Dodgers send Reds to eighth straight loss in 10-2 rout

Published: Saturday, June 17, 2017 @ 7:48 PM
Updated: Saturday, June 17, 2017 @ 8:22 PM

            CINCINNATI, OH - JUNE 17: Asher Wojciechowski #65 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches in the second inning of a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Great American Ball Park on June 17, 2017 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - JUNE 17: Asher Wojciechowski #65 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches in the second inning of a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Great American Ball Park on June 17, 2017 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Remember those bloody – sometimes literally – battles between the Reds and the Los Angeles Dodgers back in the 1970s?

Neither do a lot of other Reds fans. Those games have been replaced by Dodger dominance.

Yasiel Puig hit two home runs, Cody Bellinger and Joc Pederson also homered, Corey Seager reached base in all five of his plate appearances and Cincinnati’s offense left its clutch hitting in the clubhouse as the Reds suffered their seventh consecutive loss to the Dodgers and 16th in the last 18 games between the two teams, 10-2.

The Reds, who went into the game with second-fewest errors in the National League, committed two while extending their losing streak to a season-worst eight games and slipping a season-high nine games under .500. They went into the game 6 ½ games out of first place, their deepest hole of the season.

A crowd of 42,431 – Cincinnati’s second 2017 sellout and first since Opening Day – was on hand to help honor Reds Hall of Fame-member Pete Rose, whose statue on Crosley Terrace outside Great American Ball Park was unveiled before the game.

Joey Votto collected three hits – including two ground-rule doubles – and Billy Hamilton and Zack Cozart each had two hits while the Reds were hitting three triples in a game for the first time since July 30, 2005, but the Reds went 1-for-17 with runners in scoring position while leaving four runners on third base and seeing two runners thrown out at the plate.

The Reds have scored a combined 10 runs in their last five games.

“The tide will turn,” manager Bryan Price said. “We’re too good of an offensive ballclub to think this will last too long.”

The Dodgers needed just six Asher Wojciechowski pitches to turn a 1-1 tie into a 6-1 lead with one out in the third inning. Ryu led off by reaching on Cozart’s error. Seager drew a one-out walk, and left fielder Chris Taylor snapped the tie with a line drive double that reached the left field wall on one hop.

Bellinger drilled Wojciechowski’s next pitch into the right field seats for a two-run home run and a 5-1 Los Angeles lead. Four pitches later, Pederson knocked Wojciechowski out of the game with another no-doubt drive into the right field seats, Pederson’s second homer in two games.

“I just didn’t locate,” Wojciechowski said. “The first two innings went pretty smoothly, then I got into a situation where they had runners on first and second. I worked Taylor into a good count and then left a fastball out over the plate and he put a good swing on it.

“I just got too much of the middle of the plate on three pitches. It’s frustrating. To feel like I felt for the first two innings and then for that to happen is frustrating. I’ve just got to let it go.”

Wojciechowski (1-1) suffered his first loss in six games and four starts since being called up from Triple-A Louisville on May 20. In his last two games, both starts against the Dodgers, he’s allowed a combined 11 hits and 10 runs, nine earned, in 7 1/3 innings for an 11.05 ERA.

Cozart, Votto and Adam Duvall all singled to start the third and Eugenio Suarez walked to push Cozart across the plate, but Schebler lined out to Seager at shortsop and Ryu nabbed Peraza’s sharp one-hopper and turned into a 1-2-3 inning-ending double play.

Price was ejected by plate umpire Stu Scheurwater, a vacation replacement called up from the minor leagues, after the umpire called Hamilton out on strikes to end the third inning with Scott Schebler on second base and Devin Mesoraco on first. The pitch was on the lower edge of Fox Sports Ohio’s strike box, but Hamilton flung his battling helmet and bat to the ground, and Scheurwater was seen gesturing toward the Reds dugout as if to say “That’s enough” before handing Price his first ejection of the season and 10th on his four seasons as Cincinnati’s manager.

“I think it was a young guy trying to do a good job, but there was some hesitation, and I didn’t care for it,” Price said. “You want the call immediately. The hesitation got under my skin. Then he got Billy for the uniform-violation fine thing, and I just didn’t think it was a good enough pitch for Billy to get fined.”

Seager and Bellinger each had first-inning doubles, giving Los Angeles a 1-0 lead. Hamilton singled to lead off the bottom of the first, went to third on Cozart’s double down the left field line and scored on Taylor’s throwing error.

Oklahoma extends offer to elite WR prospect from Texas

Published: Saturday, January 20, 2018 @ 6:04 PM

Oklahoma-Oklahoma Sooners-CeeDee Lamb-Kenneth Murray-All-Americans

The Oklahoma Sooners have extended an offer to one of the best prospects in Texas, who just so happens to attend the alma mater of Baker Mayfield, Lake Travis (TX). Garrett Wilson is his name, and the highly recruited prospect will visit Oklahoma on February 17th.

Wilson had a staggering 98 catches for 1,728 yards and 27 touchdowns as a junior. He was also responsible for a number of highlight-reel caliber plays over the course of the year.

