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    With apologies to the science of geology, baseball is also just about pressure and time. That’s all it takes, really: pressure and time. That and a big dadgum hit. Arkansas advanced to the second round of the College World Series on Sunday by following the science. The Razorbacks put a slow burn on Texas before the avalanche. Like the patience of erosion, Arkansas took down the Longhorns by waiting them, and a long rain delay, out. An 11-5 win and continued presence in the winners bracket was the reward. Dave Van Horn’s team will play the winner of Texas Tech and Florida on Tuesday at 6 p.m. Arkansas has beaten both those teams this year already. The Red Raiders and Gators were set to go about a half-hour after the conclusion of Arkansas’ game with Texas. Omaha, Nebraska, was ostensibly Fayetteville North on Sunday. TD Ameritrade Park was packed with red-clad fans who made the trip interstates 49 and 29. Arkansas fans were the largest contingent in Nebraska that day. And for a while, the worries they carried for chunks of the regular-season were justified. Their team couldn’t hit. Texas dinked its way to a 2-1 lead entering the fifth inning despite Arkansas starter Blaine Knight’s best efforts. The patience would soon pay off. Senior outfielder Luke Bonfield popped himself a two-run home run to provide Arkansas a one-run lead in that fifth. An inning later, with Texas feeling said pressure, Longhorns’ pitching collapsed. Two straight Diamond Hogs singles and three consecutive walks started the Arkansas half of the sixth leading to two runs before a nearly three-hour rain delay halted things, leaving the bases loaded and nobody out. Dave Van Horn didn’t let his starter linger even before that mark. Knight threw 81 pitches in his five innings, striking out four and allowing four baserunners (a walk and four hits). He was good, though not his All-SEC second-team self. Those 81 were well shy of his usual mark as the Arkansas coach lifted Knight to start the sixth for Barrett Loseke. In theory, Knight could be ready on short rest in a few days, which was a large reason for the relatively early pull. When play resumed, Casey Martin took the first pitch back to leftfield for an RBI single. Heston Kjerstad followed with another knock to left, one that plated two more runs. Luke Bonfield was hit by a pitch after that and Chase Shugart, whose job was to let Texas escape with minimal damage after the break, was relieved. Three batters. Zero outs. The change didn’t do much good. Kamron Fields gave up back-to-back RBI singles resulting in three more Arkansas runs before he recorded an out. Before Jared Gates’ flyout, four straight Texas pitchers, including Fields, had thrown without recording a single out – 10 straight Arkansas batters reached base – leading to this line: In all, Texas threw six pitchers in the sixth as Arkansas scored eight runs and ensured its place in the second round. The Razorbacks are in the second round of the College World Series for the first time since 2012. In that season Arkansas won its first two games leaving it one win shy of an appearance in the championship. But South Carolina won two straight to send Arkansas back to Fayetteville. Arkansas beat Texas Tech, a possible opponent, April 24, 5-1, in a midweek game. The Diamond Hogs beat Florida in the opener of a 3-game set in late March before falling in the next two. Arkansas then beat Florida again in the SEC Tournament, 8-2. Things weren’t perfect. Arkansas’ biggest problem all year – the back part of the bullpen – allowed small Longhorns rally. Although it was too late, Texas scored two runs in the eighth, tagging Kole Ramage for both and then getting Cody Scroggins for another in the ninth to create the final score. Grading Arkansas Pitching: B- Ramage and Bryce Bonnin weren’t great out of the bullpen, but their pitches weren’t wasted. Barrett Loseke was solid until the rain delay messed him around a bit. He wasn’t the same after. Good news for Arkansas is it didn’t have to use Matt Cronin or Jake Reindl. Hitting: A+ It’s pert near impossible to get anything below an A when going 10 straight batters without getting a single one of them out. The Big Stick + The Arm Arm: Knight Electric starts are fun. Fundamental ones are important. Knight delievered the latter and kept himself available for later in the week. Stick: Kjerstad The freshman finished 3 for 5 with a double, three RBI and two runs. What’s next? A double-elimination tournament among eight teams in Omaha, otherwise known at the College World Series. The post Arkansas lays down a Texas-sized whupping on Horns at College World Series appeared first on SEC Country.
