Sports News-August 16, 2012

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King Felix now has a crowning achievement.  Felix Hernandez pitched the Seattle Mariners' first perfect game and the 23rd in baseball history, overpowering the Tampa Bay Rays in a brilliant 1-0 victory.  His record improves to 11-5 on the year.  Hernandez was mobbed by his teammates at the pitcher's mound after the final out.  The Mariners' ace and former American League Cy Young Award winner has long talked of his desire to achieve pitching perfection.  He finally accomplished it against the Rays, striking out the side twice and finishing with twelve strikeouts.  It was the third perfect game in baseball this season, a major league record.  Hernandez joined Philip Humber of the Chicago White Sox against the Mariners in April and San Francisco's Matt Cain against Houston in June.  Six Seattle pitchers combined on a no-hitter against the Dodgers in June.  This was the sixth no-hitter of the season, which is two shy of the major league record of eight set in 1884.

Michael Orozco Fiscal scored in the 80th minute, giving the United States its first-ever win at Mexico with a 1-0 victory in an exhibition.  Fizcal, who plays in Mexico for San Luis, kicked the ball past goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa for his first international goal.  The U.S. had been 0-23-1 in 75 years of games at Mexico, including 0-19-1 in the thin air at altitude in Mexico City where they have been outscored 81-14.

Melky Cabrera was suspended 50 games yesterday following a positive test for testosterone, putting an abrupt end to what had been an MVP-caliber regular season and throwing the San Francisco Giants' playoff hopes into doubt.  The suspension would extend into the playoffs if the Giants advance.  Cabrera leads the National League with 159 hits, and is second in batting average behind Pittsburgh's Andrew McCutchen.  Cabrera's penalty was the first for a high-profile player since last year's National League MVP, Ryan Braun, had his suspension overturned by an arbitrator last winter.  In a statement, Cabrera says he accepts his suspension and now "will try to move on with my life."  Cabrera is batting .346 with eleven home runs and 60 RBIs in his first season with San Francisco.

The Nebraska football team goes into the season looking to challenge for the Big Ten conference championship it was predicted to win last year.  The Cornhuskers haven't won a conference title in twelve years, the program's longest drought since going 22 years without one from 1941-62.  Last year marked the fourth straight year the Huskers have won at least nine games.  Offensive lineman Jeremiah Sirles says an eight or nine-win season is good, but N-U aspire to be great.  The Huskers have a three-year starter in quarterback Taylor Martinez, a durable and tough running back in Rex Burkhead and a dynamic receiver in Kenny Bell.  The defense is confident it can stop its slide in the national rankings the past two years despite having a lineman, linebacker and cornerback taken in the NFL draft.  The opener is Sept. 1 at home against Southern Miss.

Former Nebraska offensive lineman Ryan Klachko has transferred to Illinois.  Illinois coach Tim Beckman said yesterday that the 6’4, 290-pound redshirt freshman was one of the top high school players in Illinois when he played at Sacred Heart-Griffin High School in Springfield.  Illinois says Klachko has started practicing with the team but under NCAA rules will have to sit out the 2012 season.  He has three seasons of eligibility left.

Lincoln police say Nebraska volleyball John Cook suffered minor injuries when his bicycle was hit by a car.  The accident happened yesterday morning.  Cook says the impact cracked his helmet and that he landed on his right shoulder.  He wasn't seriously injured.  Police ticketed the driver of the car who turned in front of Cook.

The Missouri Valley Conference women's soccer coaches tabbed Creighton to finish third as the 2012 preseason poll and preseason All-MVC team were announced by the league today.  Last season the Bluejays posted a 9-6-3 record, falling to Northern Iowa in a shootout during a first round matchup at the MVC Tournament.  Creighton finished in a tie for second at 4-1-1 in the MVC regular-season in 2011.  Illinois State, the defending regular-season and MVC Tournament champion is the preseason number one.  Senior Brittney Neumann was the lone Jay selected to the eleven-member MVC Preseason All-Conference Team.  The 2010 MVC Player of the Year, Neumann led Creighton with eight goals and 17 points last season.  CU's regular-season opener is set for Aug. 19 as the Jays host Iowa State at 1:00 in Morrison Stadium.

