees Off Today

The first-and second-round tee times are out for the 2021 Masters. As usual, Augusta National spread the wealth around proportionately with these threesomes. There will be intrigue off the first tee on the first of four long, wonderful spring days at the first major championship of 2021.

 

The Masters' return to April has been long-anticipated since the rescheduled event went on without a hitch last November. The 88-man field that will take on the course beginning Thursday is star-studded with nearly all of the best golfers in the world competing. That is obvious when looking at the groups as prepared by Augusta National for Round 1 action.

 

The first big-time group that will get going is Bubba Watson, Brooks Koepka and Viktor Hovland. Others that follow include really interesting mixing and matching of past champions, amateurs and current starts. Here are some of the ones that stand out from the pack.

 

Augusta National doesn't really do the mega-groups thing for the first two days, which is nice when you want to spread your attention on the entirety of the tournament. You get a nice amalgamation of so many different types of players at different stages of their careers and a manageable number of golfers (88) instead of trying to squeeze in 156 before the sunsets.

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Tiger Going 80-Pluse MPH When SUV Crashed

Tiger Woods was driving more than 80 mph — nearly twice the posted speed limit — on a downhill stretch of road when he lost control of an SUV and crashed in a wreck that seriously injured the golf superstar, authorities said Wednesday.

 

Sheriff Alex Villanueva blamed the Feb. 23 crash outside Los Angeles solely on excessive speed and Woods’ loss of control behind the wheel. The athlete will not face any citations for his third high-profile collision in 11 years.

 

Woods was driving 84 to 87 mph (135 to 140 kph) in an area with a speed limit of 45 mph (72 kph), Villanueva said. No one else was hurt, and no other vehicles were involved.

 

The stretch of road is known for wrecks and drivers who frequently hit high speeds. Due to the steepness of the terrain, a runaway truck escape lane is available just beyond where Woods crashed.

 

There was no evidence that the golfer tried to brake, and investigators believe Woods may have inadvertently stepped on the accelerator instead of the brake pedal in a panic, said sheriff’s Capt. James Powers, who oversees the sheriff’s station closest to the crash site.

 

Woods was wearing a seat belt at the time, and the vehicle’s airbags deployed. He told deputies that he had not taken medication or consumed alcohol before the crash, sheriff’s officials said.

 

Detectives did not seek search warrants for Woods’ blood samples, which could have been screened for drugs or alcohol, or his cellphone. Authorities said there was no evidence of impairment or of distracted driving, so they did not have probable cause to get warrants. Investigators did search the SUV’s data recorder, known as a black box, which revealed the vehicle’s speed.

 

On Twitter, Woods thanked first responders, as well as the people who called 911.

 

Documents show that Woods told deputies he did not know how the crash occurred and did not remember driving. At the time of the wreck, Woods was recovering from a fifth back surgery, which took place two months earlier.

 

Woods, who is originally from the Los Angeles area, had been back home to host his PGA tournament, the Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club, when the crash happened.

 

He was driving an SUV loaned to him by the tournament when he struck a raised median in Rolling Hills Estates, just outside Los Angeles. The SUV crossed through two oncoming lanes and uprooted a tree, striking it at 75 mph (120 kph).

 

Jonathan Cherney, an accident reconstruction expert and retired Irvine, California, police detective, said the sheriff did not explain a fundamental part of the case: Why was Woods driving so fast?

 

The 45-year-old athlete has never gone an entire year without playing, dating back to his first PGA Tour event as a 16-year-old in high school. He had hoped to play this year in the Masters tournament, which begins Thursday.

 

In the days after the crash, the sheriff called it “purely an accident” and said there was no evidence of impairment.

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Bulls Topple Pacers

On Tuesday, Nikola Vucevic took advantage of Indiana's missing big men by posting 32 points and 17 rebounds to help the Chicago Bulls overwhelm the short-handed Pacers 113-97.

 

Chicago has won two straight since snapping a six-game losing streak and moved within one game of the Pacers for the No. 9 spot in the Eastern Conference. Vucevic also had five assists while going 14 of 29 from the field. All-Star Zach LaVine added 19 points, eight rebounds and six assists.

 

The combination was simply too much for Indiana, which started the game without two-time All-Star Domantas Sabonis (sprained left ankle) and guard Malcolm Brogdon (sore right hip), before losing Myles Turner in the third quarter with a sprained left ankle.

 

Caris LeVert led the Pacers with 20 points and six rebounds. Edmond Sumner and Jeremy Lamb each scored 15 points as Indiana lost for the ninth time in 10 home games.

 

Chicago took control with a 15-3 run early in the second quarter, taking a 45-33 lead. It was never really close afterward. The Bulls led 62-49 at halftime. When the Pacers cut the deficit to 81-72 in the third quarter, Chicago answered with a 9-0 run, led by Vucevic and Indiana never got close again.

 

Doug McDermott scored 11 points for Indiana.

 

Indiana played just its fifth home game since the All-Star break Tuesday, a span of 32 days in which the Pacers also shared Bankers Life Fieldhouse with the NCAA men's basketball tournament and the four boys basketball state championship games. But given their home woes, they might have appreciated a little time on the road. The Pacers are 8-15 on their home court this season. And with 13 games remaining at Bankers Life, they'll need a strong finish to extend the NBA's longest active streak of consecutive winning seasons at home to 32.

