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PREVIEW: Ohio State Buckeyes seek bounce back vs. Michigan State

Published: Friday, November 10, 2017 @ 9:36 AM


            Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio talks on the Big Ten Network at Big Ten Media Days at McCormick Place in Chicago on Monday, July 24, 2017. David Jablonski/Staff
Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio talks on the Big Ten Network at Big Ten Media Days at McCormick Place in Chicago on Monday, July 24, 2017. David Jablonski/Staff

Who: No. 12 Michigan State (7-2, 5-1) at No. 13 Ohio State (7-2, 5-1)

When: Noon Saturday

Where: Ohio Stadium in Columbus

TV/Radio: FOX/1410

Series history: Ohio State leads 30-15. The Buckeyes on 17-16 last season in East Lansing, Mich. The Spartans won 17-14 two seasons ago in Columbus. This is the sixth time in the last eight meetings both teams have been ranked in the top 20.

Last game: On Nov. 4, Ohio State lost 55-24 at Iowa, and Michigan State won 27-24 at home against Penn State.

Coaches: Ohio State’s Urban Meyer is 68-8 in his sixth season. Mark Dantonio is 97-44 in his 11th season at Michigan State. Dantonio is 3-5 against Ohio State as the Michigan State head coach.

Ohio State notes: The Buckeyes rank 20th in the country in rush offense (235.3 yards per game). … Center Billy Price will break the school record for consecutive starts. This will be his 51st. He tied Luke Fickell last week. … The Buckeyes rank eighth in the nation with 74 tackles for a loss. … Johnnie Dixon leads Ohio State with eight touchdown catches. Four of his last seven catches have been for touchdowns. He ranks third in the nation with 24.2 yards per catch. … Running back J.K. Dobbins averages 101.6 yards per game. … Safety Jordan Fuller leads the team with 52 tackles.

Michigan State notes: Brian Lewerke ranks fifth in the Big Ten in passing yards per game (245.2). … Felton Davis is tied for the Big Ten lead with eight touchdown receptions. … The Spartans rank third in the nation in rush defense (87.0 yards per game). … Michigan State’s losses are to Notre Dame (38-17) and Northwestern (39-31 in triple overtime). … The Spartans made the biggest one-year jump in the four-year history of the College Football Playoffs this week, moving from No. 24 to No. 12 after beating Penn State.

Quoted: “A great challenge waits for us down in Ohio,” Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio said. “We have 26 players from the state of Ohio. Ten of them start for us. It’s exciting for them to go down and play in front of really, as close to their hometown probably as they can get, and I’m sure they will be motivated for that.”

Next game: On Nov. 18, Ohio State hosts Illinois at either noon or 3:30/4 p.m., and Michigan State hosts Maryland at a time to be announced.

Prediction: Michigan State 30, Ohio State 27

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Dayton offers scholarships to two more 2019 recruits

Published: Tuesday, June 19, 2018 @ 6:26 PM

Dayton Flyers: A look at 2018-19 roster

Two more 2019 recruits earned scholarship offers from the Dayton Flyers on Tuesday.

• Moulaye Sissoko is a 6-foot-10 center originally from Mali in West Africa. He attends Lincoln Academy in Atlanta. The school reported his offer on Twitter. Sissoko is a three-star prospect who ranks 288th in the class, according to 247Sports.com. Mississippi State, Penn State and South Carolina are among the other schools to offer him scholarships.

» RELATED: Casey Cathrall reflects on year with Dayton

• Lester Quinones, a 6-5 shooting guard at St. Benedicts Prep in Newark, N.J., also received an offer, according to Pat Lawless, of PrepCircuit.com. Quinones is a four-star recruit who ranks 69th in the class of 2019, according to 247Sports.com. Connecticut, Illinois and Providence are among the other schools recruiting him.

List of reported offers

» 2019 OFFERS: Tre WilliamsDontaie AllenMaceo AustinAndre GordonTyler Bertram Tyson EtienneJovan Blacksher Jr.Diante Smith Toumani CamaraKira LewisPrince Gillam and Ismael Cruz | Joshua Pierre-Louis

» 2020 OFFERS: Zeb JacksonSymir Torrence | Andre Curbelo  | Posh Alexander | Max Amadasun | Luke Kasubke

» 2021 OFFERS: Wesley Cardet | Franck Kepnang

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How successful was the Dayton Dragons’ first half?

Published: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 3:07 PM

Fans take over during a 7th inning stretch in Peoria????€??™s 5-2 defeat of the Dragons

The Dayton Dragons wrapped up the first half of the Midwest League season with an 8-0 loss to West Michigan on Sunday

Let’s take a closer look at what’s been an up-and-down season so far for the Cincinnati Reds’ Single-A affiliate. 

1. After losing their last four games, the Dragons finished with a record 31-37. 

Dayton finished the first half in sixth place in the Eastern division, 15.5 games behind leader Bowling Green. 

This marks a major departure from last season when the Dragons streaked through the first half and had clinched a wildcard berth when it was over. 

2. Speaking of streaks, those have marked 2018 for Dayton. 

The Dragons opened the season on a three-game losing streak. 

Then they won their next nine only to lose eight in a row. 

After that came a six-game winning streak. 

Things leveled off to a certain extent after that, but there were still losing streaks of seven and eight games along with a five-game winning streak. 

