Tag: 贵族宝贝

  • Day denies inflating Iraq claims costs to pay fixer

    first_imgThe senior lawyer at human rights firm Leigh Day has told the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal that he did not inflate the cost of claims against the British government knowing he was paying a percentage to a fixer.Martyn Day said there was an agreement to pay a middleman named as Mazin Younis 27.5% of the recovered costs for his role in bringing in claims by Iraqi civilians alleging that British personnel carried out atrocities following the battle of Danny Boy in 2004. Day’s firm Leigh Day paid Younis and law firm Public Interest Lawyers £1.6m each for their role in securing cases, a Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal heard.The tribunal also heard that Leigh Day had arranged a different funding deal with a victims’ representative in the Trafigura pollution cases in Ivory Coast, which were happening at roughly the same as the Iraqi claims. In those instances, the middleman was paid 3% of any damages secured for each client they brought in.Timothy Dutton QC, for the Solicitors Regulation Authority, suggested the Iraq claims arrangement resulted in Leigh Day being able to ‘ignore the clients’ interests altogether’ and not worry about their costs. He suggested that a solicitor with this sort of arrangement ‘might be tempted to inflate his costs’.Day said that suggestion was ‘nonsense’ and told the tribunal the Ministry of Defence, the defendant in the claims, would seek to ‘get away with paying as little as possible’.Day rejected the idea there was anything wrong with his firm seeking to make a profit from running these claims, and said it worked on a structured system of hourly rates. Defendants often challenged costs in cases run by the firm, he said.Day was again questioned about the press conference in 2008 in which he joined Public Interest Lawyers director Phil Shiner in making allegations that British soldiers had tortured and killed detainees. Dutton said the nature of Day’s words at the conference showed he was endorsing the claims, not simply recounting them, adding that a solicitor’s duty is to ‘tell the truth, make sure they are supporting their clients’ case and upholding their duties to the public’.Day responded: ‘In this particular instance I felt the evidence we had seen… was so strong. I agree it was unusual but in these unusual circumstances it was appropriate.’Day was pressed on emails between Shiner, himself and Leigh Day solicitor Sapna Malik in which it was alleged he did not bring up that Leigh Day held documents that might have been important to Public Interest Lawyers’  inquiries. The senior partner said he billed for 2,600 hours in 2007/08 and was not able to pore over Shiner’s professional obligations as well as his own.last_img read more

  • Japan ropms over India at c’ships

    first_imgHARBIN, China (Kyodo) Michael Takahashi had a team-high 24 points as Japan ran wild to crushIndia 103-74 at the Asian Men’s Basketball Championships on Saturday.With one win against one defeatamong eight teams in the first league matches, Japan has increased its hopes of a semifinal berth andwill take on tournament favorite China on Sunday. Despite missing center Fumihiko Aono due to injury,Japan set a blistering pace, taking a 26-14 lead in the first quarter on sharpshooting by Takahashi andTakuma Watanabe.Naoto Nakamura later sank six three-pointers en route to the victory. The winner of theSept. 23-Oct. 3 Asian championship automatically qualifies for next year’s Athens Olympics. GET THE BEST OF THE JAPAN TIMEScenter_img IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5last_img read more

  • Notebook: Saban talks favorite movies

    first_imgTUSCALOOSA – Alabama coach Nick Saban was in a relaxed mood during his Thursday night radio show from Bob’s Victory Grille.So much so, the coach found the time to discuss his favorite movies. Saban listed “Hoosiers,” “Seabiscuit,” “The Last Samurai” and “Patton” as some of the films he has enjoyed.Even though he enjoys the film, Saban also revealed why he didn’t go see “The Last Samurai” when it was in theaters.“I never had a good feel for Tom Cruise as a Samurai warrior,” Saban said.Thompson to the field: Saban and Alabama’s coaching staff tried to cover all of its bases against Texas A&M. With the Aggies thriving on going fast on offense, Saban felt the need to make some adjustments to help with the Tide’s defensive substitution patterns.Defensive coordinator Kirby Smart had to focus on the secondary and calling the entire defense. Bo Davis’ time was consumed by coaching the defensive line. But someone needed to get the pass rushers in and out without creating any confusion. That led to outside linebacker coach Lance Thompson coming down from the press box to help coach on the field.“I said, ‘We need to bring a coach out of a press box to be able to do that,’” Saban said during his radio show. “I think it worked out well in that game.”Saban didn’t reveal whether Thompson will be on the field Saturday at Tennessee.Vols QB situation a question mark: Tennessee coach Butch Jones said the Vols might use two quarterbacks during Saturday’s game against Alabama.Starter Justin Worley is still questionable for the game with a shoulder injury. Jones, speaking in an interview with Nashville radio station 104.5 The Zone, said Worley was still being evaluated and hinted toward Worley’s injury being a “cumulative effect” of the hits he’s taken this season. The Vols have given up an SEC-worst 30 sacks.If Worley isn’t able to go, Jones said both Nathan Peterman and Joshua Dobbs would play against the Tide.“As we’ve come accustomed to, you need more than one quarterback, especially in this conference,” Jones said. “They’ve taken some valuable repetitions over time. If Justin isn’t able to go, they’ll be ready to step up, and we would play both quarterbacks if Justin doesn’t go on Saturday.”Peterman, a third-year sophomore, has played in four games this year. He has completed 8 of 15 passes for 39 yards.Dobbs, a sophomore, hasn’t played this season and was expected to redshirt. Last season, he made his college debut against Alabama when he took over for Worley, who exited with an injury.last_img read more

