Digest for 08-27-14


LOCAL

WH defeats El Dorado

EL DORADO — The White Hall volleyball team improved to 2-0 on the season after defeating El Dorado 25-20, 18-25, 21-25, 25-18, 15-12 on Tuesday.

The Lady Bulldogs will return home on Thursday to host Mayflower beginning at 4:30 p.m.

Porcello helps Tigers halt Yankees’ win streak

Detroit — Rick Porcello pitched eight strong innings and J.D. Martinez went 3 for 4 with an RBI and two runs scored, as the Detroit Tigers earned a 5-2 victory over New York and snapped the Yankees’ season-high tying five-game winning streak.

Pine Bluff native Torii Hunter added two hits with an RBI for the Tigers, who had won the last two of a four-game series to earn a split over the weekend at Minnesota. Detroit remained 1 1/2 games behind first-place Kansas City in the AL Central, as the Royals came up with a 2-1 win over the Twins on a walk-off homer by Alex Gordon.

Porcello (15-8) and Yankees starter Brandon McCarthy were both coming off shutouts in their last outings, but only the Detroit right-hander followed it up with a strong effort on Tuesday.

STATE

A-State announces $5 million gift

JONESBORO — The Arkansas State Athletics Department announced Tuesday the single largest personal gift commitment in its history, a $5 million contribution by the Johnny Allison family that will be used in conjunction with A-State’s “Centennial Expansion” project.

The announcement was made at an afternoon press conference fittingly held on the west side of Centennial Bank Stadium, where the project’s construction and renovations will take place to the press box and concourse-level amenities. The entire project, including the press box and concourse, will cover 39,673 square feet.

Today’s press conference was conducted just 12 days shy of the two-year anniversary of a $5 million donation by Liberty Bank, which has since been sold to Home BancShares and merged with Centennial Bank. Allison is a 1969 Arkansas State University alumnus and founder of the bank holding company headquartered in Arkansas.

The Centennial Expansion project will include a complete overhaul to the stadium press box, expanding it to 35,741 square feet. The face of the stadium will be redesigned to include 42 loge boxes, 20 suites and 300 club seats in its revenue-generating areas. The suites will average 433 square feet each.

Not only will depth be added to the press box, it will span from approximately the 15-to-15 yard lines, allowing for enhanced media, coaching, broadcasting, control booth, visiting athletics director suite, and camera areas.

The project also calls for major improvements and additions to the concourse bathrooms, concessions, gating and ticketing areas.

REGIONAL

Cardinals place OF Robinson on DL

PITTSBURGH — The St. Louis Cardinals placed outfielder Shane Robinson on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday with a left shoulder subluxation.

Robinson suffered the injury while sliding into second base during Monday’s 3-2 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The 29-year-old is batting .150 with four RBI over 47 games this season.

St. Louis also recalled rookie outfielder Randal Grichuk from Triple-A Memphis.

Grichuk, who appeared in 19 games earlier this season with the Cardinals, was batting .259 with 71 RBI and a team-high 25 home runs in 108 games at Memphis.

NATIONAL

Carroll, Seahawks reportedly hit by $300K fine

A physical practice on June 16 reportedly has cost the Seattle Seahawks and their coach Pete Carroll more than $300,000 in fines.

According to Chris Mortensen of ESPN, Carroll is facing a fine of “at least” $100,000 with the Seahawks were struck with a fine “in excess of” $200,000.

The Seahawks are also facing the loss of two days of minicamp for the excessive contact.

Seattle faced a similar penalty after having live contact during OTAs in 2012.

Love ‘committed’ to Cavs

CLEVELAND — Kevin Love was introduced as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday and said he is “committed” to the end goal of the organization.

However, he didn’t guarantee he would sign a long-term extension with his new team.

Love, who was officially acquired Saturday from the Minnesota Timberwolves in a multi-team trade, can become a free agent after this coming season and said contract talks have not yet been brought up.

The Cavs gave up 2014 No. 1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins and a protected first- round selection to acquire Love and pair him with fellow All-Stars LeBron James and Kyrie Irving. Unless Cleveland can win a championship this season, that would be a lot to give up if Love becomes a one-year rental.

However, previous reports have indicated that Love will opt out of his current deal after the upcoming season to sign a new contract with the Cavaliers — a five-year extension worth at least $120 million.

Patriots trade Mankins to Bucs

TAMPA, Fla. — The New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers pulled off a stunning trade less than two weeks before the regular- season opener, with the Pats sending six-time Pro Bowl guard Logan Mankins to the Bucs in exchange for tight end Tim Wright.

The Patriots will also receive a future draft choice from Tampa Bay, which NFL.com reported to be a fourth-round pick in 2015.

Mankins, a first-round selection of New England in 2005 who has started 130 games during an impressive nine-year run with the Patriots, fills an obvious need on a Buccaneers’ offensive line that lost left guard Carl Nicks to a possible career-ending toe injury. Tampa Bay reached an injury settlement with Nicks, who is believed to be contemplating retirement, last month.

The 32-year-old has been named an All-Pro in each of the last four years and was a vital part of two AFC championships in New England as one of Tom Brady’s must trusted protectors.

Kvitova, Bouchard, Ivanovic advance at U.S. Open

FLUSHING MEADOWS, N.Y. — Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, rising Canadian star Eugenie Bouchard and former world No. 1 Ana Ivanovic were easy first-round victors Tuesday at the U.S. Open.

The hot third-seeded Czech slugger Kvitova has now won her last eight Grand Slam matches after flattening helpless Frenchwoman Kristina Mladenovic 6-1, 6-0 in 54 minutes at Ashe Stadium.

Kvitova captured her second Wimbledon title in four years last month and is fresh off her hardcourt title in New Haven last week.

The seventh-seeded Bouchard improved to 17-3 at this year’s Grand Slam events by blitzing Belarusian Olga Govortsova 6-2, 6-1, while the eighth-seeded Serbian star Ivanovic routed American Alison Riske 6-3, 6-0 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

Reigning two-time U.S. Open runner-up and two-time Aussie Open champ Victoria Azarenka, a former world No. 1 seeded 16th at this fortnight, moved on by overcoming Japanese Misaki Doi 6-7 (3-7), 6-4, 6-1.

Nishikori, Isner win openers in Flushing

FLUSHING MEADOWS, N.Y. — No. 10 seed Kei Nishikori and American hopeful John Isner were a pair of first-round winners on Day 2 at the U.S. Open.

The Japanese star Nishikori stifled American journeyman Wayne Odesnik 6-2, 6-4, 6-2 in just over two hours on the hardcourts at the National Tennis Center.

Nishikori, who became the first-ever Japanese player to crack the Top 10 earlier this year, missed the U.S. Open tune-up events in Toronto and Cincinnati because of a toe injury.

Odesnik received a wild card into the Open, his first appearance here in five years, after serving a year-long ban for getting caught with human growth hormone.

The 13th-seeded 6-foot-10 Isner launched 26 aces in a 7-6 (7-5), 6-2, 7-6 (7-2) victory over fellow American Marcos Giron at Ashe Stadium.