Sports – Press Herald Sun, 30 Apr 2017 14:29:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Wearing No. 9 raises the bar for UMaine’s Uchenna Egwuonwu Sun, 30 Apr 2017 08:00:00 +0000 ORONO — There is no jersey number more cherished on the University of Maine football team than No. 9.

Since defensive end Matt King first asked to wear it in 2002, it has come to signify the toughest player on defense, someone who can be counted on to make the big play, to be a leader.

By tradition, the uniform number has been passed down from a senior to an underclassman ever since.

Darius Greene wore the No. 9 jersey last year after it was willed to him by linebacker Trevor Bates, now with the New England Patriots. In December, Greene presented No. 9 to defensive end Uchenna Egwuonwu, a redshirt junior from Union, New Jersey. Egwuonwu was humbled because he knows what it means to pull that jersey over his shoulder pads.

“It means I have some big shoes to fill,” Egwuonwu said last week. “It means I have to step up and accept my role in this defense. I’m now seen as a leader, not just on defense but on the team as a whole, and I have to portray that image on and off the field. It means I have to be even more accountable.”

The 6-foot-2, 263-pound Egwuonwu made the switch from defensive tackle to defensive end after the third game last fall, and by the end of the season was one of Maine’s top defensive linemen. He finished with 40 tackles (eighth on the team), 3.5 tackles for a loss and one sack.

“He’s a very hard worker,” said Greene, who graduated last December with a communications degree. “He’s a guy who gives constant effort. I’ve seen him progress, seen him improve every year since he’s been here. I see him going far with his talent and dedication.”

His coaches are eager to see how Egwuonwu handles the responsibilities. They have confidence in his ability. They know what he’s done to get to this point, going from a 299.8-pound redshirt freshman defensive tackle to a defensive end strong enough to take on blockers and mobile enough to rush the quarterback.

“He’s completely changed,” said defensive coordinator Corey Hetherman. “We’ve leaned him out and he’s much stronger. He’s moving better, he’s more flexible and less injury-prone than when he got here.”

And by that, Hetherman doesn’t mean just as a player.

“He’s no longer a guy who was a role player or a backup,” said Hetherman. “Last year, he stepped into that starting role and he had some veterans to learn from. Now we need him to be a guy who’s ready to go every day we’re on the field. Every drill, every little thing we’re doing, he’s got to make sure he’s on top of it, because that’s the guy that the younger guys are going to look at.”

Joe Harasymiak, in his second year as head coach, stressed that, “with that jersey, and everything that comes with it, he really needs to step up. He has no choice.”

Harasymiak noted that Maine’s defense is going to be young. “I think Darius saw someone who can carry it for the next two years,” he said.

Egwuonwu, 20, is eager to prove he deserves this.

“I don’t go about life expecting to receive things,” he said. “I feel everything has got to be earned. I’m grateful, but I feel this is the time that you earn the number, not when you get it.

“There’s a lot more responsibility, I know, and it’s crazy to think that I’m an upperclassman now, that I’m like … a teacher. Well, the teacher can’t decide to take plays off. He has to always be on everything, to see everything, to help the other players along. That’s what I’m working to accomplish.”

Maine was the only school to offer Egwuonwu a scholarship. He received a call from Harasymiak, then an assistant to Jack Cosgrove, in January 2014. “Me and my mom had a little celebration in our home,” he said.

Egwuonwu and his mother, Ifeoma, had just returned from visiting family in Nigeria, where his mother and father, Emmanuel, were born. His parents run a medical lab in eastern Nigeria, near the villages they were raised in, and visit often. Egwuonwu said his father spends much of his time there now. His parents also are involved with Hope Alive Africa Charities, Inc. Their connection to Nigeria is what prompted Egwuonwu to major in construction engineering technology.

“Even though I wasn’t born there, I want to go back and give to those communities,” he said. “Maybe I could get into something that would create jobs in the local villages, instead of just farm work, which is what my parents grew up doing. Maybe I can get them into something else, like construction.

“I have to finish my degree, but I want to be like my parents and go back and forth, to help. That’s what I want to do.”

]]> 0 Egwuonwu has the ability to be the leader of Maine's defense, and the maturity to help others in the future.Sat, 29 Apr 2017 22:20:48 +0000
On Baseball: Cubs cherish what the Red Sox lost Sun, 30 Apr 2017 08:00:00 +0000 BOSTON — Jon Lester tipped his cap after a tribute on the video board and a deafening roar from the crowd at Fenway Park.

“For me, he’s been an underappreciated guy his whole career,” Theo Epstein said a few hours earlier, sitting in Fenway’s visiting dugout.

Visiting dugout?

“It’s weird,” said Epstein, the former Red Sox general manager.

Lester, once the ace of Boston’s staff, used the same word about being back at Fenway for the first time since he was traded in 2014.

The Chicago Cubs’ celebrated visit to Boston this weekend brought back Epstein, Lester and others who had been with the Red Sox. It was a union of two storied franchises that have ended championship droughts – Boston in 2004 and the Cubs last fall.

It also was a reminder of what the Red Sox had in Epstein and Lester, and likely didn’t appreciate enough – at least not by ownership.

Epstein, 43, became general manager of the Red Sox in 2003. A year later, Boston was celebrating its first World Series title since 1918. But Epstein was always operating in the shadows of a much-involved ownership group, including the team president, Larry Lucchino.

Epstein resigned after the 2005 season, fed up with interference from Lucchino. He was lured back by January, apparently assured of less meddling.

Boston won again in 2007, but this was never fully Epstein’s team. After a stunning collapse at the end of the 2011 season, when Manager Terry Francona was quickly dismissed, Epstein left for Chicago. He was named president of baseball operations – a title given nowadays to a general manager who is completely in charge (Dave Dombrowski of Boston has the same title).

In Epstein’s fifth season, the Cubs won their first championship since 1908. All but two players on the roster were acquired by Epstein.

“The fact that we won, obviously it feels good … to the extent that it kind of validates my decision to try a new challenge,” Epstein said. “It wasn’t a foolish thing to leave.”

One of the cornerstones in Epstein’s roster construction was signing Lester as a free agent after the 2014 season, when the Cubs finished 73-89.

“He was our first marquee free agent,” said first baseman Anthony Rizzo, who also began in the Red Sox organization. Esptein traded Rizzo as a prospect to San Diego in 2010, then acquired him for the Cubs in 2012. Rizzo has been a three-time All-Star with Chicago.

“When we acquired (Lester) I believed in what Theo was doing. It kind of let us all know that this is it. It’s time to win,” Rizzo said.

The Red Sox did not think as much of Lester, even though he was the ace of the 2013 championship team. In the spring of 2014, with Lester’s contract ending after the season, Boston offered a contract extension – four years for $70 million.

Maybe the Red Sox figured they could give Lester a low-ball offer because he said he wanted to stay in Boston. But less-accomplished pitchers were getting bigger deals. Cincinnati had just re-signed Homer Bailey (11-12 the year before) to a six-year deal worth $105 million.

When it became clear Lester would not re-sign with Boston – and with the Red Sox headed for a last-place finish – he was sent to Oakland at the trade deadline.

The Red Sox owner, John Henry, was filmed talking to Lester in the Fenway parking lot before Lester left for Oakland. The belief was Boston would get Lester back as a free agent during the offseason.

But the Cubs also wanted Lester. Epstein made his pitch.

“Jon did some amazing things with the Red Sox – winning the last game of the ’07 World Series … being so integral to the ’13 championship. But he could never turn back time and be part of that ’04 team that changed history,” Epstein said.

“Chicago was the one place that afforded him that opportunity. Being part of history and part of that legacy, I think, really appealed to him.”

Lester, who once said “I don’t like change,” also felt his heart being tugged toward Boston. “There are a lot of special memories here.”

But it wasn’t just the Cubs making an offer to Lester. It was Epstein.

“That helped,” Lester said. “You buy into what Theo has to say, his belief and his guys.”

He signed with Chicago for six years at $155 million.

And as Henry would discover, you have to pay for an ace.

Twelve months later, he signed free agent David Price to a $217 million, seven-year deal.

Price was 17-9 with a 3.99 ERA last year. He’s on the disabled list now with elbow trouble – with concerns that he might not be ready to pitch for a long time, or even need surgery.

Lester was 19-5 with a 2.44 ERA last year, with a 3-1 mark in the postseason.

“So cool for me to see him come full circle, from being that young kid who didn’t know his way in the game and had to be led by others, to being the leader, showing people the right way to do things,” Epstein said.

“He was such a key part to bringing that ’04-type’ championship to Chicago. I’m proud of him.”

Epstein appreciates Lester, as do the Boston fans who showed their affection for him Friday night. But when Lester tipped his cap to the crowd, it was from the visitor’s dugout.


]]> 0, 29 Apr 2017 22:17:43 +0000
Birding: Ask questions and find proof before deciding something is a fact Sun, 30 Apr 2017 08:00:00 +0000 The recent discovery of two rare birds in Maine and the March for Science on April 22 provide a way to think about the power of science as a way of knowing.

On Earth Day, tens of thousands of people gathered in Washington to promote the strength of science in improving our world and advancing our knowledge. Many satellite marches were held, including several in Maine.

Scientific thinking unfortunately has little traction in our government. Of the 535 members of the U.S. Congress, only six have a degree in science or math. We have never elected a scientist as president, although Ulysses Grant, Herbert Hoover, Dwight Eisenhower and Jimmy Carter did have engineering degrees.

Yet the scientific approach has much to offer. First, science is evidence-based. As scientists, we must always be open to alternative explanations as we continue to learn. In other words, science is provisional. We must go where the evidence takes us.

Second, the scientific method embodies the notion of skepticism. We always need to question our interpretations. Although the distinction may seem subtle, scientists seek to disprove hypotheses, not confirm or prove them.

To explain a pattern, a scientist will come up with one or more hypotheses that can explain the pattern, then will design an experiment to try to knock that explanation down. If the experiment is consistent with the hypotheses, the scientist can design a different experiment to further test it. Colleagues may repeat the experiment. If the hypothesis stands up to these tests, we treat it as provisionally true. If the experiments fail to support the hypothesis, we reject it and move on to test other possible explanations. Scientists try to disprove.

The beauty of this approach is it removes ego from the process. We all have great ideas. If we try to prove them, we run the risk of cherry-picking to find information that is supportive, and ignore, perhaps subconsciously, information that would disprove a great idea.

Psychologists call this effect confirmation bias. We selectively accept observations that conform to our expectation and blithely ignore observations that don’t fit.

Professor Richard Dawkins relates an anecdote of attending a seminar by a distinguished older scientist. At the end of the talk, a student asked a perceptive question that essentially caused the speaker’s lifetime of research to crumble. Rather than becoming angry, the scientist shook the student’s hand for his role in moving science further by disproving his hypothesis.

If you ever hear someone say I proved my hypothesis, you know they don’t understand the scientific method.

Let’s go back 2,400 years to Greece. Aristotle wrote about many Greek birds. He noted that the five swallows there (including the familiar barn swallow) disappeared in the winter. He knew of no reports of these birds elsewhere during the winter. He proposed that these birds hibernate. That is a perfectly good hypothesis; it can be tested.

As it turns out, this hibernation hypothesis became part of natural history lore and was not disproven for 2,300 years. Even the great ornithologist Elliot Coues, in 1882, was agnostic on the issue. Of course, now we have the evidence that swallows migrate to tropical areas to pass the winter.

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. The recent finding of a fieldfare (a robin relative) in Newcastle and a vermilion flycatcher in Bremen on Hog Island should rightly invite skepticism. Fieldfare had never been reported in Maine, and we have an earlier sight record of a vermilion flycatcher but no photos.

Fortunately, observers provided photographs of both of these recent rarities. Those photos will certainly ensure that these sightings will be accepted by the Maine Bird Records Committee. Well done.

As birders, we should question other observers’ sightings and prepare to have our own sightings questioned.

These doubts should not be taken as insults about our abilities, but rather the proper performance of scientific, skeptical inquiry.

Herb Wilson teaches ornithology and other biology courses at Colby College. He welcomes reader comments and questions at

]]> 0 Fri, 28 Apr 2017 22:06:33 +0000
What’s Up in May: Bright planets, a bright asteroid and a meteor shower Sun, 30 Apr 2017 08:00:00 +0000 The month of May is named after Maia, a goddess of growing plants. The first day of this month, May Day, marks the halfway point of spring into summer. This will be a great time to get outside, and admire and learn more about all the celestial events always going on above us, as it will finally warm up consistently this month.

The major highlights this month include Venus at its best and brightest for the year in the morning sky; Jupiter just past its best for the year in the evening sky; some nice conjunctions of the moon with Venus, Mars and Mercury; Saturn rising earlier each night and approaching its opposition next month; the brightest asteroid, Vesta, visible in Cancer; not one, but two comets that could become visible to the naked eye; and the first good meteor shower of the year, the Eta Aquarids, caused by Halley’s Comet.

Venus has been a morning planet since the end of March, and it will reach its brightest for this year in early May while it is still similar to a waxing crescent moon. Venus will get a little smaller and become exactly half illuminated by the sun, similar to a third-quarter moon, in early June. Look for a waning crescent moon to pass just below Venus half an hour before sunrise on the 22nd and just below Mercury the next two mornings.

Jupiter is just past opposition now, but it is still brighter and closer than usual. The king of the planets continues to rule the evening sky, shining at minus 2.4 magnitude, exactly 4 magnitudes, or 39 times brighter, than the other evening planet, which is Mars in Taurus. Jupiter is in retrograde, or westward motion, against the fixed background of stars, and about 10 degrees above Spica, which is the brightest star in Virgo and the 16th-brightest star in our sky at first magnitude, or about 20 times fainter than Jupiter.

Spica is an extremely interesting double- or even triple-star system. The main component is a blue giant star about 260 light years away and 10 times more massive than the sun and thousands of times more luminous. The secondary component star is 10 times closer. They both orbit a common center of gravity, called a barycenter, every four days. This creates very strong tidal forces on all of the stars in this system, causing them to spin very rapidly, almost 100 times faster than our sun.

So when you look at Jupiter this month, remember that it’s less than one hour away at the speed of light, but that the light you are seeing from that rapidly whirling double or triple star just below it left there 260 years ago.

Mars continues to fade a little in Taurus and will pass just above Aldebaran, an orange giant star marking the eye of Taurus, in early May. Aldebaran is 44 times larger than our sun and probably has at least one Jupiter-sized planet. Pioneer 10, our first deep-space probe launched in 1972, will pass fairly close to this star in about two million years if no one intercepts it before then. So when you look at these two orange objects in the sky this month, remember that Mars is only 20 minutes away at the speed of light, but that Aldebaran is 65 years away.

Saturn now rises before midnight, at about the same time that Jupiter reaches its highest point in our sky. Saturn is in the constellation of Sagittarius. The ringed planet is already in retrograde motion and continues to get a little brighter and closer each night, heading toward its opposition in mid-June. At zero magnitude, Saturn is about 10 times fainter than Jupiter, but five times brighter than Mars.

The brightest of our asteroids, Vesta, can be seen just above the Beehive star cluster in Cancer this month. This cluster is related to the Hyades star cluster in Taurus, where Mars can be found for part of this month. You will need a good pair of binoculars or a small telescope to see this bright asteroid, since it will only reach eighth magnitude, or more than six times fainter than anything you could see without optical aid. At about 330 miles in diameter, about the size of Arizona, Vesta is the second-largest of our asteroids after Ceres, which is 600 miles in diameter, or about the size of Texas.

Comet 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak is perfectly placed for viewing high in our night sky all month. It is passing fairly close to Earth now in its six-year orbit around the sun. It could even reach sixth magnitude in early May, which means you could see it without binoculars. I would recommend using binoculars to find it and then challenge yourself to see it without them. It is in Hercules now, passing just to the right of Vega, the brightest star in Lyra and the top of the summer triangle.

The second comet that could become bright enough this month is called Johnson(C/2015 V2). This is a first-time visitor to our solar system, so it is more unpredictable. Its tail is now wedge-shaped, but it should become much longer and more distinct in a few weeks in the constellation of Bootes the Herdsman.

There is even a third comet that now glows around seventh magnitude, or 21/2 times fainter than the human eye can see. This one is called Comet Panstarrs, low in the east near Venus before dawn. All three of these fairly bright comets will greatly fade out by the end of summer, so try to find them and photograph them this month or next.

The first good meteor shower of the year, called the Eta Aquarids, will peak on Saturday morning, the 6th. Caused by the most famous of all comets, Halley’s, you can expect about 50 meteors per hour that morning. Look for nearly half that rate each morning from the 3rd through the 10th. The moon will set around 4 a.m., which is the best time to see the most meteors anyway because the Earth is spinning into the meteors after midnight and toward dawn. They will all appear to emanate from Aquarius, hence the name. Aquarius is on the ecliptic just below the Summer Triangle and is up low in the east-southeastern sky by 4 a.m. These tiny, sand-grain sized pieces of Halley’s Comet will slash into our upper atmosphere at 40 miles per second, or more than twice the speed that the Earth is always orbiting around the sun. That makes them the fastest of all meteor showers, and they often leave very dramatic long, twisting trails that can be seen for several seconds.


May 2: First-quarter moon is at 10:47 p.m.

May 4: The moon passes less than one degree south of Regulus, the brightest star in Leo.

May 5: In 1961, Alan Shepard became the first American in space, aboard Freedom 7. He did not orbit the Earth, and that flight was just over three weeks after Yuri Gagarin did orbit the Earth. The first American to orbit the Earth was John Glenn on Feb. 20, 1962, aboard the Mercury Friendship 7 capsule.

May 7: The moon passes near Jupiter and Mars passes near Aldebaran tonight.

May 10: Full moon is at 5:42 p.m. This is also called the Flower, Milk or Planting Moon.

May 12: The Adler Planetarium, the first one in the Western Hemisphere, opened in 1930.

May 13: The moon passes near Saturn tonight.

May 14: Skylab was launched in 1973.

May 18: Last-quarter moon is at 8:33 p.m.

May 22: The moon passes near Venus this morning.

May 25: New moon is at 3:44 p.m.

May 28: The first primates, Able and Baker, were launched into space in 1959.

May 29: In 1919, Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity was tested and proved during a total solar eclipse in Africa and South America.

Bernie Reim of Wells is co-director of the Astronomical Society of Northern New England.

]]> 0 GUIDE: This map represents the sky as it appears over Maine during May. The stars are shown as they appear at 10:30 p.m. early in the month, at 9:30 p.m. at midmonth and at 8:30 p.m. at month's end. Jupiter and Mars are shown in their midmonth positions. To use the map, hold it vertically and turn it so that the direction you are facing is at the bottom.Fri, 28 Apr 2017 22:09:24 +0000
The search for shed antlers has become a popular pastime Sun, 30 Apr 2017 08:00:00 +0000 DEXTER — Spring in Maine brings the start of fishing and hiking season, and, of course, the last of shed-hunting season. And we’re not talking about shopping for an outdoor tool and equipment hut.

Shed hunters are outdoorsmen and women who immerse themselves in the quiet of the woods in winter and spring to look for the antlers shed by moose and deer.

By spring, these hunters already have trekked dozens of miles since the start of the year, scanning the forest floor in search of tracks, and signs of deer and moose.

Deanna Page of Dexter is one of them. Over the past 25 years, she has found more than 15 moose sheds and hundreds of deer antlers.

“It’s a fascination to be the first to find the antler that fell off a buck’s head,” said Page, 48.

“It really is an addiction for most shed hunters. You talk to them, they’re champing at the bit to get out in the winter. Some may have a particular (individual) animal they’ve been watching. And when you find one antler, you want to go back to find the other, to have the pair.”

Deanna Page of Dexter has found more than 15 moose sheds and hundreds of deer antlers over 25 years. “When you find one antler, you want to … find the other,” she said. Staff photo by Ben McCanna

Moose and deer shed their antlers each winter before growing a new set over the next two months. As a deer or moose ages, the antlers get larger and develop more points.

Antlers first develop a soft membrane, called a velvet. And as the antler underneath the velvet hardens and grows into bone, the velvet remains. But as the antler growth slows, the velvet falls off in the summer months.

Then, after the mating season in the fall, the antlers fall off when the testosterone in male deer and moose declines. When that happens, the tissue and bone at the antler base weakens, causing the antlers to drop off.

Antlers have long been used as handles, tools and decorations. Maine’s deer and moose antler collectors continue the centuries-old practice, proudly displaying their antlers in their homes and offices. Some hang them ornamentally on the wall, others make chandeliers, lamps or coat racks, and some sell their antlers to artists.

But the main reason most shed hunters spend hours each winter in Maine’s thick forestland is for the satisfaction of finding this natural hidden treasure.

Luci, a 9-month-old yellow Labrador retriever owned by Deanna Page, searches for a moose antler (right foreground) that was placed in the woods by her owner for training. Staff photo by Ben McCanna

Page said shed hunting in Maine seems to have gained more followers. There are more than 2,000 on the Maine Shed Hunters Facebook page and more than 300 on the Maine Shed Antler Hunters page.

Matt Leighton of South Portland has been a shed hunter for three years. He searches for sheds mostly close to home, in Saco and Scarborough, and said people would be surprised how many big deer there are in southern Maine.

“I was lucky last year; I got a nice 5-pointer. I’m pretty much obsessed with hunting, so I want to go out immediately in the winter,” he said.

“I pretty much go scout where the deer are when the snow is on the ground, see where they’re yarding up. I find where they’re bedding down, and in late February, I start to go through the area to see if they dropped their antlers. It’s quite time-consuming.”

Like any good shed hunter, Leighton puts the time in. One day, he hiked 10 miles, slowly looking for shed antlers.

Then, when he finds one, he goes back to find the other, zig-zagging in a grid search to see if the antler’s twin fell in the same area, which it often does. In the case of the 5-pointer, he also found the matching antler for a perfect 10-point set.

Luci, a 9-month-old yellow Labrador retriever, takes a break to roll in the waning spring snow. Staff photo by Ben McCanna Staff photo by Ben McCanna

Hunter Dempsey, a lobsterman from Columbia in Washington County, started shed hunting three years ago and was instantly hooked. Dempsey recruited three or four of his friends to help him search. And when they’re not having any luck, they train each other to search by hiding sheds they found to practice spotting the camouflaged antlers in the woods.

