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Rays Woes Continue, NBA, NHL Playoffs, College World Series Too In Sports Update

By on June 10th, 2014

Playoffs wind down, the woes for the Tampa Bay Rays continue and college baseball has its College World Series field set in our Tuesday Sports Update…

** The NBA Finals continue in Miami tonight as the Heat host the San Antonio Spurs; the series is tied 1-1.

** The on again, off again saga of LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling takes another turn as his attorney now says he is withdrawing his support of the sale of his team and that his lawsuit against the NBA is on again.

** Several media outlets are reporting that Derek Fisher has agreed to become the new coach of the New York Knicks after retiring this past season as a player.

** The Stanley Cup playoffs could soon be over.   The Los Angeles Kings blank the New York Rangers 3-0 to go up 3-0 in the series.   Game 4 is in New York.

** The Tampa Bay Rays are really struggling; after losing to Seattle 3-0 Monday, the Rays have now lost 13 of 14; they start a series with St.Louis today.  Atlanta beat Colorado 3-1 and the Marlins start a series with Texas today.

** College baseball’s College World Series field is now set with Ole Miss, Virginia and TCU getting berths with Super Regional wins yesterday.   Vanderbilt is also representing the SEC in the field.

**

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UF Football, Hoops, Tennis, Baseball, Hockey, Lots Of Stuff In Sports Update

By on June 9th, 2014

A lot of different sports to highlight today in our Monday Sports Update and it starts with a a Gator football verbal commitment…

** Florida is holding its annual football camps now and it got a commitment from a California quarterback in 6’2″ 190 pound Sheriron Jones who comes from the same high school as former Gator Ronald Powell.

** The NBA Finals are even at 1-1 after LeBron James scores 35 points to lead the Miami Heat to a 98-96 win over San Antonio; Game 3 in Miami.

** The Stanley Cup playoffs continue tonight in New York where the Rangers host the LA Kings needing a win after losing the first two games in LA.

** Rafael Nadal is the first man to ever win the French Open singles title five straight years after he wins in Paris on Sunday.

** Some teams have punched their ticket to the College World Series after Super Regional wins over the weekend.   Vanderbilt, Texas, Texas Tech, UC Irvine, and Louisville are going to Omaha with other Super Regional series to be decided today.

** In big league baseball, the Tampa Bay Rays have now lost 12 of their last 13 games after losing to Felix Hernandez and Seattle 5-0 Sunday.   Arizona beat Atlanta 6-5 and Miami beat the Chicago Cubs 4-3.  Today, Atlanta is at Colorado, Seattle is at Tampa Bay while the Marlins are off.

** According to reports, Florida junior Justin Shafer has signed a deal with the Toronto Blue Jays, the team that drafted him just a few days ago so he will not return to Florida for his senior year.

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Jozy Jolts U.S. Soccer To a Win In Jacksonville

By on June 9th, 2014

JACKSONVILLE, Florida–The United States Men’s National Soccer team came out on top with a 2-1 victory in a match against Nigeria Saturday evening.  The game marks the third straight win for the U.S. team and the second against the Nigerian club. 

It was a quiet first half hour of action between the two sides in what looked to be written as a scoreless first half.  However the United States made noise in the 31st minute when forward Jozy Altidore scored the game’s first goal, ending his six-month scoring drought for the team.  Altidore’s roommate, and U.S. defensemen Fabian Johnson made Jozy’s finish easy when he sent a cross into the six yard box allowing for a tap in by Altidore. 

Altidore knows that the relationship off the field between himself and Johnson has translated to success on the field.

“He’s my roommate.” Altidore would go on and say.  “We’re very lucky to have him, he’s a great personality on the team and you see what he brings.  He’s up and down, he scores goals, and he creates them.  He’s a problem for other teams.”

The Americans took a 1-0 lead into the second half, outshooting Nigeria seven to five. The United States almost reached the scoreboard again early in the second half when Clint Dempsey failed to produce in a one on one situation with Vincent Enyeama, the Nigerian goalkeeper.  It was just four minutes later that the United States extended its lead to 2-0. Altidore drove home his second goal of the game in the 68th minute after receiving a beautiful ball from Michael Bradley near the top of the 18-yard box. Altidore wasted no time, taking just a couple touches before ripping the ball past the Nigerian keeper.  The play not only earned Altidore his second goal of the game, but it gave Bradley his 10th all time assist in 86 appearances with the National squad. 

Even after a six month goalless streak, Altidore says his confidence hasn’t changed. 

“To be honest it makes no difference.  I don’t know if it’s weird to you, it’s not weird to me.  I’ve played for this team for such a long time that I think it’s my responsibility to kind of help the team in other ways,” he said.

Nigeria wouldn’t be left scoreless in their trip to Florida, collecting a somewhat cheap goal in the 86th minute when a penalty was called inside the 18-yard box resulting in a penalty kick.  Nigeria’s Victor Moses would send the penalty kick to the back of the net tightening the game up 2-1 with just minutes remaining. 

