Month: May 2020

Matawan baseball finds success with play of multi-sport athletes

Matawan baseball finds success with play of multi-sport athletes

first_imgProven student-athletes who contributed to the success of other teams at Matawan Regional High School are playing roles in the baseball team’s 8-5 start this season.Pitching and defense have keynoted the strong start, but second-year head coach Bob Carnovsky is still dabbling with the batting order. “It’s all a matter of who hits,” Carnovsky said. “We graduated our best hitters. The fielding has been pretty good. We pitch and play defense. When we do that, we’re successful.”When the Huskies hit, they’re contenders.Mike Creamer, known for his clutch kicking for the football team, is the hardest hitter. He anchors the infield at shortstop. He missed the second half of last season with an ankle injury, as Matawan finished 15-11 and qualified for the Shore Conference and NJSIAA Central Jersey Group II tournaments, losing opening-round games in both. Creamer is also cast in the role of closer on the mound, relying on the standard fare of fastball, curve and changeup. He struck out two batters with runners in scoring position to end a 2-1 victory over Montville Township after Matawan went ahead in the top of the seventh.“If he can kick a field goal in a [state] championship [football] game, nothing can rattle him here,” Carnovsky said.Senior center fielder Joe Piscopo and junior pitchers Nick Smith and Matt Esposito played on the basketball team that won 24 games (surpassing the prior record of 18 wins set 50 years ago) and won its first state section title since 1957 before a season-ending loss to Camden High School in the Group II semifinals. Seniors Cory Nusbaum, a catcher heading to Drexel University in the fall, and third baseman Justin Henderson are providing leadership, as is Piscopo.Nick Santuccio, a senior who already has surpassed his pitching wins of last season with a 3-1 record, is sharing time in right field with Alex Cella when he’s not on the mound. Junior Bill Rodriguez starts in left field. On April 24, Santuccio threw a five-hit shutout in Shore Conference B North Division action over Freehold High School, 4-0, striking out eight and walking one. It avenged a 5-4 loss earlier in the season.Adam Elliott, a hot-hitting sophomore, has also earned innings on the mound. He threw six strong innings in a recent 3-1 Monmouth County Tournament victory over Howell High School, bolstering his four-hit pitching with seven strikeouts and only two walks. Matawan scored all of its runs in the sixth inning in a typically dramatic late-inning surge. It was eliminated in the county tournament in the next round by Colts Neck High School, 5-2, on April 26. Matawan was missing three starters and allowed three runs in the first inning against Colts Neck. It bounced back the following night to beat Keansburg High School, 10-3, at Richmond County Bank Ballpark in Staten Island, N.Y., as Henderson drove in two runs and Piscopo had two hits and one RBI. Elliott pitched the win, allowing five hits over five innings with five strikeouts and one walk.Elliott also collected three hits and drove in a run against Freehold, as did Rodriguez and senior Luke Adduchio, who shares innings at first base with senior Chris Veary. Senior Joe Garofalo plays second base.“We put the ball in play and don’t strike out much, but we still need timely hits,” said Carnovsky, who noted that the Huskies struck out only 23 times in their first nine games. “We’re trying to find a way.”The team could find success this week, with games scheduled on April 28 against Neptune High School and on April 30 at Red Bank Regional High School. On May 2, the Huskies host Raritan High School, which recently held onto a 5-4 victory over Matawan after the Huskies rallied for four runs in the last inning. Matawan also pulled out a 3-2 victory over Red Bank Regional earlier with a two-run rally in the bottom of the seventh inning. MATAWAN By WAYNE WITKOWSKI Correspondent last_img read more

