Blue Jays win eighth straight, beat Rockies 5-2

colorado-rockiesTORONTO (AP) — Adam Lind hit a three-run home run, Mark Buehrle won his second straight start and the Toronto Blue Jays earned their eighth consecutive victory Wednesday, beating the Colorado Rockies 5-2 to complete a three-game sweep.

The eight-game streak is Toronto’s longest since a 10-game run in late 2008.

Carlos Gonzalez hit his NL-leading 21st home run, but the Rockies lost for the sixth time in eight games.

Buehrle (4-4) allowed two runs and eight hits in five innings.

Neil Wagner pitched the sixth, Brett Cecil worked the seventh, Steve Delabar handled the eighth and Casey Janssen finished for his 16th save in 17 chances.

Juan Nicasio (4-3) allowed four runs, two earned, and four hits in five innings. The right-hander has not won in six starts.

KEARNEY NATIVE AMONG TRYOUT HOPEFUL

Tri-City-StormLAS VEGAS, Nev. – For the first time in team history, the Tri-City Storm have a Kearney native vying for a spot on their roster.

Matt Lewis, a 5-foot, 10-inch forward that weighs in at 175 pounds, calls Kearney home.

Last season, Lewis played for the U18 AAA team at Shattuck St. Mary’s in Fairbault, Minn.

“I think it’s great for the community to have a local kid come to camp,” said Storm head coach Josh Hauge. “It means a lot to the young kids in town that would like to pursue playing for the Storm. Hopefully someday we have that happen. Maybe it’s even this year, who knows.”

Lewis has taken the first step, as he was one of 11 forwards chosen to move on to the Storm’s main camp after open tryouts were completed Tuesday.

Kearney’s own turned heads right away during tryouts on Monday, scoring the first goal in the first game of the day.

Lewis got his start locally with the Tri-City Optimist Youth Ice Hockey Association. He is one of 112 players competing in the main phase of tryout camp. There will be 25-30 players invited to fall camp upon the completion of the Las Vegas tryouts.

“He’s asked me for advice a few times since I’ve been with the Storm and I’ve just tried to help him any way I can,” Hauge said.

The Storm will continue their annual tryout camp through Saturday afternoon. For all the latest updates from Las Vegas, log on to stormhockey.com and follow the Storm on Facebook and Twitter.

Huskers to Host Historic Hoops Day in Haymarket

UNLLincoln – The Nebraska Athletic Department announced plans Wednesday, June 19, for a historic day-night doubleheader for Husker women’s and men’s basketball to celebrate their regular-season openers at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Friday, Nov. 8.

The first regular-season basketball game inside the arena tips off at noon between a pair of 2013 top-20 teams when Coach Connie Yori’s Husker women face UCLA. The game between the Huskers, who advanced to the 2013 NCAA Sweet 16 and finished No. 18 in the final USA Today Coaches Top 25, and the Bruins, who finished No. 15 in the USA Today rankings after advancing to the NCAA second round, will follow a special morning Husker Life Skills event inside Pinnacle Bank Arena. The “Invest 2 Be The Best” pep rally is expected to include approximately 5,000 middle school students from Lincoln and surrounding communities.

The Huskers’ historic day at Pinnacle Bank Arena will conclude with another marquee matchup between the Nebraska men’s basketball team and 2013 NCAA Sweet 16 participant Florida Gulf Coast. The tip time for the season-opening sellout with “Dunk City” in the “Star City” has not been set, but the game will be televised nationally in primetime by BTN.

Season tickets for Nebraska men’s basketball have sold out for the first time in school history, and the sellout promises to give the men the largest season-opening home crowd in Husker history in their first regular-season game inside Pinnacle Bank Arena. The $179 million arena will seat more than 15,000 fans. Coach Tim Miles’ second Husker team will face a Florida Gulf Coast squad that returns four starters from a team that became the first No. 15 seed in NCAA history to reach the Sweet 16. The Eagles will be under the direction of new head coach Joe Dooley.

