Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Florida Marlins Name All-Time Team

Following their final game ever at Sun Life Stadium, the Florida Marlins announced their all-time team in a postgame ceremony. The infield went Derek Lee at first base, Luis Castillo at second base, Hanley Ramriez at shortstop and Mike Lowell at third base. In the outfield were Gary Sheffield, Jeff Conine and Miguel Cabrera. Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez was named catcher. The pitching staff included Livan Hernanadez, Al Leiter, Kevin Brown, Josh Beckett, Dontrelle Willis, Josh Johnson and Robb Nen. Utility player Alfredo Amezega was also added. Recently retired Jack McKeon was named manager.

Florida Marlins Play Final Game At Sun Life Stadium

The Florida Marlins played their final home game at Sun Life Stadium on Wednesday losing to the Washington Nationals 3-1. The Marlins joined the National League in 1993 and had called the stadium in Miami Gardens their only home. The facility had several different names in the last 18 years. It was originally called Joe Robbie Stadium after the Miami Dolphins first owner who built the venue from his own money. The place would be renamed Pro Player Stadium when H. Wayne Huizenga acquired complete control of the Miami Dolphins, the stadium and the surrounding land on August 26, 1996. After Pro Player Apparel went bankrupt, it was renamed Dolphins Stadium in January 2005. It was then adjusted to Dolphin Stadium in April 2006. Stephen Ross then picked up a majority share of the Miami Dolphins, the stadium and local parcels of land from Huizenga in January 2009. Four months later, it was renamed Land Shark Stadium and stayed that way until late January 2010. Sun Life Financial acquired the naming rights on January 20, 2010 and was named Sun Life Stadium which is what it is currently called. Florida won two World Series titles in 1997 and 2003 while being a tenant at the stadium. The team will be renamed the Miami Marlins on November 11 and will move into a new stadium in April 2012 where the Orange Bowl once stood.

Florida Marlins Lose Final Game At Stadium Finale

The Florida Marlins played their last game ever at a stadium that's been their home since 1993. The team, who will be renamed the Miami Marlins on November 11, lost to the Washington Nationals 3-1 at Sun Life Stadium on Wednesday. Nationals starting pitcher Steven Strasburg(1-1) made his fifth start this season going six scoreless innings, giving up one hit and striking out ten. He retired 13 straight Marlins before he was pulled by manager Davey Johnson. Marlins starter Chris Volstad, a Palm Beach Gardens native, gave up a two-run single to shallow center by Ian Desmond in the fifth inning that scored Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez and Steve Lombardozzi. Volstad(5-13)went six innings, allowed two runs on three hits and picked up five strikeouts. The Marlins got a two-out rally in the seventh inning. Following a Logan Morrison walk, Gaby Sanchez nailed a ball to deep right-center field where Rick Ankiel and Jason Werth were confused who would catch the ball, and it dropped between the two scoring Morrison from first for the Marlins only run in the game. Florida left two men on base to end the seventh after an infield hit by Bryan Petersen. Washington got a lead-off triple from former Miami Hurricane Alex Cora in the eighth innning against Ryan Webb. Two batters later, Roger Bernadina singled to right and increased their lead 3-1. Jack McKeon, who managed his final game with the Marlins, received a standing ovation prior to the start of the game. He leaves with game with a 1,051-990 record. Rodriguez, another person who led the Marlins to a World Series title in 2003, received a standing prior to his at-bat in the second inning. The Florida Marlins finished with a 781-723 record in 1,504 games at their only home ballpark. After the game, the Marlins held a postgame ceremony celebrating the top ten moments in franchise history and named their all-time team.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Panthers Fall To Stars

The Florida Panthers played their final home preseason game at the Bank Atlantc Center in Sunrise and lost to the Dallas Stars 4-3 in overtime on Tuesday night. The Panthers scored on their first shot of the game six minutes in as Tomas Fleischmann blasted a left wing shot by the right shoulder of Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen. Florida swtiched goalies as Jacob Markstrom left and Tyler Plante entered at 11:02 of the second period. Dallas tied the tie on their first shot on Plante as Tomas Vincour skated through the crease and went five-hole at 11:16. The Stars took the lead just over one minute later as Loui Eriksson crushed a loose puck in the crease after his initial shot hit Brian Campbell's skate and came back to him. Toby Petersen would increase their lead to 3-1 on a short-handed breakaway goal with 1:31 left in the second period. The Panthers tied on two consecutive power play goals off a double-minor penalty by Mike Ribiero in the third period. Jonathan Huberdeau scored on a five-on-three from close range at 16:08 followed by a slap shot from the top of the slot by Dmitry Kulikov on a five-on-four at 16:43. In overtime, Stars newcomer Michael Ryder got the game-winner at 1:11 on an assist from Ribiero. The Panthers travel to Dallas and take on the Stars Thursday for their final preseason game.

