Fresh off a series win against Cal and an early-week victory against Cal State Fullerton, baseball rode a three-game winning streak into its series against No. 17 UC Santa Barbara on Saturday.After dropping the first two contests at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium, the Trojans returned to Los Angeles on Saturday trying to avoid a sweep in the series finale. They defeated UCSB 9-5.Redshirt junior Joe Navilhon was sharp in his second start of the season. The righty gave up 2 runs in his first three innings of work but then settled down, shutting out the Gauchos across the next three frames. He exited after the longest start of his career with one out in the seventh and a 9-2 lead. Junior Jeff Paschke entered in relief and gave up a 2-run triple, completing Navilhon’s line.“Joe picked us up today,” head coach Dan Hubbs said. “He minimized [the damage]. He didn’t let innings be big innings. Everything was small.”Navilhon is still in the process of adjusting to his new role in the rotation after spending the early years of his Trojan career in the bullpen, but he was comfortable starting on the mound on Saturday.“I felt pretty strong as the game went along,” Navilhon said. “I wish I could have finished that seventh inning, but I knew my teammates were going to come in and get the job done if I didn’t.”Senior center fielder Timmy Robinson led the way for the Trojan bats, belting 2 long homers and driving in 5. The first four hitters in the USC lineup accounted for all of the RBIs, as senior AJ Ramirez, redshirt junior David Edson and junior Jeremy Martinez combined to drive in the remaining 4 runs in the Trojans’ victory.“Everybody did their part,” Robinson said. “It was a great team win. We had people consistently getting on base, which is what makes for all those RBIs.”Hubbs agreed with his slugger.“Up and down the lineup, we had good at-bats,” Hubbs said.The win brought USC back to .500 at 11-11 on the season and it salvaged a tough three-game set, which had not gotten off to a good start in Santa Barbara. The Trojans fell 10-1 on Thursday, as senior Brent Wheatley took the ball for the series opener.The veteran right-hander struggled, scattering eight hits and three walks across five innings of work and giving up 5 runs (4 earned). Sophomore Mason Perryman and redshirt freshman Bryce Dyrda came on in relief combining to also give up 5 runs in two innings. USC’s bats were kept silent all night, as sophomore Shane Bieber worked seven strong innings for the Gauchos, giving up just one run en route to a comfortable fourth win of the season.Sophomore Brad Wegman toed the rubber on Friday, and the offense staked him an early lead with runs in the first and third innings. Wegman began to labor in the fourth, however, and departed with one out in the fifth inning after giving up 3 runs — 4 earned, the last on another costly USC error. The Trojans were blanked across the remaining frames, losing the game, 5-2, and the series.“[UCSB] did a really good job over the first two days,” Hubbs said. “They played good defense, they didn’t give us any free passes and they kept the ball down.”Hubbs said the team is at its best when players don’t try to do too much, but he admitted they had begun to press in Santa Barbara.“We got a little bit frustrated during the first two days because they pounded the zone below the knees, and we gave them too much,” he said. “[On Friday], we only gave up three hits, but then we gave them 5 runs.”Hubbs and company will hope that Saturday’s positives are a springboard into the upcoming grind of conference play.“We still have a lot of season left,” Robinson said. “Hopefully we can carry on.”Next up for USC is Loyola Marymount, as the Lions visit Dedeaux Field on Tuesday night. The two sides met at LMU in February, with the Trojans taking a close 4-3 victory. USC will then head north for a series on the road against Stanford.
K wesÃ© TV through its exclusive sports channel, KwesÃ© Sports 2 will continue its coverage of the Fed Cup by bringing its audiences the semi-finals scheduled forÂ 21- 22 April.France will host the USA in the semi-finals of the Fed Cup on an indoor clay court in Aix-en-Provence, France.USA is pitted against Franceâ€™s Kristina Mladenovic, Pauline Parmentier and Amandine Hesse while in the USA roster are; US Open champion, Sloane Stephens; world number 13 and US Open runner-up, Madison Keys; 16th-ranked Coco Vandeweghe and former doubles player, Bethanie Mattek-Sands.In another semi-final match, 10-time Fed Cup champions, Czech Republic will face-off with Germany at the Porshe Arena in Stuttgart, Germany. This showdown will also air on KwesÃ© Sports 2, channel 