Playing in his first major tournament in 11 months and four months after back surgery, Tiger Woods made an impressive account of himself Thursday in the first round of the Open Championship at Hoylake, shooting a 3-under 69 on a day ripe for scoring.Woods had told the gathered media that he was healthy and getting stronger and expected to play well this week. He started the round with a pair of bogeys. Not good. But, as he has all his illustrious career, Woods stayed the course and ran off four birdies in a five-hole stretch on the back nine.“I knew I could do it,” Woods said. “That’s why I was telling you guys it was so important for me to play at Congressional. The fact that I was able to recover every day, and the fact that I was stronger, more explosive the more days I played.“I’m only going to get better from that point. And I’m getting stronger, I’m getting faster, I’m getting more explosive. The ball is starting to travel again. And those are all positive things.”Woods made a significant save for par on No. 4, an eight-footer after another poor putt, and that seemed to settle him down as he birdied the fifth and played the first nine in 1-over 36.Woods failed to birdie the par-5 10th, but holed a putt from off the green for a birdie at the 11th, the start of four birdies in five holes. A bogey at the 14th was the result of one of the four fairways he missed, but he rebounded to birdie the next two.An opportunity to get another at the par-5 18th was derailed by an approach shot into a greenside pot bunker that left Woods with an awkward stance. Prior to the shot, he stopped in mid-swing due to the sound of cameras clicking.“I’ve had numerous years of dealing with this,” Woods said. “There’s a lot of moving parts out there. And you’ve just got to stay focused and plod my way around.”Woods did a good job of that. He said he wasn’t nervous, that playing at Congressional last month helped him get some of that out of the way.If anything, Woods was perturbed he didn’t do better. When asked if it was like the old days, Woods quipped: “It wasn’t that long ago. I won five times last year.”Hitting mostly irons off tees — he did use a driver on the 16th hole just as he did during his 2006 victory here, the only one he used for the tournament — Woods hit 10 of 14 fairways and 14 of 18 greens.Still, it’s just one day, albeit a strong one. He ended the day three shots behind leader Rory McElroy, who did not bogey in a round of 66.“Pretty much everything,” Woods said when asked about what he needs to improve on moving forward. “I need to get everything a little bit better. That’s the case all of time, anyways. But at Congressional, I made just some terrible mistakes mentally. My decisions weren’t very crisp and I wasn’t decisive enough. Today was totally different. And consequently I shot a better score.”
Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy talks to reporters after an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus, File)Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy says an allegation posted on social media accusing him of bloodying his former girlfriend’s face during a home invasion is baseless and false.A now-deleted Instagram post-Tuesday from a person who says she is friends with the woman, showed a graphic photo of the former girlfriend Delicia Cordon and accuses McCoy of physically abusing her, his son and his dog, as well as injecting steroids.McCoy says in his own post on Instagram that it has been months since he’s had any direct contact with his ex-girlfriend or the person who posted the accusations.The woman who posted the accusations and the ex-girlfriend has not responded to messages left by The Associated Press. The AP generally does not identify people who may have been victims of abuse.The Bills issued a statement saying they have been in contact with McCoy and the NFL and will continue gathering information. NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy says the league is reviewing the matter.McCoy has never been suspended by the NFL for violating the league’s policy against performance-enhancing substances during his nine-year career.McCoy turns 30 on Thursday and preparing to enter his fourth season with the Bills. He spent his first six seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, where he led the NFL in yards rushing in 2013 before being traded to Buffalo in 2015.Police have not made any arrests in the case.
