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Caglianone makes up for short outing with record HR in Florida’s 5-4 CWS win over NC State

South Florida Local News - Mon, 06/17/2024 - 14:21

By ERIC OLSON (AP Sports Writer)

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Two-way star Jac Caglianone broke the Florida single-season home run record to give his team the lead an inning after he struggled on the mound and got pulled, and the Gators eliminated North Carolina State from the College World Series with a 5-4 victory Monday.

Florida (35-29) moved to another elimination game Tuesday against the loser of Monday night’s Texas A&M-Kentucky matchup.

The Gators are 4-0 in elimination games since regionals and 8-1 in win-or-go-home games in the last two NCAA Tournaments.

“That’s the standard around here and it’s our responsibility to uphold that standard, to play winning baseball and get here to Omaha and be the last team standing,” Florida’s Tyler Shelnut said. “Any time we’re in a spot where our backs are against the wall we honestly play our best baseball, hands down without a doubt.”

Caglianone, a projected top-five pick in next month’s amateur draft because of his bat, not his arm, looked like anything but his best as he labored through a 33-pitch first inning. The 6-foot-5, 250-pound lefty hit a batter and walked two to loaded the bases, gave up Brandon Butterworth’s RBI single and then got a strikeout and fly out to mitigate what could have been a big inning for NC State.

His fastball averaged 89.5 mph in the inning — it had never been below 92 mph in his career, according to ESPN — and he was shown rubbing his elbow in the dugout after the first inning.

Coach Kevin O’Sullivan opted to lift him for Cade Fisher (4-3). He said Caglianone wasn’t sharp in super regionals against Clemson, and he could tell he was off on Monday.

“Definitely didn’t have my best stuff today,” Caglianone said. “I knew I would still have opportunities at the plate to step up for my team.”

Caglianone stayed in the game as the designated hitter and atoned for what happened on the mound. NC State starter Dominic Fritton (3-7) struck him out on three pitches in the first inning, but in the second Caglianone drilled his low fastball over the right-center fence for a three-run homer and 4-1 lead.

The 404-foot low rider was his 34th homer of the season, breaking his school’s single-season record of 33 set last year, and moved him into a tie with Matt LaPorta (2004-07) for career homers at Florida with 74.

“It’s a cool feeling,” Caglianone said. “Mr. LaPorta has reached out a couple times during the year. He’s actually here now with his kids and family. It was a special moment for sure. But end of the day, I was too caught up in just trying to win, staying here and surviving and advancing.”

Caglianone became the first starting pitcher to homer in a CWS game since Auburn’s Tim Hudson did it against Rice in 1997.

NC State coach Elliott Avent said he knew he would be replacing Fritton with Logan Whitaker in the third inning, but he left Fritton in to face Caglianone because of his success against him the last time he was up.

“We thought we’d see if Caglianone wanted to chase again,” Avent said. “That ball he hit to right center, you’re looking at a future big-leaguer. I can tell you that.”

Whitaker replaced Fritton to start the third and allowed two hits and a run and struck out 10 over seven innings.

The Wolfpack’s Alec Makarewicz and Gators’ Shelnut also homered, and NC State cut the lead to 5-4 in the fifth on Butterworth’s RBI double.

NC State had its leadoff man reach base in the sixth, seventh and eighth but couldn’t push the tying run across against Brandon Neely. The Wolfpack had the top of the order up in ninth. Neely caught Eli Serrano III looking at strike three, Garrett Pennington struck out when he couldn’t check his swing on a pitch out of the zone, and Makarewicz lined out to left to end the game.

Neely, who earned his fifth save, allowed one hit and struck out six in three innings. He has surrendered just three earned runs and struck out 32 in 21 innings in the NCAA Tournament.

NC State (38-23) went 0-2 in the CWS for the first time in four all-time appearances.

“These players took us on a ride of a lifetime,” Avent said. “This place is magical. It’s so hard to get here and so hard to leave.”

___

AP college sports: https://apnews.com/hub/college-sports

Netanyahu dissolved his war Cabinet. How will that affect cease-fire efforts?

South Florida Local News - Mon, 06/17/2024 - 14:09

By JULIA FRANKEL and JACK JEFFERY (Associated Press)

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu disbanded his war Cabinet Monday, a move that consolidates his influence over the Israel-Hamas war and likely diminishes the odds of a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip anytime soon.

Netanyahu announced the step days after his chief political rival, Benny Gantz, withdrew from the three-member war Cabinet. Gantz, a retired general and member of parliament, was widely seen as a more moderate voice.

Major war policies will now be solely approved by Netanyahu’s security Cabinet — a larger body that is dominated by hard-liners who oppose the U.S.-backed cease-fire proposal and want to press ahead with the war.

Netanyahu is expected to consult on some decisions with close allies in ad-hoc meetings, said an Israeli official who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media.

These closed-door meetings could blunt some of the influence of the hard-liners. But Netanyahu himself has shown little enthusiasm for the cease-fire plan and his reliance on the full security Cabinet could give him cover to prolong a decision.

Here’s key background about the war Cabinet, and what disbanding it means for cease-fire prospects:

Why did Gantz join and then quit the war Cabinet?

The war Cabinet was formed after the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel when Gantz, an opposition party leader, joined with Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant in a show of unity. Hamas has been designated a terrorist organization by the U.S., Canada, and European Union.

At the time, Gantz demanded that a small decision-making body steer the war in a bid to sideline far-right members of Netanyahu’s government.

But Gantz left the Cabinet earlier this month after months of mounting tensions over Israel’s strategy in Gaza.

He said he was fed up with a lack of progress bringing home the dozens of Israeli hostages held by Hamas. He accused Netanyahu of drawing out the war to avoid new elections and a corruption trial. He called on Netanyahu to endorse a plan that — among other points — would rescue the captives and end Hamas rule in Gaza.

When Netanyahu did not express support for the plan, Gantz announced his departure. He said that “fateful strategic decisions” in the Cabinet were being “met with hesitancy and procrastination due to political considerations.”

How will Israel’s wartime policies likely be changed?

The disbanding of the war Cabinet only further distances Netanyahu from centrist politicians more open to a cease-fire deal with Hamas.

Months of cease-fire talks have failed to find common ground between Hamas and Israeli leaders. Both Israel and Hamas have been reluctant to fully endorse a U.S.-backed plan that would return hostages, clear the way for an end to the war, and commence a rebuilding effort of the decimated territory.

Netanyahu will now rely on the members of his security Cabinet, some of whom oppose cease-fire deals and have voiced support for reoccupying Gaza.

After Gantz’s departure, Israel’s ultranationalist national security minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir, demanded inclusion in a renewed war Cabinet. Monday’s move could help keep Ben-Gvir at a distance, but it cannot sideline him altogether.

The move also gives Netanyahu leeway to draw out the war to stay in power. Netanyahu’s critics accuse him of delaying because an end to the war would mean an investigation into the government’s failures on Oct. 7 and raise the likelihood of new elections when the prime minister’s popularity is low.

“It means that he will make all the decisions himself, or with people that he trusts who don’t challenge him,” said Gideon Rahat, chairman of the political science department at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. “And his interest is in having a slow-attrition war.”

Daily Horoscope for June 17, 2024

South Florida Local News - Sun, 06/16/2024 - 21:00
General Daily Insight for June 17, 2024

Our feelings and ideas can flow unimpeded at last! Venus, the planet of love and beauty, enters emotional Cancer at 2:20 am EDT, setting us up for better relationships. Starting from the inside and working out should net the best results. Meanwhile, messenger Mercury will be very busy, squaring mystical Neptune before it follows Venus and dives into Cancer for the next few weeks. Mercury and Venus will then conjoin, beautifully blending their energies together and bringing out the best in all of us.

Aries

March 21 – April 19

A gentle touch is never a bad idea. Loving Venus is stepping into your sensitive 4th house, opening up a path for you to lead with an open heart without laying on the drama. You may crave more time with family or close friends — don’t hesitate to host everyone! Venus can also bring out your inner interior decorator, so if you’ve been considering a bit of renovation or redecoration, go ahead and start sprucing up your surroundings with a little luxury.

Taurus

April 20 – May 20

You don’t have to go far to find enjoyable experiences. Your ruler Venus is moving into your 3rd House of Local Community for the next few weeks. While Venus is here, it will draw your eyes to fun just outside your front door. Make a point of hitting the town and painting it whatever color you like, because you could uncover lots of cool spots and make some friends who can bring a lot of joy into your life. Get out and about!

