Nashville Predators: Win 4-3 2 OT
For the second straight outing, the Nashville Predators and Carolina Hurricanes made it to double overtime. Nashville trailed in the series 2-1 heading into Game 4.
The Predators’ Luke Kunin got the scoring started very early for the Preds as he scored within the first minute of the game starting. Nashville was out to an early 1-0 lead. The Preds would play most of the period with that 1-0 lead, but Trocheck and the Hurricanes would tie things up just before the first intermission. 1 period down and the game was tied 1-1.
In the second period, the Predators again scored first. Ryan Johansen put one in the back of the net to go up 2-1. Yet again though, late in the period McGinn would tie things up. Every time the Preds pulled away, the Hurricanes would pull the momentum back equal.
Just 13 seconds into the third period, the Hurricanes’ McGinn scored his second goal of the game. For the first time in this contest, the Predators trailed. Then, with just over 3 minutes remaining in the period, Nick Cousins scored on the power play and the game was headed for overtime tied 3-3.
Neither team could beat the opposing goaltender in the first overtime. Even though Juuse Saros had given up 3 goals, he still had a new career-high in saves with 52 at this point. Both teams had chances to put the game-winner in the net, but still the goalies stood strong. The game was headed for another double overtime. In the second overtime, Juuse Saros clinched another record as he broke the record for franchise saves in a single game.
The Predators skaters definitely seemed to find another gear to hit late in the game. Whether it was the fans and being at home, or because Juuse Saros was making great save after great save, the Predators got a scoring chance early in the second overtime and they took advantage. Luke Kunin flashed to the front of the net and Callie Jarnkrok hit him in stride. The next scene was complete pandemonium. Luke Kunin was being tackled by teammates as the Predators scored the game-winner and tied the series at 2-2.
Memphis Grizzlies: Win 112-109
After a hard-fought battle to make it into the playoffs as the 8th seed, the Grizzlies shifted their focus to the Utah Jazz. The Jazz came in as the number 1 seed after having the best record in the West during the regular season.
The first quarter was back-and-forth as both teams were feeling each other out. Then late in the first, the Jazz went on a 10-0 run to end the first quarter. The Grizzlies trailed 24-17 at the end of the first. In the second quarter, the Jazz came out and picked up where they left off. After an opening basket to start the quarter, the Grizzlies fell behind 29-17. They needed to get things going and quick before it got out of hand. With just over six minutes left in the half, the Grizzlies found their gear. Memphis went on a 19-2 run and the Grizzlies now led 39-38. The Grizz kept playing hard and finished out the first half on a high note with a 49-43 lead.
The second half was a game of momentum and runs. To start the third quarter, the Jazz pushed back and closed the gap on the Grizzlies. They narrowed it down to a 53-50 game. However, the Grizz had stored up some momentum in their tank and unleashed it with just over six minutes left in the quarter. With an offensive outburst from guys like Dillon Brooks, the Grizzlies had a double-digit lead with three minutes remaining. They led 74-64. Things remained even as Memphis took an 83-74 lead into the fourth quarter.
The Jazz closed the gap and cut their deficit down, but the game never felt like the Grizzlies were out of control. Even as the game came down to a 2-possession game at 108-104 with 1:34 remaining in the game, it still felt like the Grizzlies were in control. They controlled the tempo, and everything. It was free-throw time now for Memphis. At this point, the Jazz fouled to preserve the clock, and Memphis needed to knock down their free throws. They did so and led 110-104. After a Kyle Anderson foul on a three-point shooter, the Grizzlies started to feel some pressure as it was 110-107.
Things got even more intense when Ja Morant had his shot blocked and Kyle Anderson fouled again. The score was now 110-109 after free throws. The Jazz fouled Dillon Brooks, who made both free throws and the Grizzlies led 112-109. It was a final second shot to try and tie the game, Bojan Bogdanovic missed the three and Memphis came out on top 112-109. Dillon Brooks led the way with 31 points, Valanciunas had 15 points and 12 rebounds, and Ja Morant had 26 points.
