Monday, June 29, 2009

Rivera picks up 500th save, Yankees sweep Mets, 4-2

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

Yankees closer Mariano Rivera accomplished two very different milestones in his team’s 4-2 victory to complete a Subway Series sweep of the crosstown rival Mets in New York Sunday night.

Rivera recorded his 500th career save, good for second all-time. He also picked up his first career RBI, drawing a bases-loaded walk in the top of the ninth.

Yankees starter Chien-Ming Wang earned his first win of the season, working 5 1-3 innings of two-run, four-hit ball.

Meanwhile, the Mets’ offensive woes continued. They have only scored six total runs in five of their past six games, excluding their 11-0 win over St. Louis Wednesday.

The win is the Yankees’ fifth in six tries against the Mets this season, completing their first regular season series victory against the Mets since winning all six contests in 2003.

With some help from the Mets defense, the Yankees scored all the runs they would need in the first inning. Derek Jeter led off the game with a double off the left-field wall against Mets starter Livan Hernandez. Nick Swisher then hit a grounder to Mets first baseman Daniel Murphy, who attempted to throw Jeter out at third but could not.

Mark Teixeira’s double down the left-field line easily scored Jeter and then Swisher from first, after Mets left fielder Fernando Tatis struggled to field the ball. Jorge Posada’s one-out sacrifice fly to center then scored Teixeira, who easily beat outfielder Fernando Martinez’s throw, for a 3-0 edge.

The Mets then cut their deficit to one in the fourth inning. Gary Sheffield drew a leadoff walk from Wang and scored on a one-out Martinez double off the left-field wall. Luis Castillo’s sharp single with two out down the left-field line then scored Martinez.

The Yankees averted an eighth-inning threat with Rivera’s help to preserve their tenuous lead. David Wright drew a walk and stole third, and Tatis walked with one out. However, Rivera came on with two down and struck Omir Santos out looking to end the inning.

Rivera’s turn in the order came up in the top of the ninth, forcing him to bat since National League rules were in effect. Unbelievably, Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez issued Rivera a full-count bases-loaded walk to score Melky Cabrera, who had reached on a fielder’s choice.

Rivera then worked around a two-out Murphy single in the bottom of the ninth, inducing a groundout from Alex Cora to end the game.

Wang (1-6) walked three batters and struck out three. Phil Coke, Phil Hughes and Brian Bruney combined for 2 1-3 scoreless, hitless innings before Rivera struck out two batters to earn his 18th save of the season.

Jeter, back in the lineup after missing the first two games of the series with the flu, and Alex Rodriguez each drew three walks.

Sheffield was the only batter with a multi-hit game, going 2-for-3 for the Mets.

Hernandez (5-3) was the hard-luck loser, allowing three runs on three hits over seven innings, with five walks and a strikeout. Pedro Feliciano and Sean Green also worked in relief.

NOTES: The Yankees’ Johnny Damon did not start with flu symptoms but came on in a sixth-inning double switch … Ryan Church was also out for the Mets with the flu … The Yankees outscored the Mets 18-3 in the series, and out-hit the Mets 26-9 … Hernandez is 0-4 all-time against the Yankees … The Mets are at .500 for the first time since May 6 … The Yankees are off Monday before returning to action for a three-game series against Seattle, with Joba Chamberlain working Tuesday night. Fernando Nieve kicks off a three-game series for the Mets in Milwaukee Monday night … The Yankees (43-32) are in second place in the AL East, three games back of Boston. The Mets (37-37) trail NL East-leading Philadelphia by 2.5 games.

BOX SCORE

Video credit – ESPN

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Tigers beat Longhorns 11-4 for sixth national title

2009 COLLEGE BASEBALL POSTSEASON SPECIAL COVERAGE – NCAA COLLEGE WORLD SERIES FINALS GAME 3

Facing elimination for the first time all postseason one night after a 5-1 loss to No. 3 Texas, the No. 1 LSU Tigers instead finished off their sixth national championship with an 11-4 victory in the College World Series finals in Omaha, Neb., Wednesday night.

Meanwhile, the Longhorns, who pulled out dramatic victories over Boston College, Army, TCU, Southern Miss and Arizona State during their tournament run, found themselves one win shy of their seventh title.

Sean Ochinko went 4-for-5 with three runs batted in, while tournament most outstanding player Jared Mitchell also recorded three RBI.

With the game tied at four, the Tigers blew the game open with a five-run sixth inning. Mitchell drew a leadoff walk, took second on a passed ball on Texas catcher Cameron Rupp and scored on Mikie Mahtook’s double to the gap in right-center field.

Micah Gibbs then laid down a sacrifice bunt but made it to first on Longhorns reliever Austin Dicharry’s throwing error. Derek Helenihi’s deep sac fly scored Mahtook.

Gibbs took third on a wild pitch before reliever Austin Wood hit Blake Dean with the bases loaded to force home Gibbs, and Ochinko singled to left to score D.J. LeMahieu, who had walked, and Ryan Schimpf, who was hit by a pitch, for a 9-4 lead.

LSU took an immediate lead in its first time at the plate. Texas starter Cole Green hit Dean on the foot with a pitch and yielded a single to Ochinko before Mitchell hammered a home run just inside the right-field pole for a 3-0 edge.

Then, after LSU starter Anthony Ranaudo escaped a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the first by striking out Kevin Keyes swinging, the Tigers offense added another run in the second. Gibbs led off with a single to right-center and scored on Schimpf’s two-out single to center.

Texas drew even with two runs in the third and fifth innings. Travis Tucker led off the inning with a double to left. Brandon Belt drew a free pass, and Tucker and Belt executed a double steal to move two runners into scoring position.

Rupp’s one-out groundout scored Tucker, and Ranaudo walked Preston Clark with the bases loaded to force in Belt. Ranaudo then ended that threat when Brandon Loy grounded into a fielder’s choice to end the inning.

Then, in the fifth, Rupp led off with a single to center before Keyes’ homer to left tied the game.

The Tigers tacked on a couple of insurance runs in their final two trips to the plate. In the eighth frame, Austin Nola led off with a double to right and scored on a Schimpf sac fly.

Ochinko then led off the ninth with a jack just inside the left-field pole to set the final margin at 11-4.

LSU reliever Louis Coleman, who started Game 1, then struck out Rupp looking, Keyes looking and Connor Rowe swinging in rapid succession to end it.

For the Tigers (56-17), LeMahieu and Gibbs each went 2-for-4, with Schimpf putting up two RBI.

Ranaudo (12-3) scattered four runs and eight hits over 5 1-3 innings, walking five batters and striking out four. Chad Jones struck out two batters in 1 2-3 innings, while Coleman allowed one hit and one walk over two innings, striking out four.