Gemini

May 21 – June 20

You deserve to pamper yourself as much as anyone else! Money-loving Venus is entering your 2nd House of Material Wealth, which is a sector Venus feels very at home in. You’ve got the astrological green light to splash out on something special and enjoy the fruits of your labors. That said, it can be difficult to deny yourself anything while Venus visits here. Maintain a sense of responsibility by establishing a firm budget before you begin to throw your wallet around.

Cancer

June 21 – July 22

You’ve got an extra special flare today! Alluring Venus is dancing into your sign for its annual visit, making you one of the most interesting and attractive signs in the zodiac. Venus governs aesthetics, so if you’ve been considering a new look or a makeover, then this is the time to get yourself to a stylist or wherever you’d like to build your update. The change could be anything, from colorful hair dye all the way to a piercing or tattoo.

Leo

July 23 – August 22

The world is taking on a fantastical hue for the next few weeks. Venus is gliding into your 12th House of Dreams, effectively handing you a pair of rose-colored glasses and encouraging you to see the beauty all around you. While life may seem to flow along at an almost magical pace, that doesn’t mean there’s no reason to be careful. Venus can blind you to red flags, so make sure that you’re looking through those rosy glasses as clearly as possible.

Virgo

August 23 – September 22

Enough burning the midnight oil — it’s time to have some fun. Pleasure planet Venus is jumping out of your ambitious 10th house and into your outgoing 11th house, putting the community front and center for the next few weeks. This transit can feel like a real popularity boost, so when you reach out to your pals, you can create special memories to last a lifetime. Making fresh connections is also favored now, as Venus will make sure they are to your benefit.

Libra

September 23 – October 22

You can win first place today — and look good doing it. Your reputation gets an extra special shine as your sign’s ruler Venus enters your proud 10th house, boosting your ability to shine bright in front of everyone. Venus likes to bless you wherever she can, so over the next few weeks, you may get some rewards for work done previously. Some amazing assignments that feel more like gifts than work could practically land in your lap. You certainly deserve this bounty!

Scorpio

October 23 – November 21

Beauty can be found everywhere — from a flower growing through concrete to the most grandiose work of art. When was the last time you looked for something new to appreciate in your world? As Venus strolls into your exotic 9th house, you’ve got a knack for finding fresh delights all around. Venus is a sensory planet, so consider experimenting with unfamiliar cuisines, music, scents, and so on. When it comes to experiments that are outside your usual comfort zone, dive in without reserve!

Sagittarius

November 22 – December 21

You can handle depth, Sagittarius. Regardless of your typical habits, taking a casual approach to your connections isn’t as likely to be successful. As Venus enters your deeply private 8th house, you’ll likely be drawn to share with important people who are willing to meet you halfway, if not even further. This can be great for strengthening bonds. On top of that, this sector also rules major finances. Venus may soon send a fantastic windfall practically to your front door!

Capricorn

December 22 – January 19

Coming together with people who matter shouldn’t feel like a game of tug-of-war. Happily, any recent stressors or strains on your important connections should ease up as gentle Venus arrives in your relationship sector. This transit benefits all sorts of one-on-one partnerships, so whether you’re trying to improve things with a business partner or personal pal, all options are on the table. Likewise, Venus could bring you someone new to fit one of these specific bills who vastly improves your outlook on life.

Aquarius

January 20 – February 18

Becoming your best self doesn’t need to be a spartan process. You can make your daily routines a little bit lovelier as Venus enters your responsible 6th house. Even if you’re on a wellness kick, you don’t need to push yourself to the point of burnout. Avoid things like cutting out every bit of food that makes you happy or exercising till you can hardly move. There are ways to indulge without going overboard so you feel healthy, but not deprived.

Pisces

February 19 – March 20

You’ve got the green light to kick back and have some fun. Venus, the planet of joy and beauty, is dancing into your expressive 5th house, giving you cosmic clearance to leave mundane matters for another time in favor of highlighting whatever brings joy into your life. All forms of love are better than ever right now! This cycle is also terrific for artistic inspiration, so don’t be shy about letting your muse take hold. You can create something truly stunning.

Tropical depression likely to form in southwestern Gulf, while system could emerge near Bahamas

South Florida Local News - Sun, 06/16/2024 - 17:00

The chances continue to increase that a tropical storm or tropical depression could form in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico by midweek, the National Hurricane Center said, while forecasters are watching for a yet-to-emerge disturbance that could develop into an area of low pressure northeast of the central Bahamas and potentially affect the east coast of Florida.

The first named storm to form in 2024 would be Alberto.

The system in the Gulf of Mexico is forecast to move slowly west or west-northwest, and, in the 7:13 p.m. Sunday tropical outlook, saw its chances of developing jump from 30% to 50% in the next two days and remain at 70% in the next seven days.

Gale warnings have been issued for portions of the Gulf of Mexico and the system could bring heavy rain and potential flooding across parts of southern Mexico and Central America.

Meanwhile, the system that could emerge near the Bahamas has been given a 30% chance of development over the next seven days, a few hundred miles northeast of the central Bahamas, with some slow development possible thereafter while the system moves westward or west-northwestward.

The 2024 hurricane season, which officially began June 1, is expected to be extremely active.

In its annual May outlook, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said that the 2024 hurricane season has an 85% chance of being above normal, with 17 to 25 named storms with minimum sustained winds of 39 mph, and eight to 13 hurricanes. An average year has 14 named storms and seven hurricanes.

In addition, NOAA has forecast four to seven major hurricanes for 2024, meaning those that are Category 3 or above.

Experts at Colorado State University stated in their 2024 forecast that the U.S. East Coast, including Florida, had a 34% chance of a major hurricane making landfall this year. The average from 1880-2020 was 21%.

Forecasters say that the record-warm water temperatures that now cover much of the Atlantic Ocean will continue into peak hurricane season from August to October. That warm water fuels hurricanes. By early June, the tropical Atlantic was already as hot as it usually is in mid-August — peak hurricane season.

Hurricane season officially ends Nov. 30.

Sun Sentinel staff writers Robin Webb and Bill Kearney contributed to this report.

An infographic shows the hurricane season probability and numbers of named storms predicted from NOAA’s 2024 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook. (NOAA/courtesy)

Bryson DeChambeau wins another U.S. Open with a clutch finish to deny stumbling Rory McIlroy

South Florida Local News - Sun, 06/16/2024 - 15:52

By DOUG FERGUSON (AP Golf Writer)

PINEHURST, N.C. (AP) — Bryson DeChambeau won the U.S. Open on Sunday for the second time with the best shot of his life for another memorable finish on the 18th hole at Pinehurst No. 2 — and another heavy dose of heartache for Rory McIlroy.

In a wild final hour of more blunders than brilliance, DeChambeau capped off a week of high entertainment by getting up-and-down from 55 yards out of a bunker, making a 4-foot par putt to close with a 1-over 71.

“That’s Payne right there, baby!” DeChambeau screamed as he walked off the 18th green.

Payne Stewart famously made a 15-foot par putt on the final hole in 1999 at the first U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2, beating Phil Mickelson by one shot. DeChambeau says he was inspired to go to SMU when he saw a mural of Stewart on campus.

The par putt wasn’t as long or as dramatic as Stewart’s in 1999. The celebration was every bit of that. DeChambeau repeatedly pumped those strong arms as he screamed to the blue sky, turning in every direction to a gallery that cheered him on all week.

McIlroy was in the scoring room, devastated by another close call in a major.

This one will string. As much as this U.S. Open will be remembered for DeChambeau’s marvelous bunker shot, McIlroy played a big part by shockingly missing two short putts, the last one from just inside 4 feet for par on the final hole. He closed with a 69.

He had the look of a winner for so long on Sunday, running off four birdies in a five-hole stretch around the turn. He was a model of cool, the opposite of DeChambeau’s exuberance.

McIlroy was two shots ahead walking to the 14th tee. The chants grew louder — “Ror-EE! Ror-EE!” and DeChambeau could hear them.

McIlroy took bogey from behind the 15th green, but he stayed one ahead when DeChambeau, playing in the group behind him, had his first three-putt of the week on the 15th when he missed from 4 feet.

And that’s where this U.S. Open took a devasting turn for McIlroy. He missed a 30-inch par putt on the 16th hole to fall back into a tie. On the 18th hole, McIlroy’s tee shot landed behind a notorious wiregrass bush. He blasted out short of the green and pitched beautifully to 4 feet.

And he missed again.

McIlroy was watching from the scoring room as DeChambeau escaped from an awful lie left of the fairway — a tree in his back swing, a root in front of the golf ball — and punched it out into the bunker. He expertly blasted a shot from the soft sand that rolled out on the crispy green to set up the winning putt.