SPORT SHORTS

SPORT SHORTS

first_imgStan Fischler, the legendary hockey sports broadcasting, will hold his annual hockey lecture at the Spring Lake Public Library at 7 p.m. March 12.Fischler began his career as a publicist for the New York Rangers in 1954 and has been covering hockey in the over half-century since. The winner of five Emmy Awards, Fischler has worked in every medium from print to TV to Twitter. This “Hockey Maven” currently serves as the resident hockey expert for MSG and MSG Plus. He can be seen every week on MSG’s Hockey Night Live. He lives in New York City and is the author of several sports books. On June 7, A Walk to Believe-One Step Closer with Team LeGrand will take place at High Point Solutions Stadium in Piscataway.The fifth annual 5K event signifies a major milestone in Eric LeGrand’s journey — nearly five years since he sustained a spinal cord injury as a football player for Rutgers University. To commemorate his journey, LeGrand is rallying supporters to raise funds for his personal and philanthropic mission: cures for spinal cord injury.last_img read more

Read leads All Blacks to bruising win over South Africa

Read leads All Blacks to bruising win over South Africa

first_imgBy Greg StutchburyTwo tries from captain Kieran Read helped New Zealand grab the lead in the Rugby Championship on Saturday after a 29-15 victory over South Africa, who had Bismarck du Plessis sent off for two contentious yellow cards.The bonus point victory came courtesy of tries from Read, Brodie Retallick and Sam Cane but at the cost of a collarbone injury to flyhalf Daniel Carter in a crunching tackle from hooker du Plessis.Du Plessis was sinbinned for the tackle then received a second yellow, and automatic red, in the first minute of the second half for leading with his elbow into the throat of Liam Messam.New Zealand, who had Read and Ma’a Nonu sinbinned in the final 10 minutes, moved to 17 points with their fourth victory, while the Springboks were left in second place on 13 points.The match had been billed as the most important in New Zealand since the 2011 World Cup final and neither side disappointed in an intense encounter.The pivotal moment of the game, however, occured in the first half when Carter was crunched by du Plessis in a tackle ruled by referee Romain Poite to be high, although television replays suggested the hooker had been hard done by.The tackle sparked an all-in brawl with several players wrestling, pushing and shoving, while the 47,362-sellout crowd bayed for the Springbok’s blood as he trudged to the sideline.The All Blacks led 17-10 at halftime after Read had crossed from an early attacking lineout and lock Retallick finished a sweeping movement sparked by Beauden Barrett’s 50-metre burst downfield while du Plessis was off the pitch.Carter converted Read’s try while Barrett slotted a conversion and penalty for the All Blacks, while South Africaflyhalf Morne Steyn slotted an early penalty and converted du Plessis’s 31st minute try from a rolling maul.The hulking rake lasted little more than a minute after the break before being sent off when he raised his elbow in tackle and struck flanker Messam in the throat.Until that point the match had looked likely to be decided by the smallest of margins but the extra man for much of the second half played into the hands of the world champions.Read grabbed his second try after a sustained build-up and the All Blacks spent the majority of the remainder of the match on attack with Cane grabbing the bonus point try.Replacement back Patrick Lambie scored a consolation try for the Springboks with five minutes remaining and the All Blacks reduced to 13 men.The Springboks and next host Australia in Cape Town while the All Blacks travel to La Plata to meet Argentina. Both games are on September 28.last_img read more

