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Bulls end first home stand at 5-3 after win over Knights

bullslogoBehind five runs in the game’s first four innings, and 16 strikeouts from the pitching staff, the Durham Bulls wrapped up their eight-game homestand at 5-3 with a 5-4 win over the Charlotte Knights Thursday afternoon at the DBAP.

The game started at 11 a.m. and was an education day as busloads of school children attended the game.

Durham got things going in the second inning, when the Bulls sent nine men to the plate. With runners on first and second and two outs, Knights’ shortstop Tyler Saladino made an errant throw to second on what would have been an inning-ending force out. Instead, the play extended the inning and allowed Jerry Sands to score the game’s first run. Robby Price then singled to score Mikie Mahtook, before Cole Figueroa was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to score the third run of the inning as the Bulls took a 3-0 lead.

Two frames later Durham struck again, as Rodriguez drove in Mike Fontenot as the two tallied back-to-back doubles. Ray Olmedo then doubled to left-center after a sacrifice bunt to drive in Rodriguez to give the home side a 5-0 advantage.

In the fifth Charlotte (4-4) got to Bulls starter Matt Andriese, striking for three runs on four hits, including a two-run homer from Hector Gimenez to cut the lead to two. Then in the seventh the Knights scratched another run across, but went quietly in the final two innings as the Bulls held on for the win.

Right-hander Matt Andriese (1-1) picked up his first International League victory with five innings of three-run ball, while tying a career-high with eight strikeouts. Right-hander Brad Boxberger picked up a six-out save, his first save of 2014, striking out five over two scoreless frames. Southpaw Erik Surkamp (0-1) suffered the loss for the visitors, allowing five runs (two earned) over four innings on seven hits.

The Bulls hit the road for the first time this season as they embark on a five-game road trip beginning Friday, when they take on the Gwinnett Braves at 7:05 p.m. at Coolray Field. LHP Mike Montgomery (1-0, 0.00) is scheduled to throw for Durham against Gwinnett LHP Daniel Rodriguez (1-0, 1.80).

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Duke’s McCrory heads All-ACC Academic Swimming & Diving Team

Duke senior Nick McCrory has been named the 2014 Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s Swimming & Diving Scholar-Athlete of the Year and headlines the 2014 All-ACC Academic Men’s Swimming & Diving Team, as announced today by Commissioner John Swofford.

A religion major from Chapel Hill

Nick McCrory.

Nick McCrory.

, McCrory won his fourth individual national championship in the platform dive discipline at the 2014 NCAA Championships, becoming the first to accomplish the feat in that event. In addition, McCrory earned All-America status on the one-meter board. McCrory completes his career as an 11-time All-American and a record 10 gold medals in ACC Championship competition.

Each of the ACC’s 11 schools that sponsor men’s swimming and diving are represented on the All-Academic Team, led by Virginia Tech with nine student-athletes. Virginia and Notre Dame have six apiece, while North Carolina has five, NC State has four and Georgia Tech has three. Duke and Florida State each had two, followed by Pitt, Miami and Boston College with one honoree.

Virginia Tech’s Ryan Hawkins and Nick Tremols, along with Florida State’s Tom Neubacher, NC State’s Jonathan Boffa and Virginia’s Taylor Grey, were named to the league’s academic team for the fourth time in their careers.

The ACC Scholar-Athlete of the Year awards were established in September 2007 to be awarded annually to the top junior or senior student-athlete in their respective sports. Candidates for the awards must have maintained a 3.0 grade point average for their career as well as a 3.0 for each of the last two semesters.

To be eligible for consideration for the All-ACC Academic Team, a student-athlete must have earned a 3.00 grade point average for the previous semester and maintained a 3.00 cumulative average during his academic career.