“I like it because I’m big into deer, and it’s a good way to watch the deer grow,” said Dempsey, 19. “If I see a deer on my game camera and I find his antler, it tells me he survived another year from the other hunters.

“I try to go every day. I don’t always find a shed, but when I do, it makes it that much better.”

Keren Zucker of Ellsworth has been shed hunting for five years. She hasn’t found many, but Zucker, a deer hunter, finds it a rewarding challenge.

“When I moved out West for six months, I had a lot more success in Montana. It’s more open out there,” Zucker said. “And there are a lot more deer out there. But when I got back to Maine, I tried to go harder at it. I keep a mental note in areas where there is deer activity.”

This spring, Zucker was hiking an area she hadn’t been before and began searching for sheds where she saw a lot of deer dropping. Suddenly, she looked down and saw a small deer antler.

“It was kind of a trail between two fields I thought they might be traveling,” Zucker said. “When I saw it, I did a happy dance. I was going to pick it up and I remembered to take a picture. I get way too excited with sheds. It doesn’t get old.”

Deirdre Fleming can be reached at 791-6452 or:

Twitter: FlemingPph

]]> 0 Page of Dexter has spent a quarter-century scouring the forest floor for moose and deer antlers that were shed over the winter.Sat, 29 Apr 2017 21:39:24 +0000
Auto racing: Lanpher earns PASS win at Beech Ridge Sun, 30 Apr 2017 02:27:00 +0000 SCARBOROUGH — For those who came to Beech Ridge Motor Speedway for the track’s first race of the season Saturday, the throaty roar of powerful engines and the adrenaline rush of competitive auto racing is a powerful lure.

“It’s just that you love it. It’s a bad addiction,” said 2015 Oxford 250 winner Glen Luce, 49, of Turner. “I just love the competition. I always said that I’d hang it up if we ever won a 250. Two years later, here I am.”

The Pro All-Star Series Beech Ridge 300 drew plenty of older veterans to the one-third mile asphalt oval, but it was 18-year-old Reid Lanpher who had the final say.

Lanpher, of Manchester, won his second straight PASS race, a week after winning his first, to take the $7,500 winner’s share of a $42,000 purse.

“To open up the season with two wins on the PASS series, and one of them being the 300, it feels pretty darn good,” Lanpher said. “It’s not easy winning one of these PASS races. We’ve tried for years. It takes a lot and from a lot of people, too. It’s a team effort.”

Though just a year out of high school (and already with an associate’s degree from Thomas College), Lanpher is a veteran in his own right. He led 65 laps of this race when he was 13.

Beech Ridge’s reigning track champion, Curtis Gerry, 46, of Waterboro, one of the few Ridge regulars in the race, was second, followed by Derek Ramstrom of West Boylston, Massachusetts, and Travis Benjamin of Morrill. Luce was fifth. Eight drivers finished on the lead lap.

The race didn’t have its expected car count. After the 150-lap race that Lanpher won at Oxford Plains Speedway got a 42-car starting field, only 27 cars showed up at Beech Ridge.

The 300-lap race, a September staple at Beech Ridge since 2005, was moved to late April in the hope that more drivers would attend, since their racing budgets would not be depleted. PASS is a regional touring series for Super Late Model cars, the most expensive and powerful cars racing short tracks in Maine.

“We tried to go in the spring to draw more drivers. For some reason, it’s not even close,” said PASS President Tom Mayberry at the prerace drivers’ meeting.

Without a title sponsor, Mayberry expressed doubt there would be another 300-lap PASS race at Beech Ridge.

“Whoever wins today will probably be the last,” he said.

The race did draw some well-known drivers who are returning to the sport after a lengthy hiatus.

Tracy Gordon, 51, was a regular on the old NASCAR Busch North series from 1997-2002, winning 12 times. He stopped racing for nine years until returning last season. Gordon finished sixth.

“It’s a midlife crisis if you want to know the truth,” said Gordon, who is in the lumber business. “The reason I got out was I was spending every dollar I had racing and it hurt my business. Now, my business is a little better and I’m back.”

The 2001 Oxford 250 winner, Gary Drew, formerly of Windham and now living in Casco, made his first competitive appearance in seven years. Like Gordon, he stepped away from racing to focus on his family excavating business.

“It’s just the love of the sport that brought me back,” Drew said. “I’d like to race as much as I can, 10 to 12 times, I’m hoping.”

Drew was on the lead lap for the first 70-plus laps before being done in by mechanical trouble.

Garrett Hall, 22, of Scarborough is in the early stages of his racing life. He led the first 110 laps and finished 10th.

“It’s just a lot of great people that you meet at the track and it’s fun,” Hall said.

]]> 0 Sat, 29 Apr 2017 22:29:35 +0000
Sports Digest: Sunday River will replace chairlift Sun, 30 Apr 2017 01:49:37 +0000 Sunday River announced that it will spend $2.1 million on a triple-chairlift at the same location as the Spruce Peak Triple, which toppled over last summer when the foundation separated from the mountaintop following heavy rain.

No one was hurt because it happened when the lift was not in operation.

Officials say the new lift will use a conveyor system to make it easier for skiers to board, and it will be faster than the old one, taking skiers to the top in eight minutes. Construction begins in May.

The ski resort was without the lift during the past season.


EASTERN LEAGUE: Andrew Pullin’s double to right scored Scott Kingery in the seventh inning as the Reading Fightin Phils (11-7) rallied for a 6-5 victory over the visiting Portland Sea Dogs (9-8).

Kingery preceded Pullin with a one-out double.

Tzu-Wei Lin hit a two-run homer and Heiker Meneses had a two-run single as Portland, which scored on a Rafael Devers homer in the second, opened a 5-2 lead with a four-run fourth.

Mitch Walding and Joel Fisher hit home runs to key a three-run Reading rally in the bottom of the fourth.


XFINITY SERIES: Kyle Larson took the lead with a handful of laps to go when Ty Dillon jumped a restart and won in overtime at Richmond International Raceway.

Larson barely made it to the overtime line in a two-lap dash to the finish. The line marks the spot the race leader must have crossed for the race to be deemed official, and just after Larson crossed it, a crash behind him brought out a yellow flag.


HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE FIGHT: Anthony Joshua survived the first knockdown of his young career, coming back to drop Wladimir Klitschko twice before stopping him in the 11th round to retain his heavyweight titles in London.

Before a boisterous crowd of 90,000 at Wembley Stadium, Joshua and Klitschko traded huge punches and showed grit before Joshua finally found a way to finish the longtime former champion.


PORSCHE GRAND PRIX: Maria Sharapova’s first tournament since her controversial return ended when she lost to Kristina Mladenovic in the semifinal in Stuttgart, Germany.

Mladenovic beat former top-ranked Sharapova 3-6, 7-5, 6-4.

BARCELONA OPEN: Dominic Thiem upset top-ranked Andy Murray 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 to advance to the final against defending champion Rafael Nadal in Barcelona, Spain.

Nadal beat Horacio Zeballos 6-3, 6-4 after Thiem beat Murray in windy conditions.


BUNDESLIGA: Robert Lewandowski scored twice as Bayern Munich ensured a record fifth straight German title with a 6-0 rout of Wolfsburg.

LA LIGA: Barcelona and Real Madrid maintained their neck-and-neck title race as both teams won to stay level on points.


]]> 0 Sat, 29 Apr 2017 22:24:09 +0000
Maine colleges: Bates advances in men’s lacrosse tournament Sun, 30 Apr 2017 01:31:05 +0000 LEWISTON — Charlie Fay and Kyle Weber each scored four first-half goals as top-seeded Bates beat No. 8 Connecticut College 11-8 in a New England Small College Conference men’s lacrosse quarterfinal Saturday.

Matt Chlastawa had four assists for Bates (14-0), which will host sixth-seeded Middlebury in the semifinals next Saturday.

Maxx Trostky had two goals for Connecticut College (7-9).

UNE 13, NICHOLS 10: Dan Auger had three goals and two assists as the third-seeded Nor’easters (13-4) beat the Bison (10-7) in a Commonwealth Coast Conference quarterfinal in Biddeford.

Tom Luttrell and Alex Zadworny each added two goals for UNE, which advances to play No. 2 Western New England College on Wednesday.

TUFTS 12, BOWDOIN 11: Frank Hattler, Michael Mattson and Zach Richman each scored three goals and the fifth-seeded Jumbos (12-4) beat the fourth-seeded Polar Bears (10-6) in the NESCAC quarterfinals in Brunswick.

Brett Kujala scored three goals for Bowdoin.

MOUNT IDA 14, ST. JOSEPH’S 9: Wyatt Sullivan had three goals and two assists as the Mustangs (13-4, 7-1 GNAC) downed the Monks (6-9, 3-5) in Newton, Massachusetts.

Michael Finn and Joe O’Reilly each had two goals and an assist for the Monks.


COLBY 8, WESLEYAN 7: Madeline Hatch scored 2:55 into overtime as the fourth-seeded Mules (13-3) defeated the fifth-seeded Cardinals (11-5) in a NESCAC quarterfinal at Waterville.

Hatch finished with two goals and an assist for Colby, which advances to face No. 1 Middlebury. Lexie Petticone dished out three assists, and Sasha Fritts added a pair of goals.

HAMILTON 12, BOWDOIN 9: The second-seeded Continentals (12-4) jumped out to a 5-0 lead and beat the seventh-seeded Polar Bears (10-6) in a NESCAC quarterfinal in Clinton, New York.

UNE 13, WESTERN NEW ENGLAND 6: Nichole Carvalho had three goals and three assists and the third-seeded Nor’easters (9-7) beat the sixth-seeded Golden Bears (6-11) in a Commonwealth Coast Conference quarterfinal in Biddeford.

Jocelyn Davee and Anna Stowell each added two goals for UNE, which moves on to face second-seeded Roger Williams on Wednesday.

ST. JOSEPH’S 15, ALBERTUS MAGNUS 2: The Monks (11-3, 7-1 GNAC) scored 13 straight goals in a win over the Falcons (4-9, 1-8) in Portland.

Elysse Caiazzo led St. Joseph’s with four goals and two assists.

WESTERN CONNECTICUT 19, SOUTHERN MAINE 7: Destinee Carey had five goals to lead the Colonials (8-9, 3-3 Little East) over the Huskies (7-8, 1-5) at Danbury, Connecticut.

Lauren Lessard, Aliza Jordan and Allison Irish each scored two goals for Southern Maine.


COLBY SWEEPS TRINITY: The Mules (11-17, 4-8 NESCAC East) scored five runs in the sixth inning to rally for a 7-6 win over the Bantams (19-13, 8-4) in the first game of a doubleheader in Waterville.

Wiley Holton, who won the first game in relief, pitched a two-hitter in the second game as Colby won, 4-0.

BINGHAMTON SWEEPS MAINE: Kate Richard homered twice in the first game and Crysti Eichner drove home a pair of runs in the nightcap as the Bearcats (20-21, 10-2 America East) snapped Maine’s seven-game winning streak with a 6-3, 5-1 sweep in Binghamton, New York.

Meghan Royle had a two-run double and Kristen Niland hit an RBI single in the first game for Maine (16-20, 10-3).

Rachel Carson had an RBI triple in the second game.

BOWDOIN SWEEPS BATES: Lauren O’Shea hit a two-run single as part of a four-run first inning and the Polar Bears (27-8, 9-3 NESCAC East) beat the Bobcats (10-16, 1-9) in the first game of a doubleheader in Brunswick, 8-1.

Bowdoin also won the second game, 5-1.

USM SWEEPS EASTERN CONNECTICUT STATE: Courtney Davis singled home Taylor Lux in the seventh inning to give the Huskies (14-14, 6-5 Little East) a 4-3 win over the Warriors (11-22, 6-5) in Gorham.

Davis hit a three-run single as USM won the second game 11-3 in five innings.

ST. JOSEPH’S SWEEPS LASELL: Kylie McFadden and Kate Whitney combined to hold the Lasers (6-28, 2-18 GNAC) to three hits and no runs as the Monks (20-14, 16-4) opened a doubleheader with a 2-0 victory in Standish.

Caitlyn King and Katelyn Olsen continued the scoreless streak with a 6-0 victory in Game 2.

SOUTHERN MAINE CC SWEEPS CENTRAL MAINE CC: Kaylah Abdul drove in three runs to lead the SeaWolves (14-4, 8-1 YSCC) to an 8-4 win over the Mustangs (0-10, 0-10) in the first game of a doubleheader in South Portland.

SMCC completed the sweep with a 10-0 win in five innings.


STONY BROOK SWEEPS MAINE: Toby Handley walked with the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth inning as the Seawolves (19-21, 7-7 America East) completed a doubleheader sweep of the Black Bears (15-22, 3-8) with a 4-3 win in Stony Brook, New York.

Stony Brook also won the opener 6-3, scoring four runs in the sixth inning.

USM SWEEPS KEENE STATE: Zach Quintal had six hits, scored five times and drove in a pair of runs as the Huskies (24-8, 11-1 Little East) beat the Owls (13-20, 4-8) in a doubleheader in Gorham, 9-3 and 11-8.

Devin Warren was 2 for 4 with two RBI in the first game. Paul McDonough had three hits, including a two-run homer, and three RBI in the second game.

ST. JOSEPH’S SWEEPS ANNA MARIA: Jameson Collins had three hits and two RBI as the Monks (30-6, 13-1 GNAC) completed a doubleheader sweep with a 6-1 win against Anna Marie (7-31, 0-14) in Northborough, Massachusetts.

Scott Betts and Greg Emanuelson each hit a three-run homer, and Max McComb had a two-run homer in the first game, which the Monks won, 19-1.

TUFTS SWEEPS BATES: Nick Falkson’s two-run homer in the ninth gave the Jumbos (25-5-1, 9-3 NESCAC East) a 6-4 win over Bates (13-11, 7-5) in the second game of a doubleheader in Medford, Massachusetts.

Tufts won the opener, 9-1.

BOWDOIN, COLBY SPLIT: Jack Wilhoite doubled home two runs and scored on a fly ball to cap a five-run first inning for Bowdoin (14-16, 6-6 NESCAC East) on the way to a 12-3 victory over the Mules (10-22-1, 3-9) in Waterville.

Colby earned the split with a 10-4 win.

]]> 0 Sat, 29 Apr 2017 21:43:43 +0000
Saturday’s girls’ roundup: Falmouth rallies for lacrosse win Sun, 30 Apr 2017 00:56:05 +0000 FALMOUTH — Olivia Stucker scored off a pass from Devon Sarazin with 13.6 seconds left and Falmouth battled back from a late two-goal deficit to beat Thornton Academy 7-6 in a girls’ lacrosse game Saturday.

Adeline Paradis scored three goals for the Trojans (2-1), who got three straight goals midway through the second half to take a 6-4 lead.

Falmouth (3-0) cut the lead to 6-5 on a goal by Chelsey Smithwick, then tied the game with 1:07 to go on Kayla Sarazin’s goal from free position.

SOUTH PORTLAND 7, BRUNSWICK 5: Jena Leckie took a transition pass, rolled into the crease and fired a low shot for the go-ahead goal with 5:44 remaining as the Red Riots (1-2) edged the Dragons (1-1) in South Portland.

Leckie finished with three goals and an assist. Kayla Brown added two goals for South Portland, and Kaya Backman and Paige Fleming each had a goal and an assist.

Jenna Brooks led Brunswick with two goals. Anna Davis and Dina Murphy each contributed a goal and assist, and Anna Callahan scored the other goal.

Mya Ellington and Ginny Saunders shared goaltending duties for South Portland, making a total of five saves.

Brunswick’s Emma Dorr registered 10 saves.

NYA 12, MT. ARARAT 9: Amber Rose scored six goals and Zelda Clegg had three goals and an assist as the Panthers (1-2) held off the Eagles (0-3) in Yarmouth.

Helen Hamblett added three goals, and Margaret Larson and Isabella MacMahon each had three assists. NYA led 7-3 at halftime.

Emily Welch scored seven goals for Mt. Ararat.

FREEPORT 12, MORSE 6: Taylor Dostie had five goals and an assist and the Falcons (1-2) jumped out to a 10-2 halftime lead against the Shipbuilders (2-1) in Bath.

Taylor Rinaldi added two goals and an assist and Margaret Perotta also scored twice.

Emily Martin got two goals for Morse.

BIDDEFORD 20, OXFORD HILLS 2: Paige Laverriere had five goals and two assists for Biddeford (3-0) in a win over Oxford Hills (0-2) in South Paris.

Hailey Allen and Peyton McKeown scored four goals apiece, with Allen also assisting on three goals and McKeown getting one assist. Rebekah Guay finished with three goals and an assist.

Derry Bessette and Marissa Paine scored for Oxford Hills.

CONY 14, MAINE GIRLS’ ACADEMY 12: Sarah Caron scored four goals as the Rams (2-0) edged the Lions (1-2) in Augusta.

Faith Leathers-Pouliot added three goals, and Lexi Roy and Kami Lambert scored two apiece.

Catherine Reid scored six goals and Zoe Mazur had five for MGA.

LAKE REGION 16, ERSKINE ACADEMY 2: Rachel Shanks scored five goals and Lindsay Keenan added four to lead the Lakers (2-0) in South China.

Jordan Linscott and Jaime Boudreau scored for Erskine (1-2).


MASSABESIC 6, THORNTON ACADEMY 5: Kyra-Mei Cartwright drove in the winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning as the Mustangs (4-0) edged the Golden Trojans (3-1) in Waterboro.

Thornton Academy tied the game with in the top of the seventh on a two-out RBI single by Amanda Borgardus, her second hit on the day.

Olivia Howe led the Trojans with three hits, including a pair of doubles. Louisa Colucci added two singles.

WINDHAM 11, SOUTH PORTLAND 5: The Eagles (4-0) used a seven-run fourth inning, highlighted by two-run singles from Olivia Mora and Megan Joy, to pull away from the Red Riots (0-4) at Windham.

South Portland took the lead in the first inning on a two-run homer by Kaitlin Bouchard, but Windham countered with a solo shot from Mora in the bottom half.

The Red Riots added two runs in the third before Windham tied it with three runs in the bottom of the third, capped by Lauren Talbot’s two-run homer.

SCARBOROUGH 9, BONNY EAGLE 1: The Red Storm (3-0) scored five first-inning runs, paced by a two-run double by Abbie Murrell, and cruised past the Scots (0-3) at Scarborough.

Murrell was 2 for 3 with three RBI. Chloe Griffin had a triple and a double, and Laura Powell contributed a pair of hits.

Lilly Volk got her first win of the season with five innings of two-hit ball, striking out nine and walking one.

Sydney Gillingham hit a triple for Bonny Eagle.

NOBLE 11, SANFORD 1: Raegan Kelly threw a two-hitter with 11 strikeout and hit a two-run homer in the first inning as the Knights (3-1) downed the Spartans (0-3) in North Berwick.

Samantha Morrill added a two-run homer in the first as Noble built a 6-0 lead. Marisa Cipola, Kassidy Lessard and Lauren Sanger each had two hits for the Knights.


NOBLE 6, DEERING 1: Raegan Kelly allowed just two hits and struck out 12 to lead the Knights (2-1) over the Rams (0-2) in Portland.

Kassidy Lessard and Kelsey Lessard each hit a double in the second inning to help Noble take a 3-0 lead. The Knights added three runs in the fifth.

Lauren Sanger and Samantha Morrill led Noble with two hits apiece.

Sydney Giroux led Deering with two hits, including an RBI triple in the fourth.

]]> 0 Sat, 29 Apr 2017 22:04:24 +0000
Saturday’s boys’ roundup: Scarborough outslugs Westbrook Sun, 30 Apr 2017 00:54:56 +0000 SCARBOROUGH — Scarborough sent 12 batters to the plate and scored eight runs in the first inning on its way to a 12-7 win over Westbrook in an SMAA baseball game Saturday.

Wyatt Plummer had a pair of doubles and drove in four runs for Scarborough (1-1).

Westbrook (2-1) scored six runs in the third to cut its deficit to 9-6, highlighted by a two-run triple by Dylan Francoeur and a two-run homer by Derek Higgins.

GORHAM 10, DEERING 1: Gorham (2-1) used a six-run fifth inning to pull away from Deering (2-1) at Hadlock Field.

Brogan McDonald was 3 for 4 with three RBI, Kyle King collected four singles, and Jason Komulainen, Lucas Roop and David Drew each added a pair of hits.

Jack Lynch drove in Deering’s run with a sacrifice fly in the third inning.

Adam Peterson picked up his first win of the season, allowing two singles and two walks in six innings.

SOUTH PORTLAND 2, MARSHWOOD 1: Sam Troiano broke a scoreless deadlock with an RBI double in the sixth inning and scored on a single by Zach Johnson as the Red Riots (2-1) beat the Hawks (0-3) in South Berwick.

Marshwood’s Holden Jackman drove in Max Horton in the bottom of the sixth.

Hunter Owen picked up the win, allowing one run on three hits in six innings, with four walks and four strikeouts.

WINDHAM 3, BIDDDEFORD 1: Tanner Bernier and Tim Greenlaw scored on a misplayed grounder in the sixth inning as the Eagles (2-2) broke a 1-1 tie against the Tigers (1-2) in Biddeford.

Windham took a 1-0 lead when Cam McCartney led off the game with a single, stole second and came home on Tanner Bernier’s hit.

Biddeford tied the game in the fourth when Brady Crepeau scored of a double steal, after singles by Crepeau and Logan Magnant.

Zach Skillings pitched a three-hitter for Windham, striking out five. Crepeau took the loss, giving up seven hits while striking out seven.

CHEVERUS 9, BONNY EAGLE 1: Winning pitcher Jack Casale went 3 for 4 with three RBI and scored three runs for the Stags (3-0) as they cruised past the Scots (2-2) in Portland.

Max St. John also drove in three runs with a sacrifice fly and a double.

William Whyte had a pair of hits for Bonny Eagle, including a double.

Casale allowed six hits and struck out four.

