The skinny Archive

0

Hurricanes’ Pitkanen to miss entire season

Joni Pitkanen.

Joni Pitkanen.

Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Joni Pitkanen will miss the entire 2013-14 season.

Pitkanen, 29, suffered a broken left calcaneus (heel) bone on April 2 against Washington, and missed the Hurricanes’ final 13 games of the season. The 2013-14 season would have been his sixth with Carolina and 10th in the NHL.

The Oulu, Finland, native has scored 57 goals and earned 225 assists in 535 career NHL regular-season games with Philadelphia, Edmonton and Carolina, since beginning his NHL career in 2003-04. Since the team’s relocation in 1997, Pitkanen (6’3”, 210 lbs.) ranks third among defensemen in assists (116) and points (140), tied for fourth among club defensemen in goals (240) and eighth among team blueliners in games played (266).

The Carolina Hurricanes open their 2013-14 season on October 4 at PNC Arena against the Detroit Red Wings. Individual game tickets for all Carolina Hurricanes exhibition and regular-season games are on sale at the PNC Arena Box Office and via Ticketmaster.

0

Area high school football games, predictions for Week 3

helmetredSome good games among the 12 local contests today – Friday, Sept. 6 – including Ravenscroft traveling to rival Cardinal Gibbons and Cary playing at Wake Forest. Actually almost all the local games should be competitive except for one or two. Several other matchups take place outside the Triangle area.

Most area high school football teams are playing their third games of the season and most games start at 7:30 pm with a few beginning at 7. Try to make a point to get out there and support high school athletics this season. Temperatures tonight hover around 75 at game time with no chance of rain. My record in picking games last week was 10-3 for a season record of 20-5. Below, the predicted winners for this week are in bold.

Local games
Apex at Sanderson
Carrboro at Chapel Hill
Cary at Wake Forest
Cedar Ridge at East Chapel Hill
East Wake at Millbrook
Enloe at Southeast Raleigh
Garner at Broughton
Green Hope at Jordan
Heritage at Knightdale
Northern Durham at Wakefield
Orange at Riverside
Ravenscroft at Cardinal Gibbons

0

Bulls open up 2-0 as they survive late Indy rally

The Durham Bulls put the Indianapolis Indians on the brink of elimination with a 6-5 win Thursday night at the DBAP. J.D. Martin cruised early before the South Champs had to survive a late scare in the ninth to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series.

After waiting until the eighth inning to score in the opening game, the Bulls wasted no time in Game Two. Tim Beckham led off the game with a double for the second straight night and was promptly doubled in by Cole Figueroa. Jason Bourgeois followed with a single, and Vince Belnome doubled off the wall to score Figueroa and Bourgeois.

Ten pitches into the game, Indianapolis manager Dean Treanor had seen enough. He took out starter Graham Godfrey without recording an out, giving him an ERA of infinity for the postseason.

Leslie Anderson greeted reliever Brooks Brown with a home run to right, the Bulls first postseason blast since Justin Ruggiano on September 14, 2010. It also snapped a six-game homerless drought for the Bulls, since Beckham went yard on August 28.

The Bulls appeared to be cruising to victory for the next seven innings. Martin (W, 1-0), the IL’s Most Valuable Pitcher, went 8 innings, allowing just two runs on a Jerry Sands home run in the seventh. Martin scattered 8 hits and walked none.

The Indians jumped on reliever Steve Geltz in the ninth, however, as Sands hit a three-run homer, his second blast of the game, to cut the lead to one run. Charlie Montoyo again called on Kirby Yates to nail things down, and the Hawaiian struck out three straight Indian batters to record his second save of the series.

The series now moves to Indianapolis, where the Bulls need only a single win to advance to the Governors’ Cup Championship Round. Game Three will be Friday at 7:05pm. RHP Merrill Kelly starts for the Bulls against rehabbing Major Leaguer Wandy Rodriguez.

Boxscore

Play-by-play

Indianapolis Top of the 1st

Chase d’Arnaud grounds out, shortstop Tim Beckham to first baseman Vince Belnome.
Robert Andino grounds out, third baseman Cole Figueroa to first baseman Vince Belnome.
Gregory Polanco grounds out, second baseman Ryan Roberts to first baseman Vince Belnome.