Texas (50-16-1) was led offensively by Michael Torres and Tucker, who each went 2-for-5.

Green was lifted after two innings, making room for Brandon Workman (3-5), who allowed two hits on two runs. Keith Shinaberry and Chance Ruffin also worked in relief.

NOTES: LSU’s sixth title ties it with Texas for second-most all-time. Both trail Southern California, which has 12 championships … Mitchell and Jones, who were on the 2007-08 LSU football national championship team, became the first players in NCAA history to compete in the BCS title game and the CWS finals. They are also only the second and third LSU athletes to win national championships in two different sports; Bennie Brazell was on the 2002 outdoor track and field, 2003 football and 2004 indoor track championship squads … In the seven years since the best-of-three finals system was implemented, the Game 1 winner has won the title five times … The Tigers finished the year 49-0 when leading after six innings … LSU won 28 of its last 33 games … Texas lost only its third three-game series this season, after dropping sets to Kansas and Kansas State … With Coleman’s four strikeouts in relief, he posted 304 for his career, passing Bo Pettit for ninth place on the all-time school strikeout list. Pettit struck out 300 batters from 2000 to 2003.

BOX SCORE

Video credit – ESPN

Jungmann shuts down Tigers, Texas forces Game 3

2009 COLLEGE BASEBALL POSTSEASON SPECIAL COVERAGE – NCAA COLLEGE WORLD SERIES FINALS GAME 2

One night after being unable to find the plate in relief in the College World Series finals opener, Texas starter Taylor Jungmann seemingly couldn’t miss.

Jungmann tossed a complete-game five-hitter and the top-seeded Longhorns defeated third-seeded LSU 5-1 in the second game of the CWS finals in Omaha, Neb., Tuesday night.

Texas designated hitter Russell Moldenhauer hit his third home run in the finals and fourth overall in the CWS, tying the record for the most in one CWS.

Not bad, considering Moldenhauer had no home runs this season before arriving in Omaha.

No. 3 Texas (50-15-1) and the top-ranked Tigers (55-17) will now face off Wednesday night with the national championship at stake.

The start of the game was delayed approximately an hour and 36 minutes due to rain, beginning at about 8:43 p.m.

The Longhorn offense, which hit five solo homers in the series opener, returned to its usual M.O. in the first inning, manufacturing a run against LSU starter Austin Ross. Michael Torres drew a free pass to lead off and moved to second on Tigers catcher Micah Gibbs’ throwing error trying to pick him off. The error was LSU’s first of the CWS.

Travis Tucker then bunted Torres to third, and Brandon Belt singled to right to score Torres and give Texas a 1-0 lead.

Then, in the second inning, Preston Clark doubled the Longhorns’ advantage with a one-out solo homer to right.

LSU cut its deficit in half in the bottom of the frame. Jared Mitchell singled to left with two out and scored on Texas’ Brandon Loy’s fielding error on Derek Helenihi’s grounder.

However, the Longhorns answered in the third and were never really threatened the rest of the way. Moldenhauer homered to right with one out. Cameron Rupp then doubled to right just past a diving Mitchell and scored on Connor Rowe’s two-out double down the left-field line.

Clark’s single through the left side of the infield then scored Rowe to extend the Texas edge to 5-1.

The Tigers’ offensive futility was perhaps best illustrated in the bottom of the sixth. Blake Dean led off with a single and took second base on an error, and seemingly moved to third on Gibbs’ flyout to center.

However, Texas appealed the play at second base and umpire Jeff Henrichs ruled Dean had left the base too early, calling Dean out.

Jungmann then struck Game 1 hero Mikie Mahtook out looking to end the inning and quell the LSU threat.

Clark was 3-for-4 for the Texas offense, with two RBI. Belt and Rupp each also recorded two hits.

Jungmann (11-3) struck out nine hitters and walked two in pitching his first career complete game.

Ross (6-8) lasted two innings, allowing two runs on four hits, with a walk. Ryan Byrd got two batters out, Nolan Cain worked 3 1-3 innings and Daniel Bradshaw pitched the final three frames in relief.

Cole Green is expected to pitch for Texas in Game 3, while Anthony Ranaudo is the probable pitcher for LSU.

NOTES: The last two teams to force a CWS finals Game 3 – Oregon State in 2006 and Fresno State in 2008 – have gone on to win the third game and the series … Moldenhauer tied nine other players with his fourth homer of the CWS. The last player to do it was Fresno State’s Tommy Mendonca last year … Jungmann’s complete game was the first at the CWS since 2006 … LSU’s 14-game winning streak came to an end. The loss was the Tigers’ first since falling to Vanderbilt in the SEC tournament May 20 … Texas is 39-4 this season when scoring first.

BOX SCORE

Video credit – ESPN

Monday, June 22, 2009

LSU wins CWS finals opener in 11 innings over Texas

2009 COLLEGE BASEBALL POSTSEASON SPECIAL COVERAGE – NCAA COLLEGE WORLD SERIES FINALS GAME 1

LSU’s Mikie Mahtook knocked in D.J. LeMahieu with the winning run and closer Matty Ott worked three scoreless innings to earn the win as the Tigers defeated Texas 7-6 in 11 innings in the opener of the College World Series finals in Omaha, Neb., Monday night.

Top-ranked third-seeded LSU is now one win away from its sixth national title, while the No. 3 top-seeded Longhorns, one loss from the end of their season, will again have to find a way to extend their heart-stopping run through the tournament.

The Tigers scored the winning run in the top of the 11th inning. Texas reliever Brandon Workman issued a free pass to LeMahieu, who then stole second base and took third on catcher Cameron Rupp’s throwing error trying to get LeMahieu at second.

With two out, Mahtook then singled LeMahieu home to take a 7-6 lead.

Then, in the bottom of the inning, Ott worked a one-two-three inning, striking out Brandon Loy and Tim Maitland and inducing a groundout from Connor Rowe to end it.

The Tigers struck first in their first at-bat against Longhorns starter Chance Ruffin. Ryan Schimpf hit a one-out jack to right for a 1-0 lead.

Texas, the nation’s leader in sacrifice bunts, took a lead in the third with three solo shots off LSU starter Louis Coleman. Travis Tucker, Russell Moldenhauer and Kevin Keyes each left the yard for a 3-1 lead.

LSU knotted the score in the sixth. Jared Mitchell greeted Texas reliever Austin Wood with a two-out triple to the left-center-field gap, scoring Blake Dean, who had singled to center, and Micah Gibbs, whose single had snuck through the right side of the infield.

However, Texas retook the lead in the bottom of the frame, with the help of another long ball. With one out, Moldenhauer hit his second homer of the game and only his third of the season.