Related: The Lab Back in October, when Draymond Green of the Warriors was asked to assess the Rockets’ offseason efforts to narrow the gap between Houston and Golden State, Green didn’t mince words.“They want [a matchup with us] to be a shootout, which is fine,” he said. “But we’re gonna play some defense. Yeah, we score pretty well. But we’re a damn good defensive team, too.” Green, last season’s defensive player of the year, was clearly implying that the same couldn’t be said for Houston, which ranked in the lower half of the league defensively the past two seasons.Green also seized upon a remark from Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni about neither team being able to stop the other. “I don’t know how serious they take defense with that comment,” he said.But a quarter of the way through the season, that question is no longer up for debate: Houston’s defense is elite, and it could finally make the Rockets balanced enough to challenge Golden State. With an immense focus on the Houston offense — specifically, its addition of nine-time All-Star Chris Paul and its continuing 3-point shot crusade — the team’s vast improvement on defense has flown beneath the radar. Entering Thursday’s game with the red-hot Utah Jazz, Houston’s defense is surrendering just 100.9 points per 100 possessions, fifth-best in the league. That defensive rating is slightly better than the Warriors’ and represents a night-and-day difference from last season, when the Rockets ranked just 18th, allowing 106.4 points per 100 possessions.A handful of things explain why the club’s defense has performed so well after a pair of lackluster defensive seasons. Among them: The Rockets have gotten much better at protecting the rim and other high-value spots on the court that once troubled them; the team’s weakest defenders are performing better (or getting luckier?) than they did in the past; and Houston has used its own scoring ability to pay dividends on the other end.Of course many of these improvements, if not all of them, stem from the same thing: the club’s getting solid, versatile defenders during the offseason. Paul’s track record on that end is well chronicled — he’s a perennial leader in steals. But because he was replacing fellow all-defensive first-team member Patrick Beverley, other pickups have had even greater opportunities to take the unit to new heights.Wing players PJ Tucker and Luc Mbah a Moute have been game changers for this defense, giving the Rockets — who already had one of the league’s very best perimeter defenders in an overburdened Trevor Ariza — the ability to switch assignments on the fly when teams set screens against them. They communicate well and don’t get lost backdoor (an area the Rockets struggled mightily with last season). And because both players are tall and strong enough to defend three different positions, Houston can use extremely quick smallball lineups with them, Paul and MVP candidate James Harden, who for years was criticized for his inattentive defense.To get a sense of how just valuable Tucker and Mbah a Moute have been as primary and help defenders, consider this: The Rockets are allowing just 94.1 points per 100 possessions with that duo on the floor this season, third-best in the NBA among two-man lineups that have shared at least 300 minutes together thus far. (Only Boston’s Terry Rozier and Marcus Smart and OKC’s Paul George and Andre Roberson have been better.) At times, Houston almost looks as though it’s playing a zone — with each defender responsible for a man and a half — because of how synchronized the defense is with Tucker and Mbah a Moute. Watch here, as the Nets struggle to get anywhere near the lane because of how every ballhandler sees two Rockets ready to make a play on the ball.Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/almostzone.mp400:0000:0000:26Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Even when only one of them is in the game, reigning Sixth Man of the Year Eric Gordon, who has been fantastic this season on both ends, is another option aside from Ariza. And because of the trust that Tucker and Mbah a Moute have helped establish, Clint Capela and Nene, the team’s bigs, have felt comfortable wandering farther out on the perimeter to meet opposing ballhandlers. That was often a big mistake last season, when the Rockets ranked dead last in rim protection and allowed opponents to shoot 67 percent from inside the restricted area. (This season, Houston has leaped into the top half of the league on that defensive metric.)With smarter, more switchable defenders on the floor, the Rockets have also taken away many of the corner 3-point opportunities that were there for opponents in years past. And so far this season, Houston ranks among the NBA’s top 10 in limiting those attempts. That’s a big shift from last year, when the Rockets were among the 10 worst teams at stifling 3-point attempts from the corner, and the year before, when Houston’s opponents took a greater share of their 3-point attempts from the corner than any other team’s.Perhaps the biggest shift that has taken place this season: Out of nowhere, Houston has become the NBA’s best defensive-rebounding club, nabbing 81.4 percent of opponent’s misses. Limiting second chances is key for the Rockets, who ranked 21st last year and were last in 2015-16, Dwight Howard’s final season