Beaver Local golf practice

CALCUTTA — A non-mandatory Beaver Local boys golf practice will be held at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday at Beaver Meadows. Any high school boy is welcome to try out.

Branch seeks golf coach

BELOIT –West Branch High School is looking for a girls golf coach for the upcoming season. Those interested should send a letter of interest to Tim Saxton, Superintendent by 3 p.m. on July 22 at Timothy.Saxton@WBWarriors.org.

SEC addresses gambling

HOOVER, Ala. (AP) — Southeastern Conference Commissioner Greg Sankey considers the mental health of athletes an important issue to be considered when it comes to legalized betting on college sports.

Sankey opened the league’s media days Monday with plenty to say about sports gambling and continuing efforts to improve football officiating before yielding the podium to coaches talking about their hopes and concerns for the season.

He focused on weighty off-the-field matters instead of whether Alabama, Georgia or some other SEC team might contend for the national title. Those concerns include possibly placing another element of pressure on athletes.

“We’re seeing trends in the mental health area that should cause us all to pause before these ideas around specific event betting within college sports are allowed to take place,” he said. “And I’m talking about, for example, whether a field goal is made or missed, whether a 3-point try is successful. Is a pitched ball a strike or a ball?

“That pause should happen before any of these types of activities take place.”

He said mental health is an issue athletes now bring up in every meeting, replacing such near-universal student issues as limited campus parking.

“The perspectives on mental health represent not a ripple of change, but a wave of new reality, which faces all of us in intercollegiate athletics and higher education,” Sankey said.

Legalized sports gambling in some states — including in SEC country — also will be a new reality. A Supreme Court ruling in May 2018 cleared all 50 states to offer legal sports betting if they choose to.

Sankey’s take remains that “it may be ideal for us not to experience any expansion in sports gambling.”

But that’s beyond his control.

“The SEC presidents and chancellors have expressed strong support for NCAA national office efforts to seek federal legislation that will regulate sports gambling,” Sankey said. “Ideally, there would be uniformed practices applicable across states throughout the country governing gambling on college sports, particularly eliminating specific in-game betting and proposition belts on college sports.”

First complete game for Cards

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Miles Mikolas pitched an eight-hitter and Tyler O’Neill hit a pair of two-run homers, leading the St. Louis Cardinals to a 7-0 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday night.

It was the first complete game this season and second overall for Mikolas (6-9), who lasted just four innings in his last start before the All-Star game. He struck out three and walked none while throwing 100 pitches.

It was first complete game by a Cardinals pitcher this season. Mikolas had the only one last year on May 21 against Kansas City.

Mikolas pitched out of three jams. In the fifth with two outs, he gave up singles by Corey Dickerson and Kevin Newman. A balk put runners on second and third. Mikolas got Jacob Stallings to ground out, ending the inning. In the sixth, he allowed one-out singles to Adam Frazier and Brian Reynolds, his third hit. Starling Marte grounded into an inning-ending double play. He also hit into a double play in the first inning. In the seventh, Colin Moran doubled with one out and was stranded at third.

St. Louis has won three games in a row.

O’Neill had his first career multi-homer game, and drove in four runs for the second time in the last three games. He also singled to fhinish with three hits.

The Pirates have lost four consecutive games.

Pittsburgh starter Joe Musgrove (6-8) gave up five runs and five hits in 4 2/3 innings. He struck out seven and walked three along with hitting a batter.

Dickerson had rough night in left field and figured prominently in the first two St. Louis runs.