Monthly Archives May 2020

CBA baseball dealing with injury-filled season

first_imgBY DOUG McKENZIE Correspondent Not many high school baseball teams could lose two of its top three pitchers to injuries and still find itself in the midst of a heated divisional race. But that is exactly what the team from Christian Brothers Academy is doing this spring, as a number of players have stepped up and contributed on the mound for head coachMarty Kenney and his Colts. “We’ve kind of had our ups and downs thus far,” Kenney said. “We’ve played very well against some very good teams, and played poorly against some other teams. We just haven’t found that consistency.” The Colts were 5-3 entering what promised to be a very busy week, but could easily have a much better record. “I think we could have been 7-1 or 6-2 with how well we’ve played,” Kenney said. “I think in two of our three losses we just beat ourselves. There was one game where we got flat-out beat, but the other two games we could have won. “I’m just hoping to turn things around this week. We’ve had a lot of guys get a chance to play so far, and we’re starting to see some guys pick it up.” Overcoming the loss of two starters could not have been easy, especially since Kenney didn’t know he wouldn’t have them at his disposal until the season began. “We lost a couple of guys who probably would have been our top two in (senior)Mike Zuppe and (junior) Nick Falcone,” the coach said. “They certainly would have been big contributors for us on the hill this year.” Zuppe, who is headed to the University of Pennsylvania on a baseball scholarship, has shut it down for the spring, after reinjuring his shoulder during the hockey season this past winter. “Zuppe didn’t play last year after initially hurting his throwing shoulder, but by mid-summer and into the fall, it was feeling better,” Kenney said. “But he told me that he took some hard hits during the hockey season, and it just reaggravated the injury.He tried to give it a go, and we planned on trying to put him at first base and hide him a little bit, but even swinging the bat he was hurting, so we decided he should probably just shut it down.” As for Falcone, he has already had arthroscopic surgery on his throwing shoulder. “Nick had some problems over the summer and thought it was just tendonitis,” Kenney said. “But when it was still bothering him in February, he had it checked out and they found a tear in the labrum.” In their absence, junior Pat Light has emerged as the team’s ace. “We expected good things from Pat anyway, and he has done a nice job, no question,” Kenney said. Sophomore Jim Yacobinis has also emerged as a legitimate varsity starter for the Colts, as has senior lefty John Moller. “Jim was very good in his last start, and has kept us in the game in his other starts,” Kenney said. “We’re expecting big things from him. He’s a big kid who throws hard and has a pretty good breaking ball. He’ll pitch in a lot of games this year. “And Moller has had a couple of good starts as well, and has kept us in the game.” Senior Jordan Gilruth is the Colts’ top reliever, but will get some starts when the games get backed up this spring, Kenney said. Junior Mike Rossi is another pitcher the coach plans to use a lot in relief. “We also might look to some sophomores as the year goes on to give us some starts,” Kenney said. Tyler Cuming (who is also an outfielder) and Mike Hanlon (a second baseman) were the top two pitchers for CBA’s freshman team a year ago, and will get some starts at varsity this year while also playing in the field. Offensively, the Colts are just starting to put it all together. Senior center fielder Steve McSherry, who is headed to Fordham University, has been hitting well, batting over .450 in the third spot in the lineup. Junior shortstop Anthony Cirillo has also looked strong in his second varsity season, hitting well over .400, while also seeing some time on the mound in relief. Junior Shawn Purvis is the second baseman and has impressed his coach with his play thus far. “He’s doing a nice job and consistently seems to be getting two or three hits a game,” the coach said. “He’s a little guy but he somehow manages to stroke base hits.” Junior third baseman Danny Avella is batting second for the Colts, and is beginning to draw comparisons to his older brother Vinny, who was an All-Stater while at CBA. “We expect Danny to have a big year,” Kenney said. “He’s similar to Vinny, just lefthanded.” Senior John Himmelman “didn’t play much last year but is contributing this year by driving in runs at a pretty good clip,” Kenney said. Senior Henry Rickewich is the team’s DH, while junior Zach Tanenbaum handles the catching duties. “Zach’s hitting clean-up for us and started off a little slow offensively,” Kenney said. “But the last couple of games he’s started to pick things up.” Where the Colts have struggled a bit has been with consistency. “There are games where we don’t score much, and then there are games where we score a lot, but I guess that comes with the territory,” Kenney said. “Whenwe lost toMiddletown South, 3-1, we had a number of guys, but we just couldn’t pick them up. Then we lost to Middletown North and left 18 men on base. “I guess you can say we’ve had somewhat of a problem with timely hitting. But we’re starting to show some signs of coming around the last couple of games.” And that’s not good news for the rest of the Shore. Despite their inconsistent play, CBA finds itself just one game behind Colts Neck in what is a wide-openANorth race. “Nobody’s really running away with it, although I think Colts Neck is probably the most talented team in the division,” Kenney said. This week promised to be an important one for the Colts’ divisional title hopes. After hosting Freehold Township yesterday, the Colts will face Middletown South today, also at home, and will likely have a Monmouth County Tournament game either tomorrow or Friday. On Saturday, CBA will travel to Marlboro for another divisional affair, and then will face the state’s top-seeded team from Don Bosco Prep on Saturday night at FirstEnergy Park in Lakewood as part of the Shore Challenge. As far as how he would set up his pitching rotation for Saturday’s twin bill, Kenney said it would depend on how the team fares this week. “As long as mathematically we’re still in (the divisional race), I’ll probably put more emphasis on the conference games,” he said. “If we can win both games this week, I think the Marlboro game becomes a little more important.”last_img read more

