AROUND THE HORN
Blue Devils don’t take weekends off
BERLIN CENTER — Western Reserve freshman twins Ally and Linny Jones had quite a day Saturday.
They joined seniors Kayla Owen and Olivia Altiere on the 400-meter relay team that set a school record by finishing 12th at the Optimist Track and Field Meet at Austintown Fitch in 53.39 seconds. The same runners also sit in second place in school history in the 800-meter relay and finished ninth at the Optimist in 1:52.69.
After the track meet, the twins went to a softball game and led Western Reserve to a 13-12 win at Mineral Ridge in the second game Saturday.
In the eighth inning, Linny stole second and third and Ally hit a pop up to score Linny with the game-winning run.
North Dakota State out of title hunt
HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) — Eric Schmid threw for 227 yards and a touchdown, and his 6-yard touchdown run with 3:39 left helped send second-seeded Sam Houston State past defending FCS champion North Dakota State 24-20 on Sunday.
The Bearkats (8-0) advance to face the winner between No. 3-seed James Madison and North Dakota in the semifinals. Sam Houston State’s win gives it a 15-0 all-time playoff record in home games as it searches for its first-ever championship.
The loss snaps North Dakota State’s (7-3) FCS string of nine straight semifinals’ appearances.
Facing a third-and-10 near midfield, Ife Adeyi pulled in a spectacular 47-yard, over-the-shoulder, one-foot inbounds catch on the sideline from Schmid at the Bison’s 9-yard line to set up Schmid’s go-ahead score.
Medina Spirit’s next step after Derby win
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Medina Spirit’s surprising Kentucky Derby victory gave Bob Baffert a good problem to have — figuring out where to hang another sign on his barn’s already crowded wall of glory.
As the Hall of Fame trainer digests a record seventh Derby win that caught even him off guard, he and the horse’s connections must determine whether the dark brown colt will turn around quickly for the 146th Preakness on May 15 in Baltimore, where a collection of rested horses and revenge-minded competitors await.
“He came out of it well,” Baffert said Sunday morning at Churchill Downs. “It takes about a week to determine, so I’m going to come back next weekend and see. I don’t see anything that would discourage me right now.”
Similar wait-and-see decisions loomed on the backside a day after the 147th Derby returned to its traditional first Saturday in May date.
Shorter than the Derby at 1 3/16 miles, the Preakness sets up well for horses that skipped Churchill Downs for the sprint at Pimlico Race Course. Not to mention a chance for redemption for competitors that fell short to Medina Spirit.
Trainer Doug O’Neill said third-place finisher Rock Your World would not be among them, looking instead to run the 1 1/2-mile Belmont Stakes on June 5 in New York.
Meanwhile, Brad Cox planned to talk with connections for runner-up Mandaloun and 5-2 Derby favorite Essential Quality, who finished fourth. Though disappointed not to win in his first Derby, the Louisville-born trainer was encouraged by both finishing in the top four of the 19-horse field.