Local Sports

Mt. Pulaski Blanks LeRoy

Evan Cooper pitched six innings of shutout ball and four players drove in multiple runs as Mt. Pulaski blanked LeRoy 12-0 in six-innings of non-conference high school boy's baseball from LeRoy Thursday.

 

Cooper struck out six, issued a walk and allowed seven hits. 

 

Landon Smith homered, driving in a pair to go 4-for-4 with a walk and two runs scored. Clayton Aylesworth finished 3-for-4 with a pair of RBIs and Liam Smith, Jackson Fricke and Lucas Kuhlman each drove in a pair of runs for the Hilltoppers. 

 

The Hilltoppers improve to 16-3 overall. They battle Bloomington Cornerstone Christian this afternoon in Mt. Pulaski. 

Royals Get By Sox in Extra Innings

Rookie Kyle Isbel hit a two-run single in Kansas City's three-run 10th inning, and the Royals beat the Chicago White Sox 5-2 on Thursday.

 

Whit Merrifield scored the go-ahead run in the 10th when White Sox catcher Reese McGuire was charged with a passed ball with the bases loaded and two out. Then Isbel, who was promoted from Triple-A Omaha before the game, got his hit off left-hander Aaron Bummer (0-1).

 

Chicago was held to three hits through the first seven innings, but tied it in the eighth off reliever Josh Staumont on singles by Yasmani Grandal and Jake Burger and a sacrifice fly by AJ Pollock.

 

That wiped out an exceptional performance by Royals starter Brad Keller, who induced 12 groundball outs and didn't throw more than 15 pitches in any of his seven innings. Keller, who lowered his ERA to 2.19, has received three runs of support in his 24 2/3 innings.

 

Andrew Benintendi hit an RBI double in the first inning to extend his hitting streak to 10 games, and in the fifth, his sacrifice fly scored Cam Gallagher to give the Royals a 2-0 lead.

 

But the Royals missed opportunities in the sixth and eighth, and Benintendi's feeble throw from left field enabled pinch-runner Josh Harrison to score the tying run.

 

Scott Barlow (2-0) pitched a scoreless ninth, and Taylor Clarke earned his first save since April 20, 2019, which came against the Cubs at Wrigley Field as a member of the Diamondbacks.

 

The Royals have won two of their last three games, while the Sox have dropped nine of their last 10.

 

Chicago didn't advance a runner past first base until Leury Garcia hit a home run with two out in the sixth for his first RBI of the season. Garcia had been 4 for 42 (.095) before going deep.

 

White Sox starter Michael Kopech pitched five innings for the third consecutive start but was pulled after throwing a career-high 94 pitches. Kopech walked two during a 31-pitch first and issued a season-high four walks.

 

Sox rookie reliever Tanner Banks threw two scoreless innings; he hasn't been scored upon in 12 innings.

 

Royals slugger Salvador Perez went 0 for 5 and is hitless in his last 16 at-bats.

 

White Sox INF Yoan Moncada (oblique strain) will report Friday to Triple-A Charlotte to start a minor-league rehab assignment. OF Luis Robert (groin strain) is expected to return Friday, La Russa said. Robert missed his sixth consecutive game. RHP Lance Lynn (right knee) has accelerated his throwing program and could return before the end of May, La Russa said.

 

White Sox RHP Lucas Giolito (0-0, 1.13) will oppose the Angels on Friday night. Giolito allowed one run in four innings in a 6-4 loss to the Twins.

Cardinals Down Diamondbacks

Dakota Hudson pitched six shutout innings, Paul Goldschmidt drove in three runs and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 8-3 Thursday night.

 

St. Louis star Nolan Arenado had two hits after deciding to appeal a two-game suspension from Major League Baseball for his role in a brawl with the Mets on Wednesday.

 

Tommy Edman and Tyler O'Neill drove in two runs each for the Cardinals, who won their second game in a row after a three-game losing streak.

 

Pavin Smith hit a two-run homer for Arizona, which had a two-game winning streak snapped.

 

Hudson (2-1) gave up one hit in his 84-pitch stint. He struck out four and walked three. He did not allow a hit until Daulton Varsho singled with one out in the sixth.

 

O'Neill had run-scoring sacrifice flies in the first two innings to help the Cardinals to a 5-0 lead against Arizona starter Humberto Castellanos.

 

Goldschmidt, who had three hits, added a two-run single in the sixth.

 

Edman and Goldschmidt had RBI hits to close out a three-run outburst in the second. Castellanos (1-2) gave up five runs on five hits over two innings.

 

The Cardinals, whose 15 hits were all singles, improved to 99-61 against Arizona, which came into the league in 1998.

 

St. Louis, a team known for its power, has failed to homer in the last eight games.

 

St. Louis rookie Brendan Donovan recorded his first career hit, a single in the eighth inning.

 

Adam Wainwright (2-2, 3.86) will face Arizona LHP Madison Bumgarner (0-1, 1.00) in the second game of the four game set on Friday. Wainwright is 11-5 with a 3.28 ERA in 18 appearances against Arizona. He has earned wins in five of his last six starts against the Diamondbacks. Bumgarner has not allowed a run over his last two outings.

Braves Get By Cubs

Ronald Acuna, Jr. went 1 for 5 with two stolen bases in his return to the Braves lineup and Wright turned in another stellar performance, giving Atlanta its first series win of the season with a 5-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Thursday night.

 

Wright (3-0) pitched three-hit ball over a career-high seven innings as the World Series champion Braves, off to a sluggish start, made it two of three over the Cubs.

 

Austin Riley and Dansby Swanson hit solo homers off former Braves pitcher Drew Smyly (1-2), while Adam Duvall provided some insurance with a two-run shot against Ethan Roberts in the eighth.

 

Wearing sparkly, gold-topped cleats with matching armbands and batting gloves, Acuna grounded out twice, struck out twice and punched an opposite-field single to right in his first big league game since July 10, 2021, when he sustained a season-ending knee injury at Miami.

 

A pair of stolen bases seemed to back up his pregame assessment that his reconstructed right knee actually made him faster than before he tore his ACL.

 

He also showed off his defensive skills in right field. On Jason Heyward's liner off the fence, Acuna played the carom perfectly and held the Cubs player to a single.

 

While much of the attention was on Acuna rejoining the Braves, it was Wright who starred again.

 

He has pitched 24 innings over his first four starts, allowing just 14 hits and three runs for an ERA of 1.13. In a sign of how nasty his stuff is, Wright has recorded 34 strikeouts with just six walks - four of those coming against the Cubs. He also hit a batter but benefitted from a couple of double plays - one of which he started - while allowing only one runner past second base.

 

Wright looked like a first-round bust as he struggled to gain a foothold in the majors over the last four seasons. Bouncing up and down between the majors and minors, he combined to go 2-8 with a 6.56 ERA over 21 appearances.

 

Finally, the talented right-hander seems to have figured things out. Coming off a career-best 11 strikeouts against the Marlins, he rang up eight more Chicago hitters.

 

Smyly went 4 2/3 innings, surrendering five hits, walking one and striking out four.

 

The Cubs scored their lone run in the second without picking up a hit, taking advantage of Wright walking the first two hitters.

 

With runners at first and third and two outs, Nico Hoerner appeared to have made a baserunning blunder when he was caught off first by a pickoff throw from Wright.

 

But the rundown went on long enough for Alfonso Rivas to sprint home from third before Hoerner was tagged out.

 

Kyle Hendricks (1-1, 3.98) faces Brewers RH Adrian Houser (1-2, 3.52) on Friday to start a three-game weekend series at Milwaukee.

Cardinals Arenado, Cabrera Suspended for Role in Incident With Mets

Cardinals star Nolan Arenado and pitcher Génesis Cabrera have been suspended for their actions during a benches-clearing fracas Wednesday against the New York Mets.

 

Arenado has been banned two games and Cabrera one game, and both have been fined undisclosed amounts. Their punishments were announced Thursday by Michael Hill, Major League Baseball’s senior vice president for on-field operations.

 

Arenado ducked his head out of the way of a high fastball from Mets reliever Yoan López in the eighth inning Wednesday and shouted at the mound. Arenado tossed aside catcher Tomás Nido as players from both dugouts rushed onto the field.

Packers Take Pair of Georgia Defenders in NFL Draft First Round

Despite trading Davante Adams, Aaron Rodgers' top target, this offseason, the Packers did not leave Day One of the 2022 NFL Draft with a new wide receiver. 

 

They did, however, add a pair of highly rated Georgia prospects to their defense in linebacker Quay Walker, picked 22nd overall, and defensive tackle Devonte Wyatt, who went 28th.

 

Five different Georgia products came off the board on the first night of the 2022 draft, so one thing is for sure: the Packers' newest players hail from a triumphant defensive program -- the same one that produced Travon Walker (No. 1), Jordan Davis (No. 13) and Lewis Cine (No. 32). 

 

Quay Walker was arguably less of an expected Day One target as opposed to Wyatt, who had drawn similar marks as Travon Walker, his fellow starting D-linemen, early in the pre-draft process. CBS Sports' Pete Prisco identified Walker as a perfect complement to De'Vondre Campbell in Green Bay's linebacker corps.

The Packers want to win now, and there's reason to believe Walker will be an immediate contributor alongside Campbell. He leaves Georgia having started 52 games over four seasons, serving multiple roles at linebacker. 

He's also played in big spots, notably logging career-best numbers for the Bulldogs' national title team, including 25 quarterback hits. Expect to see him on the field for Green Bay's "D," with a prominent role, in Week 1.

Despite his teammate, Travon Walker, going 27 spots ahead of him to kick off the draft, Wyatt was arguably just as impressive at this year's scouting combine, posting the fastest 40-yard dash for any defensive lineman (4.77) despite his big frame. 

Wyatt "ate up a lot of blocks" for his ex-Georgia and new Packers teammate Quay Walker in college, the latter told reporters Thursday night, and he figures to see an early role as a run-stuffing specialist at the heart of Green Bay's trenches.

NASCAR Heads to Monster Mile

Ross Chastain took the checkered flag at Talladega and became just the second multiple race winner of the season as the series heads to Dover and the Monster Mile. 

 

Chase Elliott leads Ryan Blaney by 21 points in the standings with two-time winner William Byron third, 34 points back. Elliott leads despite having just one top-five finish this season and no wins, same as Blaney. Elliott and fourth-place Kyle Busch share the lead with seven top-10 finishes. 

 

Alex Bowman won after starting 16th last year. 

 

Practice is Saturday morning at 9:30 am with qualifying 10:15 am. Race time is 2 pm Sunday. 

 

Noah Gragson held off Jeffrey Earnhardt in triple overtime to win at Talladega, his second victory of the season. 

 

Gragson jumped a spot to second in the standings, 40 behind A.J. Allmendinger. Ty Gibbs is 45 behind in third. Allmendinger has finished in the top 10 in all nine races; no one else has done it more than six times. 

 

Eight of the nine races have been won by series regulars. The only outlier is Cole Custer, who won at Fontana, California, in the second race of the season.

 

Austin Cindric won after starting 16th last year. 

 

Practice is this afternoon at 2 pm and qualifying is 2:30 pm. Race time is 12:30 pm Saturday afternoon. 

 

The Camping World Truck Series returns next week at Darlington. 

Rodgers Reacts to Packers First Round Draft Picks

Aaron Rodgers was not exactly thrilled with the Green Bay Packers' 2020 NFL Draft first-round selection when they traded up to take quarterback Jordan Love. Heading into this year's draft, eyes were not just on what the Packers would do, but how No. 12, who is not typically quiet with his opinions, would feel about the picks.

 

When the Packers did not draft a wide receiver with either of their first-round selections, instead of taking linebacker Quay Walker at No. 22 and defensive tackle Devonte Wyatt at No. 28, both out of Georgia, people wondered how the offensive leader was feeling. 

 

To the surprise of many, Rodgers was fine with it. Not only did he approve of the picks, unlike with Love, he was aware of what the Packers -- who continued their streak of not drafting a first-round receiver since 2002 -- had planned for draft night.

 

Appearing on the Pat McAfee Show, Rodgers said of the Wyatt pick, "I'm sure Packer nation will be wondering why we didn't take a receiver or trade up or whatnot, but at this point you just gotta have some faith in the organization."

HS Baseball: Clinton Blasts Sullivan

Mason Walker pitched five innings of one-hit ball and the Clinton Maroons bats came alive in routing Sullivan 15-0 in a five-inning, ten-run rule win Wednesday afternoon in Central Illinois Conference high school boy's baseball action in Sullivan.

 

Walker faced three batters over the minimum with eight strikeouts, a walk and allowed a hit. 

 

Dominic Thayer and Brooks Cluver drove in three runs apiece. Payton Cross finished 2-for-4, Colton Walker was 2-for-2 and Eli Atkins added a double.

 

The Maroons are 5-6 overall and 5-5 in the Central Illinois Conference. They battle Shelbyville Friday.

HS Softball: Sullivan Gets By Clinton

Sullivan scored seven unanswered runs late to rally past Clinton 8-5 in Central Illinois Conference high school girl's softball action Wednesday from Sullivan.

 

The Lady Maroons led 2-1 after the first inning and added three runs in the fourth to go up 5-1 but the Lady Redskins put a 5-spot on the board in its half of the fifth inning to go up 6-5 and added insurance runs in the fifth and sixth innings, holding off the Lady Maroons the rest of the way.

 

Heidi Humble and Chloe Griffin paced the Lady Maroons offense, each finishing 3-for-3 with a pair of RBIs. Humble scored twice. Ari Humes was 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored and Morgan Fortune had a base hit. 

 

Clinton drops to 2-14 overall and 1-8 in the CIC. 

 

The Lady Maroons will travel to Shelbyville Friday afternoon. 

White Sox Power Past Royals

Andrew Vaughn hit a tiebreaking three-run homer in the seventh inning, and the Chicago White Sox stopped an eight-game slide with a 7-3 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday.

 

The winning rally for the White Sox started when Danny Mendick and Tim Anderson hit consecutive two-out singles off Collin Snider (2-1). Scott Barlow then came in, and Vaughn drove his first pitch into the home bullpen in left for his fourth homer.

 

The White Sox added another run in the eighth when Leury Garcia scampered home on Reese McGuire's double-play grounder.

 

Jake Burger hit a solo homer as Chicago got its first win since April 16. Burger finished with three hits, and Vaughn had four RBIs.

 

Whit Merrifield drove in two runs for Kansas City, which lost for the fifth time in six games. Zack Greinke permitted three runs and five hits in six innings.

 

The Royals trailed 3-0 after five, but Merrifield hit a tying sacrifice fly off Bennett Sousa (1-0) in the top half of the seventh.

 

Dylan Cease struck out nine in six innings, helping the White Sox stop their longest losing streak since June 2018. The right-hander allowed two runs and three hits.

 

Chicago also ended a streak of nine straight games with a defensive error.

 

Edward Olivares began the sixth with an infield single for Kansas City's first hit of the game.

 

Sousa got his first major league win. Kendall Graveman struck out four in two innings to earn his first save of the season.

 

Kansas City's Brad Keller (0-2, 2.55 ERA) faces fellow right-hander Michael Kopech (0-0, 0.64 ERA) in Thursday afternoon's series finale.

Cardinals Rally Past Mets

The New York Mets' hit-by-pitch frustrations boiled over Wednesday when reliever Yoan Lopez threw a pitch near Nolan Arenado's head, sparking a benches-clearing brawl that led to Arenado's ejection in the St. Louis Cardinals' 10-5 victory.

 

Mets hitter J.D. Davis left in the top of the eighth inning after being hit in the left foot by a pitch from Genesis Cabrera, the major league-leading 19th hit-by-pitch for the Mets this season - including three Tuesday night against St. Louis.

 

New York appeared to retaliate a half-inning later against Arenado, who reached four times and drove in three runs. Lopez zipped a 94 mph fastball near his head, and Arenado began yelling for Lopez to ''do it again.'' The benches and bullpens cleared, and the teams pushed and shoved near home plate.

 

The Mets have been furious by a spate of hit batters, and pitcher Chris Bassitt blamed it largely on inconsistencies in baseballs provided by the league a year after Major League Baseball cracked down on the use of illegal sticky substances by pitchers.

 

Dylan Carlson's two-run triple capped a five-run fourth inning. The Cardinals scored two more runs during the outburst than they had the previous three games combined.

 

Jake Woodford (1-0) allowed a run in two-plus innings of relief as St. Louis snapped a season-high three-game losing streak.

 

Mets starter Carlos Carrasco (1-1) gave up a season-high eight runs, seven earned, in a season-low 3 2/3 innings as the Mets had their three-game winning streak snapped.

 

Dakota Hudson (1-1, 3.95 ERA) starts the first of a four-game series Thursday night against the Arizona Diamondbacks and RHP Humberto Castellanos (1-0, 3.00 ERA). Hudson threw 6 2/3 scoreless innings in his last start Saturday in a 5-0 win over the Cincinnati Reds.

Cubs Muscle Past Reds

Willson Contreras gave Chicago the lead with a run-scoring double in the 10th inning, Patrick Wisdom followed with a two-run homer, and the Cubs beat the Atlanta Braves 6-3.

 

Contreras lined his double to the left field wall off Tyler Matzek (0-1) to drive in automatic runner Ian Happ. After Frank Schwindel struck out, Wisdom launched a drive into the left-center seats for his third homer of the season.

 

The Cubs recovered after right-hander Mychal Givens blew a 3-1 lead in the eighth. With two outs, Givens loaded the bases on two singles and a walk. Dansby Swanson tied the game with a two-run single to right.

 

David Robertson (1-0) ended the eighth on Ozzie Albies' groundout and struck out the side in the ninth. Rowan Wick pitched a perfect 10th for his first save.

 

The World Series champion Braves, still looking for their first series win, have split the first two games with the Cubs.

 

Chicago rookie Seiya Suzuki had two hits, including a run-scoring double off Charlie Morton in the Cubs' two-run third inning.

 

Cubs right-hander Keegan Thompson entered the game with a streak of four consecutive scoreless relief appearances, each lasting at least 2 2/3 innings.

 

Thompson added two more scoreless innings in relief of Mark Leiter Jr. before giving up his first run of the season on Travis d'Arnaud's run-scoring single in the fifth.

 

Morton struggled with his control and was pulled with one out in the third. He allowed three runs on four hits and four walks as his ERA increased to 7.00.

 

Drew Smyly (1-1, 2.45 ERA) will face his former Atlanta teammates in Thursday night's final game of the series. He has a 5.79 ERA in two career appearances against the Braves, including a no-decision in his only previous start on Sept. 12, 2019, when he allowed three earned runs in four innings.

 

Braves RHP Kyle Wright (2-0, 1.06) has allowed two runs over 17 innings in his first three starts with 26 strikeouts and two walks.

Bucks Finish Off Bulls

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 33 points and nine rebounds and the Bucks routed the Bulls 116-100 on Wednesday night to finish off their first-round series in five games.

The Bucks won the last three games by an average of 23.3 points despite playing without Khris Middleton, the All-Star who sprained the medial collateral ligament in his left knee during the fourth quarter of Game 2.

 

The third-seeded Bucks advanced to face second-seeded Boston in the Eastern Conference semifinals, with Game 1 on Sunday in Boston. The Celtics swept Brooklyn.

 

The Bulls played without the starting backcourt they used for the first four games because two-time All-Star Zach LaVine was in health and safety protocols and Alex Caruso was in concussion protocol. Without them on the floor, the Bulls fell behind by as many as 29 points in the first half.

 

Milwaukee focused on containing DeRozan, who had scored 41 points in the Bulls' Game 2 victory. DeRozan was held to 11 points Wednesday while shooting 5 of 10, though he also had seven assists.

 

Antetokounmpo was 1 of 15 from the floor and 11 of 14 from the free-throw line. Pat Connaughton went 6 of 9 on 3-point attempts and scored 20 points. Bobby Portis added 14 points and a career-high 17 rebounds.

 

Patrick Williams scored 23 points, Nikola Vucevic 19 and Coby White 17 for the Bulls. Vucevic also had 16 rebounds and six assists.

 

DeRozan was scoreless in the first 26 minutes of the game and attempted just one shot in the first quarter as he tried to get his teammates involved.

 

The problem was Chicago's other players weren't hitting open shots, allowing the Bucks to take command early.

 

Milwaukee pulled ahead for good 3 1/2 minutes into the game and built a double-digit lead by scoring 12 straight points in the first quarter. Late in the first period, the Bucks began a 23-2 run that helped them extend the advantage to 49-20 with 7:25 left in the second period.

Chicago outscored the Bucks 22-11 the rest of the second quarter and got the margin down to 11 on Ayo Dosunmu's 3-point play with 9:32 left in the third quarter, but that's as close as the Bulls would get.

The Bulls attempted 52 shots from 3-point range and only 40 from inside the arc. Chicago made just 28.8% of its 3-point shots. 

The Bulls haven't advanced beyond the first round of the playoffs since 2015, when they beat the Bucks before losing to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the East semifinals.  
With LaVine and Caruso unavailable, Javonte Green and Dosunmu made their first career playoff starts.

Blackhawks Win Season Home Finale

Tyler Johnson scored in the seventh round of the shootout, and the Chicago Blackhawks beat Vegas 4-3 on Wednesday night, eliminating the Golden Knights from the playoff race.

 

Johnson scored on a wrist shot seconds before Dallas, which needed a point to eliminate Vegas regardless, went into overtime at home against Arizona. Johnson's goal was the only one in 14 attempts in the tiebreaker.

 

Taylor Raddysh had two goals and Caleb Jones also scored for the Blackhawks, who won their second straight. Kevin Lankinen stopped 37 shots.

 

Michael Amadio, Alec Martinez and Max Pacioretty scored for Vegas, and Chandler Stephenson had three assists. Logan Thompson also had 37 saves.

 

The Blackhawks are at Buffalo on Friday night in the season finale.

HS Softball: Argenta-Oreana Pulls Away Late From Clinton

Michelle Hollon and Miriah Powell hit a home runs leading Argenta-Oreana past Clinton 14-4 in a six-inning, ten-run rule win in non-conference high school girl's softball action Tuesday in Argenta.

 

Hollon finished 4-for-4 with three RBIs and scored twice helping overcome her early struggles in circle. She lasted just a third of an inning giving up three runs on four hits. 


Powell finished the final 5 2/3 innings allowing an unearned run and struck out seven. She drove in three runs. 

 

Kianna Easton doubled and drove in three to lead the Lady Maroons

Ava Armstrong drove in four runs from the nine-spot in the batting order finishing 4-for-4 with four doubles for the Lady Bombers.

 

Brooke Reeves went 2-for-3 with a pair of runs scored for Clinton.

 

The Bombers are 11-4 overall. They'll host Cerro Gordo-Bement in Lincoln Prairie action this afternoon. 

 

The Lady Maroons falter to 2-14 overall. They travel to Sullivan for Central Illinois Conference action this afternoon.

HS BBall: Mt. Pulaski Blasts Hart-Em

The Mt. Pulaski Hilltoppers used a 16-run second inning to blast Hartsburg-Emden 26-3 in Tomahawk Conference high school boy's baseball action Tuesday afternoon in Hartsburg.

 

AJ Bailey and Jackson Fricke drove in five runs apiece. Fricke went yard twice and Bailey blasted a home run. Bailey added a double. Clayton Aylesworth, Logan Smith and Evan Cooper added doubles for the Hilltoppers. 

 

Every Mt. Pulaski batter reached base Tuesday. Liam Smith, Copper, Lucas Kuhlman, and Kolin Gibbs drove in two runs apiece. 

 

Prescott Davis, Blake Martin, Drew McAfee, Jace Whitted and Will Wright had base hits for the Stags. McAfee and Whitted had RBIs.

 

Hart-Em drops to 0-10 overall. 

 

Mt. Pulaski moves to 15-3 overall and 3-2 in the Tomahawk. After an off-day Wednesday, they travel to LeRoy tomorrow afternoon. 

SIU-E Bests Illinois State

Sophomore Ryan Cermak blasted his 15th home run of 2022 as the Illinois State baseball team was topped by SIUE on Tuesday at Roy E. Field with a 14-7 final score.

 

Cermak became the first Redbird since Ryan Duncheon (23) in 1999 to hit 15 home runs in a season. Current St. Louis Cardinal Paul DeJong hit 14 in 2015 as Cermak is now tied for 7th on ISU's single-season records list.

 

Freshman Jonathan Sabotnik had three hits and three RBIs, including a two-run home run for the Redbirds (15-20). Senior Nick Gile homered for 7th time in 2022.

 

The Cougars get over .500 at 19-18 as they've now scored 13-plus runs in five-straight games. Bloomington native Spencer Smith closed out the win for SIU-E with allowing a run, walking three and struck out two. 

 

ISU was 0-for-7 with RISP while SIUE was 5-for-7 in the same situations.

 

Illinois State is scheduled to host Indiana on Wednesday with a 5:00 p.m. CT start at Duffy Bass Field.

Royals Blank White Sox

In a game heard on WHOW, Daniel Lynch pitched six crisp innings, and the Royals handed the White Sox their eighth straight loss with a 6-0 victory Tuesday night.

 

Bobby Witt Jr. had two hits and Carlos Santana drove in two runs, helping Kansas City stop a four-game slide. The Royals were outscored 22-12 in a sweep at Seattle over the weekend.