Durham Bottom of the 1st

Tim Beckham doubles (2) on a ground ball to left fielder Russ Canzler.
With Cole Figueroa batting, missed catch error by Robert Andino on the pickoff attempt, Tim Beckham to 3rd.
Cole Figueroa doubles (1) on a fly ball to right fielder Jerry Sands. Tim Beckham scores.
Jason Bourgeois singles on a line drive to right fielder Jerry Sands. Cole Figueroa to 3rd. Jason Bourgeois to 2nd on the throw.
Vince Belnome doubles (1) on a fly ball to left fielder Russ Canzler. Cole Figueroa scores. Jason Bourgeois scores.
Pitching Change: Brooks Brown replaces Graham Godfrey.
Leslie Anderson homers (1) on a fly ball to right field. Vince Belnome scores.
Ryan Roberts pops out to second baseman Brian Bocock.
Mike Fontenot lines out softly to shortstop Robert Andino.
Kevin Kiermaier walks.
With Craig Albernaz batting, Kevin Kiermaier steals (1) 2nd base.
Craig Albernaz grounds out to first baseman Matt Hague.

Indianapolis Top of the 2nd

Matt Hague grounds out, third baseman Cole Figueroa to first baseman Vince Belnome.
Jared Goedert strikes out swinging.
Russ Canzler doubles (1) on a line drive to right fielder Jason Bourgeois.
Jerry Sands grounds out, pitcher J. D. Martin to first baseman Vince Belnome.

Durham Bottom of the 2nd

Tim Beckham grounds out, shortstop Robert Andino to first baseman Matt Hague.
Cole Figueroa grounds out to first baseman Matt Hague.
Jason Bourgeois grounds out, second baseman Brian Bocock to first baseman Matt Hague.

Indianapolis Top of the 3rd

Carlos Paulino grounds out, second baseman Ryan Roberts to first baseman Vince Belnome.
Brian Bocock grounds out, shortstop Tim Beckham to first baseman Vince Belnome.
Chase d’Arnaud triples (1) on a fly ball to left fielder Leslie Anderson.
Robert Andino strikes out swinging.

Durham Bottom of the 3rd

Vince Belnome walks.
Leslie Anderson grounds into a double play, second baseman Brian Bocock to shortstop Robert Andino to first baseman Matt Hague. Vince Belnome out at 2nd.
Ryan Roberts grounds out, pitcher Brooks Brown to first baseman Matt Hague.

Indianapolis Top of the 4th

Gregory Polanco flies out to center fielder Kevin Kiermaier.
Matt Hague grounds out, second baseman Ryan Roberts to first baseman Vince Belnome.
Jared Goedert doubles (1) on a line drive to right fielder Jason Bourgeois.
Russ Canzler lines out to center fielder Kevin Kiermaier.

Durham Bottom of the 4th

Pitching Change: James McDonald replaces Brooks Brown.
Mike Fontenot flies out to center fielder Gregory Polanco.
Kevin Kiermaier walks.
With Craig Albernaz batting, wild pitch by James McDonald, Kevin Kiermaier to 2nd.
Craig Albernaz walks.
Tim Beckham grounds into a double play, third baseman Jared Goedert to second baseman Brian Bocock to first baseman Matt Hague. Craig Albernaz out at 2nd.

Indianapolis Top of the 5th

Jerry Sands singles on a line drive to left fielder Leslie Anderson.
Carlos Paulino flies out to center fielder Kevin Kiermaier.
Brian Bocock grounds into a double play, second baseman Ryan Roberts to shortstop Tim Beckham to first baseman Vince Belnome. Jerry Sands out at 2nd.

Durham Bottom of the 5th

Cole Figueroa grounds out, second baseman Brian Bocock to first baseman Matt Hague.
Jason Bourgeois grounds out, shortstop Robert Andino to first baseman Matt Hague.
Vince Belnome strikes out swinging.

Indianapolis Top of the 6th

Chase d’Arnaud lines out to center fielder Kevin Kiermaier.
Robert Andino singles on a ground ball to left fielder Leslie Anderson.
Gregory Polanco grounds into a force out, shortstop Tim Beckham to second baseman Ryan Roberts. Robert Andino out at 2nd. Gregory Polanco to 1st.
Matt Hague grounds into a force out, third baseman Cole Figueroa to second baseman Ryan Roberts. Gregory Polanco out at 2nd.

Durham Bottom of the 6th

Pitching Change: Atahualpa Severino replaces James McDonald.
Leslie Anderson grounds out, second baseman Brian Bocock to first baseman Matt Hague.
Ryan Roberts strikes out swinging.
Mike Fontenot strikes out swinging.