Keyes then singled with two out and scored from third on a Coleman wild pitch, which appeared to hit the back of Texas’ Preston Clark’s jersey but was ruled to have missed him. The Longhorns took a 5-3 lead.

LSU and Texas traded long balls in the seventh inning. LeMahieu’s two-out homer to center just carried out before Rowe answered in the bottom of the inning with a leadoff shot to left for a 6-4 edge.

Then, the Tigers were able to tie the game in the ninth and force extra innings. Down to LSU’s final out, LeMahieu hit the first pitch of his at-bat against Longhorns reliever Austin Dicharry into the left-field corner, scoring Leon Landry, pinch-running for Sean Ochinko, who had singled, and Derek Helenihi, who had drawn a free pass.

In the bottom of the inning, Ott hit Maitland with a pitch, and Maitland moved to second on Rowe’s sacrifice to put the winning run in scoring position with one out. However, Michael Torres and Tucker flew out to end the threat.

Workman averted a catastrophe himself for Texas in the 10th. He entered the game with the bases loaded and one out, then proceeded to strike out Helenihi and Tyler Hanover swinging to escape the jam.

LeMahieu led LSU at the plate with a 2-for-4 night and three runs batted in. Mahtook and Mitchell each also had two base hits.

Coleman pitched six innings and allowed six runs on nine hits, with no walks and six strikeouts. Chad Jones and Paul Bertuccini each worked a scoreless inning before Ott (4-2) came on for three hitless innings.

For Texas, Moldenhauer went 3-for-3 and Keyes was 2-for-4.

Ruffin worked 5 2-3 innings, allowing three runs on five hits, with one walk and 10 strikeouts, tying his season high. Wood came on and Taylor Jungmann threw only six pitches, all balls, in relief before Dicharry and Workman (3-4) pitched.

LSU (55-16) and Texas (49-15-1) are set to meet again Tuesday night in Game 2.

NOTES: This was the longest game in CWS finals history … LSU extended its winning streak to 14 games and has not lost since May 20, to Vanderbilt in the SEC tournament … The finals Game 1 winner has gone on to win four of the six CWS finals played since the current system’s implementation … All seven of the home runs hit Monday were solo shots … LSU has yet to commit an error at the CWS … The Tigers are 37-3 against right-handed pitchers this season … This was the first CWS finals game to go to extra innings since 2003, when Rice beat Stanford 4-3 in Game 1 of that series … LSU has won 81 of its last 100 games, dating back to last April … Texas leads the teams’ all-time series, 20-9-1 … Coleman moved into 10th place on the LSU career strikeout list, recording his 299th punchout and passing Chad Ogea, who struck out 296 batters from 1989 to 1991.

BOX SCORE

Video credit – ESPN

Tipton wins Homer Profitt Invitational by five strokes

REGIONAL GOLF
Match played June 21, 2009

STANFORD, Ky. – Former Morehead State golfer Shawn Tipton put on a dominant performance in winning the Homer Profitt Invitational at the Dix River Country Club Sunday evening.

How dominant was he? Tipton, from Clay City, Ky., shot an 8-under par 63 Sunday, one stroke shy of tying the tournament one-round record. He finished the two-day tournament at 10-under, winning the tournament by five strokes with a 132 showing.

Tipton, 23, sank an eagle on the par-four 17th hole of his Sunday round and birdied eight more holes, including four out of five beginning with No. 11. He bogeyed only once, on the third hole, and seemingly routinely uncorked 300-yard drives off the tee when necessary on the back nine.

As has become the norm at recent area and national tournaments, the participants dealt with a weather delay in afternoon play, with rain leaving some tee boxes underwater. The stoppage lasted approximately an hour and a half before ending at about 2 p.m.

However, hot, sunny conditions later in the afternoon helped dry the course and provided beautiful weather for much of the final round, which did not end until around 8 p.m.

Of course, it would probably have taken a monsoon to derail Tipton Sunday. When asked if the earlier rain played a part in working the course, he smiled and offered, “Not really.”

With victory already all but in his grasp, Tipton’s confidence and dominance was evident on his eagle on No. 17, a 270-yard hole. Tipton’s tee shot carried just beyond the green into the rough.

What was Tipton thinking before his second shot on the par-four hole?

“I was just trying not to get it lagging down that little slope and get a good look at birdie,” he said.

Instead, he chipped in his second stroke for eagle.

Ben Fuqua came in second place in the tournament with a 5-under par 137, Kevin Lawson shot 3-under at 139 and defending event champion Marty Anderson finished at par with a 142. Chris Hill and Elmo Greer rounded out the top six finishers.

NOTES: Tournament organizer Jack Upchurch offered words of gratitude to the volunteers who helped run the event. He said volunteers among the ladies in the Dix River Country Club formed the tournament’s pairings by computer, in addition to running the leaderboard.

Reprinted with permission from the Danville Advocate-Messenger.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Kershaw, Dodgers take series from Angels, 5-3

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL
Game played June 21, 2009

Clayton Kershaw pitched seven shutout innings, Juan Pierre and James Loney each knocked in two runs and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Angels 5-3 in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday night, securing the teams’ three-game series.

The Angels missed out on a chance to take the AL West lead, remaining a half-game behind Texas in the division race after the Rangers also lost Sunday in San Francisco.

The Dodger offense manufactured one run each in the fifth and seventh innings by very similar means to stake Kershaw to a lead. In the fifth against Angels starter John Lackey, Matt Kemp led off with a single to center, moved to second on Brad Ausmus’ sacrifice bunt and scored on Pierre’s double to right.

Then, in the seventh, Kemp reached on a leadoff bunt single, moved up a base on another Ausmus bunt and scored on another Pierre double, this one over Angels left fielder Juan Rivera’s head, to extend the Dodger lead to 2-0.

The Dodgers doubled their advantage again in the eighth. Loney hit a two-run, two-out home run, scoring Casey Blake, who had led off the inning with a single. The home run was confirmed by replay, giving the Dodgers a 4-0 advantage.

With Kershaw out of the game, the Angels cracked the scoreboard for the first time in the bottom of the eighth. Rivera drew a free pass from Dodgers reliever Ramon Troncoso and then scored on Blake’s throwing error on pinch hitter Kendry Morales’ grounder.

The Dodgers added a little insurance in the top of the ninth. Pierre singled with one out off Angels reliever Kevin Jepsen, stole second and scored on Blake’s high-chopper infield single to take a 5-1 lead.

The Angels then threatened in the bottom of the frame before Dodgers closer Jonathan Broxton took care of business. Bobby Abreu singled with one out and took second on defensive indifference before Torii Hunter hit a double off the heel of Dodgers center fielder Kemp’s glove, scoring Abreu.

