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Greenon sophomore speedster making up for bad ending

Published: Saturday, April 28, 2018 @ 12:00 AM

Greenon so. Delaney Benedict set a 400 meet record of 56.47 in the Wayne Inv. at Huber Heights on Friday, April 27, 2018. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

Delaney Benedict has been on a mission ever since a meet official stepped in her path last season.

A talented sprinter, the Greenon High School speedster appeared destined to join the state’s best last year in her specialty, the 400 meters. But that all changed in an instant during a 4x200 relay.

Following the end of her turn, a meet official stepped in her way. She dodged what could have been a sudden impact, but crumbled to the track with a twisted ankle. Her season was done.

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“I was mad,” the sophomore recalled during the Wayne track and field invitational on Friday.

»RELATED: Kenton Ridge opening pitch a sure hit

That do-over incentive has fueled her for a breakout season.

She made up for that lingering disappointment in the best possible way at Wayne. Her 56.47 set a 400 meet record and also eclipsed the school record of 57.70 that Rachel Stute set just two years ago as a Knights senior.

“It means so much,” gushed Benedict among celebrating teammates. “I’ve worked so hard for this. It feels amazing. God gave me this talent and I’m so glad I can share it with everyone. I’m so ready.”

»RELATED: Wayne OC leaves to join Greenon’s staff

This is Greenon’s first season in the Ohio Heritage Conference and the Knights will host the OHC championships on May 5 and 7. Benedict should be among the favorites to contend for a Division II state 400 title.

A spring season continually disrupted by inclement weather finally turned during the two-day meet that drew many of the top teams in the Central (Columbus) and Southwest districts. Host Wayne won the boys team title, running away from runner-up Centerville, 75-48.5. Dunbar (48) was third.

Northwestern bunched all its 41 points in the field events to place sixth and Springfield (25) was 15th.

Gahanna Lincoln (60.5) won the girls team title, edging Mason (58). Centerville (54) was third.

»RELATED: It’s a Clark County invite record

• Northwestern’s Landon Burns, Korbin Spencer and Adam Riedinger all won their specialties and became instant state D-II contenders.

A junior, Burns won the high jump (6 feet, 4 inches) on Thursday. Spencer, just a sophomore, matched that effort by capturing the discus (167-9) also on Thursday. Riedinger, a junior, kept that win streak intact by winning the shot put (58-9) on Friday.

Riedinger also was third in the discus (164-2) and Spencer was fourth in the shot put (52-2.25).

»RELATED: Wildcats junior overcoming hurdles

• Quincy Scott again paced Springfield. The senior surpassed 22-4 three times in the long jump and won with a 22-7.25. He also was fourth in the 100 (11.39), seventh in the 200 (22.82) and joined Michael Brown-Stephens, Austin Tyree and Jacob Yost to place fourth in the 4x100 relay (43.26).

»TWITTER: You should like @MarcPendleton

Tyree also was seventh in the 300 hurdles (40.16).

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Cougars thump Dragons in series finale, 13-4

Published: Monday, July 16, 2018 @ 4:41 PM
Updated: Monday, July 16, 2018 @ 11:32 PM

Dragons manager Luis Bolivar addresses a 13-4 loss to visiting Kane County at Fifth Third Field on Monday, July 16, 2018. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

Dragons starting pitcher Adrian Rodriguez has a tough assignment: show he’s fully recovered from Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery.

From Mexico and acquired by the parent-club Cincinnati Reds as a free agent in 2014, Rodriguez missed the last half of the 2016 season after being injured and all of last season.

»RELATED: Dragons first baseman suspended 50 games

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He had hoped to finish off vising Kane County (Diamondbacks) for a sweep at Fifth Third Field on Monday night. Instead, he was tagged with the loss (4-5, 7.63 ERA) after being lit for eight earned runs and nine hits in 3.1 innings.

“It was tough on him,” Dragons manager Luis Bolivar said. “Hopefully, (he’ll) make some adjustments and come out better next time. He needs to keep working and keep getting stronger and good things will happen if you keep doing that.”

The Cougars (46-48), of the Midwest League Western Division, tallied four runs in the first inning and the rout was on. Kane County’s Jazz Chisholm had two home runs, a triple and two singles. He accounted for five RBIs and four runs to dismantle Dayton (43-50), which had a three-game win streak snapped.

»RELATED: Dragons photo gallery

Raul Wallace had a solo homer for the Dragons and Jose Garcia had his fifth straight two-hit game.

The Dragons are 12-13 in the second half and one game out of wildcard pursuit. If they’re to improve on that position anytime soon it’ll be on the road. Off Tuesday, Dayton is at Wisconsin on Wednesday and travels to Beloit on Saturday for three games each to wrap up intra-division play.

