Bradenton Marauders to Hold Toy Drive for Salvation Army December 8 at Pirate City

(Bradenton, FL) The Bradenton Marauders will host “Marty’s Toy Drive” at Pirate City on Saturday, December 8. New, unwrapped toys will be collected and donated to The Salvation Army for distribution to children in need in Manatee County. The toy drive will begin at 2:00 p.m. and run through the conclusion of the Marauders’ Holiday Dash & Drive 5K race. Toys will be collected on the back fields at Pirate City this year. The fields are accessible by parking at River Run Golf Links.

Anyone can attend the event and contribute to the toy drive. Members of the public and race participants alike are encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy to donate to the Salvation Army. The Salvation Army provides presents to thousands of children who may otherwise have nothing under the tree on Christmas morning. Every toy donor will receive a Bradenton Marauders promotional item and entry into a raffle for four 2019 Pirates Spring Training tickets.

The Salvation Army’s “Adopt-A-Family” program will help provide gifts for thousands of children in need in Manatee County during the holiday season. Many children have already been adopted thanks to generous donations, but the need is still substantial. The toy drive helps The Salvation Army fill the wishes of children that are not adopted in the coming weeks. The Marauders have collected hundreds of toys at “Marty’s Toy Drive” over the last three years.

The toy drive is named for the Marauders’ mascot Marty, who will be attending the event as Marty Claus. The Marauders will offer complimentary photos with Marty Claus to anyone attending the event. Photos will be emailed to attendees in the week following the event.

Pirate City is located at 1701 27th Street East in Bradenton. The River Run Golf Links entrance is south of the Pirate City gates.

Registration for the Marauders’ Holiday Drive and Dash is currently open. Race registration is available online and will remain open until December 1 at 11:59 p.m. Participation in the 5K race is $30 for runners 13 and older who register by December 1. Participants who are 12 and younger can sign up for $20 until December 1. The one-mile fun run is $25 for ages 13 and up and $15 for 12 and younger until December 1. In order to participate in the Longest Drive competition, please contact River Run Golf Links at 941-708-8459 or visit their clubhouse at 1801 27th Street E., Bradenton, FL 34208, directly behind Pirate City.

Online 5K signup: www.runsignup.com/Race/FL/Bradenton/MaraudersHolidayDashandDrive





Georgetown Defeats USF 76-73 In Overtime at Jamaica Classic

(Montego Bay, Jamaica) Jessie Govan scored 27 points and had six rebounds to lead Georgetown to a 76-73 overtime victory over USF Sunday afternoon in the Jersey Mike’s Jamaica Classic at the Montego Bay Convention Centre.

James Akinjo finished 14 points and six assists and Josh LeBlanc added nine points and 10 rebounds off the bench.

David Collins led USF with 21 points that included a career-high four three-pointers. Laquincy Rideau scored 13 points and had a game-high four assists, while Alexis Yetna tallied a double-double with 11 points and a career-high 17 rebounds.

Akinjo gave Georgetown its first lead of the second half since the 18:26 mark when his jump shot with 56 seconds remaining in regulation put the Hoyas ahead 60-59. Collins answered on the ensuing possession for the Bulls with a layup in the lane to push USF ahead by one point.

Collins drew a foul on the next possession and hit both free throws to give USF a 63-60 edge with 13 seconds left in regulation. Akinjo then took the inbounds pass across half court and hit a three-pointer at the top of the key to tie the game at 63 with 4.6 seconds remaining.

USF nearly hit the game-winning shot off a rebound following a half court heave from Rideau, but T.J. Lang’s put back at the buzzer was ruled late after an official review.

Georgetown (3-1) held USF scoreless for over six minutes and built a 19-9 lead midway through the first half. The Bulls, however, closed the period on 12-4 run to pull within two points on a Collins free throw just before halftime.

Lang hit a three-pointer just under four minutes into the second half to cap a 17-4 run to give the Bulls a 43-32 lead. The Bulls would hold the lead until Akinjo’s basket in the final minute of regulation.

USF returns to the Yuengling Center in Tampa Wednesday at 7 p.m. when the Bulls host Florida A&M.





Temple Scores 27 Unanswered Points to Defeat USF Bulls 27-17 Saturday

(Philadelphia, PA) In a microcosm of their season, the USF Bulls (7-4, 3-4 in AAC) played well enough to build a 17-0 lead in the first half, then fell apart in the second, giving up 27 unanswered points in a 27-17 loss to Temple Saturday afternoon in Philadelphia. The game mirrors the Bull’s entire 2018 season, starting off with 7 straight wins and now four consecutive losses as the bottom has fallen out of Charlie Strong’s second season in Tampa.

USF has lost four straight games for the first time since dropping six straight at the end of the 2013 season.