  • AP Source: Pitt to name Narduzzi as head coach

    first_imgIn this Aug. 8, 2011, file photo, Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi, center, gives instructions to players during NCAA college football practice in East Lansing, Mich. A person familiar with the decision told the Associated Press on Wednesday, Dec. 24, 2014, that Narduzzi has reached an agreement with the Panthers to replace Paul Chryst. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the school had not yet made an announcement. A press conference is scheduled for Friday. (AP Photo/Al Goldis, File)PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pat Narduzzi spent eight years transforming Michigan State’s defense into one of the most intimidating in the country.Pittsburgh is hoping he can do the same with the Panthers as they try to find their niche in the new-look ACC.A person familiar with the decision told the Associated Press on Wednesday that Narduzzi has reached an agreement with Pitt to replace Paul Chryst, who left last week to take the same job at Wisconsin. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the school had not yet made an announcement. A press conference is scheduled for Friday.The 48-year-old Narduzzi has spent the last eight seasons building the Spartans into one of the nation’s top defenses. He won the Broyles Award as the nation’s top assistant in 2013 when Michigan State finished in the top 10 nationally in every major statistical defensive category on its way to a 13-1 record.The hiring is a homecoming of sorts for Narduzzi. He grew up in Youngtown, Ohio — about an hour north of Pittsburgh — while his father Bill coached the Penguins from 1975-85 and spent one season with the program as a freshman linebacker before transferring to Rhode Island. He went into coaching immediately after graduating in 1990, with stops at Miami (Ohio), Rhode Island, Northern Illinois and Cincinnati before following Mark Dantonio to Michigan State in 2007.Narduzzi helped Dantonio turn the Spartans into one of the Big Ten’s elite programs by putting together an aggressive “press quarters” scheme that relies on man-to-man coverage on the outside and safeties who work close to the line of scrimmage.If he can replicate that success with the Panthers, Pitt may finally break out of a maddening stretch. The Panthers are coming off a fourth straight 6-6 regular season and face Houston (7-5) in the Armed Forces Bowl on Jan. 2. Despite the mixed results, the program believed it was heading in the right direction with Chryst, who provided a sense of stability during his three-year tenure. Yet Chryst couldn’t refuse when Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez called asking Chryst to return to his alma mater following the stunning departure of Gary Andersen for Oregon State.Paul Chryst (AP Photo/File)Chryst’s decision to leave caused a seismic shift in the Pitt athletic program. Longtime athletic director Steve Pederson was fired the day Chryst was introduced as the head coach of the Badgers. While a permanent successor to Pederson has yet to be named, whoever gets the job will have to work in lockstep with Narduzzi to give Pitt a needed dose of buzz.The Panthers have played in front of largely stagnant crowds at usually half-filled Heinz Field. Narduzzi is the program’s fifth full-time head coach since 2010, a list that includes Dave Wannstedt, Todd Graham — who bailed after just one season in 2011 for Arizona State — and the affable but hardly charismatic Chryst.Narduzzi inherits a young team that has more than 80 freshmen and sophomores on the roster, including running back James Conner and wide receiver Tyler Boyd. Conner was named the ACC Player of the Year after running for 1,675 yards and a school-record 24 touchdowns while Boyd is one of the most electrifying skill players in the country. Both will stick around for at least one more season, giving Narduzzi a solid jumping off point as he tries to forge his own identity in his first head coaching job.He already has one advocate in town in Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell, who played at Michigan State from 2010-12 and spent plenty of practices facing Narduzzi’s intricate defense.“I could just always tell that our players loved him,” Bell said. “They loved playing for him … he is a guy who is always for his players.”last_img read more

  • Ross here, there and everywhere

    first_imgIT’S no doubt been a whirlwind couple of months for Central Ward councillor Collin Ross of late. With an election…[To read the rest of this story Subscribe or Login to the Gazette Access Pass] Thanks for reading the Pakenham Berwick Gazette. Subscribe or Login to read the rest of this content with the Gazette Digital Access Pass subscription.last_img

  • Feds step up with funding

    first_imgFire affected residents have welcomed announcements of a swathe of funding to support them as they continue to rebuild their…[To read the rest of this story Subscribe or Login to the Gazette Access Pass] Thanks for reading the Pakenham Berwick Gazette. Subscribe or Login to read the rest of this content with the Gazette Digital Access Pass subscription. By Danielle Kutchel last_img

  • IRISH STAGE OF THE RED BULL CLIFF DIVING WORLD SERIES SOLD OUT

    first_imgThis June, Ireland will host one of the six stops of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series 2017 at Poll Na Péist (Serpent’s Lair) on Inis Mór.  The world’s elite male and female cliff divers will return for the third time to the rugged west coast of Ireland for a dramatic competition opener on the edge of Europe. Selling out in under two weeks, over one thousand lucky ticket holders will bear witness to the gravity-defying feats of the Cliff Diving athletes. REDBULLCLIFFDIVING.COM || CHECK OUT THE VIDEO HERE After a three-year hiatus, Red Bull Cliff Diving makes its way back to the fabled Serpents Lair, a near perfect rectangular pool carved deep into limestone rock on the edge of beautiful Inis Mór. Rising to a height of 27 metres along a rugged stretch of the Atlantic Ocean, Serpent’s Lair is a breathtaking spectacle that will provide an all-natural setting for the inaugural stop of the 2017 season. On June 24th, the cliff diving elite will make their way to Irish shores for the first dive of the year. For the men, this will be the third time returning to Inis Mór (2012 and 2014), while the women will compete for the first time in Ireland at this extraordinary pool-like venue.center_img Taking the leap of faith, divers plunge from an unimaginable height of 27 metres, accelerating at speeds in excess of 85kph before plunging into the wild Atlantic below, just three seconds later. In the meantime, they maintain acrobatic perfection through a series of tucks, pikes, twists and spins of breathtaking complexity – all aiming to better the on looking opponents. These gravity defying athlete’s have taken the sport far beyond it’s origins, setting the bar almost three-times higher than Olympic standard, whilst diving into water that’s almost three-times colder. Red Bull Cliff Diving is certainly not for the faint hearted!print WhatsApp Facebook Twitter Emaillast_img read more