PORTLAND 10, MASSABESIC 2: The Bulldogs (2-1) produced five straight hits in the third inning, including by a double by Tom Joyce, to score three runs and pull away from the Mustangs (0-3) at Hadlock Field.

Donny Tocci picked up the win, allowing one earned run on two hits and three walks in six innings. He also had three singles and an RBI. Ben Sawyer and Giovanni Ruotolo each added a pair of hits for the Bulldogs, who got two runs in the first, three in the second and three in the third for an 8-2 lead.

Jacob Gregoire had two hits for Massabesic.

THORNTON ACADEMY 4, SANFORD 3: Evan Balzano went 3 for 4 with three RBI, and the Golden Trojans (2-1) built a 4-0 lead in the second inning and held off the Spartans (0-4) at Sanford.

Sanford chipped away with a run in the third, on Nate Martineau’s RBI double, and two in the fifth.

Martineau finished with three hits.

YARMOUTH 4, FRYEBURG ACADEMY 0: Joe Coyne hit an RBI double to start a four-run fourth inning as the Clippers (2-1) downed the Raiders (1-4) in Yarmouth.

Chris Romano added an RBI single. Gibson Harnett picked up the win, allowing five hits while striking out seven in six innings.

HALL-DALE 10, TELSTAR 5: Austin Stebbins and Dean Jackman drove in two runs apiece to lift the Bulldogs (3-0) to a win in Bethel.

Josh Elliott had three singles and an RBI for Hall-Dale, and Akira Warren had a single and a double. Warren also got the win in relief.

CARRABEC/MADISON 27, MT. ABRAM 0: Dustin Crawford went 4 for 4 with seven RBI as the Cobras (1-2) rolled past the Roadrunners in Strong.

Crawford had two doubles and a triple and scored five runs. Evan Bess (2 for 4, triple, three runs, four RBI), Dylan Willette (2 for 4, double, two RBI) and Jordan Hadley (2 for 2, double, four runs, three RBI) also had big days at the plate.


BONNY EAGLE 11, LAKE REGION 6: Spencer Sheilds scored five goals for the Scots (1-1) as they beat the Lakers (0-2) in Naples.

Brandon Sargent led Lake Region with three goals.

FALMOUTH 12, SOUTH PORTLAND 10: Jack Scribner notched four goals and Devin Russell added three to lead the Yachtsmen (4-0) past the Red Riots (2-1) in South Portland.

Falmouth opened an 8-3 lead in the first half before holding off several challenges from the Red Riots in the second half.

David Fiorini, Finn Zechman and James Ellis each scored twice for South Portland, and Cooper Mehlhorn added a goal and two assists. Fiorini also had two assists.

BRUNSWICK 22, YARMOUTH 5: Aiden and Christian Glover each scored five goals and the Dragons (3-0) jumped out to a 10-0 lead after the first quarter against the Clippers (2-1) in Brunswick.

Aiden Glover added four assists, while Max Gramins scored four goals and Ben Palizay had three. Brunswick led 16-0 at halftime.

Anders Corey scored four goals for Yarmouth.

GARDINER 11, NYA 9: Tristen Hebert scored three goals to help the Tigers (5-0) beat the Panthers (1-2) in Yarmouth.

Sloane Berthiaume and Tanner Hebert each chipped in with two goals and two assists. Cody Rizzo also scored twice and Kyle Johnson had three assists.

Jack Labbe and Sam Johnson scored twice for NYA (1-2).

DEERING 12, MARANACOOK/WINTHROP 2: Omar Contreras recorded four goals and Nate Richards got three goals and two assists as the Rams (2-1) beat the Black Bears (2-2) in Portland.

Jonah Peterson and Zach Harvey each scored twice for Deering, with Peterson adding three assists.

]]> 0 Brown of Gorham slides safely across the plate in the sixth inning as Deering catcher Princehoward Yee waits for the throw.Sat, 29 Apr 2017 21:56:19 +0000
No big news for Patriots in draft Sun, 30 Apr 2017 00:32:04 +0000 It’s not who the New England Patriots picked up, it’s who they kept.

The Patriots decided to trade neither backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo nor defensive back Malcolm Butler over the three days of the NFL draft. Both had been the subject of active trade talks, with New Orleans pursuing Butler and Cleveland going after Garoppolo even up until the second day.

Garoppolo is a former third-round pick out of Eastern Illinois who performed well before he was injured as Tom Brady’s backup during the Deflategate suspension. When Garoppolo’s contract expires after the 2017 season, Coach Bill Belichick will have to decide whether to overpay him to smooth the transition for a time Brady is injured or retires.

Butler was the hero of New England’s Super Bowl victory in 2015 over the Seattle Seahawks, intercepting Russell Wilson at the goal line in the final minute. He can become a free agent after this season, and the Patriots talked with New Orleans about a deal that would have brought a first-round draft pick in return.

The Saints refused to give up their pick, No. 11 overall. They also had the No. 32 pick they obtained from New England for receiver Brandin Cooks, but no deal could be worked out.

But that didn’t mean Belichick wasn’t in a trading mood.

The Patriots used their top picks as trade bait, landing not only Cooks from the Saints but also pass-rusher Kony Ealy from Carolina for a second-rounder. They also gave up draft picks for tight end Dwayne Allen and running back Mike Gillislee.

On Saturday, New England shipped another pick (No. 183 overall) to Kansas City to get tight end James O’Shaughnessy and the No. 216 pick. They traded that and a seventh-rounder to take tackle Conor McDermott from UCLA.

Belichick made four trades over the three days. The Patriots entered the weekend with seven picks and wound up selecting just four players.

The Patriots already had forfeited their fourth-round pick – with $1 million and a 2016 first-rounder – in the ball deflation scheme known as Deflategate. After that pick – the 118th overall – was skipped, the Philadelphia Eagles picked North Carolina receiver Mack Hollins.

It’s not the first time the NFL has penalized the Patriots for cheating. After they were docked a first-rounder in the 2008 draft for the Spygate videotaping scandal, the New York Giants moved into their slot and took Miami safety Kenny Phillips.

And the spot for the 2016 first-rounder they lost in Deflategate was inherited by Arizona, which used it to take Mississippi defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche.

In addition to the trade for Ealy, the Patriots picked up a pair of pass-rushers in the draft: Youngstown State defensive end Derek Rivers in the third round and Arkansas defensive end Deatrich Wise Jr. in the fourth.

They also added a pair of offensive linemen: Antonio Garcia from Troy and McDermott.

Among the undrafted free agents the Patriots signed following the draft were twins Jacob Hollister of Wyoming (tight end) and Cody Hollister of Arkansas (wide receiver).

Other free-agent signings – according to newspaper reports, player tweets or agent tweets – were defensive tackle Josh Augusta of Missouri; linebacker Harvey Langi of Brigham Young; safety Jason Thompson of Utah; guard Jason King of Purdue; cornerback Kenny Moore of Valdosta State; defensive end Corey Vereen of Tennessee; and safety David Jones of Richmond.

After the draft, the Patriots had 20 spots to fill on their 90-man roster.

]]> 0 defensive end Deatrich Wise Jr. was selected Saturday by the New England Patriots with the 131st overall pick. Wise is 6-foot-5 and weighs 275 pounds. New England added four players in the seven-round draft.Sat, 29 Apr 2017 20:35:16 +0000
Major league roundup: Yankees’ offense dominates again Sat, 29 Apr 2017 23:50:07 +0000 NEW YORK — Brett Gardner, Aaron Judge and the thundering New York Yankees picked up right where they left off the previous night, steamrolling past the Baltimore Orioles 12-4 on Saturday for their fourth straight victory.

Gardner homered twice from the leadoff spot and had his first four RBI of the season. Austin Romine, the No. 9 batter, also went deep and knocked in five runs. Judge clocked his latest colossal homer and scored four times as New York won its 14th in 17 games to boost the American League’s best record to 15-7.

Michael Pineda (3-1) did not allow an earned run in 51/3 innings, striking out eight, and the Yankees knocked Baltimore out of first place in the AL East for the first time this season.

Orioles starter Ubaldo Jimenez (1-1) was tagged for a season-high seven runs – six earned – and five hits with three walks.

Friday night, the Yankees hit five homers and won 14-11.

BLUE JAYS 4, RAYS 1: Justin Smoak had three hits, including a two-run homer, and Toronto won at home to end a three-game losing streak.

Smoak went 3 for 3 and scored twice.

WHITE SOX 6, TIGERS 4: Melky Cabrera led off the 10th inning with a solo homer off Justin Wilson and Avisail Garcia added an RBI triple, lifting Chicago at Detroit for its sixth straight win.

Jose Abreu homered twice in his return to the lineup for Chicago. Detroit has lost four straight.

ATHLETICS 2, ASTROS 1: Khris Davis clubbed his 10th home run to back a solid start by Andrew Triggs and Oakland won at Houston to snap a five-game skid.

Oakland ended a 10-game losing streak against the Astros, which was the longest in franchise history against Houston.

INDIANS 4, MARINERS 3: Danny Salazar got off to a rocky start, then combined with two relievers to hold Seattle hitless over the final eight innings at Cleveland.

Salazar (2-2) gave up a double to Robinson Cano in the first, followed by homers on successive pitches to Nelson Cruz and Kyle Seager that made it 3-0.

RANGERS 6, ANGELS 3: Carlos Gomez’s seventh-inning home run gave him his second career cycle and Yu Darvish allowed two runs in six innings while throwing 125 pitches as Texas won at Arlington, Texas.

Rougned Odor hit a two-out, two-run homer in the fifth inning to break a 2-2 tie.

national league

METS 5, NATIONALS 3: Michael Conforto hit two home runs and slumping Jose Reyes also connected, leading New York at Washington.

The banged-up Mets had lost six straight when they began this series at Nationals Park against the team with the best record in the majors. Behind their power and bullpen, the Mets beat Washington for the second straight day.

PIRATES 4, MARLINS 0: Ivan Nova pitched a three-hitter and Pittsburgh won at Miami.

John Jaso homered and drove in two runs, Jordy Mercer knocked in a run, and Gregory Polanco had two doubles for the Pirates, who have won three straight.

BRAVES 11, BREWERS 3: Matt Kemp homered three times and drove in five runs, helping Atlanta win at Milwaukee.

]]> 0 Judge of the New York Yankees steals third base Saturday as Manny Machado of the Baltimore Orioles fields the throw during the fourth inning of the Yankees' 12-4 victory.Sat, 29 Apr 2017 22:48:12 +0000
NHL playoffs: Senators rally, win in OT Sat, 29 Apr 2017 23:48:01 +0000 OTTAWA, Ontario — Jean-Gabriel Pageau got his fourth goal of the game in the second overtime after scoring twice late in regulation, lifting the Ottawa Senators over the New York Rangers 6-5 Saturday in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Ottawa leads the series 2-0 despite trailing by two goals after Brady Skjei’s score with 14:50 left in the third. Pageau cut it to 5-4 with 3:19 left in the period, then tied it with 1:02 remaining.

Pageau scored again 2:54 into the second OT, snapping in a shot during a 2-on-1 rush alongside Tommy Wingels. Pageau is the first Senator ever with four goals in a playoff game.

Marc Methot and Mark Stone also scored for Ottawa, and Craig Anderson had 43 saves.

Skjei had two goals for New York and Michael Grabner, Chris Kreider and Derek Stepan also scored. Henrik Lundqvist stopped 28 shots.

PENGUINS 6, CAPITALS 2: Phil Kessel scored twice, Sidney Crosby set up more goals and Pittsburgh chased Braden Holtby on the way to a victory at Washington for a 2-0 lead in the second-round series.

Marc-Andre Fleury was brilliant again in stopping 34 of the 36 shots he faced for Pittsburgh, which also got goals from Matt Cullen, Jake Guentzel and Evgeni Malkin. The Penguins scored three goals on 14 shots against Holtby, who was pulled in favor of Philipp Grubauer after the second period.

Grubauer didn’t fare much better, allowing two goals on nine shots. Matt Niskanen and Nicklas Backstrom scored for the Capitals, who outshot the Penguins 36-23 but still face an uphill task of trying to become just the 19th team to win a series after losing the first two games at home.

Guentzel added an empty-net goal to seal it for the Penguins, his playoff-best seventh.


DRAFT LOTTERY: The New Jersey Devils won the draft lottery, vaulting four teams, including the last-place Colorado Avalanche and expansion Vegas Golden Knights, for the right to the first pick in the draft.

The Philadelphia Flyers and Dallas Stars both made huge jumps in winning the second and third lottery drawings.

]]> 0 Sat, 29 Apr 2017 23:27:32 +0000
Cubs belt 3 homers, rally past Red Sox Sat, 29 Apr 2017 23:46:40 +0000 BOSTON — Anthony Rizzo hit a two-run homer, and Miguel Montero and Ben Zobrist had solo shots, helping the Chicago Cubs rebound from a series-opening loss with a 7-4 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Saturday.

Kris Bryant had two hits and scored twice for Chicago, backing a decent start by former Red Sox righty John Lackey.

Lackey (2-3) gave up four runs in six innings, snapping his string of losses in three straight starts. He was part of Boston’s 2013 World Series title team.

Hanley Ramirez and Andrew Benintendi had solo homers for the Red Sox, who have the majors’ fewest homers.

Steven Wright (1-3) gave up five runs and seven hits in 6 1/3 innings.

Wade Davis pitched the ninth for his sixth save.

With summer-like temperatures for the second straight day and a marquee matchup with the defending champs, there was added buzz around the ballpark hours before the game.

Mixed in the fans flocking around Fenway Park were numerous Cubs fans wearing jerseys – many with “Sandberg,” “Bryant” or “Rizzo” on the back. There was a loud “Let’s Go Cubbies!” in the ninth.

The Cubs overcame a 4-2 deficit with a run in the sixth inning and three in a seventh that was highlighted by two errors on one play.

Zobrist’s run-scoring grounder sliced it to 4-3. Montero homered leading off the seventh against Wright before Kyle Schwarber’s RBI single pushed them ahead.

Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts threw the ball away for an error on Rizzo’s fielder’s choice, allowing Schwarber to score. First baseman Mitch Moreland retrieved and fired it into left field.

Jackie Bradley Jr.’s RBI single made it 1-0 in the second.

Benintendi had a sacrifice fly and Ramirez belted his homer over the Green Monster seats completely out of Fenway, a shot estimated at 469 feet, in the third.

With all the hitters facing knuckleballer Wright for the first time, many had weak swings the first time up before Bryant opened the fourth with a hard single and Rizzo followed with his drive to the back of Chicago’s bullpen.

Benintendi hit his homer over Boston’s bullpen.


Red Sox: Ace LHP David Price, out since spring training with a strained left elbow, threw a two-inning simulated game before batting practice. “I know when he walked off he said he felt good,” manager John Farrell said. The plan is to have a bullpen Monday and another simulated Thursday.


Cubs President Theo Epstein brought Pete Frates, a former Boston College baseball captain who was diagnosed with ALS five years ago and inspired the Ice Bucket Challenge to raise funds for the disease, onto the field before the game. He also went to the clubhouse and brought Bryant and Rizzo with him after introducing manager Joe Maddon.


The Cubs hadn’t faced a knuckleballer since 2011.

That year, they lost to then-Boston RHP Tim Wakefield before beating R.A. Dickey – with Toronto at the time – four days later.


Cubs: RHP Kyle Hendricks (2-1, 4.50 ERA) is set to start Sunday night’s nationally televised finale with his first career start against Boston.

Red Sox: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (1-1, 3.12) is slated to make his first career start against the Cubs.

]]> 0 Cubs infielder Ben Zobrist tags out Boston second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who was trying to reach on a single during the sixth inning Saturday.Sat, 29 Apr 2017 22:08:57 +0000
Major League notebook: Price pitches simulated game Sat, 29 Apr 2017 23:13:53 +0000 BOSTON — Left-hander David Price got back on the Fenway Park mound Saturday for a two-inning simulated game before the Boston Red Sox took batting practice for their game against the Chicago Cubs.

Under the watchful eye of the team president, Dave Dombrowski, who was positioned on a step on the batting cage, Manager John Farrell, pitching coach Carl Willis and other players, Price threw to Chris Young, Josh Rutledge and Chase d’Arnaud.

Price has been sidelined by a strained left elbow since early in spring training. There is no set timetable for the former AL Cy Young Award winner to return.

“It was a quality workday for him, accomplished what the plan was and that was for two simulated innings after he warmed up,” Farrell said.

“Good intensity. I know when he walked off he said he felt good.”

Farrell said Price would throw a bullpen session Monday before likely getting back on the mound for another simulated game Thursday.

“We’re happy with the progress he’s making and we’ll continue to take this week by week,” Farrell said.

ANGELS: Los Angeles put first baseman C.J. Cron and left-handed starter Tyler Skaggs on the 10-day disabled list.

Cron has a bruised left foot and Skaggs has a strained right oblique. They both left Friday night’s game against Texas.

MARINERS: Seattle placed right-hander Evan Scribner on the 10-day disabled list with a sore elbow and recalled outfielder Boog Powell from Triple-A Tacoma.

The Mariners have seven players on the DL, including two starting pitchers – staff ace Felix Hernandez (right shoulder bursitis) and left-hander Drew Smyly (flexor strain).

NATIONALS: Washington placed outfielder Adam Eaton on the 10-day disabled list with a left knee strain.

“We’re hopeful it’s not as serious as it looked,” said Manager Dusty Baker.

]]> 0 Sat, 29 Apr 2017 20:46:38 +0000
Boys’ lacrosse: Cape Elizabeth upends Scarborough Sat, 29 Apr 2017 22:19:13 +0000 SCARBOROUGH — Twin brothers Owen and Connor Thoreck each scored four goals Saturday afternoon while leading Cape Elizabeth to a 13-6 boys’ lacrosse win over Scarborough.

Owen Thoreck scored his first goal with 5:21 left in the first quarter to give the Capers a 2-1 advantage.

“(Owen) didn’t necessarily create his own goals, he worked off ball, got some work done off (ball),” said Cape Elizabeth Coach Ben Raymond.

The game was tied 2-2 after one quarter. Just over four minutes into the second quarter, Connor Thoreck scored his first goal to give Cape Elizabeth (1-1) a lead it would not relinquish.

“It’s awesome (playing with Owen). We love it, we work on it in the backyard, we definitely come out ready to play. We just want to score goals and win games,” said Connor Thoreck, who scored again with 2:38 to go in the first half to extend the Capers’ lead to 6-3.

“Whenever (Connor) has a short stick on him, he should be looking to go attack the cage. People have a hard time dealing with him when he goes full speed,” said Raymond. “Connor’s performance this afternoon is the difference.”

Cape Elizabeth led 7-3 going into halftime, but Scarborough (2-2) came out firing in the second half as Mason Parks and Marc Guerrette scored in the first 35 seconds to make it 7-5.

“We just wanted to make sure that we continued to push. At that point it was just executing one play at a time,” said Scarborough Coach Joe Hezlep.

The Capers showed great resolve, responding less than a minute later with a goal from Jacob Brydson. Owen Thoreck followed up with a pair of goals in a two-minute span to increase the cushion to 10-5.

“(Connor) is my twin, so we have that connection there. We both really push ourselves really hard and set high expectations and standards,” said Owen. “We just try to go hard on every defender no matter who it is.”

Connor Thoreck scored back-to-back goals to start the fourth quarter, pushing the lead to 12-6.

“I think there’s a little competition (with Owen), not too much. We’re passing or shooting, we just let it happen. We do the best for the team, it’s all for the team,” said Connor Thoreck. “It’s a little bit of a competition, I’d like to say, but most of it is just trying to get goals and assists for the team.”

Freshman goalie Jack Dresser also had a strong game for the Capers, making seven saves.

“(Dresser) is a stud. He played really well and the defense played really well in the clears,” said Owen Thoreck.

Scarborough senior goalie Dominic Joy was peppered with tough shots all afternoon and made 20 saves.

“(Joy) has matured so much. The difference in the goalie from last year is leaps and bounds. Last year, he was a good goalie, but this year his fitness level is better,” said Hezlep.

Cam Thibault scored twice and Marco Manfra had a goal and an assist for Scarborough.

“In typical fashion, Cape (Elizabeth) finishes and executes better than we do, and that was really the story of the day,” said Hezlep.

]]> 0 Sat, 29 Apr 2017 18:52:48 +0000
Emotional Celtics set for Wizards Sat, 29 Apr 2017 22:04:01 +0000 CHICAGO — The Boston Celtics got hit with a devastating emotional blow just as the playoffs were about to start. They dropped the first two games at home, too.

Just as things really were starting to look bleak, they began to show just why they earned the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.

The Celtics rallied to knock off the Chicago Bulls in six games, and now they’re ready for a collision with John Wall and the Washington Wizards in the East semifinals.

“Sometimes, we lose sight of the important things in life,” Al Horford said after Boston knocked out Chicago 105-83 on Friday night. “You appreciate life at the same time when you don’t take for granted any of the moments. It was a rough couple of days for us to start the playoffs. The team wasn’t ready.”

Isaiah Thomas and his family were rocked by the death of his sister Chyna in a car accident the day before the playoff opener. The Celtics star attended funeral services in Washington on Saturday and was expected to be available for Game 1, but Coach Brad Stevens said that was not the most important issue.

“(Saturday) is a lot more important than Sunday,” Stevens said. “It’s difficult, but it’s a basketball game. He’ll be ready to play. And if he decides when he gets there it’s too much, that’s OK. That’s fine.

“This (being with his family) is a lot more important.”

Against the Bulls, Thomas played through tears at times. But he also got the support he needed from his teammates and gave the Celtics a big lift in the series.

“He’s gonna have a busy 24 hours,” Jae Crowder said. “He’s shown he can overcome a lot. We’re his family, he’s going to be with his family, so I think he’ll be able to bounce back. But we know he’s going through a lot, and he wants us to prepare, and that’s what we’re gonna do. We’re gonna prepare, and when he gets back he said he’ll be ready to go.”

Avery Bradley did what the Celtics needed him to do against Chicago, whether he was sticking with Jimmy Butler or pouring in the points. He scored a career playoff-high 24 in Game 5 and almost matched that with 23 in the clincher.

