Quinn McDaniel and Adam Dapkewicz hit two-run homers as the Sanford Mainers beat the Newport Gulls 9-7 Monday night in a NECBL wild-card playoff game at Newport, Rhode Island.

The Mainers advance to play the top-seeded Vermont Mountaineers in a best-of-three series.

David Bermudez  was 3 for 5 with two RBI and two runs for the Mainers, who took a 6-1 lead with four runs in the third inning.

Brady Afthim closed out the win with four scoreless inning. He allowed two hits, a walk and struck out five.



Since Brittney Griner last appeared in her trial for cannabis possession, the question of her fate has expanded from a tiny, cramped courtroom on Moscow’s outskirts to the highest level of Russia-U.S. diplomacy.

The WNBA star and two-time Olympic gold medalist returns to court on Tuesday, a month after the beginning of the trial in which she could face 10 years in prison if convicted. As the trial has progressed, the Biden administration has faced rising calls for action to win her release.

In an extraordinary move, Secretary of State Antony Blinken last week spoke to his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov, urging him to accept a deal under which Griner and Paul Whelan, an American imprisoned in Russia on an espionage conviction, would go free.

Although details of the offer remain shrouded, Blinken’s public announcement of a proposal was at odds with the convention of keeping prisoner-release negotiations tightly under wraps.

The Lavrov-Blinken call also was the highest-level known contact between Washington and Moscow since Russia sent troops into Ukraine more than five months ago. The direct outreach risks undermining a core message to U.S. allies that isolating Russia could force the eventual withdrawal of troops from Ukraine.

It also underlines the public pressure that the White House has faced to get Griner released, which has brought some backlash. Former President Donald Trump strongly criticized the proposal that people familiar with it have said envisions trading Griner and Whelan for the notorious arms trader Viktor Bout.


“He’s absolutely one of the worst in the world, and he’s going to be given his freedom because a potentially spoiled person goes into Russia loaded up with drugs,” Trump said.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters that Russia has made a “bad faith” response to the U.S. government’s offer, a counteroffer that American officials don’t regard as serious. She declined to elaborate.


RYDER CUP: Luke Donald jumped at a second chance to be Ryder Cup captain for Europe, taking over just 14 months before the 2023 matches in Italy without knowing whether players who sign up for the Saudi riches of LIV Golf will be available to him.

Donald only knew that unlike Henrik Stenson, stripped of the captaincy for signing up with the LIV Golf rival league, he wouldn’t be going anywhere.

“I’m giving you my word that I will be here for the next 14 months,” Donald said in a video call. “I’m excited about this opportunity. I really am. The Ryder Cup means so much to me and I’m not going to take this lightly. So I will see you in Rome.”


PGA: The PGA Tour is closing in on $500 million in prize money for next season, with eight tournaments offering $15 million or more and limited spots available for the postseason.

It will be the final time for a wraparound season that has nine tournaments starting on Sept. 15, has a six-week break around the holidays and resumes in Hawaii in January before the season ends in August.

Only the top 70 players – down from 125 – will qualify for the FedEx Cup playoffs, with players whittled down to 50 players for the second postseason event and 30 reaching the Tour Championship and competing for the FedEx Cup.

Starting in the fall of 2023, players outside the top 70 will have six tournaments to try to earn full status for a calendar-year schedule that will start the following January.

The prize money for the 43 tournaments run by the PGA Tour is $428.6 million, which includes four opposite-field events. The four majors had combined prize money of $61.5 million last year. Still to be determined is whether purses will be increased for 2023.

The PGA Championship returns to Oak Hill outside Rochester, New York, in May – it already was scheduled for upstate New York when the PGA moved from August to May in 2019. The U.S. Open goes to Los Angeles Country Club for the first time, and the British Open returns to Royal Liverpool for the first time since 2014.



MEN’S BASKETBALL: Arkansas will face Louisville in the opening round of a loaded 2022 Maui Invitational bracket.

The eight-team bracket announced for the November event will include six teams that went to the 2022 NCAA Tournament, including three that reached the Sweet 16.

Arizona faces Cincinnati in the opening round after reaching the Sweet 16 in Coach Tommy Lloyd’s first season. Texas Tech, another Sweet 16 team last season, plays Creighton and San Diego State faces Ohio State in the tournament’s return to the Lahaina Civic Center on Nov. 21-23.


WORLD CUP: Soccer’s World Cup forced the cancellation of a luge World Cup.


The International Luge Federation said that what was scheduled as the opening weekend of its World Cup season – Nov. 26 and Nov. 27 in Igls, Austria – has been called off.

The reason: The FIFA World Cup was taking up too much of the available television schedule, and that meant the luge events wouldn’t be able to be aired live in Europe.

Luge’s World Cup is now set to begin on the weekend of Dec. 2, a previously scheduled race weekend also in Igls. The group stages of the FIFA World Cup will be completed by then, and fewer matches in Qatar each day opened more potential television windows for luge.


CITI OPEN: Venus Williams lost to Canadian Rebecca Marino in her return to singles play after more than a year away.

The seven-time Grand Slam champion lost 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 in the first round in Washington in her first singles match since last August.

In other action on the women’s side, top-seeded Jessica Pegula and former top-ranked Simona Halep advanced.

Pegula beat fellow American Hailey Baptiste 6-2, 6-2. Halep defeated Cristina Bucsa of Spain 6-3, 7-5 after adjusting to a different surface following grass-court season.

On the men’s side, former No. 1 Andy Murray lost his opening match 7-6(8), 4-6, 6-1 to Swede Mikael Ymer. Murray started cramping at the end of the first set and struggled to recover.

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