Indianapolis Top of the 7th

Jared Goedert singles on a line drive to center fielder Kevin Kiermaier.
With Russ Canzler batting, wild pitch by J. D. Martin, Jared Goedert to 2nd.
Russ Canzler grounds out, shortstop Tim Beckham to first baseman Vince Belnome.
Jerry Sands homers (1) on a fly ball to left field. Jared Goedert scores.
Carlos Paulino singles on a line drive to left fielder Leslie Anderson.
Brian Bocock called out on strikes.
Chase d’Arnaud grounds into a force out, third baseman Cole Figueroa to second baseman Ryan Roberts. Carlos Paulino out at 2nd.

Durham Bottom of the 7th

Kevin Kiermaier reaches on a missed catch error by first baseman Matt Hague, assist to third baseman Jared Goedert.
Craig Albernaz out on a sacrifice bunt to first baseman Matt Hague. Kevin Kiermaier to 2nd.
Tim Beckham strikes out on a foul tip.
Cole Figueroa singles on a ground ball to center fielder Gregory Polanco. Kevin Kiermaier scores.
Pitching Change: Ryan Reid replaces Atahualpa Severino.
Jason Bourgeois singles on a line drive to center fielder Gregory Polanco. Cole Figueroa to 2nd.
Vince Belnome strikes out swinging.

Indianapolis Top of the 8th

Robert Andino grounds out, third baseman Cole Figueroa to first baseman Vince Belnome.
Gregory Polanco grounds out to first baseman Vince Belnome.
Matt Hague grounds out, third baseman Cole Figueroa to first baseman Vince Belnome.

Durham Bottom of the 8th

Pitching Change: Erik Cordier replaces Ryan Reid.
Leslie Anderson pops out to third baseman Jared Goedert in foul territory.
Ryan Roberts flies out to right fielder Jerry Sands.
Mike Fontenot grounds out to first baseman Matt Hague.

Indianapolis Top of the 9th

Pitching Change: Steve Geltz replaces J. D. Martin.
Defensive switch from right field to left field for Jason Bourgeois.
Defensive Substitution: Evan Frey replaces left fielder Leslie Anderson, batting 5th, playing right field.
Jared Goedert doubles (2) on a line drive to left fielder Jason Bourgeois.
With Russ Canzler batting, wild pitch by Steve Geltz, Jared Goedert to 3rd.
Russ Canzler walks.
Jerry Sands homers (2) on a fly ball to center field. Jared Goedert scores. Russ Canzler scores.
Offensive Substitution: Pinch-hitter Ivan De Jesus replaces Carlos Paulino.
Pitching Change: Kirby Yates replaces Steve Geltz.
Ivan De Jesus walks.
Offensive Substitution: Pinch-hitter Brett Carroll replaces Brian Bocock.
Brett Carroll called out on strikes.
Chase d’Arnaud strikes out swinging.
Robert Andino strikes out swinging.

0

Special Military Appreciation events planned for NC State-Richmond game

stateusahelmetSaturday’s game against Richmond will mark NC State’s annual “Military Appreciation” game at Carter-Finley Stadium. This event has become a favorite for the Wolfpack faithful, as the university pulls out all the stops to honor those who protect our freedom.

There are many special events planned for the day as men and women from all branches of service will be guests at the game.

The Backhome Box Foundation will be collecting items to send to troops overseas outside the gates and cash donations will be taken inside the stadium. Fans are encouraged to bring items from the “Soldiers’ Wish List” to send to deployed troops.

The Department of Athletics and Coca Cola are hosting a pregame tailgate party for 400+ military personnel, including the Wounded Warriors. Wolfpack Club members will also be hosting troops at their pregame tailgates through the “Adopt-A-Serviceperson” program. These troops will also attend the game with complimentary tickets from athletics.

At 5 p.m., fans are encouraged to head to the North entrance for the Wounded Warriors Walk of Champions. The Wounded Warriors will be escorted by the Patriot Guard motorcycles, as well as the band, cheerleaders and dance team, and will be honored on the field during the game.

Stay in your seats at halftime, as the NC State Marching Band will have a special military tribute, a full-field sized flag will cover the playing surface and a parachute team jumping into the stadium.

