Orioles

Georgia college turns game into recruiting pitch

Georgia college turns game into recruiting pitch

FARGO, N.D. (AP) Georgia Southern officials are hoping to return home with more than a victory after Friday's football game at North Dakota State.

They want to win over a North Dakota high school senior.

The Statesboro, Ga., college has an enrollment of more than 20,000 students. In the course of crunching numbers from the fall semester, school officials discovered they had students from 90 countries and 49 states.

``We were missing one state: North Dakota. Zero. Goose egg,'' said Casey Jones, a Georgia Southern alumnus who recently took a job in the school's marketing and communications department.

So in addition to sending 60 football players and a handful of coaches to Fargo, the school is arming its radio crew with brochures extolling the virtues of the 106-year-old university.

``I told them to pass them out liberally,'' said Christian Flathman, the school's vice president for marketing and communications. ``Not so much to steal from our colleagues at North Dakota State, but to definitely promote in Fargo.''

The school is reveling in the climate comparisons. A news release points out the ``sun, sand and surf'' that's a short drive away - hey, just 85 miles to Hilton Head Island, S.C.! - and Flathman notes that students ``are walking around on campus right now in shorts and flip flops as they are taking their final exams.''

The high temperature in Statesboro on Tuesday was 68 degrees.

Fargo? It was 11.

``The only snow that we've had this year was a snow machine we had here for a lighting ceremony, kind of like Rockefeller Center, and the fake snow that is currently falling on our university home page,'' Flathman said.

Added Jones: ``People go into freak-out mode around here when you just mention it's going to be below freezing.''

Setting aside the weather, both men noted that Georgia Southern has 120 degree programs ranging from business and engineering to liberal arts and health care. It has been named one of the top 10 most popular colleges by U.S. News & World Report for two straight years. Flathman called Statesboro - population about 29,000 - a town of main streets, shops and courthouse squares and notable alumni include country music star Luke Bryan and current NFL kicker Rob Bironas.

One alumnus, Jim Deal, is a professor and head of the human development and family science department at NDSU. Deal grew up in Statesboro and he said Georgia Southern is a beautiful campus and an outstanding academic school.

Still, Deal has a different take on that weather issue.

``I prefer Fargo winters to Statesboro summers,'' said Deal, who has been at NDSU for 20 years. ``I like the cold weather better and I don't like the heat and humidity and I sure don't like the gnats in the summer.''

As for the team he's rooting for, Deal said he gets some grief from friends and family back home but he is going ``with the school that signs the paychecks.'' He's predicting a 21-10 Bison win in the semifinal game of the Football Championship Subdivision.

Georgia Southern currently has six alumni living in North Dakota and five more in South Dakota.

``This is just something we're having a little fun with,'' Jones said. ``Just about every campus is global. You have someone from everywhere. We just don't have that one person from North Dakota.''

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Follow Dave Kolpack on Twitter athttp://twitter.com/DaveKolpackAP

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Machado homers as Orioles beat Rangers 6-5

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USA TODAY Sports

Machado homers as Orioles beat Rangers 6-5

For well over six seasons, Manny Machado's value to the Baltimore Orioles has been solely his ability to hit and play the field.

All that has changed, now that the Orioles are looking to receive a huge return for their All-Star shortstop in a blockbuster trade.

Machado homered before being removed on a wet day, Adam Jones hit a three-run double and Baltimore rallied past the Texas Rangers 6-5 Sunday.

Machado was taken out of the game in the fifth inning by manager Buck Showalter after a 26-minute rain delay. The move was designed to get their star player off a sloppy field, because the last-place Orioles are entertaining offers for Machado before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

"Obviously there's a different situation going on with Manny. You all know that," Showalter said. "That had a lot to do with it."

Plain and simple, the Orioles can't afford to have Machado get hurt. Now, more than ever.

"A month ago he wouldn't have come out of the game," Showalter acknowledged. "We know that. You know it."

After being replaced by Jace Peterson, Machado sat in the dugout, wearing a sweatshirt and joking with his teammates.

"I don't know why (Showalter) did it or not," Machado said. "He just told me, `I'm going to take you out. You had a good first half and go represent us well in the All-Star Game.'"

Machado is Baltimore's lone representative for Tuesday's showcase. He has spent his entire career in Baltimore, but his contract expires after this season and the Orioles don't appear interested in locking him up with a long-term deal.

"I'm going to the All-Star Game as an Oriole and as a shortstop. It's just always a blessing," Machado said. "I thank God. I thank my family for always supporting me, my teammates, the fans, the organization. I mean it's just been very incredible."