 

The Pacers played most of the second half without four of their projected opening day starters. In addition to Brogdon, Sabonis and Turner, T.J. Warren, last season's top scorer, will miss the rest of the season with a stress fracture in his left foot. Lamb played despite having a sprained right toe.

The Bulls visit Toronto in Tampa, Florida, for a makeup game on Thursday while the Pacers host Minnesota on Wednesday.

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Brewers Blank Cardinals

Freddy Peralta pitched five sharp innings, Travis Shaw hit a three-run homer and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Chicago Cubs 4-0 on Tuesday night to stop a three-game slide.

 

Peralta (1-0) struck out eight and walked four. Kris Bryant doubled in the fourth for Chicago's only hit of the game.

 

The 25-year-old Peralta was a spot starter for the Brewers the past two seasons. He has expanded his repertoire, adding a slider that was crisp against Chicago.

 

Shaw connected in the first against Adbert Alzolay (0-1), sending an opposite-field drive deep to left-center. Daniel Vogelbach walked with one out and Christian Yelich singled ahead of Shaw's first homer of the season.

 

Omar Narvaez added a solo drive in the fourth. He also went deep during the Brewers' 5-3 loss to the Cubs on Monday night.

 

Both benches emptied when Brewers reliever Brad Boxberger hit Willson Contreras with a pitch to lead off the Cubs' half of the ninth. Contreras, who was beaned in the helmet on Monday, started yelling and walking toward the mound, but was steered to first base by teammates.

 

The teams milled around briefly on the side of the diamond, but quickly returned to their dugouts.

Boxberger, who was just activated on Tuesday, then got Anthony Rizzo to ground into a double play. Bryant bounced to third to end the game.

 

After Peralta departed, Brent Suter worked three innings of near-perfect relief, allowing only a walk to pinch hitter Matt Duffy in the eighth.

 

Chicago had its best scoring chance in the fourth, when Bryant doubled and advanced to third on Yelich's error. But Peralta struck out Joc Pederson and Javier Baez, ending the inning.

 

Alzolay (0-1) allowed four runs and four hits in five innings. Chicago had won three in a row.

 

Brewers right-hander Brandon Woodruff (0-0, 6.75 ERA) faces Cubs right-hander Kyle Hendricks (0-1, 9.00 ERA) on Wednesday afternoon in the series finale. Woodruff and Hendricks are trying to rebound from rough opening-day starts.

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Blackhawks Double Up Stars

Kirby Dach, Dominik Kubilik and Alex DeBrincat scored, Patrick Kane had a goal and an assist, and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Dallas Stars 4-2 on Tuesday night.

 

The Stars rallied from a three-goal deficit in the third period, but goaltender Kevin Lankinen stopped Dallas' Roope Hintz in the slot with 93 seconds to play after goals by Andrew Cogliano and Radek Faksa closed the gap.

 

The victory stopped Chicago's two-game losing streak and extended Dallas' losing skid to two games, dropping them to sixth place in the Central Division. The Blackhawks remain in fourth place.

 

Chicago's Dach opened the scoring in the first period, about 11 minutes after his pass to set up an apparent goal by Kane was ruled offside. Dach accepted a pass from Kane and flipped a 15-foot wrist shot over goaltender Jake Oettinger's glove side at 12:05.

 

Dallas assistant coach John Stevens was in charge of the bench Tuesday night with head coach Rick Bowness still in Raleigh, North Carolina, awaiting NHL clearance after what the Stars termed a false positive for COVID-19 on Sunday morning.

 

The Stars and Blackhawks meet again Thursday night in Chicago.

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Molina's early double, Cardinals pitching stops Marlins 4-1

Yadier Molina hit a bases-loaded double during a three-run first inning, Daniel Ponce de Leon and the St. Louis bullpen protected the lead, and the Cardinals beat the Miami Marlins 4-1 Monday night.

 

Molina drove in two runs with his 382nd double, moving past Hall of Famer Johnny Bench for eighth place on the career list among catchers.

 

Ponce de Leon (1-0) allowed one run and three hits in five innings. The right-hander struck out three, walked one and hit Starling Marte twice. He relied on fastballs to shut down Marlins hitters as only 10 of his 93 pitches were off-speed.

 

St. Louis got a perfect sixth from Jordan Hicks and two scoreless innings from Giovanni Gallegos. Alex Reyes closed it with a scoreless ninth for his first save.

 

Miami starter Trevor Rogers (0-1) walked four batters in the first, propelling St. Louis to its early advantage. Rogers allowed two hits, struck out six and didn't walk another batter after the first. He went four innings.

 

Tommy Edman led off the St. Louis fifth with a home run against John Curtiss.

 

The Marlins scored on Marte's sacrifice fly in the fifth.

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Contreras, Báez, Bote HRs lift Cubs over Brewers 5-3

Willson Contreras, Javier Baez and David Bote homered during a four-run fourth inning to lift the Chicago Cubs over the Milwaukee Brewers 5-3 on Monday night.

