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Pro baseball

RailCats sign right-handed pitcher: Former Texas Ranger farmhand Kaleb Fontenot will soon take the mound in Gary.

The right-handed pitcher out of Villa Platte, Louisiana, signed with the Gary SouthShore RailCats for the upcoming season, the club announced Monday. Fontenot was 1-0 with an 8.10 ERA over three relief appearances with the Down East Wood Ducks (Class-A Advanced) so far this season.

The Rangers selected Fontenot, 25, in the 21st round of the 2016 MLB Draft out of McNeese State and had owned his rights ever since. He was 2-3 overall with a 3.25 ERA over 69.1 innings (35 appearances) for the Wood Ducks in 2018.

The RailCats begin their regular season May 17 against the Chicago Dogs in Rosemont, Illinois.

College softball

Doubleheader rained out: With rain in the forecast all day Tuesday in DeKalb, Ill., the Valparaiso softball team’s doubleheader at Northern Illinois was canceled Monday. The games will not be made up. Valparaiso returns to the diamond for the final MVC series of the regular season Friday and Saturday at home against Illinois State.

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Pro football

NFL draft draws record numbers in Nashville and on TV: The NFL draft drew record numbers both on site and on television.

The league said Monday that more than 600,000 attended over the three days in Nashville, easily eclipsing the 250,000 that came to watch two years ago in Philadelphia.

Nielsen reports that the draft on ESPN, ABC and NFL Network averaged 6.1 million viewers at any given time over the three days. The draft averaged 5.5 million viewers last year, which was the first time all seven rounds were on broadcast television.

The average numbers were up despite the ratings for Thursday's first round being flat. The combined average for the three networks was 11.1 million, which was down from last year's 11.2 million. The ABC broadcast averaged 4.5 million, which was up 21 percent from last year's 3.7 million that watched on Fox.

"By every metric — from the hundreds of thousands of fans who filled the streets of Nashville to the record-breaking ratings and viewership — this event was an unqualified success," Peter O'Reilly, the NFL's executive vice president for club business and league events, said in an email.

Next year's draft is slated to take place in Las Vegas and will be the first significant event hosted by the Raiders in their new home city. The Raiders will play their final season in Oakland this year before moving to Nevada.

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