trackweb

On Friday the track and field teams put on an impressive display, winning 12 total events at the Mountain Laurel Invitational at Sewanee: The University of the South (Tenn.). Emory’s men won first place overall with 201 total points and its women won third place overall with an aggregate score of 147 points.

Behind the points, many of Emory’s gifted athletes were able to carve out individual achievements.

Senior Morgan Monroe, winner of the 100-meter dash with a time of 12.64 seconds, the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 14.78 seconds and the 200-meter dash with a time of 26.21 seconds, felt the most nervous for the hurdle race.

“The hurdles are always the most unpredictable race in track and field,” Monroe said.

As a senior, this is Monroe’s last season. Monroe hopes that she mentored her younger teammates.

“I personally take a tougher approach on the younger runners at the beginning of the year so that they take training seriously, but then I move to a more supportive, nurturing role once the racing starts second semester,” she said.

While Monroe personally connects with her younger teammates, there are “plenty of leaders on the team […] we all lead by example.”

Going into the University Athletic Association (UAA) Championship meet, Monroe is ready to add more victories to her already illustrious career.

“Before a race I always try to remain focused and execute the race I train for,” she said.

On the men’s side, Ian McIsaac won second place in the 800-meter run with a time of 1:56.06. His marvelous pace is unmatched by any Eagle this season.

“Initially, after the race, I knew that a bunch of us had done well,” the freshman said. “When my legs felt like Jell-O after I finished, I figured I must’ve done something right.”

McIsaac is looking to take advantage of the heightened expectations he set on Friday and mark a new lane for himself at the UAA Championships.

“I am a little nervous about running in my first really big collegiate race, but I’m excited to have such a great opportunity to run well in Chicago,” he said.

He is extremely confident in his team going into the UAA’s.

“The team morale is looking as positive as ever,” he said. “Of course everyone is always eager to set new records, and those are never off the table.”

The Eagles will begin competition in the UAA Outdoor Championships Saturday at the University of Chicago.

— By Stephen Jaber

onfire

 

The NFL draft is only 17 days away, and speculation is running rampant as to who the Houston Texans will select with the first overall pick.

Will Houston go for a quarterback? God knows that the Texans need a gunslinger in the backfield.

After Matt Schaub led the team to the worst record in the league last season, the Texans traded him away to Oakland and signed former Buffalo Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. But we all know that Fitzpatrick and back-up T.J. Yates are just not going to cut it. For one, Fitzpatrick went to Harvard. It seems pretty safe to say that he is too much of a nerd to lead an NFL team to the Super Bowl.

Furthermore, T.J. Yates has the same first initials as the leader of the gang of kids who starred in the old cartoon “Recess.” Yes, we all loved T.J. — he was funny, easy-going and a little pudgy. But anyone who was a kid around the turn of the 21st century knows that you would want to pull a prank with T.J., but you would want Vince being your quarterback.

The fact of the matter is, the Texans have no Vince.

The problem, however, is that this draft does not appear to have a Vince either. There is no standout quarterback who leaps out off the draft boards, who screams to general managers around the league, “I am your man — I am your Vince.”

There is Johnny Manziel, the Heisman Trophy-winning party boy from Texas A&M. More than any other player in recently memory, he epitomizes the ideal of “I put the team on my back, doe.”

Furthermore, he has the nerve and the daring persona that are necessary to succeed in the NFL. How do we know? Because Johnny posted a video to his Instagram account recently that demonstrates his possession of these two qualities.

The video begins with Johnny standing on a dock near a young man in the water on a jet ski. The jet ski takes off, Johnny throws the football and next thing we know, the guy in the jet ski has caught it (your Eagle-eyed On Fire correspondent cannot actually confirm this because he (or she) could not actually make out the football in the video, but the guy on the jet ski celebrated like he had caught it, and we will give him and Johnny the benefit of the doubt).

This is nerve. This is daring. This is the kind of video that we should start posting to the On Fire Instagram account. However, there are questions surrounding Johnny’s character — does he have too much fun to succeed in the supremely focused world of the NFL? Furthermore, will his game translate from college to the pro game?

Because of these doubts, the Texans seem unlikely to pick Manziel. So that leaves Blake Bortles of UCF and Teddy Bridgewater of Louisville as potential franchise quarterbacks in this draft.

But put yourself in the Texans’ shoes. Do you really want to build your franchise around a man named Blake Bortles? That sounds like the name of a bumbling farmer in a British children’s story.

Besides, everyone knows that alliteration is fantastic in the sports section’s headlines but awful in the names of quarterbacks.

And Teddy Bridgewater. His name is pretty cool — Bridgewater brings to mind epic quests in Middle Earth and knights saving damsels in distress. And Teddy is like Teddy Roosevelt, who did a killer job in “Night at the Museum.”

But rumor has in that when picking a quarterback the Texans care more about things like arm strength and foot speed than in how epic a name someone has. And they seem to have certain doubts about Mr. Bridgewater that disincline them from taking him number one overall.

However, there are some inspiring players on the defensive side of the ball that the Texans are reportedly interested in, especially Jadeveon Clowney, the defensive end from South Carolina and Khalil Mack, the linebacker from Buffalo.

Jadaveon Clowney clearly has the cooler name, but since the Texans have already made it clear to us that awesomeness of name is only one of many criteria with which they are evaluating players, we will not harp on it too much. Either player should make a valuable contribution to the Texans’ defense. And if they are lucky, they will be able to snag Bridgewater at the beginning of round two.

If we had the first pick in the draft, we would take Ego Ferguson, defensive tackle from LSU. With a name like that, how could he be a bust?

Courtesy of Emory Athletics Senior Johnathan Chen chips onto the green. Chen led the Eagles last weekend with a score of 149 at the Navy Spring Invitational. The Eagles finished in tenth in the tournament.

Courtesy of Emory Athletics
Senior Johnathan Chen chips onto the green. Chen led the Eagles last weekend with a score of 149 at the Navy Spring Invitational. The Eagles finished in tenth in the tournament.

 

The Eagles wrapped up their spring tournament season this past week, finishing in a 10th place tie at the Navy Spring Invitational. The 36-hole tournament was played April 18-19 on the 6,528 yard par-71 Naval Academy Golf Club in Annapolis, Md.

Head Coach John Sjoberg spoke highly of the experience that the team had.

“This tournament was something we added last year; it’s a unique trip to come play a Division I tournament at the end of the year,” he said. “It’s a good field for us, a handful of Patriot League and Ivy League schools, so it was great to compete with some of those Division I schools.”

The only Division III team amongst 18 teams, the Eagles tied for 10th place with a score of 610 (308-302) over the two-day tournament. Senior Johnathan Chen spearheaded the team effort, finishing in a 17th place tie in the 90-player field with a score of 149 (77-72).

“We played much better the second day and fairly well for 14 holes. Seven, eight and nine are tough holes, so it was a tough finishing stretch,” Sjoberg said.

Freshman Colby Hipp followed four shots behind with a card of 153 (72-81), good for a 38th place tie. Senior Alec Berens recorded a 156 (78-78), and senior Will Roth shot 159 (81-78). Junior Alex Wunderlich rounded out the scores at 162 (88-74).

“The Navy tournament is one of my favorite tournaments that we play. It is great to see how we stack up against top Division I teams,” Berens said. “We had the opportunity to play with the Navy team the second day and talk to them about life at the Naval Academy. It was great to get an inside look at their day-to-day lives versus ours.”

The team will now wait the next two weeks for the remaining NCAA tournaments to play out, after which the NCAA will reveal bids for nationals on May 5th. The Eagles are hoping to get a team bid, but if not the NCAA may select an individual to compete in the national tournament next month. With three of the five members of the traveling team graduating this year, the Eagles will miss their veteran players.

“Next year will be difficult without Alec, Will and Johnathan,” the freshman Hipp said. “We can never replicate what those guys brought to the team, and I will miss them all. I hope I can pay it forward to a younger teammate and be as good a leader to him as they were to me.”

Consequently, with three traveling spots opening up for the fall, the team is looking for the younger players to step up to the challenge.

“It’ll be very different next year without those three seniors, and I’m curious to see who comes back in the fall ready to take advantage of that opportunity, because it’s going to be wide open,” Sjoberg said.

With the spring season wrapped up, the Eagles are taking it easy for the next couple weeks and reflecting on their game.