Rivera’s two-out single then scored Hunter to cut the Angel deficit to two runs at 5-3, but Broxton induced a groundout from Mike Napoli to end the game.

The Angels’ other biggest threat came in the fifth inning, but they could not score then. With the bases loaded and no outs, Kershaw got a groundout back to himself from Abreu and started a double play, throwing Sean Rodriguez out at home before Ausmus got Abreu at first.

Hunter then popped out to shortstop Rafael Furcal to end the fifth-inning threat.

Kershaw (4-5) allowed four hits, with four walks and five strikeouts. Troncoso and Brent Leach also worked before Broxton allowed three hits but got four outs, two via the strikeout, for his 17th save.

Pierre led the way offensively for the Dodgers, going 3-for-5. Blake and Kemp were each 2-for-4 and Furcal was 2-for-5.

Napoli went 3-for-5 for the Angels, while Rivera was 2-for-4.

Lackey (2-3) went eight innings, yielding four runs on nine hits, with four walks and five punchouts. Jepsen worked the ninth, allowing a run on three hits.

NOTES: With the win, the Dodgers split the season Freeway Series with the Angels, 3-3 … The Angels have still won eight of 11 against the Dodgers at home … The Dodgers’ Orlando Hudson and the Angels’ Vladimir Guerrero each saw their eight-game hitting streaks come to an end, each posting 0-for-5 performances … Each teams and the umpires wore baby-blue ribbons on their chests and other blue regalia in honor of Father’s Day and the fight against cancer … The Dodgers (46-24) are off Monday before returning to action Tuesday night in Chicago for a three-game series against the White Sox. Hiroki Kuroda is scheduled to pitch the opener. The Angels (36-31) will host Colorado for three beginning Monday night, with Matt Palmer on the hill … The Dodgers lead the NL West by 7.5 games over the second-place Giants.

BOX SCORE


Video credit – ESPN

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Calhoun, Arizona State eliminate Tar Heels, 12-5

2009 COLLEGE BASEBALL POSTSEASON SPECIAL COVERAGE – NCAA TOURNAMENT COLLEGE WORLD SERIES
Game played June 18, 2009

Kole Calhoun knocked in six runs as No. 2 and fifth national seed Arizona State scored 12 straight runs on its way to a 12-5 win over fourth-ranked, fourth-seeded North Carolina in a College World Series elimination game in Omaha, Neb., Thursday night.

Trailing 4-0 and having been thoroughly stymied by Tar Heels starter Matt Harvey, the Sun Devils tied the score in the fifth inning. Drew Maggi reached on a fielder’s choice and Jason Kipnis was hit by a pitch before they both advanced a base on a Harvey wild pitch. Carlos Ramirez then worked a walk to load the bases and chase Harvey.

Calhoun then immediately greeted Carolina reliever Brian Moran by homering off him for the second time at the College World Series. Calhoun’s grand slam to right-center tied the game at four.

The wheels then completely came off for the Heels in the seventh, as Arizona State scored eight runs and sent 13 batters to the plate against Colin Bates and the Tar Heel bullpen. Kipnis singled and Ramirez walked before Calhoun’s double to the right-center gap off Carolina reliever Patrick Johnson scored them both.

Calhoun scored on a Johnson wild pitch before Zack MacPhee’s single to left off Tar Heel reliever Nate Striz scored Johnny Ruettiger and Riccio Torrez, who had both walked.

Then, Maggi singled to score Jared McDonald, who had walked and stolen third, and MacPhee, who had stolen second.

Finally, Carolina reliever Logan Munson yielded a two-out single to Ramirez, which scored Maggi for a 12-4 Sun Devil lead.

North Carolina manufactured the game’s first run in the second inning against Arizona State starter Josh Spence. Levi Michael reached on a fielder’s choice, moved to third on a Maggi throwing error and scored on Jacob Stallings’ squeeze bunt for a 1-0 edge.

Then, in the fourth, the Tar Heels sent eight men to the plate and scored three runs. Garrett Gore led off with a single and stole second. Michael struck out swinging but advanced to first on Spence’s wild pitch, advancing Gore to third.

Ben Bunting drew a free pass to load the bases before Stallings dropped another squeeze bunt, scoring Gore.

Mike Cavasinni’s single to left scored Michael before Ryan Graepel singled to left to score Bunting for a 4-0 Carolina advantage.

The Tar Heels then closed the scorebook with the game’s final run. Dustin Ackley, the CWS all-time hits leader, led off with a single against Sun Devils reliever Jordan Swagerty and scored on a Kyle Seager double down the left-field line.

MacPhee went 2-for-2, Calhoun was 2-for-3 and Kipnis went 2-for-4 for the Sun Devils.

Spence (10-1), working on three days’ rest, lasted seven innings, scattering seven hits and four runs, with two walks and eight strikeouts. Swagerty worked the final two innings, allowing four hits and a run with three punchouts.

Bunting went 2-for-3, Cavasinni was 2-for-4 and Seager and Gore each were 2-for-5.

Harvey pitched 4 1-3 innings, allowing three runs on two hits, with five walks and three strikeouts. Bates (4-4) took the loss for Carolina. Jimmy Messer worked a perfect eighth out of the bullpen.

Arizona State next faces Texas Friday night in Bracket Two play. The Sun Devils still face elimination and must beat the Longhorns twice to advance to the CWS finals.

NOTES: Ackley has 28 career hits in College World Series play, and also owns a 22-game tournament hitting streak, dating back to the 2007 CWS … Gore played in his 21st career CWS game, setting the all-time record. He passed Southern California’s Daryl Arenstein, who played in 20 CWS games from 1970 to 1973.

BOX SCORE

Video credit – ESPN2

Monday, June 15, 2009

Coleman, LSU shut down Razorbacks, 9-1

2009 COLLEGE BASEBALL POSTSEASON SPECIAL COVERAGE – NCAA TOURNAMENT COLLEGE WORLD SERIES
Game played June 15, 2009

Mikie Mahtook, Austin Nola and Blake Dean homered and pitcher Louis Coleman allowed one run over six innings as the top-ranked, third-seeded LSU Tigers defeated No. 7 Arkansas 9-1 at the College World Series in Omaha, Neb., Monday night.

LSU now is one win away from winning Bracket One and advancing to the championship series, while Arkansas finds itself one loss from elimination.

The Tigers offense gave Coleman all the offense he would need before he even took the mound against Razorbacks starter Brett Eibner. After D.J. LeMahieu led off with a single and stole second and Ryan Schimpf drew a walk, Mahtook hammered a two-out home run to left for an early 3-0 lead.

