Bengals re-sign cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick

Published: Thursday, March 09, 2017 @ 4:09 PM

CINCINNATI, OH - DECEMBER 4: Dre Kirkpatrick #27 of the Cincinnati Bengals shakes hands with fans as he walks off of the field at the end of the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Paul Brown Stadium on December 4, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Cincinnati defeated Philadelphia 32-14. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

The Cincinnati Bengals have re-signed cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick to a five-year contract just minutes before he was set to become an unrestricted free agent.

Kirkpatrick announced the news on Twitter.

With the signing, the Bengals avoided a disastrous opening day of free agency after earlier Thursday the Bengals losing left tackle Andrew Whitworth to the Los Angeles Rams and right guard Kevin Zeitler to the Cleveland Browns.

The No. 17 pick in the 2012 draft, Kirkpatrick has started 29 games the last two seasons. He had three interceptions and 10 passes defended in 2016.

West goes 9 innings to edge Centerville, earn spot in regional final

Published: Thursday, May 25, 2017 @ 6:48 PM
Updated: Friday, May 26, 2017 @ 2:50 AM

Lakota West’s Bryce Johnson (7) heads for third after a wild throw to Centerville infielder Jared Lieberman (13) during their Division I regional semifinal Thursday at the University of Cincinnati’s Marge Schott Stadium. GREG LYNCH/STAFF

After failing to capitalize more than a few times with runners in scoring position, the Lakota West High School baseball team got a little help to push the winning runs across.

With the game tied 1-1 in the top of the ninth inning, Bryce Johnson’s one-out double on a hit-and-run became the catalyst for a two-base error, allowing Frankie Schmitt and Johnson to score the go-ahead runs.

The score held up for a 3-1 win over Centerville in a Division I regional semifinal Thursday at the University of Cincinnati’s Marge Schott Stadium. West meets St. Xavier, a winner over Fairfield, in the regional final at 5 p.m. on Friday at UC.

PHOTOS: Greg Lynch’s gallery from the game

DIVISION I: Fairfield ousted by Bombers 4-1

DIVISION III: Carlisle advances to regional final

“The big thing was just putting it in play,” West coach Greg Leurck said. “Having speed already on the base with Frankie … and Bryce is very good with bat control, so I put the hit-and-run on and their shortstop was covering and it just kind of squibbed through the hole and put the pressure on them with the base runner.

“It’s tense. In the tournament, anything can happen and guys were going out there and giving it their all. We knew if we put the pressure on them on the bases, at some point we could cause a mistake to happen and it did.”

West (24-5) put plenty of pressure on the Elks throughout but left nine runners on base, including six in scoring position.

Centerville (17-10) had a chance to take a big lead in the bottom of the fourth when Morgan Colopy’s base hit drove in Alex Firsdon with no outs and another runner on to make it 1-0. However, West pitcher Jacob Kates minimized the damage with a pair of strikeouts and some help from a fielder’s choice that caught Riley Poulton out in a rundown on the third-base line.

The Firebirds responded quickly with A.J. Petersen’s leadoff triple in the top of the fifth, followed by Johnson’s RBI infield single with one out to tie the game. West loaded the bases with two outs but couldn’t get another run across until the ninth.

“You like to jump out early, but we just had to stick with it and stay with the process, and we ended up getting it done,” said Johnson, who went 2-for-4 with one run and one RBI. “It feels great. We still have three games to win, so this is just the next step.”

Kates (10-1), who scattered seven hits and struck out eight, went the distance on the mound for West, despite sitting at 121 pitches going into the ninth inning with a 125 limit.

Centerville pitcher Joey Hecht left after the seventh after giving up one run on four hits with two walks and four strikeouts. Reliever Nick Hoffman allowed the final two runs, both unearned.

“Both my pitchers were solid, they never got rattled, and I thought we hit one of the top pitchers in the state pretty good,” Elks coach Jason Whited said. “They just executed their opportunities and we didn’t.

“You lose in a regional semifinal that you have a chance to win and it’s disappointing, but our guys handled it. We made it this far, and it’s something to build on for next year.”

“You’ve got to give their pitchers credit,” Leurck said. “They threw two guys at us and they were throwing strikes and giving our guys a tough time, but like we’ve done all year, we’ve done what we’ve needed to do to win.”

Lakota West 000-010-002—3-7-1

Centerville 000-100-000—1-7-1

WP — Jacob Kates (10-1); LP — Nick Hoffman (1-1). Records: L 24-5, C 17-10

Carlisle will play for regional baseball title after blanking CCD 2-0

Published: Thursday, May 25, 2017 @ 5:38 PM
Updated: Thursday, May 25, 2017 @ 10:05 PM

Carlisle’s players celebrate on the field Thursday after defeating Cincinnati Country Day 2-0 in a Division III regional semifinal at the Athletes in Action complex in Xenia. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY JOHN CUMMINGS

The Division III state tournament is one more celebration away for Carlisle High School’s baseball team.

