Archive for March 13th, 2017
Ola Kamara scores his first goal of the season and 17th MLS career goal;
Justin Meram records his 28th career assist, his second of the season and his sixth over his past six matches
Columbus Crew SC 1 – Houston Dynamo 3
BBVA Compass Stadium (Houston, Texas)
Saturday, March 11, 2017
NEXT MATCH FOR CREW SC (0-1-1, 1 point)
Columbus Crew SC at D.C. United (RFK Stadium – Washington, D.C.)
Saturday, March 18 (7:00 p.m. ET / The CW Columbus, Spectrum Sports, BCSN2, CD102.5 FM, La Mega 103.1 FM, English radio stream on ColumbusCrewSC.com).
MEDIA RESOURCES AVAILABLE
FULL BOX SCORE: http://bit.ly/2mxmlG4
TEAM STATISTICS: http://bit.ly/2mdBLxv
MATCH HIGHLIGHTS: http://bit.ly/2ns21VR
HEAR FROM SPORTING DIRECTOR AND HEAD COACH GREGG BERHALTER IN POST-MATCH PRESS CONFERENCE: http://bit.ly/2nrSjmd
AUDIO FROM MIDFIELDER WIL TRAPP: http://bit.ly/2nrSjmd
AUDIO FROM FORWARD OLA KAMARA: http://bit.ly/2nrSjmd
TODAY’S MATCH INFO:
Venue: BBVA Compass Stadium (Houston, Texas)
Referee: Chris Penso
Assistants: Adam Garner, Nick Uranga
Fourth Official: Daniel Radford
Weather: 68 degrees and cloudy
HOU – Romell Quioto 2’
HOU – Alberth Elis (Alex) 35’
HOU – Erick Torres (Alex) 65’
CLB – Ola Kamara (Justin Meram) 90+3’
CLB – Ethan Finlay (caution) 59’
HOU – Alberth Elis (caution) 68’
CLB – Jukka Raitala (caution) 72’
CLB – Jonathan Mensah (ejection) 87’
Columbus Crew SC: Zack Steffen; Harrison Afful (Connor Maloney 46’), Jonathan Mensah, Nico Naess, Jukka Raitala; Artur (Mohammed Abu 58’), Wil Trapp © (Adam Jahn 65’); Ethan Finlay, Federico Higuain, Justin Meram; Ola Kamara
Substitutes not used: Brad Stuver, Lalas Abubakar, Hector Jimenez, Niko Hansen
Houston Dynamo: Tyler Deric; A.J. DeLaGarza, Adolfo Machado, Leonardo, Dylan Remick; Ricardo Clark ©, Eric Alexander, Alex (Juan D. Cabezas 69’); Alberth Elis (Andrew Wenger 75’), Erick Torres (Mauro Manotas 81’), Romell Quioto
Substitutes not used: Calle Brown, Jalil Anibaba, Vicente Sanchez, Boniek García
Forward Ola Kamara scored his first goal of the season and 17th career MLS goal. He was assisted by Justin Meram, who recorded his 28th career assist and sixth assist over the past six regular-season matches. The midfielder is in ninth place on the all-time assist list for Crew SC.
Defender Connor Maloney made his MLS debut for Crew SC coming on as a substitute for Harrison Afful in the 46th minute. Maloney was selected by the club in the Fourth Round of the 2017 MLS SuperDraft on January 17, 2017, and he signed with Columbus Crew SC on February 20, 2017.
Midfielder Artur made his first regular-season start (second appearance) for the Black & Gold. He made his debut against the Chicago Fire on March 4, 2017 coming on as a substitute for Mohammed Abu.
Crew SC next plays on Saturday, March 18 when it travels to RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. to take on D.C. United (7:00 p.m. ET / The CW Columbus,Spectrum Sports, BCSN2, CD102.5 FM, La Mega 103.1 FM, English radio stream on ColumbusCrewSC.com).
GAME RECAP WRITTEN BY & A COURTESY OF COLUMBUS CREW SC COMMUNICATIONS
Will Power at Carb Day 2015 by Sarah Stierch - Own work. Licensed under CC BY 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons
ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (Saturday, March 11, 2017) – Will Power continued his mastery of Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg qualifying, winning the pole position today for the seventh time in the last eight years for the opening race to the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season.