305.KwesÃ© Sports holds rights to some of the most popular sporting leagues such as the Carabao Cup, Copa del Rey, NBA and NFL. It holds rights for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia and will broadcast all 64 matches live fromÂ 14 June to 15 July 2018. KwesÃ© is also the exclusive home of ESPN offering 24 hours of comprehensive sports coverage.Ademiluyi Tennis Foundation to Hold Clinic for PlayersIÂ n line with the vision of the Ademiluyi Tennis Foundation, plans are in top gear to conduct clinic for the top players to fast-track their development.Prince Adeyinka Ademiluyi disclosed this as the 14th Annual Dr. Joseph Ademiluyi Tennis Tournament came to a colourful end last Saturday at the Lagos Country Club, Ikeja .Speaking on behalf of the Management Committee, Ademiluyi noted that the playing standard has improved and added the tournament is now very competitive hence the need to keep the momentum by selecting the promising players for a clinic which he promised will be conducted by a top tennis expert.Lagos Country Club President, Tajudeen Akande expressed gratitude to the Ademiluyi family for keeping to their dadâ€™s wish who was an ex-trustee and a chairman of the section. He noted that the tournament has helped discovered players for Nigeria as some of the kids are playing for Nigeria at junior level.Filippo Trombi clinched the boysâ€™ U 16 title while Olamide Aluko clinched the girlsâ€™ version. Toluwalase Dele-Oshiga and Sidiq Omope won the boysâ€™ under 14 A and B respectively while Tobi Ayoola and Nathaniel Aluko won the Orange ball A and B. Duro Adewunmi won the Red ball Aand Temiloluwa Dele-Oshiga was winner of the Red ball B. Over 80 kids featured in the week-long tournament.Man U, Spurs Seek FA Cup SuccessÂ Manchester United head into today’s FA Cup semifinal against Tottenham Hotspur needing to keep their hopes of silverware alive to save their season. H owever, Spurs are just as hungry as they aim to end a decade-long wait for a trophy and confirm their consistent improvement under Mauricio Pochettino.Jose Mourinho’s men tightened their grip on the Premier League runners-up spot this week but a title battle with champions Manchester City never materialised and they limped out of the Champions League in the first knockout stage.To add to the frustrations of the beleaguered boss, speculation over the future of Â£89 million midfielder Paul Pogba has dominated headlines in recent weeks.Often deemed surplus to requirements by Mourinho this season, Pogba showed what he is capable of by scoring twice to help United temporarily delay City’s title party in a thrilling 3-2 Manchester derby win a fortnight ago.He impressed Mourinho once more inÂ Wednesday’s2-0 victory at Bournemouth, but in between times was substituted and heavily criticised for his performance in United’s shock defeat against West Brom that gifted the title to City last weekend.“Top performance. Top performance. Obviously the performance against City was special, coming with two goals,” said the United boss of Pogba, who was retained in the side despite seven changes.“But this performance was a very similar level. So top performance. He can do it.”Mourinho won the League Cup and Europa League in his first season at Old Trafford and even delivering just the FA Cup would be a poor return in the eyes of fans who hoped for a Premier League push this season.But United have a proud tradition in the competition, with 12 wins in their history, just one behind Arsenal.Spurs are third on the list with eight FA Cup wins, but haven’t won the trophy since 1991, or any silverware since the League Cup in 2008.Tottenham are, though, on the brink of qualifying for the Champions League for the third straight season.And Pochettino has always insisted that success in the Premier League and the Champions League is a better gauge of how well his side is progressing.“If we are capable to win the Premier League and the Champions League it is a moment you say the team has improved and reached the next level,” said the Argentine.“Until that, win the FA Cup or the League Cup, it will be fantastic for our fans but is not going to move the club to a different level.”Pochettino is sticking to his guns despite evidence that success in domestic cup competitions has been the stepping stone to greater things for other clubs.United’s FA Cup victory in 1990 laid the foundation for two decades of sustained success under Alex Ferguson while City’s FA Cup win in 2011 ended a 35-year trophy drought and paved the way for the Premier League title the following year.Spurs go into the match with a comfortable lead over fifth-placed Chelsea in the Premier League, with the dethroned champions likely to miss out on Champions League football next year.Antonio Conte, widely expected to be in his final few weeks as Chelsea boss, has a more straightforward-looking taskÂ on SundayÂ against relegation-threatened Southampton, who Chelsea came from 2-0 down to beat 3-2 at St. Mary’s last weekend.The Italian boss is keen to fill in a surprising gap in his CV â€“ despite repeated league success in Italy and England, he has never won a cup.Conte has been coy when questioned about his future throughout a troubled season, but he urged his players to play for the fans regardless of his own position at the club.