 

Lynch (2-1) allowed two hits, struck out seven and walked two. The left-hander, who made his big league debut almost a year ago, also pitched shutout ball in his previous start, working into the sixth in a 2-0 win over Minnesota last week.

 

Chicago's best scoring chance against Lynch occurred in the fourth, when Jake Burger flied out to the warning track in left with Yasmani Grandal aboard after a leadoff double.

 

The White Sox issued 11 walks and committed two more errors, running their major league-leading total to 20. First baseman Jose Abreu dropped a throw in the fourth, leading to two unearned runs. Shortstop Tim Anderson flubbed a grounder in the eighth for his seventh error in his last six games.

 

It's the longest losing streak for Chicago since it also dropped eight in a row in June 2018.

 

Keuchel (1-2) worked four innings in his second straight loss, allowing two runs and two hits. The lefty struck out two and walked five for the reigning AL Central champions.

 

Kansas City put the game away with four runs in the sixth, sending 10 batters to the plate. Witt doubled and scored on Michael A. Taylor's sacrifice fly. Andrew Benintendi drove in a run with an unusual fielder's choice, and Santana made it 6-0 with a two-run single against Kyle Crick.

 

Benintendi's bases-loaded fly ball to left dropped in front of Andrew Vaughn, who threw to third for the forceout as Edward Olivares scored.

 

Taylor Clarke got three outs for Kansas City before Brady Singer finished the five-hitter.

 

Right-handers Zack Greinke (0-1, 2.25 ERA) and Dylan Cease (2-1, 3.38) pitch on Wednesday afternoon. Greinke tossed five innings of one-run ball in Kansas City's 1-0 loss to Minnesota on Thursday. The 38-year-old Greinke is 4-0 with a 3.28 ERA in his last six starts against Chicago. Cease permitted four runs and eight hits in 5 1/3 innings in a 6-3 loss at Cleveland last week.

Mets Blank Cardinals

Chris Bassitt pitched six strong innings, and the New York Mets beat the St. Louis Cardinals 3-0 Tuesday night for their franchise-best sixth straight series win to start a season.

 

Bassitt (3-1) struck out six batters and allowed two hits and two walks. Drew Smith and Adam Ottavino combined to pitch two innings of scoreless relief before Edwin Diaz pitched a scoreless ninth for his third save in four opportunities.

 

Cardinals starter Jordan Hicks hit Dominic Smith in the second and Pete Alonso was hit in the helmet by Kodi Whitley in the eighth inning, after which benches and bullpens started to clear. Both benches were warned, and tensions quickly fizzled down. Then Starling Marte was plunked by Aaron Brooks with the bases loaded in the ninth, leading to the final score.

 

Hicks (1-2) allowed two runs on two hits and two walks in two innings before being pulled in the top of the third inning after being struck on the right wrist by a Dominic Smith line drive in the second.

 

Jeff McNeil doubled to right field to leadoff the third and scored on James McCann's ensuing double to the center field wall to give the Mets a 1-0 lead. Marte greeted rookie relief pitcher Andre Pallante with a single down the left-field line to drive in McCann and put the Mets up 2-0.

 

The Cardinals have lost three straight for the first time this season.

 

Carlos Carrasco (1-0, 1.58 ERA) takes the mound for the Mets in Wednesday's series finale; he is 0-1 with a 2.84 ERA in two career starts against St. Louis.

 

The Cardinals will start LHP Steven Matz (2-1, 5.27 ERA) in his second career start against his former team.

Braves Down Cubs

Travis Demeritte hit his first big league homer in nearly three years to carry the Braves to a much-needed 3-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday night.

 

Demeritte stepped into the box and lined an opposite-field drive off Marcus Stroman into the Chop House restaurant in right to break a 1-all tie in the fifth inning.

 

Demeritte also made an impressive catch in right field to back another strong outing by Max Fried (2-2), who pitched four-hit ball over six innings to outduel Stroman (0-3).

 

Following up his best showing of the season in a win at the Dodgers, Fried's only big mistake was a changeup that Ian Happ launched into the left-field seats leading off the third to tie the game at 1.

 

The World Series champions won for only the third time in their last eight games. The Cubs have lost six of seven.

 

Everyone was raving about Demeritte, who was a first-round pick of the Texas Rangers in 2013 but has struggled to stick in the big leagues.

 

His most extensive experience came in 2019, when he hit what had been his only three big league homers while with the Detroit Tigers.

 

This is his second stint with the Braves organization, but most of that time has been spent in the minors.

 

Will Smith, Tyler Matzek and Kenley Jansen finished up for the Braves with one scoreless inning apiece. Jansen earned his fifth save in five chances.

 

A former infielder, Demeritte showed off his skills in right field to make a nice sliding catch in foul territory to end the fourth.

 

Mark Leiter Jr. (0-1, 11.05 ERA) is off to a rough start in his return to the big leagues after three full seasons away. He has surrendered eight hits, six walks, two homers and nine earned runs over 7 1-3 innings.

 

Charlie Morton (1-2, 6.33) is looking to get back on track after giving up nine earned runs, 15 hits and six walks over 10 1-3 innings in his last two starts.

Avalanche Overwhelm Blues

Valeri Nichushkin scored one of Colorado's three goals in the second period and the Avalanche held on late to match the franchise record for points in a season with a 5-3 win over the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday night.

 

Erik Johnson and Manson also scored in the second. Artturi Lehkonen added a goal just 9 seconds into the third period to make it 4-1. St. Louis rallied in the closing minutes, but Nazem Kadri ended the threat by scoring an empty-net goal with 46.2 seconds left to help Colorado end a four-game slide.

 

The Avalanche have amassed 118 points to tie the club mark set by the 2000-01 squad that went on to win the Stanley Cup.

 

Darcy Kuemper made 29 saves for Colorado, which has already wrapped up the top seed in the Western Conference.

 

Ryan O'Reilly scored twice and Brandon Saad added a goal for a Blues team that will face Minnesota in the first round of the playoffs, with home ice between the two still to be determined. The Wild and Blues remain tied in points.

 

It was the first loss in regulation this month for the Blues. They're now 12-1-2 in April.

Jordan Binnington seemed to have stick trouble all night, losing the handle on it several times. He finished with 29 saves.

 

O'Reilly scored twice in a 64-second span to make it 4-3 with 3:11 left. Kadri allowed the Avs to breathe easier with his 27th goal of the season.

 

The Blues finish the regular season Friday by hosting Vegas.

Teams Reportedly Calling Bears About DE Quinn

Robert Quinn doesn't want to leave the Chicago Bears, yet the franchise may be on the verge of trading their star edge rusher. Per NFL Network, teams have called the Bears on Quinn's availability in the days leading up to the draft -- on the same day Quinn met the new Chicago coaching staff and head coach Matt Eberflus. 

 

If Quinn had it his way, he wouldn't go anywhere. 

 

The Bears already dealt Kahlil Mack to the Los Angeles Chargers this offseason, but Quinn thought his 2021 season would garner more weight in business decisions. His 18.5 sacks set a franchise record for sacks in a season and were second only in the NFL to T.J. Watt. A second-team All-Pro selection in 2021, Quinn had 49 tackles, 22 quarterback hits, four forced fumbles, 47 pressures, and 35 run stops. 

 

Quinn is one of eight active players with 100 career sacks (101), reaching double-digit sack totals five times. The 31-year-old Quinn (who turns 32 next month) is one of just five players with multiple seasons of 18-plus sacks (the NFL recorded sacks as an official stat in 1982). Reggie White, Michael Strahan, DeMarcus Ware, and J.J. Watt are the others. 

 

Quinn wants to continue his career with the Bears, even if he has three years and $52.6 million left on his contract. The Bears would save $4,425,000 in cap space if they trade Quinn this offseason and $12,900,000 if it's a post-June 1 designation. 

HS BBall: St. T Gets By Clinton

Decatur St. Teresa's Matt Brummer and Clinton's Jaxson White dueled across six innings but it was the Bulldogs capitalizing on Maroons mistakes as St. T downed Clinton 5-2 in Central Illinois Conference boy's baseball action Monday afternoon in Decatur.

 

Brummer tossed six innings of one-run ball striking out 14 Maroons and walked two permitting eight hits. 

 

White allowed five runs but two were earned as the Maroons continued to struggle defensively, committing five errors. Whtie struck out three and walked three while permitting eight hits.

 

Joe Brummer closed out the win for the Bulldogs. 

 

Wes Harrold paced the Maroons offense going 4-for-4 with a double. Mason Walker went 3-for-4 and Dom Thayer finished 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs.

 

Brummer finished 3-for-3 for St. T.

 

The Maroons fall to 4-6 overall and 4-5 in the CIC. They'll continue conference play Wednesday afternoon at Sullivan. 

Mt. Pulaski Gets By Springfield Lutheran

Mt. Pulaski jumped out to a 6-1 lead early and held on from there as they beat Springifeld Lutheran in non-conference high school boy's baseball action Monday in Springfield. 

 

Liam Smith struck out 13 across seven innings of one-run ball going the distance for the Hilltoppers. His one run was unearned and permitted three hits and issued five walks. 

 

Logan Smith finished 2-for-2 with two RBIs, a run scored and walked twice. Jackson Fricke doubled in a run for Mt. Pulaski while Gavin Smith and Evan Cooper each drove in runs.

 

The Hilltoppers improve to 14-3 overall and continue a busy week when they travel to Hartsburg to take on Hart-Em in Tomahawk Conference action today.

HS Softball: St. T Rallies Past Clinton

The Decatur St. Teresa Lady Bulldogs scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning capping off six unanswered runs as they rallied past Clinton 9-7 in Central Illinois Conference high school girl's softball action Monday from Decatur. 

 

With Clinton up 1-0, the Lady Maroons and Lady Bulldogs traded runs in the second inning and then two runs in the third inning before Clinton went upt 7-3 heading to the last of the fifth.

 

But St. T scored four runs in the fifth to tie the game at 7 and then added two go-ahead runs in the sixth. 

 

Heidi Humble paced the Lady Maroons offense going 2-for-4 with a double, an RBI, two runs scored and two stolen bases. Kianna Easton finished 2-for-3 with a walk and a stolen base while Ariana Humes finished 2-for-3 with a pair of runs scored and a walk.

 

Clinton falls to 2-13 overall and 1-8 in the CIC. They travel to Argenta this afternoon to battle Argenta-Oreana.

Mets Rally Late to Get By Cardinals

Pinch-hitter Dominic Smith hustled for an infield single that drove in two pivotal runs, and the New York Mets capitalized on an uncharacteristic error by Gold Glove third baseman Nolan Arenado to rally for five runs with two outs in the ninth inning of a 5-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday night.

 

After the hit by Smith gave New York the lead, Brandon Nimmo capped the outburst with a two-run homer.

 

Max Scherzer struck out 10 over seven innings of two-hit ball in a scoreless duel with Cardinals starter Miles Mikolas. A two-run single by Tyler O'Neill off Trevor May (1-0) put St. Louis ahead in the eighth.

 

New York was down to its final strike when Mark Canha hit a grounder to third. Arenado, awarded a Gold Glove in each of his nine major league seasons, fielded the ball cleanly behind the bag but took his time making an off-balance throw to first.

 

The ball sailed high for an error that allowed Eduardo Escobar to score from second, making it 2-1. Canha was credited - curiously - with an infield single.

 

Jeff McNeil doubled, sending pinch-runner Travis Jankowski to third, and Smith hit a sharp one-hopper that was snagged by sprawling first baseman Paul Goldschmidt behind the bag.

 

But closer Giovanny Gallegos (0-1) was late covering first, and Smith beat him to the bag with a headfirst dive.

 

McNeil never stopped coming around third and slid in safely at the plate ahead of Gallegos' throw, giving the fired-up Mets a 3-2 lead.

 

Nimmo then lofted the first pitch from lefty reliever T.J. McFarland over the fence in the right-field corner.

 

Edwin Diaz struck out two and earned his second save, rebounding after he gave up a tying homer with two outs in the ninth inning Friday night at Arizona.

 

Pitching in his hometown, Scherzer reached double digits in strikeouts for the 106th time - which ranks fifth on the career chart. In his first season with the Mets since signing a $130 million, three-year contract, the three-time Cy Young Award winner has 33 strikeouts and eight walks in 25 innings.

 

Mikolas also pitched seven shutout innings in his fourth start of the season. He scattered four hits and walked one. The right-hander has allowed just one earned run in his last three starts covering 20 2/3 innings.

 

Chris Bassitt (2-1, 3.00 ERA) faces Cardinals RHP Jordan Hicks (1-1, 1.29) on Tuesday night. Hicks, a reliever throughout his first three seasons, made his first major league start last Thursday at Miami, striking out three in a career-high three innings.

Blackhawks Down Flyers

Alex DeBrincat scored his 41st goal in the third period and Kevin Lankinen made 33 saves, helping the Blackhawks beat the Philadelphia Flyers 3-1 on Monday night in a matchup of disappointing teams.

 

Jonathan Toews had a goal and an assist as Chicago (27-42-11) won for just the fifth time in its last 20 games. Erik Gustafsson also scored against one of his former teams, and Dominik Kubalik picked up an assist in his 200th NHL game.

 

King talked to his team at the morning skate about making the most of its last three games, including two at home. The Blackhawks improved to 13-21-6 at the United Center this season.

 

Philadelphia lost for the 12th time in its last 16 games. Kevin Hayes scored for the Flyers (25-44-11), and Felix Sandstrom made 30 stops in his fourth NHL start.

 

Chicago was clinging to a 2-1 lead when DeBrincat converted a one-timer off a cross-ice pass from Patrick Kane at 7:45.

 

DeBrincat matched his career high for goals, set during the 2018-19 season. It was Kane's 66th assist, equaling his career best from 2018-19.

 

Blackhawks defenseman Jake McCabe was sent off for tripping with 1:23 left, and Philadelphia's Bobby Brink shot the puck off the inside of the right post. It nearly went off Lankinen and in, but defenseman Riley Stillman swept it off the line.

 

The Flyers went 0 for 4 on the power play, continuing their season-long special teams issues, and the Blackhawks went 0 for 5 with the man advantage.

 

Back at home after a sluggish three-game trip, Chicago put together a fast start behind Toews.

 

The veteran center set up a trailing Gustafsson for a wrist shot from the high slot that made it 1-0 at 1:44. It was Gustafsson's first goal since Jan. 28 and his third of the season.

 

Toews was sent off for slashing at 4:08, but he got out of the box, got a nice stretch pass from Sam Lafferty and beat Sandstrom for his 12th goal in 69 games this season. The captain missed all of last year with what he described as chronic immune response syndrome.

 

The Flyers then got one back when Hayes finished a 2-on-1 with Scott Laughton for his 10th goal at 8:03. Laughton got loose for a breakaway with about two minutes left in the first, but he was denied by Lankinen.

 

The Blackhawks host Vegas on Wednesday night, and then visit Buffalo on Friday night.

Monticello Rallies Past Pontiac

Monticello scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to rally past Pontiac 6-5 in Illini Prairie Confernece high school boy's baseball action from Monticello Monday afternoon from Monticello High School.

 

In a game heard on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com, Biniam Lienhart singled in a pair of runs to cap the three-run rally and give the Sages a 6-4 lead heading into the seventh and Spencer Mitze and the Monticello defense closed the door after allowing a run.

 

In a matchup of Division I starting pitchers, Monticello's Luke Teschke and Pontiac's Henry Brummer dueled through five innings. 

 

Despite allowing an unearned run in the first inning, Teschke recorded the first six outs of his day on strikeouts. After breezing through the second inning, Teschke again ran into trouble in the third when Alex Travino singled to lead off the inning.

 

Michael Kuska reached on a tough-luck error at shortstop and both runners scored on Brummer's base hit with two outs.

 

Teschke, who has struggled with walks this season, walked only Tanner Legner to start the fourth and he came around to score on another Trevino base hit a few batters later.

 

Teschke finished five innings with only one walk and nine strikeouts. He allowed four runs, two were earned and five hits.

 

While Teschke started strong but faltered later in his outing, Brummer started slow but stronger as his outing went along.

 

Lienhart reached on an error to start the game but was thrown out at second trying to steal. Brummer would strikeout two in the first inning but each batter went to a 3-ball count. 

 

With Pontiac up 1-0, Brummer labored through the second inning when Jacob Trusner continued his recent hot streak with a bloop single to left to start the inning. On a pitch in the dirt, Trusner moved up to second as catcher Logan Barnett could find the ball at his feet. Jack Buckalew struck out and Thomas Swartz singled moving Trusner to third.

 

On a wild pitch, Trusner came in to score. Then Tylor Bundy popped a routine, shallow flyball to right field but the pop fly fell in when Legner tripped in the outfield grass going out for the play which allowed Swartz to score and gave the Sages a 2-1 lead.

 

Brummer exited the game with two outs in the fifth inning after he struck out Bundy and Teschke to start the inning but finished his outing by hitting Lienhart with two outs in the fifth.

 

After being Bummer was replaced, Lienhart took second on another passed ball and scored on Triston Foran's base hit. 

 

In the sixth inning, Trusner singled to start the inning and was sacrificed to second by Buckalew. Swartz and Eli Craft drew back-to-back walks to load the bases. Dawlton Chupp, hitting for Bundy, appeared to ground into an inning-ending double play but Parker Francis at third bobbled the ground ball moving to his left and had his only play at first getting Chupp for the second out scoring Trusner from third and tied the game at 4. 

Mitze walked on four pitches, and Lienhart laced a line drive to right-center field but stopped at first base scoring Swartz and Craft. 

 

Mitze allowed a run in the top of the seventh but finished with two innings of one run ball to pick up the win in relief. He struck out four, walked non and allowed three hits.

 

Lienhart's big hit and defense at second base earned him the Piatt/DeWitt County ServPro Player of the Game. He finished 1-for-3 with a pair of RBIs and a run scored.

Trusner was 2-for-3 for Monticello with a pair of runs scored. 

 

Pontiac drops to 4-10 overall and 3-3 in the Illini Prairie.

 

Monticello moves to 14-5 overall and 4-3 in the Illini Prairie Conference. 

Lady Maroons Falter Twice Friday, Saturday

A late Friday rally for the Clinton Lady Maroons softball team fell short and then Clinton was downed by Meridian 13-3 Saturday in a pair of Central Illinois Conference high school girl's softball.

 

The Lady Maroons fell behind 10-3 after five innings Friday but rallied with a three-run sixth and a two-run seventh but its bid for a rally fell short. 

 

Morgan Fortune drove in three runs with a 2-for-3 afternoon while Chloe Griffin drove in two. Brook Reeves reached base twice with a 1-for-3 afternoon and walked.

 

In the Saturday matchup with Meridian, Griffing again went 2-for-3 with a pair of RBIs and Kianna Easton went 1-for-3 with an RBI.

 

The Lady Maroons drop to 2-12 overall and are 1-7 in the CIC. They will return to CIC play this afternoon hosting Decatur St. Teresa. 

Maroons Split Friday, Saturday CIC Matchups

The Clinton Maroons kicked off back-to-back games on Friday with a 4-2 win over Central A&M but were blanked 6-0 by Meridian on Saturday.

 

Mason Walker threw a complete game Friday afternoon allowing two unearned runs with nine strikeouts and walking six. He permitted three hits in his second win of the season. 

 

Brooks Cluver finished 2-for-2 for Clinton, Dominik Thater doubled and drove in four. 

 

In the Saturday morning matchup with Meridian, Alex Boehm went the distance in a complete-game shutout. 

 

Thayer went three innings allowing two runs, one was earned on four hits with six strikeouts and zero walks. Josh Carter finished the final four innings of four-run ball, three were earned. He walked three without a strikeout and permitted five hits.

 

Walker went 2-for-3 for Clinton Saturday.

 

With the Friday/Saturday split, the Maroons fall to 4-5 overall and are 4-4 in the CIC. They'll resume conference action this afternoon hosting Decatur St. Teresa. Hear the game on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com. 

Monticello Hosts Pontiac

The Monticello Sages will host Pontiac this afternoon in Illini Prairie Conference high school boys' baseball action.

 

The Sages blanked Paxton-Buckley-Loda in its most recent match-up on Thursday improving to 12-5 overall and 3-3 in the Illini Prairie. 

 

The Thursday win gave Sages Coach Chris Jones 200 victories for his coaching career. 

The Indians are 4-9 overall but 3-2 in conference play.

 

Game time this afternoon is 4:30 pm and can be heard on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com. 

Mt. Pulaski Sweeps Friday, Saturday Matchups With Springfield Southeast, Lanphier

The Mt. Pulaski Hilltoppers picked up a pair of solid victories Friday and Saturday last week holding off Springfield Southeast 6-4 Friday afternoon and rolling Springfield Lanphier 15-0 Saturday morning.

 

AJ Bailey and Landon Smith combined to hold off Southeast as Bailey fired three innings of three-run ball and Smith went four innings allowing an unearned run.

 

Evan Cooper drove in two and Smith finished 2-for-4 Friday. Clayton Aylesworth and Gavin Smith each recorded hits and the Hilltoppers drew eight walks Friday afternoon. 

Jackson Fricke paced Mt. Pulaski Saturday with three runs batted in. Bailey and Smith scored three times and Aylesworth drove in three as well. 

 

Gavin Smith fired four scoreless, one-hit innings in the five-run ten-run rule route. 

 

Mt. Pulaski improves to 13-3 overall. They embark on another busy week starting things out with Springfield Lutheran this afternoon in Springfield followed by a Tomahawk Conference tilt with Hart-Em on Tuesday. 

 

The Hilltoppers take on LeRoy on Thursday afternoon followed by Bloomington Cornerstone Christian on Friday and battle North Greene on Saturday.

ISU Drops Sunday Finale, Weekend Series With Bradley

Senior Aidan Huggins blasted a two-run home run to bring the Illinois State baseball team to within a run, but the Redbirds dropped the series finale, 8-2, against Bradley on Sunday at Duffy Bass Field.

 

Huggins hit a two-run shot in the 6th inning to cut the Redbirds' (15-19 overall, 3-6 Missouri Valley Conference) deficit to 3-2 before the Braves (13-20 overall, 4-5 MVC) put the game away with a five-run 9th inning.

 

The Braves got the scoring going in the 1st inning with a two-run home run before a solo shot extended the lead to 3-0.

 

Huggins hit a two-run home run to left-center field in the 6th inning to cut the deficit to 3-2.

 

Illinois State nearly tied the game in the 8th inning on a safety squeeze but the Braves were able to get the runner at the plate.

 

Bradley added five insurance runs in the 9th inning to put the game out of reach.

 

Illinois State is scheduled to travel to SIUE on Tuesday before hosting Indiana on Wednesday.

Maryland Sweeps Saturday Doubleheader With Illinois to Take Weekend Series

Illinois lost both games of Saturday's doubleheader with No. 24 Maryland at Illinois Field. The Illini took game one into extra innings with the Terrapins, losing 13-9 in the tenth, and dropped the series finale 7-4. 

 

Justin Janas went 3-for-4 with four RBI, four runs scored, and a home run on the afternoon. Illinois is now 20-17 overall and 11-4 in the B1G, while Maryland is 32-8 (9-3 B1G).

 

Down three runs with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Illinois scored three to send the game to extra innings as Cam McDonald drove in the tying run on a two-out RBI single. The Illini ended up dropping the game in the tenth inning as Maryland scored four runs to jump ahead 13-9.

 

A combined six home runs were hit as the two teams totaled 22 runs and 27 hits in game one. Janas continued his big weekend for the Illini, picking up his second home run of the series with two outs in the seventh inning, a game-tying three run shot. Danny Doligale also homered in the first Illinois at bat of the game, his third home run of the season.

 

llinois opened up the scoring in game two with three runs in the first inning before Maryland responded with four in the next two innings. The Illini trailed the Terrapins by three runs heading into the final frame and were unable to mount a comeback effort, dropping their first Big Ten series this season with the game two loss.

 

Jacob Campbell led the Illini at the plate, going 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBI. Doligale added a 3-for-4 night with a run scored while Branden Comia had two hits and an RBI.

 

McDonald has reached base in every game this season, a 47-game on base streak dating back to 5/8/21.

 

Illinois is now 11-4 in the B1G. The Illini travel to Peoria to take on Bradley Wednesday. 

Buxton's Second HR Sends Twins Past White Sox

In a game heard on WHOW, Byron Buxton hit his second homer of the game, a 469-foot, three-run drive that overcame a 10th-inning deficit and lifted the Minnesota Twins over Chicago 6-4 on Sunday and sent the White Sox to their seventh straight loss.

 

Buxton hit a two-run, opposite-field homer to right in the seventh against Aaron Bummer that tied the score 3-3.

 

After Yasmani Grandal's RBI single in the 10th off Joe Smith (1-0), Liam Hendriks (0-2) walked Jose Godoy with one out in the bottom half after automatic runner Nick Gordon began the inning on second.

 

Hendriks fell behind 3-1 in the count, and Buxton drove a fastball into the leftfield second deck for the longest game-ending home run since MLB Statcast started tracking in 2015. It was Buxton's third walk-off hit, his first since Sept. 5, 2020.

 

Buxton is batting .351 with six homers and 11 RBIs.

 

Tim Anderson and Danny Mendick homered for Chicago, which led 3-1 in the seventh. The White Sox are on their longest losing streak since Aug. 27 to Sept. 2, 2019, and have scored just 15 runs in the seven defeats.

