After an 0-5 start, the Columbus State baseball team has battled back to above the .500 mark after its 13-3 rout of Albany State on Wednesday at Ragsdale Field.
The Cougars (7-6) pounded out 18 hits, four by Eric Skinner and three by Brian Gordon. CSU got two hits each from Ryan Lewis, Wes Adkins, Shaun Spearman, Thomas Morrison and Cam Willis.
Alex Montes and Spearman drove in three runs each.
Phillip Robinson picked up the win, allowing three runs (two earned) in 5 2/3 innings.
CSU hosts West Florida on Friday at 5 p.m. for the first of a three-game weekend set.
CVCC rained out; won’t be made up
HANCEVILLE, Ala. — Chattahoochee Valley’s game at Wallace State-Hanceville was rained out Wednesday afternoon.
The game won’t be rescheduled.
CVCC’s home game Saturday against Pensacola Junior College also is cancelled.
Skole sparks Tech past Ga. Southern
STATESBORO, Ga. — Matt Skole drove in three runs with a pair of extra-base hits as Georgia Tech rebounded from Tuesday‘s loss to beat Georgia Southern 5-3 on Wednesday.
The win evened the season series at 1-1, with a pair of games still remaining on the 2009 schedule. The two teams meet again in Atlanta for a two-game series in early April.
Skole hit a two-run homer in the third inning. He also had a run-scoring double in the fifth.
Kevin Jacob (1-0), making his first collegiate start, gave up three runs — two earned — in 6 2/3 innings.
Massanari’s slam boosts Bulldogs
ATHENS, Ga. — Bryce Massanari hit a grand slam in the third inning as Georgia beat Presbyterian 11-4 Wednesday at Foley Field.
Michael Demperio led off the third inning with a solo home run to give Georgia (5-0) an early lead. Walks to Johnathan Taylor, Peter Verdin and Colby May loaded the bases for Massanari, who hit his grand slam to left field to give the Bulldogs a five-run lead.
Senior Jason Leaver (1-0) made his first start in 11 months and threw 5 innings, giving up three hits and two runs to pick up the win.
Lions sign former Force kicker
The Columbus Lions announced Wednesday the signing of former Georgia Force kicker Carlos Martinez.
In the past two seasons with the Force, an Arena Football League team, Martinez scored 183 points, including 127 in 2008, which placed him fifth in the AFL in scoring.
Last season, Martinez set club records with PATs made (112), attempts (127) in a season, and finished 5-of-9 in field goals in 2008.
The Lions kick off their home opener March 22.
Commissioner taking pay cut
NEW YORK — NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is taking a pay cut, and the league staff has been trimmed by 15 percent because of the reeling economy, the NFL confirmed Wednesday.
The league said that its staff cut, announced more than two months ago, has resulted in a reduction of 169 jobs through buyouts, layoffs and other staff reductions. That amounts to just over 15 percent of the league’s work force of 1,100.
Goodell, meanwhile, voluntarily took a cut of 20-25 percent from the $11 million salary and bonuses he was to receive in the 2008 fiscal year, which ends March 31. He and other league executives are freezing their salaries for 2009.
The NFL announced Dec. 9 it would reduce its staff by 10 to 15 percent. Seventy-six people took buyouts while 45 jobs were eliminated and 48 openings went unfilled. The moves affect NFL headquarters in New York, NFL Films in Mount Laurel, N.J., and the NFL Network in Los Angeles.
Teams also are reducing expenses.
The league estimates that 10 to 12 teams have laid off about 200 people total in the last few months.
Purge of veterans includes Brooks
The Buccaneers released eleven-time Pro Bowl linebacker Derrick Brooks on Wednesday, part of a massive purge of veterans to help Tampa Bay get ready for free agency.
Cut along with Brooks were running back Warrick Dunn, wide receivers Joey Galloway and Ike Hilliard, and linebacker Cato June. All but June, who is 29, are over 30 years old.
“There is no way to adequately thank Derrick Brooks for his years of dedication and service to this team and community, or for his impact on me personally,” said Raheem Morris, the Bucs’ new coach, who at 32 is younger than all the players cut except June.
Brooks, who will turn 36 in April, was a leader in the community and the 2000 NFL Man of the Year, honored for contributions on the field and off. The moves surprised him.
“Right now, like all of you guys, I’m just trying to get a feel for it all, trying to come to grips with it,” the 11-time Pro Bowl selection said by telephone. “I don’t even know what to think.”
Brooks and the others were cut for age reasons. The Bucs already are under the $123 million salary cap as free agency begins 12:01 a.m. Friday.
Jacobs signs 4-year, $25M contract
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Less than two weeks after putting a franchise tag on him, the New York Giants signed bruising halfback Brandon Jacobs to a four-year, $25 million contract on Wednesday.
The signing came less than two days before the start of the NFL free agency period.
“Brandon is thrilled to continue his career with the New York Giants,” Justin Schulman, his agent, said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. “This is the place he always wanted to be and he will be here for the foreseeable future.”
Jacobs, the 264-pound mainstay of the Giants’ running attack the past two seasons, signed the deal on Wednesday after the two sides hammered out the agreement over the past week. He ran for 1,089 yards and a team-leading 15 touchdowns in helping the Giants win the NFC East last season.
OFF THE FIELD
Players’ cash frozen in accounts
From camp to camp, the stories virtually are the same: Baseball players, many of them multimillionaires, are short on cash because the government froze accounts in the businesses of Texas financier R. Allen Stanford.
The Yankees’ Johnny Damon and Xavier Nady; former Yankee Bernie Williams; the Mets’ Mike Pelfrey; Boston’s Jacoby Ellsbury; Seattle’s Adrian Beltre; Tampa Bay’s Carlos Pena; and Philadelphia’s Scott Eyre are among those who say their accounts are frozen.
“If we paid our bills, we wouldn’t have any money,” Eyre said. “I’ll pay back whenever I can. I invested in (Stanford) three years ago — thought it was too good to be true — and it was.”
Philadelphia advanced Eyre an undisclosed amount of his $2 million salary Wednesday. Eyre said his only other bank account has a $3,000 balance.
The players are clients of agent Scott Boras. Pelfrey said he got involved through the use of an accountant recommended by him. While some invested directly with Stanford’s businesses, others are trapped because they have accounts with broker-dealers who used Stanford as a clearinghouse.
Israeli plays while guards protect him
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Protected by two bodyguards as he walked on the court, Andy Ram on Wednesday became the first Israeli to play in this Gulf state. He lost a doubles match a week after Israel’s Shahar Peer was denied a visa for the women’s tournament.
Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, meanwhile, led the top six seeds into the quarterfinals of the $2.23 million Dubai Tennis Championships.
Second-seeded Murray, the winner of two titles this year in Doha and Rotterdam, scored a comfortable 6-2, 6-3 victory over Arnaud Clement of France, but top-seeded Djokovic had to fight hard to beat Jan Hernych of Czech Republic 6-3, 3-6, 6-4.
Murray will meet another Frenchman, Richard Gasquet, for a place in Friday’s semifinals, while Djokovic faces Croatia’s Marin Cilic.
From staff, wire reports