“I was a player, and the players must play every game, and not for me, but for the club, and for the fans,” Conte said.“They must have great respect for this badge, they don’t have to play for the coach.”Meanwhile, Pochettino does not believe playing at Wembley will give his side an advantage inSaturday’sÂ blockbuster FA Cup semifinal against Manchester United.Spurs, playing at Wembley this season while their new stadium is being built, will be on familiar turf, although using the away dressing room, but Pochettino insists it will be a level playing field against Jose Mourinho’s side.“Of course, we feel at home,” the Argentine said at his pre-match press conferenceÂ on Thursday. “But it’s different to when we play in the Premier League.“I don’t believe (we will have an advantage) because Manchester United have the experience to play at Wembley too. It’s not an event just for us.“I think it will be a typical cup game at Wembley â€“ half Tottenham and half Manchester United. I don’t believe we are going to have some advantage for that.”The Spurs boss does not believe winning the FA Cup would change the club, even though their trophy cabinet has been empty for a decade.“It’s fantastic if Southampton, Chelsea, Manchester United or Tottenham will win the FA Cup,” he said. “Is it going to change our life? I don’t believe, I don’t believe. Who needs it more? I don’t know.“We are going to try and fight to win, but it is not about need or not need, it’s about a title that would be fantastic to finish the season, play in the final and win the trophy.“At the end it would be fantastic to finish the season with a trophy. I don’t think it’s about need or not need.”The other semifinal,Â on Sunday, sees Chelsea take on relegation-threatened Southampton.Wenger Leaves as Arsenal Manager at Seasonâ€™s EndA rsenal manager Arsene Wenger has confirmed he will step down from his role at the end of the season.Wenger, 68, will leave a year before his existing contract was due to expire having led the club to three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups during a 22-year reign.Appointed on 1 October 1996, the Frenchman is the Premier League’s current longest-serving manager and has taken charge of a record 823 games.In a statement to the club’s website, he said: “After careful consideration and following discussions with the club, I feel it is the right time for me to step down at the end of the season.“I am grateful for having had the privilege to serve the club for so many memorable years.“I managed the club with full commitment and integrity.“I want to thank the staff, the players, the Directors and the fans who make this club so special.“I urge our fans to stand behind the team to finish on a high.“To all the Arsenal lovers take care of the values of the club.“My love and support forever.”Wenger himself saidÂ on ThursdayÂ that former Arsenal midfielder Patrick Vieira “has the potential” to succeed him as manager.The club’s majority owner Stan Kroenke asked Arsenal fans around the world to pay an appropriate tribute to the Frenchman who transformed the identity of the club.#MerciArsÃ¨neÂ pic.twitter.com/7wqOwveCfzâ€” Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) April 20, 2018He told Arsenal’s website: “This is one of the most difficult days we have ever had in all our years in sport. One of the main reasons we got involved with Arsenal was because of what ArsÃ¨ne has brought to the club on and off the pitch. His longevity and consistency over such a sustained period at the highest level of the game will never be matched.“ArsÃ¨ne has unparalleled class and we will always be grateful to him. Everyone who loves Arsenal and everyone who loves football owes him a debt of gratitude.Arsene Wenger built the best teams that I played against in English Football .The 98 team was Amazing.The biggest compliment is that he played football that made us change the way we played against them. He now deserves the most incredible send off from all in the coming weeks.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram