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Posts Tagged ‘St. Petersburg’

Ohio State baseball team opens first team practice of 2012

Press release courtesy of Ohio State athletics


COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State baseball team hit the field for the first time as a team in 2012 Friday afternoon in Woody Hayes Athletic Center.

The Buckeyes return 15 letterwinners off a 2011 team that finished 13-11 in Big Ten play and advanced to the conference tournament at Huntington Park. However, the next three weeks leading up to the season opener against USF in the Big Ten/Big East Challenge in St. Petersburg, Fla., will be crucial to the maturation of team that welcomes 14 newcomers.

Greg Beals OSU baseball coach (Ball State photo)

“We are all very excited to get the 2012 season started,” Ohio State head coach Greg Beals said. “Today’s first team practice has been long-awaited. This team has worked extremely hard together this offseason. We are more than ready to make the step towards this championship chase.”


The team will have 16 more team practices before flying to Florida Jan. 16 where it will take on USF, Seton Hall and Connecticut the first weekend of the season. The Buckeyes will play their first game on February 17 in St. Petersburg against South Florida.


Tampa Bay Rays’ Shields named American League Player of the Week

James Shields (file photo)

Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher James Shields has been named the American League Player of the Week for the period ending April 24th.

The winner of the American League Player of the Week, James Shields, will be awarded a watch courtesy of Game Time, the leader in licensed sports watches, available at

Shields pitched complete games in each of his two starts last week to compile a perfect 2-0 record with 16 strikeouts in a Major League-leading 18. innings pitched. The native of Newhall, California posted a 0.50 ERA and held opposing hitters to a .138 batting average while issuing just three walks.

Shields has now tossed at least 7.0 innings in four of his five starts this season. On April 19th, the right-hander recorded his sixth career complete game, his first since a one-hitter against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on May 9, 2008, be defeating the Chicago White Sox, 2-1, at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. Shields struck out nine and walked one, and became the first Rays pitcher to surpass the 1,000.0 career innings pitched. The win snapped a string of nine consecutive winless starts (0-5) dating back to August 29, 2010.

On Sunday, the 16th round pick in the 2000 First-Year Player Draft again went the distance, shutting out the Toronto Blue Jays, 2-0, at the Rogers Centre in Toronto. Shields held the power-laden Blue Jays hitless through four innings before Juan Rivera singled to open the fifth. The 29-year-old struck out seven and walked two, needing just 95 pitches to become the first Rays pitcher to win back-to-back complete games since Albie Lopez in 2000.

Already the Rays all-time leader in wins (58), games started (156) and innings pitched (1,016.0), Shields’ seven complete games moves him into the top spot on the Tampa Bay all-time list. In addition, he is currently ranked second in strikeouts with 829, just 45 behind Scott Kazmir. This is the second career A.L. Player of the Week award for Shields who previously was selected the week of 4/28/08.


Info courtesy of

Kanaan hired to drive for KV Racing Technology in 2011

Tony Kanaan (Honda Racing photo)

2004 IndyCar champion Tony Kanaan, will be driving the #82 KV Racing Technology-Lotus in 2011.

The deal puts an end to Kanaan’s off-season quest for a new home after leaving Andretti Autosport last fall.

Kanaan will join E.J. Viso and Takuma Sato in KV Racing Technology-Lotus’ three-car lineup when the 2011 season begins in St. Petersburg this weekend.

compiled from staff & IndyCar news

Graham Rahal will drive in the Indy 500 for famous Dad

compiled from staff and wire reports

Graham Rahal (file)

It’s still early in the Indy Racing League season and it’s hard to believe that Graham Rahal still doesn’t have a regular ride. But he will have on for “The Greatest Spectacle In Racing” the Indianapolis 500. And most of all, he’ll be driving for his famous dad.

Rahal will drive for Rahal Letterman Racing, teamming up with his dad who has won at the Brickyard as a driver and an owner.

The younger Rahal 21, will drive in the May 30 race in the Rahal/Letterman’s number 30 Dallara/Honda for a yet-to-be-determined sponsor.

Considered to be one of the best driver’s on the IndyCar Series’ circuit since he became it’s youngest at 19 in 2008, Graham went into 2010 without a full ride after two years with Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing.

Rahal had a chance to drive in the first three of the first four races with  Sarah Fisher Racing, his best finish a ninth at St. Petersburg. Fisher took over behind the wheel at Kansas Speedway last weekend, leaving the talented and popular Rahal with an uncertain future.

His dad, Bobby Rahal was a three-time CART champion, who won the Indy in 1986 as a driver and as owner with Buddy Rice in 2004. Despite his son’s talents as a driver, Bobby had been very reluctant to hire him as a driver at Rahal-Letterman Racing, because he wanted Graham to be his own man, live on his own accomplishments and no one can say he made it because his dad is Bobby Rahal.

Dixon as usual wins at Kansas Speedway

compiled from staff, wire and IndyCar Series notes

Scott Dixon had to make very few changes during pit stops on Saturday and cruised to his second straight IndyCar Series win at Kansas Speedway, placing himself atop the list of favorites for the upcoming race on the bricks, the Indianapolis 500.

Loose early in the race and fast the rest of the way, Dixon rarely was threatened the whole race. He led the final 150 of the 200 laps on the 1.5-mile oval and finished more than 3 seconds ahead of runner-up Dario Franchitti.

Scott Dixon (IRL)

Dixon takes the early lead in IndyCar’s new oval championship and becomes a front-runner for the Indy 500, a race he won in 2008. He’s also the second straight repeat winner at Kansas, giving Target Chip Ganassi Racing four straight wins following Dan Wheldon’s 2008 defense.

Dixon opened the season with a sixth in Brazil, followed by a disappointing 18th at St. Petersburg with two top-five finishes, including a runner-up to Ryan Hunter-Reay in Long Beach two weeks ago.

Back on the Kansas City, Kansas oval, where he is comfortable, Dixon has finished in the top four each of the past five races.

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