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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Salazar picks up his first win as Mudcats nip Myrtle Beach

Posted By on Tue, Jul 31, 2012 at 10:38 PM

FIVE COUNTY STADIUM/ZEBULON Checking in on the Carolina Mudcats, who start their penultimate long homestand of the season in good shape to make a run over the final month. Photo courtesy Carolina MudcatsMudcats pitcher Danny SalazarIt’s the opener of a three-game set against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, whose lead over the third-place Mudcats in the Carolina League’s Southern Division is three games. Danny Salazar (0-2, 2.96) will take on the Pelicans’ Randy Henry (5-6, 2.57) in the series opener. The night turns out to be a great pitchers’ duel, and Salazar — who has been on a long road back...

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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Carolina RailHawks suffer club-worst 8-0 loss to league-leading San Antonio Scorpions

Posted By on Sat, Jul 28, 2012 at 11:20 PM

WEB/SAN ANTONIO—The Carolina RailHawks were defeated by the NASL-leading San Antonio Scorpions Saturday evening by a score of 8-0, the most lopsided loss in RailHawks' club history. Former RailHawk Pablo Campos netted four goals to boost his league-leading tally to 15. Greg Janicki contributed two scores with the others coming compliments of Blake Wagner and Esteban Bayona. The RailHawks, playing without team captain Kupono Low (red card suspension) and Brian Shriver (injury), were already trailing 2-0 when defender Austen King was sent off in the 32nd minute for taking down Campos during a goal-scoring opportunity. The straight red card means...

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Friday, July 27, 2012

Mercurial retrograde? Hurricanes ink Alexander Semin to one-year deal

Posted By on Fri, Jul 27, 2012 at 8:43 AM

You often encounter the word "mercurial" in the world of sports. Sports journalists slap the adjective in front of the names of inconsistent players. Mercurial athletes tantalize you with second-to-none play in one moment and devastate you by vanishing into oblivion the next. They're more than streaky; they're hair-losingly maddening. And they tend to wear out their welcome. Wikimedia CommonsWhy the long face, Alexander Semin? The Carolina Hurricanes are giving you a second chance.The Canes have just signed such a player. The Russian winger Alexander Semin, who sniped 197 goals in seven seasons with the Washington Capitals, scrawled his name...

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Seven Triangle players named preseason All-ACC

Posted By on Wed, Jul 25, 2012 at 3:22 PM

Seven Triangle-area players have been named to the preseason All-ACC football team announced today by the conference following media voting at the ACC Kickoff on Sunday and Monday. UNC had four players named in sophomore running back Giovani Bernard, junior offensive tackle James Hurst, senior offensive guard Jonathan Cooper and senior linebacker Kevin Reddick. Two members of N.C. State’s secondary, junior cornerback David Amerson and senior safety Earl Wolff, were named to the squad. And Duke placed one player in senior wide receiver Conner Vernon. The Tar Heels’ Bernard ran for 1,253 yards last season, the third best in ACC...

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Four bad arguments against the NCAA's Penn State ruling (and one good one)

Posted By on Wed, Jul 25, 2012 at 12:59 PM

Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. A 1906 magazine cover spoofing the role of football on college campusesMonday’s announcement of the NCAA’s “unprecedented” penalties against Penn State’s football program in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal has generally drawn praise from pundits inside and outside the sports world. The NCAA hit the football program hard with its postseason ban and scholarship reductions, and set a clear goal of cultural and institutional change at Penn State. The sanction also hit Penn State fans where it hurts—in the heart—by vacating all football wins since 1998 and dethroning Joe...

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Durham Bulls' bullpen blanks Rochester: Two, three, two and two

Posted By on Tue, Jul 24, 2012 at 6:00 AM

DBAP/ DURHAM—In the second game of Sunday night's doubleheader, Bulls manager Charlie Montoyo took advantage of an unusual luxury: a rested bullpen. He needed it, because starter Chris Archer, returning from a oblique strain, was limited to 45 pitches, which translated to 2 2/3 innings of work. It was a seven-inning game, as per minor-league rules in doubleheaders, so four relievers collaborated on 4 1/3 relief innings, allowing two runs. Montoyo did some situational matchup managing, something he seldom does even when's able to. Left-hander Adam Liberatore came in to face one batter, a lefty (who got him for a...