Schumacher showing moments of consciousness, says agent

first_imgBy Brian LoveSEVEN-TIME Formula 1 motor racing world champion Michael Schumacher, who suffered serious head injuries in a December skiing accident, is making progress and showing signs of waking from an artificial coma, his agent said yesterday.“Michael is making progress on his way. He shows moments of consciousness and awakening,” Sabine Kehm said in a statement.Schumacher, 45, slammed his head on a rock while skiing off-piste in the French Alps resort of Meribel on December 29 last year.The most successful Formula 1 champion of all time has been in a stable but critical condition since then in a hospital in the eastern French city of Grenoble.Doctors started lowering the retired German racing driver’s sedation at the end of January to wake him up from an artificial coma.“We are on his side during his long and difficult fight, together with the team of the hospital in Grenoble, and we keep remaining confident,” said the brief statement from Kehm.Schumacher, who won a record 91 Grand Prix victories, left the sport last year after a disappointing three-year comeback with Mercedes following an earlier retirement from Ferrari at the end of 2006.last_img read more

Tour de France set for battle royale on treacherous course

first_imgBy Julien PretotAlberto Contador will cement his status as the best Grand Tour rider of the modern era if he emerges as the winner of the ‘Big Four’s’ battle royale at the Tour de France – the most highly anticipated race in decades.The Spaniard is looking to achieve the Giro d’Italia/Tour double for the first time since the late Marco Pantani in 1998 but the competition has never been fiercer for the seven-time Grand Tour champion who will retire at the end of next year.Chris Froome, the 2013 champion, and Nairo Quintana, who hopes to become the first Colombian to win the Tour, look fresher while defending champion Vincenzo Nibali will also be in the mix on a treacherous course.The first goal will be to make it to the first rest day after riding on cobbles, through potentially bunch-splitting winds and mastering dangerous courses as well as a tricky team time trial, a discipline Team Sky have failed to master lately.“Organisers want to create a show every day, but they put the riders at risk,” Eusebio Unzue, Quintana’s Movistar team manager, told Reuters.Last year, Froome and Contador crashed out of the Tour and Nibali powered to victory as Quintana had skipped the race.This time, all four should be in decent shape when the three-week race starts in Utrecht, Netherlands, on Saturday.Should they fail, a swarm of second fiddles or young guns led by France’s Thibaut Pinot and Romain Bardet, will be ready to seize their opportunity in a very mountainous Tour.“If one of them (Pinot, Bardet or American Tejay van Garderen) attacks and we start looking at each other, it could change the Tour,” said Quintana, whose ability to attack far from the finish could disrupt Froome’s well-oiled Team Sky machine.Nibali, whose Astana team came close to losing their licence over doping problems, have looked out of from lately but he retained his Italian title last weekend in aggressive fashion, suggesting he has the legs to unsettle his rivals in the first week on the cobbles, just like he did last year.Contador, similarly, will use every opportunity to aggress Froome, and the Tinkoff-Saxo rider has probably marked the dangerous descent from the col d’Allos (stage 17), the highest point of the Tour, as an attacking chance.The last Tour featuring so many big guns was probably the vintage 1986 edition won by American Greg LeMond.This year’s race also features a handful of outsiders, such as Pinot, Bardet, Van Garderen and also France’s Warren Barguil and Britain’s Simon Yates, plus Spanish veterans Alejandro Valverde and Joaquim Rodriguez.Even if first-week stages usually reserved for them will finish uphill (Mur de Huy, Mur de Bretagne in stages 3 and 8), the sprinters will get their chance to shine.All signs point to a duel between the resurgent Mark Cavendish of Britain – looking to improve on his 25 stage wins – and man-of-the-season Alexander Kristoff of Norway in the absence of German Marcel Kittel, with another German, Andre Greipel, looking to snatch stage wins.They will be challenged in the points classification by Slovakia’s Peter Sagan, Germany’s John Degenkolb and Frenchmen Bryan Coquard and Nacer Bouhanni.For the first time an African team will be on the Tour when MTN-Qhubeka line up at the start in Utrecht.last_img read more

