Bat Cats' Meyer strikes out 13 in complete-game shutout
Junior right-hander Alex Meyer put the finishing touches on his first complete-game shutout by striking out the side in the ninth inning and finishing with a career-high 13 K's to lead the Kentucky baseball team to a 4-0 win over Niagara on Saturday at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
The Greensburg, Ind., native allowed five hits — all ground balls through or into the infield — and two walks. It was the second time this season he struck out 13. A 6-foot-9, 220-pounder, Meyer threw only 33 balls in 118 pitches, facing only three hitters above the minimum.
"He was great," UK Coach Gary Henderson said. "It was really good to see him get better throughout his outing. His concentration was as good as it has ever been."
In his season debut on Feb. 20, Meyer fanned 13 against Miami (Ohio), earning Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week accolades and setting his new career high. In his four starts this season, Meyer is 2-2 record with a 2.60 ERA and 39 strikeouts in 272⁄3 innings. He's allowed 16 hits and a .184 opponent batting average. The Cats will go for a sweep of Niagara Sunday at 1 p.m.
■ No. 8 Tennessee scored six runs in the second inning and rolled to a 10-0 victory over No. 23 Kentucky in the second game of a three-game series Saturday at the UK Softball Complex. UK won 9-6 on Friday, and the teams will play Sunday at 1 p.m.
Griffin, Bledsoe get the best of Wall
Blake Griffin scored all of his 26 points in the first half, and former Kentucky guard Eric Bledsoe added a career-high 23 points as the Clippers rolled to a 122-101 victory over the host Wizards and Bledsoe's backcourt mate last season, John Wall. In the matchup between the last two No. 1 overall picks, Griffin got the best of Wall, on the scoreboard and in the individual battle. Wall finished with 25 points, although he added eight assists and seven rebounds. Los Angeles built a 19-point, first-half lead, only to see Washington close the gap to 68-65 with 8:36 left in the third quarter. But the Clippers went on a 29-8 burst over the third and fourth periods to cruise to their fifth win in six tries.
Paul has 33 points, 15 assists in return
Chris Paul returned from a concussion and scored a season-high 33 points to go with 15 assists, seven rebounds and five steals, and the Hornets beat the Kings 115-103 on Saturday night. David West scored 25 points, and former King Carl Landry added 20 for New Orleans, which has won four of five games and passed Portland for sixth place in the Western Conference. Former UK star DeMarcus Cousins had 19 points and 11 rebounds, but foul trouble forced him to the bench early in the fourth quarter, when the Hornets were in the midst of a decisive 18-2 run.
■ Dwyane Wade blocked four shots in a dazzling 55-second span shortly after tipoff, and the Heat wound up rolling past the Grizzlies 118-85 on Saturday to win their second straight. It was one of Miami's top defensive displays of the season, holding the Grizzlies to 39 percent shooting and forcing Memphis into missing its final 10 shots of the first half. And Wade was the catalyst, with that stretch that started when he blocked Tony Allen's jumper with 7:56 left in the first quarter. Another Allen layup was blocked 17 seconds later, and then Sam Young started getting Miami's attention. He had three shots swatted away in 36 seconds, the first by LeBron James, the last two by Wade. Wade's final line: 28 points, nine assists, five rebounds and five blocks. The last NBA guard to have numbers like that in a game? Michael Jordan, in 1988.
■ Hawks reserve forward Josh Powell was arrested before Saturday's game for refusing to move his car for an oncoming ambulance, according to a team official. Powell, 28, was not at Philips Arena while the Hawks played the Portland Trail Blazers.
Johnson gets hot, takes lead at Doral
Dustin Johnson hit his stride and found his swagger Saturday on the back nine of the Blue Monster at Doral to emerge with a two-shot lead going into the final round of the Cadillac Championship in Florida. Johnson hit what he called a "bunt drive" some 310 yards on the 17th and hit a wedge to 2 feet for the last of his eight birdies. Just as importantly, he played the 18th hole without drama to finish with a 7-under 65.
He was at 13-under 203, although eight players are separated by three shots heading into the last day. All of those eight players are among the top 31 in the world ranking. That group does not include Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, who finished before the leaders teed off and remain out of the mix. The surprise is that it doesn't include Martin Kaymer, either. The new No. 1 was in the final group with Hunter Mahan, one shot out of the lead, until he took double bogey from the water on the third hole and struggled to a 74. Kaymer was seven shots back.
Woods and Mickelson, playing for the third straight day together, didn't inspire. Woods switched back to a mallet putter — the same one he tried in Australia last year — and the best he could manage was a 2-under 70 that left him 11 shots behind. Mickelson had a sloppy double bogey on the 14th and wound up with a 72, putting him at even-par 216.
Kahne a winner on his week off
Sprint Cup star Kasey Kahne led the final 51 laps, held off defending series champion Todd Bodine and brought more success to Kyle Busch Motorsports in winning the Camping World Trucks event at Darlington Raceway on Saturday night. Kahne could've easily been soaking up some sun, like his Cancun-bound truck owner, during the Sprint Cup off week. Instead, he took part in his favorite form of relaxation — winning races. "I'll buy (Kyle) a vacation any time to drive this thing again," Kahne said.
■ Former NASCAR champion Kurt Busch champion bounced back from two error-filled qualifying runs with two solid passes Saturday and advanced to the all-important NHRA elimination rounds.
"It was an overall better day," said Busch, the 32-year-old Penske Racing driver who is tied atop the Sprint Cup points standings. "You've got to have those tough days to go through to make you appreciate what a good day can be, and today was that, so we're really excited."
Busch's best run covered the quarter-mile strip in 6.532 seconds and reached 211.46 mph in the Pro Stock division, good enough to earn the No. 12 seed in the elimination bracket. Busch will face fifth-seeded Erica Enders in the opening round of the 16-car field Sunday. The winner will advance to the next round, and the loser will go home.
The last word
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban had a suggestion for a possible show featuring Charlie Sheen on Cuban's cable network, HDNet — add Lakers Coach Phil Jackson to the mix:
"Two men and a 7-footer. Give him a quart of tiger blood, see what happens."