 

Trevor Williams pitched perfectly until Omar Narvaez's leadoff single in the sixth. Narvaez added a three-run homer in the seventh.

 

Williams (1-0) was making his Cubs debut after five seasons with Pittsburgh. He pitched into the seventh, allowing two runs, two hits and two walks while striking out six.

 

Alec Mills, who no-hit Milwaukee as a starter last September, pitched the ninth for his first save.

 

Brett Anderson (0-1) allowed all of Chicago's homers, giving up four runs and four hits over five innings while striking out four.

 

Neither team had a baserunner until the bottom of the fourth, when Ian Happ drew a leadoff walk from Anderson. Contreras came up next and knocked him home with a drive that just cleared the center field fence. Baez later homered to right-center, and Bote followed with a blast to deep center.

 

The Brewers have 39 strikeouts, 10 hits and five runs in their last 27 innings.

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Mercedes gets 3 more hits, White Sox blank Mariners 6-0

Yermin Mercedes extended his early tear with three more hits, Carlos Rodon struck out nine and the Chicago White Sox held the Seattle Mariners to three hits in a 6-0 victory Monday night.

 

Yasmani Grandal hit his 150th homer, driving in three runs and scoring twice to help Chicago snap a two-game skid.

 

Rodon (1-0) allowed two hits over five innings in his first appearance of the season. Michael Kopech followed with five strikeouts over two innings, allowing a walk and a hit, and Jose Ruiz closed it out with two perfect innings.

 

Rodon wasn't totally sharp. He allowed a runner to reach third with an errant pickoff attempt, walked three consecutive batters in the fourth inning for Seattle's most significant scoring threat and hit two batters with pitches. But the outing showed promise.

 

Left-hander Justus Sheffield (0-1) allowed six runs - four earned - and eight hits in five innings. He walked two and struck out five. He was stung by third baseman Kyle Seager's fourth-inning bobble of a potential double-play ball on a grounder by Grandal.

 

The White Sox scored three runs in the inning with RBIs from Andrew Vaughn and Billy Hamilton. They added two more in the fifth on Grandal's two-run single.

 

Remember WHOW is your home for White Sox Radio. Our next broadcast is tonight at 8:30 pm CT versus the Seattle Mariners.

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Martinez, Carrier lift Golden Knights to 6-1 win over Blues

Alec Martinez scored two goals and William Carrier added a goal and an assist, sparking the Vegas Golden Knights to a 6-1 victory over the struggling St. Louis Blues on Monday night.

 

Tomas Nosek, Jonathan Marchessault and Nicolas Hague also scored for Vegas.

 

Tyler Bozak scored for St. Louis.

 

Robin Lehner was in goal for the Golden Knights and made 31 saves.

 

The Golden Knights' scored the first two goals before St. Louis got one in the first period.

 

Nosek got Vegas going at 6:25 on a tip-in. Standing in front of the net, he redirected a shot from the point by Nick Holden for his first goal this season. Vegas made it 2-0 at 12:45, when Martinez snapped a wrist shot from inside the blue line.

 

St. Louis cut the lead to 2-1 on a goal by Bozak at 17:01. Zach Sanford skated behind the net and passed to Bozak in the slot and his wrist shot beat Lehner.

 

Vegas blew the game open with four goals in the second period.

 

The Golden Knights scored two goals 32 seconds apart and added another for three goals in 1:59 and a 5-1 advantage in the second period. Martinez scored on a one-timer at 7:08, followed by Carrier, who tipped in a shot at 7:40. Marchessault scored on a wrist shot at 9:07.

 

That goal chased rookie goalie Villie Husso, who faced 19 shots. Jordan Binnington came in for Husso, who started successive games for the first time with the Blues.

 

Binnington was touched for Vegas' final second-period goal at 13:00 when Hague scored on a wrist shot.

 

The game began a stretch in which the Blues will play eight of their next 10 games at home. St. Louis fell to 4-9-4 at home.

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Redbirds Take Four-Game Series at Southern Illinois; Win 14-11 in Series Finale

The Illinois State baseball team won three-of-four games to open Missouri Valley Conference play at Southern Illinois after winning the series finale, 14-11, on Sunday at Itchy Jones Stadium.

 

  ISU, which led by nine runs on two occasions, held off SIU as the Salukis scored four runs in the bottom of the 9th. 

 

Fourth-year senior Jack Butler was 3-for-6 with three RBIs and two runs scored to lead Illinois State (11-15 overall, 3-1 MVC). Fourth-year junior Tyson Hays was 3-for-5 with two RBI, a run scored, and two stolen bases. 

 

JT Weber had two home runs and eight RBIs (the most by an opposing player since 2008) for Southern Illinois (20-6 overall, 4-4 MVC). 

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Illinois Drops Rubber Game Against Nebraska

The Illinois baseball team built a 5-0 lead, but Nebraska scored seven times in the sixth inning to pull ahead and eventually win, 12-7. Nebraska took the three-game series, 2-1.

