July 23, 2014

Creighton guard Chatman undergoes surgery on thumb

Rising Creighton men’s basketball senior Austin Chatman will undergo surgery later today as doctors reattach the radial collateral ligament in his right thumb. Chatman’s activity will be limited to some conditioning and drills while wearing a cast, which is expected to be needed for two months.

Despite the minor setback, Chatman is expected to be back well before the Bluejays open the 2014-15 regular-season on Nov. 14 with a game against Central Arkansas.

Creighton’s lone returning starter, Chatman is also the program’s leading returner in scoring (8.1 ppg.) and assists (4.4 apg.) per game. He has started 71 straight games and ranks 10th in school history with 372 career assists. His assist total is third-most in CU history after a player’s junior year, trailing only Ryan Sears and former teammate Grant Gibbs.

Chatman played his best ball down the stretch in 2013-14, scoring in double-figures in six of CU’s final seven games and earning a spot on the BIG EAST Conference All-Tournament Team last March.

Under the guidance of coach Greg McDermott, Creighton went 27-8 last season while reaching the third round of the NCAA Tournament for the third straight season.

Storm Chasers fall on the road in Memphis

Shane Robinson scored two runs, drove in a pair and finished a triple shy of hitting for the cycle to support seven strong innings from Marco Gonzales as Memphis downed Omaha, 6-3, Tuesday night in the second of four meetings at AutoZone Park. The Storm Chasers slipped to 53-49 and fell a game and a half behind the victorious Iowa Cubs in the American Conference North Division.

The hosts scored first for the second night in a row when Robinson blasted Clay Mortensen’s first pitch of the contest for his first home run of the year but the lead was short-lived, as the Storm Chasers countered in the second inning with a solo shot of their own from Justin Maxwell. The Redbirds regained the lead for good in the home half on a two-out run-scoring hit by Robinson and made it a 4-1 game in the third on a sacrifice fly by Greg Garcia and Tommy Pham’s infield hit that chased home a run. Mortensen, originally drafted by the Cardinals, wound up taking the loss after he yielded those four runs on nine hits while walking one and striking out three over 4 2/3 innings of work.

Jason Adam followed and surrendered a two-out, two-run single to Piscotty, his eighth hit in 10 tries with the bases loaded, that pushed the Memphis advantage to 6-1 in the sixth before a Francisco Pena solo shot, his 20th of the season, trimmed the margin to four in the seventh. Gonzales permitted the pair of runs on five hits, did not walk a batter and fanned seven to earn the win in his second Triple-A turn. Angel Castro took over in the eighth but was yanked after giving up base [Read more...]

Saltdogs come from behind to win series opener

In just their fourth game at home this month, the road-tested Saltdogs (31-30) overcame an early deficit to defeat the Amarillo Sox (20-41) 5-2 in front of 2,572 fans at Haymarket Park Tuesday night.
After a pair of errors led to two unearned in the top of the second, Lincoln responded quickly with two runs on three hits with a stolen bases in the home half of the frame to even up the series opener.
Following a Brian Joynt opposite-field triple to lead off the third inning, All-Star slugger Ian Gac mashed a two-run homer to right center to give the Saltdogs a 4-2 lead.
Kevin McGovern (2-0) turned in a wonderful encore to last week’s shutout, spinning 7 2/3 innings, allowing two unearned runs on six hits with no walks and four strikeouts to earn the win.
Lincoln’s set-up man Jhonny Montoya entered the game in the eighth with a runner on second and two out, striking out the dangerous Joe Weik to segue to All-Star closer Marshall Schuler’s 20th save of the year.

The Saltdogs are now over the .500 mark for the third time this year (4-3; 29-28).
Despite playing in only 44 games after missing much of June with a groin injury, Gac ranks second in the American Association with 14 home runs.
Lincoln played 15 of its first 18 games on the road in July prior to Tuesday’s 10-game home stand opener.
The clubs are back at it Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m. for game two of the three-game series. RHP Marquis Fleming (6-3, 3.00) is scheduled to pitch for the ‘Dogs against RHP Matt Larkins (5-3, 3.69) for Amarillo.

Storm Chasers Start Road Trip With A Win

Christian Colon collected three hits, scored a run and drove in a run to lead Omaha to a 4-1 decision over Memphis Monday night in the opener of a four-game series at AutoZone Park. The Storm Chasers won their second straight to improve to 53-48 and moved to within a half-game of division-leading Iowa, which lost to New Orleans, in the American Conference North.

Randal Grichuk tripled with one out in the first inning and scored on a Stephen Piscotty sacrifice fly to produce the game’s first run against Buddy Baumann, who was making his third spot start for Omaha. The left-hander allowed three hits, walked one and fanned three over his four frames and was followed to the hill by Michael Mariot, who worked a scoreless fifth. Louis Coleman took over and earned the victory after he struck out three during two shutout frames before giving way to Casey Coleman, who spun two scoreless innings to earn the save and sew up the visitors eighth consecutive win in a series starter in Memphis.

The Storm Chasers put their lead-off man on base in each of the first four frames, and twice had two runners on with nobody out, but could not dent the scoreboard against Tim Cooney. However, they broke through in the fifth when Whit Merrifield reached on an error, moved to second base on a Colon single and scored to tie the game on a Justin Maxwell base hit. The Memphis lefty lasted six innings, yielding just that lone unearned run on six hits while walking a pair and fanning four in his third start against Omaha this season. [Read more...]

Huskers add commitment from OL Jurkovic

Nebraska added another verbal commitment to the 2015 recruiting class as offensive lineman Mirko Jurkovic Jr. committed to the Huskers.

The 6-foot-5, 276-pound Jurkovic has close to 20 offers on the table, but recently named a top three that consisted of Florida, Nebraska, and Ohio State after having taken unofficial visits to all three schools. Although it was his trip to Lincoln, Neb. in mid-June that really helped put the Huskers over the top.