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Friday, July 31, 2009

Durham Bulls split doubleheader with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre

Posted By on Fri, Jul 31, 2009 at 5:00 AM

In one chapter of Word Freak, Stefan Fatsis's absorbing account of his foray deep into the world of competitive Scrabble, Fatsis narrates the history of the game and its painstaking design by an obsessive tinkerer named Alfred Butts. Butts spent years fussing with the board layout, the premium-square arrangement, and the calibration and distribution of points and tiles. Fatsis concludes: Perfection isn't arrived at overnight, and the more I play, the more Alfred's game seems perfect. I think he was like Alexander Cartwright's Knickerbocker Base Ball Club laying the bases ninety feet apart or James Naismith setting the height of...

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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Corcoran, Schreiber back in the Triangle to haunt Mudcats

Posted By on Thu, Jul 30, 2009 at 11:54 PM

FIVE COUNTY STADIUM/ZEBULON It's Game 4 of the Carolina Mudcats' five-game series with the Chattanooga Lookouts, and the home team is on a bit of a roll after winning back-to-back close games. Tonight is "Pack the Park" night, with N.C. State football coach Tom O'Brien and former standout wide receiver Alvis Whitted scheduled to throw out two of the many ceremonial "first pitches." It's also "Thirsty Thursday." I hear from a club employee that a lot of the lower-level staffers who attended rival schools -I'm guessing maybe that means UNC or ECU given the geography - aren't keen on the...

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Nogueira, Hill named ACC's top athletes

Posted By on Thu, Jul 30, 2009 at 7:34 PM

N.C. State's Matt Hill and UNC's Casey Nogueira have been named the ACC male and female athletes of the year in a vote by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association. Hill was the NCAA individual golf champion while Nogueira (pictured) was national women's soccer player of the year and led the Tar Heels to the NCAA title. Hill is the first golfer ever to receive the McKevlin Award as the top male athlete. He is also the only golfer besides Tiger Woods in 1996 to win conference, regional and national titles in the same year. Hill received 20 votes to...

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Tar Heels' Breland named to Wade Trophy watch list

Posted By on Thu, Jul 30, 2009 at 5:08 PM

UNC forward Jessica Breland is one of four ACC players named to the preseason "Wade watch," the competition for the women's basketball award comparable to football's Heisman Trophy. Joining Breland on the list are Virginia's Monica Wright, Florida State's Jacinta Monroe and Boston College's Carolyn Swords. Wright is one of five players to make the list for the second straight year. The ACC is one of four conferences with four names apiece on the 25-player list. The winner will be announced at the WBCA National Convention, which will be held in conjunction with the NCAA Women's Final Four in San...

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Eagles getting carpet for football house

Posted By on Thu, Jul 30, 2009 at 11:25 AM

N.C. Central is going to be playing on an artificial turf home football field for the first time this season. Work has begun on installation of Mondoturf at O'Kelly-Riddick Stadium, allowing the Eagles to practice inside their playing facility. The $816,000 project has an anticipated completion date of Aug. 24. With only one available practice field on campus at the track beside the stadium, the Eagles have often been forced to move practice off-campus. "We're extremely excited about the upgrade," NCCU athletics director Ingrid Wicker-McCree (pictured) said. "The addition of the artificial turf will provide our student-athletes with an attractive...

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WAUG will carry Redskins, plus a full Saturday of sports talk

Posted By on Thu, Jul 30, 2009 at 10:33 AM

WAUG radio (750 AM) has announced it will be carrying all 20 Washington Redskins preseason and regular-season games this year. WAUG has been the Redskins' local affiliate for the past two seasons. The commercial station, owned by St. Augustine's College, also has a full day of sports programming on Saturdays from 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. Shows feature discussion of the NFL, sports at Historically Black colleges and a wide range of high school, college and pro sports along with some doses of entertainment news and politics. Hosts include Maurice "Big Mo" Stanfield, Donal Ware (pictured), Hanif Omar, Rick Moore,...

