06/14/13 The Heater
PORT CHARLOTTE — Jesse Hahn is a hard-throwing right-hander with a fastball that routinely reaches 95 mph. His other pitches — a curve, slider and changeup — tend to cross the plate with uncanny and merciless accuracy.
Hahn uses that arsenal to mow down batters with efficiency as a starter for the Charlotte Stone Crabs, the Rays' advanced Class A affiliate. His statistics are impressive: a 1.23 ERA with 43 strikeouts in 44 innings. Those numbers are a big reason Hahn will be part of the pitching staff for the South Division in tonight's Florida State League All-Star Game in Dunedin....
For schedules, go to minorleaguebaseball.com.
Charlotte Stone Crabs
Address: Charlotte Sports Park; 2300 El Jobean Road, Port Charlotte. From Tampa/St. Petersburg take Interstate 75 South, get off at Exit 179 toward North Port/Port Charlotte and turn right onto Toledo Blade Boulevard, turn right onto El Jobean Road and Charlotte Sports Park will be on the left....
03/24/13 Auto racing
ST. PETERSBURG — Scott Hargrove put the disappointment of last year behind him, emerging as a threat to win the USF2000 championship after driving to victories in both races this weekend.
Hargrove started from the pole Sunday and led all 21 laps of the 1.8-mile, 14-turn course to increase his points lead to 122-79 over rookie Wyatt Gooden.
"My race was phenomenal," said Hargrove, who also won Saturday. "The race was interesting due to the weather. We weren't sure if it was going to rain, and it was a relief that it was dry. ...
03/23/13 Auto racing
ST. PETERSBURG — By winning his first Indy Lights race, Jack Hawksworth became part of some exclusive company.
He is the 11th driver to win his debut race in the series and the seventh to win in his debut in St. Petersburg. Hawksworth joins an impressive list that includes Marco Andretti, Raphael Matos, Junior Strous, J.K. Vernay, Josef Newgarden and Tristan Vautier....
Rick Sanson, who has led Keswick Christian since the program's inception in 1998, said Saturday he is leaving the school as an advance placement history teacher and no longer will coach.
"This was a decision that was strictly academic and had nothing to do with football," Sanson said. "There is a new headmaster, who is in his first year. We see things differently, and I made a decision to leave. It is not an anger thing, but it is sad to no longer be a part of the football program because I'm going in another direction."...
03/21/13 Auto racing
The Road to Indy, launched in 2010, is IndyCar's version of the minor leagues, a feeder system in which drivers can ascend through the ranks.
Zach Veach is the model driver for how the series is supposed to work. In the past three years, Veach has climbed the developmental ladder, from racing in USF2000 to Star Mazda (now called Pro Mazda).
Now, Veach, 18, has moved to Indy Lights, the final step before the IndyCar series. He joins former teammate Sage Karam as the only drivers to compete at every level of the Road to Indy....
03/21/13 Auto racing
ST. PETERSBURG — A permanent marker was placed at Dan Wheldon Way on Thursday as his widow, Susie, her children and the full complement of IndyCar drivers turned out for the dedication.
Wheldon, a St. Petersburg resident who won the inaugural Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg and two Indianapolis 500s, was killed in October 2011 in a racing crash at Las Vegas Motor Speedway....
Louisiana Tech's Kenneth Smith has seemingly emerged overnight to become a bonafide point guard on one of college basketball's most surprising teams.
Smith, a Boca Ciega High graduate, helped the Bulldogs win 18 consecutive games, the second-longest streak in Division I this season. They were ranked in the top 25 for a time and earned the program's first No. 1 seed in the Western Athletic Conference tournament....
EAST LAKE — Saturday's final of the Lee Byers Invitational baseball tournament arrived with a blast of winter. The afternoon temperature quickly dropped as a strong wind blew in from the outfield.
East Lake, the host, remained resourceful with its baserunning high jinks. There were first-to-third dashes, daring leads and stolen bases. But there also were solid hits sprinkled in during the Eagles' 8-1 victory over Ridgewood....
PHU wrestlers repeat at PCAC
PALM HARBOR — Palm Harbor University won its second straight Pinellas County Athletic Conference wrestling title Saturday, scoring 321.5 points to beat Dixie Hollins by 149.5. The Hurricanes had 14 place-winners, including six weight-class champs: Tim Sakow (106 pounds), Jared Prince (120), Connor Prince (126), Mike May (132), Josh Kampmann (145) and Aaron Hartman (160). Jared Prince won his 100th career bout and Hartman won his 200th....
SEMINOLE — Largo coach Phil Price had been waiting for this moment, when his football players would be in basketball mode, when the errant shots would start falling, when his young team would put it together for a signature win against a premier Tampa Bay area power.
He got it Saturday at the MacCollum Shootout at Seminole, where the Packers beat Class 8A, No. 9-ranked Wharton 65-59....
ST. PETERSBURG — There are times when Lakewood's fastbreak offense goes too fast, which causes rushed shots, errant passes and missed opportunities. So Spartans coach Anthony Lawrence Sr. stressed execution at practice over the past few days.
It all came together against Seminole on Thursday in the first round of the Northeast Holiday Tournament.
Anthony Lawrence Jr. and Jared Gregory stepped back and buried 3-pointers. They also slashed to the basket for layups. The passes were crisp. The turnovers were few, and the opportunities to score points in bunches were there....
CLEARWATER — Whether he was slashing, leaping or flinging shots from 20 feet, Justin Gray could hardly miss Friday night. The one time he did, the Berkeley Prep junior smiled, which said everything that needed to be said about the Bright House Tournament semifinal against Gainesville.
Berkeley Prep scored a lot, defended well and rarely saw a stressful moment in a 66-37 rout.
The Bucs improved to 12-0 and can win their first regular-season tournament title in a decade when they play Strawberry Crest in tonight's championship at 8:15....
CLEARWATER — After playing away from the basket for much of the first half, Berkeley Prep coach Bobby Reinhart wanted his players to move closer.
On defense, he wanted his small guys with quick feet to cut off driving lanes. On offense, he wanted his players to bulldoze toward easy, inside shots.
It all worked to perfection.
The Buccaneers kept their perfect record intact with a solid third quarter, scoring 27 points and getting Boca Ciega into foul trouble, for a 75-70 victory in the first round of the Brighthouse Tournament....
PINELLAS PARK — Given how thoroughly Palm Harbor University dominated Saturday's Jerry Mita Invitational — the Hurricanes crowned six champions and all 14 wrestlers placed — it is no surprise that the team also will be the dominant topic of conversation heading into the conference meet next month.
Buoyed by a fifth-place finish at last week's Cougar Invitational, PHU easily won the Jerry Mita, scoring 299.5 points to beat runnerup Bradenton Manatee by 99.5. It was the second straight season the Hurricanes have won the tournament....