 

Chicago had not homered in its previous six games, but Anderson hit Chris Archer's first pitch of the game into the bullpen for his 14th career leadoff home run.

 

Andrew Vaughn added a two-out, RBI single with the bases loaded in the third for a 2-0 lead.

 

Activated from the injured list, White Sox starter Lucas Giolito struck out nine in four innings, including Buxton three times. The right-hander, who pitched four scoreless innings on opening day before straining his left abdomen, threw 48 of 76 pitches for strikes.

 

With two runners in scoring position, Giolito struck out Trevor Larnach and Gordon, both for the second time, to end the third inning. Larnach struck out with the bases loaded to end the first.

 

Archer labored through three innings, allowing two earned runs, three hits and walking three. Of his 61 pitches, 32 were strikes.

 

Chicago placed OF Eloy Jimenez on the 10-day IL with a right hamstring strain, an injury that is expected to cause him to miss six to eight weeks Jimenez was injured Saturday trying to beat out a ground ball.

 

A ruptured left pectoral tendon limited the oft-injured Jimenez to 55 games last season. He is hitting .222 through 11 games this season with one home run and seven RBIs.

 

Luis Robert (groin strain) missed his third straight game.

 

Dallas Keuchel (1-1, 15.00), rocked for 10 hits and 10 runs - seven earned - in an inning Wednesday at Cleveland, looks to bounce back at home against Kansas City Tuesday. LHP Daniel Lynch (1-1, 5.40) is the Royals starter.

Pirates Outlast Cubs

Dillon Peters keyed a solid performance by Pittsburgh's bullpen and Kevin Newman had two hits, helping the Pirates beat the Chicago Cubs 4-3 on Sunday.

 

Peters (3-0) pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings in relief of an ill JT Brubaker, providing the Pirates with a big lift after their 21-0 loss Saturday. The left-hander surrendered a hit for the first time this season - Jonathan Villar's fourth-inning single - but managed to run his opening scoreless streak to 10 1/3 innings over five appearances.

 

Heath Hembree surrendered Ian Happ's first homer of the season in the eighth, but David Bednar worked the ninth for his second save. Peters, Wil Crowe, Hembree, Chris Stratton and Bednar combined for six innings of one-run ball on a rainy afternoon that turned into partly cloudy skies by the end of the game.

 

Newman, Yoshi Tsutsugo and Ben Gamel each drove in a run for the Pirates, who took three of four in the series.

 

A day after it collected 23 hits during a historic romp, Chicago lost for the fifth time in six games overall. Villar committed a throwing error that brought home a run in the fourth, and the Cubs left 11 runners on base, including seven over the final three innings.

 

With runners on second and third in the ninth, Willson Contreras struck out swinging for the second out. After Happ was walked intentionally, Frank Schwindel also struck out swinging on three straight fastballs from Bednar - each registering at least 97.2 mph.

 

The Cubs got off to another solid start, scoring in the first inning for the third time in the series. They have 16 first-inning runs over 16 games this season.

 

Ortega scampered home on a rare error by slick-fielding third baseman Ke'Bryan Hayes, and Schwindel added an RBI single. But Brubaker limited the damage by striking out Villar and Jason Heyward.

 

Pittsburgh got one back on Gamel's RBI single in the second, and then went ahead to stay with two in the third against Justin Steele (1-2). Tsutsugo hit a sacrifice fly and Newman drove in Hayes with a tiebreaking double.

 

Marcus Stroman (0-2, 8.78 ERA) starts Tuesday night at Atlanta in the opener of a six-game trip. LHP Max Fried (1-2, 3.50 ERA) pitches for the Braves.

Reds Down Cardinals

The Cincinnati Reds ended an 11-game losing streak, their longest in six years, jumping to a first-inning lead and beating the St. Louis Cardinals 4-1 on Sunday as former first-round draft pick Nick Lodolo got his first major league win.

 

Colin Moran drove in two runs for the Reds, who had been 0-4 at home this year and had not won anywhere since April 10 at World Series champion Atlanta. Cincinnati had been outscored 68-20 during the skid.

 

Tyler Naquin doubled on the second pitch from Adam Wainwright (2-2), who walked Tommy Pham and Joey Votto with one out. Moran hit a sacrifice fly and Nick Senzel followed with an RBI single.

 

The Reds' 2-0 lead after the first inning was their first after a full inning since the 6-3 win at Atlanta on April 10.

 

Alejo Lopez singled leading off the second and scored on Naquin's RBI grounder for a 3-0 lead.

 

Lodolo (1-2), a 24-year-old left-hander selected seventh overall in the 2019 amateur draft, made his third big league start. Facing an exclusively right-handed lineup, he allowed three hits, struck out seven and walked none in 5 1/3 shutout innings before Paul Goldschmidt and Tyler O'Neill hit consecutive doubles in the sixth. Lodolo retired Nolan Arenado on a flyout, and Tony Santillan got Albert Pujols to pop out.

 

Lodolo has 15 strikeouts in a combined 10 2/3 innings over his last two starts.

 

Arenado went 0 for 4, ending his hitting streak at Great American Ball Park at 18 games, a stadium record.

 

The Reds avoided their longest losing streak since dropping 13 straight in 2015.

 

Pham scored two runs and had two hits, ending an 0-for-10 slide.

 

Wainwright (2-2) allowed four runs, eight hits and three walks in five-plus innings, and the Cardinals finished a 6-4 trip. Moran chased Wainwright with an RBI single in the sixth.

 

Miles Mikolas (1-0, 1.76) is the scheduled starter for Monday's opener of a three-game home series against the Mets.

Blues Double Up Ducks

Ryan Getzlaf got his 737th career assist on that pass to Adam Henrique with 2:41 to play, stylishly wrapping up a career spent entirely with the Ducks in a 6-3 loss to the St. Louis Blues on Sunday night.

 

Getzlaf finished his prolific career with 1,019 points, the 88th-most in league history - but few of those points will be more memorable than his final assist. Getzlaf broke in practically unmarked on St. Louis goalie Ville Husso, but in keeping with the pass-first philosophy that defined his career, he found a creative way for the Ducks to score.

 

The standing-room-only crowd at Honda Center repeatedly roared for Getzlaf from his first step on the ice to his final, teary departure. After the final whistle, he stepped under a spotlight on the center circle in the darkened arena and gave his thanks to the fans and his family while both teams looked on.

 

Jordan Kyrou, Vladimir Tarasenko, Ivan Barbashev and Justin Faulk had a goal and an assist apiece during a dominant second period by the Blues, who fell behind 2-0 in the first period before rallying for their 14th win in 16 games.

 

Pavel Buchnevich and Marco Scandella added third-period goals and Husso made 14 saves for St. Louis, which remained even with Minnesota for second place in the Central Division and home ice in their playoff series, although the Wild have a game in hand.

Max Comtois and Gerry Mayhew scored in the first period for the Ducks, who have lost 19 of 22 in the dismal finish to their fourth straight non-playoff season. John Gibson stopped 31 shots.

 

Henrique got the honor of converting Getzlaf's final assist, but it came laden with pressure.

 

The 36-year-old Getzlaf is the Ducks' franchise leader in points, assists, playoff scoring and games played, and he served as the Ducks' captain for a team-record 12 seasons. An often-brilliant passer with impressive ice vision and a mean streak, he became the 92nd player in NHL history to score 1,000 points last November - and only the 45th to do it with one team.

 

Buchnevich scored his career-best 30th goal in the third, while Kyrou became St. Louis' fourth 70-point scorer this season.

 

Tyler Bozak returned from a six-week injury absence for St. Louis, and Robert Thomas had an assist to extend his points streak to a career-best 17 games.

 

The Blues are at Avalanche on Tuesday.

Bucks Take Commanding 3-1 Series Lead in First Round of NBA Playoffs

Grayson Allen set playoff career highs with 27 points and six 3-pointers, Giannis Antetokounmpo had 32 points and 17 rebounds and Milwaukee beat the Chicago Bulls 119-95 on Sunday to take a 3-1 lead in their first-round series.

 

Jrue Holiday scored 26, and the defending champion Bucks came away with another easy win after two shaky performances at home.

 

They've outscored the Bulls by a combined 54 points over the past two games. That includes a 111-81 romp Friday that was the most lopsided home playoff loss in franchise history.

 

The Bucks led by 22 early in the third quarter and steadied themselves after a push by Chicago. The defending NBA champions will try to wrap up the series in Milwaukee on Wednesday night.

 

Allen delivered another huge effort off the bench, surpassing his previous postseason scoring high of 22 points in Game 3. He made 10 of 12 shots and hit 6 of 7 3s, getting booed once again just about the entire time.

 

Allen, in his first season in Milwaukee, has a bad-boy image from his time at Duke. He is particularly unpopular in Chicago, where fans are upset about a hard foul that resulted in a broken wrist for Bulls guard Alex Caruso during a game in Milwaukee in January.

 

Teammates have since started having fun with the boos, letting him hear it at practices and film sessions, on the bus and at the hotel. And now, they're doing it in games, too.

Allen is 18 of 24 from the field and 11 for 14 on 3-pointers over the past two games. With Khris Middleton expected to miss the remainder of the series after spraining his left knee in Game 2, the Bucks needed it.

 

Antetokounmpo had seven assists. Holiday made five 3s.

 

Bobby Portis added 14 points and 10 rebounds in his second straight start with Middleton out, and the Bucks beat the Bulls for the 19th time in 21 games.

 

Zach LaVine led Chicago with 24 points and 13 assists, DeMar DeRozan scored 23 and Patrick Williams finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds.

 

Game 5 is Wednesday.

Ross Chastain Avoids Chaos, Wins at Talladega

Ross Chastain stole the win Sunday when leader Erik Jones moved out of his way to defensively block reigning NASCAR champion Kyle Larson. It cleared the lane for Chastain, who pointed his Chevrolet straight, slipped past Jones and collected his second career Cup victory.

 

The race was Jones’ to control on the final lap and he knew Larson would make a move for the win. Larson waited until they were exiting the final turn and, in hindsight, Jones said he should have let him go and stayed put with Chastain on his bumper.

 

Chastain, who scored his first career Cup win last month on the road course at Circuit of the Americas, won for the second time in five races. This one was his first on a superspeedway, where he said he’s usually the driver who makes the wrong moves.

 

Chastain and William Byron are the only multiple race winners through 10 Cup events — a quarter of the season. He’s solidly locked into the playoffs with TrackHouse, a second-year team owned by former driver Justin Marks and Pitbull.

 

Austin Dillon finished second for Richard Childress Racing in a 1-2 sweep for Chevrolet, while Kyle Busch was third in a Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing.

 

Larson wound up fourth for Hendrick Motorsports, followed by JGR driver Martin Truex Jr. and then finally Jones, who fell all the way to sixth trying to save the win. Michael McDowell in eighth was the highest-finishing Ford.

 

Roger Penske was at the track seeking a second Team Penske superspeedway victory this season but saw three of his cars collected in one crash.

 

Joey Logano was in the third row on a restart during the second stage and not even up to full speed when Bubba Wallace knocked him out of line and into the outside wall. Logano’s car then shot back down into the field and teammates Austin Cindric, the Daytona 500 winner, and Harrison Burton, who drives for Penske affiliate The Wood Brothers, were among those collected in the eight-car crash.

 

The crash actually collected five of the 16 Ford drivers in the race, and an earlier accident knocked out another two when Chase Briscoe and Chris Buescher were eliminated. The Ford group was the most organized manufacturer at the season-opening Daytona 500 and used their strategy to get Cindric into victory lane.

 

It marked the third time in the last four races at Talladega that Logano has crashed out, and it was his first DNF of the season.

 

The Cup Series races next Sunday at Dover International Speedway in Delaware. Alex Bowman is the defending race winner.

Mt. Pulaski Blanks Illini Bluffs

Evan Cooper fired a complete game, four-hit shutout as Mt. Pulaski blanked Illini Bluffs 2-0 in Tomahawk Conference high school boy's baseball action from Glasford Thursday afternoon. 

 

Cooper struck out eight and walked two. 

 

The bottom of the Hilltoppers order came up big as Gavin Smith and Kolin Gibbs brought in runs in the top of the second inning. Jackson Fricke finished 2-for-3.

 

After a brief two-game skid earlier this month, Mt. Pulaski has rebounded to win three of its last five games. They'll host a pair of 3A Central State Eight teams to finish out the week with Springfield Southeast at home this afternoon and Springfield Lanphier in Springfield on Saturday morning. 

HS: Baseball: Monticello Blanks PBL

Three pitchers combined for a three-hit shutout and the middle of the order stayed hot for Monticello who blanked Paxton-Buckley-Loda 9-0 in Illini Prairie Conference high school boy's baseball action Thursday from Paxton.

 

Luke Teschke struck out four across two scoreless innings walking three and allowed two hits. Spencer Mitze fired three scoreless, one-hit innings with four strikeouts and a walk. Triston Foran finished off the win with two perfect innings and four strikeouts. 

 

Jacob Trusner continued his recent hot streak with a 3-for-4 afternoon with a double and three RBIs. Joey Sprinkle and Thomas Swartz doubled collecting two hits apiece and Jack Buckalew tripled, walked twice and scored twice for Monticello. 

 

Teschke and Swartz finished 2-for-3 each with a pair of RBIs apiece.

 

Monticello is 12-5 overall and moves to 3-3 in the Illini Prairie. They return home Monday for another Illini Prairie Conference matchup with Pontiac. Hear the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

Marlins Shutout Cardinals

ablo Lopez pitched three-hit ball over seven dominant innings days after getting married and the Miami Marlins beat the St. Louis Cardinals 5-0 Thursday night.

 

Jesus Sanchez and Jazz Chisholm Jr. homered for the Marlins, who snapped an eight-game losing skid against St. Louis. The Cardinals swept two series last season and won the first two games in Miami.

 

Lopez struck out nine, including Cardinals star Albert Pujols three times. The right-hander retired his final 11 batters and extended Miami starters' scoreless innings streak to 15 innings after Sandy Alcantara threw eight shutout innings Wednesday.

 

Converted reliever Jordan Hicks (1-1) made his first career start for St. Louis, working three innings on 46 pitches. Hicks, who has appeared in 114 relief outings with the Cardinals, allowed one run, two hits, struck out two and walked two. He threw 14 pitches at least 100 mph.

 

The Cardinals plan to moderately extend Hicks' workload as he adapts to his new role.

 

Nolan Arenado had three of St. Louis' five hits while Tommy Edman went hitless in three at-bats, ending his 12-game hitting streak dating to last season.

 

Steven Matz (1-1, 7.27) will start the opener of a three-game series at Cincinnati on Friday.

Guardians Double Up White Sox

Josh Naylor had two hits and two RBIs, continuing his comeback from a devastating leg injury and helping the Cleveland Guardians complete a series sweep of the Chicago White Sox with a 6-3 victory on Thursday.

 

Cleveland took both games of a doubleheader Wednesday against Chicago, which has lost four straight.

 

Naylor hit an RBI single in the fifth and a run-scoring double in the seventh. He was activated Friday after suffering multiple fractures in his right leg during an outfield collision last June. He had surgery and completed a lengthy rehab process that included a stint in the minors to begin this season.

 

Cleveland right-hander Zach Plesac (1-1) allowed two runs, one earned, and seven hits in 6 2/3 innings. Emmanuel Clase pitched the ninth for his second save.

 

Reyes put Cleveland in front with a two-run shot off Dylan Cease (2-1) with two out in the third. Reyes drove in rookie Steven Kwan, who was aboard on a leadoff double.

Cease allowed four runs in 5 1/3 innings and believes better days are ahead for the White Sox, who have been dealing with injuries to several key players.

 

Yasmani Grandal's sacrifice fly in the fourth scored Chicago's first run. The first three hitters reached base in the inning, but Luis Robert was thrown out when he tried to score on Jose Abreu's double.

 

Reyes, making a rare appearance in right field, played the towering drive off the wall. Robert waited at second base to see if the ball was caught and was tagged out at home by Austin Hedges after the throw from Reyes to second baseman Ernie Clement.

 

Robert snapped an 0-for-21 skid with a leadoff double. He singled in the sixth but was thrown out trying to steal second. Robert was removed in the eighth with a minor groin strain and could possibly be placed on the injured list, according to White Sox manager Tony La Russa.

 

Chicago has scored 15 runs in its last seven games, but La Russa is confident the defending AL Central champions will find their groove offensively.

 

Reliever Trevor Stephan and Clement had throwing errors on the same play in the seventh that allowed two unearned runs. Cleveland got both runs back in the bottom of the inning on Naylor's double and Andres Gimenez's sacrifice fly.

 

Jose Ramirez had two infield singles and has hits in all 12 games this season. 

 

White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson committed his fourth error of the series on a wild throw in the first.

 

Eloy Jimenez returned as the designated hitter after not playing in the doubleheader because of a sore left ankle. AJ Pollock (hamstring) is expected to return Friday.

 

Michael Kopech (0-0, 1.00 ERA) starts for Chicago in the opener of a three-game series in Minnesota on Friday against RHP Bailey Ober (1-1, 3.27 ERA).

Pirates Edge Cubs

Daniel Vogelbach hit a two-run homer, Yoshi Tsutsugo had a two-run double and the Pittsburgh Pirates rallied past the Chicago Cubs 4-3 Thursday night.

 

The Pirates rebounded from a three-game sweep at Milwaukee with nine hits in the opener of a four-game series at Chicago.

 

Pittsburgh starter Bryse Wilson allowed Rafael Ortega's leadoff single in the first, then walked three straight batters. Jonathan Villar added a sacrifice fly for a 2-0 lead, and Seiya Suzuki had an RBI groundout in the second for a 3-0 edge.

 

Vogelbach homered in the third, and Tsutsugo's double made it 4-3 Pirates in the fifth. That prompted Cubs manager David Ross to pull reliever Ethan Roberts (0-1) after 2/3 of an inning in which he gave up two earned runs, two hits, two walks and fanned two.

 

Scott Effross got Chicago out of the fifth, then Chris Martin struck out three in the sixth, stranding Ben Gamel at third after a leadoff single and a throwing error.

 

Cubs starter Mark Leiter Jr. gave up three hits and two runs, walking two and striking out three in four innings of work.

 

Wilson allowed three hits and three earned runs in three innings. He walked four batters and struck out two.

 

Five Chicago relievers combined for 4 1/3 scoreless innings after Pittsburgh inched ahead in the fifth.

 

Cubs first baseman Frank Schwindel had his nine-game hitting streak snapped.

 

The Cubs (6-7) have now dropped five of seven games to dip below .500 after a series loss to Tampa Bay earlier in the week.

 

Jose Quintana (0-1, 3.86 ERA) gets the call for Pittsburgh on Friday, while LHP Drew Smyly (1-0, 0.00 ERA) will start for Chicago.

Blues Down Sharks

Robert Thomas scored his 20th goal to extend his points streak to 15 games and the St. Louis Blues beat the San Jose Sharks 3-1 on Thursday night.

 

Dakota Joshua also scored and Pavel Buchnevich added an empty-netter to lead the Blues to their 12th win in 14 games. Jordan Binnington made 20 saves.

 

St. Louis set a franchise record by earning at least a point in a 14th straight game to keep pace with Minnesota in the race for second place in the Central Division and home-ice advantage for the first round of the playoffs. The teams are tied with 105 points, with the Wild having a game in hand.

 

Noah Gregor scored the lone goal for the Sharks, who have lost 11 of 12 games and are playing out the string on a third straight season without a playoff berth. James Reimer made 25 saves.

 

Thomas gave the Blues the lead for good in the opening minute of the second period when he took a pass from Vladimir Tarasenko and beat Reimer with a wrist shot from the circle.

 

Thomas has 27 points during his scoring streak that is the longest for the Blues since Pierre Turgeon also had a 15-gamer in 1999-2000. Only Brett Hull (25 games) and Blake Dunlop (19 games) have had longer streaks for the Blues.

 

The goal also extended points streaks for Tarasenko (nine games) and Buchnevich (13 games), who both had assists on the goal.

 

St. Louis maintained control from there, holding the Sharks without a shot on goal for the first 10:42 of the second period.

 

The teams traded goals early in the first with Gregor getting San Jose on the board when he raced onto a long pass from Rudolfs Balcers and Binnington.

 

St. Louis tied it about two minutes later with a good shift from the fourth line that led to a no-look pass by Logan Brown from behind the net to Joshua in the slot. Joshua beat Reimer for his third goal of the season.

 

Reimer kept it tied by robbing Brayden Schenn in the final seconds of the period with St. Louis on the power play.

 

The Blues scratched defenseman Torey Krug just before warmups with an upper-body injury. He is day to day. Calle Rosen took Krug's spot in the lineup.

 

St. Louis forward Alexei Toropchenko took part in morning skate but missed his fourth straight game with a leg injury.

 

The Blues visit Arizona on Saturday night.

Kings Throttle Blackhawks

Phillip Danault scored for the fifth straight game and the Los Angeles Kings moved closer to wrapping up a playoff spot with a 4-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday night.

 

Danault opened the scoring in the first period with his 26th goal of the season. He is the first Kings player since Marian Gaborik in 2014 to have a goal in five straight games.

 

The center also has a career-best seven-game point streak with five goals and eight points.

 

Anze Kopitar, Andreas Athanasiou and Trevor Moore also scored for Los Angeles, which has won four of its last five and had a 36-16 advantage in shots. The Kings are five points ahead of Vegas for third place in the Pacific Division. Los Angeles has three games remaining, while Vegas has four.

 

Jonathan Quick made 15 saves, and Adrian Kempe and Alexander Edler each had two assists.

 

Patrick Kane scored for Chicago, which has lost nine of its last 11. It was the 430th career goal for Kane, moving him past Bill Guerin into sixth among U.S.-born skaters in NHL history.

 

Collin Delia made 31 saves before exiting in the third period due to a lower-body injury. Interim coach Derek King said after the game that Delia cramped up and couldn't go the final eight minutes.

 

Kane got the Blackhawks within 2-1 with a power-play score. Kane took Dylan Strome's pass and beat Quick on his glove side for his 26th on the season.

 

The Blackhawks travel to the San Jose Sharks on Saturday night.

Drama-Filled Short Track Racing Transitions to Superspeedway in Talladega

Drama-filled short track racing has highlighted the first full month of the NASCAR season and now the series shifts to the superspeedway of Talladega.

 

Kyle Busch grabbed the lead when leader Tyler Reddick and second-place Chase Briscoe made contact and spun in the final turn on the dirt at Bristol last week. 

 

Busch beat Reddick to the checkered flag by 0.330 seconds to become the eighth different winner in nine races this season. It was his 60th career victory, ninth-best for a career, and tied him with Richard Petty for 18 seasons with at least one win. 

 

In last year's Talladega spring race, Brad Keselowski won after starting 10th.

 

The top three in the points standings — Chase Elliott, Ryan Blaney and Joey Logano — are winless. The range of winners in the point standings goes from fourth-place William Byron, the only two-time winner thus far this season, to 23rd-place Denny Hamlin.

 

Qualifying is 10 am Saturday morning and race time is 2 pm Sunday afternoon.

 

The XFinity Series returns after a week off. Brandon Jones passed teammate Ty Gibbs at the start of a second overtime and won at Martinsville.

 

Jones’ victory gave Toyota a series-best four wins through eight races, all by Joe Gibbs Racing; Gibbs has the other three. A.J. Allmendinger, with top-10 runs in every race, leads Gibbs by 20 in the standings. Third-place Noah Gragson and Allmendinger share the lead with five top-fives each.

 

Jeb Burton won last year's spring Talladega race after starting ninth. Qualifying is this afternoon at 4:30 pm and race time is 3 pm on Saturday afternoon. 

HS Baseball: Monticello Explodes Late for Win

The Monticello Sages scored 13-unanswered runs late to blow by Salt Fork 17-7 in non-conference high school boy's baseball action Wednesday afternoon from Monticello High School.

 

Wednesday matchup was moved up 30-minutes to a 4 pm start time with weather in the area all morning and anticipated rain in the early evening.

 

The Sages went up 4-2 in the fourth inning but Salt Fork answered with a five-run fifth inning and then the flood gates opened for the Monticello offense. The Sages scored six runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to go up 10-7 and walked it off with a seven-run sixth inning for the ten-run rule win.

 

Joey Sprinkle went 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles and an RBI, Biniam Lienhart finished 3-for-4 with a pair of RBIs and a double. Jacob Trusner continued his recent tear with a 2-for-4 afternoon including a double and a pair of RBIs. Thomas Swartz reached base three times going 2-for-3 with a walk and an RBI.

 

Wade Carroll and Luke Teschke drove in two runs apiece from the bottom of the order for Monticello.

 

Dawlton Chupp went five innings allowing all seven runs, six were earned, on seven hits, two walks and struck out six.

 

Spencer Mitze went a scoreless inning of relief.

 

The Sages are 11-5 overall and will take Paxton-Buckley-Loda in Illini Prairie Conference action this afternoon.

Illinois' Cockburn Entering NBA Draft

Illinois All-America center Kofi Cockburn has declared for the NBA draft and hired an agent, marking the end of one of the most productive careers in program history.

 

Cockburn made the announcement on his social media channels Wednesday, and the Illinois athletic department confirmed it.

 

The 7-foot Jamaican was an Associated Press All-America first-team pick this past season and will leave Illinois as the school’s scoring and rebounding leader among three-year players and the record holder for double-doubles.