with the team.None of this is to say that the Rockets aren’t capable of backsliding on defense. One area they haven’t gotten better in, transition defense, is something an uptempo team like the Warriors could exploit. (We illustrated last season that Harden — despite his ridiculous passing ability — often gets back on defense slowly after a turnover or what he perceives to be a missed call.) And even though the Rockets have had no issues getting stops in half-court situations, there are indications that they’ve been the beneficiaries of good fortune at times. Only three teams (Cleveland, Orlando and New York) are surrendering higher-quality shots than Houston, according to data from Second Spectrum.Some of those looks have stemmed from opponents getting wide-eyed when they see an opportunity to go 1-on-1 against Harden or the slow-footed Ryan Anderson,1Anderson does look far better defensively than he has in years past, in part because of some weight he dropped during the offseason. who has been isolated more than anyone this season outside of the Lakers’ Julius Randle. Both players have held their own — especially Harden, who’s allowing one of the lowest scoring rates among guards2Who defend at least one isolation play per game and have played in at least 15 games. on those plays, according to data from Synergy Sports Technology. But it’s unclear whether that would hold up for an entire season (Anderson’s case is worth watching, because teams are challenging him 2.5 times a game).If anything, though, there’s reason to suspect that the Rockets could get even better on defense before the season concludes. Much has been made of the Harden-Paul duo, which has yet to fully jell because of Paul’s early-season injury. But if those two figure out how to play off each other and make an already impeccable offense even better, it will pay enormous dividends on the other side of the ball.Houston is sloppy with the ball and bad in transition defense, but they lead the NBA in defensive efficiency after a made basket this season, allowing just 95 points per 100 possessions, according to Inpredictable.Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/fullgameposs.mp400:0000:0000:23Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.So, when it’s Rockets vs. Warriors, we aren’t going to see a 1990s-style Eastern Conference slugfest, in which the first team to 90 points wins, break out anytime soon. These teams shoot too well for that to happen. But it’s time to stop wondering whether Houston has the defensive horses to be mentioned in the same sentence with Golden State — this Rockets team is different. This Might Be James Harden’s Year
It has been awhile since Ohio State had a game-breaking return man.One could nominate Ted Ginn Jr. as the last fearsome returner Jim Tressel sent out to field kicks and punts. For the last few years, the enigmatic Ray Small delivered flashes of brilliance, but his career was more defined by off-the-field issues. However, OSU may have finally found its man.Corey Brown, a 6-foot tall, 180-pound recruit from Cardinal O’Hara High School in Springfield, Pa., is known for his speed and, like Ginn Jr., is a high school track star. Brown is an All-American sprinter who holds the Delaware County 200-meter record. He used that speed to become a gifted return man on the football field, an ability that could lead to early playing time, says Steve Helwagen of Bucknuts.com“I think he can potentially return some kicks and punts. Those positions are pretty much wide open,” Helwagen said. “[OSU] lost Lamaar Thomas who was their main kick returner and now DeVier Posey is [the kick returner] by default. I think Ohio State is looking for that game-changer and Brown is another guy in that mix.”The Under Armour All-American Game participant succeeded at multiple positions in high school, including seeing extensive time at running back. In spite of his success in the backfield, Helwagen envisions Brown switching to another position once he arrives in Columbus.“He’s a guy that can go in a lot of different directions, but I think he’ll start out at wide receiver,” Helwagen said. “Ohio State is really deep at wide receiver, so he’s going to really have to do well over the summer and do some big things. However, if there’s a position where you can [gain early playing time], it is wide receiver.”Brown did plenty of big things in high school. He was two-time All-State, three-time All-Philadelphia Catholic League and was named to the Philadelphia Daily News PCL All-Decade team. Furthermore, for his career, Brown had 3,000 yards rushing, 1,500 yards receiving and scored 50 touchdowns.Helwagen sees Brown settling in as a slot receiver, maybe even eventually as the team’s featured pass catcher. Nevertheless, the key for OSU is to get the ball in Brown’s hands and let him make something happen.“You envision him as a flanker or slot guy so he uses that speed to get off the ball quick and create separation on a deep pass or an underneath route,” Helwagen says. “You’ve got to get him the ball in space and let him [use his skills].”One thing Brown may have to acquire once practice starts is a nickname, as OSU has another Corey Brown on the roster. However, the Monroeville, Pa. native is a redshirt freshman cornerback, so as long as the incoming Brown stays on the offensive side of the ball, he should be safe.