Nashville SC: Win 1-0
Nashville SC took on Austin FC last night. Nashville entered after having a 0-0 draw with Salt Lake a week earlier. It was a battle back and forth. The first goal was scored by Nashville at the 35’ mark in the first half. After a beautiful cross pass from Jhonder Cadiz, Randall Leal put it in the back of the net. That would end up being all that was needed on the scorecard as the game ended 1-0 in Nashville’s favor. Joe Willis, the goaltender for Nashville SC, held Austin FC scoreless and got the shut out. That was SC’s second win of the season.
Nashville Sounds: Win 2-1, Win 1-0
The Nashville Sounds wrapped up their series with the Gwinnett Stripers over the weekend. After last night’s game, the Sounds had a complete series sweep over the Stripers as they won both on Saturday and Sunday. Both games were low-scoring contests.
On Saturday, the Stripers scored the first run in the top of the second inning. Jonathan Lucroy hit a solo home run. In the next half inning, Jace Peterson would hit a home run of his own, but he had a man on base for his. The Sounds were up 2-1. That would be all the scoring in the game. Godley was credited with the win after going 5 innings and only giving up one home run.
Sunday’s game was more of the same. It was a low-scoring hard fought defensive battle. Keston Hiura kept his hot streak going as he homered in the first inning. No other runs would cross the plate for either team. Both teams only combined for 4 hits in the game. Ashby went 5 innings on the mound and got the victory. At the conclusion of Sunday’s game, the Sounds officially had a 6-game winning streak going and look to keep it going in the next series.
Atlanta Braves: Win 6-1, Win 7-1
The Atlanta Braves continued their batting success against the Pittsburgh Pirates over the weekend. In both matchups over the weekend, the Braves jumped out to early leads.
First, on Saturday, Acuña Jr. homered in his first plate appearance and the Braves led 1-0. Later in the inning, Austin Riley hit an RBI single and it was 2-0 Braves. Freeman hit an RBI single the next inning and the Braves lead increased to 3-0. Finally, the Pirates got on the board with a solo home run by Perez. It was still 3-1 Atlanta.
The next 3 runs to cross the plate were in thanks to Ozzie Albies as he hit a 2-run home run in the bottom of the fifth inning, and then a solo home run in the bottom of the seventh. The Braves led 6-1 heading into the final innings. The Atlanta bullpen kept things under control and the Braves won.
On Sunday, the Braves let up a run in the top of the first inning when Reynolds hit an RBI double. The deficit didn’t last long though as in the bottom of the first Austin Riley hit a 3-run home run to take the lead for the Braves. Riley added another home run later in the third inning and Atlanta led 5-1. Dansby Swanson added some more insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth with his 2-run home run. Atlanta wrapped up the series against the Pirates with back-to-back wins and only allowing 1 run in those outings.
Cincinnati Reds: Loss 4-3, Loss 9-4
After a promising start to the series against the Brewers, the ending of the series went a different direction. The Reds dropped the next two against the Brewers and lost the series.
Saturday’s game was back and forth. The Brew Crew took a 1-0 lead in the first when Urías hit a solo home run in the third inning. In the bottom half of the same inning, Heineman and Winker both hit solo shots for the Reds. Cincinnati now led 2-1.
A few innings later, Bradley Jr scored 2 runs on an infield single and the Brewers were back on top 3-2. Again, in the bottom half of the inning, the Reds would answer. Stephenson singled and drove home Castellanos. The game was tied at 3-3. The Reds gave up a solo home run to Robertson in the seventh inning and that would be the dagger as neither team scored after that. The Reds fell 4-3.
On Sunday, with the series tied 1-1, the Reds attempted to at least come away with 2 wins in the series. It did not go their way. In the first inning, the Brew Crew jumped out to a 3-0 lead with a bases-loaded walk that scored a run, followed by a single from Adames that plated 2 runs. Then, in the top of the third inning, García homered with Yelich on base to increase the lead for the Brewers to 5-0.
Reds’ outfielder Winker kept his hot hand at the plate going as he hit a home run in the bottom of the third. A couple of innings later and Castellanos doubled to bring home a run and the deficit was 5-2. The Reds were chipping away at the lead. Milwaukee added some insurance runs to help put an end to the comeback.
