Govenor Dave Heineman took an aerial tour of flood conditions in eastern Nebraska, along with representatives of the Emergency Management Agency and the National Guard. The tour surveyed areas with the potential of experiencing severe flooding as water is released and moves downstream. [Read more…]
Archives for May 2011
The Lincoln Public Schools District Office building is a total loss after fire tore through the structure overnight.
An LPS employee working late Monday night smelled smoke and called 911 around 11pm, but Interim Assistant Fire Chief Pat Borer said the layout of the interior was their first obstacle.
Borer says the building was very difficult to access. At one point the fire had grown immensely, and forced firefighters outside the building
The other obstacle was thunderstorms that chased firefighters off the roof for several critical minutes as the blaze completely ate through the west side of the building.
With plenty of paper to fuel it and few if any interior sprinklers to defend it, the fire quickly got out of control.
School Board Don Mayhew says top priority will be assigned to finding a new home for the hundreds of people who work at the district offices.
Mayhew says one thing they will be talking about is how they will deal with replace the building; both in short-term to get back to doing the business of the district and long-term to get folks back to work.
Two firefighters were taken to the hospital with minor injuries. Damage estimates will be in the several millions of dollars. A cause is not yet known.
After winning the Missouri Valley Conference regular season and conference titles, the Creighton baseball team has entered the Corvallis Regional, hosted by Oregon State, as the number two seed and will face Georgia on Friday at 3 p.m. Central time.
The Jays are 44-14, while the Bulldogs are 31-30. Oregon State, the top seed at 38-17, will then take on the fourth-seeded Arkansas-Little Rock in the evening game, set for 8:00 p.m. Central.
All games in Central Standard Time.
Friday, June 3
3 p.m. – Creighton/Georgia (Game 1)
8 p.m. – Oregon State/UALR (Game 2)
Saturday, June 4
3 p.m. – Day 1 losers (Game 3)
8 p.m. – Day 1 winners (Game 4)
Sunday, June 5
3 p.m. – Winner of Game 3 vs. Loser of game 4 (Game 5)
8 p.m. – Winner game 4 vs. Winner game 5 (Game 6)
Monday, June 6 – if Necessary
8 p.m. – Loser game 6 vs. Winner game 6 (Game 7)
The Sioux Falls Fighting Pheasants jumped out to an early lead and hung on to beat the Lincoln Saltdogs 7-4 before the game was called one pitch into the bottom of the sixth inning when a rain delay, which lasted nearly an hour, officially ended the game.
Francisco Leandro cleared the bases with a double in the bottom of the third inning to give the Pheasants a 3-0 lead. The Saltdogs pulled to within a run on a two-out, two-run home run from Maikel Jova in the top of the fourth inning but Sioux Falls then added two runs in each of the next two trips to the plate. Trailing 7-2 in the top of the sixth, Phil Hawke drove a two-run double into the gap in left center to cut the deficit to three but the Saltdogs could not get closer, stranding two runners in scoring position.
Lance Zawadzki’s grand slam capped a five-run sixth inning that lifted Omaha to a 9-2 victory over Memphis Monday afternoon at Auto Zone Park. The Storm Chasers return home at 28-23 and holding a five game lead over Iowa in the American Conference North Division after their sixth win in eight meetings with the Redbirds.
Luis Mendoza took over for Jeremy Jeffress and went seven innings for his second win of the season. He retired 17 of the first 18 batters he faced before allowing a run in the ninth. The right-hander gave up two hits, walked one and fanned three in his longest outing of the season and has now surrendered just the one run in 11 1/3 innings over his last two appearances.
Omaha will send right-hander Jeff Suppan against New Orleans right-hander Tom Koehler Tuesday night in the opener of a four-game series at Werner Park.
While we’ve already heard plenty about the record flooding of the Mississippi River the past few weeks, more floods may be coming across the region, including on the Missouri River.
Nebraska state climatologist Al Dutcher says record snowfall in the Rocky Mountains will keep many Midwestern rivers running high well into the summer.