The Ohio State men’s hockey team ended its weekend series with No. 6 Western Michigan on a high note with a 6-3 victory Saturday night. The Buckeyes earned four points on the weekend after tying the Broncos, 1-1, in the first game of the series on Friday. OSU (13-12-7, 12-7-5-1 CCHA) now sits tied with Ferris State for fourth place in the CCHA standings with only two weekends left in the regular season. A fourth place finish will give them a first-round home series in the playoffs on March 8. The Buckeyes scored first in both contests, with freshman forward Tyler Lundey scoring the team’s only regulation goal Friday night and junior forward Alex Szczechura scoring the first of his three goals Saturday early in the first period. Western Michigan (18-8-6, 14-6-4-2 CCHA) tied the game Saturday less than three minutes later as Broncos sophomore forward Justin Kovacs netted his second goal of the season. With 6:26 remaining, Broncos sophomore forward David Killip scored, and Western Michigan took a 2-1 lead into the first intermission. OSU sophomore forward Tanner Fritz scored his seventh goal of the season to tie the game with 8:26 left in the second, but a Western Michigan power-play goal put the Broncos back ahead, 3-2. It would be the final time they would hold the advantage in the game. In the second period, Szczechura scored his second of the game and sophomore forwards Max McCormick and Darik Angeli followed suit to put OSU ahead 5-3. Szczechura then completed his hat trick early in the third period, giving the Buckeyes the win, 6-3. It was the second time this season an OSU player scored three goals in one game, after sophomore forward Ryan Dzingel had a hat trick against Penn State in December. Szczechura has been coming up on Dzingel, OSU’s lead scorer, recently, with nine goals in the last 15 games. OSU’s top line of Szczechura, McCormick and Fritz recorded 11 points on Saturday to lead the Buckeyes. Fritz said the line-up is “clicking” right now. “We’ve had a lot of chemistry,” Fritz said. “I feel like we’re getting the bounces now and we’re really clicking as a line. It’s probably the best time for us to be doing that, going into the playoffs.” Visit www.thelantern.com for the rest of this story. The Buckeye offense has been impressive as of late, producing 28 goals in the team’s last eight games. Getting that kind of offensive production is something the entire team can feed off, Szczechura said. “Once we start scoring, all the boys are cheering for you and everyone has each other’s backs,” Szczechura said. “It just feels really good.” Broncos coach Andy Murray said he was less than pleased with his team and gave OSU full credit on the win. “When you don’t stay humble, you get humbled, and we got humbled tonight,” Murray said. “Ohio State was good tonight and we were not good enough.” Western Michigan earned an extra point in the CCHA standings on Friday night after winning the shootout, 2-1. The game was played tight the entire way, with both teams’ goals scored in the second period. “I thought that game, the two teams competed extremely hard,” said OSU coach Mark Osiecki after the tie. OSU is set to host Michigan Friday night at 6:35 p.m. at the Schottenstein Center in its final home series of the regular season.
OSU junior defenders Liam Doyle (5) and Kyle Culbertson (3) fight for possession of the ball during a game against Kentucky, Oct. 28. at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. OSU and Kentucky tied, 1-1.Credit: Taylor Cameron / Lantern photographerThe penalty kick rolled to his right, but redshirt-senior goalkeeper Alex Ivanov leaned left before stopping, realizing his mistake as the shot found the back of the net.The No. 2 seed Ohio State men’s soccer team (9-7-4) fell, 2-1, to No. 6 seed Indiana (12-3-5) in the semifinals of the Big Ten tournament Friday in College Park, Md., on the back of the late penalty kick.The shot — awarded because of a handball by junior defender Kyle Culbertson with about four minutes left — was served by sophomore midfielder Tanner Thompson.Thompson — a first-team all-Big Ten selection — scored his sixth goal of the season on the play, including his second game winner.Culbertson’s handball came just minutes after the referees appeared to miss a clear handball in Indiana’s box that would have awarded OSU the penalty kick with a chance to take the lead.OSU played from behind in the score for the majority of the game, despite outshooting Indiana by a margin of 9-5 in the first half.However, OSU found itself trailing at the half, 1-0, due to a goal off a free kick by senior defender Patrick Doody midway through the half.“It was important (to score the goal). Ohio State brought a lot of pressure, we didn’t really have much on goal, so it was good to capitalize,” Doody said in an interview with the Big Ten Network after the game.Despite the shot margin, OSU coach John Bluem said he was not satisfied with his team’s first-half performance.“I don’t feel that we’ve played as good as we’re capable of playing yet,” Bluem said in a halftime interview with Big Ten Network.Earlier in the week, Bluem said he felt freshman forward Marcus McCrary could be a weapon in the game because of his speed and the fact that he missed OSU’s first matchup with Indiana, a 2-1 loss on Oct. 12, with an undisclosed injury.“The first time we played them, we didn’t have Marcus McCrary,” the 2014 Big Ten Coach of the Year said Tuesday. “That gives us someone they haven’t seen. They’ve seen him on video, but you know how fast Marcus is, he surprises a lot of people with his quickness and his athleticism, so that may be something we can use to our advantage.”McCrary indeed proved to be the weapon OSU was looking for, as he tied the game midway through the second half with his third goal of the season.The freshman was led with a header from senior midfielder Yianni Sarris at midfield, and then it was off to the races.McCrary beat the entire Indiana defense down the field, scoring with a strong right-footed strike that found the back of the net.Overall, OSU outshot Indiana, 20-12, including a 9-5 edge in shots on target. However, Indiana sophomore goalkeeper Colin Webb made eight saves to hold on for his 12th victory of the season.The Hoosiers advanced to the finals of the Big Ten tournament for the second consecutive season, after defeating Michigan State in the 2013 championship match.Despite the loss, it was not necessarily the end of the road for OSU.Bluem said earlier in the week that he believes — regardless of OSU’s results in the Big Ten tournament — his team will receive a bid to the NCAA tournament.For now, the Buckeyes have nothing to do but sit and wait to learn their fate.
