Kip’s Homer not Enough as the Ducks Fall

Akron, Ohio

On a Beautiful Wednesday Night, The Akron Rubberducks hosted the Hartford Yardgoats in game 2 of their three game series. In Game one, the Rubberducks would win 5-2, pushing their record to 52-54. On this night, Lefthander Matt Whitehouse would start for the Ducks, who going into the game was 6-5 with a 4.22 ERA. He was opposed by Konner Wade a Right Hander for the Yardgoats, who was 5-6 with a 4.36 ERA. The Big news for this game going into it was that Jason Kipnis who is still recovering from a hamstring injury, was playing and starting at second for his second rehab start, his first starting at second though.

It didn’t take long for the Yardgoats to get on the board. Two batters in they had a 1-0 lead after a walk to the leadoff hitter then Shortstop Brendan Rodgers hit a double to right center scoring the runner from first. After two strike outs from Whitehouse, he would hit the number 5 batter and the next batter Josh Fuentes doubled right over the third base bag bringing in the second run of the game. Whitehouse would get out of the jam with a strike out on the next batter he faced. In the Rubberducks half inning, it was a quick three up three down, as Kipnis would ground to second in his first at bat of the night.

After a very quite second inning from both teams, Brendan Rodgers lead off the third inning with a Homerun to left field. Giving the Yardgoats a 3-0 lead. Then after a bunt single by Drew Weeks, he would then be thrown out by catcher Francisco Mejia trying to steal second base. After a fielder choice to get the second out of the inning, Josh Fuentes would strike again with an RBI single to push the lead to 4-0. In the bottom of the third, Akron finally got on the board after a Luigi Rodriguez double and a Greg Allen Sac fly to bring him home. Then Jason Kipnis would cut the lead in half with a big solo homerun to right field. Making the score 4-2.

Whitehouse’s rough night counited in the top of the fourth as the first batter Stephen Cardullo hit a homerun to left field giving Horford he 5-2 lead. After a double and single by the Yardgoats, Whitehouse struck out Rodgers then a run came in after a ground out to Yu Chang at short. Making it 6-2 Hartford. Akron would respond though in the bottom of the fourth. Bobby Bradley would lead off with a walk then Chang would hit a triple into the left field corner. Then on the next pitch Mike Papi would single home Chang making the score 6-4 in favor of Hartford. After a hit by Rodriguez putting runners at the corners, Joe Sever hit a bullet off the leg of the Pitcher Wade driving in Rodriguez and making the score 6-5.

As the game headed to the fifth, Whitehouses’s night was over. He went 4 innings giving up 6 runs on 8 hits while striking out 6 and hitting 2 batters. He was relieved by Right Hander D.J Brown. And Brown would have a 1-2-3 inning. Striking out one in the process, keeping the score at 6-5. In the bottom of the fifth, Kipnis opened up the inning with a ground out to second baseman. Mejia and Bradley would follow with two quick outs for themselves. Keeping the score at 6-5.

After inning 7, not much had happened after the 5th inning, Kipnis would come out of the game after going 1-4 with a Homerun and the score the same Hartford leading 6-5. In the top of the seventh, new pitcher Jacob Lee gave up three straight hits to open up the inning allowing Fuentes to score who doubled pushing Hartford’s lead to 7-5. After Lee loaded the bases with a walk, Ashley Graeter Tripled to deep center, clearing the bases and Horford really opened up their lead to 10-5. That lead would hld for the last 2 innings of play.

For Akron, Jason Kipnis finish 1-4 with a Homerun. Luigi Rodriguez finished 2-4 with a double. And Francisco Mejia went 0-4. The lose puts Arkon at 52-55 for the season.

Garcia Finally Win After a Masterful Round at the Masters

After four beautiful days of golf, Sergio Garcia would walk out the winner of the Maters Tournament. Sergio Garcia wins his first Green Jacket and first Major title in his 19 year career. Garcia would win the first playoff hole against Justin Rose to win the Masters. Garcia would par the final hole to win at 9 under par.

Garcia who never won a major title in his career entered the final day tied for the lead with Justin Rose. Garcia would start the day by gaining an early 3 stork lead over Rose, but would soon lose it and fall behind by 2 strokes early during the back 9. Garcia would make his push at Rose on the 14th hole where he would eagle the hole to tie once again with Rose. Both men were tied going on to the final hole. After both men hit great approach shots to green, Rose would miss his putt, which would have given him the lead. Then Garcia, needing to sink his putt for the win, also missed, just barley thought to force a sudden death playoff to determine the Masters. On the first playoff hole, Rose would hook his tee shot into the rough and Garcia hit a nice shot down the right side of the fairway. Rose would lay up on his next shot, while Garcia hit another nice approach shot to be within 15 feet of the cup. Rose would reach the green on his next shot, and miss his par putt, all but sealing the victory for Garcia. Garcia would win 2 putts later and capture his first major title and in turn first Masters title as well.