Marlins Trade For Ozzie Gullien

With two games left in the 2011 season and Jack McKeon announcing his retirement, in an unusual trade the Florida Marlins picked up Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Gullien for two future minor league prospects. Guillen, who had one year left on his current contract, will not manage the final two games of the White Sox season before joining the Marlins organization. He had a previous stint for the world champion Florida Marlins in 2003 as a third base coach under McKeon. Guillen took over as manager for the Chicago White Sox in 2004 and stayed there for eight seasons. In 2005 he led the team to their first World Series title in 88 years. Gullien will become the first manager of the Miami Marlins when the team moves into their new ballpark next season. He won two American League Central Division titles in 2005 and 2008 and once played 13 seasons as shortstop with the White Sox. In the last 35 years, a major league manager has been traded for a player on two occasions. The Pittsburgh Pirates picked up Chuck Tanner from the Oakland A's for catcher Manny Sanguillen prior to the 1977 season. Two years later, Tanner would help the Pirates win the World Series along with Sangullien who was reacquired by the team. Prior to the 2003 season, Seattle Mariners manager Lou Pinella was traded to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays for outfielder Randy Winn.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Jack McKeon Retires

Florida Marlins interim manager Jack McKeon announced his retirement prior to the beginning of the three-game home series against the Washington Nationals on Monday. He rejoined the Marlins for a second stint as the club's manager back in mid-June when the team was going throught a bad skid and Edwin Rodriguez resigned. McKeon replaced Jeff Torborg as manager during the 2003 season and lead Florida to their second World Series title. He stayed with the team until the end of the 2005 season. McKeon had previous managerial stops with the Kansas City Royals, Oakland A's, San Diego Padres and Cincinnati Reds. Otherwise known as Trader Jack, McKeon has won a Marlins franchise-record 280 wins and currently has an all-time record as a major league manager of 1,050-988 as of Sunday.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Lightning Beat Panthers

The Florida Panthers played a preseason game at home on Saturday night and were defeated by the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-3 at the Bank Atlantic Center in Sunrise. The Lightning scored on their first power play as Pavel Kubina blasted a slapshot from the top of the zone through traffic past goalie Jose Theodore, who was playing in his first preseason game for the Panthers, at 1:29. Florida responded seven minutes later as David Booth finished off a drive to the net from a lead pass by Tomas Kopecky with a wrist shot by the glove side of goalie Mathieu Garon to tie the game. In the second period, the Panthers picked up two goals in less than a minute for a 3-1 lead. They capitalized on a Lightning clear-out pass from the top of their zone as Tomas Fleischmann stopped the puck for Stephen Weiss who then send a pass to the left face-off circle where Kris Versteeg hit a one-timer in at 4:59. It was followed by a slot wrist shot by Kopecky at 5:40 off a Tim Kennedy feed from behind the cage. Tampa Bay scored on a five-on-three power play as Brett Connolly redirected a pass across the crease by Steven Stamkos at 10:27. Lightning top prospect Carter Ashton was rewarded a penalty shot four minutes later after being tripped up by Erik Gudbranson, however he hit the crossbar on a backhand shot. Tampa Bay tied the game midway through the third period at 9:01 as Tom Pyatt skated around Theodore with a backhand in the low crease area on a Mattias Ritola attempted shot. The Lightning retook the lead 4-3 at 14:40 as Ritola came in from the backside and scored into a half-open net on a Steve Downie crease pass from the end line. Nine seconds later, Tampa Bay increased their lead on a Teddy Purcell goal. The Panthers went 0-6 on the power play while the Lightning converted twice on three power plays. Florida hosts the Dallas Stars on Tuesday in a home-and-away series.