Then-junior outside hitter Gabriel Domecus (7) during a match against Ball State on Feb. 6 at St. John Arena. OSU lost 3-2. Credit: Courtesy of OSUOhio State’s top-ranked men’s volleyball team (18-0, 8-0 MIVA) takes on two Mountain Pacific Sports Federation opponents in University of California, San Diego (5-13, 2-11 MPSF) and No. 6 University of California, Irvine (13-6, 9-5 MPSF).The Buckeyes head into the weekend riding a 41-match win streak. UC San Diego and UC Irvine come out of one of the most competitive volleyball conferences in the country with 10 of the 12 teams ranked in the top 15 nationally.“MPSF always says that they’re the best conference,” said sophomore setter Sanil Thomas. “We want to kind of put them in their place a little bit, so it’s going to be fun.”UC San DiegoOn Friday, the UC San Diego Tritons face OSU after UC Irvine takes on No. 12 Ball State in back-to-back games in St. John Arena. The last time the Buckeyes and the Tritons met was in 2011, when the Tritons won in a four-set match in California, but the Buckeyes hold the all-time series 2-1.After having a four-day break from volleyball, the Buckeyes will hope to break its five-match second set losing streak when it takes on the Tritons on Friday. Eight of 10 total sets lost this season have come in the second set for OSU.“If we’re looking ahead to the Saturday match and we don’t take care of business on Friday, then we haven’t done ourselves justice,” said OSU head coach Pete Hanson. “I would like to think that [the OSU players] would have a little more pep in their step so to speak come Friday and Saturday.”The Tritons rank in the top 20 in blocks per set nationally with 2.11 per set. Junior opposite Tanner Syftestad lead the team with 43 total blocks including four solo stuffs. Freshman libero Ryan Lew has 109 digs to lead the Tritons receiving at a rate of .928.UC IrvineOn Saturday, OSU and Ball State swap opponents, with the Buckeyes taking on the UC Irvine Anteaters. The trip to Columbus will be the Anteaters’ first, where they will hope to improve their record against the Buckeyes to 7-4. The last time the teams met was at Long Beach State University last season, where the Buckeyes earned a win in four sets.Senior libero Gabriel Domecus leads the Buckeyes in digs with 125 this season. His 743 career digs sit in the No. 2 spot in school history, tied with Conor Martin from the 2005-2008 seasons. Senior outside hitter Nicolas Szerszen is not too far behind Domecus this season, tallying a total of 102 through 18 matches. “I think that when we play our game we’re very hard to beat, very tough to beat,” Thomas said. “It’s all about us bringing our best game, holding ourselves to a higher standard.”The Anteaters rank sixth nationally with 12 assists per set. Senior opposite Michael Saeta leads the team with 619 assists this season. Senior opposite Tamir Hershko is the go-to target for Saeta with 3.03 kills per set, the team’s best.The two matches this weekend will put Hanson within two of 1,000 career matches in his three-plus decades as the coach of the Buckeyes. Under his guidance, the program has gone 663-333 (.667) overall and 288-90 (.762) in Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association conference play.OSU faces UC San Diego on Friday at 7 p.m. and UC Irvine on Saturday at 7 p.m., both in St. John Arena.