The Celtics also benefited from a lineup switch after Game 2, going with Gerald Green over Amir Johnson. All he did was score 18 points in Game 4 and 16 in Game 6 to help Boston win a tougher-than-expected series.

“The lineup change I thought really helped us,” Horford said. “Bringing Gerald Green in and moving me to the 5, I felt like we really were able to spread them out and take advantage of certain looks we haven’t gone to all year. I think that for us, that was the difference. Once we made that adjustment, we were harder to guard. We got it together, and we got it going.”

How far can they go?

The Celtics advanced in the playoffs for the first time since 2012. They looked more like the team that led the East with 53 wins to finish two games ahead of defending champion Cleveland and Toronto as this series wore on.

Sure, it didn’t hurt that the Bulls’ Rajon Rondo sat out the final four games because of a broken right thumb. Chicago struggled in a big way without him, but Boston had something to do with that, too. And in Game 6, it was no contest.

The Celtics set the tone by hitting 3s on their first three possessions on the way to a 13-point halftime lead.

They buried Chicago in the third, outscoring the Bulls 34-18. Things got so lopsided that Thomas gathered his teammates near the baseline late in the quarter and screamed: “That’s a wrap for these (expletives)!”

It was a big exclamation mark for a team that looked as if it might be on the way to a quick exit after Game 2. They’re staring at another big challenge, trying to slow Wall and the Wizards.

But Crowder likes what he’s seeing from the Celtics.

“A lot of underdogs in this locker room,” he said. “A lot of guys who had to prove themselves in this league … who’ve been through the ropes, who’ve had to prove themselves. It’s in our DNA.”

The Wizards battled with Atlanta in the opening round with the home team winning the first five games of series until Friday when John Wall set a career playoff-high with 42 points and the Wizards finally broke through on the road to end Atlanta’s season. It was a much-needed confidence boost heading into a series lacking the home-court advantage.

“We can win on the road,” said Bradley Beal, who also came up big in the series-clinching victory with 31 points.

Wall and Beal will certainly lead the way against the Celtics. Atlanta Coach Mike Budenholzer said they are a challenging 1-2 punch for any team to defend.

“When you have multiple pick-and-roll players, multiple ball-handlers, that can move you side to side,” he said. “And they’re different, too, so how you want to guard one isn’t how you want to guard the other. … No doubt they’ve both improved and both are playing well. Those guys are a handful.”

Wall averaged 29.5 points in the six games against the Hawks. Despite struggling early on with his shot, Beal finished the series at 25.8.

“That’s how they have to play for us,” center Marcin Gortat said. “They’re both the head of the snake. They both have to be productive for us.”

They might need a bit more help deeper into the playoffs. One option is Markieff Morris, who battled foul trouble through much of the series against the Hawks before settling down in Game 6. He was called for only two fouls, finishing with 17 points and eight rebounds.

But as long as the Wizards have Wall and Beal, they’ve got a chance.

“Listen, they’re bad boys, both of them,” Gortat said.

“When they’re locked in, and when they’re playing team basketball, they’re ridiculously good. That’s enough.”

]]> 0 Thomas attended his sister's funeral on Saturday and Boston is expecting him to play in Game 1 against the Wizards.Sat, 29 Apr 2017 18:09:38 +0000
Patriots add pass rusher and tackle Sat, 29 Apr 2017 03:33:19 +0000 FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots held on to coveted backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo through the first three rounds of the NFL draft, choosing instead to make a couple minor deals Friday night and pick up help on the offensive and defensive lines.

Spurning offers for Garoppolo, who won’t play in New England unless Tom Brady is injured or retires, Patriots Coach Bill Belichick waited out the first seven hours of the draft. Asked how close he came to trading Garoppolo – the Cleveland Browns were one suitor – Belichick declined to say.

“I’m not going to comment on anybody’s … ,” he said. “Everybody that’s on the team is here to compete, and that’s what we’re going to do.”

New England gave up its first-round pick to get receiver Brandin Cooks from New Orleans, and traded its second-round pick for Carolina pass-rusher Kony Ealy. The Patriots also gave up draft picks to land Colts tight end Dwayne Allen and Bills running back Mike Gillislee.

“We’ve been watching a lot of picks go by,” Belichick said. “The four players that we acquired already are also part of the draft.”

After waiting out the entire first day of the draft and another three-plus hours on Day 2, Belichick traded the No. 72 pick to Tennessee for a pick later in the third round (No. 83) and used it to select Youngstown State defensive end Derek Rivers. Belichick said he liked the fact that 6-foot-4, 248-pound edge rusher was well-coached in college, and also praised his performance in the all-star games. Rivers set a school record with 511/2 career sacks.

The Patriots then made a deal with Detroit to acquire the No. 85 pick and used it to select Antonio Garcia, a tackle from Troy. Garcia visited with the Patriots last week and Belichick was impressed.

“I think he’ll be competitive,” the coach said.

The Patriots have three picks remaining, in the fourth, fifth and seventh rounds.

After being spurned by the Patriots in their bid to acquire Garoppolo, the Browns found a quarterback right down the road, drafting Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer, a native of Toledo, Ohio.

After ignoring their most pressing need in the first round and sidestepping other quarterbacks, including hometown hero Mitchell Trubisky, who was chosen second overall by Chicago, the Browns selected Kizer in the second round with the No. 52 overall pick. The 6-foot-4, 233-pounder struggled last season for the Fighting Irish, but the Browns are intrigued with his size, arm and upside.

“Obviously, he has the measureables,” said Coach Hue Jackson. “A big, physical quarterback who can make all the throws that anybody needs to make in the National Football League. He’s intelligent. So he has the characteristics that we’re looking for.”

Cincinnati raised some eyebrows with their second-round: Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon, who was uninvited to the scouting combine because he was videotaped punching a woman in the face, breaking bones.

Fans in the draft theater booed lustily when Bengals Hall of Famer Anthony Munoz announced the choice. Cincinnati has a history of bringing players with off-field problems to the roster.

“For some of our fans, probably (they’ll) pause for a second,” Bengals Coach Marvin Lewis said. “But this thing’s got to move forward, and he’s got to move on. He’s lived with this since the day it’s occurred.”

]]> 0, 28 Apr 2017 23:40:30 +0000
NHL playoffs: Blues win to tie series Sat, 29 Apr 2017 03:21:25 +0000 ST. LOUIS – Vladimir Tarasenko scored twice, including the tiebreaking goal with 3:51 left Friday night to give the St. Louis Blues a 3-2 victory against the Nashville Predators in Game 2 to tie the Western Conference semifinal series.

Jori Lehtera also scored for the Blues, and Jake Allen stopped 22 shots – including 14 in the third period.

Ryan Ellis had a goal and an assist, and James Neal also scored for the Predators, who had their franchise-high five-game postseason winning streak snapped. Pekka Rinne finished with 17 saves.

Game 3 is Sunday at Nashville, Tennessee.

Tarasenko’s winner came on a lucky bounce. Jaden Schwartz led the rush and initially tried to pass to Carl Gunnarsson, but it was off the mark and bounced off Gunnarsson’s foot right to Tarasenko’s stick.

It was the first lead for St. Louis in 116:09 of the series.

Ellis put the Predators ahead 2-1 at 3:07 of the third period, taking advantage of a turnover by Vladimir Sobotka and firing a slap shot past Allen.

Lehtera tied it at 7:39. Colton Parayko’s shot came loose in front of the net and Patrik Berglund took a whack at it before Lehtera buried it for his first goal of the postseason.

Neal gave the Predators a 1-0 lead at 7:49 of the first period. Ellis took a shot from the point that deflected off Colton Sissons and then Neal before deflecting over Allen and into the net.

Tarasenko made it 1-1 with a power-play goal with 19.4 seconds remaining in the opening period.


HURRICANES-BLACKHAWKS: Carolina acquired goalie Scott Darling, a former University of Maine player, from Chicago for a draft pick.

The Blackhawks will receive a third-round pick in this summer’s draft.

PENGUINS: Carl Hagelin will be a game-time decision to return to the lineup Saturday night for Game 2 against Washington.

Coach Mike Sullivan said Hagelin has progressed far enough in his recovery from a lower-body injury to be an option to play for the first time since March 10. Hagelin took part in a full-contact practice, opening the door for the winger’s return.

]]> 0 Fri, 28 Apr 2017 23:28:01 +0000
Sports Digest: Sea Dogs beaten at Reading Sat, 29 Apr 2017 03:19:19 +0000 BASEBALL

Sea Dogs’ rally falls short as Phils gain 10-7 victory

Carlos Tocci tripled and singled twice, driving in two runs Friday night as the Reading Fightin Phils held on for a 10-7 victory against the visiting Portland Sea Dogs.

Tzu-Wei Lin hit a solo home run in the second inning and Aneury Tavarez followed with an RBI single to give Portland (9-7) a 4-2 lead.

Reading (10-7) tied it in the bottom of the inning with a two-run homer by Scott Kingery. The Fightin Phils added two runs in the third and three in the fourth to take a 9-4 lead.

Portland trailed 10-5 going into the eighth but got two runs on a sacrifice fly by Danny Mars and an RBI single by Cole Sturgeon.


BASEBALL: The University of Southern Maine will officially open its softball stadium and dedicate its baseball field to a longtime coach this weekend.

On Saturday, USM will have a opening ceremony for its softball stadium at 12:15 p.m. that will include recognition of the team’s five seniors. USM will then play a doubleheader against Eastern Connecticut.

Following the games, an alumni slow-pitch softball game and barbecue will begin at 5 p.m.

On Sunday, USM will dedicate its baseball field to Ed Flaherty, in his 32nd year as coach. Flaherty has won over 960 career games and led USM to NCAA Division III national championships in 1991 and 1997. USM has won eight regional championships. That 1997 national championship team will also be honored.

The dedication will begin at 12:15 p.m. and will include remarks by Bob Prince, a member of the 1991 championship team and now the coach at UMass-Dartmouth.

USM will play Western New England at 1 p.m.


PORSCHE GRAND PRIX: Maria Sharapova won again at Stuttgart, Germany, to move into the semifinals after beating Anett Kontaveit of Estonia, 6-3, 6-4.

Sharapova, returning from a 15-month doping ban, next faces the fourth-seeded Simona Halep, who progressed against Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia, 6-3, 6-1.

BARCELONA OPEN: Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray advanced together again, reaching the semifinals in the same manner they won all week: Nadal cruised and Murray labored.


PENN RELAYS: Emily Durgin of Standish and the University of Connecticut won the 10,000 meters by nearly 40 seconds Thursday night and lowered her personal best by more than 30 seconds with her time of 33:49.30 in Philadelpha.

In Friday events, Isaiah Harris of Lewiston anchored Penn State to a second-place finish in the sprint medley relay, and Jake Koffman of Orono High was fourth in the boys’ discus.

Penn State posted a time of 3:17.40 in the sprint medley relay, which was won by G.C. Foster of Jamaica in 3:16.15.

Koffman, a Stanford University signee, had a best throw of 191 feet, 3 inches. Roje Stona of Jamaica won with a distance of 212-9.

RUSSIAN BANNED: Russian middle-distance runner Yekaterina Sharmina was banned until 2022 after a second doping sanction in six months.


PREMIER LEAGUE: Tottenham Hotspur, second behind Chelsea in the standings, will play its home games next season at Wembley Stadium while its new stadium is completed.

Spurs called White Hart Lane home for 118 years but will play its last game there May 14 against Manchester United.

]]> 0 Fri, 28 Apr 2017 23:27:03 +0000
Friday’s major league roundup: Yankees stun Orioles with huge comeback Sat, 29 Apr 2017 03:13:17 +0000 NEW YORK — Matt Holliday hit a three-run homer in the 10th inning and the New York Yankees completed a stunning rally from an eight-run deficit, outslugging the Baltimore Orioles 14-11 on Friday night.

In a game of home run derby, Starlin Castro tied it with a two-run drive that capped a three-run burst in the ninth off Brad Brach. In the 10th, Holliday hit the eighth home run of the evening – five by the Yankees – with one out off Jayson Aquino (1-1).

Down 9-1 in the sixth, the Yankees pulled off their biggest comeback since overcoming a 9-0 gap to beat Boston 15-9 in 2012.

RAYS 7, BLUE JAYS 4: Logan Morrison hit a two-run homer, Evan Longoria and Corey Dickerson added solo shots and Tampa Bay connected three times in the eighth inning at Toronto.

Derek Norris added a solo homer in the ninth. He had two hits and two RBI.

Kevin Pillar homered and reached base five times for the Blue Jays, who lost their third straight. Toronto’s 6-17 start is the worst in franchise history.

WHITE SOX 7, TIGERS 3: Geovany Soto broke open a tie game with a two-run single in the eighth inning, helping Chicago earn a win at Detroit.

Anthony Swarzak (2-0) pitched two scoreless innings for the White Sox, who won their fifth straight.

Tigers reliever Alex Wilson (0-1) allowed two hits and two unearned runs in the eighth. Detroit third baseman Nick Castellanos committed two errors in the inning, and three in the game, leading to Soto’s go-ahead hit.

MARINERS 3, INDIANS 1: Ariel Miranda allowed two hits and pitched into the sixth inning, Robinson Cano and Ben Gamel homered and Seattle won at Cleveland.

Miranda (2-2) didn’t give up a hit until Jose Ramirez’s one-out homer in the fourth. The left-hander struck out seven in 51/3 innings

Cano hit a two-run homer in the fourth. Gamel added a solo shot in the sixth, a towering drive to right.

Three Seattle pitchers combined to strike out 14 against the defending AL champions. Edwin Diaz recorded the final four outs, three on strikeouts, for his fourth save. He struck out Edwin Encarnacion with a runner on to end the eighth and pitched a perfect ninth.


METS 7, NATIONALS 5: Josh Edgin relieved closer Jeurys Familia with the bases loaded in the ninth inning and got Bryce Harper to hit into a game-ending double play, and visiting New York stopped a six-game losing streak.

Travis d’Arnaud then homered twice and had five RBIs for the Mets. D’Arnaud hit a two-run homer in the second and a three-run drive in the fourth off Max Scherzer (3-2), who lasted six innings.

Jacob deGrom (1-1) struck out 12 in his third consecutive double-digit strikeout game and the 13th of his career.

Ryan Zimmerman homered twice for the Nationals, who had won 10 of 11. Zimmerman tied Andre Dawson for second on the franchise’s all-time list with 225 home runs.

PIRATES 12, MARLINS 2: Francisco Cervelli drove in three runs and Pittsburgh scored eight times in the second inning, at Miami

Jordy Mercer homered and had two RBI, Josh Harrison had three hits and knocked in two, and Andrew McCutchen also drove in a pair of runs for the Pirates, who snapped a six-game losing streak to the Marlins.

]]> 0 Castro of the Yankees celebrates after hitting a two-run homer in the ninth inning Friday to force extra innings against the Baltimore Orioles. The Yankees won in 10 innings, 14-11.Fri, 28 Apr 2017 23:16:48 +0000
NBA playoffs: Wizards earn spot against Celtics Sat, 29 Apr 2017 02:52:29 +0000 ATLANTA — John Wall scored 42 points, Bradley Beal added 31 and the Washington Wizards withstood a furious Atlanta comeback to close out the Hawks with a 115-99 victory Friday night, winning the opening-round playoff series in six games.

The Wizards advanced to face top-seeded Boston in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

The Hawks fell behind by 22 early in the third quarter before making a game of it down the stretch. But they never led and Wall stymied the rally with huge plays at both ends of the court.

Wall’s block of Dennis Schroder’s layup kept the Hawks from closing within a point, and Wall hit every big shot in the closing minutes. He scored 19 points in the fourth quarter, ensuring that Washington picked up the first road victory by either team in the series.

Paul Millsap led the Hawks with 31 points, and Schroder had 26.

After losing three close games in Washington, the Hawks seemed to run out of steam in the return home, ending a disappointing season.

Washington pushed out to a double-digit lead late in the first quarter and closed the half on a 19-4 run to take a 65-46 lead at the break. The Hawks turned the ball over six times during that five-minute stretch.

Atlanta finished with 22 turnovers, including seven by Kent Bazemore.

But it was Wall, still seething over a second-round loss to the Hawks two years ago in which he was sidelined with a broken hand, taking control in the final period.

The turning point came with Atlanta on the cusp of coming all the way back.

With his team trailing 93-90, Schroder came up with a steal and took off for what looked like an uncontested layup. But Wall swooped in from behind and batted the ball off the backboard.

At the other end, Wall somehow got a stumbling drive to fall. Jose Calderon of Atlanta missed a 3-pointer, and Wall knocked down a pullup jumper to stretch the lead back to 97-90.

The Hawks called a timeout, and Wall stared down the courtside fans before heading to the bench.

After Wall’s huge block, Washington outscored Atlanta 22-9 to win going away.


PACERS: Larry Bird is stepping down as president of basketball operations – a stunningly abrupt move even for an NBA legend known for making swift decisions.

General Manager Kevin Pritchard will be elevated to take his place.

]]> 0 Fri, 28 Apr 2017 22:58:09 +0000
Sox score 5 in first inning, hold off Cubs, 5-4 Sat, 29 Apr 2017 02:51:02 +0000 BOSTON — Against Chicago Cubs ace Jake Arrieta, the Red Sox didn’t have time for a slow start Friday night – not exactly a strength for them this season.

Andrew Benintendi helped Boston solve that issue, and the club just had to hang on from there.

Benintendi hit a solo homer off Arrieta to spark a five-run first inning and Boston beat Chicago 5-4.

The Red Sox had just seven first-inning runs this season entering Friday.

“Being able to scratch a few across, put up a crooked number early is always nice,” Mitch Moreland said. “It kind of helps everybody settle in.”

Every Boston starter had at least one hit, and Moreland, Hanley Ramirez, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Christian Vazquez also drove in a run each.

Left-hander Drew Pomeranz (2-1) got the win with six innings of two-run ball, surrendering early solo homers to Kris Bryant and Albert Almora Jr. before settling in. He allowed six hits and two walks while striking out seven.

Boston has won its last nine interleague games at Fenway Park.

Arrieta (3-1) logged his shortest start since Aug. 28, 2014, lasting only 41/3 innings and giving up 10 hits and three walks with five strikeouts.

“The home run I gave up, just a ball elevated,” Arrieta said. “Made a few pitches in spots that I shouldn’t have. And they strung some hits together.”

Arrieta also had a tough beginning against Cincinnati in his last start, and this is the first time in his career that he has allowed four first-inning earned runs in consecutive outings. Arrieta took a no-hitter into the eighth inning in his last start in Boston on June 30, 2014.

Ben Zobrist also drove in a run for Chicago, which is playing its third regular-season series at Fenway and first since 2014.

After pulling within a run in the seventh, Chicago threatened again in the eighth with runners on first and second and one out. Fernando Abad came on and got both pinch-hitter Matt Szczur and Kyle Schwarber to strike out swinging.

Craig Kimbrel struck out Bryant and Anthony Rizzo to open the ninth before Zobrist doubled. Addison Russell then struck out to end the game, and Kimbrel locked up his eighth save.

“Fernando’s two strikeouts were key, and then Kimbrel has been Craig. He’s been overpowering. Great stuff,” Boston Manager John Farrell said.

NOTES: Chicago pitchers Jon Lester, John Lackey and Koji Uehara were given a video tribute after the top of the second inning for their return to Fenway Park. All three were members of Boston’s World Series championship team in 2013. Anthony Rizzo, once a top prospect in Boston’s farm system, was also back at Fenway along with Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein, the former Red Sox general manager who helped end the team’s 86-year championship drought in 2004. “I’m definitely still a Bostonian. I’m just lucky to have a great second home in Chicago. I consider them both home,” said Epstein, who was raised in nearby Brookline. “How lucky is that?” … OF/INF Brock Holt (vertigo) began a five-game rehab stint with Triple-A Pawtucket on Friday night, getting four at-bats as the designated hitter. … LHP David Price (left elbow strain) is still on track to face live hitters Saturday for the first time since spring training.

]]> 0's Andrew Benintendi gestures as he crosses the plate with a solo home run in the first inning Friday night against the Cubs at Fenway Park.Sat, 29 Apr 2017 00:07:35 +0000
Celtics win fourth straight against Bulls, head to second round Sat, 29 Apr 2017 02:45:20 +0000 CHICAGO — The Boston Celtics kept reminding each other not to let up as they closed in on a lopsided victory and a trip to the Eastern Conference semifinals.

No need to worry about that.

Avery Bradley scored 23 points, and the hot-shooting Celtics pounded the Chicago Bulls 105-83 to win their first-round series 4-2 on Friday night.

The top-seeded Celtics simply torched Chicago to finish off a tougher-than-anticipated series and advance in the playoffs for the first time since 2012. Boston regrouped after dropping the first two games at home and will meet Washington in the Eastern semifinals. Game 1 is Sunday.

“Once we started to get the game at hand and in control, we all just kept repeating to stay focused, to keep it going, to keep pushing,” Al Horford said. “We didn’t want to give them any life. We were as focused and we were enjoying the moment.”

Bradley finished one point shy of a playoff career high he set in Game 5. He nailed three 3-pointers and the Celtics hit 16 of 39 from long range.

Gerald Green scored 16 in his fourth straight start and Isaiah Thomas had 12 before heading home to Washington state for his sister Chyna’s funeral on Saturday. Her death in a car accident the day before the playoff opener dealt a blow to the Celtics. But Boston rallied around its star player and regrouped when it looked like the series might slip from reach.

“Bigger things than basketball happen and that takes precedent,” Coach Brad Stevens said. “I was really proud of our guys, how they treated each other and how they stuck together. Nobody pointed fingers and we’re a great support network for one another, especially Isaiah. I think they appreciated being counted out.”

Jimmy Butler led Chicago with 23 points. But the Bulls never really found their rhythm over the final four games with point guard Rajon Rondo sidelined by a broken right thumb.

Dwyane Wade shot just 1 of 10 in a two-point effort that could be his final appearance for the Bulls. He has a $23.8 million option on the two-year deal he signed last summer to leave Miami and come home to Chicago.

