Joe's Morning Sports-Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Toronto Blue Jays rookie Vladimir Guerrero Jr. set a Home Run Derby record by slamming 91 in the three rounds, but he lost the $1 million first prize when New York Mets rookie Pete Alonso went deep on his final swing.  Guerrero belted 29 home runs in the first round and bettered that mark by hitting 40 in overtime to beat Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson.  Alonso won each of his rounds in walk-off fashion, beating first baseman Carlos Santana and Atlanta outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr.  Alonso won $1 million for the victory surpassing his $555,000 salary this season.

In the aftermath of co-star Paul George’s departure, Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook welcomes the idea of general manager Sam Presti engineering a trade that would bring an end to his illustrious, eleven-year career with the franchise, league sources told ESPN.  The Miami Heat have expressed interest, a potential destination that also appeals to Westbrook, league sources said.  Westbrook and his agent have been discussing trade possibilities and scenarios with Presti, and the sides are both motivated to find a resolution sooner rather than later.  Westbrook wants to play for a team pursuing contention, which is no longer the case with the Thunder after George forced a trade to the Los Angeles Clippers to partner with Kawhi Leonard.  OKC has been eliminated in the opening round of the Western Conference playoffs three straight years.

The Lincoln Journal Star reports that William Nixon, a three-star class of 2020 prospect from Texas, announced yesterday his intentions to play football for the Huskers.  The 5’11, 185-pound receiver has received 15 scholarship offers.  Nixon had narrowed his list to Baylor, Nebraska, Purdue, Georgia Tech and Notre Dame.  Although his father, Jeff Nixon, is Baylor’s co-offensive coordinator and running backs coach, William Nixon visited Lincoln in early June and followed with visits to Georgia Tech and Purdue.  The Huskers' class of 2020 is now up to eight players, including four-star Bellevue West receiver Zavier Betts.  Nixon said he thinks he can fit in Scott Frost's offense as either a receiver or running back, which probably makes him a good candidate for the slot and/or Duck-R position.  He recorded 40 catches for 500 yards and five touchdowns last fall for Midway while carrying the ball 25 times for 400 yards and five more TDs.

Birdies were abundant during the first round of the 111th Nebraska Amateur Championship, but it was Lincoln’s Jace Guthmiller who rose to the top yesterday at The Country Club of Lincoln.  Guthmiller tied the lowest first round score in Nebraska Amateur history, shooting a 65 (-7) to take a two-stroke lead into the second round.  The former Husker golfer’s round ties Lincoln’s Steve Friesen (1998) and McCook’s Brandon Crick (2006) for the lowest opening round.  Bellevue’s Fernando Arzate is two strokes back at 67 (-5).  Two decorated players are three strokes back after 18 holes, including the 2019 Nebraska Match Play Champion Caleb Badura of Aurora and the 2017 and 2018 Nebraska Junior Golfer of the Year, Luke Kluver of Norfolk.  Badura & Kluver are tied for third place after shooting rounds of 68 (-4).  Other notable scores include Fordyce’ Matthew Schaefer (70); Norfolk’s Kellen Rossman (74); Atkinson’s Mason Hale (76); Norfolk’s Jake Kluver (77); Plainview’s Tucker Knaak (78); and Columbus’ Sam Morse (85) & Bryce VunCannon (87).  The second round begins at 8:00 AM, after which the field will be cut to the low 60 scores and ties.

Local Schedule:  Nfk Seniors at Omaha South Pace Post (Bsbl DH-5:00).

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In other news

The Chicago Cubs have acquired catcher Martin Maldonado from the Royals for left-hander Mike Montgomery.  Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein announced the deal and added that All-Star catcher Willson Contreras was going on the ten-day injured list with a strain to the arch ar…