The week got started off on a bad foot when the par 3 contest got rained out, and on day one, the number one golfer in the world Dustin Johnson had to withdraw because of a back injury he suffered the day before falling down some stairs. Garcia was the only golfer to shoot under par all 4 days. Big names like Jordan Speith, Rory McIlroy, and Rickie Fowler never really got into contention. Speith entering the final day was only 2 strokes back, but would finish the day shooting 3 over par and 1 under for the entire tournament.

For Garcia, this win finally gets him a major that he has missed for his career. He had been in 70 majors before this win, the longest such drought in Professional golf history. This win also comes on what would have been the 60th birthday of golfer Seve Ballesteros, who Sergio would idolize growing up. Ballesteros, who is a Spaniard, won the Masters in 1980 and 83, and was the face of golf in Spain where Garcia grew up. So, this win has extra meaning to it as well.

Garcia is the third Spaniard to win the Masters and the second European to win the Masters in as many years, the first time since the early 90s that 2 non Americans have won the Masters in back to back years.

Kent State Wins Late as Ohio Fails on Final Shot

Cleveland, Ohio

In what was a very competitive and exciting game, the Kent State Golden Flashes edged out the Ohio Bobcats 68-66 to advance to the MAC Championship game. In what was a very back and forth game, the Flashes were able to hold on after a Jaylin Walker lay up with 4.1 seconds left that gave the Flashes the lead. For the Flashes Jimmy Hall had a big game with a double-double, he had 22 points and 10 rebounds. While Kevin Zabo added another 15 points with some big threes down the stretch. For Ohio Jaaron Simmons had 25 points and 7 rebounds while Kenny Kaminski had 16 points as well. The Flashes shot 41 percent from the field and 33 percent from three. While the Bobcats went 44 and 35 percent for themselves. Kent will play Akron tomorrow night to grab a spot in the NCAA Tournament. The Zips and Flashes split the season series 1-1, both winning on the road.

After a few fouls to start the game, Kenny Kaminski got the scoring started for Ohio. Once the ice was broken, the scoring really started. At the first timeout of the game, Ohio held a 14-12 lead. Kaminski was up to 8 points for Ohio and for Kent St. Freshman Mitch Peterson had 8 points himself. The scoring slowed down a bit after the timeout. Both teams only mustering a few points. After an And-1 from Kent’s Adonis De La Rosa, Ohio went on a 7-0 run to give the Bobcats a 23-16 lead with 9:32 left in the half. The Golden Flashes ended the run after a steal and jumper from Kevin Zabo to cut the Ohio lead to 25-18 with 7:37 remaining in the first half. As the first half drew to a close, Kent St started cutting into Ohio’s lead. A lead that as once ten was down to 4 with 2:36 left in the half. Jimmy Hall would tie the game at 32 for the Flashes after an offensive rebound and putback. To end the first half, Ohio’s Jaaron Simmons hit a floater to put Ohio ahead 34-32 at half time.

For Ohio, Simmons and Kaminski each had 11 points, while for Kent St, Peterson and Hall each had 8. Ohio shot 44.8 percent and 33.3 percent from three. While Kent shot 35 percent and 29 percent from three.

To start the second half, Kent would tie the game after a few good possessions that Hall was a big part of. After 4 quick points from Ohio gave them the lead, Kent scored 4 quick points of their own to tie the game at 40. Kent State would take the lead after a Deon Edwards three to put the score at 43-42. Ohio would then tie the game again after a converted And-1 from Gavin Block tying the game at 45. After a couple of minutes of tough defensive basketball, Kent States Zabo hit a three to put the Flashes up 4, then after a steal he would make 1 of 2 free throws to extend the lead to 5 with 8:30 to play. Ohio would answer with 4 points of their own, to cut their deficit to one, at the 7:23 mark, Kent State held a 53-52 lead. After a slow couple of minutes, Zabo again hits a three for the Flashes and gave Kent a 4 point lead with 4 minutes remaining in the game. After a Simmons basket for Ohio that cut the lead to 2, Zabo hit another three for the Flashes, pushing their lead back up to 5. After an Ohio miss, the Flashes on a bad possession get a big three from Jalen Avery from way behind the Arc, Ohio would come down and hit a 2. Making the Score 64-58 with 2 minutes remaining in the game. After two misses from Jaylin Walker, Jaaron Simmons hits a step back three to cut the lead to just three, then on the next possession Jimmy Hall was fouled on a questionable call and would hit the 2 free throws to push the lead to 5 for the Flashes. On the following Ohio possession they would make 1 free throw, and on the second attempt, it was missed and rebounded by Ohio, the ball was then swung into the corner where Kaminski hit a three to cut the lead to just one. With 40.9 seconds left Kent St, held a 66-65 lead. Avery would miss a long three, and Kent would foul Simmons one the way down the court, with both teams being in the double bonus, Simmons went to the line to shot 2 free throws, with the chance to give Ohio the lead with 10.8 seconds remaining in the game. Simmons hit the first to tie the game at 66. Simmons would miss the second and Walker of Kent St would take the ball all the way down and put it in to give Kent St the lead with 4.1 seconds remaining. On the final Possession of the game Simmons took the ball up the court and lost track of time as Ohio did not even get a shot off. Kent State wins 68-66, advancing to the MAC Championship game tomorrow night to play Akron.

