NCAA

Ripken's mom survives gunpoint scare

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Ripken's mom survives gunpoint scare

From Comcast SportsNet

ABERDEEN, Md. (AP) -- Cal Ripken Jr.'s mother told a neighbor that the man who kidnapped her at gunpoint, tied her up and blindfolded her didn't seem to know she was part of a famous baseball family as the two drove around together in her car.

The gunman, who has not been found, forced 74-year-old Vi Ripken into her silver Lincoln Continental Tuesday morning and she was found bound but unharmed in the back seat about 24 hours later near her home in Aberdeen outside Baltimore, police said.

She described her abductor as a tall, thin white man with glasses wearing camouflage clothing, but police had no other details. The FBI and Maryland State Police were also involved in the investigation.

Ripken told next-door neighbor Gus Kowalewski that the gunman didn't seem to know her son was the Hall of Fame infielder nicknamed "Iron Man" for playing in 2,632 consecutive games during his 21-year career with the Baltimore.

"He said he just wanted money and her car," Kowalewski said.

Investigators do not know the kidnapper's motive and there was no ransom demand for Vi Ripken's release, Aberdeen Police Chief Henry Trabert said at a news conference.

When asked if police believe the kidnapper knew who he was abducting, Trabert did not answer, saying investigators don't know if the suspect has any ties to the Ripken family.

Kowalewski said he spoke with Vi Ripken later Wednesday morning and she told him the gunman tied her hands and put a blindfold on her, but said he wouldn't hurt her.

"He lit cigarettes for her, they stopped for food," Kowalewski said. "He said, I'm not going to hurt you. I'm going to take you back,' and that's what he did."

Kowalewski said Ripken told him the gunman originally planned to put tape over her eyes.

"But he didn't do that because she said please don't do that cause I'm claustrophobic,'" said Kowalewski, a 72-year-old retired autoworker.

Instead, the gunman put some type of mask or blinders on her, and she could see somewhat out the sides, he said.

Three years after voluntarily ending his Iron Man streak, Ripken Jr. retired in 2001. He is the chairman and founder of Ripken Baseball Inc., which he runs along with his brother, Bill.

He owns three minor-league baseball teams, including the Single A IronBirds based at the Ripken Baseball complex in Aberdeen, a middle-class area of about 15,000 people. Kowalewski said Ripken told him the gunman asked her about items in the car related to the Ironbirds and did not seem to know about the team.

Mike Hudson, 43, whose mother lives across the street from Ripken, said he was surprised the kidnapper came back to the neighborhood because police were swarming over the area about midnight.

"It's just hard to believe the guy came all the way back on the street and dropped her off. That makes me believe he was local, very local," said Hudson, who is staying at his mother's house while visiting with his daughter.

Ripken's car didn't appear to be damaged, he said.

"This has been a very trying time for our family, but we are grateful and relieved that mom is back with us, safe and healthy," the Ripken family said in a statement. "We want to thank everyone for their tremendous support, especially all of the law enforcement agencies that worked so hard and quickly."

Ripken's brother, Bill, played second base in the major leagues. The two were managed for a time on the Orioles by their father and Vi's husband, Cal Ripken Sr., who died in 1999.

The family said that it could not comment further due to the ongoing investigation.

After the gunman left, Ripken honked her car's horn until a neighbor found her, Kowalewski said. He said he was surprised the honking didn't wake him up. Someone reported a suspicious car to authorities and she was found, police said.

Vi Ripken is founding chairwoman of the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation, which, according to its website, helps to build character for disadvantaged young people. Besides Cal and Bill, she has another son and a daughter.

The Ripken Baseball complex also is home to the annual Cal Ripken World Series for 11- and 12-year-olds. Cal Ripken Baseball is the name for the 5-to-12-year-old division of the Babe Ruth League.

Brown's big day leads BC to rout at Virginia, 41-10

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USA TODAY Sports

Brown's big day leads BC to rout at Virginia, 41-10

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Anthony Brown threw three touchdown passes and Boston College's defense stifled Virginia in a 41-10 victory on Saturday.

The Eagles (4-4, 2-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) won their second straight road game, and did it behind Brown, who completed 19 of 24 passes for 275 yards, and a defense that limited Virginia to 247. The Eagles, by contrast, had 275 through the air and 237 on the ground.

Virginia (5-2, 2-1) came up well short in its bid for a fifth straight victory and bowl eligibility for the first time since 2011.

The Eagles used big plays to blow the game open quickly.

Thadd Smith took a jet sweep 76 yards down the sideline to make it 10-0 with 4:16 left in the first quarter. After Virginia went three-and-out, Brown hit Kobay White with a screen pass and White took it 76 yards down the middle of the field to make it 17-0 with 1:57 left.

After another Virginia punt, the Eagles ran a flea flicker, and Brown hit Michael Walker for 46 yards, setting up Brown's 10-yard touchdown throw to tight end Tom Sweeney with no defenders anywhere near him five plays later. He later found Sweeney again, this time from 3 yards out, to give BC a 34-7 lead.

While Brown was having his way with the Cavaliers defense, the Eagles were giving Kurt Benkert fits. They sacked him three times and had him on the run all day. His frustration finally showed in the second quarter when, scrambling left, he threw a left-handed backhand pass that was intercepted.

Oh boy.

No. 5 Wisconsin stays unbeaten with 38-13 win over Maryland

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USA TODAY Sports

No. 5 Wisconsin stays unbeaten with 38-13 win over Maryland

MADISON, Wis. -- Jonathan Taylor ran for a touchdown and broke the 1,000-yard mark for the season, Alex Hornibrook passed for two scores and No. 5 Wisconsin stayed unbeaten with a 38-13 win over Maryland on Saturday.

Taylor finished with 126 yards on 22 carries, a relatively ho-hum day following two straight 200-yard outings for the running back.

Playing in his seventh contest at Wisconsin (7-0, 4-0 Big Ten), Taylor tied a major college football record shared by five other backs for fewest games by a freshman to get to 1,000 yards.

Hornibrook shook off an interception on his second attempt of the day, finishing 16 of 24 for 225 yards to balance the offense.

Maryland (3-4, 1-3), which has the league's worst defense, could have picked up some early pointers from Wisconsin.

Under heavy pressure, Max Bortenschlager's pass over the middle was intercepted by Wisconsin linebacker T.J. Edwards and returned 54 yards for a touchdown to open the scoring with 12:18 left in the first quarter.

No wonder Maryland rarely took a shot down the field.

But the Terrapins did have some success running the ball out of spread formations, with Ty Johnson leading the way with 83 yards on 16 carries. They dented a defense that was allowing a Big Ten-best 78.8 yards a game for 143 yards overall on 35 carries.

An 11-play, 73-yard drive set up in part by eight runs and a penalty ended with Bortenschlager's 10-yard touchdown pass to Taivon Jacobs to get Maryland to within 28-10 about midway through the third quarter.

Wisconsin, though, sets a high bar in the ground game, and Maryland just couldn't keep up.

Fullback Austin Ramesh's 1-yard touchdown run with 9:10 left in the game ended an 11-play, 76-yard drive, giving Wisconsin a three-score lead that extinguished any faint upset hopes.