Bats Cats get 12 runs, 20 hits for first victory of season
Thomas McCarthy, Matt Reida and Chad Wright had three hits apiece and Kentucky's baseball team (1-3) had 20 in all in a 12-3 victory at Morehead State (0-4). Wright hit his first home run of the season and had three RBI. McCarthy had two doubles. Taylor Black added two hits and two RBI. UK freshman right-handed starter Jonathan Paquet pitched three innings in his collegiate debut and allowed six hits and two runs. Walter Wijas (1-0) came on in relief and pitched 32⁄3 innings to get the win. He allowed three hits and two walks and struck out three batters.
Next up for Kentucky is its home opener at 4 p.m. Wednesday against Eastern Michigan at Cliff Hagan Stadium. Freshman lefty Corey Littrell is scheduled to make his first start.
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Men's golf finishes second in Alabama
Kentucky's men's golf team shot a 279, the best round of the tournament, to finish in second to Middle Tennessee State in the the Mobile Bay Intercollegiate at Magnolia Groove Golf Course in Mobile, Ala., on Tuesday. Sophomore Chase Parker shot a 2-under 70 to finish in a tie for second as an individual.
"I think this was a really nice way to start off our difficult spring schedule," Coach Brian Craig said. "We challenged our guys to stay patient throughout this entire week and they responded by posting the best team score of the year. Now we have to keep working hard and use this performance as a springboard."
Middle Tennessee's Jason Millard shot a 9-under 63 to break the course record and surge to the individual victory. He finished the tournament at 11 under. Parker was seven shots back at 4 under. Freshman Cody Martin shot a 71, his best round of the season, and finished tied for fourth at 1 over.
Uncle Mo's next race at Gulfstream Park
The connections of leading Kentucky Derby contender Uncle Mo said the colt will make his 3-year-old debut in a recently created race to be run at Florida's Gulfstream Park on March 12.
Owner Mike Repole and trainer Todd Pletcher said Tuesday their choice for Uncle Mo's first race of 2011 is the $100,000 Timely Writer. If the mile race does not draw enough entries, Uncle Mo's second option is the $350,000 Tampa Bay Derby, also March 12.
Uncle Mo has won all three of his starts and was voted 2-year-old champion after winning the Breeders' Cup Juvenile in November. Uncle Mo is stabled at Palm Meadows, just north of the Gulfstream Park. The Timely Writer was created last week by Gulfstream.
NBC to broadcast all of Triple Crown
NBC will broadcast all three legs of horse racing's Triple Crown through 2015, reuniting the sport's three biggest jewels on one network for the first time since 2005. NBC Sports Group announced Tuesday that NBC and Versus will provide over 25 hours of race coverage centered around the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes. NBC has carried the Derby and Preakness since 2001. The Belmont was carried by ABC from 2006-2010.
Versus will carry the Kentucky Oaks, the filly version of the Kentucky Derby, and broadcast other significant races during the Triple Crown season.
The Triple Crown starts May 7 with the Derby, followed two weeks later by the Preakness and then the Belmont on June 11.
Patterson pushes Rockets past Pistons
Rookie forward Patrick Patterson scored a career-high 20 points, including seven in a row late in the fourth quarter as the Houston Rockets pulled away for a 108-100 win over the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday night in Auburn Hills, Mich. After both teams had blown double-digit leads, Patterson's tip-in gave Houston a 95-94 advantage. He added a three-point play and a pair of free throws to make it a six-point game with 2:35 to play. Will Bynum led Detroit with 21 points and Rodney Stuckey added 19, but Tayshaun Prince missed all nine of his field goal attempts and scored only one point.
Houston's bench accounted for 59 points with Patterson surpassing his previous career high of 15. Patterson, a first-round draft pick out of Kentucky, also contributed five rebounds, four at the offensive end. Fellow rookie Greg Monroe had 12 points and 12 rebounds for Detroit.
■ Jeff Green scored 22 points, Kevin Durant added 21 and the Oklahoma City Thunder spoiled Blake Griffin's return to his hometown by beating the visiting Los Angeles Clippers 111-88. Griffin made a run at his first career triple-double but came up two assists shy. He followed his slam dunk title and rare All-Star appearance by a rookie by amassing 28 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists.
■ Danny Granger had 21 points and 10 rebounds, and the Indiana Pacers piled on the fast-break points to open the season's homestretch with a 113-96 rout of the Washington Wizards. John Wall, coming off his 22-assist, MVP performance in the rookie-sophomore game at All-Star weekend, had 10 assists and eight rebounds but shot 5-for-15 and committed six turnovers.
■ LeBron James scored 31 points, Dwyane Wade added 23 and the Miami Heat opened their post-All-Star schedule with an easy 117-97 win over the visiting Sacramento Kings. The Heat never trailed, jumping out to a 35-16 lead after the first quarter. DeMarcus Cousins — Sacramento's leading healthy scorer, with Tyreke Evans expected to miss at least three more weeks with an injured left foot — had eight points on 3-for-14 shooting.
Holmes a late addition to Match Play
J.B. Holmes, a Campbellsville native who starred at Kentucky, was added to the Match Play Championship field when Tim Clark withdrew with an elbow injury. Because the brackets have been set, Holmes will take Clark's position in the draw. He will face Camilo Villegas in the opening round.
Clark won The Players Championship a year ago and was the No. 22 seed. He has not played since he tied for second in the Sony Open at Honolulu last month.
Holmes has played in the Match Play Championship only one time, losing to Tiger Woods on the 18th hole in the opening round.
Ex-U of L QB Ragone hired by Titans
Tennessee Titans Coach Mike Munchak hired Dave Ragone to be the team's new wide receivers coach. Ragone, a third-round draft pick out of Louisville in 2003, played with the Houston Texans between 2003 and 2005. He spent last year coaching quarterbacks with the United Football League's Hartford Colonels for the Titans' new offensive coordinator, Chris Palmer.
■ The Broncos signed Champ Bailey to a four-year deal, keeping the perennial Pro Bowl cornerback off the free agent market. Bailey recently played in his 10th Pro Bowl, a record for cornerbacks. ... Five-time Pro Bowl cornerback Ronde Barber signed a one-year deal to return for a 15th season with the Buccaneers. ... The Saints released tight end Jeremy Shockey.
The last word
Golfer Ian Poulter certainly felt like the defending champion at the Match Play Championship. He is featured prominently on the cover of the program. There even was a Facebook promotion in which fans picked his outfits for the week. Those feelings ended, however, when Poulter looked at the tournament's starting times. Poulter plays Stewart Cink in the first of 32 matches Wednesday in Marana, Ariz., on the tee at 7:25 a.m. MST. A British reporter jokingly suggested that Poulter could have the shortest title defense by the clock. His match could end by 11 a.m. Poulter responded:
"Could be on an airplane by mid-afternoon, I guess. Thanks for that. I hadn't really thought about that until you just mentioned it, but thanks, well done. I'd rather be having a nice salmon for a starter and filet steak for dinner tomorrow night."