WSU’s Collins earns another pitching honor

Published: Monday, March 20, 2017 @ 12:29 PM

            Wright State freshman Zane Collins delivers to the plate in Friday in the Horizon League tournament. Collins got the final four outs in the Raiders’ 5-1 win over UW-Milwaukee. Mike Hartsock/WHIO-TV
Wright State freshman Zane Collins delivers to the plate in Friday in the Horizon League tournament. Collins got the final four outs in the Raiders’ 5-1 win over UW-Milwaukee. Mike Hartsock/WHIO-TV

The season is barely a month old and already Wright State senior left-hander Zane Collins has won two Horizon League Pitcher of the Week awards, the second of which was announced Monday.

Collins capped a three-game sweep of Valparaiso on Sunday, holding the Crusaders scoreless through six innings on the way to a 7-0 win for the Raiders in the first HL series of the year.

›› RELATED: Wright State baseball ranked for first time

Collins also chosen as the Pitcher of the Week on March 6, following seven shutout innings against Wofford. He is 2-2 this season with 1.84 ERA. Collins has struck out 31 in 29.1 innings with eight walks.

The Raiders (12-6, 3-0 Horizon) will play at Xavier on Tuesday before returning to league action with three-game home series against Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Colorado linebacker Drew Lewis excited for another shot at former team in game vs. Washington

Published: Thursday, September 21, 2017 @ 1:00 AM

Drew Lewis went from member of Chris Petersen’s first class at Washington, to injured junior college player in just over a year’s time. Now, he’s back in the Pac-12 and getting a second chance to face his former team in as many seasons.

Last season’s meeting between the Huskies and Lewis’ Colorado Buffaloes was a surprise for the latter, with Colorado going from worst to first in the Pac-12 South to win the division and appear in the conference title game. It was also the culmination of a journey Lewis took from Seattle, Wash., to Coffeyville, Kan. to Boulder, Colo.

Lewis was part of Washington’s recruiting class of 2014, Petersen’s first at the helm of the program after moving northwest from Boise State. After redshirting in 2014, Lewis was dismissed from the team for an unspecified violation of team rules in late July 2015. He ended up at Coffeyville Community College, where he played junior college ball and dealt with injuries before being noticed by former Colorado defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt. A year later, he was back in the Pac-12 as a Buffalo.

“Good athlete, and I know he’s doing well over there, so I’m happy for him,” Petersen said of Lewis, via Adam Jude of The Seattle Times.

With his first brush with the Huskies over and done with in December, Lewis has had plenty of time to prepare for a second meeting. He’s off to a hot start, too.

The 6-foot-2, 230-pound linebacker has recorded a team-high 35 tackles in 3 games to go along with 4 quarterback pressures and 1 tackle for loss. Even after Leavitt’s departure, Lewis is an important part of a defense that ranks fourth in the nation in points allowed per game (9.0). This game isn’t setting up to be a walk in the park for Washington, which has cruised through its last 10 quarters of action.

“For me, this is going to be a primetime type of game,” he said. “It’s the Pac-12 Championship rematch and there’s a lot of hype going into it. We have a feel for how they play, they have feel for us. We’ve got them at home, and I love playing at Folsom (Field). We haven’t lost a game in Folsom since 2015 and we want to keep that going.”

Washington travels to face Colorado at 7 p.m. PT Saturday at Folsom Field in Boulder.


One day, Kentucky beat Florida; the next, she was born: ‘I hope I’m not married to the curse’

Published: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 @ 2:41 PM

LEXINGTON, Ky. — There was a day — Nov. 15, 1986, to be precise — when Florida was not the big, bad bogeyman for Kentucky football. The Wildcats beat the Gators that day and drew nearly even in the all-time series: 17 wins, 20 losses.

The next day, a cursed child was born in Ohio.

Kristin Heath came into the world on Nov. 16, 1986, not as a UK fan by birth, but something much more terrifying: a future UK fan whose father nearly missed her delivery that fateful Sunday because he was watching his beloved, eternally damned Cleveland Browns.

Are we to believe it is purely coincidence, then, that Heath has been alive now for 11,266 days and the Wildcats have gone exactly 11,266 days without beating Florida? I think not.

“Oh, God, well … when you put it that way …” she said Tuesday upon learning her role in the longest active losing streak in college football. “That’s really sad to think that I’m the curse.”

The former Kristin Kover officially became a Wildcats fan in 2004, when she committed to play soccer at the University of Kentucky. There, she met her husband, Andrew Heath, a lifelong member of Big Blue Nation — another 30-year-old fan with as many birthdays as losses to the Gators since his wife was born.

For all this time, they’d been happily married and blissfully unaware of what Kristin has done to Kentucky football.

RELATED: Stoops aims to ignore history, avoid repeating it

“I hope I’m not married to the curse,” Andrew said. “Thank you for bringing it to my attention, in case I do end up having to divorce her for this streak to end.”

He was totally kidding, he said. But was he? Consider:

  • Two months before his walking jinx of a wife’s seventh birthday, Danny Wuerffel hit Chris Doering with 3 seconds left to crush Commonwealth Stadium.
  • About the time UK started recruiting Kristin for soccer, the football team blew a 21-3 lead against Florida. Jared Lorenzen’s baffling, blind, grenade-toss of a late interception was the kind of play only dark magic could deliver.
  • In 2007, right around the time Kristin was old enough to drink, everyone in Kentucky needed a stiff one. The Wildcats beat No. 1 LSU one week and had the Gators on the ropes the next — but Andre Woodson’s 5 touchdown passes were negated by an angel in shoulder pads, Tim Tebow.
  • And who else but a voodoo lady could have caused officials to go blind as Florida’s play clock expired during the Wildcats’ triple-overtime loss at The Swamp in 2014?

“I’m in disbelief,” Kristin told me Monday night, “at the fact that we haven’t beaten them in my lifetime.”

You and tens of thousands of other weary fans, sister. Toward the end of our conversation, Andrew’s shock turned to fear.

“If you could paint this story so that our house doesn’t get burned down — because you know how our fans are — that would be great,” he said.

Sorry, bud, no can do. The facts are the facts. Kristin was born and Kentucky has been losing to Florida ever since.

And it gets worse, BBN. The Curse and her husband, whose father has season tickets, will be in the stadium, which has been renamed Kroger Field this year expressly to erase all the bad mojo of the last three decades (we assume), when the Gators come to town to face the undefeated and newly hopeful Wildcats.

“The only thing that’s scary,” Kristin said, “is I feel like Kentucky plays better when I’m not watching.”


Now here’s the good news: In 2006, Kristin, the clear cause of so much football suffering, did help the UK women’s soccer team defeat Florida in an SEC championship game. So maybe the spell is weakening.

And this year, she gave birth to son Hudson, whose lifetime includes zero losses to the Gators.

“Hopefully he’ll bring us a little luck,” said Andrew, imagining a scene Saturday night in which his wife finally releases the Wildcats from her curse. “If that happens, I’m headed straight to the field. It’s going to be very exciting. We’ve seen some close ones, some heartbreaking ones, and the memories of those games alone, the relief that I will have for getting that monkey off our back, will be incredible.”

WATCH: SEC Shorts delivers hilarious video on LSU fans struggling through work after blowout loss

Published: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 @ 11:48 PM

It’s not easy being an LSU fan right now.

The Tigers were on the losing end of a 37-7 blowout at the hands of Mississippi State in Starkville on Saturday night.  And for many LSU supporters, that probably made it pretty tough to roll back into work on Monday morning.

By Wednesday evening, SEC Shorts had nailed that feeling with another hilarious video.

This time, the SEC Shorts crew attempted to recreate Tigers fans rolling back into work this week and attempting to make it through small talk on how the game went.

Check it out:

As usual, SEC Shorts nailed it!

Some other SEC Shorts videos you may enjoy:
WATCH: SEC Shorts delivers hilarious spoof of ‘Rudy’ at Notre Dame-Georgia game
WATCH: SEC Shorts deliver hilarious Vols trash-can parody after Tennessee-Florida game

Cardinals hammer three home runs in rout of Reds

Published: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 @ 11:34 PM

            CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 20: Zack Cozart #2 of the Cincinnati Reds throws to first after getting a force out at second base ahead of the sliding Stephen Piscotty #55 of the St. Louis Cardinals in the sixth inning of a game at Great American Ball Park on September 20, 2017 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Cardinals won 9-2. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 20: Zack Cozart #2 of the Cincinnati Reds throws to first after getting a force out at second base ahead of the sliding Stephen Piscotty #55 of the St. Louis Cardinals in the sixth inning of a game at Great American Ball Park on September 20, 2017 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Cardinals won 9-2. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Mike Matheny enjoyed the St. Louis Cardinals’ best all-around game in a while so much, he wouldn’t mind seeing a replay.

“I’ll go rewatch it,” Matheny said after the 9-2 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday. “Good starting pitching, clean defense, clean bullpen, timely hitting, got momentum early. I’m really looking forward to (Thursday).”

»RELATED: Big rosters lead to pitcher parades

Dexter Fowler homered for the third straight game while Matt Carpenter and Paul DeJong also homered as St. Louis gained ground in their National League playoff push.

Tommy Pham finished with two doubles, a single and two RBIs and Yadier Molina added a two-run double as the third-place Cardinals (79-72) gained a game on first-place Chicago and second-place Milwaukee in the Central Division and on Colorado in the wild-card race.

Rookie right-hander Luke Weaver retired 10 straight batters in one stretch on the way to his seventh straight winning start, the major leagues’ longest active streak.

According to post-game notes provided by the Reds, Weaver is the first Cardinals starting pitcher to have seven consecutive wins in a season since Matt Morris in 2001 and the first St. Louis rookie to do so since Ted Walks in 1944.

The 24-year-old rookie allowed five hits and two runs with seven strikeouts in five innings. He credited his curveball with helping make up for an inconsistent changeup.

“I haven’t had a chance to assess the outing,” he said. “I had more curveballs in the mix. It was nice to be able to throw them in different counts.”

Weaver’s curve also impressed Matheny.

“It worked better than it’s worked in other starts” Matheny said. “He made pitches on both sides of the plate when he needed to.

“He threw the ball really well,” Matheny added. “The fastball was coming out of his hand as good as I’ve seen. He had late life, and he got some big strikeouts when he needed them.”.

Weaver (7-1) has fanned seven or more batters in each of his last seven starts.

Weaver was savoring his contributions to the Cardinals’ playoff push.

“it’s awesome,” he said. “There’s lot of good nerves building up. These games, you get a little more amped up. There are a lot of meaningful games. You try not to put too much pressure on yourself.”

Relievers Zach Duke, Seung Hwan Oh, Sandy Alcantara and Sam Tuivailala teamed up to retire the 12 of the final 13 Reds batters.

Carpenter led off the game with his 21st homer. Fowler followed Pham’s RBI double in the third with a two-run shot into the right field seats. It was his career-high 18th homer of the season. DeJong added his team-high 24th, the Cardinals’ second set of back-to-back homers in two nights.

The Reds broke up Weaver’s shutout bid with a two-run fifth. Patrick Kivlehan’s drove in Jose Peraza from first with a double and scored on Jesse Winker’s single.

“I got a little out of synch,” he said. “I threw some average pitches and they put some good swings on them.”

Rookie Davis (1-3) gave up all three homers and five runs on five hits with three strikeouts in three innings.