The persistent rain yesterday postponed a number of high school playoff match-ups, most in baseball and softball, but the wet stuff didn't stop lacrosse from taking center stage, even though a incident of racist vandalism almost did.
The top seeded South Burlington boys lacrosse team was set to host number four Burr and Burton, but a couple of hours before game time school officials found racist graffiti spray-painted onto the turf at South Burlington High School. The game may have been postponed but Burlington High School came to the rescue, offering the use of their field as an alternate site and the game was played, with South Burlington coming away with an 11-6 win and a ticket to the division one state finals.
Nick Liscinsky and Calvin Hultgren both scored hat tricks to lead the offense and South Burlington never trailed in the game. Ryan Hockenbury made ten saves to get the win in net. South Burlington will play the winner of the BFA-St. Albans against CVU match-up, a game that was postponed and moved to this afternoon.
In division two play, another big game for a netminder propelled Harwood to an upset win over top-seeded Milton, 14-8. Connor Andrews made 13 saves for the fifth seeded Highlanders. Harwood moves on to battle Stowe, who made the final with an 11-10 win over Mount Mansfield in the other semifinal.
The girls division one lacrosse semi-finals were postponed yesterday but one division two match was played, with U-32 getting by Stowe 8-7 in overtime.
To the pros, and the Boston Red Sox beat the NY Yankees at their own game in the Bronx last night. The Yanks have launched themselves into first place in the American League East chiefly by launching longing long balls, second only to the out-of-control Houston Astros in team home runs this season. But the Red Sox got homers from Mitch Moreland, Hanley Ramriez, and Andrew Benintendi, his third home run in the last two games as he breaks out of a prolonged slump, and the Red Sox held on to win 5-4 at Yankee Stadium.
All the Sox homers were yielded by Masahiro Tanaka, who lost his fifth straight start, and the Red Sox got one and a third innings of shut-down, always-be-closing relief from Craig Kimbrel, who is having a season almost beyond belief in the closing role for Boston to this point. Kimbrel struck out five batters, including one who reached base by a wild pitch on a third strike, making it 17 saves in his last 18 chances, and the last K was the biggest and most dramatic, when he fanned the Yankees' phenomenal rookie Aaron Judge, who leads the league in home runs and could have tied the game with one swing, but Kimbrel got him swinging on a 99 mile per hour fastball to end it. Drew Pomeranz picked up his third win in a row, even though he had to work extra hard to do it, throwing a career-high 123 pitches over five innings.
The win moves the Red Sox within one game of the Yankees for the division lead and with one game left to play tonight in the brief two game series. Rick Porcello gets the start for Boston against CC Sabathia for the Yankees, who's won his last four starts.
The Texas Rangers snapped their four game losing skid against the sputtering NY Mets with a 10-8 win in Texas last night. Joey Gallo's two-run homer put the Rangers up for good. Jacob de Grom took the loss, lasting just four innings for the Mets for a second consecutive start.
In Oakland, Jesse Hahn returned from the disabled list for the A's and seems healed, pitching Oakland to a 4-1 win over the Toronto Blue Jays, who have now lost two in a row.
And history was made by Scooter Gannett of the Cincinnati Reds yesterday, and not because he has one of the best baseball names in the annals of the game. Gannett set a Reds franchise record by clubbing four home runs and driving in ten Runs in the Reds' 13-1 romp over the St. Louis Cardinals. Gannett also becomes just the 17th player in major league history to hit four home runs in a single game, and he's not even an Aaron Judge-like behemoth. Scooter stands at a modest 5'10" 185 pounds, but as Dustin Pedroia will tell you, you don't have to be a big guy to knock the ball out of the park.
Things are heating up in the men's quarterfinals of the French Open. Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokavic are both in action as we speak, and if the two can win today they'll meet each other in the semi-finals. Right now, and fair warning here if you want to watch later and not know the scores:
Dominic Thiem of Austria is giving the second-ranked Djokavic all he can handle. Thiem took the first set 7-6, and leads 1-0 in the 2nd set. Nadal is already through after fellow Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta withdrew from the match with an apparent injury, after dropping the first set.
Later this morning, the world's number one Andy Murray is in action, as is Stan Wawrinka.
In the women's quarterfinals, Karolina Pliskova faces Caroline Garcia, and Simona Halep takes on Elina Svitolina.