Ethnikos claim vital win in battle to avoid the drop

first_imgEthnikos Achnas secured a crucial 2-1 away win over Doxa Katokopias on Wednesday afternoon in the Cyprus football championship, boosting their relegation hopes.The victory sees Ethnikos end the day on 35 points, level with Pafos FC who were beaten at home 1-0 by Ermis, with two rounds of the playoffs remaining.Ayia Napa and Enosis Neon Paralimni have already dropped down to the second division.Leaders APOEL have the chance to seal their fourth straight title when they host second-placed AEK in Nicosia on Thursday (4pm) Results from the Cyprus football championship on Wednesday: Anorthosis 1-1 ApollonAris 0-1 AELDoxa 1-2 Ethnikos AchnasOmonia 2-0 Nea SalaminaPafos FC 0-1 Ermislast_img

Hamilton beats Rosberg to pole in Canada

first_imgLewis Hamilton swept to his fifth Canadian Grand Prix pole position on Saturday and piled more pressure on his championship-leading Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg.The triple Formula One world champion will seek to win in Montreal for the fifth time on Sunday, knowing he will retake the title lead if Rosberg draws a blank.The German is 24 points ahead after six of 21 races.Hamilton’s love affair with the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, where he took his first pole in 2007, continued as he seized the top slot with a time of one minute 12.812 seconds and beat Rosberg by 0.062.Two weeks after lucking into his first win of the season in Monaco, thanks to a Red Bull pitstop bungle, Hamilton provided further evidence that his campaign is fully back on track after a start plagued by misfortune.Rosberg’s second place brought him a 13th consecutive front row start, with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel third fastest and 0.178 behind Hamilton.Australian Daniel Ricciardo qualified fourth for Red Bull, with 18-year-old team-mate Max Verstappen fifth and Kimi Raikkonen sixth for Ferrari.Fernando Alonso will start 10th after Spain’s two-time world champion signalled McLaren’s steady if unspectacular progress by reaching the final qualifying session for the third race in succession.Compatriot Carlos Sainz become the first driver to fall victim this weekend to the feared ‘Wall of Champions’, hitting it in the second phase.The Toro Rosso driver got too close to the wall at the final corner and he paid the price, forcing the session to be red flagged. He qualified 16th.Danish driver Kevin Magnussen did not take part in qualifying with Renault unable to repair his car in time after his crash late in final practice.The first session to decide grid spots for Sunday brought more disappointment for Renault, with Britain’s Jolyon Palmer missing the cut in 17th place.Rain also made the track very greasy, and Manor’s Rio Haryanto lost the back end of his car.The Indonesian damaged the rear as he clipped barriers on both sides of the track to finish 21st, missing the chance to take a qualifying lead over German team-mate Pascal Wehrlein.The highly-regarded Wehrlein also failed to make the cut in 18th spot but has now outqualified Haryanto four times to three.last_img read more

Price tag doesn’t make me automatic United choice – Mkhitaryan

first_imgMidfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan acknowledges his hefty price tag does not guarantee him a starting place at Manchester United and is prepared to fight for a spot in manager Jose Mourinho’s first team.Mkhitaryan, who was voted Bundesliga Players’ Player of the Season in the previous campaign, joined from Borussia Dortmund earlier this month for a transfer fee estimated at 30 million pounds ($39.32 million) by the British media.“It doesn’t matter if they buy me for, I don’t know, 38 million or 40 million, I am not guaranteed to play the games,” Mkhitaryan told British media.“So I am trying to do my best during the training to earn this place to play and then we will see, because I don’t think I will play every game, depending on the tactical situation, depending on the opponent.”Mourinho expects Mkhitaryan to adapt seamlessly to the physicality of English football due to the 27-year-old’s ability to break open the tightest defence with his passing skills and astute game reading.Mkhitaryan refused to make any promises but hoped the pressure of playing for United would only make him better.“I never promise something, I always say that I will try. Because if you promise something and you don’t do it you will always be under pressure,” the Armenia international said.“Because for me this is a new challenge and I like difficulties, I like to win the difficulties because when you win the difficulties it makes you stronger, so I’m trying to do everything to come up to a new level.”last_img read more