“The big problem is, there’s just a tremendous snowpack,” Dutcher says. “We’ve seen a real delay in the onset of the snowmelt season in the inter-mountain region and we keep getting upper air lows that sink into the central Rockies and then slowly drift onto the Plains. It’s caused a lot of problems across the Midwest in terms of planting delays and very heavy precipitation.” [Read more…]
Vin Mazzaro worked six solid innings and Kila Ka’aihue drove in three runs to lead Omaha past Memphis, 4-2, Friday night in the opener of a four-game set at Auto Zone Park. The Storm Chasers improved to 27-21 and lengthened their lead over Iowa in the American Conference North Division to six games after the Cubs fell at Round Rock.
Ka’aihue’s two-out, run-scoring single got the Storm Chasers on the board and marked the fifth time in the last seven road games that they had scored in the first inning.
The visitors strung together five singles, highlighted by Ka’aihue’s two-run base hit, to produce three runs in the third to extend the lead to 4-0. Ka’aihue and Jarrod Dyson would each finish with three hits to pace a 15-hit attack that also featured a pair of hits from Mike Moustakas, Lorenzo Cain and Irving Falu.
Mazzaro allowed a lone run on four hits while walking two and striking out six to improve to 2-0. He did not give up more than one hit in any inning and recorded one strikeout in each of his six frames.
Mario Santiago yielded a run on two hits over three innings to earn his second Triple-A save and wrap up Omaha’s fifth win in as many tries this season against the two-time defending division champions.
The series continues Saturday evening with Omaha right-hander Kevin Pucetas taking the hill against Memphis right-hander Mitchell Boggs.
After scoring three runs in the first inning against Missouri State starter Grant Gordon, the Creighton baseball team was held scoreless for 10 innings by MSU reliever J.C. Casey in the Bracket B Championship Game at the State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Tournament Friday afternoon at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha. After 136 pitches the senior right-hander’s day was over and the Bluejays were able to break through and score the winning run in the bottom of the 12th inning. Dan Kickham’s wild pitch with two outs in the 12th inning allowed Anthony Bemboom to score the winning run and advance the Bluejays into Saturday night’s title game against Wichita State with a 4-3 win over the Bears.
Creighton (43-14) had a chance to win the game in the bottom of the ninth inning after Scott Thornburg led off the inning with a single, but the Bluejays could not push across the run and went quietly in order in the 10th and 11th innings, as Casey retired the final eight men he faced in his dominant 10-inning relief outing.
In the 12th inning, Kickham (2-3) relieved Casey and walked Bemboom to lead off the frame. The Bluejay reserve, who entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning, moved to second base when pinch-hitter Joey Bowens executed a sacrifice bunt. Bemboom moved to third on Mike Gerber’s fly out and was there when Kickham uncorked a wild pitch on his 1-1 offering to Chance Ross. Bemboom crossed the plate and was mobbed by his teammates as the Bluejays celebrated their fifth win over Missouri State in the last eight days.
The wild pitch wasted a brilliant performance by Casey, who entered in the second inning and shut down the Bluejay offense, which had knocked around Gordon for three runs on two hits and two walks in the first inning. Casey, who’s previous career-high for innings pitched was seven, hurled 10-innings of shutout baseball for the Bears. The senior right-hander allowed only five hits and just one walk, while he struck out a career-high 11 in the no-decision.
On Thursday night, Missouri State scored two runs in the bottom of the first inning as the home team, and on Friday night the Bluejays scored three in the bottom of the first to take an early lead. After Mark Winkelman retired the Bears on nine pitches in the first inning, Nick Judkins got the Bluejay offense going with a four-pitch, one-out walk and a stolen base. With two outs, Creighton’s leading hitter Trever Adams doubled down the left field line to score Judkins from second base with the first run of the game. Thornburg then worked a full count walk to put two on for Clay Cuno. The Bluejay left-fielder continued his tear through the MVC Tournament, ripping his fourth double in four games at the event to score both runners and give the Jays a 3-0 lead.
The Bears (33-23) dented the scoreboard in the top of the fourth inning when Luke Voit’s RBI single scored Kevin Medrano.