Sean Murphy
Sr.
Finance & Info Systems
Boston College

Nick McCrory #
Sr.
Religion
Duke

Hunter Knight
Sr.
Psychology
Duke

Tom Neubacher %
Sr.
Sport Management
Florida State

Jason McCormick
Fr.
Business
Florida State

Andrew Kosic #
Jr.
Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering
Georgia Tech

Nico van Duijn #
Jr.
Electrical Engineering
Georgia Tech

Mats Westergren
So.
Business Administration
Georgia Tech

Zach Nees
Sr.
Computer Science
Miami

Jack Nyquist
Fr.
Undecided
North Carolina

Patrick Myers #
Jr.
Business
North Carolina

Brad Dillon @
Sr.
Economics
North Carolina

Sam Lewis
So.
Mathematics
North Carolina

Dominick Glavich @
Jr.
Child Development & Family Studies
North Carolina

Jonathan Boffa %
Sr.
Graphic Design
NC State

Andreas Schiellerup
Fr.
Biological Sciences
NC State

Derek Hren
Fr.
Nutrition Sciences
NC State

Adam Linker
Fr.
Engineering
NC State

Joe Coumos
Fr.
Undeclared
Notre Dame

Colin Babcock
Sr.
Information Technology Management
Notre Dame

Zach Stephens
Jr.
Marketing
Notre Dame

Matthew Buerger
So.
Science-Business
Notre Dame

Kevin Hughes
Jr.
Accountancy
Notre Dame

Cameron Miller
Jr.
Science-Business
Notre Dame

Jon Lierley
Jr.
Finance
Pitt

Nathan Hart @
Sr.
Electrical Engineering
Virginia

Luke Papendick @
So.
Undeclared
Virginia

Yannick Kaeser
So.
Undeclared
Virginia

Jack Murfee @
Sr.
English
Virginia

David Ingraham
Jr.
Commerce
Virginia

Taylor Grey %
Sr.
Environmental Science
Virginia

Ryan Hawkins %
Sr.
Architecture
Virginia Tech

TJ Shinholser
Fr.
Business
Virginia Tech

Morgan Latimer @
Jr.
History
Virginia Tech

Harrison Cefalo
Jr.
Electrical Engineering
Virginia Tech

Brandon Fiala
Fr.
Finance
Virginia Tech

Robert Owen
Fr.
University Studies
Virginia Tech

Kyle Butts #
Jr.
Finance
Virginia Tech

Nick Tremols %
Sr.
Communications
Virginia Tech

CJ Fiala
Jr.
Communications
Virginia Tech

@ denotes two-time honoree

# denotes three-time honoree

% denotes four-time honoree

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Bulls rally from behind to take season opener in style

bullsbaseballThe Durham Bulls trailed 3-0 after one inning and Gwinnett extended the margin to 6-2 in the third. But then the fireworks started early as back-to-back Bulls homers tied the score in the fifth before Durham managed to push across a run in the seventh that proved to be the game winner.

The 7-6 comeback win over the Gwinnett Braves on Opening Day at the newly renovated DBAP Thursday starts the Bulls’ defense of the Governors’ Cup.

With a crowd of 9,483 watching, Durham (1-0) unveiled its upgraded field, stadium lights, and brand-new video boards, among other enhancements to the ballpark.

At the outset, it appeared that the ballpark might be the highlight of the night for Bulls fans. Gwinnett (0-1) jumped out to an early lead on a three-run first-inning home run by Ernesto Mejia off of Bulls starter Nathan Karns. Gwinnett extended it to 6-2 with three more in the third inning to offset a two-run homer by Durham’s Kevin Kiermaier in the second frame.

Merrill Kelly, a Bulls starter last year, came out of the bullpen in the third and took the life out of Braves’ bats. Kelly scattered two hits and fanned three in three innings, while the Bulls got the comeback started.

Bulls first baseman Jerry Sands doubled and scored in the fourth. In the fifth, Wilson Betemit cracked a two-run homer over the bleachers in right, and Sands made it back-to-back with a blast to right of his own, tying the score. Sands finished 3-for-3 in his Bulls debut, scoring three runs.

In the seventh, Cole Figueroa walked, advanced to third on a wild pitch and Sands single, then scored when Kiermaier beat out a ground ball. Figueroa went 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles while batting out of the three spot in the lineup.

Brad Boxberger (1-0) earned the win in relief, capping 6 1/3 scoreless frames for the Durham pen. Mark Lamm (0-1) took the loss for the G-Braves, allowing a run in two innings of work. Kirby Yates, who notched 20 saves a season ago, picked up his first save of 2014 with a perfect ninth inning.

The Bulls and Braves meet again on Friday at 7:05 p.m. with a Friday Night Fireworks show presented by Duke Energy. LHP Enny Romero gets the ball for Durham against Gwinnett’s RHP Ervin Santana.