  • A look at what's happening around the majors Monday: HOT HOUSTON The Astros aim for their 12th straight victory, which would tie for the longest winning streak in franchise history set in 1999 and duplicated in 2004. Fresh off a 10-0 road trip to Texas, Oakland and Kansas City in which they outscored opponents 74-35, the World Series champions return to Minute Maid Park to take on Tampa Bay. Houston starter Gerrit Cole (8-1, 2.40 ERA) leads the AL with 130 strikeouts; the Rays will start a reliever for the third straight game, with Ryne Stanek opening up. DOUBLING UP The New York Yankees and Washington meet for a doubleheader — sort of — at Nationals Park. The teams were tied at 2 in the sixth inning on May 15 when their game was stopped because of rain, and they were postponed the next night. So the Yanks and Nats will pick up in the sixth, with both clubs expected to start out with relievers. Sonny Gray will start Game 2 for the New York against rookie Erick Fedde. TRY AGAIN Bartolo Colon goes for his 244th career win, which would break a tie with Hall of Famer Juan Marichal for most by a pitcher born in the Dominican Republic. The 45-year-old Colon gave up a season-high eight runs in his last outing for Texas, tagged by the Dodgers. Colon has won one of his past five starts going into this game at Kansas City. Ian Kennedy has won just one of his last 27 home starts for the Royals. OH BABY Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford will go on paternity leave for the birth of his fourth child and could miss as many as three games. San Francisco returns home from a 10-day road trip to face the Miami Marlins.
  • Curtis Strange stood by the 18th green at Shinnecock Hills, working for the TV broadcast and ready to welcome Brooks Koepka into the small fraternity of back-to-back U.S. Open winners. 'I'm happy for him. I hope it means as much to him,' said Strange, who won in 1988 and '89 and was the last to win two in a row before Koepka matched him Sunday. 'Now he's going to learn things about Willie Anderson that I learned about that I never thought I would.' A year after shooting 16 under to win at Erin Hills by four strokes, Koepka repeated in the challenging conditions at Shinnecock. He shot 2 under par in the final round to finish the tournament at 1 over, one stroke ahead of Tommy Fleetwood. Koepka is the seventh person to win the U.S. Open in back-to-back years, a group that began with Anderson from 1903-05 and also includes Bobby Jones (1929-30) and Ben Hogan (1950-51). Strange had been the last. 'Twenty-nine years. It shows how hard it was,' Koepka said. 'I can't even wrap my head around it.' Strange said he didn't say anything to Koepka as he walked the course with him. 'I didn't even want him to know I was there,' he said. But he was one of the first to congratulate Koepka before interviewing him for the TV viewers, telling him 'hell of a job.' 'It was a pretty cool moment to have Curtis there,' Koepka said. 'It was pretty neat. Calling the shots, I obviously can't hear what he's saying. It was cool to have him in the group. And to have him right there when I walked up 18, it was pretty special.' Strange told reporters moments after Koepka's final putt that he wasn't the least bit disappointed he could no longer claim to be the most recent back-to-back winner. 'Heck no. What are they going to do, take them away?' he said. 'I was only part of a group before. So what am I, part of seven? It's a good group.' Speaking to reporters moments alongside the 18th green as the crowd waited for one more group to finish, Strange said winning the second time was harder. He doesn't think it will be another three decades before someone repeats, he said, 'but I didn't think it would be 30 years after me.' If someone's going to do it, it might even be Koepka, whose victories in contrasting conditions showed he has the skills to three-peat next year at Pebble Beach. 'He's proven he can win on a classic' course, Strange said. 'Hell, I came close, and he'd beat me like a yard dog.' Anderson is the only person to win the U.S. Open three straight years. Hogan won three in a row that he played in, missing the 1949 tournament after getting in a car accident that nearly killed him. Strange was two strokes off the lead heading into the final round in 1990 and finished 21st; he also finished tied for fourth in 1987. The pressure the third time is even more extreme, said the only person alive who would know. 'For me, it was,' Strange said. 'He looks like water off a duck's back, both times. I look like I'm wound a little differently. He seems to move right on through life, which is a good thing.