“This tournament marked our last collegiate regular season event, and looking back on my four years, I have nothing but positive takeaways,” Chen said. Mike Phillips and John Sjoberg have really made my four years here at Emory truly a great experience.”

— By Seanette Ting

Courtesy of Emory Athletics Freshman Michelle Satterfield prepares to return a serve. Satterfield paired with senior Gabrielle Clark for the Eagles’ number one doubles team on Monday against NAIA opponent Georgia Gwinnet College. Emory defeated Georgia Gwinnett 6-3.

Courtesy of Emory Athletics
Freshman Michelle Satterfield prepares to return a serve. Satterfield paired with senior Gabrielle Clark for the Eagles’ number one doubles team on Monday against NAIA opponent Georgia Gwinnet College. Emory defeated Georgia Gwinnett 6-3.

The women’s tennis team traveled to Georgia Gwinnett College (GGC) on Monday afternoon for a rematch of an early season match — the Eagles defeated the GGC Grizzlies, the top-ranked NAIA school, 7-2 on Feb. 25. The score was different, but the result was the same, as the Eagles prevailed 6-3.

Emory, currently ranked second nationally in Division III, improved to 20-2 on the season. Georgia Gwinnett fell to 13-3. It was the Grizzlies’ first home loss of the year.

The Eagles used a strong performance in the singles matches to earn the victory. Emory won each match from the one through five spots, spearheaded by senior Gabrielle Clark’s victory in number one singles and sophomore Beatrice Rosen winning in number two singles.

Clark defeated GGC’s Valeria Podda in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2. Rosen similarily had little trouble taking care of the Grizzlies’ Judith van Fraaijenhoven, prevailing 6-1, 6-0.

Freshmen Melissa Goodman and Katarina Su both gutted out key three-set wins.

Georgia Gwinnett did earn the edge in doubles play, taking two of the three matches. The lone Emory win came in the number three game, with Rosen and junior Rebecca Siegler teaming up to earn an 8-2 victory.

With the win, the Eagles’ winning streak is now at nine matches.

Next up for the Eagles is their most important stretch of the season — the University Athletic Association (UAA) championships, beginning this Friday against New York University in Altamonte Springs, Fla.

— By Ryan Smith

Michael Fier/Staff Junior Jordan Selbach takes a hack. Selbach is batting .342 for the Eagles, who are approaching the stretch drive of their regular season. They lost 5-2 to Georgia Gwinnett College this weekend and will visit LaGrange College tonight.

Michael Fier/Staff
Junior Jordan Selbach takes a hack. Selbach is batting .342 for the Eagles, who are approaching the stretch drive of their regular season. They lost 5-2 to Georgia Gwinnett College this weekend and will visit LaGrange College tonight.

Emory fell 5-2 to the fourth-ranked Georgia Gwinnett College (GGC) Grizzlies on Saturday afternoon.

The loss was a tough one for the Eagles, as it was their Senior Day at Chappell Park.

With the loss, the Eagles fell 25-10 for the overall season, while the Grizzlies improved to 41-8 for the year.

Before the game started, Emory’s graduating players were recognized. Seniors Mike Bitanga, Josh Bokor, Robert Gross, Brandon Hannon, Ben Hinojosa, Daniel Iturrey, Jared Kahn, Matt McMahon, Ryan Toscano and Jared Welch will all be leaving the Eagles in just a few short weeks.

This class amassed 99 wins, three University Athletic Association (UAA) titles and an NCAA tourney berth in 2012.

After falling behind 4-0 in the first two innings, Hannon led a comeback in the bottom of the third inning, driving a pair of runs with a two-out single.

The Grizzlies fought back, adding a run in the top of the fourth and preventing Emory from scoring for the duration of the game.

Hinojosa took the loss for the game after allowing four runs, three of which were earned, over two innings of play.

McMahon pitched three innings of relief, allowing a run on three hits with three strikeouts.

Gross and Bitanga each finished the game with a pair of scoreless innings.

On the Grizzlies side, starting pitcher Tyler Carpenter earned the win to improve to 6-1 in 2014. Meanwhile, the Grizzlies’ pitcher Zeke McGranahan pitched a scoreless ninth.