  • Lidl IRELAND COMMITS TO AN ADDITIONAL €3 MILLION INVESTMENT IN LADIES GAELIC FOOTBALL

    first_img3 year deal extension represents one of the largest sponsor investments in female sports in Europe Following the phenomenal success of the partnership established in 2016 between Lidl Ireland and The Ladies Gaelic Football Association, Lidl has today proudly announced a €3 million investment and an additional 3 year sponsorship of the association. This will again position the brand as Official Retail Partner and title sponsors of the Lidl Ladies National Football Leagues. 145 schools across Ireland have received sporting equipment150 clubs have received cash donations150 clubs received vouchers worth €500Another 155 LGFA underage club teams have received jerseys and equipment556 girls have received jerseys and balls at Lidl Future Stars events Speaking on behalf of Lidl Ireland, Managing Director John Paul Scally commented: “At Lidl we are extremely proud to continue to be the biggest supporter of women’s sport in the country. When we partnered with the LGFA in 2016, we made a promise to elevate Ladies Gaelic Football to a new level and we feel we have delivered on that promise. Right across the country our store teams have been blown away from the positive feedback from local schools and clubs we have invested in and recognition for  the support we have given to the game.”“The reinvestment in our partnership with the LGFA will see us invest a total of €5.5 million over a five year period. As a brand we identify with the association’s ambition and drive and we look forward to supporting and raising further awareness of ladies Gaelic football across the country.”Ladies Gaelic Football Association President Marie Hickey said: “We are delighted to confirm this extension with our retail partners and National League sponsors, Lidl Ireland. Since first coming on board with us in 2016, they have demonstrated an incredible level of #SeriousSupport, with the benefits of this partnership being felt all the way down to grassroots level. During the term of this agreement, we have reached new milestones as an Association, including reaching a record-breaking attendance on All-Ireland finals day at Croke Park last September. We are now looking forward to further and exciting initiatives with Lidl into the next decade.”print WhatsApp Facebook Twitter Email The announcement today represents one of the largest investments in female sports by a sponsor in Europe. The reinvestment in the partnership sees Lidl Ireland committing to further #SeriousSupport by introducing various new initiatives and programmes at grassroots level to ensure participants at every level of the game reap the benefits of the retailer’s support.Since 2016, over €2.5 million has been invested in The Ladies Gaelic Football Association through programmes which include Lidl’s Future Stars, Post Primary Schools and Club competitions which continue to drive awareness of the sport across the country;last_img read more