Ohio State freshman starting pitcher Seth Lonsway delivers a pitch in the first inning of Tuesday’s game in the Scarlet and Gray World Series. Credit: Edward Sutelan | Editor in ChiefAfter an up-and-down weekend against Bethune-Cookman, the Ohio State baseball team will attempt to regain the momentum from its opening weekend success. The Buckeyes (7-5) will travel to Greenville, South Carolina, to participate in the Greenville Drive First Pitch Invitational. Ohio State will take on Furman (2-8) on Friday, Michigan State (2-9) on Saturday, Western Carolina (6-5) on Sunday and Wofford (7-6) in a true road game on Tuesday. Ohio State split its four-game series in Daytona Beach, Florida, against Bethune-Cookman. Coming into this weekend, the Buckeyes hold a 3.12 ERA and a .231 batting average. Although the games on Friday and Saturday are not against teams with exceptional records, their own expectations will fuel the Buckeyes each game. “It’s more about us performing up to our ability than really playing against our opponent at this point,” Ohio State head coach Greg Beals said. Furman comes into the weekend struggling on the mound. Allowing 6.6 runs a game, the Paladins are coming into Friday on a five-game losing streak. Redshirt sophomore pitcher John Bertrand has the best ERA of any starter for Furman at 4.72.Despite the strong play of senior first baseman John Boswell, who boasts a .395 batting average and nine RBIs, the Paladins’ offense only produces 4.8 runs a game. On Saturday, Ohio State will play a struggling Michigan State squad. The Spartans do not have a single starter batting above .280, coming in with a team batting average of .207.Their defense has not fared any better, allowing an average of 8.18 runs a game. Despite the team’s rough start, junior pitcher Mike Mokma holds a 2.60 ERA through three starts on the mound. Western Carolina will bring a more dangerous offense against the talented pitching staff of Ohio State on Sunday. The Catamounts will come into the weekend averaging 8.72 runs a game with a .309 team batting average. The Catamounts have four starters hitting above .300. Sophomore third baseman Justice Bigbie leads the team with a .429 batting average and 16 RBIs.Western Carolina also has a fair amount of power in its lineup. The team has hit 15 home runs this season, which ranks them in the top 25 for home runs in the country. The Buckeyes have allowed an average of 6.4 walks in their losses and only three walks a game in the games they have won this year. Not playing clean baseball is something that Beals pointed to as a big reason behind the losses. “When you look at our losses, you see big innings,” Beals said. “Those big innings have all been fueled by free bases, either by walk, hit batsman or error.” Eliminating mistakes is always important, Beals said, and it will be especially important against a dangerous Western Carolina team. “They get 27 outs,” Beals said. “We can’t give them extra outs and extra opportunities.” Wofford will host the Buckeyes on Tuesday in Spartanburg, South Carolina. The Terriers come into the weekend with a 3.25 ERA. Freshman starting pitcher Hayes Heinecke has burst on the scene with a 2.70 ERA and two wins in three starts for the Terriers. Wofford’s offense, which holds a .286 batting average, is led by sophomore catcher Lawson Hill, who has a .420 batting average. Sophomore outfielder Colin Davis, who bats .391, has five stolen bases this season. The Terriers rank among the best in the nation in stealing bases, swiping 29 bases in 34 attempts this season.Redshirt sophomore catcher Brent Todys will be charged with throwing out runners throughout the game, but he said the mindset does not change when going up against a more aggressive team.“Our number one focus is the batter,” Todys said. “Get him out. Get that guy out pitch by pitch. If a runner happens to go, then that’s when I deal with it.”Beals said the best way to combat solid base running is to stop them from getting on base. In order to do this, getting ahead against the batter is important. Redshirt freshman pitcher Seth Lonsway’s focus is about starting the at bats strong.“Key one is establishing a first-pitch strike on hitters and that just kind of helps the whole at bat, as far as attacking the hitter and just setting ourselves up for success,” Lonsway said. Ohio State will start off the Greenville Drive First Pitch Invitational against Furman at 6 p.m. Friday. They will follow up with a 6 p.m. Saturday game against Michigan State and a 5 p.m. Sunday matchup against Western Carolina. The Buckeyes will then travel to play Wofford at 5 p.m. on Tuesday.
