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Prep football

Bukur, Merrill honored at All-Star game: Zack Merrill (Andrean) was named MVP on Friday as the North edged the South 25-24 in the Indiana Football Coaches Association's All-Star game at North Central High School in Indinapolis. Also, Valparaiso's Tyler Bukur received the John Goodman Mental Attitude Award. The award was voted on by his North teammates and coaching staff.

Pro baseball

Willis named to American Association All-Star Game: The American Association announced Friday that RailCats outfielder Colin Willis (Purdue Northwest) has been named a reserve for the North Division Team in the 2019 American Association All-Star Game on July 23 at CHS Field in St. Paul, Minnesota. Willis ranks second in the American Association with 37 walks. He leads Gary with 170 at-bats, 29 runs, 46 hits, 11 doubles, three triples, 17 extra-base hits, 31 RBIs, 72 total bases, six stolen bases in six attempts, 14 multi-hit games, six multi-run games, seven-multi walk games, a .424 slugging percentage and a .819 OPS.

RailCats sign RHP Spinnenweber: The Gary RailCats signed right-handed pitcher Andrew Spinnenweber to his first professional baseball contract prior to Friday’s series opener against the Cleburne Railroaders. Spinnenweber started the game against the Cleburne Railroaders and is expected to utilized in the “opener” role. In order to make room for Spinneweber on the 23-man active roster, Gary placed right-hander pitcher Chris Pennell on irrevocable waivers.

‘Cats lose fifth straight game: A 2-0 lead through four innings wasn’t enough for Gary as the RailCats failed to avoid the four-game series sweep after falling to the Chicago Dogs, 5-2, on Thursday night at Impact Field. Gary (21-29) jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first after having the first four batters of the game reach base safely. Alex Crosby led off the game with an infield single before MJ Rookard reached safely on a throwing error by Chicago starter Austin Wright. Will Savage then drew a five-pitch walk against his former teammate before Tom Walraven brought home both Crosby and Rookard with a two-run double off the left field wall on a hop. Trevor Lubking (5-4) was charged with the loss after allowing five runs on seven hits and a walk over six innings.

College baseball

Oilmen win fifth straight game: Hunter Ryan (Hebron) was 4-for-5 with a double, two RBIs and three runs scored Thursday in a 13-1 win over Crestwood, the NWI Oilmen's fifth straight win. Teammate Frank Napleton was 3-for-3 with a double, two RBIs and a run scored.

Women's golf

Miestowski to play in Western Am: Alexis Miestowski (Lake Central) will be part of the field for the 119th Western Women’s Amateur, which will be held July 15-20 at Royal Melbourne Country Club in Long Grove, Illinois. Miestowski, who plays at Indiana University, won the IHSAA state individual title in 2015.

Women's tennis

Bob Modesto named new coach at Valparaiso: A household name on the Northwest Indiana tennis scene, Bob Modesto has been hired to take over as coach at Valparaiso. The Chesterton resident is familiar with Valpo’s program as his daughter Meg played for the team for the last four seasons and graduated in May. All three of Modesto’s daughters played tennis at the Division-I level with Bobbi playing at IUPUI and Maureen doing so at Missouri. Modesto began teaching tennis in 1993 as a pro at Match Point Tennis Club in Griffith, where he was the Director of Tennis. He coached the boys tennis team at Homewood-Flossmoor in Illinois to seven consecutive state appearances and led the girls team at Munster to five straight trips to the Indiana state finals during his stint leading the Mustangs from 2004-2009. His time coaching at Munster concluded on a high note in 2009, when the team finished third at state and senior Mary Hill became the first female singles player from Northwest Indiana to win a state title.

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Sports Copy Editor

Jim is a copy editor for The Times who works out of Valparaiso. A South Central High School (1984) and Ball State ('89) grad, he’s covered preps most of his career. He received the Indiana High School Wrestling Coaches Association’s Media Award in 1997.