Leo Nunez Placed On Restricted List

The Florida Marlins placed Leo Nunez on the Major League Baseball's restricted list following reports that he lied about his name and his age. He had used an assumed name and he's one year older than he claimed. Nunez has returned to his homeland of the Dominican Republic on a personal matter and won't pitch for the rest of the 2011 season. He pitched a scoreless ninth inning on Wednesday night in a game against the Atlanta Braves at Sun Life Stadium. Nunez had 36 saves in 68 games pitched this season and had been the Florida Marlins closer since 2009.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Brewers Clinch Division Title Over Marlins

Outfielder Ryan Braun hit a three-run homer to straight center field in the eighth inning as the Milwaukee Brewers defeated the Florida Marlins 4-1 Friday at Miller Park. 25 minutes after the game ended, the Brewers clinched the National League Central Division as the Chicago Cubs beat the St. Louis Cardinals. It was the first division title for the Brewers in 29 years. Milwaukee had won the American League East back in 1982. The Marlins fell behind in the second inning as Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder homered to right center for his 35th this season. Florida tied the game in the fourth inning when Bryan Petersen knocked a shallow single into center field to score Gaby Sanchez. Marlins starter Chris Volstad got a no-decision after giving up one run on six hits in seven innings. Clay Hensley(6-7) took the loss following surrendering Braun's home run.

St. Thomas Aquinas Pound De La Salle

Two of the top-ranked national high school football programs met in Fort Lauderdale on Friday as the St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders took out the De La Salle Spartans of California 30-6. The nationally-televised game was delayed by 45 minutes prior to the contest due to a weather delay. The Raiders took the lead with 7:12 left in the first quarter as running back Fred Coppet hustled in from 12 yards away. St. Thomas Aquinas increased their lead to 10-0 with 2:57 remaining in the second quarter on a 23-yard field goal by Nolan Bieck. Following a Raiders fumble by wide receiver Mark Barr, De La Salle pulled off a double pass from scrimmage during the final minute of the first half. Quarterback Bart Houston threw toward the right side to Andrew Buckley who then found wide receiver Anthony Williams behind the Raiders secondary and completed a 58-yard pass for a score to close the defecit to 10-6. The Raiders capitalized on a Spartans fumble by Houston as Coppet finished a seven-play, 48-yard drive with a one-yard run at 5:44 of the third quarter. Houston then had a 10-yard punt on De La Salle's next possession. Raiders quarterback Max Lescano ended a five-play, 35-yard drive on a seven-yard touchdown dash with 2:12 left in the third making it 24-6. Bieck added a 40-yard field goal midway through the fourth quarter and a 20-yard field goal in the final minute. The Raiders stopped De La Salle's win streak at 29 and are now 6-0 against out-of-state opponents. St. Thomas Aquinas travels to take on the McArthur Mustangs next Friday, who lost to Dr. Phillips 34-7 in Orlando.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Marlins Blank Braves

Javier Vazquez, Edward Mujica and Leo Nunez combined for a two-hit shutout as the Florida Marlins defeated the Atlanta Braves 4-0 on Monday at Sun Life Stadium. Vazquez(12-11), a former Brave, went seven innings, struck out six batters and gave up only two hits. He set a Marlins team record as a starting pitcher by going 25 innings without giving up a run. Pat Rapp had a scoreless streak of 24 2-3 innings back in 1995. The Marlins scored first in the second inning. Mike Stanton led off with a single up the middle. Logan Morrison advanced the runner on a fielders choice at first. Gaby Sanchez smacked a line drive to left center that scored Stanton. Florida increased the lead 2-0 in the fifth when Brett Hayes hit a lead-off solo home run, his fifth this season, to left field. In the sixth inning, Stanton got a lead-off double. Bryan Petersen produced an RBI-sacrifice fly to right scoring Stanton three batters later. Atlanta had their best chance to score in the seventh inning but left two men in scoring position. Morrison(22) capped the victory as he hit a two-out solo home run on a 1-1 pitch to right center. Braves pitcher Derek Lowe(9-16) took the loss after going 6 1-3 innings giving up three runs on six hits. The Marlins travel to Milwaukee for a three-game weekend series against the Brewers. The team will then return home to play their final three games of the 2011 season and as the Florida Marlins franchise at Sun Life Stadium from September 26 to September 28. It has been their only home since they entered major league baseball in 1993. They will move into a new stadium in Miami where the Orange Bowl once stood and be renamed the Miami Marlins in 2012.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Panthers Take Second Game Of Doubleheader

