RAILCATS ADD INFIELDER, TRADE SHAH: The RailCats signed Danny Pulfer, an infielder who has spent the last two seasons in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization, and traded outfielder Asif Shah to the Quebec Capitales of the Can-Am League.
Pulfer played in 2011 for the Short-Season Yakima Bears, and last year was in the rookie Pioneer League with the Missoula Osprey, which won the league championship. He hit .285 with 15 extra-base hits playing mostly from second base.
In exchange for Shah, the RailCats took cash considerations and the reversionary rights to outfielder Rony Rodriguez. Shah was acquired in a trade last season with Lincoln and played in one game for the RailCats.
PACERS LOSE REGULAR-SEASON FINALE: Dorell Wright scored 23 points, leading Philadelphia to a 105-95 victory over the short-handed Pacers in what was likely Doug Collins' final game as the 76ers coach.
The organization has already scheduled morning news conferences with the managing owner and Collins.
The Pacers (49-31) were led by Gerald Green who had a career-high 34 points. Indiana was already locked into the third seed in the Eastern Conference and will face sixth-seeded Atlanta in the first round.
MICHIGAN LOSING HARDAWAY JR. TO DRAFT: Michigan guard Tim Hardaway Jr. is leaving the Wolverines early for the NBA draft.
The 6-foot-6 junior announced his decision Wednesday. He is the second Michigan player to declare for early entry to the draft this year. National player of the year Trey Burke announced his departure Sunday.
There's been no announcement yet on the futures of Mitch McGary, a Chesterton product, and Glenn Robinson III, a Lake Central graduate, two talented freshmen who could also leave Michigan for the NBA.
STEINBACH WINS MAC POW AGAIN: Andrean grad Nikki Steinbach won the MAC's Pitcher of the Week honor for the fifth time this season.
She picked up three MAC wins for Ball State over the weekend to improve to 7-0 in league games. She opened by collecting a shutout victory over Akron, her fifth of the season. Steinbach allowed two hits while striking out five.
SOUTH SUBURBAN ENTERS TOP 25: South Suburban College was ranked No. 23 in the NJCAA national poll this week. The Bulldogs had a 20-10 record when the poll was released. SSC has won seven of its last nine games.
KOZBIEL COMMITS TO PURDUE CALUMET: Outfielder Bailey Kozbiel (Crest Hill, Ill.) has committed to Purdue Calumet. Kozbiel is a member of the Joliet Dirt Devils Elite club team. She helped the Dirt Devils to a USSSA State Tournament title and a third-place finish at the Chicago Metros Tournament last summer. She hit .404 on the year.
VALPARAISO ROUTS ROOSEVELT: John Loeffler was 3-for-5 with a double, four RBIs and three runs scored as Valparaiso crushed Roosevelt 15-3.
Jeff Edwards was 3-for-5 with a double and three runs scored for the Crusaders (14-21); Chris Manning was 1-for-4 with three RBIs and a run scored; Andrew Bynum was 2-for-3 with a double and two runs scored, and Jake Hanson was 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a run scored.
BEARS DEFENSE STARTS POST-URLACHER ERA: The Bears defense has a new head coach, defensive coordinator and two new linebackers.
Yet during the team's first minicamp under coach Marc Trestman this week, the scheme they are playing, the terminology and even the coaching techniques are similar to what the team had under former coach Lovie Smith.
What the Bears are trying to replace is the veteran leadership and skills of Brian Urlacher, who was allowed to leave in the offseason after 13 years.. Urlacher remains unsigned and general manager Phil Emery says it's very unlikely the eight-time Pro Bowl player will be back in Chicago.
Around the horn
NASCAR suspended four members of defending Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski's team and three more from Penske Racing teammate Joey Logano for seven races each, saying they used parts without prior approval before last weekend's race at Texas. The series also stripped the drivers and their owners of 25 points each Wednesday. ... The Senate has voted to urge President Barack Obama to pardon posthumously the first black heavyweight boxing champion, Jack Johnson, who was convicted a century ago of accompanying a white woman across state lines.