Radwanska and Cibulkova march into semis

Radwanska and Cibulkova march into semis

first_imgSilent assassin Agnieszka Radwanska ended Victoria Azarenka’s bid for a hat-trick of titles at Melbourne Park on Wednesday and reached her maiden Australian Open semi-final with a 6-1 5-7 6-0 win.The crafty Pole frustrated Azarenka with a scrambling, cat-and-mouse game early and completely dismantled the big Belarusian in the third set to close out the match in exactly two hours under bright sunshine at Rod Laver Arena.Fifth seed Radwanska’s triumph ensured the top three seeds have all been eliminated early, with world number one Serena Williams and third-ranked Maria Sharapova already dumped from the tournament.The 24-year-old Radwanska will play 20th-seeded Slovakian Dominika Cibulkova for a place in the final.“The best quarter-final for sure,” Radwanska beamed in a courtside interview after snapping a seven-match losing streak to the world number two.“I have played a couple of quarter-finals before and I said to myself one day I need to take one step forward and make the semi-final and final. I’m so, so happy that I did it finally.“It was always hard. I have lost so many times against her before and I knew she was a very great player, very consistent so I just knew that I had to play my best tennis.“Play aggressive and go for every shot that I could. That was what I was trying to do and it worked today.”Double defending champion Azarenka was a picture of torment, spraying unforced errors all over the centre court as she slumped to a 5-0 deficit in the first set.She finally held serve in the sixth game and pummelled her legs with her fists, letting out an angst-filled shriek to try to shake herself out of her stupor.She was powerless to prevent Radwanska from closing out the set, however, when she bamboozled the Belarusian with a deft drop-shot that was harmlessly pushed into the tramlines.Azarenka rallied and pounced as Radwanska served to stay in the set at 6-5, blasting a string of fierce returns to bring up set points and levelled the match with a searing crosscourt winner.The Belarusian dipped again, though, double-faulting to bring up a second break point in the opening game of the third set, and then losing serve when she floated a backhand long.After Radwanska held for 2-0, Azarenka needlessly blasted a volley into the back of the court raising jeers from the crowd, and promptly lost the next four points to go a double-break down.Tested on serve at 4-0, Radwanska raised huge roars from the terraces with a succession of exquisite points, scrambling down a series of would-be winners to hold, prompting Azarenka to crumble in the final game of the match.“I just didn’t have the focus on finishing the point… She really took advantage of that,” Azarenka told reporters.“My game wasn’t there as I wanted it … She was aggressive, she was making everything.”In the other quarter-final big-stage experience proved the deciding factor for Dominika Cibulkova as she marched into her second grand slam semi-final with an impressive 6-3 6-0 demolition of Simona Halep.The 24-year-old had made the quarter-finals at each of the other three grand slams and completed the set when she beat 2008 champion Maria Sharapova in the fourth round on Monday.By contrast, 11th seed Halep had achieved her best grand slam result in making the last eight at Melbourne Park and Cibulkova sensed her Romanian opponent would be battling nerves.“I think it was also important today because I already was on the stage,” Cibulkova told reporters.“I already played a couple of quarter-finals in the grand slam (and) I already did semi-finals in a grand slam,” she added of her loss to Dinara Safina at the French Open in 2009.“So that was my experience today. I was ready for it. It was for me like every other match so I didn’t take it … too serious (and) put myself under pressure.”Cibulkova, one of the shorter players on the WTA Tour at 1.61-metres tall (5’3″), used that relaxed approach to play her natural game, which is based on quick feet and deceptively powerful ground strokes.The 20th seed also attacked Halep’s serve and controlled many of the rallies by keeping the Romanian pinned deep behind the baseline.“I knew I have to be aggressive,” Cibulkova said of her game plan for the counter-punching Halep.“Even if you play well, you play fast, she’s there at the ball … I knew I had to step into the court and play a lot to her weaknesses, use my backhand down the line that she was not expecting, to play some (unexpected) shots.“When I play my great tennis, I’m really aggressive … that’s what I do the best.”Cibulkova’s aggression and risk-taking paid off as she broke early in both sets and used that advantage to put pressure on Halep, who admitted to being a bag of nerves before the match.“I had emotions, big emotions, and I couldn’t manage,” Halep said. “Before the match I was very nervous and I didn’t feel the ball at all. I couldn’t move my body and I couldn’t play.“Nothing is easy. There is pressure you can feel from everywhere … so I still want to do the same thing what I came into the tournament.”last_img read more

Manchester City keep up pressure with victory at Palace

Manchester City keep up pressure with victory at Palace

first_imgManchester City took advantage of Liverpool’s surprise 2-0 home defeat by Chelsea to move within striking distance of them at the top of the Premier League with a comfortable 2-0 win at Crystal Palace on Sunday.Three points behind the leaders, City have a home game in hand and a goal difference that is eight better than Liverpool’s. They are only one point behind second-placed Chelsea, having played a game fewer.City midfielder Yaya Toure, returning from injury, made the first goal for Edin Dzeko and scored the second before halftime.Eleventh-placed Palace had won their previous five games to guarantee another year in the Premier League.last_img