  • KNOXVILLE, Tenn. —Tennessee’s offensive line is starting to look and sound a lot like the 1990s version of Alabama football. The Crimson Tide wasn’t as flashy, big or loaded with 5-star talent on offense during the championship era of Hall of Fame coach Gene Stallings as it is now. But Stallings’ Alabama teams were tough and dedicated. Four-year starting offensive guard Will Friend was among the roughest and smartest up front from 1993 to 1996, helping to lead Alabama to three SEC title game appearances. Some 22 years later, Friend is still raising the level of play along the offensive line, now serving as the Tennessee offensive line coach. RELATED: Vols land Alabama graduate transfer, expected to compete to start Friend’s impact has been immediate, as he coached up the Vols’ offensive line this spring better than most anyone thought possible, to the extent they dominated the first-team defensive line in the spring game. Leader then and now “Will was the guy you talked to in the huddle if you weren’t sure what to do,” former Alabama tailback and NFL MVP Shaun Alexander said. “And he was a tough guy. Real tough.” That’s how Paul Hogan remembers Friend, too. “Will, he was a leader, and I remember one game our right tackle Bubba Ray couldn’t play because he was hurt,” said Hogan, a four-year starter at center and All-American for the 1999 SEC champion Crimson Tide. “So Will, you know he’s a real hairy guy, to honor Bubba he shaved Bubba’s number into his back hair.” After allowing himself some time to laugh about the memory, Hogan reflected on the real value Friend brought to him and the offensive linemen. “I learned a lot from Will, he would take me to watch film,” said Hogan, a redshirting freshman during Friend’s senior season. “They would bring wings over to where we lived in the dorms, along with a TV and video player, and on Thursday nights we would eat wings and watch film.” Friend was a Parade All-America tight end in Philadelphia, Miss. Like his good friend and former Alabama roommate Jeremy Pruitt, Friend played high school football for his father. Tight end Friend Clemson assistant head coach and tight ends and special teams assistant Danny Pearman said he’s proud of Friend, Pruitt and Kevin Sherrer, all of whom were teammates at Alabama when Pearman was coaching Alabama’s offensive line in the 1990s. Pearman knows more about Friend than any of them, having helped recruit and coach him with the Tide. “Jeff Rouzie and I recruited Will, he was an athletic kid, a tight end, and his dad Chuck was a high school coach,” Pearman said. “Will was a little undersized, but he was real athletic, and he had good feet. “Our philosophy then was we signed kids that were big and athletic and tried to make them some offensive linemen, and we moved some kids over from defense to offense and made them into offensive linemen,” Pearman said. “We were looking for athletes, and it ended up serving us well under Coach Stallings.” Remembering Pruitt Hogan didn’t know Pruitt as well as Friend — Pruitt played on the defensive side of the ball as a safety. But Hogan said remembered Pruitt because he was a roommate of Friend and former Tide quarterback Freddie Kitchens. “Jeremy? Oh yeah, he was a solid guy,   tough guy, didn’t take crap off anybody,” Hogan said. “Jeremy   was kind of a ‘tell you what’s on his mind’ kind of guy, he didn’t hold anything back.” Tennessee fans learned all about that after the Orange and White Game, when Pruitt shared that he was disappointed the stands weren’t completely full. Pruitt’s approach to be direct and blunt has worked well for him, just as Friend’s teaching techniques on the offensive line are proven. Friend’s objective “I think number one, you have to be team oriented, especially on the offensive line, you have to bring toughness to your football team,” Friend said in a recent UTsports.com video. “Obviously we want to bring some toughness to this program, so that’s the thing we stress.” Friend joined the Vols’ staff after a three-year stint as offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at Colorado State. Before that, Friend was the offensive line coach for Mark Richt at Georgia from 2011-2014. “We’ll compete every snap, every game, for four quarters,” Friend said, explaining the tone he plans to help set with the Vols. “My father was a coach, and a lot of men I grew up around and respected were coaches. I want to do the same thing for young players.” Tennessee football assistant Will Friend   The post Tennessee football assistant Will Friend: Always a leader, once made hilarious tribute appeared first on SEC Country.
  • For the first time in nearly two months, the New York Mets have won two in a row. And they did it with style. 'The way we won,' Mets manager Mickey Callaway said, 'is probably more significant than just getting a back-to-back win.' Brandon Nimmo and Asdrubal Cabrera homered off Brad Boxberger in a four-run ninth inning and the Mets rallied to beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-3 on Sunday. The Diamondbacks led 3-1 entering the ninth and Boxberger (1-3), with his third blown save in 20 tries, struck out the first two batters. Jose Reyes reached on a bunt single, which Boxberger said 'kind of threw the rhythm off.' Reyes scored on Jose Bautista's pinch-hit double that glanced off right fielder Jon Jay's glove to cut the lead to 3-2. Nimmo, who doubled and scored in the first inning, followed with a two-run shot to right field to put New York ahead 4-3. 'When I came up to bat I was just looking to put the barrel on the ball. He's on second base. A base hit ties it,' Nimmo said. 'For me, personally, and for this team, maybe we've been trying to do a little too much lately, so there I was just trying to get the barrel on the ball. 'I wasn't trying to hit a home run, but I know now with my swing that if I get on the barrel and the launch angle is right, it will go.' Cabrera's solo shot made it 5-3. 'I have to make a better pitch to Nimmo,' Boxberger said. 