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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Revenge win clinches medal-round spot for USA Baseball

Posted By on Tue, Sep 22, 2009 at 9:24 PM

Team USA took advantage of a balanced offense, avenging its only loss of the IBAF World Cup with a 6-3 win over Venezuela in Florence, Italy. The result clinched for the Red, White and Blue a spot in the tournament's medal round this weekend. Pedro Alvarez (pictured) ripped his fourth homer of the tournament for the Americans, while Tug Hulett was 2-for-2 with a pair of runs and veteran Terry Tiffee added two RBI. Trevor Plouffe extended his hitting streak to 10 games in the win. Brad Lincoln (2-0) pitched 6 2/3 innings in the victory while Team USA's fourth...

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Durham starts to get amped up for Bull City Gridiron Classic

Posted By on Tue, Sep 22, 2009 at 7:50 PM

WALLACE WADE STADIUM & PEARSON CAFETERIA/DURHAM The game is still four days away, but the hype is already getting pretty revved up. If you're a football fan in Durham, then unless you've been living under a rock for a few years you know what Saturday night's "Bull City Gridiron Classic" is all about. Duke will host N.C. Central for an historic first meeting at 7 p.m. at Wallace Wade Stadium, and while neither team has had the kind of season it might have wanted so far, that's taking none of the shine off the matchup. The Blue Devils are 1-2...

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UNC Tuesday Tour: Welcome to Hotlanta

Posted By on Tue, Sep 22, 2009 at 2:34 PM

No. 22-ranked UNC is about to find out just how good of a team it is. Butch Davis takes his 3-0 Tar Heels to Atlanta Saturday, facing Georgia Tech's dynamic and confusing spread option attack. Carolina has not beaten the Yellow Jackets in Atlanta since 1997 -- which happens to be the last time the Tar Heels began the season 3-0. Carolina has also not won its conference opener dating back to 2001. Carolina edged Georgia Tech 16-13 in 1997, and a similar low-scoring affair could be in store this weekend. Links follow below: UNC started preparing for the option...

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Durham Bulls Postview (Governor's Cup Championship) and Preview (Triple-A Championship)

Posted By on Tue, Sep 22, 2009 at 12:00 AM

You can still watch a few highlights of the Bulls' dramatic championship-clinching win over Scranton/ Wilkes-Barre on the team Web site. Those clips drive home (so to speak) just how crazy the last inning really was. Justin Ruggiano's diving catch of Reegie Corona's sinking slice down the left-field line was not only great per se; it also saved the game, because the ball was ruled fair (but was it fair?) by the umpire. At the end of that play, though, second baseman Ray Olmedo made a poor relay throw to first base in an attempt to turn a game-ending double...

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Plouffe walk-off gives USA Baseball No. 1 seed in group

Posted By on Mon, Sep 21, 2009 at 8:01 PM

Trevor Plouffe's walk-off homer made the difference as Team USA beat Australia 4-3 in the IBAF World Cup in Bologna, Italy, clinching the top seed in Group G for the Final Round. After the Aussies took a 1-0 lead, Justin Smoak extended his team record with his ninth homer of the tournament to tie the game in the sixth. Former Durham Bull Jon Weber gave the Red, White and Blue the lead with an RBI grounder later in the inning. Australia scored twice in the seventh, but Plouffe (pictured) tied the score again with an RBI grounder in the bottom...

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Gridiron Classic to bring party time to the Bull City

Posted By on Mon, Sep 21, 2009 at 5:08 PM

Befitting the tradition of "Classic" football games, there will be a plethora of activities surrounding the "Bull City Gridiron Classic" this week in Durham. N.C. Central will visit Duke on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Wallace Wade Stadium in the schools' historic first meeting in football. At tonight's City Council meeting, Durham mayor Bill Bell will introduce a proclamation calling Saturday "Bull City Gridiron Classic Day," with representatives from both universities participating. The "Bull City Football Fest" will be held at the restored historic Durham Athletic Park on Thursday beginning at 5:30 p.m., with free admission to all. The event...