After losing 5-3 in game one of a preseason exhibition doubleheader, the Florida Panthers took game two in a come-from-behind 4-3 victory over the Nashville Predators at the Bank Atlantic Center in Sunrise. The Predators scored on their first shot of the game as defensemen Teemu Laakso blasted a right point shot over the right shoulder of Panthers goalie Scott Clemmensen just 59 seconds in. Nashville increased the lead on their third shot on goal at 4:21. Left wing Ryan Thang backhanded a feed in the crease from center Blake Geoffrion over Clemmensen. The Panthers bounced back at 15:51 as left wing Eric Selleck slid the puck between the pads of goalie Anders Lindbeck from the right side of the crease. In the second period, Florida tied the game at 2-2 on a power play goal by Jonathan Huberdeau, who deflected a right point point shot by defensemen Erik Gudbranson, at 4:03. Nashville retook the lead at 16:33 as Geoffrion wristed a shot from the inner left wing circle from a Matt Halischuk pass. The Panthers came back in the third period. Center Mike Santorelli put in a power play goal in front of the crease at 8:12 from a right side pass from Huberdeau. Less than one minute later, Florida center Tim Kennedy finished off a scramble in front for their first lead of the game 4-3. The Panthers play back-to-back preseason games later this week against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Marlins Win In Ninth Over Atlanta

Second baseman Omar Infante capped a two-out rally in the ninth inning with a game-winning home run to lead the Florida Marlins over the Atlanta Braves 6-5 on Monday at Sun Life Stadium. Right fielder Mike Stanton hit two solo home runs off Mike Minor. It was Stanton's 33rd and 34th homers of the season. He smashed a two-out blast to left field in the first inning and to left center field in the third inning. Braves outfielder Jason Heyward(14) launched a live drive solo home run to right in the top of the sixth. Following a Stanton walk to lead off the bottom of the sixth, left fielder Logan Morrison(21) hit a no-out two-run homer run over the right field fence to increase their lead 4-1. Former Marlin second baseman Dan Uggla led off the seventh with a solo home run to right center field, his 35th this season. The Braves then got a two-out rally. Michael Bourn had an RBI infield single, Martin Prado followed with an RBI walk and Chipper Jones reached base on an error scoring pinch-runner Antoan Richardson. Following a two-out single by Emilio Bonifacio in the bottom of the ninth, Infante(6) finished the game with a home run to left field. Marlins pitcher Clay Hensley(6-6) got the win going two innings and striking out three. Braves reliever Craig Kimbrel(4-3) blew the save and took the loss.

Panthers Lose First Game Of Doubleheader

The Florida Panthers played an exhibition preseason doubleheader at the Bank Atlantic Center in Sunrise on Monday against the Nashville Predators. Florida lost the first game 5-3. Neither team scored in the first period. Both teams combined for five goals in the second period. Nashville drew first blood at 2:02 as center Colin Wilson converted on a cross-crease pass by right wing Sergei Kostitsyn during a 5-on-3 power play. Panthers defensemen Dimitri Kulikov tied the game at 10:48 with a power play goal. The Predators regained the lead one minute later with center Chris Mueller's goal followed by a power play goal by defensemen Jonathon Blum at 15:40. Panthers center Mark Cullen put in a goal with 43 seconds left in the period. Florida tied the game at 3-3 at 2:26 of the third period with a goal by right wing Greg Rallo. Nashville broke the tie with center Jani Lajunen scoring a goal at 16:49. Predators left wing Kyle Wilson capped the victory with 52 seconds left. It's believed to be the first preseaon doubleheader in NHL history. The New York Rangers and the New York Americans occasionally played regular season doubleheaders at Madison Square Garden from 1926 until 1942. Also the Montreal Canadiens and Montreal Maroons played regular season doubleheaders at the Montreal Forum from 1926 to 1938.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Marlins Swept In Doubleheader

After losing the first game 3-1 earlier in the day, the Florida Marlins lost the second game of a doubleheader 2-1 in extra innings and were swept by the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Following a lead-off walk by Michael Martinez, Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard hit a game-winning RBI double to left-center field in the tenth inning off Burke Badenhop(2-2). There was no scoring in the first five innings of the game. Phillies leftfielder John Mayberry, Jr.(16) smashed a lead-off home run to left field, his fourth homer against Florida in 2011, in the sixth inning to give Philadelphia a 1-0 lead. It took the Marlins final at-bat in the ninth inning to break up the Cliff Lee shutout, who was going for his seventh in 2011. Florida first baseman Jose Lopez(8) hit an 0-2 pitch over the left field fence for a home run to tie the game. Lee was impressive in his start for the Phillies going nine innings with 12 strikeouts and giving up five hits. Marlins starting pitcher Alex Sanabia gave up one run on six hits in six innings. Florida extended their losing streak to four games, assured themselves a second straight under .500 season and play a three-game series in Washington this weekend.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Glades Central Edges American Heritage