  • Southland Conference’s 51st Baseball Season Starts Friday

    first_imgCentral Arkansas: The Bears finished 42-22 overall and seventh in the conference with a 12-15 Southland record last season … The Bears lost 10 seniors and one junior Major League Baseball draftee from arguably the best team in school history, one that won the Southland Conference Tournament title, advanced to the final of the NCAA Starkville Regional and shattered the school record for victories … UCA was one of only three No. 7 seeds to win the conference tournament crown … coach Allen Gum returns for his fourth season at the helm … UCA has 22 newcomers on its 35-man roster for the upcoming season … only five position players return from last season and five pitchers … the Bears return two starting pitchers who put up impressive numbers a year ago in senior Bryce Biggerstaff and sophomore Connor Gilmore … Biggerstaff threw just the second no-hitter in school history in a 13-0 win over Jackson State, an NCAA regional team, and finished with a 6-5 record and a 3.01 ERA … Biggerstaff logged 107.2 innings last season and had four complete games and five games of 9+ innings pitched … Gilmore was 5-0 with a 0.73 ERA last season and was named to the league’s all-tournament team and to the Starkville Regional All-Tournament team … senior shortstop Justin Treece is the only starter returning in the everyday lineup for UCA … Treece hit .230 for the season with 47 hits and 27 RBI … the outfield will have two returnees in Doug Votolato in center and Tyler Langley in right, with junior transfer Wesley Hoover in left … UCA’s 2014 schedule features a road matchup with perennial power Wichita State in Week Two, along with a three-game series at Memphis, and home-and-home series with in-state rivals Arkansas State and Arkansas-Little Rock … UCA opens the season on Feb. 14 with a home series against Missouri State. | Complete Central Arkansas Season Preview Sam Houston State Favored to Defend Southland Title: Sam Houston State is favored to defend its Southland Conference regular-season baseball championship by a vote of the league’s head coaches and sports information directors. The Bearkats were the overwhelming favorites in the both the coaches’ and SID polls, receiving the 10 first-place votes and 120 points from the coaches and eight first-place votes and 117 points from the SIDs. Sam Houston returns 15 letterwinners, seven starters and seven pitchers from a Bearkat squad that won its second consecutive regular-season title and advanced to an NCAA regional for the fifth time in seven years. Among the returning players are first-team all-conference selections Anthony Azar and Luke Plucheck and second-team picks Ryan Farney, Carter Burgess, Corey Toups and Colt Atwood. Sam Houston, which finished the 2013 season with a 38-22 overall record, went 20-7 in conference play, recording its second consecutive 20-win season in conference. McNeese State: The Cowboys have seven returning position starters and six returning pitchers to headline a roster that features 24 returning lettermen … the Cowboys finished 23-31 overall and eighth in the Southland with a 10-17 league record … the McNeese State baseball team is starting with a clean slate in 2014 as the Justin Hill era begins along with eight newcomers … preseason all-conference selection senior Jackson Gooch will switch over from left field to center field … Gooch, will remain the catalyst in the McNeese offense after leading the Cowboys in almost every offensive category including a .301 average, five home runs, 15 doubles and 34 RBI … senior Chayse Marion will be back to man first base in 2014 after earning third-team all-conference honors a season ago … Marion hit.289 and drove in 21 runs in his first season at McNeese … the Cowboys also return Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American Bryce Kingsley… Kingsley, McNeese’s Friday starter, led the team in ERA (3.11) and wins (eight) and also finished in the top ten among Southland Conference pitchers in most categories … McNeese welcomes Chicago State for a three-game weekend series starting Friday … the Cowboys will enter their 41st season as a member of the Southland Conference. | Complete McNeese State Season Preview Spotlight on Privateers’ Opening Weekend: The University of New Orleans Privateers will begin their first season of Southland baseball with its opening weekend being broadcasted regionally Friday and nationally Saturday and Sunday. The Privateers will begin the 2014 campaign with a home-and-home two-game series against in-state foe LSU. Friday’s game in Baton Rouge will be televised on Cox Sports TV. Saturday’s game in New Orleans will be shown regionally on Cox Sports TV and nationally on ESPN3. The Privateers will conclude the weekend with a Sunday showdown against Southern on MLB Network. Stephen F. Austin: The Lumberjacks 16 lettermen and five position players along with seven pitchers to a team that tied for fifth in the conference with a 15-12 league record … SFA was 28-29 overall … sixth-year head coach Johnny Cardenas enters the 2014 season with a 148-137 career record with SFA … SFA appeared in the 2013 conference tournament as a six-seed, the fifth-straight postseason appearance for Cardenas in his tenure … SFA returns 16 letterman and five starters from last season, highlighted by outfielder Ricardo Sanchez. The senior out of Houston, Texas, is coming off a breakout 2013 campaign in which he garnered second-team all-conference honors … Sanchez is a preseason first-team all-conference selection after finishing fourth in the conference with his .358 batting average as a junior … With the departure of the three Southland players ahead of him last season, Sanchez is the league’s top returning hitter … the Lumberjacks also return in catcher Joe Olson, infielder Brett Thornell, and outfielders Mackenzie Handel, and Matthew Dickey … on the mound, SFA returns seven pitchers, including weekend staple Kyle Cross … Cross started in all but one of his 14 appearances in 2013, finishing 5-6 with a 4.18 ERA … Cross tossed 79.2 innings, including a complete-game shutout against Arlington while fanning 39 hitters … other Lumberjacks on the mound are junior Cameron Gann, who will take the mound for SFA’s opening game, seniors Fabian Arcizo, Kevin Bishop, Garrett Powell and Justin Hunsaker and sophomore Chris Hassold … SFA was tabbed seventh in the preseason polls by both the coaches and SIDs … SFA opens up Friday at the Texas-Arlington Invitational where the Lumberjacks will face, UTA, Oklahoma State and UIW … SFA will open its home season Feb. 25 against Arkansas-Little Rock. | Complete Stephen F. Austin Season Preview Houston Baptist: After winning the final Great West Conference championship in the league’s