The score remained 3-1 in Creighton’s favor until the sixth inning, when pinch-hitter Trey Massenberg blooped a two-run double off the glove of a diving Cuno in left field. The double off of Reese McGraw scored Voit and Spiker Helms who had reached base on a base hit and walk, respectively, earlier in the inning off of Bluejay reliever Jack VanLeur. Massenberg’s first double of the season and first hit since March 16 tied the game 3-3.
In what proved to be the longest game in the young history of TD Ameritrade Park Omaha, Missouri State stranded two runners in both the ninth and 10th innings, while the Bluejays wasted a leadoff single in the bottom of the ninth and went down in order in the 10th inning.
MSU put runners on base in the 11th and 12th inning on free passes from Creighton’s seventh pitcher of the day, Erik Mattingly. The Bluejay right-hander, making just his third appearance of the year, got out of the 11th with a inning-ending double play. In the 12th inning, Mattingly walked a pair, but worked his way out of the jam by recording his first two strikeouts of the season, fanning Travis McComack and Massenberg in consecutive at bats to end the inning, setting up the dramatic bottom of the 12th.
Winkelman gave the Bluejays a career-long outing, lasting four innings and allowing just one run on three hits in his first start of the season. The sophomore left-hander cruised through three scoreless innings on 26 pitches, before allowing MSU’s first run in the fourth. Nick Musec preceded VanLeur and McGraw out of the pen for the Jays. Chase Webb followed McGraw with 1.1 innings of scoreless work and Kurt Spomer worked out of trouble in the ninth and the 10th innings before giving way to Mattingly.
Mattingly (1-0), a junior from Lakewood, Colo., joined the list of unlikely heroes for the Bluejays in this tournament run, as he doubled his innings total for the season with two innings of work in the win. The right-hander picked up his first decision as a Bluejay, striking out two and not allowing a hit in his third outing of the spring.
Cuno was the only Bluejay to notch more than one hit in the game, finishing 2-for-3 with two doubles. He now has five doubles on the season, all coming in four MVC Tournament games. Medrano paced the MSU offense with a 3-for-4 game.
Creighton will play for its second MVC Tournament championship on Saturday night at 7 pm against Wichita State. The game against the Shockers is a rematch from Creighton’s only other Valley championship win, when the Bluejays topped the Shockers 10-9 in 12-innings in Springfield, Mo. The title game will be televised live on Fox Sports Midwest..
Creighton baseball kept its Missouri Valley Conference Tournament title hopes alive with a pair of victories on Thursday at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha. After the Bluejays defeated Southern Illinois 5-0 in an elimination game on Thursday afternoon, the top-seeded hosts bounced back to post a 6-5, come-from-behind win over fourth-seeded Missouri State (33-22) Thursday night to remain in title contention. The win puts the Bluejays in a rematch with the Bears at 4 pm on Friday, following Wichita State and Indiana State’s 12:30 pm elimination game.
The one-run game in front of 3,213 fans, took 2:56 to play and featured five errors, four by the Bears, two wild pitches, two hit batters, a passed ball and two runners reaching base on strikeouts. The teams combined for 19 hits and 19 runners left on base in the ball game.
The Bears took an early 2-0 lead, scoring a pair of runs on a two-out double by Brent Seifert in the bottom of the first inning. Aaron Conway started the game with a single for the Bears and moved into scoring position on his 69th career stolen base, tying MSU’s career-record for steals. With two outs, Brock Chaffin worked a walk and came around to score along with Conway on Seifert’s doubled over the head of Trever Adams in right field.
Creighton (42-14) cut the Bears lead in half in the top of the second inning, with Adams manufacturing the run. Adams singled to lead off the inning, reaching base for the 40th straight game. He then swiped his third stolen base of the day and team-leading 14th of the season to put himself in scoring position. With one out Adams scored from second base on an infield single by Scott Thornburg. Thornburg’s hard hopper to second base took a wicked hop just before it reached Kevin Medrano at second. Medrano stabbed at the ball over his head with his bare hand to knock the ball down and keep it on the infield, while Adams never slowed down on the play and slid around the tag on Medrano’s throw for CU’s first run of the game.