Driving the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, Power navigated the 1.8-mile, 14-turn temporary street course in 1 minute, 1.0640 seconds (106.118 mph) on his final lap in the climactic Firestone Fast Six – the third and final round of knockout qualifying. The 2014 series champion’s lap was 0.1579 of a second better than Scott Dixon in the No. 9 GE LED Lighting Honda for Chip Ganassi Racing.
“I saved a good set of tires for the end there,” said Power, a two-time St. Pete race winner (2010 and ’14). “They had one (fast) lap on them.
“That was everything I had at the end. I gave it all I had because I knew it was going to be close. I haven’t put that much energy into a lap for a while. I’m really happy.”
Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg: Qualifying results
Twenty-one cars are slated to take the green flag in Sunday’s 110-lap race on the course that utilizes streets of downtown St. Petersburg and a runway of Albert Whitted Airport. Power is the last driver to win from the top starting spot – the first year he captured a pole at the track in 2010.
Dixon dominated practice in advance of qualifying and was the only driver to log laps under the 1:01 mark in each of the first two segments of qualifying. The 17-year Indy car veteran has finished second three times at St. Petersburg but never won in 12 previous starts.
“Honestly, I think the team and Honda did the job; I just did not,” Dixon said. “I made a pretty big mistake on my first lap, which definitely disappointed. … Hopefully tomorrow I can redeem myself.”
James Hinchcliffe, the 2013 St. Petersburg winner, qualified third in the No. 5 Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda (1:01.3039), the best starting spot for the Canadian in what will be his sixth St. Petersburg start. Josef Newgarden will start fourth in the No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet (1:01.7229, 104.985 mph), also his best St. Pete qualifying effort. The past four Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg race winners have qualified in the fourth position, though 2016 winner Juan Pablo Montoya started third after pole sitter Power fell ill and didn’t start the race. Power’s replacement, Oriol Servia, was moved to the rear of the 2016 starting grid.
One on-track incident occurred in qualifying. Sebastien Bourdais locked his brakes heading into Turn 13 on his first lap in the first segment and slid into the barrier to bring out a red flag. Under new INDYCAR qualifying regulations, any driver causing a red flag is not permitted to continue in the session and barred from advancing to the next segment. Bourdais will be at the tail of the 21-car grid in the No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing Honda.
A final 30-minute warmup practice at 9 a.m. ET Sunday (RaceControl.IndyCar.com) precedes the race that airs live at noon ET on ABC and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network. The Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg is the first of 17 races on the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule.
Penske installs plaque in honor of Montoya
It’s almost become a yearly tradition for Roger Penske to visit the Victory Circle monument at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg during the race weekend. The legendary Indy car team owner and Tim Cindric, president of Team Penske, made a trip to the monument this afternoon to affix another Team Penske driver’s name on the monument’s wall of St. Pete winners.
Juan Pablo Montoya delivered the eighth Team Penske win on the streets of St. Petersburg in 2016. Since Montoya is not competing this weekend, it fell to Penske and Cindric to install the winner’s plaque on his behalf. It was the second such honor for Montoya, who also won the race in 2015. Other Penske drivers to win at St. Petersburg are Helio Castroneves (2006, 2007, 2012), Ryan Briscoe (2009) and Will Power (2010, 2014).
“When you look at that wall and you see eight drivers that have been able to put their names there is just amazing,” said Penske, who was also honored on the wall for his team’s 50th anniversary in racing last year. “We love this track and we think the environment provided by the city and the support of the mayor and city council has just been amazing. This is just a real honor for us.”
The winner’s plaque has been installed since March 2012 as a tribute to the late Dan Wheldon and the grand prix. Wheldon, a St. Petersburg resident, won the race in 2005.
Montoya is not racing in the Verizon IndyCar Series fulltime in 2016, opting to drive a fifth Team Penske car in the 101st Indianapolis 500 in May. Penske revealed today that the two-time Indy 500 winner will also compete in the INDYCAR Grand Prix on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course as a tune-up for the 500.
“I want to get him in the car and have him run a race with the (crew) guys around him (before the Indy 500),” Penske said.
Rahal looks to recapture soggy magic of 2008 St. Pete win
When Graham Rahal won his first Verizon IndyCar Series race on the streets of St. Petersburg in 2008, it didn’t come easy.
“Particularly after the way this weekend has gone so far, I hope it rains tomorrow, we’ll have a similar result,” Rahal said on the eve of Sunday’s Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. “It was a tricky day (in 2008), it started wet. It was drying. I got punted by (Will) Power on one of the restarts, I think. We had the pace. We had gone in the race from the back, got up to running third on a pretty good charge there. We knew we had the pace to run up front. It was just a matter of getting there.