history in 2013, Houston Baptist enters its first season in Southland Conference play … the Huskies are no strangers to their new conference rivals, going 5-4 against the Southland last season … HBU returns all of its pitching staff and five position players from last year’s team that went 34-24-1 and won 13 of its last 14 games … the only holes head coach Jared Moon, who enters his ninth season at his alma mater, has to fill are the ones vacated by leftfielder Luke Clements, who hit .343, centerfielder Jake Gonzalez, HBU’s all-time doubles leader, and second baseman Josh Foust, who led the team in extra-base hits, including seven home runs … last season, senior right-hander Ryan Lower went 8-4 with a 2.69 ERA overall and went 5-0 with a 0.91 ERA in league games … junior right-hander Tyler Hoelscher went 8-5 with a 3.89 ERA … newcomer junior right-hander Taylor Wright is expected to compete for a starting role with returning starters junior right-hander Ross Kennell, junior lefthander Brandon Hammerly and sophomore lefty Matthew McCollough … in the bullpen, senior right-hander Kobie Hajdik, who ranks fourth all-time at HBU in saves, returns for the Huskies … second baseman Josh Martinez led the team by hitting .371 primarily as the Huskies’ designated hitter last year, and enters the season with a 13-game hitting streak … junior catcher Samm Wiggins returns behind the dish as a third-year starter … in the outfield, senior Jordan McCoy is expected to move to leftfield after starting all 59 games in rightfield in 2013 … HBU opens the 2014 season with six of its first seven games at home, before facing No. 23 Texas A&M … in addition to the Aggies, the Huskies will also face preseason Top 25 opponents TCU and Rice this season. | Complete Houston Baptist Season Preview Only One First-Team All-Conference Selection Returns from 2013: Sam Houston State’s Anthony Azar, a two-time first-team all-conference selection, was one of Sam Houston State’s most consistent offensive players last season with a .303 batting average and a .491 slugging percentage, which ranked fourth in the conference. Azar, who paced one of the conference’s most efficient offenses, recorded a team-high 21 doubles and 47 runs batted in, to go along with six home runs, one triple and 38 runs scored. Azar is the lone first-team member from a season ago returning to a Southland diamond. Oral Roberts: The Golden Eagles will looks to return to the NCAA tournament after not qualifying for a regional for first time since 1998 … ORU finished its first season in the Southland with a 25-32 overall record and a 16-11 league mark, which was good enough for a tie for fourth place … entering his second season at the helm, head coach Ryan Folmar has a veteran returning cast, highlighted by senior Tyler Boss and junior Jose Trevino … Boss was a third-team all-conference selection in the Golden Eagles first season in the league, finishing second on the squad with a .295 average, while hitting seven home runs and recording 10 doubles and a pair of triples … Boss finished seventh in the Southland with a .479 slugging percentage … Trevino was named third-team all-conference last season as he transitioned from third base to catcher … Trevino blasted a team-high eight home runs, fourth in the conference … Trevino finished with a .241 average with 47 hits and 37 RBI … Both Boss and Trevino highlighted the preseason honors for ORU as Boss was named to the preseason first team and Trevino to the second team … Kurt Giller, a redshirt senior, will take over the duties as the rotation ace … also expected to make an impact on the mound is sophomore right hander Guillermo Trujillo, who was considered a top prospect out of the Texas Collegiate League this past summer. | Complete Oral Roberts Season Preview Southland Baseball Weekly Release (PDF)Week One News & Notes51st Season Starts Friday: The 51st season of Southland Conference baseball gets underway Friday with all 14 teams in action. Two-time defending regular-season champion Sam Houston State opens its season at home in a four-game series against Northern Colorado. The Bearkats finished 20-7 in conference last year and claimed the league title by three games. The Bearkats advanced to an NCAA regional for the fifth time in seven years and finished the season with a 38-22 record. Central Arkansas begins its 2014 campaign at home in a three-game series against Missouri State. The Bears look to return to the postseason after reaching the championship game of the 2013 NCAA Starkville Regional before falling to Mississippi State. The Bulldogs eventually reached the College World Series and fell in the championship series to UCLA. Mississippi State finished the season No. 2 in the nation. UCA won the conference tournament last season to secure a postseason berth and finished the year 42-22 overall and 12-15 in conference. Southland Baseball Tournament to be Played at Bear Stadium in Conway: After holding the Southland Conference Baseball Championship Tournament at a neutral site in 2013 at Constellation Field in Sugar Land, Texas, the postseason tournament will move back to a Southland member’s venue. The 2014 tournament will be held at Bear Stadium on the campus of Central Arkansas on May 21-24. The tournament will return to Constellation Field, home of the Sugar Land Skeeters, for the 2015 and 2016 seasons. Sam Houston State: The back-to-back Southland baseball champions, Sam Houston State will begin its hunt to return to the NCAA postseason when they host Northern Colorado Friday at 6:30 p.m. at Don Sanders Stadium for Opening Day … expectations are high for the Bearkats, who return several key players from squads that have played in NCAA Regionals the last two seasons … Sam Houston is the preseason favorite in both the coaches’ and SID poll after finishing 20-7 in conference and 38-22 overall in 2013 … six Bearkats are members of the Southland’s preseason all-conference team with catcher Anthony Azar and outfielder Luke Plucheck earning first-team honors, and second baseman Ryan Farney, shortstop Corey Toups, third baseman Carter Burgess and outfielder Colt Atwood being named the second team … other returners who will be starters or key contributors will be Junior Ryan O’Hearn, who has started more than 100 games between first base and left field, and Hayden Simerly, who shared the lead in home runs last season with nine … junior starting pitcher Tyler Eppler was a big part of the Bearkats midweek success in 2013, picking up wins over Texas, Rice and Houston while compiling a 5-2 record with a 3.41 ERA … junior lefthander Andrew Godail is also expected to be a mainstay in the weekend rotation after posting a 5-4 record with a 3.10 ERA in 14 starts last season … senior relievers Jason Simms and Alan Scott