In the team’s last outing on home soil before heading to Brazil and the World Cup, American goalkeeper Tim Howard made his 100th start for the squad. Howard picked up four saves in the game, allowing just the one late goal.

The game was a great tune up for the American side, allowing 16 of the 23 men on their roster to see action in the game.  The three game win streak is the longest that the U.S. has ever had entering a World Cup.

U.S. coach Jürgen Klinsmann is excited to be in Brazil. 

“Most importantly the last three and a half weeks we have gotten a lot of work done.  We’re going to do another training test against Belgium down there, and I think everybody will be ready.” Klinsmann continued. “We can’t wait to start that tournament”

With the win, the American side improves to 2-0-0 against Nigeria all time. The Jacksonville crowd played a key role in Saturday’s match as 52,033 people attended, a record for a USMNT game in the southeast.  The National Team is now 4-0-1 when playing in Jacksonville and 17-16-9 in Florida.

The real test now comes on the 16th of this month when the U.S. takes on Ghana in its World Cup opener.  

To hear comments from the game, click below.

Jurgen Klinsmann

Jurgen Klinsmann

Jurgen Klinsmann

Jozy Altidore

Jozy Altidore

Jozy Altidore

Jozy Altidore

 

 

 

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Heat Lose, MLB Draft Continues, Super Regionals In Sports Update

By on June 6th, 2014

Game One of the NBA Finals is in the books, the Stanley Cup Playoffs continue, a horse runs for the Triple Crown, NCAA Super Regionals in college baseball and much more in our Friday Sports Update…

** The San Antonio Spurs take Game 1 of the NBA Finals with a 110-95 win in San Antonio.   An air conditioning malfunction made the arena temperature around 90 degrees but the Spurs didn’t wilt.   Game 2 Sunday in San Antonio.

** The Stanley Cup Playoffs resume tonight in Los Angeles as the Kings host the New York Rangers; LA leads 1-0.

** The Major League Baseball Amateur Draft continues this weekend.   Gator signee Grant Holmes, a high school pitcher from South Carolina, was taken by the LA Dodgers in the first round last night.

** College baseball holds its Super Regionals this weekend with the winners advancing to the College World Series.  Ole Miss and Vanderbilt represent the SEC.

** In big league baseball, the Tampa Bay Rays have now lost 10 in a row after losing to the Miami Marlins 11-6 Thursday.   The Rays open a home stand against Seattle while the Marlins are at the Chicago Cubs this weekend.   Atlanta is at Arizona.

** California Chrome races for the Triple Crown this weekend at the Belmont Stakes in New York.  If Chrome wins, it would be horse racing’s first Triple Crown since 1973.

** The French Open tennis tournament winds down in Paris.   Maria Sharapova will face Simona Halep in the women’s final Saturday while the men’s semifinals take place today.

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MLB Amateur Draft Starts Today; Gator Players And Signees Should Get Calls

By on June 5th, 2014

Major League Baseball’s Amateur Draft starts tonight and several Gator players and signees could be having decisions to make soon as to stay in school or go to the pro level.

The first player with a Gator tie to be selected will probably be pitching signee Grant Holmes from South Carolina; most believe he will be selected in the first round.   Catcher JJ Schwarz is another signee who could be drafted early.   Several other signees could be drafted in later rounds.

The first current Gator that could be selected is catcher Taylor Gushue, who most believe should be taken somewhere from the fifth round down.   Other Gator players who could be drafted include pitchers Ryan Harris and Karsten Whitson.   An intriguing draft eligible prospect is junior Justin Shafer who has pitched well of late and scouts have taken notice of a fastball that gets up to 92-94 miles an hour.

Several position players are also draft eligible like juniors Josh Tobias, Casey Turgeon and  Zack Powers and they were also drafted out of high school.   Braden Mattson is also draft eligible as the junior college transfer played primarily in the outfield for Florida this past season.

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NBA Finals, Stanley Cup, Sad Baseball News In Our Thursday Sports Update

By on June 5th, 2014

The NBA Finals start tonight, the Stanley Cup Finals are underway and a long time baseball man passes away in our Thursday Sports Update…

** The NBA Finals start tonight in San Antonio where the Spurs host the Miami Heat.   Miami is trying for a three-peat and the Spurs look to avenge last year’s seven game loss to Miami in the Finals.

** The All-NBA team is announced and former Gator and current Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah is a first team selection.

** The NHL’s Stanley Cup Finals are underway and Game 1 sees the Los Angeles Kings beat the New York Rangers 3-2 in LA last night.  Game 2 Saturday in LA.

** In baseball, a sad note today as long time baseball player, manager, coach, and advisor Don Zimmer dies at the age of 83.   Zimmer played for the Brooklyn Dodgers among others and most recently was an advisor for the Tampa Bay Rays.

** In baseball action, Miami beats the Rays 5-3 to give the Rays their ninth straight loss.  Seattle blanks Atlanta 2-0 as the Mariners win their fifth in a row.

** And the Major League Baseball Draft starts tonight with several Gator players and signees expected to be drafted over the next few days.