“We’re thrilled with the caliber of competition our teams will face on opening day and night at Pinnacle Bank Arena,” Nebraska Executive Associate Athletic Director Marc Boehm said. “We also wanted to reach out to people of all ages from Lincoln and the surrounding communities, so they could join us in the celebration of a truly historic day in the Haymarket. Partnering with Lincoln Public Schools and other schools in the area gives local youth a chance to see the first regular-season game inside the arena and be a part of history.

“With school-record record season-opening crowds for both the men and women for NCAA Tournament-caliber teams, we think it will be a momentous day for the city of Lincoln and the state of Nebraska, and the start of a memorable first season at the new arena.”

Nebraska Associate Athletic Director for Life Skills Keith Zimmer and his staff will be coordinating a pep rally, which will give students a chance to hear inspirational life skills and academic messages from Husker student-athletes and staff, before helping to tip off the opening of the arena.

“The interest level and enthusiasm from school administrators in Lincoln and nearby communities for the ‘Invest 2 Be the Best’ pep rally has been very strong,” Zimmer said. “Through music and other entertainment, students and staff will be encouraged to discover unique talents, get involved in their communities and strive to be multi-dimensional. It promises to be a memorable morning and afternoon, not only to be inspired at the pep rally but to enjoy a marquee women’s basketball game at the new arena.”

Nebraska has sold a school record of more than 2,600 women’s basketball season tickets for 2013-14, an increase of nearly 500 tickets over the start of last season. Season tickets went on sale May 8, and NU’s total has been growing on a daily basis. The increase in season ticket sales and the “Invest 2 Be The Best” pep rally will not only guarantee the Husker women the largest season-opening crowd in school history, but also the largest crowd for a non-conference game in the history of the program.

The women’s game between Nebraska and UCLA will be televised live statewide by NET-HD.

State Games Torch Run Begins June 20 In Norfolk

CSG-2013Lincoln—The 2013 Cornhusker State Games Torch Run begins Thursday at the Norfolk National Guard Armory, 817 S. 1st St. in Norfolk.  Five soldiers from the Nebraska National Guard, including SSG Jessie London, Norfolk, SGT Cory Nelson, Omaha, SSG Justin Olson, Pierce, SGT Blake Thompson, Kenesaw and SSG Joshua Wessel, Humphrey, will run the first leg after brief opening remarks at 11:30 a.m.

Thursday’s leg of the Run ends with an estimated 6:45 p.m. arrival at Frankfort Square in Columbus.  Honorary runners into Columbus include standout high school student-athletes Alyssa Fraundorfer of Humphrey and Molly Gottschall, Alesa Foltz, and Skylar Ericson, all of Columbus.

Runners will relay the Torch from Columbus to Fremont Friday after which the Torch heads west to the panhandle to join the LiveWellNebraska tour for next week’s west-to-east statewide swing.   Tour stops, featuring appearances by Nebraska Olympic Medalits Jordan Larson and Curtis Tomasevicz, will be made in Scottsbluff (June 24), North Platte (June 25), Kearney (June 26), Grand Island (June 27) and Lincoln (June 28).  Specific details of the Torch Run Arrival and Tour Stops, which are open to the public, can be found under the special events tab at CornhuskerStateGames.com.

In the tradition of the Olympics, the Torch Run, which is sponsored by the Nebraska National Guard, symbolizes the spirit of the State Games, which offer competition in more than 60 sports for Nebraska athletes of all ages and abilities from July 19-28 in Lincoln, Omaha and surrounding communities.  The Torch Run officially concludes with the lighting of the caldron by a mystery athlete at the Games Opening Ceremonies on Friday, July 19 at Lincoln’s Seacrest Field.

Officials reported today that Games entries have already topped 5,500 and reminded athletes that the deadline for most sports is Monday, July 1.  So far, the top five sports in participation include Soccer (545), Energy Walk/5k (522), Volleyball (434), Basketball (372) and Track & Field (310).