“The big thing about it is we got off to poor starts in pretty much every game after the first two,” Coach Fred Hoiberg said. “But we found a way to bounce back and make it close.”

Not this time.

The Celtics set the tone by hitting 3s on their first three possessions on the way to a 13-point halftime lead. They buried Chicago in the third, outscoring the Bulls 34-18. Things got so lopsided that Thomas gathered his teammates near the baseline late in the quarter and screamed: “That’s a wrap for these (expletives)!”

“We came out and moved the ball around, we got open looks and they were going down for us,” Bradley said. “It felt good to be playing Celtic basketball again. We were all smiling and having fun and that’s how it’s supposed to be.”

NOTES: The Celtics are 5-0 in playoff series against the Bulls. … Boston made 76 3-pointers in the series, Chicago hit 42.

]]> 0's Gerald Green dunks as Chicago's Nikola Mirotic, left, and Jimmy Butler watch during the first half of Friday night's NBA playoff game at Chicago.Sat, 29 Apr 2017 00:30:47 +0000
Friday’s girls’ roundup: Thornton prevails in softball Sat, 29 Apr 2017 02:42:34 +0000 SACO — Kaitlin Verreault stuck out eight and also had three hits Friday to lead Thornton Academy to a 9-2 victory against Marshwood in an SMAA softball game.

Olivia Howe and Verreault each had two doubles for Thornton (3-0), which took a 3-0 lead in the second inning.

Marshwood (1-2) cut the lead to 3-2 in the third before Thornton added six runs over the next three innings.

Verrault allowed four hits and walked one.

FRYEBURG ACADEMY 3, CAPE ELIZABETH 1: Nicole Bennett doubled home Makayla Cooper to break a scoreless tie in the fourth inning as the Raiders (3-0) pulled away from the Capers (1-2) at Cape Elizabeth.

Bennett scored later in the inning on a double by Paige O’Connell to make it 2-0. The Raiders added a run in the fifth, and Maddie Culkin singled home Elena Keller in the bottom of the inning for Cape Elizabeth.

Bennett allowed one run on five hits, striking out four. Jessica Robicheaw of Cape gave up two earned runs on three hits, striking out five.

POLAND 8, LAKE REGION 7: Amanda Gagne hit an RBI single during a three-run sixth inning as the Knights (4-0) defeated the Lakers (0-3) at Naples.

Morgan Brousseau had three hits, including a double, and Alyssa Gagne added two hits for Poland. Kaylyn Lorrain had two hits for Lake Region, including an RBI double, and Haley Fernald doubled and scored on a throwing error in the seventh.

OCEANSIDE 10, MARANACOOK 1: Abby Veilleux went 4 for 4 in a 17-hit offense and drove in a run for the Mariners (3-1) against the Black Bears (1-2) at Readfield.

Hannah Moholland hit a first-inning two-run homer and added an RBI double, and Kalli Grover had three hits for Oceanside.

Kiara Degan had a pair of hits for Maranacook.

Chloe Jones of the Mariners allowed one earned run on four hits, striking out 11 and walking one.

GORHAM 11, WESTBROOK 1: The Rams (2-1) totaled 12 hits and powered past the Blue Blazes (0-3) at Westbrook.

Shayla Harris hit a two-run single with two outs in the fourth inning as Gorham opened a 4-0 lead. Kiana Tracey had two hits for Gorham, including an RBI double in the fourth.

Angelica Johns led Westbrook with two hits, driving in the run with a double in the fourth.

Grace McGouldrick of Gorham allowed three hits, two walks and one run with seven strikeouts.

BIDDEFORD 8, SOUTH PORTLAND 5: Aibhlin O’Connor had four hits, including a home run and a double, and the Tigers (1-2) finished with 17 hits to get by the Red Riots (0-3) at South Portland.

O’Connor doubled home two runs in a three-run third inning to give Biddeford a 4-0 lead. Kaitlyn Stewart and Alexis Matteau each added two hits for the Tigers. Courtney Luce had a double and drove in two runs, and Stephanie and Ashlee Aceto each had two hits for South Portland.

SCARBOROUGH 16, CHEVERUS/NORTH YARMOUTH ACADEMY 0: The Red Storm (2-0) scored seven runs in the second inning, and Chloe Griffin and Lilly Volk combined to hold the Stags (0-3) hitless in a five-inning game at Portland.

Griffin had a triple and double, and Lindsey Kelly added a triple and Hunter Greenleaf had a double.

MASSABESIC 18, SANFORD 1: Lacey Bean had four hits and three RBI, and Julia Gregoire added three hits with three RBI as the Mustangs (3-0) handled the Spartans (0-3) at Sanford.

Grace Tutt had three hits and four runs, and Cayleigh Morris finished with three hits for the Mustangs.

Molly Boissonneault had two hits for Sanford.

WINDHAM 17, BONNY EAGLE 1: Danielle Tardiff had three hits and drove in four runs, and Olivia Mora added three hits as the Eagles (3-0) downed the Scots (0-2) in five innings at Standish.

Megan Joy, Chloe Wilcox and Alex Morang each drove in two runs for Windham, which scored nine runs in the fourth to take a 17-1 lead.

PORTLAND 12, MAINE GIRLS’ ACADEMY/FALMOUTH 8: The Bulldogs (4-0) opened an 8-0 lead, highlighted by a two-run single by Taylor Crosby, and held off the visiting Lions (2-1) at Portland.

Jessica Brown had three hits, including a pair of doubles, and Grace Stacey and Sydney Gilbert added two hits each for Portland.

Liberty Ladd had three singles for MGA/Falmouth.


YORK 9, MARSHWOOD 7: Alexandra Lawlor had three goals as the Wildcats (2-0) edged the Hawks (1-2) at South Berwick.

Cassandra Reinertson and Alana Lauersen had a pair of goals, and Bridget Monteith also scored for York.

Reagan Nichols paced Marshwood with four goals, Luci Albers had two and Hannah Costin added one.

Skyleer Amsden had 11 saves for the Hawks.

YARMOUTH 12, WAYNFLETE 4: Ella Antolini and Eliza Lunt each had five goals as the Clippers (3-0) handled the Flyers (3-1) at Yarmouth.

Katie Waeldner added a goal and four assists for Yarmouth, and Margaret Elder had a goal and three assists.

Kenha Stockford paced Waynflete with three goals. Elspeth Olney added a goal and an assist.

]]> 0 three years playing doubles for a Class A state championship team, senior Amanda Watson finally got her turn at singles Friday. She beat Emelie Jarquin of Cape Elizabeth 6-1, 6-4 at No. 3 singles in the clinching match of a 4-1 girls' tennis victory. Falmouth has won 142 straight matches – including nine state titles – since the spring of 2008. Because of rainouts, Friday was the opener for both teams.Fri, 28 Apr 2017 22:54:14 +0000
Friday’s boys’ roundup: Greely wins in baseball Sat, 29 Apr 2017 02:34:00 +0000 YARMOUTH — A.J. Eisenhart hit a two-run double during a three-run seventh inning Friday as Greely pulled away to a 7-2 victory against Yarmouth in a Western Maine Conference baseball game.

Ryan Twitchell doubled for the Rangers (4-0). Jackson Caruso had two hits to lead Yarmouth (1-1).

OLD ORCHARD BEACH 5, SACOPEE VALLEY 1: Jacob Maloney hit a two-run double as part of a five-run sixth inning as the Seagulls (1-0) beat the Hawks (1-3) at Old Orchard Beach.

Matt Hurley picked up the win, allowing one run on two hits and striking out seven in 62/3 innings. Cody Blanchette added two hits and an RBI for the Seagulls. Jared Jordan hit an RBI single in the sixth for Sacopee.

GRAY-NEW GLOUCESTER 3, FREEPORT 1: The Patriots (3-2) overcame an early deficit to down the Falcons (1-2) at Freeport.

John Villanueva had a double and single for Gray-New Gloucester, which totaled three runs in its last two at-bats.

Colby Wagner hit a first-inning homer for Freeport.

FALMOUTH 2, KENNEBUNK 0: Robbie Armitage went 3 for 4, including an RBI single in the third inning, and the Yachtsmen (4-0) shut out the Rams (1-4) at Kennebunk.

Marcus Cady added a pair of singles for Falmouth.

Max Fortier pitched a two-hitter for the Yachtsmen.

CAPE ELIZABETH 5, FRYEBURG ACADEMY 2: Brendan Tinsman had two hits and an RBI for the Capers (2-1), who scored four runs in the fifth inning to beat the Raiders (1-3) at Cape Elizabeth.

Sean Agrodnia picked up the win, allowing two runs on three hits and striking out six in 52/3 innings. Will Zeliff hit an RBI single in the sixth for Fryeburg.

BONNY EAGLE 4, BIDDEFORD 1: Brady Grass and Cody Mains had RBI singles, and the Scots (1-2) scored two runs in each of the fourth and fifth innings to get by the Tigers (1-1) at Standish.

After Carter Edgerton scored on a throwing error in the first to give Biddeford a 1-0 lead, Grass singled in the fourth to tie it and scored on a groundout by Nicholas Phinney to give the Scots a 2-1 lead.

WELLS 9, TRAIP ACADEMY 2: Cam Cousins had four hits, including a double, as the Warriors (2-2) cruised past the Rangers (2-1) at Kittery.

Tyler Bridge had two hits and drove in two runs for Wells, which scored three runs in the second inning to take a 4-0 lead. Trevor Salema had two hits and an RBI for Traip.

MARANACOOK 8, OCEANSIDE 5: Chris Florek hit two doubles and was the winning pitcher as the Black Bears (1-2) downed Oceanside (3-1) at Readfield.


EDWARD LITTLE 17, WINDHAM 8: Ganan Mancini had seven goals and three assists to lead the Red Eddies (2-2) over the Eagles (1-2) at Windham.

Tyler Woolston led Windham with four goals and three assists.

]]> 0 Fri, 28 Apr 2017 23:24:03 +0000
Friday’s golf roundup: Blixt, Smith take Zurich Classic lead Sat, 29 Apr 2017 01:56:12 +0000 AVONDALE, La. — Jonas Blixt and Cameron Smith posted a 10-under 62 in Friday’s four-ball format to move into the lead at the Zurich Classic, which is in its first year of a new team format.

Blixt and Smith had a two-day total of 15-under 129, one shot better than Patrick Reed and Patrick Cantlay. The K.J Choi-Charlie Wi and Troy Merritt-Robert Streb pairings were tied for third at 13-under.

“Jonas is playing really well at the moment,” Smith said. “You know he’s going to make a birdie or par, so I’m just playing aggressive and letting it all fall into play.”

Tyrone Van Aswegen and Retief Goosen teamed up for a 60 to get to 11 under overall.

LPGA: Haru Nomura shot a 6-under 65 for a two-round total of 133 and a one-shot lead in the North Texas LPGA Shootout in Irving, Texas.

Ariya Jutanugarn was second following a 67, with Suzann Pettersen another shot behind.

EUROPEAN TOUR: Pablo Larrazabal fired a 6-under 66 to take a three-stroke lead halfway through the China Open in Beijing.

Larrazabal, offset a bogey with five birdies and an eagle on the par-4 11th to move to 14 under.

Dylan Frittelli had the lowest score of the round with a 63 and was tied for second at 11 under with overnight leader Alexander Levy (70).

]]> 0 Fri, 28 Apr 2017 22:17:03 +0000
Major League notebook: Cespedes goes on DL Sat, 29 Apr 2017 01:36:09 +0000 WASHINGTON — The New York Mets placed outfielder Yoenis Cespedes on the 10-day disabled list because of a strained left hamstring.

His absence is another blow to a team that has lost six straight and nine of 10, falling into last place in the NL East. Cespedes is hitting .270 with six homers and 10 RBI.

“They didn’t really see a lot,” Manager Terry Collins said of Cespedes’ MRI. “It’s probably better news than we thought. It’s still going to be awhile, obviously, but it’s in a different part of (the hamstring) where the injury was last week.”

Cespedes doubled in the fourth inning Thursday against Atlanta and limped into second. He needed help to reach the dugout.

On April 20, he left a game against Philadelphia because of a hamstring problem. He returned to the lineup Wednesday.

“I haven’t talked to him except after the game yesterday, and he’s like everybody,” Collins said. “We’re all frustrated right now.”

Collins also said pitcher Noah Syndergaard tossed Friday afternoon and could pitch Sunday if the right-hander reported no discomfort. Syndergaard was scratched from his start Thursday because of biceps and shoulder discomfort.

MARINERS: Felix Hernandez is expected to miss three to four weeks because of bursitis in his right shoulder.

Hernandez was placed on the 10-day disabled list Wednesday after he pitched only two innings in his start at Detroit the previous night. Hernandez is 2-2 with a 4.73 ERA in five starts this season.

Outfielder Mitch Haniger, also injured Tuesday, has a Grade 2 sprain of his right oblique and is expected to be out three to four weeks. He’s batting .338 with four homers and 16 RBI.

RANGERS: Sam Dyson was reinstated from the 10-day disabled list before Friday night’s series opener against the Los Angeles Angels.

The Rangers optioned right-hander Anthony Bass to Triple-A Round Rock. Catcher Brett Nicholas was reinstated from the DL and optioned to Round Rock.

]]> 0 Fri, 28 Apr 2017 21:46:16 +0000
Auto racing roundup: Kenseth wins pole at Richmond Sat, 29 Apr 2017 01:21:54 +0000 RICHMOND, Va. — Matt Kenseth won the pole position for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway.

The 2003 series champion needed only four laps in three rounds of qualifying Friday, outrunning final-round qualifiers like Joey Logano, who was fastest in each of the first two rounds, and Dale Earnhardt Jr., who made it to the final round, but will start 12th.

“I don’t get a lot of poles, so any time I get a pole, it’s pretty special,” Kenseth said.

The pole was just the 19th for Kenseth, who will make his 623rd career start this weekend, and his second at Richmond. He and teammates Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch and rookie Daniel Suarez will be trying to give Joe Gibbs Racing its first victory of the season at a track where they have been dominant in recent years. Gibbs cars have won the last three races on the 0.75-mile oval.

“I was reminded last week that I’ve led zero laps this year, and I think I have like negative two stage points, or whatever they are,” said Kenseth, who is 20th in the points standings after eight races. “They took some away because we’ve been so bad early in races, so hopefully we can turn that around Sunday and stay up front and hopefully be in the mix at the end of the day.”

Kenseth has won twice at Richmond, the last time in the fall race in 2015.

Hamlin, who grew up about 20 miles from the track, will start 28th, while Busch will start seventh and Suarez 11th.

Ryan Blaney, driving for the Wood Brothers, will start second, followed by Martin Truex Jr., Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Logano.

“It’s so frustrating when you win the first two rounds, and the one that pays the money, you are not there,” Logano said.

For Blaney, it will mark the third time he starts on the front row this season, again leaving him one spot shy of qualifying for the Clash at Daytona, the season-opening exhibition race before the Daytona 500. Pole winners from the previous year are guaranteed a spot, along with selected others.

“I really want to race in the Clash at Dayton, so these seconds are really hurting,” Blaney said. “That race to me is like the coolest one, so I want to try to get a pole to race that.”

His team almost got him that spot, but Kenseth’s speed was 121.076 mph, and Blaney came in at 120.854 after running five total laps.

“It was a good effort,” he said. “I didn’t think we were very good in Round 1. … We got better for Round 2 and better for Round 3.”

Kevin Harvick, the only driver with multiple poles this year, will start sixth.

FORMULA ONE: Points leader Sebastian Vettel recovered after a spin in the first practice session and set the fastest time of the day at the Russian Grand Prix.

]]> 0 Kenseth, right, talks with crew members Friday during qualifying for Sunday's Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway.Fri, 28 Apr 2017 21:45:01 +0000
Softball: Yarmouth defeats Greely, 7-1 Sat, 29 Apr 2017 01:06:33 +0000 YARMOUTH — Well-poised Yarmouth rolled to a 7-1 victory against Greely in a Western Maine Conference softball game Friday.

“I was very pleased with how we played on both offense and defense,” Yarmouth Coach Amy Ashley said. “On defense we made some plays, and I was pleased with the effort and execution today.”

The St. Pierre twins, Andrea and Sydney, who bat first and second in the lineup, sparked the offense. Between them they banged out five hits, scored two runs and drove in three.

“They do a lot for us,” Ashley said. “They’re middle infielders and they always know where each other is going to be. They’re so level-headed. In moments where we tend to freak out, they’re the ones who calm us down.”

Ceanne Lyon scattered six hits, struck out seven and walked one.

“She kept the ball low so we were able to make some plays in the infield,” Ashley said.

It was the fourth loss for winless Greely.

“We’re so inexperienced,” Coach Rob Hale said. “We have seven new players and we can implode.”

The Rangers were very much in the game before the defense fell apart with two outs in the fourth inning and Greely clinging to a 1-0 lead. A dropped third strike, a bobbled ball in the infield, some shoddy play in the outfield and three singles resulted in the Clippers scoring their first four runs.

“You saw the inexperience,” Hale said. “They make a mistake and they don’t want to let down their teammates so they lose their aggressiveness.”

Five players were expected back from the team that played for the Class B South championship last season, but the Rangers lost sisters Jennie Smith, the starting catcher, and Anna Smith, the starting second baseman, to season-ending knee injuries.

The recent wet weather also made it difficult for Hale to get the team outside to work on important aspects of the game during practice.

“The last two years I had a very experienced team that could play inside and do a lot of stuff,” he said. “This team needs reps in a full softball field setting … We’re making progress but it’s slow.”

Greely opened the scoring in the first inning when Kayley Cimino singled with two outs, stole second and third, and scored on Maddie Rawnsley’s opposite-field double to deep right. Cimino ended up with two singles and a double.

In the fourth, Tasha Powers drove in two runs with a bloop single into right and Lyon singled sharply into center to drive in a run to help send Yarmouth into its 4-1 lead.

The Clippers (2-0) scored one run in the fifth. Andrea St. Pierre led off with a triple into the alley in left and scored when Sydney St. Pierre dumped a single into right.

Yarmouth scored two more runs in the sixth.

Powers, who led off, reached second on an infield error and went to third on a passed ball. With two outs, Andrea St. Pierre singled sharply to center to make it 6-1. After she stole second, Sydney St. Pierre drove in the final run of the game with a single, her third hit.

]]> 0, ME - APRIL 28: Yarmouth pitcher #18 Ceanne Lyon is congratulated by #17 Lydia Guay and teammates as she makes the out on Greely #9 Kayley Cimino at third after a rundown in the sixth inning at Greely at Yarmouth softball. (Staff photo by Jill Brady/Staff Photographer)Fri, 28 Apr 2017 21:20:12 +0000
Friday’s Maine college roundup: St. Joseph’s wins two blowouts Sat, 29 Apr 2017 00:29:13 +0000 STANDISH — Taylor Black drove in eight runs as the St. Joseph’s baseball team swept a doubleheader over Norwich University by scores of 16-0 and 13-0 Friday afternoon at Mahaney Diamond.

The Monks improved to 28-6 overall and 11-1 in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference. The Cadets dropped to 12-21, 6-6.

Black hit a two-run homer and an RBI single in the opener, then added a grand slam and an RBI single in the second game.

Travis Godbout pitched the final six innings and allowed four hits and no walks while striking out six.

Black and Max McCoomb each went 4 for 4 and combined for seven RBI and five runs in the opener. The Monks scored nine runs in the third inning and finished with 16 hits.

Joey Murphy and Dennis Meehan each had three hits in the second game, when the Monks scored seven runs in the second inning and five in the third.

Meehan, Black and Chris Gerossie each hit RBI singles in the second inning. Meehan and Black homered in the third.

Matt Demma and Philip LeVangie combined on a four-hitter.

BOWDOIN 5, COLBY 4: The Polar Bears (13-15, 5-5 NESCAC East) scored five unearned runs with two outs in the fifth inning and held off the Mules (9-12-1, 2-8) in Brunswick.

Colby Joncas hit a two-run single, and Bowdoin scored its other runs on two errors.

Matt Garcia hit a three-run homer in the seventh for Colby.

Jack Wilhoite pitched the final two innings, striking out six, for his first save.

SOUTHERN MAINE C.C. 2, CENTRAL MAINE C.C. 1: Nathan Huot pitched the final inning for the win and ended the game with single in the 11th inning as the Seawolves (8-13-1, 5-3-1 YSCC) edged the Mustangs (8-7-1, 4-7-1) at South Portland.

Caleb Chambers homered, and Max Salevsky scattered eight hits while striking out four over 10 innings for SMCC.

TUFTS 4, BATES 3: Freshman pinch hitter Ryan Day singled in the go-ahead run in the bottom of the eighth and the Jumbos (23-5-1, 7-3 NESCAC East) went on to defeat the Bobcats (13-9, 7-3) in Medford, Massachusetts.

Asher MacDonald had two hits and Connor Speed allowed six hits over eight innings while striking out three and walking two for Bates. Jack Arend hit a solo homer.


ST. JOSEPH’S SWEEPS MT. IDA: The Monks (11-8, 13-13 GNAC) got strong pitching from Kylie McFadden in the opener and from Kristal Smith and Caitlyn King in the second game of a doubleheader sweep against the Mustangs (17-11, 12-7) at Newton, Massachusetts.

The Monks won the opener 5-0 on a five-hitter by McFadden, who struck out three. Meghan Elliott had three hits, including an RBI single in the first inning and an RBI double in th seventh.

In Game 2, Smith allowed six hits over 51/3 innings before King closed it out for a 3-2 victory. Carla Tripp had two hits, and Smith hit an RBI single in the second inning. Katie Chadbourne scored on a wild pitch in the third and Burns scored the winning run on a double steal in the fifth.

BOWDOIN 3, BATES 0: Katie Hoadley tossed a three-hitter with six strikeouts and no walks, Claire McCarthy had two hits and Marisa O’Toole homered as the Polar Bears (25-8, 7-3 NESCAC East) shut out the Bobcats (10-14, 1-7) in Lewiston.

O’Toole homered in the sixth inning. Bowdoin added to its lead in the seventh when Lauren Nguyen scored on an error and Jordan Gowdy singled home Samantha Valdivia.