 

Cockburn was the only player in the nation to average at least 20 points and 10 rebounds last season and only player to rank in the top 20 in both categories. He had 17 double-doubles despite missing five games and he finished his career with 45, second most in the nation over the last three years. His 1,546 points and 861 rebounds are most among three-year players at Illinois.

 

Cockburn also entered the draft pool in 2020 and 2021 but withdrew both times.

Guardians Sweep White Sox in Wednesday Double Dip

Jose Ramirez hit his second grand slam of the season, connecting during a nine-run second inning as the Cleveland Guardians roughed up Dallas Keuchel and routed the sloppy Chicago White Sox 11-1 Wednesday in a doubleheader opener.

 

Cleveland won at home for the first time with its new name. The Guardians had lost their first three at Progressive Field this season.

 

The Guardians delivered eight straight hits off Keuchel (1-1), who allowed a career-high 10 runs and 10 hits, before the former Cy Young Award winner was pulled with no outs in the second.

 

Chicago didn't help its left-hander too much, either, making four errors in the first two innings -- three by All-Star shortstop Tim Anderson -- that contributed to a pair of unearned runs.

 

Ramirez then had an RBI double in a 2-1 victory as the Cleveland Guardians swept a doubleheader from the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday.

 

Former Tigers and Blue Jays outfielder Anthony Gose (1-0) retired all five batters he faced in the nightcap, striking out four, for his first big league victory. Triston McKenzie allowed one run in 4 1/3 innings before giving way to Gose.

 

Ramirez and Oscar Mercado both had RBI doubles off White Sox starter Jimmy Lambert (0-2). Emmanuel Clase worked a 1-2-3 ninth for Cleveland's first save this season.

 

Mercado had three hits, Myles Straw scored three runs, and Ramirez and Naylor each had two hits for Cleveland. Second baseman Gabriel Arias made his major league debut in the first game and singled in the second.

 

Games between the White Sox and Cleveland on Monday and Tuesday were postponed by rain and cold, prompting a traditional doubleheader to be added to the schedule.

 

Dylan Cease (2-0, 1.69 ERA) has struck out 16 over 10 2/3 innings in his first two outings. Zach Plesac (0-1, 1.64 ERA) owns a six-start winless streak, going 0-3 with a 4.19 ERA.

Redbirds Blank Marlins

Nolan Arenado hit a two-run home run in the top of ninth inning and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Miami Marlins 2-0 Wednesday night.

 

Arenado, who had struck out in his first three at-bats, launched a fastball from Miami reliever Anthony Bender (0-2) over the wall in left-center for his fifth home run. Tyler O'Neill reached on a one-out walk before Arenado's blast.

 

Genesis Cabrera (1-0) pitched the bottom of the eighth and Giovanny Gallegos worked around a single and walk in the ninth for his third save.

 

St. Louis has beaten Miami in nine straight games. The Cardinals will try for their third consecutive three-game sweep against the Marlins on Thursday.

 

Starters Sandy Alcantara of Miami and Miles Mikolas of St. Louis combined to throw 13 scoreless innings in their outings.

 

Alcantara pitched eight innings and allowed four hits, with six strikeouts and one walk.

 

Mikolas matched Alcantara through the first five innings before he was lifted after allowing Garrett Cooper's leadoff single in the sixth. Mikolas scattered four hits, struck out five and hit a batter.

 

Jordan Hicks (1-0, 0.00) will make his first career start for the Cardinals in the series finale Thursday. After 114 relief appearances during his first three seasons in St. Louis, Hicks initially will have limited innings and pitches as he adapts to his new role. The Marlins will go with RHP Pablo Lopez (1-0, 0.87).

Rays Down Cubs in Rain Shortened Contest

Francisco Mejia homered and drove in three runs to help the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Chicago Cubs 8-2 on Wednesday night in a game that was called after 5 1/2 innings due to rain.

 

First pitch was moved up 70 minutes because rain was forecast for later on a chilly evening. The game was then delayed in the middle of the sixth inning when the rain intensified. It was called just over an hour later.

 

The window provided enough time for the Rays (7-6), who struck early and climbed back over .500 with their third win in four games.

 

Josh Lowe had a triple, double and RBI. Randy Arozarena, Wander Franco and Kevin Kiermaier each doubled in runs to help the Rays finish 3-3 in Chicago in back-to-back series against the White Sox and Cubs.

 

Cubs rookie Seiya Suzuki walked in the fifth to reach base for the 12th straight game at the start of his career, breaking a team record held by two players - Art Williams in 1902 and Tony Taylor in 1958.

 

Suzuki started the season with a nine-game hitting streak that matched the longest from the from the start of a career by a Japanese-born player, set by Akinori Iwamura with Tampa Bay in 2007. Suzuki was hitless in this one before being replaced in right by Michael Hermosillo in the top of the sixth.

 

Frank Schwindel drove in a run with a double and Nick Madrigal had Chicago's other RBI as the Cubs dropped their second straight to Tampa Bay.

 

Marcus Stroman (0-2) allowed eight runs, seven earned, in his second straight rocky start and loss. The right-hander was tagged for eight hits, including five for extra bases, while striking out seven and walking two.

 

Rays starter Drew Rasmussen allowed two runs on four hits in three innings. Jalen Beeks (1-0) followed, allowing no hits, walking one and fanning two in two innings.

 

Mark Leiter Jr. (0-1, 18.90) takes the mound against Pirates RHP Bryse Wilson (0-0, 5.40) when the NL Central rivals open a four-game set.

Blackhawks Down Coyotes

Alex DeBrincat scored his 40th goal of the season with 37 seconds left in overtime, giving the Chicago Blackhawks a 4-3 victory over the Arizona Coyotes on Wednesday night.

 

Jake McCabe, Dominik Kubalik and Alex Vlasic also scored for Blackhawks, who won for the second time in 12 games after squandering a 3-1 lead in the final 10:18 of regulation.

 

Barrett Hayton, Nate Smith and Anton Stralman scored for the Coyotes, who have lost eight in a row and 15 of 17. Arizona has 13 goals during its losing streak and entered the game last in the league at 2.43 goals per game.

 

Kevin Lankinen had 32 saves for the Blackhawks, who have not won in regulation since March 23.

 

DeBrincat has two 40-goal seasons in his first five, the first coming when he had 41 goals in 2018-19.

 

Coyotes goaltender Karel Vejmelka made 34 saves in his 49th game, a franchise record for rookie goaltenders. He is the first rookie in NHL history with four games of at least 46 saves.

 

Smith's first career goal, in his fifth game, pulled the Coyotes within 3-2 midway through the third period.

 

Stralman tied the game at 13:23 of the third, sending a wrist shot high on the stick side after a Chicago giveaway as the teams skated 4 on 4 after coincidental minor penalties at 12:15.

 

Arizona had won the last two in the season series and was attempting to beat Chicago three times in a season for the first time since 2011-12.

 

McCabe opened the scoring 42 seconds into the game when he flipped in a rebound through traffic from the slot. McCabe started the play with a pass from the right circle in front of the net. Vejmelka got his stick on Jonathan Toews' shot but left it in front.

 

Kubalic made it 2-0 when he converted a rebound from point-blank range at 15:32 of the first. Vejmelka stopped Tyler Johnson's shot from the slot, but the Coyotes failed to clear the puck, leaving Kubalic with an open net.

 

Hayton cut the Blackhawks' lead to 2-1 at 12:43 of the second period when his rebound shot trickled through Lankinen's pads. Lankinen was caught on the wrong side of the net, but recovered to make a sprawling glove save on Nick Schmaltz's wraparound. The puck came loose and Hayton scored, and the goal was upheld after review.

 

Vlasic made it 3-1 when he was credited with his first career goal on a shot from the left circle appeared to carom off Schmaltz in the crease and found the net at 16:25 of the second period.

 

The Blackhawks play at Los Angeles on tonight.

Bulls Steal Game 2 From Milwaukee

DeMar DeRozan scored a career playoff-high 41 points and the Bulls outlasted the Bucks 114-110 on Wednesday night in Game 2. 

 

Nikola Vucevic added 24 points and 13 rebounds, while Zach LaVine had 20 points as the sixth-seeded Bulls beat the third-seeded Bucks for just the second time in their last 19 meetings.

 

Bobby Portis left the game with a right eye abrasion after the first quarter and Khris Middleton exited with 6:49 left after his left leg gave out while he tried to plant on a spin move.

 

Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks with 33 points, 18 rebounds and nine assists, putting him one assist from his second career playoff triple-double. Antetokounmpo increased his career postseason point total to 1,715 to overtake Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1,692) for the most in Bucks history.

 

Brook Lopez had 25 points for the Bucks. Middleton scored 18 and Holiday 15.

 

DeRozan scored eight points during a 13-0 run that began late in the third quarter and gave the Bulls a 96-80 lead with 9:47 remaining. The Bulls still led by 15 before Milwaukee rallied in the final 7 1/2 minutes.

 

Lopez converted a three-point play to cut Chicago's lead to 112-109 with 56 seconds left.

 

But after Alex Caruso and Vucevic got offensive rebounds on the Bulls' ensuing possession, DeRozan's driving layup made it 114-109 with 18.2 seconds remaining.

 

Chicago bounced back from a 93-86 Game 1 loss and continued to show the grit that had been missing late in the regular season, particularly when the Bulls were facing top teams.

 

The Bulls lost 15 of their final 22 regular-season games. During the regular season, the Bulls went just 2-21 against the top four seeds in each conference.

 

Chicago closed the second quarter on a 15-4 run to grab a 65-4 halftime advantage.

 

The Bulls extended the lead to 18 early in the third quarter, before the Bucks rallied with a small lineup featuring Antetokounmpo, Middleton and reserve guards Grayson Allen, Pat Connaughton and Jevon Carter.

 

Milwaukee went on a 15-2 spurt to cut the Bulls' lead to three late in the third period. But the Bulls responded with 13 straight points and stayed in front the reset of the way.

 

After shooting a season-low 32.3% and going 7 of 37 from 3-point range in a 93-86 Game 1 loss, the Bulls shot 49.4% and went 12 of 25 from beyond the arc Wednesday. DeRozan, LaVine and Vucevic shot a combined 21 of 71 overall and 4 of 22 from 3-point range in Game 1. They were a combined 33 of 62 overall and 7 of 14 on 3-point attempts in Game 2.

Mt. Pulaski Walks Off Heyworth

The Mt. Pulaski Hilltoppers walked off the Heyworth Hornets in the bottom of the seventh inning coming away with a 6-5 victory in non-conference high school boy's baseball action Tuesday from Mt. Pulaski.

 

From the leadoff spot, Evan Cooper finished 3-for-4 with a run scored, Landon Smith was 2-for-3 with a pair of RBIs while AJ Bailey and Lucas Kuhlman drove in runs for the Hilltoppers. 

 

Smith went five innings on the mound allowing five runs, four were earned, and walked two with six strikeouts. 

 

Gavin Smith finished the game with two shutout innings.

 

Sophomore Tyler Wills led the Hornets going 3-for-4 with three RBIs while Dylan Esposito finished 2-for-3 with a pair of runs scored. 

 

Heyworth drops to 5-12 overall while the Hilltoppers go to 10-3 overall. Mt. Pulaski resumes Tomahawk Conference play Thursday when they take on Illini Bluffs in Glasford. 

HS Baseball: Monticello No-Hits Tri-Valley in Five Innings

Jack Buckalew threw a five-inning no-hitter and roped the walk-off single in the bottom of the fifth inning as Monticello routed Tri-Valley 11-1 in a five-inning, ten-run rule win Tuesday in non-conference high school boy's baseball action from Monticello.

 

Buckalew struck out eight and allowed a run in five no-hit innings. With runners on second and third and one out in the bottom of the fifth inning, Buckalew also laced a single to left center field to bring home the tenth run and gave Monticello its second win in the last three games.

 

Jacob Trusner stayed hot for the Sages with a double and two RBIs. Biniam Lienhart doubled, stole a bag and had an RBI.

 

Monticello moves to 10-5 overall. 

 

With a nice weather day sandwiched between Monday's rainout with Maroa-Forsyth and what looks to be another likely rainout today against Salt Fork, Monticello was able to secure an opponent and find umpires to get a game in. 

White Sox, Guardians Rained Out Again Tuesday

For the second straight day, the Chicago White Sox and Cleveland Guardians were postponed by inclement weather and unplayable, cold conditions.

 

Tuesday's game was called four hours before the scheduled first pitch, with the decision coming after Guardians manager Terry Francona and White Sox manager Tony La Russa met the umpires outside at Progressive Field.

 

Snow piled up in downtown Cleveland the past two days and temperatures have been in the low 30s.

 

The game will be made up as part of a traditional doubleheader Wednesday, starting at 2:10 p.m. Monday's postponement will be played as part of a doubleheader on July 12.

 

This week's four-game series is a three-game set with two games Wednesday and one Thursday. With a dryer, warmer weather forecast, the AL Central rivals should finally meet for the first time this season.

 

The second postponement again pushed back the matchup between former Cy Young Award winners - Cleveland's Shane Bieber and Chicago's Dallas Keuchel. They'll match up in Wednesday's opener.

 

White Sox right-hander Jimmy Lambert will start the second game against Cleveland's Triston McKenzie.

Cardinals Down Marlins

Albert Pujols had two hits and scored twice as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Miami Marlins 5-1 on Tuesday night.

 

Adam Wainwright (2-1) allowed one run and five hits in 5 2/3 innings with six strikeouts and two walks.

 

Tommy Edman tripled, singled and drove in two runs, and Paul Goldschmidt also had two hits for St. Louis.

 

Marlins' starter Jesus Luzardo allowed five runs and seven hits in 4 1/3 innings. Luzardo (0-1) struck out three and walked two.

 

Wainwright walked two in the first inning, then settled down after third baseman Nolan Arenado reached near the foul line to grab Avisail Garcia's hard grounder and made a long throw to Goldschmidt. The first baseman stretched to catch Arenado's throw and get Garcia and end the early Marlins threat.

 

Tyler O'Neill had an RBI single in the third before Pujols singled and raced home from first on Edman's triple to right-center.

 

Edman added a run-scoring single in the fifth.

 

Wainwright and Molina made their 307th start together, surpassing the Chicago White Sox battery of Red Faber and Ray Schalk for third most in a big league career.

 

Bryan De Cruz homered for Miami in the sixth. Wainwright was lifted after allowing Brian Anderson's two-out single.

 

Relievers T.J. McFarland and Ryan Helsley got the next seven outs around three hits and Giovanny Gallegos worked a perfect ninth.

 

Cardinals prospect Nolan Gorman homered for the seventh time in seven games for for Triple-A Memphis.

 

Miles Mikolas (1-0, 2.61 ERA) will start the second game of the series for the Cardinals on Wednesday against RHP Sandy Alcantara (1-0, 3.18).

Rays Power Past Cubs

Wander Franco hit his first homer of the season, a two-run drive to left-center in the third inning, and the Tampa Bay Rays held on to beat the Chicago Cubs 6-5 on Tuesday night.

 

Cubs rookie Seiya Suzuki drew three walks but his nine-game hitting streak came to an end, leaving him tied with Akinori Iwamura for the longest hitting streak by a Japanese-born player to start a career.

 

Playing at Wrigley Field for the first time, Franco finished 3-for-5, including the homer that put the Rays ahead 3-0. The second-year player missed Monday's series opener with right quadriceps tightness.

 

Franco's three-hit game was his fourth of the young season.

 

Opener Matt Wisler got the first five outs for the Rays and Josh Fleming (2-1) worked the next 3 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on four hits. Andrew Kittredge, the sixth Rays pitcher, retired the final six Chicago batters for his second save. He needed just 20 pitches to do it.

 

Justin Steele (1-1) allowed four runs in 2 2/3 innings.

 

Patrick Wisdom hit a two-run, pinch-hit homer in the fourth inning to get the Cubs within 4-3. Chicago had won two straight.

 

Manuel Margot had an RBI single in the second for the Rays, and Tampa Bay went ahead 6-3 in the seventh on run-scoring hits from Randy Arozarena and Harold Ramirez.

 

Nico Hoerner had an RBI triple in the seventh and scored on a wild pitch to get the Cubs within one run again.

 

Tampa Bay's Drew Rasmussen (0-1, 5.00 ERA) faces Marcus Stroman (0-1, 6.00) in Wednesday's series finale.

Bruins Beat Blues in Overtime

Charlie McAvoy scored 48 seconds into overtime and Jeremy Swayman made 20 saves to help the Boston Bruins beat the St. Louis Blues 3-2.

 

Jake DeBrusk and Taylor Hall also scored for Boston, which won its second straight after a season-worst three-game losing streak.

 

The Bruins were coming off a 2-1 win over Pittsburgh on Saturday, and the back-to-back victories give them a much-needed shot of momentum.

 

Robert Thomas and Pavel Buchnevich scored for St. Louis, which had a nine-game winning streak snapped.

 

Swayman, who stopped 23 of 24 shots against Pittsburgh, thwarted Jordan Kyrou from close range midway through the final period with the game tied.

 

The Bruins were making their first appearance in St. Louis since a 5-1 win in Game 6 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Finals. The Blues went on to win the crown in seven games.

 

Ville Husso made for 32 saves for St. Louis, He had won his previous six starts.

 

The Blues extended their point streak to 13 successive games, tying a franchise mark set Jan. 3-Feb. 5, 2015.

 

Thomas deflected in a backhanded attempt by Vladimir Tarasenko with 2.4 seconds left in the second period to tie it 2-all. Thomas extended his career-best point streak to 14 games. He has seven goals and 19 assists during the streak, which is the longest current run in the NHL.

 

The Bruins have failed to score in their last 27 power-play attempts.

 

Hall, the first overall pick in the 2010 draft by Edmonton, deflected a shot from Derek Forbort midway through the second period to break a 1-all tie. It was Hall's 17th goal of the season and first in eight games.

 

DeBrusk jammed in a shot from close range just 93 seconds into the second period to tie the game.

 

The Blues had scored at least four goals in their last 12 games, a franchise record.

 

The Blues begin a four-game trip in San Jose on Thursday.

HS Softball: Westville Doubles Up Monticello

In a game heard on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com, a three-run second for Westville allowed them to get by Monticello 4-2 in non-conference high school girl's softball action Tuesday from Monticello. 

 

Abby Sabalaskie roped a two-run triple to cap the three-run outburst and went seven complete innings for the Lady Tigers. She struck out 11 and allowed only seven hits to no walks. 

 

Lizzie Stiverson went deep in the sixth inning for Monticello and Addison Wallace drove in a run in the third inning. 

 

Stiverson was named the ServPro of Piatt/DeWitt County Player of the Game for her solo home run.

 

The Lady Tigers move to 12-1 overall while Monticello drops to 6-7.

 

Hear more Monticello sports on WEZC next Monday when the Sages baseball team hosts Pontiac.

White Sox, Guardians Postponed

Monday night's game between the Chicago White Sox and Cleveland Guardians was postponed because of bad weather.

 

The game was called about five hours before the scheduled 6:10 p.m. first pitch after rain and snow fell most of the day and temperatures dropped into the 30s.

 

The teams were rescheduled for a day-night doubleheader on July 12.

 

The postponement delayed a matchup of AL Cy Young Award winners between Chicago's Dallas Keuchel and Cleveland's Shane Bieber.

 

Both are scheduled to start Tuesday night in the opener of a three-game series. Keuchel (1-0, 5.40 ERA) was the Cy Young winner with Houston in 2015 while Bieber (0-0, 2.70) won it in 2020.

 

Chicago leads the AL Central despite having several key players on the injured list, including pitchers Lucas Giolito (left abdominal strain) and Lance Lynn (right knee surgery), third baseman Yoan Moncada (right oblique strain) and outfielder AJ Pollock (hamstring).

 

The White Sox are coming off a 4-2 homestand that ended with Sunday's 9-3 loss to Tampa Bay.

 

Cleveland was swept in a three-game series by San Francisco after winning four in a row. The Guardians scored four runs after entering the weekend leading the majors in scoring. Cleveland played its first series at Progressive Field since the club's name change.

 

Hear tonight's action on WHOW.

Coach Binkley Ready to Get Rolling With Maroons

The Clinton High School boy's basketball team last Thursaday afternoon made a big splash when they hired former Warrensburg-Latham boy's basketball coach Vic Binkley. 

 

Coach Binkley is ready to get started with his new team and says he spoke with officials from Clinton Schools over the last few weeks and he and his wife felt it would be a great move for them.

 

 

Coach Binkley plans to bring his acclaimed 1-2-2 full court press and a 2-3 half-court zone defense to Clinton. He says while those defenses are what he's known for he's not afraid throw the kitchen sink out there.

 

 

Coach Binkley says relationships with kids, parents and school leaders is the number one thing and looks forward to getting to know everyone within the program.

 

 

In 33 years at Warrensburg-Latham, Coach Binkley compiled a 583-351 record with 15 regional titles and two state tournament appearances. 

 

Since 2000, the Clinton boy's basketball program has had one Regional title and just three winning seasons. Coach Binkley will be the Maroons coach in that same time frame. 

Cubs Double Up Rays

Seiya Suzuki extended his hitting streak to nine games, tying Akinori Iwamura for the longest by a Japanese-born player at the start of a major league career, and the Chicago Cubs beat the Tampa Bay Rays 4-2 on a cold Tuesday night.

 

Suzuki singled to left leading off the fourth, matching the mark that Iwamura set with the Rays in 2007 and tying Andy Pafko's record for a Cubs player at the start of his career, set in 1943. Suzuki was thrown out by left fielder Randy Arozarena trying to stretch his hit to a double, a call upheld in a video review.

 

Suzuki is batting .429 after a 2 for 3 night.

 

There were intermittent snow flurries throughout the game, and the temperature at gametime was 40 degrees with a 16 mph wind that caused a 34-degree windchill. Several Rays wore handwarmers.

 

Ian Happ's RBI single in the eighth against Jeffrey Springs broke a 2-2 tie and drove in Suzuki, who was hit by a pitch from Jason Adam (0-1) leading off the inning.

 

Frank Schwindel homered to right in the eighth off Javy Guerra, who made his Tampa Bay debut, one day after he was acquired from San Diego for cash.

 

Keegan Thompson got Arozarena to ground into an inning-ending double play in the fifth and struck out five in 3 2/3 innings while allowing one hit.

 

David Robertson pitched around a walk in the ninth for his fourth save in four chances, one shy of the 37-year-old right-hander's total from 2018-21. He retired Manuel Margot on a game-ending groundout.

 

Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks gave up two runs and five hits in 4 1/3 innings.

 

Shane McClanahan allowed two runs - one earned - and four hits in six innings with a career-high nine strikeouts.

 

Patrick Wisdom hit his first home run of the season in the second, a drive about three-quarters up the left-field bleachers. The two-run drive scored Suzuki, who reached on a throwing error by shortstop Taylor Walls.

 

Wisdom has seven hits in his last four games after starting the season 1 for 21.

 

Tampa Bay tied the score on RBI singles by Ji-Man Choi in the fourth and Josh Lowe in the fifth.

 

Josh Fleming (1-1, 4.05 ERA) is to start Tuesday night for the Rays and LHP Justin Steele (1-0, 1.93 ERA) will start for the Cubs.

Flames Down Blackhawks

Johnny Gaudreau, Dillon Dube and Blake Coleman scored in the first period, and Calgary beat the Chicago Blackhawks 5-2 on Monday night.

 

The Flames clinched a playoff spot on Saturday, and then celebrated with a 9-1 victory over Arizona. They traveled all day on Sunday, yet still had enough to hold off the struggling Blackhawks.

 

Jacob Markstrom made 22 saves as Calgary (47-20-9) won for the seventh time in eight games. Gaudreau and Oliver Kylington tacked on long empty-netters for the Pacific Division leaders in the final 1:32.

 

Chicago (25-40-11) lost for the 10th time in 11 games. Tyler Johnson and Alec Regula scored, and Kevin Lankinen made 30 stops.

 

The Blackhawks played without Mackenzie Entwistle after the forward departed in the first period with a right shoulder injury. King said Entwistle will not travel with the team on its three-game road trip.

 

Blackhawks forward Kirby Dach missed his second straight game with a right shoulder sprain. King said Dach will not travel with the team for its road trip.

 

The Blackhawks are at Arizona Coyotes on Wednesday night.

Illinois Sweeps Northwestern

The Fighting Illini earned their second series sweep of the season, taking down Northwestern 3-0 at Illinois Field Sunday afternoon to improve to 10-2 in the B1G. 


Riley Gowens was outstanding on the mound in his seventh start of the year, throwing 7.0 scoreless innings while giving up just three hits and striking out five. Gowens is credited with the win and moves to 4-1 on the season while Northwestern's Comstock (0-2) gets the loss.

 

Illinois (19-14, 10-2) scored two of their three runs on the afternoon in the first inning and one more in the fourth while holding Northwestern (15-16, 4-5) scoreless, the first shutout of the season for the Illini. 

 

Cam McDonald and Brody Harding each had two-hit days, while Justin Janas drove in two of the three Illini runs on the afternoon.

 

Alex Vera earned his first save of the season shutting the door on the Wildcats with 2.0 scoreless no-hit innings and one strikeout.

 

Illinois is back in action on Tuesday afternoon, traveling to Indiana State for a midweek matchup with the Sycamores before welcoming Maryland to Illinois Field for another three-game series next weekend.