Cyprus on a roll with five medals in three days in Glasgow

Cyprus on a roll with five medals in three days in Glasgow

first_imgBy Andreas VouGEORGIOS Achilleos has won gold for Cyprus in the men’s skeet shooting, taking Cyprus’ medal count in the opening three days of the Commonwealth Games to five.Achilleos was the favourite going into the event and the former world champion showed his superiority, earning the top prize with four clays to spare. The 33-year-old’s gold comes less than 24 hours after Dimitris Minasidis earned Cyprus its first gold medal in weightlifting.The 25-year-old beat off all competition in the 62 kg class. A total lift of 276 kg was enough to secure gold for Minasidis who saw off the challenge of Sri Lanka’a Sudesh Peiris, who lifted 273 kg, while Samoa’s Vaipava Ioane took the bronze.Meanwhile, Themida Christodoulidou won the bronze medal in the individual rhythmic gymnastics competition on Saturday while fellow Cypriot Pantelitsa Theodoulou narrowly missed out on a medal, finishing in fourth place.On Thursday, 23-year-old Andreas Krassas won a silver medal in the under-66 kg judo class, winning four consecutive matches before eventually losing out in the final against world number seven Colin Oates. The silver medal won by Krassas makes it just the second that Cyprus has won in judo in the history of the 20 Commonwealth Games, after Christos Christodoulides’ silver in 2002 in Manchester.Another success for judo followed shortly after, as Robert Nicola finished in fifth place in the 81 kg category with two wins and two defeats.Nicola overcame the challenge of his first opponent, Kenya’s Joshuah Omondi, with ease but England’s Tom Reid proved too tough an opponent for the Cypriot, meaning that he just missed out on a medal. Nicola later spoke of his frustration at narrowly missing out on the podium, feeling that he could have beaten Reid but rued making a solitary error which ended up proving costly.“I could have beaten the Englishman. I made one mistake, but that’s Judo,” he said after the match. Elsewehre, Andri Eleftheriou, competing in the women’s skeet shooting, entered the semi-final with a ranking of 69/75, the second best out of the other five competitors. The 30-year-old went on to win the bronze medal, beating England’s Sarah Gray in the shoot-off with 13 out of 16 shots compared to her rival’s 12/16.last_img read more

Arch-rivals’ clash heads weekend fixtures

Arch-rivals’ clash heads weekend fixtures

first_imgBy Iacovos ConstantinouChampionship leaders APOEL face arch-rivals Omonia in the weekends top fixture while second placed Apollon travel to the Antonis Papadopoulos stadium to face Anorthosis on Monday. Elsewhere AEK are expected to return to winning ways against Doxa Katokopias while Ermis entertain Ethnikos Achnas. Despite being eight points clear of Omonia APOEL will have to dig deep to be able to overcome their bitter ‘enemies’ on Sunday afternoon at GSP stadium.APOEL will be without their captain Charalambides while Argenitinian Tomas de Vincenti pulled out of Friday’s practice session with a slight abdominal strain and is doubtful for Sundays game. This may force APOEL’s coach Donis to change his plans as the Argentinian was expected to return to the starting line-up following his impressive second half performance against Barcelona last Tuesday. APOEL’s star studded forward line has been unable to find the net in the last two domestic games.No such worries for Omonia’s Kaiafas as his 30 year old striker from Benin, Pote, cannot stop scoring, netting 8 of his team’s 11 goals.Oucha and Serginio are out through injury while Economides hopes to retain his place and prove wrong his old club APOEL for allowing him to leave. Apollon face a tricky away tie against a resurgent Anorthosis on Monday. The Famagusta team has improved immensely in recent weeks and has gradually edged up the table to be just a point off third place.Seran and promising young striker Yacovenko are unlikely to feature for the home side as they did not manage to overcome their injuries. Apollon will be without their influential Greek forward Papoulis who injured himself against FC Zurich last Thursday but captain Merkis is expected to lead his team against Anorthosis.Third placed Ermis Aradippou should be able to record their sixth win against Ethnikos Achnas and consolidate their position in the top half of the league. AEL’s new coach Christoforou will be hoping to record his team’s first win under his guidance against newly promoted Othellos Athienou. AEL have not won in a month and a win will be a huge tonic for their disillusioned fans.Othellos may be without their star player Grigalasvili while another three players will face late fitness tests.In the weeks curtain raiser Ayia Napa taken on fast faltering Nea Salamina with both sides in urgent need of a win while AEK are expected to beat Doxa Katokopias who seem to have taken their slot in the relegation zone early on in the season.last_img read more

