Reno to ‘Play ball!’ in new 10,000-seat park

The Reno City Council approved plans Friday to build a downtown stadium for a Triple-A baseball team, with ground-breaking near the Truckee River scheduled for Jan. 1.

“Play ball!” Councilman Dave Aiazzi said after the 5-0 vote to approve final agreements for the $42 million project, which includes plans for a nearby entertainment zone with shopping, restaurants and bars.

The agreements are between the city; its redevelopment agency; Herbert Simon, the nation’s largest mall developer; and Jerry and Stuart Katzoff, who own a famous chain of Italian restaurants on the East Coast.

SK Baseball and Nevada Land LLCs, controlled by the Katzoffs and Simon, purchased the Pacific Coast League’s Tucson Sidewinders team last week for $15 million and are expected to move the team to Reno.

City officials hope the 10,000-seat stadium is ready for the 2009 season.


Flesch grabs lead of Turning Stone tourney

Steve Flesch shot a 7-under 65 to take sole possession of the lead after two rounds of the inaugural Turning Stone Resort Championship in Verona, N.Y.

Flesch was at 13-under 131 and one stroke ahead of first-round co-leader Jeff Gove (67) and Brendon de Jonge, who had a second straight 66. Charles Warren (65) was alone in fourth, another shot back.

Former UNLV golfer Chad Campbell, who was tied with Gove after Thursday’s first round, shot 72 and was six strokes off the pace.

Flesch quickly built on his opening 66. He started by making four birdies and an eagle for a record 30 on the back side of the forgiving 7,482-yard Atunyote Gold Club course. He then hit a 3-wood to 14 feet at the 562-yard, par-5 12th hole and made eagle to reach 9 under, birdied the next two holes and sank a 15-foot birdie putt at No. 18 to tie De Jonge for the lead at 12 under.

Flesch took the lead with a 17-foot birdie putt at the par-4 second hole. His lone blemish on the day was a three-putt bogey from 35 feet on his final hole, which nullified a birdie putt at No. 8.

Also: Mark Wiebe made a good impression in his first round as a member of the Champions Tour at the SAS Championship in Cary, N.C.

Wiebe shot a 7-under 65 to share the first-round lead with another unlikely leader, Champions Tour Q School medalist Boonchu Ruangkit of Thailand, at Prestonwood Country Club as the players took advantage of a course softened by rain.

Dana Quigley trailed the leaders by one stroke and four others shot 5 under.

Mark Foster shot a 6-under 66 in a strong, swirling wind to share the lead with Robert-Jan Derksen after two rounds of the British Masters in Sutton Coldfield, England.

Both players were at 7-under 137, leading a group of five players by one stroke. Derksen shot a 68.

Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md., will not host the U.S. Amateur in 2009 because of course conditions that need improvement ahead of the 2011 U.S. Open.

Southern Hills will host the 2009 U.S. Amateur, one year earlier than scheduled, the USGA said.


Hafen’s arm, legs carry Virgin Valley to victory

Doug Hafen passed for two touchdowns and ran for two to lead Virgin Valley to a 48-0 Class 3A football victory over Lowry in Mesquite.

Hafen completed 7 of 13 passes for 212 yards. He also carried the ball twice for 81 yards and the two TDs, the second coming on an 80-yard run in the third quarter.

Colton Teerlink added 85 rushing yards and three TDs, including a 56-yard run in the third quarter, for the Bulldogs.

Virgin Valley held the Buckaroos to 62 yards of total offense.

Also: T.J. White passed for two touchdowns and rushed for two to lead Calvary Chapel to a 42-26 Class A victory over Abundant Life (Utah) at Henderson International.

Ricky Farris had 125 receiving yards for Calvary Chapel, including touchdown catches of 31 and 47 yards. He also rushed for 75 yards.


Davenport, Jankovic to meet in China semis

Lindsay Davenport will play second-seeded Jelena Jankovic in one of today’s semifinals of the China Open in Beijing.

Davenport defeated Elena Dementieva 7-6 (1), 6-1, and Jankovic beat Akiko Morigami, 6-3, 7-5.

Third-seeded Amelie Mauresmo, who skipped the U.S. Open to recover from injuries and appendectomy surgery in March, was upset in the quarterfinals by Peng Shuai, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2.

Peng will meet sixth-seeded Agnes Szavay, who defeated Maria-Emilia Salerni 6-2, 6-4, in today’s other semifinal.


Tour de France director calls for faster verdicts

Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme said cycling officials should find a faster way to rule on doping verdicts after Floyd Landis’ case dragged on for 14 months.

On Thursday, arbitrators upheld the results of a test that showed Landis used synthetic testosterone to fuel his 2006 Tour de France victory. Cycling’s governing body on Friday formally declared Oscar Pereiro the winner of the 2006 race.

“It’s quite logical that Floyd Landis did everything he could to defend himself,” Prudhomme told Associated Press Television News. “But of course, it would be quite normal in the future that cycling authorities could work on a system that would be quicker.”

Also: The Minnesota Timberwolves hired Ed Pinckney as an assistant coach.

Pinckney has been an assistant at Villanova, his alma mater, since 2003.

Florida State suspended two football players after they were arrested in a bar fight that resulted in felony charges against one of them.

Junior linebacker Geno Hayes and senior fullback Joe Surratt were arrested early Friday at a bar near the Florida State campus, police and school officials said. Police said Hayes had to be subdued with a Taser and Surratt struck a police officer.

San Diego State halted UNLV volleyball’s nine-match winning streak 3-2 (29-31, 30-26, 30-27, 26-30, 15-13) in Mountain West Conference play in San Diego.

The loss dropped the Rebels to 10-2 overall and 2-1 in league. The Aztecs, off to their best start since 2001, improved to 10-4 and 2-1.

Kristen Shim scored in the 64th minute, and Alicia Lugo had three saves to post her third shutout victory of the season as the UNLV women’s soccer team blanked 11th-ranked Washington State 1-0 in the first round of the Rebel Classic at Peter Johann Memorial Field.

The Rebels improved to 4-2-1. The Cougars dropped to 4-1-1.

Lamar Neagle tallied two goals in the final nine minutes of regulation, including a goal with 45 seconds remaining, but the Rebels could not break through in either of the two extra periods and had to settle for a 2-2 tie with Drake in a first-round men’s soccer game of the Rebel Classic at Johann Field.

The tie left the Rebels with a 2-3-2 record. Drake is 4-2-1.

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