Junior Brett Lake and Toscano each went two-for-four. Kahn added a two-for-five game for another solid multiple-hit effort from the Eagles.

The game didn’t spoil what has been a very impressive season for Emory.

“This season has certainly been a success, although we all realize that we haven’t reached our potential,” Welch said. “We played well against GGC; they just played a little bit better, and that’s going to happen sometimes.

He continued: “What’s important is that we come back strong against LaGrange and then close it out against Huntingdon in a three-game series this weekend.”

The Eagles are starting their final week of the regular season. The men will be traveling to LaGrange College for a 7 p.m. game tonight.

— By Nicola Braginsky

Courtesy of Emory Athletics Senior first baseman Megan Light knocks a ball into play. Light had five RBIs in the first game of a Saturday doubleheader against Maryville College (Tenn.). The Eagles won the first game of the doubleheader 10-1, and lost the second 4-0. The team is now waiting to hear their postseason fate.

Courtesy of Emory Athletics
Senior first baseman Megan Light knocks a ball into play. Light had five RBIs in the first game of a Saturday doubleheader against Maryville College (Tenn.). The Eagles won the first game of the doubleheader 10-1, and lost the second 4-0. The team is now waiting to hear their postseason fate.

The softball team hit the road to face off against the Maryville College (Tenn.) Scots for their final games of the regular season. The Eagles walked away from the doubleheader with bittersweet feelings as they won the first game 10-1, but later fell 4-0 to the Scots that very same day. Emory finished the season with 36 wins and 7 losses, ranking 15th in the nation.

The Eagles started the day off strong, finishing the Scots in just six innings.  During the first frame of play, senior Megan Light kickstarted offensive play after slamming the first homer of the day that produced a total of three runs for Emory. The early lead was extended when junior Moira Sullivan hit a double, allowing for junior Micah Scharff and sophomore Hannah Sendel to cross the plate.

In just the first inning of play, Emory established a hefty lead that the Scots were unable to recover from.

Again, Light proved to be an offensive leader as she knocked a home run that produced two runs. This was Light’s 16th home run of the season.

Sendel followed with a solo home run for her 12th of the season. The score now stood at a solid 8-0 Eagles lead.

During the week leading up to the doubleheader against Maryville, Light had been named the University Athletic Association’s (UAA) Softball Hitter of the Week after impressive performances against Covenant College and Piedmont College.

During the final sixth inning of play, Sendel came up big when bases were loaded.

She hit a double that allowed for senior Lauren Gorodetsky and freshman Taylor Forte to make it home for the Eagles’ final runs scored in the contest.

Highlights of the win included Sendel’s three hits in four trips to bat and three RBIs. Right behind her was Light, who finished with an impressive five RBIs, tying her own school record.

On the defensive end of things, senior pitcher Amanda Kardys contributed to the win allowing only four hits while striking out five batters. In the last seven games, over the course of 35 innings, Kardys has struck out a total of 22 batters and walked only four.

Emory did not find as much offensive success during the second game of the day against Maryville, where the Eagles fell to the Scots 4-0. The loss ended their seven-game winning streak.

The team had numerous scoring opportunities, but the Eagles were not able to convert on any. Over the course of the entire game, Emory had a total of nine hits and had runners on base in every single inning, but none of the runners made it home. This was the first time the Eagles were shut out since the final game of the 2011-2012 season.

Maryville also struggled for a majority of the game to put runs on the board. The scoreless 0-0 tie was eventually broken when Maryville exploded with three runs during the fifth inning.

Emory was unable to answer, and the game ended in a loss for the Eagles after the Scots added a final run to make the score 4-0.

Both freshman Brittany File and Kardys pitched for the Eagles; File faced a total of 18 batters, while Kardys saw 11 batters at plate.

— By Zoe Elfenbein

If you had to have a third nipple, where would you want it? Email answers to bostdie@emory.edu.

If you had to have a third nipple, where would you want it? Email answers to bostdie@emory.edu.

Bryce Jordan, a catcher for the Lake Charles Barbe High School (La.) baseball team, set a fairly remarkable record this weekend. He was hit by a pitch for the 30th time this season, to set the all time record for a high school baseball player.