“I still can’t believe that up-and-down,” DeChambeau said as he watched a replay from the video screen during the trophy presentation. “Probably the best shot of my life.”

McIlroy spun his tires in the gravel as he left quickly without comment. Since he won the U.S. Open at Congressional in 2011, he has seven top 10s without a victory — it’s been more than 100 years since anyone did that well without going home with the trophy.

DeChambeau becomes the second LIV Golf player to win a major, following Brooks Koepka at the PGA Championship last year.

An image of Stewart’s famous pose was on the pin flag at the 18th, and DeChambeau put on a Stewart-inspired flat cap during the trophy presentation, later replacing it with his “Crushers” cap from LIV.

He finished at 6-under 274.

Patrick Cantlay lingered around this duel all afternoon, unable to get the putts to fall at the right time until he missed a 7-foot par putt on the 16th hole that ended his chances. He closed with a 70 and tied for third with Tony Finau, who matched a Sunday best with 67 without ever having a serious chance of winning.

Cantlay would have needed a runner-up finish to get the fourth American spot in the Olympics. That goes to Collin Morikawa. Corey Conners closed with a 70 to move past Adam Hadwin and claim an Olympic spot for Canada.

DeChambeau earned $4.3 million — more than he gets from winning a LIV event — from the record $21.5 million purse.

___

AP golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf

Lane Thomas continues home run tear as Nationals complete sweep of Marlins

South Florida Local News - Sun, 06/16/2024 - 13:10

By PATRICK STEVENS (Associated Press)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Jacob Young hit his first major league homer, Lane Thomas went deep for the third day in a row, and the Washington Nationals beat the Miami Marlins 3-1 to complete a three-game sweep Sunday.

Washington has won eight of nine and improved to 7-0 against Miami. It was the Nationals’ second sweep of the season. The other was April 26-29 at Miami.

The Marlins have lost five in a row and 11 of 13. An NL-worst 23-48, Miami was swept for the sixth time and is 25 games under .500 for the first time this season. The Marlins are 3-23 against left-handed starters, including losses in all three games of this series.

The Nationals’ Mitchell Parker (5-3) allowed six hits and no walks in six innings while striking out four. Miami’s lone run came when he was unable to glove Jazz Chisholm’s infield single with two outs in the fifth, allowing Emmanuel Rivera to score.

Over the last 10 games, Washington starters are 6-0 with a 1.41 ERA.

Kyle Finnegan worked the ninth for his 20th save in 22 opportunities.

Young, who has served as Washington’s regular center fielder since just after he debuted last August, drove Jesús Luzardo’s fastball into the visitor’s bullpen in left to lead off the sixth and give the Nationals a 2-1 lead. It came in his 93rd career game and 325th plate appearance.

Thomas hit his seventh homer of the year in the first off Luzardo (3-6). It marked the second time Thomas smacked homers in three consecutive games. He also did it last Sept. 1-3 against Miami.

Ildemaro Vargas added an RBI double in the sixth off reliever Anthony Bender.

Luzardo allowed two runs on five hits and struck out two in five innings. Miami manager Skip Schumaker said Luzardo woke up Sunday with a stiff back.

“To grind through five innings, hot day, with a stiff back, still got a lot of outs,” Schumaker said. “Two runs against a good team, he did plenty enough for us to win.”

Miami was 1 for 5 with runners in scoring position Sunday and 2 for 17 in the series. The Marlins have scored 26 runs in 13 games in June.

“They’re not happy when they’re getting one run or shut out or that type of thing,” Schumaker said. “It was a tough road trip, no question. But it’s not a lack of effort or preparation. Just a lack of execution right now.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Nationals: Manager Dave Martinez said an MRI exam on OF Jesse Winker’s right knee was “pretty clean” and that Winker should be available in a couple days. Winker was injured running the bases Saturday.

UP NEXT

Marlins: LHP Braxton Garrett (2-2, 6.10 ERA) gets the nod as Miami returns home Monday to start a three-game series against St. Louis.

Oilers and their stars gain momentum, extend Stanley Cup Final against Panthers

South Florida Local News - Sun, 06/16/2024 - 12:48

Whatever the Edmonton Oilers changed before the third period in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final, it’s working.

Edmonton scored two goals in the final period of what ended up being a 4-3 loss to the Florida Panthers on Thursday. However, the offensive momentum seemed to carry over to Game 4 on Saturday, resulting in an 8-1 drubbing that extended the series to a fifth game and a trip back to Sunrise.

Oilers coach Kris Knoblauch has been emphatic all series that the Oilers were getting good chances in front of the net, and that the team just needed a bit of “puck luck” to break through the wall that has been Panthers netminder Sergei Bobrovsky. The five goals on 16 shots that forced Bobrovsky to be pulled for Anthony Stolarz fit the description.

“I think even when we were down three games to zero, our team felt confident about how we played,” Knoblauch said Sunday morning.

But luck doesn’t account for regaining production from Edmonton’s key offensive players. Connor McDavid scored his first goal of the series Saturday with three assists to boot. Leon Draisaitl and Zach Hyman both had a pair of assists after neither had scored a point in the series. But Knoblauch said the team can win even without its best players at their best.

“I think we’ve been able to win in multiple ways,” he said. “I can’t say that we need our top guys to perform and come up big.”

Still, it can’t hurt the Oilers to see a return to form from their stars. McDavid said the scoring outburst was what his team needed.

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“We felt like it was gonna break,” McDavid said after Game 3. “We felt like we were going to find a way to score some goals, and we did tonight. We gotta repeat it.”

Although in higher spirits, the Oilers still face the reality of a 3-1 series deficit and a Game 5 on the road on Tuesday. But McDavid says the team doesn’t feel any pressure given the circumstances.

“There’s nothing to panic about,” he said. “We’re still in a hole. There’s no pressure on us.”

Edmonton is familiar with digging itself out of holes. Knoblauch was hired midseason when the team was just 3-9-1. He later led the team on a 16-game winning streak — one short of the longest in NHL history — which incidentally came after three straight losses.

Now, the Oilers have their sights on stealing Game 5 on the Panthers’ home ice and bringing the series back to Edmonton. They’ve played in two Game 5s away from home this postseason: A 3-2 loss to the Vancouver Canucks and a 3-1 victory over the Dallas Stars. Both series were tied heading into those games. While it won’t be easy against Florida, it is possible, and of course necessary.

“We’ve got to go to Florida and do a job and drag them back to Alberta,” McDavid said.

Top of Gators’ lineup must wake up to stay alive in CWS

South Florida Local News - Sun, 06/16/2024 - 12:29

OMAHA, Neb. — The Gators waited four hours to play their opening game of the 2024 College World Series.

It took their bats another two hours — approximately midnight at Charles Schwab Field — to get on the board Saturday night.

Just after 2 a.m. ET, Michael Robertson and Jac Caglianone represented the tying and go-ahead runs in the top of the ninth, but they couldn’t score. Texas A&M reliever Evan Aschenbeck completed three scoreless innings of relief to shutdown a late Florida rally 3-2.

“I thought we did a good job,” coach Kevin O’Sullivan said. “But we had some opportunities, and when you have those opportunities to score, you know, you’ve got to cash in.”

Texas A&M’s pitching staff kept the Gators guessing. Florida stranded 10 runners and struck out 16 times — a College World Series single-game record. Each of the Aggies’ pitchers tossed three innings with only Chris Cortez giving up two runs on a ground-rule double from Dale Thomas and a sacrifice from Robertson.

Florida managed eight hits but only Caglianone (2-for-3) tallied a hit amongthe first four in the lineup. Ashton Wilson, batting .414 throughout the NCAATournament, struck out for the fourth time in the final at bat.

“Texas A&M was outstanding on the mound,” O’Sullivan said afterwards. “Their pitching staff was outstanding.”

Drowsy and defeated, the coach and his Gators have no choice but to look forward. Florida responded from a 13-17 conference record and quick elimination in the SEC Tournament by winning six of their last seven games.

They’ll have to do something similar if they hope to repeat appearances in the CWS Championship Series, starting with N.C. State, which also lost in dramatic fashion by losing to Kentucky on a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 10th.

Up next …

Florida vs. N.C. State

When: Monday in Omaha, Neb., 2 p.m.

TV: ESPN

Florida Panthers, with help from NHL, push to grow hockey in Latino communities

South Florida Local News - Sun, 06/16/2024 - 09:42

By ALANIS THAMES

SUNRISE — The spark in Leo Jungerman’s eyes when he watched his first hockey game was different.