 

Branden Comia had two hits, including a first-inning homer, and three RBIs and Jackson Raper added two hits and two RBIs, including a solo homer. Taylor Jackson also had two hits and scored three times out of the leadoff spot.

 

Nebraska (12-5) sent 11 batters to the plate in the seven-run sixth to turn a four-run deficit into a three-run lead. Spencer Schwellenbach and Joe Acker homered as part of seven hits in the frame.

 

Illinois (8-10) got the game to 9-7 with a Comia RBI single in the seventh, before Nebraska scored three more times in the eighth. Schwellenbach shut down the last two innings on the mound after going 2-for-5 with three RBIs at the plate.

 

Koty Frank (1-0) picked up his first win of the year by allowing two runs in 3 2/3 innings of relief.

 

Illinois travels to Indiana next weekend for a three-game series against the Hoosiers.

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Castellanos strikes back with his bat, leads Reds over Cards

Nick Castellanos came out swinging with his bat a day after being ejected for inciting a bench-clearing melee, hitting a three-run homer and triple to lead the Cincinnati Reds to a 12-1 rout over the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday.

 

Tyler Naquin also a three-run shot for the Reds, who won two in a row to take the opening series in matchup of NL Central teams that earned wild-card spots last season.

 

The fiery Castellanos flexed and jawed at St. Louis reliever Jake Woodford after scoring on a wild pitch on Saturday night. Catcher Yadier Molina took exception, grabbed Castellanos and a series of scuffles ensued that spilled into the outfield. Castellanos was the only player tossed.

 

There was no spillover from the trouble in the wrap-up game.

 

Castellanos kept up his big series with a triple in the fourth inning, scoring on a single by Votto. Then with two on and two outs in the fifth, he hit a 91 mph fastball from Carlos Martinez (0-1) into the Reds bullpen in left-center field for a 4-1 lead.

 

Castellanos went 6 for 11 in the series, scoring six runs and driving in five. He homered twice, tripled and doubled.

 

Naquin, who started in left field for the ailing Jesse Winker, homered into the right-field seats during a six-run sixth inning.

 

Reds starter Jeff Hoffman (1-0), acquired from the Colorado Rockies in an off-season trade, gave up a just run on three hits through five innings and struck out six.

 

St. Louis scored its lone run in the fifth when Tyler O'Neill doubled and Molina singled, the only time Reds pitching allowed the Cardinals back-to-back hits.

 

Reds catcher Tyler Stephenson, getting his first start, had three hits and scored three times. Alex Blandino drove in two runs.

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Zach Davies wins Chicago debut as Cubs beat Pirates 4-3

Zach Davies pitched into the sixth inning in his Cubs debut, leading his new team to a 4-3 victory over the short-handed Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday.

 

Ian Happ homered and Kris Bryant reached three times as Chicago earned its second straight win after losing on opening day. Joc Pederson also drove in a run with a groundout.

 

Davies, acquired in the December trade that sent Yu Darvish to San Diego, permitted two runs and four hits in 5 2/3 innings. The right-hander struck out five and walked three.

 

Pittsburgh played without third baseman Ke'Bryan Hayes, placed on the 10-day injured list with a strained left wrist. Hayes, one of the preseason favorites for NL Rookie of the Year, got hurt on a swing during Saturday's 5-1 loss.

 

nd his absence was particularly noticeable when Phillip Evans, Hayes' replacement at third, was unable to stop Javier Baez's hard-hit grounder in the sixth, allowing Bryant to score and handing the Cubs a 4-2 lead with the error.

 

The Pirates pulled within one again on Evans' RBI single in the eighth, but Rex Brothers got Gregory Polanco to bounce into an inning-ending double play with runners on the corners. Craig Kimbrel then worked a perfect ninth for his first save of the season.

 

Pittsburgh right-hander Mitch Keller (0-1) lasted just three innings on his 25th birthday. He walked four and was charged with three runs and two hits.

 

While Keller struggled, Davies (1-0) cruised into the sixth before running into trouble with two out.

 

After Colin Moran connected for a two-run homer, Evans singled and Polanco walked. Dan Winkler then came in and Michael Perez flied out to the warning track in center, ending the inning

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Ohtani's 2-way play, Walsh's HRs lead Angels past ChiSox 7-4

Shoei Ohtani both smashed a 451-foot homer and pitched two-hit ball into the fifth inning, and Walsh hit a walkoff homer to end the Angels' 7-4 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Sunday night.

 

Although he lost a three-run lead and narrowly avoided injury in a home plate collision during the fifth inning, Ohtani left both teams amazed by his abilities.

 

Ohtani didn't allow a run through the first four innings, but his control problems abetted Chicago's three-run rally in the fifth. Ohtani left after a passed ball and a throwing error by catcher Max Stassi led to a collision between Ohtani and AL MVP Jose Abreu.

 

Ohtani finished with seven strikeouts and five walks, showcasing his typical duo of otherworldly speed and shaky control.

 

David Fletcher and Justin Upton drove in early runs for the Angels. After Chicago tied it in the fifth by scoring three runs without an RBI, Walsh reclaimed the lead for Los Angeles in the fifth - but new Angels closer Raisel Iglesias (1-0) couldn't quite come up with a five-out save.