Andrea Russo had two hits for Bates.

GORDON 2, UNIVERSITY OF NEW ENGLAND 0: Melissa Sprague pitched a three-hitter with 10 strikeouts and one walk for UNE, but the fifth-seeded Nor’easters (15-14) lost to the eighth-seeded Fighting Scots (15-20) in a Commonwealth Coast Conference play-in game at Biddeford.

USM, UMASS-BOSTON SPLIT: The Huskies (13-14, 5-5 Little East) won the opener 7-2, and the Beacons (22-9, 7-5) won the second game 8-7 at Gorham.

Mary Caron and Shelby Obert each had two hits for USM in the opener. The Huskies score four runs in the fifth inning on RBI singles by Obert, Allison Pillar and Amber Kelly and a sacrifice fly Brooke Cross.

Pillar had three hits and five RBI in the second game.

SOUTHERN MAINE C.C. SWEEPS CENTRAL MAINE C.C.: The Seawolves (13-4, 7-1 YSCC) took two five-inning games, 9-1 and 11-0, from the Mustangs (0-9, 0-9) in South Portland.

Sarah Guimond pitched a two-hitter with 10 strikeouts and drove in two runs in the opener.

Kayla Abdul had three hits with three runs scored in the second game, while Guimond, Emile Coffin and Kahli Philibotte each had two RBI. Kristen Mackenzie pitched a two-hitter with four strikeouts.

TRINITY 1, COLBY 0: Nicole Towner hit an RBI single in the first inning and Lindsay Golia pitched a four-hitter as Trinity (19-11, 8-2 NESCAC East) beat Colby (9-17, 2-8) in Waterville.


UMASS-BOSTON 14, SOUTHERN MAINE 9: Bryce Randall, Jeff Urmston, Paul Leonardo and Tristan Dundas scored two goals apiece for USM (6-9, 3-4 Little East) in a loss to the Beacons (8-7, 5-2) in Boston.


NESCAC: Bowdoin, Bates and Colby and the other seven football teams in the New England Small College Athletic Conference will add a ninth game to their schedules, starting with the 2017 season.

Under the new format, the season will start a week earlier and each NESCAC team will play every other team in the conference, rather than missing one opponent each season.

]]> 0 Fri, 28 Apr 2017 22:56:16 +0000
On Baseball: Sale’s woes hardly of his own making Fri, 28 Apr 2017 08:00:00 +0000 BOSTON — Chris Sale took all the blame.

Boston’s ace is 1-2, following a Thursday night loss to the Yankees, and Sale said it was his fault.

“I know what I can do and I just got to be better there,” Sale said.

Did we mention that Sale’s teammates scored zero runs? They totaled three singles and did not get a runner past second base in a 3-0 loss.

Darn that Sale.

“On a night, where we’re once again scuffling to score some runs, we come up on the short end,” Red Sox Manager John Farrell said.

As for his thoughts on Sale?

“Similar to the previous four starts he made,” Farrell said. “Powerful. A lot of swing and miss. Very efficient.”

But for all that, Chris Sale has as many wins as Brian Johnson, who made only one start.

In Johnson’s start on April 18, the Red Sox scored six runs while Johnson was still pitching.

In Sale’s five starts – 372/3 innings – while he has still been pitching, the Red Sox have scored a total of four runs.

Is Sale wondering where that relentless lineup is, the one Boston loves to boast about?

“The only frustration would be toward myself,” Sale said. “Flat-out got to be better than that in the last inning.”

Going into the last inning, New York led on an unearned run in the fourth; unearned because of a passed ball charged to catcher Sandy Leon – a mistake that Sale said was his fault (throwing a slider when Leon called for another pitch).

In the ninth, Sale gave up back-to-back ground-ball singles. Matt Holliday, who had three quality at-bats against Sale, was coming up. Farrell stayed with Sale.

“Felt he’s earning the right to continue on in the ninth,” said Farrell, who was hoping for a double play.

It was a mistake. Holliday singled in a run, ending Sale’s night.

Of course, Sale believed he should be pitching in the ninth.

“I felt great. I wanted it bad,” Sale said. “I didn’t want to say anything but I wanted to go out there. … But you can’t go out there and want the ninth inning, and go out there and do that. That’s just unacceptable.

“We had a chance in the ninth and I just completely took the wind out of our sails there.”

Actually, the wind had died a while ago.

This Red Sox team cannot score right now. Oh, they usually get on base – except against Yankees pitching. Heading into Thursday, Boston led the American League in average and on-base percentage.

But out of 15 American League teams, Boston ranks 13th in runs scored (78 runs in 21 games). The only teams behind the Red Sox are Toronto and Kansas City, which have the two worst records in baseball.

Boston has only 11 home runs, last in the major leagues.

Surely, this is not just about David Ortiz’s retiring. Sure, no one can fill the big man’s shoes, but who figured the rest of the team would deflate so badly?

“I don’t want to say that this is what our club is,” Farrell said. “We’ve had ballgames where this lineup has produced. It has put together big innings.”

What is amazing is that Boston is not in worse shape. The Red Sox are 11-10.

But they just wasted starts by Sale and Rick Porcello. Now the Red Sox welcome the defending champion Cubs this weekend, hoping Drew Pomeranz, Steven Wright and Eduardo Rodriguez can hold down Chicago.

But how sensational must the pitching be?

Sale could have pitched a 1-2-3 ninth and still lost 1-0.

Even with the two runs, Sale has a 1.19 ERA – and one win to show for it.

While Sale is tough on himself, his teammates know they have a special pitcher on their side.

“Dominance,” center fielder Jackie Bradley said. “He has conviction. He gets the ball and throws it.”

Sale has conviction, all right. He could use a little support.

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

Twitter: ClearTheBases

]]> 0, 27 Apr 2017 23:41:35 +0000
Major league roundup: Cardinals sweep doubleheader against Blue Jays Fri, 28 Apr 2017 03:26:06 +0000 ST. LOUIS — Dexter Fowler, Greg Garcia and Matt Adams each had three hits as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Toronto Blue Jays 6-4 on Thursday night to sweep a day-night doubleheader.

The Cardinals won the opener 8-4 in 11 innings on Matt Carpenter’s grand slam.

St. Louis scored three times in the first inning of the nightcap.

After Fowler and Garcia hit back-to-back singles, Matt Carpenter plated a run with a groundout and Stephen Piscotty hit an RBI sacrifice fly. Randal Grichuk followed with an infield single and scored on Matt Adams’ opposite-field double into the left-field corner.

Fowler added a solo home run, his third of the season, in the second inning. Adams had an RBI single in the third. Piscotty had an RBI fielder’s choice in the fourth to make it 6-0.

In the opener, the Cardinals scored four times off Toronto’s bullpen in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings to tie the score, capped by Grichuk’s homer off Roberto Osuna.


BRAVES 7, METS 5: Yoenis Cespedes limped off with a pulled hamstring, Matt Harvey was chased in the fifth inning as he made an emergency start in place of the ailing Noah Syndergaard, and New York’s skid reached six games with a loss at home.

Kurt Suzuki hit a three-run homer that finished Harvey (2-1), who allowed six runs in 41/3 innings and tied a career high with five walks.

Syndergaard was scratched because of right biceps discomfort. While the right-hander hopes to pitch Sunday at Washington, Cespedes looks likely to be sidelined for an extended period.

NATIONALS 16, ROCKIES 5: Bryce Harper hit a three-run homer as part of an 11-run seventh inning and Trea Turner enjoyed another big game in Denver as Washington rolled to a win.

Turner had two singles Thursday and finished the series with seven extra-base hits, 10 runs scored and had 11 RBI.

DODGERS 5, GIANTS 1: Run-scoring singles by Andrew Toles and Justin Turner in the 10th inning led Los Angeles to a win at San Francisco after Dodgers pitcher Julio Urias made a solid start in his 2017 debut.

Toles hit a tie-breaking single with the bases loaded, Kike Hernandez had a sacrifice fly and Turner extended his hitting streak to 13 games with an RBI single. Chris Taylor drove in the fifth run with a bases-loaded walk.

PHILLIES 3, MARLINS 2: Jeremy Hellickson allowed one run over six innings to lead host Philadelphia to its sixth straight win.


MARINERS 2, TIGERS 1: Ben Gamel had an RBI single in the ninth inning to help Seattle win at Detroit.

Kyle Seager doubled off Francisco Rodriguez (1-2) with one out, and Gamel followed with his hit to right-center field. Tony Zych (1-0) was the winner, and Edwin Diaz pitched the ninth for his third save.

INDIANS 4, ASTROS 3: Francisco Lindor hit a long two-run homer in the seventh to lift host Cleveland over Houston.

Lindor’s 456-foot homer off Chris Devenski (1-1) landed in the visitors’ bullpen.

]]> 0 Cardinals' Matt Carpenter is congratulated by teammates after his 11th-inning grand slam gave host St. Louis an 8-4 victory over the Blue Jays in the first game of a doubleheader on Thursday. The Cardinals won the night game, 6-4.Thu, 27 Apr 2017 23:38:54 +0000
Thursday’s girls’ roundup: Windham captures lacrosse opener Fri, 28 Apr 2017 03:18:48 +0000 Mya Mannette scored three goals to lead a balanced offense Thursday night as Windham collected an 11-10 victory against Cheverus in a girls’ lacrosse opener.

The Eagles took a 7-6 halftime edge and maintained a slight lead the rest of the way.

Maddie Beem, Kaitlyn Roberts and Belle Skvorak scored twice each for Windham. Mackenzie Johnston and Bella Booth had three goals each for Cheverus, and Aisling Flaherty scored twice.

Alanna Joyce finished with seven saves for Windham. Maeve McGarrity notched nine saves for Cheverus.

BIDDEFORD 19, DEERING 4: Paige Laverriere and Hailey Allen combined for 11 goals as the Tigers (2-0) defeated the Rams (0-1) at Biddeford.

Laverriere finished with six goals and a pair of assists, Allen had five goals and an assist, and Peyton McKeown added four goals and an assist.

THORNTON ACADEMY 15, WESTBROOK 1: Amanda Cyr had five goals and an assist for the Golden Trojans (2-0), who opened a 10-1 halftime lead and handled the Blue Blazes (0-1) at Saco.

Addy Paradis had three goals and an assist, and Alanna Pettaway added a pair of goals.

GORHAM 15, SOUTH PORTLAND 7: Faith Dillon, one of five players to score twice for the Rams (1-1), led her team to a win at South Portland (0-2) by winning eight draw controls and five ground balls at Gorham.

Bridget Rossignol, Marina Pappalardo, Jillian Nichols and Celia Begonia also scored twice each for the Rams, while Paige Hume made 11 saves.

BONNY EAGLE 20, SANFORD 13: Catherine Biegel scored five goals to pace Bonny Eagle (2-0) over the Spartans (0-2) at Sanford.

Jenna Litif added three goals, and Lindsay Frazier, Natalie Bushey, Emma Walker and Kaley Rumery scored twice each for the Scots.

Megan O’Connell scored four goals, Eva Belanger three, and Maddie Leigh and Julianna Penney two apiece for Sanford.

MORSE 8, OCEANSIDE 4: Emily Martin had four goals as the Shipbuilders (2-0) beat the Mariners (1-1) at Rockland.

MASSABESIC 9, MARSHWOOD 3: Morgan Pike had three goals and three assists for the Mustangs (1-0), who took a 5-2 halftime lead and downed the Hawks (1-1) at South Berwick.

Skylar Renaud added two goals and an assist for Massabesic.

BOOTHBAY 12, ERSKINE ACADEMY 5: Sydney Meader had six goals for the Seahawks (1-1) against the Eagles (1-1) at South China.


PORTLAND 5, WESTBROOK 1: Taylor Crosby went 3 for 3 as the Bulldogs (3-0) defeated the Blue Blazes (0-2) at Portland.

Mabel Pence had a two-run single in the second inning for Portland.

MAINE GIRLS’ ACADEMY/FALMOUTH 17, CHEVERUS/NORTH YARMOUTH ACADEMY 5: Gabrielle Begos had a pair of two-run singles to highlight an 11-run fourth inning as the Lions (2-0) cruised past the visiting Stags (0-2) at Portland.

Liberty Ladd had a pair of hits, including a two-run homer in the second inning for Maine Girls’ Academy.

Carly Beaulieu added a pair of hits.

FREEPORT 2, SACOPEE VALLEY 1: Sara Gray’s bases-loaded grounder to second in the sixth inning drove in the winning run as the Falcons (1-1) beat Sacopee Valley (1-2) at Freeport.

Freeport took a 1-0 lead in the first when Abigail Brier scored on an error. The Hawks tied it in the second when Haiden Sawyer doubled, then scored on Brenna Humphrey’s grounder.

WINDHAM 11, MARSHWOOD 6: The Eagles (2-0) scored six runs in the seventh inning, including a two-run single by Megan Joy, to open an 11-0 lead against the Hawks (1-1) at South Berwick.

Marshwood scored six in the bottom of the seventh, including a two-run single by Jen Gray.

MASSABESIC 16, BIDDEFORD 4: Lacey Bean had four hits with two RBI and two runs to lead the Mustangs (2-0) over the Tigers (0-2) in six innings at Waterboro.

Alyvia Cormier added three hits, including a home run, with an RBI and three runs, and Grace Tutt had three hits with four RBI and two runs for the Mustangs, who finished with 17 hits.

]]> 0 Thu, 27 Apr 2017 23:21:55 +0000
Thursday’s boys’ roundup: York walks off with baseball win Fri, 28 Apr 2017 03:15:40 +0000 YORK — Chris Neilson singled home the winning run with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning Thursday, lifting York to a 1-0 victory against Wells in a Western Maine Conference baseball game.

Trevor Labonte hit a leadoff single in the eighth and Tyler Rivers came in to run for York (3-1). One out later, he advanced to second on a single by Jack Kelly. After a groundout, he scored on Neilson single.

Kelly picked up the win against the Warriors (1-2) with an inning of relief. Labonte went seven innings, striking out 10 and walking two.

WINDHAM 4, MARSHWOOD 1: Bryce Afthim pitched a four-hitter, allowing one earned run with three strikeouts and two walks as the Eagles (1-1) defeated the Hawks (0-2) at Windham.

Tim Greenlaw had a two-run double in the first inning and Caleb McCartney added an RBI single in the sixth.

GREELY 5, KENNEBUNK 2: Joe Piwowarski singled home A.J. Eisenhart, then scored the second run of the inning as Greely (2-0) used a two-run second to take a 3-0 lead over the Rams (1-3) at Kennebunk.

Zach Brown had two hits and scored twice, and William Neleski and Piwowarski also had a pair of hits for Greely.

Christopher Grady had two hits for Kennebunk.

THORNTON ACADEMY 12, NOBLE 1: Jacob LaPlume had two singles, scored a run and drove home another, all during the second inning as the Trojans (1-0) totaled six runs to open an 8-1 lead against Noble (0-2) in a five-inning game at Saco.

Evan Balzano, who finished with three RBI and three runs, also had an RBI double in the second.

Thornton, behind Brandon Hall’s two-run single, added four runs in the fourth to open a 12-1 lead and invoke the mercy rule,

Dalton Meagher had two of the four hits that the Knights managed off three pitchers.

GORHAM 2, SOUTH PORTLAND 1: Jason Komulainen and Kyle King scored as the Rams (2-1) countered a single run by South Portland (1-1) in the top of the third with two runs in the bottom of the inning at Gorham.

Komulainen came home on Brogan McDonald’s single, with King adding the winning run on a misplayed grounder.

Zach Johnson singled home Sam Troiano for the South Portland run.

Logan Drouin struck out six while limiting the Riots to four hits.

Ryan Connarton of Sanford hits a ground ball back to Deering pitcher Colby Dame, who threw to first for the final out. Staff photo by Derek Davis

DEERING 1, SANFORD 0: Colby Dame pitched a five-hitter with 11 strikeouts as the Rams won their opener against the Spartans (0-2) in Portland.

James Sinclair scored on a throwing error in the fourth inning.

Frankie Veino pitched a two-hitter with seven strikeouts, and Nick Liston had two hits for Sanford.

There were no walks in the game, which took 1 hour, 13 minutes to complete.


WAYNFLETE 14, FREEPORT 12: Hank Duvall had seven goals and an assist for the Flyers (1-0), who opened a 5-3 halftime lead and held off the Falcons (0-2) at Portland.

Zane Moorhead and Miles Lipton each added a pair of goals for Waynflete.

Connor Dostie had five goals, and Nate Thomas added a two goals and an assist for Freeport.

Will Armstrong turned aside 13 shots for the Flyers.

]]> 0 Dame of Deering closes out the seventh inning Thursday night to complete a 1-0 victory against Sanford at Hadlock Field. Dame pitched a five-hitter with 11 strikeouts.Thu, 27 Apr 2017 23:20:26 +0000
NHL roundup: Penguins edge Capitals in Game 1 on Bonino goal Fri, 28 Apr 2017 03:01:55 +0000 WASHINGTON — Sidney Crosby scored two goals in 52 seconds, Nick Bonino got the winner in the third period and the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Washington Capitals 3-2 in Game 1 of their second-round playoff series on Thursday night.

Crosby versus Alex Ovechkin got much of the buzz heading into the showdown of two of NHL’s best teams, and Ovechkin collected his fourth goal of the playoffs. Evgeny Kuznetsov tied it in the third, but Marc-Andre Fleury made 15 of his 32 saves in the final period to help the defending Stanley Cup champions to the victory.

Crosby was a threat to score just about every time he touched the puck. He beat Braden Holtby with his first two shots of the second period.

Holtby stopped 18 shots, but he allowed Bonino’s goal at 12:36 of the third.

The Capitals had waited since their Game 6 overtime loss to the Penguins a year ago for another shot at them, and Coach Barry Trotz was among many who said it felt right for these teams to meet again.

SENATORS 2, RANGERS 1: Erik Karlsson scored on a bad-angle shot with 4:11 left, sending host Ottawa to a victory over New York in the opener of their second-round series.

The Senators captain beat fellow Swede Henrik Lundqvist from just above the goal line. The shot pinged off Rangers center Derek Stepan before going into the net.

It was Karlsson’s first goal and seventh point of the playoffs. The 26-year-old defenseman, who has been playing with a foot injury, also logged more than 28 minutes in the win.

Ryan McDonagh scored for New York, and Lundqvist finished with 41 saves.

Craig Anderson stopped 33 shots and Ryan Dzingel scored for Ottawa.


PREDATORS: General Manager David Poile says forward Kevin Fiala broke his left leg during Game 1 against St. Louis and is recovering from surgery to repair his femur. Fiala went hard into the boards Wednesday after a hit from Robert Bortuzzo.

AWARDS: Columbus left wing Nick Foligno, Anaheim center Ryan Getzlaf and Calgary defenseman Mark Giordano are the finalists for the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award.

]]> 0 Thu, 27 Apr 2017 23:14:43 +0000
Baseball: Portland recovers to beat Scarborough Fri, 28 Apr 2017 02:59:14 +0000 Following a sloppy season-opening loss against Biddeford, Coach Mike Rutherford felt it was imperative for his Portland High baseball team to rebound Thursday night.

And that’s just what it did.

Giovanni Ruotolo powered the Bulldogs on the mound and at the plate in a 3-2 victory against Scarborough in an SMAA baseball game at Hadlock Field.

After committing three errors against Biddeford to squander a three-run lead in a 5-3 loss, the Bulldogs – short on experience with most of their starters in their first season – were flawless against the Red Storm.

Ruotolo, a senior making his first career start, spun a four-hitter, finishing with four strikeouts and one walk.

“I felt great today,” he said. “I came out and my arm loosened up (as the game went on). I wasn’t worried because I knew I had good (defense) behind me.

“I absolutely couldn’t have asked for (a better result). I am very pleased with the way I threw.”

Rutherford lauded Ruotolo, his No. 2 starter who allowed two hits in both the third and sixth innings, when the Red Storm scored single runs.

“I didn’t know what I was going to get out of (Ruotolo), but I couldn’t have asked for anything more,” Rutherford said. “He also had a big hit … He’s doing everything a senior leader is supposed to do.

“That’s a big win. If we go 0-2, we might start pressing. It was a must-win for us.”

The Bulldogs pushed what proved to be the deciding run across in the fifth inning. Dom Tocci drew a one-out walk and scored on Jake Knop’s RBI double to the left-center field gap for a 3-1 lead.

Zoltan Panyi, the starting picher for Scarborough – which was playing its opener – was pulled after Knop’s double. Panyi went 41/3 innings, allowing four hits and six walks. He struck out six and was charged with three wild pitches. All three runs were earned. Jack Clark didn’t allow any hits in 12/3 innings of relief.

A walk to Will Snyder leading off the fourth led to Portland taking a 2-1 lead. Snyder went to third on Donnie Tocci’s sacrifice when no one was covering the bag. Ruotolo’s single then drove in the run.

Scarborough Coach Mike D’Andrea said Panyi’s control problems are not typical of his teams.

“We want first-pitch strikes, keeping the pitch count down,” D’Andrea said. “However, that’s been his Achilles heel over the last year and a half.

“(But) it’s his first start (of the year) and I am really pleased with the way he competed and kept us in the game.”

Portland opened the scoring in the first when Tom Joyce’s double scored Dom Tocci, who had doubled.

The Red Storm made it 1-1 in the third.

Wyatt Plummer and Zach Alofs, the bottom two hitters in the order, hit back-to-back singles before Nolan Lamontagne’s grounder to second produced the run.

Portland’s defense limited Scarborough to one run in the sixth inning.

Lamontagne opened the inning with a single and stolen base. A sliding catch in foul territory by right fielder Donnie Tocci produced the first out. Morgan Pratt knocked in Lamontagne with a single, but a double play – Dom Tocci to Knop to Joyce – cut short the rally.

“I think we have the best defensive team around,” Rutherford said.

“We can run in the outfield (and) if a team hits it on the ground, it’s going to be an out. That’s our strength.”