Frauendorfer of Humphrey is the 2013 Lincoln Journal Star Girls Prep Athlete of the Year and will play volleyball at Wayne State beginning this fall.  She helped Humphrey win back-to-back state titles in volleyball and was the valedictorian for her class.  Gottschall, Foltz and Ericson all plan to continue athletic careers at Central Community College in Columbus.

Those interested can follow the progress of the Cornhusker State Games Torch Run and view photos on the Torch Run Facebook page or at LiveWellNebraska.com.  More information can be also found at CornhuskerStateGames.com.

NPCC Lady Knights Basketball Coach Thurin Receives SCC Distinguished Alumnus Award

npcc-knightsNorth Platte Community College Lady Knights basketball coach Richard “Dick” Thurin was honored with the 2013 Southeast Community College Beatrice Distinguished Alumnus Award on June 12 in Beatrice.

Thurin began coaching for the NPCC women’s basketball team in 2001. At the Junior College level, he has been honored by being named Region IX Coach of the Year four times and District F Coach of the Year twice. He has taken the Lady Knights to the National Tournament twice during the past three years.

He has also had several Academic All-Americans on his teams and one Academic All-American team, and enjoys it immensely when “his” girls get awards, both in academics and in basketball.

Thurin was valedictorian of his graduating class at Ong High School. While in high school he played baseball and basketball. His oldest brother, Leland, was his basketball coach. It was then that Thurin realized that he wanted to be a coach also.

“I’ve always wanted to guide young people to get an education and get their lives on the right path,” he said.

Following in the footsteps of his two older brothers, Thurin attended Fairbury Junior College where he received an Associate’s Degree in Education. He played football for the first time at Fairbury and also played basketball for two years.

He went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Social Science from the University of Nebraska at Kearney (then known as Kearney State). He played basketball for one year while at UNK.

Thurin did graduate work at Colorado State University, Chadron State College, University of Northern Colorado, Wayne State College, and the University of Nebraska. He taught high school and coached at Roseland (now Silver Lake) for two years.

Most of Thurin’s high school teaching and coaching career was at Grant (now Perkins County), where he taught history, government, and law classes. He also served as an assistant football coach, assistant boys basketball coach, Mock Trial coach, and head volleyball coach and is credited with starting the girls track and girls basketball programs at Grant.

Thurin received several honors while coaching in high school including the Buffalo Bill Coach of the Year award. He coached the Girls All-Star basketball game for the Nebraska Coaches Association and coached the Girls All-Star basketball game at Cambridge twice. He also received the Gold Award from the Franklin Circle for girls basketball and girls track, as well as receiving the Silver Award from the Franklin Circle for girls volleyball.

While at Grant, Thurin and his wife, Karen, sponsored the Fellowship of Christian Athletes for more than 20 years. He served as president of the Grant Education Association and was also a member of the Nebraska State and National Education Associations.

Thurin is an active member of the Grant United Methodist Church and has served on several committees, including being Chairman of the Administrative Council and SPRC for many years.  He is a member of Lions where he served as president of the Grant club three times. He is in his second term as a member of the Perkins County Health Services Board.

Dick and Karen Thurin have been married for 47 years. They have one son, Trent, and two granddaughters, Abby and Zoe.

Rockies Send Young to Mets for Right-Hander McHugh

colorado-rockiesTORONTO — The Rockies sent outfielder Eric Young Jr., who was designated for assignment last week, to the Mets on Tuesday night for right-handed pitcher Collin McHugh, then optioned McHugh to Double-A Tulsa.

McHugh, 26, has brief big league experience over the last two seasons (0-5, 8.26 ERA in 11 games, five starts). This year he was 0-1 with a 10.29 ERA in three games, including one start (eight earned runs, 12 hits in seven innings).

McHugh’s high point with the Mets came in his debut — a Citi Field game against the Rockies last Aug. 23, when he pitched seven scoreless innings, struck out nine and gave up two hits. He didn’t figure in the decision — a 1-0 Rockies victory.