Valpo Takes Series Finale Over ISU for Series Win Sunday

The Illinois State baseball team dropped the series finale to Valparaiso, 2-1, on Sunday at Duffy Bass Field.

 

Sophomore Jordan Lussier threw six innings, allowing two earned runs for the Redbirds (13-17 overall, 2-4 Missouri Valley Conference) while senior Colin Wyman fired 2.2 scoreless innings in relief.

 

A double from senior Nick Gile plated ISU's only run in the 6th inning, cutting the deficit to 2-1.

 

Senior Jake McCaw extended his on-base streak to 21 games.

 

Valparaiso jumps to 13-18 overall and 2-4 in the MVC.

 

Illinois State is scheduled to travel to Milwaukee Tuesday. 

Cubs Continue Fast Start, Win Sunday

Seiya Suzuki hit his fourth home run, extending an impressive start to his major league career, and the Chicago Cubs defeated the Colorado Rockies 6-4 on Sunday.

 

Willson Contreras also went deep for the Cubs. Nick Madrigal had three hits and Nico Hoerner drove in two runs.

 

Suzuki is batting .400 and has hit safely in eight straight games with an at-bat. The 27-year-old outfielder from Japan has reached base in all nine games with the Cubs.

 

Rowan Wick (1-0) won in relief and David Robertson earned his third save.

 

Ryan McMahon homered for the Rockies.

 

The Cubs roughed up Colorado starter Austin Gomber (0-1) for five runs - four earned - in 4 1/3 innings. Contreras hit a solo homer in the first, Hoerner had a two-run double in the second and Frank Schwindel made it 4-0 with an RBI single in the third.

 

Gomber exited in the fifth after he intentionally walked Suzuki to load the bases. Yan Gomes hit an RBI single off reliever Ashton Goudeau.

 

Suzuki wasn't bothered by the intentional walk.

 

Chicago starter Drew Smyly struck out four in 4 2/3 innings and left after a single by Yonathan Daza put runners on first and second with two outs. Scott Effross got Connor Joe to ground out to end the inning, but the Rockies came back in the sixth.

 

Elias Diaz's RBI single gave Colorado its first run and McMahon hit his first homer of the year off Michael Rucker to make it 5-3.

 

Suzuki's solo homer in the seventh made it a three-run game.

 

Colorado loaded the bases twice in the bottom of the seventh but managed just one run on Kris Bryant's sacrifice fly.

 

Chicago third baseman Patrick Wisdom was hitting .048 after going 0 for 4 on Thursday night but found his groove the rest of the weekend. He had two doubles Friday night and followed that with three hits in Saturday night's loss. He continued to produce with another double and two walks Sunday.

 

Wisdom had five doubles in the series and raised his batting average to .233.

 

Kyle Hendricks (0-1, 7.00 ERA) opens a home series against Tampa Bay on Monday night.

Rays Pound White Sox

In a game heard on WHOW, Randy Arozarena doubled twice and finished with three hits as the Tampa Bay Rays topped the Chicago White Sox 9-3 on Sunday to stop a four-game slide.

 

Manuel Margot also had three hits for the Rays, including a double. Kevin Kiermaier and Francisco Mejia each drove in two runs. Wander Franco added an RBI double as Tampa Bay pulled away with a four-run eighth inning.

 

The Rays broke out of a funk at the plate after scoring only nine runs during the losing streak.

 

Margot, Kiermaier and Yandy Diaz had RBIs in a four-run first when the Rays jumped on shaky Chicago starter Vince Velasquez without hitting the ball hard.

 

J.P. Feyereisen opened for Tampa Bay, then was followed by Chris Mazza, Jalen Beeks, Ryan Thompson and Tommy Romero as the defending AL East champions patched together an unusual three-hitter that included five walks - plus a hit batter and passed ball that scored Chicago's first two runs.

 

Feyereisen was perfect through the first two innings, striking out three, in his first start as a pro. Cash used an opener for the first time this season.

 

Beeks and Thompson also allowed no one to reach base.

 

Mazza (1-0), the second Tampa Bay pitcher, walked five and permitted two hits and two runs in 2 1/3 innings. The right-hander threw 62 pitches, only 31 strikes.

 

Gavin Sheets hit a solo homer off Romero in the ninth. Adam Engel singled, walked, stole two bases and scored a run for the White Sox.

 

The Rays sent 10 batters to the plate in the first and a took a 4-0 lead on three soft singles, three walks and an error by Velasquez (0-1). The right-hander threw 20 of 35 pitches for strikes in the inning, then settled down to go 4 2/3 innings.

 

Velasquez walked Ji-Man Choi with the bases loaded to force in Tampa Bay's first run.

 

Velasquez gloved Josh Lowe's comebacker but dropped the ball, allowing a second run to score. Margot's bloop single made it 3-0, and Kiermaier walked to force in another run.

 

The White Sox got on the board in the fourth when Mazza hit Sheets with a pitch with the bases loaded.

 

The White Sox loaded the bases against Mazza again with one out in the fifth but again managed only one run. Engel scored from third on a passed ball after Beeks relieved, cutting it to 4-2.

 

The Rays scored four runs off Matt Foster and Anderson Severino in the eighth to seal it.

 

Sox manager Tony La Russa said RHP Joe Kelly (right biceps nerve injury) is progressing in his rehab at the team's training facility in Arizona. La Russa said the 32-year-old Kelly is ''throwing in the mid-90s (mph) with no discomfort,'' but has yet to face hitters and there's no timetable for his return.

 

Two former AL Cy Young Award winners square off when LHP Dallas Keuchel (1-0, 5.40) takes the mound against Guardians ace Shane Bieber (0-0, 2.70) in Cleveland on Monday night. The teams play a four-games series.

Brewers Hold Off Cardinals

Tyrone Taylor hit a two-run double in the seventh inning to give Milwaukee a cushion, and the Brewers outlasted Albert Pujols and the St. Louis Cardinals 6-5 on Sunday.

 

Pujols hit his 681st career homer, a three-run shot in the third inning off Aaron Ashby that tied the game at 3, but the Brewers regained the lead in the fourth on Willy Adames' bases-loaded walk and held on from there.

 

Taylor's seventh-inning double made it 6-3. St. Louis got within one in the eighth against Devin Williams, but Josh Hader struck out two during a perfect ninth for his fourth save of the season and 100th of his career.

 

Jake Cousins (2-0) worked a scoreless fifth for Milwaukee. St. Louis starter Dakota Hudson (0-1) allowed four runs, three earned, in three innings.

 

Making his first start of the season after two relief appearances, Ashby issued four walks and a pair of hits over four innings. The three runs he allowed - all on Pujols' blast - were unearned thanks to an error on Milwaukee second baseman Kolten Wong to open the inning.

 

The Brewers jumped ahead 3-0 in the first. Andrew McCutchen had a sacrifice fly, and Rowdy Tellez hit a run-scoring double to the wall in left-center. Milwaukee got another run on a throwing error by catcher Andrew Knizner.

 

Hudson retired six of his next seven batters before Keston Hirua brought his day to an end with a single to lead off the fourth. Reliever T.J. McFarland gave up a single and a walk to load the bases. After striking out Wong, McFarland lost a seven-pitch battle to Adames that gave Milwaukee the lead.

 

Cardinals C Yadier Molina (right knee soreness) was out of the starting lineup for a third straight game but came on as a defensive replacement in the ninth inning.

 

The Cardinals get a day off in Miami Monday before Adam Wainwright (1-1, 3.48 ERA) takes the mound Tuesday to open a three-game series against the Marlins.

Blues Blast Preds

The St. Louis Blues set a franchise record for goals in a period, hanging seven on Nashville in the second period of an 8-3 win over the Predators on Sunday.

 

Calle Rosen, Brayden Schenn and Jordan Kyrou each scored two goals, Nathan Walker and Vladimir Tarasenko also scored, and Jordan Binnington made 33 saves for the Blues, winners of nine straight. St. Louis locked up its fourth straight playoff spot on Saturday when it beat Minnesota.

 

Nick Cousins had a goal and an assist and Luke Kunin and Dante Fabbro also scored for Nashville, which has lost two of three. The Predators are tied in points with Dallas for the top wild card spot in the tight Western Conference.

 

The game was tied 1-1 after the first period. Cousins gave Nashville its only lead of the game at 4:16 and Schenn answered at 17:41.

 

The floodgates opened in the second. Nashville goaltender Juuse Saros was pulled at 9:29 after allowing Kyrou's first goal, which made it 4-1.

 

Saros, who backstopped the Predators in their win over Chicago on Saturday, made 16 saves on 20 shots. He was replaced by David Rittich, who allowed four goals on 13 shots.

 

Blues forwards Robert Thomas and Pavel Buchnevich both extended their lengthy point-scoring streaks.

 

The Blues host Boston on Tuesday.

Bucks Get By Bulls in First Round of NBA Playoffs

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 27 points and 16 rebounds, and the third-seeded Bucks recovered after blowing a 16-point lead to beat the sixth-seeded Chicago Bulls 93-86 in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference first-round playoff series Sunday.

 

On a night when their usually potent offense was searching for answers, the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks had to rely on their defense in their playoff opener.

 

Fortunately for the Bucks, that's the one part of their game that was at a championship level.

 

Jrue Holiday's 3-pointer was part of an 8-0 run that gave the Bucks an 85-78 edge. The Bulls got the margin down to one but could never regain the lead, as Zach LaVine missed a potential tying 3-pointer from nearly 30 feet away with 29 seconds left.

 

Milwaukee overcame its struggles on offense by holding the Bulls to the lowest single-game point total of any Bucks opponent all season. The Bulls shot a season-low 32.3% from the floor in their first playoff appearance in five years. They were 7 of 37 on 3-point attempts.

 

In the fourth quarter, the Bulls were 6 of 28 and 1 of 12 from 3-point range.

 

The Bucks, who have won 17 of their last 18 meetings with the Bulls, grabbed an early 32-16 lead and threatened to put this game out of reach early. But they struggled to score the rest of the way.

 

After shooting 53.8% (14 of 26) in the first quarter, the Bucks made just 34.5% of their attempts (20 of 58) the rest of the way. They had an equal number of turnovers and baskets - 14 - in the second half.

 

They finished with 21 turnovers. They scored just three points in the first 6 minutes, 57 seconds of the fourth quarter.

 

Brook Lopez scored 18 points, Holiday had 15, Khris Middleton had 11 and Bobby Portis added 10. Portis also had 12 rebounds.

 

Vucevic had 24 points and 17 rebounds but shot 9 of 27. LaVine had 18 points and 10 rebounds while shooting 6 of 19.

 

The Bulls didn't take their first lead until late in the third quarter. They took their last lead at 78-77 on Vucevic's inside basket with 5:56 left before the Bucks scored eight straight points.

 

Alex Caruso's layup with 1:36 left cut Milwaukee's advantage to 87-86, but the Bulls wouldn't score again.

 

With the two cities separated by only about 90 miles, the Bulls are heading back to Chicago after Game 1 before returning to Milwaukee for Wednesday's Game 2.

Kyle Busch Slides Into Bristol Dirt Victory Lane

Kyle Busch won his first race of the season Sunday night by sliding past the leaders as Tyler Reddick and Chase Briscoe spun racing for the win. Busch tied Hall of Famer Richard Petty’s NASCAR record for victories in consecutive years at 18.

 

Reddick was chasing the first Cup win of his career, led 99 of the 250 laps, and controlled the race from the final restart with 24 laps remaining. Lapped traffic gave Briscoe a shot and Briscoe made his move in the third turn as he tried to slide inside past Reddick.

 

The move backfired and both cars spun out of control and Busch, who was running third, simply skirted through for his first win.

 

Busch won for the ninth time in Cup at Bristol — first time in two dirt races — and was booed by the smattering of fans who waited out two rain delays that pushed the first race on Easter Sunday since 1989 to nearly four hours.

 

Rain had stopped the race for a second time moments before the race was supposed to go green with 30 laps remaining.

 

Briscoe got past Busch when the rain finally stopped and it was Briscoe who wrecked Reddick’s trip to victory lane.

 

The race was NASCAR’s second attempt at running a Cup race on dirt and it turned into a wet and muddy mystery when rain paused the racing and most of the drivers seemed clueless about the rules.

 

What the new audience saw was a mid-race mass of confusion because few drivers seemed to understand the rules during the first stoppage. Some drivers pitted — presumably because their teams knew scoring was halted under the red flag and wouldn’t resume until the race went green.

 

Busch was among many drivers who did not pit — perhaps because they assumed they’d move up in the running order. So it was Busch who had his car out front when NASCAR halted all activity, but Briscoe, who had pitted, was scored as the leader.

 

Denny Hamlin, who had already been eliminated from the race, was watching on Fox Sports and saw what he claimed was a rules explanation that lasted longer than a minute.

 

The confusion up and down pit road indicated few had a clear grasp of the procedures, which at Bristol differed from all other Cup races. NASCAR held a mandatory pre-race driver meeting prior to the pandemic in which rules were discussed; it has since been replaced by a video.

 

The race did resume — with Briscoe as the leader — with the entire third stage still remaining.

 

NASCAR races next Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama, where Brad Keselowski is he defending race winner and Bubba Wallace in October earned his first career victory.

Popups become adventures as Mariners beat White Sox 5-1

 Jared Kelenic hit a two-run homer off the right-field foul pole in the second inning, and the Seattle Mariners stopped a four-game losing streak with a 5-1 victory over the Chicago White Sox on a windy Thursday.

 

Logan Gilbert (1-0) allowed an unearned run and four hits in five innings, and four pitchers followed with an inning each of hitless relief.

 

Andres Munoz struck out the side on 14 pitches in the sixth, Drew Steckenrider worked around a walk in the seventh, Diego Castillo pitched a perfect eighth and Paul Sewald threw a 1-2-3 ninth.

 

Chicago didn't get a hit after Tim Anderson's two-out single in the fifth.

 

Cal Raleigh homered off Bennett Sousa in the seventh and Mitch Haniger hit another home run against Jose Ruiz in the eighth.

 

Jimmy Lambert (0-1) gave up two runs and two hits in three innings of his season debut. He walked Eugenio Suarez on four pitches before Kelenic's blast off the right-field post.

 

Remember WHOW is your home for Chicago White Sox baseball. Hear tonights game against Tampa Bay at 5:30pm on all of WHOW's platforms.

Suzuki extends hit streak to 6, Cubs down Bryant, Rox 5-2

Seiya Suzuki stayed hot with an RBI double in a three-run first inning, Frank Schwindel homered and drove in two, and the Chicago Cubs cooled off Kris Bryant and the Colorado Rockies, winning 5-2 on Thursday night.

 

Bryant went 2 for 5 and lost a third hit due to Yonathan Daza's baserunning gaffe as the Rockies had their four-game winning streak snapped in the opener of Bryant's second series against his former team.

 

Schwindel had a run-scoring single in the first and went deep to right to lead off the sixth after the Rockies had sliced the lead to 3-2. Ian Happ's RBI single made it 5-2 and chased Freeland, who allowed five runs and nine hits in 5 1/3 innings.

 

C.J. Cron had an RBI single off Ethan Roberts, who also walked in a run after replacing Justin Steele with one out in the fifth. Keegan Thompson (1-0) took over and got Elias Diaz to fly to right with the bases loaded to end the inning. Thompson pitched 3 1/3 scoreless innings.

 

Mychal Givens pitched a scoreless ninth for his first save as the Cubs hung on despite hitting into five double plays.

 

Bryant singled to left in the third and ninth and hit a liner that fell in front of Happ in left in the fifth. But Daza thought the ball might be caught and was forced at third.

Woodruff returns to form as Brewers defeat Cardinals 5-1

Brandon Woodruff threw five shutout innings, Omar Narvaez homered and doubled, and the Milwaukee Brewers opened their home schedule with a 5-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday.

 

Woodruff (1-1) struck out two and allowed just three hits and a walk.The Cardinals trailed 2-0 but had two on with two outs when Woodruff got ahead of Paul Goldschmidt 1-2 in the count before two borderline pitches got called balls. Goldschmidt then hit an apparent inning-ending grounder but reached on catcher's interference to load the bases.

 

The Brewers gave Woodruff an early lead and delighted an announced sellout of crowd of 42,794 by scoring four runs in the first three innings off Adam Wainwright (1-1).

 

Kolten Wong ripped Wainwright's first pitch for a leadoff triple down the right-field line and came home on Andrew McCutchen's two-out single up the middle.

 

Milwaukee extended the lead to 2-0 in the second when Narvaez belted an 85-mph cutter from Wainwright over the right-field wall for his first homer since Aug. 11 and first RBI of this season.

 

The Brewers added two more runs in the third. Christian Yelich hit a leadoff double off the center-field wall and scored on Hunter Renfroe's two-out single. Narvaez followed with a double to left-center that brought home Rowdy Tellez, who had reached on a one-out walk.

 

Wainwright (1-1) struck out seven and allowed eight hits and two walks in 4 1/3 innings.

 

Milwaukee added one more run in the sixth as Wong singled home Jace Peterson, who reached with a single and two walks.

 

The Cardinals' only run came when Tommy Edman homered off Jandel Gustave in the eighth. Trevor Gott and Gustave each pitched two innings.

Tarasenko's 5-point outing fuels Blues' 6-2 win over Sabres

Vladimir Tarasenko scored three times as part of a career-best five-point outing, and St. Louis rolled to its seventh straight win by beating the Buffalo Sabres 6-2 on Thursday night.

 

Tarasenko broke open a game tied at 2 by scoring twice in the second period, including making a tremendous fake to turn rookie defenseman Owen Power inside out for a breakaway goal. 

 

Robert Thomas had five assists to extend his point streak to 11 games, during which he has six goals and 23 points.

 

Pavel Buchnevich, Brandon Saad, and David Perron also scored for the Blues. Jordan Binnington stopped 35 shots for his second straight win after four consecutive losses.

 

Alex Tuch and Rasmus Asplund scored, and Craig Anderson stopped 22 shots for Buffalo.

 

Power d was caught out of position in allowing Tarasenko to score the go-ahead goal into an open right side of the net 7:18 into the second period. And Power was caught flat-footed when Tarasenko sped past him up the right wing to score 5:27 later.

Blackhawks top Sharks 5-4 in SO to end 8-game slide

Alex DeBrincat scored the lone goal in the shootout after having three assists in regulation and the Chicago Blackhawks snapped an eight-game losing streak with a 5-4 win over the San Jose Sharks on Thursday night.

 

DeBrincat beat James Reimer with an in-tight move in the third round of the shootout. Chicago's Kevin Lankinen followed by stopping Erik Karlsson's slap shot from the slot as Chicago ended an 0-6-2 slide.

 

Patrick Kane scored his 24th goal and added two assists for Chicago. Dylan Strome notched his career-high 21st goal and had an assist, and Taylor Raddysh and Calvin de Haan scored. Seth Jones had two assists. 

 

Jaycob Megna scored on a rebound from a flurry in front with 3:25 left in the third to tie it at 4 and send it to overtime. Megna connected with Lankinen sprawled on the ice after he stopped Timo Meier's shot.

 

Meier scored his team-leading 32nd goal for the Sharks, who have lost eight in a row (0-5-3). Scott Reedy and Rudolfs Balcers also scored for San Jose, which got two assists from Tomas Hertl.

 

Lankinen made 33 saves through overtime. Reimer blocked 28 shots.

 

Kane opened the scoring 1:18 into the first when he lifted in a shot from the left circle to complete a 3-on-1 break with Strome and DeBrincat.

 

Meier tied it at 1 at 4:45. He fired into an open net from the left circle after Brent Burns' shot from the right point deflected to him off the post.

 

Raddysh's power-play goal at 13:35 of the second put Chicago ahead 2-1. Jones slid a shot that caromed in off Raddysh's skate as he drove to the crease.

 

Reedy tied it 2 just over two minutes later when his shot from the slot ticked off de Haan's skate.

 

Chicago took a 3-2 lead with 1:18 left in the second on de Haan's tip-in of Kane's shot during a 4-on-4.

 

Strome gave the Blackhawks a two-goal lead at 4:07 of the third, converting Jones' cross-ice feed to complete a pretty passing sequence.

 

Balcers made it a one-goal game again just 1:33 later by converting a loose rebound with Lankinen down.

 

Reimer stopped DeBrincat point-blank with 56 seconds left in overtime.

Clinton Names Vic Binkley Head Basketball Coach

Clinton High School has made a substantial splash for its head boy's basketball coaching vacancy.

 

The school announced Thursday afternoon that Vic Binkley comes to Clinton schools from Warrensburg-Latham High School. Athletic Director Matt Koeppel says everyone knows Vic Binkley the basketball coach but in meeting with him, Koeppel wanted to know Coach Binkley the person.

 

 

Koeppel says Coach Binkley inherits a young team that will return all of last year's starters and picked up some big wins at the end of last year.

 

 

In 33 years at Warrensburg-Latham, Binkley compiled a 583-351 record with 15 regional titles and two state tournament appearances. 

Pirates Down Cubs

Ben Gamel hit a three-run homer in the first inning, Ke'Bryan Hayes went 4 for 4 a day after getting a big contract and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Chicago Cubs 6-2 on Wednesday for a two-game series split.

 

Kevin Newman hit a two-run triple in the third for the Pirates, who went 3 for 7 with runners in scoring position, a day after going 0 for 10.

 

Pittsburgh got to Chicago starter Kyle Hendricks (0-1) for six runs on seven hits and four walks hits in 3 2/3 innings - three of the players who walked went on to score.

 

A day after getting a $70 million, eight-year contract, Hayes singled with two outs in the bottom of the first. Yoshi Tsutsugo walked on four pitches and Gamel reached down for a low changeup and lifted it for his first home run this season.

 

Hayes doubled with one out in the third, Gamel walked with two outs and Newman tripled off the Clemente Wall in right field. Hayes added an RBI single in the fourth that scored Hoy Park.

 

Seiya Suzuki was 1 for 3 with an RBI single in the fourth for the Cubs. In his first season in the major leagues, the two-time Japan Central League batting champion is 6 for 20 (.400) with three homers and nine RBIs in six games.

 

Willson Contreras put the Cubs ahead when he homered in the first off Zach Thompson, a 453-foot drive.

 

Thompson gave up two runs and five hits in four-plus innings. He was stuck on the back of the right shoulder by a Nico Hoerner line drive in the fifth, and left the game with a bruise. Thompson said after the game he doesn't anticipate missing any time.

 

Dillon Peters (1-0) relieved Thompson and escaped a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the fifth when Hayes started a 5-4-3 double play.

 

Justin Steele (1-0, 0.00 ERA) begins four games against the Colorado Rockies on Thursday. Steele pitched five scoreless in his first start on April 9.

White Sox Get By Mariners

In a game heard on WHOW, Tim Anderson homered and drove in three runs in the rain, and the banged-up White Sox beat the Seattle Mariners 6-4 on Wednesday night.

 

Ray (1-1) was charged with six runs and 10 hits in 6 1/3 innings in his first loss with his new team. He won the AL Cy Young Award last year with Toronto and agreed to a $115 million, five-year contract with Seattle in November.

 

The left-hander started two games against Chicago last season, recording a 1.35 ERA and striking out 27 in 13 1/3 innings. But he was knocked around by the White Sox this time.

 

Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert also connected, helping Chicago to its fourth straight win since its dramatic loss at Detroit on opening day. Keuchel pitched five innings of three-run ball in career win No. 100.

 

The White Sox have been hit hard by injuries already this season, and they lost two more players in their second home game. Jimenez departed in the fifth with a left ankle contusion, and second baseman Josh Harrison left after seven innings because of lower back stiffness.

 

Ty France homered and drove in two runs for the Mariners, who lost their fourth straight game.

 

Chicago was clinging to a 4-3 lead when Adam Engel robbed pinch-hitter Jesse Winker of a leadoff homer in the sixth, making a leaping grab at the wall in right. White Sox reliever Kyle Crick threw his arms up in celebration after Engel came down with the ball.

 

Anderson and Robert then hit back-to-back homers in the seventh, and Liam Hendriks worked the ninth for his second save. Hendriks surrendered J.P. Crawford's RBI single before closing it out.

 

The start of the game was delayed for 47 minutes, and it rained for much of the night. The grounds crew spent almost as much time on the field as the players.

 

It really picked up with Ray on the mound in the second, and the White Sox took advantage.

 

Jimenez led off with a deep drive to left for his first extra-base hit of the season. Jake Burger singled in Andrew Vaughn with one out, and Anderson made it 4-1 with a two-run double.

 

Keuchel (1-0) had to deal with increased rain in the fifth, and the Blue Jays pushed across two runs to pull within one.

 

Crawford slid home safely when Keuchel picked up Dylan Moore's dribbler and sent a high flip to Yasmani Grandal at the plate. France had a run-scoring groundout, but Keuchel limited the damage by retiring Mitch Haniger on a foul popup for the final out.

 

Keuchel struck out five and walked none.

 

Right-handers Logan Gilbert and Jimmy Lambert start the series finale on Thursday. Gilbert (0-0, 1.80 ERA) pitched five effective innings in Seattle's 4-3 victory at Minnesota on Saturday. Lambert is making his first appearance for Chicago this year and his fourth start in the majors.

Cardinals, Royals Rained Out

The Kansas City Royals at St. Louis Cardinals game has been postponed because of inclement weather.