 

Chicago tied it again in the ninth when Nick Madrigal scored from second on a throwing error by Iglesias, who tried to get him at third after fielding Adam Eaton's one-out grounder.

 

The White Sox scored four runs despite going 0 for 11 with runners in scoring position.

 

Jose Ruiz (0-1) gave up a leadoff single in the ninth to Dexter Fowler, who entered the game via a rare AL double switch.

 

Remember WHOW is your home for Chicago White Sox basesball. Our next broadcast is tonight at 8:30 pm CT versus Seattle.

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Sprinkle carries Monticello Past Rantoul

Joey Sprinkle threw five touchdown passes to five different receivers, all in the first half, as Monticello scored 27 pionts in the second quarter and shut out Rantoul 40-0 in Illini Prairie Conference football action Friday night at Monticello High School.

 

As heard on WEZC, Sprinkle connected on a short touchdown throw to Hunter Williams to stake the Sages to a 6-0 lead in the first quarter, then connected for 22-yards to Chris Brown, 41 yards to Colton Knuffman (cuh-nuff-man), 39 yards to Tristan Foran, and finally 30 yards to Peyton Scott.

 

The Sages led 33-0 at the intermission and Sprinkle’s night under center was done. 

 

Jason Brown played a trio of series’ and executed a perfect quarterback option pitch to Chris Brown for another 25 yards putting the Sages up 40-0 and set up a running clock the rest of the way.

 

Tristan Stone had five carries for 48 yards to lead the Eagles.

 

The Eagles in their first game fall to 0-1.

 

Monticello improves to 3-0 and will host Mattoon next Saturday. Hear the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

 

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Clinton Maroons fall to Warrensburg-Latham Cardinals

As heard on WHOW, the Clinton Maroons fell to the Warrensburg-Lathem Cardinals by a score of 33-17 on Friday night. The Maroons were led by the B-Roc Designs player of the game Chance Baldwin with 2 sacks. Zeke Hickman was 3 of 8 passing for 12 yards and was 16 rushing for 114 yards and a touchdown. Andrew Pagel had 7 rushing for 25 yards.

 

The Cardinals were led by Branden Mathews who was 7 for 25 passing for 84 yards and a touchdown and had 9 rushing for 49 yards anda touchdown. Luke Hall had 9 rushing for 56 yards.

 

With the loss, the Maroons fall to 0-3 overall. The Cardinals improve to 2-1 overall.

 

Tune in Friday April 9th, as the Maroons take on Meridian. You can hear the game live on the Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW, online at dewittdailynews.com, on the WHOW mobile app, and on Amazon Alexa.

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Clinton Travels to Warrensburg-Latham for Week 3 Football Action

The Clinton Maroons will travel to Warrensburg-Latham for Friday night week 3 high school spring football action.

 

The Maroons are coming off a 50-27 loss at Tuscola last week and Maroons head coach Chris Ridgeway did not feel the final score was indicative of how his team played.

 

 

The Cardinals fell to Central A&M last week 19-7. They enter play 1-1 overall.

 

Hear tonight's action at 7 pm on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM/106.5 FM WHOW, online at dewittdailynews.com, at the WHOW mobile app and at Amazon Alexa.

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Monticello Hosts Rantoul Tonight

A thrilling 19-15 win last Friday night for No. 6 Monticello over No. 5 Prairie Centeral sent shockwaves through the Illini Prairie Conference as the Hawks were viewed as the prohibitive favorite to win the league and touchdown with only four seconds left allowed Monticello to come away with the win.

 

In the postgame, Monticello Coach Cully Welter said he was proud of the effort by his team, especially given the amount of injuries they battled coming into the week and then throughout the game.

 

 

Tonight, the Sages turn their attention to Rantoul who visits Monticello High School. Game time is 7 pm. Hear all the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com. 

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Central Illinois Outdoors Preview

Central Illinois Outdoors drops episode 12 this week and features a slew of central Illinois outdoorsman. Host Jared White previews Sunday's episode that can be picked up in podcast form on Monday morning.

 

 

Central Illinois Outdoors airs every:

 

Saturday at 10a on 870 WTIM - Taylorville
Sunday at 8a on 1520 WHOW - Clinton
Sunday at 8a on 106.5FM - Bloomington/Normal
Sunday at 8a on 96.5TheWinner-Taylorville

 

And again, Monday catch the podcast at centralillinoisoutdoors.com. 

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Hayes homers, Pirates 2-hit Cubs 5-3 on chilly opening day

Ke'Bryan Hayes hit a two-run homer and Pittsburgh's relievers dominated in a two-hitter, helping the Pirates beat the Chicago Cubs 5-3 Thursday on opening day.

 

Pittsburgh went 3 for 20 with runners in scoring position and left 15 runners on base. But it handled the cool conditions just a little bit better than Chicago, led by its largely anonymous bullpen.

 

Six relievers combined for six innings of one-run ball - Duane Underwood Jr., Clay Holmes, Sam Howard (1-0), David Bednar and Chris Stratton each worked an inning before Richard Rodriguez finished for the save.