]]> 0 Pratt of Scarborough tags out Ben Stasium of Portland on a stolen-base attempt Thursday night in the first inning of Portland's 3-2 victory at Hadlock Field. More high school coverage, D5Thu, 27 Apr 2017 23:00:25 +0000
NBA roundup: Raptors will meet Cavaliers after holding off Bucks Fri, 28 Apr 2017 02:33:52 +0000 MILWAUKEE — DeMar DeRozan scored 32 points and the Toronto Raptors squandered a 25-point lead late in the third quarter Thursday night before holding on for a 92-89 victory against the Milwaukee Bucks to take their first-round playoff series in six games.

Cory Joseph had five points in a 9-0 run in the final two minutes, including a 3-pointer with 1:27 left to help stave off the pesky Bucks.

The Raptors move on to face the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference semifinals in a series that starts Monday. They’ll need to work on finishing off opponents in the second half.

Jason Terry’s 3-pointer with 3:06 left gave the Bucks an 80-78 lead, completing an unlikely comeback from the 25-point deficit with 5:16 left in the third quarter. The Raptors looked as if they were on cruise control after DeMarre Carroll’s 3 gave them the 71-46 advantage.

Giannis Antetokounmpo spearheaded the second-half rally. He had 34 points.

The furious effort appeared to sap the energy of the young Bucks. Even Antetokounmpo, a renowned gym rat, looked tired, catching his breath during fourth-quarter breaks. He played 47 minutes.

Antetokounmpo finished 13 of 23 from the field but was 2 of 6 in the fourth.

The Raptors finally could breathe easy after DeRozan went 2 of 2 from the foul line with 3.1 seconds left for a three-point lead. Tony Snell’s inbounds pass on the ensuing possession was intercepted by DeRozan.

Rebounding from a 2-1 series deficit and an embarrassing 27-point loss in Game 3, the Raptors will face Cleveland a year after losing to the Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference finals in six games.

Kyle Lowry added 13 points for Toronto.


KNICKS: Center Joakim Noah had right shoulder surgery to repair his rotator cuff, a procedure that could sideline him until training camp.

The team didn’t give a timetable for Noah’s recovery, but Coach Jeff Hornacek said late in the season that if Noah had the operation, the recovery time could be five months.

]]> 0 Middleton, left of the Milwaukee Bucks and Kyle Lowry of the Toronto Raptors compete for a loose ball during the first half of Toronto's series-clinching victory Thursday night.Thu, 27 Apr 2017 22:41:39 +0000
Thursday’s Maine college roundup: USM’s baseball winning streak ends Fri, 28 Apr 2017 02:31:47 +0000 BOSTON — Josh Lopez hit a go-ahead RBI single in the fifth, Nick Herzog added a three-run homer in the sixth, and UMass- Boston pulled away to a 9-1 victory over the University of Southern Maine on Thursday in a Little East Conference baseball game, snapping a 15-game winning streak for the Huskies.

It was also the first conference loss for USM (22-8, 9-1), which was ranked 21st in this week’s ABCA Division III Coaches’ Poll.

Lopez finished with three hits two RBI and a run scored, while Luke Nagle also had three hits with a run and an RBI for the Beacons (22-9, 7-3), who have won five straight since a 4-2 loss at USM on April 18.

Dylan Hapworth hit a fourth-inning home run and a single to account for two of the Huskies’ five hits.


MAINE 5, UMASS-LOWELL 4: Kristen Niland’s two-out single down the first-base line scored pinch runner Emily Gilmore in the eighth to give the Black Bears (16-18, 10-1 America East) an extra-inning victory against UMass-Lowell (18-19, 9-5) at Orono and extend their winning streak to seven games.

Meghan Royle set up the winning run with a two-out single off the third baseman’s glove before. She advanced to second and was replaced by Gilmore.

Niland and Rachel Carlson each had two hits and a run for Maine.

Tori Alcorn had three hits for the River Hawks.

ST. JOSEPH’S SWEEPS EMMANUEL: The Monks scored four runs in the fourth inning went on to a 6-1 victory over Emmanuel in the second game of a Great Northeast Athletic Conference doubleheader at Standish.

St. Joseph’s 16-14, 12-4) took a 2-1 lead in the second when Kaylee Burns doubled home Kristal Smith and Mariah Harrison.

In the fourth, Burns drew a bases-loaded walk, Katie Chadbourne followed with a run-scoring fielder’s choice, and Carla Tripp hit a two-run single.

Smith picked up the win, allowing one run on five hits while walking two and striking out 10.

The Monks took the first game 2-1 in 10 innings.

The Saints (15-17, 12-8) scored in the top of the eighth on a Sarah Hoisl single up the middle, but St. Joseph’s tied it when Kristal Smith drove a double to right field to plate Melodie Bailey.

Meghan Elliott scored the winning run in the 10th on a throwing error with two outs.


ST. JOSEPH’S 12, EMMANUEL 8: Elyse Caiazzo scored two first-half goals as the Monks (9-3, 5-1 GNAC) opened a 6-3 halftime lead against the Saints (5-8, 4-3) at Boston.

Caiazzo finished with four goals and an assist. Kara Kelly had three goals for St. Joseph’s, and Samantha Medlin added two.

Savannah Lundwall had two goals and an assist for Emmanuel. Kylie Rice, Amanda Cook and Stephanie Warn each chipped in with two goals.


UNE: The University of New England hired Carly Gettler as its head coach, replacing Heather Davis, who was promoted to associate director of athletics.

Gettler spent the last two years as an assistant coach ast Randolph-Macon in Ashland, Virginia.

Before that, Gettler was the head coach at Husson from 2012-14.

]]> 0 Thu, 27 Apr 2017 22:42:44 +0000
Boys’ lacrosse: Yarmouth takes early command in victory Fri, 28 Apr 2017 02:12:46 +0000 YARMOUTH — Yarmouth High opened an eight-goal halftime lead Thursday night and went on to a 14-6 victory against Kennebunk in a boys’ lacrosse game.

After Kennebunk (1-1) scored two of the game’s first three goals, the Clippers (2-0) rattled off nine straight.

“Lacrosse is a really fun game because it’s a game of runs,” said Yarmouth Coach David Pearl. “Confidence plays a really big role for our team. We have a lot of guys where lacrosse isn’t their first sport, and once they starting getting the feel and the confidence, and seeing the field, the game just kind of slows down.

“What we saw today was some of the things we’ve been working on starting to click.”

Remi Leblanc and Owen Ramsey combined for seven goals in the first half for the Clippers. Ramsey, a starter for the first time this season, had all four of his goals before halftime.

“Those are two seniors that you definitely see that confidence clicking,” Pearl said. “(Ramsey) is an outstanding athlete, (a) hockey captain who hasn’t seen a ton of playing time but has worked really hard.

“You love to see a guy who steps on the field as a senior who is so competitive and so smooth. That’s the kind of guy who makes a coach want to keep on coaching, because he’s just a grinder.”

Leblanc, who helped anchor the Clippers all over the field from his midfield position, added his fourth goal in the fourth quarter.

Freshman Gavin Hamm registered his first varsity goal for Yarmouth.

“(Leblanc) is starting to really get a feel for this game,” Pearl said. “He’s a football captain, and he was elected a captain for us here this year. He’s a football-first player who has played lacrosse since he came to Yarmouth as sophomore. He’s really settled in on the field.”

Cooper May chipped in with three goals and Henry Venden added two for the Clippers.

Kennebunk goalie Cole Dickinson was impressive, turning away 18 shots.

“He made some just tremendous saves,” Pearl said. “My hat’s off to him because he just played an incredible game. He really did a great job.

“The thing that helped us was our attack made it really difficult for them to clear the ball. When a team is unable to clear the ball, it leads to some unsettled chances and led to us getting some easier goals.”

Dante Delorenzo and Brenden Whitten scored three goals each for the Rams, sparking a second-half run that helped Kennebunk pull within four goals before Yarmouth went on a final surge to put it away.

“They did a really good job and took advantage of our breakdowns,” said Pearl.

“They’re a good team and they’re really well-coached, and you could see that in the adjustments they made throughout the second half.”

]]> 0 Thu, 27 Apr 2017 22:14:23 +0000
Tanaka shuts out Red Sox, 3-0 Fri, 28 Apr 2017 01:43:51 +0000 BOSTON — The Boston Red Sox continued their offensive funk Thursday night, losing to the New York Yankees 3-0 at Fenway Park.

Boston, which had only four hits on Wednesday, managed three on Thursday against Yankees ace Masahiro Tanaka.

Tanaka dazzled in a complete game: no walks, three strikeouts.

Red Sox ace Chris Sale pitched into the ninth inning. He allowed an unearned run in the fourth and then left in the ninth after giving up three straight hits.

Sale finished with 10 strikeouts, allowing eight hits and three runs (two unearned).

Boston has lost two straight to New York and is 11-10. The Yankees improved to 13-7.

Sale was dominant early, striking out seven of the first 10 batters he faced. But the Yankees turned one hit in the fourth inning into a run.

Aaron Hicks led off with a line-drive single to right that Mookie Betts initially charged in on, and then backed up.

Chase Headley hit a hard bouncer up the middle that Sale knocked down. He threw Headley out as Hicks slid into second base.

With Matt Holliday up, catcher Sandy Leon appeared crossed up on a slider. It was a strike but got past Leon, advancing Hicks to third.

Holliday, who struck out in a seven-pitch at-bat in the first inning, worked a 10-pitch at-bat in the fourth, finally lining out to left field, scoring Hicks on the sacrifice.

The Red Sox, meanwhile, could do little against Tanaka, putting only three runners on base.

Hanley Ramirez (2 for 3) led off the second inning with a single, and advanced to second on Mitch Moreland’s groundout. But Ramirez stayed there, as Xander Bogaerts flied out to shallow right, and Jackie Bradley Jr. grounded out.

It would be the only time Boston got a runner to second base.

Ramirez had a two-out single in the fourth, and was forced at second to end the inning.

Bogaerts led off the fifth with a single. But Bradley hit into a 3-6-3 double play.

Sale gave up consecutive singles to Hicks, Headley and Holliday in the ninth, leaving with the score 2-0 and two runners on. Heath Hembree gave up an RBI single to Starlin Castro.

NOTES: The Red Sox signed utility player Chase d’Arnaud, 30, who was waived by the Braves. A right-handed batter, d’Arnaud has played every position in the majors except catcher, first base and pitcher. He is expected to be activated Friday, which could mean Steve Selsky is headed to Pawtucket. … To make room for d’Arnaud on the 40-man roster, reliever Carson Smith was moved to the 60-day disabled list. Smith, who is coming back from Tommy John surgery, “had to slow down” in his rehab, Red Sox Manager John Farrell said. Smith stopped throwing off the mound two weeks ago because of soreness. He is currently in a long-toss program. … Utility player Brock Holt (vertigo) is close to leaving the disabled list. He took part in batting practice and ran the bases before Thursday’s game. He will join Pawtucket soon on a rehab assignment. … David Price (elbow) is scheduled to pitch two simulated innings against hitters on Saturday. Farrell said the goal is to put Price on a regular rotation schedule, pitching simulated games every five days, building up his arm strength.

]]> 0, 27 Apr 2017 23:03:01 +0000
Major League notebook: Reports of Marlins sale premature, says Manfred Fri, 28 Apr 2017 01:33:53 +0000 NEW YORK — Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred says two groups are still bidding to buy the Miami Marlins from Jeffrey Loria.

Former New York Yankees captain Derek Jeter and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush are involved in one of the groups. Bloomberg reported Tuesday that the Jeter/Bush group won an auction for the team with a $1.3 billion bid. Manfred said some reports on the sale have been premature.

“There are multiple bidders for the Marlins,” Manfred said Thursday. “There is no agreement in place. We’re working with more than one group, and when we have a definitive agreement, we’ll make an announcement.”

Asked about the timeline, Manfred responded: “The timeline is relatively short; it would be measured in days, not months.” He also said “there is not a signed document on any topic.”

“We still have two groups involved in the process,” he added. “Timing is one of the things that both the buyer and the seller are working through, so it’s just impossible to say at this point, and I don’t want to get into really what the issues are. The only reason I commented on this at all is there had been so much out there that really (is) not quite accurate.”

 Manfred spoke to reporters at the groundbreaking for the Jackie Robinson Museum in the SoHo section of Manhattan. The ceremony was also attended by Rachel Robinson, the wife of the trailblazing Hall of Famer, along with her daughter, Sharon.

About $23.5 million has been raised to build the museum, scheduled to open in spring 2019. The Jackie Robinson Foundation hopes to raise a total of $42 million – matching Robinson’s uniform number – to fund an endowment that will pay for the museum’s operations.

NATIONALS: Washington reinstated right-hander Stephen Strasburg from the paternity list after the birth of his second child and he is scheduled to throw Saturday against the Mets.

]]> 0 Thu, 27 Apr 2017 21:47:00 +0000
Sports Digest: Spieth and Palmer share lead after first round of PGA team event Fri, 28 Apr 2017 01:31:27 +0000 golf

Spieth-Palmer tandem shares lead in team event

Jordan Spieth showed off his stellar short game and Ryan Palmer made key putts as they posted a 6-under 66 in foursomes for a share of the lead Thursday in the Zurich Classic, the first team event on the PGA Tour in 36 years.

Spieth hit a bump-and-run from 100 feet to set up a birdie on the par-5 11th, chipped in for birdie on the 14th and closed round with a 15-foot birdie putt on the par-5 18th at TPC Louisiana in Avondale.

They were tied with Kyle Stanley and 18-year-old Ryan Ruffels.

Nick Watney made a 60-foot eagle putt from off the 18th green as he and Charley Hoffman were among four teams at 67 in alternate shot.

LPGA: Lexi Thompson shot a 2-under 69 in her first round since a rules violation cost her a likely major victory, leaving her four strokes behind leader M.J. Hur in the North Texas LPGA Shootout in Irving.

Hur had a bogey-free 65 on a blustery, sunny day at Las Colinas Country Club.

EUROPEAN TOUR: Alexander Levy shot a 9-under 63 to take a one-stroke lead after the first round of the China Open in Beijing.

The Frenchman, who won the event in 2014, carded nine birdies in a bogey-free round to finish one stroke ahead of Pablo Larrazabal.


PORSCHE GRAND PRIX: Kristina Mladenovic of France upset two-time defending champion Angelique Kerber 6-2, 7-5 to join Maria Sharapova in the quarterfinals in Stuttgart, Germany.

Sharapova advanced earlier by beating fellow Russian Ekaterina Makarova 7-5, 6-1 in her second match after a 15-month doping ban.

Sharapova tested positive for meldonium at last year’s Australian open.

BARCELONA OPEN: Defending champion Rafael Nadal defeated Kevin Anderson 6-3, 6-4 to reach the quarterfinals, while Andy Murray had his hands full in getting past Feliciano Lopez, 6-4, 6-4.

Nadal converted a break point in each set in his seventh straight clay-court win.

The top-ranked Murray took nearly two hours to close out the 40th-ranked Lopez.


FIFA: French financial prosecutors are investigating the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups and have heard former FIFA president Sepp Blatter.

A person with knowledge of the investigation told The Associated Press that France’s financial prosecutor services opened the investigation on grounds of private corruption, criminal association and influence peddling relating to the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, which were awarded to Russia and Qatar, respectively.

Blatter was questioned in Switzerland last week as a witness, the person said.


GIRLS’ LACROSSE: Laura Hoy and Mackenzie Mallett each had two goals, Teya Adams and Maeve Brin also scored, and Caroline Rizzo made eight saves for Berwick Academy in a 12-6 loss to Pingree School at South Hamilton, Massachusetts.

– News service report

]]> 0 Thu, 27 Apr 2017 22:13:41 +0000
Celtics seek to complete a comeback Fri, 28 Apr 2017 01:12:14 +0000 The top-seeded Boston Celtics are back from the brink of disaster.

They have dug themselves out of an 0-2 hole against the Chicago Bulls to regain control of the series. A victory Friday night would be the first time the franchise with 17 NBA titles has advanced past the first round since 2012.

“The key has been playing consistent,” Celtics guard Avery Bradley said about how Boston flipped the script. “The first two games we obviously were a little emotional. We weren’t playing team basketball. We were just kind of playing free and not executing our plays at both ends of the floor, and our game plans.

“Once we were able to slow down and focus on what we needed to do as a team on every detail, we were able to play a lot better.”

The Celtics weren’t expected to have to work this hard against a Bulls team that needed a tiebreaker to reach the playoffs. The Celts were dealt an emotional blow with the death of Isaiah Thomas’ sister the day before the playoffs began, and the Bulls took the first two games in Boston.

Forward Jae Crowder said the Celtics are a better team on the road.

“I had a good feeling in my heart when we came here 0-2 that we would come together and give ourselves a chance to win Game 3,” Crowder said. “That’s what happened. I just felt like we needed to get away from the stuff that was going on back home and just be us.”

Now the Bulls must do something they haven’t done this series – win a home game. And they’ll likely have to do it without Rajon Rondo, who broke his thumb in Game 2.

“You know, we’ve got to find a way to do the things that gave us success,” Bulls Coach Fred Hoiberg said. “We have to have pace. Even though Rajon’s not out there, we still have to try to get down the floor and get into our actions with plenty of time on the shot clock.

“That’s changed obviously with Rajon being out of the lineup, but it is what it is and we’re going to continue to fight.”

Hoiberg said Isaiah Canaan will start in Rondo’s place for a second straight game.

Since Rondo injured his hand in Game 2, Boston won three straight. The Bulls averaged only 93.0 points in those games compared with 108.5 in the first two.

Hoiberg said his team played most of the Game 5 loss in Boston without a point guard on the floor.

“But just that’s the reality of the situation that we’re in right now,” he said. “It’s probably going to be that way the rest of the series.”

Rondo was a standout at both ends in the first two games, both Chicago victories on the road. He averaged 11.5 points, 10.0 assists, 8.5 rebounds and 3.5 steals.

“We had a real good thing going with Rajon,” Hoiberg said. “Our flow was excellent. Our pace was really good, just getting the ball down the floor early and striking before the defense was set. That’s something we had a lot of success with. Obviously, that part of our game has changed with Rondo out.”

Hoiberg also said forward Jimmy Butler had “some soreness” in his right knee but would play Friday.

]]> 0 Green and the Celtics got back in the series with two wins at Chicago. Game 5 is back in Boston with the Celtics having a chance to control home-court advantage.Thu, 27 Apr 2017 21:29:25 +0000
NFL draft: Browns take Garrett, Bears trade up for Trubisky Fri, 28 Apr 2017 00:47:45 +0000 PHILADELPHIA — With defensive studs everywhere in this draft, NFL teams turned offensive. With an emphasis on quarterbacks.

Hardly stunning in a pass-happy league, except that no quarterbacks in this crop have been highly touted. Yet three went in the first dozen Thursday night, with two surprising trades putting the Bears and Chiefs in position to grab QBs.

Chicago paid a whopping price to move up one spot to second overall for North Carolina’s Mitchell Trubisky. Kansas City gave up its first-rounder next year to go from 27th to 10th for Texas Tech’s Patrick Mahomes.

Altogether, eight of the first dozen picks were offensive players, including Houston trading up for Clemson QB Deshaun Watson.

One controversial pick was Ohio State cornerback Gareon Conley, who was drafted by Oakland at No. 24. Days before the draft, allegations emerged that Conley raped a woman in Cleveland. He called the accusations “completely false” and no charges have been filed. Conley was named in a police report that details the allegations but no information has been forwarded to prosecutors.

The top of the draft was predictable: Roger Goodell got booed, then Myles Garrett was picked first by the Cleveland Browns.

“C’mon, Philly, C’mon,” Goodell said Thursday night amid the boos, not even wincing at the reception. Moments later, he was back onstage announcing the Texas A&M defensive end’s name. Garrett, a junior and All-American considered the best pass rusher in this crop, is the first Aggie selected No. 1 overall.

Garrett stayed close to home in Texas, and he promised Cleveland fans “great things are coming.”

Cleveland went 1-15 last season and has holes everywhere. It ranked 31st defensively and had only 26 sacks.

The Browns were the first team since Minnesota in 2013 with three first-rounders. Cleveland also took Michigan safety Jabrill Peppers and Miami tight end David Njoku.

The Bears sent a third-round pick, a fourth and a 2018 third to San Francisco to switch that one slot and take Trubisky, who started only 13 games for North Carolina.

“It was crazy,” Trubisky said. “There was no call. I didn’t think I was going to be picked until the commissioner said my name.”

San Francisco was up next, and new general manager John Lynch already was looking good for bringing in such a haul to drop back to No. 3. The 49ers took DE Solomon Thomas from just down the road at Stanford.

For much of the round, it was an offensive draft, although the breakdown wound up 19-13 on defense, including strings of six and five defenders from the 13th pick onward.

“We had a lot of scenarios, but we did not have any scenarios like what’s happened here,” Eagles executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman said.

LSU running back Leonard Fournette, who some scouts compared to Adrian Peterson, went to Jacksonville; new Jaguars boss Tom Coughlin is enamored of powerful running backs.

“He’s special,” Coughlin said. “We need playmakers. We need people to put the ball in the end zone. We need to do something about balance. We need to do something about creating a better situation where the quarterback doesn’t have the entire game on his shoulders.”

Another LSU player, safety Jamal Adams, whose father, George, was an NFL running back, was taken by the New York Jets, one pick after Tennessee, needing an upgrade at wide receiver, selected Corey Davis of Western Michigan. Davis is the FBS career leader in receiving yards with 5,285 and was a key to the Broncos’ turnaround last season.

Two more skill position offensive players went seventh and eighth. Receiver Mike Williams, who came off a serious neck injury in 2015 to help Clemson to the national championship last season, was taken by the Chargers. Then Christian McCaffrey, son of former NFL wideout Ed McCaffrey, wound up with Carolina.

The Panthers, eager to get back to the form that won them the 2015 NFC title, got a versatile running back from Stanford who also can play receiver and return kicks. Cam Newton sure must be smiling.

“Can’t wait to grind every single day for that team, the fans, for everybody there,” McCaffrey said.

More picks and more offense followed. A third receiver, John Ross of Washington, was taken by Cincinnati, which desperately needs a complement to A.J. Green. Ross tore a ligament in his left knee in 2015 that didn’t slow him down much. He ran a record 4.2 in the 40 at the scouting combine.

The next trade saw Buffalo’s new coach, Sean McDermott, deal with his mentor, Chiefs Coach Andy Reid. The Chiefs surged up for … a quarterback. They took Mahomes, whose stock soared in workouts this year. Mahomes comes from a spread attack and will need to learn a pro-style offense, but Kansas City has Alex Smith in place right now.

“Right now, Patrick isn’t absolutely ready to play. He’s got some work to do,” Reid said. “But he’s coming into a great room, he has an opportunity to learn from Alex (Smith), which will be a great for him. We have to have some patience with him, but he has tremendous upside.”

What KC no longer has is its first-round choice next year, which went in the deal that also saw the Bills get a third-rounder on Friday.

Nine of the first 10 picks were underclassmen.

Watson, another junior who led Clemson to the national title, landed with the Texans after they moved from 25 to 12, and included their No. 1 selection in 2018 in the trade with the Browns. Houston got out of the big contract it gave Brock Osweiler as a free agent last year by dealing him to Cleveland earlier this offseason.

“You’re trying to anticipate what’s going to happen,” Texans GM Rick Smith said. “The foundation for this move was laid earlier with Sashi (Brown, Cleveland’s VP of football operations). You’ve got all kinds of scenarios that you have to run to be prepared, because as much as you think you’re prepared when the draft starts, it’s such a fluid process that you’ve got to be able to react, and the only way to do that is to be in some respects prepared.”

Surprisingly, no one from Alabama was chosen until cornerback Marlon Humphrey went 16th to Baltimore. Two more Crimson Tide players went in the next three picks: DE Jonathan Allen to Washington and tight end O.J. Howard to Tampa Bay.

In another move to revive their anemic offense, the Giants selected speedy Mississippi tight end Evan Engram with the 23rd pick.

The All-American had a breakout senior season, catching 65 passes for 926 yards and eight touchdowns. He opened eyes at the NFL combine, running a 4.42 second, 40-yard dash, one of the fastest times by any wide receiver or tight end.

T.J. Watt of Wisconsin, brother of three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt of Houston, was selected by Pittsburgh.

New Orleans, which chose Ohio State cornerback Marshon Lattimore earlier, concluded the round with Wisconsin tackle Ryan Ramczyk.

]]> 0, 28 Apr 2017 00:14:46 +0000
Auto racing notes: Unity Raceway will not run Late Models this season Thu, 27 Apr 2017 22:44:48 +0000 UNITY — There will not be any Late Model or Super Late Model racing at Unity Raceway this season.

Track owner George Fernald made the announcement earlier this week, citing issues with the asphalt racing surface. Last week, Fernald said this would be the last season of asphalt racing on the .333-mile track with a planned conversion to dirt for next season.

“It was a really hard decision,” Fernald said. “But the track has a lot of (damage) to it, and it’s already starting to come apart in places.”

Late Models were scheduled to be the track’s premier division in 2017, highlighting the once-a-month Sunday racing cards that will begin on May 21. Now, Unity will go with the Wildcat/Street Stock class as its top division and will add an Enduro division to each program. A 50-lap Super Late Model race on July 7 has also been canceled.

The annual season-ending Long John Weekend in October will be held without Late Models.

Fernald cited safety concerns as one reason for deciding against holding Late Model races this season. And though social media was buzzing this week with critics of the track’s decision, Fernald added that the track is in such poor shape, Late Model and Super Late Model teams would certainly incur added costs for damages associated with excessive wear and tear to their automobiles.

“I have a (Super Late Model) of my own that’s never been raced, and my son just bought a Late Model,” Fernald said. “One of the hardest things I ever had to do was tell my own son that he wouldn’t be able to race his car at Unity.

• • •

Sidney driver Chris Thorne put together an impressive season for himself last summer at Wiscasset Speedway, and the second-generation racer aims to duplicate it this time around.

Thorne, who won the Coastal 200 and his fourth Late Model championship at Wiscasset in 2016, will compete full-time again at the track this summer.

A year ago, Thorne — who won three straight titles from 2007-2009 — led all Late Model drivers at the track with four wins.

Only three times did he fail to finish on the podium.

“It’s going to be pretty hard to top last year,” Thorne said. “We set some pretty high standards to follow up on this year.”

Wiscasset lost its schedule opener to rain last weekend. The forecast looks much more promising for Saturday’s 2 p.m. start time, which kicks off a program led by a 35-lap Late Model feature.

Thorne has long been a huge advocate of Wiscasset’s scheduling, which features bi-weekly racing for each division.

“When I was 20, I’d race every day if I could,” he said. “But when you’ve got other things going on in our life, it’s nice to have that time (off) for those things. It’s nice to know you’re racing consistently, but when you’re racing every week you don’t have much time.”

• • •

The Pro All Stars Series is back in action this weekend for their most grueling race of the season.

The Beech Ridge 300 at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway, which until this season had been run in September, will be held this Saturday at 3 p.m. The move alleviates some of the pressure previously placed on teams by running the 300-lap event featuring live pit stops just two weeks after the Oxford 250.

Reid Lanpher of Manchester, the 2015 Beech Ridge track champion, won his first career PASS race last weekend at Oxford Plains Speedway. Lanpher will join other weekly drivers at Beech Ridge, including Curt Gerry, the reigning Super Late Model champion, Dave Farrington Jr. and Garrett Hall in the field on Saturday.

Mike Rowe of Turner, a three-time Beech Ridge 300 winner, will race for Caruso Fowler Racing this season at the track as he chases a third track championship.

Johnny Clark of Farmingdale is a four-time winner of the Beech Ridge 300 to lead all drivers in that category. Ben Rowe of Turner has won the event twice, while two-time Oxford 250 champion Travis Benjamin won last year’s shortened event.

Travis Barrett — 621-5621

Twitter: @TBarrettGWC

]]> 0 Thu, 27 Apr 2017 18:49:35 +0000
MPA approves fifth class for high school football Thu, 27 Apr 2017 13:41:45 +0000 By STEVE CRAIG

Staff Writer

ROCKPORT — Maine high school football will add a fifth class this fall, a move designed to help schools that have been struggling to maintain the sport.

The proposal to add the open-enrollment Class E passed overwhelmingly with a show of hands Thursday at the annual Maine Principals’ Association’s interscholastic business meeting at the Samoset Resort.

Six schools will play in Class E, but unlike those in the other four classes, won’t compete for a state championship.

Between 2012 and 2016, five schools dropped varsity football after being unable to remain competitive. Lopsided losses became the norm. In many cases, small roster sizes heightened concerns about player safety. All five schools continued to field teams at the club or junior varsity level.

Class E will feature four schools that dropped varsity football during that span: Boothbay, Camden Hills, Sacopee Valley and Telstar. They will be joined by two schools that played last season in Class D, the smallest enrollment class: Traip Academy, which had a 2-5 record, and Maranacook, which was 0-7.

“Our enrollment is now under 200 and we were scrambling to find games as a club (team),” said Dan Welch, the Boothbay principal. “As a club, we were not under the auspices of the MPA. Personally, as a school administrator, I’m very grateful that class will exist.”

Camden Hills has an enrollment of 667 students, but three games into the 2015 season canceled the remainder of its varsity schedule because the roster had become too small.

In its final game, Camden Hills dressed 22 players and had eight leave the game with injuries.

Camden Hills was a Class B school when it began playing football in 2009, switched to Class C for the 2013 and 2014 seasons, then finished in Class D, going a combined 6-45 overall.

When the Class E proposal came out of the football committee in early March, Camden Hills Athletic Director Steve Alex was noncommittal about joining the league. He said Thursday the Windjammers will play an eight-game Class E schedule this fall, with home-and-away games against Boothbay, Sacopee Valley, Traip and Maranacook.

“For us, where we’ve been with the low numbers (of players), we’re going to play teams that I think are almost identical matchups,” Alex said. “The competitive games will be good for both teams and I also like the fact – and I think the kids are going to enjoy it – that standings will be kept.”

If a Class E team plays an opponent from another class, the game will be counted for playoff purposes for schools in the higher classes.

Starting this fall, the MPA will use Heal point standings to determine football playoff qualification instead of the Crabtree standings.

The change was made to account for the anticipated increase in cross-class games with the addition of Class E. The Heal points have a sliding scale for the value of a win based on an opponent’s classification. The Crabtree standings are based solely on an opponents’ winning percentage.

The enrollment breakdowns for football also reduced the range for Class B from 586-844 students to the new standard of 650-844. Class C is now 470-649.

That resulted in reclassification for several southern Maine schools. York, Leavitt and Morse will move from Class B to Class C; and defending state champion Wells, Mountain Valley, Poland and Spruce Mountain will shift from Class C to Class D.

Class A remains for schools with 845 or more students with the same 14 schools (including Cheverus, which has petitioned to play up).

Other significant changes that passed Thursday were the addition of a third class for volleyball and lacrosse.

Volleyball had grown from 25 to 35 varsity teams the past two seasons and added at least one new team each year from 2011 to 2016.

Lacrosse, which became an MPA sport in 1998, saw rapid growth in its first 12 years before stabilizing for a couple seasons. Since 2011, the sport has added five girls’ and two boys’ teams.

Adding a third class, especially in lacrosse, will lessen the competitive disparity between strong, established programs and some of the newer teams.

Volleyball will continue to hold statewide tournaments. Class A will be for schools with 750 or more students, Class B will be for schools between 425 and 749, and Class C will be for schools with 424 or fewer students.

Lacrosse’s old break between Class A and B was 750 students. Now, Class A will be for schools with 800 or more students. Class B will be 600-799, and Class C will be less than 600.

Class B and Class C will be statewide divisions without regional playoffs. Class A will continue to be divided into a North and South region.

The other primary change that passed at the meeting was how co-operative team enrollments will be counted.

Currently, all schools’ enrollments in a co-operative are added together for purposes of classification. Starting this fall, the total enrollment of the host school will be counted. Any other schools, referred to as sending schools, will have a percentage of their student enrollment counted that is equal to the percentage of athletes the school provides to the varsity roster.

It also was announced that Mike Bisson has been hired as an MPA assistant executive director to replace Gerry Durgin, who is retiring after six years with the MPA.

Bisson is the athletic director and an assistant principal at Hampden Academy.

Durgin, who lives in Gorham, has spent 46 years working in high school athletics, the first 40 as an athletic director at Telstar, Fryeburg Academy and Gorham.

]]> 0 Thu, 27 Apr 2017 20:16:57 +0000
Maine hockey phenom helps win world title, prepares for Harvard Thu, 27 Apr 2017 08:00:00 +0000 Oliver Wahlstrom first gained fame as a 9-year-old hockey wunderkind whose trick-shot goal went viral to the tune of 6 million YouTube views.

A few years later, as a seventh-grader at North Yarmouth Academy, he played forward on the varsity team’s top line. That winter he announced his intention to play for the University of Maine, at 13 becoming the youngest player ever to make a college hockey commitment.

Now 16, the Yarmouth native continues to impress. Wahlstrom scored a team-high four goals to help the United States win the recent under-18 world championships in Slovakia.

Oliver Wahlstrom

“The sky’s the limit for this young man,” said U18 coach John Wroblewski. “If he stays with it, he’s going to get selected in the first round of the NHL draft. I think he’s going to be playing in the NHL for a long time.”

Wahlstrom, who turns 17 in June, doesn’t become eligible for the NHL draft until 2018. His plans are to complete his high school education in three years so he can graduate next spring and enroll in the fall not at Orono, but at Harvard University.

But first he has another year in the U.S. National Team Development Program, based in Plymouth, Michigan. Speaking this week by phone, he sounded a bit jet-lagged after his trip back from the world championships, where he said his favorite moment came off the ice.

“Just putting on the jersey for the first time,” he said of his USA sweater, “it’s a dream come true to play for your country. And walking down the hallways, seeing the crowd, I’m not used to playing in front of thousands of people. I was very fortunate to be chosen and play with this team.”

The United States’ U18 team earned its seventh gold medal in nine years Sunday with a 4-2 victory over Finland before a crowd of 3,904. In seven tournament games (four preliminaries, a quarterfinal, semifinal and final), Wahlstrom had an assist along with his four goals and 16 penalty minutes, including a 10-minute misconduct in the third period of the gold medal game, which ended with him in the box.

Oliver Wahlstrom demonstrates the technique of his trick shot with his father, Joakim, at WCSH-TV studios during an interview with ESPN. Staff photo by Tim Greenway

“I had an open-ice hit,” he said. “They said it was head contact.”

Wahlstrom, who stands 6-foot-1 and weighs 198 pounds, was one of four players called up to the U18 team from the U17 team in late February and was one of two to remain with the older squad.

“He’s a complete hockey player,” said Wroblewski, the coach. “Big frame. He can skate. He’s got all the skills you can want. He can hammer a puck, and he’s got great vision.”

At age 9, Wahlstrom took part in a mini one-on-one competition between periods of a Bruins game in Boston. He flummoxed a young goalie with a lacrosse-style move that involved laying the stick on the ice, twirling the puck onto his stick blade, spinning 360 degrees, and then at chest level flipping the puck just inside the left post.

As a seventh-grader at NYA, Wahlstrom scored 11 goals with 18 assists in 22 varsity games. After making his verbal commitment to UMaine, he changed his mind 18 months later.

“It was a pretty early moment,” he said of his initial decision to follow his father’s footsteps to Orono. “At the end of the day, I just wanted to see what options I had. I kind of wanted to see what other places were like.”

Joakim Wahlstrom, Oliver’s dad, spent the 1988-89 and 1989-90 seasons at UMaine before playing professionally in Sweden. He now lives in Quincy, Massachusetts.

Eric Graham was NYA’s head coach when Oliver Wahlstrom played on the varsity as a seventh-grader, a feat possible because NYA competes as a prep school and doesn’t fall under Maine Principals’ Association rules.

“He was a little bit older for his grade, so he wasn’t that much younger than some of our freshmen,” said Graham, now an assistant coach at Bowdoin College in Brunswick. “He was definitely playing up, but he was pretty big and very strong on his skates.”

Wahlstrom left NYA in 2014 for one of the country’s most prestigious hockey prep schools, Shattuck-St. Mary’s in Minnesota, where he had 68 goals and 46 assists in 65 games as a Bantam and 26 goals and 26 assists in 43 games as a Midget.

Instead of continuing as a sophomore at Shattuck-St. Mary’s, Wahlstrom joined the U.S. National Team Development Program in Michigan, about halfway between Detroit and Ann Arbor. He lives with a billet family and attends Novi High School, usually taking four morning classes before heading to the rink.

“It was quite a process, actually,” Wahlstrom said of the development program. “There are certain stages you have to go through to make your way up there.”

In the 2015-16 season, Wahlstrom played for the U.S. team that won a gold medal at the Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway, last February. This winter he played 43 games for the U.S. U17 team, mostly against the nation’s top junior hockey teams, and 19 games for the U18 squad, which also plays collegiate teams.

“He’s an elite offensive player,” Wroblewski said. “The goal scoring definitely pops out at you, but he’s exceptional on the forecheck. He had some of the biggest hits of the tournament. He doesn’t float around and wait for opportunities, he goes out and makes them.”

Wahlstrom plans to remain in the national team development program and play for the U18 team again next season. In the summer of 2015, he made a verbal commitment to Harvard. Further ahead is the 2018 NHL draft.

“It’s pretty cool, but you’ve got to take one step at a time,” he said of his plans. “It’s pretty exciting as well.”

Wahlstrom’s older sister, Alexandra, will graduate this spring from St. Paul’s School in Concord, New Hampshire, and plans to play lacrosse at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. Their mom lives in Falmouth.

Oliver, known to his teammates as both “Ollie” and “Wally,” said he visits Maine on occasion, but plans to spend the summer in Boston, training five days a week. His favorite NHL team is the Washington Capitals.

“He was a good student who worked very hard at NYA,” said Graham, his old coach. “I always had a lot of respect for him for that. He works hard on and off the ice, which is why he continues to be one of the best players in the world for his age.”

Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or at:

Twitter: GlennJordanPPH

]]> 0 native Oliver Wahlstrom celebrates after a second-period goal against Belarus at the 2017 U18 world championships in Slovakia. He scored a team-high four goals to help the U18 team from the United States win the gold medal at the tournament on Sunday.Thu, 27 Apr 2017 12:24:40 +0000
Major league roundup: Thames helps Brewers sweep Reds Thu, 27 Apr 2017 03:34:25 +0000 MILWAUKEE — Major League home run leader Eric Thames scored twice before leaving with an injury and Orlando Arcia homered and had three RBI, leading the Milwaukee Brewers to a 9-4 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday to complete a three-game sweep.

Ryan Braun snapped out of a 5-for-22 slump with a two-run double and a single off Reds starter Rookie Davis (0-1) and Jett Bandy had three hits and two RBI, helping the Brewers win their fourth game overall against the Reds this season.

Thames, who leads the majors with 11 homers, appeared to be favoring his left hamstring as he stretched before the Reds batted in the eighth. Manager Craig Counsell talked with him near first base before the two walked off the field. Jesus Aguilar replaced Thames.

Thames singled, walked and scored twice. He said after the game he expected to play Friday.

PHILLIES 7, MARLINS 4: Maikel Franco hit his second grand slam of the month, helping host Philadelphia win its fifth straight.

Franco connected off Wei-Yen Chen (2-1) in the third inning with a shot to left-center for a 4-2 lead. With two runners on, Odubel Herrera singled to load the bases. Phillies pitcher Vince Velasquez held at third.

Franco also hit a grand slam in a 5-4 loss to the Mets on April 12.

PIRATES 6, CUBS 5: Josh Harrison led off the bottom of the first with a home run to help Pittsburgh to a victory at home as Cubs ace Jon Lester (0-1) remained winless after five starts.

Lester was tagged for six runs – five earned – and 10 hits in 5 2/3 innings.

BRAVES 8, METS 2: Julio Teheran stifled the Mets into the seventh inning, Robert Gsellman staggered through a five-run first and Atlanta handed host New York its fifth straight loss.


INDIANS 7, ASTROS 6: Michael Brantley, continuing his comeback from shoulder problems that forced him to miss most of last season, drove in three runs and Cleveland won at home.

Brantley, who played in only 11 games last season after having two operations on his left shoulder, had an RBI double in Cleveland’s three-run first inning and added a two-run single in the fifth.

Carlos Santana had a two-run double in the sixth for the Indians, who have won six of eight.

WHITE SOX 5, ROYALS 2: Avisail Garcia and Leury Garcia homered to back run-starved starter Jose Quintana and host Chicago completee a three-game sweep.

Chicago won its fourth straight, while Kansas City dropped every game on a seven-game trip.

Quintana (1-4) had a season-high 10 strikeouts in six innings. He allowed five hits and two runs – one earned – and walked two. The left-hander received only four runs of support in his first four starts combined.

MARINERS 8, TIGERS 0: James Paxton struck out nine in seven outstanding innings, and Nelson Cruz and Guillermo Heredia homered to lift visting Seattle.

Paxton (3-0) allowed four hits and a walk in a dominant performance against a Detroit team that had scored 32 runs over its previous two games.

]]> 0 Arcia of the Brewers hits a two-run home run during the third inning of Milwaukee's 9-4 victory against the Reds at home on Wednesday.Wed, 26 Apr 2017 23:36:12 +0000
NHL roundup: Predators blow 2-goal lead, but rally to top Blues Thu, 27 Apr 2017 03:18:33 +0000 ST. LOUIS — P.K. Subban had a goal and two assists and Vernon Fiddler scored with 5:05 left, sending the Nashville Predators to a 4-3 victory over the St. Louis Blues in Game 1 of their second-round playoff series on Wednesday night.

The Predators lost Kevin Fiala to an ugly leg injury in the second period and blew a 3-1 lead before Fiddler poked a loose puck by Jake Allen in the third. It was the fifth career playoff goal for the 36-year-old Fiddler, who did not play in Nashville’s first-round sweep of Chicago.

Colin Wilson and Filip Forsberg also scored for Nashville, and Pekka Rinne made 27 saves.

Colton Parayko, Jaden Schwartz and Vladimir Sobotka scored for St. Louis. Allen finished with 28 stops.

Game 2 is Friday night.


JACK ADAMS AWARD: Toronto’s Mike Babcock, Edmonton’s Todd McLellan and Columbus’ John Tortorella are the finalists for the Jack Adams Award as the NHL coach of the year.

Members of the NHL Broadcasters’ Association voted at the end of the regular season, with the top three designated finalists. The winner will be announced June 21 at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas.

Babcock led Toronto to a fourth-place finish in the Atlantic Division and the second wild-card playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Maple Leafs were 30th in the NHL the previous season.

Tortorella’s Blue Jackets set franchise records for wins, points, home wins and road points. Tortorella won the award with Tampa Bay in 2003-04. McLellan guided Edmonton to its first playoff berth since 2005-06.

The award honors the late Jack Adams, the longtime coach and general manager of the Detroit Red Wings.

CANUCKS: Vancouver named Travis Green its new coach.

Green spent the last four seasons coaching the Canucks’ top farm team, the Utica Comets of the American Hockey League.

Before that, he coached the Portland Winterhawks to a 2012-13 Western Hockey League title and an appearance in the 2013 Memorial Cup final.

He replaces Willie Desjardins, who spent the last three seasons in Vancouver.

Desjardins was fired this month less than 24 hours after the Canucks finished the season 29th in the overall standings.

STARS: Forward Tyler Seguin had surgery to repair the labrum in his right shoulder and should be ready for training camp in September.

The team said Seguin had the procedure Tuesday and was expected to make a full recovery in four months.

Seguin, 25, led the Stars in scoring with 72 points (26 goals, 46 assists) in a disappointing season. Dallas missed the playoffs a year after being the top seed in the Western Conference and winning a first-round series against Minnesota.

The Stars didn’t renew coach Lindy Ruff’s contract and hired Ken Hitchcock, the coach for the franchise’s only Stanley Cup title in 1999.

]]> 0 Reaves of the Blues, right, knocks Nashville's Cody McLeod off the puck in the first period Wednesday night in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals at St. Louis.Wed, 26 Apr 2017 23:20:02 +0000