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Monday, July 23, 2012

Seminoles picked to win ACC again; Triangle coaches talk preseason concerns

Posted By on Mon, Jul 23, 2012 at 4:14 PM

GRANDOVER RESORT/GREENSBORO Just like last year — at least at the preseason press rouser. Florida State is the runaway winner to win the ACC football in voting by 95 media members at the ACC Football Kickoff. Seventh-two voters said Jimbo Fisher’s Seminoles will win the Atlantic Division and 83 said Frank Beamer’s Virginia Tech Hokies will take the Coastal. And then 56 said the ‘Noles will take out the Hokies in the title game Dec. 1 in Charlotte. Clemson was picked second in the Atlantic followed by N.C. State, Wake Forest, Boston College and Maryland. The Wolfpack actually got five...

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Durham Bulls split doubleheader with Rochester Red Wings: flash forward, same shot

Posted By on Mon, Jul 23, 2012 at 6:00 AM

File photo by Al Drago.The Durham Bulls' Stephen Vogt. DBAP/ DURHAM—Henry Wrigley's RBI single in the bottom of the seventh inning—which in a minor-league doubleheader is the last—broke a 3-3 tie to give the Durham Bulls a 4-3 win over the Rochester Red Wings and a split of their twi-night doubleheader on Sunday. The Red Wings took the first game, 5-1, behind the starting pitching of Jeff Manship, who has been pitching for Rochester for parts of the last four seasons (and goes back in Bulls' lore at least as far as this game story from 2010). His name also...

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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Swofford talks expansion, investigations while players are fired up, ready to go

Posted By on Sun, Jul 22, 2012 at 5:34 PM

GRANDOVER RESORT/GREENSBORO — It’s player interview day at the 38th annual ACC Football Kickoff, and also the day commissioner John Swofford gives his annual “State of the Conference” address followed by question time. July’s news around the conference has been both good and bad. The good news has been that both Syracuse and Pittsburgh will be released after paying exit fees to the Big East and become fully participating members of the ACC the next time July 1 comes around. Syracuse will join the Atlantic Division where N.C. State belongs, while Pittsburgh will be a member of the Coastal with...

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Lightning strikes twice: Carolina RailHawks outlast four-hour delay for 1-0 win over Minnesota Stars

Posted By on Sun, Jul 22, 2012 at 12:17 PM

Chris BairdDark clouds (no, not the Minnesota soccer supporters group) invade WakeMed Soccer Park during the Carolina RailHawks 1-0 win over the StarsWAKEMED SOCCER PARK/ CARY—A summertime soccer match that started in front of 3,158 fans ended six hours later under the countenance of a few dozen pairs of bleary eyes and beer goggles. The result, a 1-0 win by the Carolina RailHawks over league rival Minnesota Stars, seemed incidental through the haze of fatigue, testiness and actual fog that enveloped WakeMed Soccer Park by the time the referee’s whistle finally signaled the end of full time around 1 a.m....

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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Floyd Franks discusses life with Vancouver Whitecaps and his return to RailHawks

Posted By on Sat, Jul 21, 2012 at 3:24 PM

Carolina RailHawksFloyd Franks, seen playing with the RailHawks in 2010The Carolina RailHawks return to action tonight after a well-deserved week off. After an exceedingly sluggish start that saw the team languishing at the bottom of the table in mid-May, the RailHawks started picking up points. Starting with a hard-fought draw against the Puerto Rico Islanders on May 19 and concluding with another tough draw, versus the Fort Lauderdale Strikers on July 7, the RailHawks picked up 17 points in eight games. And in the middle of that was an entertaining U.S. Open Cup run that was punctuated by a 2-1...