This season, McHugh has thrived at the Triple-A level at Las Vegas, a hitters’ park, to the tune of a 3-2 record with a 2.87 ERA in nine starts.

The trade is an opportunity for Young, 27, to try to settle the Mets’ leadoff situation. They have used nine players in the No. 1 spot this season, and have an unsettled outfield situation.

The switch-hitting Young batted .242 with one home run and six RBIs, and was successful on 8-of-12 stolen-base attempts. Last year, Young appeared in 98 games and hit a career-best .316 with four homers, 15 RBIs and 14 steals, and was playing regularly before suffering a season-ending oblique injury in August.

Rockies Drop Game Two of the Interleague Series with Toronto

colorado-rockiesTORONTO (AP) — Edwin Encarnacion hit a two-run homer, J.P. Arencibia and Maicer Izturis added back-to-back shots and the Toronto Blue Jays won their seventh straight game, beating the Colorado Rockies 8-3 Tuesday night.

Toronto has its longest winning streak since a 10-game run in late 2008.

Esmil Rogers (3-2) worked 6 2-3 innings to beat his former team and win his second straight start.

Rogers didn’t allow a hit until Jonathan Herrera singled with one out in the sixth. He left to a standing ovation after allowing two earned runs and four hits. He walked one and struck out five.

Nebraska Women’s Basketball Sets 2013-14 Roster

UNLLincoln – Nebraska’s 2013-14 women’s basketball roster will include four starters from its 2013 NCAA Sweet 16 team, four more significant contributors and three talented freshmen, Coach Connie Yori announced June 18.

The Huskers, who were able to begin summer practice sessions for the 2013-14 campaign on Tuesday, will open the season with an 11-player roster that features returning starters Jordan Hooper, Emily Cady, Hailie Sample and Rachel Theriot.

Hooper, a 6-2 senior forward from Alliance, Neb., returns as a two-time All-American and first-team All-Big Ten selection. The three-year starter enters her senior season on track to become just the third player in school history with 2,000 points and 1,000 career rebounds, while smashing the school’s three-point record. Hooper averaged 17.9 points and 8.8 rebounds per game as a junior for a Nebraska team that went 25-9 overall and 12-4 in the Big Ten. She has started 98 consecutive games and is a two-time academic All-Big Ten selection.

Hooper will split her time this summer between Nebraska and the U.S. Basketball World University Game Team. Hooper, who will participate in training camp in Colorado Springs June 25-July 1, will travel with U.S. Basketball to Kazan, Russia, July 8-15.

Cady, a 6-2 junior forward from Seward, Neb., has earned honorable-mention All-Big Ten selections in her first two seasons as a starter for the Husker. Cady averaged 9.1 points and 7.9 rebounds per game as a sophomore in 2012-13.

Sample, a 6-1 junior forward from Flower Mound, Texas, has joined Hooper and Cady in Nebraska’s starting five for each of the past 67 games. Sample averaged 4.8 points and 4.6 rebounds per game as a sophomore, including her first career double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds at No. 9 Texas A&M to send Nebraska to its second NCAA Sweet 16 in the past four years.

Theriot started Nebraska’s final 28 games as a true freshman. The 6-0 guard from Middleburg Heights, Ohio, captured a spot on the Big Ten All-Freshman Team by averaging 7.9 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.5 assists in conference action. She finished her freshman season with 6.2 points, 2.8 rebounds and 3.0 assists per contest, despite playing the entire season with a foot injury.

In addition to Nebraska’s four solid returning starters, the Huskers welcome the return of juniors Brandi Jeffery, Tear’a Laudermill and Katie Simon, and sophomore Sadie Murren.

Jeffery, a 5-7 guard from Vacherie, La., started Nebraska’s first six games of 2012-13, before battling adversity and injury. She finished the season with 3.5 points and 1.9 rebounds per game, and has played in 63 games in her first two seasons with NU.