Temple (7-4, 6-1 in AAC) scored touchdowns on special teams and defense, taking the lead on a 73-yard punt return by Isaiah Wright with 10:05 to play. Star back Ryquell Armstead was held to 64 rushing yards on 26 attempts, well under his 122.2 ypg average, a week after running for 210 yards and six touchdowns against Houston.

Junior Jordan Cronkrite led USF’s ground attack with 17 attempts for 83 yards and two touchdowns, becoming the fifth player in program history to rush for 1,000 yards in a season. Both of Cronkrite’s rushing touchdowns came during the Bulls’ 17-0 run in the opening half.

Starting quarterback Blake Barnett completed 14 of 23 passes for 82 yards and threw two interceptions after missing last week’s game with a shoulder injury.

Looking to get back on the winning track, USF jumped out to a 17-0 lead going into halftime after getting two touchdown runs from Cronkrite and a dominant effort by the defense.

After USF forced a three-and-out on Temple’s opening drive, Cronkrite passed the 1,000-yard mark with a 49-yard run on the Bulls’ opening possession. Cronkrite rushed for 56 of USF’s 60 yards on the tone-setting scoring drive that was capped off by his 3-yard touchdown run.

USF’s offense was back in Temple territory after Chris Barr recovered a fumble at the Owls’ 37-yard line on a muffed punt late in the first quarter. Eight plays later, the Bulls took a 10-0 lead with 35-yard field goal by Coby Weiss 10 seconds into the second quarter.

USF pumped its lead up to 17-0 after Cronkrite’s 1-yard touchdown run with 2:27 to go before halftime, which capped off a 12-play, 83-yard drive.

Senior Ronnie Hoggins grabbed USF’s second takeaway of the game with an interception midway through the third quarter, but Temple stormed back in the second half with 27 straight points. Wright’s 73-yard punt return gave the Owls their first lead with 10:05 remaining in the game and they never gave it up.

Kevin Kegler came up with a huge tackle for loss at the USF 45 to stuff a Temple fourth-and-1 rushing attempt with 8:13 to play, but the Bulls’ offense couldn’t capitalize. Still trailing 20-17, USF got the ball back at its own 10-yard line with 1:44 remaining but a strip sack fumble was recovered in the end zone by Temple.

“You had the ball and three opportunities in the third quarter on the plus side and we got nothing out of it”, said a beleaguered Charlie Strong. “We’ve got to be able to score points there. We had two turnovers and then we gave the ball up on downs. You can’t let that happen, especially when you’re on the road.”

USF returns to Raymond James Stadium to host rival UCF, who has already clinched the AAC eastern division with its win over Cincinnati Saturday night, on Friday, Nov. 23 at 4:15PM. The game will be televised on ESPN.





Baltimore Orioles Hire Astros Assistant GM Mike Elias as Exec. VP and GM

(Baltimore, MD) The Baltimore Orioles today announced that Mike Elias has been named the club’s next Executive Vice President and General Manager. Elias will oversee all baseball operations for the club and have full autonomy to build his staff and make decisions on all baseball matters.

The Orioles had one of the worst seasons in baseball history in 2018 losing 115 games and finishing 61 games behind the eventual World Series Champion Boston Red Sox. GM Dan Duquette and Manager Buck Showalter were fired in October.

Elias just completed his 12th season in Major League Baseball, most recently serving as Assistant General Manager, Player Acquisition with the Houston Astros. Throughout his seven years in Houston, he helped to shape an Astros roster that produced back-to-back 100-win seasons, a World Series Championship, two American League Championship Series appearances, and two division titles. He was also an integral part of building one of baseball’s top-ranked farm systems that routinely served to graduate talent to the Major League club.

Elias joined the Astros in 2012 as a special assistant to the General Manager and was a key contributor to Houston’s top-ranked First-Year Player Draft by Baseball America. That year, he was named the club’s Director of Amateur Scouting, a role in which he served as one of the organization’s top talent evaluators. In 2016, he was promoted to Assistant General Manager, Scouting and Player Development, overseeing multiple facets of baseball operations, including player development, minor league operations, and the draft. Additionally, he has led domestic and international scouting efforts for the club since 2017.

Prior to joining the Astros, Elias spent five seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals, the last two years as the club’s Manager of Amateur Scouting. During his time with the Cardinals, he signed and scouted many Major League players and contributed to the development of the scouting department and draft process. His professional career began as an amateur scout for the Cardinals in 2007.

Elias, 35, is a native of Alexandria, Va., where he attended Thomas Jefferson High School. A 2006 graduate of Yale University, he was a four-time letter winner as a left-handed pitcher for the Bulldogs baseball team.

The Orioles spring training home is in Sarasota, Florida.





