Cal water polo advances to national championship

Cal water polo advances to national championship

Dec. 4, 2010

BERKELEY -- Senior center Zach White scored a goal with 2:41 left in the match to propel the Cal mens water polo team (24-3) to a 7-6 victory over Loyola Marymount (19-9) Saturday (Dec. 4) in the opening day of the 2010 NCAA Mens Water Polo Championship at Cals Spieker Aquatics Center. The Golden Bears, who had to come back from a 6-4 deficit in the third period, scored the final three goals of the match to pull out the win.Cal will next face No. 1-ranked USC (27-2), a 10-7 winner over St. Francis College (24-4) in the other national semifinal, for the 2010 national championship at 3 p.m. Sunday. St. Francis will play LMU at 1 p.m. in the consolation match. The match was a series of runs for both teams. The Bears junior standout Ivan Rackov scored first on a counterattack with 3:03 left in the first period, but the Lions responded on Albert Samuels inside goal with 3:03 in the opening quarter.LMU ran off the next two goals to open the second period on scores by Brian Flacks and Edgaras Asajavicius to take a 3-1 advantage, but Cal came back with three straight goals by freshman left-hander Max Bergeson, Rackov and senior captain Brian Dudley to lead, 4-3, at halftime.Then it was Loyola Marymounts turn to score three straight behind Samuels lob over Cal sophomore goalie Justin Parsons and back-to-back goals from Ikaika Aki.With the Lions leading 6-4 with the third period winding down, Cal turned the match around. Frosh Bergeson scored his second goal of the match with six seconds left in the third period to get the Bears within 6-5. Junior Cory Nasoffs goal with 3:50 left in the fourth period, in which he gathered in a loose ball just in front of the net to score, tied the contest at 6-6.Finally, White gave Cal its first lead since the end of the first half when he scored from two-meters on a strong inside move with a little more than two minutes remaining to put the Bears in the national title match and chance to win their NCAA-record 14th national mens water polo title.Besides two goals apiece from Samuels and Aki, the Lions received outstanding goalie play from senior Andy Stevens, who had 12 saves, including block a Rackov five-meter penalty shot in the second period.It was a great game, said Cal coach Kirk Everist. It certainly was afun game to watch, but maybe not for us because we were almost on the wrong endof it. The guys stepped up to make some plays at the end to get it done. Ithink those are the toughest games. We were maybe a little tight in certaincircumstances, but we had some really nice plays from some different people,which has been the beauty of this team.We had a couple goals from true freshman like Max Bergesonthat really helped us out. Max came in and really lit a fire underusgenerating offense and making Andy (LMU goalie Andy Stevens) start to honorour shots.
Courtesy Cal Athletics media services

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from A's loss despite five home runs

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from A's loss despite five home runs

BOX SCORE

Hit five home runs, and a team has to like its chances of winning.

The A’s simply couldn’t keep up with the Houston Astros’ bats, however, in an 11-8 loss Wednesday night that snapped Oakland’s four-game winning streak. Khris Davis went deep twice, and Ryon Healy, Jed Lowrie and Matt Olson all went deep as the A’s set their season high for home runs.

But Houston racked up 17 hits against Jesse Hahn (3-6) and four relievers and evened this three-game series at a game apiece. It was the second time Hahn has gotten knocked around by Houston inside of a week.

The A’s took an early lead, 5-4, in the third on the second of Davis’ two homers, part of a four-run rally for Oakland. But the Astros answered right back with five runs in the bottom half, and the A’s never recovered from that momentum swing.

Hahn’s struggles continue: Hahn was trying to rebound after the Astros hung nine earned runs on him last Thursday at the Coliseum. Things didn’t improve Wednesday at Minute Maid Park, as the right-hander lasted just two-plus innings and allowed six runs on nine hits. Is this a case of one team simply having Hahn’s number or do the A’s make a move and try someone else in the rotation? It bears watching.

Krush Davis x 2: It was apparent early this would be a slugfest, with Khris Davis homering twice within the first three innings as the A’s tried to keep pace. He led off the second with a shot to left field, then came back with a three-run blast to left in the third that put Oakland up 5-4. The homers were his team-leading 20th and 21st.

Reddick-ulous night: Josh Reddick filled up the stat sheet against his old team in every way imaginable. He went 3-for-4 with three RBI and two runs, and twice caught the A’s by surprise by stealing third base. For good measure, he turned in an excellent running catch in right field to rob Yonder Alonso.

Strange offensive night: What to make of this night offensively for the A’s? They hit a season-high five homers but also struck out a whopping 17 times. No matter … you can’t hang this one on the offense, because …

The pitching staff just couldn’t hold things down: Josh Smith was called upon to hold down the fort after Hahn departed in the third, but Smith was tagged for three runs on four hits. Daniel Coulombe and John Axford also got touched for runs. Rookie Michael Brady did turn in 1 1/3 scoreless innings.

Cubs outfielder vows he didn't give Trump the middle finger at White House

Cubs outfielder vows he didn't give Trump the middle finger at White House

WASHINGTON – Albert Almora Jr. didn’t use Wednesday’s Oval Office photo op as a subtle form of political protest, but it did sort of look like the Cubs outfielder gave President Donald Trump the middle finger, at least from that angle in an image that went viral on Twitter.    

“There was two fingers! Look closely, there was two fingers!” a veteran player yelled across the room as reporters gathered around Almora’s locker inside the visiting clubhouse at Nationals Park. 

“Guys were giving me a hard time about it,” Almora said, “but I pointed out the second finger. We’re all good.”

In another White House visit that didn’t look nearly as unofficial or informal as the Cubs said it would be, one snapshot became Almora with part of his left hand in his pocket. Almora stood near Kris Bryant – who held a 45 Wrigley Field scoreboard panel – and Trump at his desk with the World Series trophy.

“Obviously, it’s unfortunate,” Almora said with a laugh. “I’m getting ready to take a picture and I’m posing there. But you guys know that I would never do that to the president of the United States. 

“I respect everybody. It is what it is. We laugh about it now, but there’s definitely two fingers out there.”

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