 

Anthony Rizzo, Joc Pederson and Willson Contreras each hit a sacrifice fly for Chicago, but that was it for the reigning NL Central champions. Rizzo doubled in the first against Chad Kuhl and Eric Sogard added another double in the eighth for the team's only hits.

 

Pederson walked with one out in the ninth and advanced to second on a wild pitch, but Rodriguez struck out Javier Baez and Jason Heyward to end the game.

 

Cubs right-hander Kyle Hendricks lasted just three innings in his second straight opening-day start.

 

He issued three walks while allowing three runs and four hits after he walked eight in 81 1/3 innings last season. The Cubs finished with 11 walks and hit a batter during the 4-hour game.

 

Adam Frazier walked and scored on Hayes' sixth career homer. Frazier added an RBI single in the second and a run-scoring double in the seventh, giving Pittsburgh a 5-2 lead.

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Goldschmidt, Arenado deliver, Cards open fast, top Reds 11-6

Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado combined for six hits and the Cardinals roughed up Luis Castillo for six runs in the first inning to beat the Cincinnati Reds 11-6 Thursday.

 

 Dylan Carlson hit a three-run homer and Tyler O'Neill connected for a two-run shot.

 

St. Louis starter Jack Flaherty couldn't take advantage of the big lead, giving up six runs in 4 1/3 innings. Giovanny Gallegos (1-0), the fourth of five Cardinals relievers, got the win.

 

Castillo (0-1) had a bad day almost from the start. He surrendered 10 runs, eight of them earned, on eight hits over 3 1/3 innings.

 

Goldschmidt, who had four hits and scored three times, doubled with one out in the first and Arenado, the star third baseman acquired in an offseason trade from Colorado, followed with a single.

 

An error by shortstop Eugenio Suarez, who was moved over from third base in spring training, let two runs score and Carlson homered to cap the burst.

 

Singles by Goldschmidt and Arenado and another error by Suarez led to another run in the second.

 

The Cardinals added four more in the fourth on an RBI single by Goldschmidt, a wild pitch and O'Neill's drive.

 

Suarez homered in the bottom of the fourth. Nick Castellanos homered, doubled and singled for the Reds, who chipped away but couldn't score runs in bunches.

 

Down 11-6 in the sixth, they loaded the bases with one out. But Castellanos' liner to center fielder was snagged by Carlson, who doubled off Tyler Stephenson at second base.

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Trout, Pujols lead Angels' late rally past White Sox, 4-3

Mike Trout delivered the tying single and Shohei Ohtani scored the go-ahead run on Albert Pujols' groundout in the eighth inning, leading Los Angeles' rally to a 4-3 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Thursday night.

 

Max Stassi homered and Justin Upton had an RBI single in the Angels' first opening day at home since 2016.

 

Fletcher opened the eighth by beating out an infield single off Bummer's glove. Second baseman Nick Madrigal then made a throwing error on a hard-hit grounder from Ohtani, and Fletcher took third on a passed ball before Trout smacked a single to left.

 

Upton drew an 11-pitch walk to load the bases for Pujols, whose high-bouncing groundout easily scored Ohtani. Pujols' RBI was the 16th of his career on opening day, the most among active players.

 

Mike Mayers (1-0) pitched the eighth, and Raisel Iglesias needed just eight pitches in the ninth to earn the save in his Angels debut.

 

Adam Eaton hit a tiebreaking, two-run homer in his first game back with the White Sox.

 

Lucas Giolito retired the Angels' first 11 batters and pitched two-hit ball into the sixth inning for Chicago. The Southern California native baffled the Angels' lineup his first time through, striking out six of nine largely with his changeup.

 

Giolito left with a 3-2 lead, but the Angels jumped on Bummer and kept new closer Liam Hendriks out of the game.

 

Dylan Bundy yielded six hits and three runs with six strikeouts over six innings in his first opening day start for the Angels.

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Baseball Opening Day: Cardinals Hope Big Offseason Splash Pays Off; Cubs Look to Compete While Rebuilding; Expectations Remain High For Sox Despite Loss of Jiminez

One of the most exciting days of the year fro sports fans is upon us as Major League Baseball returns to a regular 162-game schedule this year after a 60-game pandemic altered season in 2020.

 

Several key mainstays of the Chicago Cubs could be making their final Opening Day appearance for the team in Thursday's matchup with the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates.

Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant and Javier Baez are each beginning their free-agent walk years and would like nothing more than to revisit the joy of five years ago, when the trio helped the franchise claim its first World Series title since 1908.

 

While Chicago is expected to battle Milwaukee and St. Louis for the top spot in the National League Central.

 

Kyle Hendricks is making his second consecutive Opening Day start for the Cubs after posting a 2.88 ERA with 64 strikeouts and eight walks in 81 1/3 innings over 12 starts last season. The 31-year-old is hoping to duplicate his success from last season's opener, when he recorded a three-hit shutout against Milwaukee on July 24.

 

After playing in front of cardboard cutouts last season, both teams are eager to welcome fans back on Opening Day. Wrigley Field will a limited-capacity crowd, which Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot announced last week would be expanded from 20 to 25 percent, which would mean about 10,000 fans in the park ... plus, of course, fans on the rooftops.