 

The teams will make up Wednesday's postponed game on Monday, May 2, at 3:15 p.m. Central time at Busch Stadium. The Cardinals won the first game 6-5 on Tuesday night as Albert Pujols homered for the first time since returning to St. Louis.

 

It is the second Cardinals game to be postponed this week. Monday's home game was also postponed because of weather.

 

The Cardinals are scheduled to open a four-game series at Milwaukee on Thursday in the Brewers' home opener. Adam Wainwright (1-0, 0.00 ERA) will start for St. Louis against the Brewers' Brandon Woodruff (0-1, 17.18 ERA).

 

And the Royals are scheduled to begin a four-game series against Detroit at home. The Royals placed LHP Daniel Tillo on waivers for the purposes of his unconditional release. He was designated for assignment on April 7.

HS Softball: Shelbyville Rolls Clinton

The Clinton Lady Maroons committed seven errors as Shelbyville rolled the Lady Maroons 15-2 in Central Illinois Conference high school girl's softball action Tuesday afternoon in Clinton.

 

8 of Brooke Reeves' 15 runs were earned in circle as she limited the walks in her Tuesday outing permitting just one free pass and struck out four and allowed 14 hits. 

 

Chloe Griffin paced the Lady Maroons offense going 1-for-2 with two RBIs. Reeves and Heidi Humble scored for Clinton.

 

The Lady Maroons drop to 1-7 overall and 1-3 in the Central Illinois Conference. They will travel to Monticello this afternoon. Hear today's action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com. 

HS BBall: Monticello Downs Mattoon

Jacob Trusner's three-run home run in the third inning was all the offense Monticello's pitching needed as Joey Sprinkle pitched shutout ball into the sixth inning in a Sages 3-1 win over Mattoon in non-conference high school boy's baseball action Tuesday in Monticello.

 

Trusner's hit scored Sprinkle and Triston Foran. 

 

Sprinkle struck out six in 5 2/3 scoreless innings. He walked two and allowed six hits. Spencer Mitze relieved Sprinkle and closed the game out allowing an unearned run on two hits with three strikeouts.

 

Sprinkle and Trusner each finished 1-for-2 and Foran was 1-for-4. Eli Craft was 2-for-2.

Monticello drew five walks on five hits.

 

The Sages have won two in a row after a brief two-game skid and are 10-4. They travel to Tolono Unity tomorrow to resume Illini Prairie Conference action.

HS BBall: Mt. Pulaski Clobbers Cerro Gordo-Bement

Landon Smith homered and led another Mt. Pulaski offensive outburst as the Hilltoppers clobbered Cerro Gordo-Bement 17-0 in non-conference high school boy's baseball action Tuesday afternoon.

 

Clayton Aylesworth drove in four to lead the Mt. Pulaski offense and Smith drove in three. Gavin Smith and Lucas Kuhlman each drove in two. 

 

Seven Hilltoppers batters scored two runs as they took advantage of ten Broncos walks. 

 

AJ Bailey threw three scoreless innings to start for Mt. Pulaski walking none and striking out five with one hit allowed. Colt Selinger finished the game out with a scoreless inning of relief. 

 

After a brief two-game skid, the Hilltoppers have rebounded and won two in a row to move to 8-2 overall. They will host Argenta-Oreana this afternoon in more non-conference action.

Illinois Outslugs Illinois State

The Illinois Fighting Illini defeated Illinois State on Tuesday evening at Illinois Field, 11-9 in non-conference college baseball in Champaign. 

 

Kellen Sarver led the way at the plate for the Illini, going 3-for-4 with a home run, three RBI, and three runs scored. Cam McDonald also had a two-hit game, notching a double and a triple while also extending his on-base streak to 30 games. 

 

With the win, the Illini split the season series against the Redbirds and also move to two games over .500 on the season (16-14 overall).

 

The two teams combined for ten runs in the first inning as Illinois State (12-15) scored four while Illinois (16-14) plated six. 

 

The two teams continued to go back and forth before the Illini took the lead in the third inning as Danny Doligale drew a bases loaded walk to bring home the go-ahead run. 

 

Illinois never gave up the lead after the third inning, scoring another five runs. Illinois State added a three-run homer in the fifth to cut the deficit to 10-9 before the Illini scored one more on Sarver's solo home run in the sixth.

 

Andrew Pogue earned the win for Illinois to move to 1-0 on the season. Alex Vera was impressive out of the bullpen, throwing 4.0 innings and allowing just one run on three hits. Joeseph Glassey picks up his second save of the season after coming in and shutting the door with a 1-2-3 ninth inning.

 

After receiving multiple National Player of the Week honors for his performance in the previous five games, sophomore Ryan Cermak smashed his sixth home run in the last five games to lead off the game before junior Connor Olson singled home a run and senior Nick Gile blasted a two-run home run to left field for the Redbirds (12-15 overall, 1-2 MVC).

 

McDonald has reached base in every game this season for Illinois, a 30-game on base streak while Branden Comia has hit safely in 14 consecutive games. 

 

ISU junior Jake McCaw extended his on-base streak to 19 games with a walk.

 

Illinois State is scheduled to host Valparaiso for a weekend series from April 15-17.

 

Illinois opens a three-game set with Northwestern this weekend in Champaign. 

White Sox Edge Mariners

Luis Robert hit his first home run of the season, a tiebreaking drive in the sixth inning that led the White Sox over the Seattle Mariners 3-2 on Tuesday in their home opener and extended their winning streak to three.

 

Robert homered off Matt Brash (0-1), a 23-year-old right-hander making his major league debut.

 

Seattle was 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position, getting an RBI single from Jesse Winker with two outs in the ninth off Liam Hendriks, who struck out Mitch Haniger on three pitches for his first save. The Mariners are hitting .156 (7 for 45) with runners in scoring position this season.

 

Reynaldo Lopez (1-0) relieved left-hander Bennett Souza with two outs and two on in the fifth and threw a fastball past Haniger for a called third strike.

 

With Chicago leading 2-1, Aaron Bummer struck out Winker to strand two runners in the seventh. Winkler has gotten all seven of his outs this season on strikeouts.

 

With the potential tying run at second, Kendall Graveman threw a sinker past Jared Kelenic for a called third strike that ended the eighth.

 

Brash, a 23-year-old native of Kingston, Ontario, hadn't pitched above Double-A prior to Tuesday. Brash relied on a sweeping knuckle-curve and a fastball clocked as high as 99.2 mph, on a first-inning pitch to Jose Abreu. Brash threw 51 knuck-curves, 30 fastballs and four changeups.

 

Vince Velasquez, making his White Sox debut, gave up one run and two hits in four innings. Eugenio Suarez had both hits off Velasquez, including a solo homer in the second.

 

White Sox starting pitchers Lucas Giolito, Dylan Cease, Michael Kopech and Velasquez have allowed three earned runs in 17 innings.

 

Robert walked in the eighth, stole two bases and scored when Eloy Jimenez bounced into a forceout.

 

Robert made a leaping catch against the center field wall to rob Winker of an extra-base hit in third, and Jimenez made a running catch in front of the left field wall to rob Luis Torrens to start the seventh.

 

Giolito (abdominal strain) and OF AJ Pollock (right hamstring strain) were put on the 10-day IL, Giolito retroactive to April 9 and Pollock retroactive to April 10. RHPs Jimmy Lambert and Anderson Severino were recalled from Triple-A Charlotte. Lambert will start Thursday, manager Tony La Russa said.

 

The Mariners will send 2021 American League Cy Young Award winner Robbie Ray (1-0, 1.29) to the mound on Wednesday, while the White Sox will go with LHP Dallas Keuchel, who will make his season debut. Ray threw seven innings of three-hit ball in a 2-1 win Friday over the Twins. Keuchel had a career-high 5.28 ERA last season and was left off the 2021 playoff roster.

Cubs Down Pirates

Seiya Suzuki homered twice, Drew Smyly pitched five scoreless innings and the Chicago Cubs beat Pittsburgh 2-1 on Tuesday, spoiling the Pirates' home opener.

 

Suzuki connected for leadoff shots in the fifth and seventh. One of the top players in Japan, Suzuki signed an $85 million, five-year contract with the Cubs last month.

 

Smyly (1-0) permitted three hits and walked none in his Cubs debut. The left-hander agreed to a one-year contract last month.

 

Smyly also signed a $10 million, two-year contract with the Cubs in December 2017, but he never pitched for Chicago. Working his way back from Tommy John surgery, he ran out of time to get into a big league game in 2018 and was traded to Texas that November.

 

The Pirates got their only run on Bryan Reynolds' homer against Mychal Givens in the eighth.

 

David Robertson worked a perfect ninth for his second save.

 

Jose Quintana (0-1) made his first appearance for Pittsburgh, pitching five effective innings against one of his former teams. 

 

Suzuki has reached base at least twice, scored a run and driven in a run in each game. The last Cubs player to start the season with a longer streak was Mark Grudzielanek with five in 2003.

 

Ian Happ had two hits for Chicago. He is 7 for 10 in three games so far this season.

Cubs Manager David Ross served his one-game suspension for an incident with the Milwaukee Brewers last week. Kevin Green, who managed San Diego from 2016-19, ran the club in Ross' absence.

 

Kyle Hendricks (0-0, 1.29 ERA) starts on Wednesday. He allowed one run in 5 1/3 innings against Milwaukee on opening day.

 

Zach Thompson (3-7, 3.24 ERA in 2021) makes his debut for Pittsburgh after being acquired from Miami in an offseason trade.

Blues Double Up Bruins

Vladimir Tarasenko scored twice, including the go-ahead goal in the second period, and the St. Louis Blues rallied to beat the Boston Bruins 4-2 on Tuesday night.

 

Torey Krug and David Perron each finished with a goal and an assist as the Blues (43-20-10) posted their sixth straight victory.

 

Ville Husso had 39 saves to win his fifth straight start. Robert Thomas added his 48th assist of the season, extending his career-best point streak to 10 games.

 

For Krug, who spent his first nine NHL seasons in Boston before joining the Blues in free agency prior to the 2020-21 season, it was an emotional night.

 

St. Louis arrived for its first visit to Boston since October 2019 as one of the league's hottest teams, but started slowly against a Bruins squad looking to bounce back after dropping two of three to end a four-game road trip.

 

Boston played well in the early going, despite being without leading goal scorer David Pastrnak, who missed his fourth consecutive game with an undisclosed injury, along with defensemen Matt Grzelcyk (upper body) and Hampus Lindholm (lower body).

 

But the loss of defenseman Brandon Carlo just 4:48 into the game with an undisclosed issue proved to be too much for Boston as the game wore one.

 

The Blues entered with a plus-36 goal differential in the second period and added to it Tuesday.

 

The Blues are at Buffalo on Thursday to wrap up a two-game trip.

Cardinals Outslug Royals

Albert Pujols homered for the first time since returning to St. Louis and Andrew Knizner launched a three-run shot as the Cardinals defeated the Kansas City Royals 6-5 on Tuesday night.

 

Nolan Arenado also went deep for St. Louis, which has won 20 of 27 interleague games against the in-state Royals since Aug. 7, 2017.

 

Salvador Perez homered twice and Michael A. Taylor also connected for Kansas City, which has allowed 33 runs in losing its last three games.

 

The 42-year-old Pujols, who also singled twice in a 3-for-4 performance, signed with St. Louis on March 28 for his final season. He played for the Cardinals from 2001-2011, helping them win two World Series.

 

In the first inning, Pujols slammed the first pitch he saw from Daniel Lynch over the wall in left field, much to the delight of the crowd, which chanted his name before he stepped out of the dugout for a curtain call.

 

In addition to his 680 homers, Pujols has 3,304 hits over a 21-year career.

 

Pujols' drive came on the very next pitch after Arenado clocked a two-run shot. Arenado has three homers and nine RBIs this season.

 

Knizner, making his first start of the year, ripped a long drive just inside the left-field foul pole in the fourth to put the Cardinals ahead to stay, 6-3.

 

Jordan Hicks (1-0) picked up the win with two innings of hitless relief. St. Louis starter Dakota Hudson permitted three runs and five hits over four innings in his second start since undergoing Tommy John surgery in September 2020.

 

Giovanny Gallegos got his first save of the season.

 

Lynch (0-1) allowed six runs and nine hits over five innings. He struck out seven and walked one.

 

Perez hit solo shots in the second and eighth for his 13th career multi-homer game.

Kansas City manager Mike Matheny returned to St. Louis, where he managed the Cardinals from 2012-18. He guided them to the postseason in each of his first four seasons, becoming the first manager to accomplish that feat.

 

Kansas City RHP Zack Greinke (0-0, 1.59 ERA) will face RHP Adam Wainwright (1-0, 0.00) in the finale of the two-game series Wednesday afternoon. Greinke is 13-6 with a 3.85 ERA in his career against St. Louis. Wainwright threw six innings in a 9-0 win over Pittsburgh on opening day. The two have combined for 404 wins, with Greinke recording 219.

Kings Blast Blackhawks

Blake Lizotte scored twice, Phillip Danault had a goal and an assist and the Los Angeles Kings snapped a three-game skid with a 5-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday night.

 

Trevor Moore and Jordan Spence also scored for Los Angeles. Jonathan Quick finished with 18 saves.

 

Taylor Raddysh and Patrick Kanes scored for the Blackhawks, who dropped their eighth straight game (0-6-2). Collin Delia made 31 saves.

 

The Blackhawks managed 20 shots on Quick, who yielded a goal on a one-timer from Raddysh stationed low in the right circle with 3:33 left in the second period, and a goal by Kane late in the third.

 

Leading 2-1 in the second period, The Kings regained a two-goal margin when Lizotte ended up with the puck after a series of quick passes with Alex Iafallo and Dustin Brown, and beat Delia from close range with three minutes left in the second period, 33 seconds after Raddysh's goal.

 

Chicago is threatening to finish the season the way it started. The Blackhawks lost their first nine games (0-7-2) before winning, a streak that contributed to the firing of coach Jeremy Colliton. This eight-game losing streak is their second-longest of the season. Their last win was at Los Angeles in a shootout on March 24.

 

The Blackhawks host San Jose on Thursday, then play five of their final eight games on the road.

Maroons Fall To Shelbyville In CIC Baseball

In a game heard Tuesday afternoon on WHOW, the Clinton Maroons fell to Shelbyville 5 to 1 in CIC Conference play.  
 

A few too many Maroons errors, and a few well placed Shelbyville bunts proved to be the difference in what otherwise was a defensive and pitcher's duel.  
 

The Rams plated an unearned run in the first, and then a sac fly in the second to jump out to a 2-0 lead.  The Maroons answered in the bottom of the second with a lead off single by Dominic Thayer. He later scored on a Peyton Cross groundout.  From there, both teams struggled to find answers at the plate until the top of the 7th.  Shelbyville called and executed back to back bunts to lead off the inning. They'd use that pressure to eventually score three runs in the inning.  The Maroons were unable to rally in the bottom of the 7th as they did Monday.  
 

Clinton's Jaxson White took the loss in his first start of the season; throwing 6 2/3 innings, allowing 5 runs, 4 earned on 9 hits with a strikeout and two walks.  The senior was named the Serv-Pro of Piatt & Dewitt County Player of the Game. 
 

At the plate, Clinton was led by Thayer's 1 for 3 with a run scored, and Wes Harrold went 1 for 3.  The Maroons only mustered two hits, and also committed four charged fielding errors. 
 

Shelbyville's Ethan Clark picked up the complete game win.  The lefty threw a gem; only allowing one run on two hits with no walks, and 8 strikeouts.  The Rams improve to 10-1 overall, and 3-0 in the CIC. 
 

Clinton falls to 2-4 overall, and 2-3 in conference.  The Maroons travel to Warrensburg-Latham on Friday.  
 

Our next Clinton Sports Broadcast on WHOW comes up Monday afternoon at 4:30 when the Lady Maroons play host to Meridian. 
 

Weather Postpones Cardinals, Pirates Matchup

The series finale between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Pirates has been postponed because of inclement weather.

 

The teams will make up Monday's postponed game with a spilt doubleheader on Tuesday, June 14, with the makeup for Monday's game taking place at 12:15 p.m. Central time prior to the originally scheduled 6:45 p.m. game.

 

Following the postponement, the Pirates announced that Zach Thompson (3-7, 3.24 ERA in 2021), who was scheduled to start Monday, would be pushed back to Wednesday against the Chicago Cubs.

 

Jose Quintana will make his regularly scheduled start in the Pirates home opener against the Cubs on Tuesday and JT Brubaker will start Thursday, Mitch Keller will go on Friday and Bryse Wilson will start on Saturday.

 

The Cardinals will push Dakota Hudson (1-0, 2.08 ERA) back a day. Hudson is now scheduled to make his first start since Sept. 17, 2020, against Kansas City on Tuesday with the originally scheduled starter Jordan Hicks coming out of the bullpen. Adam Wainwright, Miles Mikolas and Steven Matz will take their normal turns on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, respectively with Hicks expected to make his first start over the weekend.

 

Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol returned after missing the past two games with the flu. He told reporters that it was difficult being away.

Cubs RHP Thompson Suspended for Hitting Brewers McCutchen

Chicago Cubs reliever Keegan Thompson was suspended for three games on Monday for hitting Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Andrew McCutchen with a pitch.

 

Cubs manager David Ross was suspended for one game by Major League Baseball. Thompson and Ross also were fined an undisclosed amount.

 

Ross will serve his suspension Tuesday at Pittsburgh. If Thompson doesn’t appeal the punishment, he will begin his suspension as well with the series opener against the Pirates.

 

Thompson hit McCutchen in the eighth inning of Chicago’s 9-0 win at Wrigley Field on Saturday. The benches cleared and the teams exchanged words but no punches were thrown.

 

McCutchen was the first Brewer and fourth of five players hit overall in the game. Thompson, who was ejected for the first time in his career, said the pitch got away from him.

Maroons Edge Central A&M

The Clinton Maroons scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning and came away with a walk-off 3-2 victory over Central A&M Monday evening in Central Illinois Conference high school boy's baseball action from Clinton High School.

 

Wes Harrold brought the game-winning home on an RBI single as Clinton overcame an 11 strikeout performance from Gavin Houchins from the Raiders. 

 

Josh Carter went the distance for Clinton allowing two unearned runs and stuck out three, walking two and permitting six hits in his first victory of the season. 

 

Clinton committed five errors.

 

Monday's matchup with Central A&M was a makeup of a previous rainout and replaced Champaign Centennial. 

 

The Maroons are now 2-3 overall and 2-2 in the Central Illinois Conference. Clinton will host Shelbyville in CIC action Tuesday. Hear the action on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM/106/5 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com. 

Mt. Pulaski Blasts Edinburg

Landon Smith led an Mt. Pulaski onslaught of scoring as the Hilltoppers routed Edinburg 26-1 in non-conference high school boy's baseball action Monday afternoon from Edinburg High School.

 

Smith drove in five runs going 3-for-4 with a walk and four runs scored. Liam Smith drove in four runs for the Hilltoppers finishing 1-for-3 with two runs scored. Landon Smith, Gavin Smith, Clayton Aylesworth, Jackson Fricke, and Evan Cooper doubled. AJ Bailey, Fricke, and Aylesworth drove in two runs apiece. 

 

Gavin Smith, Kolin Gibbs, Cooper, and Liam Smith scored three runs for Mt. Pulaski who walked 13 times and took advantage of five Edinburg errors. 13 of its 26 runs allowed were earned for Edinburg. 

 

The Hilltoppers are now 6-2 overall and snap a two-game losing streak. They'll resume action Tuesday hosting Cerro Gordo-Bement. 

Chupp Leads Monticello Past Champaign St. Thomas More

In a game heard on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com, Dawlton Chupp led Monticello in a complete game, one-run outing as the Sages rolled Champaign St. Thomas More 5-1 in Illini Prairie Conference high school boy's baseball action Monday in Monticello.

 

The undisputed ServPro of Piatt/DeWitt Counties player of the game permitted a run on six hits with no walks and five strikeouts. Chupp was efficient all afternoon getting the leadoff batter in five of the seven innings.

 

Chupp's defense rebounded from a tough outing last Thursday in a catastrophic sixth inning in a home game against Olympia, playing error-free baseball. In center field in the third, Triston Foran provided a highlight-reel catch when Sabres nine-hitter Justen Green laced a sinking line drive to right-center field and Foran laid out robbing Green of potentially extra bases. 

 

Leading off the sixth inning, STM's Dawson Magrini laced a base hit to the right-center field gap and appeared to have legged out a triple but overslid the bag and was tagged out by Sages third basemen Joey Sprinkle on the play.

 

Monticello got its scoring rolling right away in the first inning. Biniam Lienhart singled then stole second and reached third on a wild pitch. Foran walked and stole second, setting up second and third with no outs, and Joey Sprinkle singled to left to score Lienhart easily.

 

As Foran rounded third, he collided with Sabres third basemen Cooper Hannagan and was awarded home on interference. With cleanup hitter Jacob Trusner batting, Sprinkle took second on the play and advanced to third on another wild pitch. 

 

Trusner grounded to third and Sprinkle sprinted home on contact and was easily tagged out for the first out. 

 

With Jack Buckalew batting, Trusner took off for second on a delayed steal and was easily thrown out. Buckalew would walk and Thomas Swartz's single advanced Buckalew to third. Tylor Bundy, running for Swartz, stole second. Spencer Mitze grounded one to second base but it was booted allowing Buckalew to score. Trying to score from second, Bundy was easily thrown at the plate to end the inning and all three Monticello outs came on the base paths.

 

Sprinkle walked with one out in the third inning and came home on another Mitze ground ball to second base that was booted. 

 

Mitze led off the fourth with a third fielding error at second base and scored on Lienhart's single up the middle. 

 

Lienhart finished the day 3-for-4 with a run scored, an RBI, and a stolen base. Sprinkle drove in two and reached base three times on his first-inning base hit, third-inning walk, and a fifth-inning hit by pitch. 

 

Foran, Mitze, and Swartz each finished 1-for-3.

 

Ryan Hendrickson was 2-for-3 with a double and a run scored for the Sabres. 

STM drops to 3-5 overall and 1-3 in Illini Prairie action.

 

The Sages halt a two-game losing skid and move to 9-4 overall and 2-2 in the Illini Prairie. They will host Mattoon Tuesday afternoon. The next Sages boy's baseball broadcast on WEZC will be next Monday when they host Maroa-Forsyth.

 

Hear girl's softball action this week on WEZC and at dewittdailynews.com Wednesday afternoon when the Lady Sages host Clinton. 

Brosseau's pinch-hit HR sends Brewers past Cubs for 1st win

Mike Brosseau's first career pinch-hit homer snapped a tie in the seventh inning, and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Cubs 5-4 for their first victory of the season.

 

Willy Adames and Rowdy Tellez also went deep, helping the reigning NL Central champions overcome a shaky performance by starter Freddy Peralta. Christian Yelich had two hits and drove in a run.

 

After Brosseau connected, Milwaukee's vaunted bullpen took over.

 

Brad Boxberger (1-0) worked the seventh, stranding a runner on third when Jonathan Villar was retired on a close call at first base that was upheld by a replay review. Devin Williams then got three outs before Josh Hader pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his first save.

 

Seiya Suzuki hit his first major league homer for Chicago, and Marcus Stroman pitched five effective innings in his Cubs debut. The Cubs were trying to go 3-0 for the first time since 2016.

 

With two outs and runners on first and second in the first, Suzuki drove a 3-1 pitch from Peralta deep to center field.

 

Stroman allowed one run and two hits. The right-hander exited with a 3-1 lead, but the Brewers jumped all over Jesse Chavez in the sixth. Yelich doubled home Adames, and Tellez hit a one-out drive to right-center for his first homer of the season.

 

The Cubs tied it at 4 on two wild pitches by Jake Cousins with two outs in the bottom half, but the Brewers went ahead to stay on Brosseau's 17th career homer.

 

Peralta, who went 10-5 with a 2.81 ERA for Milwaukee last year, allowed three hits, struck out six and walked four in four innings.

 

It was a tough opening series for the Brewers' front three starters of Corbin Burnes, Brandon Woodruff and Peralta. They yielded 13 earned runs and 10 walks in 12 2/3 innings.

Bulls beat Wolves 124-120 behind Patrick Williams' 35 points

Patrick Williams scored a career-high 35 points and Ayo Dosunmu had 26 points in a season-high 45 minutes as the Chicago Bulls hung on for a 124-120 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday night with both teams in rest-the-regulars mode in preparation for the postseason.

 

Troy Brown Jr. added 17 points and 11 rebounds for the Bulls, who played without four starters and stopped a four-game losing streak. They nearly blew a 28-point second quarter lead after a spirited rally by the deep reserves for the Timberwolves, who didn't use any starters in the second half.

 

Nathan Knight had 17 points and eight rebounds and Jaylen Nowell added 15 points for the Wolves, who outscored the Bulls 40-27 in the third quarter and pulled within 116-115 on a contested corner 3-pointer by little-used fan favorite Jake Layman with 1:42 to go.

 

Dosunmu, the only starter who played for the Bulls, dropped in a layup on the other end. The rookie from Illinois hit a 3-pointer on the next possession.

Back from suspension, Anderson helps White Sox rout Tigers

Tim Anderson swung right back into action after serving a suspension stemming from an incident last season, hitting two doubles and a single as the Chicago White Sox routed the Detroit Tigers 10-1 on Sunday.