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Friday, July 20, 2012

Vogt, Rhymes show clout as Bulls top Wings again

Posted By on Fri, Jul 20, 2012 at 11:47 PM

DURHAM BULLS ATHLETIC PARK The Bulls’ homestand continues with another four-game series against a representative from the North Division. Tonight under cloudy skies in come the Rochester Red Wings, who are a game above .500 but in fifth place in the loaded division.Photo by Chris BairdLance Pendleton got in five innings before the rain to pick up the victory. The Bulls won three of four against the Red Wings in their earlier series on the road. Lance Pendleton (4-4, 4.24) will go for the Bulls tonight against Esmerling Vasquez (3-4, 3.38). Durham takes the lead early, holding on for a...

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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Dash earns series split with fight-marred shutout of Mudcats

Posted By on Thu, Jul 19, 2012 at 10:55 PM

FIVE COUNTY STADIUM/ZEBULON The second half of the season has been good to the Carolina Mudcats so far, and tonight they’ll look to clinch a series against the first-half Southern Division champion Winston-Salem Dash. Photo courtesy Carolina MudcatsMudcats infielder Ronny RodriguezCarolina, which finished last in the division in the first half but has pulled to within two games of .500 for the season, trails the first-place Myrtle Beach Pelicans by just two games. Tonight, Joseph Colon will make his Mudcats debut while Justin Collop (7-2, 3.98) will go for the Dash. It isn’t Colon’s or the Mudcats’ night, as they...

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Coaches laugh it up, wax poetic at Thursday's annual Pigskin Preview

Posted By on Thu, Jul 19, 2012 at 4:14 PM

EMBASSY SUITES/CARY It’s the largest event of its kind in the nation, this Tenth Annual Pigskin Preview of the Bill Dooley Triangle/East Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame. And of course it helps that there are five Division I football programs between Orange and Pitt counties. On Thursday five coaches — new UNC coach Larry Fedora, N.C. State’s Tom O’Brien, Duke’s David Cutcliffe, East Carolina’s Ruffin McNeill and N.C. Central assistant Dwayne Foster — occupied the head table for what has become the first big event of each football season. (Foster was sitting in for...

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Figueroa, Bulls take second straight from Lehigh Valley

Posted By on Wed, Jul 18, 2012 at 10:57 PM

DURHAM BULLS ATHLETIC PARK One win to stop a seven-game losing streak has gotten the Durham Bulls back to above .500 at home (24-23) and to within 10 games of a playoff spot. Photo courtesy Durham BullsBulls infielder Cole FigueroaBut getting something going against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, leaders of the International League’s North Division, is the challenge. Tonight the Bulls will take on Ryne Sandberg’s club in the third of a four-game set, with steady battler Matt Torra (8-6, 4.22) taking on Pat Misch (7-10, 4.50). Sparked by the bottom of the order Durham escapes with its second straight...

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Paduch, Bulls end streak without a walk or a strikeout

Posted By on Tue, Jul 17, 2012 at 10:47 PM

DURHAM BULLS ATHLETIC PARK — The Durham Bulls got themselves into a big hole with a rough road trip, and tonight they’ll look for a way to begin climbing out. Photo courtesy Durham BullsBulls pitcher Jim PaduchThe Lehigh Valley IronPigs, who lead the International League’s North Division, took the opener of the four-game set 6-3 on Monday night to send the Bulls to their seventh straight defeat. And the Bulls come into the contest 10½ games out of the nearest playoff spot. The Bulls will send Jim Paduch (4-7, 5.45) to the hill against the IronPigs’ Scott Elarton (5-7, 5.21)....

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Sunday, July 8, 2012

The heat was on: Carolina RailHawks strike twice late to salvage 3-3 tie with Fort Lauderdale Strikers

Posted By on Sun, Jul 8, 2012 at 1:48 AM

Chris BairdMike Palacio fires his second goal late in the Carolina RailHawks' 3-3 tie with the Fort Lauderdale Strikers in Cary, N.C.WAKEMED SOCCER PARK/ CARY—Before speaking with the press following the Carolina RailHawks’ 3-3 draw with the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, RailHawks manager Colin Clarke stood solitary on the WakeMed Stadium pitch and watched the post-game fireworks show. Once the rockets’ red (and blue and green and gold and...) glare had dissipated from the nighttime Cary canopy, Clarke sauntered over to the assembled local media armed with a simile. “That was a little like our defense,” Clarke deadpanned about the scattershot...