“We were able to do a lot of fuel saving and get ourselves in position to take the lead on the restart from (Ryan) Hunter-Reay. I don’t think anybody thought we could make it to the end. We were good on fuel. At the end when it became kind of a duel with Helio (Castroneves), (Tony) Kanaan and myself, we were able to pull off four-, five-second gaps.”
Nine years ago, Rahal crossed the finish line before his veteran rivals and became the youngest race winner in Indy car history (19 years, 93 days). For the 2017 edition, he may get his wish with weather reports calling for a chance of rain Sunday in St. Petersburg.
Whatever the weather, the cast of competitors from his maiden victory still surround him. Rahal qualified 10th today in the No. 15 Steak ‘n Shake Honda for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. Kanaan qualified sixth, Hunter-Reay 12th and Castroneves 16th.
Though Rahal’s second career race win eluded him until 2015, he’s won three times for his father’s team in the past two years. Improvements in qualifying pace and the environment at his team are the key factors he attributes to the success.
“I think it’s a combination of a lot of things,” Rahal said. “You’ve got to be in the right circumstances and have a good team surrounding you, which we do.”
Fuzzy’s Vodka limited-edition bottles to honor military
This year’s limited edition of INDYCAR bottles offered by Fuzzy’s Vodka honors servicemen.
The Indianapolis-based company unveiled its latest commemorative bottle today in St. Petersburg. The bottle lists the 100 winners of the Indianapolis 500 on one side and notes the 100 years since Indianapolis Motor Speedway was closed to racing for World War I.
Fuzzy’s Vodka also announced its partnership with the non-profit Fisher House Foundation. With this partnership, Fuzzy’s Vodka pledges to donate $1 for every 2017 commemorative bottle sold this year to the foundation program that provides “a home away from home” for families of patients receiving medical care at major military and VA medical centers. The homes provide temporary free lodging so families can be close to their loved ones during a medical crisis.
Growing to 71 houses in operation, the Fisher House program has provided more than seven million free nights of lodging for families to be close to their loved ones. The program has saved more than $360 million in housing and transportation costs since the program’s inception in 1990.
“It’s such a great program to be part of,” said Ed Carpenter, whose Verizon IndyCar Series team has Fuzzy’s Vodka sponsorship and will assist with the promotion of the commemorative bottle.
“This year’s patriotic limited edition bottle recognizes those who have served our great nation,” said Fuzzy Zoeller, co-owner of Fuzzy’s Vodka. “We’re proud to be partnering with a foundation that yearly receives A+ ratings and is dedicated toward helping our veterans and their families.
“By winning on the race track and selling bottles across the United States, our goal is to make an impactful donation to Fisher House Foundation at the end of the year.”
Mazda Road to Indy recap
The Mazda Road to Indy presented by Cooper Tires, the developmental ladder sanctioned by INDYCAR, conducted four races in its three series to open the 2017 seasons today.
In Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires, Aaron Telitz drove to victory in his debut race by 11.033 seconds over fellow series rookie Colton Herta. Telitz joined Belardi Auto Racing in Indy Lights this season after capturing the 2016 Pro Mazda Championship presented by Cooper Tires and its accompanying Mazda scholarship. Indy Lights will conduct its second St. Petersburg race Sunday.
In Pro Mazda, the middle rung of MRTI ladder, Anthony Martin (Cape Motorsports) drove to victory by 0.5084 of a second over Victor Franzoni (Juncos Racing). Like Telitz, Martin is a Mazda scholarship winner after taking the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship powered by Mazda last year. Pro Mazda has a second race scheduled Sunday.
USF2000 ran both of its races today, with Robert Megennis (Team Pelfrey) and Oliver Askew (Cape Motorsports) claiming victories.
PRACTICE RECAP WRITTEN BY & A COURTESY OF INDYCAR COMMUNICATIONS
“What They’re Saying” from Firestone Fast Six qualifying at Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg
SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 1 PPG Automotive Refinish Team Penske Chevrolet): “Well, we’re certainly disappointed, but that doesn’t mean we’re going to pack up and go home. The PPG Chevrolet team and I will go to work and figure out how we can improve. They are the best in the business. We have our work cut out for us, but once the race starts, all sorts of things can happen.”
JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “I have been told numerous times that this car has been victorious twice in the last two years here. So no pressure, right? Hopefully go get it done. But I think we have a good start. Fourth place, it’s the best that I’ve started around St. Pete here, so I think our guys did a great job. I feel like I didn’t maximize that final Firestone Fast Six as much as I could have, but I also don’t think I would have gotten Will (Power). I think Will put a really good lap together. He did an awesome job. We’ve had good cars. I think our race cars off the truck have actually been pretty good, and we haven’t had to do much. We’ve been able to stay inside of our window for the most part this weekend. I’m excited. You know, the next thing for us now and certainly for me is to learn the race car, how it’s going to perform over a tire stint. We haven’t done much of that, at least I haven’t, with the team here at Team Penske, so I’m excited to figure out that portion. As you said, they’ve had luck with this car in the past, so hopefully it’s going to be a strong race car, and I think we can do a good job with the Verizon No. 2 car this weekend, and hopefully we can seal it up for tomorrow.”
HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet): “We didn’t miss by much, but that’s how close it is in this series. Fortunately, I have the Hitachi Chevy guys behind me and I have all the confidence in the world that they can give me a car to go to the front. You just want to get to the next round. Anything can happen. We came up a little short, but I think we have a great race car.”
CONOR DALY (No. 4 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Chevrolet): “It was a bit strange with the way the red flag came out. I think we started to push a little bit too early on our only set of (Firestone) reds. We’re really struggling to stop the car. These new brakes are treating me very unkindly. Stopping the car has always been a strength of mine, the brake zones are where I can brake deep and now I can’t brake deep enough. For some reason the car won’t stop and we’ve got to get that fixed so we can actually compete.”
JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 5 Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda):“Obviously starting off the season strong is huge. Momentum in this sport and any sport really is a key to success, and winning the first one and getting off to that strong start always makes you feel good and keeps the team in the right state of mind. And (my win here in 2013) was the first one in my career, so obviously a pretty emotional day and one that I remember very clearly, and with our best starting spot here, obviously the competition up front is incredible. The Verizon IndyCar Series never fails to disappoint in that sense and congrats to Will and everybody at Honda to really step up their game, and happy to be starting inside of Row 2 and kind of see how it plays out tomorrow.”
MIKHAIL ALESHIN (No. 7 SMP Racing Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda): “It was quite a tough qualifying for us. I was definitely expecting more, but tomorrow is going to be a long race. We are going to do everything possible to get a good result for the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports team.”
MAX CHILTON (No. 8 Gallagher Honda): “I was happy with the Gallagher car and felt I really got everything out of myself. I knew coming into qualifying that we had a fast car for sure. We hit traffic and didn’t get through and that was frustrating obviously. I think we could have been fourth in the second segment and advanced, but that’s the way it goes sometimes, and we can fight with a good car tomorrow which I’m excited about.”
SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 GE LED Lighting Honda): “That was just on me unfortunately. We have a super fast car and should have been on pole. I just messed up a little on my fastest lap there. I’m obviously disappointed, but the team has four fast cars. We’re working together great with Honda and I can’t wait to start the race tomorrow. Hopefully we’ll have the GE car up front when it counts.”
TONY KANAAN (No. 10 NTT Data Honda): “When I walked in Scott (Dixon) was saying how well he thinks we’re all working together and I completely agree. I think the engineers did a great job over the winter when we switched over to Honda. We spent a lot of time focusing on the areas that we didn’t think were good last year and I just think we came into this season better prepared. It’s great to see that we could put all four cars in the top 10 and we’re all really close. I think the four of us with the Honda aero kit are just working really well together.”
WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): (On what it takes to have a strong qualifying in St. Petersburg) “It takes obviously a very good team and kind of getting through that first round there. Taking the risk on just doing one lap was good for me, definitely had a bit more meat on the tires in the last round there. We worked on the car too. Made a bit of a wrong setup change there for the last round, and kind of just made it, and went back and did something else. So yeah, very happy to be on pole. It’s really tight competition.”
CARLOS MUNOZ (No. 14 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet): “We were better in qualifying than practice. I think in Segment 2 we could have been better but between the runs, we tried some things that didn’t work like we expected. Our goal was to be in the top 10 but we missed by one spot. It’s still a good position to start here. We have to work to make the car more consistent throughout the race. So we’ll see what happens tomorrow.”
GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 Steak ‘n Shake Honda): “Starting 10th is obviously not where we want to be but all things considered, and where we’ve been this weekend, we knew it was going to take everything we had to advance out of the first group this weekend. When you have guys like Helio (Castroneves) and Simon (Pagenaud) and all these boys in there, you know you have to be at your absolute best to advance. We made it through, but that top 12 was going to be tough for us to advance out of. I felt like I got all of it out of the car honestly. We just need to find some consistency and find some grip. I’ve seen the sector times and I know where we’re losing it compared to everyone else but I don’t see how, within myself, we’re just going to find a magical three-tenths (of a second). We’ve got to get to work. Tomorrow is a whole new day and we seem to excel as a team on race day. Who knows what can happen but we’ll try to get this Steak ‘n Shake car in victory lane.”
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing Honda): “I have no idea what happened, everything felt fine in Turn 10. I got on the brakes and got to the last corner and nothing happened. I locked up the inside front and never really slowed down properly. It never happened before. I’ve been very happy with the braking, we’ve just had some overheating issues but that has nothing to do with that. I guess I thought the brakes were in. Maybe I took it too easy around the start of the first lap and by the time I got to start the fast lap the rears were not up and I didn’t get any slowing down from the rears and locked up the front and that was that.”
ED JONES (No. 19 Boy Scouts of America Honda): “It was a little frustrating that the red flag came out early on. I didn’t get to have a first go at the Firestone reds so I had to go straight out again on a new set and push from there. For me it was a bit of an unknown how the jump was going to be. The car felt really good and I felt like I was finally there. I felt a lot more comfortable in the car. The difference with the reds it that I just didn’t have time to adapt. By the time I realized how much deeper I could go, the tires had already started falling off of their best. At least I know for next time. I was really excited to do my first Verizon IndyCar Series qualifying. I just felt at home, so that’s the most important thing. Overall, I’m happy with how it went.”
SPENCER PIGOT (No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet): “It was still a little disappointing not to advance to the next round of qualifying. It was so close. A couple hundredths of a second would have put us through. We made some good gains from practice so that’s important. Thanks to the Fuzzy’s Vodka guys for working hard and giving me a good car. We’re good on longer runs, so tomorrow we’re going to give it a shot.”
JR HILDEBRAND (No. 21 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet): “Tomorrow’s going to be tough because there’s not a lot of strategy options. It’s a pretty straightforward situation. For us, we need to be confident that we can make some moves on our own and be good at picking our way through. Outside of that, we have to be smart when things do happen. If there are issues in front of us, we need to be able to take advantage of those when they happen. Obviously not where we want to be to kick things off here, but it leaves room for improvement certainly. We’ll continue to plug away at it, we’ve got a whole season to get to the point where we are consistently competitive but we want to get there as quick as we can. We know there are some things we can work on.”
TAKUMA SATO (No. 26 Andretti Autosport Honda): “Yes, I’m extremely pleased about today’s result, having had a very difficult first day yesterday. The team did fantastic job, pulled everything all together, and I really have to appreciate all my teammates. Obviously they all helped me out to get things put together, obviously extremely strong, hard work, and then obviously the boys did a great job to put everything together on the No. 26 car. Everything really worked well. Up until today’s practice, I was still a little bit nervous and didn’t get confident in the car. It’s such a short time, and having a little tragedy yesterday. But in qualifying, a different type of feeling. I got out first on the red tire, and I was extremely happy in the car. Like (Scott) Dixon said, it’s really a great job from Honda over the course of the winter. I know it’s a frozen package. We can do very little things, but I think engine development as well as how you try and use the car and the package, I think today is a result that we are really coming back in strong.”
MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 27 hhgregg Honda): “This (qualifying result) is hard to swallow. We just overacted because we were really loose on (Firestone primary) blacks. So, we overacted with the car set up and it wouldn’t turn on the (alternate) reds. We would have been better off not having made the changes and just running. This one hurts because the hhgregg car is faster than this. Last year I went to the back of the field, and felt like I had the pace to come through so we’re hoping for that.”
RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 DHL Honda): “We were just trying to get that extra bit today. These street circuits are always difficult that way. I had a bit of a moment there, corrected, and then it came back and I slapped the wall hard enough to bend the left, rear toe link. I whitewalled it a few times this weekend, but that was the biggest one. We’re always pushing hard. Big thanks to the DHL guys for thrashing there. They almost had us back out in time. It was just a matter of seconds. Another 45 seconds and I think we would have made it out. Completely on me. I was just pushing, trying to get every last lap out of (the car). Looking to tomorrow, the qualifying car is going to be a lot different from the race car, we’ll see. Last year we had a good race car, so we’ll lean on that a bit and try to make it happen.”
CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 83 Tresiba Honda): “I’m disappointed with qualifying ninth. I think coming into the weekend my goal was to qualify in the top 10 and finish in the top five. We’re obviously already hitting that goal with starting ninth, but after the last couple of days I think we’ve been faster than where we’re starting tomorrow. We had a problem with the first set of tires we were going to run in Segment 2 so I didn’t get a run on that. We had a little too much fuel and I didn’t get the lap. I feel badly for the Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing guys because the car was better than ninth. These things happen and as Dario says, ‘It’s all in the recovery’ so tomorrow we’ll be smart, have good clean pit stops, and go forward when we can.”
ALEXANDER ROSSI (No. 98 NAPA Auto Parts/Curb Honda): “We had the potential to be in the Firestone Fast Six, but we just didn’t put that second lap together to get up there. I think we made a bit of a change in session that wasn’t great. All in all, I think this is the best place we’ve ever started from on a street course, so that’s the positive side. I’m disappointed to miss the Firestone Fast Six because I know that we’re quickest on the (Firestone primary) blacks in that second run before going to (alternate) reds. I think the potential is there, we just didn’t put it together. But, we’re still starting inside the top eight, and will fight to take the NAPA Auto Parts Honda to the front.”
RACE QUOTES WRITTEN BY & A COURTESY OF INDYCAR COMMUNICATIONS
Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg qualifying results
Click HERE to view and download the official qualifying results of the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.
ST. PETERSBURG, Florida – Qualifying Saturday for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Verizon IndyCar Series event on the 1.8 mile(s) St. Petersburg street circuit, with qualifying position, car number in parentheses, driver, aero kit-engine, time and speed in parentheses:
1. (12) Will Power, Chevrolet, 01:01.0640 (106.118)
2. (9) Scott Dixon, Honda, 01:01.2219 (105.844)
3. (5) James Hinchcliffe, Honda, 01:01.3039 (105.703)
4. (2) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 01:01.7229 (104.985)
5. (26) Takuma Sato, Honda, 01:01.9851 (104.541)
6. (10) Tony Kanaan, Honda, 01:02.0824 (104.377)
7. (8) Max Chilton, Honda, 01:01.3516 (105.621)
8. (98) Alexander Rossi, Honda, 01:01.5198 (105.332)
9. (83) Charlie Kimball, Honda, 01:01.6066 (105.184)
10. (15) Graham Rahal, Honda, 01:01.6181 (105.164)
11. (14) Carlos Munoz, Chevrolet, 01:01.7399 (104.956)
12. (28) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Honda, 01:03.1588 (102.599)
13. (20) Spencer Pigot, Chevrolet, 01:01.5898 (105.212)
14. (1) Simon Pagenaud, Chevrolet, 01:01.6129 (105.173)
15. (27) Marco Andretti, Honda, 01:01.6070 (105.183)
16. (3) Helio Castroneves, Chevrolet, 01:01.7159 (104.997)
17. (7) Mikhail Aleshin, Honda, 01:01.7674 (104.910)
18. (19) Ed Jones, Honda, 01:01.7598 (104.923)
19. (21) JR Hildebrand, Chevrolet, 01:01.8465 (104.776)
20. (4) Conor Daly, Chevrolet, 01:02.2030 (104.175)
21. (18) Sebastien Bourdais, Honda, No Time (No Speed)
PRACTICE RECAP WRITTEN BY & COURTESY OF INDYCAR COMMUNICATIONS
Buckeyes snap Eagles’ 10-game win streak in Sunday victory in Fort Myers, Fla.
RELATED INFO: | 2017 Schedule | 2017 Roster | Baseball Homepage | Big Ten Baseball | Box Score | Follow the Buckeyes on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram | VIDEO: Beals Postgame Interview
FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Ohio State baseball team rebounded with a 5-4 victory at No. 24 Florida Gulf Coast in the final game of a three-game set Sunday afternoon at Swanson Stadium in Fort Myers, Fla. Ohio State starting pitcher Adam Niemeyer quieted the FGCU bats, throwing five innings on one run and three hits, while outfielder Tre’ Gantt had a career-high four-hit day. First baseman Bo Coolen also hit a two-run home run in the road win. Ohio State improves to 6-8 overall, while the Eagles drop to 14-3 overall. The ranked victory for the Scarlet and Gray snapped a 10-game win streak by the Blue and Green.