are expected to be the backend of the bullpen … Simms was named to the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year Award watch list after recording nine saves with a 2.74 ERA in 26 appearances in 2013 … Scott compiled the lowest ERA on the team last season with a 1.16 ERA in 31 innings pitched, which is one of the lowest in school history. | Complete Sam Houston State Season Preview Sam Houston State Leads All Teams with Six All-Conference Selections: Sam Houston State, the two-time defending regular-season champion, leads all teams with six all-conference selections. Joining Anthony Azar one the first team for Sam Houston is senior outfielder Luke Plucheck. Plucheck earned second-team all-conference honors last season after leading the Bearkats in home runs (nine), triples (four), runs scored (42), slugging percentage (.512) and total bases (110). Junior outfielder Colt Atwood, junior second baseman Ryan Farney, junior third baseman Carter Burgess and sophomore shortstop Corey Toups were named second-team all-conference to complete the Bearkats’ all-conference selections. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi had four players earn all-conference while McNeese State and Southeastern Louisiana each had three players earned preseason all-conference honors. Central Arkansas, Lamar and Oral Roberts all had two selections apiece and Nicholls and Stephen F. Austin had one each. Newcomer, Freshman of the Year Each Return for 2014 Season: Lamar junior shortstop Sam Bumpers was the Southland Conference Newcomer of the Year in 2013 and he one of two returning postseason award winner returning from last season. McNeese State sophomore pitcher Bryce Kingsley, last season’s freshman of the year, also returns to the diamond this year for the Cowboys. Bumpers, a second-team all-conference selection last season, led the Cardinals in doubles (19) and total bases (115), ranked second in hits (eight), slugging percentage (.487), home runs (four) and triples (two) and third in batting average (.339), RBI (40) and runs score (48) last season. Kingsley tied for fourth in the Southland last season with eight wins and tossed the seventh-most innings (94.2). He finished fifth in the league with a 2.57 ERA, while opponents batted .228 against him. Kingsley became the third Cowboy to earn the league’s top freshman honor, joining Dooley Prince (2002) and Bryan Cartie (2005).center_img UIW: The Cardinals are under the tutelage of Danny Heep, who enters his 17th season at UIW with a 530-336 record … the team returns seven starters, including the four regular weekend starters on the mound … Senior Alexis Garza is the top returning pitcher after going 6-2 with a 2.91 earned run average en route to earning second team all-Lone Star Conference honors in 2013 … Junior outfielder Thomas Rinn is the top returning hitter and boasts a career .317 batting average and a .435 on-base percentage … Junior Dylan Boss and sophomore Geno Encina will each be in the rotation as well … Boss was a second team all-Lone Star selection as a freshman when he posted a 2.28 ERA and he has 135 strikeouts in 126.2 career innings … Encina led the staff in innings (75.2) and wins (7) as a true freshman last year and posted a solid 3.21 ERA …The Cardinals play an ambitious schedule this year that includes a number of high profile opponents in addition to it being their first year in NCAA Division I and the Southland Conference … Following the opening weekend’s action against Oklahoma State, Texas-Arlington and Stephen F. Austin, the team returns to San Antonio the following weekend to play in the Notre Dame Tournament at Nelson Wolff Stadium where they will take on Gonzaga, Santa Clara and Notre Dame … the remainder of the non-conference schedule includes games against Baylor, LIU-Brooklyn, Texas-San Antonio, Hofstra, Valparaiso, Central Michigan, Prairie View A&M and Texas-Pan American. | Complete UIW Season Preview Southeastern Louisiana: Last season, the Lions tied for third in the conference with a 16-11 record and were 36-24 overall … predicted to finish second this season in both preseason polls (coaches and SIDs)… during the previous five seasons, Southeastern racked up the highest overall win total (183) of any Southland Conference school … the Lions return 20 letterwinners, including a pair of Freshman All-Americans … Southeastern’s pitching staff returns largely intact with Andro Cutura, Jason Greenleaf, Dylan Hills, Sean Kennel, Mason Klotz and Tate Scioneaux leading the way … Perfect Game named Cutura the second-best pro prospect for the 2014 Major League Baseball Draft in the Southland … Kyle Keller, also a junior right-hander, came in at No. 5 on the 2014 prospect list while sophomore Jameson Fisher was tabbed the conference’s top pro prospect for the 2015 draft … sophomore pitcher Klotz is one of 50 players named to the initial watch list for the 10th annual National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year Award … a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American, Klotz earned seven saves in his final nine outings and allowed just one run in his final 18.2 innings of work … Southeastern Louisiana senior third baseman Jesse Buratt is one of 11 returning all-conference players who are on the 2014 preseason all-conference teams … Joining Buratt in earning preseason all-conference honors are Lion sophomores Jameson Fisher and Tate Scioneaux, both of whom were on the second team. | Complete Southeastern Louisiana Season Preview Southland Has Three Named to NCBWA Stopper Watch List: Fifty players, including Texas A&M-Corpus Christi’s Jacob Dorris, Southeastern Louisiana’s Mason Klotz and Sam Houston State’s Jason Simms, have been named to the initial watch list for the 10th annual National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year Award, which is given annually to the top relief pitcher in NCAA Division I baseball. In 2013, Dorris tied a school record with 13 saves and led the team with a 2.36 ERA. He struck out 33 batters and allowed only seven runs in 26.2 innings pitched. Dorris did not allow a run in his final 12 appearances. Klotz compiled a 3-0 record and team-high 11 saves to go with a 2.63 ERA. The right-hander fanned 37 batters, in 41 innings pitched, while allowing just 29 hits (.204 opponent batting average). Klotz earned seven saves in his final nine outings and allowed just one run in his final 18.2 innings of work. Simms recorded nine saves and a 2.74 ERA in 26 appearances last season. He struck out 44 batters with only 19 walks in 46 innings pitched. Opposing batters hit just .213 off of him. New Orleans: The New Orleans Privateers open the 2014 baseball season on Friday with a lot of new faces, but the most familiar face is back in the dugout as Ron