Arkansas was able to score a run in the bottom of the inning. Ben Tschepikow hit a one-out double and scored on Andy Wilkins’ sacrifice fly.

LSU got that run back in the second. LeMahieu singled with two out and scored on Schimpf’s double to center.

The Tigers blew the game open with a five-run sixth. Nola homered with one out off Hogs reliever T.J. Forrest. Then, with two down, Schimpf drew a walk before Dean’s jack to right, chasing Forrest.

Reliever Sam Murphy was unable to put out the fire immediately, instead yielding a single to Micah Gibbs and a walk to Mahtook. Jared Mitchell then singled through the hole to left, scoring Gibbs and Mahtook after a throwing error on Arkansas left fielder Jacob House.

LeMahieu and Mitchell each went 3-for-5 for LSU, while Gibbs and Nola were 2-for-5 and Mahtook racked up three RBI.

Coleman (14-2) yielded six hits over six innings, with three walks and seven strikeouts. Daniel Bradshaw pitched two innings and Nolan Cain worked the final frame out of the bullpen.

House went 2-for-3, while Tschepikow and Scott Lyons each went 2-for-5.

Eibner (5-5) was lifted after 1 2-3 innings, allowing four runs on five hits. Forrest worked four innings, yielding three runs on four hits. Murphy allowed two runs on three hits over 1 1-3 frames, and Justin Wells worked two scoreless innings.

Arkansas is back in action in an elimination game against Virginia Wednesday night. The winner of that game will face the Tigers Friday afternoon. The Cavaliers eliminated Cal State Fullerton 7-5 Monday afternoon.

NOTES: LSU has won three of four against Arkansas this season, after taking two of three from its SEC West rival in Fayetteville, Ark., on May 2 and 3 … The Tigers extended their winning streak to 12 games … The loss was the Razorbacks’ first of the NCAA tournament, ending a six-game winning streak. LSU is 7-0 in the tournament … The Tigers are 23-3 when hitting two or more homers in a game … Arkansas has lost 11 of its last 13 games against SEC opponents.

BOX SCORE

Video credit – ESPN2

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Lakers dominate Magic for NBA title, 99-86

2009 NBA PLAYOFFS SPECIAL COVERAGE – FINALS GAME 5
Game played June 14, 2009

During their run through the playoffs and the NBA finals, the Los Angeles Lakers won several games that seemed lost.

Despite trailing by nine in the first quarter, they needed no such heroics in a title-clinching win that was never in doubt from the second period on.

Finals MVP Kobe Bryant led five Lakers in double digits with 30 points as Los Angeles beat the Magic 99-86 in Game 5 of the finals in Orlando, Fla., Sunday night, completing the turnaround from their 2008 finals loss to the Celtics.

The championship is the Lakers’ 15th, second most in NBA history, and first since 2002.

With the win, Lakers coach Phil Jackson surpassed former Boston coach Red Auerbach for the most championships as a coach, winning his tenth title and fourth with Los Angeles.

Bryant and Derek Fisher won their fourth championship rings, tying them for the most among active players, with Phoenix’s Shaquille O’Neal, who won three of his four as a Laker and one with Miami, and San Antonio’s Tim Duncan.

Los Angeles took its first lead and began to salt the game away all at the same time with a 16-0 second-quarter run. Trevor Ariza hit two 3-pointers and made a couple of steals to set up three more points during the run, scoring seven points. Fisher sank a trey and scored five points, Bryant added two points and Lamar Odom capped the run with an up-and-under layup after an Ariza steal, for a 52-40 lead.

The Magic scored five quick points, capped by a Rafer Alston 3, to close their deficit to 58-53 early in the third quarter before the Lakers put together a 13-2 run to reassume control. Odom hit two 3s, Bryant scored four points, Fisher netted two and Pau Gasol added a free throw for a 71-55 advantage that Orlando was never really able to cut into down the stretch.

Orlando did make the game’s first run in the first quarter. Rashard Lewis made an old-fashioned three-point play and Hedo Turkoglu, Courtney Lee, Dwight Howard and Alston each added two points to give the Magic a 15-6 early lead.

Trailing 19-10, L.A. embarked on a 14-6 run to chip into the lead late in the first period. Bryant scored seven points, with a 3. Andrew Bynum and Gasol dunked, Fisher scored two points and Ariza added one to cut their deficit to 25-24. The Magic led 28-26 at the end of the first quarter.

For Los Angeles, Odom and Gasol recorded double-doubles, with Odom scoring 17 points and pulling down 10 rebounds and Gasol netting 14 points with 15 boards. Ariza scored 15 points and Fisher chipped in 13.

All five Orlando starters finished in double figures offensively. Lewis and Howard had double-doubles, with Lewis scoring 18 points and collecting 10 rebounds, and Howard netting 11 points and 10 boards. Turkoglu, Alston and Lee all put up 12 points.

NOTES: All 30 teams in NBA history to fall behind 3-1 in the finals have ultimately lost the series … The Lakers improved to 23-11 in playoffs close-out games under Jackson … Orlando set a playoff record with 201 3-pointers in these playoffs, surpassing the 1995 Houston Rockets and their 189 3s … However, the Magic missed their first seven 3s tonight and finished 8-for-27 from beyond the arc … Orlando fell to 8-4 at home during the playoffs … Jackson won his first six titles with Chicago … Only rival Boston has more titles than the Lakers, with 17.

BOX SCORE

Video credit – ESPN on ABC

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Arkansas opens CWS with 10-6 win over Fullerton

2009 COLLEGE BASEBALL POSTSEASON SPECIAL COVERAGE – NCAA TOURNAMENT COLLEGE WORLD SERIES
Game played June 13, 2009

The No. 7 Arkansas Razorbacks, back in Omaha, Neb., for the first time since 2004, opened the College World Series with a 10-6 victory over second national seed No. 3 Cal State Fullerton Saturday afternoon.

Sophomore first baseman Andy Wilkins led the Hogs offensively, going 2-for-3 with five runs batted in.

The Razorback offense touched the Titans’ three freshman all-American pitchers, Noe Ramirez, Tyler Pill and Nick Ramirez, for 13 hits. Cal State Fullerton countered with nine hits.

Arkansas drew first blood in the first inning against Titans starter Noe Ramirez and never really looked back. Chase Leavitt drew a walk to lead off the game, Ben Tschepikow singled to left and Scott Lyons laid down a sacrifice bunt before Wilkins’ sac fly to center scored Leavitt.

Then, with two down, Zack Cox singled into the right-field corner, scoring Tschepikow for a 2-0 lead.

The Razorbacks doubled their edge in the third. With Tschepikow aboard after a leadoff single, Cox drilled a two-out home run to deep right field.