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UNC at Duke, three other ACC women's games on Big Monday slate

Posted By on Mon, Sep 21, 2009 at 3:57 PM

UNC's annual visit to play Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium, along with one other game apiece involving the Blue Devils and Tar Heels, highlight the women's basketball "Big Monday" schedule announced by ESPN2. Atlantic Coast Conference teams are involved in four of the eleven women's games on the schedule. The Duke-UNC game will be on Feb. 8 at 7 p.m. The schedule also includes defending NCAA champion Connecticut's visit to Duke on Jan. 18, along with UNC's trip to Virginia on Feb. 15. Maryland will visit Virginia on Jan. 11 in the other game involving ACC teams....

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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Smoak, Team USA blast host Italians at World Cup

Posted By on Sun, Sep 20, 2009 at 10:59 PM

Justin Smoak's two homers set a Team USA tournament record while every player in the lineup hit safely in a 12-3 rout over host Italy in the IBAF World Cup in Turin. Smoak (pictured) had a three-run homer in the first inning and a solo shot in the fifth for the defending champion Red, White and Blue, who have already qualified for the eight-team Final. Buck Coats and Trevor Plouffe also homered for the Americans. Lucas Harrell (2-0) got he victory in relief of Kasey Kiker, while former Durham Bull Cedrick Bowers and B.J. Rosenberg were also in hitless relief....

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Pirates vs Tar Heels: Slideshow

Posted By on Sun, Sep 20, 2009 at 9:07 PM

Here's a slideshow from Saturday's ECU-UNC contest. (Photos by Rob Rowe)...

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Heels rise to No. 22 in week 3 AP Poll

Posted By on Sun, Sep 20, 2009 at 1:37 PM

UNC's 31-17 victory over the ECU Pirates warranted a rise two places in the latest AP Poll, which featured a reshuffling after an eventful weekend. Carolina was ranked 21st on the poll's preseason edition and eventually fell to No. 24 when the offense struggled against UConn.  The re-emerging offense powered past the Pirates Saturday en route to a 433-yard performance. The Tar Heels reached No. 18 in the USA Today Coaches' Poll. UNC travels to Atlanta next week to face Georgia Tech, which fell from No. 14 to unranked status after the Yellow Jackets lost to Miami 33-17 Thursday. ACC...

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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Wilson Sets Record as N.C. State Stops Gardner-Webb Runnin' Bulldogs at the Starting Block

Posted By on Sat, Sep 19, 2009 at 10:06 PM

RALEIGH — Russell Wilson set the all-time NCAA mark for consecutive attempted passes without an interception as N.C. State cruised to a 45-7 win against Gardner-Webb on Saturday night. Wilson's record, which now stands at 329 after eclipsing Kentucky signal-caller Andre Woodson's 2006-07 total of 325, provided the only drama as the Wolfpack beat their second Football Championship Subdivision team in as many weeks. This game didn't look quite as much like a rapid-fire scoring Techmo Bowl mismatch (see Murray State last week), but N.C. State wasn't challenged as Wilson looked comfortable throwing 26 for 36 for a career...

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Two homers, Tiffee spark USA past Mexicans and into Finals

Posted By on Sat, Sep 19, 2009 at 9:49 PM

Solo homers from Daniel Descalso and Buck Coats led the way as Team USA topped Mexico 7-3 in Vicenza, Italy, earning the defending champions a spot in the final round of the IBAF World Cup. Terry Tiffee (pictured) led the winners with a 4-for-5 day. The USA got a run in the third on Lucas May's double, and then made it 2-0 in the fourth when former Durham Bull Jon Weber reached on a fielder's choice. Descalso's homer came in the fifth inning and Coats' in the sixth. Trevor Reckling (2-0) was the winning pitcher. The USA will face Italy...

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Jayhawks' air show sends Blue Devils on a long flight home

Posted By on Sat, Sep 19, 2009 at 8:17 PM

At least Duke doesn't have any more non-conference opponents like this one this season. Kansas quarterback Todd Reesing (pictured) said he had his best game of the season as the No. 22 Jayhawks blew past the Blue Devils 44-16 in Lawrence. Duke (1-2) shocked the crowd of 50,000-plus in the opening seconds, as Thaddeus Lewis found Austin Kelly for a 66-yard gain on the first play from scrimmage and then sprinted in from 21 yards out on the next. But after that the rest of the day belonged to Kansas (3-0), which was playing its toughest opponent so far this...

