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Archive for May, 2013

The following players all received all-conference honors in the Ozark Conference

First team all-conference:
Taylor Gill - 1st base
Lane Scherff - infield
Dusty Harrill - pitcher   -  Dusty also received pitcher of the year award in conference, 
which goes to only one Ozark Conference pitcher.

Second team all-conference:
Logan Johnson- infield
Trey Turner- catcher

Honorable mention:
Tyler Joyce - infield
Dillon Neuschwander - outfield 
Matt Wernsing - Designated hitter
Dalton Freshour - pitcher

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Pirelli has dismissed allegations that it breached rules by conducting in-season tire testing with Mercedes, saying it acted fairly and professionally and the test offered no benefit to the German team.

The company, criticized because its tires were degrading too quickly this season, faces tough questions about the test that took place following the Spanish Grand Prix. Red Bull and Ferrari launched protests regarding the test after Sunday’s Monaco GP, which was won by Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg.

Pirelli Motorsport Director Paul Hembery says the tires tested were for the 2014 season, so offered no competitive advantage to Mercedes. Hembery says several teams were offered a chance to test, but Mercedes was the first to take up the offer.


PARIS (AP) — Serena Williams advanced to the fourth round at the French Open by beating Sorana Cirstea 6-0, 6-2 Friday.

Williams, a 15-time Grand Slam champion, seeks her first French Open title since 2002. She hasn’t reached the semifinal since 2003.

Ranked No. 1, Williams has won a career-best 27 consecutive matches. Since losing in the first round a year ago at Roland Garros, Williams is 70-3, including titles at Wimbledon, the U.S. Open, the London Olympics and the season-ending WTA Championships.

Against the No. 26-seeded Cirstea, Williams committed only 16 unforced errors. She has lost six games in three matches.

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Jeff Francoeur and Eric Hosmer combined for three RBIs in the ninth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals’ bullpen and the Kansas City Royals spoiled Michael Wacha’s almost spotless debut, snapping an eight-game losing streak with a soggy 4-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday night.

Hall of Famer George Brett’s debut as interim batting coach was a success and the Royals avoided a four-game sweep despite totaling just four hits in a marathon delayed an hour before the first pitch and another 4 hours, 32 minutes not long after the Royals took the lead with the bases loaded and none out in the top of the ninth.

It took 12 minutes to get the last six outs of a game that would have been a snappy 2 hours, 27 minutes without the rain.

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The St. Louis Cardinals purchased the contract of pitcher Michael Wacha to make his major league debut against the Royals.

The Cardinals optioned right-handed pitcher Michael Blazek to Triple-A Memphis.

To clear space on the 40-man roster, left-hander Jaime Garcia was transferred from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL. Garcia is out for the season after shoulder surgery.

The 21-year-old Wacha was 4-0 with a 2.05 ERA that led the Pacific Coast League at Memphis. He’ll be the eighth rookie pitcher to appear on the Cardinals roster and the 10th pitcher age 25 or younger.

Blazek was recalled Sunday from Double-A Springfield after lefty starter John Gast went on the DL with a shoulder injury, and did not appear in any games.

DESTIN, Fla. (AP) — The Southeastern Conference is negotiating with St. Louis, Tampa, Fla., and Atlanta to host future men’s basketball tournaments.

Commissioner Mike Slive said Thursday the league is in talks with those cities to fill upcoming vacancies in the rotation. The SEC wants to narrow its locations down to a primary spot. Nashville, Tenn., is hosting the event in 2015, 2016 and 2019.

St. Louis (2017), Tampa (2018) and Atlanta (2020) are expected to fill the holes.

The league is looking for a primary site after having success with permanent models in Atlanta (football) and Hoover, Ala. (baseball).

Slive says, “People get comfortable. They know when it is, they know where it is, they know where they’re gonna stay, they know where they’re gonna eat, they know where the seats are.”

The final four teams in the NHL playoffs feature the last four champions for the second time in league history and for the first time since 1945, when the league consisted of just the Original Six.

Chicago hosts the defending champion Los Angeles Kings in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals on Saturday and Pittsburgh plays Boston at home in the Eastern Conference finals opener in prime time that night.

Before the puck drops for the double-header, the only one scheduled unless both series go to Game 7 on June 12, here are six storylines to watch.

THE KINGS’ QUEST: Los Angeles is attempting to become the first team to repeat as Stanley Cup champions since the Detroit Red Wings in 1997 and 1998, and the first franchise to win two titles in the NHL’s eight-season, salary-cap era. The fifth-seeded Kings can take a big step toward accomplishing the feat if they can finish off top-seeded Chicago, which was pushed to the brink of elimination by seventh-seeded Detroit.