He’d tried other sports like soccer and tennis, his father Alex said. But a hockey game featuring the Toronto Marlies — the Toronto Maple Leafs’ minor league team — is where an 8-year-old Leo’s love truly began for the sport.

“When we were watching the game, I spent a big chunk of the time looking at him,” Alex Jungerman said, “and it was kind of fascinating. So when he expressed interest in trying the game, I jumped right in.”

Alex, who had moved his family from Brazil to Florida that year in 2015, started looking for youth hockey programs for Leo, who knew nothing about hockey and couldn’t even skate.

That’s when he came across the Florida Panthers Learn to Play initiative — a program designed to introduce boys and girls to hockey while reducing barriers to entry for the sport. It’s part of the Panthers’ overall effort to grow the game in untapped communities, particularly the rapidly growing Hispanic market.

Almost 30% of Floridians are Latino, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, higher than the national average of about 19%. There are more than 500,000 Hispanic residents in Broward County, Florida, where the Panthers’ Amerant Bank Arena is located. That number increases to more than 1.7 million in neighboring Miami-Dade, Florida’s most populous county.

“The demographic makeup in Florida certainly expresses an interest that it’s extremely important to connect to the Latino community,” said Rob Knesaurek, the NHL’s senior vice president of community development and industry growth. “They’re deeply rooted in sports. Why wouldn’t they pick our sport?”

Knesaurek added the NHL is more intentional in popularizing the sport in Latino communities, where the league hasn’t been traditionally proactive. That started with league-wide efforts to connect with Hispanic fans as well as those in underserved communities, and it trickles down to grassroots initiatives by individual teams.

The NHL and NHL Player’s Association’s industry growth fund has spent more than $180 million over the past decade on programs that bring hockey to communities across North America. It focuses largely on combating the barriers of access and cost.

Through the fund, many clubs can offer a fixed, affordable amount for equipment and lessons — some offer them for free — and coaches who speak both Spanish and English.

Alex Jungerman estimated he spent around $300 for the Panthers’ Learn to Play program. Leo got full equipment, including skates and six lessons, to start his hockey journey.

Instructors could translate hockey lingo to the Jungermans. Leo said the Panthers made him feel welcomed, especially in moments when learning hockey felt scary.

“There were several times I wanted to quit, especially because of the skating,” Leo said, “like you’re balancing your whole body weight on two little edges. It’s hard to learn.”

He stuck with it. Now at 16, he’s on Florida’s Junior Panthers travel hockey team.

“Leo’s just a perfect example of a family that could have easily walked away from this if they didn’t feel welcomed or part of this,” said John Colombo, the Panthers’ vice president of community relations. “And I think that’s important. I think too often hockey culture gets that reputation of being very exclusive.”

Overall, the NHL said over $4 million in industry growth fund grants have been given to support the Panthers’ initiatives to grow the game.

The team’s floorball PE program has reached over 300,000 students across 450 schools in Florida — introducing kids to the sport and the Panthers’ brand with the goal of creating lifelong fans.

The Panthers during the season hold a “¡Vamos Gatos!” night, which celebrates South Florida’s Hispanic and Latino community. They’ve hosted the LATAM Cup — a three-day tournament featuring Latin American and Caribbean countries — since its inception in 2018. And they’ve also expanded into the entertainment arena, inviting more Hispanic and Latino artists to perform at Amerant Bank Arena. The arena hosted the Latin Billboard Music Awards in 2020 and Latin American Music Awards in 2021.

“(We) are not looking for the next NHLer,” Knesaurek said. “What we are looking for is to build good, healthy, vibrant communities through good citizens.”

The Panthers recent success on the ice has certainly helped with their popularity. Florida has a 3-1 lead over the Edmonton Oilers in the Stanley Cup Final, which the Panthers are competing in for the second straight year.

“The popularity of the sport and how the team has progressed over the last three or four years, I think you’re going to see an uptick,” said Bryan Smolinski, a former NHL player and regional director with the league’s industry growth fund.

Hispanic and Latino participation in Florida’s Learn to Play program increased 15% from 2023 to 2024.

Leo Jungerman was featured on the team’s first Learn to Play poster from 2015. The Jungermans have that poster displayed at the entrance of their home as a reminder of how far he’s come.

“We make sure that everyone that comes to the house for the first time, we stop them from in front of the poster. We explain the story,” Alex Jungerman said. “We are really proud.”

Police identify Michigan splash pad shooter but there’s still no word on a motive

South Florida Local News - Sun, 06/16/2024 - 09:30

ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. (AP) — Authorities on Sunday identified the man who opened fire at a splash pad in suburban Detroit before taking his own life, but his motives remained unknown as investigators worked to determine if he left behind any hint of his plans.

Oakland County Sheriff’s spokesperson Stephen Huber said the shooter was 42-year-old Michael William Nash of Shelby Township. Sheriff Mike Bouchard said Saturday evening that the gunman had no prior criminal history but apparently suffered privately from what the sheriff called “mental health challenges.”

“It’s our understanding that he was undergoing some mental health challenges, but no one that we know of was notified,” Bouchard said during an evening news conference.

The splash pad shooting was one of at least four mass shootings that took place around the country Saturday night and early Sunday morning. Six people were shot in a residential neighborhood in Lathrup Village, another Detroit suburb. Seven people were shot at a party in Methuen, Massachusetts, and eight people were shot during a Juneteenth celebration in Round Rock, Texas. Two people were killed in that shooting.

Authorities said Nash drove to suburban Rochester Hills on Saturday and opened fire at a splash pad in a city park around 5 p.m. A splash pad is a recreational area with a nonslip surface where people can play in fountains and water sprays.

The sheriff said Nash fired as many as 28 times, stopping several times to reload.

In the chaos, “people were falling, getting hit, trying to run,” Bouchard said. “Terrible things that unfortunately all of us in our law enforcement business have seen way too much.”

The gunman was “apparently in no rush. Just calmly walked back to his car,” the sheriff said.

Nine people were injured, including an 8-year-old boy who was shot in the head; his 4-year-old brother, who was shot in the leg; and the boys’ mother, who was wounded in the abdomen and leg.

The 8-year-old boy and the mother were both listed in critical condition on Saturday evening. The 4-year-old was in stable condition. The six other victims, all at least 30 years old, were in stable condition on Saturday night. Huber, the sheriff’s spokesperson, said all the victims’ conditions were unchanged as of Sunday morning.

Nash eventually fled but apparently left his gun behind. Investigators were able to use the weapon’s registration information to track him back to the home in Shelby Township he shared with his mother. When police arrived, they found a car that matched the gunman’s vehicle.

Deputies surrounded the home and eventually entered to find the suspect was dead. Bouchard said the man died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Deputies discovered a handgun next to the body and a semiautomatic rifle on the kitchen table. Bouchard said Saturday that Nash may have been planning a “second chapter” to the shooting.

Nash’s neighbors told the Detroit News that Nash’s father died two years ago and he lived with his mother, who has been traveling the United States.

“He’s a loner. The blinds are always pulled over there,” neighbor Kyleen Duchene told the newspaper.

Nash’s mother was “super friendly and nice” but Nash himself rarely left the house, neighbor Alex Roser said.

“And when he did, he didn’t even say ‘hi’ back to us when we would acknowledge him,” Roser said. “He was very quiet and didn’t want to be a part of our community.”

Bouchard said that Nash had no connections to the splash pad or any of the victims. Investigators will try to determine if he left behind any writings and examine his electronic devices in hopes of shedding light on his motive.

“In terms of the ‘why,’ I don’t know,” Bouchard said.

Rochester Hills is about 15 miles (24 kilometers) south of Oxford, where in 2021 a 15-year-old fatally shot four high school students. Saturday’s shooting came at the end of the first full week of summer vacation for students attending Rochester Community schools.

“I love my community and my heart breaks today,” Rochester Mayor Bryan Barnett said. “When I got on scene I started to cry because I know what a splash pad is supposed to be. It’s supposed to be a place where people gather, where families make memories, where people have fun.”

Bouchard called the attack “a gut punch” for the county.

“We’ve gone through so many tragedies,” the sheriff said. “We’re not even fully comprehending what happened at Oxford. And, you know, now we have another complete tragedy that we’re dealing with.”

An emotional win for theaters, Hollywood: ‘Inside Out 2’ scores massive $155 million opening

South Florida Local News - Sun, 06/16/2024 - 08:58

By LINDSEY BAHR (AP Film Writer)

Hollywood’s summer movie anxieties gave way to joy this weekend with the massive debut of Disney and Pixar’s “ Inside Out 2.” The animated sequel earned $155 million in ticket sales from 4,440 theaters in the U.S. and Canada, according to studio estimates Sunday.

