Report: South Florida to hire former Dayton Flyers coach Brian Gregory

Published: Tuesday, March 14, 2017 @ 9:45 AM

Georgia Tech head coach Brian Gregory coaches his team to a 81-62 victory over Houston during their first round NIT game Wednesday, March 16, 2016, in Atlanta.
Curtis Compton
Georgia Tech head coach Brian Gregory coaches his team to a 81-62 victory over Houston during their first round NIT game Wednesday, March 16, 2016, in Atlanta.(Curtis Compton)

South Florida will hire former Dayton Flyers coach Brian Gregory, according to a report Tuesday by Jon Rothstein, of CBS Sports.

Gregory spent the last year as a consultant to Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo. Prior to that, he spent five seasons as the head coach at Georgia Tech. He was fired after posting a 76-86 record with no NCAA tournament appearances.

Gregory coached at Dayton from 2003-11. He was 172-94 with two NCAA tournament appearances and one NIT championship.

South Florida plays in the American Athletic Conference. It fired coach Orlando Antigua in January. Murry Bartow filled in as the interim coach. The Bulls were 7-23 this season. They haven’t had a winning season since 2011-12 when they were in the Big East.

Young Reds fan kicks Marlins’ Dee Gordon before game

Published: Sunday, July 23, 2017 @ 6:34 PM

Miami's Dee Gordon has 35 stolen bases this season.
Gary Landers/AP
Miami's Dee Gordon has 35 stolen bases this season.(Gary Landers/AP)

Five-year-old Reds fan, Leo Schneider, met the Marlins’ Dee Gordon before Sunday’s game in Cincinnati.

Young Leo then introduced Gordon to his big toe.


“It was all planned,” Leo’s mom, Amy Danzo-Schneider, told via phone. “Dee Gordon was motioning Leo to come to him. The umpire went with Leo, and Leo said the umpire told him to kick [Gordon].” 

Danzo-Schneider said the family “just laughed, because we knew Leo would never do something like that on his own,” of the mischievous kick.

Regardless, the Marlins were not amused.

Gordon singled in his first at-bat and stole his 35th base of season. The Reds won 6-3.


Santillan leads Dragons past Burlington

Published: Sunday, July 23, 2017 @ 6:34 PM

            Dragons starter Tony Santillan throws a pitch during the first inning of a game against Burlington on Sunday afternoon at Fifth Third Field. Contributed Photo by Bryant Billing
Dragons starter Tony Santillan throws a pitch during the first inning of a game against Burlington on Sunday afternoon at Fifth Third Field. Contributed Photo by Bryant Billing

The Dragons were hoping for a better pitching performance on Sunday against the Burlington Bees after allowing 16 runs the last two nights in lopsided losses. They had good reason to hope with Tony Santillan on the mound.

Santillan has been one of Dayton’s best starters this season and had another good performance in a 6-1 win over the Bees, allowing one run and three hits in five innings. Aaron Fossas and Dauri Moreta combined to allow one hit in four innings of relief work.

“He was mixing pitches well and had a good fastball, and it was nice he was able to get us through five,” Dragons manager Luis Bolivar said. “Tony gave his best effort, and the bullpen did a nice job.”

Santillan has a 3.18 ERA, the second-lowest among the team’s starters.

Game changer: A big hit from Bruce Yari broke a 1-1 tie in the bottom of the fifth and put Dayton (52-48) in control.

With two runners on, Yari hit a home run into the lawn section in right field to give the Dragons a 4-1 lead. Yari, an Ontario native, is hitting .309 with runners in scoring position.

“He’s been good at being patient at the plate and getting a pitch to hit,” Bolivar said of Yari. “He’s been huge. When you’ve got runners in scoring position, you’ve got to concentrate a little bit more.”

Dragons tales: Santillan proved in the fourth inning you don’t need to be a baserunner to make a good play with a slide.

Derek Jenkins reached on a fielding error and Jonah Todd hit a single to third base to start the inning for the Bees. The situation worsened for Santillan after he threw a wild pitch that allowed both runners to advance to third and second.

With the runners in scoring position, Burlington’s Richie Fecteau hit a bunt that rolled several feet in front of home plate and stopped in the grass. Santillan sprinted from the mound and slid on the ground, scooped up the ball in his right hand, and tossed it to catcher Mitch Trees. Trees caught the ball a second before Jenkins got to the plate to prevent a run.

“That was a pretty good heads-up play,” Bolivar said. “Tony was paying good attention there in a tough situation to make that play.”

Santillan, a Texas native, picked up the win to even his record at 6-6. He had recorded losses in his previous three starts.

Streak at 29: Jose Siri extended his hitting streak to 29 games with a triple to center field in the fifth. Siri, who was the designated hitter on Sunday, also tripled to center field in the seventh. Since he started the hitting streak on June 22, he has a .346 batting average with 10 home runs and 24 RBIs.

It’s the longest current hitting streak in the minor leagues and the longest in Dragons history. Siri’s streak is also the third-longest in Midwest League history. The league record is 35, which was set in 1977.

On deck: The two teams will complete the three-game series on Monday night at Fifth Third Field. Andrew Jordan (4-6, 4.84 ERA) is scheduled to start for the Dragons against Burlington’s Joe Gatto (5-7, 3.75).

Romano, home runs lead Reds past Marlins

Published: Sunday, July 23, 2017 @ 5:28 PM

            CINCINNATI, OH - JULY 23: Scooter Gennett #4 of the Cincinnati Reds singles to right field to drive in a run in the fifth inning of a game against the Miami Marlins at Great American Ball Park on July 23, 2017 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Reds defeated the Marlins 6-3. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - JULY 23: Scooter Gennett #4 of the Cincinnati Reds singles to right field to drive in a run in the fifth inning of a game against the Miami Marlins at Great American Ball Park on July 23, 2017 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Reds defeated the Marlins 6-3. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Rookie right-hander Sal Romano’s changeup and the Reds’ clubhouse laundry added up to a desperately needed win on Sunday.

Romano made his fourth and longest big league start, keeping the Miami Marlins at bay long enough for the offense to string together enough runs for a 6-3 win in the finale of a three-game series and dismal 10-game home stand at Great American Ball Park.

Romano (2-2) overcame sticky conditions to allow one run and three hits over six innings with one walk and seven strikeouts. A.J. Ellis homered in the fourth.

“It feels great,” Romano said. “We needed that victory. I was attacking the strike zone. I told (catcher) Tucker (Barnhart) before the game to go ahead and call the changeup. I need to use it. Mostly I trusted what Tucker put down there. He’s been in the league a lot longer than I have. My tempo was good today. My fastball location was much better.”

Romano relied on the clubhouse laundry to get through the game.

“I had two jerseys and would change off between innings,” he said. “They would throw one in the dryer.”

“He pretty much overpowered us,” Miami manager Don Mattingly said. “He was just better than us today. The bad news is we turn around and see him again on Friday. We’ll see. We have to make adjustments.”

Scooter Gennett, Eugenio Suarez and Tucker Barnhart all hit solo home runs and Billy Hamilton had three hits and stole a pair of bases to increase his major league-leading total to 43 as the Reds finished a 2-8 home stand in which they allowed 23 homers and 72 runs – both franchise records for home stands of 10 or fewer games. Opponents reached double figures in scoring four times.

“Billy is hitting the ball on the screws again,” manager Bryan Price said. “He is confident enough to take a strike here and there to get a better pitch.”

Raisel Iglesias gave up one hit over two innings for his first save since July 9, his 17th in 18 chances this year.

Miami’s Giancarlo Stanton went 0 for 4 and finished the series without a home run. The NL home run leader had connected in three straight first innings entering the series.

He did throw out a pair of runners from right field, getting Barnhart at the plate in the second inning on Hamilton’s RBI single and Joey Votto at third base in the sixth on Gennett’s run-scoring single.

Votto also was hitless in four at-bats and went 4 for 33 on the home stand. His average has dropped to .297, down from .315 at the All-Star break.

Tom Koehler (1-5) gave up six runs - five earned - and nine hits in 5 2/3 innings. He is 0-4 in eight starts since winning at San Diego on April 23.

Koehler also committed a throwing error on Votto’s potential double-play ball in the two-run fifth, allowing Gennett to contribute a run-scoring single.

“Solo home runs happen,” Koehler said. “You can live with them, especially here, but that play could’ve gotten us out of the inning. It totally deflated us. We had a chance to get an inning-ending double play and that would’ve changed the momentum of the game.”

“It was just a terrible throw,” he added. “I thought I had more time than I did and I threw it away. Now you’ve got to throw more pitches. Everything frustrating. I was frustrated with the whole game, but no one’s going to feel sorry for me. The Reds aren’t going to feel sorry for me when I see them again on Friday.”

Gennett’s 17th homer broke a 1-1 tie leading off the fourth, and Suarez started the sixth with his 16th homer, his fourth of the homestand.

Romano stays dry, towels off Marlins

Published: Sunday, July 23, 2017 @ 5:10 PM

There was a glimmer of sunshine on a gloomy Sunday afternoon at the end of a gloomy homestand for the Cincinnati Reds.

They won a baseball game, 6-3, only their second win on the now completed 10-game homestand.

And what did it take?

It took an outstanding pitching performance by rookie Sal Romano, six innings of one-run, three-hit pitching against the high octane Miami Marlins.

It took a broken bat home run by Scooter Gennett — yes, a broken bat home run.

And, of course, it helped that the Reds were facing Tom Koehler, who came into the game with a 1-and-4 record and a 7.92 earned run average. Koehler buried himself in the fifth inning by throwing away a possible inning-ending double play ball that led to two runs, pushing a Reds lead from 2-1 to 4-1.

GENNETT’S CRACKED BAT home run into the first row of the right field seats broke a 1-1 tie leading off the fourth inning. His home run was his 17 th and he drove in another run later with a single and has 57 RBI.

The Reds added home runs by Eugenio Suarez and Tucker Barnhart in the sixth. And Billy Hamilton contributed three hits.

Even though the Reds went 2-and-8 on the homestand, Suarez hit four home runs and Hamilton batted .400 with five stolen bases.

The problem was that Joey Votto had only four hits in the 10 games and neither scored a rum nor drove in a run (4 for 33, seven walks). And Scott Schebler is scraping along at 0 for 16 and 1 for 27.

THE WIN WAS WELCOME and refreshing for the win-starved Reds, but Romano’s performance was the noteworthy item of the day.

The 6-foot-5, 270-pound right hander from Syosset, N.Y., a 23 rd-round draft pick in 2011, is one of a multitude of candidates for the 2018 starting rotation.

And he was impressive on this day, one of seven rookies to start a game for the Reds this season, one of 25 pitchers used by the Reds this year and one of 13 rookie pitchers to toe the rubber for the Reds this season.

Romano left after six innings with 98 pitches, even though he retired the last seven Marlins he faced, four via strikeouts. In his last inning he mowed down the meat of the Marlins order: Giancarlo Stanton strikeout, Christian Yelich groundout, Justin Bour strikeout.

THE ONLY RUN HE GAVE up was a two-out home run to catcher A.J. Ellis in the fourth on a 3-and-1 fastball, only the second home run all year by Ellis. During the 10-game homestan Reds pitchers gave up 23 home runs.

Miami’s Dee Gordeon opened the game with a two-strike bunt for a base hit and stole second. He moved to third on a ground ball, but Romano left him there by striking out both Christian Yelich and Justin Bour.

“Gordon got into scoring position right away and Sal being able to leave him out there was a great way for us to get the game underway,” manager Bryan Price said during his post-game media conference. “That’s a good lineup, not an easy match-up. They stacked the lineup with lefties and you have Stanton on the front end and a speed guy like Gordon at the top.”

On a hot, humid day, Romano used two red jersey tops, alternating them each inning, wearing one while the other was in a clubhouse dryer.

The main thing Price preaches to his young pitchers, on an hourly basis, is to throw quality strikes and to command the strike zone. Romano, who was beat up in his previous start (six runs, six hits, five walks in four innings against Arizona), issued one harmless walk.

“I attacked the strike zone and used all my pitches (fastball, slider and an occasional changeup,” said Romano. “I threw the changeup a decent amount to keep them off my fastball. My fastball location was definitely No. 1.”

The Marlins scored two runs on three hits against Michael Lorenzen in the seventh and Price went to closer Raisel Iglesias for the eighth and ninth and he preserved Romano’s win with his 17 th save, giving up no runs and one hit.

That means, though, that Iglesias won’t be available during a makeup game in Cleveland Monday night and probably not Tuesday when the Reds open a two-game series Tuesday night in New York against the Yankees.