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Postgame report and audio: ECU Pirates rushing attack gets stuck in UNC tar

Posted By on Sat, Sep 19, 2009 at 6:42 PM

KENAN STADIUM/ CHAPEL HILL—Before kickoff the Pirates had several forces in motion that favored them to upset the No. 24-ranked Tar Heels. ECU had won its last three games against nationally ranked teams. UNC entered the game with two key injuries on the offensive line, and Pirates quarterback Patrick Pinkney torched the Carolina secondary in 2007. Not to mention seemingly all my ex-girlfriends attended ECU, so naturally I would be due several distasteful comments with a Carolina loss. Yet 60 minutes later with the scoreboard showing 31-17 Carolina, one thing was clear. The lone force the Pirates couldn't contend...

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Morehead State boots N.C. Central in overtime in battle of Eagles

Posted By on Sat, Sep 19, 2009 at 6:14 PM

O'KELLY-RIDDICK STADIUM/DURHAM N.C. Central finally gets a home football game, on a warm, partly cloudy day in the Bull City. The 0-2 Eagles have played twice as road underdogs so far, but this time they'll be favored on their brand-new Mondoturf field. The opponent is Morehead State (1-1) of the Pioneer Football League, the only public Division I school in the country that does not offer football scholarships. It's the same football-only conference in which Davidson - where NCCU coach Mose Rison was an assistant for one season - and Campbell compete. It's the schools' first meeting in any sport,...

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UNC 21, ECU 14: Receiver Boyd takes over half

Posted By on Sat, Sep 19, 2009 at 1:27 PM

KENAN STADIUM/ CHAPEL HILL—UNC's Ryan Houston bullied his way in for a 1-yard touchdown run to give the Heels a 21-14 halftime lead with 2:57 left in the second quarter. ECU receiver Dwayne Harris' 6-yard touchdown run out of the wildcat formation tied the game at 14 with 6:22 left in the second quarter. The touchdown was set up by a crazy fake reverse run/pass/nobody knew who had the ball type of play. Harris actually completed a 35-yard pass to Joe Womack on the play. Key series of the half: UNC backup quarterback A.J. Blue fumbled the snap on the...

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RailHawks go up middle to finish 2nd; Watson leg broken, playoffs in Vancouver Thursday

Posted By on Sat, Sep 19, 2009 at 11:40 AM

WAKEMED SOCCER PARK/ CARY—We began the evening with an early dinner at the home of friends in the countryside outside Chapel Hill. We lingered a little long and then arrived at Wake Med just in time to witness the unsettling image of RailHawks midfielder Matt Watson writhing in pain on the visitor sideline, attended by four or five trainers and staff. Watson looked utterly stricken—he had the collar of his shirt in his teeth—but he may have been reacting also to the dread of a second debilitating injury to his wheels this season. While John Cunliffe took his place...

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Carolina Rollergirls in NYTimes/AP: Sport is growing, but can they afford to play?

Posted By on Sat, Sep 19, 2009 at 12:53 AM

Bob Geary attended the Eastern Regionals of the Women's Flat Track Derby Association last weekend at Dorton Arena. He filed this report. An unnamed AP correspondent also attended and filed this report, which just appeared on the NY Times Web site. It says that in spite of the sport's burgeoning popularity (the Drew Barrymore movie Whip It! opens Oct. 2!), the economy has made it difficult for many skaters—who are all amateurs—to continue. Here's the lede: There are some pretty horrific images in the Carolina Rollergirls' online injury archive: The purple-black bruise on Kristi Kreme's thigh; the nasty case...