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UNC women go cold, fail to make it to Final Four

Allisha Gray.

Allisha Gray.

North Carolina, playing Stanford in Stanford, got out to a 13-point lead in the first half behind hot shooting but went cold in the second half to fall 74-65 in an Elite 8 game.

The Tar Heels, who end 27-10, went six minutes without a point during one stretch of the second half when Stanford came from six down at the half to take the lead. Then, over the last two minutes of the game, Stanford wrapped it up with an 8-0 run.

Carolina got down by eight in the second half but managed to go ahead 63-62 on a three from the top of the key by Jessica Washington with just under four minutes to play. But the Tar Heels would score just once more.

The Tar Heels made 7 of 13 first-half 3s but went just 2 of 9 in the second half.

UNC’s Allisha Gray scored 19 points while Diamond DeShields was held to 13 points on 5 for 15 from the floor including just one of six from beyond the arc.

Stanford, 33-3, goes to the Final Four to face unbeaten Connecticut. Two ACC teams – Notre Dame and Maryland – face off in the other semi-final.

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Tar Heel women make it to the Elite 8

tarheellogoNo. 12 upset No. 8 South Carolina 65-58 in the NCAA Sweet 16 on Sunday evening at Maples Pavilion.

North Carolina scored the first five points of the contest and looked to take control of the physical game. The Tar Heels made their move midway through the first half, going on a 9-2 run to build a 10-point lead at 20-10. The Gamecocks scored the next five points, making the score 20-15 with 6:42 on the clock, but did not find the basket for the next four minutes.

Latifah Coleman gave the Tar Heels their largest lead of the half at 27-15 with three minutes remaining, draining a 3 from straight away as the shot clock was expiring.

The Tar Heels led 29-21 at the half.

South Carolina scored on three straight possessions to draw the Gamecocks to within three at 35-32 with 14:45 to play. It was the closest since the Gamecocks had been since the 12-minute mark in the first half.

Diamond DeShields, who led the Heels with 19 points, asserted herself on the offensive end to put the Tar Heels back ahead 39-32. SC’s Tiffany Mitchell sank back-to-back 3s to help South Carolina draw to 43-42.

The Tar Heels seized the momentum back with back-to-back 3-pointers from Jessica Washington and DeShields putting the Tar Heels up 49-44 with 7:08 remaining.

The Gamecocks pulled to within two at 53-51 with five minutes left, but the Tar Heels had the answer, scoring six unanswered points to stretch the lead out to 59-51 with 2:40 on the clock ultimately settling for a seven-point victory.

The Tar Heels, 27-9, will play in Tuesday night’s regional final against Stanford (32-3), an 82-57 winner on its home court against Penn State in Sunday’s first game.

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Hurricanes now an amazing 20-3-4 when scoring first

Jiri Tlusty.

Jiri Tlusty.

Jiri Tlusty scored twice for Carolina, including a goal midway through the first period, to lead the Hurricanes to a 3-0 victory at Florida.

The Hurricanes, who are now eight points out of the second of two Eastern Conference wild-card spots for the Stanley Cup Playoffs with 10 games remaining, are now 20-3-4 when scoring first.

Goalie Anton Khudobin made 35 saves for his third career shutout, first this season. Carolina completed a three-game season sweep of Florida, and Khudobin was in net for all three games.

Jeff Skinner had the other goal for the Canes.

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DeShields leads Tar Heels into the Sweet Sixteen

Diamond DeShields.

Diamond DeShields.

Diamond DeShields almost singlehandedly put North Carolina into the Sweet 16 of NCAA Women’s Tournament by scoring 24 points and hauling in a season-high 12 rebounds to lead the Tar Heels over Michigan State 62-53 in Chapel Hill.

It was the first double-double for the freshman guard.

The Tar Heels, now 26-9, is the only Triangle team left in the tournament and will play in Sunday’s Stanford Regional semifinal.

In the first round, North Carolina had to rally from 18 down in the second half to beat UT Martin 60-58.

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Moore, NCSU women’s basketball coach, to speak at Raleigh Sports Club

Wes Moore.

Wes Moore.

Wes Moore will discuss his first season as the NC State women’s head basketball coach at the March 26 Raleigh Sports Club meeting. He’ll also look ahead to the next season and the future of the program.