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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Four-homer barrage gives Norfolk split of two-game series

Posted By on Thu, Jul 5, 2012 at 10:48 PM

DURHAM BULLS ATHLETIC PARK It’s the second game of a short two-game series with the Norfolk Tides, and the Bulls are looking for a win in their last chance to play at home in quite a while. Photo courtesy Durham BullsBulls infielder Shawn O'MalleyBecause of a pair of road series bookending the All-Star Break, the Bulls won’t be back home again until July 16. Taking the hill for the Bulls will be lefty Alex Torres (3-3, 6.52), who has had plenty of ups and downs this season. Tommy Hunter (1-0, 1.29) will pitch for Norfolk. It’s a slugfest, with the...

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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Brignac, Beckham blasts lead Bulls to rout of Norfolk

Posted By on Wed, Jul 4, 2012 at 9:49 PM

DURHAM BULLS ATHLETIC PARK The Durham Bulls seem to be on the road most years on July 4, but tonight they’ll host the Norfolk Tides in the opener of a two-game set before they hit the road again. Photo courtesy Durham BullsBulls infielder Reid BrignacWith the city’s Independence Day fireworks show to follow, the largest crowd of the season is expected on a night with temperatures in the 90s. Matt Joyce, who was with the Bulls in 2009 when they won the Triple-A National Championship, is with the Bulls on Major League rehab. Jim Paduch (4-6, 5.31) will pitch for...

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Weathering Wynalda: Carolina RailHawks defeat Atlanta Silverbacks 2-1

Posted By on Wed, Jul 4, 2012 at 12:24 PM

Neil MorrisFireworks light up the nighttime Cary sky following the Carolina RailHawks' 2-1 win over the Atlanta SilverbacksWAKEMED SOCCER PARK/ CARY—The busiest person at WakeMed Soccer Park Tuesday evening was the DJ. Two lightning delays totalling 113 minutes provided a chance to dust off the rain-related playlist—"Blame It on the Rain," "Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head," "It's Raining Men"—while the post-game fireworks gave whoever remained from the original 4,475 in attendance some traditional Independence Day fare—John Philip Sousa marches, "God Bless the USA," Katy Perry's "Firework" ... wait, huh? In between, the Carolina RailHawks returned to their recent winning...

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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Confident as ever, Eric Wynalda takes charge of Atlanta Silverbacks and discusses U.S. soccer coaching carousel

Posted By on Tue, Jul 3, 2012 at 3:54 PM

Neil MorrisEric WynaldaDURHAM—Not many soccer coaches happily reference not having to put on makeup before a press interview. But, not many soccer coaches have the broadcasting pedigree of Eric Wynalda, the Hall of Fame player turned pundit who has been pontificating as an analyst for Fox Soccer Channel since 2009 following a three-year partnership with ESPN. Those that follow Wynalda via his sundry media megaphones—whether it’s TV, Twitter, video blogs or even his lecture/ diatribe during the National Soccer Coaches Association of America conference in January—know that he also has a coaching itch that he still wants to scratch. Yesterday,...

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Monday, July 2, 2012

Aguilar, Urshela lead 15-hit attack as Mudcats throttle Potomac

Posted By on Mon, Jul 2, 2012 at 10:28 PM

FIVE COUNTY STADIUM/ZEBULON The Carolina Mudcats have gotten off to a nice start in the second half, and they’ll try to keep it going in the second of their three-game series against the Potomac Nationals tonight. Photo courtesy Carolina MudcatsMudcats infielder Jesus AguilarGame-time temperature is down to the 90s, a welcome change from the weekend. Carolina will send Danny Salazar (0-2, 3.00) to the hill against the Nationals’ Trevor Holder (5-2, 3.52). This is the Mudcats’ night, as they slug four homers in a 15-hit attack in an 11-1 rout....

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