“More than anything I like the resolve of the ball club,” head coach Greg Beals said. “We had two tough nights and it’s a time in the season when you can start having doubt, and we really regrouped and came out with great attitude. Those three runs early in the game were critical. We set the tempo and answered the bell right away. We were also able to execute situations, including two safety squeezes. When you look back at the game, those RBI bunt singles by Tre’ were huge for us.”
BUCKEYES PLATE THREE IN THE FIRST
Ohio State scored three runs on three hits in the opening frame vs. left-handed starter Josh Dye, who fell to 3-1 on the year. Tre’ Gantt ignited the offense with a single to left and scored on a RBI triple by Jalen Washington. Bo Coolen then launched his first career home run as a Buckeye on a 3-1 pitch over the right field wall to make it a 3-0 contest.
OHIO STATE ADDS A RUN IN THE FIFTH
After a solo home run by FGCU right fielder Corey Fehribach in the bottom of the third, Ohio State was rewarded for a miscue by the Eagle defense in the top of the fifth. Jacob Barnwell sprinted around the bags and slid in safely at third base after a throwing error by third baseman Richie Garcia. Gantt then placed a bunt down the first base line to push Barnwell home, who beat the throw at the dish on a feet-first slide.
BIG RUN IN THE SEVENTH
The Buckeyes moved their lead to four runs in the seventh and it turned out to be huge. A lead-off double by Shea Murray started it off and the OSU outfielder was moved to third base on a sac bunt by Barnwell. A second bunt single by Gantt drove in Murray for the 5-1 score.
BUCKEYES HOLD OFF LATE FGCU CHARGE
Despite being down four runs, the Eagles continued to battle at the plate, hoping to find another late-inning rally. The home team scored three runs on four hits, however, the Buckeyes were able to hold on with right-handed reliever Yianni Pavlopoulos on the mound. After three straight doubles made it 5-3, a sacrifice fly trimmed the Buckeye lead to one run. With the tying run on first base, the OSU right-hander got a ground out to Coolen at first base before a ground out to Noah McGowan at second base sealed the victory for the boys.
ON THE BUMP
Niemeyer limited the FGCU bats to one run on three hits with a pair of walks and two strikeouts in five innings of work to improve to 2-2 on the season. Right-handed reliever Kyle Michalik relieved Niemeyer to begin the sixth inning and registered two scoreless innings. Right-handed reliever Seth Kinkerreplaced Michalik in the bottom of the eighth. He induced a big double play ground ball to record the first two outs before getting a FGCU hitter to roll over with a ground out to second base. Pavlopoulos finished game, allowing three runs on three hits in the ninth inning.
“Nemo [Niemeyer] can compete,” Beals said. “What Adam needs to do is command his fastball and he did that today. He was at the bottom of the zone. When he can do that, it allows his other pitches to play in and he’s going to be tough. We need that out of him. One of our captains gave a captain-type performance today.”
Gantt led the team with a .364 average (4-for-11) with a run scored, two RBI, two walks and a stolen base. Coolen and Barnwell each hit .300 on the weekend too.
Ohio State continues its spring break trip with two midweek contests at the 2017 Snowbird Classic in the Port Charlotte, Fla. The Buckeyes face Lehigh Tuesday and Bucknell Wednesday at North Charlotte Regional Park. Both games start at 2:30 p.m. ET.
· The Buckeyes are now 1-2 all-time vs. Florida Gulf Coast.
· Ohio State is now 2-3 vs. nationally-ranked opponents in 2017.
· Gantt has reached base safely in all 14 games. He had a career-high four-hit performance vs. the Eagles.
· Other reach base streaks extended: Coolen (8) and Ratcliff (5).
· Hit streaks extended: Ratcliff (3).
Multi-hit games: Gantt (4)
· Multi-RBI game: Coolen (2) and Gantt (2)
· Michalik extends his earned run scoreless streak to 21.1 innings (since 2016).
· Coolen hit his first home run as a Buckeye, while Washington knocked his first career triple.
GAME RECAP WRITTEN BY Alex Morando; COURTESY OSU ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS