BASEBALL

The rebuilding San Diego Padres rewarded free agent Drew Pomeranz for two strong months in Milwaukee’s bullpen.

San Diego and Pomeranz – an All-Star during his brief stay with the Padres in 2016 – agreed to a $34 million, four-year contract.

The left-hander had a strong final two months of the season with the Brewers after being traded to Milwaukee from San Francisco. He was 0-1 with a 2.39 ERA in 25 games, including one start.

Pomeranz struck out 45 and walked only eight of the 100 batters he faced.

“We’re banking that he’s found a role that really fits for him and it was a chance to get an impact performer,” Padres General Manager A.J. Preller said. “He shortened up his repertoire to his fastball and curveball and both pitches became really effective pitches for him. He always had a good heater and out of pen his heater jumped up a tick or two. It became an extremely effective pitch. He always had a good curveball, and played it up.”

Preller said Pomeranz pitching ahead of closer Kirby Yates is “going to be a tough combo at the back end of the game. … It’s hard to find lefties in general and lefties that have real out pitches, who can also fill a variety of different roles.”

Pomeranz will get an $8 million signing bonus and salaries of $4 million in 2020, $6 million 2021 and $8 million in 2022 and 2023.

Pomeranz spent the first half of 2016 with the Padres, going 8-7 with a 2.47 ERA and earning an All-Star berth. He was traded to Boston two days after San Diego hosted the All-Star Game.

SOCCER

OBIT: Pim Verbeek, the Dutchman who coached South Korea and Australia, has died at the age of 63.

Verbeek, who played for Sparta Rotterdam, died on Thursday after a four-year battle with cancer.

Sparta said in a statement its players will wear black armbands when they take on Willem II Tilburg in the Dutch league on Saturday.

After a short-lived spell in charge of Sparta’s crosstown rival Feyenoord in 1989, followed by coaching Groningen and Fortuna Sittard, Verbeek started his globe-trotting adventures in 1998 as head coach of Omiya Ardija in Japan.

He became assistant to countryman Guus Hiddink with South Korea in 2000 and helped the Asian team reach the semifinals of the 2002 World Cup on home soil.

Verbeek returned to Seoul after the 2006 World Cup to become head coach, and led South Korea to third place at the Asian Cup in 2007 before stepping down.

In December of the same year, he was appointed to take Australia through its first ever World Cup qualification campaign as a member of the Asian Football Confederation.

Despite collecting four points at the 2010 World Cup, Australia exited at the group stage and Verbeek spent the next four years managing Morocco’s Under-23 team.

His final job in the game came in 2016 as the coach of Oman. Verbeek picked up his first trophy as a coach, winning the 2017-18 Gulf Cup title. He resigned after the Asian Cup in January.

HIGH SCHOOLS

FOOTBALL: John McKissick, whose 621 victories at South Carolina’s Summerville High made him the nation’s winningest football coach at any level, has died at age 93.

Dorchester County Coroner Paul Brouthers says McKissick had been in hospice care and died Thursday surrounded by family. The longtime coach retired in 2014 after 62 seasons.

Brouthers said McKissick’s birth year is listed as 1929, although his biography has him born three years earlier on Sept. 25, 1926.

McKissick had a career record of 621-155-13 at Summerville from 1952 through 2014. He won 10 South Carolina state championships, the last one coming in 1998.

In 2003, McKissick became the first coach to reach 500 victories. He won his 600th game in 2012, when he was carried off the field by his players.

GOLF

EUROPEAN: Wil Besseling shot a 7-under 65 to take a one-shot lead after the first round of the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Malelane, South Africa – the tour’s 2020 season-opening event.

Besseling made six birdies, an eagle and just one bogey at Leopard Creek Country Club to sit one stroke ahead of Garrick Porteous, Pablo Larrazabal and Keith Horne.

Besseling was one of the players to wear shorts in sweltering temperatures in northern South Africa, taking advantage of a decision by organizers to allow shorts in tournament play for the first time on the European Tour.

David Drysdale, last year’s runner-up, was in a group of players tied for sixth three shots off the lead. That group includes 2014 champion Branden Grace.

Four-time winner Charl Schwartzel carded a 70 on his return to action after being out for eight months with a wrist injury.

AUTO RACING

FORMULA ONE: Canadian driver Nicholas Latifi will make his Formula One debut for the struggling Williams next season as a replacement for veteran driver Robert Kubica.

Latifi finished the F2 championship this season in second place, winning four races with one race left. He has also worked as a reserve driver at Williams this year, doing testing and simulator work as well as participating in practice sessions during race weekends.

“It still feels a bit surreal,” the 24-year-old Latifi said. “I don’t think it will sink in fully until I’m on the grid in Melbourne next year.”

He will race alongside British driver George Russell, and completes the F1 grid for 2020.

Williams has been the slowest car all season and scored one point, which was Kubica’s 10th-place finish at the German Grand Prix in July.

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