QUICK IS THE NAME: Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick has been tough to beat – again – but can he keep up the pace for his offensively challenged team? The reigning Conn Smythe winner is leading the league with three shutouts and a .948 save percentage in the playoffs and he’s giving up just 1.5 goals a game. Los Angeles, meanwhile, isn’t helping Quick out much offensively, averaging just two goals a game to trail the other three teams still playing in scoring by a large margin.

POWERLESS PLAY: Chicago’s penalty-killers have been almost perfect, allowing Detroit and Minnesota to combine for only one goal on 41 power plays. Goalie Corey Crawford has had a lot to do with that, helping the Blackhawks make a run after their championship season in 2010 was followed up by consecutive first-round exits. The only time Chicago has given up a power-play goal was in Game 4 against the Red Wings, who went on to win and take a 3-1 lead in the series.

POTENT PENGUINS: Superstar Sidney Crosby has been simply spectacular with seven goals. No one could’ve guessed his teammate, Pascal Dupuis, also would have seven goals – to share the league lead – to match his scoring total from the previous five postseasons combined. The duo isn’t doing it alone. Kris Letang has an NHL-high 13 assists and 16 points to match Evgeni Malkin for the most on the team. Jarome Iginla has 12 points in 11 postseason games, slightly surpassing his production in 13 regular-season games after being traded to Pittsburgh.

CAN HE KEEP IT UP? The fourth-seeded Bruins’ best chance to eliminate the East’s top team is to figure out a way to get to goalie Tomas Vokoun, who is 6-1 since replacing Marc-Andre Fleury in the first round against the New York Islanders. The 36-year-old Vokoun, playing on his third team in three seasons, has played in his way into being in a postseason net for the first time since 2007 with Nashville. Boston’s David Krejci leads the league with 17 points to surpass his strong pace during Boston’s 2011 championship season.

ISN’T THAT SPECIAL: Pittsburgh has been the NHL’s best team on the power play, scoring on 13 of 46 chances, to move halfway toward its goal of winning it all again for the first time since 2009. Boston, meanwhile, has allowed seven goals in 37 short-handed situations, the most of the four teams still playing. The Bruins will likely lean a lot on defenseman Zdeno Chara to slow down the Penguins. The 2009 Norris Trophy winner is averaging 29-plus minutes a game, more than any active player in this postseason.

BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — Cliff Meely, one of the best basketball players to ever play at the University of Colorado, has died. He was 65.

The school said in a news release Wednesday that Meely died at Boulder Community Hospital on Tuesday from complications from a blood infection.

Meely was born in Rosedale, Miss., and went to high school in Chicago.

He played for Colorado from 1968-71 and averaged 24.3 points per game, a school record that still stands. He went on to play six seasons in the NBA with Houston and the Los Angeles Lakers.

He was living in Boulder and frequently attended Colorado men’s and women’s basketball games at the Coors Events Center.

The school says Meely was “generally in good health,” but developed septic shock from the infection and died unexpectedly.

BALDWIN, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan sheriff says there’s no firm timetable on the release of additional test results that might help determine the cause of death of a former national championship-winning quarterback.

Autopsy results released Wednesday didn’t pinpoint what caused Cullen Finnerty’s death.

Lake County Sheriff Robert Hilts says there was no obvious sign of heart trauma. Foul play isn’t suspected.

The sheriff said Thursday morning it’s unclear when brain and toxicology test results might come back, but he’s “hoping maybe sometime” later in the day.

The 30-year-old Finnerty won more than 50 games and three national championships at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Mich., the last in 2006. His body was discovered Tuesday in some woods in western Michigan after he disappeared during a family trip to a cottage.


Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Michael Wacha has some tough acts to follow, given St. Louis Cardinals rookie pitchers have already combined for 12 victories.

Less than a year after the Cardinals drafted him in the first round out of Texas A&M, the team’s top pitching prospect believes he’s here to stay — even though he’s on the fast track due to necessity.

The 21-year-old right-hander was 4-0 and led the Pacific Coast League with a 2.05 ERA. The Cardinals wanted Wacha to get more minor league experience, so they called up less-celebrated John Gast and Tyler Lyons the first two times they needed to plug in a starter.

Wacha will be the team’s eighth rookie pitcher to appear this year and third to debut as a starter Thursday night against the Royals in place of Gast, who is out with a shoulder injury. During a media scrum that accompanied the heightened expectations, Wacha mentioned the word fun a lot and didn’t seem concerned.


R.B. FALLSTROM,AP Sports Writer
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.