'I pulled a changeup right into his barrel? I have to make a better pitch and then we wouldn't be standing here.' The Mets split the four-game series in Arizona and won consecutive games for the first time since May 20-21. The Diamondbacks were 4-3 on the homestand with a frustrating conclusion. 'But that is what makes this game great,' Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. 'It is heartbreaking. It is rewarding. It is fulfilling and we experience all of those emotions and sometimes all in one game. When it ends like it did today, it is tough.' Jeurys Familia (3-3), just off the disabled list, allowed a run in an inning of relief to get the victory. Alex Avila reached to start the Arizona ninth when first baseman Dominic Smith dropped second baseman Cabrera's throw for an error but Robert Gsellman retired the next three for his third save in seven tries. Robert Gsellman pitched the ninth for his third save in seven tries. Clay Buchholz and three Arizona relievers had shut down the Mets since the opening inning until the big rally. David Peralta doubled in Arizona's first run in the two-run fourth inning and made a diving grab in left field to rob Zack Wheeler of a hit to end the fifth. Jake Lamb's bloop single in the eighth made it 3-1. Buchholz went 5 2-3 innings, giving up a run and four hits. Nimmo led off the game with a double, took third on a ground out and scored on Todd Frazier's sacrifice fly to center. New York won for only the third time in 15 games. 'It was really great to come back and get a win like that,' Callaway said. 'That's something we were doing early on, which feels like three years ago.' The announced crowd was a sellout of 47,900, second-largest at Chase Field this season behind 48,703 for the season opener. TOSSED Mets left-hander Jason Vargas was ejected from the dugout by home plate umpire Jim Reynolds in the bottom of the fourth inning. Vargas is scheduled to start Tuesday night at Colorado. TRAINER'S ROOM Mets: Familia had been sidelined since June 7 with a sore right shoulder. To make room, New York optioned RHP Jacob Rhame to Triple-A Las Vegas. Diamondbacks: RHP Shelby Miller (Tommy John surgery) made his fourth rehab start on Saturday night. He threw 6 2-3 scoreless innings for Class A Visalia against San Jose. Miller allowed three hits and struck out 10 with no walks. He threw 81 pitches, 56 strikes. UP NEXT Mets: RHP Jacob deGrom (4-2, 1.55 ERA) takes the mound for New York Monday night in the opener of a four-game series in Colorado. LHP Tyler Anderson (4-1, 4.48) starts for the Rockies. Diamondbacks: Arizona heads to Anaheim for a two-game interleague series with the Angels. RHP Zack Greinke (5-5, 3.87) starts for the Diamondbacks in Monday night's opener.
  • Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Auburn Tigers  football recruiting notebook with Auburn recruiting beat writer Benjamin Wolk. It’s Sunday, and SEC Country has takeaways from the recruiting weekend. Success of Auburn’s recruiting weekend Typically, each note within these notebooks tackles separate topics, generally focused on specific prospects. This “note” will take a slightly bigger picture approach to the weekend. The Tigers had a 7-on-7 camp on Thursday that included several top commits and targets, as well as several other highly rated national prospects. Then Auburn held a Saturday camp, landed a non-camp commitment and hosted several weekend visitors, including two official visits. Let’s start from the top. Mohamoud Diabate from Auburn High (Ala.)  finally picked up an offer from the hometown team. He already held offers from Alabama, Florida, Florida State, LSU, Tennessee and many others. The Tigers have slow-played Diabate throughout the process, so it’s not a guarantee Auburn will become a leading contender for the local standout. What’s most interesting: Auburn sees Diabate as a Sam linebacker, which differs from the outside linebacker/pass rusher position most other schools are recruiting Diabate to play. Jamond Gordon committed to Auburn coaches on Friday. He filmed a nicely created commitment video starring himself and Bo Jackson’s statue and released it on Saturday. Gordon isn’t the most highly rated prospect in Mississippi, but he’s one that Auburn defensive line coach Rodney Garner worked tirelessly to flip from Ole Miss. It paid off. Now the question remains: Will it be enough to sway other prospects from Mississippi? The Tigers shouldn’t be done in that state this cycle. Devontae Dobbs and Justin Osborne — two of Auburn’s top tackle targets — were on their official visits over the weekend. Dobbs has been at Auburn three times in the last three years and would like to return during the football season, if possible. If Dobbs makes that trip, watch closely because it’ll be an unofficial trip for the 5-star prospect from Michigan. Auburn would have to mean a lot to Dobbs for him to make that trip during the season. As for Osborne, Auburn will have a lot of work to do to flip him from TCU, but one source familiar with the situation believes the Tigers are the team most likely to flip Osborne from the Horned Frogs. The two unofficial visits worth watching over the weekend: Xavier Truss and Curtis Fann. Truss has been to Auburn twice this year, but he committed to Georgia on Sunday after his Auburn visit. Fann has planned to be at Auburn a few times this spring. The Tigers were thrilled he finally made it. Fann’s relationships with Garner and defensive coordinator Kevin Steele make the Tigers a real factor against other programs such as South Carolina and Florida State. Miss a previous Auburn recruiting notebook? Find every daily recap of Auburn Tigers recruiting  right here. The post Biggest takeaways from Auburn’s successful recruiting weekend appeared first on SEC Country.
  • When Sam Pittman wants one of his guys, he usually lands them.  Xavier Truss, a 6-foot-7 tackle from Rhode Island, is the latest example of that trend. Truss committed to UGA on Sunday during a long-planned weekend visit. He shared the news of his decision via his personal Twitter account. The post Georgia lands commitment from massive tackle in Xavier Truss appeared first on SEC Country.