MSU got that run back in the bottom of the second, scoring an unearned run on a throwing error by Bluejay third baseman Chance Ross to regain its two-run lead, up 3-1 after two.
The Bluejays, playing as the visiting team, evened the score at three with a pair of runs in the top of the fifth inning. Clay Cuno led off the inning with his third double of the season – all of which have come during the MVC Tournament. He moved to third when Mike Gerber hit a double down the left field line. MSU starter Clay Murphy then hit Ross with a pitch to load the bases for the top of the Bluejay line up. Pinch-hitterGabriel Thibodeaux delivered an RBI single to right field, to score the second run of the game, but when MSU’s right fielder Spiker Helms’ throw got by MSU catcher Luke Voit, Gerber crossed the plate to tie the game at 3-3. The Jays could do no more damage however, losing one runner on the base paths and stranding one in the frame.
Missouri State wasted no time in reclaiming the lead, as Medrano led off the bottom of the fifth with a double. After a one-out single moved Medrano to third, he scored easily on another RBI double from Seifert. Travis McComack’s sacrifce fly to left field scored Chaffin with MSU’s second run of the inning to give the Bears back their two-run lead and they led 5-3 after five complete.
Three errors by the Bears in the top of the sixth inning allowed the Bluejays to score a run and cut into the MSU lead. With one out, Staehely reached base after he struck out and Voit sailed his throw to first base in an attempt to complete the out. Scott Thornburg was then hit by a pitch and MSU coach Keith Guttin pulled Murphy and brought in Pierce Johnson to face Cuno. Cuno grounded a ball to first, but Chaffin threw wildly to second base in an attempt to force out Thornburg, allowing Staehely to score CU’s fourth run.
An intentional walk to Gerber loaded the bases for Ross with one out. The Bluejay third baseman hit a ball up the middle, but Johnson knocked the ball down with his right leg, picked it up and got the lead runner at home for the second out. Johnson would then get Thibodeaux to ground out on a 3-1 pitch to escape the inning and preserve the one-run MSU lead.
Another bizarre series of events allowed the Bluejays to tie the game in the seventh inning. With two outs, Thornburg could not check his swing on a third strike, but the pitch got away from Voit behind the plate allowing Thornburg to reach safely and Nick Judkins to score the tying run.
A rare foul ball sacrifice fly from Judkins gave the Jays their first lead of the night in the eighth inning. Ross scored what proved to be the game-winning run on the play after he had singled with one out earlier in the frame.
The Jays, who scored in four of their final five half innings, kept the Bears off the scoreboard through the final four innings, but not without working around a ninth-inning jam to preserve the victory.
Conway led off the bottom of the ninth with an infield single and moved to second on a walk to Medrano. Both runners were pushed into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt by Kennen Maddox, and the Bluejays opted to intentionally walk Chaffin to load the bases. Seifert, who had already delivered two RBI doubles in the game, was jammed by a Kurt Spomer pitch and popped up to first base for the second out of the frame and McComack flew out to left field to end the game.
Reese McGraw (6-1) picked up the win in relief for the Bluejays, throwing 1.2 innings of scoreless baseball. He entered with two runners on base in the seventh inning, but kept those runs off the board and held the Bears at five runs. Spomer pitched the ninth inning to pick up his 12th save of the season. Brandon Koenigstein started and took a no-decision after a season-long outing of 4.1 innings. He allowed five runs, four earned, and struck out two before giving way to reliever Jack VanLeur in the fifth. VanLeur allowed just one hit and struck out two in his two innings of scoreless relief.
Murphy did not factor in the decision, lasting 5.1 innings, striking out seven and allowing five hits and three earned runs in the start. Johnson closed out the game, taking the loss to fall to 6-5 on the spring. He allowed just one earned run in 3.2 innings of work out of the bullpen.
Thibodeaux was 2-for-3 with an RBI off the bench for the Bluejays, the only CU player with more than one hit in the game.
Creighton and Missouri State will square off on Friday with the right to play in Saturday night’s MVC Tournament title game against the winner of the Wichita State-Indiana State contest.