The Glades Central Raiders blew a 17-point halftime lead but held on in overtime and beat the American Heritage Stallions 41-34 at The Corral in Delray Beach on Thursday night. Nick Lasalla kicked a 37-yard field goal ten minutes into the game for the Stallions. Both teams combined for 34 points in the second quarter. Raiders wide receiver William Likely caught a 20-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Tanner Redish 22 seconds into the stanza for their first lead. Glades Central linebacker Jonathan Brockman returned a 41-yard interception for a score one minute later making it 13-3. The Stallions scored on the first play of their next possession as running back Greg Bryant sprinted up the middle from 86 yards out. The Raiders responded with running back Aaron Baker carrying the ball down the left sideline 53 yards off a screen pass from Redish at 8:03, then followed on their next possession with a nine-yard touchdown catch by receiver Jamie Wilson with 1:13 left in the first half. The Stallions scored 10 points in the third quarter on a Bryant 64-yard run and a 36-yard field goal by Lasalla to close the gap 27-20. In the fourth quarter, American Heritage tied the game with 8:40 left as quarterback Marcus Davis sneaked in from one-yard out. The Raiders lost the ball on downs at their own 42-yard line with 7:10 to go. Running back Jeremy Gaskins gave the Stallions the 34-27 lead with 4:16 left on a two-yard run. Glades Central tied the game with 1:31 remaining as Likely had nine-yard touchdown catch to send the game into overtime. The Raiders converted on their first play of the tiebreaker as Baker ran right up the middle for a ten-yard score. The Stallions went four-and-out and were unable to score. A game like this showed that these two teams from Palm Beach County could make a long run in the 2011 FHSAA playoffs.

Phillies Take First Game Of Doubleheader

The Florida Marlins made a quick one-day stop in Philadelphia on Thursday for a make-up doubleheader against the Phillies. Philadelphia took the first game 3-1 over the Marlins. The Phllies struck early with a first-innning rally. Placido Polanco got a one-out single and advanced to second on an Anibal Sanchez balk. Hunter Pence doubled into the left field corner to score Polanco. Following a Ryan Howard strikeout, Raul Ibanez hit an RBI double to right scoring Pence for a 2-0 lead. The Marlins had no hits in the first four innings and a combined consecutive eight innings without a hit from the previous game yesterday in Atlanta. Logan Morrison broke the string with a solo home run, his 20th of the season, to right field in the fifth inning on a 3-2 pitch. Marlins middle reliever Ryan Webb gave up a bases loaded walk to Polanco in the seventh inning scoring Brian Schneider. Florida failed to score in the eighth inning. Omar Infante got a one-out double followed by a pinch-hit walk by Mike Stanton. Gaby Sanchez cracked a base hit to left field and Infante was pegged on an Ibanez one-hop throw to the plate. Morrison loaded the bases on a walk, however John Buck struck out swinging to end the inning. Sanchez dropped to 8-8 after pitching six inninngs giving up two run on four hits with seven strikeouts. Phillies pitcher Kyle Kendrick(8-6) got the win giving up one run on two hits in five innings.

Marlins Announce 2012 Schedule

Major League Baeball released the schedule for the 2012 season on Wednesday. The Florida Marlins will open up their new stadium in Miami on Wednesday April 4 against the St. Louis Cardinals. According to the agreement for building a new stadium, the team would be known as the Miami Marlins. The schedule has the Marlins on the road for six games before returning home to face the Houston Astros on Friday April 13. The San Francisco Giants come into Miami on Memorial Day Weekend while the Boston Red Sox show up from June 11 to June 13. The Marlins end the season at home on September 28, 29 and 30 against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Marlins Lose In Atlanta