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Friday, September 18, 2009

USA-Australia baseball rained out

Posted By on Fri, Sep 18, 2009 at 6:26 PM

The IBAF World Cup baseball game scheduled between Team USA and Australia in Piacenza, Italy, on Friday was rained out. It will be made up a later date and time. The USA (6-1), which is atop its second-round group, is scheduled to take on Mexico (5-3) on Saturday in Vicenza, Italy. Trevor Reckling (1-0) is the scheduled starter for the Red, White and Blue....

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NCCU tries to turn things around in battle of Eagles

Posted By on Fri, Sep 18, 2009 at 4:02 PM

N.C. Central has been on the road for the first two weeks of the season, paying the kind of dues administrators knew Eagle athletes were going to have to pay when they committed to the Division I jump three seasons ago. Now they'll finally be home Saturday against Morehead State, in a guarantee game against a team that is decent at the Division I level that doesn't allow football scholarships. NCCU will be playing on a brand new Mondoturf surface, there's a new "E-Town" fan fest area right outside the stadium, the Sound Machine band will be rocking in close...

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Which RailHawks will receive league honors? Regular-season finale versus Montreal set for tonight

Posted By on Fri, Sep 18, 2009 at 3:32 PM

We're coming to the sad realization that the RailHawks' regular season is drawing to a close. It's been a real treat to see such a quality team this year. In reflecting on the season in advance of tonight's regular season finale against the Montreal Impact, we find ourselves thinking about the issue of year-end league honors. Team honors, selected by the players, will be announced prior to the playoff game Sept. 27—and you can vote, too, for "fan favorite." We're thinking about the league: The USL will recognize a first and second team all-USL-1 lineup, and there should be...

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Hungry N.C. State Eyes A Second Cupcake against Gardner-Webb

Posted By on Fri, Sep 18, 2009 at 1:03 PM

N.C. State (1-1) vs. Gardner-Webb (2-0) 6 p.m., Saturday, Carter-Finley Stadium Video on theACC.com, Audio on WRAL-FM 101.5 Key stats … Gardner-Webb, the second Football Championship Subdivision squad to come to Raleigh in as many weeks, faces an uphill battle in this contest. The Big South squad crushed Mars Hall and got a tough road win against Western Carolina en route to their first 2-0 start since 2006. Though the Wolfpack dismantled Murray State 65-7 last weekend, scoring on their first 10 drives, they could face a stiffer task against the Runnin' Bulldogs. Last year, in the GW's...

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Tyler Hansbrough, finder of lost dogs

Posted By on Fri, Sep 18, 2009 at 1:02 PM

Tyler Hansbrough, who's presently preparing for his professional debut with the Indiana Pacers, is now free to exploit the Psycho T brand. He doesn't say a word in this ad, so neither will we. (h/t Deadspin)...

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Alvarez, Weber lead USA's home-run barrage against Taipei

Posted By on Fri, Sep 18, 2009 at 9:39 AM

Pedro Alvarez' team-record three home runs led the barrage as Team USA drubbed Chinese Taipei 14-3 in IBAF World Cup play Thursday in Turin, Italy. The Red, White and Blue scored seven runs in the first inning of the contest, which was stopped after seven innings because of a 10-run mercy rule. Former Durham Bull Jon Weber, Terry Tiffee and Lucas May each added home runs for the winners. Todd Redmond (2-0) was the winning pitcher, striking out six while allowing three runs in six innings. Alvarez (pictured) finished the game with six RBI. Weber went 3-for-4 with three RBI...

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

DURHAM BULLS WIN GOVERNOR'S CUP, ARE CHAMPIONS OF THE INTERNATIONAL LEAGUE

Posted By on Thu, Sep 17, 2009 at 11:43 PM

Hot off the radio, sportsfans: The Durham Bulls have just beaten the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, 3-2 in 12 innings, to claim the Governor's Cup, their first since 2003. The bottom of the 12th was a sweaty-palmed affair after the Bulls plated the go-ahead run on the top of the inning on a double by John Jaso. Durham closer Winston Abreu, the most dominant pitcher in the league, came on seeking his third save in as many nights. He issued a four-pitch leadoff walk to Juan Miranda, discovered a bloody popped blister on his finger, and left the game. Julio DePaula came...

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