Digest for 07-02-14


LOCAL

White Hall tops PB Western for district championship

POYEN — White Hall easily clinched the Babe Ruth 9- and 10-year-old District 3 championship Tuesday with a 12-2 win over Pine Bluff Western.

No statistics were immediately available from the game.

Western advanced to the championship by defeating Poyen 10-0 on Monday. William Howell struck out eight in 4 2/3 innings and allowed only two hits in the win. T.J. Jenkins closed the game with two Ks.

Howell went 2 for 2 with an inside-the-park home run and scored four runs. Dillon Taylor, Nate Fountain and Blake Hegwood chipped in hits for Western.

In the Babe Ruth 15-year-old championship round at Bryant, Seabrook defeated Pine Bluff Northern 3-2 in eight innings to force a second game, played later Tuesday.

STATE

UALR hires Curry as baseball coach

LITTLE ROCK — UALR Director of Athletics Chris Peterson has announced the hiring of Little Rock native Chris Curry as head baseball coach. A veteran of seven years as a catcher in professional baseball with the Chicago Cubs and San Francisco Giants organizations, Curry recently completed his second year as top assistant and pitching coach at Northwestern State and previously worked on the baseball staffs at Arkansas, Arkansas Tech, Hendrix and Meridian Community College.

In Curry’s second year at Northwestern State, the Demons won 33 games and tied a school record with a 17-win improvement from the previous season, including a Southland Conference record 14-win increase in league play.

Curry worked as an assistant coach under head coach Dave Van Horn at Arkansas from 2009-10. He worked with the catchers and assisted with hitting duties in his time with the Razorbacks, which included a College World Series appearance in 2009 and an NCAA Super Regional in 2010.

Curry played his high school baseball at Conway High School and was an All-State pitcher and catcher for the Wampus Cats. He played two seasons at Meridian CC and was Baseball America’s No. 1-rated junior college prospect in the nation in 1998. He was the starting catcher for Team USA’s Junior College All-Star Team that same year.

REGIONAL

Cowboys trade for troubled McClain

IRVING, Texas — In need of an option at an injury-depleted middle linebacker spot, the Dallas Cowboys have acquired the rights to former first-round pick Rolando McClain in a trade with the Baltimore Ravens.

The Cowboys sent a 2015 sixth-round pick to the Ravens for McClain, who hasn’t played in an NFL game since November of 2012, and will receive a seventh-round choice in next year’s draft as part of the deal.

McClain signed a one-year contract with Baltimore in April of 2013, shortly after he was released by the Oakland Raiders, but abruptly retired a month later following an arrest for disorderly conduct. The one time Alabama All-American rejoined the Ravens this spring but again decided to leave the team just days after attempting his comeback.

He started 38 games in three seasons with the Raiders, who selected McClain with the eighth overall pick of the 2010 draft. However, a series of off-field issues and clashes with the coaching staff prompted Oakland to part ways with the 24-year-old following the 2012 campaign.

McClain’s acquisition comes on the same day the Cowboys officially ended projected starting middle linebacker Sean Lee’s season by placing him on injured reserve.

NATIONAL

Cavs to sign Irving to max deal

CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Cavaliers plan to sign All-Star Game MVP Kyrie Irving to a five-year maximum salary contract extension when the free-agency signing period officially begins July 10.

The negotiating period started at 12:01 a.m. ET on July 1. Shortly after, Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert sent a message via Twitter of his intentions. “Looking forward to the next 6 years of @KyrieIrving in CLE. Just shook hands & intend to sign on the 10th. Can’t be more excited about @cavs,” Gilbert wrote.

Teams may strike verbal deals with players, but the league-wide moratorium on signings will not be lifted until July 10.

“I’m here for the long haul Cleveland!!! and I’m ecstatic!! Super excited and blessed to be here and a part of something special,” Irving said via Twitter.

The first overall pick of the 2011 draft, Irving is expected to sign a deal worth $90 million over five seasons, which would keep him with the Cavaliers through the 2019-20 season. He was already signed through the 2014-15 season at just over $7 million. Irving averaged 20.8 points, 6.1 assists and 3.6 rebounds per game last season.

Signing him gives the Cavaliers a solid duo of Irving and Andrew Wiggins, who was the top overall pick from this year’s draft.

Avs land Iginla

DENVER — The Colorado Avalanche eased the loss of Paul Stastny on Tuesday by agreeing to terms on a three-year contract with star winger Jarome Iginla.

Shortly after Stastny bolted to St. Louis to sign a four-year deal on Tuesday, the Avs added offense by inking Iginla to a contract reportedly worth $16 million.

The 37-year-old Iginla has amassed 560 goals over a Hall-of-Fame worthy career and is coming off a 30-goal season with Boston in 2013-14. He also added 31 assists in 78 games with the Bruins, who signed Iginla to a one-year, $6 million deal last summer. It was the 12th time he reached the 30-goal mark during his standout NHL career.

Iginla had played his entire NHL career with Calgary before getting dealt to Pittsburgh at the 2013 trade deadline. After Pittsburgh’s loss to the Bruins in the 2013 Eastern Conference finals, the power forward switched sides to Boston for the 2013-14 campaign.

The former Art Ross Trophy winner has recorded 1,167 points over 1,310 career NHL games.

Bucks officially name Kidd head coach

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Bucks officially named Jason Kidd head coach on Tuesday.

The Bucks acquired Kidd on Monday from his former employer, the Brooklyn Nets, in exchange for two second-round picks in the 2015 and 2019 NBA Drafts.

Terms of his deal with the Bucks were not released, but the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is reporting, according to a team source, that the deal is for three years and worth between $12-$15 million.

He was entering the second year of a four-year, $10.5 million deal with the Nets and tensions between Kidd and Nets general manager Billy King escalated when Kidd recently approached ownership asking for more say in personnel decisions.

Kidd replaces Larry Drew, who was fired on Monday. Drew compiled a 15-67 record last season, his fourth as head coach in the NBA. His first three were spent with the Atlanta Hawks.

Kidd, 41, compiled a 44-38 record with Brooklyn last season, his first as a head coach at any level, and was named Eastern Conference coach of the month twice.