When the UIC Flames took on the East Tennessee State Buccaneers Sunday afternoon, it was a matchup of two teams heading in opposite directions.
The Flames, losers of three straight and seven of their last eight, defeated the visiting Bucs, who had won five of their last 6, by a score of 3-2, behind a dominating performance from starting pitcher Mike McKinley.
McKinley, a redshirt junior from Naperville, pitched 8 and one-third innings and gave up just one earned run on 4 hits, without walking a batter. McKinley didn’t necessarily overpower the Bucs, striking out just one batter, but the 6-foot tall right hander was economical, throwing just 86 pitches and relying on his defense to make plays behind him.
“McKinley was outstanding,” pitching coach John Flood said. ETSU is very good club especially on offense. Mike did a great job of getting ahead in the count and getting quick outs. He had very good fastball command and when you combine that with the plus changeup he was throwing, he can be pretty tough to hit.”
McKinley breezed through much of the game before the Bucs finally threatened in the top of the 5th, loading the bases with number three hitter Andrew Green coming to the plate.
“The fifth inning was a pivotal point in the ball game,” Flood said.. We had just gone up 2-1 and Mike was able to get two quick outs on three pitches. Then we have back-to-back errors and an infield single and all of sudden it is bases loaded and their 3-hole hitter is up. Mike was able to calm himself down and make two quality pitches and induced a popout to get us out of trouble.”
The Flames also received key contributions from several players at the plate including first baseman Alex Grunenwald and catcher Alex Jurich.
Grunenwald was 2 for 3 on the afternoon with 2 RBI’s, the first of which came in the team’s 2 run 4th inning where third baseman and Joe Betcher and Jurich both crossed the plate.
On top of Jurich’s solid play behind the plate, he was able to reach base twice, with a double in the fourth inning and a triple in the seventh inning. He came around to score in both frames.
“Jurich played a big role in Sunday’s win,” assistant coach Steve Humble said. At the plate, like I said earlier, he stuck with his approach, that was pretty consistent the whole weekend, and gave us a couple solid at-bats in crucial parts of the game. As far as behind the plate, we have continued to work with him and he has shown improvements in each game with all of his skill sets. It’s encouraging to see him finish the weekend the way he did.”
Bucs batters were stifled at the plate by McKinley, but they also got a solid performance on the mound from starting pitcher Logan Rice. The junior right-hander pitched four 1-2-3 innings going 8 strong, giving up 7 hits and 3 earned runs.
Sunday’s game was the third and final of a three game series, with ETSU winning the first two as part of a Saturday doubleheader.
With the win, UIC’s record is now 21-24 with seven games to play in the regular season and is something coach Humble hopes they can build on.
“We hope to use Sunday’s game as a building block going in to our last two conference weekends, as well as build so momentum going into the conference tourney.”
Scroll through any online search engine and you’re sure to find hundreds of websites with sports-related content. These sites come in all different styles: blogs, aggregates, “legacy-style” sites, etc.
Grantland is one of the great long-form sites that incorporates sports and pop culture. The site, launched in June of 2011, was created by sports columnist Bill Simmons. It takes its name from one of the all-time great sportswriters, Grantland Rice, known for his long, elegant prose. The site, which can be found directly or through a link on ESPN.com, has a good amount of pop culture content, in addition to sports articles.
Recent features in their “Hollywood Prospectus” section include stories about Tom Cruise, Chicago-based band Fall Out Boy and video of comedian Patton Oswalt discussing cult-favorite Star Wars. Grantland is an example of great storytelling because it gives in-depth insight to topics that are typically reduced to 500 words or less on the more mainstream national sports sites.
NBC Sports is another site that differs from most, specifically its ProFootballTalk, ProHockeyTalk, ProBasketballTalk and HardballTalk sections, each of which are more of an aggregator, relying on original content from other media outlets. They cover news and rumors for the specific sport they’re honed in on.
ProFootballTalk features some great original stories from editor Mike Florio, who draws from a variety of sources. A typical “talk” story will include a brief blurb or opinionated write-up that discusses original content they link back to.