0

NC State football tickets average selling for $118

Forbes magazine has come up with its own top 25 and NC State made the list at No. 22 – for having the highest “secondary market” ticket price at $118 a seat. “Secondary market” basically means “scalping.”

Notre Dame is tops with an average ticket price of $294, which is 43 percent higher than a year ago. Ohio State was second with a $246 average price.

NC State was the only ACC team listed in the top 25. The prices aren’t necessarily based on how well a team is expected to do. State is one of 10 teams not ranked in the Top 25 by the Associate Press that are on the list of most expensive average home game tickets.

1) Notre Dame ($294)
2) Ohio Stae ($246)
3) Michigan ($230)
4) Nebraska ($210)
5) Texas A&M ($204)
6) Georgia ($188)
7) LSU ($181)
8) Alabama ($179)
9) Iowa ($166)
10)Oklahoma ($161)
11)Oregon ($160)
12)Florida ($159)
13)Washington ($151)
14)Texas ($150)
15)Mississippi State ($146)
16)South Carolina ($146)
17)Tennessee ($134)
18)Penn State ($133)
19)USC ($130)
20)Boise State ($125)
21)Oklahoma State ($122)
22)NC State ($118)
23)West Virginia ($116)
24)Syracuse ($114)
25)Kansas State ($114)

0

ECU’s Lewis a long shot to make the Redskins roster

Lance Lewis.

Lance Lewis.

Washington Redskins beat reporter Mike Jones of the Washington Post isn’t giving ECU product Lance Lewis much of a chance to make the 53-man roster.

Jones said, “We won’t know for sure until we see him play some preseason games, but as of now, Lewis – a 6-foot-2, 207-pound East Carolina product, who saw his 2011 quest to make the roster derailed by injury and then re-signed with Washington in May – doesn’t appear to have the best shot at making the 53-man squad. Pierre Garcon, Josh Morgan, Leonard Hankerson, Niles Paul and Santana Moss all seem likely to make the team. You would think that another wideout with return abilities – Skye Dawson, Nick Williams or Chip Reeves – might be able to earn a spot with a strong preseason showing. And, don’t forget roster hopefuls Donte Stallworth and Devery Henderson, who boast more experience.”

Lewis caught 149 catches for 1,716 yards and 22 touchdowns in two seasons at ECU. In 2010, he set the East Carolina single-season record with 14 touchdown receptions.

0

UNC does the right thing in suspending Hairston

uncbasketballclipartThis statement has been released by the UNC Sports Information Department.

“University of North Carolina men’s basketball coach Roy Williams has suspended P.J. Hairston from the basketball team indefinitely. Hairston, a rising junior guard from Greensboro, N.C., received a traffic citation for reckless driving on Sunday afternoon. Hairston averaged 14.6 points in 34 games as a sophomore last season.”

That was the right thing to do and perhaps the only thing UNC could do. Hairston just got other charges dismissed and despite warnings from Coach Williams, he went out and drove 93 mph in a 65 mph zone.

0

Getting to know Syracuse at ACC Football Kickoff

syracusehelmetClemson is no longer the only orange walking through the halls of the Grandover Hotel in Greensboro as part of the annual ACC Football Kickoff event. The Syracuse Orange are now part of ACC Country.

The old Orange of Clemson is more likely to make a big impact on the ACC and the country this season however. Syracuse has not only lost 11 starters from last year’s team, the Orange are breaking in a new head coach.

Scott Shafer, who spent the last four years as the Syracuse defensive coordinator, gets his first head coach job at the age of 46.

He’ll take over with a new quarterback taking over for the graduated Ryan Nassib, who started every game over the last three seasons. A senior, a junior and a sophomore are competing for the starting QB position.

Syracuse returns a 1,000-yard rusher in Jerome Smith but they’ve also got another competent runner back in Prince-Tyson Gulley, who rushed for more than 200 yards in the Orange’s bowl win last year.

Senior center Macky MacPherson has been named to the Rimington watch list. The Rimington award goes each year to the nation’s top center.

The defensive front was hit hard by graduation with three of the four gone. But the linebacker and secondary positions look strong. Linebacker Marquis Spruill has started 36 games for the Orange. Six returning starters on defense have at least 18 games as a starter under his belt.

Kicker Ross Krautman ranks fourth among all active placekickers in career field goals made with 48.

Syracuse, which hasn’t defeated NC State in six tries (the latest in 1998), comes to Raleigh to take on the Wolfpack on Oct. 12.