  • When Sam Pittman wants one of his guys, he usually lands them. Xavier Truss, a 6-foot-7 tackle from Rhode Island, is the latest example of that trend. Truss committed to UGA on Sunday during a long-planned weekend visit. He shared the news of his decision via his personal Twitter account. pic.twitter.com/ygbws6OPFD — Xavier Truss (@xtruss94) June 17, 2018 Truss rates as the nation’s No. 15 tackle prospect on the 247Sports composite ratings. The massive 350-pounder also comes in at No. 102 overall for 2019. The top player in the state of Rhode Island had been on a Southeast tour of his top schools. He just came away from a visit to Alabama, among other options. Truss becomes the second out-of-state prospect to choose the Bulldogs this weekend. Mississippi QB prospect John Rhys Plumlee also chose UGA on Friday night.  The post BREAKING: Bulldogs add massive 4-star OT Xavier Truss to 2019 hual appeared first on DawgNation.
  • The Houston Astros keep finding ways to win, while the Kansas City Royals keep inventing ways to lose. Carlos Correa and the Astros won their 11th straight game, finishing off a dominant 10-0 road trip by rallying past the Royals 7-4 Sunday. The World Series champion Astros swept their swing through Texas, Oakland and Kansas City, outscoring opponents 74-35. Last season, Houston had an 11-game winning streak end in Kansas City. This time, the Astros trailed 4-3 in the eighth inning before Correa led off with a tying homer. Evan Gattis, who had three hits, then put them ahead during a three-run burst. 'We just have a great team. It's hard to find any holes on this team. I don't think there are any,' Correa said. Correa has three home runs and eight RBIs in six games after missing four games with discomfort in his right side. He had a first-inning single and added a sacrifice fly in the ninth. Gattis hit .366 with five home runs and 19 RBIs on the Astros' trip. He singled home Yuli Gurriel in the eighth, and Marvin Gonzalez added an RBI single in the inning. 'I take confidence in our lineup versus anybody,' Gattis said. The Royals have lost six straight and 12 of 13. They have dropped 26 of 36 home games. Brandon Maurer (0-3) took the loss, facing two batters and having both score. Tony Sipp (2-0) picked up the victory. Hector Rondon closed for his fourth save. Astros right-hander Lance McCullers struck out nine over six innings, allowing two unearned runs. 'I didn't want to blow it,' McCullers said of the winning streak. Royals right-hander Brad Keller, a Rule 5 draft pick making his fourth start, gave up three runs in six innings. 'I felt like I did pretty well,' Keller said. 'That's a good-hitting team and they got pop, so to keep them on the ground I'm happy with that.' Third baseman Alex Bregman's errant throw home with the bases loaded led to the Royals scoring two unearned runs in the first to tie it at 2. Hunter Dozier hit a two-run homer in the third to give the Royals a 4-2 lead. Brian McCann's two-out single in the fourth scored Gattis to reduce the Royals' lead to one. ROYALS OUSTER Royals DH Mike Moustakas and LHP Danny Duffy were ejected by plate umpire John Tumpane. Moustakas was ejected for words said from the dugout after he was out at home while trying to score from second on a single. A video replay upheld the call on the field. Duffy was thumbed in the sixth for his dugout verbiage. It was the Royals' first ejections this season. 'I saw a gesture over to me. I think that was my warning,' Moustakas said. 'I said something after that and that's when he tossed me. I thought I was safe and I still think I'm safe. I think if he called me safe originally, I don't think they can overcome that.' Tumpane has a history with the Royals — he tossed RHP Peter Moylan last July and Moustakas and manager Ned Yost in August in Baltimore. ATTENDANCE DROP-OFF After 36 home games, the Royals attendance is down 212,572 from last year. They drew 958,297 for 36 home games in 2017. This year that total is 737,725. ROSTER MOVES The Royals recalled INF Adalberto Mondesi, who is the only player to make his big league debut in the World Series, was recalled from Triple-A Omaha. The Royals also summoned OF Rosell Herrera and RHP Wily Peralta from the Storm Chasers. They optioned RHP Scott Barlow and INF Ramon Torres to Omaha and transferred LHP Eric Skoglund to the 60-day disabled list. TRAINER'S ROOM Royals: 2B Whit Merrifield left in the second inning after fouling a pitch off his left knee. He has a contusion and is listed as day-to-day. Mondesi replaced him. UP NEXT Astros: RHP Gerrit Cole will start on Monday as they return home to face Tampa Bay. Cole is 8-1 with a 2.40 ERA. Royals: RHP Ian Kennedy, who has won one of his last 27 home starts, will start the opener of a three-game series against the Rangers on Monday. Bartolo Colon will be the Texas probable.