“Getting hit doesn’t bother him,” Jordan’s Head Coach, Glenn Cecchini, said in an interview with USA Today that your intrepid On Fire correspondent found on Yahoo! Sports. “He’s built like a Neanderthal, and he knows enough to turn away from the pitch.”

The high school hit-by-pitch record has stood for 49 years, ever since Kenny Redding of Choctaw High (Okla.) was plunked 29 times in 1965. All of us here at On Fire are impressed and amazed by Jordan’s accomplishment, and we want to give him our sincerest congratulations.

Cecchini has also impressed us with his mastery of the English language. “Built like a Neanderthal” is a wonderful way to describe someone.

The images that word conjures, the feelings it evokes, the pictures it paints — Neanderthal is a much more effective word than brick wall, refrigerator or rhinoceros, the three words that immediately come to your synonym-loving correspondent’s mind when thinking of things one who is not hurt by hit pitches could be built like.

Also, right now your TV-loving On Fire correspondent cannot stop thinking about the Geico caveman commercials.

But we are glad that Jordan is smarter than a Neanderthal, judging from the fact that he knows enough to turn away from the pitch (no disrespect intended, if cavemen count among our loyal readers — from those Geico commercials I know how sensitive you guys are).

Ultimately, we at On Fire are jealous of you, Bryce Jordan.

Not only do you hold an awesome record, but also you get to be built like a Neanderthal. The only way that anyone would ever compare any of us here at On Fire with a Neanderthal is if one were referencing Zak Hudak’s hair.

But going back to that whole awesome record thing, that is pretty cool. For one, it is a great fact about yourself to use while playing two truths and a lie.

Just imagine being able to say, “I am from Louisiana, I have a third nipple, and I hold the high school record for the most times being hit by a pitch in a single season.”

Everyone would assume that you do not hold a record as awesome as that and would then be a little disturbed by the fact that you have a third nipple. But the joke is on them!

Let us take a quick timeout so that your often-misunderstood On Fire correspondent can be completely clear with his (or her) writers (and editors).

There is nothing wrong with having a third nipple. You were just born that way. It is a thing you cannot help about yourself, just like your blessed On Fire correspondent cannot help being devastatingly handsome and side-splittingly funny.

In fact, all of us here at On Fire think it would be pretty cool to have a third nipple. The fact of the matter is that lots of famous people have third nipples, which makes it ok for us regular people to have them too.

Mark Wahlberg has three nipples. Marky Mark, of Funky Bunch fame! Yes he has not been in a good movie in a while, but that is almost definitely because he is short and getting old (two things which we at On Fire do not approve of at all) and not because of the third nipple — we are almost positive of this.

Carrie Underwood had three nipples. We say had because she got it removed because she was embarrassed about it. If only she had read this column first, this tragedy might have been prevented.

We at On Fire always say that if our words can inspire just a single person, we have done something worthwhile with this dumb space-filling column.

To all you boys and girls out there with third nipples, keep them. They will come in handy when you play two truths and a lie.

And to be clear, the reason that we do not like Harry Styles is because we genuinely dislike him as a person, not because of his third nipple (or because we are macho and like to trash boy bands to prove it).

So anyway, mad respect to Bryce Jordan from all of us here at On Fire for his record setting season. And, for all our curious readers, our intern is still working on confirming whether or not she has a third nipple.

Courtesy of Emory Athletics Senior Gabrielle Clark fiercely returns a shot. Clark and the Eagles did not lose a set in their singles competitions in their outing against Brenau University last Tuesday.

Courtesy of Emory Athletics
Senior Gabrielle Clark fiercely returns a shot. Clark and the Eagles did not lose a set in their singles competitions in their outing against Brenau University last Tuesday.

 

This past Tuesday, the women’s tennis team faced Brenau University at the Woodruff P.E. Center. Emory dominated throughout the six singles matches and the three doubles matches, winning 9-0 to extend their winning streak to seven games. Only the doubles matchup between Emory’s Gabrielle Clark and Michelle Satterfield and Brenau’s Dominika Jasova and Zalina Nazarova was in doubt, but the Emory pair prevailed 8-6.

In all of the singles competitions, Emory did not lose a single set. Only the first set between Emory’s Melissa Goodman and Nazarova was close. Goodman was victorious in the set, and won her matchup after a retirement from Nazarova in the second set.