Maestri returns to the school where he spent 14 seasons and guided the Privateers to two College World Series … one College World Series appearance was at the Division II level in 1974 and then in 1984 where they became the first Division I school from Louisiana to make it to the College World Series … at UNO, Maestri won nearly 68 percent of his games while guiding the Privateers to back-to-back Sun Belt championships in 1978-79 …. Maestri hopes to recapture that magic with a team that has 17 total newcomers … Last season, New Orleans won seven games which marked the second lowest total in a season in school history … Since earning back-to-back trips to the NCAA Regional in 2007-08, the Privateers have a cumulative record of 63-193 … among the top returners is junior pitcher Alex Smith, who had a 3-9 record with a 4.50 ERA and hurled two complete games last season …. Smith also led the team with 100.0 innings pitched … Senior Raymond Winter appeared in 20 games, all as a reliever for the Privateers last season … Winter had a 2.81 ERA in 2013, and picked up his first win in his longest outing, throwing 3.2 scoreless innings at McNeese … newcomer Nick Halliday as appears to fit into the Privateers’ starting rotation … Halliday transferred over from Lamar Community College in Colorado where he went 7-2 with a 3.58 ERA last season in 18 appearances … Leading the offense from the players returning will be junior Zach Liberto who hit .280 in 44 games last season … Liberto led the team last season in walks and was second in on-base percentage. | Complete New Orleans Season Preview Lamar: The Cardinals tied for fifth last season with a 15-12 conference mark and a 39-20 overall record … after losing a pair of starting pitchers and seven starting position players, the Lamar baseball team has the look of a team in need of a rebuild, but Lamar has all-conference honorees in Sam Bumpers and Jude Vidrine coming back as well as an influx junior college talent … 37th-year head coach Jim Gilligan leads the Cardinals again this season with a career record of 1,257-810, the most wins in conference history and the 19th-most in NCAA history … Bumpers, a .339 hitter with 19 doubles and four home runs a season ago, earned preseason all-conference honors … Vidrine is the conference’s leading returning run scorer, crossing home plate 53 times in 2013, and also earned preseason honors … Among the newcomers, Kevin Santana and Jacoby Middleton look to replicate the power numbers they experienced for Blinn College and Odessa College, respectively … Santana knocked out seven home runs, and Middleton was a .376 hitter with 50 runs batted in … Tyler Sullivan and Mason Salazar also hit better than .300 last year, and Reed Seeley boasted of an impressive .476 on-base percentage … on the mound, the Cardinals are going to look to Collin Chapman to lead the way … Chapman’s 2013 campaign was cut short due to injury after a 3-0 start … Lance Warren also plans to be a major cog on the mound after ending 2013 with 8.2 scoreless innings against McNeese State in a Southland Tournament elimination game …. newcomer Billy Love hopes to be in the mix after a 5-2 season with Seminole State College, and returners Will Hibbs, Jayson McKinley and David Carver hope to improve from their debut seasons on the mound for Lamar a year ago. | Complete Lamar Season Preview Northwestern State: Head coach Lane Burroughs and his staff enter the 2014 season with an almost completely new lineup, pitching staff, and roster … Northwestern State returns 10 lettermen from 2013 club, including four position players with starting experience and four pitchers who recorded innings last year … Northwestern State finished 10th in the Southland last season with a 5-22 conference mark and finished 16-40 overall … of the returners, Andrew Adams is the only three-year letterman and four others are seniors that transferred in before the 2013 campaign … senior Steven Spann and Cody Butler will lead the team from the mound … other players back on the bump this season are Joey Parrack and late-innings reliever Cameron Brewer … Edwin Gomez and Nathan Lyons will be back to lead the Demons in the lineup along with sophomores Regan Kaufman and Cort Brinson … Northwestern State adds 20 newcomers to the 2014 roster along with two redshirted players from last season’s team … jJunior transfers Bret Underwood (Faulkner State CC) and C.J. Webster (Crowder College) are expected to make noise in the Demon lineup this season … John Gault (Hinds CC), who earned a spot in the weekend rotation, is expected to be a force on the mound … the Demons start the 2014 campaign Friday for a three-game series at Jacksonville State and opens its home season with a midweek showdown against Louisiana-Lafayette Wednesday. | Complete Northwestern State Season Preview Texas A&M-Corpus Christi: Scott Malone enters his seventh season at the helm of the Texas A&M – Corpus Christi baseball team, coming off a second-place finish in the Southland a year ago with a 17-10 conference mark … the second-place finish was the best in school history … the team will look to build on this success from last year, as it returns quite a bit of firepower, especially on the mound … Trevor Belicek will be the ace of the staff this season, as he garnered preseason first-team all-conference honors after he led the team with a 9-2 record and a 3.12 ERA a year ago … joining Belicek on the bump will be closer Jacob Dorris, who comes off a season in which he set the school record with 13 saves, five more than any other Islander in a single season, to go along with a 2.36 ERA …  Dorris was named to the 2014 NCBWA Stopper of the Year Watch List … Cody Stephens is the top returner in many offensive categories for the Islanders, including batting average (.313), RBIs (28), home runs (two), runs scored (48), hits (70), triples (two), total bases (84) and stolen bases (19) …  Stephens also had 20 multi-hit games a year ago … the Islanders will also expect newcomers Tyler Ware, Zack Gibson and Frankie Salas to make an impact on the lineup after the departure of several key offensive cogs in the lineup from a year ago, such as Brad Porras and Jonathan Gonzales. | Complete Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Season Preview In other Southland action the opening week of the season, Abilene Christian, Houston Baptist, McNeese State and Oral Roberts all open at home in three-game series. The Wildcats play host to Arlington Baptist. Houston Baptist welcomes Prairie View A&M; McNeese State welcomes Chicago State; and Oral Roberts plays host to Southeast Missouri State. Nicholls heads on the road for a three-game series at Houston while Northwestern State is set to play three at Jacksonville State. Southeastern Louisiana opens the