Sports briefs: June 17

June 17, 2013 

UK football recruiting

Four-star receiver picks Tide

Four-star wide receiver Derek Kief announced his commitment to Alabama on Sunday, picking the Crimson Tide over fellow finalists Kentucky and Ohio State.

Kief, who plays for La Salle High School in Cincinnati, is ranked by Rivals as the No. 47 wide receiver in the country and the No. 17 overall prospect in the state of Ohio for the Class of 2014.

The 6-foot-4, 200-pound receiver also had offers from Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Louisville, Arkansas and several other Division I programs. One of his high school teammates was Jaleel Hytchye, who will be a freshman defensive back at Kentucky this fall.

Kief announced his commitment in a YouTube video that included dozens of friends and family members wearing Tide apparel. The actual announcement came when Kief held up a baby wearing an Alabama T-shirt as "Sweet Home Alabama" played in the background.

Kentucky has 18 commitments from the class of 2014 and Rivals.com ranks the Cats' recruiting class among the top five in the country.

UK has two wide receivers lined up for 2014: Four-star Thaddeus Snodgrass and three-star Tyre Brady. They're also in good shape with several others, including four-stars Braxton Berrios and Blake Bone, and three-star T.V. Williams.


Horse racing

Verrazano wins his 1st race since Derby

Coming off a disappointing race in the Kentucky Derby, Verrazano cruised to a front-running 9¼ length victory in the Grade III, $150,000 Pegasus Stakes at Monmouth Park at Oceanport, N.J. Ridden by John Valazquez, Verrazano ran 11⁄16 miles in 1:413⁄5 before a Father's Day-record crowd of 28,951. The Todd Pletcher-trained winner of the Wood Memorial returned $2.80, $2.20 and $2.10.

"It feels good to have him back," Velazquez said. "There didn't look to be that much speed on paper at all. I talked to Todd this morning and he said just to come out running and make them chase you. His ears were wagging every step of the way and around the three-eighths pole I gave him a little nudge and he knew it was time to go."

A 3-year-old colt by More Than Ready from the Giant's Causeway mare Enchanted Rock, Verrazano was making his first start since finishing 14th in the Kentucky Derby. Prior to that, he was 4-for-4.

Verrazano is expected to make his next start in the Grade I, $1 million Haskell Invitational, the centerpiece of the Monmouth Park season on July 28th.

"I think we got exactly what we wanted to set us up for the Haskell," said Brian Sullivan, co-owner of Let's Go Stable. "I think it makes the next six months interesting with a sprint to see who's Horse of the Year. I think we're squarely within that picture. He'll train at the Spa (Saratoga) and bring him back for the Haskell."

Reporting Star, with Angel Serpa aboard, finished second and Bethel was third. Itsmyluckyday, who was sent off the 6-5 second choice and was coming off a runner-up finish in the Preakness Stakes, moved toward Verrazano down the backstretch but was pulled up by jockey Mike Smith.

"It felt like a left hind," Smith said. "He actually broke really sharp and was just about to go up to press Verrazano and I felt something behind. I wasn't going to take a chance and decided it was better to be safe than sorry so I just took the cautious road."


Minor-League Baseball

Legends lose first-half finale in 11th

Julian Yan's leadoff home run in the bottom of the 11th inning gave the Asheville Tourists an 8-7 win over the Lexington Legends Sunday in North Carolina. The game-winner was Yan's second home run of the game. The Tourists swept the four-game series, winning three of the games by one run.

The Legends trailed 7-4 in the eighth inning, but rallied to tie the game. With two outs and runners at second and third, Raul Mondesi, who was 4-for-6, singled up the middle to score Fred Ford and Alex Hudak. When the ball got by center fielder Max White for an error, Mondesi circled the bases and scored the tying run.

Bubba Starling was 5-for-5 with four singles and a double for the Legends, who finished the first half of the season 33-35. They'll start the second half Thursday night against Savannah at Whitaker Bank Ballpark.


College baseball

Cards couldn't handle Hoosiers' DeNato

Louisville Coach Dan McDonnell said his team didn't play badly. It's just that Indiana pitcher Joey DeNato was great.

DeNato threw a four-hitter and Indiana looked right at home in beating Louisville 2-0 late Saturday night in the Hoosiers' first appearance in the College World Series.

The Hoosiers manufactured their runs early, and DeNato (10-2) made them stand up in a masterful 136-pitch performance in front of a TD Ameritrade Park-record crowd of 27,122 in Omaha, Neb.

"Our guys were ready to play," McDonnell said. "They were excited. I give a lot of credit to their pitcher."

The Hoosiers will play Monday against Mississippi State, and the Cardinals will face Oregon State in an elimination game.

DeNato allowed three singles and a double in his second complete game. He struck out eight and walked three.

■ North Carolina State's Carlos Rodon pitched eight shutout innings and the Wolfpack knocked out ACC pitcher of the year Kent Emanuel early in an 8-1 victory at the College World Series on Sunday.


NHL Good timing for Paille's first OT goal

Daniel Paille's winner in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals was the first overtime goal of his eight-year NHL career. And it was his second game-winner of the 2013 NHL playoffs.

Paille scored 13:48 into overtime Saturday night to give the Bruins a 2-1 victory and even the best-of-seven series at one game apiece. He also scored the winner in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the New York Rangers with 31/2 minutes left in the third period. The pair of winners matches Paille's total from his last 246 regular-season games.

"It feels great to score the overtime goal," Paille said after arriving on Sunday in Boston, where Game 3 will be played Monday night. "I think we're a bit relieved now that after that slow start we were able to accomplish a split, and we're coming back here for a good series."


The last word

The Boston Bruins' Jaromir Jagr, 41, had this to say about the first two games of the Stanley Cup Finals reaching overtime:

"I bet it's great and exciting for the fans who are watching hockey games. If you have a bad heart, you might not watch the game because you might get a heart attack. For young people, it's pretty exciting to watch. Old people, don't watch it! You might die just watching."

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