Celtic braced for Manchester City raiders

first_imgCeltic manager Brendan Rodgers has a goalkeeping dilemma to resolve before Manchester City turn up for their Group C Champions League match in Glasgow on Wednesday.The Scottish champions shipped seven goals at Barcelona in their opening group game and Rodgers needs the safest pair of hands he can find to keep out some of the most lethal finishers in English soccer.City have scored more than anyone in the Premier League this season, leading by four points and winning 10 out of 10 games in all competitions under new manager Pep Guardiola.Their latest victims were Swansea City, rolled aside 3-1 on Saturday with Argentina striker Sergio Aguero scoring twice.The first goals Aguero scored in English soccer were against Swansea, in 2011, when Rodgers was in charge and the manager needs no reminding of the Argentine’s talents.He may, however, have to put his faith in a man whose confidence was described only last week by former Celtic striker Chris Sutton as “shot to pieces”.Unconvincing Dutch goalkeeper Dorus De Vries was substituted at halftime due to injury in Celtic’s 6-1 Scottish Premier League win over Kilmarnock on Saturday, with Scotland international Craig Gordon the replacement.“Dorus strained his chest when he landed. He could have played on but we had Craig there fit and capable and I didn’t want to take any risk with it so we will see how Dorus is over the next couple of days,” Rodgers told reporters.The Northern Irishman said he would have no qualms about fielding Gordon against City, who beat Borussia Monchengladbach 4-0 in their opening group game thanks to an Aguero hat-trick.“He’s more than capable. He’s a brilliant shot stopper, he’s improving his game with his feet all the time,” he added of a player who drew Sutton’s criticism after a high challenge in a Scottish League Cup quarter-final against Alloa.City will be a very different class of opponent to Kilmarnock, but Celtic will still feel buoyed by Saturday’s win.“It’s a great game for us. Games at home here at Celtic Park in the Champions League are really special nights,” Rodgers said.City will feel the likely loss of Belgian midfielder Kevin de Bruyne, to a hamstring injury, but they have plenty of other options with Raheem Sterling ready to relish the reunion with his former Liverpool boss.One more win would also allow Guardiola to equal his predecessor Manuel Pellegrini’s club record of 11 consecutive wins, achieved last season.Wednesday’s game is the first between the two sides in European competition, but Celtic have several ex-City players in their squad including defender Kolo Toure, Scott Sinclair and on-loan winger Patrick Roberts.“People are saying that Celtic are the weakest team of the group but, believe me, we know it’s going to be really hard because they’re a really strong team when they play at home,” City defender Pablo Zabaleta told the Mirror newspaper.“We won’t be thinking about what happened to Celtic against Barcelona.” (last_img read more

Women in Sports media workshop opens in Palau

first_imgONOC Secretary General opened the workshop at the Palau National Convention Centre in Koror. Attended by sports journalists from around the region, including Tonga, the workshop aims to work on strategies to address the need to have more women in sports leadership and administration roles, women in active sports and the coverage of women sports events and stories. Blas, who is also President of the Guam NOC, said that the media play an important role in helping develop women and their involvement in sports. He said the International Olympic Committee’s vision is to have gender balance in sports by the 2020 Olympics in Japan. Pacific Islands News Association President Moses Stevens said media personnel play an important role in developing the future leaders of the world through their sports reports and coverage of success stories. The workshop is held on the sideline of the 4th Media Summit which will open tonight. It has been jointly organised by ONOC as the funder and PINA. Tonga’s representatives are Tony Samita of Radio and TV Tonga and the President of the Friendly Islands Sports Journaist Association, Iliesa Tora from the Nuku’alofa.last_img read more

Win came off good effort from the team

first_imgMarum’s men took a 14-10 lead at the break and ran in three more tries in the second half to win the game in front of close to 15,000 people.“We got off to a good start in the first half despite the two late tries from the Bears.“We did a lot of defending, completed our sets and we were patient enough and the tries came in the second half,” said Marum.“I think our forwards laid the foundation and the Boas brothers controlled the team around the park.”Marum finished by wishing the Bears good luck in their remaining games and that he expects to meet them come the finals.“It was a tough one. The boys really enjoyed it. The Bears are a really good side and we did a lot of work to make sure we played to our game to beat the Bears,” said Marum.The Hunters will travel to Australia to play the Townsville Blackhawks at Jack Manski Oval this Saturday in the round 23 clash. Kick-off is at 4.05pm.last_img read more