 

Andrew Vaughn homered and drove in four runs for the White Sox, who won twice in the season-opening three-game series.

 

White Sox starter Michael Kopech allowed one run on two hits and two walks in four innings, striking out three.

 

Kyle Crick (1-0) pitched a hitless fifth.

 

Tariq Skubal (0-1) gave up five runs on seven hits in four innings.

 

The White Sox took a 2-0 lead in the first off Skubal. After Anderson doubled, Luis Robert singled and stole second. Jose Abreu had an RBI groundout and Eloy Jimenez followed with a sacrifice fly.

 

The Tigers got a run back in the second on Victor Reyes' triple. Abreu doubled home Robert to make it 3-1 in the third and Josh Harrison added an RBI single later in the inning.

 

Shortstop Javier Baez's throwing error set up Danny Mendick's RBI double in the Chicago fourth.

 

The White Sox added four runs off rookie Elvin Rodriguez in the seventh. Jimenez hit an RBI single and Vaughn followed with a three-run homer.

 

Vaughn singled home another run in the ninth. The Tigers had no hits and two walks in the final seven innings.

HS Baseball: Late Push Gets Sullivan Past Clinton

The Sullivan Redskins scored six unanswered runs in the final two innings to rally past Clinton 11-7 in Central Illinois Conference high school boy's baseball action Thursday in Clinton.

 

Leading 7-5 going into the sixth inning, Sullivan scored two runs in the top of the sixth inning to tie the score and then rallied for four runs in the top of the seventh inning to take the lead.

 

Mason Walker got the start for Clinton pitching into the sixth inning and allowed seven runs but two were earned as Clinton committed six errors. Brooks Cluver came on in the sixth inning and allowed four runs but none were earned. Cluver lasted 1 2/3 innings.

 

Jaxson White got the final out of the seventh.

 

Jackson Matheson led Sullivan going 4-for-4 with five RBIs. 

 

Wes Harrold finished 2-for-3 with two runs batted in for Clinton and Josh Carter and Walker each finished 2-for-4. Walker had two doubles.

 

The Maroons are 1-3 overall and 1-2 in the Central Illinois Conference. They will host Central A&M Monday.

HS Baseball: Delavan Rolls Mt. Pulaski

Landon Horning was a triple shy of the cycle as he and and Cole Noreuil hit home runs to pace the Delavan Panthers past Mt. Pulaski 15-0 in Tomahawk Conference high school boy's baseball Thursday at a wet, cold, and windy Mt. Pulaski.

 

Horning was 3-for-3 with a home run, double and drove in two while scoring twice. Caleb Harper and Bryce Bell finished 2-for-3. Harper and Noreuil each drove in a pair while Bell drove in one. 

 

Jack Pagel finished 2-for-3 with a pair of RBIs and runs scored for the Panthers who improve to 4-1 overall.

 

For the Hilltoppers, it was their second straight loss as they mustered just three hits and committed three errors. 

 

Evan Cooper, Lucas Aylesworth, and Liam Smith accounted for the hits for Mt. Pulaski. 

The Hilltoppers fall to 6-2 overall and are 1-1 in the Tomahawk.

 

They will travel to take on Decatur MacArthur Saturday morning with five games on its slate for next week. 

Kraken Blank Blackhawks

Philipp Grubauer made 29 saves for Seattle's second shutout, and the expansion Kraken blanked the sliding Chicago Blackhawks 2-0 on Thursday night.

 

Alex Wennberg scored his 10th goal in the second period and Jordan Eberle added his 18th late in the third to seal it.

 

Grubauer was only lightly tested by the Blackhawks, who dropped their sixth straight game (0-4-2) and occasionally were booed by their home crowd. Grubauer, who posted his 20th career shutout, also was in net for the Kraken's first shutout on Feb. 2 against the Islanders in New York.

 

Grubauer stopped a prime chance by Patrick Kane in the opening minutes, then the Kraken went on to control play and outshoot Chicago 17-3 in the first period.

 

At the end of the second, the Kraken allowed only one shot during a Blackhawks power play that lasted 3:56 and included a 5-on-3 advantage for 1:56.

 

Chicago goalie Kevin Lankinen stopped 29 shots.

 

During a video tribute in the first period, the Blackhawks announced they will retire Hall of Fame forward Marian Hossa's jersey No. 81 next season. The 43-year-old Hossa signed a one-day contract with Chicago and officially retired as a member of the team in a pregame ceremony.

 

Hossa played the final eight seasons of his 19-year career with the Blackhawks and was a key contributor in Chicago's Stanley Cup runs in 2010, 2013 and 2015.

 

He stopped playing after the 2016-17 season at age 38 because of a severe case of eczema that caused lesions all over his skin. The condition was linked to sweat and bacteria from hockey equipment.

 

Hossa finished with 525 goals and 609 assists in 1,309 NHL games. He now lives in his native Slovakia.

 

The Blackhawks host the Dallas Stars on Sunday.

Cubs, Cardinals Win on Opening Day

Iann Happ had three hits, including a tiebreaking two-run double in the seventh inning, and the Cubs beat the Milwaukee Brewers 5-4 on Thursday.

 

Nico Hoerner hit a two-run homer and Kyle Hendricks pitched neatly into the sixth, leading Chicago to the victory on a chilly, overcast afternoon at Wrigley Field. Japanese outfielder Seiya Suzuki reached three times and scored in his first big league game.

 

On a day stuffed full of firsts and debuts, Milwaukee ace Corbin Burnes and catcher Omar Narvaez became the first battery to use baseball's new electronic pitch-calling system in a regular-season game. The 2021 NL Cy Young Award winner allowed three runs and four hits in five innings.

 

Suzuki singled in the fifth for his first big league hit and walked twice. The 27-year-old finalized an $85 million, five-year contract with Chicago in March in the Cubs' biggest move of the offseason.

 

Andrew McCutchen, Willy Adames and Rowdy Tellez each had two hits for Milwaukee, and Lorenzo Cain drove in two runs. McCutchen served as the designated hitter in his first game with his new team after agreeing to a one-year deal last month.

 

The Brewers erased a 3-1 deficit with two runs in the seventh, but the Cubs went ahead to stay in the bottom half.

 

With runners on the corners and two outs, Happ hit a drive off Jake Cousins that caromed off the wall in center. Clint Frazier and Willson Contreras scored on Happ's second double of the day.

 

Brewers right-hander Brandon Woodruff and Cubs left-hander Justin Steele start on Friday afternoon. 

 

 

 

Adam Wainwright pitched six scoreless innings, Tyler O'Neill hit a three-run homer and drove in a career-high five, and the Cardinals celebrated Albert Pujols' return with a 9-0 season-opening win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday.

 

Yadier Molina threw out a runner trying to steal second in the first game of his final big league season, and Nolan Arenado and Tommy Edman also homered for the Cardinals, who won the managerial debut of 35-year-old Oliver Marmol. Paul Goldschmidt drew four straight walks, the first player to do that on opening day since Manny Ramirez in 2002.

 

The Pirates had just six hits and lost budding star Ke'Bryan Hayes to left forearm spasms in the first inning - just hours after news began to spread that Hayes had agreed to a $70 million, eight-year deal. Hayes said the issue was minor and not related to a wrist injury that spoiled his 2021 season.

 

Wainwright (1-0) allowed five hits in his sixth opening day start and first since 2016. The 40-year-old struck out six and did not walk a batter. He and the 39-year-old Molina made their 305th start as a battery, fourth most in major league history. Molina made his franchise-record 18th successive opening day start.

 

O'Neill had an RBI single in the first, then broke the game open with a line-drive homer to left in the second inning against starter JT Brubaker (0-1) for a 4-0 lead.

 

Wainwright wriggled out of his only jam in the fourth by getting Kevin Newman to ground into an inning-ending double play with two runners on base. Wainwright has not allowed a run against Pittsburgh in his last 32 innings.

 

Yoshi Tsutsugo had two hits for Pittsburgh, which opened the season on the road for sixth successive season.

 

Pittsburgh RHP Mitch Keller (5-11, 6.17 last season) will face RHP Miles Mikolas (2-3, 4.23) in the second game of a four-game series Saturday.

Youth is Served at Day 1 of The Masters

Tiger Woods playing the Masters again, his shirt as pink as the azaleas at Augusta National, would have been enough reason to celebrate.

 

It felt that way to him, too.

 

Woods twirled his club after good shots, and there were enough. He pumped his fist after his longest birdie putt. And then normalcy gave way to reality when he used his wedge as a walking stick for his once-battered and now weary legs for a final climb toward the 18th green.

 

Another par save for a 1-under 71, four shots behind Sungjae Im.

 

But this wasn’t just about a score. Woods was competing in a major, the first time in 508 days since a car crash some 14 month ago that shattered his right leg. Still to come is Friday, the first time he will have walked 18 holes at Augusta National on consecutive days since the accident with what he described as “lots of ice” in between.

 

Im, the 24-year-old South Korean known for rarely missing the center of the club face, ran off three straight birdies at the start, recovered from a pair of bogeys with a 12-foot eagle putt on the 13th and added a late birdie for a 5-under 67. He was one shot ahead of Cameron Smith.

 

Dustin Johnson, who held off Im and Smith when he won the Masters in November 2020, was in the large group at 69, along with former Masters champion Danny Willett, world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler and Joaquin Niemann.

Short Track Racing Resumes At Martinsville This Weekend

April's short track theme continues on for the NASCAR series this weekend as the series shifts to Martinsville Speedway in Virginia.

 

Denny Hamlin passed William Byron with five laps to go at Richmond and became the seventh different driver to win through seven races last weekend. Martin Truex Jr. continued his short track domination and won after starting seventh in the spring race at Martinsville last year. 

 

For Hamlin, his win last weekend ended a 12-race winning streak for drivers under age 30. The victory was the sixth in the last eight races for Joe Gibbs Racing on the 0.75-mile oval and the third in a row at the track in which all four JGR drivers finished in the top 10. 

 

None of the top three in the point standings (Ryan Blaney and Chase Elliott, tied for first), and Truex have won a race yet this year. The point standings range of winners goes from Byron (fourth) to Hamlin (20th).

 

The 400 lap, 210 mile race runs Saturday night at 6:30 pm on FS1 with practice and qualifying this afternoon. 

 

For the XFinity Series, Martinsville could offer continued drama as last week Ty Gibbs bumped Joe Gibbs Racing teammate John Hunter Nemechek off the lead on the final lap for his third victory through seven races. Nemechek (135) and Gibbs (114) combined to lead all but one lap at Richmond. Josh Berry led the other.

 

Last year at Martinsville, Berry won after starting 29th, the deepest starting spot of any race winner in the series all season.

 

Sam Mayer won the $100,000 Dash4Cash bonus. He, Gibbs, A.J. Allmendinger and Riley Herbst will be eligible for the bonus at Martinsville.

 

The 250 lap, 131.5 mile race runs tonight at 6:30 pm with pracdtice and qualifying this evening before the race.

HS Baseball: Big Sixth Inning Lifts Olympia Past Monticello

In a game heard on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com, Olympia took advantage of a series of Monticello miscues on defense and beat the Sages 10-4 in Illini Prairie Conference high school boy's baseball action on a cold afternoon in Monticello.

 

Tied at four after five innings, Olympia started the inning with an innocent ground ball to the right side of the infield off the bat of Alex Kindred. Jacob Trusner at first base and Biniam Leinhart at second base both went for the ground ball and pitcher Jacob Long was late to cover allowing Kindred to reach.

 

Elijah Smith attempted a sacrifice bunt and a late read by the Monticello defense allowed him to reach and Kindred moved up to second base.

 

Leadoff hitter Adam Swartzendruber hit a ground ball to third base and the ball ricochetted off Eli Craft's hip and everone ended up moving up a base safely loading the bases.

 

Edwin Hohulin pulled off a surprise bunt and Long fielded it looking to first base but no one covered and a run scored to give the Spartans a 5-4 lead. 

 

Cole Kindred singled in a run to make it 6-4 and a line drive off the bat of Josh Devore hit Monticello shortstop Joey Sprinkle in the heel of the glove and bounded to second base but again everyone was safe moving up a bag to move the score to 7-4. 

 

The next batter Drew O'Donnell cleared the bases with a triple to center field and made it 10-4.

 

ISU-commit Luke Teschke struggled with control most of the afternoon. He struck out the last two batters of the first inning and the first batter of the second inning. 

 

With one out in the second, Teschke walked three straight and that opened the door for a three-run frame capped by a Swartzendruber two-run triple. Teschke started the third inning with two quick outs but a walks and two hit batsmen later and the bases were loaded but he got out of the threat getting Alex Kindred on strikes. 

 

Long led the Sages offense reaching base three times on an RBI single, a walk and was hit by a pitch and scored twice. 

 

The Sages had a six-game winning streak snapped to move to 8-3 and 1-1 in the Illini Prairie Conference.

 

Olympia is 2-4 and 2-0 in conference play.

 

The Sages travel to IVC Saturday. 

HS Softball: Lady Maroons Pick Up First Win Over Sullivan

In a game heard Thursday night on WHOW, the Clinton Lady Maroons downed Sullivan 13-4 in CIC Conference play to pick up their first win of the season. 
 

A cold, damp, blustery afternoon didn't slow down Clinton's offense. The Maroons were able to capitalize on four Sullivan errors, but also totaled 11 hits in the contest.  Clinton was led by the Serv-Pro of Piatt/Dewitt County Player of the Game - Brooke Reeves.  The sophomore went 4 for 4 at the plate with two doubles, a walk, two RBI, and 4 runs scored.  Reeves also picked up her first varsity win throwing 6 innings while giving up 4 runs on 10 hits with 3 walks and 4 strikeouts.  Clinton's Heidi Humble went 2 for 3 at the plate with a Grand Slam, 5 RBIs, 2 walks, and 2 runs scored.  Ariana Humes went 3 for 4 with a double and an RBI as well for the Maroons. 
 

Annabella Brownlee led Sullivan going 3 for 4 with a double.  Taylar Mercer was 2 for 4, and Shaylin Hunter went 1 for 2 with an RBI double. 
 

Clinton improves to (1-6) overall, and (1-1) in the CIC.  Sullivan falls to (7-2) overall, and (2-1) in conference.  
 

The Lady Maroons next play Friday at home against Central A&M.  They will next be featured on WHOW on April 18th against Meridian. 
 

Next week, our WHOW Maroons "Game of the Week" features Clinton baseball hosting Shelbyville Tuesday afternoon at 4:30 pm. 
 

HS Softball: Fisher Doubles Up Clinton

The Clinton Lady Maroons got off to a fast start but could not hold off the Fisher Lady Bunnies in a 12-6 loss in non-conference high school girl's softball action from Fisher Wednesday afternoon. 

 

The Lady Maroons put a 3-spot on the board right away in the first inning but Fisher rallied with four runs in the bottom half of the frame to go up 4-3 after one.

 

Two more runs in the top of the second inning put Clinton up 5-4 but Fisher tied the game with a run in the bottom half of the frame.

 

Clinton would answer with another run in the top of the third but Fisher put four runs up in the bottom of the third inning to go up 9-6 and ran away and hid from there.

 

The Ladies Maroons offense came alive again Wednesday after a season-best performance Tuesday against Decatur St. Teresa, albeit in a losing effort.

 

Chloe Griffin was strong again for Clinton leading the way offensively finishing 3-for-4 with a run batted in and a run scored. Ari Humes drove in three with a 1-for-3 afternoon while Brooke Reeves, Heidi Humble and Sarah Mills each had two hits apiece. Reeves and Humes both doubled.

 

The Lady Maroons host Sullivan this afternoon. Hear today's action on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM/106.5 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.

PORTA Hands Mt. Pulaski First Loss of Season

Mt. Pulaski's perfect start to its season came to an end Wednesday afternoon as PORTA downed the Hilltoppers 3-2 in non-conference high school boy's baseball action from Petersburg.

 

Evan Cooper was handed a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning and was brilliant in a losing effort but a three-run fifth inning allowed the Blue Jays to stave off the high-powered Hilltoppers offense.

 

Gavin Smith finished 1-for-3 for Mt. Pulaski with an RBI and Landon Smith scored the lone run for the Hilltoppers.

 

Cooper struck out eight across six innings of three-run ball with one earned run allowed and permitted six hits and did not issue a walk.

 

Mt. Pulaski drops to 6-1 overall. They resume Tomahawk Conference action this afternoon at Delevan.

Monticello Topples Decatur St. Teresa

Joey Sprinkle capped a ten strikeout performance on the mound with a mammoth three-run home run in a five-run sixth inning and Monticello got by Decatur St. Teresa 9-2 Wednesday afternoon in non-conference high school boy's baseball action from Millikin University in Decatur.

 

The game was shifted to Millikin after a half-an-inch of rain fell in central Illinois Tuesday night. 

 

St. T went up 2-0 right off the bat in the first inning but the Sages rallied with three in its half of the first and led 4-2 after two innings with a run in the second.

 

Sprinkles three-run home run capped a five-run sixth inning that put Monticello comfortably in ront 9-2. 

 

Sprinkle struck out ten in five innings of two-run ball. He walked one and allowed three hits. Spencer Mitze and Jack Buckalew tossed and inning of scoreless relief apiece.

 

The first four hitters in the Sages lineup each had two hits. Sprinkle finished 2-for-4 with his three-run home run and an RBI double. Biniam Lienhart finished 2-for-4 with a triple and two RBIs. Jacob Trusner finished 2-for-4 with a run scored and Triston Foran was 2-for-3 with and double, two runs scored and an RBI. 

 

Thomas Swartz was 1-for-2 with a two-run single.

 

Tylor Bundy and Foran each had stolen bases. 

 

The Sages are 5-2 overall and are scheduled to host Olympia in Illini Prairie Conference action this afternoon. Hear today's action at 4:30 pm on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com. 

Illinois State Slams Western Illinois

The Ryan Cermak show took over Macomb on Wednesday as the sophomore blasted grand slams in back-to-back innings and homered in his next at-bat en route to recording a school-record 10 RBIs in Illinois State's 15-7 win at Western Illinois.

 

Cermak broke Mike Prior's school-record nine RBIs mark that was set in 1985. Cermak is also the fifth player in Redbird history to hit three home runs in a game and first to do so since current St. Louis Cardinal Paul DeJong hit three against Eastern Ilinois in 2015.

 

Cermak also scored five runs as he walked and was hit by a pitch. His five runs scored are tied for the third-most in a Division I game in 2022 while his 10 RBIs are tied for the second-most.

 

Senior Jake McCaw also recorded three RBIs and senior Kyle Soberano scored four times for the Redbirds (12-11 overall, 1-2 MVC).

 

Ryan Weaver made his collegiate debut, recording the start and throwing 1.1 innings pitched and allowing one run.

 

Western Illinois falls to 3-22 as Cermak terrorized the Leatherneck bullpen.

 

Illinois State is scheduled to travel to Kansas from April this weekend.

Celtics Down Bulls

Jaylen Brown scored 25 points, Al Horford added 17 on 7-of-7 shooting and the Boston Celtics routed the Chicago Bulls 117-94 on Wednesday night for their 50th victory.

 

The Celtics have won three in a row and are 27-6 since Jan. 22. They can wrap up the second spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs Thursday night with a victory at Milwaukee.

 

Jayson Tatum scored 16 points for Boston. He was 5 of 18 from the field, making only one of eight from 3-point range.

 

The Bulls have lost two straight. They claimed a playoff berth Tuesday.

 

DeMar DeRozan scored 16 points for Chicago, and Nikola Vucevic added 13 points. Vucevic had four of the Bulls' 17 turnovers.

 

The Celtics had a 16-4 run midway through the first quarter to take a 31-14 lead. They shot 57.8% in the first half, going 9 of 18 from 3-point range. Reserve guard Payton Pritchard was 3-for-3 from long distance in the second quarter.

 

Coming off a home loss to Milwaukee on Tuesday night, the Bulls committed 10 turnovers in the first half. Their frontline depth was weakened when forward Patrick Williams committed his fourth foul with 4:31 left in the second quarter.

 

Bulls guard Zach LaVine was 1 of 5 from the filed in the first quarter, didn't attempt a shot in the second quarter and finished 2 of 9. He had seven points.

 

The Bulls take on Charlotte on Friday night.

Tiger's Return to Masters Highlights Tremendous Storylines

Five players can go to No. 1 in the world by winning the Masters. Another can complete the career Grand Slam with a green jacket. Such is the depth of talent these days in golf on the eve of the first major of the year.

 

And such is the power of five words at 10:34 a.m. Thursday that are sure to overshadow everything else on the opening day of the 86th Masters.

 

For all its youth — the top seven players in the world are 30 or younger — golf still isn’t ready to let go of its past, especially when that past is Woods and there was every reason to wonder if he would ever compete at this level again.

 

Along with images of Woods slipping on any of his five green jackets are those of his crumpled SUV at the bottom of a hill in suburban Los Angeles from his harrowing crash 14 months ago that left him confined to a hospital bed for three months.

 

Woods is back — again — and the 90 other players at Augusta National feel like nothing more than an afterthought until scores are posted.

 

Woods is grouped with Oosthuizen and Niemann for the opening two rounds. On the other side of the course, both sides of the 15th fairway were lined with spectators to watch Woods take two shots with his fairway metal to reach the green. They followed him in. Practice tickets are only for one day. 

 

Rain interrupted the final day of practice after about three hours and cleared up in time for the start of the Par 3 Tournament, the first time that was held since 2019 because of the pandemic. Storms halted this edition of the Par 3.

 

And then the curtain rises on the Masters which has rarely held so much intrigue.

 

Scheffler is the new No. 1 in a world of golf so balanced at the top that Jon Rahm, Collin Morikawa, Viktor Hovland, Patrick Cantlay and Cameron Smith have a mathematical chance to replace him.

 

This is different from other years in which only a few of golf’s best players have anything to show for it. Scheffler is the only player who has won this year while ranked among the top 10. Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas have gone more than a year without winning,

 

Rory McIlroy is not on that list, though he can claim something far greater. The Masters is all that keeps him from becoming the sixth player to have won all four majors.

Blues Blast Kraken

Colton Parayko took a high stick to the upper lip in the first period of the Blues' 4-1 win over Seattle on Wednesday night. The wound led to a four-minute power play that kick-started the Blues to their third straight victory.

 

Ville Husso made 28 saves, and Robert Thomas, Justin Faulk, Jordan Kyrou and Ryan O'Reilly each scored to help the Blues improve to 15-3-3 against the Pacific Division.

 

St. Louis has recorded a point in each of its last six games and 11 of its last 14.

 

Husso, who has supplanted Jordan Binnington as the Blues' top netminder, stopped the first 17 shots to record his third win over the Kraken this season. Husso, who improved 13-2-1 at home, has stopped 86 of 88 shots in those wins.

 

Jordan Eberle scored for Seattle, which has lost three of four. Chris Driedger made 32 saves.

 

Parayko received a high stick from Jared McCann that led to the lengthy man advantage. It also led to a pair of stitches between the first and second periods.

 

Thomas converted with the man advantage at 8:38 of the opening period to send the Blues off and running.

 

Thomas continues a torrid scoring streak with his 16th goal of the season off a nifty cross-ice pass from Ivan Barbashev. He has at least a point in a career-best seven straight games with four goals and eight assists during the run.

 

Faulk scored his 10th goal at 7:56 of the second period to become the first St. Louis defenseman to hit the double-digit mark this season. He converted off a feed from Brayden Schenn, who recorded two assists.

 

Eberle got the Kraken within a goal by pouncing on a rebound in front of the net just 119 seconds later.

 

Kyrou scored for the first time in 12 games early in the third period to push the lead to 3-1 with his 23rd goal.

 

O'Reilly sealed the victory for St. Louis by scoring into an empty net with 1:15 remaining.

 

The Blues are 5-0-1 in their last six and are building momentum for the post-season.

 

The Blues have a league-best seven players with 20 or goals or more this season. O'Reilly (17 goals) and Thomas (16) are closing in on the mark.

 

The Blues host Minnesota on Friday night.

HS Baseball: Decatur St. Teresa Blanks Clinton

Joe Brummer threw seven shutout innings and the Decatur St. Teresa Bulldogs adjusted to a last-minute game change and blanked Clinton 5-0 in Central Illinois Conference high school boy's baseball action Tuesday afternoon in Clinton.

 

Tuesday's conference matchup was set to be played in Decatur but rains south of Clinton forced the game to Clinton High School early in the afternoon Tuesday.

 

Brummer struck out 13 en route to the complete-game shutout. He issued four walks and allowed just one hit. 

 

Dominick Thayer got the start on the mound for the Maroons and allowed two runs on three hits in four innings of work. He issued two walks and struck out five. Josh Carter finished the final three innings allowing three runs, two were earned, on two hits with three walks and struck out five. 

 

Payton Cross had the only hit for the Maroons.

 

Clinton is 1-2 overall and 1-1 in conference play. They'll host Sullivan Thursday afternoon. 

HS Softball: Decatur St. Teresa Outslugs Clinton

A late rally by the Clinton Lady Maroons softball team fell short as Decatur St. Teresa outslugged Clinton 11-9 in Central Illinois Conference high school girl's softball action Tuesday in Clinton.

 

Like the boy's baseball game, the Tuesday matchup was set to be played in Decatur but rain south of Clinton forced the game to Clinton High School for the afternoon. 