Senior Adam Goodpaster tossed a three-hitter and launched the first home run of his prep career Thursday in a 2-0 regional semifinal victory over Cincinnati Country Day at the Athletes in Action complex.

“I can’t believe it, to be honest,” Goodpaster said. “I knew we had the talent to get here, but there’s always bumps in the road, and you don’t always win when you’re supposed to. So it’s kind of a surreal feeling just being here.

“We’re getting hot at the right time, and our confidence is through the roof. We’re just playing to play another day. We enjoy it so much with each other. We don’t want it to end anytime soon.”

DIVISION I: Fairfield ousted by Bombers 4-1

DIVISION I: Extra baseball leads to West win

The Indians (22-9), whose lone state appearance came in 1966, will return to AIA’s Grady’s Field on Friday at 5 p.m. to face Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy (22-7) for the regional title.

Carlisle coach Chris Hawkins, who was told that his program’s last regional-final appearance was a 7-4 loss to Columbus Academy in 2003, is thrilled that his players are experiencing a deep postseason run.

“Pretty cool, pretty cool,” Hawkins said. “It’s all about just getting to play another day. I was telling Goodpaster, ‘Get some ice on your arm. You’ve got to play short tomorrow.’ It’s just a good feeling to say that. We’re not packing it in or done. You get to play again.

“I’m looking forward to hanging with the kids and the coaching staff at 2:30 tomorrow, shagging balls, throwing some BP, music on at the field. We really enjoy that. You never know when it’s the last time, especially with the six seniors we’ve got.”

The Indians managed just two hits against Country Day right-hander T.J. Brock, a solo home run by Goodpaster in the first inning and a single by Caleb Stewart in the fourth.

Reece Human walked and came home on a J.J. Roberts ground out in the second inning.

“Obviously every game we expect to come in and win, but you’ve got to actually do it, and we knew this was going to be a hard game,” said Human, a senior left fielder. “It was just play our baseball. Play defense and let the hits come.

“We’re excited, and we know we’ve got work to do. We’re excited to do the work.”

CCD (21-7) and Carlisle stranded seven runners apiece. Country Day left all its runners on base in the first five frames, going six up and six down against Goodpaster after a 68-minute weather delay.

“We had our chances,” CCD coach Tim Dunn said. “I’m a little disappointed. I thought we had our quote unquote baseball players up in key situations and just didn’t get anything out of it. So we have no complaints there.”

Goodpaster wasn’t far away from the Ohio High School Athletic Association’s 125-pitch limit. Hawkins thought about the possibility of replacing him after the lengthy delay.

“First of all, I knew that if we made the change, he’d probably tear the dugout down,” Hawkins said. “But he also came to us and said, ‘Listen, I get it … I will tell you.’ He went out and tossed a bit and he’s like, ‘I think I feel like I’m more dialed in than I was before.’ I trust him. We’ve always trusted him. He’s always been a big-game player, whether it’s at shortstop or on the mound.”

“I knew my arm was fine. I wasn’t concerned about that,” Goodpaster said. “I felt like it was more of a break than a delay.”

The right-hander struck out six and walked four. Leadoff man Cameron Davis had two singles for Country Day.

“They’re a tough team, so I had to mix a lot of pitches, and I feel like I was throwing them all pretty decent,” Goodpaster said. “I struggled throwing a lot of first-pitch strikes, but the defense had my back. I felt confident just putting it over the plate and letting those guys make the plays.”

Goodpaster was a bit surprised by his home run. He pulled a Brock pitch over the right-field wall.

“He’s a good pitcher, but he missed a spot there,” Goodpaster said. “I got ahead in the count, and I was just sitting dead red like a hitter should and he gave it to me, so I took advantage of it.

“I’ve been hitting with a little more power this year. I’ve hit a few in the summer, but I’ve never quite got ahold of one like that in high school ball. I couldn’t ask for a better time to do it.”

Hawkins conceded the team won’t let him get a big head about it. “What we’re going to tell him is it was wind-aided and it was 314 down the line,” he said.

Brock, a highly regarded junior right-hander, collected four strikeouts and six walks.

“We were expecting faster because that’s what we saw online, but he was still pretty good,” Human said.

CHCA defeated Fredericktown 6-1 in Thursday’s second regional semifinal. The Eagles dropped a 4-2 decision to visiting Carlisle on May 12.

“It was a really tight ballgame, and they ended up on top of the scoreboard,” CHCA coach Tony Schulz said. “It was a rough way to go on Senior Night, but they’re a really good team.”

Schulz spent the last three seasons as Fairfield’s head coach. He’s now an assistant athletic director at CHCA.

“The whole community has welcomed me with open arms, and the guys really bought into what we were trying to install here and the attitude and the culture we were bringing,” Schulz said. “All the credit goes to them for that. I think we’re playing our best baseball right now.”

Pitching has been a strength all year for the Eagles. Schulz said he’ll choose between sophomore right-handers Clayton Brock and Max Ripperger to start on the mound Friday — Carlisle is expected to counter with senior righty Jake Glover.

Cincinnati Country Day 000-000-0—0-3-0

Carlisle 110-000-x—2-2-0

WP — Adam Goodpaster (10-1); LP — T.J. Brock (5-2); HR – CAR: Goodpaster. Records: CCD 21-7, CAR 22-9

Ohio State football: Kickoff times, networks set for two Buckeye games

Published: Thursday, May 25, 2017 @ 2:02 PM

            GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 31: Head coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes takes the field during the second half against the Clemson Tigers during the 2016 PlayStation Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium on December 31, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

Ohio State football fans looking to begin planning their fall afternoons can do so now with the release of starting times for the first two Buckeye games.

Ohio State’s Thursday night season-opener against Indiana will kick off at 8 p.m. on Aug. 31 and be broadcast by ESPN.

The Buckeyes will also be in prime time a week later (Sept. 9) when they host Oklahoma for a 7:30 p.m. game on ABC.

Sports Today: Billy Hamilton burns the Indians, effects of NBA draft decisions, how not to act on the Internet

Ohio State’s Thursday night opener precedes a loaded first Saturday of the season.

Big-time Sept. 2 matchups include Florida facing Michigan in Arlington, Texas, at 3:30 and Alabama taking on Florida State in Atlanta at 8.

Valley View’s Matheson recovers to defend D-II regional vault title

Published: Thursday, May 25, 2017 @ 10:43 PM
Updated: Friday, May 26, 2017 @ 12:13 AM

            Coldwater senior Zach Klosterman runs in the 110 high hurdles semifinals during the D-II regional track and field meet at Piqua’s Alexander Stadium on Thursday, May 25, 2017. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

Valley View pole vaulter Micah Matheson was a flame-out during last year’s Division II state track and field meet. No shame in that; it’s a frequent first-time experience that fuels talented underclassmen into the next season.

But Matheson’s goal of making a return run was derailed when he suffered a snapped tibia last October during a football game against Oakwood. Rather than advancing with the Spartans to the postseason football playoffs, he limped away, wondering why me?

“There were several (of those) moments,” he said after defending his D-II regional championship with a season-best leap of 14 feet, two inches Thursday at Alexander Stadium. “We had a lot of adversity to work through but a lot of good lessons came out of it, life lessons that will help later on in life when I’m an adult and a father and I can pass it on to my children.”

The pole vault was one of a few boys and girls field event finals and the 4x800-meter relay was the only running final. The top eight times from Thursday’s running semifinals advance to Saturday’s finals (11 a.m. field events; 12:30 p.m. running finals). The top four placers in each event qualify for next week’s season-ending D-II high school state meet at Ohio State University’s Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus.

Matheson went 15-0 to win this event as a junior. But he also didn’t have a metal rod implanted in his left leg, like he has now. Worse, the battered limb is his takeoff leg, crucial to vaulters and jumpers. Matheson and his coaches spent the last month preparing for the postseason.

“We did a lot of work mentally,” he said. “We jumped in with a great attitude and mindset and we did what we wanted to do.”

He’ll take that can-do attitude to Concordia University at Ann Arbor, Mich., next season, where he’ll play football and vault. Oakwood junior Jake Schauer (13-2) was second to Matheson.

• The Tippecanoe 4x800 relay of Katie Taylor, Jillian Brown, Mackenzie Dietz and Kaili Titley won their specialty (9:44.17). They should contend for a state title in the event and this might not be their last shot. All are sophomores except Dietz, who’s a junior.

Other girls winners were Monroe freshman Jenna Hensley in the high jump (5-4) and Valley View senior Faith Lewis in the shot put (39-5.5). Placing runner-up in the shot was Milton-Union junior Beyonce Bobbitt.

• Dunbar (8:05.30) placed second to Hamilton Badin in the boys 4x800 relay. Just seven inches separated the top six boys long jumpers, including Keyshawn Jones of Dunbar (21-11) who was sixth. Dunbar had the best 4x100 relay semifinal (44.15) and was second to Thurgood Marshall (3:28.32) in 4x400 relay finals qualifying.

• Meadowdale senior Wayne Lawrence Jr. was on cruise control, posting the best semifinal efforts in the 100 (10.97), 400 (50.10) and 200 (22.08). He’s a legitimate contender to sweep all three sprints at state.

• Regional finals resume Friday with D-I at Dayton’s Welcome Stadium and D-III at Troy’s Memorial Stadium. Field events begin at 5 p.m. and running finals at 6 p.m. at both sites.