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Local Sports

  • The team to beat

    OMAHA, Neb. — Florida will have to break the curse of the No. 1 seed to win its first national championship in baseball.

    The Gators were awarded the top seed in the NCAA baseball tournament Monday, leading a record four Southeastern Conference teams among the eight national seeds. Florida (47-13) was ranked No. 1 in the polls for most of the season and finished runner- up to Texas A&M in the SEC Tournament.

  • Szunko is Bright House’s top Citrus coach

    If one word could be used to summarize the Lecanto High School girls basketball season for coach Brittany Szunko, it would be special.

    Under Szunko’s guidance, Lecanto finished with a 26-5 record, had a 16-game winning streak, was able to capture the Class 5A District 7 Championship with a 49-41 victory over Citrus High School, and led the Lady Panthers to their first ever trip to the final four. 

  • One hit enough for NY in 2-1 win over Rays

    ST. PETERSBURG — For the first time in a century the New York Yankees won a game with just one hit.

    Starlin Castro’s two-run homer off Jake Odorizzi in the seventh inning was enough to give the Yankees a 2-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday.

    “We really weren’t doing much,” Girardi said. “We get a huge hit from Starlin.”

  • Longoria leads Rays over Yanks

    ST. PETERSBURG — Evan Longoria homered and drove in four runs, and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the New York Yankees 9-5 Saturday to send Michael Pineda to his sixth loss in his last seven decisions.

    Longoria had a sacrifice fly during a three-run first, boosted the lead to 5-0 with a two-run homer in the second and chased Pineda with an RBI single in the fourth that made it 6-1.

  • Three big spring takeaways

    Spring football results are best taken with a proverbial grain of salt. Teams have limited preparation time, with incomplete rosters, and run vanilla looks on offense and defense against varying levels of competition, often with JV players contributing.

    But spring does provide an opportunity to install new schemes on both sides of the ball — sometimes under new coaches — and allows players to compete for jobs or work out at new positions. 

  • Gators stunned, ousted

    UF communications

    GAINESVILLE — In heartbreaking fashion, Georgia pinch hitter Kaylee Puailoa sent a two-run walk-off homer over the centerfield fence with two down in the bottom of the seventh to send the No. 16 seed Georgia Bulldogs (45-18) to their third WCWS. UGA defeated Florida 3-2 on Friday evening in front of a sellout crowd (2,041) at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.

  • Frustrating loss

    ST. PETERSBURG — Alex Rodriguez provided the power and Masahiro Tanaka was in control on the mound as the New York Yankees started a 

    10-game road trip in grand fashion.

    Rodriguez homered for the first time since coming off the disabled list, Tanaka pitched seven shutout innings and the Yankees beat the Tampa Bay Rays 4-1 on Friday night.

  • Stamkos says he’d like to remain with Lightning

    TAMPA — Steven Stamkos hopes he hasn’t played his last game for the Tampa Bay Lightning.

    The two-time Maurice Richard Trophy winner as the NHL’s top goal scorer can become an unrestricted free agent July 1, however he reiterated Friday that he’d like to stay with the team drafted him No. 1 overall in 2008 and came within one victory of reaching the Stanley Cup Final for the second straight year.

  • Marlins best Rays in Citrus Series

    ST. PETERSBURG — Jose Fernandez struck out 12 in seven innings Thursday and won his sixth straight start for the Miami Marlins, a 9-1 decision over the Tampa Bay Rays.

  • Bolts ready to bring their ‘A-game’

    PITTSBURGH — Sidney Crosby is in no mood to get caught up in his own personal narrative, the one eager to attach whatever happens to the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals today against Tampa Bay to the superstar’s legacy.