Fullerton cut its deficit back to two off Arkansas starter Dallas Keuchel in the bottom of the frame. Joey Siddons reached on a fielder’s choice and Christian Colon singled. Then, after a double steal, Gary Brown’s sac fly to right scored Siddons.

Colon then scored when Josh Fellhauer reached on an error on Wilkins, making the score 4-2.

However, Arkansas countered by sending eight men to the plate in the fourth inning, scoring five runs. James McCann singled with one out to left and Andrew Darr and Tschepikow drew free passes to load the bases with two outs, chasing Noe Ramirez in favor of Pill.

Lyons greeted Pill with a single through the left side to score McCann and Darr. Wilkins then jacked a three-run homer to right to open up a 9-2 Arkansas lead.

The Titans began chipping away in the fifth inning. Shevis Shima led off with a single through the left side and scored on Siddons’ single to left. Then, Joe Scott, who had reached on a bunt single, scored on Brown’s sac fly to cut the Hog lead to 9-4.

The Razorbacks got one run back, with the help of a controversial umpiring decision, in the eighth inning. Leavitt was ruled safe on a bunt single by first-base umpire Chuck Lyon, though replays appeared to show Siddons’ throw had beaten Leavitt to first. He later scored on a Wilkins single to right off Nick Ramirez for Arkansas’ final run.

Fullerton added one more run in both the eighth and ninth innings against Hog reliever Mike Bolsinger. In the eighth, Colon led off with a single and scored on Khris Davis’ one-out fielder’s choice.

Then, in the ninth, Siddons doubled with two out to left and scored on Colon’s single to right to close the scorebook at 10-6.

For Arkansas, Tschepikow went 3-for-4 and Cox was 2-for-5, with three RBI. Every Razorbacks starter recorded at least one hit.

Keuchel (8-3) allowed five hits and four runs over six innings, walking one with two strikeouts. Bolsinger earned his second save, working three innings of two-run, four-hit ball, with a walk and two punchouts.

Noe Ramirez (9-2) took the loss for the Titans, working 3 2-3 innings, allowing seven runs on five hits, with four strikeouts and three walks. Pill pitched four innings, yielding three runs on six hits, while Nick Ramirez worked the final 1 1-3 frames, allowing no runs and two hits.

Arkansas, now 40-22, will next face the winner of Saturday night’s Virginia-LSU contest on Monday night, while 47-15 Fullerton, one loss from elimination, heads to the loser’s bracket to face the Cavaliers-Tigers loser on Monday afternoon.

NOTES: The win was Arkansas’ first at the College World Series since 1989 … Noe Ramirez became the first-ever freshman to throw the first pitch of the CWS … The Titans’ nine-game winning streak came to an end … Arkansas remains undefeated at 6-0 in the tournament … This is the Hogs’ sixth CWS, while Fullerton is in Omaha for the 16th time and fifth in the last seven years … Arkansas is 31-3 this year when scoring six or more runs … This was the Titans’ 200th NCAA postseason game.

BOX SCORE

Video credit – ESPN

Friday, June 12, 2009

Talbot nets two, Penguins beat Wings for Cup, 2-1

2009 NHL PLAYOFFS SPECIAL COVERAGE – STANLEY CUP FINALS GAME 7
Game played June 12, 2009

Defending Stanley Cup champion Detroit had a raucous home crowd and history on its side going into Friday night’s Game 7 against the Penguins.

Not only had the home team won all six of the series’ games, but home teams in finals Game 7s were 12-2 all-time coming in.

Furthermore, Penguins star Sidney Crosby played just one shift after taking a hard hit in the second period.

No matter. Maxime Talbot scored two goals in the second period, goalie Marc-Andre Fleury made some spectacular stops late and the Penguins avenged last year’s finals loss to the Red Wings with a 2-1 win in Detroit.

The Cup is Pittsburgh’s third, and its first since 1992.

Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin, who had one assist in the game, received the Conn Smythe Trophy, awarded to the most valuable player of the playoffs.

After a scoreless first period, Talbot broke the ice 1:13 into the second period off an assist from Evgeni Malkin for a 1-0 lead.

Talbot struck again at 10:07 of the second period on a 2-1 breakaway, with assists credited to Chris Kunitz and Rob Scuderi. The goal was Talbot’s eighth of the postseason.

In the third, Detroit began its comeback. Jonathan Ericsson’s long slap shot from just inside the blue line with just over six minutes left traveled past Fleury’s glove and found the back of the net to cut the deficit in half. Nicklas Lidstrom and Jiri Hudler assisted on Ericsson’s fourth goal of the playoffs.

The Red Wings had a few excellent opportunities from there to tie the game, but fell short. Niklas Kronwall hit a drive that cleared Fleury but clanged off the crossbar with 2:14 to play.

Then, Fleury knocked away a Lidstrom shot in the final seconds to preserve the lead, a scene reminiscent of Detroit tender Chris Osgood’s efforts to stonewall the Penguins in the closing seconds of last season’s title-clincher in Game 6.

Fleury made 23 saves for the Penguins, while Osgood stopped 16 shots in the loss.

NOTES: Crosby, 21, became the youngest captain on a Cup champion … Crosby left the ice after a second-period hit along the boards from Johan Franzen, and returned for one third-period shift … The Penguins have never lost a Game 7 on the road, improving their record to 5-0 … Pittsburgh becomes the second team to win a Game 7 on the road after the home team won the first six games; the first was Montreal, which beat Chicago in 1971 … For Detroit, the loss drops its record to 11-2 at home in the postseason and ends its eight-game home winning streak. The Wings’ last home loss was May 3, to Anaheim in triple overtime … Penguins coach Dan Bylsma became the 14th rookie head coach to win the Cup, and only the second hired in mid-season, joining the 1971 Canadiens’ Al MacNeil. Bylsma took over for the fired Michel Therrien Feb. 15 … The Penguins also joined the 1971 Canadiens as the only clubs to win the Cup after losing the first two games of the series on the road, and the only champions to win two Game 7s on the road in the same playoff season. Pittsburgh won Game 7 of the East quarterfinals 6-2 at Washington May 13.

BOX SCORE

Video credit – NBC

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Penguins force Game 7 with 2-1 defeat of Detroit

2009 NHL PLAYOFFS SPECIAL COVERAGE – STANLEY CUP FINALS GAME 6
Game played June 9, 2009

Series over? Hardly.

Facing elimination one game after falling 5-0 to the Detroit Red Wings, the Pittsburgh Penguins forced a winner-take-all Game 7 with a 2-1 win Tuesday night in Pittsburgh.

After a scoreless first period, the Penguins drew first blood 51 seconds into the second. Jordan Staal sent home his own rebound after a 2-on-1 break, his fourth goal of the postseason. Tyler Kennedy and Rob Scuderi were credited with assists on the play.

