Sunday, July 11, 2004

Sports digest

Mike Easler named new manager of Freedom

The Enquirer and wire reports

Former major leaguer Mike "The Hit Man" Easler is the new manager of the Frontier League Florence Freedom, general manager Connie Hildebrant announced Saturday.

"The players seemed happy with the decision, knowing that their new skipper is on his way in next (Friday) and that it's a name they know around the clubhouse," Hildebrant said in a prepared statement.

Pete Rose Jr., who was acting manager after Tom Browning was fired Wednesday, will remain with the Freedom as a coach until he is picked up by another minor-league team as a player.

The Frontier League has a 27-year-old age restriction, making Rose ineligible to play for the Freedom.

Easler was hitting coach for a team in the Mexican winter league before becoming manager and leading the team to the playoffs.

In other moves, pitching coach Chris Hook will assume the additional role of director of baseball operations after Wednesday's Frontier League All-Star Game. Jeff Detkas and Tom Eckerly will remain in their current coaching positions.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: UK, Ball State to meet here

The Kentucky Wildcats will play Ball State on Nov. 23 at U.S. Bank Arena in UK's annual visit to Cincinnati. The teams have never met. Kentucky finished with a 27-5 record last season and was ranked No. 2 in the final Associated Press poll. The Cardinals were 14-15.


OHIO WOMEN'S AM: Eighty players, including former Enquirer Prep Golfer of the Year and Kent State star Gabby Wedding of Wilmington, begin with 18 holes of medal play Monday in the 81st championship at Terrace Park Country Club.

The medal-play scores will be used to set up brackets for match play the remainder of the week. The championship flight concludes Friday with 36 holes of match play. Wedding holds the tournament medal record with a 65.

The field includes past champions Pat Milton of Munroe Falls (1988), Dublin's Alison Reifers (1991), Beavercreek's Diana Schwab (1989, '90), Cincinnati's Janie Klare (1996) and three-time winner Pauline Whitacre of Canton (1962, '66, '82). Two members of the winning 2003 USGA state competition - Heather Zielinski of Sylvania and Cincinnatian Lynn Thompson - also will be competing.


SWISS OPEN: Wimbledon champion Roger Federer overcame fatigue and rain delays to beat qualifier Potito Starace 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, advancing to the final at Gstaad. Federer will face Igor Andreev in the final. Andreev beat third-seeded Rainer Schuettler 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (6).

HALL OF FAME: Seventh-seeded Alexander Popp reached the final of an ATP event for the first time, defeating Cyril Saulnier 6-4, 7-6 (5) at Newport, R.I. Popp plays unseeded Greg Rusedski today in the grass-court tournament. Rusedski beat eighth-seeded Antony Dupuis 7-5, 7-6 (10).

FED CUP: Chanda Rubin wasted three match points before rallying for a win, and the United States split the opening-day singles with Austria 1-1 in a quarterfinal match at Innsbruck, Austria. Hockey

WORLD INLINE: Two former Miami RedHawks, Ernie Hartlieb (1997-01) and Jason Deskins (1997-02), were named by USA Hockey to the InLine National Team for a third straight year for the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Championships this week in Bad Tolz, Germany.

Horse racing

HOLLYWOOD GOLD CUP: Total Impact snapped a seven-race losing streak, scoring an upset in the $750,000 race for his first victory in 14 months. Ridden by Mike Smith, Total Impact prevented 7-10 favorite Even the Score from becoming the second horse to sweep Hollywood Park's three major dirt races for older horses. Eleven Stitches accomplished the feat in 1981.

Rock Hard Ten, second to Smarty Jones in the Preakness, easily won the Swaps Breeders' Cup Stakes.

Griffey hurt in loss to Brewers
Cruz vows for better or worse
Daugherty: Freel knows no limits
Reds insider: Best move may be none
Larkin to Reds: Take a risk
Reds chatter

Kelly: Score it an All-Star error
Fantasy: Time to pick midseason's standouts
Mariners designate Aurilia for assignment
NL: Cardinals win 8th consecutive game
AL: White Sox deal M's eighth loss in row
AAA: Clippers 1, Bats 0

1980: The shattered dreams team
Moeller grad was only American to medal in '80
Spitz passes baton as Phelps makes it three in a row
Berths are on the line at camps this week
Jones fails with 5th-place finish
Olympics results
2004 Summer Olympics schedule
Olympics guide, multimedia

Coaching in Miller's blood
Five questions with Sean Miller
Matta-Miller timeline
Koch: Top preps going pro not all bad for NCAA
Agent: Shaq accepts trade
Hawks take chance on Martin

Hamilton rallies to win rain-delayed truck race
Hemphill beats field, rain to win ARCA 150
Harvick wants more Chicagoland magic
Justin Labonte gets first Busch win
Tracy hoping home track works to his advantage

Perfect strike for all generations
What's up with that?
Quick chat with ... Excite owner Dave Galus

Armstrong finishes in pack, remains sixth
Tour De France photos, maps, multimedia

Met tennis: Wolf, Kronauge in usual form
Sports digest
Sports on TV, radio

Who do you think has a better chance of making the NCAA Tournament next season, Xavier or Ohio State?