3. Home sweet home? 

The Dragons were a league-worst 9-23 on the road in the first half. 

They posted a 22-14 mark in front of the fans at Fifth Third Field, however, and that might not come as much of a surprise for a roster that is pretty young. 

Speaking of youth... 

4. Jeter has notable name and game. 

Many of the preseason headlines were devoted to Hunter Greene, the 18-year-old pitching phenom with the triple-digit fastball who was the No. 2 pick in last year’s MLB draft

However, the best teenager on the team so far has been Jeter Downs. 

The infielder leads the team in hits (68) and stolen bases (18) while sharing the team lead in doubles (15) with Montrell Marshall.  

RedsMinorLeagues.com notes Downs, who turns 20 on July 27, has already put up some impressive power numbers compared to previous teenage Dragons

5. What about Greene, anyway? 

Hunter Greene made 12 starts in the first half and finished with a 5.53 ERA. That is the best it has been since he gave up seven runs in less than an inning during his third start. 

Green has allowed six runs and seven walks over 23.3 innings in his last five starts. He has struck out 27 while walking seven and allowing 20 hits. 

RELATED: Greene loses pitchers’ duel

He has gradually worked up his pitch count, throwing 86 his last time out, and shown that while he is raw, Reds fans have a lot to be excited about. 

Reds top pick strikes out eight hitters in three innings in first appearance in Dayton

6. Catcher impresses.  

One of Greene’s batterymates, Hendrick Clementina has been the team’s best hitter so far. 

A catcher acquired in the Tony Cingrani trade, Clementina is has a team-best .971 OPS and also leads the club in batting (.316), homers (nine) and RBIs (35). 

He is one of five teams to make the all-star team, joining outfielder Marshall, outfield Stuart Fairchild and pitchers Cory Thompson and John Ghyzel. 

7. Final verdict. 

Was this a successful first half for the Dragons? 

In record, obviously not. 

The Dragons had the worst on-base percentage in the Midwest League and finished 12th in runs scored. They also had the worst team ERA in the league. 

Development is the name of the game at this level, though, and a handful of the guys in Green look like keepers. 

That includes Greene, who appears to be on the right track after a rocky run in late April and early May

Was last season’s postseason appearance a freak occurrence? That remains to be seen, but at least fans at Fifth Third Field were more likely to see a win than a loss. 

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Romano, Votto lead Reds past Tigers

Published: Tuesday, June 19, 2018 @ 10:44 PM

Reds starter Sal Romano pitches against the Tigers on Tuesday, June 19, 2018, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.
David Jablonski - Staff Writer
Reds starter Sal Romano pitches against the Tigers on Tuesday, June 19, 2018, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.(David Jablonski - Staff Writer)

Sal Romano delivered one of his best starts of the season as the Cincinnati Reds beat the Detroit Tigers 9-5 in the opener of a two-game series Tuesday at Great American Ball Park.

Romano pitched seven scoreless innings. He allowed four hits and walked four. He struck out six.

» RELATED: Suarez playing like an all-star

Romano pitched a season-high eight innings in his previous start against the Royals in Kansas City, allowing one run on four hits June 12. In his last two starts, he has lowered his ERA from 6.23 to 5.18.

Joey Votto got the Reds on the board with a grand slam in the third. He shooed a bird away from the plate two pitches before the home run and then flapped his arms as he crossed home plate.

Tucker Barnhart drove in the Reds’ fifth run with a double in the fourth. Billy Hamilton hit a solo home run in the sixth. Adam Duvall drove in two runs with a bases-loaded double in the sixth to make it 8-0.

The Tigers didn’t get on the board until the ninth when Wandy Peralta allowed five earned earned runs on four hits without recording an out.

The Reds (27-45), who have won five of their last seven games, lead the all-time series against Detroit 12-11.

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Bird gets front-row seat to grand slam by Reds’ Votto

Published: Tuesday, June 19, 2018 @ 8:44 PM

The Reds' Joey Votto and Billy Hamilton celebrate at home plate after a grand slam by Votto in the third inning against the Tigers on Tuesday, June 19, 2018, at Great American Ball Park.
David Jablonski - Staff Writer
The Reds' Joey Votto and Billy Hamilton celebrate at home plate after a grand slam by Votto in the third inning against the Tigers on Tuesday, June 19, 2018, at Great American Ball Park.(David Jablonski - Staff Writer)

A bird was the word for the Cincinnati Reds in the third inning Tuesday at Great American Ball Park.

With the bases loaded and no outs, Joey Votto came to the plate only to be distracted by a black bird watching him hit from steps in front of home plate. He took two steps toward the pitcher’s mound to shoo it away, and it moved behind the mound. Two pitches later, Votto hit a grand slam to give the Reds a 4-0 lead against the Detroit Tigers.

» RELATED: Suarez playing like an all-star

As Votto approached home plate, he flapped his arms. It was Votto’s first home run since May 13. He hadn’t hit a home run in 30 games.

Votto appeared in his 1,500th game Sunday in Pittsburgh. He’s part of an infield that leads baseball in combined batting average (.288) and on-base percentage (.362).

The Reds' Joey Votto hits a grand slam in the third inning against the Tigers on Tuesday, June 19, 2018, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.(David Jablonski - Staff Writer)

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