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Birmingham Blanks Mobile

Birmingham Blanks Mobile

Saturday April 30, 2011
Posted: 9:15 p.m.

WHITE SOXBirmingham AA
Josh Phegleys RBI single in the bottom of the ninth lifted Birmingham to a 1-0 victory over Mobile Saturday night at Regions Park.

The Barons and the BayBears battled in a dandy pitching duel for 8 innings before Brandon Short got the winning rally started with a two-out double. After Christian Marrero was walked intentionally, Phegley singled to center for the game-winner. Its been a struggle in the early going for Phegley, but he finished with two hits for his fourth multi-hit game of the year to push his average past the Mendoza Line to .203.

Dan Remenowsky picked up the win after pitching two perfect innings of relief. Matt Zaleski started and struck out eight while giving up two hits over seven innings. It was quite the contrast from his last outing, during which he allowed six runs on eight hits over 3 23 innings at Huntsville.
Winston-Salem A
Terry Doyle continued to pitch in tough luck Saturday as Winston-Salem dropped a 3-1 decision to Wilmington at Frawley Stadium.

Doyle 0-3 remained winless as the Dash fell to 0-5 in games that he has started. The loss also marked the 18th time in 22 games this season that Winston-Salem has played a game decided by three runs or less. Doyle certainly pitched well enough, allowing two runs in a season-high seven innings. He scattered six hits but allowed two third-inning runs and that was the difference.

Jose Martinez went 0-for-4, dropping his average to .382. Nick Ciolli had a double and an RBI while Ian Gac extended his hitting streak to 12 games. Hes hitting .364 16-for-44 during that stretch. Winston-Salem was 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position.

In other action, Chris Villanuevas RBI single in the bottom of the 10th lifted Hickory to a 2-1 victory over Kannapolis. Jimmy Ballinger took the loss. Brady Shoemaker and Dan Black each had two hits for the Intimidators. Spencer Arroyo started for Kannapolis and allowed a run over seven innings. Charlotte saw its modest two-game winning streak come to an end Saturday night as Columbus blanked the Knights 6-0. Gabby Hernandez had another miserable effort in falling to 0-4. He allowed five runs on eight hits in 5 13 innings.
CUBS Peoria A
The Chiefs exploded for five 10th-inning runs Saturday afternoon and scooted by Beloit, 13-8, at Pohlman Field.

Smaily Borges solo homer got the 10th inning started, snapping what had been an 8-8 tie. Richard Jones added a two-run single to fuel the inning and make a winner of Marcus Hatley 2-0, who pitched two scoreless innings and fanned four.

Hayden Simpson started and went the 4 23 innings, marking the fifth time in as many outings that he didnt make it past five innings. He gave up two homers and a season-high five runs. The Chiefs allowed a season-high six homers.

Matt Szczur and Micah Gibbs extended their hitting streaks to 12 games. Included in Gibbs effort was his first professional homer. While Greg Rohan didnt drive in a run, he did have three hits to finish April with a .357 average. His 22 RBIs are the most in April for a Chiefs player since Travis Hansen had 26 in 2003. Peoria had a season-high 19 hits.
Daytona A
Jae-Hoon Ha smacked a two-run homer Saturday night at Jackie Robinson Stadium to lead Daytona to a 4-2 victory over Dunedin.

Has blast was part of a three-run third inning. Justin Bour added a solo shot in the sixth to close out the scoring. The only other hit the Cubs picked up was a Logan Watkins triple but Nick Struck and a pair of relievers made it stand. Struck 3-1 struck out six and scattered five hits over five innings.

Jeff Beliveau and Frank Batista each pitched two scoreless innings, allowing only three hits.

In other action, Rafael Dolis walked four and gave up a hit while allowing four runs in two innings to allow Carolina emerge with a 7-6 victory over Tennessee. Matt Spencer, James Adduci each had a pair of hits while Rebel Ridling was 1-for-4 to finish April hitting .403.

Kevin Czerwinski can be reached at ktczerwinski@gmail.com.

Roquan Smith helps shear a sheep at Bears community event

Roquan Smith helps shear a sheep at Bears community event

Roquan Smith has more sheared sheep than tackles on his stat sheet as a pro football player.

Smith and several other Bears rookies participated in a hands-on community event at Lambs Farm in Libertyville, Illinois on Monday where he assisted farm staff with the sheep's grooming. Smith said it was a first for him despite growing up around animals. 

"It's like on the norm for me though, playing linebacker you're in the trenches," Smith said of the experience.

"Shaving a sheep, I never really envisioned myself doing something like that," Smith said via ChicagoBears.com. "I was around animals [growing up], but it was more so cows and goats here and there and dogs and cats. I've petted a sheep before, but never actually flipped one and shaved one."

Bears rookies got up close and personal with more than just sheep.

Smith was selected with the eighth overall pick in April's draft and will assume a starting role opposite Danny Trevathan at inside linebacker this season. Here's to hoping he can wrangle opposing ball-carriers like a sheep waiting to be sheared.

The Bears' defense is ahead of its offense, but Matt Nagy doesn't see that as a problem

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USA Today Sports Images

The Bears' defense is ahead of its offense, but Matt Nagy doesn't see that as a problem

Asking players about how the defense is “ahead” of the offense is a yearly right of passage during OTAs, sort of like how every baseball team has about half its players saying they’re in the best shape of their life during spring training. So that Vic Fangio’s defense is ahead of Matt Nagy’s offense right now isn’t surprising, and it's certainly not concerning. 

But Nagy is also working to install his offense right now during OTAs to build a foundation for training camp. So does the defense — the core of which is returning with plenty of experience in Fangio’s system — being ahead of the offense hurt those efforts?

“It’s actually good for us because we’re getting an experienced defense,” Nagy said. “My message to the team on the offensive side is just be patient and don’t get frustrated. They understand that they’re going to play a little bit faster than us right now. We’ll have some growing pains, but we’ll get back to square one in training camp.”

We’ll have a chance to hear from the Bears’ offensive players following Wednesday’s practice, but for now, the guys on Fangio’s defense have come away impressed with that Nagy’s offense can be. 

“The offense is a lot … just very tough,” cornerback Prince Amukamara said. “They’re moving well. They’re faster. They’re throwing a lot of different looks at us and that’s just Nagy’s offense. If I was a receiver I would love to play in this offense, just because you get to do so many different things and you get so many different plays. It just looks fun over there.”

“They’re moving together, and I like to see that,” linebacker Danny Trevathan said. “We’re not a bad defense. They’re practicing against us, so they’re getting better every day, and vice versa. It’s a daily grind. It’s going to be tough, but those guys, they got the right pieces. I like what I see out there. When somebody makes a play, they’re gone. Everybody can run over there. It’s the right fit for Mitch, it’s the right fit for the receivers, the running backs.”

Still, for all the praise above, the defense is “winning” more, at least as much as it can without the pads on. But the offense is still having some flashes, even as it collectively learns the terminology, concepts and formations used by Nagy. 

And that leads to a competitive atmosphere at Halas Hall, led by the Bears’ new head coach. 

“He’s an offensive coach and last year coach (John) Fox, I couldn’t really talk stuff to (him) because he’s a defensive coach and it’s like Nagy’s offense so if I get a pick or something, I mean, I like to talk stuff to him,” Amukamara said. “He’ll say something like ‘we’re coming at you 2-0.’ Stuff like that. That just brings out the competition and you always want that in your head coach.”