Georgia Sports News

  • It wasn’t pretty, but it was effective. That’s all the Braves could’ve asked for Julio Teheran’s return to the mound. Teheran pitched six no-hit innings in the Braves’ 4-1 win over the Padres on Sunday. He was relieved by Shane Carle after throwing 95 pitches. The right-hander was placed on the disabled list June 5 with a thumb contusion. His velocity had dipped into the mid-80s in his last start, but averaged 91-92 mph Sunday. “It was great, the way I was feeling,” Teheran said. “I was excited to be back. I feel fresh. I feel good. All my pitches, the slider there, were working. ... I was just trying to do my part. Everyone’s been playing really good. So I was just going out there trying to win this game.” After walking lead-off man Travis Jankowski and hitting Jose Pirela in the first inning, Teheran retired 15 Padres in a row, including at one point posting six straight strikeouts. Teheran struck out 11, his first double-digit strikeout total since Oct. 2, 2016, when he fanned 12 in the Turner Field finale. “I was throwing bullpens the last couple days, and my arm was feeling good,” Teheran said. “When your arm’s feeling good, you don’t have anything else to worry about. Just go out there and make pitches.” With the pitches piling up, Teheran issued two walks in the sixth. He limped when walking off the mound. That, alongside his high pitch count, made it an easy call to pull him despite a no-hit bid. Braves manager Brian Snitker said Teheran experienced a cramp in his leg. But overall, Snitker was pleased with the outing. “From the first inning on, it was good to see life on the fastball again,” Snitker said of Teheran. “I was curious about (his velocity), but he said he felt good. ... He did exactly what we wanted him to do.” Padres third baseman Cory Spangenberg hit a one-out single off Carle in the seventh for their first hit. The Braves rotation has been exceptional in the past 11 games. Starters have allowed eight earned runs in 72 innings while allowing 34 hits and walking 13. Johan Camargo’s two-RBI double against Jose Castillo put the Braves ahead in the fourth. The Braves third baseman has a hit in seven of his last 10 games, raising his average from .208 to .223. Catcher Kurt Suzuki was hit by Raffy Lopez’s back swing at the end of the second inning. He was removed for precautionary reasons and declared day-to-day. “I’ve never been hit with a backswing like that in 12 seasons,” Suzuki said. “First time getting hit right there. It was pretty brutal. It’s got a lump or whatever.” Up just a run, Tyler Flowers’ two-run homer off Brad Hand in the eighth provided the Braves some breathing room before the final frame. Carle, A.J. Minter and Arodys Vizcaino finished it for the Braves. Each pitched an inning and allowed two hits. San Diego got a run off Minter, but the trio did enough to protect the lead. Teheran and the bullpen combined for 17 strikeouts, the most a Braves team has had since Sept. 14, 2012. The Braves took three of four from the Padres, pushing them a season-best 13 games over .500. They’ve been in first place in the National League East for 43 of the last 45 days, and with Washington’s loss in Toronto, lead the East by 3.5 games. A first-place team has filled SunTrust Park: The Braves announced 40,251 in attendance Sunday, their third-straight sellout and sixth of the season.  “The support’s been great all year,” Snitker said. “People come out and it’s like they know to stay because sometimes it’s late before it happens. But it’s good. The guys love it. They appreciate it and they love it. It’s a great atmosphere.”
  • When Sam Pittman wants one of his guys, he usually lands them. Xavier Truss, a 6-foot-7 tackle from Rhode Island, is the latest example of that trend. Truss committed to UGA on Sunday during a long-planned weekend visit. He shared the news of his decision via his personal Twitter account. pic.twitter.com/ygbws6OPFD — Xavier Truss (@xtruss94) June 17, 2018 Truss rates as the nation’s No. 15 tackle prospect on the 247Sports composite ratings. The massive 350-pounder also comes in at No. 102 overall for 2019. The top player in the state of Rhode Island had been on a Southeast tour of his top schools. He just came away from a visit to Alabama, among other options. Truss becomes the second out-of-state prospect to choose the Bulldogs this weekend. Mississippi QB prospect John Rhys Plumlee also chose UGA on Friday night.  The post BREAKING: Bulldogs add massive 4-star OT Xavier Truss to 2019 hual appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATLANTA (AP) - Some extra rest left Julio Teheran feeling so strong he was unhittable for six innings. That was more good news for an Atlanta rotation that is gaining momentum. Teheran pitched six no-hit innings before being pulled from his first start since coming off the disabled list, and Atlanta relievers gave up six hits Sunday while finishing off a 4-1 win over the San Diego Padres. Teheran's velocity was up, with his fastball hitting 92 mph. He had been closer to 89 mph before he missed less than two weeks with a sore thumb. The boost in his fastball also helped his offspeed pitches. 'Those 10 days helped me to get everything on track,' Teheran said. '... It was kind of fun to have my stuff back.' Teheran (5-4) struck out a season-high 11, walked three and threw 95 pitches while recording 15 consecutive outs. Manager Brian Snitker said he could immediately see the difference in the right-hander's pitchers. 