Wong tripled, scoring 2 runs in the process, and the Brewers led 7-2. Then, Yelich singled and drove in Wong. The Brewers led 8-2. No more runs were scored until the ninth inning. Yelich led things off with a solo homer in the top of the ninth to make it 9-2 Milwaukee. The bottom of the ninth saw the Reds make an attempt at a comeback, but not quite make it. Castellanos hit a 2-run home run to make it a 9-4 deficit. That would be all the Reds could plate though and they lost 9-4.
Vanderbilt Commodores – Loss 7-5 vs Kentucky
The Commodores took the field Saturday against Kentucky with the winner of the SEC East on the line. If Vanderbilt won, they were the champs, if they lost then the Tennessee Volunteers would take the first seed in the East.
The Wildcats started the game fast. The first batter homered, and the next two batters hit doubles. At the end of the first inning, Kentucky led 2-0. The Commodores wouldn’t score until the bottom of the third inning. The Vandy boys plated 3 total runs. The next run would come in the eighth inning when Vanderbilt scored a single run. They led by 2 runs, with one inning remaining.
The Kentucky Wildcats were down 2 runs to start the ninth inning, and the first 2 batters struck out. It looked like Vanderbilt was about to clinch the number 1 seed in the SEC East. However, after the next 2 batters singled. It allowed the go-ahead run to the plate. That go-ahead run was Kessler, and he would in fact hit a 3-run home run to give the Kentucky Wildcats a 4-3 lead. Two batters later and the Wildcats hit their second home run of the inning and they led 7-3.
Vanderbilt trailed going into the bottom of the ninth inning. They were the last to bat though so they would get one more opportunity to get a come-from-behind victory. Vanderbilt pushed across 1 run, but that was all they were able to muster up. They lost 7-4, and they lost the number 1 seed in the SEC East.
Tennessee Volunteers – Win 5-4 South Carolina Gamecocks
The Tennessee Volunteers faced off against South Carolina in Columbia at noon on Saturday. The Vols needed this win if they wanted any chance to be the number 1 seed in the SEC East. They would still need some help from Kentucky, but first things first they needed to beat the Gamecocks.
South Carolina started off the scoring in the bottom of the first inning. The first batter for the Gamecocks, Allen, hit a home run to left field and they led 1-0. In the second inning, the Vols scored a run on an RBI single from Derkay. The Vols tied the game at 1.
The top of the fourth inning was the big inning for the Vols. They scored 4 runs in the fourth. Beck hit an RBI double to plate one run, and then 2 batters later Pavolony came up and smashed a 3-run home run. The Volunteers now led 5-1.
South Carolina would not go away easily though. In the bottom of the eighth inning, the Gamecocks made their comeback. The first three batters all made it on base, 2 singles and a double left one man on third, one on second, and one that had already scored a run to make it 5-2. A pitching change came for the Vols, but the next batter still hit an RBI single and the Vols lead was trimmed to 5-3. Hunley struck out the next batter, then traded a run for an out when he got the next batter to ground out. The tying run was on second, the game was 5-4. Hunley needed just one more out to get out of the inning, he would get Burgess to fly out to RF and he escaped the inning with the lead in tacked.
The game was not over yet though, after a one-two-three top half of the ninth, the Gamecocks had one more half inning to tie or win the game. The first runner doubled and all of a sudden the Gamecocks were in scoring position with no outs. However, Hunley kept his cool and proceeded to strike out the next 3 batters to end the game. The Vols won 5-4. Now all they needed was the Wildcats to beat Vandy and they would be the number 1 seed in the SEC East (spoiler alert, Vanderbilt did lose and the Tennessee Volunteers clinched the SEC East).
The NAIA National Championship for Men’s golf wrapped up on Friday. The Cumberland University men’s golf team, after qualifying for the fourth consecutive year, finished 10th in this year’s tournament. The overall winner, Dalton State, won their first-ever title.
The PGA Championship wrapped up coverage yesterday. The Kiawah Island Golf Resort (Ocean Course) provided a ton of entertainment for the weekend. Heading into the fourth and final round of the tournament, it was anybody’s to win. In the end, it was Phil Mickelson who came out the ultimate victor. He shot 70,69,70 and 73 for a total -6 to win the whole tournament. Upon entering the tournament, Mickelson had 200-1 odds to win (some of the longest odds in his career). The 50-year old overcame those odds, and won his 6th major title.
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