Pittsburgh then doubled its lead in the third. Kennedy tapped a shot across Detroit goaltender Chris Osgood to the right side of the net with 5:35 gone in the period. Kennedy’s fifth goal of the playoffs, with assists from Maxime Talbot and Ruslan Fedotenko, gave the Penguins a 2-0 edge.

The Red Wings got on the board on Kris Draper’s first goal of the playoffs at 8:01 of the third. Draper poked in a rebound off Penguins tender Marc-Andre Fleury’s body off helpers from Jonathan Ericsson and Nicklas Lidstrom.

Detroit had an excellent opportunity to knot the score with just over 1:40 to go in the game on Daniel Cleary’s breakaway. However, Fleury stonewalled Cleary to preserve the lead.

The Wings then went with an empty net and six attackers for the final 1:10, but could not score, with Brian Rafalski sending a shot wide before Scuderi stopped a pair of Johan Franzen attempts right in front of the net late.

Fleury stopped 25 shots for Pittsburgh, while Osgood made 29 saves in a hard-luck losing effort.

The Penguins outshot Detroit 31-26, including 12-3 in the first period. The Red Wings took 14 shots to Pittsburgh’s seven in the third frame.

Game 7 is Friday night in Detroit, where the Red Wings will attempt to win their second straight Cup over Pittsburgh.

NOTES: The Penguins have not lost at home since May 11, when they fell to Washington, 5-4 in overtime in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference semifinals … The home team has won all six games in these finals.

BOX SCORE

Video credit – NBC

Monday, June 8, 2009

Longhorns knock off TCU 5-2, advance to CWS

2009 COLLEGE BASEBALL POSTSEASON SPECIAL COVERAGE – NCAA TOURNAMENT AUSTIN SUPER REGIONAL
Game played June 8, 2009

Texas freshman Taylor Jungmann pitched six innings of two-hit scoreless ball to lead the No. 4 Longhorns to a 5-2 victory over 10th-ranked Texas Christian in the deciding game of the Austin super regional in Austin, Texas Monday night.

With the victory, top-seeded Texas will go to its 33rd College World Series.

The Texas offense gave Jungmann all the offense he would need right off the bat, scoring three runs in the bottom of the first against Horned Frogs starter Tyler Lockwood. Michael Torres led off with an infield single, took second base on Travis Tucker’s sacrifice bunt and scored on Brandon Belt’s triple to dead center field.

Then, after a Russell Moldenhauer groundout plated Belt, Kevin Keyes lined a two-out solo home run to left for a 3-0 edge the Longhorns would not relinquish.

Texas tacked on two more runs in the fourth. Keyes led off with a double to the right-field wall and advanced to third on a passed ball on TCU’s Bryan Holaday. Cameron Rupp’s double to the wall in left off reliever Eric Marshall scored Keyes.

Connor Rowe then grounded a single up the middle to score Rupp for a 5-0 advantage.

TCU, playing in its first super regional championship and seeking its first trip to the CWS, got on the board in the eighth inning against Longhorn reliever Austin Wood. Pinch hitter Hunt Woodruff hit a two-out double down the left-field line and scored on Corey Steglich’s single to left-center.

The Horned Frogs scored once more in the ninth but were unable to complete the comeback. Matt Vern hit a one-out triple off the center-field wall and came around on Holaday’s single to left.

Texas’ Chance Ruffin, who threw a complete game in the Longhorns’ 10-4 victory in Saturday’s series opener, then came on and forced an infield flyout from Chris Ellington and struck out Jason Coats swinging to end the contest.

Jungmann (8-3) struck out five batters and walked one. Wood worked 2 1-3 innings, allowing two runs on five hits, with one strikeout. Ruffin earned his second save of the season.

Keyes went 2-for-4 to lead the Longhorn offense.

Holaday was 2-for-4 for TCU.

Lockwood (4-2) lasted 3 1-3 innings, allowing four runs on four hits, with a walk and a strikeout. Marshall worked 2-3 of an inning before Taylor Cragin pitched the final four frames.

The Longhorns’ chase for their seventh national championship will begin with a matchup against first-time CWS participant Southern Miss.

NOTES: TCU’s first hit did not come until Holaday led off the fifth with a single … Texas will pursue its second title in five seasons … Wood extended his school record for career pitching appearances to 114 … The Longhorns climbed to 46-14-1 on the season, while TCU ends the year at 40-18.

BOX SCORE

Video credit – ESPN2

Sunday, June 7, 2009

L.A. beats Orlando 101-96 in OT, leads Finals 2-0

2009 NBA PLAYOFFS SPECIAL COVERAGE – FINALS GAME 2
Game played June 7, 2009

Given new life after a couple of near-misses at the end of regulation, the Los Angeles Lakers were not about to let Game 2 of the NBA finals slip.

Orlando’s Courtney Lee missed two layups within the final 10 seconds of the fourth quarter, forcing overtime. Then, the Lakers hit nine free throws in the extra session en route to a 101-96 win Sunday night in Los Angeles, taking a 2-0 NBA finals lead.

With the score knotted at 88, Lee missed a layup with 10 seconds left. Then, on the Lakers’ ensuing possession, Kobe Bryant drove past Hedo Turkoglu before Turkoglu blocked Bryant’s shot from behind with less than two seconds to play in the fourth quarter.

The officials elected to put 0.6 seconds back on the clock for Orlando’s final possession of regulation. Turkoglu hit Lee with an excellent inbounds pass from half-court streaking toward the goal, but Lee’s alley-oop layup attempt missed as regulation ended, forcing extra play.

Pau Gasol hit two free throws for L.A. to begin overtime, but Dwight Howard answered for the Magic with a three-point play. The 21st lead change of the night gave Orlando a 91-90 lead.

It would prove to be the Magic’s final lead of the night, as the Lakers scored the next seven points to take control. Bryant scored, Derek Fisher hit a pair from the charity stripe and Gasol made an and-one play for a 97-91 edge with 1:14 to play in overtime, all but sealing the outcome.

The fireworks toward the end added excitement to a game that began flatly. The first quarter ended with the score tied at 15. The teams’ combined total of 30 was the lowest combined first-quarter point total in finals history. The Magic committed eight turnovers in the first period, adding to the game’s sloppiness.

Then, in the second quarter, Rashard Lewis scored 18 of the Magic’s 20 points, which was not enough to take a halftime lead, which the Lakers held, 40-35.

The game remained just as tight throughout the third period, with Turkoglu stepping up for the Magic with 14 points during the quarter as Orlando took a 65-63 advantage at the end of the third quarter.