'It was just good to see the life on the fastball again,' Snitker said. Teheran's changeup and slider also were effective. 'He was throwing all his pitches for strikes,' said San Diego's Cory Spangenberg. 'I know through three at-bats I only got one fastball. When a pitcher is doing that, he's pretty tough to hit.' Over the last 11 home games, Braves starters have a 1.00 ERA, allowing eight earned runs in 72 innings. No starter allowed more than two runs during the streak. The bid for a combined no-hitter ended with one out in the seventh when reliever Shane Carle allowed a single to Spangenberg. Freddy Galvis added another single before Carle pitched out of the jam. Jose Vizcaino gave up singles to Spangenberg and Galvis in the ninth before striking out Christian Villanueva and Raffy Lopez. Right fielder Nick Markakis, running toward the foul line, made a diving catch of Raffy Lopez's flyball to end the game. Vizcaino earned his 15th save, including his third of the series. Johan Camargo's two-run double in the fourth off Jose Castillo (1-1) gave Atlanta a 2-0 lead. Tyler Flowers hit a two-run homer off Brad Hand in the eighth. The Padres, who lost 1-0 on Saturday, ended a 16-inning scoring drought in the eighth. Franmil Reyes singled off A.J. Minter, moved to third on Eric Hosmer's single and scored on Jose Pirela's sacrifice fly. Hunter Renfroe's fourth strikeout of the game ended the inning. TRAINER'S ROOM Braves C Kurt Suzuki left the game after he was hit on his helmet by Lopez's bat as he struck out with a big follow-through to end the second inning. Suzuki was knocked to the ground but was able to walk off the field. Manager Brian Snitker said Suzuki should be able to play in Atlanta's next game at Toronto on Tuesday. Braves third base coach Ron Washington had words with Lopez when Lopez emerged from the San Diego dugout to open the third inning. Snitker said the discussion was about Lopez not checking on Suzuki before walking away from the plate. SERIES STREAK ENDS The NL East-leading Braves won three of four in the series, ending San Diego's streak of five straight series wins. The Padres' last series loss came on May 25-27, when they dropped two of three to the Dodgers. ROSTER MOVE Braves LHP Luiz Gohara was optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett, where he will start. RHP Luke Jackson was re-signed to a major league contract after being designated for assignment on Wednesday. BULLPEN GAME Matt Strahm made his fourth start as the Padres continue to use a bullpen committee approach for one spot in their rotation. Strahm allowed only one hit with five strikeouts in 2 2/3 scoreless innings. San Diego's first four relievers allowed only two runs. 'We just didn't do enough offensively,' manager Andy Green said. UP NEXT Padres: Following an off day on Monday, LHP Eric Lauer (3-4, 6.20) will face Oakland's Paul Blackburn (1-1, 11.05) on Tuesday night in the first game of a two-game home series. Braves: Atlanta is off on Monday before opening a two-game series at Toronto on Tuesday night, when rookie RHP Mike Soroka (2-1, 2.57) faces LHP Jaime Garcia (2-5, 5.71). ___ More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
  • ATLANTA (AP) - The Atlanta Braves' bid for a combined no-hitter has ended as reliever Shane Carle allowed a single to San Diego's Cory Spangenberg with one out in the seventh inning. Starter Julio Teheran was removed after allowing no hits through six innings. He struck out a season-high 11, walked three and threw 95 pitches Sunday. Teheran was activated from the 10-day disabled list on Saturday. He had been out since June 5 with a sore right thumb. Padres leadoff man Travis Jankowski drew a walk to begin the game and Jose Pirela was hit by a pitch later in the first inning. Teheran then recorded 15 consecutive outs before walking Jankowski with one out in the sixth. The Braves lead 2-0. ___ More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
  • When it comes to the SEC East this coming football season, Kirby Smart’s Georgia Bulldogs are the consensus favorite. So far this offseason, the chatter mainly has been centering around which team in the division could be their biggest challenger. Early money seems to be on South Carolina. USA Today, among others, has said Will Muschamp’s Gamecocks “look like Georgia’s biggest threat in the SEC East.” Georgia’s defense stopped South Carolina’s offense when it counted last year. (Steffenie Burns/UGA) In part, the belief that the Dawgs should be on upset alert for the game against South Carolina is because the annual Border Bash is reverting this year to its traditional spot as the Dawgs’ conference opener after taking place midseason the past couple of years. After a less-than-challenging season opener at home in Athens against FCS visitor Austin Peay, kicking off SEC play the next week at Columbia could be a stern test for the Dawgs, who are replacing a bunch of key players from last year. Playing in Columbia traditionally is tough, and it’s also noteworthy that, last year in Athens, the Gamecocks put up a stiffer fight than most of Georgia’s opponents. At the time, I called it a “workmanlike win” for the Dawgs, marred by sloppy play, too many