The Nebraska wrestling team announced a challenging schedule for the 2012-13 season yesterday, which includes a trip to Madison Square Garden as well as matches against the top three NCAA finishers from 2012.  The Huskers open their season on Nov. 4 at the Warren Williamson/Daktronics Open in Brookings, S.D.  The first dual of the season is against Northern Colorado in Greeley, Colo., on Nov. 10.  It is the first of two non-conference road duals as the next night the Huskers face Wyoming in Laramie, Wyo.  Nebraska's first conference home dual of the season is on the night of Nov. 16, as they will host 2012 NCAA runner-up Minnesota at the NU Coliseum at 7:00.  The 2012-13 season concludes March 21-23 at the NCAA Championships in Des Moines, Iowa.  Last year the Huskers finished 21st with 28 points.  Freshman James Green and junior Josh Ihnen earned All-America honors, as eight Huskers qualified for the 2012 NCAA Championships.  

The Wayne State women’s soccer team was selected for a 13th place finish in the 2012 Northern Sun Conference Preseason Coaches’ Poll.  The Wildcats were 5-11-2 last season.  Listed as Players to Watch for Wayne State  this season are sophomore midfielder Mallory Hoyt and junior defender Macy Hagen.  Minnesota State was picked as the team to beat in the conference.  The Wildcats open the 2012 season on Friday, August 31st at the Drury Tournament in Springfield, Missouri facing Missouri S&T at 5:00.

The Omaha World Herald & Lincoln Journal Star have released its preseason high school softball rankings.  In the Omaha World Herald, Millard West is ranked first in the “Nebraska Top 10” & Class “A”.  In Class “B”, Defending State Champion Omaha Skutt is first.  In Class “C”, Defending State Champion Wahoo is ranked number one, West Point Guardian Angels comes in fifth, Wayne is ranked sixth, Pierce is seventh, Twin River is ranked eighth, and Logan View/Scribner-Snyder is tenth.  In the Lincoln Journal Star, Defending State Champion Millard South is ranked first in Class “A”.  In Class “B”, Defending State Champion Omaha Skutt is number one.  In Class “C”, Arlington is the preseason number one, West Point Guardian Angels comes in second, Wayne is ranked sixth, Logan View/Scribner-Snyder is eighth, and Twin River is ranked tenth.

The 2012 Senior Stroke Play Championship concluded at North Bend Golf Course with two-time Defending Champion Susan Marchese of Omaha winning with a 222.  Placing second was Pat Linson of Omaha with a 225 and Jane Pohlman of Omaha took third with a 227.  In the 49er's Eclectic Event, there was a tie for first place between the team of Pat Linson and Tracey Linson and the team of Ruth Zbylut and Karen See.  Each team shot a 59 for the two days.

Local Schedule:  Lincoln SE at Nfk High (SB DH-5:00); Omaha Storm Chasers at Las Vegas (Bsbl-9:05).

Saturday Morning:  Sportstalk on 106 KIX & from 9:00-10:00 AM from Hy-Vee East.  Get the lowdown with the coaches.

Local Scores:  Las Vegas 3 Omaha Storm Chasers 2 (Bsbl).

      Final    Detroit                  5    Minnesota              1
      Final    Seattle                  1    Tampa  Bay              0
      Final    Baltimore              5    Boston                    3
      Final    N-Y  Yankees          3    Texas                      2
      Final    Chi  White  Sox      9    Toronto                  5
      Final    Kansas  City          3    Oakland                  2
      Final    L.A.  Angels          8    Cleveland              4
      Final    Miami                      9    Philadelphia        2
      Final    Chi  Cubs                7    Houston                  2
      Final    Colorado                7    Milwaukee              6
      Final    Washington            6    San  Francisco      4
      Final    L.A.  Dodgers        9    Pittsburgh            3
      Final    Cincinnati            6    N-Y  Mets                1
      Final    Atlanta                  6    San  Diego              1
      Final    St.  Louis              5    Arizona                  2

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