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Published: Sunday, August 06, 2017 @ 4:36 PM
— A lot of high school athletes can’t wait for the recruiting process to end, but Joseph Scates isn’t one of those guys. Dunbar’s highly touted receiver admits he likes the attention.
“It’s always been fun,” he said. “Ever since my sophomore year when I first started to get recruited I fell in love with the recruiting process.”
What’s not to like with schools like Alabama, West Virginia, Michigan State and Louisville offering scholarships to play for the best college programs in the country.
Scates isn’t quite ready to make his decision public just yet. He told me he’s down to two schools, Alabama and West Virginia, and he likely won’t make a verbal commitment until sometime after the first quarter of the school year.
That means the recruiting process will carry into the first half of his senior season at Dunbar, giving him a chance to make some official visits to the schools that are courting him.
It certainly seems like Alabama is the front runner to land Scates. He’s often seen wearing Crimson Tide hats and T-shirts around the halls at school.
Published: Tuesday, April 24, 2018 @ 9:50 AM
— Chalk one up for Jim Riggleman.
The interim manager of the Cincinnati Reds moved Scott Schebler up to the leadoff spot, and the offense promptly exploded for 10 runs in a victory over the Braves.
Schebler was a big part of it, going 2 fo 5 with three RBIs and three runs scored.
He hit the first Reds home run in a week and made Riggleman look pretty smart.
Not that I get the impression that was what the skipper was really going for:
“We’re 3-and-whatever we are,” Riggleman said before the game. “We’ve got to try anything.”
Sometimes managerial magic is interchangeable with luck, and I think we can all agree “anything” is better than the first three weeks of the season for the Reds.
Riggleman also sounds committed to batting Billy Hamilton ninth until he starts to look like a real major-league hitter, so I guess we can rule out the second coming of Dusty Baker here (old-school baseball man who insists on speed at the top of the lineup regardless of on-base percentage).
It is amazing how quickly this became a put-up-or-ship-out season for Hamilton, who apparently could have been traded in December and now may have a lot less value after a bad spring and worse start to the regular season.
Sal Romano pitched six good innings, striking out five and allowing only one earned run, to get his first win of the season.
Sports Today RT: @marcushartman sorts out reactions to the firing of Bryan Price, locals make mark on @OhioStateFB in spring, thoughts on the @Bengals schedule and more https://t.co/HfzMonxLrB pic.twitter.com/ObosrqzrIS— daytonsports (@daytonsports) April 20, 2018
More good news: Eugenio Suarez should be back in a Reds uniform soon. The third baseman is scheduled to play in Triple-A for Louisville tonight on a rehab assignment for his fractured thumb.
It’s probably too late to salvage a .500 record this season, but the Reds offense should look a heck of a lot better with Suarez and Schebler back in the lineup.
At least management should still get a chance to sort out which of the guys in the majors deserve to be in Cincinnati long term and who can be moved out to make room for youngsters moving up in the improved farm system.
There was some bad news, though.
Hunter Greene was knocked around as the Dayton Dragons lost their third straight game.
The Reds’ most-recent first-round pick took his first loss of the season after failing to get out of the first inning.
He allowed seven runs, including a grand slam, and recorded only two outs.
Greene walked three and gave up four hits.
For what it’s worth, three of the runs charged to Greene scored with Austin Orewiler on the mound in relief.
I mention that because Greene showed a knack for getting out of trouble in his first two starts.
If you’re keeping score, he’s gone from great to average to pretty bad in three times out for Dayton.
PREVIOUSLY: Greene battles elements in second start
Bumps in the road were always to be expected, of course, especially for such a young fella.
It will be interesting to see how he bounces back and how quickly he can develop a game plan for hitters who are willing to wait for his fastball and can lay off his breaking stuff.
The Dragons are the definition of streaky so far, having lost three in a row to start the season, won nine and now lost three more in a row…
Dayton Flyers Head Coach @Shauna_Green in the spotlight in this week’s “Stay Right There” podcast. Check it out and make sure you like us and leave a review. @UDWomensBball @whiotv @daytonsports https://t.co/qKTytLiPZD— Mike Hartsock (@MHartsockWHIO) April 24, 2018
Dayton Flyers basketball made news Monday, too, as one player announced he is joining up and another announced where he is going next.
Frank Policelli, a 6-foot-8 forward from Long Island, will be eligible to help Anthony Grant’s team this fall after verbally committed Monday.
He is a three-star top 300 recruit in the 2018 class who played AAU ball with current Flyer Obadiah Toppin.
Meanwhile, Xeyrius Williams revealed he plans to continue his college basketball career at Akron.
The former Wayne High School star was a starter two seasons ago but opted to transfer after an injury-plagued junior season.
At 6-9 with the ability to shoot the three, he could be a force in the MAC -- but not until 2019-20.
Published: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 3:18 PM
When Preston Brown walked through the Bengals locker room for the first time after signing a one-year, $5 million contract, he noticed his number — 52 — already was assigned to Brandon Bell.
“I’ll have a talk with him and see what we can work out,” Brown said.
But that conversation never happened.
“When I showed up last week (for the start of voluntary offseason workouts), I already had it,” Brown said.
Bell was just as surprised was Brown, but he said he understood.