Not only is it the second-highest opening weekend in Pixar’s 29 years of making films and the second-biggest animated opening ever (behind only the $182.7 million launch of “Incredibles 2” in 2018); It’s also the biggest of 2024, and since “Barbie.” With an estimated $140 million from international showings, “Inside Out 2” had a staggering, and record-breaking, $295 million global start.

Tony Chambers, who heads theatrical distribution for Disney, was confident that the film would do “extremely well.” But even he was surprised at how much it exceeded already high expectations.

“People go to the theaters for great movies,” Chambers said. “The reviews, the word of mouth just helped build this momentum … It’s becoming a bit of a phenomenon.”

Importantly, “Inside Out 2” audiences spanned ages and all demographics. Post-COVID, he said, breakout successes depend on attracting multicultural audiences.

The success is significant for Pixar, marking a much-needed return to form for a studio that has had a string of underwhelming launches including “ Elemental,” which did eventually become a success, and “ Lightyear,” which didn’t. It’s also vitally important for the greater Hollywood ecosystem and the health of theatrical exhibition, which had been running at a 26% deficit.

“Everybody needed this because success begets success,” said Chambers, who has been getting excited calls from exhibitors and fellow studios alike. “It’s great for the industry, great for Pixar and great for the business overall.”

Disney was already having a good summer, with “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes,” which this weekend was in third place in its sixth weekend with $5.2 million (bringing its global total to $374.5 million). And next up is “ Deadpool & Wolverine ” (July 26).

Kelsey Mann directed “Inside Out 2,” which picks up with Riley as she turns 13. That means the arrival of new emotions like Anxiety (Maya Hawke) and Envy ( Ayo Edebiri ) to Joy’s (Amy Poehler) party. It got glowing reviews from critics (92% on Rotten Tomatoes) and polled audiences who gave it an A CinemaScore, suggesting that this won’t be a first-weekend wonder. With kids out of school and an open market until “Despicable Me 4” enters the ring over the Fourth of July, “Inside Out 2” is just getting started.

“This is a monumental weekend for movie theaters,” said Paul Dergarabedian, the senior media analyst for Comscore.

“Inside Out 2” is estimated to have cost around $200 million to produce, which does not account for the millions spent on marketing. Going into the weekend, it was tracking for a debut in the $90 million range, which would have been in line with “Inside Out’s” first weekend in June 2019. Even that would have been considered a terrific achievement, and enough to claim the biggest opening of the year — finally unseating March releases like “ Dune: Part Two ” and “ Godzilla x Kong.”

“For the entire industry that works for theatrical, this is a huge turning point for 2024,” said Daniel Loria of Boxoffice Pro. “This is the sort of weekend we’ve been waiting for.”

As the only major release of the weekend, its theatrical footprint was equally impressive playing on 400 IMAX screens, over 900 “premium large format” screens and over 2,500 3D screens.

This recommitment to theatrical comes after Disney sent several Pixar films straight to its streaming service, Disney+, over the pandemic including “Soul,” “Luca” and “Turning Red.” Last month, the New York Times reported that Pixar had decided to return its focus to feature films (and not producing shows for Disney+) and that it had laid off 14% of its workforce (about 175 employees).

“As important as this weekend is for the industry at large, for Pixar this is huge. They’ve been trying to get their groove back since the pandemic,” Dergarabedian said. “They’ve really come back big.”

Second place went to Sony’s “ Bad Boys: Ride or Die, ” now in its second weekend with $33 million, down only 42% from its opening. In just 12 days, it’s already earned over $112 million domestically and $214 million globally. As of Friday, the four-film franchise had crossed the $1 billion mark.

“Bad Boys’” success last weekend was the start of a higher-earning turnaround for the lagging summer movie season. For Hollywood, the summer season, which runs from the first weekend in May through Labor Day, usually represents about 40% of the yearly box office. The deficit is still significant, with ticket sales down 28% for the summer and 24% for the year (and this is still before “Barbenheimer”) but it’s progress in a more promising direction nonetheless.

“We’re not going to get there overnight,” Dergarabedian said. “But it’s good news for theaters. And we have some big movies on the way.”

On the ground, theater owners saw their cineplexes come to life this weekend.

“It has been magical,” said Jeff Whipple, a vice president for Megaplex Theaters. “We have seen literally generations of families brought together for this movie.”

Megaplex Theaters operates 15 locations and 173 screens in Utah and Southern Nevada. And the energy was palpable, Whipple said. Not only have families been hanging around after the showtimes to discuss the film; They’ve also been scoping out what’s coming next with kids taking pictures of the “Despicable Me 4” posters and displays and dads taking note of the “Deadpool & Wolverine” date.

“I think word is going to spread on this film and help draw people into theaters throughout the summer,” Whipple said.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Comscore. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.

1. “Inside Out 2,” $155 million.

2. “Bad Boys: Ride or Die,” $33 million.

3. “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes,” $5.2 million.

4. “The Garfield Movie,” $5 million.

5. “The Watchers,” $3.7 million.

6. “IF,” $3.5 million.

7. “Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga,” $2.4 million.

8. “The Fall Guy,” $1.5 million.

9. “The Strangers: Chapter 1,” $760,000.

10. “Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring,” $632,910.

Here’s who just won four seats on the Broward County Commission

South Florida Local News - Sun, 06/16/2024 - 06:23

Three incumbent Broward County commissioners have won reelection, and at least one new county commissioner will be serving, too, after the November general election.

Those gaining new terms are commissioners Steve Geller, Hazelle Rogers and Michael Udine. And the County Commission’s newcomer will be Alexandra Davis, the vice mayor of Miramar, who won a county seat unopposed.

A candidate qualifying period ended Friday, and the Supervisor of Elections website was entirely updated with the final qualifying results Saturday.

Still to be decided in November will be a race for Broward County Commission’s District 1, which serves Weston and parts of Miramar, Pembroke Pines, and Southwest Ranches. The incumbent is Mayor Nan Rich, who has a single challenger, Herbert Vargas.

In Miramar, Davis has served as a commissioner since 2010, with the exception of a nearly five-year hiatus from November 2014 to March 2019, because she had previously run for County Commission. Davis will be commissioner for the county’s District 7, which represents parts of Hollywood, Miramar, Pembroke Pines and tribal land.

“I want to make sure the folks in District 7 know I’m here to represent them and their needs,” Davis said Saturday. “I tend to put my all into the job.”

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The District 7 seat is currently held by Commissioner Tim Ryan, who has reached term limits. The maximum is three, four-year terms in the office.

Broward County commissioners oversee county services such as the libraries, regional parks, tax collection, property assessments, buses, Port Everglades, the medical examiner’s office and the airport. They also set the county budget, which determines tax rates for property owners.

Udine represents District 3, which serves parts of Coral Springs, North Lauderdale, Parkland, Sunrise and Tamarac.

Rogers represents District 9, which includes parts of Fort Lauderdale, Lauderdale Lakes, Lauderhill, Oakland Park, Plantation and Sunrise.

Geller represents District 5, which includes the entirety of Davie, Cooper City, and portions of unincorporated areas, Plantation, Southwest Ranches, Sunrise, and tribal land north of Stirling Road, including the Guitar Hotel and Hard Rock.

Lisa J. Huriash can be reached at lhuriash@sunsentinel.com. Follow on X, formerly Twitter, @LisaHuriash

Daily Horoscope for June 16, 2024

South Florida Local News - Sat, 06/15/2024 - 21:00
General Daily Insight for June 16, 2024

The world is like a watercolor painting at this time — beautiful, but blurry. The Moon opposes Chiron first, so we may feel a bit sensitive, before it moves on to stumble over Uranus, which could offer solutions from out of left field. Balance should return as the Moon trines the Sun, bringing a special equilibrium to things. Still, for better or worse, we may all ignore reality when Venus squares Neptune at 11:46 pm EDT. Magic will seem possible (even when it isn’t)!

Aries

March 21 – April 19

Your words are taking on a fantastical hue, but whether that fantasy is real or entirely imagined is another matter entirely. Attractive Venus in your communications sector is frowning at mysterious Neptune in your dream sector, so saying what you mean and meaning what you say isn’t a guarantee right now. Be wary of getting carried away with your feelings and indulging in overly flowery language or overwrought metaphors. Make an effort to speak as earnestly as possible or you may regret your words!

Taurus

April 20 – May 20

Your friendships may cost a bit more than normal. Your ruler Venus is in your income sector — as it moves along, it will make a tough square to Neptune in your friendship sector. Brace yourself to receive some last-minute invitations — especially ones that come with a price tag. You may not realize until it’s too late that certain things are beyond your budget. Obtain a clear idea of what the day will entail before you sign up for anything.

