Gressly’s two home runs super-charge Lebanon in regional semifinal win

Published: Thursday, May 24, 2018 @ 2:19 PM

Lebanon junior Grace Gressly had two homers in a 6-3 defeat of Lakota East in a high school softball D-I regional semifinal at Centerville on Wed., May 23, 2018. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

With one swing, junior Grace Gressly jump-started Lebanon’s tourney journey on Wednesday afternoon. With another, she sealed the deal.

Gressly’s two home runs and five RBI’s provided the bulk of Lebanon’s fireworks in a 6-3 defeat of Lakota East in a Division I high school softball regional semifinal on Wednesday. Lebanon (26-3) will take a six-game win streak into Saturday’s regional final against Lakota West (24-3) also at Centerville. West advanced by eliminating Mason 9-3 in Wednesday’s other semi.

»ONE FOR THE RECORD: Butler senior matches regional best set in 1971

»REGIONAL TRACK: “It’s all about moving on”

Trailing 1-0, Gressly delivered a no-doubt, three-run bomb in the third inning. The designated hitter, she trumped that with another two-run missile in the sixth.

“It’s the best feeling in the world,” said Gressly, who verbally committed to Wright State University prior to this season. “I was just trying to put some runs on the board. It was a bit of a rush. We really want to make it back to state and I think we have the team to do it.”

Lebanon designated player Grace Gressly keep her eye on the ball Wednesday during a Division I regional semifinal against Lakota East at Centerville. Gressly had two home runs and five RBIs in the Warriors’ 6-3 victory. MARC PENDLETON/STAFF

»IT’S A RECORD: Lakota East flash passes mark that stood since 1990

»PHOTO GALLERY: D-I district track at Wayne

Gressly’s shots made a winner of junior pitcher Kat Frank (24-3), who went the distance. When centerfielder Madison DeGennaro secured the final flyout, Warriors catcher Molly Osborne leaped into Frank’s awaiting arms in celebration.

“It was awesome out there,” Frank said. “We talked the other day with (coach Brian Kindell) how this has become an expectation for Lebanon, but we really need to enjoy it because it’s awesome to make it this far in the tournament.”

Lebanon has been to the D-I state final four five times since 2012, including last season. The Warriors were the state runner-up in the 2015 and ’12 seasons.

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»RELATED: Butler making surprise D-I baseball run

Clinton-Massie 11, Greenville 4: Clinton-Massie (27-5) scored five runs in the first inning and three in the second to avenge a loss to Greenville in the same round a year ago. Claire Carruthers had the big hit in the first inning, a two-run home run. Victoria Severt hit a two-run home run in the second inning.

It was the 16th straight season for Greenville (26-6) to finish with 20 or more victories for coach Jerrod Newland, who took over the program in 2003. Greenville’s Sydney Grote drove in the team’s first run in the second inning. Morgan Gilbert hit a solo home run off the top of the fence in right field to provide Greenville’s second run in the third inning.

Greenville against Clinton-Massie in a Division II regional semifinal on Wednesday, May 23, 2018, at Mason High School. David Jablonski - Staff Writer

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Greenville, which won the state title in 2007, was seeking its fourth state berth. It made the final four in 2010 and lost in the state final in 2012. It lost 5-3 to Jonathan Alder on a walk-off home run in the ninth inning last season in the regional final.

Massie will play Jonathan Alder in the D-II regional final on Saturday.

»OHSAA: No more stacking teams

Jonathan Alder 14, Kenton Ridge 5: Jonathan Alder handed Central Buckeye Conference rival Kenton Ridge (23-2) its only losses this season, including a D-II regional semi at Mason. Carly Turner hit a two-run home run with two outs in the fifth inning with the Cougars trailing 12-1 to help Kenton Ridge avoid losing by the run rule. Jade Espinosa hit a solo home run in the seventh inning.

Kenton Ridge against Jonathan Alder in a Division II regional semifinal on Wednesday, May 23, 2018, at Mason High School. David Jablonski - Staff Writer

»RELATED: D-I baseball sectional photo gallery

North Union 5, West Liberty-Salem 1: North Union tallied two runs in the first inning and made that lead stand in a D-III regional semi at Wright State. Kayle Henderson had a double for the Tigers, who finished 21-3 overall, won the Ohio Heritage Conference (14-1) and were district champs for the second straight season.

North Union (24-2) will play Williamsburg in Saturday’s D-III regional final. Williamsburg advanced by defeating Indian Lake, 10-2.

»RELATED: Senior basketball standout a one-season wonder

Bradford 2, Mechanicsburg 0: Winning pitcher Skipp Miller struck out 12 and allowed just three hits as the Railroaders extended their record-setting postseason in a D-IV regional semi at Greenville. Miller also had two hits, including a double. Bailey Wysong added a run-scoring single and Elisa Martinez knocked in a run.

»TWITTER: You should like @MarcPendleton

Bradford (22-3) will play Parkway (21-4) in Saturday’s D-IV regional final at 11 a.m. Parkway advanced by eliminating Newton 12-2 in a regional semi.

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Reds top prospect will miss rest of season

Published: Saturday, June 23, 2018 @ 11:05 AM

2018 Cincinnati Reds: 10 things to know

Cincinnati Reds top prospect Nick Senzel will miss the rest of the season after tearing a tendon in his right index finger Friday, the Reds announced Saturday.

Senzel, who will undergo surgery Tuesday, addressed the injury in a message posted to Twitter and Instagram.

» PROSPECT WATCH: How the top Reds minor leaguers are doing

“I would like to start by thanking my family, friends and teammates and fans for the support over the last 24 hours,” Senzel wrote. “It had been a challenging season from the start, but it has made me grow. The news this morning was very unfortunate, but I was prepared mentally on how to handle it whether good or bad. I had a goal this season, and it was to make it to the big leagues and help the Cincinnati Reds win ballgames. Although I did not fulfill this goal, it will not stop my drive to continue to fulfill my dream. The support that has been shown is what makes me blessed and thankful for everything in my life, inside and outside of baseball. It’s what makes me keep going, and make no mistake, I will be back stronger than ever. Love u all Reds nation.”

» RELATED: Reds win fifth straight

The No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 draft, Senzel was hitting .310 with six home runs and 25 RBIs with Triple-A Louisville.

Senzel’s 2017 season was also cut short as he battled vertigo late last season while playing for Double-A Pensacola. The same condition cost him time this spring.

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Dayton draft drought ends as Antetokounmpo chosen with last pick

Published: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 12:04 AM

Who is Kostas Antetokounmpo? Facts about the former Dayton forward

A 28-year drought ended for the Dayton Flyers on Thursday as the Dallas Mavericks selected Kostas Antetokounmpo, a 6-foot-10 forward, with the 30th and last pick of the second round in the NBA Draft at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. He was the 60th player chosen overall.

» FIVE THINGS TO KNOW: Who is Kostas Antetokounmpo?

Antetokounmpo, 20, is the first Dayton player drafted since Negele Knight in 1990. The Phoenix Suns drafted Knight in the second round.

Dayton had 38 players drafted between 1952 and 1990. Twenty Flyers have played in the NBA, including four undrafted players (Chris Wright, Chris Johnson, Brian Roberts and Charles Cooke) since Knight was drafted.

Antetokounmpo seeks to become the third member of his family to play in the NBA. His brother Giannis Antetokounmpo, 23, was the 15th pick of the first round in 2013 and now is one of the top players in the league. He averaged 26.9 points per game last season for the Milwaukee Bucks.

Thanasis Antetokounmpo, 25, played in two games in 2016 for the New York Knicks. He was a second-round pick in 2014.

» KOSTAS STORIES: High ceilingTrying to live up to his name | A star in victory over Saint Louis

The 6-foot-10 Antetokounmpo committed to Dayton in June 2016 but sat out his freshman season as a NCAA partial qualifier.

Antetokounmpo debuted in the 2017-18 season and averaged 5.2 points and 2.9 rebounds in 15.1 minutes per game. He led the team with 31 blocks. He appeared in 29 of 32 games and started six games.

» RELATED: Grant talks about Dayton’s offseason | Knight last Dayton player to be drafted

In late March, weeks after the end of a 14-17 season, Antetokounmpo left the program and the university.

“His mindset was he wants to test the waters to see what his prospects are for being in the NBA,” Dayton coach Anthony Grant said. “And he felt it was in his best interest to leave school to do it. I’m not trying to judge his decision in terms of basketball, but the timing of his leaving did surprise me with just six weeks of school left.”

     

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Blue Jays reliever Roberto Osuna suspended 75 games 

Published: Saturday, June 23, 2018 @ 5:11 AM

Toronto Blue Jays reliever Roberto Osuna was suspended for 75 games.
Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images
Toronto Blue Jays reliever Roberto Osuna was suspended for 75 games.(Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

Toronto Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuna was suspended for 75 games without pay, retroactive to May 8, for violating baseball’s domestic violence policy, the New York Daily News reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Osuna, 23, an All-Star in 2017, was charged with one count of assault in Toronto and was put on administrative leave, the Daily News reported. The right-hander has not pitched since May 6. 

Osuna has nine saves and a 2.93 ERA in 15 games.

The suspension will cost Osuna $2.54 million of his annual $5.3 million salary, the Daily News reported. He will participate in an evaluation and treatment program, which is confidential and supervised by the joint policy board of Major League Baseball and the players’ association, the newspaper reported.

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Sorting through some 2026 World Cup questions

Published: Saturday, June 23, 2018 @ 2:41 AM

Xherdan Shaqiri of Switzerland shoots past Dusko Tosic of Serbia during the Friday's match at the World Cup in Russia.
Clive Rose/Getty Images
Xherdan Shaqiri of Switzerland shoots past Dusko Tosic of Serbia during the Friday's match at the World Cup in Russia.(Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Soccer’s international governing body, FIFA, voted last week to play the 2026 World Cup in the United States, Mexico and Canada.

>> Read more trending news

And while the announcement raised much excitement in North American soccer circles, it left questions that won’t be fully answered for years. Here are some of them.

WHICH CITIES WILL HOST MATCHES? 

Sixteen North American cities -- at least 10 in the United States -- will be chosen by FIFA in 2020 or 2021 to host matches. Those 16 choices will come from 23 “candidate cities.” FIFA will have negotiating leverage in whittling the number.

The U.S. host cities will be chosen from among these candidates: Atlanta (Mercedes-Benz Stadium), Baltimore (M&T Bank Stadium), Boston (Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts), Cincinnati (Paul Brown Stadium), Dallas (AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas), Denver (Broncos Stadium at Mile High), Houston (NRG Stadium), Kansas City (Arrowhead Stadium), Los Angeles (Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, California, or the new NFL stadium under construction), Miami (Hard Rock Stadium), Nashville (Nissan Stadium), New York (MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey), Orlando, Florida (Camping World Stadium), Philadelphia (Lincoln Financial Field), San Francisco (Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California), Seattle (CenturyLink Field) and Washington (FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland.) 

In addition, current plans call for matches to be played in up to three cities in Canada (Edmonton, Montreal and Toronto) and up to three in Mexico (Guadalajara, Mexico City and Monterrey). 

"We are blessed with 23 really world-class stadiums -- some iconic, some brand-new cutting-edge and everything in between," U.S. Soccer president Carlos Cordeiro said. "I think it will be a very difficult decision to make … when we have to determine the final 16 cities. But it’s a high-class problem.”

Under current plans, 60 matches will be played in the U.S., 10 in Canada and 10 in Mexico. 

WHAT IS THE COST OF HOSTING? 

It helps that no new stadiums will have to be built in North America for the event, but the costs of security, transportation and other requirements will be considerable in any host city. 

“We’ve been told during the bid process it is on the level of (hosting) a Super Bowl,” said Dan Corso, president of the Atlanta Sports Council and chairman of Atlanta’s World Cup committee. “We have not gotten into too much detail on that yet, but we will during this next phase of the process.” 

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