 

Heidi Humble was a triple short of the cycle to pace the Lady Maroons offense which came alive for ten hits, five of those extra-base hits. 

 

Humble finished 3-for-4 with a pair of RBIs on a double and home run with four runs scored. Chloe Griffin finished 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs. Brooke Reeves walked in a pair of runs and scored a run. Morgan Fortune and Kate Koebel each went 2-for-4 with a run scored and Fortune had an RBI. Alaina Soberalski drove in a pair for the Lady Maroons Tuesday.

 

Freshman Jalie Eller led the Lady Bulldogs with a big afternoon. She finished 4-for-5 with three RBIs and a pair of runs scored. She was a home run short of the cycle for St. T.

 

Joleigh Kostenski drove in three and Karley Harris had two RBIs for the Lady Bulldogs.

With the win, St. T moves to 3-6 overall and 1-3 in the Central Illinois Conference.

 

The Lady Maroons drop to 0-5 overall and 0-2 in conference play.

 

Clinton returns home Thursday hosting Sullivan. You can hear the action on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM/106.5 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com. 

Mt. Pulaski Rallies Past Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond

The Mt. Pulaski boy's baseball team needed a late rally to get by Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond Tuesday afternoon as the Hilltoppers scored all six runs in the final three frames to propel them to a 6-3 win in non-conference high school boy's baseball action Tuesday afternoon in Mt. Pulaski.

 

The Knights put a 3-spot on the board right off the bat in the first inning against Jackson Fricke but AJ Bailey come on in relief in the second inning and closed the door with six shutout innings. 

 

Landon Smith paced the Hilltoppers offense going 3-for-4 wtih a pair of RBIs and a double. Frick doubled and drove in a run finishing 2-for-4. 

 

Lucas Kuhlman and Bailey each had RBIs for the Hilltoppers. 

 

The Hilltoppers are 6-0 on the season.

Illinois State Routes Illinois

Illinois baseball dropped their Tuesday evening midweek game at Illinois State, 10-1.

 

Freshman RHP Calvin Shepherd earned his first start of the season for the Illini, throwing 3.0 innings while giving up one earned run and striking out four. Illinois (13-13, 5-1) recorded ten hits on the evening but only plated one while leaving 12 runners on base.

 

Ryan Hampe had a solid day at the plate for Illinois, going 2-for-3 as the only Illini batter with multiple hits. Connor Milton also added a pinch-hit double in the seventh inning, his first extra base hit of the season. 

 

The Redbirds (11-11 overall, 1-2 MVC) scored the game's first 10 runs as the Fighting Illini's (13-13 overall, 5-1 B1G) lone run came on a ground ball that bounced off of first base and over the head of the ISU first baseman.

 

Senior Colin Wyman provided five scoreless innings to get the win.

 

An Illinois throwing error resulted in an ISU run in the 2nd inning before the 'Birds scored once more in the 3rd and 4th innings to lead, 3-0.

 

Sophomore Luke Cheng laced a two-run double before sophomore Kayden Beauregard recorded a two-RBI single to break the game open and give the 'Birds a 7-0 lead after five innings.

 

A two-RBI single from Cheng in the 6th pushed the Redbird lead to 10-0.

 

Sophomore Erik Kubiatowicz threw the 6th and 7th innings, allowing a run on a single that bounced off of first base before freshman Zach Holcomb threw two scoreless innings to close the game.

 

Illinois State is scheduled play at Western Illinois on today before traveling to Kansas from April 8-10.

 

Illinois is back on the road for another Big Ten series this weekend, traveling to Iowa City for three games at Iowa.

Bucks Roll Bulls

Brook Lopez scored a season-high 28 points and Milwaukee overcame a rather quiet performance from Giannis Antetokounmpo to secure its fourth straight Central Division title with a 127-106 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday night.

 

The defending NBA champion Bucks haven't been on a run like this since Don Nelson's teams won seven consecutive division titles in the 1980s. They took control early and came away with an easy win even though DeMar DeRozan scored 40 for Chicago.

 

Antetokounmpo, trying to overtake LeBron James and Joel Embiid in a tight race for his first scoring title, finished with 18 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. But the two-time MVP started slow and spent most of the fourth quarter on the bench after picking up his fifth foul.

 

Lopez had his best performance after missing most of the season because of a back injury. Khris Middleton scored 19 points.

 

Grayson Allen and Bobby Portis added 13 points apiece as the Bucks completed a four-game season sweep of the Bulls.

 

Chicago clinched its first playoff appearance since 2017 with Cleveland losing to Orlando. The Bulls are sixth in the Eastern Conference, a game behind Toronto with three to play.

 

DeRozan did all he could to carry Chicago, with two-time All-Star Zach LaVine sidelined because of ongoing soreness in his left knee.

 

Patrick Williams added 18 points. Nikola Vucevic struggled, going 3 of 19 and scoring seven points. He did draw loud cheers when he knocked Allen to the floor early in the fourth quarter, delighting fans angry about Allen's hard foul earlier this season on Chicago's Alex Caruso that resulted in a broken wrist.

 

But the Bulls once again lost to an elite opponent. They are a combined 2-20 against the top four teams in the East and West.

 

Vucevic hit a corner 3-pointer for Chicago just before the halftime buzzer and DeRozan made a jumper in the opening seconds of the third to cut it to 58-48.

 

Milwaukee regrouped and pushed the lead to 21, only to have the Bulls get within 10 again late in the third. Two free throws by Antetokounmpo in the closing minute of the quarter and a 3 from the top by Jrue Holiday made it 96-80 before DeRozan hit jumper to cut the margin to 14 heading to the fourth.

 

The Bulls host the Celtics on Wednesday.

Short Windows for Baseball, Softball This Week

Baseball and softball teams have had enormous challenges finding good enough conditions to get games in this spring.

 

This week, those windows are going to be limited once again. Monday was terrific weather for sports in central Illinois but Ed Shimon at the National Weather Service in Lincoln indicates a couple of wet weather systems will be rolling through the state this week.

 

 

Shimon indicates once we get past the below normal temperatures later this week, temperatures should normalize for this time of the year but there's a strong signal for above-normal precipitation the rest of the month.

Blues Blast Coyotes

Vladimir Tarasenko scored twice, Pavel Buchnevich had a goal and two assists, and the St. Louis Blues beat the Arizona Coyotes 5-1 on Monday night.

 

Ivan Barbashev and Brayden Schenn also scored for the Blues, who snapped a four-game losing streak at home to Arizona. Ville Husso made 21 saves as St. Louis won for the fourth time in its last five games (4-0-1).

 

Tarasenko has 15 points (six goals, nine assists) in his last 13 games and has a team-high six game-winning goals.

 

Nick Schmaltz scored in the third period and Ivan Prosvetov made 24 saves for the Coyotes, who lost for the eighth time in 10 games.

 

St. Louis took control with three goals in a four-minute span early in the second period.

Barbashev gave the Blues the lead at the 2:17 mark. He started the sequence by getting his glove on a Coyotes' clearing attempt and keeping it in the zone before scoring off the rebound of a shot by Calle Rosen.

 

Tarasenko made it 2-0 just 77 seconds later, burying a one-timer from Robert Thomas' feed from behind the Coyotes' net.

 

Schenn's power-play goal at 6:33 gave St. Louis a 3-0 advantage. The tally clinched the sixth 20-goal season in Schenn's career.

 

Buchnevich extended the Blues' lead with a short-handed goal with 5:21 left in the second, set up after Ryan O'Reilly forced a turnover at center ice.

 

Husso capped the dominant period with a glove save on Michael Carcone's breakaway in the final seconds of the second.

 

Prosvetov, playing in just his third game this season and first since January 14, stopped all 10 shots in a scoreless first period including a pair of nifty pad saves on point-blank chances by Colton Parayko and Schenn.

 

The Blues host Seattle on Wednesday night.

Bader, Cardinals Agree to 2-Year Deal

Gold Glove-winning outfielder Harrison Bader and the St. Louis Cardinals agreed to a $10.4 million, two-year contract and avoided salary arbitration.

 

Bader gets a $1 million signing bonus as part of the deal announced Sunday and salaries of $4.7 million in each of the next two seasons.

 

Bader’s 2023 salary can increase by an additional $2.25 million: $250,000 each for 350 plate appearances or 85 starts, 400-98 and 450-111, and $500,000 apiece for 500-124, 550-137 and 600-150.

 

He had bests of a .267 average, 16 homers and 50 RBIs in 103 games last season and has a career average of .244 with 47 homers, 147 RBIs and 40 stolen bases in parts of five seasons.

Mt. Zion Capitalizes on Monticello Miscues in Monday Win

In a game heard on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com, Dakota Harrison was terrific across seven shutout innings and the Mt. Zion Lady Braves took advantage of numerous Monticello miscues in an 8-0 win in non-conference high school girl's softball action Monday at Monticello High School.

 

Harrison struck out 11 Lady Sages batters and allowed just six baserunners on four hits and hit a two-run home run in the first inning. 

 

Monticello committed eight errors. Reece Patton started in circle for Monticello and going two innings and allowed five runs, but two were earned. Macey Hicks replaced Patton to start the third inning and finished allowing three runs and zero earned runs. 

 

The Lady Braves had seven hits as a team. Harrison finished 3-for-4 to pace the offense with two RBIs and a run scored. Audri Johnson finished 2-for-3 with two runs and two RBIs and Jolie Schafer drove in a run with an RBI base hit in the fifth inning.

 

Monticello center fielder Hannah Uebinger was the Piatt/DeWitt County ServPro Player of the Game for her efforts in the field, including a putout at third base in the sixth inning. 

 

Monticello drops to 4-3 overall and Mt. Zion moves to 5-3.

 

The Lady Sages host Olympia Thursday. The next WEZC Sages sports broadcast comes Thursday when the boy's baseball team hosts Olympia at 4:30 pm. 

Illinois Outslugs Purdue Sunday for Weekend Sweep

The Fighting Illini baseball team finished off the series sweep of Purdue on Sunday afternoon at Illinois Field by taking down the Boilermakers, 11-8. 

 

The offense was firing again on Sunday led by Danny Doligale and Jacob Campbell who each notched three hits and combined for four RBI as the Illini racked up 12 hits as a team. Justin Janas and Brody Harding also both recorded multi-hit games. The Illini are now 5-1 in conference play for the first time since the 2015 season.

 

Illinois (13-12, 5-1) jumped ahead first for the third time this weekend, scoring one run in the bottom of the second inning as Cal Hejza walked with the bases loaded to score Ryan Hampe and take a 1-0 lead. Purdue tallied five runs in the following four innings and Illinois was trailing Purdue (18-5, 1-3) by two runs heading into the bottom of the sixth inning before putting up seven runs on five hits to take a 10-5 lead.

 

The Illini added another run in the seventh inning as Danny Doligale crushed his second homer of the season, a solo shot to right-center field to give Illinois an 11-5 lead. Purdue came back with three runs in the top of the ninth, but the Illini held on for an 11-8 win to complete the sweep of the Boilermakers.

 

Cam McDonald went 1-for-4 and has hit safely in 23 consecutive games, reaching base in every game this season (25 game on-base streak).

 

Jack Wenninger (1-2) earned the win for the Illini after coming out of the bullpen in relief of Jack Crowder to throw 3.2 scoreless innings while allowing just three hits. Purdue's Troy Wansing moves to 2-1 after taking his first loss on the mound this season.

 

Illinois is 5-1 to start Big Ten play for the first time since 2015.

 

Illinois travels to Illinois State on Tuesday night to take on the Redbirds at 5 p.m. CT before heading to Iowa City for a three-game series against the Hawkeyes next weekend.

Illinois State Falls in Weekend Rubber Match With Indiana State

Illinois State baseball scored first but fell the in the series rubber match at Indiana State, 5-2, on Sunday at Bob Warn Field.

 

Illinois State (10-11 overall, 1-2 MVC) got solo home runs from Jonathan Sabotnik and Nick Gile but the Sycamores (15-8 overall, 2-1 MVC) scored two runs in the 4th and three runs in the 5th inning to take control of the game.

 

Sabotnik homered to right field in the 2nd inning to give the 'Birds a 1-0 lead but the Sycamores scored twice in the 4th inning to lead, 2-1.

 

Gile led off the 5th inning with a solo shot to left-center to tie the game before Indiana State scored three times with two outs in the 5th inning.

 

Illinois State generated just two base runners in the final four innings.

 

The Redbirds lost the series opener Friday but bounced back to win on Saturday. 

 

Illinois State is scheduled to host Illinois on April 5 at 5:00 p.m. CT before heading to Western Illinois on April 6.

White Sox Make Trades With Dodgers, Blue Jays

The Chicago White Sox acquired Reese McGuire from the Toronto Blue Jays for Zack Collins on Sunday in a trade of reserve catchers.

 

McGuire was selected by Pittsburgh in the first round of the 2013 amateur draft. He batted .253 with a homer and 10 RBIs in a career-high 78 games last year.

 

The 27-year-old McGuire made his big league debut in 2018. He is a .248 hitter with nine homers and 26 RBIs in 141 career games, all with the Blue Jays.

 

Collins, 27, set career highs with a .210 batting average, four homers and 26 RBIs in 78 games for the AL Central champions last year.

 

Collins was drafted by Chicago with the 10th overall pick in the 2016 amateur draft. He is a .195 hitter with seven homers and 38 RBIs in 114 career games, all with the White Sox.

 

The Los Angeles Dodgers acquired eight-time All-Star reliever Craig Kimbrel from the White Sox on Friday in exchange for outfielder AJ Pollock.

 

Kimbrel was 4-5 with 24 saves in a combined 63 games with the Chicago Cubs and White Sox last season. The Cubs shipped him across town at midseason in exchange for Codi Heaur and Nick Madrigal. Kimbrel was 2-2 with the White Sox with one save in 24 games.

 

Kimbrel rediscovered the form that made him one of the game’s best closers and was named to his eighth All-Star team last season.

 

The 33-year-old right-hander was the NL Rookie of the Year in 2011. He led the league in saves from 2011 to 2014. Kimbrel ranks ninth all-time in the majors with 372 saves as he begins his 13th season.

 

Kimbrel fulfills the Dodgers’ need for a shutdown option late in games, especially with the departure of 10-year closer Kenley Jansen, who signed a one-year deal with the defending World Series champion Atlanta Braves.

 

Pollock hit .282 with 65 home runs and 199 RBIs in three seasons with the Dodgers. The 34-year-old outfielder’s best season came last year, when he batted. .297 with 21 homers and 69 RBIs in 117 games.

 

Meanwhile, the White Sox agreed to terms on a $7.45 million, one-year deal with right-hander Lucas Giolito to avoid arbitration.

 

He was 11-9 with a 3.53 ERA and 201 strikeouts in 31 starts last season, his fifth in Chicago.

White Sox RHP Lynn Out Until At Least Mid-May

White Sox ace Lance Lynn will undergo surgery to repair a small tear in a tendon in his right knee, GM Rick Hahn announced on Sunday. 

 

Lynn is expected to be unable to throw off a mound for four weeks. After that, he'll require a ramp-up period, which means he might not be able to rejoin the rotation until mid- to late May, barring any setbacks. Lynn also spent time on the injured list last season with inflammation in that same knee. 

 

Lynn, who turns 35 in May, is a hugely important part of the Chicago rotation. Last season, he pitched to a 2.69 ERA and a 3.91 K/BB ratio in 157 innings -- numbers that resulted in Lynn's second career All-Star appearance and a third-place finish in the AL Cy Young balloting. Over the past three seasons, Lynn owns an ERA+ of 146 with a K/BB ratio of 3.96. 

 

Lynn's injury and surgery mean that the White Sox's rotation, at least for the early weeks of the season, will consist of Lucas Giolito, Dylan Cease, Dallas Keuchel, Michael Kopech and a fifth starter to be determined. 

 

Right-hander Vince Velasquez, whom the Sox signed earlier this offseason and who had been ticketed for a long relief role, seems like one possible replacement. The 29-year-old Velasquez has 127 starts across parts of seven big-league seasons. 

 

In 2022, the White Sox will be looking to win the AL Central for a second straight year and make the postseason for a third straight year. Lynn, to say the least, is vital to those goals. 

Coyotes Get By Blackhawks in Overtime

Shayne Gostisbehere scored on a deflection with 14.7 seconds left in overtime, Michael Carcone and Travis Boyd also scored and the Arizona Coyotes beat the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 on Sunday night.

 

The win was only struggling Arizona's second in the last nine games (2-6-1). The slumping Blackhawks lost their fifth straight (0-3-2) after a two-game winning streak.

 

Gostisbehere's game-winner came with Chicago's Patrick Kane in the penalty box and deflected off Chicago center Jonathan Toews' left toe before sliding by goaltender Kevin Lankinen.

 

Kane and Dylan Strome scored for Chicago.

 

Lankinen, who stopped 32 shots, made the two best saves in the five-minute overtime, stopping Phil Kessel with a stick save and Barrett Hayton with a glove deflection within seconds of each other with about a minute to go. Then came Gostisbehere's shot.

 

Kane tied the game at 2 at 5:33 of the third period with his 22nd goal and 80th point of the season, firing a 50-foot wrist shot through traffic and past Coyotes goaltender Karel Vejmelka with the Blackhawks on the power play.

 

Strome put the Blackhawks ahead 1:13 into the game, wristing the puck past Vejmelka from the slot after winger Alex DeBrincat created a turnover.

 

Chicago continues a five-game home stand with Seattle on Thursday and Dallas on Sunday.

Denny Hamlin Wins at Richmond

Denny Hamlin ran down William Byron with five laps to go Sunday and ended the slowest start to a season in his career with a victory in the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond Raceway.

 

In a race that featured four sets of green-flag pit stops and a whole lot of tire strategy, Hamlin closed a huge gap between Byron and teammate Martin Truex Jr., passing Truex on the outside and Byron shortly thereafter. He then held off a challenge from Kevin Harvick, a three-time winner at Richmond.

 

Hamlin’s 47th career victory was his first at his hometown track since 2016, the first for Toyota in the Next Gen car and gave NASCAR seven different winners in seven Cup Series races.

 

Harvick was second, followed by Byron, Truex and Kyle Larson.

 

Hamlin got himself into contention during the second stage when he and Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Christopher Bell opted to stay on the track while most of the rest of the field pitted for tires. The move initially gave the risk-takers a sizable lead, but one that began evaporating quickly.

 

Hamlin made it pay off in the final stage, going from 15th to seventh over just a few laps after a restart using the extra set of tires he had over the field.

 

Byron and Truex tried to make a similar strategy work at the end, trying to race almost 90 laps on the same tires while Hamlin and Harvick and most others pitted with just under 50 laps to go. They almost made it work.

 

Byron declined to pit from the big lead he held when most of the field headed in under green with just over 50 laps to go. Truex did too, but eventually Hamlin passed them both for his first top 10 finish of the season. He also snapped a string of 12 consecutive race winners under 30.

 

Kyle Busch, the fourth JGR team member, was black-flagged with about 50 laps to go when NASCAR noticed a piece of tape on his grille. At the time, his three teammates were running in the top 10 and he was closing in on joining them. He finished ninth.

 

All three of NASCAR’s top series will be in Virginia again next weekend with a Truck-Xfinity-Cup series tripleheader scheduled at Martinsville Speedway.

Tiger Leaves Open Possibility of Masters Return

A comeback unlike any other for Tiger Woods might start at the Masters.

 

Just over 13 months since Woods damaged his right leg so badly he said doctors considered amputation, Woods arrived at Augusta National on Sunday afternoon and warmed up on a range where there were more photographers than players.

 

Woods hit balls for about 20 minutes and then got in a cart and headed to the course, which is closed Sunday afternoon to everyone except players and caddies.

 

Already a star attraction, the hype over the five-time Masters champion is higher than ever after a violent single-car crash that looked as though it might end his career.

 

Still to come is the decision on playing.

 

In a tweet Sunday morning announcing he was coming to Augusta to resume preparations for the Masters, he said it will be a “game-time decision” whether he competes.

 

The Masters does not have a firm deadline to commit like regular tour events. It is an invitation tournament, and players typically notify the club only if they do not plan to play.

 

Tee times are published Tuesday.

 

If Woods decides to play — he played 18 holes at Augusta National five days ago — it would be his first competition against the world’s best players since Nov. 15, 2020, when the Masters was moved to autumn because of the pandemic.

 

Woods was recovering from a fifth back surgery when on Feb. 23, 2021, two days after he presented the trophy at the Genesis Invitational that he hosts at Riviera, he crashed his SUV over a median on a suburban coastal road in Los Angeles and down the side of a hill.

 

Police estimated he was going at least 84 mph in a 45 mph zone.

 

Doctors said Woods shattered tibia and fibula bones in his right leg in multiple locations. Those were stabilized by a rod in the tibia, while a combination of screws and pins were used to stabilize additional injuries in the ankle and foot.

 

Woods said he spent three months immobilized in a makeshift hospital bed set up in his Florida home. Only then he could start moving around on crutches, and eventually he was able to walk on his own.

Bulls Get By Clippers in Overtime

DeMar DeRozan scored a season-high 50 points and Chicago rallied to beat the Los Angeles Clippers 135-130 in overtime Thursday night.

 

DeRozan finished two points shy of his career-high. The five-time All-Star scored 17 in the fourth quarter and made up for his missed foul shot by scoring 10 more in overtime.

 

DeRozan shrugged off the missed free throw and helped the Bulls come away with a win after falling behind by 16 in the third period.

 

Chicago, which led the Eastern Conference for a large portion of the season, moved a half-game ahead of sixth-place Toronto with five remaining. The Bulls are trying to stay in the top six in order to avoid the play-in round in the postseason.

 

Nikola Vucevic added 22 points and 14 rebounds. Zach LaVine scored 21 as the Bulls won for the third time in four games.

 

Reggie Jackson led Los Angeles with 34 points.

 

Paul George scored 22 in his second game back after missing three months because of a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. He played 32 minutes and sat out overtime.

 

Marcus Morris Sr. added 20 points and Nicolas Batum scored 17. But the Clippers - eighth in the West - lost for the sixth time in seven games.

 

Chicago led by four in overtime when Luke Kennard hit a 3 for Los Angeles with 1:12 left. Patrick Williams answered with one of his own to make it 129-125 with just under a minute remaining.

 

Jackson then hit two foul shots for the Clippers before DeRozan converted two to make it 131-127.

 

Williams rebounded a missed drive by Jackson, leading to two more free throws by DeRozan that made it a six-point game. Jackson nailed a 3 to cut it to 133-130 with five seconds left.

 

DeRozan caught the inbounds pass following a timeout by the Bulls and drove for a dunk, sealing a wild win for Chicago.

 

The Bulls host Miami on Saturday.

NASCAR Hits Short Track Stretch

It's short track season for the NASCAR cup series as the next three races come on short tracks and five of the next six on short or intermediate tracks. 

 

Things start out this weekend when the series heads to Richmond, Virginia for the Toyota Owners 400.

 

Ross Chastain prevailed in a four lead-change, two-lap final overtime run on the Circuit of the Americas in Texas for his first Cup Series victory.

 

Chastain became the sixth winner in as many races and they stretch from fourth (Alex Bowman) to 16th (defending champion Kyle Larson) in the point standings. Chastain is fifth in points and leads all drivers with four top-five finishes and shares the series lead with points leader Elliott with four top-10s. 

 

Perennial contender Denny Hamlin remains mired in 22nd place, has no top-10 finishes and has been running at the finish just three times in six races as the series heads to his home track. Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Martin Truex Jr. is seventh in points and teammate Kyle Busch is 11th.

 

Chase Elliott won after starting eighth in the spring race last year. 

 

Practice is at 9 am central time Saturday morning with qualifying at 10:15 am. The green flag waves at 2:30 pm Sunday afternoon.

 

A.J. Allmendinger won for the 11th time in the series, and the seventh time on a road course, at Circuit of the Americas in Texas as the XFinity Series heads to Richmond this weekend as well. 

 

Allmendiner moved within a point of leader Gragson in the standings after six races. 

 

Gragson leads all drivers with five top-five finishes. No one else has more than three. 

 

Ty Gibbs is third in points, but his only two top-five finishes were his series-best two victories. Cole Custer is not in the championship race, but has top-five finishes in both of his starts in the series.

 

Noah Gragson won in September from the No. 3 starting spot in the only race at Richmond because of pandemic concerns. 

 

Practice is at 7:30 am central time Saturday morning with qualifying at 8 am and race time Saturday afternoon at 12:30 pm.

 

The Camping World Truck Series returns next Friday night at Martinsville.

Panthers Blank Blackhawks

Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 37 shots for his third shutout of the season, leading the Florida Panthers to a 4-0 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday night.

 

Aleksander Barkov scored twice, Gustav Forsling had a goal and an assist, and Ryan Lomberg scored his fourth goal in three games as the Panthers won their 28th home game, a club record for a season.

 

Jonathan Huberdeau recorded his 71st assist, an NHL record for assists by a left winger. Huberdeau has 94 points, tied with Pavel Bure. He is closing in on the club record of 96 set by Barkov in the 2018-19 season.

 

Collin Delia stopped 40 shots for the Blackhawks, who lost their third straight game.

 

Blackhawks C Jonathan Toews played his 1,000th NHL game. Toews is the 366th NHL player to reach the milestone and the eighth Chicago player.

 

The Blackhawks visit Tampa Bay tonight.

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