The Florida Marlins finished off a three-game series in Atlanta as the Braves came back to win 4-1. The Marlins scored first as left fielder Greg Dobbs hit a solo home run on a 1-2 pitch to right field in the second inning. It was his eighth homer this season. Florida got four hits in the game, but none after the fifth inning when Braves rookie pitcher Randall Delgado left the game. Marlins starting pitcher Ricky Nolasco(10-11) held Atlanta scoreless for six innings. The Braves finally got to him in the seventh inning. Following a Dan Uggla walk and a Brian McCann single, Uggla scored on a bunt single by Martin Prado. Former Marlin shortstop Alex Gonzalez would then hit a two-out three-run homer to left field to give the Braves their first lead. Nolasco went seven innings and gave up four runs on five hits. The Marlins travel to Philadelphia to take on the Phillies Thursday in a make-up doubleheader. Both games were postponed in the last weekend of August due to the impending impact of Hurricane Irene.

Howden Hurt In Rookie Game

The Florida Panthers continued rookie camp this week in Coral Springs as they lost to the Nashville Predators 3-1. Panthers top prospect left wing Quinton Howden was injured late in the second period with an elbow to the head by Predators defensemen Scott Valentine in the neutral zone. He didn't return for the rest of the game. Howden was drafted by Florida in the first round and 25th overall in 2010 NHL draft. The Panthers got the initial lead just 3:41 into the game as left wing Jonathan Huberdeau converted on a rebound shot following a blast from the right point by defensemen Erik Gudbranson. Nashville picked up two goals in the second period. Right wing Josh Shalla evened the game at 3:20 and center Craig Smith scored from the crease on a four-on-three power play at 9:23. Smith put in his second goal of the game just one minute into the third period. Florida was 0-3 while Nashville was 1-4 on the power play. Veterans on the Panthers roster report to preseason camp on Friday.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Le Batard Begins New ESPN2 Show

Miami Herald Sports Columnist Dan Le Batard started his new show Dan Le Batard Is Highly Questionable on ESPN2 today. He has appeared at ESPN as a fill-in studio co-host for Pardon The Interruption and as a panelist on The Sports Reporters. Le Batard has worked for the Miami Herald for over 20 years in their sports department. He has also done an afternoon sports radio show on WAXY-AM since 2004. Le Batard once did a Sunday morning show on ESPN Radio in the 2000's.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Cory Stillman Retires

Former Florida Panthers right wing Cory Stillman announced his retirement from the NHL on Saturday at the Panthers practice facility in Coral Springs. Stillman played with Florida from 2008-09 until late last season when he was traded to the Carolina Hurricanes. In his time with the Panthers he had 39 goals and 70 assists in 165 games played. Stillman won two Stanley Cup championships in consecutive seasons. One with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2003-04, his only season with the team. Following the league lockout that cancelled the 2004-05 season, he joined the Carolina Hurricanes and won the title in 2005-06. Stillman will join the Florida Panthers hockey operations department as a player development assistant under Brian Skrudland.

St. Thomas Aquinas Routs Cypress Bay

It was a matchup projected to be between the two best high school football teams in Broward County and for the second straight year it turned out to be a rout as St. Thomas Aquinas defeated Cypress Bay 34-0 at Brian Piccolo Memorial Stadium in Fort Lauderdale. There was only one scoring play in the first half of the regional televised game. During the first quarter, the Raiders capitalized on a bad punt snap by Cypress Bay(1-1) and recovered the ball at the Lightning 12-yard line. On a fourth-and-two from the Lightning 4-yard line, Raiders running back Fred Coppet plowed through off-right tackle to complete the four-play drive and a 7-0 lead at 2:41. Gavin Sinclair had an Aquinas touchdown on a 75-yard punt return negated due to a penalty with 9:37 left in the half. The Raiders stacked up 21 points in the third quarter to put the game out of reach. Coppet had a six-yard run with 7:11 left on the first of three consecutive scoring drives. It was followed by a 60-yard touchdown run by running back Dami Ayoola on a two-play drive at 4:52. Ayoola then had a eight-yard run with 0:27 left to extend the lead to 28-0. St. Thomas Aquinas(2-0) kicker Nolan Bieck had field goals of 22 and 48 yards in the fourth quarter. With the Florida debut of Rocco Casullo, it was the first time since 1974 that another person outside of George Smith was the Raiders head coach at a home game.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Former Panthers Dead In Plane Crash