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Durham Bulls rained out at Scranton; doubleheader Thursday (and some rainy-day musing)

Posted By on Thu, Jul 30, 2009 at 5:30 AM

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="The Bulls were rained out at Scranton on Tuesday"][/caption]The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, who play in none of the three places implied by their name, have had 12 games postponed this year. Some of those postponements came on sunny days: the drainage system at PNC Park in Moosic, PA is superannuated and ineffective; after wet weather passes, the field is sometimes still too wet to play on. A lot of people have been pretty mad about it. On Wednesday night, though, rain was the culprit. The folks in Scranton, along with help from the New York Yankees, have...

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Kahaulelio swings the bat well in the clutch as Mudcats win second straight

Posted By on Wed, Jul 29, 2009 at 11:15 PM

FIVE COUNTY STADIUM/ZEBULON Back for Game 3 of the Carolina Mudcats' series with the first-place Chattanooga Lookouts, and as the action begins the series is all tied up. The rains hit Zebulon in late afternoon, but the tarp comes off the field about 45 minutes before the game and everybody's going to be ready to go on time. Tonight we'll go with barbecue sauce on the cheeseburger, remembering a commercial starring Michael Jordan who played here in a handful of games with the Birmingham Barons. Chattanooga lefty James Adkins does get the first pitch off at precisely 7:15, and after...

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Blue Devils muster in Raleigh Thursday evening

Posted By on Wed, Jul 29, 2009 at 11:03 PM

Duke is currently conducting its second annual Athletics Tour, with head football coach David Cutcliffe (pictured) as the principal speaker. The show moves to Raleigh Thursday at 5:30 p.m. with a session at the Tobacco Road Sports Café on Glenwood Ave. The event, open to the public, includes an autograph and photo session, door prizes and food and beverages. For more information, visit  www.irondukes.net or call Samantha Kozub at (919) 613-7554....

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Dubious goal by RailHawks' Richardson declared not his doing

Posted By on Wed, Jul 29, 2009 at 12:42 PM

Lost in the hubbub over player-of-the-week Gregory Richardson's nifty hat trick last Sunday was the fact that his first goal with the RailHawks, scored against the Vancouver Whitecaps July 17, was what the Brits call a "dubious goal." The English Premier League, in fact, has a Dubious Goals Committee that is charged with reviewing goals in which the identity of the scorer is in dispute. In the Whitecaps game, Richardson took a lay-off from John Cunliffe and juked his way to the byline before crossing. Before his ball could reach Cunliffe at the near post or Sallieu Bundu at...

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Durham Bulls Beat Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees: Sharp Eedge!

Posted By on Wed, Jul 29, 2009 at 5:00 AM

There was so much to report on the game-inside-the-game after Monday's home win by the Bulls over Norfolk that I completely neglected a key part of the big picture. Although I noted that Elliot Johnson replaced Henry Mateo at the top of the order, I failed to recount what Johnson did there: he went 3-4 with a homer, a double and a walk, and was basically the player of the game for the Bulls. (I must digress here briefly for an I Am Psychic moment. On Monday night, I totally called Johnson's homer off of Norfolk's David Pauley. His first...

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Mudcats come back to win four innings after iron-glove miscue

Posted By on Wed, Jul 29, 2009 at 12:32 AM

FIVE COUNTY STADIUM/ZEBULON The Carolina Mudcats come into Game 2 of their current five-game homestand against the Chattanooga Lookouts needing as many victories as they can get. The Mudcats lost the first-half race in the Southern League's North Division by just one game to the Huntsville Stars, but have started slow in the second half and come into the contest in last place. Carolina is still in second place in the full-season division standings, but unless they either win the second half or Huntsville does that figure is completely meaningless. It's mostly sunny and warm, and after some chicken tenders...

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Secret weapon no more: RailHawks’ Richardson named USL-1 player of week

Posted By on Tue, Jul 28, 2009 at 3:18 PM

Just in: Gregory Richardson can put another trick in his hat, or feather in his cap. He's the USL-1 player of the week. Also, supporters of the Colorado Rapids have noted Richardson's performance. To their chagrin, Richardson was released by the Rapids June 26....