 

Chicago had a relatively quiet spring training but made news last week when manager David Ross named David Bote as the team's starting second baseman ahead of Nico Hoerner, who was optioned to Triple-A.

 

Hoerner remains a prominent part of the Cubs' plans, but Ross says he is excited to see what the Bote can do as an everyday starter. Bote, who turns 28 next week, earned the job after hitting .311 with three home runs and eight RBIs in 19 spring-training games.

 

First pitch today from Wrigley is 1:20 central time.

 

 

 

The St. Louis Cardinals hope adding one of baseball's best offensive performers will send them to the top of the NL Central.

 

Meanwhile, the Cincinnati Reds still aim for a second straight postseason berth despite losing the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner.

The quest for these division foes begins Thursday with a matchup in Cincinnati.

 

Despite an early August COVID-19-related disruption and ranking last in the majors in homers (51) and 26th in OPS (.694), the Cardinals were two games over .500 and made the playoffs for a second consecutive year. 

 

Looking to boost some of those offensive numbers, the Cardinals acquired five-time All-Star third baseman Nolan Arenado from Colorado. Though Arenado endured a subpar 2020 with eight homers and a .253 average in 48 games, he's clubbed 235 career home runs and makes St. Louis the apparent favorite in the Central.

 

Arenado, a lifetime .318 hitter with 12 homers in 43 games versus Cincinnati, should benefit from playing alongside fellow star Paul Goldschmidt. The veteran first baseman hit .304 last season, and prior to 2020, hit at least 33 homers in three straight seasons.

 

Opening day starter and Redbirds ace Jack Flaherty went 4-3 with a 4.91 ERA over nine starts during a disjointed 2020 campaign. He's 2-2 with a 2.48 ERA in seven career starts against the Reds but didn't face them last year.

 

 

 

The Chicago White Sox and Los Angeles Angels will open the 2021 season Thursday in Anaheim, Calif., both taking with them a sense of optimism and both boasting MVP candidates.

However, for either team to make a playoff run, it needs production from more than the most prominent players. Chicago's Jose Abreu, who won the American League MVP last season, and Trout, a three-time AL MVP, can't do it alone.

 

There is no better example of that than the Angels and Trout, who is widely considered the best player in the majors but hasn't been on a playoff team since 2014.

 

Dylan Bundy will start on the mound for the Angels, coming off a good season -- his first with the Angels -- in which he went 6-3 with a 3.29 ERA in 11 starts.

 

Bundy is matched up against White Sox starter Lucas Giolito, who is making his second Opening Day start and had an impressive spring. Giolito had a 1.17 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 23 innings this spring, but he says it's not so much the numbers that made it successful.

 

Last week, projected starting LF Eloy Jimenez went down with a torn pectoral muscle trying to make a play in the outfield in a late-spring training game. Jimenez, who has been outspoken about his desire to play in the field and not DH exclusively, drew ire from fans after the injury. The Sox announced earlier this week they will be purchasing the contract of 2019 first-round pick Andrew Vaughn and will be on the opening day roster.

 

The White Sox hope the off-season addition of Lance Lynn helps solidy its rotation and are anticipating a bounce back season from once top-prospect Yoan Moncada. 

 

Giolito, Flaherty and Braves opening day ace Max Fried were teammates nine years ago at Harvard-Westlake, a prestigious prep school in Los Angeles.

 

On Thursday, all three will be opening-day starting pitchers in the major leagues.

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Suns Topple Bulls

Devin Booker scored a season-high 45 points, Chris Paul added 19 points and 14 assists, and the Phoenix Suns held on to beat the Chicago Bulls 121-116 on Wednesday night.

 

The Suns built a 16-point lead midway through the third quarter, but the Bulls cut that advantage to 94-86 by the start of the fourth. Chicago hung close throughout the final minutes, pulling within three points multiple times. Thaddeus Young's bucket in the paint brought the Bulls within 115-112 with less than a minute left.

 

Booker responded with his final basket - blowing past Nikola Vujecic for a layup - and the Suns won their fourth straight. Chicago's losing streak is now at five games.

 

Booker had another All-Star performance in a season full of them, making 17 of 24 shots from the field and 9 of 10 free throws. He was especially effective on mid-range jumpers, finishing time and again over Chicago's defense.

 

Phoenix's Dario Saric had 16 points off the bench on 6-of-9 shooting, including 3 of 5 on 3-pointers.

Chicago was led by Vujecic's 24 points and 10 rebounds. Young added 19 points and 10 rebounds, and Denzel Valentine also scored 19 points.

 

Booker scored 22 points before the break on 10-of-14 shooting to help the Suns lead 67-58 at halftime. Phoenix made 10 of 18 (55.6%) shots from 3-point range. 

 

Chicago was without G Zach LaVine (right ankle sprain) and G Coby White (left cervical pain). LaVine is averaging 27.5 points per game while White averages 15. White missed his second straight game.

 

The Bulls travel to face the Jazz on Friday night.

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Heat Rally Past Pacers

Duncan Robinson and Jimmy Butler combined for the first six points in a decisive fourth quarter run and then helped Miami hold Indiana to five points over the final seven minutes for a 92-87 victory.