It is not in the interest of licence fee payers for the BBC to reveal how much its top talent is paid, the controller of the broadcaster’s channels has said.The BBC does not currently identify any of its top-earning stars – thought to include Chris Evans, Gary Lineker and Graham Norton, but will have to name on-screen talent earning more than the £450,000 under plans outlined in the Government’s BBC white paper.Speaking at the Edinburgh TV Festival, Charlotte Moore, who is also the controller of iPlayer, said: “We know that our audience expects to have some of the best talent on BBC One.”Of course we also know we can’t pay as much as other broadcasters, that is reality. Of course we can’t, but talent enjoy working with us because of the creative freedom and the range of what they can do. Ms Moore touted the triumphs of BBC shows such as The Night Manager, Great British Bake Off, Strictly Come Dancing and Peter Kay’s Car Share at the festival – but refused to be drawn on reports that the BBC could lose the broadcasting rights to the popular baking show, which will return to BBC One tonight.She said: “I would never talk about negotiations publicly but it’s safe to say Bake Off tonight is absolutely at the top of its game. It’s riveting, with a fantastic cast, and I can’t wait for everyone to enjoy it. “Being able to bring a series back and know you’re growing it and moving it with the times is really important.”On losing singing show The Voice to ITV, she said: “It was very sad to lose The Voice but when it went it created creative headroom.”It’s really difficult to decide what you are going to bring back and when something moves on you get on with creating new shows.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. “I genuinely think it’s not in the interest of licence fee payers that we do reveal talent fees, I think it will only drive talent fees up. We are already very transparent about a lot of the BBC, but talent fees is a difficult one.”The outcome of it could be talent fees go up if everyone knows what everyone is paid because they will want to be paid that. It is an incredibly complex situation.”But if the Government and Ofcom regulate that we have to do that, then we will have to.”It’s not always up to the BBC how much we pay them if it’s an indie production company, it’s a complex area.” Graham Norton was paid £2.5m via his production company last yearCredit:BBC
Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. First came a campaign to flood the Last Night of the Proms with the EU flag. Then, the backlash.Now, it appears Brittania may indeed rule at the Royal Albert Hall, as a millionaire businessman said he would hand out 10,000 Union Flags to concert-goers.Arron Banks, who led the Leave.EU campaign ahead of the referendum, has paid £5,000 for the flags, which he hopes will be waved by patriotic Prommers at the event watched by millions around the world.Last night he and his aides contacted the one million supporters on Leave.EU’s database to urge them to help hand out the flags, launching the Save Our Proms campaign. The Royal Albert Hall is usually decked out in flags for the Last Night Volunteers from each side will now meet outside the Royal Albert Hall on Saturday, with the concert hall likely to see more flags than ever, even for the traditionally colourful Last Night.A spokesman for the EU campaign insisted they were not planning to “hijack” the evening for the Remain cause, saying flags would simply be “handed out with a smile” alongside information leaflets about the benefits of the EU for musicians.Judith Palmer, one of the EU flag campaign’s organisers, said it was not intended to make a political point about Brexit but to make musicians from Europe feel welcomed in Britain.“The project isn’t about overturning a vote, it’s about celebrating our identity and making musicians feel welcome,” she said. “Given the tensions there have been since the referendum, we want to show we are not an insular country. He said: “It is a British event and nothing to do with the EU – this is a pathetic attempt by the desperate ‘Remoaners’ to hijack a celebration of Britain.“I will be handing out union flags personally. I don’t know what they are trying to prove – we won! Brexit happened and nothing the IN side will do will change that.”A message on the “Save Our Proms” campaign website, launched last night, said: “The Last Night of the Proms has been a bastion of British culture and identity for decades.“Seeing activists try and hijack it to campaign for the EU reeks of desperation. They need to accept the result and move on.” It comes days after anti-Brexit campaigners launched their own campaign to hand out European flags at the Last Night, aimed at showing “solidarity with the EU” and using the event’s high profile to “send a message to the world”.The movement was yesterday backed by the Musicians’ Union, which represents more than 90 per cent of members of the BBC Symphony Orchestra playing on the night.In a statement, the union’s general secretary John Smith said they hoped the waving of EU flags would “demonstrate solidarity with our European neighbours and remind government of the need to consider issues affecting musicians in the upcoming Brexit negotiations.”Mr Banks told The Daily Telegraph he wanted Prommers to instead “wave the union flag with pride and throw away the star spangled banner of oppression by casting aside the illegitimate EU flag.” “Every time you go to the Proms, you could be sitting next to an Italian on one side and French person on the other, listening to a violinist from a German orchestra.“We want everyone to feel they are amongst friends.”A spokesman for the BBC has said: “Flags are a traditional part of the Last Night of the Proms and audience members are not prevented from bringing them into the Hall.”The Last Night of the Proms is due to be broadcast on BBC Two and BBC One, starting at 7.15pm on Saturday. The Last Night traditionally has a party atmosphere Arron Banks, millionaire backer of Save Our PromsCredit:Ben Birchall