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Durham Bulls beat Norfolk Tides again: close up

Posted By on Tue, Jul 28, 2009 at 5:00 AM

DBAP/DURHAM---I am in the general habit of watching the first few innings of each game at the DBAP from the press box, and then moving down behind the plate to get a closer look at the pitchers and hitters. I did that last night and found myself sitting in front of Norfolk Tides' pitcher Troy Patton (you can read an interesting piece about him here). Patton started Sunday's game for the Tides and was charting pitches and working the radar gun for Monday's pitchers. This is common practice, by the way: Jason Cromer of the Bulls (well, technically of the...

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Monday, July 27, 2009

Mudcats drop series opener as Lookouts fire a shutout

Posted By on Mon, Jul 27, 2009 at 11:46 PM

FIVE COUNTY STADIUM/ZEBULON It's Game 1 of the Carolina Mudcats' series with the Chattanooga Lookouts, and the first time I've been able to make it out here in 20 days. I had scheduled a multi-day event with some extended family to coincide with a hole in the Durham Bulls schedule before I was shown the door by the Incredible Shrinking Herald-Sun in May, so I was away for the whole series the last time Chattanooga was here July 15-21. Chattanooga won that series, although the Mudcats won the final two games of the five-game set. Incidentally, seems budget cuts are...

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Wolfpack, Tar Heels each picked for bronze

Posted By on Mon, Jul 27, 2009 at 2:56 PM

N.C. State has been picked to finish third in the Atlantic Division while UNC is picked third in the Coastal in voting by the Atlantic Coast Conference Media Association. The vote of 83 media representatives at the conference's annual football Kickoff event at the Grandover Resort in Greensboro picked Duke to finish last in the Coastal. Virginia Tech is an overwhelming pick to win the Coastal Division and defeat Atlantic Division pick Florida State in the conference's Dec. 5 title game in Jacksonville, Fla. Georgia Tech senior running back Jonathan Dwyer is the selection to repeat as conference player of...

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Durham Bulls beat Norfolk Tides: with a little luck

Posted By on Mon, Jul 27, 2009 at 12:47 PM

DBAP/ DURHAM---A bizarre rain shower hit the DBAP yesterday around the sixth inning of the Bulls' 5-3 win over Norfolk yesterday, their third victory in four games so far in the series between the two top teams in the division. It was bizarre because the sky was mostly sunny; but if you looked off to the southwest, beyond the first base bleachers, you could see a stack of clouds with a pale rainbow arcing through them. (Sorry I don't have a camera-phone thingy and had to use the stock image above. I'm sure the Indy will buy me the...

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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Gold rush! Pomeranz gem sparks USA to Classic title

Posted By on Sun, Jul 26, 2009 at 10:47 PM

Start up that classic '70s song from "Queen." USA Baseball's National Team has won the World Baseball Challenge. Drew Pomeranz (pictured) of Ole Miss took a no-hitter into the seventh inning, helping his team avenge an earlier defeat in an 8-1 pounding of Germany in the championship game in Prince George, B.C. After the Germans scratched out a run in the first, the USA dominated the rest of the way. Blake Forsythe of Tennessee tied the game in the bottom of the second with an RBI single. Then in the third, Rice's Rick Hague added an RBI single and Texas-Arlington's...

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RailHawks, blistering sun, chase away Blues, 4-0

Posted By on Sun, Jul 26, 2009 at 9:26 PM

WAKEMED SOCCER PARK—It was bloody hot, 2 p.m. on a Sunday. It took effort to get to the stadium. Surely, there were cooler things to do. When I sat, the backs of my legs burned until they absorbed the heat of the plastic. It hurt but I consoled myself with the realization that I was watching, not playing. Expectations were low. Miami FC and the RailHawks had both played on Friday night. It was hot. Hot like Mexico 1986, like USA 1994. Who chose this time of day in this month in the dang South? The game would be...