 

Robinson finished with 20 points, eight rebounds and four assists, making six 3-pointers. Butler had 18 points as Miami won its second straight and avoided a three-game sweep in the season series with the Pacers.

 

Indiana was led by Myles Turner with 15 points and Caris LeVert and Doug McDermott, who each had 14. The Pacers have lost two straight overall and seven of their last eight at home. This one came like so many others recently - a bad fourth quarter.

 

Miami spent most of the night playing catch-up and finally overtook Indiana when Robinson made his fifth and sixth 3-pointers for a 79-78 lead with 7:44 to go. After trading baskets and the lead for several possessions, Butler and Robinson swung the game with three straight buckets, and Bam Adebayo's 7-footer with 1:06 left made it 89-82.

 

The Heat defense took care of the rest.

 

Indiana led 45-32 in the second quarter but Miami scored the final 11 points of the half to get within 45-43. The Pacers answered by scoring the first 13 points of the second half then gave up 11 straight as the Heat pulled within 58-54 midway through the third and got as close as 67-65 after three.

 

Adebayo finished with 16 points, extending his career-long streak of consecutive double-figure games to 34. He also had eight rebounds and seven assists. Robinson also had eight rebounds. 

Tyler Herro had 17 points.

 

Pacers All-Star Domantas Sabonis came up just short of his customary double-double with 14 rebounds and nine points. 

 

The Pacers host Charlotte on Friday.

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Blackhawks' Bowman Named GM of 2022 US Olympic Men's Team

With an opportunity to draw from what he considers the deepest pool of American-born talent ever assembled, Stan Bowman welcomes expectations that come with being the general manager of USA Hockey’s 2022 Olympic men’s national team.

 

The NHL still needs to resolve several issues with the International Olympic Committee before giving the OK to have its players compete at the 2022 Beijing Games, and after backing out of the 2018 Pyeongchang Games. Formal talks aren’t expected to resume until after the Tokyo Games are completed this summer.

 

In anticipation of a resolution, USA Hockey went ahead and began assembling its management team.

 

Along with Bowman, Minnesota Wild GM and three-time U.S. Olympian Bill Guerin will be the team’s assistant general manager. Together they will identify a coach and begin targeting players to invite to an orientation camp tentatively scheduled for this summer.

 

That pool of talent has grown dramatically since the U.S. finished fourth at the Sochi Games in 2014, the last time the Olympics featured NHLers.

 

The list of potential first-time American Olympians include Toronto’s Austin Matthews, Buffalo’s Jack Eichel, New Jersey’s Jack Hughes, Chicago’s Alex DeBrincat, New York Rangers defenseman Adam Fox and Vancouver defenseman Quinn Hughes, Jack’s brother. The U.S. talent pool of goalies is headed by Winnipeg’s Connor Hellebuyck and Vancouver’s Thatcher Demko.

 

They have the potential of joining an Olympic-experienced core of Patrick Kane, John Carlson and Blake Wheeler.

 

Bowman said it’s premature to determine what identity the team will adopt, but stressed it will be built with an eye on playing various styles.

 

Bowman has been a member of USA Hockey’s advisory group since 2012, and also served as co-GM of the 2016 World Cup of Hockey’s Team North America, which was made up of NHL players 25 and younger.

 

The U.S. has a spotty Olympic past, having won silver medals just twice — in 2002 and 2010 — in the five times it featured NHL talent. And the Americans count only two gold medals, the last won by the acclaimed “Miracle On Ice” squad at the 1980 Games in Lake Placid.

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Mets Prized Offseason Addition Agrees to Extension

Francisco Lindor and the New York Mets have agreed to a $341 million, 10-year deal, keeping the All-Star shortstop in Queens for the long haul after acquiring him from Cleveland in the offseason.

 

Lindor was eligible for free agency after this season and said this spring he wouldn’t negotiate with the Mets on a long-term contract after opening day. Less than 24 hours before New York starts its season Thursday night in Washington, an agreement was reached.

 

The 27-year-old Lindor has two Gold Gloves and made four All-Star teams in six seasons with the Indians, hitting .285 with an average of 29 homers, 86 RBIs and 21 stolen bases per 162 games.

 

He was the prized pickup in new owner Steve Cohen’s first offseason, acquired from Cleveland along with right-hander Carlos Carrasco for infielders Amed Rosario, Andrés Giménez and two minor leaguers. New York added Lindor knowing he could walk after the 2021 season, but the team said it would try to negotiate a long-term pact.

 

The deal will be the largest ever for a shortstop, passing Fernando Tatis Jr.‘s $340 million, 14-year contract with San Diego signed in February. Only Mike Trout’s $426.5 million, 12-year deal with the Los Angeles Angels and Mookie Betts’ $365 million, 12-year contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers are worth more. Betts’ deal includes $115 million in deferred payments through 2044.

 

Lindor’s deal is also by far the largest payout ever from the Mets, surpassing contracts for third baseman David Wright ($138 million), pitchers Jacob deGrom ($137.5 million) and Johan Santana ($137.5 million).

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