Three former defensemen of the Florida Panthers were killed in a plane crash involving the Locomotiv KHL team in Russia on Wednesday. Ruslan Salei played every game for the Panthers in 2006-07 with six goals and 26 assists. He had three goals and 20 assists in 65 games in 2007-08 before being traded to the Colorado Avalanche in February 2008 for Karlis Skrastins, who also died on the same plane. He played with Florida from 2007-08 until 2008-09 with five goals and 14 assists in 97 games. Salei joined Locomotiv after playing with the Detroit Red Wings last season while Skrastins had played the last two years with the Dallas Stars. Also killed was Locomotiv assistant coach and former Panthers defensemen Alexander Karpovtsev. He played his final NHL season with Florida in 2005-06 and was involved in six games with no goals and no assists.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Mets Blank Marlins

It was a fine pitching duel as the New York Mets got a combined five-hit shutout over the Florida Marlins 1-0 on Wednesday night at Sun Life Stadium. Both teams end up with a 9-9 split in the season series. Jose Reyes led off the game with a single and scored two batters later on a Lucas Duda double down the left field line. This turned out to be the only run in the game. Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey(8-11), who is 3-0 against the Marlins in 2011, went seven innings and gave up no runs on four hits. Florida left six men on base, including four in scoring postion, during the first three innings. Marlins pitcher Brad Hand(1-6) kept his team in the game giving up one run on three hits in six innings. The Marlins stopped two New York rallies with several defensive plays. The Mets got a two-out double by Jason Bay in the sixth inning. Nick Evans then launched a long shot to the right field wall where Emilio Bonifacio jumped up and reached high to his left for the catch. In the eighth inning, David Wright was on second with two outs. Bay hit a line drive toward left field which was one-hopped by Logan Morrison, and he threw the ball to home plate where John Buck was able to make the tag on a sliding Wright. Florida got one more good opportunity to score in the eighth. Bonifacio led off with a bunt single down the third base line. He advanced to second on an Omar Infante sacrifice bunt down the first base line, then to third on a ground out to first by Morrison. Josh Stinson struck out Gaby Sanchez to end the inning. Manny Acosta would close the door and get the save for the Mets. Marlins third baseman Matt Dominguez picked up his first major league base hit, a single, in the second inning.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Marlins Win Streak Ends At Three

The Florida Marlins had their three-game win streak snapped on Tuesday night as the New York Mets pulled out a 7-4 victory in 12 innings at Sun Life Stadium. There was a 1 hour, 14 minute rain delay prior to a game that lasted 4 hours and 29 minutes. Florida played a 14 inning game against Philadelphia this past Sunday. The Marlins never held the lead once, but tied the game several times. They mounted a two-run rally in the ninth to send the game into extra innings. Following a Greg Dobbs single and a Logan Morrison walk, Mike Cameron lashed a two-out line drive to deep left field scoring two runs to make it 4-4. The Mets broke the tie in the 12th inning. Angel Pagan hit a single then Jason Bay smashed a double down the right-field line after the ball hit the first base bag. Pagan scored on an RBI single up the middle by Nick Evans. Jose Reyes then singled to right scoring Bay from third base. Later Lucas Duda walked with the bases loaded and Evans scored. Florida Marlins prospect Matt Dominguez made his major league debut as a pinch hitter in the 10th inning and was hit by a pitch. The Marlins had a chance to win the game in the 11th inning but left men on 2nd and 3rd base with two out.

Glades Central Beats Dwyer

In what many consider to be the best two high school football teams in Palm Beach County, the Glades Central Raiders hosted and defeated the Dwyer Panthers 24-10 in front of a national-televised audience. The Raiders scored in the first ten seconds of the game as William Likely returned a kickoff 98 yards. Panthers kicker Bobby Puyol knocked in a 37-yard field goal midway through the first quarter. Dwyer took their only lead of the game 10-7 with 4:30 left in the first half as wide receiver Clinton Stephens caught a 24-yard pass from quarterback Faton Bauta. There was no scoring in the third quarter, but Glades Central put up 17 points in the final quarter using three different quarterbacks. Tanner Redish found wide receiver Jamie Wilson four yards out on the right side at 9:57. Bauta then fumbled the ball away on Dwyer's first play of their next drive. Gregory Davis followed with a long 45-yard touchdown pass down the right sideline to a jumping Likely at 9:22. Following a three-and-out by the Panthers, Giovanni Lugo kicked a 35-yard field goal with 7:42 left. Glades Central is now 6-0 in their rivalry with Dwyer.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Marlins Take Series Against Phillies