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Miami FC no pushover as RailHawks try to salvage weekend this afternoon

Posted By on Sun, Jul 26, 2009 at 7:47 AM

Miami FC visits WakeMed Soccer Park this afternoon at 2 p.m. The temperature is forecast to be 91 degrees at kickoff, and Miami will be no pushover. This month, they've begun a march out of the bottom of the table: They've won two games, drawn two and lost just once. One of their draws was against the undefeated Portland Timbers (although the Timbers returned two days later to hammer the Blues 3-0). The RailHawks need to win today to salvage the weekend and stay near the top of the table. If they lose, they will be five points off the...

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Durham Bulls split doubleheader with Norfolk Tides: filling in the blanks

Posted By on Sun, Jul 26, 2009 at 5:00 AM

DBAP/ DURHAM---"Technically, it's not a doubleheader," someone said in the press box during the first game of what was unquestionably a doubleheader on Saturday. The argument there was that a day-night twinbill is really just two separate games that happen to be played on the same day. In an official minor-league doubleheader, the two games are played consecutively, and are shortened to seven innings each. Try putting that sophistry over on the Durham Bulls and the Norfolk Tides, who got about two hours of "rest" (i.e., stuffing their faces, checking their Facebook accounts, peeling off their uniforms and putting on...

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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Mudcats drop series finale despite Cumberland's blast

Posted By on Sat, Jul 25, 2009 at 10:38 PM

Getaway night turned out not to be a great one for the Carolina Mudcats. David Welch went seven innings, getting his first positive decision since June 5 as the Huntsville Stars dropped the Mudcats 4-1. Shaun Cumberland (pictured) picked up Carolina's only run with his solo homer in the seventh  - his first clout of the season - as the Mudcats dropped back into last place in the Southern League's North Division. The win improved Welch to 5-7 while Carolina's Camilo Vazquez dropped to 2-3. Cumberland paced Carolina with the homer and a double. The Mudcats will have an off-day...

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Colon's leg broken in two places; obviously he's out for a while

Posted By on Sat, Jul 25, 2009 at 5:06 PM

USA Baseball's National Team captain Christian Colon (pictured) will be unavailable for Sunday's championship game of the World Baseball Challenge in Prince George, B.C., after suffering a broken tibia and fibula Friday night. Colon, the shortstop out of Cal State-Fullerton, was carried off the field in the top of the eighth after Canada's Nic Lendvoy came in with a hard slide during a 5-6-3 double play. After the collision both benches cleared, but no further violence ensued. The USA won the pitchers' duel 1-0, after which the Americans declined to participate in a post-game handshake. Colon is scheduled to receive...

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Mudcats' Wood gets the call to Louisville

Posted By on Sat, Jul 25, 2009 at 3:48 PM

The Carolina Mudcats' ace pitcher finally got his promotion. Southpaw Travis Wood has been promoted to Triple-A Louisville, and scheduled to make his International League debut at Syracuse tonight at 7. Wood is currently leading the Southern League in ERA (1.21) and strikeouts (103), and is on a nine-game winning streak. The win streak is the longest in Mudcats history, while the ERA is by far the best for any Mudcats pitcher throwing over 90 innings. Ryan Tucker had a 1.58 ERA last season. Southpaw Lee Tabor has been reinstated from the temporary inactive list and is scheduled to start...

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Durham Bulls down Norfolk Tides in Jeremy Hellickson's first triple-A start

Posted By on Sat, Jul 25, 2009 at 5:00 AM

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="Jeremy Hellickson, pitching recently for the Montgomery Biscuits"][/caption]DBAP/ DURHAM---First things first: great to be back at the ballpark! When I walked into the DBAP last night, I suddenly felt like I hadn't been there in months. It had actually been three weeks, but the feeling I had was evidence of the dailiness of the baseball season. You play almost every single day for five months in class AAA, and three weeks off seems like a really long time. Not only had I been gone that long, but the Bulls themselves hadn't played a game at the...

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