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Gator Softball Wins National Title With 6-3 Win Over Alabama

By on June 4th, 2014

After knocking on the door several times at the Women’s College World Series, the Florida softball program finally broke it down Tuesday night, winning the program’s first softball national title with a 6-3 win over Alabama in Oklahoma City.

Gator coach Tim Walton rolled the dice Tuesday night, not starting senior ace Hannah Rogers in the circle despite the fact that Rogers has pitched lights out in the postseason.   Walton told ESPN 850 WRUF yesterday that the coaching staff was mulling over whether to start Rogers after her complete game victory on Monday because Walton said at times Rogers has struggled when pitching in back to back games.

So Walton started junior Lauren Haeger who immediately fell behind 1-0 in the first inning.  However, Florida tied the score in the bottom of the inning on a Stephanie Tofft home run.

In the second inning, Florida knocked out Alabama starting pitcher Jaclyn Traina.   Kelsey Stewart drove in a Gator run with a single and then UF outfielder Kirsti Merritt hit a long three run homer to give the Gators a 5-1 lead.

Walton replaced Haeger with another pitcher not used in the World Series final in freshman Delanie Gourney who held Alabama scoreless after Haeger gave up a solo homer to cut Florida’s lead to 5-2.  After pitching two scoreless innings, Gourley gave way to Rogers who finished out the game, allowing one run.

Rogers was named the Most Outstanding Player of the World Series.   The Gators end their magical year at 53-13.

There will a celebration for the Gator softball team when they come home from Oklahoma City today at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.   Gates will open at 5pm and admission will be free as the team is expected to arrive shortly after that time.

 

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Stanley Cup, NBA Finals, MLB Results In Wednesday Sports Update…

By on June 4th, 2014

The Stanley Cup Finals start tonight, a lot of baseball results and Super Regional college baseball pairings announced in our Wednesday Sports Update…

** The National Hockey League’s Stanley Cup Finals begin tonight when the LA Kings host the New York Rangers.

** In baseball, the Miami Marlins blank the Tampa Bay Rays 1-0 to send the Rays to their eighth straight loss.   Seattle beat Atlanta 7-5.   The Rays host Miami today and Atlanta and Seattle also play today.

** The French Open tennis tournament continues in Paris.   Lots of seeded players are in action today for the men like Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and David Ferrer and Simona Halep and Sara Errani for the women.

** The NCAA Super Regionals are set for college baseball.   Two SEC teams advanced; Ole Miss will play at Louisiana-Lafayette and Vanderbilt will host Stanford.   The College of Charleston, who won the Gainesville Regional, will travel to face Texas Tech.

** University of Georgia starting safety Tray Matthews has been dismissed from the team by head coach Mark Richt; he and three former teammates are charged with illegally cashing scholarship checks.

** And Alabama football coach Nick Saban can afford to buy you dinner today after his new almost $7 million dollar a year contract was approved by a university compensation committee.

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Gator Softball One Win Away From National Title After Win Over Alabama

By on June 3rd, 2014

The Florida Gator softball team is one win away from its first national championship after it defeated Alabama 5-0 in the national final at the College World Series in Oklahoma City on Monday.

Once again, it started in the circle for the Gators and senior Hannah Rogers was terrific, giving up just four hits while tossing the shutout.   Florida’s defense helped her out, turning two double plays and making all the routine plays as well.

Offensively, Florida did enough.   In the third, catcher Aubree Munro hit a solo homer to give the Gators the lead and they padded it with two more runs in the fifth inning on RBI hits from Kirsti Merritt and Stephanie Tofft.

Florida put the game out of reach in the seventh inning, scoring two more runs as Tofft hit a sacrifice fly and Lauren Haeger broke out of a slump and hit an RBI double.

The Gators will play again tonight, needing just one win in two games to claim their first national title; game time is 8pm.

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Baseball Super Regionals Set; MLB Results, More In Tuesday Sports Update

By on June 3rd, 2014

Super Regionals are set in college baseball, the Rays continue to lose and more in our Tuesday Sports Update…

** The Super Regionals are now set in college baseball and there were a ton of upsets as a bunch of national and top seeds did not advance.   The SEC had 10 teams go to regionals but only two, Ole Miss and Vanderbilt, advance to Super Regional play.   And the overall number one and two seeds in Oregon State and Florida, did not advance.

** In big league baseball, the losing streak for the Tampa Bay Rays continues as they fall to Miami 3-2.  The Braves were idle and host Seattle tonight.

** Former Gator and New York Giants safety Will Hill was released by the team after he was suspended for a third time for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.

** The French Open tennis tournament continues today in Paris.   Most of the seeded players survived but on the women’s side sixth seeded Jelena Jankovic falls.   Men’s top seed Rafael Nadal won as did Andy Murray and fifth seed David Ferrer.

** The Stanley Cup Finals begin tomorrow as the New York Rangers face the Los Angeles Kings, the first time a New York-Los Angeles series has taken place in pro sports since 1981.

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