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Hockey: Blue Jackets clinch playoff berth

Published: Monday, March 20, 2017 @ 10:57 AM

Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky (72) celebrates with teammates after defeating the New Jersey Devils 4-1 in an NHL hockey game, Sunday, March 19, 2017, in Newark, N.J. The Blue Jackets clinched a playoff spot with the win. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky (72) celebrates with teammates after defeating the New Jersey Devils 4-1 in an NHL hockey game, Sunday, March 19, 2017, in Newark, N.J. The Blue Jackets clinched a playoff spot with the win. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

Lukas Sedlak and Brandon Dubinsky scored on penalty shots and the Columbus BlueJackets clinched their third playoff berth in franchise history with a victory over the New Jersey Devils.

The win was the fourth straight for the BlueJackets, gave them their first 100-point season and moved them into a tie with Washington for the NHL’s best record with 11 games left. Columbus, which joined the league in 2000, last made the playoffs in 2014.

This was only the third time in NHL history that a team scored twice in a game on penalty shots. Thomas Gradin and Ivan Hlinka of Vancouver did it against Detroit in 1982, and Ryane Clowe and Joe Thornton of San Jose converted against Washington in 2009.

Boone Jenner added two goals, one short-handed and the other into an empty net. Sergei Bobrovsky made 35 saves for Columbus, which is 12-3-1 in its last 16 games.

Hartsock: Siri extends streak in dramatic fashion

Published: Wednesday, July 26, 2017 @ 9:04 PM

Highlights from Wednesday's game in Lansing

Jose Siri didn’t waste any time extending his hitting streak in Lansing Wednesday night. The Dragons outfielder slammed the first pitch of the game over the left field wall, pushing the longest streak in baseball this season to 31-games in a row.

The blast was Siri’s 17th home run of the season, and the 11th since the streak began on June 22nd. It was also the 10th time in the 31 games that Siri extended the streak in his first at-bat of the game.

TALK TO MIKE!: Follow Mike Hartsock on Twitter and on Facebook

The 22-year-old has only had three close calls during the streak, the closest of those came on July 4th at Bowling Green. Siri was hitless and due up 7th in the 9th inning, the Dragons sent eight batters to the plate and Siri kept the streak alive with single to right field.

Siri actually had a game during the streak without a hit but the streak stayed intact. On June 26th he came off the bench to pinch hit. He was intentionally walked so he never saw a pitch which, by rule, does not end a hitting streak if that is the players’ only at-bat of the game.

The 31-game streak is the third longest in the history of the Midwest League. Siri can equal the second longest streak with another hit in Lansing on Thursday. The league’s longest streak is 35 games in a row which was set back in 1977.

Are you ready for some football? The Bengals are just about back in business

Published: Wednesday, July 26, 2017 @ 6:44 PM

In mere hours, Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton and his teammates will officially resume the business of football as training camp opens Friday at 3 p.m. The first regular season game, on Sept. 10 at Paul Brown Stadium, will be against the Ravens. Cincinnati beat Baltimore 27-10 to close the 2016 season, as Dalton tried here  to avoid Ravens defenders in Paul Brown Stadium.
Getty Images
In mere hours, Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton and his teammates will officially resume the business of football as training camp opens Friday at 3 p.m. The first regular season game, on Sept. 10 at Paul Brown Stadium, will be against the Ravens. Cincinnati beat Baltimore 27-10 to close the 2016 season, as Dalton tried here to avoid Ravens defenders in Paul Brown Stadium.(Getty Images)

With the Bengals less than 24 hours from reporting, players and coaches alike are buckling down for the big adjustment to full-time NFL life that will begin when training camp opens on Friday.

As cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick Tweeted Tuesday @DreKirkSWAG,

Life changes dramatically for NFL players and coaches once the season begins, and when the Bengals take the fields west of Paul Brown Stadium Friday for the 3 p.m. start of practice (gates open at 2:30) running backs coach Kyle Caskey, a new father, knows change is coming.

