HILL LEADS ARIZONA OVER CUBS AS SORIANO WAITS: Aaron Hill drove in two runs with a homer and double, helping the Arizona Diamondbacks to a 3-1 victory over the Cubs on Thursday night and a split of their four-game series.
Cole Gillespie got the start in left field for the Cubs after Alfonso Soriano was removed from the lineup, pending completion of a trade to the New York Yankees. Soriano had yet to be dealt by the conclusion of the game, though he missed his second straight while the club was working out the deal.
Hill's first-inning double into the left-field corner plated Adam Eaton from first base with the Diamondbacks' first run. He hit his fifth home run of the season in the fifth, leading off the inning with a blast to left field.
OILMEN NEAR PLAYOFF BERTH: The Northwest Indiana Oilmen moved closer to locking up home field advantage in the first round of the playoffs by virtue of Thursday night's 5-1 win over Rockford at Oil City Stadium.
The Oilmen did all their damage in the second and third innings, scoring twice in the second and three times in the third before rolling to the victory. Michael Steensen worked 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball.
Northwest Indiana’s one-two late relief punch of Aveeno Nasiloski and Matt Pobereyko came on to secure the victory. Nasiloski tossed 1 1/3 innings before Pobereyko retired the side in order in the ninth.
The Oilmen improved to 21-12 and moved within 1 1/2 games of DuPage County pending the outcome of Thursday night’s game between the Hounds and Southland Vikings. Also pending the results of Thursday’s other games, the Oilmen are three games ahead of both Southland and Lexington for second place in the Midwest Collegiate League entering the final three days of the season.
NWI will travel to Sugar Grove for a road meeting with the Chicago Zephyrs tonight before closing out the regular season Sunday at DuPage.
GRIFFITH WINS OHIO VALLEY OPENER: In its first pool-play game of the Cal Ripken 12-and-under Ohio Valley Regional in Vincennes, Griffith edged North Lexington 3-2.
Griffith will play two more pool-play games today: 10 a.m. against Henryville and 2 p.m. against Sturgeon Bay. The single-bracket round will be Saturday and Sunday.
Griffith was runner-up at the Cal Ripken 12U Northern State Tournament. The team took the place of champion Crown Point in the OVR as C.P. earned an automatic bid to the Cal Ripken 12U World Series to be played Aug. 9 to 16 at the Hammond Optimist Youth Sports Complex.
BEARS SIGN ANDERSON: The Bears signed defensive lineman Jamaal Anderson to a one-year contract Thursday.
The 6-foot-6, 280-pound Anderson started 48 of 77 games played in six seasons with Atlanta (2007-10), Indianapolis (2011) and Cincinnati (2012) after being selected by the Falcons in the first round (eighth overall) of the 2007 NFL Draft out of Arkansas.
Anderson has recorded 132 tackles, 7.5 sacks, 10 pass break ups and two forced fumbles during his career.
The Bears had a roster spot available after placing defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis on the reserve/retired list.
COLTS CUT SUSPENDED TE SAUNDERS: The Colts cut tight end Weslye Saunders on Thursday, one week after he was suspended by the NFL for eight games for violating the performance enhancing drugs policy.
Also on Thursday, Indianapolis signed outside linebacker Daniel Adongo. Adongo is a 6-foot-5, 257-pound Kenyan rugby player who has played for national youth teams.
THREE CRUSADERS NAMED ALL-AMERICA SCHOLARS: Valparaiso graduated senior Austin Gaugert and seniors to be Kyle Henning and Thomas Wettstein all were honored this week as Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-America Scholars as the Golf Coaches Association of America announced this year's honorees.
The GCAA honored 152 Division I players who were juniors or seniors academically, participated in at least 50 percent of his team's competitive rounds during the season, had a stroke average of 76.0 or below during the season and maintained a cumulative GPA of at least 3.2.
Gaugert (74.7, VU record), Henning (75.5) and Wettstein (75.8) ranked 1-2-3 for the Crusaders in stroke average, leading Valpo to its first-ever Horizon League Championship. Gaugert graduated with a 3.392 cumulative GPA as a marketing and sports management double major. Henning owns a 3.805 cumulative GPA as a civil engineering major, while Wettstein carries a 3.715 cumulative GPA as a finance major.
WESTENDORP PROMOTED; MESALAM JOINS VALPO: Valparaiso head coach Tracey Dorow announced that Kurt Westendorp has been promoted from assistant coach to associate head coach, while Paige Mesalam has joined the Crusaders staff as director of basketball operations.
Westendorp, a Valparaiso alum, has been an assistant coach for Dorow for the last three years -- two seasons at Ferris State and last season in Dorow's first year at Valparaiso.
Mesalam comes to Valpo after spending the 2012-13 season at Southern Illinois as a graduate assistant.
FREE NEW RIDER CLINIC SATURDAY: A free new rider clinic will take place Saturday at Imagination Glen BMX Park, 2190 Ind. 149 in Portage. The clinic will take place before regularly-scheduled racing at 7 p.m. Registration fees for racing are $10 for class/cruiser, $5 for open/strider. For details, call (219) 406-9833, or go to www.steelwheelsbmx.com.
Around the horn
Purdue Calumet Athletics Director Rick Costello is the guest on "Purdue Calumet Sports Insight" at 5:30 p.m. today on WJOB-AM (1230). ... American Gene Sauers shot a 3-under 67 in windy conditions at Royal Birkdale to take the first-round lead in the Senior British Open.