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Doug Miles talks with Antony Beevor author “The Battle of Arnheim: The Deadliest Airborne Operation of World War II” on “Talk Across America”. Book available here: https://amzn.to/2RIY8e8





USF Defeats Austin Peay 74-70 In Overtime

(Tampa, FL) Laquincy Rideau scored 17 points and hit two clutch free throws in the final seconds to lead USF to a 74-70 overtime victory over Austin Peay on Monday in the opening round of the Jersey Mike’s Jamaica Classic at the Yuengling Center.

USF (2-0) took a 72-67 lead with under a minute left in overtime on a free throw from Rideau, but Zach Glotta was fouled on a three-point attempt on the ensuing possession and hit all three shots to cut the lead to two. After two missed free throws by the Bulls and turnovers by both teams, Rideau stepped to the line and made the final two points to extend the lead to four and clinch the victory for USF.

USF built a 49-40 lead midway through the second half following a three-pointer by T.J. Lang. Austin Peay, however, answered with an 18-6 run over the next five minutes to take a 58-55 edge on a three-pointer from Glotta.

Rideau regained the lead for the Bulls when his layup with 30 seconds left gave USF a 61-60 edge, but Jarrett Givens connected from beyond the arc on the other end to put Austin Peay ahead 63-61. Justin Brown drew a foul on the final possession of regulation and hit both free throws with 0.4 seconds left on the clock to tie the game and force overtime.

Austin Peay took the lead first in overtime on a free throw from Givens, but David Collins hit a three-pointer on the next possession giving USF the lead for good.

Lang and Collins both finished with 15 points and Mayan Kiir added 11 points, six rebounds and two blocks off the bench.

Terry Taylor paced Austin Peay with 21 points and 12 rebounds while Glotta chipped in with 15 points and hit a pair of three-pointers.

“We play hard. We play with great energy and intensity”, said USF Head Coach Brian Gregory. “We hung in there in the first half. We had some good offense and some wide open shots, we just weren’t able to make those baskets. We stretched it out in the second half and then got out of sorts. I’m proud of our guys for continuing to fight and for finding a way to win.”

USF continues competition in the Jersey Mike’s Jamaica Classic on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. when the Bulls face Ohio in Montego Bay, Jamaica, at the Montego Bay Convention Centre. The game will be broadcast live on CBS Sports Network.





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USF Bulls Drop Third Straight Losing to Cincinnati 35-23 Saturday Night

(Cincinnati, OH) The USF Bulls were officially eliminated from any chance at an AAC title by losing a 35-23 decision to the Bearcats in sub-freezing Cincinnati Saturday night.

USF (7-3, 3-3 in AAC) dropped three straight conference games for the first time since 2013 after Cincinnati (9-1, 5-1 in AAC) seized the momentum with a 21-point third quarter.

Sophomore quarterback Chris Oladokun made his first career start in place of injured Blake Barnett, who suffered a shoulder injury in last week’s game against Tulane. Oladokun threw a 72-yard touchdown pass to Ryeshene Bronson on his first attempt to give USF an early lead. Oladokun added a 25-touchdown pass to Tyre McCants in the third quarter and finished 10 of 22 through the air for 165 yards with no interceptions.

Junior Brett Kean also saw action at quarterback, throwing a 38-yard touchdown pass to Mitchell Wilcox to help give the Bulls a 16-14 lead they took into halftime. Kean completed four of 10 passes for 67 yards with no turnovers in his first appearance since the season opener.

Junior Mitchell Wilcox became USF’s new career and season receiving yards leader and season receptions leader for a tight end, finishing with a team-high seven catches for 90 yards and a touchdown. Wilcox, a Mackey Award candidate, has racked up a record 468 receiving yards and 35 catches this season and improved his career receiving yards to a record total of 904 after missing last week’s game with an injury.

Freshman Johnny Ford led USF’s rushing attack with 10 carries for 63 yards while the Bulls gained 81 yards on the ground against the nation’s fifth-ranked defense.

USF didn’t let a 28-degree kickoff temperature, the coldest in program history, prevent it from heading into halftime with a 16-14 lead after getting solid play from both backup quarterbacks and three sacks from the defense that forced four punts.

Oladokun threw a deep strike on his first pass attempt to Bronson, who made a one-handed catch and raced to the end zone for a 72-yard touchdown. Oladokun had six career pass attempts for 37 yards before throwing the first touchdown of his career to give USF a 6-0 lead just over two minutes into the action.
The Bulls jumped back ahead, 9-7, on a 37-yard field goal by Coby Weiss six plays after a career long 62-yard kickoff return by Bentlee Sanders.

Kean entered the game in the second quarter and capped off his first drive with a career long 38-yard touchdown pass to Wilcox to help give USF a 16-14 lead with 11:34 remaining in the half. Wilcox had three catches for 63 yards on the 75-yard scoring drive.

Cincinnati scored 14 straight points to open the second half before the Bulls responded with Oladokun’s second touchdown pass of the night. McCants hauled in his 16th career scoring reception from 25 yards out as USF cut its deficit to 28-23 with 2:06 left in the third quarter.

USF didn’t find the end zone again while pursuing its fourth double-digit fourth quarter comeback of the season. Senior defensive back Ronnie Hoggins led the Bulls with a career-high 13 tackles while junior Greg Reaves finished with 10 tackles.

“The first half we played well, then the second half we come out and give up three touchdowns in the third quarter”, Head Coach Charlie Strong said. “We just were never able to put it together and sustain drives. We only scored one touchdown (in the second half). We’ve got to be able to play for 60 minutes and that’s what we didn’t do.”

USF lost three straight games for the first time since early in the 2015 season. USF lost three straight conference games for the first time since 2013.

The temperature at kickoff was 28 degrees, marking the lowest in program history and just the seventh game in USF history with a kickoff below 40 degrees. The previous lowest temperature a USF game had kicked off at was 29 degrees at West Virginia in 2008. USF lost that game, 13-7.

USF finishes up a two-game road stretch with a conference test at Temple on Saturday, Nov. 17 in a noon kickoff. Game broadcast on ESPN News.

USF returns to Raymond James Stadium to host rival UCF in a War on I-4 clash on Friday, Nov. 23 (time TBA).





USF Bulls Defeat Alabama A&M in Season Opener

(Tampa, FL) David Collins scored 17 points and USF defeated Alabama A&M 80-63 Tuesday evening at the Yuengling Center to open the college basketball season.

Justin Brown added 16 points off the bench, T.J. Lang finished with 10 points and the duo combined to make six of USF’s nine three-pointers to help the Bulls shoot 42.9 percent (9-for-21) from beyond the arc.

Laquincy Rideau tied his career-high with 10 assists and Alexis Yetna pulled down a game-high nine rebounds in his USF debut.

Arthur Johnson paced Alabama A&M with 20 points and four steals and Andre Kennedy scored 15 points.

USF (1-0) led by as many as 15 points in the first half before Alabama A&M used a 23-10 run to pull within two points (33-31) on a three-pointer by Johnson in the final minute.

Alabama A&M (0-1) took its only lead on a bucket from Johnson early in the second half to put the Bulldogs ahead 41-40, but USF answered with an 18-6 run to build a 58-47 advantage.

Justin Brown gave USF its largest lead when his three-pointer from the wing put the Bulls ahead 80-61 with just over a minute remaining.

“I thought we did a lot of good things over the first eight or 10 minutes”, said Bulls Head Coach Brian Gregory. “Games are going to be tough but we didn’t lose out poise. The Alabama A&M zone gave us problems early on, but we made an adjustment early in the second half to get the ball inside more and our posts did some good things down low.”

USF returns to the Yuengling Center in Tampa on Monday, Nov. 12 when the Bulls host Austin Peay at 7 p.m.





Upper Deck Seats Released for USF vs. UCF Game in Tampa

(TAMPA, FL) With few lower bowl seats remaining and demand running high for the War on I-4 gridiron clash vs. unbeaten UCF on Friday, Nov. 23, USF Athletics has released tickets for purchase in the west upper deck (home side) of Raymond James Stadium. USF Athletics also announced a new partnership with Dunkin’ as the presenting sponsor of this year’s game.

“Excitement for the War on I-4 has been building since last season’s epic game watched by nearly five million people on ABC,” USF Vice President of Athletics Michael Kelly said. “With ticket demand for the game continuing to build and remaining lower bowl seating inventory shrinking daily, we felt it was time to open tickets sales in the 300 level. We anticipate tickets moving quickly and a tremendous atmosphere in Raymond James Stadium on game day.”

The stadium’s 44,204 lower bowl seats and suite tickets have nearly sold-out for the game, with less than 700 prime seats remaining in various, dynamically-priced lower bowl sections. Upper deck tickets will begin priced between $29-$59.

USF leads the War on I-4 series, 6-3, and has won two of the last three meetings, but the Knights claimed a 49-42 victory in Orlando last season in a game that saw three touchdowns scored in the final 2:21. USF tied the game on an 83-yard touchdown pass from Quinton Flowers to Darnell Salomon with 1:41 left to play, but the Knights got a game-winning 95-yard kickoff return from Mike Hughes.

Senior Tyre McCants, the Bulls’ leading receiver in 2018, had a USF game record 227 yards receiving and a touchdown on nine catches in last season’s War on I-4 clash. The team’s combined to produce 1,186 yards of offense in the game.





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