In a matchup between two teams staggering into the break, Texas got a first-inning grand slam from rookie Ronald Guzman but quickly gave the lead away in losing for the seventh time in nine games.

Machado ignited the comeback with his 24th homer, and Jones' bases-clearing double in the third off Mike Minor (6-6) put Baltimore ahead to stay.

"I'll be fine," said Minor, who yielded five earned runs in 2 2/3 innings. "I'll reflect a little bit and then get back to it."

The game ended when Texas pinch-runner Carlos Tocci was thrown out at the plate on a double by Elvis Andrus. Running from first base, Tocci was tagged out by catcher Caleb Joseph following throws by right fielder Mark Trumbo and second baseman Jonathan Schoop.

"Textbook," Showalter said.

Texas manager Jeff Bannister called it a "situation where they had to throw it on line to throw Tocci out. They executed well."

Tanner Scott (1-1), the first of four Baltimore relievers, earned his first big league win.

Zach Britton, another Oriole supposedly on the trading block, worked the ninth for his fourth save, the second in two days.

Texas broke on top when Miguel Castro issued three straight walks and Guzman sent a one-out drive over the right-field wall for his first career grand slam.

It was 4-1 in the third when Joseph hit an RBI double and Jones doubled down the left-field line following a walk to Machado.

Shin-Soo Choo homered in the seventh to get the Rangers to 6-5.

STREAKY

Choo opened the game with a walk, extending to 51 his single-season club record streak of games reaching base via a hit, walk or HBP. ... Texas' Delino DeShields went 0 for 3, stretching his hitless drought to 28 at-bats. ... Jones snapped a 1-for-16 skid with his third-inning double.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Rangers: RF Nomar Mazara was given the day off after hurting his hand Saturday night in the outfield.

Orioles: RHP Chris Tillman (back) was set to make his final rehab start Sunday for Triple-A Norfolk. ... INF Steve Wilkerson (oblique) and OF Craig Gentry (rib fracture) likely won't come off the DL before August, Showalter said. ... RHP Andrew Cashner (neck strain) will be activated from the DL on Saturday or Sunday to face Toronto, Showalter said.

UP NEXT

Rangers: The rotation after the All-Star break, beginning Friday against visiting Cleveland: Martin Perez, Bartolo Colon, Cole Hamels, Yovani Gallardo and Minor.

Orioles: After the All-Star break, Dylan Bundy will start at Toronto on Friday night.

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Murphy's big hit helps Nats beat Mets 6-1

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Murphy's big hit helps Nats beat Mets 6-1

Daniel Murphy and Trea Turner each hit a two-run single in Washington's five-run seventh inning, helping the Nationals beat the New York Mets 6-1 on Sunday.

Matt Adams added two hits and scored a run as Washington salvaged a split of its four-game set against New York. A preseason favorite to win the NL East and contend for a World Series championship, the disappointing Nationals hit the All-Star break with a 48-48 record, good for third in the division.

Jeremy Hellickson (4-1) pitched six crisp innings in his second straight win. The veteran right-hander allowed one run and two hits, struck out six and walked two.

Jose Reyes drove in Michael Conforto with a fielder's choice in the second, tying it at 1, but Washington grabbed control in the seventh.

Juan Soto and Anthony Rendon opened the inning with walks against Anthony Swarzak (0-2). Tim Peterson then came in and surrendered singles to Adams and Murphy, who came off the bench to hit for Michael A. Taylor.

Jerry Blevins replaced Peterson with two out and runners on second and third. But he hit Wilmer Difo and Adam Eaton before Turner's single gave Washington a 6-1 lead.

New York wasted a solid start by Corey Oswalt, who allowed two hits in five innings. The Mets got off to a fast start this year, but hit the break last in the division with a 39-55 record, a percentage point behind fourth-place Miami.

WAITING

A steady drizzle delayed the start by 47 minutes.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Nationals: RHP Stephen Strasburg (right shoulder inflammation) pitched 5 2/3 innings in a rehab start for Class A Potomac. He allowed three runs, struck out seven and walked one. Strasburg has been on the disabled list since June 10.

Mets: Yoenis Cespedes is scheduled to play five simulated innings in left field at the team's facility in Florida on Monday. Mets manager Mickey Callaway said the 32-year-old outfielder, who has been sidelined by a right hip flexor and strained quadriceps, could return as the designated hitter next weekend against the Yankees If he is able to play on consecutive days.

MAKING MOVES

The Nationals recalled right-hander Trevor Gott from Triple-A Syracuse. Right-hander Austin Voth, who took the loss in his big league debut Saturday, was sent back to Syracuse.

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