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MLB roundup: J.P. Crawford belts slam as M's blast Rangers
(Photo credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports) J.P. Crawford hit a grand slam and Ty France and Josh Rojas added solo homers as the Seattle Mariners defeated the visiting Texas Rangers 8-0 Friday night to tighten the American League West race. The Mariners pulled within two games of the division-leading Rangers and remained a game behind theHouston Astros in the chase for the AL's third and final wild-card berth. Crawfor
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(Photo credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports) J.P. Crawford hit a grand slam and Ty France and Josh Rojas added solo homers as the Seattle Mariners defeated the visiting Texas Rangers 8-0 Friday night to tighten the American League West race. The Mariners (87-73) pulled within two games of the division-leading Rangers (89-71) and remained a game behind Houston in the chase for the AL's third and final wild-card berth. C
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(Photo credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports) Jose Abreu smacked a two-run double and fill-in starter Jose Urquidy pitched six scoreless innings to lead the Houston Astros to a 2-1 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday night in the opener of a three-game series at Phoenix. Alex Bregman had two hits and scored a run for Houston (88-72), which won its second straight game. The Astros trail the first-place Rangers
Blue Jays club Rays, close in on wild-card slot
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Loggers 'out-physical' Riverhawks in shutout victory
ONALASKA — They don’t all have to be pretty.
While it was a sluggish performance from the Onalaska offense, the Logger defense stole the show Friday night, putting together its best performance of the season to lead Ony to a 20-0 victory over Toledo to kickstart homecoming weekend.
“Coach Nelson and our defensive staff … they did a hell of a job this week getting the kids prepped,” Onalaska coach Mazen Saade said. “And on top, the kids just played their tails off. This meant something to them.”
In the week leading up to the game, the Loggers focus was on being the more physical team on both sides of the ball, something that stemmed from last year’s 38-12 loss to the Riverhawks.
"Last year, it went around everywhere in the county that we got out-physicaled by Toledo,” Saade said. “That was all over the headlines … These kids sat on that all summer, that was billboard material for them. And that was something they focused on every single day.”
The Loggers front seven held strong against Toledo’s rushing attack throughout, allowing just 3.4 yards per carry. Exclude an Ethan Carver 42-yard run on the second Toledo offensive play and that number drops to 2.4.
“I couldn’t fricking be prouder of those guys,” Saade said. “That’s a big time win for this group of kids. Their growth in a year, man, they were physical tonight … They were hitting people. It was awesome.”
While it was the Logger rushing attack led by Rodrigo Rodriguez that did most of the damage over the course of the night, it was a deep shot on the third play of the game that got the Loggers on the board.
Facing a third-and-3, Mozingo dropped back and found Cooper Lawrence open deep in the middle of the field. Mozingo dropped it in the bucket, and Lawrence outran his defender for the 72-yard score.
When Carver broke free for 42 yards on Toledo’s first possession, it seemed that the two teams were destined for a shootout. Instead, both defenses clamped down.
Onalaska had three straight three-and-outs before punting the ball away, and while the Riverhawks were able to get a few first downs, they kept stalling on the plus side of the field. They turned it over on downs in or just outside of Logger territory on four straight possessions.
After the fourth turnover on downs, the Loggers’ ground game finally gained some steam. Onalaska went 49 yards on 10 plays, nine of them running plays, and Rodriguez capped off the drive with a 4-yard score.
With less than a minute before the break, Toledo turned to some trickery to try and gain some yardage with a hook-and-ladder, but the pitch was fumbled and recovered by the Onalaska defense.
The biggest gut punch for the Riverhawk offense came on their second possession in the second half.
Facing a fourth-and-14 on their own side of the field, quarterback Eli Weeks scrambled around and eventually found Trevin Gale downfield for a 29-yard gain. The play was the boost the Toledo offense needed, but it was nullified by a hold on the offensive line.
“We’d get something going and then kind of shoot ourselves in the foot,” Toledo coach Mike Christensen said. “We’ve had a lot of success offensively early and we needed to kind of get hit in the mouth a little bit and learn from it.”
