D.K. Carey

D.K. Carey signed with the Gary SouthShore RailCats after a tryout camp before the 2018 season.

Pro baseball

RailCats holding tryout camp: A year ago, D.K. Carey "showed up out of nowhere" at the Gary SouthShore RailCats' tryout camp in Gary and made the team, according to manager Greg Tagert.

Carey, who spent the previous four seasons in the Nationals' minor-league system after Washington drafted him in the seventh round out of Miami, became a starting outfielder for the RailCats.

He hit .311 with a .391 on-base percentage and slugged .420, helping Gary win a franchise-record 59 games and earn its first regular-season division title in the American Association.  

"He reminded me why we continue to host tryout camps," Tagert said. 

This year's open player tryout is scheduled for April 28 at the U.S. Steel Yard in Gary. Players are asked to report at 11:30 a.m.

All players 18 and older are eligible to register and the cost is $50. Tryout participants must bring their own baseball equipment, including cleats, glove, wooden bats and catcher's gear.

Players do not need to register in advance. Players can only tryout at one position.

Carey was traded to Sussex County of the Can-Am League in February to add pitching depth, Tagert said. 

College softball

Packard honored: After a pair of standout performances, Valparaiso University junior Kelsie Packard was named the Missouri Valley Conference Pitcher of the Week, the league announced Monday.

Packard started her week with a strong relief effort at North Carolina State on March 5. She entered with two on and nobody out in the third inning and escaped the jam without allowing a run. She would go the remainder of the way against the Wolfpack, throwing five shutout innings, striking out six and giving up three hits. The Crusaders won 4-0.

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Packard pitched a career-high 10 innings Sunday against Lipscomb and gave up just one run on four hits while striking out nine. Packard pitched three innings of international tiebreak softball without surrendering a run, allowing Valpo to pick up the 2-1 win in the 10th inning.

Men's College basketball

Butler wins pair of Big East awards: Junior guard Justin Simon of St. John's has been chosen Big East Conference defensive player of the year.

The league also announced on Monday its head coaches selected DePaul sophomore forward Paul Reed as the most improved player; Butler senior guard Paul Jorgensen as the conference's sixth man of the year; and Butler senior center Nate Fowler for its sportsmanship award.

The Big East will announce its player, coach and freshman of the year awards along with its basketball scholar-athlete at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday, the opening night of the conference's postseason tournament.

Butler will play Providence in the opening game, and St. John's will face DePaul in the second game.

Top-seeded Villanova and second-seeded Marquette will get into action on Thursday, when four quarterfinal games are scheduled.

Simon, a 6-foot-5 junior guard, started 30 of 31 games, usually handling an opponent's top guard. He ranks seventh in the league in steals with a 1.4 average, leads the team with 19 blocked shots, and averages 10.0 points.

Reed averages 11.2 points and 8.2 rebounds, starting 21 of 28 games. His rebounding average ranks first in the conference and his 91.7 percent free-throw shooting percentage is second in the league. The forward averaged 3.6 points and 3.1 rebounds last season.

Jorgensen started three conference games, but his 11.8 scoring average is second on the team. His 3-point total (68) also is second on the team.

Fowler has participated in several of Butler's community service initiatives, including an active role in the "adopting" of elementary-aged Seth Dennison as a teammate. Dennison has a rare chromosome deletion, but interacts with players at team events. Fowler is averaging 5.4 points and 3.6 rebounds while starting 18 games.