Cornerback KeiVare Russell kept himself busy in recent weeks while preparing for his second NFL season. Cincinnati picked him up off waivers last fall after the Chiefs let him go in September, and he’s aiming to play in more than five games this season.

Defensive end Carlos Dunlap was checking out the scene at the airport Wednesday.

Reds rumblings: Hunter Greene’s pro debut more than a week away, and he may hit before he pitches

Published: Wednesday, July 26, 2017 @ 6:01 PM

Reds' first-round draft choice Hunter Greene, a pitcher-shortstop from Stevenson Ranch, Calif., met Hall of Famer Don Newcombe during batting practice before a Dodgers game against the Phillies at Dodger Stadium on April 28.
Getty Images
Reds' first-round draft choice Hunter Greene, a pitcher-shortstop from Stevenson Ranch, Calif., met Hall of Famer Don Newcombe during batting practice before a Dodgers game against the Phillies at Dodger Stadium on April 28.(Getty Images)

If you’re eagerly awaiting the professional debut of Reds first-round draft choice Hunter Greene, you’d better not be holding your breath. The pitcher/shortstop has said that he’s more than a week away from the diamond, and suggested that he’ll swing a bat before he throws a pitch.

Greene, the No. 2 overall pick of the MLB draft in June, has been with the Billings Mustangs for nearly two weeks. He hasn’t played though, instead working out with the Pioneer Rookie League team to build strength. 

He went on a local radio show and suggested that he will first deploy as a designated hitter in an Aug. 8 game, and make his pitching debut on Aug. 27.

Reds senior director of player development Jeff Graupe Tuesday told the Billings Gazette that the Reds are easing Greene into action.

“We’re introducing a pro work load and a pro throwing program to him for the first time,” Graupe said to the Gazette. “There’s throwing days, recovery days, days we let him hit … I would anticipate that you will get to see him (sometime this season). But we are going to go a little slowly.”

Tecumseh grad McCloskey named Urbana women’s basketball coach

Published: Wednesday, July 26, 2017 @ 5:07 PM


            Andrea McCloskey, 2017.
Andrea McCloskey, 2017.

Tecumseh High School graduate Andrea McCloskey on Wednesday was named the women’s basketball coach at Urbana University.

McCloskey previously was a highly successful coach at Georgetown College, an NAIA program in Kentucky.

“Urbana University is a great school that is moving in such a positive direction,” McCloskey said in a release. “It is my privilege to be the next head coach for the women’s basketball program.”

Urbana was 6-20 last season and 3-19 in the Mountain East Conference. McCloskey succeeds former Blue Knights women’s basketball standout Haley Ducey. Ducey had been in the position since 2014.

McCloskey began at Georgetown as an assistant in 2006 and became the Tigers’ head coach in 2011. She was the Mid-South Conference coach of the year in her first season as head coach, guiding Georgetown to a 24-10 record and an NAIA final four national tournament appearance. That was part of a run of three straight 20-plus wins by the Tigers.

Prior to that, she was an assistant coach at Rio Grande, where she also played, and began her coaching career at Sinclair Community College in Dayton.

She played four seasons at Rio Grande, serving as captain as a junior and senior.

“I’m looking forward to competing in the MEC and I’m confident that we will be successful in the classroom, on the court, and in the community,” McCloskey said. “I can’t wait to start working with these talented ladies.”

Urbana is expected to return 10 letter winners. Area players on the 2016-17 team were seniors Danie Shafer (Fairmont), Stefanie Davis (Kenton Ridge) and Jazmyn Haley (Bellefontaine), junior Jennifer Alflen (Wayne) and sophomores Weston Minnich (Centerville), Janae Curtis (Thurgood Marshall) and Sylvia Hudson (Sidney).

“She is a great match for the job and an outstanding fit for the university, as well,” Urbana executive director of athletics Larry Cox said. “I fully expect that with the positive momentum building here at Urbana, Andrea will bring even greater prominence to the Blue Knight women’s basketball program.”

ANDREA MCCLOSKEY

What: Urbana University women’s basketball coach.

Previously: Georgetown (Ky.) head coach, 2011-17.

College: Rio Grande.

High school: Tecumseh.