Two possessions later, Weeks tried to go deep to Gale again, but this time, it was intercepted by Lawrence. Twelve plays after that, Rodriguez scored his second touchdown of the game to put the game out of reach.
Both teams are now 4-1, but it’s the Loggers that kickstarted Southwest Washington 2B South play with a win.
“We’re so freaking proud of these guys, “ Saade said. “It was a big homecoming win, and now they get to go shake their booties and enjoy it.”
Tumwater gets back at W.F. West, stake claim to 2A EvCo
Tumwater head coach William Garrow stressed that he wants his team to celebrate every win the same, no matter the score or the opponent. But that only came after he admitted what Friday night meant to his T-Birds, after they beat W.F. West 55-20
“It was a long 365 days from the last time we saw those guys,” he said. “Our kids were excited, and they played well tonight.”
Not that they were counting, or anything like that.
In fact, it was 364 days exactly since W.F. West snapped a 13-year skid against Tumwater with a dominant win that put them in prime position to win their first 2A EvCo title in over a decade — and celebrated on Sid Otton Field accordingly.
“We knew what happened,” Garrow said. “(W.F. West) got a big win last year, and they celebrated the way that they should have. But our kids took it to heart and wanted to make sure that this year it wasn’t the same.”
This time around, there would be no such Bearcat jubilation; the T-Birds made sure of that early. And when W.F. West showed signs of life late in the second quarter after falling behind 27-0 to start, Tumwater squeezed any and all of it out of the Bearcats with a punishing third quarter.
“We talked about it in the locker room at halftime, just making sure the kids understood that we wanted to go out and be a dominant run team and be more physical than they were,” Garrow said.
His team responded with a 15-play, 73-yard drive that bled over seven minutes off of the clock and ended with Derek Thompson — one of four Thunderbirds to carry the ball on the possession — diving across the goal line from 3 yards out.
Sparked by the start, the Tumwater defense forced a three-and-out, and took only three plays to get back in the end zone, with a 51-yard pass from Ethan Kastner to David Malyory setting the T-Birds up at the 1-yard line and Kooper Clark getting the final 3 feet the next play to make it 41-14.
A year after the Bearcats held Tumwater to under 3 yards per carry on the ground, the Thunderbirds ran for 342, getting over 7 yards a pop. Clark led the way with 157 yards on 19 carries, scoring three touchdowns. Jaylin Nixon went for 82 yards, and Logan Cole, Mathias Rodriguez and Derek Thompson all found the end zone.
“Those guys all have different skillsets, and we’re lucky that we can just kind of roll them through there,” Garrow said. “If one gets dinged up, we can put the next one in, and he’ll do things very well.”
Kastner finished 9 for 15 for 152 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Malroy posted Tumwater’s first 100-yard receiving game of the season, hauling in five catches for 117 yards.
Gage Brumfield threw the ball 31 times, with 14 completions for 129 yards. But the Bearcats only managed 24 rushing yards as a team, with Declan McDonald going for 38 on 13 carries but the rest of the offense going backwards.
W.F. West’s best spell came at the end of the second quarter, just after Tumwater went up 27-0. Connor Coleman sprung a huge kickoff return to give the Bearcats the ball in plus territory, and two plays later, Carson White out-jumped his defender to catch a 28-yard touchdown.
Tumwater turned the ball over on downs on its next possession, and the Bearcats put together their best drive of the game, going 54 yards in four minutes and getting back in the end zone when a busted coverage left Grady Westlund wide open for a 30-yard strike.
“Once we kind of found ourselves and started to execute, this team can make big plays,” WFW coach Dan Hill said. “We showed that tonight.”
On those two drives, the Bearcats gained a total of 121 yards. Across the rest of the night, the Tumwater defense held its hosts to just 32, and forced three turnovers.
The Thunderbirds will retain pole position in the 2A EvCo, and will play at similarly undefeated-in-league Aberdeen next week. W.F. West will get a week to prepare for another bruising rushing game, before it faces Rochester.
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As the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Mr. Menendez bucked Democratic colleagues — and presidents — on matters ranging from Cuba to Iran.