Wilson was also used on the ground at Lake Travis, rushing 17 times for 87 yards and two touchdowns. He completed three of the four passes he attempted on the season, and threw for a touchdown. He was also an AP second team All-State performer.

The four-star prospect holds offers from nearly every college in the nation, and 247’s Crystal Ball projections are split down the middle between Ohio State and Texas.

The post Oklahoma extends offer to elite WR prospect from Texas appeared first on Diehards.

Kentucky basketball: Wildcats react to late, controversial no-call on tying attempt

Published: Saturday, January 20, 2018 @ 6:00 PM

LEXINGTON, Ky. — John Calipari couldn’t believe he was asked about the no-call that went against Kentucky in the final seconds of a 66-64 loss Saturday to Florida, but surely the coach knew the question was coming.

“I’ve been asked some dumb questions in my life — I don’t mean to embarrass you — but everybody saw it,” Calipari said of the contact.

PJ Washington rose for a put in when it appeared that a Florida player hit Washington in the face while trying to rip the ball away. Kentucky threw the ball away on the impending inbounds pass with 2.5 seconds left to seal the Gators’ win.

“I can’t control officiating, but obviously in the heat of the moment I thought he got fouled,” sophomore forward Wenyen Gabriel said.

Freshman center Nick Richards went a different route with his reaction to the play.

“Next question, please,” Richards said. “Sorry, I’m not going to talk about that. … We actually did it to ourselves. We made certain plays at the end … basically did it to ourselves. We dug that hole ourselves.”

Boos rained down from a sold-out Rupp Arena after the game. Kentucky fans were furious at the lack of a foul call.

“I saw my guys flying around, trying to make plays, hands on balls,” Florida coach Mike White said of the no-call.

Kentucky fell to 14-5 and 4-3 in the SEC.

Watch: John Calipari’s press conference after Kentucky’s loss to Florida

WATCH: John Calipari after Kentucky's loss to Florida

Posted by Kentucky Wildcats – SEC Country on Saturday, January 20, 2018

The 3-pointer: What we learned from Alabama basketball’s XX Mississippi State

Published: Saturday, January 20, 2018 @ 5:36 PM

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama basketball needed all 40 minutes to put away the Mississippi State Bulldogs on Saturday night.

After building a 20-point lead, Alabama watched it all slip away and had to hang on for a 68-62 victory inside Coleman Coliseum.

Alabama was without star freshman Collin Sexton (abdominal) for the second straight game.

Offense needed

Alabama missed Collin Sexton’s offensive punch against the Bulldogs. Only two Crimson Tide players — Braxton Key and Daniel Giddens — were able to score in double figures on Saturday night.

Luckily for Alabama that Mississippi State dug a big hole to start, and the Crimson Tide was able to hang on.

Braxton Key finding his confidence

The moment the three-pointer dropped, Braxton Key threw up his hands as if to say “about time.” Key has struggled offensively since returning from his knee injury, but he appeared to return to form on Saturday night.

Key surpassed the double-digit mark for the first time this year, scoring 16 points in 28 minutes. Key made some gutsy plays throughout the contest, including a layup with one minute remaining that proved to be the difference.

Having Key play well is paramount for Alabama, especially with Collin Sexton out but also for when he returns. Sexton, Key and John Petty could give Alabama a nice scoring punch from the perimeter.

Near meltdown

A win is a win, but Alabama basketball did everything in its power to lose this game. The Crimson Tide led by as many as 20 points, and looked ready to cruise to victory. Sloppy play and scoring droughts along with hot shooting from Mississippi State allowed the Bulldogs to get back into the game.

It’ll be interesting to see how Avery Johnson evaluates this one. On one hand, you’re happy with the victory, but at the same time, Johnson can’t be pleased with how his team played down the stretch. That will get you beat against good teams.

Up next for Alabama basketball

Alabama will play its lone road contest in the current five-game stretch when it travels to face the Ole Miss Rebels on Tuesday night. Tipoff is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. ET and will be televised on the SEC Network.

Controversial call: Did refs miss no-call in final seconds of Florida-Kentucky finish?

Published: Saturday, January 20, 2018 @ 5:32 PM

It wouldn’t be SEC basketball without a little bit of controversy at the end of games. Saturday night’s thriller between Florida and Kentucky was no different.

The Gators came away victorious, winning 66-64 in Lexington. And Kentucky certainly had its chances to tie or win the game down the stretch.

But it’s worth wondering if forward P.J. Washington should’ve been awarded free throws for this physical drive in the game’s waning moments. Decide for yourself:

Washington was not given credit for drawing the foul, and the Wildcats turned it over on the inbounds play with 2.5 seconds remaining. Ball game.

ESPN’s Jay Bilas was on the call, and declared it was a missed call by the officials.

This is Kentucky’s second straight loss, and it moves them back to 4-3 in SEC play. That’s a big disappointment for John Calipari in the Wildcats, who now have a great deal of work to do if they want to get back to the top of the conference.

Meanwhile, Florida is now 6-1 in the SEC and sits a half game ahead of Auburn in the conference standings.

Come tournament time, that no-call could prove to be very important.

Kentucky closes out the regular season with another meeting against Florida, this time in Gainesville, on March 3.