Gemini

May 21 – June 20

Your self-image could be wavering and shifting like a mirage. You’re putting out a uniquely alluring energy as aesthetic Venus tours your 1st House of Personal Expression. That said, this power is muddled by Venus shoving at foggy Neptune in your 10th House of Reputation. What you think you’re putting out may not match up with what other people are seeing, so be careful about how you present yourself. Remember that no one’s perception is perfect right now, including your own.

Cancer

June 21 – July 22

Exploring the world probably sounds promising, but getting anywhere will prove a bit more difficult. Venus in your subconscious realm and Neptune in your adventure sector are misaligning in a complicated square that will obscure boundaries and possibilities. You can look around and consider the options available to you, but it would be wise to hold off on initiating anything for the moment. Take this chance to ponder your desired results. Once the planets are ready to assist you, you’ll be able to take action.

Leo

July 23 – August 22

Casual interactions aren’t cutting it on a day like this. Venus is moving through your 11th House of Groups, making it the perfect time for fun get-togethers, but watch out for the disagreement between Venus and Neptune in your vulnerable 8th house. You might be drawn into deep conversations that you aren’t prepared for! Neptune can cause confusion at the best of times, so efforts to bond may not go well. Avoid making any lasting declarations or offers that could come back to bite you.

Virgo

August 23 – September 22

Expectations are your biggest enemy. You can perform at top capacity while beautifying Venus tours your reputation sector, but the people you hope will notice may not do so when Venus squares Neptune in your relationship sector. The more you hope for one person or another to recognize your efforts, the more disappointed you could be if they fail to live up to your original ideals. Don’t project a whole other person onto the people you want to matter in your life.

Libra

September 23 – October 22

The mundane is the last thing you want to deal with at present. Your ruler Venus is in your 9th House of Foreign Cultures, giving you a taste for unfamiliar flavors. You may practically fly away altogether when Venus squares imaginative Neptune in your 6th House of Routine. Neptune can make any excuse seem reasonable, so you may have no problem putting usual matters on ice in exchange for more adventurous escapades. Just make sure you’re not ignoring anything truly important!

Scorpio

October 23 – November 21

The way you give and receive affection is undergoing a subtle change. There is a potent square between loving Venus in your intense 8th house and soulful Neptune in your passionate 5th house, which could make your feelings wonderfully elastic. Dive into this open space and swim around in the emotion ocean, seeing what you can discover about how your heart and mind work in tandem. An amazing open attitude is possible, but you must explore these depths in order to reach it.

Sagittarius

November 22 – December 21

A veil may be mystifying your connection to the rest of the world. People likely want to play a special role in your life while Venus moves through your 7th House of Interactions, but when it squares mysterious Neptune in your emotional sector, you could be left feeling rather out of sorts. Someone might say or do something with good intentions, but you can’t quite seem to process it as such, or are simply uncertain how to react. Don’t force a response before you’re ready.

Capricorn

December 22 – January 19

Today could have you spinning in circles. A strange square between Venus in your responsible 6th house and Neptune in your communal 3rd house is going to offer up plenty of ways to spend your time, all of which will look quite appealing at the outset. However, you may speedily discover that these options don’t quite pan out as you would wish. Still, there’s no point in wallowing in regret! Hold off on attempting progress for the time being, and simply float on to tomorrow.

Aquarius

January 20 – February 18

It will be difficult to deny yourself anything at present. Venus in your fun-loving 5th house is jabbing at foggy Neptune in your luxurious 2nd house, which could make it all too easy to throw your money around like it grows on trees. This can be manageable — as long as you give yourself a secure budget to work with! If you start blindly buying everything that catches your eye, you could wind up with a horrible case of buyer’s remorse. Be sensible.

Pisces

February 19 – March 20

Your emotions could be particularly elusive right now. You’re increasingly inclined to dive deep into your feelings while Venus travels through your sensitive 4th house, encouraging you to nest. Paradoxically, the argument between Venus and illusory Neptune in your sign could make it difficult to get in touch with yourself. Perhaps you simply don’t know what you want or are questioning the things that usually bring you joy. It’s okay to ask these questions! Take time to ponder them, and things should become clearer.

Wilton Manors lights up the night for the Stonewall Pride Parade | PHOTOS

South Florida Local News - Sat, 06/15/2024 - 20:49
  • Participants dance in the Glow Night Parade during the Stonewall Pride Parade and Street Festival in Wilton Manors on Saturday, June 15, 2024. (Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun Sentinel)

  • Colorful participants cheer on the Glow Night Parade during the Stonewall Pride Parade and Street Festival in Wilton Manors on Saturday, June 15, 2024. (Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun Sentinel)

  • People take a selfie during the Glow Night Parade during the Stonewall Pride Parade and Street Festival in Wilton Manors on Saturday, June 15, 2024. (Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun Sentinel)

  • BSO deputy Sean Flynn participates in the Glow Night Parade during the Stonewall Pride Parade and Street Festival in Wilton Manors on Saturday, June 15, 2024. (Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun Sentinel)

  • Matheus Batista gets ready for the Glow Night Parade during the Stonewall Pride Parade and Street Festival in Wilton Manors on Saturday, June 15, 2024. (Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun Sentinel)

  • Colorful participants cheer on the Glow Night Parade during the Stonewall Pride Parade and Street Festival in Wilton Manors on Saturday, June 15, 2024. (Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun Sentinel)

  • A stilt walker in the Glow Night Parade during the Stonewall Pride Parade and Street Festival in Wilton Manors on Saturday, June 15, 2024. (Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun Sentinel)

  • Participants dance in the Glow Night Parade during the Stonewall Pride Parade and Street Festival in Wilton Manors on Saturday, June 15, 2024. (Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun Sentinel)

  • Colorful participants cheer on the Glow Night Parade during the Stonewall Pride Parade and Street Festival in Wilton Manors on Saturday, June 15, 2024. (Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun Sentinel)

  • Colorful participants cheer on the Glow Night Parade during the Stonewall Pride Parade and Street Festival in Wilton Manors on Saturday, June 15, 2024. (Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun Sentinel)

  • Colorful participants march in the Glow Night Parade during the Stonewall Pride Parade and Street Festival in Wilton Manors on Saturday, June 15, 2024. (Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun Sentinel)

  • Participants march in the Glow Night Parade during the Stonewall Pride Parade and Street Festival in Wilton Manors on Saturday, June 15, 2024. (Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun Sentinel)

  • Florida House Representative Robin Bartleman and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz ride In the Glow Night Parade during the Stonewall Pride Parade and Street Festival in Wilton Manors on Saturday, June 15, 2024. (Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun Sentinel)

  • Participants dance during the Glow Night Parade during the Stonewall Pride Parade and Street Festival in Wilton Manors on Saturday, June 15, 2024. (Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun Sentinel)

  • Colorful participants march in the Glow Night Parade during the Stonewall Pride Parade and Street Festival in Wilton Manors on Saturday, June 15, 2024. (Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun Sentinel)

  • BSO Sheriff Gregory Tony and fellow officers take part in the Glow Night Parade during the Stonewall Pride Parade and Street Festival in Wilton Manors on Saturday, June 15, 2024. (Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun Sentinel)

  • Participants dance in the Glow Night Parade during the Stonewall Pride Parade and Street Festival in Wilton Manors on Saturday, June 15, 2024. (Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun Sentinel)

  • Participants cheer on the crowd in the Glow Night Parade during the Stonewall Pride Parade and Street Festival in Wilton Manors on Saturday, June 15, 2024. (Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun Sentinel)

  • Participants ride in the Glow Night Parade during the Stonewall Pride Parade and Street Festival in Wilton Manors on Saturday, June 15, 2024. (Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun Sentinel)

  • Participants cheer on the Glow Night Parade during the Stonewall Pride Parade and Street Festival in Wilton Manors on Saturday, June 15, 2024. (Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun Sentinel)

  • Participants dance in the Glow Night Parade during the Stonewall Pride Parade and Street Festival in Wilton Manors on Saturday, June 15, 2024. (Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun Sentinel)

  • Participants dance in the Glow Night Parade during the Stonewall Pride Parade and Street Festival in Wilton Manors on Saturday, June 15, 2024. (Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun Sentinel)

  • Participants dance in the Glow Night Parade during the Stonewall Pride Parade and Street Festival in Wilton Manors on Saturday, June 15, 2024. (Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun Sentinel)

  • Participants stop along the route during the Glow Night Parade during the Stonewall Pride Parade and Street Festival in Wilton Manors on Saturday, June 15, 2024. (Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun Sentinel)

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Dave Hyde: Panthers get an 8-1 beatdown in Game 4 — but there’s good news for some fans hoping to witness history

South Florida Local News - Sat, 06/15/2024 - 20:09

EDMONTON, Alberta — Let’s be honest. There’s a clear upside to the Florida Panthers getting whomped Saturday night.