The Florida Marlins took two of three games this past weekend against the Philadelphia Phillies at Sun Life Stadium. The Marlins had been dominated at home when playing the Phillies over the past four seasons. In the process, Florida won consecutive games for the first time since July 31 to August 2 and won a three-game home series since mid-July against the New York Mets. Phillies outfielder John Mayberry drove in three runs on a homer and a sacrifice fly to lead his team to a 5-3 victory in game one. The Phillies became 42 games over .500 and broke a club record that they set in 1976. The Marlins took game two of the series 8-4 after an almost two-hour rain delay. Gaby Sanchez hit a go-ahead three-run home run in the eighth innning while Mike Cameron contributed two home runs for Florida. The Marlins played their longest game of the season for the third and final game of the series on Sunday. The game went 14 innings, over five hours and the Marlins set a franchise record with 23 runners left on base. In an unusual way to end a ballgame, the Phillies walked four Marlins in the 14th inning as Mike Cameron got the last base-on-balls and Emilio Bonifacio scored with two outs. The Phillies filed a protest after the umpire crew reversed a home run call in the sixth inning when it was tied at 2-2. Hunter Pence blasted a shot toward right field where a fan reached over the outfield wall to catch the ball and prevented outfielder Bryan Petersen from making a play.

Hutton Fills In As Play-By-Play Announcer

Florida Marlins television game analyst Tommy Hutton switched to the play-by-play announcer position on Saturday for Fox Sports Florida's broadcast between the Marlins and the Philadelphia Phillies. He filled in for Rich Waltz who announced a college football game between North Carolina and James Madison. Frank Forte had been used in previous seasons when Waltz was on assignment. Former Marlins player Jeff Conine moved to the game analyst role from co-hosting the pregame show. Hutton played first base for the Phillies back in the mid-1970's.

Blanche Ely Opens With Win

The high school football regular season in South Florida opened up this past weekend. Blanche Ely came back from a 17-point halftime deficit to defeat Stranahan 31-26 at Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale. The Tigers were dazed in the first half as the Dragons controlled the first half of play. Stranahan(0-1) safety Don Gaddy returned a 27-yard inception with 2:45 left in the first quarter for a 7-0 lead. Darren Allen had two great kickoff returns, including one for a touchdown, negated because of penalties. Dragons quarterback Otis Brown had a seven-yard touchdown run in the middle of the second quarter to increase the lead to 14-0. Two minutes later, John Bellfour kicked a 37-yard field goal for the Tigers. On the first play of the Stranahan's next drive, Wilson ran 80-yards through the right side to make it 20-3. Ely came out of the locker room with new purpose to begin the second half as they scored on their first four possessions. The Tigers got third quarter scores on a five-yard run by running back Robert Scott and a one-yard run by quarterback Taquan Fields. Ely took their first lead of the game on the first play of the fourth quarter as Allen ran in from one yard out for a 24-20 lead. Scott followed with a 35-yard run up the middle five minutes later. Blanche Ely(1-0) only made one second half comeback in 2010 as they defeated Dillard in the Soul Bowl.

Marlins Finish Road Trip To End August

The Florida Marlins finished August in New York with a milestone performance by starting pitcher Javier Vasquez. He was able to pick up his 2,500 strikeout in a 6-0 shutout win over the Mets. Vazquez allowed only three singles in seven innings of work for his first win since late July. The Marlins got a five-run rally in the seventh inning thanks to a two-run single by Logan Morrison and a RBI single by Mike Cameron. Mike Stanton capped the victory on his 31st home run with an opposite field second-deck shot in the ninth inning. It was the first time that a right-handed batter was able to do that since Citi Field opened in 2009. The Marlins dropped the final two games in Flushing 3-2 and 7-5 before heading back to Florida for a six-game homestand against the Phiadelphia Phillies and the New York Mets.

Former Panther Wade Belak Dead

Former Florida Panthers right wing Wade Belak passed away last week at the age of 35. Belak played parts of two seasons with Florida from 2007-08 to 2008-09. In his stint here he played in 32 games and had 37 penalty minutes, 0 goals, 0 assists, 0 points and a plus/minus rating of 0. After being traded to the Nashville Predators for Nick Tarnasky, Belak played for them his final three seasons. He also had stops earlier in his career Colorado, Calgary and Toronto.