Bleacher Report generates content about trending topics and serves a wide-variety of niche communities. The site is updated thousands of times a day and derives its content, primarily, from the work of fans who write about the teams that interest them. I liken Bleacher Report to the work of wikipedia and similarly styled outlets. What I mean by this, is that you really can’t take what you read on Bleacher Report as fact, because the vast majority of the writers are not experts in their field.
But, you can take news and rumors from the site and dive deeper into a subject through more prominent, credible outlets. BleacherReport.com was launched in 2007 and is now owned by Turned Broadcasting System.
Another site that is not typical of what many of the national news sites put out is Baseball-reference.com. It is an entirely stat-based site that will basically allow a visitor to search for any baseball statistic they desire. In many cases, the numbers tell the story, so while it may not necessarily be a “sports storytelling” website, it’s vital to any sports fan or sportswriter.
Last week, USA Today’s Tim McGarry put together a great recap of the NCAA Tournament’s Final Four teams, Louisville, Michigan, Syracuse and Wichita State, and how they made it to Atlanta. McGarry does things a little differently in his story, compiling video footage of interviews with many of the stars for each of the four teams.
McGarry’s interactive graphics are broken down by all four regions and allow readers/viewers to click a link to take them to coverage for each individual game. Some of these links direct the reader to lengthy stories, while others take them to the aforementioned video interview compilations.
This new age way of relaying information to the reader is great for those who may not be willing to scroll through 1,000+ words and would prefer to click a video that can tell the story. When edited properly, all it takes is 2-3 minutes to effectively recap a game, and nowadays, that’s all the time a person may be willing to spend. Continue reading
A few minutes after 8:40pm on election night Tuesday, Fox Chicago went ahead and called the election for the Illinois 9th District Congressional for Jan Schakowsky. The Democratic incumbent congresswoman was sporting 65.4% majority over Republican challenger Timothy Wolfe, at the time, with over 70% of precincts reporting, so the decision was far from rushed.
Yet cheers for the dominant showing were subdued at Schakowsky’s victory party in Evanston, if they were present at all. After all, the guest of honor had departed an hour earlier.
Rather than revel in a victory that granted her an eighth consecutive term in the House of Representatives, Schakowsky offered a short statement of gratitude and encouragement to an audience composed mostly of staffers and colleagues, before heading out to President Obama’s reception at the McCormick Place in downtown Chicago. She barely touched the topic of her own re-election.
“I’m very hopeful my election will go just fine,” Schakowsky added at the end of an approximately two-minute long address before departing to celebrate a far more hotly contested race. Continue reading
First, there was presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s highly publicized Mormonism. Then, there was the anti-Islamic video that sparked riots across the Middle East.
Religion has long been used as an effective campaign tool, according to Dr. Scott Hibbard, associate professor in the department of political science at DePaul University. From “Innocence of Muslims” to Mormonism, he discussed how religion has played out in this year’s elections.
Q. Why is religion important in any presidential campaign?
A. [Religion] is a way of differentiating yourself from your opponent. Republican campaign strategists have used this since the 1960′s by promoting a conservative understanding of religion as a way of differentiating themselves from the democrats and providing a religious language to the conservative religious positions.
Q. How does it come into play in the current presidential campaigns?
A. In various ways. Typically, religion comes into play in the context of a cultural war on issues such as abortion, gay marriage, stem cell research, etc. For a variety of reasons, the Romney campaign has sought not to pursue those divisive issues as a way of mobilizing the space. Instead, he’s focusing more on economic issues. Continue reading
Cook County is expecting a much greater voter turnout this year than what they saw four years ago, in large part, due to recent upgrades in their absentee balloting system.
Cook County Deputy Director of Elections Noah Praetz talked to DePaul University journalism graduate students Monday to discuss the county’s most recent developments, as well as an area for improvement.
This year, absentee voting, re-dubbed as mail-in voting, will make it much easier for residents to cast their vote when they plan to be absent from the county on election day.
“We expect and are ramping up for this to become a much greater portion of our voting,” Praetz said. “Four years ago, there were only about 25 thousand absentee ballots returned. I think we could double, triple, even quadruple that this year.” Continue reading