Chile 0 Germany 1 Stindl seals glory for Low’s young hotshots

first_imgLars Stindl’s first-half goal following a costly error from Marcelo Diaz came against the run of play and proved decisive for the world champions at St Petersburg’s Krestovsky Stadium, where Chile failed to force an equaliser during a tight second period. A first triumph for Germany in the competition, which traditionally serves as a dress rehearsal for the subsequent year’s World Cup, is a testament to Joachim Low’s ingenuity in selecting a team of hungry youngsters with something to prove, and may leave many members of the established first team facing a tough battle to retain their place in the squad at 2018’s main event.The result will come as a disappointment to Copa America holders Chile, who should have had enough guile and experience to come away with the trophy against a young team who struggled to match them in a 1-1 group stage draw.The attention of coach Juan Antonio Pizzi now turns to CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying, in which Chile are fourth, one point ahead of Argentina, as they seek to ensure they return to Russia on the big stage in 11 months’ time.#CONFEDCUP | FT0-Germany are the 2017 #ConfedCup winners!More https://t.co/QVYq8USAOr#CHIGER pic.twitter.com/pfMzdoTg5G— #ConfedCup (@FIFAcom) July 2, 2017A rampant Chile dominated the opening exchanges, with Antonio Rudiger required to deny Charles Aranguiz inside the area in the fifth minute and Marc-Andre ter Stegen keeping out Arturo Vidal’s follow-up effort.Eduardo Vargas and Mauricio Isla both had Ter Stegen and the Germany defence worried in the subsequent 15 minutes, while Alexis Sanchez narrowly failed to put away the rebound when the Barcelona goalkeeper could only parry a firm Vidal strike.It was Germany, though, who broke the deadlock, benefiting from a Diaz mistake to open the scoring against the run of play in the 20th minute. Attempting to turn under pressure on the edge of his box, the Celta Vigo player inadvertently gifted possession to Timo Werner, who forced goalkeeper Claudio Bravo to commit before squaring the ball for Stindl to pass into an unguarded net.YEESSSSS GOOOAAALLLL!!! #Werner puts it on a plate for @stindl28! #ConfedCup #CHIGER 0-1 pic.twitter.com/Abq6DQyCcv— Germany (@DFB_Team_EN) July 2, 2017To their credit, Chile were undeterred by going behind and immediately resumed pressing Germany in advanced areas and at a furious tempo, albeit without creating clear scoring opportunities. They were nearly punished again on the counter when Julian Draxler and Sebastian Rudy combined to play in Leon Goretzka down the right side of the area, the Schalke midfielder firing across Bravo and wide of the far post as Chile’s all-action approach repeatedly left them exposed at the back. Another defensive mishap could have proved fatal when Gonzalo Jara played a pass straight to Draxler on the stroke of half-time, but Goretzka opted not to take a first-time shot with his left foot and Chile survived.  The frenetic pace of the opening half gave way to a cagey affair after the break, and it took until the 55th minute for a good chance to arrive, Isla’s block preventing Draxler from getting a shot on target after the Paris Saint-Germain star drove powerfully into the area. FIFA’s new Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system, a contentious feature of the tournament due to its seemingly inconsistent application and the questionable decisions it has prompted, came under the spotlight again shortly after the hour mark. Jara’s nasty elbow against the jaw of Werner, initially missed by match official Milorad Mazic, saw the Serbian somehow only produce a yellow card following a review of what appeared to be an incident warranting a straight red. Having narrowly avoided going down to 10 men, Chile began to apply sustained pressure and missed a glorious chance to equalise in the 85th minute. Edson Puch snuck in to steal the ball from in front of Ter Stegen and cut it back to fellow substitute Anyelo Sagal, who blazed wildly over the bar.Tempers flared in the 90th minute when Emre Can became embroiled in a confrontation with five Chile players after bowling over Sanchez, Bravo rushing from his goal to become involved, as did Low from the touchline.Ter Stegen had to be alert five minutes into stoppage-time, parrying clear a 25-yard Sanchez free-kick to deny Chile from the game’s last sight of goal and make sure of Die Mannschaft’s unexpected triumph.last_img read more

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