Maybe it’s one ticket-holding fans for Tuesday’s Game 5 in Sunrise even privately wanted. The Panthers didn’t raise the Stanley Cup on foreign ice, in a far-flung city, before mostly disappointed Edmonton fans.

They come home now with a second chance to celebrate their first Cup before a cheering crowd in a way South Florida could have scripted, even if the full script wouldn’t have involved goalie Sergei Bobrovsky being pulled in Game 4, Edmonton’s Connor McDavid getting his first goal this series and an utterly uncomfortable 8-1 loss.

Edmonton had its party Saturday, from Canadian singer Shania Twain performing before the game to a rousing cheer in the final minutes when fans in Panthers jerseys were shown on the scoreboard Jumbotron leaving for the exits. It was only 7-1 then, so there was another celebration to come when Ryan McLeod’s goal gave the final score.

Up 3-0 in the series entering Saturday, on the brink of their first title, with family flying in and the Stanley Cup trophy in building, the Panthers laid the kind of malodorous egg they’ll spend the next couple of days trying to forget.

Eight goals? The Panthers only gave up four total in the first three games. Edmonton coach Kris Knoblauch has talked of “puck luck,’’ a lot after his losses this series but you won’t hear that from the Panthers after a game like this.

Oh, they hit the post twice in a matter of seconds on an early power play before Edmonton’s Mattias Ekholm scored a shorthanded goal to make it 1-0. It was a straight-up beatdown after that. Beyond the degree of difficulty of beating a good team four straight times, the Panthers had to beat some good ol’ human emotion on both sides.

“That’s the first opportunity we’ve had a as a franchise, really, to feel the the past two days the excitement of (winning the Cup),” Maurice said. “We’ll learn how to channel it.”

Earlier Saturday, Maurice talked of the two conflicting energies being one win from the Cup.

“One’s desperation and the other is desire, I guess, for lack of a word,” he said. “Both really powerful sources of energy and we’re both kind of trying to harness those things.”

Either they didn’t harness them, didn’t play the game they’re accustomed or Edmonton had a night. Maybe all of them. Edmonton’s three first-period goals were the first time the Panthers gave up that many in a period since Game 2 against Boston. That’s 15 games ago.

Edmonton’s five goals midway through the first period came on 11 shots. Take your pick if it was Edmonton or the Panthers, but there were some un-Panthers-like defensive miscues: Brandon Montour sliding into Sergei Bobrovsky on one goal; Niko Mikkola and then Aaron Ekblad losing Oilers behind them on two others; Matthew Tkachuk throwing the puck in the middle of the ice for a turnover that ended with McDavid scoring his first goal in the series to make it 5-1.

That was enough for Bobrovsky to be replaced by Anthony Stolarz. At home, chants of “Bob-by,” accompanied his big games. Saturday night in Edmonton, a serenade of “Ser-gei,” followed him off the ice.

“He’d had enough,” Maurice said, adding, “My number on Bob is probably five.”

What does it all mean? There’s the real question of Saturday night. The Panthers got the split on the road every team wants. But will McDavid’s goal awaken his finishing game for the rest of this series? Can he play a bit looser now to convert the handful of chances he has each game? Was this a one-off aberration for both teams?

The NHL and NBA are having such parallel series you had to cross-reference them. The Panthers and Boston Celtics led 3-0. Then came Game 4. The Panthers trailing 6-1 after two periods had the feel of Boston trailing by 48 points in the second half of their Friday night Game 4.

“Not a lot of silver linings here, people,” Maurice said. “Bob got some rest.”

Is celebrating at home better than the road?

“As long as we win,” center Keven Stenlund said.

The Panthers were up 3-0 in the first round against Tampa Bay and then lost a dreary Game 4, 6-3, before closing out the series in Game 5. Edmonton knows what’s at stake Tuesday.

“We’ve got to go to Florida, do a job and drag them back to Alberta,” McDavid said.

Back to Amerant Bank Arena we go. Back to a Game 5 some fans had to privately hope would happen. The Stanley Cup will be in the building Tuesday. So will a franchise waiting to celebrate its first title at home.

 

Panthers trounced by Oilers in Game 4, get next shot at Cup back home Tuesday

South Florida Local News - Sat, 06/15/2024 - 19:56

The quest for the Florida Panthers’ first Stanley Cup title will have to wait at least another few days.

The Edmonton rush was too much for goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky to handle in Game 4, and the Panthers unraveled for their most goals allowed all season in their first opportunity to seal the Stanley Cup Final, falling 8-1 to the Oilers at Rogers Place on Saturday.

With Florida still leading the series, 3-1, action shifts more than 2,5000 miles from the northern reaches of Alberta, Canada back to Sunrise for Game 5 Tuesday night at Amerant Bank Arena for another potential championship clincher at home.

“It’s the first opportunity we’ve had — as a franchise, really — to feel the two days (building up to a Stanley Cup elimination game), the excitement of it, the emotion of it,” Panthers coach Paul Maurice told reporters after Game 4. “We’ll learn how to channel that. That’s all part of the process.”

Said forward Matthew Tkachuk: “Came here, after all that craziness, got a split, and we’re going home in front of our unbelievable fans that are so excited to see us.”

The Panthers’ physical style that kept speedy Edmonton in check over the series’ first three games was ineffective Saturday. They couldn’t contain the desperate Oilers, who on the brink of elimination built off late momentum from Thursday’s Game 3 when the Oilers scored twice to turn a 4-1 third-period deficit into a 4-3 final.

“We got outworked,” forward Aleksander Barkov said. “We gave up too many rush chances. We’ve been good at defending rushes, and I think we gave up some rush chances that we didn’t need to give up.”

The eight goals allowed is most for Florida since Game 5 of last year’s Stanley Cup Final, when the Las Vegas Golden Knights scored nine times en route to clinching the title.

Star Oilers center Connor McDavid, kept quiet through three losses, exploded for a four-point effort with a goal and three assists. Bobrovsky was pulled early in the second period after allowing five goals on 16 Edmonton shots.

“Not a lot of silver linings here,” Maurice said. “Bob got some rest. We’ll take that.”

The Florida defense in front of Bobrovsky and his backup, Anthony Stolarz, took the blame for the goals.

“We gave up eight goals and zero of them were the goalies’ fault,” Tkachuk said as Florida had no answers Edmonton’s patented rush.

Meanwhile, the Panthers’ offense was held down. Oilers goalie Stuart Skinner stopped 32 of the 33 shots that came his way.

The scoring started Saturday with a shorthanded goal for the Oilers 3:11 into the first period. Mattias Janmark punched the puck into the net on a 2-on-1 with Connor Brown. It came during a Panthers power play following a tripping penalty on defenseman Darnell Nurse, which was reviewed as a possible five-minute major.

Although Florida then killed off a penalty for too many men on the ice, it subsequently gave up an even-strength goal. Adam Henrique tipped a shot from in front of the net off a centering pass from Janmark to give Edmonton a 2-0 lead within Game 4’s first eight minutes.

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But by the middle of the first, the Panthers got one of those goals back.

Vladimir Tarasenko’s redirect off a shot from the blue line from Gustav Forsling found the back of the net, squeaking under Skinner’s glove.

The Panthers nearly tied it moments later. Carter Verhaeghe had an open net but Skinner made a diving save.

“We battled back,” Barkov said, “but it wasn’t enough.”

Instead, Edmonton extended its lead back to two goals with about five minutes left in the action-packed first. Dylan Holloway scored with nifty stick work to beat Bobrovsky from the slot off an assist from Leon Draisaitl.

The Oilers continued their onslaught early in the second.

McDavid zoomed through the Panthers defense on one rush to score his first goal of the Stanley Cup Final. Three minutes later, McDavid dropped back a pass to set up Nurse for the fifth goal, which chased Bobrovsky for Stolarz.

The Oilers added a sixth goal, from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, while on a 5-on-3 due to roughing penalties from Florida’s Matthew Tkachuk and Sam Bennett.

Edmonton scored for the seventh time by way of Holloway’s second goal deep in the third period. McDavid had his third assist. Ryan McLeod added another goal a minute and a half later, and Holloway’s assist gave him three points on the night.

Game 5 will have an 8 p.m. puck drop Tuesday night as the Panthers get another chance to clinch the Cup at Amerant Bank Arena.

