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Rich Thompson has been a leader wherever he has played this season.
Thompson was one of the Eastern League batting leaders while playing for the New Haven Ravens.
That play earned Thompson, a Montrose graduate, a promotion to the Class AAA Syracuse SkyChiefs.
Thompson is serving as the leadoff batter in Syracuse where he has been one of the International League's hottest hitters in the first eight days since his June 8 promotion.
Although the SkyChiefs are struggling and are last in the IL North Division, Thompson has at least two hits in five of his last six games.
Thompson is 11-for-28 (.393) with four runs, a double, two RBI, a walk and two stolen bases with just one strikeout. He has been playing primarily in center field.
In his first Class AAA game since a call-up late in the 2001 season, Thompson went 0-for-4. He came right back to go 2-for-4 with a run, a stolen base and another time on base from being hit by a pitch in a June 9 loss to Indianapolis.
Thompson added a second 2-for-4 effort against Indianapolis before going 3-for-5 with a run, a stolen base and an RBI in a loss to Pawtucket.
Following another hitless game, Thompson went 2-for-4 again in both Saturday and Sunday's games. Thompson's run-scoring single in the third inning of Saturday's 6-1 loss represented the only run allowed in the last 19 innings by Pawtucket pitcher Paul Stewart.
Thompson played a series in Binghamton earlier this season while with the Ravens.
If he remains in Syracuse, Thompson will make his second professional appearance at Lackawanna County Stadium in an Aug. 8-9 series against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons. The SkyChiefs play a series against the Red Barons in Syracuse the previous weekend.
Although he is playing in the IL, Thompson remains in the rankings of the top EL hitters. He is 10th in the league with a .313 batting average. He scored 39 runs in 49 games in New Haven.
WEEK IN REVIEW
Elk Lake completed a busy stretch when it outlasted District 4 champion Muncy for a 4-3, nine-inning victory in the June 9 Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Class A baseball semifinals.
The rain that had forced the Warriors into a busy stretch of games then created a long break before the state final.
The state final, originally scheduled for Friday in Williamsport, was postponed by rain and moved to Monday in Harrisburg.
When the state tournament opened, Elk Lake faced a postponement of its first-round game, which was then suspended by rain and postponed for two more days. That meant the completion of one game and a full other game June 6.
By the time the Warriors played an extra-inning game in the state semifinals, they had made it through 19 innings and three victories in one-run games during a stretch of four days. Ben Lyne and Seth Button did all the pitching in that stretch and, because of the rain, got to rest again before the final.
Button, who finished the quarterfinal victory on the mound, pitched all nine innings of the state semifinal.
Derek Guiton put the Warriors into their first state baseball championship game with a ninth-inning sacrifice fly. Guiton had homered earlier in the game.
The District 2 champion Warriors were facing District 6 champion Bellwood-Antis in the final, which was scheduled to take place Monday.
Bellwood-Antis reached the final with a 7-5 victory over Chartiers-Houston.
In professional basketball, a coach from northeastern Pennsylvania may have turned his career around.
Scranton's P.J. Carlesimo, who was fired from positions as head coach in Portland and Golden State, served as an assistant coach with the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs completed a 4-2 victory over the New Jersey Nets in the National Basketball Association championship series Sunday.
Carlesimo came close to a title as a head coach in college when he led Seton Hall to the 1989 NCAA championship game, where it lost to Michigan on a late controversial foul call.
Although, he may not land a position this offseason, Carlesimo's name has begun to resurface in discussions for open coaching jobs.
In arena football, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Pioneers had a two-game winning streak come to an end when they were ripped, 52-22, by the Mohegan Wolves.
Pioneers quarterback Chris Boden started his week trying to prove he could play in the National Football League when he performed in a tryout with the Buffalo Bills. By Saturday night, he was having trouble competing against one of arenafootball2's toughest defenses.
Boden went just 11-for-30 in the first three quarters and had an interception returned for a touchdown to give Mohegan a 35-7 lead in the final minute of the first half.
"He missed some throws early," Pioneers coach Dean Cokinos said. "We didn't have any rhythm offensively.
"The bye week hurt us."
Susquehanna graduate Teresa Covert finished 25th in the 100 hurdles during the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I women's track and field championships at Sacramento State.
Covert, a junior at the University at Albany, was sixth out of seven in her heat, finishing in 13.99 seconds. Raasin McIntosh of Texas won the heat in 13.13.
Covert needed a time of 13.60 or better, something she managed several times during the season, in order to advance as one of 16 semifinalists.
Illinois senior Perdita Felicien went on to win the national title in 12.74 seconds. Indiana senior Danielle Carruthers was second in 12.89 seconds.
TOM ROBINSON writes a weekly local sports column for the Susquehanna County Transcript. He can be reached online at RobbyTR@aol.com.
BUSCH Wins Father's Day Race At Michigan
Brooklyn, MI Roush Racing's Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 97 Ford took the lead from Jeff Gordon with 24 laps to go in the 200-lap, Winston Cup Sirius Radio Satellite 400, then held off Polesitter Bobby Labonte for his third win of the season.
It was Busch's eighth career Winston Cup victory in 93 races, but his first at the 2-mile Michigan track.
"Unbelievable," said Busch. "It was like one-in-a-million opportunity today. You never know what to do at this track, it is so uncompromising.
"I knew Bobby (Labonte) was coming there at the end. We were good on short runs, and that's the compromise you make. We got the clean air and was able to stay out front."
Jeff Gordon, points leader, Matt Kenseth and Michael Waltrip rounded out the top-5.
"We were gaining before the last caution came out," said Labonte, driver of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet. "Gaining on him is one thing, passing is another.
"I made one good run, and it didn't stick. That was my best shot, and after that I had to stay in behind him and be sure I didn't get passed for second."
"To me it was a winning effort," said Jeff Gordon. "Unfortunately we kept adjusting all day for the long run and it came down to a short-lap shootout. That killed us. I got the one good run and that was all we could do."
Top ten finishing Order: 1. Kurt Busch, 2. Bobby Labonte, 3. Jeff Gordon, 4. Matt Kenseth, 5. Michael Waltrip, 6. Sterling Marlin, 7. Dale Earnhardt Jr., 8. Tony Stewart, 9. Mark Martin, 10. Terry Labonte.
Top-10 points leaders after 15 of 36 races: 1. Kenseth-2275, 2. Earnhardt Jr.-2090, 3. J. Gordon-2052, 4. B. Labonte-1998, 5. Busch-1933, 6. Waltrip-1900, 7. Johnson-1853, 8. R. Wallace-1798, 9. Marlin-1783, 10. Martin-1740.
NED JARRETT Honored Ned Jarrett was honored Friday night with the Spirit of Ford Award as part of the Ford Centennial Celebration in Dearborn, Mich.
"This is a total surprise," said Ned Jarrett. "When they told me a couple of years ago that I had won more races in a Ford than anybody else, I was extremely proud. We ran a lot more races back then, but I've always valued my relationship with Ford and I'm honored to receive this award during such a special time in Ford's history."
The Spirit of Ford Award is the highest honor in Ford Racing and goes to a person who has made significant contributions on and off the track to the sport of auto racing. Edsel Ford, along with Dale and Jason Jarrett, presented Ned Jarrett with the award during a reception at the Henry Ford Museum.
"I think Edsel Ford summed up my feelings in his remarks when he said that my dad is my hero," said Dale Jarrett. "He's done so much for this sport and for Ford to honor him in this way is something our family will always remember.
"What made the evening even more special is that Jason was there as well, so it's one of those memories that the Jarrett family will treasure for years to come."
Jarrett won the NASCAR Winston Cup championship in 1961 and 1965 and remains the all-time leader in Ford wins with 43.
Other stock car recipients of the Spirit of Ford Award include: Bud Moore, the Wood Brothers, Junie Donlavey, Bill Elliott, Richard Petty and the France family.
Kentucky Busch Race Goes To HAMILTON JR. The top ten results of the Busch Series Meijer 300, run Saturday at Kentucky Speedway, Sparta, KY: 1. Bobby Hamilton Jr., 2. Jason Keller, 3. Ron Hornaday, 4. Stacy Compton, 5. Scott Wimmer, 6. Brian Vickers, 7. Ashton Lewis, 8. David Green, 9. Casey Atwood, 10. David Stremme.
DAVID GREEN Is New Busch Leader The top-10 points leaders after 16 of 34 races: 1. D. Green-2180, 2. Riggs-2134, 3. T. Bodine-2108, 4. Hornaday-2082, 5. Keller-2055, 6. Vickers-2031, 7. Hamilton Jr.-2018, 8. Bliss-1938, 9. J. Sauter-1926, 10. Wimmer-1887.
The Winston Cup teams head west to Sonoma, CA, while the Craftsman Trucks are at Memphis, TN. The Busch drivers have the weekend off.
Saturday, June 21, Craftsman Truck Series O'Reilly 200, race 8 of 25, 200 laps/150 miles, 3 p.m. TV: Speed Channel.
Sunday, June 22, Winston Cup Dodge/SaveMart 350, race 16 of 36, 111 laps/216.5 miles, 2:30 p.m. TV: Fox.
Racing Trivia Question: Who was the early driver that was often referred to as "The Wild Man of Racing," and "The Babe Ruth of NASCAR?"
Answer To Last Week's Question: Kyle Busch has been signed to drive for Hendrick Motorsports.
Gerald Hodges/the Racing Reporter is a syndicated NASCAR columnist. If you have a racing question that you would like answered send it to The Racing Reporter, P.O. Box 160711, Mobile, AL, 36616, or e-mail it to: email@example.com.
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