Chelsea aim to deny rivals Man City any festive cheer

Chelsea aim to deny rivals Man City any festive cheer

first_imgBy Michael HannTHE omens are good for a Chelsea side heading into Christmas top of the Premier League tree but manager Jose Mourinho does not want to give title rivals Manchester City any reason to cheer over the festive season.Having beaten Stoke City 2-0 at the Britannia Stadium on Monday, the London club ensured they went into a busy fixture schedule leading the table with 42 points from 17 matches.The last three times Chelsea have been top on Christmas Day they have gone on to win the title, but with in-form City hot on their heels three points behind, Mourinho is taking nothing for granted with testing matches to come.Sam Allardyce’s fourth-placed West Ham United travel to Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge fortress on Friday before Mourinho’s men head to Southampton on Sunday and then make the short trip across London to face Tottenham Hotspur on New Year’s Day.“Now we have to focus on the three matches we still have until the end of this period,” Mourinho told reporters.“Playing against Big Sam is a hard job for us, we have to cope with it. The three-point lead we have is a little advantage, it is a little pillow we have to protect us.“We have been top of the league since day one and we are there because we are playing really well. Our Christmas fixtures are more difficult than any other one club.”Second-placed City travel to West Bromwich Albion in search of a seventh straight league win but they are still without injured strikers Stevan Jovetic, Edin Dzeko and Sergio Aguero.Captain Vincent Kompany is also missing for Manuel Pellegrini’s side but midfielder David Silva, having scored twice in City’s 3-0 home win over Crystal Palace last weekend, is ready to strike against struggling West Brom.“I like to play in the middle, even though I can play on both wings,” Silva said. “When I play in the middle I get chances to score. That is why I scored the two goals. But I will be happy to help the team when the strikers are back.”Many managers highlight the importance of negotiating the hectic Christmas period, but City’s Manuel Pellegrini is in a relaxed mood and does not think the next few weeks will define the champions’ season.“We are not thinking about Chelsea,” Pellegrini told a news conference. “We are just thinking about our team.“We know it is important to have our own pressure. You never win the title in December.“We have a long five months to continue playing as well as we are doing so far and we will see at the end of the season which team has most points.”Elsewhere on Friday, third-placed Manchester United, whose progress up the league was slowed with a 1-1 draw at Aston Villa last weekend, host Newcastle United while Arsenal welcome London rivals Queens Park Rangers to the Emirates.BOXING DAY fixture listChelsea v West Ham United (14.45)Burnley v Liverpool (17.00)Crystal Palace v Southampton (17.00)Everton v Stoke City (17.00)Leicester City v Tottenham Hotspur (17.00)Manchester United v Newcastle United (17.00)Sunderland v Hull City (17.00)Swansea City v Aston Villa (17.00)West Bromwich Albion v Manchester City (17.00)Arsenal v Queens Park Rangers (19.30)last_img read more

