Other Sports

Sports briefs: Feb. 23

Major League baseball

Indians rally in ninth to defeat Reds in teams' spring opener

The Cleveland Indians scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to complete an 11-10 comeback win over the Cincinnati Reds in Terry Francona's spring debut as the Indians' manager.

Back in a dugout for the first time since parting ways with the Boston Red Sox after the 2011 season, Francona opened a new era with the revitalized Indians, who after luring him away from broadcasting in October, spent nearly $120 million on free agents to improve a club that lost 94 games last season.

Francona's got some work to do to get the Indians back into contention, but this was a start. "Yeah, today was good," Francona said. "The starters got three innings just like we wanted. Everybody got an at-bat or two to kind of shake off the rust a little bit."

The Reds led 10-8 going to the bottom of the ninth before the Indians loaded the bases against reliever Carlos Contreras. Cincinnati Manager Dusty Baker brought in Drew Hayes and Mike McDade sliced a three-run double into the left-field corner to win it.

Cincinnati's Joey Votto singled in his first two at-bats as the defending NL West champions built a 5-0 lead in the first with some help from the Indians, who let an easy fly ball drop to score two runs.

■ Rangers lefty Robbie Ross, who as a rookie last season had a 2.22 ERA in 58 appearances, will get a chance to be the fifth starter this year. The former Lexington Christian star allowed one hit in two scoreless innings in Texas' 5-5 tie against the Royals on Friday.

Nate Adcock (North Hardin) struck out two batters and didn't surrender a hit or a run in one inning for Kansas City.

College basketball

Cardinals still in Big East title hunt

Louisville Coach Rick Pitino challenged his team after a five-overtime loss at Notre Dame: finish the regular season with a seven-game winning streak. The Cardinals (21-5, 9-4 Big East) have responded and are looking for their third straight win when they host Seton Hall (13-14, 2-12) on Saturday.

Pitino said he wanted to get past the 104-101 loss on Feb. 9, when Louisville controlled every period except the final one. He told his players last week that to get it done, they needed to improve in individually tailored areas. For Cardinals forwards Chane Behanan and Montrezl Harrell, that means focusing on free throws, while guard Russ Smith works on passing. Pitino wants center Gorgui Dieng to take more jump shots and floor leader Peyton Siva to continue to let the game come to him.

The regular-season title remains within reach. Louisville is a game behind Syracuse, Georgetown and Marquette — all tied for first.

■ Transylvania's men's team lost 87-82 to Hanover in the quarterfinals of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament at Terre Haute, Ind., on Friday. Ethan Spurlin (Lincoln County) scored 27 points and had five assists to lead the Pioneers in both categories. Barrett Meyer (Franklin County) added 17 points and six rebounds. Former St. Xavier standout Brian Gunter had 20 points, seven rebounds, two assists and two blocks for Hanover.

High school basketball

CovCath beats Holmes at the buzzer

35th District boys' finals: Nick Ruthsatz hit a half-court shot as time expired to give Covington Catholic a 73-72 victory against host Holmes. Ruthsatz ended up with 29 points and ninth-ranked Holmes (28-2), which trailed by 10 at halftime, lost for just the second time this season.

44th District boys' finals: No. 4 Madison Central, which got 22 points from Ken-Jah Bosley and 10 assists from Daniel Parke, cruised to an 80-40 victory against Madison Southern.

32nd District boys' finals: Simon Kenton's Riley Barnes hit a three-pointer with 4.2 seconds to go in overtime to give his team a 67-66 victory against Grant County.

44th District girls' finals: No 14 Madison Central's Larryn Brooks scored 24 points, including four three-pointers, to go with six assists, four rebounds and four steals in a 69-30 win against Madison Southern. Ashton Feldhaus added 21 points and seven rebounds.

46th District girls' finals: Cassity Martin broke her school's single-game scoring record with 45 points in Mercer County's 81-56 victory against Burgin. Martin also had 11 rebounds.


Only one top-10 seed left at Match Play

A day after Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods went home, more top seeds followed Friday in the Match Play Championship. Masters champion Bubba Watson was the only player from the top 10 remaining at Dove Mountain in Marana, Ariz. And even that wasn't easy. Watson, the No. 8 seed, missed two short putts that would have won the match before he finally put away Jim Furyk in 22 holes.

Luke Donald, the No. 3 seed who birdied his last two holes on Thursday to win his opening match, didn't know what hit him Friday. Scott Piercy won the first three holes, and then holed out from 221 yards with a 4-iron on the fifth hole and was on his way. He won, 7 and 6, to give Donald his worst loss in this event.

Defending champion Hunter Mahan had an easy time with Richard Sterne to win his eighth straight match, and next faces the last player to beat him in this event — Martin Kaymer.


Davis injures knee in loss to Mavericks

Anthony Davis already had a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds before spraining his right knee early in the third quarter of the New Orleans Hornets' 104-100 loss to the Dallas Mavericks. After a trip to the locker room, Davis returned to the bench midway through the fourth quarter with his knee heavily wrapped.

DeMarcus Cousins had 26 points and 13 rebounds in Sacramento's 122-108 loss at Atlanta. Patrick Patterson is expected to make his Kings debut against New Orleans on Sunday.

■ The Washington Wizards had seven players in double figures while taking down another contending team with a 119-113 win over the visiting Denver Nuggets. John Wall had 14 points and 10 assists.


Bayne wins Nationwide pole at Daytona

Trevor Bayne, the 2011 Daytona 500 winner, earned the pole for Saturday's Nationwide Series season opener at Daytona International Speedway. Bayne is driving the No. 6 Ford for Roush Fenway Racing, the car Ricky Stenhouse Jr. piloted to the past two championships in the series. Former IndyCar champion Sam Hornish Jr. will start second, followed by Parker Kligerman and Travis Pastrana.

Johnny Sauter won the NASCAR Truck Series season opener, his first victory at Daytona International Speedway. Sauter led the final 17 laps and held off Kyle Busch before a last-lap wreck forced the 250-mile race to finish under caution Friday night.

Mario Pino won the George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award in voting by his fellow riders. He beat out finalists Javier Castellano, Perry Compton, David Flores and Rodney Prescott. The award, established by Santa Anita Park in 1950, honors the careers and personal character of individuals involved in Thoroughbred racing. Pino, Maryland's all-time leading rider, became racing's 10th winningest jockey in September when he notched his 6,471st victory.

■ The Tennessee Titans agreed to a multiyear contract with veteran safety George Wilson. The former Paducah Tilghman standout spent much of the past nine years with the Buffalo Bills, playing 92 games with 12 interceptions, 362 tackles and 22 passes defensed.

The last word

NASCAR driver Carl Edwards has damaged three cars during Speedweeks, and a fourth was crashed during testing at Daytona in January. Edwards said Friday:

"Someone texted me that Bobby Allison wrecked three cars and then won. I haven't wrecked a rental car yet, so we should be good."