Check back for more on Syracuse.

0

Getting to know Pittsburgh at ACC Football Kickoff

pittfootballPittsburgh is one of two and a half teams added to the Atlantic Coast Conference in football, with Syracuse and sometimes Notre Dame being the others.

It’s strange to see Pittsburgh players, coaches and media walking the halls at the Grandover Hotel in Greensboro during the 2013 ACC Football Kickoff event.

But it’s a new era in ACC football. And here’s a bit about the Panthers.

Pittsburgh finished fifth in the Big East last year with a 3-4 conference mark and a 6-7 overall mark. The Panthers lose 23 lettermen including nine starters from that squad. The offense is hardest hit with a star QB, tailback, wide receiver, center and tackle gone.

There are eight starters back from a defense that was 17th nationally in total defense. Defensive tackle Aaron Donald, who was a first team All-Big East pick a year ago, returns for his senior season. Donald, a preseason third-team All-America player, recorded 18.5 tackles for losses in 2012. Free safety Jason Hendricks, who was a second team All-Big East pick last year, returns for his senior season.

On offense, Devin Street, a second team All-Big East pick last year, returns for his senior season. He has more career starts (30) than any Panther. Junior QB Tom Savage takes over for graduated Tino Sunseri, who played the last 39 games as the Panthers’ signal caller. Savage isn’t inexperienced either though as he started for Rutgers in 2009.

Pitt plays at Duke on Sept. 21 in a game that may ultimately determine who stays out of the division basement. The Panthers, who beat the Tar Heels at home in 2001, host North Carolina on Nov. 16.

Check back for more on Pittsburgh.

0

Rodon, NC State roll over Tar Heels in College World Series

Carlos Rodon.

Carlos Rodon.

NC State All-America pitcher Carlos Rodon struck out eight and kept the Tar Heels scoreless for eight innings as the Wolfpack rolled to an 8-1 victory over Carolina in the teams’ first game of the 2013 College World Series in Omaha, Neb.

“You know, this is the College World Series,” Rodon said. “It doesn’t get any better than this, so why not bring your A game?”

Tar Heel Chaz Frank said Rodon really didn’t do anything different than he usually does. “He picks up his game even more when he plays us,” he said.

“Complete dominance,” UNC coach Mike Fox said of Rodon. “He was too good for us today.”

It was the fifth time Rodon has pitched against the Heels in the past two seasons. While he’s always pitched well, it was only the second win he’s posted against Carolina. In the past, the Tar Heels have managed to get into the State bullpen and come back for the victory.

This time Rodon went the distance.

“He had everything working,” said UNC’s Brian Holberton, who had two of the Heels’ five hits.

On the other hand, Ken Emanuel lasted less than three innings for the Tar Heels.

With two outs, State’s Tarran Senay singled in lead-off batter Trea Turner, who had walked, to put the Wolfpack up 1-0 in the first inning.

“I had two strikes on him and I wanted to go outside,” Emanuel said. “I did but I needed a couple of inches more to get the out instead of him getting the cap on it for a hit.”

It might be a game of inches but the Wolfpack opened the game up by a mile in the third inning. State’s Grant Clyde singled in Brett Austin, who had doubled, to put the Wolfpack up 2-0. Then, Brett Williams doubled down the left field corner to drive in another run to make it 3-0.
State’s Bryan Adametz singled in a run and, after Emanuel was pulled, UNC reliever Chris McCue gave up an RBI-single to Logan Ratledge which made it 5-0.

With Rodon dealing on the mound, the 5-0 lead seemed insurmountable and it was.
“Anytime you’re facing Carlos Rodon, getting behind early is one of the worst things you can do,” Coach Fox said.

Carolina didn’t get a hit until the fifth inning and didn’t get a run until the ninth when Landon Lassiter doubled in the right-center gap to score Frank.

State coach Elliott Avent said Rodon is a better person than he is a ballplayer. “He’s one of the best teammates on this team, and we have a lot of great teammates,” he said. “He just happens to have a powerful left arm and he’s learned how to control the emotional side of the game and channel the emotional side of the game.”

UNC faces an elimination game Tuesday at 3 p.m. against the loser of UCLA-LSU, the Tar Heels remain confident.
“This team has played with a lot of fight all year,” Frank said. “We haven’t lost two in row all year and we don’t plan on losing Tuesday either.”

Box score