Sports: Tigers’ Kinsler Leads USA to World Baseball Championship
The USA has won its first World Baseball Classic, beating Puerto Rico, 8-0. Ian Kinsler hit a two run homer to give the USA and starter Marcus Stroman all the runs they would need. Marcus Stroman carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning. Stroman allowed just four balls past the infield and left to a standing ovation following Angel Pagan's double leading off the seventh. The Toronto Blue Jays hurler silenced a Puerto Rican club that had outscored the opposition 55-26 while winning its first seven games of the tournament. Former Tiger manager Jim Leyland was the manager for team USA.
The Tigers lost to the Blue Jays 5-4 Wednesday on a 3-run walk-off homer. Dominic Ficociello hit a three run homer in the top of the 9th to give the Tigers a 4-2 lead, but the Jays countered with one in the bottom of the 9th off reliever Angel Nesbitt. The Tigers play the Braves tonight. Justin Verlander will start for Detroit. The game will be on TV.
Miguel Cabrera could soon return to the lineup after being sidelined by back stiffness. Cabrera has been out since leaving Venezuela's game last Saturday in the World Baseball Classic. Detroit manager Brad Ausmus said Cabrera might play against Atlanta, but says there’s no reason to rush his return. Outfielder J.D. Martinez, who sprained his right foot making a shoestring catch Saturday, is scheduled to be re-examined Friday.
The Chicago Bulls beat the Detroit Pistons 117-95 in a matchup between struggling teams fighting for a playoff spot on Wednesday night. The Bulls moved into a ninth-place tie with Detroit in the Eastern Conference. Both teams are 1 ½ games out of the 8th and final playoff spot. Nikola Mirotic scored a season-high 28 points to lead Chicago to an easy win after dropping eight of 10. Tobias Harris and Marcus Morris each scored 14 for the Pistons, losers of five of six. Drummond grabbed 17 rebounds but scored just eight points on 4-of-12 shooting. They play at Orlando on Friday, at the Knicks on Monday and finally head home Tuesday against the Miami Heat.
Three Big Ten teams are still in the NCAA Tournament. Michigan plays Oregon tonight at 7:09pm. Purdue plays Kansas around 9:40pm. The other games tonight have West Virginia against Gonzaga, and Xavier versus Arizona. Wisconsin plays Florida in the late game on Friday. Also on Friday, Butler versus North Carolina, South Carolina against Baylor and UCLA vs. Kentucky.
U of M Plane Crash Investigation
A preliminary investigation into the runway accident involving a plane carrying the Michigan men's basketball team cites a mechanical problem. The National Transportation Safety Board issued an update yesterday about the March 8 crash at Willow Run Airport in Ypsilanti Township, near the Ann Arbor school.
Women’s College Basketball
The Michigan women's basketball team plays St. John’s in the NIT tonight at Crisler Center.
The Red Wings head home to play the Lightning Friday and the Wild on Sunday at Joe Louis Arena. The Wings have nine games left in the season, six at the Joe. They move into the new Little Caesar’s Arena next fall.
WMU and Michigan Tech’s hockey teams will be among 16 teams to make it to the NCAA tournament this weekend. The Broncos will face Air Force on Friday in Providence. If they win, they play Saturday night. The Huskies play against #1 seed Denver in Cincinnati this Saturday at 1 PM.
High School Basketball
Boy’s semi-finals and finals are Friday and Saturday at the Breslin Center. WBCK will broadcast the Class D and Class A state finals on Saturday at 10am, as we fulfill our Michigan High School Athletic Association agreement.
NASCAR Fines Crews
NASCAR has suspended the crew chiefs for Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick for violations discovered following Sunday's Monster Energy race at Phoenix Raceway. Keselowski's car failed post-race inspection, leading NASCAR to suspend crew chief Paul Wolfe for three races and fine him $65,000 while docking Team Penske 35 driver and owner points. Harvick crew chief Rodney Childers was suspended for one race and fined $25,000, while Stewart-Haas Racing team was docked 10 driver and 10 team owner points for an illegal track bar mount and supports.