Sports Digest: Valparaiso baseball team ends five-game skid

2014-04-30T21:30:00Z 2014-05-01T17:18:21Z Sports Digest: Valparaiso baseball team ends five-game skid nwitimes.com
April 30, 2014 9:30 pm

Pro baseball

CUBS COME FROM BEHIND TO BEAT REDS: Nate Schierholtz drove in three runs, and Anthony Rizzo hit a two-run homer, rallying the Cubs over the Cincinnati Reds 9-4 Wednesday night.

Starlin Castro went 3 for 4 with two doubles for the Cubs, who have won two of three following a four-game losing streak.

Edwin Jackson (2-2) beat Cincinnati for the second time this year, allowing four runs and five hits in 5 2/3 innings. Brian Schlitter, Wesley Wright, Neil Ramirez and Hector Rondon combined for two-hit relief.

With the score 3-3 in the fifth, the Cubs loaded the bases with no outs against reliever Nick Christiani (0-1). Mike Olt hit into an RBI forceout, and Schierholtz followed with a sacrifice fly.

College baseball

CRUSADERS END SKID: Valparaiso snapped a five-game losing streak with an 8-3 win over Chicago State on Wednesday at Emory G. Bauer Field. 

Bryce Hara led the Crusaders (16-23), going 2-for-4 with a home run and two runs scored. Michael Morman raised his team-leading batting average to .273 after going 2-for-4 with two runs scored.

Pro basketball

NO-NAME HAWKS GETTING IT DONE VS. TOP-SEEDED PACERS: Quick, name the starting lineup for the Atlanta Hawks.

Stumped? You're not alone.

Despite a lack of recognizable players beyond All-Star forward Paul Millsap, talented young point guard Jeff Teague and perhaps 3-point specialist Kyle Korver, the Hawks have shown just how far hard work, intelligence and a steadfast belief in their system can carry a team.

Eighth-seeded Atlanta has a 3-2 lead against the top-seeded Pacers and can complete a stunning upset by winning at home tonight.

The Hawks finished 18 games behind Indiana during the regular season but have thoroughly controlled the postseason series, building double-digit leads in all five games. Atlanta is coming off an especially impressive performance in Game 5, building a 30-point lead on the road and holding on for a 107-97 triumph.

Horse racing

CALIFORNIA CHROME MADE 5-2 DERBY FAVORITE: The only time Victor Espinoza won the Kentucky Derby was aboard War Emblem in 2002. They broke from the No. 5 post, the same position he'll start the 140th edition of the race with early 5-2 favorite California Chrome.

Eight horses have won from there, most recently Funny Cide in 2003.

California Chrome comes into the Derby having won his last four starts by a combined 24¼ lengths.

Hopportunity was made the 6-1 second choice in the full field of 20 horses. Hopportunity drew the No. 11 post for the race Saturday at Churchill Downs. He's trained by Bob Baffert, a three-time Derby winner with two starters. His other horse, Chitu, is a 20-1 long shot that drew the No. 13 post.

Wicked Strong, named for the victims of last year's Boston Marathon bombings, is the 8-1 third choice and will break from the 20th post on the far outside. He and the No. 10 horse, Wildcat Red, will be last ones loaded into the starting gate.

Calvin Borel will break from the No. 19 post aboard Ride On Curlin.

Danza is the 10-1 fourth choice and drew the No. 4 post. He's one of four horses trained by Todd Pletcher. The others are: Intense Holiday, 12-1; Vinceremos, 30-1, and We Miss Artie, 50-1.

Mike Maker will saddle a trio of horses: General a Rod, 15-1; Harry's Holiday, 50-1; and Vicar's In Trouble, a 30-1 shot that drew the dreaded No. 1 post.

Auto racing

DRIVERS GIVE THUMBS UP TO INDY'S NEW ROAD COURSE: IndyCar drivers are excited about the new road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Former Indy 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya called the changes major improvements. Former 500 runner-up Takuma Sato called it the smoothest road course he's driven in the United States.

Graham Rahal said the 14-turn, 2.439-mile course was just plain fun after testing Wednesday.

Will Power topped the speed chart at 124.697 with 90 minutes left in the afternoon practice.

With more passing zones and harder braking areas, IndyCar drivers think it will make the Grand Prix of Indianapolis a more enjoyable race for the fans. The inaugural race is scheduled for May 10.

Local basketball

CHARITY GAME AT PUC: The Lake County Department of Corrections will take on the Lake County Police Department and other Lake County police agencies in a charity basketball at noon Saturday at the Purdue Calunet Fitness Center. Admission is $5, with proceeds benefiting Concerns of Police Survivors and Lake County Right to Life.

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