After this victory, Emory improved their record to 19-2 on the season. Emory is now ranked No. 2 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) rankings behind Williams (Mass.). With such an impressive overall season thus far, Emory is one of the top contenders for the national championship. They are led by Clark, a senior from Chicago, who is the top ranked singles player in the Atlantic South region. They have a mix of experience and new contributors, which bodes well for the current and future success of the team.

Coming off last season’s second place finish in the NCAA Division III Championships, Emory is determined to win a national title. Williams is in the middle of a dynasty period, as they have won the past six NCAA Division III Championships. Emory finished second in both 2010 and 2013.

The last time a team has been this dominant was when Emory won the national championship four times in a row during the 2003-2006 seasons. In fact, Emory and Williams have won 12 of the past 13 national titles.

Coming up, Emory travels to face Georgia Gwinnett on Monday. While Georgia Gwinnett College is not ranked in the top 30 in the ITA rankings, Emory will not take this match lightly. Emory must perform well in every match in order to both maintain their ranking and to keep momentum going into the upcoming NCAA Division III Championships in May.

Considering many of the major contributors are freshmen, each additional match provides valuable experience and preparation heading into the crucial playoff matches.

Overall, Emory is in top form and is looking to make a run at a NCAA Division III National Championship and end Williams’ six year run of dominance.

— By Shawn Farshchi

s3

Courtesy of Erik Daniel Drost.

Hello, and welcome to another edition of The Beej Knows Best. We have been shifting gears all season long, with articles about social issues to articles about the NFL Draft to articles about basketball.

This one looks deeper into the upcoming NBA playoffs. Although much of the analysis in basketball during this time period revolves around which team is most likely to win the NBA Championship, there are serious implications for individual players as well.

For example, J.R. Smith, coming off of a Sixth Man of the Year Award, played horrifically in the playoffs, and eventually had to come back to the Knicks on a modestly-sized deal. Granted, he was paid much higher than he probably should have been and for much longer than he should have gotten, but James Dolan really doesn’t care about money or basketball or anything.

It is not all bad though. There have been countless instances of players having mediocre seasons, but turning it up in April and parlaying their performance into lucrative deals. These might not be the biggest difference-makers, but these are just the players who I believe have the most at stake, and need to play phenomenally well to either gain a massive extension, or prevent losing one. You might even have players who look at their overall team’s performance, to determine whether or not the squad is moving in the right direction. Let’s look at who has the biggest to gain or lose this spring:

Lance Stephenson, shooting guard, Indiana Pacers

Boy, the Pride of New York City is quite the enigma, am I right? It is almost like two boxers with completely different personas facing off every night, and you never know who will prevail. In the left corner, we have the league leader in triple doubles, the man who can orchestrate the offense when it is stagnant, and the man that has matured so significantly from the boy he was coming out of Cincinnati. In the right corner, we have an overtly emotional guy who has hurt his team not only by losing his temper, but also by trying to take over games instead of allowing one of the league’s best players in Paul George to control the ball. So, depending on whether Jekyll or Hyde wins over during the playoffs, Stephenson could be rewarded with a max-level contract (mini-max because he is coming off of his rookie deal), or a small, one-year highly incentivized contract that he doesn’t deserve based on an amazing season. I never said the NBA was fair, but this is how the cookie crumbles.

Kemba Walker, point guard, Charlotte Bobcats

This isn’t as immediate as Stephenson, but Walker has a contract extension opportunity this offseason, given that his rookie contract is set to expire after next year. The Bobcats have been horrible for so long, but after aggressively signing Al Jefferson, have made the playoffs. Granted, they are playing Miami, so Walker will not have much of a sample size to illustrate positive performance warranting of a large deal. But if he can keep them close, and overwhelm Mario Chalmers while also providing offensive and defensive relief for Big Al, he could possibly prove to management that he deserves to be the point guard of the future. If he plays poorly, Walker could be heading into restricted free agency, and getting disappointed by the lack of league-wide interest.