Huskies Advance to Finals with a Big Victory Over the Broncos

Cleveland, Oh- After a Wednesday where the top 3 teams lost, The Northern Illinois Huskies showed why they are the best team left in the tournament with a 83-55 victory over the Western Michigan Broncos. The Broncos where coming off a victory over the number 1 team Central Michigan on Wednesday. The Huskies had the lead for the entire game and shot very well from the floor, shooting 44 percent and 37 percent from three. The Huskies where led by Ally Lehman who put in 17 points with 7 rebounds and 6 assists. Also for the Huskies Courtney Woods added 19 points as well, hit multiple threes along the way. Northern Illinois will play the winner of the Buffalo-Toledo game tomorrow for the MAC Championship and a spot in the NCAA tournament.

Courtney Woods opened up the game with the first basket for Northern Illinois on their first possession. The Western Michigan team then went on a small 6-0 run then North Illinois answered with 5 quick points of their own and half way through the first quarter Western Michigan held a small 8 to 7 lead. After the timeout, North Illinois went on a 9-0 which was led by Ally Lehman who score 5 during the run to give the Huskies a 16-8 lead. To end the first quarter Northern Illinois ended on a 11-2 run and led 18-10 after 1. Lehman had 7 for Northern Illinois, while for Western Michigan Najee Smith has 4.

To open up the second quarter, the Huskies went on a 12-6 run. Hitting a few threes along the way, to extend their lead to 30-16. As the quarter progressed, the Huskies counited to score while Western Michigan struggled to get any offense going. As the quarter drew to a close, Western Michigan hit their first three, and got some offense going after that. But the quarter ended and at half time the Huskies held a 20 point lead over the Broncos 44-24. Northern Illinois shot 52.3% from the floor and 43% from three. While Western Michigan only shot 26% and 18 percent from three. For the Huskies Lehman has 9 points while Kelly Smith added another 8 points. For Western Michigan Breanna Mobley leads all scorers with 10 and also had 6 rebounds.

After the third Quarter, no ground was made by the Broncos as the Huskies still held a 20 point lead 62-42. It was the highest scoring quarter to that point. For the Huskies Courtney Woods caught fire and hit 2 threes in the quarter and for Western Michigan Brenna Mobley continued her good game as she ended the quarter with a double-double having 17 points and 12 rebounds.


Zips Comeback Falls Short This Week Against Appalachian State

Akron, Ohio

So close yet so far for the Zips as their comeback falls short this week falling to the Appalachian State Mountaineers 45-38. The Zips fell behind early 10-0 in the first quarter but came back with 14 unanswered points. Then the Mountaineers scored 21 unanswered for themselves. The Zips would only get it as close as 7 for the rest of the game. The Zips could not stop Jalin Moore who picked up 257 yards on the ground with 2 long touchdown runs. The Zips defense had 2 fourth down stops and a critical third down stop late in the game but the Offensive could not move the ball and that was the end of the game for the Zips. The Zips piled up 486 yards of offense but it was not enough to get past the Mountaineers.

Three plays into the game, Thomas Woodson tried to do deep and his pass was intercepted by Appalachian State defensive back Clifton Duck. This came after two nice pass plays to open up the game for the Zips.

After the interception App St moves the ball right down the field and score on a 6 yard pass from Taylor Lamb to Deltron Hopkins. The drive was 10 plays and App St went 64 yards.

After the touchdown, Akron’s drive stalled and on App states pursuing drive, they drove down the field again, but this drive led to a field goal, putting the score at 10-0 heading into the second quarter. That scoring drive was 13 plays and covered 57 yards and the field goal was from 34 yards out.

