Sports Digest: RailCats sweep doubleheader

2014-05-28T21:30:00Z 2014-09-09T23:15:07Z Sports Digest: RailCats sweep doubleheader nwitimes.com

Pro basketball

PACERS STAY ALIVE: Paul George scored 31 of his 37 points in the second half Wednesday night and almost single-handedly kept the Pacers alive in the Eastern Conference finals with a 93-90 victory over the Miami Heat.

The Pacers still trail 3-2 in the best-of-seven series. Game 6 will be played Friday night in Miami.

It took a frantic effort just to extend the series, even with the foul-plagued LeBron James held to just seven points in 23 minutes. Chris Bosh led the Heat with 20 points missed a potential go-ahead 3-pointer in the closing seconds.

Indiana turned a 50-41 deficit into a 64-57 lead after three, then led by as much as 11 in the fourth.

Pro baseball

RAILCATS SWEEP DOUBLEHEADER: After topping Kansas City 9-0 in the first game of a doubleheader Wednesday, the RailCats used a sixth-inning run to force extras in the second game and eventually win 4-3.

Stephen Bougher earned the shutout in the first game, punctuated by a three-RBI game from Wally Backman Jr. and two RBIs from Josh Romanski.

In the second game, the RailCats fell behind three times before finally taking the lead in the eighth inning — extra innings by doubleheader regulations of seven-inning games. Craig Maddox singled in the winning run in the eighth as a pinch hitter.

College

CONNAUGHTON TELLS MLB HE PLANS TO RETURN TO IRISH: Notre Dame pitcher Pat Connaughton is telling major league teams he plans to play basketball for the Fighting Irish next season no matter where he's taken in the baseball draft.

The 6-5 swingman who was third on the basketball team in scoring last season at 13.8 points a game, says the ideal scenario would be to be drafted high, play baseball in the minors in June and July and then return to Notre Dame in early August to get ready for an exhibition tour to Italy and earn his degree in December.

Connaughton was 3-5 with a 3.92 earned run average in 10 starts for the Irish this season.

SUSPENDED DANIELS, GRANT READMITTED TO NOTRE DAME: Wide receiver DaVaris Daniels and Jerian Grant, the basketball team's leading scorer, have been readmitted to Notre Dame after being suspended for the spring semester for undisclosed academic violations.

Daniels was second on the team last season with 49 catches for 745 yards and is the leading returning receiver. He will be a senior academically, but has two years of athletic eligibility left because he didn't play as a freshman.

Grant was leading the Irish in scoring at 19 points a game as well as in assists and steals when he was suspended after a loss to then-No. 3 Ohio State.

Pro tennis

SERENA, VENUS LOSE IN SECOND ROUND AT FRENCH OPEN: Instead of playing each other this week at the French Open, Serena and Venus Williams will both be heading home early.

The American sisters both lost in the second round on Wednesday, each being outplayed by little-known opponents at Roland Garros.

Serena, the defending French Open champion and a 17-time major winner, lost to Garbine Muguruza of Spain 6-2, 6-2. It is her earliest exit at a major tournament since falling in the first round at Roland Garros two years ago — and her most-lopsided loss ever at a Grand Slam.

A short time earlier, older sister Venus was eliminated by Anna Schmiedlova of Slovakia 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.

The Williams siblings would have met in the third round had they both won.

With Li Na also eliminated, it is the first time in the Open era that the top two seeded women have lost before the third round at any Grand Slam tournament.

Around the horn

Prosecutors say former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez gunned down two men in their car in 2012 after one of them accidentally bumped into him at a Boston nightclub, spilling a drink. Hernandez pleaded not guilty in Suffolk Superior Court Wednesday afternoon in the shooting deaths of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado. A third man was wounded. ... Tiger Woods withdrew from the U.S. Open on Wednesday as he recovers from back surgery that has kept him out of golf for nearly three months. ... Shelly Sterling is reviewing bids from five groups interested in buying the Los Angeles Clippers, and a deal could be struck before next week's owners meeting provided both she and her estranged husband Donald relinquish total ownership in the team. ... Malcolm Glazer, the self-made billionaire who led the takeover of English football's Manchester United and owned the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers, has died. He was 85.

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