The RSC will also welcome local Wake County student athlete Jon Jones, who plays basketball for the champion Apex High School. He will be honored as the student athlete of the week for outstanding achievement in the classroom, community and on the field.

Meetings are held in Bradley Hall in Highland UMC, 1901 Ridge Road at the intersection of Lake Boone Trail, just inside the Raleigh Beltline. Buffet lines open at 11:30 a.m. and the meeting starts at 12 noon. See http://www.raleighsportsclub.org/ for details.

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Carolina certainly messed up late but a game shouldn’t end on a timing issue

clockThere were two or three plays late that hurt Carolina, that’s for sure. But a game shouldn’t end on a clock snafu.

The play that started Iowa State’s late run was Marcus Paige’s hurried three-point shot with about four minutes left. Carolina should have taken time off the clock and should have gotten a better look.

Paige took blame for the loss for a turnover he made in the last minute of the game but there is no guarantee Carolina would have scored on that play. But there was a guarantee that Carolina could have taken time off the clock with four minutes left and gotten a better shot. That was a bigger error.

UNC was up by eight and a bucket of any sort, three or not, could have been a big blow to Iowa State. Instead Iowa State quickly got the ball up the court and hit a three. What could have been an 11 or 10 point lead was instead five.

On Carolina’s very next possession the Heels turned it over on a foul. I’m not necessarily saying that McAdoo didn’t foul on the offensive end without the ball, but that’s a strange call for an official to make anyway, much less that late in a game.

The perfect storm continued on the next possession. After a Nate Britt miss, Kennedy Meeks had a chance for a relatively easy rebound stick back and he rushed it without fully controlling the ball and the tip missed.

North Carolina had every chance to win the game – well, make that almost every chance. After the final bucket, UNC players should have called a timeout. Of course the officials should have known Coach Williams was calling a timeout.

Yes, the clock should have started when Carolina inbounded the ball but once that ship has sailed it seems unfair to simply call the game over. If officials can look at the video to check the clock, it seems they could also look at the coach calling timeout.

A game should not end like that. A season should not end like that.

If you have the game on tape, go back to the 15.7 second mark after McAdoo tied the game at 83-all. The clock failed to start for about one or two seconds after an Iowa State player touched the inbounds pass. If you are going to call a game over when there is time left on the clock because there shouldn’t have been time left on the clock, it seems you would be a stickler with 15.7 seconds left also.

In fact, there were times throughout the game where the clock didn’t start accurately yet it’s only a problem at the end.

Could you imagine an NFL playoff game ending because the officials said the clock should have started and didn’t so one team doesn’t get to attempt a field goal even though there is time left?

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Tough season for UNC ends on tough shot, no last-second chance

uncbasketballclipartNorth Carolina fought adversity before the season, during the season and in the last game of season.

With a key player sidelined by injury and players in foul trouble, the Tar Heels came from behind to take an eight-point lead late, only to see Iowa State hit seven of its last eight shots to eliminate UNC from the NCAA Tournament 85-83. (3/23)

The last shot, by Iowa State’s DeAndre Kane, came with 1.6 seconds left to win it.

UNC’s James Michael McAdoo had hit two free throws with 15.7 seconds left to tie the score before Kane hit a driving, high-off-the-backboard shot that won it.

What made the loss even more devastating for Carolina was a clock snafu after the Kane shot and the fact that officials didn’t see UNC coach Roy Williams calling for a timeout. After several minutes of viewing the video, officials said that the game clock should have started and didn’t and proclaimed the game over.

UNC senior Leslie McDonald said that “it hit us hard” that the Heels didn’t get a chance to score after Iowa State’s late bucket but neither he nor Williams blamed the officials. “Kane just hit an unbelievable shot,” McDonald said.

McAdoo, who now must endure the speculation that he might go pro, agreed. “We played it really well. He just hit a tough shot,” McAdoo said.

Kane dominated much of the game, scoring a game-high 24 points. But it took a pair of threes by ISU’s Naz Long late to put Kane in the situation to win it.

“They made plays down the stretch that they needed to make,” Williams said.

North Carolina’s Bryce Johnson played only two minutes before twisting his ankle and having to sit out the rest of the game.

For more on the game, please click here.