Zach Randolph, power forward, Memphis Grizzlies

Randolph has an opt-out clause in his contract for this offseason and, depending on his performance, his decision could be swayed significantly. Throughout the season, especially without Marc Gasol, Randolph had shown signs of deterioration. Yes, he has put up great numbers, but he wasn’t the physical force that had defined his tenure with the Grizzlies. People have even wondered whether his success depended upon Gasol spreading the floor.

However, near the end of the season when a playoff birth was on the line, Z-Bo brought his game to another level. In Memphis’ last five games, all wins, Randolph averaged over 20 points and 10 rebounds, and even peppered in 2.5 assists for good measure. The Grizzlies have a tough playoff matchup against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

If Randolph can overpower Serge Ibaka and whoever else the Thunder throw at him, and if Memphis can make a series out of it, it would be fiscally intelligent for Randolph to opt out and sign another long-term deal. If the Grizzlies get wiped off of the floor, and Randolph looks lethargic and weak, he might have to settle for picking up the option, and realizing that his window for another large payday has finally closed.

LeBron James, (every position — he’s the King), Miami Heat

This isn’t about a financial decision, but more of a career move. Despite Kevin Durant having one of the best offensive seasons in recent history and taking up headlines, James has quietly had another one of his classic all-around spectacular showings. His ability to not only beat you every way offensively, but take out your best player on the defensive end, truly puts him up with the greats of this game. But James has a big decision (yet again) to make.

If the Heat flame out, with Dwyane Wade showing his age and Chris Bosh failing to suffice as a third banana, James might have to recognize that his best opportunities may be elsewhere. And instead of opting out this season, it might be in his best interests to wait until 2015, when teams such as the Los Angeles Lakers, Chicago Bulls, and New York Knicks have sufficient cap space. However, if the Heat can pull off a three-peat, it would be almost a foregone conclusion that he would opt-out, resign for 5 more seasons, and act as a recruiter along with Pat Riley to recreate another Big Three once Wade moves on. Stay tuned this April and May. We might be headed towards The Decision 2.0.

— By Jayson Patel

 

The baseball team extended their winning-streak to six games Wednesday, shutting Berry College out 5-0. The loss was the first time Berry was shut out this season. More importantly, it was a hard fought game and a gratifying victory for the Eagles.

The game picked up very quickly after freshman pitcher Hans Hansen retired the side in the top of the first inning. The Eagles came out swinging in the bottom of the first, scoring three quick runs.

Senior Jared Kahn led the charge with a lead off double. Kahn scored on a bunt single by senior Brandon Hannon, accompanied by a throwing error.

Senior Daniel Iturrey then hit a gorgeous ball up the middle to send in Hannon. After stealing second base and advancing to third on Berry’s second error, Iturrey scored on a groundout RBI from junior Wes Peacock.

After the first inning explosion, the Eagles settled in and played great baseball. Hansen led the squad with three strikeouts and zero runs allowed through seven innings. Senior Robert Gross and freshman Kyle Monk finished the job out of the bullpen, allowing one total hit total over two innings pitched.

“Hansen pitched a spectacular game,” Hannon said. “He carried us to victory.”

The freshman pitcher has been lights-out as of late. Hansen improved to a team-best 7-1 on the campaign with a 2.59 ERA and is now 4-0 with a miniscule 0.90 ERA over his last four starts.

While Hansen was dominating Berry’s batters on the defensive end, Junior Jordan Selbach was dominating on the offensive end. Selbach batted three-for-four in the contest, raising his average to an impressive .342.

Although the Eagles won in a shutout, the game was closer than the numbers indicated. Berry deserves credit for keeping up with the Eagles in hits. The Vikings had eight hits on the day. However, the Eagles did a great job preventing the opposition from scoring with flawless defense.

“We got up early and played great team ball to come out on top,” Peacock said. “The pitching was phenomenal today and we supplemented it with great defense.”

This win will surely improve the Eagles’ impressive resume for selection to the NCAA Championships, with the win raising their record to 25-9 on the season. The Eagles, in first place in the UAA Conference, will return to action this weekend, playing a home-and-home series against Georgia Gwinnett College, a NAIA institution.

Emory will travel to face the Grizzlies on Friday at 7 p.m. before returning home to Chappell Park on Saturday for ‘Senior Day,’ with the first pitch scheduled for 2 p.m.

— By Michael Scheck

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