“It’s a veteran thing,” Bell said. “I get it. They say we’re still rookies. I don’t mind it too much. It is what it is.”
›› RELATED: Cincinnati Bengals 7-round mock draft
Bell wore 11 in college so he didn’t have an attachment to 52. This year he will wear 51, which belonged to Kevin Minter last year.
Even though Bell didn’t have a say in the swap, Brown said he still plans to thank him.
“I’m going to have to take him out to dinner or something,” Brown said.
“I’ll take him up on that offer,” Bell said. “A nice steak would be great.”
Published: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 9:55 PM
CINCINNATI — The Cincinnati Reds hit a home run for the first time in eight days. They grabbed a lead for the first time in 50 innings. They scored more than three runs for the first time in a week.
Most importantly, the Reds won a game, snapping a five-game losing streak by beating the Atlanta Braves 10-4 on Monday in the opener of a four-game series at Great American Ball Park.
With a 4-18 record, the Reds still have the worst record in baseball, and they are still off to their worst start through 22 games in franchise history. This was the first win for interim Reds manager Jim Riggleman, who took the reins after the firing of Bryan Price and was swept in his first series in St. Louis.
“I was involved in a situation in Chicago many years ago where we got off to a horrendous start,” Riggleman said before the game. “I’ve been through it. A great baseball man, Buddy Bell, went through that in Kansas City. I was able to say that to the players. We’ve been through it. We can handle this. You’ve got to handle it. The way to handle it is to get out of it. We’re going to get out of it. Our players are focused and will always be giving a great effort. The sooner the better, of course.”
Here’s a quick recap of the game:
Small crowd: The announced attendance was 9,463, though there were many fewer people in the stands. At the start of the game, there were only four people sitting in the upper deck in left field.
It was the smallest crowd at Great American Ball Park this season and the smallest since Aug. 31, 2009, when a crowd of 9,087 watched the Reds beat the Pirates 6-3. That was the last time the Reds had a crowd smaller than 10,000.
Drought ends: With the Reds down 2-0, Scott Schebler, hitting lead-off for the first time this season, hit a game-tying, two-run home run in the fifth inning. It was the first home run for the Reds since their last home game on April 15 against the Cardinals. They didn’t hit a home run on the six-game road trip that concluded Sunday in St. Louis.
» RELATED: Price says he will keep pulling for Reds
Schebler hopes this victory eases the pressure on the offense, which ranks last in baseball in runs scored.
“It’s one of those things where the whole season it felt like we never had momentum,” Schebler said. “We were great offensively last year, and I full expect us to be like that the rest of the year.”
Big inning: The Reds scored five runs in the sixth. It was only the third time in 22 games they’ve led in the sixth.
Pinch hitter Jesse Winker drove in the go-ahead run with a single. Jose Peraza drove in the second run. Joey Votto walked with the bases loaded to drive in the third run. A single by Scooter Gennett drove in the final two runs.
“We’ve been having a hard time, and I was really proud of the guys,” Riggleman said. “We were down again after losing a lot of ballgames. Then we got it going. (Schebler) had a big hit for us.”
Costly mistake: The Braves took a 1-0 lead in the third thanks to an error by the Reds. Left fielder Adam Duvall’s wild throw to third base got by Cliff Pennington, allowing Dansby Swanson to score with one out.
Power display: Nick Markakis hit a solo home run in the fourth to give the Braves a 2-0 lead. It was the third home run of the season for Markakis.
Missed chance: Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart struck out with the bases loaded to end the first inning.
Published: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 5:02 PM
DAYTON — Former Dayton Flyers forward Xeyrius Williams will play his final season of college basketball at the University of Akron.
The Wayne High School graduate Williams announced his decision Monday. He will have to sit out the 2018-19 season and will finish his career with the Zips in the 2019-20 season. In posts to Twitter and Instagram, Williams thanked the Dayton fans who watched him play the last three seasons.
“You guys have been there through the ups and downs,” Williams wrote. “I also want to thank all the people, managers, coaches and especially my teammates/brothers who I had the opportunity to play alongside. You guys have all influenced my life in a positive way, and I’ll always cherish the brotherhood and the memories we made as a team.”
Williams also visited Kent State, according to his Instagram account.
Thank You Flyer Fans, I just want to take the time to thank all the Dayton fans. You guys have been there through the ups and downs. I also want to thank all the people, managers, coaches and especially my teammates/brothers, who I had the opportunity to play alongside. You guys have all influenced my life in a positive way and I’ll always cherish the brotherhood And the memories we made together as a team. Also I want to thank the coaches who recruited me this second go around. After strong consideration and prayer this was a tough decision. I’m choosing to leave Dayton and proceed with my academic and athletic career at The University of Akron #GoZips #PaybackSZN
Williams announced March 13 he was leaving Dayton. He was one of five underclassmen to leave the program. He appeared in 18 games last season, averaging 5.0 points and 3.1 rebounds as the Flyers finished 14-17. He had a breakout year as a sophomore, averaging 8.2 points and 4.8 rebounds.
» RELATED: Josh Cunningham named Dayton’s MVP
The season did not go as planned. Williams started the season in the starting lineup and played 34-plus minutes in each of the first four games, averaging 11.3 points. Then he missed the next five games with a back injury.