Leonardo Frugis Afonso’s stoppage-time goal helps shorthanded Inter Miami beat Union 2-1

South Florida Local News - Sat, 06/15/2024 - 19:31

CHESTER, Pa. — Leonardo Frugis Afonso scored a goal in stoppage time, Julian Gressel added a goal and short-handed Inter Miami beat the Philadelphia Union 2-1 Saturday night.

David Ruiz, a 20-year-old midfielder, was shown his second yellow card in the 69th minute and Miami played a man down until the 84th, Tomás Avilés was shown his shown a red card, leaving Miami down two men the rest of the way. Meanwhile, Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez did not play (international duty) for Miami (11-3-5). The duo is tied for third in MLS with 12 goals apiece this season.

Afonso, on a breakaway, beat defender Jakob Glesnes near the top of the penalty area and, as goalkeeper Oliver Semmle charged off his line, rolled a shot into the net to give Miami a 2-1 lead in the fourth minute of stoppage time.

Philadelphia (4-5-8) had its four-game unbeaten streak snapped.

Mikael Uhre gave Philadelphia a 1-0 lead in the third minute. Uhre slipped behind the defense and ran onto a perfectly-placed through ball played by Glesnes and calmy rolled a shot from a couple yards left of the penalty spot into the net.

Gressel scored his first goal for Miami just after halftime to make it 1-1. The 33-year-old — who signed as a free agent with Miami, his fifth MLS club since 2022, in January — ripped a line-drive half-volley from the center of the area in the 47th minute.

David Ruiz, a 20-year-old midfielder, was shown his second yellow card in the 69th minute and Miami played a man down until the 84th, Tomás Avilés was shown his shown a red card, leaving Miami down two men the rest of the way.

___

AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sport

Current and former Miami-Dade police officers indicted in fatal shootout after 2019 kidnapping of UPS driver

South Florida Local News - Sat, 06/15/2024 - 17:47

A Broward County grand jury issued indictments charging four current and former Miami-Dade County police officers with the deaths of two civilians — a kidnapped UPS truck driver and a motorist — who were killed at a Miramar intersection on Dec. 5, 2019.

All four charged individuals surrendered at the Broward County Main Jail on Friday and Saturday and their legal paperwork was processed.

Rodolfo Mirabal, 39, was indicted on two counts of manslaughter with a firearm for the deaths of Frank Ordonez, 27, the kidnapped UPS driver, and Richard Cutshaw, 70, the motorist, at the intersection of Miramar Parkway and Flamingo Road.

Jose Mateo, 32, Richard Santiesteban, 33, and Leslie Lee, 57, were all indicted on one count each of manslaughter with a firearm for the death of Ordonez.

All four were released on their own recognizance, per a judge’s court order. The maximum possible penalty under Florida law is up to 30 years in state prison, though a first-time offender could face a significantly lesser penalty.

Hey, kids, if you want to be an NFL (or NIL) millionaire, let UCF and Jaguars star Gabe Davis show you how to work out | Commentary

South Florida Local News - Sat, 06/15/2024 - 15:40

They all want to be like Gabe.

All of the youth athletes and high school athletes and college athletes who come in here to train want to be just like Gabe.

The question is: Do they know just how much work, dedication, commitment and perseverance it takes to be like Gabe Davis — the former Sanford Seminole High and UCF wide receiver who recently signed a three-year $40 million contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars?

Jacksonville Jaguars newly acquired wide receiver Gabe Davis (0) makes a reception during the team’s offseason training session earlier this week. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

This was my first thought as I walked into the Draft Academy earlier this week and saw some local high school athletes working out at this cutting-edge  state-of-the-art training facility Davis and his longtime performance coach — NFL speed and conditioning guru Bert Whigham — recently opened in Winter Park.

This place has all the bells and whistles — neuro-strength and brain-mapping technology, hyperbaric chambers, infrared saunas, compression therapy, electromagnetic therapy and massage therapy. And you never know who you might see when you walk through the doors. Maybe you’ll see a high school baseball pitcher training alongside NFL running back Leonard Fournette.

“We wanted to open up a place where the kids in this community have a chance to train like the pros and with the pros,” Davis says.

Says Whigham: “With NIL now coming to high schools, everybody’s a pro these days. So you better train like one.”

It’s one thing to have the physical facilities to train like a pro, but do you have the mental faculties to transform yourself into a pro? To me, that would be the most valuable aspect of training in the same facility as a Gabe Davis. Throughout my sports-writing career, it’s always amazed me how guys like Davis — athletes who aren’t always the most physically gifted — somehow some way turn themselves into stars.

Listening to Gabe talk about where his famous work ethic came from reminds me of something I read in one of the obituaries after NBA legend Jerry West passed away earlier this week. West was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom — the nation’s highest civilian honor — in 2019, and during his acceptance speech he talked about how driven he was to reach his NBA dream.

“It never ceases to amaze me the places you can go in this world chasing a bouncing ball,” West said. “My chase began in Chelyan, West Virginia, where I strung a wire basket with no net to the side of a bridge. If your shot didn’t go in, the ball rolled down a long bank and you would be chasing it forever. So you better make it.

“I was a dreamer. My family didn’t have much, but we had a clear view of the Appalachian Mountains, and I’d sit alone on our front porch and wonder, ‘If I ever make it to the top of that mountain, what will I see on the other side?’ Well, I did make it to the other side, and my dreams have come true. I’ve been able to see the other side, thanks to that bouncing ball.”

Gabe Davis has also used hard work to achieve his big dreams.  He told his mother when he was 9 years old that he was going to start working right then to get to the NFL. Can you imagine — an elementary school kid realizing that it takes perspiration to achieve your aspirations?

Davis was a late bloomer at Seminole High and didn’t get any offers from Power 5 colleges, so he gladly signed with coach Scott Frost and the hometown UCF Knights. He became a freshman captain and a starter who helped the Knights go 13-0 in 2017. By the time he was a junior, he was one of the best receivers in the country with 72 catches for 1,241 yards and 12 TDs — stats that ranked him ahead of college contemporaries such as Justin Jefferson, CeeDee Lamb and Brandon Aiyuk.

But because he didn’t have blazing speed, 16 receivers were taken ahead of Davis in the 2020 NFL Draft. Most of those receivers have come and gone, but Gabe just keeps coming.

Keeps working.

Keeps driving.

Keeps pushing.

“I heard Tom Brady say once, ‘You don’t have to be special; you just have to be consistent; you have to consistently be willing to do what everybody else doesn’t want to do,’ ” Davis says. “I can’t tell you how many athletes throughout my life — even in my high school — who were more talented than me but weren’t willing to sacrifice. In high school, when it came to the end-of-practice conditioning drills, I made damn sure I won every rep. I’m still that way to this day.”

Davis doesn’t just go the extra mile; he goes the extra marathon. This is why I think the Jaguars and their fans are going to be shocked at the impact Davis makes on and off the field in Jacksonville.

When he was with the Buffalo Bills, he was voted a team captain, and coaches consistently named him the team’s “hardest worker” during offseason conditioning drills. On the field, he became the ultimate clutch receiver.

Who will ever forget the historic playoff game against Kansas City two years ago when he caught eight passes for 201 yards and four touchdowns — the most TD receptions in a game in NFL playoff history? In his four years in Buffalo, he averaged more touchdowns per reception, first downs per reception and yards per reception than any regular starting receiver in the league. And he did it as the Bills’ No. 2 receiver behind Stefon Diggs and with far fewer targets than some of the league’s other top receivers.

“I don’t feel like I need to prove I can be a No. 1 receiver because I’ve already proven it,” Gabe says. “Every time I’ve had the opportunity to get the targets of a No. 1, I’ve excelled. If I only get three targets, what am I supposed to do with that? You give me 10 targets and you’re going to get at least 1 touchdown and over 100 yards most every single time.”

There was one game in Buffalo last year in which Davis was targeted zero times — and he still got a game ball for his relentless downfield blocking. That’s  another example of Gabe embracing the grind and showing why he is one of most respected players in the NFL.

As motivational speaker Zig Ziglar once said, “Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.”

And so this is my message to all of you kids before you step through the doors of the Draft Academy with the high hopes of being like Gabe.

Are you willing to do what others don’t want to do?

Do you have what it takes to separate the dreamers from the doers?

Email me at mbianchi@orlandosentinel.com. Hit me up on X (formerly Twitter) @BianchiWrites and listen to my Open Mike radio show every weekday from 6 to 9:30 a.m. on FM 96.9, AM 740 and 969TheGame.com/listen

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