To start the second quarter, the Zips drove right down the field, highlighted by a Jerome Lane 35 yard reception down the sideline. The Zips scored on a 14 yard pass play from Woodson to Lane to cut the lead to 10-7. The Zips went 75 yards on 4 plays on that drive.

On App St. next drive they fumbled on a 3rd and 1 and Akron recovered the ball. The ball was recovered by Brennan Williams. The Zips then marched right down the field for a touchdown. A.J Coney with the touchdown reception from 23 yards out. The drive was 6 plays for 57 yards. And the Zips with the lead at 14-10.

Appalachian State answered with a touchdown of their own on their next possession. On a 6 play 72 yards it was capped off with a 36 yard touchdown pass from Taylor Lamb to tightend Levi Duffield. The Mountaineers retook the lead 17-14.

On Akron’s next drive Woodson threw his second interception of the game. The ball was picked off by Mondo Williams. Woodson was trying to get the ball to Lane on the play and the Mountaineers retake possession and on the first play of the drive Taylor Lamb threw his third touchdown of the game to Zy Letman. It was a 37 yard touchdown pass and reception. App State extended their lead to 24-14.

To close out the first half, App St drove down the field after an Akron punt, and scored on a Taylor Lamb 1 yard touchdown run to put the Mountaineers up 31-14. It was a 9 play 93 yard drive.

At the half Appalachian State out gained Akron 360 yards to 248. Thomas Woodson is 15/21 for 181 yards with 2 touchdowns but he has also thrown two picks as well. Van Edwards has 3 carries for 37 yards and Jerome Lane has 4 catches for 79 yards and 1 touchdown. For Appalachian State, Their quarterback Taylor Lamb went 13/19 for 214 yards and 3 touchdowns. Jalin Moore is their leading rusher with 106 yards.

To open up the second half of the game, the Zips would stop the Mountaineers on 4th and 1 at the Zips 36 yard line. After the defensive stop, the Zips went 8 plays and it covered 55 yards and it resulted in a Tom O’Leary 26 yard field goal. Cutting into the Mountaineers lead 31-17.

In response, Appalachian States drove right down the field and scored on a Jalin Moore 49 yard touchdown run. It was a 4 play 72 yard drive to re-push the lead for App State to 38-17.

The Zips then responded with a touchdown of their own. After a long 10 play 75 yard drive, that was helped with some penalties by the Mountaineers the Zips scored on a Van Edwards 6 yard touchdown run to cut the lead to 38-24.

To start the 4th quarter, Akron stops the Mountaineers again on 4th and 1, this time on their own 39 yard line. On the first play after the 4th down stop, Woodson connected with Michael Traylor Bennett for a 25 yard gain. Then a few plays later Woodson found JoJo Natson for a 5 yard touchdown pass in the back corner of the endzone to cut the lead to 7, the Zips trailed 38-31 with 12 minutes left in the 4th quarter. The scoring drive was a 7 play 61 yard drive.

Jalin Moore struck again, on a 3rd down and 2 play, Moore goes 35 yards and gave the Mountaineers a 45-31 lead with 8:45 left to go in the game. The drive went 65 yards in 8 plays.

On 4th and goal from the one, Michael Traylor Bennett took it in and put the Zips back within 7. The drive was helped out by a long Van Edwards run which went 38 yards and a horsecollar tackle by an Appalachian State defender put the ball even closer. It was a 6 play 65 yard drive. Putting the score at 45-38 with 6 minutes remaining in the 4th quarter.

The Mountaineers where driving when Akron stopped them on 3rd and short, forcing the first Appalachian State punt of the game. Akron would take over at their own 20 yard line, with 2:12 left.

Akron would then turn the ball over on 4 plays, giving Appalachian State the ball at their own 14 with 1:06 left to go in the game. Woodson was sacked 2 times out of the 4 plays Akron had.

Appalachian State would kneel to end the game giving them the 45-38 victory, moving their record to 2-2 while Akron would drop to 2-2 as well.

Akron finished with 486 yards of total offense. Thomas Woodson finished the game with 353 yard passing on 31 of 43 passes with 3 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Van Edwards was the leading rusher for the Zips, picking up 89 yards on 7 carries. Receiving was led by Jerome Lane, he caught 9 passes for 134 yards and a touchdown, while JoJo Natson added another 87 yards on 10 catches.

For Appalachian State they had 587 yards of total offense. Their charge was led by running back Jalin Moore who picked up 257 yards on 39 carries and 2 long touchdowns. Taylor Lamb added 280 yards through the air on 22/30 passes. Shaedon Meadors was the leading receiver with 51 yards on 4 catches.

The Zips open MAC play next week as they travel to Kent State to take on the Golden Flashes. Kickoff is set for 3:30.