penalties, and a turnover on the opponent’s 4-yard line. The Georgia pass defense also was somewhat porous at times against the Gamecocks’ air attack, particularly on third down, and the Dawgs’ rush couldn’t get consistent pressure on quarterback Jake Bentley, who completed 21 of 35 passes. But when it counted, the Georgia defense held, and Georgia’s Jake Fromm proved he could throw the ball, too, tossing 2 touchdown strikes as the Dawgs won 24-10. Another factor in those upset alerts for the Dawgs at Columbia is South Carolina’s apparent status as the choice of the nation’s sports media as the SEC’s “most improved” or “up-and-coming” program. That appears to be based mostly on the fact that the Gamecocks having a talented, experienced quarterback in Bentley, and the return to health of highly rated wide receiver Deebo Samuel, who missed most of last year (including the Georgia game) with an injury . Expectations are that under new offensive coordinator Bryan McClendon — a former Georgia player and assistant coach) —  the Gamecocks will be more dangerous offensively than last year, when they were very inconsistent. Plus, there’s this popular belief that Coach Boom’s defense will be improved from last year simply because he’s usually had good defenses in the past. USA Today’s Paul Myerberg even listed the Gamecocks— who are ranked No. 24 in the paper’s post-spring rankings, with Georgia at No. 6 — as his “dark horse” contender for the conference championship, which he expects to be won by Alabama. Of course, the preseason media darling doesn’t always pan out, and hype has a way of evaporating in the face of hard reality, as happened a few times with Tennessee during the Butch Jones era. Missouri quarterback Drew Lock could challenge a rebuilding Georgia defense. (Perry McIntyre Jr./UGA) Also, remember how Dan Mullen’s Mississippi State Bizarro Bulldogs entered their game against the Dawgs in Athens last season as probably the hottest team in college football, on the heels of a shocking upset of LSU. It only took the Dawgs one play to put that notion to rest — a terrific flea-flicker pass for a touchdown on the first play from scrimmage — a play that Fromm says was his favorite of the season. Georgia went on to a fairly easy win. Still, that early date against South Carolina does look like the Dawgs’ first major challenge of the new season. However, it’s not the only potential upset that college football observers see on Georgia’s schedule. Some think Missouri’s Drew Lock, who’s had some success — though not enough — throwing against the Dawgs the past couple of years, might prove too much for a rebuilding Georgia defense. Still, former Tennessee coach Derek Dooley, who spent the past five years coaching receivers for the Dallas Cowboys in the NFL, is Mizzou’s new offensive coordinator — a job he’s never held before. I’m not convinced Missouri is going to be an offensive juggernaut, and the Tigers defense probably will continue to be a weak link. Others think that last year’s Georgia blowout of Florida was an aberration and that the Gators, with former Mississippi State coach Mullen now in charge, immediately will return to SEC East contender status. Again, I’m not convinced. Florida still is looking for a quarterback, and must rebuild its offensive line. Plus, Todd Grantham is the Gators’ new defensive coordinator, which should put a big smile on the faces of Georgia’s offensive staff. Yeah, Grantham improved Mississippi State’s defensive numbers last year, but he wasn’t able to handle the Dawgs. And his other game as a defensive coordinator against Georgia since leaving Athens — the 2014 Belk Bowl when he was with Louisville — also went the Dawgs’ way.  Georgia defensive back Tyrique McGhee sacked Florida quarterback Feleipe Franks last year, forcing a fumble that was returned for a touchdown. (Curtis Compton/AJC) As for the rest of the SEC East, most analysts expect Jeremy Pruitt to face tough sledding in his first year as Tennessee’s new head coach. Jones didn’t leave him much to work with. SEC sports information directors recently picked the Vols to finish last in the division in 2018. As for Kentucky, the Wildcats may have Benny Snell, probably the conference’s best returning back, but that’s not enough, and Vanderbilt don’t appear any stronger than last year. Actually, the biggest threats to Georgia’s return to the conference championship this season appear to reside in the SEC West. The Oct. 13 trip to Baton Rouge to play LSU concerns some fans, mainly because it’s always tough to play the Tigers at home. But while LSU’s defense again should be pretty good, their offense remains suspect, with the departure of their two best running backs and their offensive coordinator. Really, the toughest game on Georgia’s regular season schedule once again should be Auburn, with whom the Dawgs split a pair last year, winning the one that counted the most in the SEC Championship Game. No matter how that game turns out, Georgia remains the favorite to take the East’s spot in the SEC Championship game and even be  a possible contender for the College Football Playoff. As Lindy’s preview summed up Georgia’s prospects: “A return to the SEC title game is the baseline of what would be acceptable.” No pressure, Kirby. The post Who is Georgia’s biggest threat in the SEC East? appeared first on DawgNation.