Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Nats' Scherzer Deals No-Hitter, Wins Game and Fans

A well-creased, rain-dampened program from Saturday (Copyright / W. Nationals)
Washington - On Saturday at Nationals Park, Max Scherzer of the Nats had the crowd standing in the day's fading light as he closed out a 6-0 no-hitter against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Scherzer is certainly well-paid for his efforts but even if expectations are held to a level commensurate to his lofty salary, he more than earned his keep with his pitching and sportsmanship.

The 30-year old, right-handed, St. Louis native lost a perfect game to a strategically tucked elbow with two outs and a two-strike count in the ninth. It was on a pitch perhaps an inch inside the plate, and the Pirates' Jose Tabata held fast and took the offering off his padded left elbow, ending Scherzers' otherwise perfect effort.

To his credit, Scherzer (8-5) retired the final Pirate, Josh Harrison, for the no-hitter and had nothing negative to say after the game about Tabata's well-placed flinch.

"I kind of lost a little control over it. It backed up on me. I have no qualms about it whatever. That's just baseball. He did what he needed to do. So kudos to him, actually," said Scherzer after the game.

The win helped the Nationals to a three-game sweep of the Bucs and to add an additional fan, south for the day from Baltimore.  - Tom Flynn

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

DC Grays' Article in Today's American Sports Network

Washington - Boxer Journal's Tom Flynn had the lead story in today's American Sports Network on the stellar efforts of the DC Grays and Washington Nationals to return top-flight college baseball to the inner-city.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Interview With Former MIAA-A Coach and New UC Lacrosse Coach - Pete Campbell

The UC Patriots will begin play in 2016 in the NAIA (photo / UC)
Williamsburg, KY - Pete Campbell, a former member of Severn, Maryland's Archbishop Spalding's lacrosse staff has moved up to the college level to become the first head coach at the University of the Cumberlands (formerly Cumberland College). The Patriots are members of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) which is hosting its first lacrosse showcase in late July in Kansas City. Prior to his coaching career, Campbell was a standout goalie for Ohio's Marrietta College.

Campbell has been actively recruiting in Maryland and has signed Henry Quaye (Seneca Valley HS) and Kody Swann of Newburgh (Maurice J. McDonough HS). Brian Morgan of Easton (Easton HS) was the program's first-ever commit.

Q: How did you end up at Archbishop Spalding and in your experience coaching there within the MIAA-A what was a hallmark of some of the best teams? What was successful for you at Spalding?

A: I was a high school coach in Columbus, Ohio and we'd just finished a 14-3 season and Bear Davis, who at the time was the head coach at Spalding gave me a call and asked if I would be interested in a teaching and coaching position at Spalding. Bear has known me since I was a senior in high school and he has followed my playing and coaching career and told me he liked how I was able to develop programs.

Coaching in the MIAA-A conference at any level is very demanding and a couple of things standout as far as the best teams.

1) Skills and knowledge of the game that allowed players to do things at a faster pace than others.

2) The level of intensity that every player brought to not only the game but the practice field as well. They were always playing hard and played a very unselfish style of lacrosse. At Spalding we were successful playing a hybrid box/field style of lacrosse and dictating tempo against our opponents.

Q: What made you decide it was time to break into the college ranks?

A: Coaching at the college level was always a dream of mine since I started coaching lacrosse. When the University of the Cumberlands contacted me I knew that if I didn't take this opportunity now that it might never happen. When I stepped onto our campus I knew that the school was the right school for me to break into the college ranks.

Q: It's pretty unique that the NAIA/MCLA have an integrated relationship as far as competition. Do you think with so many programs popping up in the South that a new NCAA DIII team might be a possible opponent?

A: Absolutely, at the University of the Cumberlands we joined the Appalachian Athletic Conference with seven other NAIA schools that already sponsor men's lacrosse at the varsity level. So we will have a conference tournament and an AQ into the NAIA tournament [when it inaugurates]. Our out-of-conference games will be mainly other NAIA schools mixed in with some DII and newer DIII programs from the South and Midwest. Our first two games this fall are Lincoln Memorial University (NCAA Division II) and Centre College (NCAA Division III). We are working on finalizing our schedule and I am hoping to have at least two or three NCAA opponents and a 14-game regular season schedule.

Q: What are your thoughts on attending the NAIA showcase in St. Louis in late July? It sounds like a smart format, and as you know from being in Maryland we get many showcases for high school athletes and also will be invited to work out as specific colleges. Bringing the NAIA kids into one spot should help the coaches' efforts.  

A: I'm very excited to go to St. Louis in late July for the NAIA showcase because it's another opportunity to see guys from different areas. It is all bringing in guys who are interested in playing NAIA in one spot so all the coaches can have the opportunity to evaluate the talent and see who would be a good first for all of our programs. We are also planning on having our own prospect camp in the future.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Maryland Baseball Stuns UCLA, Advances to Super Regional

Maryland topped UCLA to advance to the Super Regional (photo / umterps.com)
Los Angeles - Three straight 11:00 ET games on the West Coast against the nation's top team proved no barrier for the Maryland Terrapins. It's hard to picture what will in 2015.

At UCLA's Jackie Robinson Stadium in Los Angeles, the Terps beat the #1-ranked Bruins, 2-1, on Monday night to advance to the NCAA's Super Regional round. Their opponent will be a familiar one in the University of Virginia Cavaliers. Last year the Cavs ousted the Terps in a best-of-three Super Regional series to advance ultimately to a narrow loss to Vanderbilt in the national championship game.

The Terps' freshman right-hander Taylor Bloom laid firm claim to the elusive "clutch" label through six innings of commanding starting pitching for Maryland (42-22). The Crofton native and Riverdale Baptist grad struck out two and was effective with a change-up that ran down and away from UCLA's left-handed batters.

As clocks passed 2:00 AM on the far side of  the continent in the Terps' hometown of College Park, Kevin Mooney notched his 11th save of the season after three outstanding innings of relief. In the ninth, the righty from North Harford dropped a sharp 2-2 curveball over the plate to freeze Bruin (45-16) catcher Darrell Miller, Jr. with UCLA baserunners on the corners.

In the opposite dugout, Maryland catcher Kevin Martir was 3-3 on the evening to lead the Terrapins offensively.

Maryland is scheduled to face their former ACC conference foe Virginia (37-22) at Charlottesville on Friday at 4:00 PM to open the series. That game will be followed by a 3:00 PM start on Saturday and if necessary a third game on Sunday at 3:00 PM. All three will be broadcast locally in Baltimore on ESPNU.

Maryland head coach John Szefc, who's led the Terps to back-to-back single season victory records, was asked after the game about the upcoming rematch with the Cavs.

“That’s the place where we wanted to be. On selection Monday when we saw that UVa was there and we might be paired up with them at some point, we knew we had some unfinished business to take care of there. Last year it was a great series, and this year is going to be the same thing. It’s going to be a dogfight all the way to the end. That’s really what we wanted," said Szefc.

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