Joe's Morning Sports-Thursday, June 17, 2021

The Atlanta Hawks and Los Angeles Clippers took 3-2 leads in their conference semifinal series by winning on the road.  The Hawks erased a 24-point, second-half deficit and received a game-high, 39 points from Trae Young in a 109-106 stunner at Philadelphia.  The Clippers were 119-111 winners at Utah as Paul George delivered 37 points and 16 rebounds while they played without forward Kawhi Leonard because of a knee injury sustained in Game 4.

The Danish soccer federation says Christian Eriksen will be fitted with an implantable device to monitor his heart rhythm.  Eriksen is recovering in a Copenhagen hospital after suffering cardiac arrest during Denmark’s game against Finland at the European Championship.  The Danish federation says doctors have determined that Eriksen needs to have an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator.  It says such a device “is necessary after a cardiac attack due to rhythm disturbances.  It says Eriksen ”has accepted the solution” and that international specialists all recommend the same treatment.

Willi Castro homered during a three-run seventh that send the Detroit Tigers to a 6-5 victory and a three-game sweep of Kansas City yesterday.  The Royals have lost six in a row and elven of their last twelve games.  They are now 30-37.

The College Baseball Foundation named Nebraska’s Spencer Schwellenbach as the 2021 recipient of the John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award.  He is the first Husker to be honored with the trophy.  The 2021 Big Ten Player of the Year and a semifinalist for the Golden Spikes Award, Schwellenbach took the mound for the first time in 2021.  A contributor in all three facets of the game, Schwellenbach was Nebraska's number three hitter all season, started every game at shortstop and served as the team's closer.  Offensively, he ranked in the top ten in the Big Ten in runs, RBIs and walks, while in the field he committed just four errors in 186 chances.  The Michigan native took the mound for the first time during his Husker career this season and was electric, leading the Big Ten with ten saves.  Schwellenbach had a 0.57 ERA in 31.2 innings over 18 appearances.  He struck out 34 and allowed just two runs.  Along with being named the 2021 Olerud Player of the Year, Schwellenbach was also named a third-team All-American by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association and a first-team selection as a relief pitcher on the Central-ABCA/Rawlings All-Region team yesterday.

Preparations are continuing for the College World Series in Omaha.  The eight teams in this year's tournament arrived in Omaha yesterday.  Opening ceremonies will not take place this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and event organizers say the annual fan fest will be limited.  Opening round games of the College World Series will take place this weekend at TD Ameritrade Park.

The Big Red Blitz was in Norfolk yesterday, with ten groups hitting 20 stops across the state.  Assistant Football Coaches Greg Austin & Mike Dawson, Associate Athletic Director Matt Davison, and 2021 National Champion Bowling Coach Paul Klempa were at the Midtown Events Center.  Women's Basketball Coach Amy Williams, Football Defensive Coordinator Erik Chinander, and Assistant Football Coach Mario Verduzco were at the Columbus event.  Baseball Coach Will Bolt, Assistant Football Coach Barrett Ruud, and Assistant Women’s Basketball Coach Chuck Love attended South Sioux City and West Point.

The Nebraska-Omaha men's basketball program released its 2021-22 Summit League slate in conjunction with the entire league schedule.  The 18-game docket features a home-and-home mirrored schedule between the league's ten men's and women's programs.  The addition of St. Thomas, who will officially join the league as a full-time member on July 1, creates an even number of teams and true travel partners for the upcoming season.  League play opens Dec. 20 at home when the Mavericks welcome the Tommies to Baxter Arena on a rare Monday night.

The UNO women's basketball team will play nine home games and nine road games during the Summit League slate of the 2021-22 schedule.  This year's league schedule format features true travel partners and games played on Thursdays and Saturdays with the exception of opening week of league play, which will take place on Monday and Wednesday the week before Christmas.  The Mavericks begin league action on the road at St. Thomas on Dec. 20.  The 2022 Summit League Championship is set for March 5-8 at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center in Sioux Falls, S.D.

Katie Ledecky’s most grueling night at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials at CHI Health Center Omaha resulted in two more victories.  She didn’t seem bothered to have to swim her shortest and longest events about 70 minutes apart.  The 24-year-old from Washington D.C. won the 200-meter freestyle first.  Then she came back for the 1,500 free, a new event for the women at these Olympics.  It was a totally different race, stressing endurance over speed.  But it looked just the same.  Ledecky has secured three individual races in Tokyo with the 800 still to go.

It was more of the same for Lincoln's Nate Vontz yesterday at Wild Horse Golf Club in Gothenburg, as he separated himself from the field after Round Two of Stroke Play Qualifying for the 54th Nebraska Match Play Championship.  Vontz, a Creighton Bluejay senior, made seven more birdies and an eagle during his round of 67 (-5) to add to his first round 64 (-8), for a 131 (-13) total.  He finished with 15 birdies and two eagles over the two rounds, and was six strokes clear of the closest competitor.  Vontz earned medalist honors and the top seed for match play.  Northeast Nebraska golfers making the cut to today’s Round of 32 include Atkinson’s Mason Hale (144); Fordyce’ Matthew Schaefer (144); Norfolk’s Lance Lawson (148); Battle Creek’s Ty Heimes (149); & Norfolk’s Jake Kluver (149).

Local Schedule:  Louisville at Omaha Storm Chasers (Bsbl-7:05).

Local Scores:  Nfk Rogue 18’s 9-10 Genoa 2-2 (SB DH); Louisville 8 Omaha Storm Chasers 5 (Bsbl).

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INTERLEAGUE

Final    Boston    10    Atlanta    8    

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AMERICAN LEAGUE

Final    Detroit    6    Kansas City    5    

Final    Chicago White Sox    8    Tampa Bay    7    

Final    Oakland    8    L.A. Angels    4    

Final    N.Y. Yankees    3    Toronto    2    

Final    Cleveland    8    Baltimore    7    

Final    Houston    8    Texas    4    

Final    Minnesota    7    Seattle    2    

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NATIONAL LEAGUE

Final    St. Louis    1    Miami    0    

Final    Cincinnati    2    Milwaukee    1    

Final    Colorado    8    San Diego    7    

Final    Washington    3    Pittsburgh    1    

Final    N.Y. Mets    6    Chicago Cubs    3    

Final    San Francisco    13    Arizona    7    

Final    Philadelphia    2    L.A. Dodgers    0    

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NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION PLAYOFFS

Final    Atlanta    109    Philadelphia    106    

Final    L.A. Clippers    119    Utah    111    

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NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE PLAYOFFS

Final    Montreal    3    Vegas    2    

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WOMEN’S NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION

Final    Los Angeles    85    Phoenix    80   

In other news

The Milwaukee Bucks own a two-games-to-one lead in the NBA's Eastern Conference Finals following a comeback win in Atlanta.  The Bucks have regained home-court advantage by taking Game Three, 113-102 over the Hawks.  Khris Middleton scored 20 of his playoff career high-tying 38 points in the…

Paul George delivered 27 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists as the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Phoenix Suns, 106-92 to pull within two games to one in the NBA's Western Conference Finals.  Reggie Jackson added 23 points for the Clippers, who took control with a 21-3 run that gave them a…

For the first time since 2018, Nebraska men's basketball program will host the annual intrastate matchup with Creighton, as the pairings for the 2021 Gavitt Tipoff Games were announced today by the Big Ten and the Big East Conferences.