Bryant hit five consecutive free throws for the Lakers to take an 84-81 edge with 2:40 to go in the fourth quarter. J.J. Redick then hit a 3-pointer for Orlando to tie the game, and Lewis’ spinning bank shot gave the Magic a short-held lead.

Bryant’s bank shot knotted the count at 86 with 1:10 left. Turkoglu responded for Orlando with a long jumper with 47 seconds to play, but Gasol answered right back with 33.5 seconds left to tie the game at 88 and set up the crazy events of the end of regulation.

Bryant again led the Lakers with 29 points. Gasol recorded his customary double-double with 24 points and 10 rebounds, Lamar Odom scored 19 and Fisher netted 12.

Lewis led all scorers for Orlando with 34 points and added 11 boards. Turkoglu scored 22 points and Howard scored 17 with 16 rebounds.

The series shifts to Orlando for the third game, which is scheduled for Tuesday night.

NOTES: After being out-rebounded 55-41 in Game 1, the Magic collected 44 boards to the Lakers’ 35 in Game 2 … The Lakers are 32-11 all-time against Orlando, including the playoffs … Los Angeles is 4-1 when holding a 2-0 lead in finals series … L.A. has won 12 of 13 at home against Orlando.

BOX SCORE

Video credit – ESPN on ABC

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Bryant, Lakers dominate Game 1 over Orlando, 100-75

2009 NBA PLAYOFFS SPECIAL COVERAGE – FINALS GAME 1
Game played June 4, 2009

The last time the Los Angeles Lakers took the floor in an NBA finals game, they suffered a humiliating 39-point defeat in Boston to end their 2008 season.

Led by the yelling, teeth-baring Kobe Bryant, this year’s Lakers looked like the motivated, hardened finals veterans that they are in the first game of the finals Thursday night in Los Angeles, shellacking the outclassed Orlando Magic, 100-75.

Bryant scored 40 points, his finals career high, for the Lakers, who are making their record 30th appearance in the last round of the playoffs.

By contrast, the Magic, who kept the contest tight early but missed open jumpers and fell apart in the third period, are in only their second finals ever, and first since 1995.

Already leading 53-43, Los Angeles outscored the Magic 29-15 during the third period, including a 23-6 run, to put the game out of reach. During the stretch, Bryant tossed in 12 points, including a driving dunk and two 3-point plays. Pau Gasol added six points, Trevor Ariza hit a 3-pointer and Lamar Odom added a basket. At the end of the quarter, the Lakers were up 82-58.

It was Orlando that put together the night’s first run, toward the tail end of an impressive and even first quarter, which featured seven lead changes. Rashard Lewis led the way during a 13-4 spurt, scoring five points, with a 3. Dwight Howard, Hedo Turkoglu, Rafer Alston and Marcin Gortat each chipped in two points apiece to take a 29-24 lead early in the second quarter.

However, it did not take long for Los Angeles to respond, embarking on a 23-8 run to open up a double-digit halftime lead. Bryant scored 10 points, while Derek Fisher scored five points, with a 3, Luke Walton added four and Odom and Gasol scored two points apiece. At the half, the Lakers held a 53-43 edge.

The Los Angeles lead swelled to 28 early in the fourth quarter, when Odom’s and-one made the score 88-60. The count stayed relatively even throughout the rest of the night, which, fittingly, ended with L.A.’s Josh Powell’s 3 to close out the scoring at 100-75.

Gasol scored 16 points for the Lakers, while Odom put up a double-double, with 11 points and 14 rebounds.

Mickael Pietrus led Orlando with 14 points. Turkoglu scored 13, and Howard scored 12 points, with 15 boards.

Game 2 of the series is slated for Sunday night in Los Angeles.

NOTES: The Magic, who won both regular-season contests between the teams, have still won three of the teams’ last five meetings … Orlando’s Jameer Nelson played for the first time since tearing his right labrum and undergoing surgery in February, and came off the bench for 22 minutes. He scored six points, with four assists … The Lakers are seeking their 15th NBA title, while Orlando is going after its first.

BOX SCORE

Video credit – ESPN on ABC

Monday, June 1, 2009

Pomeranz ties Ole Miss strikeout record, beats Toppers

2009 COLLEGE BASEBALL SPECIAL COVERAGE – NCAA TOURNAMENT OXFORD REGIONAL
Game played June 1, 2009

Mississippi pitcher Drew Pomeranz, working on two days’ rest, tied the school single-game strikeout record with 16 punchouts in a complete-game, two-hit 4-1 victory over Western Kentucky in Oxford, Miss. Monday night, sending the No. 8 Rebels to the super regionals.

Pomeranz, who was named the Oxford regional’s most valuable player, began the game with 6 1-3 hitless innings before the Hilltoppers’ Chad Cregar’s seventh-inning hit.

With the score tied at one in the top of the eighth, the Rebels scored the game-winning runs against Hilltoppers reliever Chad Adcock. Logan Power drew a leadoff walk and Matt Snyder singled before Matt Smith’s triple into the right-center gap traveled to the wall, scoring two runs.

Then, with two out, David Phillips’ double to left-center plated Smith to close the scorebook at 4-1.

Ole Miss scored the game’s first run in the sixth inning. Smith hit an infield single with one out and scored on Kyle Henson’s double to right-center.

However, Western Kentucky, playing in its first-ever regional championship game after a come-from-behind win Sunday night to force Monday’s contest, tied the score in the seventh. After Cregar’s single to break up the no-hitter, he stole second. Then, Matt Hightower lined a pitch off Pomeranz’s foot, and the ball bounced to second baseman Evan Button, who misplayed it, letting Cregar score.

For the Ole Miss offense, Smith went 3-for-4 with two runs batted in, while Snyder was 2-for-4.

Matt Ridings started for Western Kentucky and matched Pomeranz out-for-out for seven innings, allowing only one run on seven hits, with no walks and four strikeouts. Adcock (1-3) yielded three runs on two hits without recording an out. Shane Cameron, Garrie Krueger and J.B. Paxson also worked out of the bullpen for the Toppers.

With the win, the Rebels advanced to the super regionals, where they will host Virginia in a best-of-three round, with the winner moving on to the College World Series in Omaha, Neb. The Cavaliers won the Irvine, Calif. regional.

NOTES: Ole Miss has won 12 of its last 13 home regional games … Pomeranz became the third Rebel to record 16 strikeouts in one game, joining Robert Earl Siedell, who struck out 16 Delta State batters on March 26, 1962, and Jamey Price, who accomplished the feat against Kentucky on March 24, 1995 … Ole Miss is now 43-18 on the season. The Hilltoppers finish the season at 42-20.

BOX SCORE

Video credit – OleMisssports.com