season with three-game series against Louisiana Tech and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi travels to Texas-Pan American for a four-game series. New Orleans will play a home-and-home two-game set against LSU. UIW and Stephen F. Austin both open Friday at the Texas-Arlington Invitational with the Cardinals facing Oklahoma State and the Lumberjacks playing host Texas-Arlington. Lamar is set to host the Cardinal Classic opening weekend and will face Marist to start the year. Southland among Conference Leaders with Pair of Stoppers: The Southland Conference is one of two leagues to have multiple winners of the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Award. The Big 12 Conference leads the nation with four selections, while the Southland has had two, including 2012’s winner, Stefan Lopez from Southeastern Louisiana, who led the nation in saves. Sam Houston State also has a past winner of the award. In 2007, Bearkat Luke Prihoda earned the honor after he compiled a 7-3 record with a national-best 18 saves in 19 chances, while posting a 1.62 ERA in 35 appearances. The Southland Conference Pitcher of the Year and Southland Tournament Most Valuable Player, Prihoda struck out 65 and walked 11 in 72.2 innings of work and allowed just five of 35 inherited runners to score. Nicholls: The Colonels have eight lettermen and eight everyday starters returning and welcome 15 newcomers to the lineup in 2014 … Nicholls finished ninth in the Southland with a 9-18 record and was 26-29 overall … Caoch Seth Thibodaux enters his fourth season at the helms with an 80-86 overall mark … Nicholls will be led by top returning overall hitter Tyler Duplantis, who had 62 hits last season and batted .330 at the plate for the Colonels in his junior season … Nicholls will have a good core of returning pieces for this season along with Duplantis in the infield and Philip Lyons and Leo Vargas, while Keith Cormier returns to the outfield and was second on the team in RBI … on the mound, Nicholls will return a stable of solid pitching options led by Taylor Byrd … Byrd made over a dozen starts and will be expected to carry the bulk of the load as the top guy in the rotation … expecting to make a full year contribution is senior and preseason second-team all-conference selection Brandon Jackson, who earned two complete game shutouts in league play toward the end of last season … Nicholls opens the 55th season of competition Friday evening taking on the Houston Cougars in a three-game series … Nicholls is looking to win a season opener for the seventh time in the last 11 seasons and the team is also looking to win a season-opening series for the second consecutive season … the Colonels will have their home-opener Tuesday against Loyola (La.). | Complete Nicholls Season Preview A look at the Southland Conference…Abilene Christian: The Wildcats open their first season as an NCAA Division I program this weekend with a three-game series against Arlington Baptist at Crutcher Scott Field … the Wildcats will open the series Friday at 4 p.m., followed by a game Saturday at 1 p.m. and the series finale Sunday at 1 p.m. … ACU is under the direction of head coach Britt Bonneau, who enters his 18th season as the head coach with a record of 671-324-1 … ACU is 527-200-1 in 23 seasons at Crutcher Scott Field, where the Wildcats will play 27 games this season … The Wildcats feature 14 freshman in their first Division I season, and welcome in a total of 26 new players for the 2014 season … The returning players are led by senior infielders Seth Spivey and Kyle Giusti and pitcher Brady Rodriguez, the team’s longest-tenured Wildcat with three years of experience to his credit … Spivey hit .314 with 32 RBI last season – mostly out of the leadoff spot – to earn all-Lone Star Conference honorable mention honors … Giusti hit .358 with a .455 on-base pct. and 40 RBI as a junior in 2013 … Giusti started 49 games at third base and was a first team all-Lone Star selection and first team NCAA Division II South Central all-region pick … Rodriguez ranked among Lone Star leaders in 2013 in total appearances (30), ERA (2.29), opposing batting average (.227) and saves (6) … Rodriguez finished the season 4-3 with 41 strikeouts and was a first team all-Lone Star and academic all-Lone Star selection. | Complete Abilene Christian Season Preview Southland Conference Baseball to Feature 14 Teams 2014: Oral Roberts University is no longer the new kid on the block in the Southland Conference this season as the conference welcomed four more schools into the fold, increasing the membership to 14 institutions. The league announced in November 2011 that Houston Baptist University would join the Southland, but in August 2012 Southland commissioner Tom Burnett announced the addition of three more schools. The University of New Orleans, Abilene Christian University and the University of the Incarnate Word all joined the conference July 1, 2013, giving the Southland members in key population centers Houston, San Antonio and New Orleans, all home to significant student-recruitment and alumni bases. Additionally, original Southland Conference member Abilene Christian, one of the most decorated athletic programs in the NCAA, returned to the league after a 40-year absence. ACU and UIW are currently in the transition process from NCAA Division II and will not be eligible to win the conference championship during their transition periods, which should be complete in time for the 2017-18 season.last_img read more

  • Piers Morgan would rather Arsenal finish BOTTOM of their Champions League group

    first_imgBroadcaster, journalist and die-hard Arsenal fan Piers Morgan would rather the Gunners finish bottom of their Champions League group than enter the Europa League.Arsenal have lost their opening two games of this season’s tournament, 2-1 away to Dynamo Zargreb and 3-2 at home to Olympiacos.And Morgan, an Arsenal season ticket holder and shareholder, believes the benefit of missing out on the Europa League could lead to his side lifting their first Premier League title since 2004.“The sad reality is that this Champions League campaign is all but over,” said Morgan as he co-hosted Drivetime with Adrian Durham.“I think we will be beaten by Bayern Munich at least once, probably twice in the space of a couple of weeks, and that will be it.“It will be the worst Champions League exit for a number of years for Arsenal and confirms my view that things are not as rosy as the Wenger-brigade would like to have it.“But there is the point, that many Arsenal fans have found out, that we don’t want to finish third and end up in the Europa, a second tier competition.“Actually, if we are out of that, we might have a chance of winning the Premier League.”last_img read more