Under-prepared Clarke basks in record glory

Under-prepared Clarke basks in record glory

first_imgBy David GrayGlenn Maxwell’s promotion against Afghanistan denied Michael Clarke some much-needed batting time but the Australia captain insisted he took the right decision that eventually led to the team’s record-shattering 275-run victory on Wednesday.Returning from a hamstring surgery, Clarke made his first appearance in the tournament in Australia’s third Pool A match against New Zealand on Saturday.The 33-year-old right-hander’s time in the middle, however, did not last long as he was out for 12 as Australia was bowled out for 151 during the one-wicket defeat by their co-hosts.Clarke naturally fancied some batting time against Afghanistan’s limited bowling resources but had to tweak his plan to make the most of the last 12 overs after David Warner and Steve Smith shared a 260-run stand to lay the platform for a massive total.Free-scoring Maxwell justified his promotion to number four with a 39-ball 88 that helped Australia to a World Cup record total of 417 for six wickets and Afghanistan duly crumbled under the weight of the run mountain.“We had an opportunity with about 11 overs to go, I decided to send Maxi in front of me,” Clarke said at the presentation ceremony after his team registered the biggest victory in World Cup history.“We had an opportunity to try and break our World Cup record, get that highest score. We had a crack at that and the boys played really well.“I was thinking of coming at number four. I would have liked to have a bat for my own individual form, to get some runs under my belt but I think it was best team decision.“The way Maxi came out and played with other boys shows I did the right thing,” added Clarke.After sharing the points with Bangladesh following a washout and going down narrowly to New Zealand in their last two matches, Australia rose to third in their pool.Tournament debutants Afghanistan were not the strongest test of their skills but Clarke was happy with the improvement ahead of Sunday’s match against Sri Lanka.“A very good win. The boys were outstanding with the bat,” Clarke said.“David Warner was exceptional and the way boys played around him … Steve Smith, beautiful and Glenn Maxwell, unbelievable.“I think everybody chipped in there and the way we bowled and fielded, we really set a good standard for us.“Much improved from our game against New Zealand, which is a positive sign for us.”last_img read more

Serena overpowers Azarenka to reach semis, Radwanska through

Serena overpowers Azarenka to reach semis, Radwanska through

first_imgBy Martyn Herman and Pritha Sarkar Top seed Serena Williams overpowered Victoria Azarenka in an absorbing Wimbledon quarter-final on Tuesday, recovering from a set down to win 3-6 6-2 6-3.The American, who will face Russia’s Maria Sharapova in the semi-finals, is two wins away from holding all four grand slam titles concurrently – the so-called ‘Serena Slam’ she also achieved in 2002-03.The 33-year-old was second best in the first set against the Belarussian former world number one on Centre Court, but she found an extra gear and dominated thereafter.Three consecutive aces at 4-2 in the third set moved her to within a game of victory and although 23rd seed Azarenka hung on and threatened to break back, Williams would not be denied and stayed on course for a 21st grand slam title.“It was fun out there and I saw Victoria smiling as well, we both really enjoyed it,” five-time Wimbledon champion Williams, who has won 26 grand slam matches in a row, said in a TV interview. Out on Court One, Agnieszka Radwanska made her wealth of grass court experience count as she dispatched American hope Madison Keys 7-6(3) 3-6 6-3 to reach the semi-finals for the third time in four years.The 2012 runner-up, who at 13 is the highest seed left in the bottom half of the draw, needed six set points to seal the first set while the second set slipped from her grasp after a bouncing net cord handed her 20-year-old rival a break in the eighth game.Keys, one of three Americans to reach the women’s quarter-finals along with world number one Serena Williams and Coco Vandeweghe, produced a 106mph thunderbolt to draw level.That was one of 12 aces she fired down on Tuesday which prompted John McEnroe to observe: “That serve of hers is such a big weapon. It can save her”.However, being the tournament’s leading ace lady – with a total of 59 – could not carry her over the finishing line.Poland’s Radwanska inched closer to victory by breaking in the eighth game of the decider and finished Keys off with a forehand winner.She will meet Garbine Muguruza in Thursday’s semi-final.last_img read more