“Hopefully, we kick in to do what we have been doing,” Bolivar said. “I know we’re going to get hot and get a good winning streak. When that happens, we’re going to be in the thick of it.”

»RELATED: Streak ends but Dragons win

Dragons tales: Pitcher Packy Naughton, who extended a scoreless streak to 24 innings during a defeat of Cane County on Sunday, was named the Midwest League pitcher of the week for July 9-15 on Monday.

Naughton is a left-hander from Boston and was a ninth-round draft pick by the Reds in 2017 out of Virginia Tech University. In his last four starts Naughton has allowed just two runs over 27 innings (0.67 ERA). He went six innings in a 5-3 defeat of Cane County and improved his record to 5-8 (4.04 ERA). His 104.2 innings pitched leads the Midwest League.

In his prior start on July 9 Naughton was at his best, going eight shutout innings with nine strikeouts and allowing just two base runners in a 5-0 win at Great Lakes.

»RELATED: Former Sinclair, Hamilton pitcher wins

• Former Dragons outfielder Taylor Trammell, promoted to the high Class A Daytona Tortugas this season, had a homer and triple to earn MVP of Sunday’s SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game at Washington’s Nationals Park.

Current Dragons pitcher Hunter Greene, The Reds’ No. 1 pick and second overall in the 2017 draft, went 1.1 innings, allowing two hits and two runs to go with a walk and one strikeout. He topped out at 103.1 mph and didn’t dip below triple digits.

»RELATED: Dragons rally in 10th

Team USA defeated the World Team 10-6 to kick off Major League Baseball’s three days of All-Star Game festivities.

Greene (3-7, 4.69 ERA) has made 16 starts, all with the Dragons. He turned his season around his last nine appearances: 46.1 innings, 35 hits, 14 earned runs (2.72 ERA), 54 strikeouts and 10 walks. His next scheduled start is Friday against the Timber Rattlers at Appleton, Wisconsin.

»FACEBOOK: For more sports you should like Marc Pendleton

• Garcia, the Dragons second baseman and leadoff hitter, was punched out by a rare call in the fifth inning. The Havana, Cuba native, who speaks virtually no English, was repeatedly motioned by the umpire to return to the batter’s box after he stepped out each pitch. The umpire ended the routine by calling him out with just two strikes.

»TWITTER: You should like @MarcPendleton

Bolivar questioned the ump but there were no fireworks. It was a seldom-seen call that became popular in the 2015 season. There is no time limit for an at-bat and it’s on the ump’s discretion to make that call. It was recorded as a strikeout.

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5 things to know about the local high school football season (Vol. 1) 

Published: Monday, July 16, 2018 @ 12:37 PM

Fairmont QB Braden Miller unloads. Beavercreek defeated visiting Fairmont 14-3 in a GWOC National East high school football opener on Friday, Sept. 22, 2017. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF
Staff Writer
Fairmont QB Braden Miller unloads. Beavercreek defeated visiting Fairmont 14-3 in a GWOC National East high school football opener on Friday, Sept. 22, 2017. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF(Staff Writer)

High school football practice is getting closer, and our team previews are already rolling out. 

Miss any? 

Don’t worry! We’ll be recapping them periodically. 

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Here is version one: 

1. Fairmont wants to prove last year was no fluke. 

After being one of the surprise teams of 2017, coach Dave Miller’s Firebirds (7-4) are hungry for a second straight trip to the playoffs.

They have five marquee games on the schedule: the first two (Alter, Northmont) and the last three (Wayne, Centerville, Springfield).  

Their potential formula for success is a tale as old as time: The coach’s son (Braden) running the triple option. What’s not to love?  

»FULL STORY: Fairmont Firebirds football preview 

2. Valley View is hoping for a rousing encore, too. 

Are the Spartans back?  

One of the powerhouse programs of the ‘90s is coming off consecutive playoff appearances.  

They were undefeated in the 2017 regular season, and they don’t have to go far for firsthand stories about the glory days because the coaching staff includes former VVHS stars Brock Bolen and Andy Keating. 

»FULL STORY: Valley View football preview 

3. Greeneview could be better than last year’s 10-win team. 

The only other time the Rams went undefeated in the regular season (1996), they lost just about everybody to graduation.

Not so this time as 13 starters return, including all-conference performers Nick Clevenger, Clay Payton, Collin Wilson and Nick Wolfe. 

Quarterback Clevenger is the reigning Ohio Heritage Conference player of the year. 

»FULL STORY: Greeneview Rams football preview 

4. Arcanum looking to build off strong finish. 

Can the Trojans make a big jump in year two of the second Jason Schondelmyer era?

