Sports Digest: Freshmen make Valpo history at ITA Midwest Regionals

2013-10-18T21:15:00Z 2013-12-12T22:16:13Z Sports Digest: Freshmen make Valpo history at ITA Midwest Regionals nwitimes.com
October 18, 2013 9:15 pm

Pro baseball

AP SOURCE SAYS WHITE SOX LAND CUBAN SLUGGER ABREU: Cuban slugger Jose Abreu has agreed to a six-year, $68 million contract with the White Sox, a person familiar with the situation said Friday.

The person spoke Friday on the condition of anonymity because the deal had not been announced and was pending a physical.

Abreu could play first base or serve as the designated hitter. He batted .360 (9-for-25) with three home runs and nine RBIs at the World Baseball Classic last spring. He defected over the summer.

CARDINALS WORLD SERIES-BOUND: Carlos Beltran and the Cardinals stunned Clayton Kershaw with a four-run third inning; rookie Michael Wacha was again magnificent on the mound, and St. Louis advanced to its second World Series in three seasons by roughing up the Los Angeles Dodgers 9-0 in Game 6 of the NL championship series Friday night.

 

Pro football

BEARS PROMOTE FRANKLIN: The Bears elevated linebacker Jerry Franklin to the active roster from the practice squad on Friday and placed linebacker D.J. Williams on injured reserve due to a pectoralis injury.

The 6-foot-1, 245-pound Franklin appeared in the final three contests of the 2012 regular season for Chicago, recording two special teams tackles. He spent the first six weeks of the 2013 season on the practice squad.

 

Pro basketball

ROSE SCORES 32 TO LEAD BULLS PAST PACERS: Derrick Rose scored 32 points, including eight in the final three minutes, and Luol Deng added 22 as the Bulls remained unbeaten this preseason with a 103-98 victory over the Pacers on Friday night.

The Bulls were without Jimmy Butler (left knee contusion) and Joakim Noah (right groin strain). Noah will be shut down for a week in hopes that the rest will clear up the injury.

 

College football

USC-NOTRE DAME GAME HASN'T LIVED UP TO RIVALRY: Southern California and Notre Dame have 22 national championships and 13 Heisman Trophy winners between them and their showdowns have included a lot of great games.

Just not lately.

Since Notre Dame won three straight over USC by four points from 1989-91, the game has been known more for lopsided victories than exhilarating finishes. Only seven of the past 21 games have been decided by a touchdown or less.

It's not just the competitiveness that has been lacking, though. While at least one team has been ranked in 64 of the 75 meetings since the AP poll started in 1936, this season marks the third time in the past four where neither is ranked.

WILDCATS LOOK TO STOP 2-GAME SKID: Northwestern had chances the past two weeks to show it could beat the best in the Big Ten. It didn't happen.

The Wildcats will try to get back to winning when they host Minnesota today after dropping games to two of the top teams in the conference.

The Wildcats (4-2, 0-2 Big Ten) blew a 10-point lead in the third quarter on the way to a 40-30 loss to Ohio State and got shredded 35-6 at Wisconsin last week. They gave up seven sacks, and a game that started as a defensive struggle degenerated into a blowout.

Minnesota (4-2, 0-2) is expected to be without coach Jerry Kill, who's on a leave of absence due to his epilepsy.

ILLINOIS EXPECTS TO SEE BEST OF BADGERS' BACKS: Illinois linebacker Jonathan Brown relishes the thought of today's game against No. 25 Wisconsin.

The Badgers (4-2, 2-1 Big Ten) have the big ground game that he says Big Ten linebackers dream about stopping.

But what Wisconsin doesn't have are a road win and the division lead. The Badgers trail Ohio State and coach Gary Andersen says they have to succeed on the road if they want to be a great team.

Illinois (3-2, 0-1) expects to see a lot of Wisconsin running backs Melvin Gordon and James White. Gordon averages 145 yards a game and White 95.7.

Illini defensive coordinator Tim Banks says the Badgers will pound and pound away at Illinois to try to wear its suspect defense down.

MICHIGAN LOOKS TO BOUNCE BACK AGAINST IU: Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner says the Wolverines aren't discouraged about losing their first game of the season.

Michigan fell out of The Associated Press rankings for the first time this year after losing 43-40 in four overtimes at Penn State. The Wolverines' (5-1, 1-1 Big Ten) first chance to bounce back comes today at home against Indiana (3-3, 1-1).

The Hoosiers have lost 17 straight in the series and haven't won at Michigan Stadium in four-plus decades.

PURDUE UP NEXT FOR IMPROVING MICHIGAN STATE: Michigan State is quietly emerging as a factor in the Big Ten title race.

The Spartans (5-1, 2-0) looked out of sorts at times in September, when coach Mark Dantonio was still trying to decide on a quarterback and the defense scored most of the touchdowns for the first couple weeks. Now Michigan State is one of only three teams undefeated in Big Ten play, and the Spartans are favored again today at home against Purdue.

Purdue (1-5, 0-2) dropped its first two conference games to Wisconsin and Nebraska by a combined 85-17.

 

Men's tennis

FRESHMEN MAKE VALPO HISTORY AT ITA MIDWEST REGIONALS: Valparaiso freshmen Dave Bacalla and Jeffrey Schorsch qualified for  Friday's main draw of the ITA Midwest Regionals and suffered losses to a pair of highly-touted players from Ohio State.

Bacalla lost 6-3, 7-6 to the Buckeyes' Peter Kobelt, the third-ranked player in the country. Schorsch lost 6-4, 6-4 to Marko Golec-Babic, the 17th seed in the event. Bacalla and Schorsch made program history with more than one victory in Thursday's qualifying bracket. Both players advanced to today's consolation bracket.

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