Laudermill, a 5-9 guard from Riverside, Calif., was one of Nebraska’s most improved players throughout 2012-13. She averaged 5.9 points and 1.9 rebounds while playing in 33 of NU’s 34 games. She has played in 61 games in her first two years in Lincoln.

Simon, a 6-2 forward from Roseville, Calif., enters her fourth season in the Husker program. She has appeared in 56 games, averaging 2.3 points and 1.2 rebounds. Simon is also a two-time academic All-Big Ten selection.

Murren enters her second season with the Huskers after playing 18 games as a true freshman. The 5-8 guard from Colon, Neb., provided solid contributions for NU early in her rookie season before being sidelined by a back injury.

Fellow 2012-13 freshman Courtney Aitken from Dannebrog, Neb., chose not to return to the Husker team for her second season. The 5-9 guard appeared in six early season games before being sidelined by injury in December. She plans to continue her academic career at Nebraska.

The Huskers will try to make up for the loss of 2012-13 seniors Lindsey Moore and Meghin Williams with the addition of three freshmen. Moore, a 2013 first-round WNBA Draft pick, set school records for career assists, starts and minutes played as the top point guard in school history. Williams joined Moore as a four-year contributor to three NCAA Tournament teams and Nebraska’s first two NCAA Sweet 16 squads.

Seward High School star Hannah Tvrdy has joined the Huskers for summer workouts to get a head start on her collegiate career. The 5-9 guard was a two-time second-team Super-State and first-team All-Class B selection for three-time state champion Seward. She averaged 15.6 points, 4.6 rebounds and more than four assists per game as a senior.

Nebraska’s two other incoming freshmen will join the team later in the summer. Three-sport Michigan high school standout Allie Havers was a finalist for state player-of-the-year honors in basketball, volleyball and softball. She is one of Michigan’s top prep pitchers and has led her Mattawan team to the state championships this summer.

The 6-5 forward from Paw Paw, Mich., was a two-time first-team Michigan Class A selection and the two-time Kalamazoo Area Player of the Year. Ranked among the top 80 players in the class of 2013 nationally, Havers averaged 19.3 points, 11.4 rebounds, 3.3 blocks and 2.5 steals per game as a senior.

Esther Ramacieri rounds out the group of NU newcomers. The 5-8 guard from Repentigny, Quebec, Canada, averaged 7.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 3.6 steals for Dawson College in 2012-13. It was her second season in CEGEP at Dawson College after graduating from Felix Leclerc High School.

Nebraska will hold eight practice sessions during the summer to begin preparations for its first season at Pinnacle Bank Arena in 2013-14.

Broncos Roll Over Browns for 10th Straight Win

Denver won its 10th straight game Sunday as Peyton Manning threw three touchdown passes for the 72nd time of his career in a 34-12 victory over the Cleveland Browns.

Denver (12-3) pulled into a tie for first place in the AFC with Houston, which fell 23-6 to the Vikings.

Manning finished with 339 yards on 30-for-43 passing. Von Miller was in on two sacks for the Broncos, the second of which knocked Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden out of the game with a right shoulder injury.

Miller has 17 ½ sacks on the season, breaking Elvis Dumervil’s franchise record.

If Denver defeats Kansas City at home next week and Houston loses at Indianapolis, the Broncos would be the AFC’s top seed.

UTEP Defeats Huskers

Konner Tucker and Jaques Streeter had 17 points apiece to help UTEP defeat Nebraska 68-52 in the championship game of the Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational on Sunday night.

Nebraska (8-4) did not score until 13:31 into the first half. The Huskers then began to chip away at the lead when UTEP went cold for a 4-minute stretch but closed out the half going on a 16-5 run.

The second half was much of the same as UTEP (6-5) controlled the pace. Nebraska cut the lead to as little as eight with a 13-4 run late, but UTEP stayed ahead.

Nebraska shot 37.3 percent from the field for the game, while UTEP shot 47 percent and led by as many as 22 points.

Ray Gallegos led Nebraska with 22 points. Brandon Ubel had 11 points. Dylan Talley, who had averaged 15 points per game, was held to four points.