Sports Digest: Home runs lift Sea Dogs to win over Fisher Cats


BASEBALL

Hudson Potts hit a three-run home run in first inning and Tireque Reed hit a grand slam in the seventh to lift the Portland Sea Dogs to a 11-3 win over the New Hampshire Fisher Cats in an Eastern League baseball game on Monday in Binghamton , New York.

Portland went up 4-0 in the first on homers by Potts and David Hamilton. After Christian Koss made it 5-1 with a sac fly in the fifth, the Sea Dogs scored sixth in the seventh.

Nick Sogard and Stephen Scott each added an RBI single.

Brian Van Belle earned the win for Portland, allowing one run on five hits, while striking out six and walking none in six innings.

GOLF

SCOTTISH OPEN: Ian Poulter and two other players who signed up for the Saudi-funded LIV Golf series won a stay from a British court that allows them to play in the Scottish Open.

Poulter, Adrian Otaegui of Spain and Justin Harding of South Africa challenged their suspension from the Scottish Open and two other tournaments, the penalty for playing a LIV Golf event outside London without a release from the European tour.

They will be added to the field this week at The Renaissance Club for the Scottish Open, the first European tour event co-sanctioned by the PGA Tour.

SOCCER

AFRICAN CUP OF NATIONS: The next African Cup of Nations will again clash with the European season and likely give rise to more club vs. country friction and disgruntlement over the release of players after organizers decided to postpone it until January 2024.

The decision was announced on Sunday by the Confederation of African Football and was prompted by the weather in host nation Ivory Coast, CAF said.

The tournament was to take place in June-July 2023 – a slot chosen to coincide with the European leagues’ summer break and formalized in FIFA’s official calendar of international games – but Ivory Coast experiences heavy rain at that time of year and that threatened to badly affect Africa’s showpiece tournament.

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Barcelona boosted its midfield and defense by signing Franck Kessie and Andreas Christensen.

The 25-year-old Kessie, who had been playing for AC Milan since 2017, arrives as a free agent on a contract until June 2026 and a buyout clause of 500 million euros ($522 million).

Christensen comes after his contract with Chelsea ended. His deal is also until 2026 and contains the same buyout clause as Kessie’s.

PREMIER LEAGUE: Premier League Manchester City bought an England champion and a controlling stake in an Italian club.

City said it completed the expected signing of Kalvin Phillips, who left his hometown and boyhood club Leeds at age 26 to sign a six-year contract.

The value of the transfer was not disclosed though it was reported to be 45 million pounds ($55 million).

Man City’s parent company City Football Group later completed a deal to take a majority stake in Serie B team Palermo – its 12th club in full or joint ownership.

Olympics

LUGE: German slider Natalie Geisenberger, who has won the last three Olympic women’s luge gold medals and is considered by many to be the most dominant athlete in her sport’s history, is pregnant with her second child.

Geisenberger made the announcement over the weekend on social media. Her first child, Leo, was born in 2020. Geisenberger took off the 2019-20 season, then returned in 2020-21 to win her eighth overall World Cup championship.

This past season, she finished third in the World Cup standings but was dominant in the race that mattered most – winning Olympic gold at the Beijing Games by nearly a half-second over fellow German Anna Berreiter.

RUSSIA BAN: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has thanked the IOC for supporting a ban on Russian teams and athletes competing in most Olympics sports, ahead of a court hearing Tuesday to challenge the ruling in international soccer.

Zelenskyy met in Kyiv on Sunday with International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach and praised “his unwavering position” on sports sanctions against Russia and its ally Belarus, according to a readout of the visit provided by his presidential office.

“While Russia is trying to destroy the Ukrainian people and conquer other European countries, its representatives have no place in the world’s sports community,” Zelenskyy said.

The IOC advised sports leaders on Feb. 28 to act and soccer bodies FIFA and UEFA made a joint ruling later that day. It is the subject of an appeal Tuesday by the Russian soccer federation at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in the Olympic home city of Lausanne, Switzerland.


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