After going 4-6 (but winning three of their last four) in ‘17, they say numbers are up in offseason workouts. That’s never a bad thing, especially in Division VI, and especially for a team looking for its first winning season since 2008. 

They won’t have to wait to see how much progress they made in the offseason as Greeneview visits in week one. 

>>FULL STORY: Arcanum football preview 

5. Milton-Union is under new management, but it’s a familiar face. 

Like Arcanum, the Bulldogs are a former powerhouse being led again by a former head coach of the program. 

Can Bret Pearce (six playoff appearances the first time around) wake the echoes in his first season back at the helm? 

Having an experienced backfield (senior QB William Morris and senior RB Robbie Grove) helps, but they have to replace all-time leading rusher Zac Shields. 

>>FULL STORY: Milton-Union football preview 

Want more? 

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Dayton Flyers to open season on a Wednesday

Published: Monday, July 16, 2018 @ 11:13 AM

Dayton Flyers interview: Trey Landers

Two more non-conference games for the Dayton Flyers have become known in recent days.

The University of North Florida published its non-conference schedule on its website, and its first game is at Dayton on Wednesday, Nov. 7. That will be the 2018-19 season opener for both teams.

» SCHEDULE NEWS: A look at A-10 pairings

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The first day teams can play is Nov. 6. The NCAA moved up the start date from Friday to Tuesday this season so the teams can play their season openers during the week and not on a busy weekend for football.

“The start of the season had become so compressed with the holidays and exams,” Dan Gavitt, the NCAA’s senior vice president for basketball, told NCAA.com, “that the additional three days allows schools to better schedule the start of the season and it’s the benefit for the student athletes and coaches.”

North Florida finished 14-19 last season and ranked 282nd out of 351 teams in the Pomeroy ratings. It was one of the youngest teams in the country, ranking 331st in experience. It returns 10 of 12 players and its six top scorers.

Dayton beat the Osprey 86-71 at UD Arena on Dec. 5, 2015. That was the first meeting between the programs.

» DAYTON FEATURES: Donnie JonesJosh CunninghamTrey Landers | Ryan Mikesell

Another game that hasn’t been officially announced will be against Presbyterian. Jon Rothstein, of CBS Sports, reported that game last week, though a date was not announced.

Presbyterian, located in Clinton, S.C., finished 11-21 last season and ranked 334th in the Pomeroy ratings. It was a Division II school until 2007. It has not had a winning season since moving to Division I.

Dayton played Presbyterian once before, winning 71-52 at UD Arena on Dec. 19, 2009.

Presbyterian’s football program will join Dayton in the Pioneer Football League in 2021.

Here are the other known non-conference games:

Nov. 21: Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas. Possible opponents: Virginia, Middle Tennessee State, Butler, Florida, Oklahoma, Stanford and Wisconsin.

Nov. 22: Battle 4 Atlantis.

Nov. 23: Battle 4 Atlantis.

Nov. 30: Mississippi State at Dayton.

Dec. 8: Dayton at Auburn (reported by Rothstein).

Dec. 16: Dayton vs. Tulsa at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.

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Middletown’s Kyle Schwarber falls in finals of Home Run Derby

Published: Monday, July 16, 2018 @ 8:55 PM

Who is Kyle Schwarber? Ten facts about Middletown grad

Kyle Schwarber’s Chicago Cubs teammate, Javier Baez, watched him compete in the Home Run Derby from ESPN’s broadcast booth on the field Monday at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C..

“We’re going to have a great show from Schwarber,” Baez said.

» SCHWARBER COVERAGE: Hometown visit | A World Series champion | Strong start in 2018

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Schwarber, a Middletown High School graduate seeded fifth, delivered by advancing to the final round in his first appearance in the event. He lost 19-18 to Washington Nationals slugger Bryce Harper, who was playing in front of his home crowd.

Schwarber beat No. 4 seed Alex Bregman 16-15 in the first round. Bregman, of the Houston Astros, hit the top of the wall with his final swing.

In the semifinals, No. 8 seed Rhys Hoskins, of the Philadelphia Phillies, went first and hit 20 home runs. Schwarber hit his 21st home run in the final seconds.

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Schwarber, who has 18 home runs this season and 64 in his career, said competing in the Home Run Derby was on his bucket list.

“It’s one of those things you grow up watching (Ken) Griffey and (Mark) McGwire,” Schwarber said. “Now that I can do it, it’s a thing you want to do at least once.”

Schwarber’s agent, Jason Romano, was his pitcher.

“He's been throwing to me down in Florida in the off-season,” Schwarber said, “and he's a great dude and well-deserved. I would have picked my dad, but he's a little bit too old.”
   

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